Challenge Number One: Exercise!

There are two things you need to concentrate on if you want good health:

1. What you EAT

2. EXERCISE

So far I’ve gotten a small start on healthy food. Tiny changes here and there are sufficient enough for now. The bigger obstacle for me is getting my butt off the chair and start working out!

My friend and I started our #JuneFitChallenge where we plan to work out 3 times a week. That’s still three more times than normal. 😀 Each session will last around 30 minutes and include a combination of cardio and weight training.

Last year we solely relied on jogging at a park 15 minutes away from where we lived. It’s beautiful there and a calm reprieve from the bustling city. However, with the time it took for us to get ready, pack up and actually get there, our exercise regime became more of a burden than something beneficial.

Therefore, this time around we decided to try some workouts that could be done at home. We also planned on reserving our trips to outside facilities (such as the aforementioned park and a community swimming pool) either once a week or once a fortnight.

Our first three sessions were courtesy of the awesome Nike Training Club app that’s available at the App store. It’s filled with a massive amount of interval training workouts at varying levels and are usually timed at 15, 30 and 45 minutes. Absolutely perfect for people who don’t have enough time on their hands. It’s mobile too so you can work out wherever you go. It’s targeted for women but trust me, some men might have a hard time following the harder levels too. I recommend this if you’re an Apple user but one thing to note, the app size is quite big so be sure to download it on your computer before syncing in to your iPhone or iPad. Oh and did I mention that it’s free too? 🙂

Image from App Store

I also managed to get a copy of a Zumba DVD but we haven’t had the opportunity to try this one out yet. I’ve heard great reviews about Zumba. If done right with exuberance, it can burn off a lot more calories compared to walking and jogging. Plus it tones your tummy and is a fun group activity to do! If you want to find a gym with Zumba classes or a Zumba fitness instructor, you can do so from the official website, Zumba.com

Image from the Zumba website.

Fingers crossed for this week’s routine. Hopefully we can squeeze in another 3 sessions. We’ll get back to you next week!

What are YOUR favorite work outs? Do you prefer working out alone or in groups? Are competitive games more your thing or would you rather conquer the treadmill solo? Share with us!

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O is for Oats

When I first found out I had high cholesterol, I was pretty shocked. I was only 20 at that time and my cholesterol was around 6.4. It jumped to 6.7 in a few months and the doctor told me I had better push it down or else I’d have a heart attack by the time I hit 30. Too harsh? It was the truth.

The first thing people tell you when you mention high cholesterol is to take oats. Oats contain beta glucan, a type of soluble fiber that ushers out additional cholesterol (or cholesterol-like substances) before it joins the blood stream. Another plus point for diabetics, it is digested slowly due to its high fiber content. Thus, it doesn’t allow blood sugar levels to spike, keeping your insulin level stable.

Picture of Oats found through Google. Unfortunately, source could not be determined. If it’s yours and you need me to take it down, let me know.

If you would like to know more about the health benefits or oats, you can head over to WHFoods or Eat More Oats.

Even though I knew that oats were good, I couldn’t stomach the thought of having them everyday. Oats for breakfast, oats for lunch and oats for dinner. I wanted to hurl at the thought of consuming sludge at every meal. Nevertheless, I took it in anyway. First, it was with plain water. Then I added milk. Slowly, fruits shared the stage and finally, after some courage, I added tuna and black pepper as well. I began to enjoy my oats and I got quite excited with combining flavors.

Oats are versatile in the sense that you could add anything to amp up the flavor. Sweet or savory, your choices are endless. Of course you do have to remember, stick to things that are low in sugar and low in fat or else it defeats the purpose of a healthy diet.

My favorite combination is the one I have for breakfast. Oats, skim milk, honey and peanut butter. If I’m feeling especially hungry, I’ll add a banana. If you’re into clean eating, this is a good option, especially if you opt for natural peanut butter or milk alternatives like soy or almond. This is a low calorie breakfast option too, perfect for those who intend on losing weight. My breakfast was a total of 242 calories.

Nowadays I don’t have to rely on oats as much. I’ve found other alternatives that I think work better for me. However, I do plan on making some protein bars with oats. Anyone has any recipes they would like to share?
Do you take oats? What do YOU put in yours? Any combo suggestions or alternatives are welcome! 😀

A New Beginning

A new blog! Yay!

I recently read a book by Andrew Matthews about happiness and personal development. When we’re in a rut and it seems like we’re failing in all corners of life, all we have to do is just change ONE aspect and the rest follow suite. It’s like dominoes. When one falls, a whole chain of them will topple over sequentially. The same goes with life. You change your job, your marriage improves, you then get happier and your health improves. The key here is to just START something. Anything.

My goal here is to start with my health. I’ve been bombarded with several small health issues since I was young. From eczema to constipation to high cholesterol. My stamina is probably on par with my 87-year-old grandpa, if not worse. Therefore, this is where I begin my journey to greener, fitter pastures. Hopefully, I’ll be able to pull the rest of my life out of the doldrums as well.

I’ll be posting what works for me in terms of food, exercise and motivation. If you have any suggestions and help, please do share! I would love to know more!