Author: Isaac Kan
It’s disheartening to hear stories about individuals who have built up an illness during this time and some have had their mobility taken away from them. It makes me think that I’ve been so blessed to still be fully functional.
If there’s one thing that I’ve learnt from this pandemic is gratitude for still being mobile and active.
In this current climate there is nothing more important than our health, so staying active / exercising is key to keeping us healthy physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
Now that gyms are back open across the nation, some people like me are still sceptical with returning to the gym. Thus, I’ve decided to put my membership on freeze until next year. This isn’t because I’ve become a lazy potato, but more so because I’ve learnt more about myself and how I can stay fit without a gym membership. I kid you not, if you’re creative enough, there are many things you can do with or without equipment (or at least minimal). To name a few, cycling, running, bodyweight training, skipping and yoga. In fact, it should actually be a lot more convenient for you to exercise at home, now that you don’t need to commute to a gym. The only set back is being too comfortable at home and not being disciplined to be consistent. If you don’t like exercising alone, find a partner to start off with. Overtime, I do recommend trying exercising alone, that way you don’t make excuses for your partner not being available. This also helps with being disciplined and making yourself accountable.
Exercising to me is the best cure to all or at least most things. Especially when you’re working from home and facing the monitor most of the day, or perhaps seeing the same faces in your house. Or even worse, not having anyone to speak to in the house (for those who live alone). Taking a morning stroll before work helps to set us up for the day. Getting some fresh air and vitamin D whilst its summer is a great feeling. Even during work, I’ll make the most of it by getting out my seat to stretch, do a couple of yoga pose or even do a handstand against the wall. It really helps me with alleviating any stress, but also the fact that I’m no longer in the office, so I don’t have to worry about people watching me. Over lunch, I always try to get a stroll in before I head back to my desk. Nothing beats returning to my desk feeling rejuvenated.
For the past 115 days, I’ve been on a running spree; running every day for at least 3.2miles (5km) regardless of circumstance. Whether it’s raining or late in the evening, I’m going to get my run in. Initially, I started running as a 30-day challenge. However, during that 30 day I randomly came across a YouTuber (HellaGood) who’s been running every day for the past 3 years+, and I thought to myself, “if he could do it, then surely i Kan” (yes, that was a deliberate typo as my name is Isaac Kan haha). His reason and belief truly inspired me to continue running after the 30 days and stopping hasn’t crossed my mind since. I don’t really want to set a date and time, but to let things flow and see where it takes me. My main strive of running every day is the meditative effect and the feeling it gives me which makes me feel alive - perhaps the happy hormones and the feeling of my heart pounding. Not to mention, it’s probably one of the most accessible exercise, simply a pair of trainers is all you need. Running everyday also reminds me of not taking things for granted and enjoying the present moment whilst I’ am still capable of doing things freely.
Hypothetically speaking, If life allows me to live up to 100, I’d like to still be active and exercise. Most importantly still capable of doing everything myself. I want to be an aspiration for the younger generation to look at me and say “damn, I wish I look as good as him when I’m old”. I truly do believe the saying “use it or lose it”, so whilst we are blessed to be mobile, why not spend 30 minutes or more to move that awesome body of ours to break a sweat. I promise you; your body will thank you. On the other hand, If I was to wake up the next day not being able to move, I can at least say that I’ve had my fair share of being active. Now I can rest up and work on something else in life.
If you’ve never exercised, then here are my top tips on getting started
- The key to staying active is finding what you enjoy the most. Whether it’s running, cycling, skipping, lifting weights, yoga etc, you need to have an open mind to try out all forms of exercise so you can get a feel of it and see if you enjoy it.
- Don’t go all out and try exercising 5 days a week, ease yourself in by doing 2-3 days week and overtime, as your body adapts (less soreness), add another day.
- Similar to point number 2, start your sessions short e.g. 15-20mins, and over time increase the duration to 20-30mins and/or perhaps increase the intensity. Take running for example, jog for 30 seconds then walk for 1 minute. Repeat that for 10 rounds and you’ve already clocked 15 minutes. Over time, increase your jogging time to 45 seconds and reduce the walking time. Furthermore, increase the duration to 20 minutes.
- Make sure you rest and get enough sleep. It’s so important for our body to recover as we become more active, so ensure you have adequate amount of sleep.
- Eating foods to fuel our body but also assist with recovery. If you’re not aware of it already, building a good relationship with wholesome foods is key to nourishing our body. For example, blueberry, raspberry or berries in general are awesome sources of anti-inflammatory foods, packed with vitamins and minerals.
- Have fun and enjoy the form of exercise you’re doing. Only then you would stick to it and make it part of your lifestyle.
I wish this has helped you in some way shape or form to start your journey on being more active.
As cliché as it may sound, it’s never too late to start, but to regret that you never started.