The modern woman has been led to believe that she can have it all. With higher education comes career aspirations, but this does not always translate into full emancipation from domestic duties. Instead, women today find themselves juggling multiple commitments – at work, at home, and perhaps even at their children’s schools.
Women in modern societies are involved in multiple commitments that lie within and outside the domestic sphere. Needless to say, maintaining a balanced and healthy lifestyle is immensely challenging for the running wife, whose personal time seldom extends beyond the ten minutes it takes to shower. With these issues in mind, how then can running wives run freely and happily?
Superwoman, You’re Only Human
From being a mother, wife, co-worker, friend, daughter, etc, the modern woman’s sense of identity is tied to her multiple roles and relationships. While being multidimensional certainly helps to create a balanced self, it can also become overwhelming when expectations and pressure start mounting. To quote Michelle Obama, the First Lady of the United States, “women in particular need to keep an eye on their physical and mental health, because if we’re scurrying to and from appointments and errands, we don’t have a lot of time to take care of ourselves. We need to do a better job of putting ourselves higher on our own ‘to do’ list.”
Accumulated stress and lack of sufficient rest can throw our hormones out of sync, while inconsistent sleep cycles and poor diets can significantly alter our metabolisms and overall sense of wellbeing. For some, it could even result in depression. Thus, consider your existing commitments you currently hold before taking on another, be it out of need, interest or the inability to say “no”.
While most opportunities and offers might sound enticing and may even give you wonderful benefits during the initial stages, they usually come at the expense of sacrificing time and resources in other areas. Learn to ask the question “is this ultimately worth it?” When you learn to prioritise your health, you will soon understand that allocating some time each and every day to running or some other physical activity, is an investment that yields long-term dividends for both yourself and your loved ones.
Your Run, Your Way
Time and again you get inspired and motivated to head for a run, and yet this plan never seem to materialize because of something that always crops up last-minute. From appointments to emergencies, the one hour you’ve set aside evaporates faster than your imaginary sweat. It may seem impossible to set goals of developing long-distance stamina, losing excess weight or building a regular habit when running seems to be so time-consuming.
However, we tend to forget that running is one of the most convenient and easily customizable forms of physical activity. Depending on your availability, stamina and preferences, you are the decision maker of the distance, type of route, time of run and who to run with. Including your family in your weekly runs can be an enjoyable activity where health and fun comes into play!
At the bare minimum, you must aim for 150 minutes of physical activity each week. Whether you set aside twenty minutes daily or do a weekend long run, these efforts all add up to creaing a meaningful balance to your hectic life. As most runners know, one should never perceive running as an obligation, or feel incompetent because of a missed run for whatever reasons; this activity should instead serve as an avenue to channel out your stress and worries, and provide a time for reflection and relaxation, and a missed workout can always be made up for.
Proper Nutrition is Important Too
With age, women are more prone to iron deficiency and osteoporosis than men. Hence nutrition is another key area that women should place emphasis on in their lives. Women should pay particular attention to their intake of iron, calcium and omega-3 fatty acids in their everyday diet. Do not be tempted or misled by the latest fad diet, they are useless at best, and dangerous to your long-term health at worst. It is important to eat a balanced diet that includes a wide variety of foods, practice moderation, and enjoy each bite!
To women from all walks of life, “It’s not about perfect. It’s about effort. And when you bring that effort every single day, that’s where transformation happens. That’s how change occurs.” (Jillian Michaels, American professional trainer) Be it today, tomorrow or next week, as long as you take the first step to make your run towards a healthier and balanced lifestyle, all else will eventually fall into place. Running will help you be the confident, fit and successful woman that you envision yourself to be!