Crunch that Workout – Five Ways to Get Fitter – For the Working Woman

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Anshul Dhamande, Health Coach & Faculty at the Institute of Nutrition and Fitness Sciences (INFS)

Work-life balance sounds very ideal in theory but actually, managing it in real life becomes challenging! Ask any working woman. She plays so many roles simultaneously – that of a homemaker, a daughter, a wife, a mother, a professional working 9 to 5, day in and day out. ‘Where is the time?!’ I have lost track of the number of times I have been told this by women for whom taking even an hour out of their schedule seems impossible.

But what if I told you that even a 15-20 minute-high-intense workout along with following some very simple steps can do wonders in getting you fitter and transforming your body? Does that motivate you enough?

Here’s how you do it

general exercising

1. Start with the Basics – Begin by assessing your strength, capacity, and stamina. Start with simple bodyweight exercises. For example, you could start with a routine that includes exercises such as Knee assisted push-ups to build upper body strength, Bodyweight Squats & Lunges for your lower body, Planks, and Crunches for the core to name a few. These exercises will help you form a solid base just like the foundation of a building.

resistance bands

2. Getting Stronger – A few sets of adjustable dumbbells and resistance band works wonders in adding intensity. Not only are they affordable and easily available, but they also don’t take up much space either. With added resistance, not only it can assist in losing fat, build muscles and make you look good but it will also make you stronger, taking off pressure from joints during strenuous activities such as walking and running etc.

woman plank

3. HIIT – High-intensity interval training is especially advantageous for people with limited time. These short burst sessions include performing exercises with very limited rest period result in high calorie burning within just 30 minutes! An example routine is shown below.

Exercise to be performed one after the other without rest –

  • 45 seconds Butt Kicks
  • 15 Burpees
  • 30 seconds Mountain Climber
  • 40 seconds Plank Hold and rest
walking up stairs

4. Increasing Activity Level throughout the Day – Majority of us lead very sedentary lifestyles. Contrary to what many believe, we barely burn 400-500 kcal in an exercise session. Our body utilizes much more by non-exercise activities such as moving, talking, walking etc.
Habits such as taking stairs instead of the lift, walking after your meals, tracking and improving your step count throughout the day will further help you reach your healthier self. The idea is to build a lifestyle around getting fit.

diet food

5. Nutrition to Nurture! – You need to fuel up on good nutrition if you are going to nurture! And the most important and often neglected macronutrient is Protein! Our diet lacks protein. Contrary to what most people believe, it’s not made only for people who go to the gym, it’s actually a building block and the dietary recommended dosage is around 0.8g per kg of your body weight. Food sources such as chicken, fish, eggs, paneer; and soya are some options to include in your diet on daily basis. For convenience, protein bars and whey protein are good options as well.

Carbohydrates are the primary source of energy, from supplying energy to the brain to strenuous workouts. You do not need to go anti-carb or follow in-trend ‘Keto’ to even lose fat! You can do just the same with the proper amount of carbohydrates. Keep a check on the quantity and try to include food items such as rice, oats which are more satiating.

Try and avoid deep fried or oily food which is easily available at the office canteen but are calorie dense! Even a small quantity frequently could overshoot your calorie intake and would lead to gain unnecessary fat gain.

Green tea doesn’t help you lose fat. But it does help curb your hunger. Hunger doesn’t mean that you have to eat! It could also be if you are not drinking enough water and irregular meal timings.

Lastly, fix a routine that you enjoy. Sustainability is the key along with having small doable goals. Just keep at it and you will witness your transformation!

Anshul Dhamande

Anshul Dhamande is Health Coach, Nutrition and Wellness Consultant at FIttr and Faculty at the Institute of Nutrition and Fitness Sciences(INFS)