My Inspirations

Assalaamualaikum… I am feeling exceptionally grateful today so I decided to write about my Inspirations.

“Your ONLY limit is YOU”

Like every other souls in this temporary platform, the journey of life has presented itself with trials and challenges as promised. Each with its own uniqueness and timing. And like many others, I am bestowed with gifts at every pitfalls and crossroads (as promised!) and often, it comes in the form of a human being who came to shine light to my darkness. Because sometimes, we only need a little nudge or a hand to hold, to get back up on own feet and continue the run. Someone who inspires you. In my fitness journey, they are my inspirations…

First and foremost, meet mummy dearest. Mdm Mahlia, 62, homemaker, mother of 3 beautiful girls (ahem.. me being the middle child thank you) 41, 37 and 32. As a young girl, i don’t remember Mak ever being involved in sports but she was always busy helping my auntie, baking cakes or at home sewing curtains, clothes and bedsheets and making hand-crafted flowers to decorate our home. Our home is always beautiful and bright. Although not sporty, Mak is very sporting! She loves thrill rides like the Triple Looper @ Genting and banana boat rides (unlike Abah who will graciously decline to participate and volunteer to “jaga” our belongings instead). I know who i inherited my fearlessness from!

As the years passed, Mak put on quite a lot of weight (which she blames me for). When she was diagnosed with Diabetes and Hypertension a few years back, she took it upon herself to opt for a lifestyle change. She did not complain nor lament at her plight. She religiously followed the doctor’s advise, took care of her food intake, put in effort to reduce her weight and started to exercise. She did not really plan a workout schedule but incorporated them in her daily routine. She would sometimes cycle to my sister’s place (10km to and fro) or stop by the Fitness Corner at her neighbourhood for a 20-30mins workout before heading home to continue her duties.

Mak overcame her fear of swimming and joined me for class!

Today, Mak is actively involved in fitness activities organised by the mosques and community centres. She continues her daily routine and has loss nearly 15kg since she started. Her blood pressure and blood sugar level has also improved tremendously. When she got injured and tore a tendon in her right foot, she did not let that injury deter her one bit. We were slightly worried about her safety but I am amazed by her tenacity and determination to recover and get back in shape. I see that in her, all my life. That stubborness and never give up attitude. And it is that strength that got me through adversities and life’s worst moments especially during my time in the armed forces.

Mak… you are always my inspiration!

 

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Our favourite past time – Chilling by the beach. Mak never wasted any opportunity to get wet and enjoy the waves

Meet Mdm Hayati, 52, homemaker, mother of 3 (23, 22 and 16). I love her bubbly-ness! There was never a dull moment when16807477_10155023304164680_982816217414646884_n she is around. Kak B, as we lovingly call her, did not like any sports before. She hates getting sweaty she said but when she sustained a slipped disc and was immobilized for a month, she knew she had to do something.

“I do not want to die like this”.

Upon recovery, Kak B tried slow jogging but found it too strenuous for her due to her health condition. So she tried swimming as recommended by a friend. But she did not know how to swim. I met Kak B at the pool during one of my lessons in 2015. She approached us and requested to join our class. Allah definitely is the Best Planner! I think I learnt more from her than she did, ma shaa Allah. It’s always interesting and beneficial to hear these veterans talk about life and sharing their motherhood experiences. Makes one feel so humble yet excited for what more lies ahead.

“I feel more alive, healthier mentally and physically. Don’t let age be an obstacle for you to be active again. It is never too late to start.”

Today, Kak B swims 30 laps every week. She continues to amaze me with her constant cheerfulness and is always keen to learn more. She diligently listens to my instructions and continues to improve her strokes weekly. She can tread water for more than 5mins without breaking a sweat! I’m dying after just 2mins! Sometimes we had to pull her out of the water because while the rest is pancit after 20 laps, she is still smiling through 30… AMAZING!

Last but certainly not the least, meet my Iron ladies! They say “Friends who work out together, stays together”. And they prove it right. These ladies not only work out together but they eat together, attend religious classes and bakes together.

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Kak Has and Kak Normah were both part of their school’s athletic club (donkey years ago)  but sheepishly admitted that they stopped being active after marriage and having children. By 40, both commented that they became overweight and started to feel the strains due to the weight and inactivity. It was Kak Has who took up the challenge and participated in a “Lose to Win” programme organised by the Health Promotion Board (Singapore). She definitely loss weight but she also rediscovered the zeal of an active life again. Since then, Kak Has remains active with weekly programmes and participating in races. She completed Swissotel Vertical Marathon tau! Something I myself malas nak attempt hehehe… She then encouraged Kak Normah and Kak Mus to join her weekly activities. Kak Mus who has always been active ( you can tell by her sturdy posture and strong look) represented her school in hockey, badminton and softball. She continued being active doing brisk walking during her stint as a bus driver. She says she needs to do this because she wants to be able to keep up with her 11 -year-old daughter.

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Now these iron ladies swims every Tuesdays/ Fridays. They also have Aquarobics on Thursdays and group training on Sundays. POWER kan! Of course, while being active, they never neglect their duties. They attend religious class on every other day and they are wonderful cooks and terrific mums+wives. They are always up and about attending new classes and searching for new makan places. Who dare says that we women cannot do everything?? All 3 agrees that being active makes them feel more energetic unlike their comrades who leads a more sedentary lifestyle. They say they are able to perform their ibadah and daily routines much better with a healthy body and mind.

