This article has been written by me and published in The Hindu on 9th October, 2017.
When you start working out for the first time in your life, the revelations that good health bring are magical. It’s not about dragging yourself through a workout in the hope of losing some weight; it’s about loving the time you spend doing it. When I started running, it helped me literally run away from the insecurities of being a stay-at-home mom. When I ran my first full marathon, I knew that if I could run 42 km, I could do a lot more in life. Exercise helps unleash your potential, as these moms say.
You’ll have high energy levels
I need to keep up with my 9-year-old!” says Vaishali Kasture, a financial services professional, who works as Managing Director and Country Manager, Experian, Bengaluru. She has often seen podium finishes at full marathons. “At home, I try and match my son’s energy levels and enthusiasm by making sure I keep my fitness levels high. I only get time with him over the weekends and I hate to let him down. Running helps me manage work and personal life without feeling physically or emotionally burned out,” she says.
You manage time well
You learn not only to manage your time productively, but also to respect other people’ time, and so, you’re less likely to be late for a meeting, for instance.
Priyanka Mehta, mother of two and a Gurgaon-based, Reebok-certified fitness trainer, says, “Given the pressures of time, my respect for people who manage their various commitments while being able to pursue their passions and careers has increased substantially.” At home, she keeps the discipline, because her own routine is structured.
You lead by example
Both of Gurgaon-based Anita Groser’s children started swimming early, at 5, inspired by her. It helped that she could guide them in the pool (she has been a sportsperson through life). She jokes, “They started pushing themselves even more looking at all my medals.” She leads the family of four, dad included, as they go trail biking every Sunday. Her kids, both pre-teens, are prepping to go competitive soon.
You nurture yourself physically and mentally
Rachna Subramanian, a psychotherapist based in Gurgaon, and a swimmer, says, “Carving out time for yourself is always a challenge, but it is the first step towards self-love. And the only way to love others is by first taking care of and loving yourself. In a world which thrives on your self-doubt, teaching your kids to love themselves is the best thing you can do for them.”
You pursue your passion
Sonali Swami, from Bengaluru, is an International Bodybuilding Competitor and a mother of two, who started weight-training after childbirth. Her biggest takeaway: it’s never too late to dream a dream. She’s 41 and stronger than ever before, and says, “I want my kids to know that you can continue to evolve irrespective of your age.”
- It’s not just about mums; dads inspire too. “Harsheath, my 16-year-old, was inactive and asthmatic. Being physically active has helped him tackle bullying. Viren is 11, and is very active and plays all sports. It gives him a more rounded personality and soft skills he would have otherwise not have got.”— Dr Rajat Chauhan, sports medicine physician, and a marathon runner himself