health and fitness

Expats Health and Fitness Goals 2016: What’s Stopping You?

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New Year has come and gone (except for the lunar new year of the monkey that we’re leaping into with frightening speed!). It’s now a month plus into 2016 and time for all of us, Team Expat included, to do some initial health check-up. Have you followed up on any of your earlier resolutions yet?

Our resident Health Expert, Catherine, shares her thoughts on several mind-over-matter battles everyone faces at the edge of decision! We reproduce her recent article on ‘What Is Stopping You?” with permission here from The Living 360.


At this time of the year, many of you have thought about making changes in your life and some of the most common resolutions could have been centered on your personal health and fitness levels. Whether you need to lose weight, tone up, improve strength or stamina, sort out that poor posture or niggling backache—you name it, there’s plenty to achieve. The hardest part though is simply GETTING STARTED!

Congratulations to all of you who got the ball rolling in the first quarter. As for the rest of you, here’s a look at some of the most common ‘self-imposed’ barriers that get in the way, giving weight to a plethora of excuses and adding strength to procrastination… Let’s study them and smash them down those obstacles, shall we?

1) There’s just not enough hours in my day with so many more important things to do…


Ask yourself an even more important question: What’s more important than your health? Without it, you’re not going to perform your best at work, at home with your kids, or at anything. The fitter you are physically, the better you will feel mentally and the more productive you will be, thereby saving hours of ‘work’ time in which to relax and have fun!

As you age any issues that have not been dealt with such as faulty posture, inactivity and obesity are only going to continue to deteriorate, causing many problems in the future. How many degenerative discs could be prevented with some core strength and postural correction training? Diabetes is often the result of obesity, poor diet and inactivity. Heart disease can stem from obesity, stress, lack of exercise and poor diet. Osteoporosis (more common in women) can be prevented with muscular resistance/strength training… The list goes on.

So, when people tell me ‘I just don’t have time,’ I don’t buy it! We all make time for the things we really want to do. We didn’t have ‘time’ to do our tax returns but we did have ‘time’ to go to the pub. We didn’t have ‘time’ to wash the car but we did have ‘time’ to browse the shops for hours. We didn’t have time at work to make that on-line payment transfer (a two-minute job) but we did have time to source for and book a two-week holiday (about two hours worth of surfing)…

So, there you have it—one myth busted!

2) But the gym is really not for me…


Well, who said anything about having to go to a gym?

There are so many ways to get moving. Even swapping the escalator for the stairs, or getting off the MRT one stop early is a good start! I am amazed sometimes when I read my new clients’ current activity logs’ as to how LITTLE exercise some people get on a day-to-day basis! Sedentary jobs, cars, lifts, escalators… All, preventing us from moving around. For some people, just adding 5 ways each day to move more is a great way to start. I elaborate on fantastic ways to integrate exercise into your daily life previously on

Now let’s look at activities related to things that you enjoy or appreciate. You could: join a beginner dance class or fix a weekly night out dancing with friends (avoid the bar and fatty drinks, please!). Explore nature and get out for a walk; Like MMA? Find a class to start off with, not to mention, if you used to be on the swim team, what’s stopping you? Just do it!

3) OK, but what if I injure myself. My back is sore anyway and my knees are giving way. I don’t want to aggravate the situation.


Fortunate for you, that is what we fitness professionals are here for!

We have spent years in training, discovered a passion for it and more importantly, for passing on our knowledge and helping others achieve their goals. We have studied ‘fitness’ intensively and are therefore fully qualified to coach you and make sure that you don’t injure yourself, and can learn more about your body and how to take control of it.

We will motivate you, watch your ‘form’ (technique), track your progress, record your program for you (complete with visuals where necessary), provide on-line support if you are traveling and generally get you moving in the right direction!

If you have any concerns about the trainer you’re about to hire, ask to see qualifications, take a trial session (before booking a package), and/or ask to meet them for a consultation (which should be free). Find out what the trainer can offer you before jumping in.

4) Fine, that is all great advice but it is still so expensive…


Think again! In terms of your health and longevity, nothing is too expensive. If you’re a smoker, drinker, gambler, fashionista, overeater, parent or partygoer (especially), please take a moment to count the costs involved…

How much dough do you plough into your regular favourite activities, social escapades, or kids and family? Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to enjoy quality time with your family for as long as possible and as actively as possible? Think how much money goes wasted on frivolities, and you’ll see: it’s a small investment compared to the larger scheme of things: being the possessor of a fit and healthy body that will carry you well into the future.

Expert Advice

If you have any questions regarding your fitness and need support getting motivated about fitness, connect with our resident Health Expert, Catherine.

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