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Friday, November 25, 2016

Learning to Cycle as an Adult {in my 30s} !!!

Confession: Until 3 weeks ago, I did not know how to balance on a bicycle and cycle on my own.

Don't get me wrong, I love cycling {and do it very often on our Assault Airbike for exercising}... it's just that I can't balance on my own?? haha.. It's not that I haven't tried learning before. I remember my mum brought me to learn when I was a kid and just on that day I almost manage to master it, we got into a car accident and she never brought me back out to practise again (*≧▽≦)

Over the years, some of my friends tried to teach me too but I just couldn't get the hang of balancing on my own. Of course, I am kinda bummed not being able to ride a bike on my own sometimes but it never really bothered me too much. I don't use it in my daily life for transport, especially in Singapore, and my family/ friends and I are hardly ever out cycling for recreational purposes. If there's a need to, I'd just rent a tandem bike and cycle with someone.

Or, there's always my trusty 2 legs haha... I love going for strolls and walks to explore places.

In Japan, bicycles are widely used. People ride it all over to the shops, park, school or work. When I was studying and staying the dorm at Ryukoku, my friends and I used to love going to this 100円回転 sushi place to binge on delicious and cheap sushi! It isn't that accessible by public transport as there's no direct bus or train there. It takes about 20 minutes by bike... or about 45 minutes by walking. Most of them are able to cycle but we would usually all walk together. Sometimes though, they would take their bikes and because Min and I can't cycle, we would walk. It really worked up our appetite though and gave us a good exercise to burn those calories after our full meal so honestly, I didn't mind one bit!!

Yup, it was nice knowing that there was someone else who didn't know how to cycle even as an adult too haha.

I was resigned to my fate of never being able to cycle on my own until recently, a cycling enthusiast friend found out that I couldn't cycle and took it upon himself to want to teach me and another friend who happened to not be able to cycle too.

A group of us went down to East Coast Park one Saturday to try and get this other friend and me to learn how to cycle. I didn't bear much hope of mastering the bike in one session but lo and behold!!! I manage to balance and cycle on my own after about 30 minutes!!! Hooray!!! So so pleased and thankful to my friends who were patient enough to teach a me to cycle even after 30+ years...

So you see, you can teach an old dog new tricks haha ( ᐛ )و

I love my new-found freedom of riding a bike and have been rather addicted to riding. Can't wait to go faster and further!!

I've been practising at least once a week since I learnt how to cycle and on my second practice session, my family and I went from East Coast Park all the way to Gardens by the Bay via the park connectors. I never knew that it was so close and accessible to one another!!

Really, it's amazing how much you can discover and explore on a bike...

Unfortunately when we reached there, my rented bicycle's rear derailleur broke and I had to walk and push it all the way back to East Coast Park again to exchange for another one *groan*

Last weekend, I learnt how to shift bicycle gears to pedal up and downhill more efficiently, and how to brake more smoothly.

I am still sticking to the park connectors and even then, I get nervous when I have to cycle near other people so will try to go to less crowded areas. Slowly, I'll try to gain confidence to cycle on pathways, roads and maybe even mountain trails haha...

I'm planning to get my own bicycle for Christmas but have not decided on what to purchase yet. Any ideas or suggestions for a first bike??

Ever since I shared that I only recently learnt how to cycle as an adult a few weeks ago, at least 6 people have come up to tell me that they still don't know how to cycle too! Well, I hope that they get to learn real soon!!!

Most adults would already know how to cycle so if you can, just grab a patient friend / family member to teach you. However, if you don't want to impose on them and don't mind paying someone to coach you, I searched online and found that there are structured adult cycling classes that you can go to at Biking Singapore, Cycle School SG and Singapore Bike School {founded by Daddy Kenneth who shared about his fatherhood journey on my blog previously}.

Cycling is not a necessity in our society, but it does help improve our health in many ways by increasing cardiovascular fitness, increasing muscle strength and flexibility, improving joint mobility, improving posture and coordination.... not to mention it is super fun, relaxing and can be enjoyed by the whole family!

I foresee us going for many more cycling sessions in the near future haha (⌒▽⌒)☆

Know anybody who still can't ride a bike?
What do you suggest to get for a first bike? Something cheap or second-hand? 
Or invest in a good, expensive one?

P.S. If you want to get fit & have fun with your family, Safari Zoo Run 2017 is coming up!

There's an early bird promo until 30 Nov 2016 and just for my blog readers and friends, enjoy 10% off current rates when you register from now until 15 Jan 2017 using my promo code: SZR2017BGPSAKUHARU10 (*^▽^)/


Friday, November 18, 2016

15% Body Fat Target Reached! | Operation 健康アップ

Sorry that I haven't been updating as often on my blog for my fitness journey at the gym. I still do it frequently on my other social media accounts i.e. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and even post videos on YouTube so if you are interested, do connect with me there.

Decided to post an update now because of two things. Firstly, over the past few weeks I've had various strangers reach out at my gym {!!!} or online to tell me how inspired they are by what I have achieved and shared on the blog, and how it has motivated them to start exercising more too. Thank you so much for telling me.. it really makes me so encouraged to carry on and share more of my fitness story.

