Most women are not fond of gym workouts. They prefer walking. If you look around in most gyms, you will find a higher number of men as compared to women, but some still force themselves to work out when it becomes a health issue. Another reason is if they have to shape up before their wedding or for a family wedding. Not surprisingly, the motivation is lost once the event is over. Then they bounce back and regain all the lost weight and a bit more, and then it’s only uphill. They feel they’ve reached a point of no return.
The situation becomes worse if they are married with kids. With the everyday stress and strain of managing work, family and responsibilities, a woman has no personal time at all. Following a fitness schedule does not even feature anywhere on her priority list. The excuse – ‘I don’t have time!’
But the woman who is genuinely concerned about her weight and health is looking for a solution. So what does she do? Here are practical tips to help you stay fit and lose weight.
How to find time for exercise
The best practice would be to wake up half an hour early and exercise. If that’s not possible then a late evening workout should suffice. Those who have never worked out before can start with a 15-minute walk at a normal pace. Gradually increase the pace and duration.
Once you are used to walking and start enjoying it, try to incorporate other forms of workouts. Some of you might even enjoy working out in a gym. Beginners who prefer working out at home would do well with a personal trainer for a few months.
Those who have exercised before can do surya namaskars, squats, lunges, toe touching exercises, push-ups, dips and crunches a few days a week. It would also be a good idea to get a few home workout videos. But be careful and don’t overdo. You may end up with injuries and be put off by workouts forever.
The bottom line is to do something that you enjoy and can sustain for long. Exercising should become a part of your life. Besides weight loss, exercise is a great way to charge you up for the day ahead or to and wind up your day.
Working out at work
Some women spend a lot of time commuting to and fro from work. In addition, they even have to cook the family dinner, while some others have to look into their children’s studies too. These women can perform short bouts of exercise at work. Research has shown that this too helps.
You could begin by walking to the station instead of taking an auto or cab. You can use the stairs instead of the lift. Use the short tea and coffee break at work to do a quick up and down the stairs instead of chatting with your colleagues.
At work, walk up to a colleague if you need to, rather than emailing or whatsapping. Try to get up from your seat and be mobile whenever you get an opportunity. Avoid sitting in your seat for long stretches. If that’s not possible, at least move around in your chair, get fidgety, turn around, and stretch your legs and hands. Try to do a few simple stretches. It’s also important to maintain a good posture. Sit up straight.
If you have access to a gym at your workplace, you can use it instead of taking tea or coffee breaks. You can also spend the first 10 minutes of the lunch break doing a quick burst of activity. Whatever you do, make sure to warm up before your workout and cool down after you finish.
Then comes the next important part of the weight loss programme — diet. Most women will say that they don’t have the time to make special diet food. Some are scared because it means depriving oneself of one’s favourite foods, but the truth is you don’t have to make anything special or give up your favourite foods completely! Use these guidelines:
- Make sure you are eating at regular intervals.
- Include whole grains in your diet.
- Avoid or strictly restrict refined and processed foods, deep fried foods, junk food, sweets, tea and coffee.
- Eat five to six smaller meals instead of three big meals.
- Add fibre to your diet.
- Avoid eating late in the night.
- Sleep early. Try to get around six to eight hours of sleep.
- Restrict eating out to once a week, preferably lunch.
- Avoid heavy dinners. Have proper balanced meals.
- Don’t eat while watching TV, talking on the phone or working. Focus on your meal and keep track of your portion size.
- Don’t overeat.
- Instead of sleeping or lounging and watching TV immediately after dinner, stroll at a normal pace for 15-20 minutes, half an hour after dinner.
- If you have an uncontrollable sweet tooth, eat a really tiny portion of a dark chocolate.
- You can indulge in a bit of your favourite foods and dessert once a week. But the keyword is – watch your portion size. Do not overindulge!
- Most importantly, drink plenty of water, as it’s something most often ignored. Stay hydrated throughout the day.