My Exercise Efforts – Interval Training, Stairs, Rollerblading, Swimming. Should I Be Running?

Following on from my post about Cookie’s new Eukanuba diet, I realized that it is not fair for me to complain that she’s fat and call the kettle black. It’s time to do something about MY belly and body!

Estelle has gone from a 4-pack in 2009:

To an Estelley belly in present 2011:

(And this is not even the worst photo I have.)


I followed my colleague/comrade Dary for a workout the other day. He used to be football captain of his college back in the US – what that means to me is that
a) he has probably been hit on by guys in his life,
b) he is seasoned (and I’m not talking about football), and
c) he’s tough.

Will this be hours of gruelling torture? I’m sure he’s used to that. Will he expect me to carry huge weights, or wrestle other men? What did I get myself into?

Dary tailored an exercise according to my target areas (lower body). He encouragingly assured me that our exercise will take no longer than 30 min and he was sure that I could do it. So this is what we did (I could barely finish it..)!

1 min – Did a little warm up – we especially stretched the legs for what was to come.

15 min – Ran up and down the huge steps at Dhoby Ghaut’s Mount Sophia. I swear there are about 200 steps – it is one of the longest staircases you can find in a central location.

Dary made me run up, and jog down, x 5 times! I huffed, and I puffed, and I was ready to go home.

10 min – Went to an exercise workstation and he taught me some core exercises to stabilise my core. The key was to have the right posture and keep my body steady and straight – I wasn’t used to it yet, it was difficult to balance at times, and I was flailing and flapping all over the place. I looked like an angry bird.

I had my two feet close together as I jumped up and down different graded steps (this builds my balance, thighs, abs and of course my core). You can check out the exercise I did named “box jump march” on this website, and for proper instructions.

I also did some chin-ups (by “some”, I mean one and a half). These work your biceps, core, and back.

(Pic from this site)

4 min – Like I wasn’t already looking like something the wind blew in, Dary saved the best/hardest for last. Thanks Dary! We ended with some interval running training.

In this set, we ran as fast as we could for 40 seconds, and then jogged for 40 seconds.
Rinse and repeat 7 times.

The key here was to RUN AS FAST AS YOU CAN – not run “a little faster”. (I’ve done other programs in the gym where I run for intervals of 5 min instead of 40 seconds, but obviously I would not be able to run at my maximum speed then.)

The discrepancy in speed and highs and lows of this cardiovascular workout will stimulate oxygen delivery to the muscles and make you a better runner. It is more effective at burning fat due to the metabolism boosting effects of high intensity intervals. (Sources: Wikipedia, Best Running Gear)

TOTAL EXERCISE TIME: 30 MIN. (Don’t forget to take a bit of a break in between sets! We did.)

After the massively intense workout, I felt faint for a minute. And then, I pulled myself together and felt fantastic. I ate a banana, re-hydrated with 100 PLUS, took a bus and then partially ran home (20 min).

I’m very thankful to Dary for pushing me beyond my comfort zone – you never know what you’re capable of till you try.



Other exercises which are fun are rollerblading (It’s good for girls, great for the butt… just try not to fall)


And I’m never a fish out of water when I swim with my girl Andrea (Less impact compared to ground sports, great for overall toning).

Andrea: “It’s a 50m pool.”
Me: “I’m going to do 50 laps!”

We reach the country club pool and I realize, with no sense of measurement, how long 50m actually is.

Me: “Ok, I’m not going to do 50 laps!”

We settled for 30 laps.

Run Becomes Fun When I Have More Than One

I always enjoy my running sessions with Dad, unless he wants to do his usual 12km.

I have always been told that running is the best overall cardiovascular sport, as it builds stamina and helps with overall weight loss. However, someone told me recently that running is bad AS IT MAKES EVERYTHING SAG. Also, my left knee is getting pretty bad from the high impact sport.

Help! What’s a girl to do? Is this a myth or is it true?


Disclaimer: Please consult a professional before you take on these exercises yourself.
Apart from my curious weekly googling, my fitness information may not always be accurate and I have not been qualified nor educated in this area. However, everyone that I take advice from has been.
Please feel free to email me or let me know if you think any of the information above is incorrect.

These are my exercise efforts… 2-4 times a week, or as often as I can. Let’s see if I look better and become healthier!


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