Fitness Series Week II

  Congratulations on completing Week 1 of your fitness journey. It is your first milestone, amongst many more to come. Your body is now getting tuned to moderate exercise and better nutritional choices. It is about time to take your fitness to a next level with second part of Fitness Series.


A Weighty Issue…

Weight can often be a prickly topic to discuss. At any age, one’s weight is often a sensitive topic and people don’t want to talk about. Good news is that it is easy to maintain your weight at healthy levels with smart food choices and some exercise. The key is to attain the desired goals without compromising on the essential nutrients required by the body.



Week 2

This week’s focal point is: EXERCISE to burn fat! We will give you 4 simple steps to begin your second week towards ultimate fitness and health.




  1. Measuring and recording your weight:  

    Simply start a healthy and fit life style by measuring and recording your weight today. Check your weight weekly and monitor the progress. It is also important for you to check your BMI ( Body Mass Index ). BMI is a measure of body fat calculated as your weight (in kilograms) over your height squared (in centimetres). It categories an individual as underweight, normal weight and over weight as per the BMI value.




    BMI Categories: 
    Underweight = <18.5
    Normal weight = 18.5–24.9
    Overweight = 25–29.9
    Obesity = BMI of 30 or greater


  1. Start Your Exercise Regime

  Exercise up to 3-4 times a week. You may substitute the following exercises with fun filled activities like cycling, swimming, jogging on a nature trail. On off days, you may go for 15-20 minutes brisk walking.

 A.  Join a Gym:

Look for a gym which is at a convenient distance from your home. Perhaps, one that offer classes like kick boxing, Zumba, HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) and Yoga to break monotonicity. The gym should have a pleasant ambience and basic equipment and exercise machines like dumbbells, barbells, foam roller, kettlebells, yoga mats, bench press, treadmills, exercise bicycles, cables, and pulleys.

Approximate time: 35 – 40 minutes

Warm Up:

Warm up is important as it gently prepares body for physical activity. It elevates heart rate and pumps blood to muscles. Do warm up exercises for about 3-4 minutes to loosen joints, stretch muscles and to prevent injury.

Torso Twists 60 seconds

torso twist

Jumping Jacks 60 seconds


High Knees 60 seconds


Lunges 60 seconds


Main Exercise:

  1. 3 sets x 10 repetitions Bicep curls (30 second gap between each set)

Bicep Curls with light weights will help tone arms. Approximate time: 3 minutes

  1. 3 sets x 10 repetitions Squats (30 second gap between each set)


Squats help strengthen and give firm shape to legs. Approximate time: 3 minutes

  1. 3 set x 10 reps Bend over rows (30 second gap between each set)

Bent over rows

Bend Over Rows with light weight will help strengthen lower back, shoulders, and arms. Approximate time: 3 minutes

  1. 3 sets x 20 second planks (30 second gaps between each set)


Planks strengthen core muscles and give firm abs. Approximate time: 3 minutes

Cardio (Optional)

If you want to lose more weight engage in 20 minutes moderate intensity jog at your own comfortable pace on a treadmill.

Cool Down:

Do some basic stretches. You can even lie down for 5 mins.


Note: You may choose another set of exercises and vary the sequence as per your preference. But remember to keep gap between each set to about 30 seconds and do cardio only towards the end of workout session for better fat loss.


B. Exercise at home:

If you a pressed for time or feel going to gym a hassle you can very well exercise in comfort of your home.

Equipment required: Yoga mat, a pair of dumbbells and skipping rope.

Approximate Time: 30 -35 minute

Warm Up:

Same as above

Main Exercise:

Approximate Time for each exercise: 3 minutes

  1. 3 set X 10 repetitions Bicep Curl (30 seconds gap between each set)

Bicep Curls with light weights will help tone arms

  1. 3 sets X 10 repetitions Diamond Pushups (30 second gap between each set)


Diamond Push Up will tone arms, shoulders and strengthen core

  1. 3 sets X 10 repetitions Squats (30 seconds gap between each set)


Squats help strengthen and give firm shape to legs

  1. 3 sets X 10 repetitions Mountain Climbers (30 seconds gap between each set)

Mountain Climbers

5. Mountain climbers is a full body workout that challenges balance, agility, and muscular coordination.5. 3 sets X 10 repetitions Star Jumps (30 seconds gap between each set)


Star Jumps is an effective exercise to burn calories in a very short span of time

  1. 3 sets X 20 seconds Plank (30-60 seconds gap between each set)


Planks strengthen core muscles and give firm abs

Cardio (Optional)

If you want to lose more weight engage in Moderate Intensity Skipping at your own convenient pace for 10 minutes.

