It is not a cliche to say that women may have a harder time than men trying to balance all aspects of their lives- work, play, friends and family- something has to give when we are trying to fit all of these things into our day. Women traditionally play a greater role in the running of the household than many men, and once you add on a full time job, a woman often feels stressed and overwhelmed by trying to do it all. And, of course, the guilt of remaining “a good mom and caretaker” does not allow women to let go of family responsibilities. But there is even one more complication to this equation- what about the woman herself? What happens to her needs- her self care?
I have noticed an alarming trend among the corporate women that I train. Many of them have sacrificed their own health and self care for their work and their families. A majority of clients I currently train are full time working women in their 40’s and 50’s. They have spent the last two decades climbing the corporate ladder and raising children at the same time. Meanwhile, their weight has ballooned to unhealthy levels, they have developed high blood pressure, and their stress levels are so great that they seek out food or alcohol for comfort and relaxation.
It’s time that we, together, as women, reclaim ourselves. Corporate women need to reevalute their priorities- realizing that neither work nor home benefits from an overstressed, unhealthy, overweight mom and employee. Exercise is the key to many of the health problems corporate women encounter- but, how do they find time to exercise?
It is essential that the woman set aside time specifically for exercise. Think of exercise like any other appointment you would make for yourself. Some suggestions that may help you:
- Gently tell your boss that you need to exercise to remain productive and healthy. Work with her to change your schedule to accomodate your exercise sessions. An extra 15 minutes for lunch to exercise, going in to work 1/2 hour later so you can exercise in the morning, or having lunch at your desk so you can leave early to exercise, all may help you better manage work and exercise.
- Try and exercise in the morning or at lunch- rather than late in the day when energy may be low. Many of my clients claim they can’t exercise at lunch because they do no want to get sweaty- but walking or weight training at lunch won’t do that generally- so that’s no excuse.
- Skip some of the extracurricular activities that you generally have viewed as necessities such as manicures, pedicures, facials and more and replace them with exercise sessions. While these are often lovely treats, once a month may be enough. I know many corporate women who have these services weekly, but then claim they don’t have time for exercise. Which is more important- your heart or your nails?
- Ask your husband to prepare dinner twice a week so that you can exercise when you first come home from work. My husband and I even alternate shopping duties by the week. This is one more time you can insert an exercise session instead of grocery shopping.
- ALWAYS exercise on weekends when you are not working. We tend to eat more on weekends as well- so an exercise session will do alot of good to negate overeating as well.
It was once said that if your life is so busy that you do not have time for exercise- then change your life, not your exericise. Without your health and self esteem, there is nothing else.