For the fitness junkies, the buff lords and even those who take short walks every now and then post-dinner, a pat on the back for you lot because you belong to the Team More tribe—that is, the group of people who maintain a healthy lifestyle through constant and consistent exercise.
Keeping to strict diets and regular exercise routines may seem like an impossible feat by the vast majority—especially for folks like us who would much rather ‘enjoy’ life with our long afternoon naps and regular suppers—but all it really takes is discipline and a clear goal.
But keeping fit and being active goes far beyond just hitting the gym and counting your calories day by day. In fact, there are several ways and things that you can do to switch up your fitness routine without compromising quality time with your family, overspending and more importantly, sacrificing fun.
#1 PICK UP A SPORT AND COMMIT TO IT
While going for evening walks and early-morning gym sessions may be awesome, it does require quite a bit of discipline and self-motivation day to day. You wake up earlier than everyone else, only to subject yourself to discomfort in the form of perspiration and muscular aches—it really isn’t easy.
Gym junkies may enjoy the grind, but many of us would much rather go for easier, less painful alternatives. Which is why, our advice to you is to pick up a sport such as playing football, basketball or even tennis and include your friends and family while you’re at it. A game that heavily relies on high-intensity cardio, football is a great form of recreation that keeps you fit and is a lot of fun.
It is a great way to perk up your usual mundane gym routines because the game fosters stronger bonds between friends, guarantees a good workout and is something that you can look forward to each week.
#2 GO ON WEEKLY HIKING TRIPS
Singapore may not boast a wide array of trekking trails but there are still a fair few worth visiting. If you’re the only one in your family or group of friends who’s into upkeeping a healthy lifestyle, then why not try persuading your family and friends to go on a hiking trip?
Besides being able to bond with your loved ones through a serene tour of Singapore’s nature trails, you’ll find that hiking is a great way to shed some calories too! Plus the activity itself falls under the moderate intensity range meaning that anyone–regardless of age and fitness level—can do it.
#3 SWITCH UP YOUR EXERCISE ROUTINE — DO HIGH-INTENSITY EXERCISES
For the hardcore gym enthusiasts, we know that you’re all about lifting heavy and packing muscles. But while a monster physique is great for strength building in general (and to look at), it is also good to introduce circuit training and cardio every now and then as a means to form a balance between physical strength and cardiovascular endurance.
Instead of purely hitting the iron, set aside some time during your weekly routine for a high-intensity cardio session. Many people shun the idea of it because of the feeling after, which is—more often than not—pretty dreadful, but truth be told, it is perhaps the most effective way to keep physically fit.
Minimal time spent, maximum effort and surefire results, high-intensity interval training or ‘HIIT’ is a common training regime that fitness enthusiasts include into their exercise routine to not only boost their cardiovascular strength but also to burn fat fast.
#4 SIGN UP FOR A MARATHON BECAUSE #YOLO
When it comes to fitness, we like to constantly challenge ourselves by pushing our threshold little by little each day and one way that helps us ensure that is by signing up for annual marathons and fitness-related events. And no we don’t mean one of those short 5-kilometre fun runs, we’re talking about the full-on, body-shattering full marathons.
Yes, the experience will be painful (that’s a given) but the beauty is in the months of preparation leading up to the race, the sense of accomplishment that comes with completing it as well as the physical changes you’ll likely see happen to your body. Many might say that we are insane, but we are just firm believers of #YOLO.
#5 MEAL PREP — EAT CLEAN AND STAY LEAN
When it comes to staying in shape, any fitness manual will tell you that physical exercises at the gym only accounts for a small part while most of the work done in losing body fat is actually in managing what we consume. To put it simply, you can’t expect to keep in shape, let alone achieve your dream beach bod, if you continue to eat junk food.
Eating healthy goes hand-in-hand with keeping active but you also have to know the right types of food to eat. To cut cost and more importantly to be in full control of what we put into our bodies, we tend to resort to meal prepping.
Meal prepping is a fantastic way to be in full control of your diet in terms of the ingredients used and portions sizes without blowing a hole in your wallet. Recipe options are endless and meal prepping goes far beyond steamed vegetables and boiled chicken breast.
#6 CHEAT DAYS ARE A MUST
Strict diets aside, we always make it a point to dedicate one day per week to indulge in our favourite foods. We’re talking about not-so-healthy noshes such as fried chicken, pizza, char kway teow, and every possible thing that hardcore Team Less people will warn you against.
The rationale is striking a balance. There has to be a balance between doing what makes you happy and doing what is best for your body which, in our case, allowing ourselves one day of the week to feast on indulgent treats. Not only does it keep your cravings at bay, it also gives you something to look forward to during the week!
In fact, seeing as to how healthy living is becoming a huge thing among Singaporeans, many hawkers even offer healthier options to some of our all-time favourite local treats nowadays. Think staple dishes that come with lower-calories, healthier oils and wholegrain alternatives as opposed to regular, high sugar versions.
Whether you belong to Team More or Team Less, you can just as effectively maintain a healthy diet and a gorgeous figure. All it takes is a few small changes to your lifestyle and your eating habits and you’ll be well on your way.
Feeling confused as to which camp you belong to? You can take this short quiz to find out which team you belong to.
And don’t forget to head down to the official showdown between Team More and Team Less happening at Raffles Place Park on 1 Aug and 2 Aug 2018 between 11am to 7.30pm. There will be loads of prizes to be won and team collectables to be taken home, so don’t miss out on a dose of healthy competition!
This post is brought to you by Health Promotion Board.