Women and exercise

Disclaimer: For those who do get riled up about women’s rights and such, please realize that this post is meant to showcase the enormous effect a woman’s health and fitness has on those around her and hence the need for the same. I by no means suggest that housework is a woman’s job. The point here is that women did mutli-joint movements with full range of motion at all times during human evolution (in the form of gathering or housework or exercise) and hence such movements need to be included as a part of a woman’s workout routine and daily life.

It probably isn’t too obvious but I truly believe fitness is more critical for women than men. Why? Mainly because women are created physically weaker than men, but have the most important and strenuous job of all – child birth. In addition to that, a woman’s choices, appearance and fitness affect not just her, but everyone around her from her partner to children to parents.

From a nutritional standpoint, it is absolutely essential that a mother understands nutrition and makes good food choices every single day ‘cos her little one is watching her like a hawk and will subconsciously try to emulate what mommy does. Most people eat what is cooked and hence cooking real food results in eating real food. Similarly, a woman’s fitness has a profound effect on other people. A child tends to want to play more if mommy can run around with him/her. A father tends to like walking if he gets to do it with his daughter. I can go on and on, but you get the idea. [Note: If it isn’t obvious, a man’s choices, actions and fitness have similar effects on his family].

So clearly fitness is super critical for women in order to ensure good health for themselves and for everyone else. But does this mean women today, you, should exercise? Should you join a gym? Or a BootCamp? Let’s find out.

The distant past:

There is enough evidence suggesting that when we were hunter-gatherers, men did the hunting and women did the gathering. Gathering, though sounds lame next to hunting, was critical to life and required a very respectable amount of fitness. Gathering involved covering large distances by foot, plenty of multi-joint movements like squatting, bending, lunging and reaching, considerable amount of weight bearing activities when the gathered food and firewood had to be transported back home and multiple repetitions of weighted multi-joint moves. Also unlike the men, who did the badass hunting, women gathered everyday and especially on days when the men didn’t hunt or were unsuccessful in their journey.

In short, women back in the paleolithic era, moved! They moved a lot, they moved in all three planes of movement and they did this very frequently and consistently without ever going to failure.

The not-so-distant past:

Consider our fairly recent ancestors from about 100-200 years ago. While hotheaded and proud men stuck to working for money, women did all the household work. This involved everything from sourcing water, to cleaning the house multiple times a day to cooking to taking care of kids. Women from those times, again, covered long distance by foot, did multi-joint moves like squats, lunges etc., carried around weight in the form of water cans and toddlers and firewood, did plenty of pulling when drawing water and used their core efficiently when washing clothes, cleaning the house etc. While men put food on the table, women actually made the damn table and the ground below it!

In other words, our female ancestors… moved! They moved a lot, they moved in multiple planes of motion, they moved all day everyday and never went to failure!

The recent past:

Ever notice how your mom looked in her 20s and 30s? I have seen mine and the words I would use to describe her are healthy, in shape, slender and fit! No flab. No joint aches. Allergies were unheard of. No acne. Glowing skin. I can go on but the point is – they were super healthy and that was evident in their appearance. But how do they look today? Possibly fat, diseased, plagues with aches, easily fatigued? What really happened there?

Well, ‘easy’ happened!

While our moms spent their early lives plentifully using their bodies, they’ve spent the last 10-15 years, well, chilling out. Yea yea. I know moms work hard and all that and I love and respect my mom more than you can imagine, but the fact remains that moms today don’t work as hard as they did during their younger years and as a result they’ve lost their health and strength and mobility!

The present:

Take a minute to let this sink in – Our moms are in miserable shape today inspite of…

– having spent the first 30-35 yrs of their lives working hard and eating right

– being fit for the majority of their younger days

– living sedentary lives and eating wrong foods only for the last 15-20 years

But women today, even during their younger years, are sedentary, eat bad foods, are struggling with their weight, have hormonal problems, are fatigued too easily, are weak, are flabby, are affected by chronic diseases and more! What do you think the state of these women will be when they turn 55??

If you are a woman under 30 and don’t feel like a million bucks every single day, there is a lot wrong with you! Realize that you are young woman in her prime. You are like a brand spanking new car! You should not have issues. You should not be struggling with fat loss. You should not find it a challenge to run a mile. You should not strain your back when you lift a suitcase. You should be nimble and strong and endurant!

