Saturday, February 18, 2017

World Champion Athlete Comes To Floss Band Course

We had a Pencak Silat World Champion attend the Floss Band course today at Sports Solutions along with coaches, and sparring partners from the Singapore Silat Federation.

Yes, you read correctly, Muhammad Shakir Junda (above right) is a 2-time Pencak Silat World Champion (in the over 85-90 kg category). He was crowned World Champion in 2012 and 2016.

While I was still working at the Singapore Sports Council (now the S'pore Sports Institute), I had treated 3 Silat World Champions before and I found out today they were still involved with grooming future world champions.

Of course there were also other Physiotherapists, Personal trainers, Physical Education teachers and Occupational Therapists attending the course today. It was good to see some familiar faces in the participants today (Jocelyn and Tommy).

Hey, I thought it was the Floss band course, not foam rolling

Tommy Yau explaining how it's done

Lenis and Jacq do the cha cha?
A big thank you to Amy, Danny and Ekina for coming early and getting the place ready so I can eat a little after seeing patients in the morning. And for packing up after the course too. Please contact them at Sanctband Singapore if you want to attend the next course in April.

Thank you to all who came to the course today, glad you guys found it useful. And hopefully we'll get more World Champions in Pencak Silat too.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Any Runners Recognise This?

Found this in my parents place. How many of you remember or recognise this? My parents are slowly clearing my stuff that I've accumulated over the years.

For those of you who don't know, these are the nails we use for the racing spikes (or shoes) on the running track.

Let me know if this brings back memories.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Lo Hei Yu Sheng 捞起魚生

Yati has never had "Yu Sheng" before ..... That's what she told us when we had it at Sports Solutions earlier today.

A very, very big thank you to Sham for organising it, preparing the ingredients herself and bringing it to the clinic so that we can celebrate Chinese New Year. Chapeu to Sham!

Unfortunately not all our staff could attend. Here's wishing everyone a Happy and Healthy New Year of the Rooster.

Here's what tossing or Lo Hei Yu Sheng means.

History of Yu Sheng (from Wikipedia):

It usually consists of strips of raw fish mixed with shredded vegetables and a variety of spices, sauces and condiments. Yu Sheng means raw fish but since fish (魚 is commonly conflated with its homophone "abundance"  . Yu Sheng (魚生) is interpreted as a homophone for Yu Sheng (余升) meaning an increase in abundance, signifying prosperity, abundance and vigour.

This contemporary version was created and popularised in the 1960's among the Chinese community in Singapore and Malaysia during Chinese New Year.

The tossing action is called "Lo Hei" (Cantonese for 捞起)  which means to rise. This is a reference to a thriving business and thus its popularity with Chinese businessmen and Chinese businesses during Chinese New Year.

The ingredients are mixed by tossing and pushing them towards the centre while saying "fatt ah" (in Cantonese) of "huat ah" (in Hokkien). It is believed that the height of the tossing reflects the height of the participant's growth in fortunes, thus everyone is expected to toss enthusiastically. 

Here's what we normally say. 恭喜发财 (Gong xi fa cai) meaning "Congratulations for your wealth". 万事如意 (Wan shi ru yi) meaning "May all you wishes be fulfilled". 

The fish is added, symbolising abundance and excess through the year. (Nian nian you you) meaning abundance through the year. Then oil is poured out, circling the ingredients and encouraging money to flow in from all directions. 一本万利 (Yi ben wan li) meaning "Make 10, 000 times the profit of your capital". 财源广进 (Cai yuan guang jin) meaning "Numerous sources of wealth", 

Carrots are then added indicating blessings of good luck. (Hong yun dang tou) meaning "Good luck is approaching. Carrots (红萝卜) are used as the first character 鸿 sounds like the Chinese character for red. 