Cool Down:

Stretching fitness woman touching the floor with her fingers

Do some basic stretches. You can even lie down for 5 mins.


  1. Healthy Nutrition Choices

As mentioned in our Fitness Series part I, it’s important for you to eat right along with exercising. Celebrity Fitness Trainer Justin Gelb and, who has trained supermodels like Karlie Kloss, Chrissy Teigen, Irina Shayk, Mir anda Kerr to name a few, advices “No sugar, booze, and only carbs like brown rice, vegetables, Ezekiel breads — Gelb and suggests consuming them only twice a week.”

dinner salad

Cheat Day: If you have been careful with your nutritional choices and exercising religiously, then you are allowed to have a cheat day once a week. However, it is important to remember not to go overboard with calorie splurging and undoing the good work done in previous 6 days. Some suggestions for cheat days are buffalo chicken wings, chicken tikka masala, vegetable pakoras, potatoes, ice-cream, and cookies.


  1. Enough Sleep

Importance of deep sleep for at least 7 hours a day for maintaining a healthy and fit body cannot be emphasized enough. During sleep our body repairs muscle wear and tear, and restores hormonal balance disturbed by hectic work schedule and stress. After a deep sleep, you will wake up fresh and energized to take on the day’s task. Abstaining from using laptop/smart phones and avoiding sugary food and caffeine at night can help in achieving a better-quality sleep.


Until next week….

Everyone’s body is different. Keep experimenting with food and portion sizes to figure out what gives you the best results. Try different exercises such as Yoga, cycling, trekking, or a Zumba class at your gym to keep the boredom away. It also helps with challenging yourself and focusing on different parts of the body.

Next week we will explore the topic of building muscle and strength! Until then…..good luck!!!


Author Bio

Author Gauri

Gaurangi Verma is a freelance Content Writer residing in Singapore with her husb and. She is an avid reader and a Netflix junkie. Recent events in her life, led her to jump off the couch and take to the streets. Making sure she takes the mantra “Practice what you Preach” very seriously!


Fitness and health

Fitness Series- Week 1

In today’s world of fast lifestyle, smartphones and junk food, fitness has made a comeback. Globally there is an increase in lifestyle diseases (obesity, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes). In Singapore alone, almost 3 in every 10 individuals has diabetes by the age of 40.

diabetes chart

The alarming rate of lifestyle diseases among people has prompted health experts to suggest better nutrition choices and exercise.

But just how practical are these suggestions so as to be included in our day to day life?


Hurdles that keep us from that healthy and fit body:

  1. 9 to 7 job:

Long office hours from morning till late evening make us so tired that by the time we come back home we have no zeal for doing anything productive for our body.

9-7 job pressure


  1. Easy availability of tempting but health ruining food:

Another reason that are contributing to lifestyle diseases is the readymade food options that are extensively available at our regular supermarkets and restaurants menus. Lack of knowledge on nutrition leads to poor food choices. Over a period, this contributes towards obesity and diabetes due to the excess sugar, salt, and preservatives present in such foods.


  1. Stress:

The rat race to excel not only gives us stress but also ruins our health. Taking excessive work pressure and stress increases the chances of heart diseases at a very young age. It is very important to have a calm and peaceful time at the end of a long stressful day.


