Struggling to get off the seat? Find out what your sore knees are trying to tell you

Posted on |

You knew it was going to happen sooner or later. When your age catches up with you, it may seem there’s no turning back. But there’s still much you can do. Start by taking care of yourself. You could not imagine the difference it will make. In this article, we will show you how is it still possible to regain your mobility and reduce many health risks by just being a little more active. What can you do? Is there any exercise suitable for you?

Struggling with age and your knees

As the years go by, we all start developing mounting health problems. After changing your metabolism, it is likely you won’t have the same appetite as you did before. Your energy levels are not the same, and you start experiencing these back problems, faltering knees, joint pain, and much more. Some older adults would even experience a wasting syndrome called sarcopenia when they lose a massive proportion of muscle mass.

All of these problems in the musculoskeletal system make this population susceptible to elderly falls. Since bone density is affected as well, fractures become more likely as we age, and the healing rate starts faltering. As a result, we may even become afraid of physical activity and decide not to move to prevent falls.

However, what you might not know is that your increasing difficulty to get off your seat and your continuous knee pain are probably be the sign that you need to get yourself moving.

Exercise for all ages, even for seniors

Is exercise appropriate for seniors? The short answer is yes, and it might be the solution to many of their problems. According to studies, being afraid of physical activity makes seniors at a higher risk of falling and sustaining fractures compared to their counterparts who exercise regularly.

So, exercising is not only for younger people who can climb, jump, run, and do push-ups without a problem. It is meant for everybody, including people with knee pain and seniors with low energy levels.

If you’re an adult starting to experience musculoskeletal problems, start exercising by walking around your block, performing a couple of sit-ups and lifting light weights. Do not underestimate post-workout soreness and progress in your training only when you have mastered your current training protocol without feeling pain. Combine aerobic and aerobic exercise to speed up your metabolism, reduce excess fat, and lubricate your joints, and report any inconvenience to your doctor.

But what about seniors? A good exercise program for seniors should consider their level of mobility and current health issues. However, an excellent place to start is walking around the house and starting longer walks only if they feel confident enough. Weight training is only appropriate after mastering bodyweight training. In most cases, it is not necessary to add extra weight if you’re trying to reduce the risk of elderly falls and increase bone mineralization. As we mentioned before, if you have any concern or health problem, do not hesitate to ask your doctor.

So, what are you planning to do if you get stuck in your seat yet again? Are you staying still and giving up? Get your body moving instead and reduce your health risks while you’re at it. You won’t feel more tired but energetic instead, and you will improve your mood and relieve stress.

References:

Abyad, A., & Hammami, S. O. (2017). Fear of falling in the elderly an emerging syndrome. Middle East Journal of Age and Ageing14(3), 16-25.

Gonzalo‐Encabo, P., McNeil, J., Boyne, D. J., Courneya, K. S., & Friedenreich, C. M. (2019). Dose‐response effects of exercise on bone mineral density and content in postmenopausal women. Scandinavian journal of medicine & science in sports.

Fransen, M., McConnell, S., Harmer, A. R., Van der Esch, M., Simic, M., & Bennell, K. L. (2015). Exercise for osteoarthritis of the knee: a Cochrane systematic review. Br J Sports Med49(24), 1554-1557.

 

Barriers To Achieving Your Best Shape

Posted on |

Original article published – September 12, 2017

http://sarimarsden.com/new-blog/2017/9/12/barriers-to-achieving-your-best-shape

 

When it comes to fitness goals, typically most people will only focus on the Physical State, but in this context, I’d like to offer a definition of best shape that includes Mental and Emotional States as well as the Physical. If you can align all these three states, you will feel like you are in that metaphorical “zone”, not just in the area of fitness, but also in the other areas of your life.

Whether it’s personal development or fitness training, there are 3 barriers to achieving your best shape. These three barriers are excerpted from our current book “Fit to Lead”.

  1. Resistant to being honest about “Where Am I”?
    Often I meet clients who have a great deal of enthusiasm when they talk about where they want to be in the future, but who are a lot more resistant about looking honestly at where they are right now.
    Everyone likes to focus on the destination and “the vision thing”, and while that certainly is important, trying to get to that point without stopping to clearly establish your starting point in life is a very common trap. As we say in our book, if you are not honest about where you start from in life, then you are doomed in any attempt to reach your desired destination.
    Telling the truth about your starting point often requires courage. You have to be willing to give up your image as a “good” person (whatever you think that means).