Then oil is poured out, circling the ingredients and encouraging money to flow in from all directions.  一本万利 (Yi ben wan li) meaning "make 10, 000 times the profit with your capital. 财源广进 (Cai yuan guang jin) meaning Numerous sources of wealth. Carrots are added indicating blessings of good luck.  鸿 运当头 (Hong yun dang tou)meaning good luck is approaching. Carrots (红萝卜)are used as the first character 鸿 sounds like the Chinese character for red. 

Then the shredded green radish is placed symbolising eternal youth. 青春常驻 (Qing chun chang zhu) meaning "forever young". Green radish is used as the 1st character 青 sounds like the Chinese character green. After which white radish is added - propsperity in business and promotion at work.  风生水起 (Feng sheng shui qi). Progress at a fast pace and 步步高升 (bu bu gao sheng) meaning "Reaching a higher level with each step.

The condiments are then added. 金银满屋 (Jing yin man wu) Peanut crumbs are dusted on the dish, symbolising a household filled with gold and silver. Sesame seeds quickly follow symbolising a flourishing business. 生意兴隆 (Sheng yi xing long) meaning "Prosperity for the business". Yu Sheng sauce is usually plum sauce, generously drizzled over everything. 甜甜蜜蜜 "Tian tian mi mi" meaning May life always be sweet.

Deep fried flour crisps in the shape of golden pillows is then added with wishes that literally mean the whole floor would be filled with gold.  满地黄金 (Man ti huang jin) "Floor full of gold".

Don't worry if you can't finish the dish as a small amount is usually left behind to signify abundance.There you have it. Now you know what it all means. 

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Under Armour Speedform Slingshot Review

UA Speedform Slingshot
I received a pair of Under Armour Speedform Slingshot last October. A few readers have actually asked me about how the shoe feels. So it's about time I wrote about it!

Some trivia about the shoes. The shoes were produced in the same factory that produces sports bras! One of the special features of the Speedform Slingshot is its seamless heel cup, designed to have a sock like fit that hugs the foot. In fact the entire upper of the shoe is one continuous piece of material with a split over the laces forming the "tongue" part of a traditional running shoe.

Traditional running shoes uses a few parts for the heel portion, creating a gap between the shoe and the runner's heel. Why am I harping on the heel portion?

Ironically this was the bit that my R foot had a little problem with though it's not because of the technology or the shoe. My right foot is slightly smaller than my left. So while the left shoe fitted me really well, the right side was a little bit loose. So my foot was sliding forwards and back a little too much for my liking while I was running. So the problem was me, no fault of the shoe's. I easily fixed the problem running a thicker pair of anti slip socks (see picture below).

The midsole is made from two types of foam that encloses a Y-shaped plate in the midsole that flexes and springs back with each stride (the “slingshot” of the shoe’s name). 

On my first run with the shoe, it felt as though the shoe needs to be "broken in". The shoe felt very stiff and unresponsive. I remember thinking to myself that it was a pity as while trying the shoe and walking around with it the shoe felt fine.

Fortunately I don't write shoe reviews just based on a single run. Also for all the things I'm reviewing, I request that I be allowed to write what I want and not write a glowing review just because I got the shoe free. Otherwise I will not do the review.

From my second run with the shoe onwards the shoe felt smooth, fast feeling and lightweight like it is. Strange that the shoe seems to need "breaking in" as most shoes now don't need to. Other than that I had no other complaints.

Thanks to Marie and Wilfred once again.

Friday, January 27, 2017

ST Article On The Benefits Of Being A Weekend Warrior

ST 270117
Sports Solutions wrote about the weekend warrior phenomenon exactly two weeks ago.

Today, Straits Times published about the same topic from The Washington Post taken from a JAMA Internal Medicine journal.

You can find the ST article on page A4 under the "Top of the news" section. Or you can read our blog's article here. Well, more reason to read our blogs.

So hopefully you can get.a chance a exercise at least once in the next few days to reap the benefits.

