Tag Archives: active

#AdeleWFOTM – Hui Xin

For the month of October (or whatever that’s left of it), we have Hui Xin!

Sorry for the delay this month. I got caught up with my research project and NEARLY missed this month’s feature.

Anyway! Back to Hui Xin – you might know her as the girl behind Run89. Indeed, she is one of the co-founders of the running group. Her fire and enthusiasm for running and just her overall outlook on living an active life continues to inspire me. Read on to find out more about her!

1. How long have you been running?

I started running since 2013.

2. How did you get into it?

Initially, I ran to lose weight.

When I heard that my favourite sports brand was organising a road race event, I registered! After signing up, I started to train for it. Since then, I’ve fallen in love with running!  It’s like a drug!

 3. You’re the co-founder of the Run89 crew. Tell us more about that!

Sure! Ru89 is more than just running and working out as a group, we are like a family with strong bonds! Besides running together, we travel together too and we will try our best to host a trip at least once a year! It is really fun to be with them.

We are also very grateful for all the support from Nike. We had a chance to attend many interesting events and meet other runners from different parts of the world! These are some of the best memories for the crew!

Our slogan is “Stronger with every stride” – which means in everything we do, every step that we take, will make us better and stronger!

4. Your profession/work:

Store Design & Construction Executive

5. How do you juggle work and running?

When I started my new job, it was a bit difficult to juggle both. But after a while, I managed to adapt. I will try to run at least 5km if there wasn’t any special activities going on that day.

6. Do you have a training schedule? What is it like?

My training schedule in a week looks something like this:

3 days of speed work

2 days of easy running/light workout/cross training/badminton

Race or LSD on weekends

7. Who do you usually train/run with?

My running buddies! This running community is huge and there will always be a familiar face whenever I go running! It’s great!

If we have similar running menu for that day, we will train together. Otherwise, we will catch up after training!

8. You also host weekly group core training on Tuesdays. Could you tell us more about that?

R89 Blastfit is hosted by Sabbie (Sabrina Lim) and myself. We both LOVE to workout! At first, we wanted to gather just a few of our BFFs for a group workout. We recognised that girls are quite shy to step out and we wanted to create a safe space to do just that.

We took this oppotunity to initiate the concept of “GIRL POWER”, where we can just be as strong as the boys. We are so blessed that the group has somehow grown into a big family!

 9. Which was your most memorable race event and why!

Definitely the Osaka Marathon! For now, it is my favourite running event! Everything is beautiful in Japan! The Osaka Marathon uses the rainbow as their theme color every year. Each color has a different meaning. The medals are also always beautifully designed. One of the main highlights that I really love is that there’s a whole row of Japanese food stalls at around the 30km mark.

The route is also always filled with passionate supporters, cheering for the runners and providing aids. You can also find cosplayers, which are fun to look out for!

Last but not least, the Osaka marathon’s route is totally flat with only one flyover incline at around the 37th km mark which makes it a totally perfect route to hit your PB!

 10. Favourite distance:

10km / 21km

 12. Other than running, what do you like to do?

I love working out in general and also Muay Thai!

13. Is there anything else that you would like to share with us?

I would like to share how running has changed me to be a better person. Before running, I was shy and someone who didn’t like to share and talk to people.

But through running, I got to know people from different stages of life and got to learn a lot from them. Besides being able to help you destress and have a more positive outlook of your life, running does make you think and realise that there are better things that exist in this world.

Thank you so much for sharing Hui Xin! Running (especially in a group) CAN be SO FUN! If you’re interested to join them for running or for a workout on Tuesdays (for the ladies only!), check out their FB page and Instagram.

Sitting – The New Smoking?

We all know that physical activity is important for general health. The typical guideline for physical activity (in a week):

150-300 minutes of MODERATE intensity (power walking, walking, house chores etc)

OR

75-150 minutes of VIGOROUS intensity (running, cycling, swimming, rowing etc)

OR

A combination of both

PLUS

at least 2 days of strength trainingIMG_5105


To the already-active individual, hitting the recommended hours in this guideline would be a piece of cake! I know many people who can complete it in 2 days (myself included)!

BUT! (there’s always a but)IMG_6701

If you are sitting (sedentary) for most of the time when you are NOT being active, you’re not much better off than the physically inactive person.