But… are you? Majority of the women today are not. Not even close! So why is this the case?

Easy answer right? Sedentary lifestyle + crappy food choices = unfit unhealthy women who produce offspring that are destined to be diseased and die young!

The Solution:

Workout everyday? Get into a workout program? Join The Quad’s BootCamp? Find a personal trainer? Sure. These are all awesome starting points. But none of this is ‘the answer’! The answer is… to MOVE!

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not asking you to not join a gym or a workout program. I’m saying use these as jump-boards and move on to find something that is sustainable by making a conscious effort to be more active and to use your body per it’s capabilities. Here are some suggestions.

– If you join a workout program like The Quad’s BootCamp, don’t just do the motions. Learn from it. Educate yourself about exercises that you can do with the facilities available to you. For eg. Understand that the kettlebell swing is an absolutely awesome full body workout that requires minimal cost and time investment. Understand that running is an awesome tool in your fitness toolbox but is not the be-all-end-all of fitness. Understand that working out hard 2-3 days a week and staying active during the other days is all that is required to stay fit.

– Screw exercise. Think move! As much as possible. Whenever possible. In whatever way possible. MOVE! Dont sit if you can stand. Dont stand if you can walk. Dont walk if you can run.

– Make life a little less easy for yourself! Dump comfort. Walk to the nearby store. Carry your own groceries and suitcases. Sit on the floor every once in a while. Stand at work during meetings. Squat down when you pet a pup. Take random walks. Take a club and the beat the crap out of any elliptical machine you see! And stay away from the lazy boy… the chair too.

Stay healthy and strong my dear ladies ‘cos healthy is the new hot and strong is the new skinny!


34 responses to “Women and exercise

  1. Clara August 10, 2011 at 12:44 am

    I’m not sure where you get off on making it all a woman’s duty to feed the kids, motivate the kids to play more, be attractive to the husband, or that she will have better sex or more sex when she’s fit etcetc. leaving out all the onus on men. Watch what you write. Its wildly stereotypical and patriarchal. Seeing as tons of women can bench, deadlift and squat more than you can and that most men find this oh so emasculating, its ridiculous to write a post placing women into a gendered box full of fitness stereotypes, and placing the unequal burden of care, sex and family fitness on their shoulders. You might be great at fitness and writing some funny lines, but you’re walking backwards when it comes to women’s rights and gender issues.

    • RG August 10, 2011 at 1:18 am

      Clara, Honestly I thought a few times about writing a disclaimer that I can write a similar post for men too but then decided against it cos I, mistakenly, thought my readers will focus on the essence of the post.

      Anyways, to address your concern. I am the last person to consider it a woman’s job to do anything. I only merely stated that women back in the day did plenty of work and that their work of taking care of the house and kids involved plenty of moving including squatting, lunging. I am in no way implying that that is what woman should do today, but I’m strongly suggesting that women should get off the treadmill and start doing more multi-joint movements (deadlifts etc included) cos such movement have benefits ranging from general health to child birth (opening of the pelvis etc).

      Again, this is a fitness blog and I care plenty about my female clients. I dont know youre background but I work with plenty of women who are afraid to do anything that isnt cardio.

      This is not about women rights or anything even close to that. Trust me… I have no business there. The message here is that women have moved in multiple planes of motion and have mastered ‘movements’ throughout the history of mankind and such movement have significant benefits… and hence women today need to include such movements in their workout routine and daily life. Its very sad that you missed the point of the post and jumped on your women rights horse.

    • Vizeet August 10, 2011 at 1:31 am

      @Clara, what Raj has mentioned is controversial but true for most of the developing world. Given a choice in India most women will not go to work (I read an article how increase in per capita income is effecting women work force in India). In most households women want to encourage their partner to lead the house, this has nothing to do with women’s right. How do you think being a housewife gives women lesser rights?
      There is one saying here “When one women gets educated whole family gets education”.
      I know this thinking is difficult for most westerners to understand, but believe me this is just cultural difference nothing more than that.

  2. Clara August 10, 2011 at 2:56 am

    Thanks for those comments. I had such a difficult time getting back to respond to you because the internet is so slow here. In Swaziland. Where I live. Just to make sure that everyone understands that women’s rights and gender issues are not purely Western concepts.

