Five Lessons I Learned from Taking on a Fitness Challenge

In keeping in line with my workout goals for the year, it only seemed appropriate to pick up a fun fitness challenge that would kick things into full swing.

Out of the many gym studios offering weight loss or body transformation programmes, I decided to try out the Ministry of Burn’s 6-Weeks Challenge. Not only was the studio quite new, but they offered rhythm cycling classes, or spin, a type of workout that I enjoy a lot.

The challenge conditions were simple: attend classes five times per week for six weeks. But was it as easy to get myself to the gym that many times within a week?

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What Does it Take to Become A Good Writer?

A nice surprise occurred at the end of January, when an old contact got in touch.

Instead of a social call, he was letting me know that I’d been selected as one of GetCraft’s 100 Influential Content Creators. The company was expanding to Malaysia and as part of their launch party, they were recognising 100 creative professionals for outstanding work. Personally, it was a small indication that my quest to become a good writer is on the right track. 

Started by Patrick Searle (pictured above) and headquartered in Indonesia, GetCraft is a marketplace platform for content creators. Photographers, graphic designers, writers, videographers and especially social influencers are welcome to sign up on the platform and list their services for potential clients to browse.  

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Stay Committed to Your Health Goals for 2018. Here’s How I’m Doing It

group yoga commit to your health goals for 2018 by shermian lim

I’m no fitness guru with a jaw-dropping, sculpted body. I’ve taken courses in nutrition and have been learning about fitness methods since I was in college, but that’s the extent of my expertise.

What I am is a real-life, average working Jane currently seeing changes to my physical health, particularly in response to rich food, late nights and other unhealthy habits that accompany a lifestyle writer/editor. In the past year, I’ve been working out more and have seen my metabolic system plod along sluggishly, even while making vast strides in core strength and overall endurance. That’s a rather sad side effect of getting older, but one has to adapt to those changes.

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Touring Phang Nga Bay in Phuket with Simba Sea Trips

Mention “Phuket” and eyes light up at the thought of shimmering beaches and aquamarine sea waters. The island has been immortalised in movies and regarded as the perfect destination for an “exotic” beach getaway. Google images depicting day cruises, sunbathers and picnics on the beach convince you that yes, this is paradise on earth.

The allure is slightly diminished with the volume of tourists in Phuket during busy seasons, but with the right tour company, you can still have a sandy-beach perfect vacation. I was struck when I came across rave review after rave review for this tour company called Simba Sea Trips, when scouting for a good tour of Phang Nga Bay. So I booked, with confidence, albeit with a tiny sliver of too-good-to-be-true doubt at the back of my mind. Plonking down mucho money for two (4,200 Baht per person) via PayPal can make you a bit nervous.

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A Mangrove Conservation Program at the Berjaya Resort Langkawi

Work took me to Langkawi this past weekend, so alright, not exactly a beach holiday, but parts of it did feel like one! A group of us were at Berjaya Resort Langkawi, taking part in their mangrove conservation initiative. Instead of me doing the writing, I’ll let pictures — with rather long captions — show you how my weekend went:

 

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Galeri Petronas: Art Oasis in Suria KLCC

The first time I went to Galeri Petronas in Suria KLCC was out of curiosity, since I’d seen it umpteen times before — presumably always empty — and never went in, but came away quite impressed by the gallery contents. Since that first visit, I’ve been back three times because exhibits change within two to three weeks. I’ve seen an exhibit featuring Islamic influences in art, a showcase of the decay or the rise of cities in the world, as documented by various photographers, and most recently, an exhibit of #tanahairku, a street art project in KL sponsored by Petronas themselves.

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Learn How to Make A Pewter Bowl at the Royal Selangor Visitor Centre in Setapak

Life is often unpredictable, often throwing curveballs and surprises at us out of thin air, but amidst the uncertainty, there’s one thing that Malaysians can count on: at some point in their lives, someone will present them with a Royal Selangor pewter gift.

It may be in the form of a tankard, a photo frame or a tea sets. It might even be a souvenir plate with a retirement message on it, and you’ll proudly put it in your display cabinet as a talking point for when guests come to the house.

The metal alloy primarily made up of tin — known as pewter — means something to Malaysians, thanks to the popularity of Royal Selangor, a global, household Malaysian company renowned for its fine craftsmanship of pewter products.

 

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Riding the Maid of the Mist at Niagara Falls

The massive volume of swirling, gushing water at Niagara Falls will immediately captivate any onlooker’s attention.

It sure captured the imagination of Annie Taylor, a 63-year-old American schoolteacher and, of all things, an amateur daredevil stunter who became inspired to secure her notoriety by being the first person to ever go over the Falls. As if that wasn’t enough, she was to do it riding inside a wooden barrel.

Racing towards the cliffs at high speed, water exiting the Niagara River tumbles off the crestline, covering 10 metres in a second and creates a heavy mist towards the end of its’ downward trip into the gorge. Niagara Falls, a series of three waterfalls (Horseshoe, American and Bridal Veil) that sit between the border of New York, United States and Ontario, Canada, is approximately 50 meters in height, allowing the water just about five seconds to hit the bottom.

 

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How to Order Drinks at a Kopitiam

You would think that ordering a coffee, tea or juice would be just that simple. It is, at a modern eatery or cafe, but in a traditional coffeeshop, also known as kopitiam in Malaysia, a novice will almost certainly need time to get used to the terms. If Starbucks wasn’t established thousands of miles away in Seattle about 40 years ago, I’d have thought they took the idea of custom-made drinks from our kopitiams, which have been around for almost twice as long as Starbucks. (You know how they are with their drinks. Care for a tall, iced, no whip cream, no sugar, half soy milk, half low-fat milk, green tea frappuccino, anyone?) Continue reading

In Pictures: A Wet Market (Pasar Pagi) In Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur has seen plenty of new additions to its grocery scene in recent years, and it’s wonderful to have so many overseas-style supermarkets like Jaya Grocer’s and B.I.G Ben’s Food Market cater to customers who’d like a clean and modern food shopping experience. Prices may at times be a little steep, but that’s a given if you want imported groceries and the convenience of easy access to fresh food, anytime during business hours.

Yet, it’s hard to beat the charm of a wet market, early morning, outdoor produce markets also known in Malaysia as pasar pagi, where you’ll find local veggies, fruits, seafood and poultry at its’ freshest.

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