Stop talking about where you want “To be” and start building your best shape by being honest about the “As is”.

  1. Resistant to asking for and accepting support.
    In general, we have observed two main reasons why people are reluctant to ask for and/or accept support. Some people do not want to be a burden; they worry that other people are already busy enough and don’t have the time or the energy to support them. Other people see asking for and accepting support as a sign of weakness. They have their whole identity wrapped in their ability to be able to do everything required on their own and see the need for support as a fundamental flaw in their own character.

Your fitness goal is your personal goal, but that doesn’t mean you have to do it on your own!

 

  1. Resistant to the “Start now and start small” mantra.
    The desire for fast and immediate results is a common trend, but when it comes to fitness, it is not simply about the destination, it is also about embodying healthy choices and practices as we journey through life. This is what creates sustainable change.
    In our experience, people can be divided into two types when it comes to putting new behaviours in place. Some people resist getting started at all. There always seems to be a reason in their mental state pillar or a feeling in their emotional state pillar not to start now: “now is not the right time”, “I don’t know how to do it perfectly yet” or “I just don’t feel like it”. These are the great procrastinators, and underneath most, if not all, of their protestations is fear; fear of making a mistake, hurting someone else’s feelings or simply discomfort.
    Other people have no problem whatsoever with getting started. The word that they resist in the mantra is not “now”, but “small”. These people want to be on top of Mount Everest today. They are not interested in the small steps to get there. Their Mental State has them saying things such as “that’s too easy”, “it will take too long if that’s all I do” or “there’s no challenge in that, so what’s the point”, etc.  These people are often committed to getting started, rather than actually finishing.
    People with this mentality tend to quickly experience discomfort in their Emotional State and become frustrated, blow up or get bored along the way. They have tried to run before they can walk, and when they inevitably fall over, they tell themselves “it is impossible for me”, “it will take too long” or “something else is more important now”, and they go looking for something else to start and then the cycle repeats itself!

At the beginning of my own fitness journey, I was in this Mental State. I was good at starting things but not committed to actually finishing them. 11 years ago, I was one of those who paid a monthly gym membership just so I can enjoy my coffee in their comfortable lounge, rather than working out on their gym floor. I had no problem with “starting now” but I noticed my resistance towards “starting small”. Over time, I began to see how this did not serve my purpose. I had to tell the truth about where I was right now in my life and how my own mindset was holding me back.
Once I realised this, I became certain that I wanted to choose a different attitude and stick to it. How did I do this? I found a goal to which I was emotionally connected. It took time to reach where I am today, but it has been worth the practice.

 

So how do you move from here? A perspective:
When it comes to a fitness journey, there is no finish line, but you can always approach your fitness goal like a series of sprints and not a marathon. Always know that there is a pit stop coming up for you to recover, reset and relaunch yourself. Over time you will build the capacity to make healthier choices, in all three pillars. Physical, Mental and Emotional. Trying to build a great body with a Mental or Emotional State that does not allow you to grow is a fool’s errand. Your best shape (EVER) requires alignment across all of these states and yes, it will require you to get out of your comfort zone – physically, mentally and emotionally.

So, be honest about where you start, declare a goal that you are emotionally connected to, enlist support, start now and start small. Then develop regular practices that will take you towards your desired end point.

Sariusly.

Sari Marsden: Co-founder of Sarius Performance International and co-author of “Fit To Lead”.
Sari is a PCC certified Coach, NASM Certified Personal Trainer, elite trainer with Nike+ Training Club and a Championship winning Fitness Physique Competitor for Team Singapore.

To further explore the possibility of taking your leadership and/or your performance to a new level, contact us at fittolead@sariusperformance.com

Instagram @sarisarius

Websites:

https://fittoleadbook.com/

 

 

3 Tips to Burn Fat Efficiently

Posted on |

Getting your body in the best condition for effective fat & weight loss.

 

Do you workout at least three times a week, but don’t see the fats melting away? Yet you know of people who move no more than twice a week, still lose fat and keep it off. It almost seems unfair.

“What’s their secret?”, you think.

Well, there’s no secret. In the nutrition world, nutrition coaches have this simple formula for fat loss:

Calorie input > Calorie output = weight gain

Calorie input < Calorie output = weight loss

So if your body fat percentage and weight seems to have stagnated despite your best efforts, it’s time to look at your diet. Is it filled with refined and processed carbohydrates such as white bread, white rice/noodles, egg noodles, pasta, pizza, and cakes, or glucose- or sugar-laden energy drinks?

