Singapore’s Most Popular Fitness Resolutions For 2011

January 1, 2011

Image of woman doing fitness trainingAs 2010 finally came to an end, many of us over here in Singapore are still drawing up or pondering over our New Year’s fitness resolutions and goals for 2011.

For the majority of us – Singaporeans – fitness resolutions have indeed become a part and parcel of our lives, so much so that we – at Singapore Fitness Professionals Network –  have decided for once, to find out for ourselves what the most popular and most common fitness resolutions that people in Singapore have.

After a period of impromptu street surveys, online research, feedback from fellow fitness professionals, recreational fitness enthusiasts and probing even our own extended network of relations, we have compiled the following list of what we think are some of the most popular and most common fitness resolutions here in Singapore (in order of popularity and responses):

1) Lose Weight

Not much of a surprise here – as losing weight comes up as #1 of the most-mentioned fitness resolutions that Singaporeans have. Whether it is a case of people being generally dissatisfied with their own body weight, or feeling guilty of their over-indulgences over the year-end festive season, or have been medically advised to lose weight (which is again no surprise considering the recent reports of obesity among Singaporeans), fat loss pursuits ranks as a top priority among the Singapore population.  

2) Exercise More

Resolving to exercise more comes in a close 2nd as the most popular answer given by people when asked about their fitness resolutions. Generally, Singaporeans are still quite a sedentary lot, and it’s heartening to know that more people are waking up to this fact and aiming to do something about it. Of course, our local health authorities have also played a large part in this: by convincing people – via the different Media – of the importance of exercise and leading an active lifestyle.

3) Get Outdoors

Getting outdoors for physical activities also got a fair share of votes for new year resolutions as it comes in a strong 3rd in our polls and research. It certainly seems that more and more people in Singapore are recognizing the benefits of fresh air and sunshine on one’s health. Perhaps it has something to do with Singapore being the host to a number of  international outdoor sporting events in recent years, or the recent proliferation of new parks and park connectors throughout the island, or the growing popularity of outdoor small group exercise classes; whatever it is, it seems that an increasing number of people are now planning to take their fitness lifestyles to the Great Outdoors.

4) Join An Exercise Class

With the surge in commercial group fitness classes which offer anything from BodyCombat to Zumba Aerobics to Pole Dancing, it is no wonder that joining an exercise class ranks pretty high on Singaporeans’ fitness resolutions too. Whether it ‘s just the sheer variety of choices, or mere peer/social pressure, or the ingenious marketing efforts of fitness corporations, being a member of a group fitness class has pretty much become a “cool” thing to do nowadays!

5) Engage A Trainer

With a greater awareness of the availability of professional fitness services, and the growing financial means among Singaporeans to tap upon this pool of knowledge and expertise, more and more people are now opening up to the idea of engaging a private or personal fitness coach for themselves – to accelerate their fitness progress. Though nothing new in itself, engaging a private trainer has actually taken on an added twist in recent years as  more people are looking beyond just engaging a personal fitness trainer to taking on other complementary private fitness services as well, such as sourcing for a personal Pilates instructor, a personal Yoga teacher, or even a personal Nutritionist! Whatever it is, engaging a personal or private coach ranks pretty high too on people’s New Year’s wish list!     

Via our findings, we have also uncovered other common fitness-related resolutions such as wanting to quit smoking, to drink less, to beef up or even to sleep more, but by far and large, the above 5 fitness resolutions rank as the most popular and common here in Singapore.

Well, there you have it – do feel free to let us know what you think of our findings, or perhaps, even share with us your very own fitness resolutions for the New Year too!

On behalf of all here at – Your Ever-Friendly Singapore Fitness Directory – we would like to wish all our readers a GREAT year ahead!

The State Of Exercise, Fitness And Physical Activity In Singapore

November 10, 2010

Image for group exerciseNot too long ago, there were reports in the media that there has been a marked rise in the number of people in Singapore engaging in some form of recreational exercise or fitness activity compared to a decade ago.

