Monday, June 28, 2010

Tragic Incident at Standard Chartered KL Marathon

A friend of mine took part in the Standard Chartered KL Marathon yesterday and she sent me this email about one of the runners who collapsed and passed away on the way to the hospital. I am truly shocked with this story and my condolences goes out to the family of Lim. What i cannot believe is how lightly some of the authorities took this. Below is the email that was sent to me. Please read and share your comments.

I would like to share a tragic incident that happened at Standard Chartered KL Marathon today… When i was running my final 2 km on the 10km… as i was running along the road in front of Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur, i saw a guy was sitting on the road side then soon enough he collapsed… this incident attracted my attention as a guy(a training doctor, named Irkhan) that was trying to help him was shouting for medic.. as i was a trained EFR, i ran over to see what is happening.. (it was around 1 hour into the race for 10km runners)i got to know that the guy (named Lim) has collapsed and was having seizure.. we tried to place him in recovery position… he was breathing very heavily and shortly and he was also biting his teeth very very hard… i was afraid that he will hurt himself (with either biting his own tongue or he closed up his airway).. so i tried to open up his jaw and tried to communicate wif him to have him relax and breath easily.. he then slowed down his breathing and taking deeper breath…another lady (Pei Kheng) came to help and constantly monitor on his pulse… and Dr. Visva (was another participant in the run) came over to help…Then suddenly, his pulse was gone… then we lied him flat and started on CPR procedures… we constantly check on his pulse to check whether his pulse has come back.. we did chest compression and also mouth-to-mouth breathing to Lim…as we were doing the CPR procedures, we did not sight medic anywhere.. and we tried to shout as loud as possible for medic… After awhile into the CPR procedures, "lady A" said that she could feel his pulse but was very weak.. then we stopped the CPR procedures to see whether he regain consciousness or not… After i stopped the chest compression on Lim, i started shouting for medic services again with the hope that a medic services is nearby and heard us.. but unfortunately not… we only sighted 3 DBKL Officers(with big motorcycles) just stood by the road side and just stare… the did not come over to help or to check out what happened… (it was around 10 minutes that Lim collapse and had seizure)…after a moment, Lim loose his pulse again.. we started CPR procedures again.. we still did not sight an ambulance or any EMS(Emergency Medical Services) around… after approximately 30 compression, Lim regained his pulse but was very very weak.. and yet.. there was still no ambulance or EMS sighted… and DBKL officers still stood there and did not came over to help… so I informed a passer by to run to the officers to tell them to call for an EMS soonest possible...after we performed CPR procedures on Lim for the the third time, finally a St. John ambulance came after around 15 - 20 minutes after Lim collapsed…we let the EMS officers to take over the CPR and First Aid… Dr. Visva asked whether do they have the AED(Automated External Defibrillator)… one of the person from the EMS said that they do not have it.. then I asked whether do they have a face mask with pump.. they also did not have it there… THEY PRACTICALLY HAVE NOTHING IN THE AMBULANCE!!!!!!!! -.-" EMS took him and speed their way to HKL…we were later informed that the Response time for EMS is 3 minutes but it took them almost 20 minutes to arrive… and later.. as I was reading through the Runners Guide that was provided in our running kit…There is a statement (at page 15) that states that "Medical Assistance - Medical Aid is available every 4km and at the Finish Area. Due to runner's physical condition, Medical Officials are authorized to stop runners and remove their timing chip"…every 4KM MY ROYAL ASS.. I did not see any first aider, ambulance or any sort of medical officials along my 10km route… and if 4km was true.. it definitely will not take them SO LONG to arrive...-----------------------------------------------------------------------I got a call from Dr. Visva a moment ago.. he went to HKL to check out the condition of Lim and he informed me that Lim have passed away on his arrival to the hospital…

Lim is only into his 20's and was running the 10KM distance…

Monday, June 21, 2010

Working Out in the Morning - FAQ

Here i am sitting in Singapore once again and typing out a post. i am back here in Singapore for work for one whole week. It seems like just not too long ago i was doing this. Anyway i am staying in the Concorde and i went to check out their gym earlier tpday. Pretty good. They actually have a squat rack, bench press & even a chin up bar. Yes, i should be able to get in all my usual exercises. But 1 thing that did piss me off was that their sign says the operating hours are 7am to 8pm. So i decided to ask the front desk if they could open at 6:30 for me as i need to head off for my training. When i called, they said their operating hours are 6am to 10pm. WTF? So i marched down there just now just to check and sure enough... the sign says 7am to 8pm... and typical of hotels, there was no one at the front desk. So i asked one guy who was working out and he told me it opens at 6am. so which one is which? well i guess we will see tomorrow.