    @RG I appreciate your post. I too agree that women should stop wasting time doing steady state cardio day in and day out, and if you were to peek at my blog, you’d see that. I’m a personal trainer, spin instructor and fitness competitor apart from working in law here, so I get what you’re trying to say – Africa has that horrible double burden, and the lack of nutritional and fitness information is startling. This doesn’t excuse the gendered and stereotypical comments that you placed in your opening paragraphs, and how you are trying to get women involved by focusing on their need to look good for men, to be everything to everyone else, instead of focusing on it for themselves, first and foremost. The perpetuation of these stereotypes is detrimental to women, as they are so commonly judged on their appearances by their male counterparts, and reduced to an image and a body. Strong is the new skinny, definitely, but the primary purpose should not be for everyone else. All women do not want to be mothers. All women do not want to have husbands. All women are not heterosexual. Lumping them together and making fitness and physical appearance important for the purpose of other people (men) is an insult.

    And then saying that you can say those things because the main point of the article is fitness is illogical. You can’t be racist and then say “oh its cool that wasn’t the main point of my article.” So why can you be patriarchal and perpetuate gendered stereotypes and say that? You cant.

    @Viseet – Thanks for educating me on whats happening outside of the West! Since I’ve lived most of my life outside of the West, I can assure you, I’m well versed on the issues at hand. Let me tell you the problem with that age old saying of educating a woman means educating a family. Again, instead of incorporating women into decision making positions in the household, in policy making, in government, it places the onus on women to be educated, but then gives her no realm to act with that education. The head of the household continues to be male, so education is not enough. If only everything could be that simple. In Africa, mostly sub-Saharan but also South African, obesity is a cultural issue – I train so many women who don’t want to look like me, or else A. they won’t be found attractive, B. everyone will think they have AIDS. Then of course, the rates of diabetes and heart disease are astronomical. Placing the onus, however, on women, to change, is ridiculous. It must be a communal evolution, and for better reasons than being attractive.

    I guess I just wish that all the articles written on women and fitness and nutrition stopped playing into a purely physical beauty standpoint. Concentrate on health, concentrate on strength, concentrate on building muscle, and then say something about the body you want to have. Because not everyone wants to be a size 00.

    • RG August 10, 2011 at 3:08 am

      Clara – Appreciate your thoughts and, as mentioned before, your points were well take and edits were made. Everyone here knows that I’m a huge proponent of function before appearance. I push more women than you think to move weight and improve performance and not worry about appearance. That said, appearance says a lot of about person’s health. Check out Dr. Price’s Nutrition and Evlotion if you haven’t already.

      And, honestly, I don’t think anyone should be a size 00. Strong is awesome. Skinny is just unhealthy made pretty thanks to marketing.

      Again, all this applies to both men and women. No one here looks at women and men differently. Its just that more men are open to resistance training than women and its time women understood that throughout evolution women performed resistance training type moves and that was a key factor in aiding a healthy life, child birth and longevity.

    • anand srivastava August 10, 2011 at 6:17 am

      I looked at your site, and it confirmed that you have been in Swaziland for a very short time. Do you think that the short stay makes you able to understand people there? I have only read your rant about how people do not turn up on your gym. Does it have something to do with their priorities? Does it even figure anywhere in their priorities?

      Your problem is that you want them to think your way. But they can’t, they don’t live in the world you do. Your world is of old age pensions. Their world is of living with their children till old age. Your world is of freedom to do what you want. Their world is of trying to survive in this world. You don’t understand why it is very important for them to get married in children. This is not different for men either.

      I guess your major issue with RG is his comment that “a woman would want to look good for her man”. I wonder what you would have said if he had made the opposite comment, that a “man would want to look good for his woman”. Why this double standard. Don’t you believe in equality? If the second sentence would not be wrong, then why is the first one wrong.

      There is a definite biological need in men and women (of the heterosexual variety), to look good for their opposite sex. What is so wrong about that? What is the benefit in avoiding true nature?

      The reason why women are judged on their appearances more than their mental capabilities, by men is purely biological. Men don’t have that much invested into a pregnancy. This is also the reason why women place a greater emphasis on their partners ability to support their would be child. This is why women avoid casual flings before marriage, although this has changed a lot in western world due to birth control. But things are not so simple, because the above only applies for casual flings. For marriage men prefer women with substance, because then they are expecting to support the child. The same logic applies to adultery, women will chose their partners based on looks only. For men availability is enough. Its all biological.

