4 Ways to staying fit despite all the eating during CNY

REBEKKAH ONG – Chinese New Year (CNY) is a yearly holiday affair when everyone, including family and friends, gather to celebrate the joyous occasion of ushering in the Lunar New Year. It is also a season where festive goodies are in abundance and we can’t wait to enjoy seasonal treats such as CNY cookies and love letters!

During periods like this, overindulging can seem like an inevitable fact of life. So the real question is – how do you keep the festive spirit high, and yet shun those extra pounds? Must a ”moment on the lip” really become “forever on your hips”? Here are some tips that we hope can help you enjoy the New Year celebrations without fearing the post-festive guilt.

  • Know your CNY goodies calories

Chinese New Year snacks festive treats are generally pretty high in sugar and fat. Some of these snacks can even contain as many calories as a small meal. Hence, you should consume in moderation and adjust your physical activity level to avoid unwanted weight gain.

The picture below shows how much physical activity is needed to work off these festive treats. One pineapple tart contains about 82 calories, one love letter contains about 56 calories, and a single bak kwa contains a hefty 370 calories.

Chinese New Year goodies and calories

Calories are taken from HPB Online.*Values are based on a 60kg man.

  • Go easy on the drinks

Whenever possible, consider choosing beverages with reduced sugar or those with the Healthier Choice Symbol. Try to avoid soft drinks and alcohol as the sugar content for these drinks are likely to be high. Did you know that a can of soft drink or alcoholic drink can have about 80 – 150 calories lurking in it? If you can, just avoid the sugared drinks and opt for plain water.

  • Make time to exercise

While you may not always have time for exercise, you can always make time for it. During festive periods, it can be pretty hectic visiting friends and family. Make it a point to wake up early and go for a morning run or workout before these visits. If pre-dawn workouts are not your cup of tea, another option would be to exercise while you are out visiting. One way would be to plan your route with your family and friends such that everyone can walk a short distance to the next destination and benefit from being active. Don’t forget that the National Steps Challenge Season 4 is in progress – so get moving and clock those 10,000 steps for your Moderate to Vigorous Physical Activity (MVPA) points.

  • Find opportunities to move

When visiting, find opportunities to keep yourself moving. There will be a stream of guests during house visits, so be prepared to stand and walk to greet guests at the doorstep. Also, offer to help your busy hosts serve drinks and titbits. As a plus, you’ll increase your likeability while burning twice as many calories as compared to sitting down. Give up your seat if there is a crowd, and stand to chat. Try to mingle more with other guests—the idea is to keep moving.

Find opportunities to stand during visiting.

We hope these tips will come in useful during this CNY period.

From all of at RunOne, here’s wishing one and all a happy and prosperous Lunar New Year! Stay fit and strong everyone!

Rebekkah Ong is a fitness junkie and F1 geek. The elegant foodie is almost at every run event! She presents all things in fours!

Runners running past MBS Singapore

4 Ways to run into the New Year

REBEKAH ONG – If this Monday has got you feeling more deflated than ever, there’s nothing wrong with you, and there’s some good science to back that up. The third/fourth Monday of a new year was crowned Blue Monday by psychologist Dr. Cliff Arnall, who devised an actual mathematical formula that factors in weather, debt and time since Christmas, timing of New Year’s resolutions, low motivational levels, and the urgent feeling that you need to take action, on top of the dreaded back-to-work Monday blues that many office workers face. The solution? Don’t turn it into a self-fulfilling prophecy by focusing on the things you can do to boost your health and mood.

At the top of this list would be New Year’s resolutions, which are pretty common things that most people would set at the beginning of the year. Setting goals and targets that you want to achieve in the course of the year often ties in with starting on a clean slate and taking on opportunities to begin a brand new chapter in life. One of the most popular New Year’s Resolutions is to get fit. The definition of being fit is to be in good health and one of the ways to do that is through regular exercise. For many in Singapore, running is a common way to keep fit and for some, this might be their resolution. If this is the case for you, here are some fun ideas to get you started on your journey!

Start small

Plan your weekly run sessions and set a distance goal. Always start small, then slowly progress further. You don’t need to go fast, but go at a comfortable pace, so you won’t get disheartened or stressed the next time you go for your run. Remember to always stick with something comfortable when you are just starting out.

Join a running group

If you are sociable and would like to make new friends, there are always running groups around to guide and help you become stronger in your run journey. Most of the running groups cater to runners of all levels. Do not be intimidated and go with an open mind to learn and improve. Some running groups which you can consider are Superhero Runners, Running Department, Adidas Runners Singapore, and Coffee Tea Runners, which are just a few of many such groups in Singapore.

Join a virtual run

Joining a virtual run is a good way to motivate you to get started on running. Depending on the site that you register at, there are different criteria for completion. One site that you can check out would be 42race.com. They have 2 types of virtual runs. One is a distance challenge where you are given a time period of a month to complete a certain distance. The the other option is like a typical run event which requires that you complete a pre-determined distance within a few days, but you can run anywhere and at your own time. These virtual runs are typically priced reasonably and some even provide a finisher’s medal.

Plan out your race calendar

In Singapore, there are lots of run events to choose from and our race calendar is one of the busiest in the region. Runs like the ever popular 2XU Compression Run and the biggest run on Singapore’s calendar, the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon, all have different categories and enough goodies to entice you to join. This would be a good time to map out your training and race calendar for the rest of the year and commit yourself to train for them. The race atmosphere will definitely kick things up a notch and provide an entirely different experience from running alone. 

We hope the aforementioned ideas will kick-start your 2019 New Year’s resolutions to keep fit and launch your running journey!

Rebekkah Ong is a fitness junkie and F1 geek. The elegant foodie is almost at every run event! She presents all things in fours!