Sunday, March 22, 2015

Healthy Lifestyle Starts with a Walk at MacRitchie




I used to run a lot.

I was not a runner in the school team or anything but I loved to run. I was rather active and healthy back in secondary school and JC days.

I would always remember that fateful day during 1st 3 month JC days when I ran more than 20 rounds around the track trying out for the different CCAs... all in a day. And I continued to run to try out for more CCAs over the week. I think I ran more than 50 rounds that week.

I wonder how my body took it back then.

And then everything spiralled downwards when I started working.

There was once a few years ago when I was running my second round around the track of my neighbourhood sports complex. I was already feeling dead beat and started to jog instead of run. The next moment, an old man with a full head of shiny grey hair dashed past me and became the size of a mere peanut in just seconds.

I knew I was too tired to continue and pride took over the instance I saw "Silver Peanut" across the track to my left. I slowly jogged my way to the fitness corner and started doing sit ups before Silver Peanut dashed past me the second time.

The whole time I was pretending to do doing sit ups, Silver Peanut ran 4 more rounds.

Either Silver Peanut was awesome or I was awful.

The only exercise I engage in nowadays would be walking -- from my desk to the loo, to the different departments, to lunch venues and during daily commutes.

Like a bolt from the blue, I decided to embark on a healthier lifestyle from now onwards. If I could neither run nor jog that much any more, I figured I could still walk.



We usually love to sleep in till afternoon on Saturdays to replenish all the lost sleep over the work week (4-6 hour sleep per day). Two Saturdays ago, we both happened to rouse up at 8am and I decided to drag the hubby out for a walk at MacRitchie Reservoir Park.




It was the first time taking the boardwalk route. Despite the humidity, it was really lovely walking by the reservoir under the cool shade of trees.

Yeah, I should not be wearing fashionable Puma sneakers for a walk at Mac Ritchie but one sole of my Asics sports shoes had come off since the last walk a year ago, leaving me with the excuse not to exercise for that same period of time.




So comfortable was that part of the trail that the hubby morphed into a social media junkie and was thumbing away at his phone posting photos on Facebook and replying to comments.




I love it when nature is accommodated into refurnished spaces like how this horizontal tree is incorporated into the boardwalk space instead of being chopped down.

Btw, the sign cautions people of the low height. Evil kh uploaded this photo on Facebook and started tagging his short friends saying that they would not hit their heads on this tree. -_-|||




My triceps are loose and flabby. Kh asserts that when I wave, the flabs of my chicken wing arms would flap into my face. -_-||| So I declared I should tone my arms by lifting the water bottle in this manner while walking. I only succeeded a set of 10 coz I looked stupid and would stop whenever there were people in sight.




I was really intrigued by the water plants dancing a little water dance with the ebb and flow of the waves.




I don't know much about water plants but I do know that these remind me of the burial ground in the novel 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. In my mind's eye when I read the part on the underwater cemetery, this just the sort of picture I painted.

Of course you need to imagine that you are a tiny little human being to see what I mean.




You know you have watched too many cartoons when you spotted this and whispered to the husband, "I suspect there is somebody hiding under the water. Look at the breathing tube."




There were lots to marvel at along the boardwalk like monkeys...




... and a little tree that has sprouted starkly in the water without a care in the world that it is out of place.




This part of the reservoir converges into some "water trap". Look at the taller grass further in the picture. You would sink into the water if you walked there. Beautiful but deadly.




This signboard lied. We seemed to walk forever and did not reach the Tree Top Walk. We set a more realistic goal of reaching the Jelutong Tower. Neither did we reach there. I blamed the scorching sun.




Let's do the limbo rock! How low can you go?




I never liked the gravelled forest trail back during cross-country days and I detest it still. The gravel path is to prevent mudslides during rainy days but my knees started to ache like a grandmama's during rainy days as my feet slid across gravel after gravel.




After we emerged from the forest trail, the golf course scene greeted us. I was so thankful to be walking on dirt path instead of sliding over gravels.




However, the scorching sun was a huge turn off.




Our water had run out and the water body of the golf course was like an oasis to me.




Remember the sign post from before? At the next signboard with a simplified map, the hubby deduced that we had to walk about 2 hours in total to the Jelutong Tower and back to the shade of the forest trail and suggested we head back since I was almost dying of thirst.




Even though Singapore is a tropical country without the 4 seasons, the blooming of flowers seem to coincide with the seasons in the northern hemisphere. Certain trees would see bursts of blooms during the month of March.




Little fallen yellows.




This is another stretch of deadly trap. Under all the greens is huge water body.




