It’s the time of year where people can get stuck indoors. If you have a gym membership, that’s great! But if you don’t, there are still plenty of ways to stay active and concentrate on your health and fitness. In winters it sometimes take s days till you’re able to get outside and do your favorite activities. With winter temperatures being so low, you get limited to indoor activities.
Although it can be a little bit tougher to stay fit this winter due to the temptation of comfort foods and less physical activity, there are still ways to keep your body in shape. In fact, cold weather is an opportunity to try new indoor physical activities.
The holiday season is a time when many of us gain weight. Instead of focusing on losing weight in the new year, make this winter the time you try new fun activities. If you’re stuck indoors due to bad weather, try one or more of these activities for a few minutes each day:
Here are 10 ideas for winter workouts you can do in the comfort of your own home.
1. Clean the house. floors, mopping, scrubbing walls, and vacuuming are all great ways to get a good workout. Plus, cleaning makes your home tidy and clean.
2. Do chores around the house. Mowing the lawn, raking leaves, shoveling snow, washing the car, and cleaning out the garage can all be considered chores. But if you’re putting in a good effort, they can also be considered workouts.
3. Go for a walk. If you can’t go for a run or hike, at least get in an hour-long walk every day. Even if you just take the dog out for a stroll, you’ll still be burning calories and getting in a great workout.
4. High-intensity cardio and leg workout. When we finally get the chance to work out during the winter, we often do more high-impact exercises. This may be too much of a shock on our bodies and lead to injury, so it’s important to remember that form and function still matter.
5. Plant a garden. Planting a garden is a lot of work, but it can also be very rewarding and fun. Plus, you’ll get in a great workout and get your hands dirty.
6. Dancing, yoga and martial arts. Dancing is a wonderful way to tone your arms and legs. It also increases stamina, makes you smile more and improves mood. Yoga helps you stretch your muscles and relieves stress. Martial art is a great workout that strengthens muscle groups in arms, legs and abs.
7. Jump rope. Any kind of jumping can be a great workout, but jump ropes are fun and easy.
8. Ride a bike. Biking is fun and it’s got great cardiovascular benefits.
9. Play basketball or volleyball. Pick up a good game of basketball or volleyball. It’s a fun group activity that can give you a great workout. Plus, it’s a great way to get in touch with your competitive side.
10. Play tennis (or any other racquet sport). Another great workout that you can play with friends and family, tennis is a great game that can get you in shape with little investment.
Tasneem Akbari Kutubuddin has done her masters in Journalism & Communication and has worked as a senior journalist, editor and columnist for leading publications like The Logical Indian, Deccan Chronicle, Worldwide Media Corporation, The Bridge and Provoke.
With Infano, she hopes to create more awareness about women’s health issues. Suffering with Fibromyalgia, a chronic pain condition, she has also been advocating for its awareness through media.
This Women-led Initiative Empowers Other Women
Written By: Gitika Debnath
May 24, 2021 | 09:00 AM |
Project Baala is an impact-oriented youth-led organization that is started by women, largely run by women to make menstrual hygiene and access to better sanitary products as a major priority for women in rural India.
Keeping in mind the immense waste production and lack of proper sanitization and disposable methods, the organization has researched and come up with a product that is cost-effective, safe, and supports sustainability.
The organization has come out with an intensive report highlighting how the global pandemic and the lockdown have worsened the situation for women in rural areas.
They introduced hyperlocal resource persons known as Baala Associates to directly take a grip of the situation and solving the issues of economic loss and compromise of menstrual hygiene.
Project Baala is a menstrual hygiene solutions provider that works towards improving the menstrual health of vulnerable women and girls. Their major aim is to spread awareness about menstrual health and effectively keep improving and innovating menstrual health facilities. Since there is an immense lack of awareness, infrastructure, accessibility to better sanitary products coupled with grave financial restrictions, women still lack basic menstrual hygiene resources. Soumya Dabriwal who is the co-founder of Project Baala, during the interview with Infano said, ” We employ a two-pronged approach inclusive of comprehensive menstrual health awareness programs to inculcate behavior change and distribution of safe and hygienic reusable sanitary napkins ensuring sustainable menstrual protection for up to two years”.
Baala pads come in two sizes and consist of three layers. The Baala Kit comes with three pads and one carry bag for storage and carriage. Making it more convenient for women and also keeping in mind the water crisis, Soumya adds, “These pads can be washed with 150 ml of water and some soap or detergent like any other piece of cloth, you can also use home remedies such as lemon to clean the pad as well”.
During the pandemic, the organization did intensive ethnographic documentation to recognize the menstrual hygiene issues faced by women covering twenty clusters in Delhi. The key problems that the communities and women were going through because of the lockdown were limited financial resources, shortage of sanitary products, restriction of movement, and increase in the price of these products. 97% of women went back to using old cloth and rags. There was a major disruption in the distribution of Baala pads in the schools and communities. Given the existing crisis and the anxiety around the same,
Baala derived a new approach to continuing their work; they provided digital access to menstrual awareness through their social media channels and their mobile app, Baala Boss. Individuals who were sensitive enough towards these concerns and were driven to learn as well as impart knowledge and awareness about menstrual health while also generating financial independence for them were trained by the organization. These hyperlocal persons were knowns as Baala Associates. These associates further went ahead and directly sold Baala pads reducing their economic burden and eliminating the unmanaged sanitary wastes.