Anyway enough about that. Just wanted to share that with someone and didn't know who i could share it with... so i thought this would be the best place. This week i am re-visiting the topic on working out in the morning which i wrote 2 weeks back, as I got many calls and sms-es about that post and lots of friends asking me how to go about it. wow... i didn't think that post would actually motivate a lot of people... but it did and i am happy. So i thought for the benefit of all, let me post up the questions i received and the answers i gave. Hope this helps all of you who are thinking about working out in the morning.

Should i eat anything before i work out?

Well i usually just gulp down a glass of soya and i am out the door. There was once when i forgot to drink my soya and felt lightheaded half way through my workout. The thing is you do want some sugar in your system but if you eat a proper meal, you have to wait an hour to an hour and a half before you work out. So unless you are prepared to wake up at 4:30am, i recommend just sticking to liquids. Something small like crackers or some cereal is OK... but avoid eating too much.

What should i eat after that?

well what do you normally consume after your workout? you can consume the same thing here. I am currently taking Nutrilite Protein mixed with V-Soy right after my workout. Before this i used to make Tuna sandwiches and take them with me. I still take the tuna sandwiches and eat it in between... remember, best nutrition plan to have is to eat every 3 hours... so i save my sandwiches for those odd moments when i cannot go out to get something to eat.

I feel really drowsy and sleepy after lunch.

Well to solve this, try sleeping earlier. i am usually in bed by 11pm most days and occasionally at 11:30pm. Plus you must understand that this gets some getting used to. The more you do it, the more your body will the only way to overcome this is to sleep earlier and keep doing it till you get used to it. also try eating a lighter lunch. Sometimes mid day drowsiness is caused by a heavy meal.

I still feel sleepy when i reach the gym.

Try doing some cardio before your lift. Maybe a quick 10 or 15 minute jog. This helps to get blood pumping around. I usually do 3 to 4 warm up sets (start with lighter weights and gradually go up to your max) and that really helps to prep my body for the heavy lift. If you have consumed some sugar upon waking up, and do some light warm ups or cardio, i guarantee your body will be wide awake and ready to go.

How often should i do this?

Well how often do you workout? I do it 5 times a week and each time i go in, i train different muscle parts... enabling my body to recover. So it really depends on your routine

I don't have enough time in the gym coz my work starts early

Well there are 3 thinngs you can do.

1) split up your workout to more times a week, meaning doing less for each workout but more frequently over the week - so total work is the same, but you have to go more often to make up for the cut offs.

2) doing your exercises in super sets -this saves huge amount of time

3) lastly, maybe working out in the morning isn't going to work for you. So if you can't manage it, don't worry. This isn't for everyone.

OK. I hope i managed to get all the questions in here. If you do have any other questions, do post it up here and i will answer them. Till then good luck with the morning workouts. remember, it just gets some getting used to and it is not impossible. As usual, look forward to hearing your comments.

PS: The damn poll is working again. So please do take a moment to vote. Thanks guys

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Have you "trained" yourself to eat more than you need?

I have been trying to gain mass & strength recently, so I have been chowing down extra food to achieve my goals. Before this, my goal was to lose fat, so I was careful with my food and only ate according to what I needed. It was pretty strict, but I lost weight pretty quickly. But now I am eating more carbs & proteins to allow me to lift heavier in the gym which ultimately translates to more muscle as well. So far so good in terms of achieving these goals. I am sure most of you will be going “Wow, eating more…that’s easy enough to do.” Well contrary to pupolar belief, I initially found it difficult to actually eat more food. I kept getting bloated and uncomfortable after my meals. The reason was, my body was used to a certain amount of food, and trying to push it above that took some getting used to. Perhaps I should have done it more gradually then I actually did. The other thing I am guessing is, my body is not used to the sudden increase in carbs and my already sensitive stomach took it pretty bad.

