Sep 11 2013

Doable ways to boost working women’s health


Indian Working Women's Health

Image courtesy of africa / FreeDigitalPhotos.net  

The working women’s health is so important to keep the entire family’s routine going on smoothly. Not to mention that at an individual level also a lot depends on health when it comes to being efficient at everything we do. Though we all know it and understand the importance of good health, it becomes increasingly difficult to manage it in our day-to-day work life.

As we reach milestones in our personal life year-on-year, the responsibilities increase and the time we can dedicatedly spend on our own health significantly reduces. Additionally, our own tendency to give lesser and lesser priority to it with each passing day does not help much in changing the scene.

One fine day though, when we are woken up – may be after seeing the health issues of colleagues or due to change in our own health parameters – we try to do our best to regain the lost status.

What worse, soon the realization comes that just a wakeup call is not enough! Diet plans and exercise routines are difficult to sustain given hectic and flexible schedules. Overall, the efforts are not quite well supported due to various factors like time constraints, canteen food and stress.

Here are some easily accomodable tips to improve working women’s health. Embrace these as lifestyle changes and see long term effects.

Pack tiffin – however small

One colleague at work was very famous for the tidbits she always had in her drawers. Anyone wanting a quick snack would drop by in between meetings. She had dry fruits and fresh fruits and light snacks always available in her drawer. “We are at office for hours together – often the entire day! What’s the point buying lots of healthy food and keeping all of it at home?” she would reason.

“We are at office for hours together – often the entire day! What’s the point buying lots of healthy food and keeping all of it at home?”

  • If for some reason you cannot pack full lunch, pack at least some healthy food. It just takes a minute to open the fridge and keep a cucumber in your purse
  • Pack dry yet nutritious food in small containers and keep them in office drawers or your handbag. Choose foods like dry fruits, chikkis, roasted grain puffs, khakra, multigrain or whole wheat biscuits instead of deep fried snacks.
  • Use the weekend to pack such tiffins – one for each day from Monday to Friday. So you do not have to worry about it every evening after a hectic day.
  • If you are able to carry home cooked food also, nothing like it. Even if it is not possible, don’t underestimate what other small tiffins can do to your health and nutrition. Even if it reduces one or two trips to the common canteen, it will only help in the long run.
  • Do not skip the lunch though! Small tiffins are not suggested as an alternative to the main lunch, but more for a better snacking options even at office.

Be more active – whenever you can


Tips for Indian Working Women to boost the health regime

Image courtesy of Naypong / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Most of the times the mornings are jam packed and evenings or late evenings are a little less busy. Or maybe it is vice versa for you. Understand your own routine. Move more when it is not a mad rush and you can afford to spend 5 more minutes on the same chore.

For example – take a walk to the local vendors instead of using the two-wheeler. Just going round the corner takes few minutes than what we perceive.

Do plan an exercise routine which is more likely to be followed. Like a 10 min walk 3 days in a week. Expect that sometimes the exercise routine will get affected. Instead of full week, plan to exercise 1 or 2 day(s) in a week to start with. Increase the weekly frequency in the months of less work load. In short, instead of feeling disheartened that you don’t have the luxury to plan for a 45 min / 5 days a week exercise routine, plan and try to keep a routine that is easier for you to accommodate.


Think about nourishment – all the time

Cannot follow a proper exercise plan? Move more in your regular routine.

Whenever you put anything in your mouth, think about nourishment. Instead of just saying that you are hungry, try thinking that you need nourishment. This will remind you to pick a healthy snack.

I often notice that if I take my mind off this thought of nourishment, I find myself picking up unhealthy snacks. I pick less nutritious snacks even if healthy ones are easily available – right in front of me. So along with availability, consciously choosing nutritious food is important.

Do all it takes to ensure proper nourishment – know which ingredients are more nourishing, try different recipes of such ingredients, request to prepare food in a certain way or with special ingredients, cook own food when possible. Do it whenever you can if not all the time.

Take few deep breaths – at right time

The trouble is 10 minutes are also a lot to take out. Even a single deep breath taken at the right time can work wonders. Try the single-deep-breath exercise described here.

We all know how much meditation is important. Many resources quote that even 10 minutes every day are enough to have a calming effect and increase focus and concentration.

The trouble is 10 minutes are also a lot to take out. Yes, for example when there is lot of work at office and a sick toddler at home, 10 minutes become very valuable and even more difficult to squeeze out. Interestingly such are the times when meditation can help the most to beat the stress!

A few deep breaths can do the trick. Catch yourself stressed or anxious about something and try just few deep breaths. Done regularly, this will become a habit and will be lot effective also by each passing day.

Try this exercise of a single-deep-breath. Take a deep breath before you start your car in the morning, before you turn it off at night, before you get out and face your toddler in childcare, before you turn your PC on, before you get up for that meeting. Pick your favourite 10 ‘right moments’ and take 10 deep breaths in a day. Calm yourself on the go.

Lastly, all of these can be extended for your family also. These are the strategies that will help everyone to have a good life based on good habits.


“Those who think they have no time for exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness.” ~Edward Stanley


Hope these help you. Let me know how it went when you try these.

Do share with us what else worked for you.


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