      Another fact of life is that everybody is different. There are women who want to have a peaceful life. These days working at home is easier in some ways than working in office. You have more flexibility with your time, work load can be lower. Not everybody can be very ambitious. My wife has done her PhD in Chemistry, but does she want to work, no, its too much work. I am happy though, it gets me home cooked food. My son hasn’t had to see the creche. If she was working what would we get some more money, and more stress. We do have different priorities.

      Please be more receptive to other people’s thoughts. Understand what they want to say. Don’t get wound up on their exact words. I can see that you can express your thoughts very well, but the major trick is to understand where the other person is coming from and react to that, rather than what was actually said.

      I hope this makes sense to you. I do hate mindless feminism.

    • Vizeet August 10, 2011 at 11:13 am

      @Clara, you didn’t answered my question. You won’t understand why there are far less divorces in India then western countries. You won’t understand how arranged marriages are successful. You won’t understand why there are no agreements in Indian Marriages. You are just speaking, not listening, neither trying to understand. Understanding and adjustment are the reasons why two strangers live their life happily and this happens for both sides.

      What a women wants to do is what she wants to do and that is all she want to do — This is what her right is all about. When you put N number of issues with what she want, you are the one who is taking her right away.

    • Arun August 10, 2011 at 5:30 pm

      @ Clara While I understand your point that the way Raj phrased it may not be politically correct, he does have the right to state his opinion is his way.

      It is obvious that it wasn’t intentionally meant to be “Patriarchal” or “Sexist” but merely an outcome of how he was raised with a strong maternal figure who picked her gender role.

      “This doesn’t excuse the gendered and stereotypical comments that you placed in your opening paragraphs, and how you are trying to get women involved by focusing on their need to look good for men, to be everything to everyone else, instead of focusing on it for themselves, first and foremost. The perpetuation of these stereotypes is detrimental to women, as they are so commonly judged on their appearances by their male counterparts, and reduced to an image and a body. ”

      This phenomenon is not a stereotype. Most people I have met exercise for aesthetics. So that they can look good for their partner or future partner. Magazines exploit this fact daily. Men’s and Women’s magazines. When was the last time you read “Increase your V02 Max in 8 weeks?” or “Increase your lactic acid threshold with these 5 easy movess” plastered on Fitness magazine covers?

      “I guess I just wish that all the articles written on women and fitness and nutrition stopped playing into a purely physical beauty standpoint. Concentrate on health, concentrate on strength, concentrate on building muscle, and then say something about the body you want to have. Because not everyone wants to be a size 00.”

      That can only happen when women take that message to heart. I always have a hard time impressing upon the women in my life to pursue those goals. I have had countless discussions trying to convince them that they should strength train for optimal fitness, health and aesthetics. However, I am always met with “I don’t want to get big and bulky” or “Muscles on a woman is not attractive”. I’ll show them pictures of women that do weight train and any hint of definition is immediately followed by them saying “Oh I don’t want to look like her, she is too muscular”. Many have blithely ignored articles that talk about women doing weights and continue to do Zumba classes and long sessions of cardio.. all the while complaining that they can’t lose weight. Sigh!

      I applaud the fact that you would like women to see things your way but my experience has been that it is an uphill battle. All the best!

  3. Bhavya August 10, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    Lol..Sorry you got into trouble Mr.RG..

    As a late twenties -trying -to- get- fit- ambitious- doing- well- in- her- career-married- woman, I completely understand, what RG was trying to say in this post…not just because I am a south Indian and get cultural context, because I believe when RG says, its a post which is equally applicable to men too. ..probably everywhere..Strong is def sexy regardless of the sexes…

    I think the end goal of humanity should be empowerment, regardless of where you come from and live, you are in a committed relationship or single or divorced, or you are stay at home mom or dad or working.. if you can help yourself to lead the best life you can, and then help others…thats all that matters..

    And RG is definitely trying to help:)

    • RG August 10, 2011 at 8:30 pm

      No trouble Bhavya. Some ‘mindless feminist’ thinking a line in a 1200 word post promoting women’s health is politically incorrect doesnt mean shit. Realize how she went off when she has no idea who I am or what I do or what my thoughts are on women’s rights/empowerment or what my contributions are to the same.