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If you workout for 60 minutes or more but spend the rest of the day seated (work/school/etc), then congratulations! You’re an Active-Couch Potato! Sounds cute but the effects are not that cute. In fact, it can be life threatening. Active-couch potato-ing has been associated with unwanted metabolic biomarkers (decrease in insulin sensitivity) [1].


What is “sitting”?

Sitting (or sedentary behaviour) includes behaviours that do not use much energy (less than 1.5 metabolic equivalents) during the hours that you are awake [2].

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Examples: Driving/commuting for long hours, seated at a desk for work/school, watching tv, meal times, chilling by the beach etc

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Technology has both improved and worsen the situation. On one end of the spectrum, there are many available trackers/step counters/health apps/fitness apps etc that can encourage movement. And on the other end, it contributes to more SITTING! From online shopping to food delivery. Heh, we don’t even need to go grocery shopping or cook our food!


Sitting and Health

More sitting time has been associated with obesity, Type 2 diabetes and heart problems.

Obesity

This is an easy one. If you eat more than you expend = weight gain.

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In essence, if inactivity is not offset with a decrease in food, you’re heading for obesity land.

Type 2 diabetes and Hearth Problems

Our body cells use energy in the form of ATP (adenosine triphosphate) which are made from blood glucose (carb) and triglycerides (fat). Sitting decreases the demand for ATP (because you’re not using much of it) and downregulates the mechanisms that are used for drawing glucose and triglycerides from the blood into the muscle cells. These include the GLUT-4 transporter protein (needed for blood glucose to enter the cell) and lipoprotein lipase (enzyme that breaks down triglycerides to free fatty acids to fuel muscle cells).IMG_1726

This is also “sitting”!

This will ultimately lead to MORE glucose AND triglycerides in the blood which are well established risk factors for developing heart diseases and Type 2 diabetes!


If you think you are active, THINK AGAIN!IMG_1647

How many hours do YOU spend sitting?

This is also your cue to GET UP and MOVE!

Staying Active on Vacay

I am back! Phew, CRAZY few weeks. We’re talking about endless assignments, presentations, studies, work, chores, sleepless nights and some running + strength training.

Final week of class before the exams and then SEM BREAK! So keen for it to be over! 😉

How is everyone else? 🙂


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Anyway! This post is on how to stay active when you’re on a vacay (speaking of which, I need a vacay!):

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Are you a routine junkie? Workout junkie? Vacay junkie?

*ME!*


The thing about being a routine junkie is that going on a vacay will potentially ruin it. I must admit, I get a little anxious about that! I am all about routines.


I’m here to talk about BALANCE: Not completely throwing your routine out the window but also not sticking to it like a junkie

It is not always easy to find a gym or a safe place to run (depends on where you go). So that might make it more difficult to get your usual workout in. If sticking to your routine stresses you out, what you need to do is throw THAT out the window. But not the working out part.


Staying ACTIVE on vacay:

1. EXPLORE

You’re on vacation! Take this time to get out there and EXPLORE the new city/place. Take it as an adventure.

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The best way to explore: WALKING/RUNNING/JOGGING

You get the best of both worlds: A chance to explore AND get your workout in!Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

My Garmin FR235 has been my best friend! It makes working out SO EASY! Just PRESS and GO! So fun to look at the stats after, even if it was just a walk in the park. 🙂

2. Free and Easy

It is always good to have a PLAN but if you’re like me and you get upset if you don’t get to stick to your schedule/plan, get rid of that!

I tend to have an “all or nothing” approach. If I fail to stick to my plan, I’d do NOTHING at all. I try to balance between having a plan and being okay if I don’t adhere to it.

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Take it easy and go with what you have. If you have time, GO! If not, CHILL… with coffee! Your body probably needs the rest.

3. MIX IT UP!

I like running, but it is not always convenient to do so.

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Get creative. Do a short HIIT workout/sprints that can be done anywhere! Anything that will get your heart rate up. Set your alarm, get up to catch the sunrise and WORKOUT! I LOVE that fresh feeling after my workout. If you’re the same, then just do it!

Trust me, it will be worth it!

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Example:

4 rounds of:

-Pulse jump squats x20

-Cross mountain climbers x20

-Elevated Push ups x20

-Leg raises x20

1:30 min break

4 rounds of:

-Burpees x15

-Tricep dips x20

-Russian Twists x40

-Jack Knives x20

REPEAT x2!

