• 25Jul

    I was down with a cold and a bad throat yesterday. I must have been bitten by the bugs from my hubs and my second daughter, who were down with a cold and strep throat just a week ago. I struggled to get by my day yesterday. Though I felt like I was going to collapse any time, with drooping heavy eyes and a beat up body, I dragged myself into the kitchen and cooked lunch and dinner. In between house chores, I felt extremely sleep and napped whenever I had a chance to do so, which was extremely difficult with 2 daughters having an exam and the Mandarin tutor in the house.

    This morning when I got up, I was still feeling extremely lethargic with tired eyes.  I skipped jogging after sending my daughters off to the school van. Instead of going to the tracks, I snuggled back onto my cozy bed and slept for 2 hours. When I got up, I felt so energized. The heavy droopy eyes are now bright and well rested. My brain does not feel foggy anymore. I have been sitting at my PC typing away for 2 hours continuously, after breakfast of a slice of light chiffon cake and a bowl of light Marmite soup (1 teaspoon to about 300 ml of water).

    Allergy, Cold, Disease, Flu, Girl, Handkerchief, Ill

    A strep throat, achy muscles and a runny nose can make you miserable, but if you still have the energy to exercise, should you?  I will continue to exercise if I have the energy to do so, but will tone down the intensity and duration. For eg. I will do brisk walking instead of running and instead of walking 40 minutes, a 30-minute walk will suffice.  But if I do not have the energy to exercise, like this morning, I will definitely give exercising a miss for a day or two to rest and catch up on my sleep. I always get well from a cold naturally, from getting lots of rest and sleep and taking natural supplements like carotenoids, hydrogen water, raw honey, Manuka honey, propolis and Esberitox.

    Exercise, Weight, Woman, Sport, Girl, Training, Smile

    Some physical activities when you’re sick can be alright, but there are times when exercise can make things worse.

    The best way to determine whether you should go to the gym, or go to bed is the extent and location of your symptoms. You will need to give yourself a “neck check”.

    You can exercise safely when…

    If your symptoms are from the neck up, such as a sore throat, then it’s okay to exercise. Physical activity won’t slow down your recovery, as long as you don’t elevate your heart rate and body temperature too much.

    US researchers studied people who exhibited an upper respiratory tract infection or “head cold” over 10 days. They compared people who exercised for 40 minutes every second day with people who didn’t exercise at all. They found no difference in symptoms at the end of the study, and that exercising with a minor cold did not alter the severity or duration of the illness.

    Green light symptoms (yes, you can exercise)

    • runny nose
    • sneezing
    • watery eyes
    • sore throat

    It’s best to rest when….

    If your symptoms are below the neck, such as a tight chest, then your body needs rest. Exercising with major cold symptoms, particularly a fever, will prolong your illness and can be dangerous. Physical activity will compromise your immune system as the body focuses on energy production and muscle function instead of fighting the illness.

    If your oral temperature is at or over 37.5 °C (99.5 °F), your body is fighting an infection, and needs rest to recover. Listen to your body, and take comfort that you won’t lose any conditioning by taking a few days break.

    Red light symptoms (best to avoid exercise)

    • coughing
    • fatigue and tiredness
    • congested or tight chest
    • chills
    • nausea or upset stomach
    • muscle aches
    • diarrhea
    • high temperature / fever

    Fit people recover from illnesses quicker and experience milder symptoms than couch potatoes, according to a 2011 study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.  The following are the guidelines for exercising before, during and after a cold or flu.

    If you feel like you’re coming down with a garden-variety cold, you can still exercise without significant limitations. If you begin to feel worse after your workout, however, cut back. Take a few days off or reduce your effort to 50% of your normal capacity. Walk for 15 minutes instead of running for 30 minutes, or do one set of lifting instead of five. Also keep in mind the above-the-neck rule: If your symptoms include a runny nose, dry cough, or sneezing, you should be fine to exercise. But if your symptoms are below the neck, such a chest congestion, muscle aches, upset stomach, etc., make sure to rest.

     Stay home if you have a fever, stomach symptoms or the flu. If you’re wiped out with fatigue there’s no reason to work out. Plus, you’re contagious the first five to seven days. Rest allows your immune system to recover. Get to bed early and get extra sleep, drink plenty of fluids (no alcohol), take over-the-counter cold and flu medicines or ibuprofen as you recover.

    Try to keep stress at bay. Stress is known to suppress the immune system which makes it easier for you to get sick and cranky and harder to fight off bugs.

  • 16Oct

    I started to switch to swimming about 2 months ago when my knees, especially the right knee hurt each time I jogged or worked out on the air-walker in the gym. I have been jogging intensively for the past 15 years and I think that my knees have worn down, lost their sponginess, thus are unable to absorb as much shock and pressure.  At times, I can even hear the ‘pounding’ and ‘clicking’ sounds of my knee bones from the friction when I run or walk.