      The point is that women have worked all their lives (in some way) and in order to do that ‘work’ they have had to use their body in the way it was designed to move. Sure this is applicable to men too. But the fact that women have to worry about things men dont have to (child birth for example), makes it even more critical that women move like they were meant to!

      Just like men don’t need to go hunt a freakin mammoth to get fit anymore, this knowledge doesnt mean women should start doing housework to get the same benefits. They merely should learn from the past and incorporate such moves in their daily life.

      Its ridiculous nonsense to not want to learn from the past and say random shit like ‘oh not everyone wants to be a mom’. Sure not everyone wants to be a mom. Not everyone wants to be healthy either. Like the other commenters have stated, everyone is different. This is for the majority of women who 1. want to be healthy, 2. are open to learning from the millions of years of history.

      And yes – regardless of the sexes… strong is sexy! And this applies to animals too. A lioness doesnt ever choose a weakass lion.

  4. swarna mani August 10, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    You can be doing a load of work but that does not mean you are active and strong.
    What RG is trying to stay is please stay active and increase your stamina and be strong.

    • RG August 10, 2011 at 8:43 pm

      “What RG is trying to stay is please stay active and increase your stamina and be strong.”

      Thank you!! Was that so hard to understand now? Maybe I should erase the whole post and just write this one line! Thank you Swarna.

  5. Sheetal August 10, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    I’m a regular follower of Raj’s blog and Facebook group and give him full credit for what he has been doing and the Quad. I also try my best to follow his advice in everyday life and hoping to join him for consultation some day.
    However I do agree with Clara on one point that Raj, your writings about women do potray a typecast, most probably unintentionally.

    There was another post in the past- She ate real food where you mentioned something along the lines of you choose your worst case scenario to be a female( which naturally means more body image issues)-There’s also a comment regarding this under the article about men wanting 6 pack abs which you never responded to, its similar to a lot of men finding- oh he’s a man, he’s meant to cheat-comment insulting.

    And I don’t know about other women- but reading ‘A husband tends to want to be physically intimate if the wife is attractive, attracted, fit and flexible.” does enrage me…

    • RG August 10, 2011 at 8:41 pm

      Sheetal – Once again you’re missing the point. Women DO have more body image issues than men. Little girls go on a diet when they are 10 today! My cousins in north america eat… nothing… on most days just to ensure they are ‘skinny’. Guys want abs… yes… but the % of guys who want abs is negligible compared to the % of women who want to look hot.

      And dont get me wrong… no wife wants to be intimate with a blob of fat. Not a one! So obviously this applies to both men and women… but this is a post about womens health and fitness.

      Anyways… as mentioned multiple times before… this post is about womens health and not about stereotyping or rights. I respect and adore the women in my life more than any of you can ever imagine. Sadly you have no way to find out… but honestly I have no reason to prove myself.

      And since we all have other things to spend our time on… like getting fit or talking bout rights in a forum where it is discussed or actually living life… I will not comment anymore on this post.

      Thank you for your time.

      PS: This reply wasnt meant to target your responses only Sheetal. I know you respect the work I do. This response was just my thoughts in general ‘cos I find it ridiculous that a post PROMOTING women’s health and fitness is misconstrued as such.

      • Sheetal August 11, 2011 at 4:32 am

        Yes, I think the discussion is now getting ridiculous..
        I know that this article is meant to focus on WOMEN’s health and hence all the women talk. I’ve followed your work online long enough to know you respect women and you cannot write so many posts dedicated to whats gone wrong with their health unless you love them and care about their well being.

        Coming from a marwari family, I’ve spent a large chunk of my life fighting my relatives who ‘wanted’ me to have body image issues and care more about looking good in order to get a good husband rather than care about health when I got glasses or when I started getting fat because of thyroid issues.

        I was only hoping this is not the case world-wide. But alas!looks like it is.

        However, as you said, we all have better things to do in life. Signing off to rush for my desk-job.

    • anand srivastava August 10, 2011 at 10:36 pm

      I think when trying to lose weight the worst case scenario for an otherwise healthy person to be older post menopausal woman. These people have three things going against them, low HGH, low Estrogen, and low Testosterone. Image body issue can actually be helpful if channeled properly.