A quick glance at the rising membership in commercial gyms and public fitness centers, as well as the large morning and evening crowds at outdoor stadiums and neighbourhood parks tend to lead one to an affirmative conclusion as well.

However, on closer scrutiny, there is more to it than meets the eye.

Though the absolute number of people engaging in fitness and exercise programs in Singapore may have gone up over the years, the actual QUALITY of the activities and programs themselves seem to have yield little change over time.

And when we say QUALITY of an exercise/fitness program, we are inherently talking about the following aspects:

1. the proper EXECUTION of an exercise or fitness activity,

2. the PROGRAM DESIGN behind any physical activity,

3. the ADHERENCE to basic scientific exercise/fitness principles. 

Looking at point (1), most trained Singapore Fitness Professionals would unanimously agree and lament at the deplorable state of exercise execution found among most gym participants and recreational exercise enthusiasts. 

From basic movements like lifting a barbell off the ground, to the running gait of a jogger, to the execution of a  simple body-weight push-up, most trained Singapore fitness trainers and exercise coaches would winch in horror, or even stifle a giggle – depending on their mood on that day – at the sight of amateur recreational fitness enthusiasts executing any such a move through its entire kinetic chain.

Poor technique, improper body posturing, inadequate range of movement and ballistic (bouncy) bodily motions are just some of the more common execution problems encountered island-wide in ANY gym, fitness corner or outdoor park.

And if we take into account point (2), things seem even bleaker.

Most Singapore enthusiasts seem to have no, or at best, little idea of what constitutes a  proper program design. Their exercise choices and activities are often a haphazard mix-match of movements plucked from their own unscientific observations of what others are doing around them – a phenomenon the Fitness Profession candidly call “Monkey See, Monkey Do”, or adapted from unreliable sources such as off-the-rack glossy fitness tabloids and magazines.

The sad, but true state of affairs is such that the majority of fitness and exercise participants in Singapore has very little knowledge of, or even completely no idea what muscle groups a particular exercise is targeting at, or what fitness component they are training with any given movement, or how to properly string a series or sequence of movements together for maximum synergistic effect!!!

And when we put point (3) together, the current state of affairs worsens considerably. 

Exercise is a SCIENCE, and that’s why they are academic disciplines such as Exercise Science, Sports Science, Human Movement, Biomechanics etc. Unfortunately, the underlying principles behind these fields of study are often thrown out of the window by most recreational fitness enthusiasts in their fitness pursuits – very often to their own detriment.

A point to note: one does NOT have to be an Olympic Athlete or engage in serious Competitive Sports in order to apply these principles or benefit from them. Most standard exercise and fitness principles such as those pertaining to Exercise Intensity, Exercise Frequency and even the Concept of Specificity – should form the backbone of ANY exercise or fitness program – even those of a  recreational value.

But, unfortunately, as far as the Singapore Fitness Culture is concerned, this is sorely lacking.

What then is the panacea to these ailments affecting the QUALITY of the fitness or physical programs of our recreational athletes?

We think the answer is EDUCATION.

Education in the sense of ownership and responsibility on the part of the athletes and exercisers concerned to read up and educate themselves on the whats and hows of exercising. Frankly, what’s the point of working-out at all – when quality is ABSENT in any fitness program – as one is only further reinforcing bad exercise habits, putting one at risk of injuries, and getting further away from one’s original fitness goals? 

Alternatively, if self-education is too much to ask of our recreational athletes and fitness enthusiasts, then they should seriously consider the services of professionals: like personal trainers, fitness coaches or sports performance specialists to help them improve the QUALITY of their workouts.

Only if, and when, such steps are taken to improve the QUALITY of physical activities among our population, then can Singapore truly say that its citizens are benefitting from the exercises and physical activities that they are engaged in.

Otherwise, the increase in participation numbers is merely a facade and a false dawn.