As you can quickly see, this is a carb-rich diet (sugar becomes carbs in the body). However, for fat loss, we need to reduce the consumption of carbohydrates so that the body burns fat. Thus, there has been increasing interest in Low-Carb-High-Fat diets that promote weight loss.

Other than What you eat, also equally important is When you eat and How much you eat. This is closely linked to the calorie output part of the equation, which we shall address below by looking at the science of what the body uses for fuel during intense activity periods.

 

FUEL SOURCES

Most people think that as long as they get in some form of exercise for 30-minutes, they are burning fat because their heart rate increases, they become short of breath, and they start to perspire profusely. Unfortunately, when we do aerobic exercises, the most readily accessible fuel that the body uses is not fats, carbohydrates or protein — it is glycogen. This compound is produced from complex carbs found in vegetables or grains from our most recent meal, and it would have been stored in our liver and muscles. There’s usually 500g to 800g of stored glycogen, which is the main fuel for the first 60 to 90 minutes of moderate intensity exercise.

Thus, exercising for less than 30-minutes will barely touch your body fat reserves. All you’ve done is depleted your body glycogen reserve. Then if you hydrate with an energy drink mid-workout or post workout, the glycogen stores would have been replenished. No fat burning has happened!

So, how can the fat burning be activated? Here are three tips to get the fats melting, and staying off.

  1. High-Intensity Interval Training: As its name suggests, HIIT is high-intensity movements, done in short bursts with rests of the same duration in between each exercise. The intensity of this form of training activates the mitochondrial and fat burning functions of the body. It’s tough, but it is short, sharp, fuss free (no need of much equipment and can be done anywhere), and you continue to feel the effects of the workout for at least 24-hours after.

With regular training, your metabolism becomes stronger and your body will begin to burn fat more efficiently. Your body will also begin to generate ketones at low levels, also known as nutritional ketosis, which helps with memory, and also helps to burn fat as you sleep.

If you have specific weight loss goals to achieve, you can consider working with a personal trainer to adapt your HIIT workout to match your goals. There are even HIIT routines suitable for people with chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and cancer.

After each HIIT workout, ensure that you consume about 20g of good quality protein to help your muscles to recover. Do this ideally within 30-minutes of completing the workout.

For a good quality protein that is easily absorbed by the body, opt for Clean Lean Protein — add a scoop to your water, coconut water, or nut mylk in a shaker bottle, and enjoy chilled.

  1. Superset Training: This is an alternative to HIIT workouts, and involves free weights. A form of strength training, a superset is when you alternate between two exercises without taking a rest in between. So as an example of a superset for the arms and shoulders, you would complete 20 reps of side lateral raise and immediately go into 20 reps of alternate dumbbell press. You may take a rest after this set to catch your breath or take a sip of water, before repeating the set another three times.

Likewise, the intensity of a superset training will activate the fat burn in your body.

Depending on your endurance, it is possible to train for 60-minutes when doing supersets. Should this be the case, consider adding branched chain amino acids and a good quality multi-nutrient with your protein, post workout. Here’s where a scoop of Good Green Stuff comes in handy: it is packed with more than 75 ingredients that meets your daily vitamin, minerals, and nutrient needs.

  1. Intermittent Fasting: If for some reason you’re unable to increase your output i.e. exercise, then you’ll have to decrease your input. One method that has long been used by athletes of sports that have weight class (powerlifting, mixed martial arts, rowing, boxing) is intermittent fasting. This is a pattern of eating less, and less often — a cycle of feasting followed by famine (more about this in the article Why Most Weight Loss Diets Fail).

On an intermittent fast, the rule is to eat no sooner than five hours after your last meal. Another rule is to eliminate all refined and processed carbohydrates, which we have mentioned earlier. Lastly, since it is a fast, snacks between meals are out too. Throw in a couple of training sessions when you’re on a fast, and your body will quickly shift into fat burning mode.

Usually, intermittent fasting should be taken on with the guidance of a nutrition or health coach. The coach will assess your training intensity and schedule, as well as your end-goal of the intermittent fasting, so as to come up with a fasting schedule and food plan suitable for you.