Secondly, I had a measurement last weekend and finally, FINALLY... I hit my body fat composition target of 15%!! Wooohooo!!! I'd been stuck at 16% for half a year and finally had a breakthrough!! ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ

The amount of body fat you have is an important measurement of health. Too little fat isn't good as you need essential fat for basic physical and physiological health, while obviously too much fat isn't ideal as well. As a rough guide for women, an obese lady has 32+% body fat, an average lady has 25-31% body fat, a fit lady has 21-24% body fat, and an athletic lady has 14-20% body fat.

It's important to track body fat composition when getting lean as you need to know that you are  losing fat, and not your muscles when training. That's why the numbers on weighing scales don't really matter and how 2 people who weigh the same can look perfectly different when one person trains, while the other doesn't. Since I started training regularly, I've lost only 4kg on the scales but more than half my body fat {32.2% to 15.57%}.

Here are a few ways you can measure your body fat percentage by yourself, or go to a GP. Jen helps me to measure mine at the gym.  

In the grand scheme of health, I don't need to hit 15% body fat as I'm already considered lean at 16%. But I want to, just for kicks ੧(❛▿❛✿)੭ It gave me a goal to work towards, motivated me to stay on track with my training / diet.. and provided me with a measure on how well I was doing.

I probably could have achieved this milestone earlier as I had already hit 16.1% in May 2016. However, I went on various holidays and breaks in my training, and for the past 2 months had to nurse a back injury which disrupted my usual training quite a bit. Other than that one day at CrossFit where I hit my conventional deadlift PR, I have not been lifting heavy for the past 2 months and for a period of time, only trained my upper body.

However, thanks to Superman who conscientiously planned my rehab programs, forced encouraged me to do more heart-pumping metcon workouts & dreaded prowler pushes, and reminded me constantly to watch my diet & recovery.. at long last I reached my body fat target. Appreciate other people at Genesis like Jen and Boon who helped me to plan my nutrition plan and execute my training program, as well as my family for their constant support too (*⌒∇⌒*)

If I have only one tip for you on how to stay on a fitness journey, it is that you really need a village for support. The first few days are easy as you are powered by enthusiasm and positivity. However, after you hit a few roadblocks, feel beaten by tiredness and hunger a few times, or see no significant progress.. you tend to lose hope and willpower. And that's when you need to lean on your village for encouragement and support to just keep going.

I am beyond thankful for mine

So what next after hitting this body fat composition target of mine? Well, Superman thinks I should try to go lower to show my more of my abs by June next year haha. Currently I kinda have 4-pack that plays peek-a-boo with me throughout the day... {another gym client was there when Superman was helping me to take the photos & she told me "nice abs!" though haha}  

Jen also thinks that there's still room for me to decrease my body fat percentage while building muscles and the boy is supportive of this too.

I am ok with just maintaining at 15% but I love a good challenge and if my village thinks I can and should go even lower, why not? (☆▽☆) I will work towards that.. however now I want to focus more on building back my muscles and hitting my strength targets too i.e. squatting at 1.5x body weight, deadlifting 2x body weight and doing pull-ups with 0.25x body weight.

P.S. If you want to get fit & have fun with your family, Safari Zoo Run 2017 is coming up!

There's an early bird promo until 30 Nov 2016 and just for my blog readers and friends, enjoy 10% off current rates when you register from now until 15 Jan 2017 using my promo code: SZR2017BGPSAKUHARU10 (*^▽^)/


Friday, November 11, 2016

Safari Zoo Run 2017, Here We Come! + Promo Code

Safari Zoo Run was the first family fun run we ever took part in! ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ

It is super fun and we looooooove running through the Singapore Zoo as it shows a different side of the zoo that visitors would otherwise never see!! We participated in it in Safari Zoo Run 2013 and 2014, but unfortunately couldn't make it the past 2 years..

Registration for Safari Zoo Run 2017 just opened last week though and hurray!! Looks like we can go!! #happiness

Safari Zoo Run was conceived to commemorate Singapore Zoo’s famous matriarch and one of Singapore’s most loved animal personalities — Ah Meng the Sumatran orangutan, who died of old age in February 2008. The objectives of this run are to encourage family bonding and raise awareness on wildlife conservation.

This year, the Safari Zoo Run is themed "Run for Wildlife" and features 4 animal icons for Safari Zoo Run 2017 - Ah Meng the Orangutan, Chawang the Asian Elephant, Canola the Manatee and Sunny the Hornbill. It focuses on raising awareness for wildlife conservation. Each animal icon team supports an endangered wildlife species that the Singapore Zoo would like to raise awareness for.

Participants can choose an animal icon team to support and raise awareness for them during the run. Find out more about the animal icons teams here.

I like orang utans the most out of the group so I guess I'd be choosing Team Ah Meng?? hahaha..

These are the different categories and fees for Safari Zoo Run 2017. There's an early bird promo until 30 Nov 2016 and just for my blog readers and friends, enjoy 10% off current rates when you register from now until 15 Jan 2017 using my promo code below!

