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Saturday, 17 October 2009

Exercise During Tough Times

Many members of the younger generation are also fitness buffs. Those people who do care about their appearances are likely to be more presentable, healthy, and energetic. It is a trend amongst younger people today to exercise in the confines of air-conditioned locations. These locations include gymnasiums and yoga centres, not to mention a host of other types of exercises, including martial arts, pilates studio, boxing, etc. Even football has taken a twist by going indoor; the craze of "futsal" among many younger Malaysians has seen even ladies kicking ball -- a fact attested to when the mini-series "Gol Dan Gincu" aired on local television.

I very recently read two different articles. The first article, from Pilates Style Magazine, May/June 2009 edition, was a thoughtful piece penned by the editor of the said magazine, Suzanne Gerber. (Ref: When the going gets tough, keep doing pilates! URL: Miss Gerber wrote about how many people are cutting down on Pilates classes because times are hard. She suggested that people cut down on the luxuries in life, so that they could attend Pilates classes instead. From the said article, here is an excerpt:

If you think you can’t afford your Pilates sessions, I invite you do the good kind of creative accounting. For one week, keep a diary of every nickel you spend, down to your lattes, taxis, fancy clothes, big tips, facials, haircuts (not to mention highlights) and salad bars. If you cut back on 50 percent of this, you’ll probably have enough for a weekly private session. Just commit to giving up your designer coffee, or don’t buy shoes till fall, or walk or cycle instead of driving or cabbing it. You
might be shocked how quickly those incidentals add up.

Isn't that wisdom? Thanks to Pilatique (a Pilates studio in Damansara Heights) for the link to the Pilates Style website.

The second article I read recently was a piece published on The Star. Eugene Mahalingam, writing for The Star, wrote on 17th January 2009 that Malaysians were exercising more during these tough times. (Ref: The Star Online, 17th January 2009. People exercise more during economic slowdown.) Here is an excerpt:

Exercising and sweating it out can be a great stress-buster but it is not just the individual that profits from a good workout.

Gym operators too are reaping the benefits - in the form of positive membership growth and better turnout despite the current economic downturn.

Kepong-based Universe Gym manager-cum-trainer John Anthony said membership of the gym had picked up of late as people were more likely to exercise during an economic slowdown.

“I think the motto for people is that if you can’t stay wealthy, you should at least try to stay healthy. Many people are under stress at work, which is amplified when the economy is slow. The best solution is a good, solid workout,” he told StarBizweek.

So, if you cannot keep your wealth, at least hold on to your health! Exercise is a good way to keep fit (as though there was another way?). For those enrolled in a fitness center, or have access to gym facilities at their condominium where they reside, PT (personal training) may not always be a ready option. Hence, the need to educate one's self. It is advisable to attend a few classes under an instructor to get a feel of the basics. Thereafter, one can do it on one's own! Here is a list of some gym/exercise resources, available online for free:
  1. American Sport Council on Exercise - Exercise Library. (Found via Fit Innovations (Thailand) Limited, which was itself found via Pilatique's page.) Excellent resource with nice photos, depicting step-by-step movements of every exercise.
  2. Fitness Vancouver's Exercise Library. The graphics could be better but it is easy to locate an exercise you require. You navigate by clicking on the muscle group that you think needs development.
  3. YouTube. Don't believe me? Try it and be surprised. You can enquire on pilates, yoga, workout routines, jogging, resistance training, etc.
Exercise for your health!