Fitness 101 begins at home
By Revathi Murugappan
Staying active is easy. You can read a book, hop from the theatre to the restaurant and bar, surf the Net, sing a song... all these chores can keep you active, but they don't burn many calories.
To keep yourself moving requires a bit of effort, though the rewards are far greater.
Yet, many people find it difficult to motivate themselves to get started, or give up halfway through an exercise programme. If you fall into this category, you're not alone.
Why is it so difficult for people to get on the exercise bandwagon? It's akin to brushing your teeth. If you don't want cavities, brush and floss daily, with a good toothpaste. Who cares if your teeth are misaligned or resembles a rabbit's? As long as they're not decaying, serve their purpose of chewing food, and your dental bills are minimal, you should be happy.
Likewise, take care of your body and health. Your investment will show inside and out. You don't need money, credit cards or cars to exercise. Just time, persistence, discipline, and perhaps, an exercise buddy, will do.
Exercising doesn't necessarily mean following a strict, military-style, time-consuming regimen at the gym. You can do it from the comfort of your home, and in time, exercise will become part of your lifestyle.
Sizes getting bigger
Last month, I attended an intensive dance workshop in New York, United States, and took the opportunity to do some quick shopping during break time.
I've always been able to find clothes that fit my tall, small, disproportionate frame at my favourite store here. Alas, this time around, even the XS petite sizes were floating on me! I may have lost a kilo or so, but not enough to drop to the next size down.
When I signalled for assistance, the sales person, who was four times my size, waddled over. She simply responded: "Honey, we've gotten bigger through the years, can't you tell? Clothes now come in bigger cuts. You need to fatten up and you'll fit right in."
While the majority of my American friends are slim and lead a relatively healthy lifestyle (they're professional dancers and fitness gurus, after all), a number of them tend to think exercise is a dirty word.
Malaysians are not far behind in this aspect.
Statistics show that a staggering 44.3 per cent of our population is overweight. Gosh, that's close to almost half our population! Our rich, delicious culinary delights and saccharine-sweet teh and kopi tarik (reality check: kurang manis is not going to make a world of difference to your flab) are of no help to the expanding girths and incidences of cardiac arrests, the nation's number one killer.
Soon, more clothing stores will have to cater for plus-sized folks. If you're thinking of going into business, this is your chance to rake in the cash.
Cannot afford gym memberships? Don't like the gym or the pollution outdoors? Fine, then work out at home. You don't need any equipment.
However, if you abhor getting sweaty, and number one on your priority list is watching telly with a packet of keropok in hand, then please be prepared to face the consequences.