  6. Sheetal August 10, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    I also agree that because it isn’t the main point of the blog, it doesn’t make it okay

  7. Divya August 10, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    Love it!! I can’t believe I missed seeing the original post. Any woman who takes offense to the line that was eventually done away with is being unrealistic and probably thinks unicorns dance on rainbows during the weekends!

    P.S: “And stay away from the lazy boy… the chair too.” – LOL!

  8. Clara August 11, 2011 at 12:10 am

    Raj, I have been following your blog for quite some time. I didnt know you were going to take such offense at me criticizing your comments on how women need to look sexy for their men, or work out so that men will find them attractive. It’s harsh that you cant accept criticism like that. I get your message, move more, and I told you I agreed with you. Your response to Bhavya was insulting to me – and I didnt know you were into doing that to your readers. Mindless feminist? I kind of want to list off my degrees, my experience, my own background and the countries I’ve live in, but why do I feel I need to defend myself? Oh yes, because you insulted me several times in that reply! That was really uncalled for.

    I maintain what I say. You can talk and write about women in fitness without reducing it to looking good for a man. I completely agree with Sheetal – and yes, sure women have body images. But why do they have them as young as 10? Could it be because of the insane social pressures to look like what they see on TV, in the media? Could it be the over-sexualization of young children in ads? Could it be the fashion world’s use of increasingly young anorexic models and the messages we are constantly bombarded with – to be skinnier skinnier and even more skinnier… or else no man will love you?
    And you say no wife wants to be intimate with a blob of fat, but media portrays that otherwise – hot young actresses with rich old fat men. Socially, and culturally, it remains far more acceptable for men to be overweight.

    When men stop dictating the ways in which I should dress, look, and portray myself as a sexual object, we will be able to move beyond the reductionist image of the body. Women who continue to do so, like Arun stated, are in that horrible limbo of playing into the patriarchal bargain: I will do these things you tell me to do, but then at some point I understand I will get criticized for doing them.

    Also lumping women into one homogenous category is ridiculous.

    In any case, I liked your blog Raj. Sorry we couldn’t have a decent conversation about this without it turning to insults.

    • Arun August 11, 2011 at 8:46 am

      Clara, as I read your comments it is more obvious that while you are a “feminist” you are not fighting for equality. As with feminism these days everything is somehow men’s fault. Feminism has stopped becoming about women’s rights and become more about men bashing.

      Your responses have the same problem you attribute to Raj. The only difference is you are hiding behind the veil of “women’s rights” because it is trend du jour for “feminists” today to blame men for everything.

      Almost all your comments so far about society can me made in a politically correct gender neutral way but you choose to make it about Women’s Rights and the injustice the male dominated society perpetrates on women. Why?

      For Example:
      “Could it be because of the insane social pressures to look like what they see on TV, in the media? Could it be the over-sexualization of young children in ads? Could it be the fashion world’s use of increasingly young anorexic models and the messages we are constantly bombarded with – to be skinnier skinnier and even more skinnier… or else no man will love you?
      And you say no wife wants to be intimate with a blob of fat, but media portrays that otherwise – hot young actresses with rich old fat men. Socially, and culturally, it remains far more acceptable for men to be overweight.”

      In fact, most of those sitcoms the fat husband is shown as the lazy and useless partner with the woman being dominant and more capable. It is more an artifact of feminism than otherwise. Kevin James in King of Queens is shown as bumbling idiot. Same case with Still Standing. As viewers, Women are supposed to feel pity for the woman putting up with such idiocy in her husband and identify with the women because men are useless and competent modern women have one more thing to deal with. Have apathy for the man so we can laugh at the clown of a man he is as he makes mistake after mistake.

      How is this making it acceptable for the man to be overweight? All the writers are doing is using a tried an true formula for ratings. Please the female, dare I say “feminist”, audience because they can identify with the notion that men are useless and women more capable.

      This article explores the very phenomenon:

      Ed O”neil in Modern Family is filthy rich. However, the show also goes into his insecurity with his age with people always considering him to be his wife’s father and that he only got her because he is rich.

      So men have to be *rich* to compensate for being overweight is the message men are supposed to receive? How many fat men can you count on the People’s Sexiest Man Alive list? That list has more six packs in it than the Budweiser factory.

      Society places just as much pressure on men to be lean. Plus the added pressure that you have be tall and be filthy rich.