4. To GO GET FOOD!IMG_3092

OH YEAH! The best kind of workout/activity is going to get FOOD! Walk/run/cycle to your favourite breakfast/brunch/coffee/ice cream place!

Explore local cuisines!FullSizeRender_1I earned my ice cream!

5. Try a NEW sport/activity

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Cycling is a fun way to explore a new place! I don’t normally cycle, so this was something “new” to me.

IMG_2402Triathlete in the making. hahahhhahahhaha. JOKES!

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Go on a hike! Walking/hiking is so good for you. My favourite aerobic workout! Get your heart pumping with a few inclines/climbs. Trust me, your heart will thank you for it. 🙂

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Soak in your surroundings. God NEVER fails to amaze me. His creations are breathtaking.

DCIM102GOPROSnorkeling. Swimming. Underwater fun! There are SO many ways to stay active!

DCIM102GOPROJust. AWESOME.

<3

Enjoy your next vacay + getting your heart rate up!

PS: If you happen to be planning your next trip, check out HotelsCombined to help you find and make the best accommodation decisions + great deals!

For more info on my Garmin FR235 or any other models, check out http://www.aeco.com.my or like their FB page !

Do let me know if you’re interested in any of the models. 😉

Cheers!

Kona, Hawaii – Day 3

Day 3 – 20th January, Wednesday

Ocean Power Rafting + Snorkeling

My day started at 5:45am, such an ungodly hour! I had to set 3 alarms to get my butt outta bed. If I am ever up so early, it is usually for a race (which I usually dread). But today, I was excited. I signed up for the Ocean Power Rafting and Snorkeling excursion.

IMG_2858After packing all the necessary and unnecessary stuff, I went down to the lobby to board the shuttle bus that was scheduled to leave at 7:15am.

IMG_2866The port.

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It was a 45min drive to Honokōhau Bay, where we boarded our rigid hull inflatable boats (RHIB) / Zodiac-type rafts made famous by U.S. Navy SEAL teams. There was a bus load of us and we had to be divided up into 3 different groups.

IMG_2868My group had 12 awesome people under Captain Dave.

IMG_2870Briefing – the Dos and Don’ts.

IMG_2871Off we go!

This excursion would cover 14 miles between Honokōhau and Kealakekua Bay. It was a slow drive out from the dock before the Captain went full speed with the rafts. We were travelling at about 30-35 miles/hour. Sports car of the sea?

IMG_2908Safety rope! As long as you have one foot under it, you’re SAFE!

IMG_2883Spinner Dolphins!

 

IMG_2887Our final destination was Kealakekua Bay for snorkeling. But we had many stops along the way whenever we spotted spinner dolphins and pilot whales!

IMG_2919Can you spot the pilot whale?! It went under our raft!

IMG_2922YES, we came UP CLOSE and PERSONAL with them! It was so amazing. They swam towards us gracefully and showed off their flipping/rolling/splashing skills.

Just look at him playing around on his back!

DCIM102GOPRO The sun was high up in the sky and shining in its full glory. But it was a bit chilly. The speedy and nimble raft went against the wind which countered the heat from the sun.

DCIM102GOPROThe wind was so strong, I felt chills running down my spine and goosebumps started popping out. I actually enjoyed the warmth from the sun whenever we stopped to view interesting marine life.

IMG_2932After cruising the waters along Kona coast for about 1 hour, we were at Kealakekua Bay!

DCIM102GOPRO DCIM102GOPROThis bay is actually a National Marine Park and apparently, one of Hawaii’s finest underwater preserves.

DCIM102GOPROWe were NOT allowed to go on land or to stand up while snorkeling. Standing up would mean that you MIGHT be standing on corals and that would kill them.

DCIM102GOPROAfter gearing up, I jumped in! The waters were so pristine, visibility was far and wide. A bit scary and breathtaking at the same time.

DCIM102GOPROFuzzy.

DCIM102GOPRODecided to switch to my goggles because I wanted to dive a little deeper.

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The waters were nice and warm. I thought it would have been FREEZING COLD!

DCIM102GOPRO DCIM102GOPROI had a lot of fun paddling around, swimming around the fishes and corals and drinking mouthfuls of salt water!

DCIM102GOPROWhile we went snorkeling, the Captain prepared our snacks of fresh fruit, cookies, crisps and drinks.

