A lot of women spend so much time taking care of others that it becomes difficult for them to know when to start taking care of themselves. Most working women gradually find themselves vegging out in front of the TV after work with a tub of ice cream or munching on a bag of chips. Eating large amounts of junk food can make our bodies feel and eventually look worse. What you are doing to yourself is a form of self-hate and punishment and if you are one of those women you need to stop right now!
We all must allocate special time for ourselves every single day and incorporate simple changes that will transform the way we look or feel. There are seven keys for women who want to become fit and look amazing. Lets look at FEMALES and what they stand for in the world of Fitness!
F – Find some thing that is fun.
A lot of say that they know that running or spinning or swimming is good for them but they really hate to do it. Here’s a tip – if you really hate doing something then do not do it! Its as simple as that. The fact that you hate something is reason enough to not do it in the first place. Working out should be something fun that you look forward to. Exercising may be difficult in the beginning and some days you may be more enthusiastic than other days. But your fitness time whether you are doing yoga or working out should gradually become your own personal Me-time your sanctuary and your private and play time. There are dozens of enjoyable activity choices out there for women of every size, shape and age. If you want to tone up and build muscles then you could anything from yoga to Pilates to weight training with machines. If you like Aerobics then theres walking, jogging, badminton or Zumba. Whichever activity that you decide to do remember that there is an element of fun to it. If you find something dreadfully boring or are uncomfortable with it it’s likely that you wont stick with it.
E – Exercise every single day
Every day?!! Most women reading this article might find the ‘daily’ word too extreme. Most women feel that they are lucky if they can manage twice or thrice a week. But heres why you must exercise daily. Life is unpredictable and there will invariably be something that happens in your life that may derail your exercise routine. This means that when you plan to workout twice or thrice a week, whenever you miss a session you are reduced to working out only once or twice a week. And this just isn’t enough to maintain your health. If you schedule exercise everyday then in reality you will end up working out three times a week minimum and in good weeks, at least 5 times a week. Another tip for improving your regularity – schedule your workouts in the mornings if possible. Research has shown that morning exercisers are more than 50 % likely to stick to their workout regime than evening exercisers. This is because there are fewer distractions in the mornings. As the day moves forward, there are so many things and issues that crop up and need your attention. The meetings that go longer than expected, the lunch that gives you indigestion, the overseas phone call that you just had to make right before you planned your workout etc. etc. By working out in the morning hours you set your fitness goals for success and you get finished with your fitness activities before the everyday distractions throw your exercise plans for a toss.
M – Muscle Toning
Most women just want to be thinner and don’t particularly care to have muscles. But the fact remains that however hard a woman tries, she will never turn into the Incredible Hulk! Most women don’t have enough of the male testosterone hormone to end up looking muscular. But if you want to get into the best shape of your life (and remain there!) you will have to do some work on improving your muscle tone. Post the age of 30, women and men both lose muscle mass @ 3 – 5 % every year. Muscles make a serious contribution to metabolism. Every pound of muscle in your body helps you burn an extra 30 – 50 calories per day. That may not sound like a lot but when you consider that the loss of even 1 pound of muscle can result in 5 pounds extra body fat gain every year, you might want to ensure that you maintain and even gain muscle mass. If you don’t do weight training and gain lean muscle tissue then even if you eat healthy you will still be gaining weight because you are burning less calories than before! Healthy muscles also offer a host of other benefits such as maintaining joint health, improving your posture, preventing back pain and adding sexy curves at all the right places! Isnt the point reason enough to start working out and sculpt your body right from today?! Whatever you do, try and integrate atleast two body-sculpting sessions into your weekly routines.
A – Aerobics
A lot of women want to get rid of fat in their thighs or bellies. But the simple fact of the matter is that our bodies don’t work that way. No exercise in the world will make you burn fat off a certain body part only. External methods like liposuction may achieve that but natural exercise will never work that way. In other words, doing a hundred crunches will not make you lose abdominal fat and nor will doing hundreds of squats reduce the size of your thighs. Fat loss is always uniform across the body. And to lose fat, you have to commit yourself to regular cardiovascular exercise and a healthy diet. Although crunches will help you in toning your muscles, you do not succeed in reducing your total body fat, those wonderful muscles will remain hidden under an extra layer of padding.
