Surely, you’ve already seen those “gym fail” videos on YouTube. You might have even seen a fellow gym-goer in ActiveSG make quite a funny mistake. But funny or not, these are actually accidents that are very much avoidable. Luckily for you, you won’t have to make those mistakes if you continue reading!
Remember to do a proper warm-up
A lot of people (usually beginners) make the mistake of heading to the weight racks and just head directly to their workouts. This is a recipe for injury! Even so, jogging on the treadmill for five minutes and doing a few stretches won’t cut it as well. You have to do a proper warm-up before you start doing anything. Starting with the treadmill is okay but you should then follow it up with dynamic stretches. Doing a proper warm-up will significantly reduce your risk of injury.
Have a spotter with you
If you decide to lift heavy, always have a spotter with you. It can be your gym buddy, a trainer, or even some random gym-goer (remember to ask politely!). But even then, if you lift something too heavy that even your spotter won’t be able to do anything, then good luck buddy, you’re waiting for an accident to happen to you right in your face.
Don’t ego lift
Ego lifting is probably one of the biggest reasons why accidents happen in the gym. It’s basically lifting excessively heavy weights and sacrificing form just to feed your ego. Just don’t do that! There’s nothing wrong with not being able to lift heavy at all. More than anything, you’re keeping yourself safe from injury and you don’t risk damaging the gym equipment.
Be mindful of your surroundings
Another thing you should remember is to be mindful of your surroundings. If one person is doing a heavy bench press and you suddenly walk in the way of the bar path, the barbell might fall on that person’s face. Of course, this would cause an accident. But it’s also likely that it will get you in a fight. When you’re walking around to get equipment, remember to keep a safe distance between others who are in the middle of their sets.
Be careful when re-racking weights
A lot of people also make the mistake of not placing the weights on the rack properly. Chances are, those dumbbells or plates will fall off and crush yours or somebody else’s feet. Some even get their fingers crushed by the weights because they don’t put it back cautiously. Just don’t rush and take it slow when you have to re-rack your weights, especially if they are heavy.
We all know that virtual reality is a new form of entertainment commonly associated with gaming. Lately though, it’s been making rounds as a great partner to exercising. There are already a lot of gyms around Singapore that’s centered on VR fitness as well! If you think about it, it might actually be a great idea to add a different element to your workouts. So, here are some great reasons to give VR fitness a try.
It can literally get you addicted to fitness
Now, there are those people who are naturally inclined to exercising. Whether it’s weightlifting, Zumba, Pilates, or CrossFit, there are people who just love to exercise! And then there’s also those who find it relatively difficult to stay motivated during their sweat sessions. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with that! But if you really want to stay motivated to exercise, VR fitness might just be it. Because it’s just like playing a game, it will be quite addicting. And the bonus is, you won’t even notice that you’re already busting a sweat!
It can also give your brain a good workout
When you lift weights or jog, for example, your brain isn’t too involved aside from helping you focus on the muscles and also your surroundings. With VR though, you can improve your coordination, decision making, and analytical skills all while moving your body and working your muscles. Plus, this also has something to do with our motivation. Our brains tell us if what we’re doing is boring, so by doing VR, we’re basically fooling it to thinking that what we’re doing is fun.
You can do it in private
If you’re still a bit anxious or insecure about exercising, VR fitness can be a great choice because you can almost always do it on your own. You can enjoy a VR workout in the comforts of your home and even if you go to a VR gym, no one can watch you because everyone else is having a virtual reality experience for themselves. In addition to that, you won’t need to face common gym problems like people hogging the equipment sweaty machines!
It will be easy to track your progress
When it comes to exercising, one of the most common advice you’ll get is to have a fitness journal to track your progress. Naturally, you will get lazy from time to time and just stop writing in your journal altogether. That actually won’t be much of a problem with VR though. Almost all VR games track your movement during each session. Over time, you can see even the smallest changes in your endurance, speed, coordination, and more. And the bonus part is, the data will be very accurate since it’s monitored by an electronic system.
If you ask me, triathlons show the peak of human endurance and physical performance. Triathletes go for miles and miles with each discipline: running, cycling, and swimming. There are also many official triathlon events that happen in Singapore too! And if you yourself are gearing up for a triathlon event for the first time, here are some tips you need to know.
Slowly build your experience
Firstly, if you’re a complete beginner, you should start with smaller triathlon events first. It helps you get a feel for how triathlons actually work and you can also check your fitness level at that particular time. You do not want to go to a global event like the Ironman World Championship for your first try at a triathlon. The overall distance of the whole event is simply too much for a beginner.
Fit your training to your lifestyle
For one, you should never go to a triathlon event without training. But you should also create a program that fits your everyday schedule. Don’t create a training schedule that will interfere with more important daily activities. For instance, if you train too hard on a workday, both you’re mind and body will be exhausted. This can be detrimental to your long-term fitness and health. Just remember to make your training moderate but consistent.
