Even the government has got in on the action to make the city-state an epicentre of wellness courtesy of impressive initiatives that include everything from incentives to exercise to recommendations for healthy eating.
Yet, we all need reminders to stay in shape, so think of this as your 10 Commandments for staying healthy in Singapore and always remember that Moses walked up the mountain rather than hiring a car to get there!
1.Thou shall be honest with thyself.
Why is this first? Because one of the prime reasons humans get out of shape and become unhealthy is because they’re not honest, even when the truth is evident. Start with one small goal to launch your self-discovery efforts: Determine your Body Mass Index (BMI) and make immediate changes in your lifestyle if your numbers are 27.5+ (high risk) or 23 to 27.5 (moderate risk).
Congratulate yourself if you’re at 22.9 and lower.
2. Thou shall not eat boring or bland food!
Count on Singapore’s Health Policy Monitor (HPM) to keep you on track with diet and health-related information. You will have to suck it up while weaning your body from junk food addictions, but the pride you’ll take in your body once you come through the valley of the shadow of dieting will make the pain so worthwhile!
Does that mean kissing duck rice, candy bars, fast food burgers, Nasi Lemak and Char Kway Teow goodbye? What do you think?
2. Thou shall make friends with YouTube
Why live like a pauper to pay for a pricey health club membership when you can take advantage of free online fitness programs that range from mellow yoga to high energy cardio dance classes? Invest in home equipment to turn your space into a private fitness studio, but if your budget is tighter than your leg muscles, make substitutes. One-litre soft drink bottles filled with water make great weights and thick blankets suffice as exercise mats.
Take stairs rather than elevators; why pay for step aerobics classes?
3. Thou shall get off your butt
Getting proper exercise in concert with a solid diet is a powerful combination and there is no shortage of parks, running paths, connectors and trails here at home to help you achieve your goal. Access the Singapore Sports Council and learn about ActiveSG.
Frequent low-admission public facilities like swimming pools, badminton courts and public gyms and join a running club now!
5. Thou shall lead the multitudes from the land of fat to the land of lean.
Does the idea of getting together a posse of like-minded people to get and stay healthy in Singapore strike a chord? You find the people. The nation provides venues: neighbourhood parks, community centres, Marina Barrage, school yards, reservoirs — and that’s just the beginning. Set a time and place that’s convenient for everyone and if you need a push, pick up a workout DVD, learn the moves and pass them on.
Alternately, neighbourhood sports centres are cheap to use (about S$3.30), so drag your peeps with you.
6. Thou shall follow sensible fitness trends — not fads.
It’s easy to get caught up in Singapore’s latest food or workout craze without realising that it’s nothing more than a fad destined to resemble a comet jetting across the night sky. If you can’t consult with a nutritionist or personal trainer, become a savvy differentiator.
You’re already aware of bad practices that span everything from binge eating to yo-yo dieting, so stay tuned to top Singapore fitness bloggers for ongoing advice about what’s hot and what’s not.
7. Thou shall respect Singapore weather.
You can whine about it. But unless you intend to move to the Gobi where the desert air doesn’t threaten respiratory systems, making friends with our “changeable” seasons is your lone solution. When haze settles over the land, you know enough to stay indoors, correct?
If you must go out, buy a mask to protect your lungs. Show your quirky side with a mask that suits your personality or research government-approved masks — especially if you already suffer lung or breathing issues.
8. Thou shall get your hands lots-O-apps.
Apps? Everyone’s got ’em — from the Apple to the Google stores and everywhere else in cyberspace — and you want ’em. Peruse our “Go Digital & Better Your Run: 10 Popular Phone Apps For Running” list to get the inside story on the newest and best ones, and add the Nike+ Run Club app so you don’t get lost — in cyberspace or on the trail.
9. Thou shall take advantage of government initiatives.
Look for HPB initiatives like the “Live Healthy, Get More from Life” festivals that travel to areas including Jurong East, Toa Payoh and Tampines. While you’re at it, upcoming National Healthy Lifestyle campaigns shine a spotlight on public health crises like diabetes using interactive exhibits and game stations to educate and inform.
Singapore’s new Diabetes Action Plan rolls out throughout 2017 with a Caregiver Access Module for HealthHub, “Singapore’s first one-stop online health information and services portal.”
10. Thou shall keep reading our magazine!
You knew that was coming, right? Keep tabs on our closest running partnerships for late-breaking news and information (we can’t be everywhere at once, though we try) by bookmarking us and Spacebib so you’re the smartest Singaporean running specimen on the planet.
And wait until you get a glimpse of the future courtesy of our health and fitness investigations, reviews and tips for making your health our priority!
If you were asked to contribute an 11th Commandment to our list, what would it be?