SINGAPORE – With Covid-19 likely to be endemic and resulting in people spending more time indoors, some leaders in the sports sector have issued a reminder that it is important to find ways to remain active for one’s physical and mental well-being.
These were some of the topics discussed during a webinar by Sport Singapore on Tuesday (June 15). The first session of the Rethinking Live-Work-Play Trends with Active Health attracted an audience of 300.
The webinar, part of a monthly series, focused on movement, exercise and health coaching. The panellists were Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, president of the Singapore National Olympic Council; Dr Teoh Chin Sim, sports and exercise medicine specialist; and Michol Dalcourt, chief executive officer of the Institute of Motion.
Mr Tan, who is also the Speaker of Parliament, acknowledged that most people know they have to lead a healthy lifestyle but may be hindered by things like back-to-back virtual meetings.
He said: “It’s important to take ownership of our well-being. We barely go out now and using our smart devices might strain our necks, so these physiologically impact us.
“The best way is to take an active interest in being active. Even just doing push-ups for five minutes is really important and we should see if we can develop this as a habit individually and in our families and local community.”
Mr Tan added that he tries to slot in workouts whenever he has pockets of free time. To motivate himself, he joins friends on weekly workout sessions and participates in challenges for a good cause. Over time, these help form a habit of exercising, he said.
He is now participating in the Autism Resource Centre’s A Very Special Walk 2021 campaign to raise funds and awareness about autism.
He said: “Participating in these challenges helps raise awareness and creates pressure on yourself… It’s a healthy way to game-ify it.
“(When you meet your friends to exercise regularly), not only are you physically beginning to slowly improve at your own rate, socially it helps us be plugged in so our emotional, psychological and social well-being are being catered to.”
One way to get more exercise is to create a routine that incorporates some form of physical activity, such as a 30-minute jog every morning, said Dr Teoh, who will be Team Singapore’s chief medical officer at the upcoming Tokyo Olympics.
She added that it was important to get up every 30-45 minutes to take water or go to the toilet and not be seated or glued to the computer the whole day.
But she also cautioned against exercising too much too quickly, especially for people who are sedentary, as that can lead to injury. She instead encouraged gradual progression and also advised individuals to be mindful of their diet.
She added: “One of the concerns I observed is people running more on harder surfaces. Some patients also started having knee and ankle pain because they normally exercise with footwear but now they exercise barefoot, so you have to be mindful about that.”
Urging the attendees to set aside time to get moving, Mr Tan added: “It’s our well-being and our lives. We owe it to our families to live long and healthily. It’s also a great time for family to exercise together. Hopefully with (relaxed safety measures), more people can go out for walks as a family.
“The good thing is it doesn’t cost anything and we have wonderful parks and park connectors to enjoy. There’s lots of places to explore in Singapore and we can keep active at the same time.”
For more information about Active Health, visit their website.
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