Tag Archives: tips

4 Things to Think About Before Picking a Fitness Program

HIIT? Spinning? Body Pump? Barre? Swimming? Dancing? Yoga? Hot Yoga? Pilates? EMS? CrossFit? Running? Cycling? WHAT?!

Fitness programs and facilities are popping up like mushroooms. If you are not already confused about what is out there, I can tell you that I AM! We are swamped with information on fitness/health/nutrition all over the internet and social media. There are programs promising anything from fast/immediate fat loss to super strength gains etc.

It has become increasingly difficult to decide what is best for you. (I FEEL YOU!)


Before you jump on any program or if you don’t even know where to start, here are some things for you to think about:

1. Fitness Goals

Whatever you choose to get into, make sure that they are aligned with your fitness goals. Are you looking to lose weight? Gain strength? Or increase flexibility, mobility and stability?

Once you have written down your goals, it is easy to decide what to do in order to achieve them. Or, if you already have your goals but unsure of which is the best method, get help from a fitness professional!

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My previous goals were to run longer and faster. So, obviously running was all (almost) I ever did. Many people used to laugh at the idea that I was a cardio junkie or thought that I was crazy. Running has always gotten a bad rep in terms of its effectiveness in weight loss. Well, not everyone’s goal is to lose weight! I agree that if your goal is to lose weight, there are other more effective ways.

If you are training for a marathon, you’ll be out there pounding the pavement instead of spending most of your time in the weight room (and vice versa).

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SET YOUR GOALS!

2. Interest

This is a no brainer. You HAVE to pick what YOU LIKE! Pick a sport/training program that YOU enjoy.FullSizeRender_1

If you like running, GO AHEAD! If you like weights/heavy lifting, GO AHEAD!

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3. Sustainability

This point is closely related to interest. If you are not interested, you won’t be able to sustain it for long.

Fitness is a LONG TERM ON GOING journey and it should be a part of your lifestyle/routine. It is NOT a trend or a fad that you pick up, hit your goal and drop it. You’re in it for the long run.FullSizeRenderFind your BALANCE!

Whatever you pick, make sure that it is sustainable both financially and mentally. Of course, there is no harm in hopping around from one training/exercise to another. THERE ARE NO RULES!

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As long as you’re happy and healthy!

4. Community

Everyone performs better with support. Having people around you that support your goals or have the same interest MAKES A LOT OF DIFFERENCE!

They will be there to pick you up when you fall, to motivate you, to keep you accountable and listen to all your fitness related goals/chatter (HAAAA!).

FullSizeRenderProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 presetI would not have achieved so much in running without the help of the people around me (you know who you are!).

The running community was there to share, motivate, encourage and push me beyond my capabilities.

IMG_0451 IMG_1048IMG_9552Whenever I had issues with training or running etc, I knew that I was not alone. There was always someone to PUSH me.

IMG_2258 FullSizeRenderSurround yourself with the RIGHT people and you will go very far.

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Before you pick a program, THINK about these points!

Hope this helps! 😀

Happy training!

xoxo

My Personal Take on Trail Running

Here’s a break down of my personal thoughts after my first ‘official’ trail run on the 1st day of the year.

BEACH TRAIL

Physically:

Trail running can be quite heavy on the calve muscles due to a lot of uphills and uneven paths. Your glutes will feel the burn too after a day or two. My toes were slightly sore from hopping around the rocks that laid the trail.

Trail running itself can be pretty challenging, carrying extra weight on me – my backpack – didn’t do me any good. I wasn’t used to having something bulky and heavy on my back (my bad for over-packing). It literally felt like I was carrying the weight of the world.

I had a lot of loose items in my bag which kept bouncing up and down whenever I ran. It was pretty annoying. On top of that, I decided to carry my non-padded strap backpack which kept brushing against my shoulders. Not very comfortable to begin with. Another poor judgement call on my part. Other than that, it was all FUN!

Mentally:

Slightly more mentally challenging than running around your neighborhood or on the track. When you’re running on familiar grounds, you can zone out and just let your legs do the running. You don’t have to think about stuff like: “hmmm…where’s my next step?”, “PUDDLE!”, “HOLE!”, “Can I land safely on that?”, “Am I going to slip?” or worst, “LEECH!”. The last one is for me.

When you’re out there in the jungle, it is a totally different story. The thing is, you have to concentrate and pay 100% to your running and surroundings. It was actually pretty exhausting and not very smooth at the start. But I can assure you that once you get the gist of it, it’ll be a breeze.

Some tips and lessons that I learned:

-Carry a padded strap backpack.

-If your backpack is half empty, stuff some towels in to fill it up. You wouldn’t want your things to be sloshing around as you run. A big no no.

-Opt to wear clothes with more covering. Long sleeve or long pants. I sustained a few cuts and bruises from brushing against branches and twigs along the path.

-Invest in a good pair of trail running shoes. Your feet will thank you for them.