  1. Lack of time:

One of the most common excuses for almost everything is “lack of time”. Yes, in today’s fast moving world, time has become very precious. But always remember that there are 24 hours in a day and it’s up to us as to how we intend to utilise it. It’s very important to take out some time for your own body. You will be surprised that as little as 30 minutes of exercise every day can do wonders to your health and fitness. The fact is nothing else will help you more to get a healthy body if we adopt a healthy lifestyle from a young age. race against time

  1. Procrastination:

“The world is designed to create procrastination problems,” says Dan Ariely, author of “Predictably Irrational”. Be it work or our self, it’s a human tendency to end up doing work later than expected. Well, my friends, this habit might not be good for our own body. “Health is Wealth” is something we realise when it’s too late. I have spoken to some of the people in their 60’s who regret not taking better care of their body when they were young. And hence suffering now.


You Can Do It!!!!!

Now, overcoming the hurdles mentioned above may seem like a tall order. But trust me, with some efforts and careful planning it is completely possible to achieve your fitness goals. Today I invite our readers to start their journey with this Fitness Series in which we will explore natural, practical, and inexpensive means to help  improve their health and fitness. Start with 4 simple steps…..


1. Select a specific goal e.g. lose weight, build muscle and strength or improve stamina and endurance? 

2. Keep a journal and jot down your fitness goals.

3. Make daily or weekly entry in your journal of your activities and food intake to mark your progress

4. Start your fitness journey TODAY!!!


Week 1

  1. Drink 3-4 litres of water each day:

The human body is 70% water. Water is essential for body cells, tissues, and organs to work properly. Water transports essential nutrients and helps in removal of waste products from the body. Water regulates body temperature and helps to boost metabolism.



  1. Start with some light exercise in the morning:

Fasted cardio is an excellent way to boost metabolism and release endorphins which keeps your mood elevated and help reduce effects of stress whole day long. Simple exercises like skipping, jogging, pushups, lunges, squats done only for just 20 minutes each day can go a long way to kick start benefits of a healthy lifestyle.



  1. Pay special attention to breakfast:

It is not without a reason that breakfast is regarded as the most important meal of the day. Often, we are guilty of skipping breakfast or indulging in unhealthy junk food to satisfy hunger. According to nutrition editor Brierley Wright, one should start the day with black coffee, nuts (peanuts, cashews, almonds), some fruits (apples, berries, bananas) and protein in form of whole egg, quinoa, and oats.



  1. Count your greens:

Green vegetables are delicious, nutritious, and very filling. Green vegetables are low in carbohydrates, high in dietary fibers and rich in vitamins (Vitamin B complex, Vitamin C, Vitamin K,) and minerals (Magnesium, Potassium, Iron, and Calcium).  A report published World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research suggested that green vegetables have been found to reduce risk of heart disease and cancer. Include green vegetables like broccoli, lettuce, spinach, cabbage, kale in your diet.

Greens veggies


  1. Eliminate soft drinks:

Nothing harms your goal more than a can of soft drink. Dr. Walter Willett, physician and nutrition researcher, says soft drinks have high content of sugar, which cause immediate spike in insulin. Prolonged consumption may cause weight gain and insulin insensitivity contributing to type 2 diabetes. Stay away from them and include green tea, lime juice and black coffee in your regime.

No soft drinks

  1. Smarter snacking:

Often during the day and in between meals, we feel the urge to snack. Smart choices like fruits, nuts, and chickpea can help you satisfy your craving while helping you in your fitness goals.


  1. Avoid sugar and high-calorie food for dinner:

Towards the end of the day our body is in a relaxed mood. According to Kelly Allison, of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine’s Center for Weight and Eating disorders, the body has nowhere to put all the energy from sugar and high-calorie food but in adipose tissues (fat stores), thus contributing towards weight gain. Instead we should take protein-rich but low in carbohydrates/sugar dinner to improve our results.

dinner salad


Until next week….

By adopting these simple tips, you will start your journey to a healthier lifestyle and will notice incremental changes in your fitness. Continue for next 7 days till it becomes a habit!

Next week we will explore the topic of Weight Loss.

In the meantime, do share with us your struggles and success in the comments section.


Author Bio
Author Gauri

Gaurangi Verma is a freelance Content Writer residing in Singapore with her husb and. She is an avid reader and a Netflix junkie. Recent events in her life, led her to jump off the couch and take to the streets. Making sure she takes the mantra “Practice what you Preach” very seriously!