Go with groups
The triathlon community in Singapore is actually bustling and there are a lot of individuals who enjoy doing meet-ups for training. Going with a group can add a different dynamic to your trainings. For one, it’ll be less boring. It’ll also be easier to stay motivated because you have to push yourself and keep up with the others’ pace. You might also get a lot of valuable advice from these fellow athletes.
Do brick sessions
Brick sessions or back-to-back workouts are considered integral parts of training for a triathlon event. A brick workout basically means you complete a bike and run workout or a bike and swim workout back-to-back. This is to help your body get used to transitioning from one exercise to the other. This is very important because the sudden transitions from swimming then cycling and lastly running are not as easy as it sounds.
Get used to open water swimming
Another very important part of training is to include open water swims. Although it won’t always be readily available, it’s still a valuable time for you to get used to the swim leg of the event. Swimming in open water can feel very different from practicing in the pool, especially with the pressure of the whole competition. So, try to expose yourself to that experience as much as possible.
Surfing is a pretty popular pastime in many countries. Singapore, though, doesn’t get big enough waves to surf on at all. The closest you can get to trying it out and learning is at Wave House at Sentosa where surfing waves are artificially created. Even so, there are many great reasons to try it out! Here are only some of them.
Surfing promotes physical fitness and health
If you think about it, surfers—aside from their actual ability to surf—are widely known for their fit bodies. For one, surfing is an aerobic activity where you can exercise your lungs and heart since you’ll be swimming as well. It also involves the use of your arms for paddling and the core and leg muscles for balance. It’s a great exercise for the body!
A time to be one with nature
Surfing is as natural as a sport can get. It’s an activity you do out in the open, out in nature. Surfing will give you a better perspective on nature and the environment. Though riding big waves out on the ocean can be fun things to do, many individuals consider their time surfing as a way to reconnect with nature. When you sit on your board watching the sunset on the horizon and feeling the water and breeze on your skin, it’s quite an enlightening experience.
You’ll have more reasons to travel
Sure, you can learn the basics at Wave House but at some point, you’ll actually want to try surfing in the open ocean. Though you can’t exactly do it in Singapore, there are many countries nearby that have good surfing spots! So now, you have another thing to add to your travel list. You might even meet other people who are willing to let you hop on their surfing adventures!
It’s a great way to relieve stress
Surfing can be very therapeutic. Traveling in itself can already be therapeutic. But when you’re out there it in the ocean just sitting on your board and waiting for a wave, you can live in that moment and forget about your problems and worries even just for a while. Plus, when you have to pay attention to your balance, you’ll barely have time to think about anything else!
Once you start learning how to surf, you’ll have a hard time getting out of the water. Gaining balance and slowly getting used to the board can feel like your first time riding a bike as a child. It brings out the kid in you! When you get your balance right consistently as you stand on the board, that’s where all the fun begins. You can ride as many waves as you want already!
Pregnant women are advised to eat food that make them feel happy. As long as the mother doesn’t get overweight, she can eat more than the usual number of meals and almost any food. That doesn’t mean, however, that regular exercise should be ignored. Studies show that women who stay fit throughout their pregnancy have fewer complications and have easier labor and childbirth.
Walking Guide for Pregnancy
Walking is the safest exercise to try if you don’t have any experience at the gym prior to your pregnancy. However, if you loved hiking before you got pregnant, you can still stick to your minimum 15-minute walks thrice a week. Once your body is used to the schedule, you can increase the walking sessions gradually up to 30 minutes. Some women can go for a total of 150 minutes weekly (which is about 30 minutes 5 times a week). Don’t forget to talk to your doctor if you experience back or pelvic pain during your third trimester.
Simple Exercises at Home
You don’t need to go to the gym to rid your body of aches and pains associated with pregnancy. Try the following simple exercises:
- To improve balance, place one hand on a sturdy chair and stand with your knees and toes pointed at 45-degree angles. Keeping your back straight, bend your knees to lower your torso, then straighten to return to your original position. Repeat.
- To strengthen your arms and shoulders, sit with your back straight and hold an object that weighs at least 5 pounds in each hand. Keep your elbows bent at 90-degree angles, then lift the weights up to your shoulder. Lower your arms back to the starting position then repeat.
- To strengthen your legs, lie on your side with your head supported on your forearm and one leg bent at a 45-degree angle. Support your body with the other free arm placed on the floor, then lift the other leg while keeping it straight to about hip’s height. Do the same with the other leg.
Gym Guide for Pregnant Women
If you have never been a regular in the gym prior to your pregnancy, you should consult your doctor about your plans to sign up for a membership. Some women can still keep up with their workout routines at the gym depending on their fitness level and experience. You will also need to consider which trimester you’re in and your overall feeling. You can sign up for prenatal classes if there are any because the workouts are designed primarily for expectant mothers.
The trainer usually recommends the following exercises for pregnant women: yoga, Pilates, water aerobics, stationary bike, treadmill, and elliptical training. Yoga focuses on breathing and movements, while Pilates can help you improve abdominal muscles. Water aerobics is usually recommended during the third trimester because it is safe and relaxing, just like moderate walking exercise on the treadmill. A stationary bike is also an option during the third trimester, but you can also try elliptical training if you’re experiencing joint and muscle pain.