Functional Strength

Carrying Them Groceries

Carrying Them Groceries

Functional strength. What is it? I just learnt the term a couple of months ago from a bud in Singapore and I’ve been learning to do simple exercises to help build strength that I can use day to day. Here are a few things you can do daily to build functional strength:

  • Take the stairs instead of an elevator or lift – I’m trying to walk up the 17 flights of steps up to my condo unit. Boy, it’s quite a workout.
  • Park wherever and whenever and just walk.
  • Instead of using a trolley, why not just carry your groceries in your arms.

The whole idea of building functional strength is to keep yourself conditioned physically so you’ll be able to have more energy for day to day living. It’s good stuff. If you think walking up 17 flights of stairs is easy, think again. Ha ha! I’ve been running for the past 10 months and that short walk up still took the wind out of me.

Give it a try!


Hitting the Road, Running the Distance

Hitting the Road

Hitting the Road

After 7 months of doing my best to keep a regular exercise routine I’ve finally started running for real and… boy, it’s a big change from running on a treadmill. I wouldn’t have embarked on it on my own but was forced to because the treadmills are always FULL! I’m glad though cos’ this would prepare me to take part in a proper run one of these days.

Nevertheless, it’s an experience in itself and since I don’t have any “canggih” equipment to measure distance or pace anymore I’ve been running the old-fashioned way by counting laps. There’s a small “park” in my condo that surrounds the pool so what I’ve been doing is running laps on the pathway that circles the pool. I started off with being able to do 5 laps and now I’m up to 7 laps at a constant run. I’ll slowly up that.

Here’s what my routine is like right now every time I run:

  • A burst of running that I’ll up as time goes by (am up to 7 laps now)
  • 1 lap at a brisk walk
  • 2 laps at a run
  • And so on…

I alternate the laps of brisk walking and runs and this morning did 20 laps all in all (7, 1, 2, 1, 2, 1, 2, 1, 2, 1). I don’t know if what I’m doing is effective but I figure since my goal is to be able to do more laps in one sitting then by upping the laps over time I should be able to build up my overall stamina. That part isn’t rocket science.

Anyways, the good news is that I now weigh 76kg which is great news for me. That’s a 5kilo drop from my original weight of 81kg. I hope to be able to lose another 2kilos in the next month or so and am targeting to reach a better weight of 72kg in the next 2 to 3 months through exercise and also through more discipline in my diet.

Wish me luck and I hope this post encourages some of you who have been procastinating about exercise to start something small today!

P.S. I was told that I was doing my push-ups wrong so I changed the way I’m doing it today and only managed 30 push-ups this morning. Does anyone have any tips on this (or maybe I should Google up push-ups)?

Mending A Broken Run (Part 2)

Running, running, running.

Running, running, running.

It’s day 54 today since I started somewhere at the start of the year and it’s been quite a stretch. Like I said in my previous post, the biggest obstacle to overcome in exercising regularly is mental.

Here’s an update on my physical progress. I pushed myself some today and here’s proof that physical exercise is mind over matter cos I managed to run for 10 minutes at 8 kilometres per hour compared to the 6 minutes I did last Monday.

  • 10 mins at 8kph
  • 2 mins at 5kph
  • 1 min 30 secs at 10kph
  • 3 mins 30 secs at 5kph
  • 1 min 30 secs at 10kph
  • 2 mins 30 secs at 5kph
  • 1 min at 8kph

And of course I did my regular 80 push-ups. I’m gonna have to ramp that up pretty soon. 90 push-ups sound really daunting though.

Wish me luck!

Fear is the Mind-killer

Fear is the mind-killer.

The Lovely Francesca Annis in 1984's Dune

The Lovely Francesca Annis in 1984's Dune

A classic line from David Lynch’s Dune starring Kyle MacLachlan that also featured a scruffy-looking Sting (surprise, surprise). Fear indeed is a mind-killer but so is doubt and laziness; especially when it comes to exercising and being healthy. These two obstacles were something that I had to overcome when I started exercising and even though it gets easier every day; I still face them every time I wanna get out there to exercise.

Fear and doubt is the mind-killer here cos’ that’s the very first thing I have to overcome before hitting the gym. I face the same thing too  just after I finish my run and am just about to do my push-ups. It’s all in your mind you see. Fear, doubt and laziness are the very first things you need to overcome.

I never thought I’d be able to do it but 3 months of hard work has paid off. Being disciplined to run is really difficult cos’ the first thing you have to overcome is your mind saying “you can’t do it” & laziness! Laziness is the number one killer to regular exercise and Nike’s tagline of just doing it really makes sense here.

Today is my 27th day running in the gym and guess what? I hit my target of being able to run for 3 kilometres non-stop last week on Saturday and in the past 2 runs I’ve done I’ve surpassed my original goal. I’m now doing a 3.6 kilometres and it takes me just about 30 minutes to complete my run at an average speed of 7.2kph. If I can do it so can you. Really!

At the end of the day it’s not about what you intend to do but what you actually do that counts. I leave you with some very wise words.

Just do it!

Weight Woes

I Feel Fat

I Feel Fat

I feel fat. Well. The fact is I AM overweight! The good news is that it’s not too late to change that and after my trip down to Singapore I am really more determined to do something about my health and more importantly my inglorious tummy. I know that I don’t exactly qualify as fat but having excess weight really puts a dampener in my self-worth. It’s funny that the state of my physical being matters so much to me the older I get.

The sad thing about being overweight is that it’s a cycle that perpetuates itself. You get depressed cos’ you’re overweight. You eat cos’ you can’t help but feel hungry. You feel it hopeless to change things. I think that’s why most people don’t do anything about their weight, cos’ it’s such a depressing state to be in and breaking out of it is tough. People saying I’m fat stings but it’s not exactly the right motivator to lose weight. I personally believe that negative criticism is the wrong way to go to encourage someone to be fitter. Asians tend to always pick on things and they call it “constructive criticism” – which really sucks. Nevertheless I know I want to be fitter for myself and I’m gonna really do something about it this year.

Today marks day one in my exercise routine. I ran 1KM at a speed of 7 kilometres per hour. It wasn’t a constant run because the treadmill I was on kept slipping. It’s a good thing that the other one was working properly. A buddy over in Singapore gave me tips on managing my weight and so here’s what I intend to do in the next 2 months or so to build my stamina and on top of that I’ve added my own diet plan.

  1. Run at least 3 times a week, starting with a distance of 1KM this week and raising the bar incrementally so that eventually I’ll be running a distance of 3KM non-stop. I didn’t do too well today and will do better in my next run now that I’ve discovered which of the treadmills is working properly.
  2. Do 10 push-ups every day. Why? Building muscle would aid in calorie burning I guess.
  3. Cut down on sugared drinks and drink more H2O.
  4. Eat more vegetables and less fried foods. Cut down on meats.

The regime sounds simple I know but if I can keep this up regularly I’ll soon be able to graduate to hitting the roads to run. I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. In the meantime wish me luck and if you have healthy weight management tips for me; do drop me a line.

I hope that this post encourages everyone to do something about their health so we can run the race of life. Till next time. Happy trails!