From The Straits Times    |



The weight gain from all the feasting and snacking seems to be an unfortunate corollary to the Chinese New Year festivities.

We all know that exercise will help to offset those extra calories (provided you revert to a proper balanced diet). If you can hit the gym five times this week, great! Otherwise, don’t fret. You can stay in shape by taking simple steps to increase your activity volume.

For example, walking between 7,500 and 10,000 steps daily can help reduce blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels, improve blood glucose levels and reduce the risk of diabetes and other chronic diseases.

Walking is suitable for all age groups and fitness levels, and you can make it part of your daily routine, with activities such as going up the stairs and walking over to speak with your colleagues.

If you have a steps tracker, track the number of steps you take during the day so you know how close you are to your daily goals.

For example, walking up four flights of stairs (or two storeys) at work for a meeting takes between 80 and 100 steps,while walking 15 minutes to your lunch spot takes about 1,500 steps.

Besides walking, here are some other simple and healthy activities you can do:

READ MORE: 5 lifestyle changes you can make to avoid diabetes




Stand more

You burn twice as many calories standing than when you sit. Many people also think better while on their feet, so perhaps you can make a standing desk.


Seated crunches

Sit up straight, engage your abdominal muscles and bring your knees up a few inches, one at a time or together. You can also turn the opposite shoulder towards the lifted knee slightly, so that you also work your oblique muscles.


Seated stepping

Put your feet on the floor on either side of a low footstool, then step up and down while you are seated. This works your thighs and abdominal muscles.


Seated push-ups

Grip your arm rests with both hands and lift your bottom off the seat and your feet off the floor. Ensure that the chair is stable and arm rests sturdy before proceeding with the exercise.


Resistance band exercises 

A resistance band is light and easy to use, and it can be discreetly tucked away in your drawer. Use it for some simple strength exercises.

READ MORE: 10 quick and easy tips to stay fit while on holiday


This article was first published in The New Paper.