And here's wishing everyone a Happy Chinese New Year.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Exercise Can Reduce Inflammation

Let's go for a 20 minute walk
I've written before that just running 5-10 minutes daily at really slow speeds is enough to reduce your risk of dying from all causes and cardiovascular disease.

You will be very happy to know that just one bout of moderate exercise can act like an anti-inflammatory. This findings by researchers have encouraging implications for obesity and chronic "inflammatory diseases" like arthritis, fibromyalgia and other autoimmune diseases.

The study found that one 20- minute session of moderate treadmill exercise  can stimulate the immune system, producing an anti-inflammatory cellular response.

The researchers had 47 subjects walking on a treadmill at an intensity level that was adjusted based on their fitness levels. Blood was collected before and immediately after the session showed changes in inflammatory protein TNF, which produced an anti inflammatory cellular response throughout the body. (TNF is a key regulator of local and systemic inflammation that also boosts immune responses).

We all have inflammation occurring normally in our bodies as part of the body's immune response. It is how our bodies heal itself after an injury, defend itself against viruses and bacteria and also repairing damaged tissue. When the inflammation is chronic, it can lead to serious health issues.

Exercise is often taboo to patients with chronic inflammatory arthritis or fibromyalgia as they think it going to make their condition worse. But this study may contribute to developing new strategies for using exercise to treat patients who suffer from chronic inflammation.

I know what some of you must be thinking after reading this. Hmmm, after my hard training, I can probably do a short 20 minute workout to reduce inflammation and recover.

Well, if you ran hard for the past 3 days etc, then you need a real day off (yes that means no swimming, no cycling etc). You need to rest.


Dimitrov S, Hulteng E and Hong S (2016). Inflammation And Exercise: Inhibition Of Monocytic Intracellular TNF Production By Acute Exercise Via β2-adrenergic activation. Brain, Behaviour and Immunity.

Friday, January 13, 2017

The Weekend Warrior Phenomenon

Picture by Naval Surface Warriors from Flickr
We see a fair amount of "weekend warriors" in our clinics. By definition, a weekend warrior is a person who holds a regular 9-5 job and has a family to take care of on a daily basis. They are usually too busy to exercise on a week day so they try to cramp all their exercises on the week end.

In other words, these weekend warriors are compressing their total physical activity into one or two prolonged runs, bike sessions or a single vigorous basketball or football game each week.

We see them in our clinics because they are more likely to face a higher risk of sports-related injuries than people who exercise more often. This may be due to the fact that their sessions are more vigorous and are higher intensities compared to those who exercise more regularly.

However, published evidence from a large study of 63,591 adults showed that exercising even just once or twice per week  appears to be enough to significantly reduce all-cause mortality risk.

The risk of death from all causes was nearly 30 percent lower among weekend warrior adults compared to inactive adults. Risk of cardiovascular (or heart) death was 40 percent lower for weekend warriors while the risk of cancer death was 18 percent lower.

Among those who exercised regularly compared with the inactive group, risk of death from all causes were 35 percent, 41 percent for cardiovascular death and 21 percent for cancer death respectively.

As you can read, the researchers concluded that such fitness regimes (that are restricted to one or two days a week) can be almost as effective as those who require you to work out on a much more regular basis.

If you look at the stats more carefully, you'll see that the weekend warriors were mostly male and nearly half exercised only once a week. Almost 90 percent reported that their exercise occurred during vigorous sports like competitive running and cycling or team sports like football.

So even if you do not have the time to exercise in the week day, that single session you do on the weekend is gonna be of benefit too.And if you do get injured (hopefully you don't), you can come and get treated in our clinics.


O'Donovan G, I-Min Lee, Hamer M et al (2017). Association Of "Weekend Warrior" Amd Other Leisure Time Physical Activity Patterns With Risks For All-cause, Cardiovascular Disease, And Cancer Mortality. JAMA Int Med. Published online 9 Jan 2017.
 DOI: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.8014.

*Thanks to Rachel Wong for helping me with the photo above.