    I have never really liked swimming as I  think it’s troublesome (towels and bath robes add on to my laundry and it does not help it that we stay in a condo and do not own a clothes dryer). I do not like the idea of having my skin and hair soaked in chlorine water and the nasty chemical aftertaste in my mouth after swimming.  The first few minutes my body hits the cold water in the morning, I go into a fits of shiver.   But you know what, I am now hooked on swimming every morning, at predawn!  After sending off my girls to the transporter, I head straight to the pool.  Residents who have seen me swimming at 6:30 a.m. marveled at me and asked me if  I feel cold.  Truth is, on wet and chilly mornings, yes the water is icy cold and sometimes I get a brain freeze the moment I dive into the pool!  I shiver just by looking at the icy cold water on some mornings!  Sometimes I would feel that I can’t hack the icy cold water and would have thoughts of crawling back to my bed with a blanket over my head, especially on a wet and cold morning, which is just perfect for sleep ins. But NO. I have a steely determination and I would jump right into the cold water.

    Let me give you a little tip.  To get rid of the shivers in the cold pool water, quickly swim several laps without stopping.  It takes me 4-5 laps to warm my body up, after which, the pool water would feel slightly warm on my body.  That’s when I am fully warmed up and feel comfortable enough to swim over 20 laps.

    Swimming Health Benefits

    Not only is swimming easy on the body, it’s a great way to get fit.   There’s no ground impact or gravity when you swim, and so you protect the joints from stress and strain. Because there’s no impact with swimming, it can be continued for a lifetime.  My 70-year old MIL swims everyday.

    Swimming improves endurance. In one study of sedentary middle-aged men and women who did swim training for 12 weeks, maximal oxygen consumption improved 10% and stroke volume (the amount of blood pumped with each beat which indicates heart strength) improved as much as 18%.


    It’s sweat-free!  While swimming, your constant movement generates up to 85% of your body heat but because water that’s cooler than your core body temperature is continually moving all around you and cooling you down, you never feel over-heated or get sweaty.

    It’s kinder to your heart.  As you swim, the water that surrounds your body exerts pressure which helps your circulatory system return your blood to your heart. ‘The demand on your heart is reduced by up to 17 beats per minute or 13% compared to someone exercising on land.

    Helps prevent type 2 diabetes.  Swimming for at least half an hour three to four times a week, combined with eating a balanced low-glycaemic index (GI) diet, has been shown to control blood sugar levels, according to the Amateur Swimming Association (ASA), the English national governing body for swimming.

    Reduced blood pressure and cholesterol levels.  Studies have shown that swimming for 30 minutes at least three times a week can significantly lower your blood pressure. One study found that resting heart rate was considerably lowered after just 10 weeks of regular swimming.  Plus, swimming for half an hour or longer helps reduce the levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) in your blood while raising the levels of HDL – good cholesterol, says the ASA.

    Helps you manage your weight.   Swimming breaststroke for 30 minutes will burn approximately 367Kcal, depending on your weight and speed. That beats walking, which burns only 99Kcal in the same time, cycling, which uses up 240Kcal in half an hour, and even running at 6mph, which burns 300Kcal.

    I personally feel that the deep breathing I go through during swimming has helped to boost my mood.  Additionally, I have fewer aches and sprains on my body now.  Like other forms of exercises, swimming stimulates the release of feel-good hormone serotonin.  And the best part about swimming is that I no longer have aches on my knees!



  • 11Jan

    Today is the 5th day I have broken my exercise regime. Blame it on the hubs who has been leaving the house in the wee hours of the morning to get to his shop / kitchen to supervise his staff (the clients have morning functions) and I have no one around at home to watch the kids. Well, to watch Cass only. I would have to wait until she is at least 6 or 7 years old before I can leave her at home with her 2 older sisters.

    But I ain’t going to sulk because I can’t sweat it out on the road and in the gym. I make do with what I have.  This morning alone, I have already climbed 10 flight of stairs, separated into 2  sessions — at 8:15am when I walked Cass to school and at 9am when I went out to buy veggie.  Later when I pick Cass up from school, we will walk up to the 5th floor again.  In the afternoon when I pick Aly and Sher up when they are back from school, we will climb the stairs again. So 5 flight of stairs x 4 = 20 flight of stairs, which equals to approximate 15 minutes or lesser. With all the walking to and fro school, lobby, out of house, etc, I have at least 20 – 25 minutes of exercise. So I can now chomp down my toast with chocolate hazelnut Nutella without the guilt haha!


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About Me

I am a WFHM with 3 beautiful girls - Alycia, Sherilyn and Cassandra. I quit the job that I love to stay home with my 3 angels as that's what I've always wanted to do. I am a health freak, fitness freak and a clean freak too. I love to eat and live healthily and I want my kids and hubby to do the same too. Apart from being obsessed with good health, I am obsessed with fashion! I own an online store that sells ladies and kids clothing. Check out my online store at Old & New Stuff For Sale

I always believe that your health is your wealth and if you have good health, that's the best gift you can ever ask for from God.

Do check out my other blogs Health Freak Mommy and Health Freak Mommy’s Journal too!

I have been writing product reviews, food reviews / restaurant reviews and product advertorials since 2007. Please email Shireen at shireenyong@gmail.com to inquire if you are interested to place an advertorial or review in this blog.

Thank you!