India has been a patriarchal society and it, largely still is. While there have been some promising developments in the recent times in terms of women empowerment, we have a long way to go. But, the change that we wish to see in our country, in the society, demands a change in our own homes.
How many of us can say that our mothers have lived their lives on their own terms? Most Indian mothers are the epitome of sacrifices. They have always put their families and children ahead of their work and career.
But, this dynamics has changed today. Most mothers now are working mothers. And women contribute equally to meeting the financial needs of the family. However, despite spending the same amount of hours on work and commute, in most households, women still are the ones responsible for the household chores.
Children’s homework, cooking, laundry, dishes, cleaning, shopping for groceries are some of the things that a woman is expected to take care of. Working or otherwise. Men are mostly free from the burden of such responsibilities. This is not to say that men don’t help, they do. But, our society still holds a woman responsible for the functioning of her house.
This outlook should change and it will change only by examples. Men should make themselves equally involved on the household front. They should not just “help” their mothers/wives/sisters with “her” work, but share equally, every responsibility of the house that you live together in.
Dividing work not just reduces the stress but allows you to finish up the work in half the time or less. Plus, it’s fun when everyone in the family is taking up the responsibility of the house. The freed up time can be spent by you in better ways. For one, women can spend that time on their fitness and health, which they so often overlook.
And you can help them with this. Whether you’re a man or a woman, these are a few ideas how you can help women in your life prioritize their fitness.
Walking is great for your body. But, when it’s with your family members, the fun quadruples. Next time, when you go out with your family for an ice-cream, dinner, or just to the park to get some fresh air, take a walk to your destination. Leave the cars behind. Not just with family, you can do this with your group of friends or colleagues at work as well.
Hit the gym together
Some women feel embarrassed to go to the gym for the fear of being judged for their body. With a loved one present to shut out any such inhibitions, they could focus entirely on the exercises, getting maximum benefits out of them.
Enroll her for dance lessons
For a woman that loves dancing, this is the best gift you can give. Dance can be a wonderful substitute especially for people that find walking or exercising boring. Zumba, belly dance, hip hop, contemporary, or even Bollywood can work exceptionally well not just as a fitness routine but also as a stress-buster.
Gift her spa packages
Spas and massages are great for your physical wellbeing, but can also do wonders for the mind. In addition to a relaxed mind, muscle relaxation, elimination of pain, improved blood circulation, and reduced stresses are some of the benefits of massage therapy that makes it a worthwhile occasional gift for the women in your life.
Plan fun activities together
Activities like trek, outdoor swimming, or even playing sports together can be super fun. Plan activities that are energizing and entertaining, that don’t look like workouts but are equally benefitting.
Telling women that they need to prioritize their fitness is not enough. They know they should. But, making it easier for them to do so is what’s going to make a difference. Make the woman in your life spend a few moments from their busy schedule on themselves. Not just on Women’s Day, but throughout her life!