Thursday, February 18, 2016

F - Fitness

Hi there !

I am talking to you girl , to the woman you would be in 5 years from now.

How are you ? Juggling kids, jobs and home must be taking a toll on you. I am sure you are in the race for being the good wife, the perfect mother and the best employee, and in the chaos of it all, I hope you have thought about the perfect you.

Are you able to run after your kids to play tag or do you find it easy to shove an ipad into their hands ? Does that make you tired , playing with kids ? They want to see you energetic and fun-loving, to be around them, to be friends with them, to do things with them. Are your hectic day and aching joints denying them that ?

Do you still find time to bike around your community that you once so used to love ? I know there are 100 other things that you would rather use the time for, but still, wouldn't it be nice to indulge in your interests sometimes.

Like for a typical Indian woman, does your day start with cooking and end with cooking , with little or no time to look after yourself ? Like our mothers, do you think running around the house packing lunches, cleaning the kitchen and feeding the kids qualify as the "necessary" physical exercise your body needs ? Like all of us do, do you just apply that zandu balm for relief whenever your back aches with all the neglect and stress you have been giving it ?

What is your plan for the future ? Do you intend to take it as it comes or prepare well to prevent some common problems that have become so rampant? Does it scare you , to see your mom, who was so hale and hearty, suddenly ridden with problems ? It does to me. I wish she had treated her fitness as equally as looking after the family. More than the problem, she hates the feeling of being dependent .And I know, I wouldn't like that either.

I have gotten my act together now. I do not want to wait until my 40s to contract thyroid or sugar to make walking my daily routine. I do not want a Physiotherapist to tell me to make yoga part of my routine. I want to be able to run after my kids. To be able to squat when I want to and spring up when needed. I want to be able to play tennis in my free time. I want to continue biking or swimming when I need to clear my head of stress. More importantly, I want to be able to do all these with my kids.

You might argue that it is how it is. 90% of women we know have been through exactly the same thing. Mommy, chachi, neighbor aunty, colleagues. Yes, but no.
No, its not a norm to have a full grown belly after delivery. You can absolutely get back in shape.
No, its not usual to be occupied with household chores and not have time to do 30 min of yoga.
No, its not natural to have forgone all the things you liked to do because you have kids now and more important things to look after.

I can say that because of what I see here, in the US. I see 50 year olds who look younger and fitter than me. I see 60 year old couples playing tennis in the park. I see a woman, old enough to be my mother, teaching zumba with that raw, wild energy I so clearly lack. I see them and wonder why we never did all these back home. Why it took us so long to embrace yoga, that too only after the west practiced and promoted it so religiously. Why gym was a fancy place only rich/self-obsessed kids go to.

So here I am, asking you to take out sometime for yourself. Urging you to treat your health importantly. Skip that soap on TV or wake up 30 minutes early or plan your day better, but do something. Before it becomes absolutely necessary.

I have made fitness my life goal. I will try to work out either by biking/ swimming/ tennis/ zumba dancing 4 hours a week. I found Shilpa Shetty yoga on you tube a good start for beginners. You can start doing it on weekends and once you remember the asanas, it takes a maximum of 30 minutes to finish it.

So woman, buckle up and be the super girl you want to be. Eat healthy. Stay healthy.

PS : This is not just for women. Holds equally true to men who have left their fitness in the rat hole.

Some tips that can help.

1. First, eat healthy.

2. Eat small, frequent meals.

3. Drink lot of water. I used to drink only 2-3 glasses a day. But now, I add mint leaves and some lemon to my 1-liter water bottle. That makes me more thirsty and easily drink 3 litres now. Find out ways that work for you.

4. Practise yoga every morning. It is for your overall body fitness. With an unfit body , you cannot do any other form of exercise. So first strengthen your muscles.

5. Pick up a routine. Get a bike or take up a sport. Or get a membership in a gym. If you have to stay home, treadmill works best.

6. Plan your day better. To save time, decide the menu for the week beforehand. Share chores with

7.Start slow. With weekends.

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