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It is the 21st century and as a society, we are still plagued with patriarchal structures that seeps into our social systems. We are still reluctant to talk about sex education, mental health, menstruation, etc. The situations get worse when such issues are riddled with myths and taboos, and one such classic example that we still as a society need to recognize over and over again is menstrual health. Being perceived as unholy to dirty and even considering the menstruators as impure, is not a new phenomenon that we are encountering. Surrounded by shame and the cultural anxiety to establish control over the bodies of women, they are still expected to follow restrictions when they are menstruating. In rural India, where there is still a lack of awareness, facilities, and education or public health systems, we keep witnessing the alarming rates of girls dropping out of schools as soon as they reach puberty.
Being acquainted with all these problems and the stigma attached to menstruation, Soumya Dabriwal, who has worked intensively in the social sector founded Project Baala, and later she was joined to co-head the organization by Aradhana Gupta, an alumnus from Cornell University.
What is Project Baala?
Project Baala is an impact-oriented, youth-led organization that is started by women, largely run by women to make menstrual hygiene and access to better sanitary products as a major priority for women in rural India. Soumya Dabriwal who is an alumnus of the University of Warwick, England, and a social worker recognized one of the most pertinent issues that women were facing of unhygienic menstrual practices, while she was teaching in India, Africa, and Ghana. The commonalities that she found while working in rural areas in these third world countries were the lack of public health infrastructures such as toilets and proper sanitary products, the issue of disposal of menstrual waste, and lack of awareness and information on menstrual health. Different social and cultural taboos attached to menstrual blood, especially in a conservative society such as India, make it even harder. Since its inception, it has done tremendous work in imparting awareness and education about hygiene and menstrual health and also creating more innovative and sustainable sanitary napkins.
Keeping in mind the immense waste production and lack of proper sanitization and disposable methods, the organization has researched and come up with a product that is cost-effective, safe, and supports sustainability. They have provided free reusable sanitary napkins in schools in rural areas, urban slums, and villages that can last for two years.
“Through the use of Baala pads we can reduce menstrual waste by 99 % in rural areas, from using approximately 240 pads in 24 months, we will be down to 3 pads, which is 800 times less than what we generate now“, says Aradhana.. During her fieldwork in different rural areas, she heard experiences where women and girls get harassed and assaulted in the middle of the night when they go to dump their menstrual waste, making it extremely dangerous. Such use of technology and innovation that can produce safe, hygienic, reusable pads which can tackle multiple problems with one solution is a great achievement.
The Baala Kit
The Baala Kit comes with three pads and one carry bag for storage and carriage. While recognizing the weather conditions in different cities and rural areas and the drying time of 1 to 3 hours on an average, the Project Baala team has been mindful about their methodology of distribution of these kits, for example; 4 instead of 3 pads are given in the areas that are prone to heavy rain, realizing the obscurity of drying the pad. In India, these pads have already been distributed in rural settlements and urban slums of seventeen states, the organization has gone above and beyond to also send Baala pads to villages in Nepal, Ghana, and Tanzania.
Work During Covid
Even through this crisis, Project Baala has kept working, investigating, and developing new methods to impart awareness and create mobilization on menstrual health. Recently they have come out with an intensive report highlighting how the global pandemic and the lockdown have worsened the situation for women in rural areas. The study used a structured methodology of doing a telephonic survey with 368 participants, covering twenty clusters in Delhi.
Given the existing crisis and the anxiety around the same, Baala derived a new approach to continue their work; they provided digital access to menstrual awareness through their social media channels and their mobile app, Baala Boss. The project launched its digital library with recourses catering to menstrual health, both in Hindi and English. They collaborated with organizations like Sewa to create a larger mobilization and connect to different rural communities, who have also been working with women, making them empowered and self-reliant.
The Inception of Baala Associates
Even though the organization was already trying different modes to cater to the concerns of menstrual hygiene in the middle of a pandemic, they came up with the idea of introducing hyperlocal resource persons to directly take a grip of the situation and solving the issues of economic loss and compromise of menstrual hygiene. These people were known as “Baala Associates”. Individuals who were sensitive enough towards these concerns and were driven to learn as well as impart knowledge and awareness about menstrual health while also generating financial independence for them were trained by the organization. These associates further went ahead and directly sold Baala pads reducing their economic burden and eliminating the unmanaged sanitary wastes.
While discussing the future goals for Project Baala, Aradhana said, “We are working with different textile scientists and manufacturers who can create a pad that can be used even in drought-stricken areas, eliminating the use of water, which can last for a longer time “. If this product is successfully made, it can completely revolutionize menstruation and effectively cut the financial burden that comes with it. Whilst discussing the commercialization of Baala pad in urban settlements, Soumya added that they right now strictly want to use their resources for women in rural areas where they do not have access to better sanitary products.