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Women and Exercise.

Posted May 08 2011 12:00am
Is this how you look at exercise ??
Love or hate or be resigned to it.But ignore you can not.I am talking about Exercise.
When I go for a walk or to the Gym ,the males outnumber the females.Look at the tennis courts, the local grounds,the neighbourhood parks.More men and boys than women and girls find time to exercise and play. Is it just cultural conditioning? For women do find time for the mandir and beauty parlour.I think in India women are never encouraged to revel in their Physical selves.Especially the urban middle class women.
When I was growing up in small town Haryana I found that the rural women always did tough jobs.They hauled huge bales of hay for the buffaloes,throwing them around easily.They worked the hand-pumps, lifted pots and pots of water and chopped and carried firewood.Even the local mandir was on a hilltop and it was mostly girls and women who scampered up every evening to offer prayers and to chat.I think building temples on every hill was a clever way of combining spiritual peace with the calmness that comes from a good workout.
Urban woman's dilemma is two-fold.Her life is automated and sedentary,unused to movement and she has to find time in her packed day to move.Interestingly, not just in India, but world  over,studies consistently show that women find it harder to fit in fitness in their schedules as compared to men. Many working moms find a regular exercise regime impossible. Women are time -poor,stretched due to domestic and child-rearing responsibilities along with full-time jobs in or outside the home.Women, physiologically, need more sleep than men.We suffer extreme sleep deprivation when raising infants.Women are tired.Women feel guilty.So they compensate by reducing their personal time to spend time with kids or family.
So you get the picture. Women have virtually no free time, and when they do get it, they're reluctant to use it doing something for themselves.Especially something that requires active use of willpower like Exercise. So here is a list of some things we can do to make exercising  a long lasting love not a one night stand or an on again, off again affair. Don't be finicky about the time and place.Always keep a Yoga mat and Exercise Ball around just in case you can't go to the gym or fit in a walk. Focus on effort rather than results.Be kind to yourself. Crib and complain as much but still do something on most days. Do not fall into the treadmill trap at the Gym.Explore jumping,punching,lifting seriously challenging weights.You will learn new skills and  your exertions will not be fueled by guilt or self-loathing but love for movement. Teach your girls to love some Physical Activity.Be it a sport,dance,strength- training,gymnastics;so that she  grows to love movement for its own sake.It will give her spiritual solace in a way that walking on a  treadmill can never give. Have great Workout Music with you. Connect with Exercise at an emotional level -as a part of a full life.Write down,talk about how you felt after achieving a physical goal you thought was impossible.A trek,a marathon,swimming laps at the local pool.Rest assured it will become a long lasting relationship.
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