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SINGAPORE – With gyms often shuttered and working from home the default during the Covid-19 pandemic, many people have made the slow transition towards a more sedentary lifestyle.
But Mr Aamir Manasawala bucked the trend, losing 21kg in the past 20 months and becoming, in his own words, “the leanest and fittest I’ve ever been”.
The 27-year-old nutrition business owner now weighs 69kg, down from 90kg before.
“I was overweight for sure. I’ve been the kind of person who struggled with weight my entire life,” said Mr Aamir, who is 1.74m tall. “But I embarked on a mental toughness programme and it had a compounding effect – it was a mindset shift.”
The regime involved twice-daily workouts and healthy meals for 75 days, with no “cheat” days allowed. Today, Mr Aamir still works out twice a day, doing weight training as well as cardiovascular exercises.
In the latest National Population Health Survey, the Health Ministry noted a concerning uptick in chronic diseases and unhealthy behaviours among Singapore’s population – even before the pandemic struck.
The study was conducted between July 2019 and March last year and found, among other things, that the proportion of people who had got the recommended amount of physical activity was 76.4 per cent, down from 80.9 per cent in 2017.
It also found that obesity levels in the population stood at 10.5 per cent – the same level as 2010 but higher than the 8.6 per cent seen in 2017 and 2013.
The ministry noted that Singaporeans’ behaviour may have changed due to the pandemic, and these findings serve as a reminder for people to “continue engaging in healthy lifestyle habits”.
Professor Teo Yik Ying, dean of the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, said one area of concern in the findings is the higher prevalence of binge drinking and poor mental health.
“The findings represent data between July 2019 and March 2020, so the full impact of the pandemic hasn’t actually hit yet. I actually believe the problem of binge drinking and mental stress, distress and illness is much bigger now, 22 months into the pandemic,” he said.
Given that many of the risk factors of diseases such as obesity are actually modifiable and preventable, action needs to be taken not just on an individual level, but also in the workplace and by the Government, Prof Teo added.
“For instance, national strategies may need to be designed to target sodium consumption in diets, much like how Singapore has tackled sugar consumption,” he said.
“This is especially since exceeding the World Health Organisation’s recommendation for daily sodium intake is extremely common in Singapore, with nine in 10 local residents consuming more than the recommended 2,000mg of sodium per day.”
Some people like 49-year-old hairstylist Andy Toh, who had to stop going to the gym when the pandemic hit, made a conscious effort to maintain his fitness. He switched his routine by using resistance bands and working out at the exercise corner near his home.
Although he took breaks from vigorous exercise at times – such as after being vaccinated – Mr Toh made it a point to work out every day.
“I changed my exercises, I changed my routine, but I never stopped,” he said.
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MCI (P) 031/10/2021, MCI (P) 032/10/2021. Published by SPH Media Limited, Co. Regn. No. 202120748H. Copyright © 2021 SPH Media Limited. All rights reserved.
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Masaba Gupta 'Swears By' This Healthy Drink; Shares Its Health Benefits – NDTV Food
Apart from being an ace fashion designer, Masaba Gupta is a hardcore foodie. She advocates clean eating habits. And, at times, she also shares glimpses from her healthy meal diaries. Today, Masaba decided to talk about safed petha juice. Masaba posted a snapshot of a glass filled with the juice on Instagram Stories and wrote about its benefits. Masaba said that she often ends up asking herself this – “Are we uselessly chasing weight loss, when we should actually be chasing an alkaline body?”
Masaba Gupta further explained that Ayurveda “pushes you to have an alkaline system. And, it does wonders”. She compared it with the benefits of having safed petha (Winter melon, Ash gourd) juice on an empty stomach. Masaba went to add, “I am a pitta type and I break my fast with it now.” Listing the benefits of the juice, Masaba said that the drink is a diuretic and helps relieve sciatica pain. It also cleans the small and large intestines and has anti-ageing properties. Best part? It cools the body. She then advised, “Drink as is or with a pinch of black jaggery or salt. See if it works.” Masaba also added the hashtag “Masaba swears by,” to her Stories.
Take a look:
Seems like Masaba Gupta has been consuming all things healthy of late. On Sunday, she shared a picture of jujube fruit on her Instagram Stories. She captioned the post as, “Ber, jujube fruit or Chinese date – call whatever you want – many names, many benefits.” The designer explained the benefits of the first which include sound sleep, better digestion, anti-inflammatory properties, and vitamins B and C (glowing skin). She stated, “It’s a blood purifier, contains 18 of the 24 essential amino acids the body needs to stay healthy and helps reduce stress. It’s in season now and eating seasonal fruit is the best thing you can do for your body.”
Healthy juices make Masaba Gupta happy. And, we have proof. Some days back, she dropped a picture of her healthy glass of drink. Masaba simply captioned it saying, “Warm water, lemon, basil seeds (sabja).”
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