Ramping Up Your Health Bank

Ramping Up

You know, I've been really good with my exercises this week.

I've jogged five days in a row, each time for around 30 minutes. Today, I went to the gym, totalling up a full six days of exercise - whew!

It's an achievement for me, and I'd like to thank one of my buddies Eugene who both planted the idea and motivated me to start jogging again.

Actually, from 2002-2008, I was an avid jogger, averaging an estimated 30 - 40 kilometers of jogging every week. From 2002 - 2005, I was a student in school, with easy access to the school gym and track. From 2005 - 2008, I worked in a hospital in the rehabilitation department, and there were ample treadmills and exercise equipment. In both instances, it was ease of accesses and lack of barriers that helped fuel my jogging habit.

From 2008 - 2013, I had neglected my health, sidelining it as I placed my business Urbanrehab Pte Ltd as the top of the list. I ballooned from a swooning 75+ kg to a whopping 95+ kg. It became harder for me to walk up stairs, run after buses, talk and walk, or to participate in any form physical activities.

It's been pretty tough actually, dealing with my declining health. I had a few health scares over the past couple of years, from a near faint incident in 2011 in Paragon after being stressed by the finance and CFO of a company we used to work with, to scoring a bad high score on my cholestrol check. The weight gain did nothing for my confidence, though it didn't affect me that much, but still, the additional energy, positive feeling, clear headedness, weight loss and looking better is always welcome.


Even typing all that down wasn't fun. Not in the slightest. Now that I've started jogging again, I feel that I'm sort of getting into a routine, and it's getting fun. Beginning the jog is always tough, and I always get all sorts of resistance from my body, with every cell in my legs and lungs screaming "Noooooo!" but after a while, the screams die down and I can continue jogging.

I found what helps me keep jogging is a few factors:

  • Wearing comfortable jogging shoes and shorts. Man, these two things are very important to the jogger. I don't need designer wear, but a comfortable pair of shoes can get me going very far without my feet giving up on me for fitting-related problems. Sadly, I've been having inner thigh burns (eeew) because I've gained quite a bit all over, and as the inner thighs rub, there's been abrasions that's painful. Longer shorts had resulted in less abrasion and less pain, and I find I'm looking forward to less pain.

  • Not wearing a watch. When I'm not wearing a watch, I'm not (un)consciously keeping track of time and telling myself "Okay, I've done ___ minutes, that's enough." Going without a watch loosens the hold of time over myself and my legs, and I go on without time limits.

  • Choosing a different route every time. I make it a point to go differing routes each time I go for a jog. Yes, sooner or later there will be a limited amount of routes I can have, but I try to vary it or mix it such that I can have a "new" jogging route as much as I can. I find that doing so engages me as "an explorer" and I get curious, and as I get curious, I can go further as I'm not "just jogging" - I'm exploring with the means of jogging. Having new or unknown routes also vary my jogging experiences, meaning I don't get mentally bored so fast, and better still, not knowing the routes often translates to a further distance as I just don't know where I'll end up and I'll just have to jog a little more to find out where I am, and get home from there.

  • Sometimes you just have to do it alone. I know, having jogging buddies will keep you accountable and keep you going, but sometimes it's also good for you to go jogging alone, as your jogging schedule can be jumbled up if you have to wait for another person, or worse, it gets cancelled because the other's schedule changed at last minute notice.
  • Having a back up plan. Eugene gave me a brilliant but evil idea. Evil, but brilliant nonetheless. I hadn't used it so far, but it'd likely be a very workable idea. If it rains and I decide that I don't want to run in the rain, I can always do a vertical run instead of a horizontal run. Since I stay in a HDB flat in Singapore, and live on the 14th floor, that'd mean that I can run up and down 14 levels of stair cases, likely to translate to roughly 28 painful flights of stairs. I don't look forward to that, and I'm pretty sure I'd prefer to run in the rain (good motivator) but hey, it'd work.

I plan to jog/exercise at least 4-5 times each week, and my goal is to get my cholesterol down to healthy limits, bring my weight down to 80+ kg (and eventually 70+ kg), be healthier than I've ever been so that I can participate in activities I enjoy.

How about you? How do you keep fit? What's your health goals and plans to keep fit? Share your thoughts with me in the comments column below.

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