Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Exercising with children

It's Tumble Tots day for my little rascal. He goes once a week for 45 minutes to get some exercise and socialise. It's the 2-3 year old class and the parent/s still have to accompany their child. So I'm there every week making sure he listens to and follows directions. Usually the trainers or 'aunties', as the kids call them, will supervise the whole thing, but my 2 year old still wants me around and needs a bit of a push sometimes. So there I am running, jumping, stamping and rolling along on the exercise equipment and dancing to the tune of nursery rhymes and children's songs.

I consider this part of my cardio regime. Some people say they have no time for exercise, I say try to make your daily routine a part of your exercise routine. If you're looking for quality time with your child, go to the park for walks and runs. Children are a bundle of energy. Let that spur you to be more energetic. When you're with your kid in the house, don't just watch TV, wrestle, have a tickling session or just play some active games. Even a few rounds of 'Ring-a-Roses' will leave you puffing, I guarantee.

You can even put in some strength training by being a bit creative. My son sits on me while I do push ups and sit ups. Believe me, 13 kgs will definitely challenge your muscles. When you're watching TV with them, why not do some lunges, squats and dips? These exercises don't take up much space but are highly effective when done correctly, so make sure your form is correct. This is also to prevent injury.

Why not try it? The only thing you'll lose is inches.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Losing Weight with Belly Dancing

I've been learning how to belly dance for slightly more than a year now. I started because 1) I wanted to lose weight, 2) I wanted something fun and 3) I wanted to actually learn a skill instead of just exercising mindlessly. Luckily for me, it was all of the above, plus I have a really great teacher, made good friends, gained some coordination and lost a lot of weight. I guess I'm still pursuing it because it's also convenient. The studio is in Taman Tun and it takes me less than 15 mins to get there from home.

So far I've done roughly 7 songs/choreography and performed twice. I ain't no Shakira, but I can shimmy away reasonably well and, I don't screw up the steps as much which to me means I am getting better at it. Thank god Nancy (my teacher) is unbelievably patient with me because it took a while before I was totally comfortable with the moves. Some people may not realise it, but belly dancing for 1 hour challenges your muscles in different ways and areas as there is no fixed movement to dancing. I feel my core has gotten stronger and my legs are more toned. Well, that's what I think, but then, the most important thing about fitness is how it makes you feel, right?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Grand Plaza Park Hotel City Hall, Singapore

Went to Singapore over the Deepavali long weekend and had a really good time. We stayed at the Grand Plaza Park Hotel City Hall and I have to say the service was excellent. The hotel is slightly pricey (as with all things in Singapore), but the staff made it a very pleasant stay. Our room was very nice with a king size bed, tea making facilities, mini bar, iron and ironing board, robes, slippers, toiletries and turn down service. I loved that the bathroom had a separate bath and shower.

We had to pay for breakfast since it's not included in the rates, but we were advised to have breakfast outside instead. This was not a problem as the hotel is located right next to the Funan Centre which had a McDonalds, Delifrance and an excellent kopitiam that were all opened by 7.30am. The hotel is also right next to Plaza Peninsula and is just a five minute walk away from the City Hall MRT station which made travelling easy peasy.  

Although it would have been nice to stay near Orchard Road (for which we would have to pay a bomb), the Grand Plaza Park Hotel was right smack in the middle of the city, so we didn't have any problems looking for a taxi or taking the MRT. We could walk to Clark Quay if we had wanted to, but with a toddler, we took a car instead.

Definitely a hotel I would recommend.