“People sometimes laugh at us. Maybe they think its funny that we makcik-makcik is exercising. Tak pe…

Instead of talking so much or laughing at us, I think they should join us”  – Kak Mustakizah

These 5 gems have definitely created a great impact in my life. Not only am I inspired to continue this fitness journey till I’m wrinkled and old, I learnt so much from them in other aspects of life  as well, as a mothers, daughter, wife and friend. May Allah bless them with strength and perseverance to continues this journey.

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Sunday Group Training @ Sengkang Park with Coach Hayya (FitFab)

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I’m fat?! Blame my metabolism!

 

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Have you ever heard someone (or you!) nagging like this?

“I’ve cut off  my calorie intake, I maintain those regular exercises,..but..why am I NOT losing weight?”

And they will start to blame themselves by saying “Perhaps, my metabolism is low!”

Do you know what METABOLISM is ? 

Metabolism is the chemical reactions that occur in our body. It requires energy for us to undergo living processes such as breathing, digesting, healing processes and etc.

And wait! Is your metabolism same as mine?

Each and everyone of us has different metabolic rate; it depends on your gender, age, body size and of course your genes.

Men have more muscles, high bone mass and therefore they have high metabolism compared to women. And as we grow older, we tend to loose muscle and gain fat, and these two lead to slow metabolism. People with big body size will have more fat, thus their metabolism is slow. Yes, genes basically play a role in determining your muscle growth and size – hence affects your metabolism.

Now, you will start saying, “Let’s kill those fats, and start build muscle!”  Right?

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But wait, to increase body metabolism, it is not all about building muscles. I will share a few tips that you can practice to boost your body metabolism.

1. Don’t miss your breakfast – Start your day with nutritional breakfast. It can start up your metabolism and keep your energy high throughout the day. People who skip breakfast tend to eat a lot during lunch and this will increase calorie intake more than what you need.

Eat them all!

Eat them all!

2. Take enough protein– Our body needs protein to build muscle. The more muscles you have, the more calories you will burn. Besides, our body use up more calories to digest protein compare to fat and carbohydrates.

3. Eat enough everyday – It simply means consume food moderately and do not overeat. Do not starve yourself either. If you cut too much calories, your body will start to reduce metabolic reaction to conserve energy. Thus, the fat burning process will be slower. You will start to lose muscle and this will slow down your metabolism.

An apple a day keeps the doctor away

Be a Snow White – Eat an apple

3. Be active – When you increase physical activities, you will burn more calories. Build up more muscles by running and pilate regularly or perform strength training. You will use up more energy and burn those stubborn fat.

Marilah beramai-ramai bersukan sambil bersosial!

Marilah beramai-ramai bersukan sambil bersosial!

4. Drink a lot of water – take 3-4 litres of water per day to stay hydrated. Your body needs water to process those calories, if you are not drinking enough, your body will burn less calories, thus your metabolism will be slow down. Cut off your sweet drink, it contains high calories.

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Bring a bottle full of water with you everyday.

6. Have adequate sleep –  having sleep deprivation will increase cortisol level (stress hormone) in our blood.  Thus, it will disrupt glucose metabolism, thus lead to glucose intolerance. Leptin will be reduced and ghrelin will increase. This can cause increase in appetite, craving and tendency to eat a lot unnecessary.

After a run get a good sleep

Be a Sleeping Beauty.  After a run get a good sleep

 

Basically, you can still enjoy your food while maintaining a good metabolism.

Till then, we’ll meet again, keep fit and be inspired! 😉

Pool WOD with my Iman Hijab

I am a big fan of the Iman hijab. I have it in almost every colour available, and at least 4 pairs in black. I wear my Iman hijab at almost every active activity, be it running, at the gym, exploring the outdoors, and many more. One of the most frequent questions that I get for my hijab is “Can I use it for swimming?”. Before I could decide, I put my hijab to the test at Fuel Athletics last Friday when we had our WOD (Work Out of the Day) in the pool.

Never without my Iman hijab. Unfortunately, no photos were taken during the work out as it was too dark outside.

Never without my Iman hijab. Unfortunately, no photos were taken during the work out as it was too dark outside.

Swimming

We swam for less than 200m to warm up. It wasn’t complicated as I already know how to swim. Thanks to the elastic band that is built into the hijab, it stays put wonderfully on my head. As no under cap was required, the goggles can go comfortably around my head without feeling too tight.

It is not suitable for diving. The pool is not very deep, but due to the elastic band that holds the hijab in place it will result in pressure and discomfort in the ear.

I can also imagine that this hijab will also be suitable for activities that will require you to get wet, but not too vigorous, such as taking a dip by the beach.

WOD

We did thrusters and muscle up in the pool. These were very rapid and quick movement, transitioning from inside the pool to the surface of the pool. Due to the fabric around my head, it captured a lot of water and I felt that there was a lot of water rushing down my face. But it did not hinder my performance, I just could not see very well and it felt slightly uncomfortable.

Conclusion

If you are planning to go light on your wet activities, then this the right hijab for you. It is also suitable for a leisurely swim. However, if you want to go competitively in an event, or activities that require fast movement, it is better to stick to a conventional swimming cap or a head cover that is lighter and more suitable.

So ladies, I hope my honest review helps!

Until next week,

The Weekend Runner