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DCIM102GOPRO DCIM102GOPROWe spent an hour or so at Kealakekua Bay before heading back to shore.

IMG_2952On the way back, we stopped at coastal lava caves, ocean geysers and sea grotto. The Captain was also sharing a bit about the history and ancient Hawaiian legends.

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IMG_2964Sandwich and Coffee.

After the excursion, we arrived back at the hotel at about 1:30pm. We were given $30 to spend on lunch! I had a sandwich to-go as I wanted to shower and eat in the comfort of the hotel room.


Kahua Ranch – Dinner

We had little time to rest before we had to dress up to go to Kahua ranch for dinner. The ranch was about 45mins-1hour drive away, so we had to be at the lobby by 4:45pm.

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IMG_30349 inches of rain a year(just outside our hotel) and 45 mins later……

IMG_3042120 inches of rain a year! Hawaii has many MICROclimates!

We caught the first bus to Kahua ranch! We were greeted by Big John who was one of the owners of the place. Before dinner, he shared a bit about the history of the place.

IMG_3040Kahua ranch means the beginning or the foundation as it was one of the few places that was established during World War II.

IMG_3041  IMG_3046It was started by 2 families over 8500 acres of land!

They aim to provide: Value, Productivity and Beauty.

IMG_3047 IMG_3049So picturesque.

IMG_3050They have over 2000 cows! It was interesting to learn about high intensity rapid grazing (Not HIIT :P), how they keep cows in a smaller closure to sustain the land, rotational grazing and skip grazing. You should hear the logistics of how they ship the cows – Cow-tainers, cruise ships and boarding 747s. Crazy!

IMG_3052IMG_3077He was SUPER friendly. Very good with people.

IMG_3062 IMG_3054 IMG_3067Arrrrrr!

He also talked a bit about some of the animals that were brought into Hawaii by accident and how they changed the entire ecosystem.

IMG_3069 IMG_3070The sunset.

IMG_3074 IMG_3089Where we had dinner.

IMG_3090After that, we had a lovely BBQ ranch dinner (with live country music) followed by some cowboy activities – line dancing, hot iron stamping, smores making, horse shoe throwing, a fire place and star gazing.

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Hot iron stamp!

IMG_3092The BEEF was so good!

IMG_3094 IMG_3095The founder of my Mom’s company (DDI), Dr. Bill Byham. We sat at the same table 2 nights in a row. We’ve met before and he is always so nice to my mom. Very interesting man and at his age, he is still VERY sharp! Scary.

IMG_3100The fire place.

The highlight (for me) was STAR gazing! It was pitch black so we could see the glittery sky.

Day 3 was very tiring with back-to-back activities!

Day 4 was a little better……

Wait for it!

xoxo

 

Cambodia Run-Cation: Day 3

Monday (7th Dec)

Before the year comes to a close, here’s day 3 of the Cambodia run-cation! Never too late to complete a post!


Monday was our last full day in Cambodia. We did not want to waste a minute of it and so, we seized the day (literally). We went all out by signing up for a 10 hour tour of Angkor Wat. WHAT?!

Special thanks to Agnes and Sue for all the arrangements. I didn’t know what I signed up for. All of us just paid and we were guaranteed a full tour of Angkor Wat.


 

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We were up by 8am. Had our breakfast (with loads of coffee) at the hotel and boarded the mini bus that was waiting for us.

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These guys. Hilarious.

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The journey was filled with laughter, loud chatter and one too many “wefies”.

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We stopped at the ticket booth to purchase our tickets and had our photo printed on those tickets! Pretty cool! We had to use our passes to enter the temples.IMG_0720

First Stop: Bayon Temple (within Angkor Thom)

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We were given about 1 hour to walk around Bayon Temple and to take as many pictures as we please.FullSizeRender(2)

I had to use the bathroom before entering the temple so the rest went ahead. I was left to explore Bayon Temple on my own!

IMG_0732 IMG_0647Bayon Temple was not very big with rubble marking its rather square perimeter. There were huge chunks of stones everywhere and one must be careful not to slip. The stones had been weathered and some of them were covered in moss.IMG_0653

I entered through the side where there was no one in sight. After climbing up some steep stairs, going through tight doors and dark alleys, I came to a quiet opening in the middle of the temple. It was so fun, I think I had an Indiana Jones moment.IMG_0654

Took a few self-timed shots!FullSizeRender(1)

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Peek-A-BOO!  FullSizeRender_2(1)IMG_0657

Second Stop: Ta Prohm

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After 1 hour, we met up, boarded the mini bus and headed to our second stop!

