This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Manasi Joshi. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

7 Ways The Working Indian Woman Can Make Fitness A Part Of Her Daily Life

When a woman is healthy and fit, she can pursue her career with dedication and honesty. But she always tends to ignore her health and fitness and go on living only for others. And the end result is that she cannot concentrate on her career.

Each one of us needs to make a commitment to ourselves, our families and to each other, to live the healthiest lifestyles we can. For no matter what your wealth, status, looks, or the size of your jeans, your health is your greatest asset. Commitment to exercise on a daily basis is easier said than done. However, even with our busy lifestyles, our work, our kids, our other commitments, it is achievable!

What is the secret to achieving success in fitness? How do you incorporate fitness into your daily schedule and stick with it? We can overcome the many obstacles we face, or more directly, overcome the many excuses we create for not exercising when we follow some key principles regarding fitness.

1. Set Achievable, Realistic And Internally Focused Goals

The goals must be achievable and realistic. Most importantly, for the long haul, you must be motivated by the internal desire to be healthy because it feels great, not because your waistline will shrink. Goals such as, “I will lose 30 pounds in six weeks for that wedding,” are inappropriate and unachievable, not to mention, ‘externally focused’. With a goal such as this, you will eventually fail because the goal is unrealistic. Or even worse, you will lose weight too fast, and once the wedding is over, it will all come back because you were not motivated past the date of the wedding. Finally, remember to reward yourself once you have achieved your goals, and then set new ones.

2. Accept Yourself For Who You Are

Each of us has a body type, a shape, a genetic gift that is ours. We may have shapely hips, strong muscular legs, or an ample bustline, and this is part of who we are. Accepting yourself for your genetic gifts, while giving yourself continual positive feedback such as ‘I am strong’ and ‘I have a curvaceous figure as all women are meant to have’, will go a long way to making you feel good about yourself. Negative self-talk achieves no purpose. It hurts us and makes us feel weak and as if we are failures. Once we feel good about ourselves on the inside and outside, we can overcome any minor setbacks that may arise as we move forward in our fitness.

3. Choose An Exercise That You Enjoy

This may seem like a simple idea, but many people actually think they must suffer through exercises in order to be successful. The exact opposite is true if you want to find success. If you choose an exercise that you truly dislike, you will dread your exercises session, and hence, you won’t do it! So, if you hate running – don’t run! In order to address all aspects of good health, you need to incorporate all components of fitness – cardiovascular endurance, strength training, flexibility, nutrition. Even if you dislike one of these aspects, there are ways to sneak a little in here and there. By incorporating many different types of exercises including lots of varieties in your program, you will also be ‘cross training’, a proven way to beat boredom and reduce the risk of overuse injuries.

4. Schedule Your Exercise Time Into Your Daily Life Just As You Would For Any Other Appointment

Our lives are often so hectic that we rarely have extra time to go to the grocery store, let alone exercise. Exercise can be pushed to a low priority when we become too busy. You must learn to manage your time more wisely, making exercise a top priority.  If you analyse your current schedule, you will find places where you can insert an exercise session. Many people find exercising in the morning to be a good way to help them stick with their exercise routine, but if that time is not open, you can exercise anytime during the day.

5. Don’t ‘Over-Exercise’ Or ‘Under-Eat’

So, many new exercisers make the mistake of thinking, “If a little exercise is good, more is better.” Even worse is this thinking: “If eating less makes me lose weight, eating even less will make me lose weight even faster.” Both these ideas set you up for failure and possible injury and illness. Overtraining can create injuries. They can result in pulled muscles, shin splints, knee, foot and back problems. Under-eating results in low energy, vitamin and mineral deficiency, which may cause chronic sickness, slowing of your metabolism, and increased risk of injury. Occasional bouts of self-imposed starvation or bingeing and purging can lead to serious eating disorders.

6. Be Patient

Changing our physical health takes time. Anyone that promises ‘quick, guaranteed results’ is not telling the whole truth, and does not have your best interests at heart. They are only out to make money at your expense. Depending on your initial fitness level, creating positive changes in your health can take months, sometimes up to a year. This is not to be pessimistic – this is the truth.

7. Finally, Don’t Hesitate To Ask For Help!

While some people manage to find fitness success on their own, many of us flounder through a lengthy trial-and–error process. We figure out how to achieve our goals.  Finding a knowledgeable fitness professional to help can dramatically speed up this process.  Make sure that you seek advice from a certified or accredited fitness professional with references, if applicable. While books, the internet, or TV, often provide information about health and fitness, not all of it is grounded in science as it should be. Your best bet is to establish a one-to-one relationship with a gym, nutritionist or personal trainer who will provide you with healthy advice.

Remember to always check with your doctor before beginning any new exercise program.

This piece has been earlier published on the author’s personal blog.

You must be to comment.

More from Manasi Joshi

Similar Posts

By Heena Shah

By Hemant Thakur

By India Development Review (IDR)

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below