But now that I have been eating that way for awhile I am used to it. And then it got me thinking. For those who are overweight, you have actually trained yourself to eat that much food. So when it comes to cutting down that food, you are obviously going to feel it. It’s like trying to lift heavier weights in the gym for the first time. If you are used to benching 100 pounds, going up to 110 pounds will be difficult intially. But if you keep at it, you will be benching 110 pounds just like how you used to bench 100 pounds. Just like you trained yourself to eat so much food, now you have to train yourself to eat less food. It’s that simple.

Whenever I hear comments like “Oh, you don’t understand… I have a big appetite and its not easy”, I don’t buy it for one second. Sorry, your appetite is big, because you have trained it to be big, just like someone has big arms, because he trained his arms to be big. So, how do you train yourself to eat less? Well, here are some simple tips to help you train yourself to eat less.

Eat slowly
Most people tend to overeat because they eat way too fast. Your brain takes some time to notify you that it is full and tell you to stop eating. But if you eat quickly, by the time your brain sends the “stop I am full signal”, you have usually already surpassed your “actual” full limit. So learn to eat slowly. A few techniques come in handy. For one, put your cutlary down while you are chewing. Most of us are busy scooping up the next mouthful while we are chewing to create the continuous stream of food. Make it a point to put down your fork and spoon while you chew, and only pick it up again once you have swallowed. This slows down your eating process and you will find yourself almost automatically eating less, which will translate to weight loss. Another thing you can do is to chew slowly. This also helps to reduce your overall eating speed.

Eat till you are not hungry and stop
Most of us tend to eat till we are full or stuffed. Wrong technique. Eat slowly and pay attention to your hunger level. Once the sensation of hunger subsides, make it a point to stop. Don’t eat beyond that. You do not have to be full or stuffed to have enough food. Once your hunger disappears, stop eating. This only works if you follow the previous step. When you feel full, you have actually consumed more than you are used to. Eating till you are full all the time is essentially training your stomach and appetite to accept more food. So stop pushing your appetite to newer heights by being full all the time. Learn to train it for less.

Don’t skip meals
Here is what happens when you skip a meal. When its time to eat your next meal, you will tend to binge and overeat to compensate for what you missed out. Not to mention, skipping meals is not an effective strategy for weight loss, so there really isn’t any reason to do this. The best technique is to of course eat a small meal for every 3 hours that you are awake. This way, your body has a constant flow of nutrition so you can avoid binge eating and you will also eat less because you are not saving up your hunger and unleashing it after many many hours of starvation. So don’t skip meals and if you can, eat every 3 hours. Here is where its handy to have small things like muesli bars or fruits around so you can chew on that when its not convenient to break your 3 hour fast with a proper meal.

Do it gradually
Make it a point to reduce your food slowly. I have seen so many people get excited about losing weight, cut down their food by half, see amazing results for 2 weeks and then suddenly quit altogether. Why? Because it was too drastic and they just couldn’t sustain it. Just like how you can’t go to the gym and bench press 225 pounds on the first day, its not advisable to drastically drop your food intake overnight. Ever hear the saying" slow and steady wins the race"… yeah, because its 100% true. So be cautious / aware of how much you are eating and progressively reduce it from time to time. A good benchmark is to reduce it every week or every 2 weeks. So cut it down by about 10% and then a week or 2 later, cut it down by a further 10% and so on. But you have to be consistent for all your meals and not just cut down 10% from one meal a day.

So what is your excuse for eating more than you need now? We now know that its just a habitual thing that has been developed over years of training, and now its time to train it to accept new amounts and that is basically what you are doing here. Try it out for yourself and see. You will be amazed with the results you get. As usual, look forward to hearing your comments.

PS: Please take a moment to vote on the latest poll.

Monday, June 7, 2010

How do you keep yourself motivated?

I wake up at 5:30 every weekday morning, leave the house by 6:00am and I begin my workout by 6:30am. Have a quick yet intense work out, shower and then head off to work. As most of you might have guessed, lifting weights at 6:30 in the morning is not exactly the easiest thing to do. Whenever I tell people about my routine, they always ask me “How do you get motivation to do that every morning?” My answer is that I want to avoid the traffic jam, so that’s why I wake up and leave my house so early so that I get to avoid the jams.

