When work-from-home (WFH) arrangements took effect for my company in February last year, my fitness levels took a major dip.
And by major dip I mean “great depression”, “wall-street crash”, kind of dip.
You see - I’m not exactly the fittest or most active person out there.
In fact, I’d probably be reincarnated as Jabba the Hutt in another life for my lazy and movement-averse ways.
Unlike other millennials who do trendy things like gymming, rock climbing or going for yoga/spin classes on a regular basis, I spend most of my free time Netflix-ing in bed or checking out the latest cafes, which if you haven’t inferred by now - isn’t very good for my health nor figure.
But in my defence, this way of living isn’t exactly unique to me.
Due to Covid-19 and WFH, people all over Singapore have been subject to more screen time and sedentary behaviour.
In fact, an article I read recently stated that Singaporeans are experiencing more mental health problems as a result of the pandemic.
The most recent edition of the National Population Health Survey also found that 40.2 per cent of Singapore residents do not exercise during their leisure time, with a higher proportion of this number being female (44.5 per cent).
This is despite physical activity being shown to have the following health benefits:
- Improves mental health
- Helps with weight management
- Keeps your heart, lungs and bones healthy
- Boosts your mood and makes you feel good
- Reduces the risk of coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, stroke and osteoporosis
After reading these alarming facts and statistics, I decided to make three simple tweaks to my daily routine to safeguard my health and try to manage my weight.
After all, if I don’t start taking charge of my fitness, who will?
1) Started doing more housework
As someone who absolutely hates sweating and doing anything that involves physical pain, the commitment to doing more housework was a pretty challenging one, not gonna lie.
While my mother and I usually take turns to vacuum and mop the floor every week, I decided to start cleaning our home more frequently.
This meant that instead of vacuuming and mopping the floor fortnightly, I now did so on a weekly basis.
I also made sure to leave a good distance between the ironing board and the clothes hanger so that I have to walk to and fro when ironing my own clothes.
2) Made daily trips out of home to dapao lunch for my family
With the WFH arrangement in effect for close to two years now, dapao-ing lunch has more or less become a routine in my household.
However, while my grandparents and I used to take turns to dapao food for each other from the nearby mall, I’ve recently started doing so everyday and walking a little further to the hawker centre to get food from there instead.
I’ve also decided to cut down on the amount of food deliveries I order per week so that I’m forced to leave my home to get lunch.
This not only saves me some money and gives me a good sweat, but I also get a mood boost from this mild workout by the time I return home as well.
3) Took more public transportation
Eating and cafe-hopping are two of my favourite pastimes, especially during off-days and weekends.
Due to the fact that many ~hipster~ cafes in Singapore are not located near MRT stations or easily accessible malls, I usually prefer to book a hitch ride to these places whenever I frequent them.
However, I’ve recently made it a point to take public transportation to a location nearest to the cafe I’m visiting, and then walk to the cafe with the help of directions from Google Maps.
This way, I get to eat my favourite food and feel good about burning some calories, while also getting reacquainted with different Singapore neighbourhoods.
Turn all those extra moves into eVouchers
If, like me, you are trying to increase how much you exercise and energise, why not have those moves turned into rewards?
Just register for National Steps Challenge™ Season 6, which is running from now till March 31, 2022.
To earn eVouchers worth up to S$85, here’s what you have to do:
- Download or update to the latest Healthy 365 app on the Apple store or Play store
- Sign up for the National Steps Challenge™ within the app
- Pair, move, sync, and get rewarded
You can start earning Healthpoints (which can be converted to eVouchers on the Healthy 365 app) when you clock a minimum of 5,000 steps or 10 minutes of Moderate to Vigorous Physical Activity (MVPA) daily.
To reap the maximum daily rewards, clock in 10,000 steps and 30 minutes of MVPA everyday.
You can also take part in the Early Bird Special and earn an extra 300 Healthpoints by clocking 10,000 steps daily for three days between October 1 to 10, 2021.
This challenge is open to anyone who meets the following criteria:
- Singaporeans and PRs with a valid NRIC, or foreigners with a valid FIN
- Aged 17 years or older (based on birth year) at point of registration
If you meet the criteria here, you will even be able to collect a HPB fitness tracker.
For more information, click here.
This sponsored article by the Health Promotion Board helped this writer adopt a healthier lifestyle.
Top image via Bruno Nascimento on Unsplash