-Pay attention when you run. When I say attention, I mean your FULL attention. This should be applied to your normal running too. (Opppppssss!)

Any thoughts? Do share!

 

Tis’ the season to be EATING!

It’s that time of the year again! Christmas and New Year celebrations are rolling in! When you think of these festivities, you’d think of your loved ones and of course, FOOD (the best part!)! There’s something so comforting and warm about being surrounded by your loved ones while enjoying a home-cooked meal.

EAT LOVE

Once you hit the relaxed and stress free mode, you tend to want to indulge in all the glorious foods that this season has to offer and break free from your healthy habits. You tell yourself that you’ll “get back on track” once the holiday season comes to an end. I usually fall into this trap. I tell myself that I’ll indulge NOW, and work twice as hard LATER. Well, that usually never happens. And if you’re living in Malaysia, festivities occur all year round. There is always a reason or season to be stuffing your face. Chinese New Year, Mooncake Festival… not to mention taking advantage of our multiracial culture by riding on other celebrations such as Hari Raya and Deepavali!

You may tell yourself that its only 1 pound of weight gained over the festive season, but 1 pound times 3-5 seasons a year adds up and you could be gaining a lot of weight over a few years.

What’s the harm you say? According to an article in the Nutrition Journal, it is difficult to lose the weight gained during the Holiday Season, even if it’s just 1 pound. This retained weight gain could have potential long-term health consequences. It is also important to note that this is a factor which contributes to adult obesity.

SISTER LOVE 2

Obesity? SAY WHAT?!

We all know that the key to enjoying holiday treats without the extra pounds is portion control. The problem lies in executing what we already know (portion control!) when temptations are right before our eyes. The next question would be: does this even apply to us runners? What better way to clear all speculations than to experiment with your own body. Studies and scientific research will give you many different views and answers, some saying that you may gain weight and some saying that you may not.

So, the best way is to be your own lab rat. For me, I find that when I over-indulge for just over one week while still continuing my weekly mileage, I’m pretty much immune to the unsightly tummy bulge. Of course, if you plan to continue at this rate without doubling your weekly mileage, you’ll be in for a surprise at the end of the holiday season!

SILLY PEOPLE!

Portion Control. Hmmmm…

 I came up with a few tips on how to not go overboard during this festive season! I am sharing what has worked for me but they may or may not work for you. At the end of the day, it is not what we know or don’t know. Rather, it is whether or not we are willing to and determined enough to avoid temptation.

  1. Put in that workout! This one is obvious and full proof against holiday weight gain. I know it is hard. I’ve been there. Quick tip: GET IT DONE FIRST THING IN THE MORNING! Get it over and done with and out of the way. That way, you’re free to help out around the kitchen or do your last minute shopping or maybe just spend quality time with your loved ones.
  2. Pace yourself. If you know that you’ll be attending a party that night, avoid heavy meals and unnecessary snacking throughout the day. The point is to eat light and not starve yourself.
  3. Doubling up! If you want to eat and not gain weight, you have to put in the work. Try doubling your workouts one month before the holiday season or slowly increase the intensity of each workout to burn off the excess fat. Come holiday season, you’ll be lean and mean to stuff your face with food. I’m kidding. You’ll just feel less guilty because you know you’ve worked your butt off for it.
  4. WATER WATER WATER! I cannot stress this enough. Hydration is so important! We tend to mistake thirst for hunger. And this is true because I have experienced this myself. Also, when we’re dehydrated, fatigue sinks in. And when that happens, we look for FOOD! Always keep a water bottle with you. STAY HYDRATED!
  5. Reflect. Think back on all those hours, blood, sweat and tears that you put yourself through. Waking up early in the morning when you’d rather be sleeping just to put in that run. Think about how far you’ve come on your journey. This should give you enough will power to say NO to over eating. Well, if it doesn’t then I don’t think you’re working hard enough! (HAHA!)
  6. The main focus. The focus during these festive seasons should be on your family and friends. This is the one time when family and friends from all over the world gather together. Use this time to catch up with them instead of stuffing yourself silly. Opportunities like these don’t come very often!
  7. Choose wisely. Always start off with fiber rich foods: fruits and vegetables! This would leave you feeling partially full. Decide on what you want to eat. If you want to spend your calories on that slice of cake that you’ve been eyeing on, then cut back on your mains.
  8. Maintenance. The goal for the holiday season should be focused on maintaining instead of losing or gaining. Rest well, eat well and run consistently. Put your weight loss goals on hold and don’t miss out on the holiday treats!
  9. It is OKAY to indulge. If you slip up, forgive yourself and move on. Don’t beat yourself up. Try eating a healthier meal the next day and slowly get back on track. You can do it!

SISTERLY LOVE

Ahhhh. NOM NOM NOM!

So there you go! I’m still cracking my head to come up with a 10th tip. Just to make things even. I’m OCD like that. When I eventually come up with one, I’ll add it in. Any ideas?

Till then, BLESSED CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR GUYS!

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