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According to a study carried out by the World Health Organization (WHO), nearly half of Indian women are not as active as they ought to be. 

Published in the Lancet Global Health journal, the study points out that 34% of the Indian population do not work out enough to stay healthy. The bigger story here-- 44% of Indian women do not exercise enough to meet the guidelines, or almost half of the entire female population.

Higher Rates of Inactivity in Women Explained

According to the WHO, there are many factors that contribute to women being less physically active compared to men in India and many other countries around the world. Some of them are:

  • Lower income of women resulting in less access to activity centers.
  • Cultural expectations that may be restrictive to women in the participation of certain types of physical activity.
  • More time restraints due to women’s role in taking care of the family and chores.

What are the Fitness Guidelines?

According to the WHO, healthy adults should get an hour and 15 minutes of high-intensity activity or 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity activity each week.

Dangers of a Sedentary Lifestyle

Based on the latest statistics, 6% of all global deaths are linked to a sedentary lifestyle.

An article published by John Hopkins Medicine shows that inactivity increases one’s risk of the following conditions:

  • Certain types of cancers
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure and increased cholesterol levels

Solutions to Physical Inactivity

The good news is that you can change from this unhealthy lifestyle. Even though the workplace trend is heading towards a more sedentary environment, this doesn’t have to be your fate. Here are common excuses for failing to exercise and their respective remedies:

Lack of time

Incorporate physical activities into your routine. For instance, you can:

  • Cycle to work instead of taking the bus
  • Use stairs whenever you have an opportunity
  • Take walk breaks at work
  • Park your car farther away so you can walk the remaining part

Inconvenience

  • Fit activities during your work breaks
  • Choose exercises that you can perform in convenient locations such as in your home or office

Too expensive

  • Go for activities that don’t cost you money or require exercise equipment 

Lack of motivation

  • Set realistic fitness goals that you’re confident you can achieve
  • Find activities that you enjoy doing
  • Invest in monitoring tools such as a pedometer, which counts the number of steps you take

For women in India and around the world, increasing physical activity should not just be a priority, but an urgent necessity.

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