Although a lot of you might say that “traffic jams” can’t really be categorized as motivation, I choose to view it differently and that is how I use it and turn it into motivation for me. That’s the thing about motivation. Motivation doesn’t necessarily have to be people cheering for you or people saying, “Hey you look like you have lost weight”. Of course motivation like that is great and who doesn’t love it. But the key to working out, is to take all the unexpected things around you and turn it into motivation and you will be surprised at how much more these small things will add up. So, here are some tips for you to derive motivation from just about anything.

Play out the “what if worst case scenario”
Just like my traffic jam example, every time I wake up in the morning and feel like I just can’t do this, I play out the worst case scenario. If I don’t go to gym, then I am going to get stuck in the jam. Not only do I have to deal with annoying drivers, I could be late and if that happens, I will never hear then end of my boss yelling and screaming. So with all that in contrast, a quick 1 hour lift doesn’t seem that hard to do. So weighing the consequences, I think I would rather just go for my workout than to skip it. Also, if you are a person who trains regularly, you know that if you skip this work out, you are going to feel guilty about it all day. So rather than feel crappy all day, I might as well get it over it.

Remember that after working out, you will always feel good
This has actually been scientifically proven. Working out actually triggers your body to produce adrenalin and endorphins, which are hormones that act as natural feel good drugs. So though it might be difficult to get out of bed or get off that sofa and start your workout, think about how good you are going to feel once you complete your workout. If you are feeling lazy and down, tell yourself that this will all change once you sweat it out and finish your work out.

Don’t think about it. Just do it
Working out for me, has become part of my routine. Just like you would brush your teeth every morning when you get up, working out at a particular time has become part of my routine. I have actually programmed myself in such a way that I just do it without thinking anymore. Sometimes when I look back, I can’t believe that I have stuck with this same routine for more than 8 years. That’s a long time.
So whenever you feel lazy or feel like you just want to skip it, re-program your mind immediately. Tell your self that you just have to do it. Every time a negative thought comes to your head, push it away and say “I just have to do this”. Don’t let these negative thoughts rule your mind and make decisions for you.

I am not like everyone else.
When you wake up at 5:30 every morning, it’s hard to tell yourself that you need to go the gym and start working out. All sorts of thoughts race through your mind. The one that always races through mine is “Why do I have to do this? Everyone else is still fast asleep.” Of course the answer to that question is always “I am not like everyone else and I don’t want to be like everyone else”. You will be surprised at how effective that is.

Get a gym buddy
This is actually one of the easiest and most fun way to stay motivated. Get a friend who shares your enthusiasm for working out and make it a point to work out together. Not only is working out together fun, it is also great for keeping each other motivated. You get to compare yourself with someone, and this creates a competitive spirit which all in all is a good thing for working out. Besides that, having a gym buddy also helps when you start slacking off. When you don’t feel like going or if your gym buddy doesn’t feel like going, you can push each other to go. Plus, if you cancel, you are not only canceling your own plans… there is someone else who is depending on your plans as well. So start persuading your work mates, family members, friends or college mates into getting fit. Having a gym buddy is always the best way to work out.

Take a break from time to time
This is an extremely important tip. Lot’s of people who start off as real enthusiasts suddenly quit after awhile because they don’t feel motivated anymore. Often times, when you do the same thing over and over again, you tend to get bored with the routine, hence making you feel unmotivated and the feeling of wanting to quit.
To avoid this, make it a point to take a one week break from your routine every 4 or 5 months. During the one week, take up other activities like swimming or playing football or any other kind of sport. Once the one week break is over, you will probably feel guilty that you haven’t worked out for awhile and this will give you more drive and motivation to work out again.

Keep Reading Fitness Malaysia's Blog

Yes, this is the best way to keep yourself continuously motivated. OK OK, jokes aside, but I really do mean this. Reading this blog will help you stay motivated because you are always learning new tips which you can’t wait to try at the gym. So make sure you check out this blog every week to keep yourself motivated all the time.

So now that you have an arsenal of motivation tips, make sure you put them to use. Don’t let yourself feel down and lazy resulting in you quitting. Working out takes time to see results and a lot of times people quit because they don’t see the results. Believe me, the results will come to all those who work for it. The only thing you need to do is to keep working at it without quitting. Easy isn’t it? As usual, look forward to reading your comments.