Back into the forest path, I heard sounds of crackling leaves only to see a monitor lizard. How this predator crept noisily through the dead leaves and be able to catch its prey is beyond me.




By the time we caught a glimpse of civilization far ahead, my fingers had gone really numb. It was the first time in my life I experienced numbness and I concluded that I've not exercised for so long that I had become really weak. The only thought I had done to keep myself going was 1, 2, 3 100 Plus, 1, 2, 3, 100 Plus. I was almost seeing white from dehydration and craved for nothing but 100 Plus.




I wondered if monkeys used this as a swing.




Have pity on the monkeys. Do not feed them. What a funny way to warn people not to feed the monkeys.




Monkeys monkeys everywhere.




This was my favourite sight of all -- The cafe in the distance!




The nostalgic zig zag bridge. We would usually do warm ups before crossing the zig zag bridge to the start point of the cross-country race back in school.




SUPER EXHAUSTED!




After the walk, we indulged ourselves with 100 Plus served in a glass with straw and shared a Red Bull Float. Drinks always feel a lot more refreshing when drunk from a straw.




Ending off this post with a picture of us and our dead beat expressions. We walked for about 8km and we didn't even reach our destination. Sad case.




After this episode, I feel strongly for the need to exercise on a more regular basis to maintain a healthy lifestyle. 

How about you? Do you lead a healthy lifestyle? What are some exercises that you incorporate in your daily life? 

32 comments:

  1. I'm not sure do I lead a healthy lifestyle...sometimes I do manage to exercise regularly and establish some kind of routine but sometimes it is just impossible. I do walk a lot because I hate to drive so I think I'm relatively fit....btw I hate jogging so much!!! I would do it occasionally when other sports and exercises were not available but I really dislike it. I can manage a bit of sprinting, that makes me feel ok, but I could never run a marathon...I was laughing imagining that old guy running past. I know it must have been annoying. Those senior jogger that you get to see on the beach sometimes make me feel inadequate as well!

    I like yoga but lately I've been slacking a bit on that....and I try and manage most of the time do to my back exercises because I have scoliosis. Hiking is something I really enjoy...and I enjoyed seeing these photos. Time spend in nature is always a time well spent.

    You have such a wonderful sense of humor...and I must watch a lot of cartoons myself because I see a snorkeling device on that photo as well...and maybe the pray that the lizard catches is deaf? maybe they don't hear him not matter how loudly he stamps over those leaves?

    Tagging short friends on fb and telling them they wouldn't hit that tree? That's a bit mean, but maybe that's just your husband's sense of humor so those who know him won't mind:):)

    Have a lovely weekend sweetie!

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    1. Ivana, From what you said, I do think you get enough exercise. I feel that as long as we do walk a little every day, it is considered exercising. Hehehe… Or am I trying to kid myself? I’m so glad we see the same snorkelling device. Haha… The child in us!

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  2. Wow Jo.. when I had not exercised very much and I started... I only started with a 20 minute walk and I built on it over weeks... the longest walk I have done to date was about 10K... I have not been walking for about 3 weeks due to the non stop snow we have here in Nova Scotia, we have banks taller than us... I cannot wait for the snow to melt so I can see the pavement and walk again. However; I will not be walking miles the first day... I will be building up.... I even jog/run a little but I am sure that will take a few weeks to build up to as well.

    I am making it part of my lifestyle this Spring, Summer and Fall... the Winters are tough here but I plan to walk as much as I can then too... I need and want to stay healthy, it is too easy to get out of shape...

    I also try not to walk in the extremely hot weather, I usually walk really early in the morning, or later in the day after dinner... when the sun has gone down... the few times I walked in the sun, it was not good for me, I didn't feel well xox <3

    The monkeys look cute but I would be a bit afraid of them... I definitely wouldn't feed them either, I wouldn't want them to be aggressive with me...

    Have a great rest of the weekend xox

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    1. Launna, I think you walk a lot! More than me perhaps. And yes, walking in the sun is no good at all. I hope you keep up to your exercise routine when the warmer weather springs in. I have a love-fear relationship with monkeys. While they look cute observing from a distance, my heart never fails to palpitate more quickly when a group of them walk much too close to me. There are cases of aggressive monkeys especially for people carrying food items.

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  3. That looks like a lovy place for a walk--except where the dirt path leads I to the woods. That could be a creepy spot. Did the mo keys behave??? You and hubby both look pretty fit. So if you're not, it won't take long to get back to where you want to be.