Each year people celebrate the arrival of New Year in their own unique traditions. Whilst many of us celebrate by drinking champagne, dancing, and kissing our loved ones when the clock strikes midnight. Some cultures around the world have peculiar and almost weird ways of celebrating it. On this occasion let’s look at a few of these traditions:

1. Japanese Traditions: Ring bells 108 times

On the eve of New Year, Buddhist temples in Japan ring their bells 108 times to welcome the New Year’s God, “Toshigami”, as it is believed that this will bring good luck and cleanness to them.

traditions in Japan

2. Philippines Traditions: Round shape represents wealth & prosperity

In Philippines people believe in money so much that they wear and eat things that represent round shape i.e. coins. So, they wear polka dots clothing during this time. Eat round fruits like grapes, oranges, watermelon, etc.. They prepare 12 round fruits, one for each month of the coming New Year to bring wealth and prosperity.

traditions in Philippines

3. Chinese Traditions: Red is the auspicious colour

In countries like Singapore, China & Hong Kong  the New Year is celebrated not on 1st January, but they celebrate on the 1st day of Chinese Lunar calendar. On this day, they only wear red colour clothes (including underwear!) and burn fire crackers as they believe that this will drive the evil away. Also fruits like pineapple and orange are associated with good luck and prosperity so one can find these fruits as gifts and in decorative items.

traditions in singapore china

4. Greek Traditions: Hanging bunch of onions

In  Greece  people hang bunch of onions, or “kremmida” on their door on New Year’s Eve as a symbol of rebirth in the coming year. Then, the following morning, parents traditionally tap their children on their head with the onion to wake them up before church.

traditions in Greece

5. Danish Traditions: Shattering dishes assures more friends

In Denmark   people specially prepare a dessert known as “Kransekage” and eat it with their loved ones. Also, they save all their unused dishes and plates until the 31st of December and then they shatter them against the doors. Assuring that they will have many friends in the coming year. In addition to this people climb on top of chairs and literally “jump” into the New Year to bring good luck.

traditions in Denmark

6. Spanish Traditions: Eating 12 grapes is the key to good luck

In Spain  it is auspicious to eat 12 grapes at each strike of the clock while making a wish. These are supposed to bring good luck to the person. It says when in 1895 vine farmers had a surplus of grapes they started the tradition to get more customers.

Traditions in Spain

7. Irish Traditions: Kiss under the Mistletoe

In Irel and  single women places a sprig of mistletoe under their pillows on New Year’s night hoping for a good luck and a future husb and. It is believed that after 31st — if the visitor is a tall, darkly h andsome man, he will bring fortune to you but if it is a red-headed woman, then it is a sign of trouble! Also, Irish people hit the walls with bread to get rid of evil spirits.

Traditions in Irel and

8. Argentinian Traditions: Carry suitcase for more travel

In Argentina , people eat beans before the clock strikes midnight to bring good luck for their career. They also carry a suitcase around the house in hope for more travel in the year to come.

Traditions in Argentina

9. Ecuadorian Traditions: Burn dummies 

In Ecuador  people burn thous ands of life-size dummies representing their misfortunes from the past year. These effigies are made from newspapers and pieces of wood. At midnight, everyone gathers outside their homes to burn the dummies together.

Traditions in Equador

10. Belarusian Traditions: Rooster picking corn

Single ladies in Belarus, play a game on NYE where a pile of corn is placed in front of them. A rooster is released to see which pile he picks the corn from. And that girl from he does, is the first one to get married next year. As they say, if a rooster has chosen you, so will an sensible man!

Belarus Traditions

The world is full of various unique traditions, believes and superstitions. Every year we pray in our own way for health, wealth, and prosperity in the coming year. On that note, wishing you a Happy New Year !!

Want to fly for FREE to any of these destinations??? 

Source: http://www.businessinsider.sg/new-years-rituals-around-the-world-2013-12/?r=US&IR=T#Uurt7FpUw0cME4aU.97



Author Bio:

Author Gauri


Gaurangi Verma  is a freelance Content Writer residing in Singapore with her husb and. She is an avid reader and a Netflix junkie. Originally from Dehradun, India, she misses the cool and breezy mornings of her home-town.