Starting that bodily transformation has never been easier – committing to 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) a week is all it takes. The nationwide trend of gym- and class-hopping actually fits this bill nicely as most classes are one hour long, so 2 to 3 of these a week are all you need to hit that weekly target.
For those who want to get into shape and reap the health benefits following such activity, or who haven’t really had the time to research on which fitness pass works best for you, there’s a great way to start your #MoveIt150 experience, at zero cost. Just check out Health Promotion Board’s list of free programmes and classes.
There are quite literally, hundreds of classes every month to choose from, in locations both heartland locations and around the CBD, and some of these are run by industry-leading entities such Boulder World, Fitness First, Platinum Yoga and True Fitness.
The list of activities checks off all the ‘trendy’ boxes: Piloxing, Body Combat, various types of yoga and HIIT are just some examples. With programmes like Nerf Gun Combat and Bollywood / KPopX thrown in for good measure, we’re certain there’s something for any man in the fully-sponsored buffet of choices.
Where does one start when the scope of the programmes is so massive? We’ve taken the liberty of prescribing some suggestions that may match your personality. Which one best corresponds to you?
The Power Executive
Productivity and efficiency are the name of the game for this career-focused individual. It’s natural that the workplace should be the nexus around which activity is centered so travel time is minimal. Good news: immensely popular classes such as Body Combat, Zumba, Yoga and Piloxing pepper many central locations, and you can even pull off a class before work.
There’s no healthier way to springboard into a purpose-packed day than with an early morning workout. The benefits are manifold; you mentally gird yourself for any trials during the day by starting it on a positive note. Devoting time in the morning ensures you never have to postpone or flake out should things hit the fan. More importantly, it sets you up for success by instilling discipline and a sense of routine. And of course – it fires up the metabolism early so it keeps ‘buzzing’ throughout the work day, even if you’re desk-bound.
To that very compelling end, there are a number of early morning sessions available across the CBD and near major hubs such as Suntec City, Aperia Mall and Income@Prinsep – the list goes on. For those strapped by meetings, there are also lunchtime sessions – and even weekend classes for those who have to nip in some work at the office.
Conversely, if you’re unable to commit to morning workouts, an equally diverse variety of post-work programmes are on hand to help you bust out a healthy sweat before dinner, at equally convenient locations. Post-work exercise helps grant you a second wind and potentially shrug off the weariness accrued over the work day. The regularity of the schedule allows you to tailor your regime according to dinner commitments or social calls – and easily hit that 150 minutes of weekly activity that’ll see you on the way to the pink of health.
The Lone Wolf
For the solitary, focused man, the exercise session is sacred. You favour seeking self-improvement and spending time efficiently, utilising each sitting to push your personal limits. There may be times where you don’t mind asking a pal along to lighten the mood, but that’s the exception rather than the norm. After all, socialising can come after. More power to you. Here are the outings you may prefer.
The very names of these sessions sum up how you want to go about owning your health: quick and high-intensity, with little downtime to accommodate an idling body or idle chatter. As you probably already know, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) comprises small ‘bursts’ of cardiovascular workouts punctuated by very little rest time in between each set. This fires up the calorie burn and is a great way to raise one’s aerobic threshold. Workouts are an hour long and will certainly be considered MVPA, so two of these sessions a week, mixed with one other activity will stand you in good stead to a healthier, toned you.
Running can be a truly solitary pursuit – everyone has his or her own pace, which in themselves change over time. It’s also more demanding than some might think – the entire body is set into motion as all muscle groups play integral roles in maintaining balance and stride. The i-Run programme provides an excellent starting point for beginners as they’ll have access to a professional i-Run trainer, who can correct running technique and chart out growth according to the individual’s goals. Likewise, veterans will be able to get pointers on how to maximise their potential. The scenic routes taken (Gardens by the Bay, anyone?) will be a breath of fresh air relative to the drudgery of the gym room treadmill.
The Strapping Sociable
You don’t see why exercise shouldn’t come with a side of fun – after all, that makes time fly and can spur you on to investing more time in it. For that reason, you prefer classes with an emphasis on music you can groove to. Better yet if you can loop a friend or three in (or even that love interest) – what better way to bond than over a Bollywood or KPopx dancercise session? If you’re all guys, you may gravitate towards Fight-do or Kickboxing.
As previously mentioned, these spots are great for post-work meetups. Many take place near malls (Capitol Piazza, Marina Square, for example) where dinner options are aplenty, so you can go from workout to catch-up within minutes and make the most of a work day. Having a pal on hand to help with navigating those tricky dance moves is always handy as well – and if both of you can’t quite grasp the manouevres, the hilarity that ensues could well form some of the fonder memories between you.
If weekday workouts are a stretch, why not opt into a Sunday morning session in a beautiful park setting? Conveniently scattered throughout the island’s parks, these beginner-friendly workouts are open to participants of all ages, and kickstart that last precious day of the week outside of the concrete jungle we’re so used to. It’s a great precursor to wolfing down brunch with the same friends guilt-free. Those who sleep in do have the option of evening sessions, which typically commence just as the weather begins to cool off and likely conclude with the picturesque rays of sunset. A great way to top off the recommended 150 minutes of MVPA each week.
The Family Man
Priorities may have inevitably shifted for you once children entered the equation, but fitness should not have been one of the compromises. Making fitness sessions a cornerstone of family life not only guarantees quality time, it will reinforce important values such as cultivating health awareness and the importance of routine and family activities. The programmes provide amply for both the young and the old, even incorporating usually pricey activities like rock-climbing and archery in the lineup. Parenting in itself probably constitutes some MVPA, but take it as an opportunity to inculcate that mentality early in the little ones.
Tailored exclusively for families with children six to twelve of age, the programmes include inline skating, bowling and tag rugby and even some nerf gun fun. Do note the sessions are immensely popular; keep that page refreshed for new timings on the ‘hotter’ timeslots. As a huge plus, children are more likely to be tuckered out at night after an active morning. A more restful Sunday night sounds like a good outcome for all parties involved as they prepare to face a new week, just saying.
Here’s a multi-generational open class with no pre-registration required. Rope in your parentsand and head down to one of these heartland locations for a bit of fun and quality time. We imagine the weekly dance-offs with Mom and Pop will make for Instastory gold mines.
While the permutations seem almost inexhaustible, we recommend heading down to Health Promotion Board’s MOVE IT! page to secure your first steps towards a healthier, fitter you. Do note the slots go on a first-come-first-served basis. Keep the page refreshed often, too – there’s no expiry date in sight for the initiative, and updated class calendars and new slots open up every so often. Colour us impressed.
This article is presented by the Health Promotion Board.