Whatever you call it- aerobics, cardiovascular exercise or “pure torture”, some form of aerobics activity must form a part of your weekly workout routine. All body types needs some form of cardio exercise, but if you are an endo-pear or an endo-apple shaped body, It is crucial to pick atleast one type of cardio exercise that you enjoy and stick to it to whip you up into perfect shape!
L – Learned Selfishness
Years before when I was working as a real estate agent in the US, I remember a business associate of mine in the agency where I worked who was known for not scheduling any meetings from 6 – 7 in the evenings when he used to work out. I used to think it was very rude and selfish of him not to make himself available to us during that specific time period. He just matter-of-factly told everyone that he was unavailable during this time slot which was his private exercise time. Needless to say, this man was always in great shape and vibrant health.
Ironically now that I am a fitness professional, I do not consider this person to be selfish at all. Today I look back and consider him to be a great man – a role model. This man made a total commitment towards his health and well being in a way that few people do. For him, his body and his health was his first and topmost priority.
If you tell yourself that you will workout whenever you get a chance it is guaranteed that you will not exercise at all! In life, there is always something that pops out of somewhere and that needs your urgent attention. It could be a phone call, an errand, something you need to do for your kids or parents, a video on Youtube etc. If we do not take control of our own life and make our fitness time a top priority and schedule our lives around it, exercise time invariably suffers. Like mentioned before, morning is the best time for working out. But if that’s not possible set aside some other time in the day that is your own private time. Put aside any nagging doubt or guilt and remind yourself that you owe it to yourself to look and feel your very best. Put the world on hold for 45 mins while you take care of your body and your looks. The world will not care if you fall sick because of neglecting your health. This world will go on with or without you. Be selfish and love yourself!
E – Eat right Most of the Time
If you were sold a car where you were told that it wouldn’t run 90 – 95 % of the time, would you buy it? Of course, you wouldn’t. Overall diets have a very high failure rate – 90 – 95%. Studies also prove that a very small 5 % of dieters actually achieve their desired weight loss goals and keep it off permanently. There are two main reasons for this. First of all, most diets don’t really teach people on changing their eating habits and how to keep their weight at an optimum level for a long time. The main focus of most dieticians and weight loss specialists is on the quick fix – lose a few kilos and then go back to eating the way you did before. So when you stop dieting, the old habits which resulted in weight gain are back and slowly but surely the weight comes back on. The best way to break this cycle is to stop going on diets altogether. Instead start thinking about changing the way you eat every day! Follow an eating plan that helps you to savour good food while making smarter food choices every day. This way you will unshackle yourself from the frustrating cycle of yo-yo dieting. Always eating right also ensures that you do not panic when you are a week or two away from your friend’s wedding or before a holiday – because you are always in good shape!
S – Sleep as a priority
Most people who work in hectic corporate jobs are sleep deprived. Experts know that most people do not get the recommended minimum quota of 7 – 9 hrs of sleep. The negative consequences of sleep deprivation are well known to most of us and can cause serious health problems. Going about your daytime activities in a permanent state of sleepiness can cause among other things – difficulty in negotiating stressful situations, slurred speech, cognitive impairment, inability to control emotions, increased appetite leading to weight gain, deteriorating immune system, decreased muscle strength and a higher tendency towards accidents. What is even worse is that chronic sleep deprivation sufferers are not even completely aware of how exhausted they actually are. Their bodies get so used to running on little sleep that they cannot understand that their daily functioning is being compromised. And women tend to be even further behind in their sleep than the general population.
There is no substitute for adequate sleep. If you want to perform at peak levels with good health and vitality then you have to prioritize sleep to the top of your to-do list. Just like you brush your teeth and eat breakfast, adequate sleep is compulsory and non-negotiable. Pick a reasonable bed time that will help you get 7 – 9 hours of good sound healing sleep and then stick to it. Do not let the latest series on Netflix or that fiction novel stop you from catching your zzzzz’s. Because remember that your mind and body cannot function properly without adequate and restful sleep.