A Health and Fitness Article of Transformation
Step by Step Guide to Healthy Lifestyle Series


This article is written from the author’s own experience of lifestyle change, resulting in a transformation of his health from ‘tablet taker’ to ‘wardrobe changer’. 


lThis Article has 5 Episodes 

  • Can I be Fit? – First Episode
  • What is a Well-balanced Fitness Plan – Second Episode
  • How do I burn Calories? – Third Episode
  • Monitoring my Changes and Results – Fourth Episode 
  • Letting Fitness become a Lifestyle not just a mere exercise.  – Final Episode

What is a Well-balanced Fitness Plan?

What type of exercise should you do?

There is no single type of exercise that can take care of all your needs. In fact, to get the most benefits from your routine, you need a mix of activities during the week. Otherwise, it is like a diet consisting only of fruit, healthful as far as it goes, but lacking a lot of the nutrients that one will find in other foods, such as fish, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains.

Developing a balanced exercise plan

Every exercise plan must have an objective, without which you will not see tangible results. Many exercise plans fail when the user adopts the wrong plan. 

For example, if your plan is for diabetes control, you start with running. If you just do brisk walking, it will not result in reducing the level of sugar in your blood.  So, understanding the basics of exercise is important and you can choose the exercises to get optimal results. 

Just to recount the basics which I shared in the previous episode

Fat Burn: 

The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week. 

What do you need to measure this? It’s a simple tracker. I will tell you more about a simple tracker and where you can purchase it. It’s a good investment towards healthy living.  A stopwatch will not be able to measure your heartbeat which is the basic measurement used in calculating fat burn. 

Time is divided into Zones generally 

Activity is classified as Light, Moderate and Vigorous based on the heartbeats per minute. 

Most watches, whether it’s a Garmin or Fitbit, use this concept of active zone minutes. 

Activity can be:

Brisk Walking, Swimming, Running as more vigorous 

Workout, Treadmill, Interval Workout as both moderate or Vigorous based on the level of intensity. 

Casual Walk, Hike or Spinning can be considered as light, based on the stimulation of heart beats per minute. 

Here is Heart Rate Zone Table for your reference:

103-123 124-150 151+

Different trackers adopt this differently and it is important to read the literature and understand. 

So when you walk, run, swim or do any form of exercise do it intentionally to generate these zone minutes.

When I started my exercise rhythm a year ago, hitting 150 zone minutes was difficult.  Now my average is 251 zone minutes per week.  So when you walk, run, swim or do any form of exercise do it intentionally to generate these zone minutes. 

Types of  Exercise:

Aerobic exercise (cardio): 

Aerobic activities are great for burning calories and paring down unwanted fat. They consist of activities that make the heart and lungs work harder: think of walking, biking, running, and swimming, for example.

Aerobic exercise temporarily boosts your heart rate and breathing, allowing more oxygen to reach your muscles and tuning up cardiovascular endurance. These are the activities that are associated with lower risk for many diseases and longer life span.

Warm up :

The importance of warm-up exercises should be considered by anybody who works out. Although warm-ups probably  will not help much with burning calories or building muscle, they are crucial to the success of a workout! Before you even think about running or using the machines at the gym, you ought to make sure you complete a warm-up and do a few stretches – but what makes them so important? 

As well as a good warm-up, workout preparation should also involve ensuring that you have suitable equipment for the exercises you will be doing. CrossFit, for example, can be enhanced by the use of accessories; particularly helpful for its Workouts of the Day are resistance bands and palm guards. 

As popular warm-up exercises, you may like to  include jogging on the spot for several minutes, cycling, or even simply performing your workout at a much slower pace to prepare your body. For your stretches, try static stretching, which involves stretching a muscle slowly and holding it in place for up to thirty seconds. 

The benefits of warming up are evident, and warmups will help you to achieve your goals at the gym; it is therefore clear that warm-up exercises should not be overlooked by gymgoers at any level. Once you have prepared your body and mind and done some stretching, you’ll be ready to make the most of your workout! 

What Is Anaerobic Exercise and How Does It Compare to Aerobic Exercise?

While doing Aerobic Exercises, the body uses Oxygen to fuel the muscles. With Anaerobic exercise, the body briefly must use substances other than oxygen to cause a very short energy burst. In this case, Glucose is the primary energy source that is broken down into a substance called Pyruvate leading to increased energy for a short period of time.  

What Is Anaerobic Exercise and Who Should Engage in It?

I would like to caution that anaerobic exercises are not for everyone. If you engage in activities or sports which require pacing and endurance, then anaerobic exercise is not for you. However, if you are suffering from Diabetes Mellitus where you have high Glucose levels it helps to force the cells to absorb and burn out the excess Glucose. 

Sports such as these include the 50 or 100-meter dash or clean-and-jerk weightlifting. It also may be appropriate for sports such as football, soccer, hockey, and basketball, which, while generally requiring endurance and aerobic fitness conditioning, also require short bursts of intense energy at times, making anaerobic conditioning appropriate.

Types of anaerobic exercises include sprinting short distances, doing sit-ups, push-ups, or chin-ups in very quick succession for a short period of time, or engaging in intense weightlifting. Often athletes will target a certain problem area of the body using very intense weight training for that portion of the body only.

With anaerobic activity glucose metabolizes into pyruvate but, with sustained lack of oxygen in the body, pyruvate turns into lactic acid to produce more energy. This can build up in the bloodstream. This leads to muscle weakness and fatigue which is counterproductive to the workout. It is actually the body’s natural defense system taking over to prevent you from overexerting your muscles.

Your Anaerobic Threshold can be improved with practice and conditioning. Often an athlete’s Anaerobic Threshold is the measure of their personal level of fitness.

It is usually best to combine both anaerobic and aerobic exercises within a workout program to get the greatest outcome and prevent injury. The best way to combine aerobic and anaerobic exercises is through interval training. Here you engage in aerobic activity for a sustained period of time, followed by an intense anaerobic exercise for a minute or two.

That is why it is important to go for a Balanced Fitness Plan. 

In Singapore the Ministry of Health has set up a Health Promotion Board to promote Well Being and Good Health and they have got fitness companies to offer a schedule of exercises called HIIT. (High – Intensity Interval Training). Around the world there are different organizations offering such a slew of exercises. 


As you can tell from the name, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is challenging. It takes your cardio workout to another level, as you push your pace out of your comfort zone.

You can use HIIT with any type of cardio workout, whether it is running, using a stair climbing machine, rowing, or jumping rope.

You will work up a sweat fast, working at a very intense level and then backing off for a slower recovery period, followed by another round of high intensity.

That strategy can save you time: You don’t have to work out as long as you would if you were keeping a steady pace.

You will lose weight, build muscle, and boost your metabolism. Plus there is a post-workout bonus: Your body will burn calories for about 2 hours after you exercise.

This workout places big demands on your heart, so you should check in with your doctor to see if HIIT is OK for you. You should also start slowly, doing a few intervals for a short period of time.

You may not be able to do HIIT if you have joint or muscle problems, like arthritis. Ask your doctor first.

Some Simple Well Balanced Exercise Plan which I do use daily:

My daily Schedule apart from the HIIT schedules which I do  for 4 days a week followed by 2 days of HIIT. 

Using this Table you would have completed 6.9 km 

If you wear the tracker and do  all of the above daily, you are easily working out 10 km. 

If you follow this regimen for a year, you are bound to be at least 5 kg lighter.

 Tablet taker to becoming a Wardrobe changer.  We will talk about diet and how to lose calories in the next episode. 


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