 

END GAME

By keeping in mind that weight loss happens when the output is more than the input, the choice is then to change our eating habits —how much, what, when — and/or increase our movement habits. When the conditions for the body is right, it will start to burn fat more efficiently.

Hazel – 70.3 World Championship, South Africa 2018

Posted on |

One of the things I needed to work on was gaining power and muscle mass in preparation for the Ironman 70.3 World Championship. I decided to give Nuzest Clean Lean Protein a try as it is an all-natural product. After 5 months, I was at an optimal race weight and feeling a lot stronger and healthier than when I did my first Ironman 70.3 race. With that, I achieved a personal best in the Ironman 70.3 World Championship, Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa 2018 race.

Thank you, Nuzest!

 

Turmeric for post-workout recovery

Posted on |

We’ve all felt it – that pain and stiffness that occurs several hours (and even days!) after unaccustomed exercise or overworking a particular muscle group. Known as ‘delayed onset muscle soreness’ (DOMS), we typically experience these pains when eccentric muscle activity is involved and the contracting muscles are forcibly lengthened.1 This mechanical stress triggers an inflammatory response and the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) resulting in sustained inflammation and oxidative stress which can eventually lead to muscle injury and the dreaded DOMS.2

The medicinal benefits of regular turmeric consumption have been well documented; from improving brain function to lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease, preventing and treating Alzheimer’s Disease and even fighting certain types of cancer. What is less commonly known is that Curcumin (the active constituent of Turmeric that gives it its distinctive yellow colour) has also proven to be beneficial in recovery from exercise due to its powerful antioxidant and inflammatory effects.

To test the theory, a trial was carried out to measure the effects of oral curcumin versus placebo on DOMS following unaccustomed heavy eccentric exercise. The study was a double-blind, randomised-controlled crossover trial in which the Curcumin or placebo were taken two days before to three days after eccentric exercise and the results found that only the Curcumin had beneficial effects. These included:

  • moderate to large reductions in single-leg squat and gluteal stretch pain at 24 and 48 hours post exercise,
  • reduced pain on walking down stairs, and
  • improved muscle performance.3

Another recent randomised, placebo-controlled, single-blind trial comparing Curcumin with placebo was designed to assess the muscle damage of healthy male volunteers after performing a 45 minute downhill running race. Results found that 1g of turmeric given twice daily resulted in:

  • reduced MRI evidence of muscle injury in the posterior and medial compartment of both thighs,
  • less pain in the lower legs, and
  • reduced systemic inflammatory response in comparison to placebo.2

The results from these studies suggest that turmeric has the potential to be very beneficial in reducing post-exercise soreness after high intensity training.

Nuzest’s Chai, Turmeric and Maca Clean Lean Protein (CTM-CLP) contains 1g of 100% pure Indian turmeric root and 19g of digestible protein per 25g serve, making it the perfect pre- and post-workout supplement. Because Curcumin alone has a very low bioavailability, CTM-CLP also contains 100mg of black pepper per serve which has been proven to enhance the bioavailability of curcumin in humans by 2000%.4 A clinical study conducted on elite rugby players has shown that the combination of curcumin and piperine (black pepper’s active ingredient) supplementation before and after exercise may help lessen some aspects of muscle damage.5

So if you’re looking to dial up the intensity of your training, or you want to recover and get back into it faster, try adding turmeric to your diet.

References:

1Proske, U., & Morgan, D. L. (2001). Muscle damage from eccentric exercise: mechanism, mechanical signs, adaptation and clinical applications. The Journal of Physiology, 537(Pt 2), 333–345. http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-7793.2001.00333.x

2Drobnic, F., Riera, J., Appendino, G., Togni, S., Franceschi, F., & Valle, X. et al. (2014). Reduction of delayed onset muscle soreness by a novel curcumin delivery system (Meriva®): a randomised, placebo-controlled trial. Journal of The International Society of Sports Nutrition, 11(1), 31. http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1550-2783-11-31

3Nicol, L., Rowlands, D., Fazakerly, R., & Kellett, J. (2015). Curcumin supplementation likely attenuates delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). European Journal of Applied Physiology, 115(8), 1769-1777. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00421-015-3152-6

4Shoba, G., Joy, D., Joseph, T., Majeed, M., Rajendran, R., & Srinivas, P. (1998). Influence of Piperine on the Pharmacokinetics of Curcumin in Animals and Human Volunteers. Planta Medica, 64(4), 353-356. http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/s-2006-957450

5Delecroix, B., Abaïdia, A. E., Leduc, C., Dawson, B., & Dupont, G. (2017). Curcumin and Piperine Supplementation and Recovery Following Exercise Induced Muscle Damage: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, 16, 147-153.