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    1. Rick, The dirt path actually leads out of the woods. It isn’t creepy at all. Ooh, looks can be deceiving. We have grown old and less fit over the years. >_<

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  4. This is me too, Jo. I did competitive swimming and tennis throughout primary and secondary school. I even managed 6 days a week training in gym when I was working but all that is no more after married and having a baby. :-/ I do miss it sometimes, having a very toned and fit body but I guess my priorities have changed. These days is more about quality time with little one and hubby instead of sweating in gym. I still do yoga once a week, it's not enough for sure but at least I'm doing something or that's what I am telling myself. LOL!

    You look damn fit girl so don't have to worry about it. Honestly, I would be damn happy if I'm as slim as you! xx

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

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    1. Shireen, Wow… you’re quite the sports girl back then! For now, I think that doing yoga once a week is a form of exercise too. In fact, taking care of your little one is quite a bit of informal exercise too. Looks are deceiving! I’m far from fit, not to mention damn fit. lol

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  5. Monkeys!!! So cool. That would be fun to walk with monkeys. I would not feed them anything though so they did not get put to sleep (so sad!!) Proud of you for making this effort. I am trying to walk more as well. Tired of being so blimp-like. Can barely fit in UFO cat's UFO. Loved those legs shots dear, they look gorgeous and wow to me even though I know you will disagree. I enjoyed them quite a bit!! No exercise for me now because I am tried after that :)

    All Things Bright and Lovely

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    1. Rick, I have a love-fear relationship with monkeys. While they look cute observing from a distance, my heart never fails to palpitate more quickly when a group of them walk much too close to me. There are cases of aggressive monkeys especially for people carrying food items.

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  6. Great post! I actually recently went back to pulau ubin with the boyfriend after his father brought us and his younger brother! Love just walking around if not renting bikes! I was fit back in secondary school (although not many years ago) but I weight a lot less now because I used to have very excessive eating habits! Don't worry about not being as fit and that silver peanut running past you! We have ups and down in life and I love hearing older people saying they feel better at their age than when they were younger. I would love to feel that way too, sounds strange but I'd rather have the best fitness/life when I'm older than when I'm only young. That's great you went with your hubby! I totally need someone with me to be more motivated when it comes to extra exercise activities! I totally need to visit mac richie now! Haven't been there for two years now I think!

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    1. Sharlynn, The first and last time I visited Pulau Ubin was 5 years ago and boy I had fun. We have too many concrete here in Singapore that it is really thrilling to immerse ourselves in nature every now and then. I totally get you when you mentioned that you would rather have the best fitness/life when you’re older than when you’re only young. I often feel that I want and need more energy now that I’m really much older.

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  7. Hi Jo, don't listen to Kh! Your triceps look perfectly fine. He just kidding. Haha you always make me laugh. I try to have a healthy liftestyle that's why I don't eat sugar anymore. On the other hand my only exercise is the walk from my computer to the loo. I have to start walking again. I used to do it a lot but I'm so busy that I never find the time. "Silver Peanut" would be much faster than me too haha. I don't even think that I can run more than 2 minutes. I can't believe you have monkeys running around. They look so cute. We only have them at the zoo and I wish I would live in a tropical country like yours. It's spring over here and we have 3° degrees. That sucks so bad.
    RYC: Yes you're still talking to me. My sister has taken and uploaded the pics but I have written everything. As 99% of the time :D I wish you a happy Sunday Jo!!

    xx

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    1. Mira, Cutting sugar off your diet is such a huge step! I know of all the nastiness of sugar but I could only do most as to reduce and not totally cut off. You go gal! I swear my triceps look totally fine in these photos but they are really flabby in real life. Even though I’m of a slim built, my arms totally do not match my frame. Yes, as long as we have patches of forest, there would be wild monkeys. But our forests are sad. Not at all like those big enchanted woods I see in western countries. But still, I enjoy every bit of nature in my country.

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  8. Ah Jo, I know what you mean, love running too and I just wish I have more time too and that the weather is good to do it! First have to say that Im super impressed by this place, how gorgeous is, you and your hubby do well to spend the Sat there, even though you didnt get the destination at the end, the walk must have been a wonderful and restoring experience. Is like paradise for me, the monkeys are so sweet and the nature everywhere is stunning. Your exhausted face says everything lol, love the selfie with your hubby too but have to tell him, your triceps are just perfect and in shape!:) Hugs dear, have a lovely week ahead! xo

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    1. Lilli, We have too many concrete here in Singapore that it is really thrilling to immerse ourselves in nature every now and then. I swear my triceps look totally fine in these photos but they are really flabby in real life. Even though I’m of a slim built, my arms totally do not match my frame. But still, I take in your compliments happily.

