Look Out for Number One:Add Fitness to Your Home Routine

- Anubhuti Poudyal

How do housewives stay fit with the schedule they have? We find out.

When was the last time you asked your mother for anything? From a lost pair of socks to a broken heart, mothers know how to mend every situation. While the world revolves around these “super beings”, there is much neglect on their parts when it comes to their own health. We went through the special needs of housewives and came up with an exercise regime that suits their schedule and their lifestyle.

Healthylife organized a first-of-its-kind fitness workshop for housewives in Nirvana Fitness Center, Jawalakhel. We gathered housewives who wanted a regime they could easily continue at home and we had an instructor, Mr. Ratan Bam, who was more than willing to share his expertise in helping out these women.

Problems of housewives
These caretakers do not have much time for themselves. On top of it, there are a range of health-related problems that they face as a result of their schedule and lifestyle. We include all the problems here that have direct or indirect effect on health.
• Sudden weight gain. Anyone who gains weight is considered married and anyone who is married in Nepal is expected to gain weight. This social trend has got to stop, however.
• They do not have time for themselves. No time to work out. No time to eat well. Or time to relax.
• As a complete contradiction to the above statement, they have too much time sometimes. Or a schedule that allows for less or no work at times. Extensive rest can add extra fat to the body. This happens especially when the movement is restricted to the house. They have a lot to do in the house and not so much outside.
• With time, housewives are seen to have problems with their back, neck, and knees due to prolonged standing and uncoordinated increase in weight.
• Women prioritize their needs after their families’. They need to be told to look out for themselves or else it is very easily ignored.
So we asked for the participation of housewives in our fitness workshop and helped them learn what they could easily do at home to keep their body stronger and in better shape through methods that are easy and extremely do-able.

Warm up and stretching
“A big part of working out is correct warm-up and stretching routines. Before starting any exercise, you need to make sure your muscles can take the stress so you do not end up hurting yourself,” says Ratan Bam.
During the session, stretching involved working with specific parts of one’s body that could be the thighs or lower legs, the arms, or even the shoulders.

The workout
Ratan Bam made sure the participants were given an activity they could easily do. This involved exercises that were not just easy but had one main characteristic—they could be improvised. “Many women might have little or no stamina for a workout. Intense work at once can cause additional injury and harm to the body. Hence, we have chosen those exercises which make good use of their body and which can be improvised until they are used to doing it,” shares Ratan Bam. So, if the squat or lunge is impossible to do, try a chair, stool, or even a wall to support you. That way, you will get used to the exercise without hurting your back.

When the going gets tough
Housewives have two major problems when it comes to workouts, they cannot find the time, or they do not have enough stamina to continue. Ratan Bam has a solution for both. “First of all, it is important to prepare yourself mentally for the workout. It is quite possible that you might not want to do it, but tell yourself that it is important and that your body needs it.” He gave a series of short exercises for the ladies which could be done on days when an actual workout is impossible.

Secondly, our instructor added steps that helped women enhance their bodies without straining themselves unnecessarily. So, rather than doing intensive workouts, there were easier and milder, but equally important steps, that could be done at home.

The stories
Anu Baniya has been working out at home for a while but she doesn’t know if she is doing it right. “I am health conscious but I did gain sudden weight after I got married, and now that I have a kid, it seems impossible to lose weight. I get back pain once in a while. So I wanted to come to the workshop to know better workout techniques and to ask my question,” she says.

Pratima Shrestha is a health trainer herself and she wanted to know what all workout she could incorporate in her life. “A lot of women, I realized, do not care for their health. In Nepal, we see many women very careless about their weight and their overall health. We need more awareness,” was her opinion.

“Workouts are essential for women. We need more women to understand muscle training. It is not just for body building. It is for stamina and injury prevention. Women are more prone to osteoporosis and arthritis. Hence, it is essential for them to understand their needs and work out for a better and healthier body,” advices Ratan Bam.

So, grab those workout shoes and take some time off from your schedule to make sure your body and your family gets the best of you. You deserve it!

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