It was quite a distance away. But it was okay because that meant we could cool off a little longer in the air conditioned mini bus!FullSizeRender_1

Ta Prohm was where Tomb Raider was filmed! It was huge, much bigger than Bayon Temple. It also had a lot more character to it.IMG_0800

From the main gate to the temple, it was a good 5 minute walk with thick trees lining the wide sandy path.IMG_0664 IMG_0674 FullSizeRender FullSizeRender_3 FullSizeRender_2 FullSizeRender(3)

Obligatory JUMP SHOT before leaving the place!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetHad to cool off with JUICE! Mango + Watermelon + Dragon Fruit

Third Stop: LUNCH!

It wasn’t a lot of walking but I was tired after just visiting 2 temples. I was probably feeling the fatigue from the race the day before. Plus, the sun was scorching hot! But thankfully, the air was dry. So, you don’t feel icky and sticky like in KL.

Being tourists, the mini bus dropped us off at a touristy restaurant that served touristy food for touristy prices!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetI had the same thing, BEEF LOKLAK! SO GOOD!

Fourth Stop: Angkor Wat

IMG_0797This was the REAL DEAL! What I had been wanting to see (Okay, not really. I didn’t know what to expect)!

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IT. WAS. MASSIVE!

I stood in awe at the foot of the temple. It took me a moment to soak in my surroundings and to try to grasps whatever I saw before my eyes.

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At my finger tips.IMG_0717IMG_0716The entrance.IMG_0723The picture-perfect-spot where you can capture all 5 peaks and the reflection of the temple on the water.

It was an even longer walk from the main gate to the temple. And this time, the path was not lined with thick trees that covered everything in gloomy shadows. We were directly under the afternoon sun with its rays piercing through our skin. IT WAS HOT! I was feeling a little exhausted but I was excited to explore the place.

IMG_0803#SoMUCHCULTURE! 

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Climbing up the steep flight of stairs to reach the highest point of the temple. You had to be in long pants to enter!

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The view from up there was breath taking!

We spent a good 2 hours at Angkor Wat! It was so big, we needed every minute of the 2 hours to explore the place. By then, everyone was really feeling the heat. We went across the road for ice cold coconut water and beer (not for me)! SO REFRESHING!

Fifth Stop: Bakheng Temple

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It was about 3:45pm and we had one last stop at Bakheng Temple to watch the sunset.

The rest decided to call it a day and ditched the tour by riding Tuk Tuks back to the hotel! I was tempted to hop on the Tuk Tuk to head back to the hotel but decided against it. I didn’t come all the way here to walk this much only to give up at the end! IMG_0790

THE TOUR MUST GO ON! #moumantai ! So, the 3 of us (Agnes, Amanda and myself) stayed back for the rest of the tour.IMG_0786

The thing about Bakheng Temple is that there is a limit of 300 people. So even though the sunset was not until about 5:45pm, we had to go a little earlier to avoid the queue.

It was a 10-15 minute hike up to Bakheng Temple. We entered at around 4:15pm. We had loads of time to kill. Thankfully, we had our powerbanks and 4G connection!

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We waited until 5:45-6pm for the sunset. It was nice, nothing special but the view from up there was amazing!

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When we came down from the temple, there were about 100 people queuing to get in! PHEW!

It was a long day. We hopped on the mini bus and headed back to our hotel.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetWithout much rest, we had to get ready to head out for dinner! Had to stop for juice for one dollarrrrrrr!

FullSizeRender(4)Authentic Mexican dinner courtesy of Tom, Dick and Harry.IMG_0805

Full body massage to end the day (FINALLY!).


So, that’s day 3 and also the end of my Cambodia run-cation! It was my first overseas run-cation and it was an AWESOME one! So many good memories and I had a lot of fun with the MMT gang. Once again, special thanks to the crew of Tom, Dick and Harry.

Thank you for topping off the year 2015 with a fan-fricken-tastic run-cation. It was a BLAST! Great ending to a good year. Love ya’ll.

Looking forward to 2016! 🙂

xoxo