Yes, the code is valid even during the early bird promotion period (*^▽^)/

Promo Code: SZR2017BGPSAKUHARU10

Do note that for the 5.5km Safari Zoo Family Run and 2.5km Safari Zoo Family Dash, individual adult participation is fine {i.e. you don't have to run with family members} but kids cannot run alone... not that I think anybody would want that to do that too haha. Kids under 12 years old require adult supervision by a registered participant and due to safety reasons, one adult can only take care and be paired with one kid in the non-competitive race.

As with past years, the runner's race pack is pretty awesome and makes the registration fee pretty good value-for-money, especially when you use my promo code for the additional discounts haha:
  • Safari Zoo Run 2017 Race Apparel worth $39.90
  • Safari Zoo Run 2017 Finisher’s Medal
  • Free admission to Singapore Zoo worth $33 {on 18 Feb 2017 only}
  • Free admission to River Safari worth $30 {after 12.30pm on 18 Feb 2017 only}
  • 50% discount voucher to Jurong Bird Park that saves you $14.50 {till 31 Mar 2017}
  • 50% discount voucher to Night Safari that saves you $22.50 {till 31 Mar 2017}
  • Exclusive F&B and Retail offers {on 18 Feb 2017 only}

I'm thinking of signing up for the 5.5km Safari Zoo Family Run. For our last 2 family runs this year {My Little Pony Friendship Run & Snoopy Run} we haven't been using Lil Pumpkin's stroller but she still needed us to carry her at some points due to tiredness haha.. I hope to build up her endurance to run the whole way on her own for this upcoming run and will be planning some practice runs and hikes with her (⌒▽⌒)☆ We will probably practise at part of the Zoo route too since we recently got the Friends of the Zoo family membership which gives us unlimited entry into the Singapore Zoo ( ´ ▽ ` )ノ

If you're going to join the run, holler out to me!! Hope to see you there! ✧◝(⁰▿⁰)◜✧ Check out the rest of our Bub & Me activities or list of kid-friendly places in Singapore too.

Promo: Quote SZR2017BGPSAKUHARU10 for 10% OFF current rates. Valid until 15 Jan 2017.

Safari Zoo Run 2017
Date: Sat 18 Feb 2017
Time: From 6am
Venue: Singapore Zoo, 80 Mandai Lake Road
Website: http://safarizoo.run/


Friday, November 4, 2016

Fitness Diary :: Halloweeen WOD @ CrossFit Mobilus

One thing I really like about CrossFit is the community. The camaraderie CrossFit instills and celebrates amongst its members is amazing. It's a very inclusive community and everyone seems to feel welcome and part of the #fitfam ( ᐛ )و

And that makes the exhilarating, challenging workouts even more fun! I love the friendly competitions and enthusiastic spirit when doing the WODs and my fave kind of WODs are when they are done in teams.

Monday was Halloween and our box asked people to come in costumes to do the workouts that day. I was super excited!!! It's easy for kids to dress up as their favourite characters whenever they like but since I came back to Singapore I haven't really had much chance to cosplay anywhere so I was happy to find back my old Japanese maid {メイドさん} costume and wear it hahahaha.

CrossFit style, of course (*^▽^*) ... had my long sports socks and Reebok nano shoes on heh.

Lil Pumpkin dressed up as Sleeping Beauty too. Her Disney Princess dress is actually reversible and there's Snow White on the other side. When I bought it in Shanghai for her last year it was actually a little big.. now it fits her perfectly.

The boy thought of dressing up to but couldn't find a wig and gave up. Ah well..

We went in for the 5.30pm session and thank goodness that we were doing deadlifts! Wooohoo!! I wouldn't want to do cleans or front squats in case it destroyed my dress hahaha. This was our partner workout:

i. 10 x banded Hip Thrusters
ii. 10 x barbell Good Morning

i. Find 1RM Deadlift for the day {13mins cap} - 205lb / 93kg
ii. 5x4 @ 80% 1RM Deadlift - 180lb / 80kg

WOD {10mins cap, RDL @ 30% 1RM Deadlift - 65lb / 29.5kg}
i. 100m row + 5 RDL
ii. 200m row + 10 RDL
iii. 300m row + 15 RDL
iv. 400m row + 20 RDL

I partnered Dephne that day.. she's strong and hit her Deadlift PR that day!!

It has been a loooooong time since I lifted heavy so I was really happy to hit my Conventional Deadlift PR too! {although I did feel bad for not listening to Superman to rest my back.. #oops}

I usually do Hybrid Deadlifts and this was the first time I did so heavy for my Conventional... in my メイドさん costume no less, yay!!

Actually not many people came in costumes which was a bit disappointing, but I still had fun nonetheless.

I think word got out too late plus maybe not many people are into it especially if they have to come in after work haha.

I hope for the Christmas holiday workout more people will dress up though!! But..whatever should I wear??! hahaha

Ever dressed up in costumes for your exercises?
What should I dress up as for our Christmas WOD??