There is no doubt that exercise is the only salvation for the health problems that are overwhelming Indians. Women hold the key to their family’s health. By exercising regularly, they can set an example and get their family members to follow a healthy life style.
Reading about the advantages of exercise is not enough. We all know that exercise tones our body and adds flexibility and balance, but many women do not realize that exercise has long-lasting effects. Chronic aches and pains disappear.
Women can avoid osteoporosis in the long run. Regular, moderate exercise also reduces the chances of developing diabetes, hypertension and ischemic heart disease. For those who already have these conditions, exercise helps control the disease and prevents further complications.
Get up and get going
Set the date when you are going to start exercising, and stick to it. Let your family and friends know the date so that you will be embarrassed if you are going to do so don’t treat it as a chore: look at as a gift to yourself.
Make it easier to exercise
Keep your exercise shoes in a bag that you take to work. On your way back from work, you can go to a park nearby. Or leave them near the door so that you can set out for a walk whenever you feel like.
Good shoes matter. Make sure your shoes have good cushioning and arch support. This will make exercising fun for your feet. Badly fitting shoes can actually cause heel and calf pain.
Set yourself sensible goals
If you start off on the first day wanting to walk, run or jog for an hour, you might get disheartened if you get exhausted in the first 15 minutes.
Begin with 10-15 minutes of activity, several times daily. Just fit it in whenever you can. Plan to go for a 20-minute walk three times a week and then increase it gradually to at least 45 minutes a day, five days a week.
Make it a group activity
Except for professional athletes, most of us do not have the mental discipline to keep exercising by our- selves. Join a group, a gym or get your husband to go with you. If a bunch of your friends get together to exercise you will be motivators and conscience-keepers for each other.
Exercising with your husband is not only a great bonding experience but also gives you both time together to discuss the day’s events or plan the next day.
Exercise does not have to be high-tech
Many people believe that they need expensive equipment such as treadmills and stationery bicycles to exercise. It is a well-known truth that in many homes, these machines quickly get converted into clothes hangers or storage areas! More and more professional trainers are turning away from elaborate exercise machines and getting back to basic exercises such as aerobics, weight training and gym balls.
The staircase at home is a great way to exercise. Walking briskly up and down the stairs will burn up those calories. Give yourself 20 to 30 minutes of stair-climbling in a day. You will have to build up your stamina by starting with 10 to 15 minutes, and then gradually increasing the duration.
“Exercise is boring!”
It doesn’t have to be. Turn on the music and exercise. If you like to dance, play your favourite songs and dance! It is all about being active, using various muscles and burning calories. Mix and match various forms of exercise.
Walk three times a week and do aerobics on three days. Strength training is particularly good as you grow older, to prevent your muscle mass from turning into fat. Exercising regularly will make you a happier person. Start today!
The Hindu, Monday, November, 29, 2010.Metro Plus.