First and foremost, we have to come to terms with the fact that fitness should be the end goal. There are many women who only start exercising to get that six pack abs and toned calves to look like their favourite celebrity, but that shouldn’t be the main reason to work out. Work out to improve your stamina, boost your immunity and maintain healthy body weight. If you are looking to include some physical activity to your daily schedule for those reasons then you will most likely look up gyms in your area. While gyms are a great way to stay fit, many women tire of it since there is not much variety. It tends to get monotonous once you have worked out regularly for a couple of months. If you are looking for a fun way to stay fit then you should follow the examples of these women who chose alternative but still very effective methods to stay in shape.
Just Keep Swimming
Working woman Archita Sharma loves to work out and she even signed up at a local gym. Her morning sessions at the gym were going quite well but then for some reason or another, she ended up not renewing her membership once it ran out. Instead she started swimming. ‘I have always loved swimming. Even when I was a little girl, I would spend as much time in the pool as possible. When I started swimming again as a way to stay fit, I realized that it was much more fun than going to the gym. If you find a friend to go with you then it’s even more fun.’ Swimming is a great way to burn extra calories. In Guwahati, Dolphin and RnB Club are two places where you can go swimming.
Peddle to a Healthier Tomorrow
Educator Ankita Das first joined the gym to become healthier and fitter. ‘Without a doubt, going to the gym made me lose a lot of weight but the monotonous exercises gradually made me lose focus on my goal of “being fit”. In 2017, I realized that I should take up an activity that would help me connect to nature! Hence, I chose cycling as an alternative mode to acquire my goals. I have been regularly cycling (solo and in a group) for six months now.’ She shares that cycling has helped tone her body and is also a way for her to connect with nature. ‘As an active member of a cycling group, NATVENTURE, I have had the pleasure to socialize and meet like-minded people. Cycling, as an activity has also made me contribute towards nature by not polluting it. This activity is enriching and helps us all to go back to our roots where technology played minimal role.’
Another health enthusiast who advocates cycling as a way to stay fit is Juree Dutta. A teacher at Army Public School, she feels that both going to the gym and cycling have their own plus points. ‘There are definite benefits to both, but going for a bike ride in the fresh air certainly wins over the closed setting of a gym. Cycling is accessible, eco-friendly, cost effective, and low-impact which makes it perfect for people with joint injuries (though those with knee injuries should seek medical advice beforehand). Long steady miles on the road bike are great for fat burning, intense cyclo-cross races are brilliant for cardiovascular workout, and technical descents on a mountain bike will work your arms, legs and core, improving your balance and focus. The great thing about cycling is that you can use it to get to places, say to work. This means that you are using time that you’d otherwise spend sitting on a bus, train or car to get fit. Riding far and wide with friends on the weekend allows you to see and explore new places. So, next time when in doubt, keep calm and pedal it out.’
The Good Punch
Freelance writer, Karishma Kakoty, was looking for a fun way to stay fit when she heard that some of her friends have joined MMA (Mixed Martial Arts). Without knowing anything about MMA, she signed up for a three-month membership and hasn’t looked back ever since. ‘It was tough at first as I had never even been the gym before I signed up for MMA. I felt winded and tired but with support from the trainers and my friends, I kept at it. After a couple of weeks, I got better and I started having fun. Since you have to learn various kicks and punches from scratch, it takes time to pick up the skills so you don’t get bored easily. Also, the cardio sets keeps changing so you never know what you are going to do when you walk in and that helps keep the excitement.’
HR professional, Nina Choudhury, has never stepped inside a gym but she has never had weight issues or any health related issues. ‘I have always dedicated one hour of my day to physical activity and that helps me stay healthy and happy.’ She has a big backyard which turns into a court once the sun sets. She and her daughter take their badminton rackets and play for about 45 minutes to an hour every evening. ‘It involves a lot of running and jumping which is a great workout. Not only that, it is also a great way for us to enjoy some mother-daughter bonding time.’
By Meeta Borah
This article was first published in Eclectic Northeast March 2018 issue