 

The Benefits of Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT) for Energy and Exercise

Posted on |

MCTs

Fats – the endless scrutiny continues. Which ones are bad for us? Which ones are meant to be good for us? Which ones will make us put on weight? Everyone seems to have a different opinion. The good news is there is one type of fat that experts agree we don’t need to be concerned about – one that is not only good for our health but can also improve our energy and the quality of our workouts.

Medium Chain Triglycerides/Triacylglycerols (MCTs) are a unique form of dietary fat that provide numerous health benefits. Their reduced chain length not only means that they carry fewer calories, it also allows for accelerated metabolic conversion. This means that instead of our bodies storing them as fat (like Long Chain Fatty acids (LCTs)), the calories in MCTs are used immediately by our organs and muscles, making it one of the fastest, cleanest sources of fuel for the body.

MCTs have gained popularity with athletes looking to increase energy levels and enhance endurance during high-intensity exercise. 1 A review of the literature has shown that short-term ingestion of foods containing a small amount of MCTs suppresses the increase in blood lactate concentration and the rate of perceived exertion (RPE) during moderate-intensity exercise; whilst extending the duration of subsequent high-intensity exercise, at levels higher than those achieved by ingestion of LCT-containing foods.2

MCTs have also been found to assist with weight loss because of their lower caloric content than other fats, as well as their ability to enhance metabolism, increase energy expenditure, and promote the production of ketones – all without adversely affecting metabolic risk factors such as cholesterol and blood pressure.1,3,4,5 Scientists have attributed the energy-enhancing properties of MCTs to their rapid formation of ketone bodies thus making them an excellent choice for anyone that has increased energy needs or requires enhanced athletic performance.

Now that we have cleared the air on this group of ‘super’ fats, it’s time to put them to use in your own daily routine. Nuzest’s Coffee, Coconut + MCT Clean Lean Protein contains approximately 600mg of coconut-derived MCTs per 25g serve, making it the perfect pre-workout protein smoothie.

Click here for our Pre-Workout Coffee, Coconut + MCT thick shake recipe to help get the best out of every workout.

 

References:

  1. Dean, W. & English, J. (2013). Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) – Beneficial Effects on Energy, Atherosclerosis and Aging. Retrieved from https://nutritionreview.org/2013/04/medium-chain-triglycerides-mcts/
  2. Nosaka, N., Suzuki, Y., Nagatoishi, A., Kasai, M., Wu, J., & Taguchi, M. (2009). Effect of Ingestion of Medium-Chain Triacylglycerols on Moderate- and High-Intensity Exercise in Recreational Athletes. Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology, 55(2), 120-125. http://dx.doi.org/10.3177/jnsv.55.120
  3. Mumme, K., & Stonehouse, W. (2015). Effects of Medium-Chain Triglycerides on Weight Loss and Body Composition: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Journal of The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 115(2), 249-263. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jand.2014.10.022
  4. Rego Costa, A. C., & Rosado, E. L., & Soares-Mota, M. (2012). Influence of the dietary intake of medium chain triglycerides on body composition, energy expenditure and satiety; a systematic review. Nutricion Hospitalaria, 27(1), 103-108.
  5. St-Onge, M.-P., Bosarge, A., Goree, L. L. T., & Darnell, B. (2008). Medium Chain Triglyceride Oil Consumption as Part of a Weight Loss Diet Does Not Lead to an Adverse Metabolic Profile When Compared to Olive Oil. Journal of the American College of Nutrition27(5), 547–552.

 

The Importance of Protein in an Active Lifestyle

Posted on |

I think by this stage almost everyone knows that they ‘need’ protein, but in my lectures and workshops I still get questions like, “but won’t protein make me bulky?”, or, “won’t eating too much protein give me big muscles?”. And while most of us know that we do need to be eating ‘enough’ protein, less know how much ‘enough’ is and why it’s important!

What is it?
Protein quite simply is the building block of most of the structures in the body. ‘Protein’ is the name given to groupings of amino acids. Protein is broken down to these amino acids which are then used to create enzymes, muscle tissue, bone matrix and many other structural components of the body. All cells require protein.

