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Fitness tips and exercises in under 15 minutes for working women with little time: Choose the regimen that meets your health and fitness goals.
By Shaifali Agrawal
Working women in India juggling work and home often complain of having little time available for themselves. Nor does the life of a homemaker seem easier! The result is that most of us tend to drop the ball on health and fitness.
However, one does not need to spend hours at the gym for a healthy lifestyle. Even a ten-minute consistent workout routine at home can lessen your dangers of blood, arterial and heart diseases, help you maintain a steady weight, and improve your overall health and fitness as well as quality of life.
Shailendra Singh, a yoga instructor at Chilla Sports Complex, Delhi who has been practising and teaching yoga for eight years now stresses the importance of an over-all fitness routine says that increasingly, much of our work is done mechanically, and the required amount of calories is not burnt; even if a few muscles take on some stress through a little physical work, the rest of the body is not energised or active. So here is a list of a few quick, do-at-home fitness exercises and yoga asanas for your overall well being taking care of physical as well as mental health; this includes exercises for managing stress, relaxation, improving agility, reducing the risk of osteoporosis and toning up.
These fitness tips for working women can be accommodated easily in a busy routine by waking up fifteen minutes earlier and using the five minute spare time during coffee break at office for exercises like neck-twist and deep- breathing.
Once you get into the habit of exercising, you could try and take it up to half hour a day.
For people living a sedentary lifestyle, to start off, Shailendra Singh advises walking in the morning and focusing on your breathing, keeping aside your cell phones and conversation for that time. He believes that being aware of oneself by concentrating on one’s breathing helps in the well being of a person. When relaxed, you’ll be able to sleep better, be more immune to cough and cold, and feel at ease. During your walk, you can do these simple exercises.
Take a deep breath: Close your eyes and take ten deep breaths in and out through the nostrils. Try gently extending each exhalation by one or two seconds. This will de-stress and relax you, because when relaxed, the exhalations tend to be longer than inhalations.
Time: 2 minutes
Stretch your neck: Stretch your neck gently to the left, right, forward and back, but return to centre first. Repeat five times.
Time: 5 minutes
Beginning your day with stretching releases tension from your body as well as mind. Pick any of these options that work for you.
Muscle stretches: The muscle fibres in our body wither and dehydrate as we age, becoming less supple and more prone to injury. Stretching slows the process of dehydration and stiffness in the bones by the production of tissue lubricants.
Here is a step by step guide along with pictures to stretch the neck, shoulder, triceps, waist and legs. You can start with the neck, waist and leg stretch to begin with.
Time: 10 minutes
Jump Rope: Hold the rope’s handles in each of your hands. Use your hands and wrists to swing the rope over your head. To begin with, do 15 hops a day. You can slowly go on increasing it by 10 every few days.
Magic Carpet Ride: Sit in your chair with your legs crossed and your feet on the seat. Then place your hands on the armrests, suck in your gut and raise yourself a few inches above the seat, using your belly, muscles and hands. Hold for 10 to 20 seconds. Rest for 30 seconds. Repeat 5 times. This strengthens your core and arms, and improves flexibility in the upper as well as lower body.
Osteoporosis occurs when the bones are weakened due to loss of mineral and calcium in them. The most common place for osteoporosis fractures to occur is in a vertebrae in the spine, the hips, and in the wrist, in that order. Peak bone density occurs during the twenties, and starts to decline thereafter. So it is better to start doing bone-strength exercises at an early age.
If your bones are already weakened, diet, simple movement, and weight-bearing exercises are advised, but only after consulting a physician. Some of these would work:
Progressive resistance exercises such as jogging, jumping or walking (exercises in which body or weight is moved against gravity while you remain upright) strengthen and maintain bone density and tone up the hip and thighs.
Alternate arm and leg lifts: Stand on all fours, and lift and extend an arm and with it, the leg on the opposite side of the body. Alternate with the other set. This builds strength and balance in the spine, hips and arms, maximising stability and safety. It also tones the arms, legs and abdomen.
Time: 5 minutes
Good Posture: Practice standing, sitting and walking with attention to the spine by keeping it straight. This keeps your spine healthy, strong and flexible by strengthening the back muscles and keep the abdomen taut.
Time: Any time doable!
Weights and machines are not required to tone your body, since in some yoga poses, you lift your own body weight. All the exercises mentioned above would also tone up your arms, legs, abdomen and hips.
When you have gotten used to a little exercise, you can add a day of variation to your fitness routine; add a Saturday bike ride or Sunday morning run. Studies suggest that working out with a fast partner helps you be quicker too.
No more is time an excuse. These fitness tips for working women take only 15 minutes to implement, and can not only improve your health and fitness, but also make you feel good about yourself.
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