      I’ll leave you with this article by one of your fellow “feminists”:

      • Sheetal August 11, 2011 at 10:07 pm

        Guess this is where the difference in classical feminism and radical feminism( which can sometimes go to the extent of female chauvinism) comes in
        @ Clara, I do agree that we as a Society( Not intended at you Raj) have to focus more on substance than looks, have to stop accepting body image issues as acceptable problems and rather than trying to find solutions to them, attack the root causes. As you said-We also cannot completely deny that media plays a huge part in the ideal images we make in our minds–but then again, you write about sexy stilettos, showing off your legs and asking men to show off their legs in your fashion blog-” I love a man with good legs. The strong muscular quad and prominent curve of the hamstring, all tapering down into a lean calf… delicious…If you’ve got the legs, please, show them off. “…then you also say “When men stop dictating the ways in which I should dress, look, and portray myself as a sexual object, we will be able to move beyond the reductionist image of the body”

  9. SS August 11, 2011 at 12:11 am

    RG,thanks for this post. I was shaking my head in agreement through out. Like you mentioned, my mom was very active and fit until her 40s, but after we grew up and left home she didn’t have much to do and therefore put on weight. I am trying to get her back in action!

    After spending several years in the US, I moved back to India last year. I used to go on long walks while in CA, but here I don’t have access to such open spaces or a good gym. But I compensate for it by not having a maid. I work full time and do all the house work. At the end of an hour or two, I have a clean house, healthy food on the table and immense satisfaction.

    All the best for The Quad. Any chance you guys will be coming to Kochi? 🙂

  10. DSS August 11, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    Absolutely well written post and so darn apt… if people don’t like hearing the truth then tough luck .. and I don’t know why people are fussing about feminism etc … remember the old adage “The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.” So all that RG wanted to convey via this post was simply that those hands better be strong or the cradle will fall.If anything he has empowered women by stating that she is the nucleus of the family and if she does things right so does the family.
    This comment is written by a female reader who by making certain lifestyle changes by reading RG’s blog has made an ocean of difference in her own and her family’s health.To all the ultra feminist out there”please pick and choose your battles” and don’t undermine the greater good that has come from this blog by being myopic and misinterpreting the essence of the post.

    • RG August 16, 2011 at 2:03 am

      “This comment is written by a female reader who by making certain lifestyle changes by reading RG’s blog has made an ocean of difference in her own and her family’s health.” – Thank you for this! Makes all the difference!

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  12. Meenakshi August 26, 2011 at 12:02 am

    Dear Mr RG,
    Hi, I am Meenakshi from Coimbatore, from South India. I accidentally chanced upon your blog and read the article on Women and exercise. It was sort of eye opener to me. especially the photo of a lady in the recent past and the column beneath it. very good. made me think of my 20 something days. I am now 48. But as you said, I did all my housework, squatting to clean the floor, sweeping, grinding and of couse, washing clothes by hand. Very correctly, there were no aches, no pain, good glowing skin and health. But now, i have a servant who takes care of sweeping, cleaning etc. If at all i have to do I mopp, no squatting, no sitting down the floor, only dining tables, my washing machine takes care of my washing, mixie grinding etc. I realised i stopped moving. made me think and take some hard decisions, like cleaning one room everyday in the old style, walking to my office by getting down the stop previous to the one, and some other changes. May be I can drive away slowly all the aches ,pains. Also on sundays, i have decided to use the mortar and pestle (attukal , ammikal) for grinding. I cant go the gym because i cannot afford it. but may be this can make some changes in my health. i will continue to read your blogs. good work pal,

    • RG August 28, 2011 at 10:33 pm

      Thank you Meena! Appreciate the feedback.

    • RG August 28, 2011 at 10:34 pm

      And you dont really need a gym to get fit. Check out my posts on bodyweight training.

      On Mon, Aug 29, 2011 at 11:03 AM, Raj Ganpath wrote:

      > Thank you Meena! Appreciate the feedback. > >

  13. sangeetha September 12, 2011 at 10:31 am

    You make a great point, Raj. Women are physicall working less but mentally stressed more since the last decade leading to a rise in cardiovascular diseases. In the last few weeks (I also emailed you around that time…) I decided to put myself first (before work) and I am seeing benefits of consuming less and moving more. Already lost 10 lbs since I emailed you! I just hope I can keep it up longer.

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  16. starrett micrometers March 22, 2012 at 4:50 am

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