Category Archives: Exercise

Reader’s Indigest

What's the relevance of the apple ... or the girl?

If you buy this magazine, you’ll get a girl like this with the apple thrown in for free

I sometimes splash out and buy one of those fitness magazines.

These usually stand out on a cluttered newsstand because their covers always feature an incredibly muscular man, with an incredibly beautiful babe hanging off his arm. I take it the subliminal message is: “Buddy, if you want a chick like her, you better buy this magazine and get buffed like him“.

And these magazines are not cheap. The particular title that I occasionally buy costs $8.95 a copy.

For that amount, I can get 2.5 regular-size cups of soy flat white from my favourite barista. This is a type of hot beverage that we in Australia call coffee – much better than anything from Starbucks. Then again, I don’t think the stuff Starbucks sells is coffee, so it’s hardly a fair comparison.

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One day, on a treadmill

I am running on the treadmill in the gym. While pacing at 12km per hour, I stare at the music videos on the array of monitors in front of me. They feature mostly half-naked female “artists” performing suggestive gyrations, while doing very little of actual singing. I wonder at what point did the music industry turn into a semi-pornographic peep show for the masses.

No peeking at your neighbours!

No peeking at your neighbours!

A fit-looking guy without an ounce of fat gets on the treadmill to my right. He starts running. I sneak a peek at his display panel and see that he’s running at a brisk 13km per hour pace. The competitive instinct kicks in and I amp up my speed to match his.

5 minutes pass and I notice that his strides are faster than mine. Another peek at his display panel reveals that he is now travelling at 14km per hour. Not to be outdone, I also increase my speed to 14km per hour. “Come on! Let’s get it on, buddy” I secretly throw down the gauntlet. Continue reading

4 things I hate about you

It’s pretty cold in Sydney these days.

"Get your sweaty ass off my couch" is what my wife would say, if she saw me doing this!

“Get your sweaty ass off my couch” is what my wife would say, if she saw me doing this!

For those who have never experienced it here at the ass-end of the world, our winter doesn’t engender the fuzzy, jingle-bell, white-snow kind of feeling that northern hemisphere people are often used to. Our one is more the windy, biting, chill-to-the-bone kind that belies the sunshine above our heads. It is also the only time of the year that reminds me of the fact that I have nipples.

It’s not that the low temperature suddenly makes me beam with pride that I have them. Rather, it makes them beam so high that I wish I didn’t. I’m not sure about other men (as for women, I won’t even go there), but every time I head out for a run during winter, these stiffened nipples of mine rub very uncomfortably against whatever top I am wearing. Continue reading

To run is to chill

I have an affinity with running, one that has grown over the years to become a passion. That passion, at least for me, is rarely motivated by the reasons that people commonly assume are behind the act of running. To lose weight? My weight is just fine, thank you! To improve cardiovascular fitness? What’s that!?! To win races? Yeah, right! To clock ever-faster pacing? Couldn’t care less!

A privilege to have a hobby that puts THIS in my head

A privilege to have a hobby that puts THIS in my head

Don’t get me wrong, I always strive to beat my PBs in every race that I enter and my mood swings depending on whether I succeed or not. But I can honestly say, hand to heart, that wanting to become a better and faster runner is about the further thing from my mind whenever I lace up my trusty pair of Brooks and head out for a jog.

So what is it, then? Why would anyone put himself through the drudgery of running, putting undue pressure on the joints, unsightly sweat on the body and unattractive grimace on the hills? Why would anyone do this, often for an hour or two at a time, when there are so many more pleasant things to do in life?

Fucked if I know!

But let me put it another way. What if you were blessed with the opportunity to take up a hobby? Continue reading

Body over mind

There is this exercise concept called “Listening to Your Body“.

In technical terms, I think it means one should go easy on exercising whenever he feels the body needs a little break. That way, no serious damage is inflicted physically and no angst is endured mentally. And, believe me, I’m in wholehearted agreement with this principle, what with foolish injuries sustained from running half-marathons while nursing sore knees, to lifting weights while nursing a sore back.

Listening to your body or to what you wanna hear?
Listening to your body or to what you wanna hear?

However, I do at times abuse this “Listening to Your Body” philosophy. I invoke it whenever the temperature is too low to wake up early and hit the gym, or the stress too high to get off my backside and hit the pavement.

That’s right. Despite my tremendous passion for running, there ARE occasions when even I, the Jogging Dad, want to skip a run, all in the name of “Listening to Your Body“. The truth of the matter, I hate to admit, is that it is invariably just an excuse. A very good excuse, mind you, one with a ring of Confucian legitimacy to it and virtually impervious to criticism. But it is still just an excuse, at the end of the day, to hide the fact that I just feel too lazy to go for a run.

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