Quick Fact: Over 98% of ALL the cells in your body are replaced every year!

Why do we Need it?
It helps us to become and remain lean! Protein has a higher ‘thermic effect of feeding’ (TEF) rating than either carbohydrates or fat. This means that when a higher proportion of your diet is protein your metabolic rate (and consequently fat loss) is going to be higher.

Improved Lean Body Mass
An optimal protein intake will allow us to maintain a higher lean body mass. This helps to give us the lean, fit looking physique that many desire (but not ‘bulky’!) whilst also improving metabolic rate further and helping to decrease fat stores and maintain leanness.

Improved Alertness and Focus
Amino acids supply the raw material for the excitatory neurotransmitters such as epinephrine, nor-epinephrine and dopamine. When we do not have enough of these amino acids we are more likely to suffer mental fatigue and physical fatigue.

Bone Structure and Health
Protein provides the matrix for bone and connective tissue. Ample protein helps to provide the structure for healthy bones!

How Much do we Need?
The recommended daily intake (RDA) for protein is based on the activity level of sedentary individuals and is measured by looking at the amount of protein taken in and compared with the amount excreted. It is approximately 0.8 grams per kilo of bodyweight.

What the RDA Doesn’t Take into Account
RDA and DRI (Dietary Reference Intakes) are ‘necessary’ amounts for baseline health. In other words – survival. But the optimal amounts we need in order to thrive may be much different!

As long ago as 1975 Gontzea et al have shown that a level of 1.5grams per day per kilo of bodyweight were insufficient when exercise was undertaken and other studies have shown that Tour de France athletes were only able to maintain a positive nitrogen balance at an intake of 1.8g per kilo per day.

Levels up to 3g per kg bodyweight per day (over 3 x the RDA) have been demonstrated to increase lean body mass, reduce fat mass and improve performance.

Most people will do well to get at least the RDA level with additional protein if and when able but overall quantity should be less important though, than eating good quality protein consistently.

The key ‘take home’ point is to eat quality protein at every meal.

Examples of Good Clean Green Plant Based Sources Would be

  • Sprouted lentils, chick peas or mung beans
  • Nuts or seeds (almonds, Brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds)
  • Tempeh or other fermented protein foods.
  • One 25g serve of Clean Lean Protein provides 22g of high quality protein.

The Singapore International Triathlon

Posted on |

Singapore International Marathon

The Singapore International Triathlon was a two-in-one meet for triathletes aiming to claim national glory. Besides serving as a national championship, the Sunday morning race also served as the final qualifying meet for athletes aspiring to be nominated to next year’s Commonwealth Games.

In this year’s championships, elite triathletes have a designated local-only category (1stwave start of the day at about 7:20 am) and we were also allowed to draft. There were 11 elite men and 3 elite females on the start line.

The swim leg was good, and into and out of T1, we had a tight bunch of 4. The pack worked really well together on the bike and that allowed us to adopt a pack strategy as we pulled and widened the gap between us and the rest. Transition through T2 was fast and I was out on the run in a blink. I went pretty hard on the 1st 3 km into the run to widen the lead as much as possible. My goal was just to go hard today and start getting on the ITU board for some valuable points to build a strong case for my nomination to compete at the Commonwealth Games, although I’ve already been nominated.

It has been a whirlwind since the beginning of this year for me, and I must honestly say it really hit me hard, really hard. I have my parents to thank for alwaysbeing there with and for me through these turbulent times. It helps, it really helped a lot – their advice, wisdom, warmth, love and above all their arms and shoulders are always a place I can turn to cry, hug and hide when I want to shut myself out and reflect.

The smiles came from loads of perspiration, tears, pain, sacrifices, commitment and my supportive and much-valued sponsors.

Thank you Nuzest for your never-ending support and encouragement. Securing my nomination with the Federation for both the Commonwealth & Asian Games in 2018, means a lot more work and sacrifice, goals to be achieved. Nuzest has become a necessary part of my day, and I’m really grateful for your faith in me and bringing me onboard. I am sure we’ll do Singapore proud together.

My next race in Japan – Murakami, on 24th September, will be a standard distance race. Till the next report, here’s wishing you pleasant weeks ahead. Tune-in then for more pictures and action in 2 weeks’ time.

There’s lots of work to do, and reflections to fine tune my standard distance race as I prepare for it.