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  9. You guys make taking a hike look like so much fun. Nature really isn't my thing, but that area doesn't feel so secluded.

    7% Solution

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    1. Aki, Try immersing yourself in nature every now and then. You would love it!

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  10. Jo! I'm in the same boat! I used to be so active in high school, and then after I started working I lost interest/got lazy. Now it's a difficult thing to stay in routine of living a healthier lifestyle; which includes eating better (this is a huge struggle) and staying active, because I actually need to be active to feel good now lol.

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    1. Anna, I agree that eating healthily is just so difficult, esp in our modern lifestyle. I try to eat more whole food, less processed food, less sugar, less salt but sometimes it is just too difficult to choose from what we have outside. If only everyone had the time to cook wholesome meals on top of having a full time job.

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  11. I love running too, but I'm slow. Lol. I enjoy running around the park with my son when the weather is nicer. I also love playing badminton.

    xo Jo

    http://www.whiterosesandcoffee.com/

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    1. Jo, Those informal running are good exercise too! And that's why parents are fitter, esp with active children in toll.

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  12. I do not run, I have never liked it, haha. I love going for walks, but not running. Getting outside for some exercise is great though, this place looks wonderful. I tend to lift small weights, do yoga or get on the rowing machine as well. Also eating healthy, even though I have a sweet tooth and like cakes and things, haha!! These were great pictures...have a wonderful week my dear xx

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    1. Kizzy, Walking is just as great and wow, you're maintaining a healthy lifestyle with those exercise and healthy eating. A little indulgence is good. I try to eat more whole food, less processed food, less sugar, less salt but sometimes it is just too difficult to choose from what we have outside.

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  13. Nice post..I guess the working life gives us less time to focus on staying healthy. Nice pictures nd adventures. Xx

    Sophsinspirations.blogspot.com

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    1. Sophie, I love seeing newcomers around. Thanx for dropping by. True that working really robs the focus on staying healthy.

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  14. You are so fit Jo! What are you talking about! HaHaHa Your hubby is so mean talking about your arms. HaHaHa I think as we grow older, we all put exercise on the back burner. Other things become more important. But we should exercise!!! It helps in so many ways. I love the trail you two walked. It is gorgeous and what lovely sights along the way. LOL about your favorite place... the cafe! You two are too cute!
    http://www.averysweetblog.com/

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    1. Kim, Oh... I'm not. I'm really not. The photos are deceiving. Even though I’m of a slim built, my arms totally do not match my frame. But still, I take in your compliments happily. Yes as we get older, we have other priorities in life and exercise has taken a back seat like how the cafe is the destination to look out for. Haha

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  15. Hey Jo. I totally feel you about the sport. Last year I used to work out for about 5 months, which included running on the treadmil. However, after that I stopped and since then I feel really bad for not doing anything for my body. I sit 10 hours daily in front of the PC, I don't walk much and this is not good, I know. You totally did the right thing to get up early during the weekend and go for a walk. It's much better than staying in bed the whole day and doing nothing. And what a lovely nature you have over there! I have never seen monkeys just like that, lucky you! You and your hubby look so cool and fit! Have a nice day, Jo!

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    1. Sany, After chronicling the walk that day, I haven't exercised for real till now. But I bought new sports/ running shoes. Our department is trying to embark on a healthy lifestyle despite the sheer volume of work and many have started bringing their sports attire and embarked on runs and badminton. Looks are deceiving. Haha... I'm anything but fit.

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  16. JO! I thought the same thing about the breathing tube hahahaha! Love it! I know what you mean, though I was never super active in high school nor was I ever a runner I was still pretty fit and could hold my own out there. But growing up and having responsibilities and such means no time for much of anything. I don't know how we did it all back then, technically we did go to school during the day but still, these days time is flashing by so fast. I don't run but I do walk because of my dog, though these days it's at a slower pace because she is older now and too much too fast will over exert her. I use the time now to meditate and clear my thoughts so it's a win-win. Even though I'm not power walking, I'm still moving and not sitting which is a very bad habit I am trying to break too. Sitting. It's a tough one to break since I just do it unconsciously, especially when working. It's amazing how back then these things never cross your mind, your body heals so fast, things don't make you hurt like walking on concrete for too long or wearing the wrong shoes for too long. I miss those days of having a resilient body. Sigh.

    Sxx
    www.daringcoco.com

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    1. Sonia, I’m so glad we see the same breathing tube. Haha… The child in us! I didn't expect that any reader would pay heed to my nonsense. Those informal dog walking is a form of exercise too. Just like my walks during daily commutes. I would think that is better than just a sedentary office life to car to home. I do miss the resilient younger body too!

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