Wings to fly

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]As a child, I admired the glossy images of working women in magazines – well groomed, well dressed, authoritative, in control and I so dreamt to be one of them. Took me 2 childbirths and 15 years of corporate career to realise that those images were all truncated. None of the pictures really conveyed the stress of working women.

Women aged between 35 and 44 are 67% more likely to suffer work related stress than men of the same age. Pressure to juggle careers, children and often elderly parents is driving soaring levels of workplace stress among middle aged professional women.

Some physiological factors that impact her overall contribution to work:

1. Physical changes, strains and demands through pregnancy and postpartum.

2. Progressive decline in muscle mass starting at 30 years resulting in pronounced complications after 50 years of age.

3. Hormonal changes around ~50 years impacting physical and cognitive well-being.

4. Significantly high number of women (42% in SE Asia courtesy WHO) suffers from anaemia resulting in fatigue, loss of focus etc.

Organisations today are battling with less number of women in senior leadership. Organisations have D&I programs in place where they foster leadership skills in women. In the career span from 25 – 60 years, significantly large population of women will undergo all the physiological stress mentioned above. Hence, unless the D&I programs also build in components of managing stress and physical fitness, these programs will be incomplete.

A combination of physical exercise with diet helps combat stress, builds cognitive abilities, builds muscular strength and endurance and gives a solid foundation to work through pregnancy, postpartum depression and overall health, osteoporosis etc. It manages weight to ward off diabetes and hypertension. A sound diet can help keep anaemia at bay. Physical fitness enhances physical appearance, increases self-esteem and confidence.

Add the following fitness elements into your D&I programs:

1. Women’s health issue awareness – Different challenges that women face through her lifetime and interventions needed at each stage.

2. Physical fitness through exercise – A well rounded exercise routine that builds muscular strength, cardio vascular strength, postural fitness and flexibility is needed. Women need to be able to perform these while juggling multiple responsibilities at work and at home. Hence for sustainability, these exercises should be less dependent on fitness centers and equipment.

3. Diet and Nutrition – Help them build a diet plan that incorporates all the essential nutrients needed by the women through each stage of their life.

4. Weight management – Educate them about healthy weight management to reduce the risk of diabetes, hypertension etc.

By investing in her mental and physical fitness organisations will give her the tools to strengthen herself mentally and physiwhatsappy to handle the rigours of enhanced responsibilities at work.

Fitness – Her WINGS to fly.

Reach me at to incorporate fitness as part of your D&I programs.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]


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