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Lifestyle, Body & Mind

She climbs 42 flights of stairs every day and runs

The Straits Times | Tay Hong Yi | Tuesday, Mar 28, 2017

Photo: The Straits Times

WONG SZE KEED

Age: 48

Height: 1.7m

Weight: 62kg

Despite her hectic schedule as chief agency officer of AIA Singapore, Ms Wong ensures that she gets sufficient exercise by integrating it into her daily life.

The avid runner turns to stairclimbing for a quick workout and climbs an average of 42 flights of stairs a day.

She organises team-building runs once a week with her team at AIA and takes part in competitions such as half-marathons.

She is married to a 48-year-old risk manager and they have two daughters, aged 13 and 15.

Q What do you do to keep fit?

A I make it a point to clock about 20,000 steps a day. That's climbing about 42 flights of stairs each day, which is how I manage to hit my daily target in spite of a busy work schedule.

I also run with my team once a week on Wednesday or Thursday, after office hours. The turnout is usually about 20 to 30 people.

We take different scenic routes around Gardens by the Bay and do at least 5km each time. I also run 5km with my elder daughter on weekends.

It is a win-win situation as I get to spend quality time with my family and team during our runs.

Photo: The Straits Times

Q What is your secret to looking fabulous?

A Keeping healthy makes me feel good. This means getting at least seven hours of sleep each night and eight hours on weekends, so that I start the new week well-rested and energised.

As for food, I try to have home- cooked meals with fresh ingredients.

Read also: Improving kids' health: More exercise, better diet

Q Has there ever been a time when you were not fit and fab?

A I've had to work towards becoming more active throughout my life.

Actually, finding out that both my father and husband had heart conditions gave me a scare. It made me even more committed to ensuring a healthier lifestyle for myself, my family and my team.

Q What is your diet like?

A Due to work events, I dine out with my colleagues frequently. However, I make a conscious effort to choose the healthiest dish on the menu and often opt for salads.

When I feel like having a snack, I go for fruits such as apples, which my office stocks in the pantry as part of its corporate wellness programme.

At home, meals comprise two portions of vegetables and one portion of white meat, such as fish or chicken. We hardly eat out as we enjoy home-cooked meals.

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Q What are your indulgences?

A The occasional glass of wine at parties and social gatherings.

According to Harvard research, moderate alcohol intake improves blood flow and reduces clotting 24 hours after you have had a drink or two.

Q What do you do to relax and how do you maintain a healthy work-life balance?

A Running relaxes me as it puts me in a different frame of mind, away from work and stress.

Q What are the three most important things in your life?

A My family, my team and my health.

Q What's your favourite and least favourite part of your body?

A My arms and legs are my favourite because they are toned with all the stair-climbing. I am working on getting my tummy toned now.

Q What do you like about stair-climbing?

A Because I can do it on my own time, any time of the day. There are stairs everywhere, so I have no excuse for not keeping fit.

Q How important is it for you to keep up with your fitness routine?

A Very important. I feel very uncomfortable when I don't go for my weekend runs.

Q What is the most extreme thing you have done in the name of fitness or diet?

A I believe in making steady progress and maintaining it. Some of my teammates think that my stair- climbing sessions are extreme.

Q How has your active lifestyle influenced your family and friends?

A My family members enjoy outdoor activities such as cycling, canoeing and trekking. Both my daughters are in the volleyball teams of their respective schools. My husband goes to the gym twice a week and plays golf on weekends.

We enjoy a healthy lifestyle, combined with the right eating habits.

I am glad to see more of my colleagues joining our after-work runs. Once you make a decision to start exercising and keep at it, it will become part of your routine and lifestyle.

Q Was there anyone or anything that inspired you to stay fit?

A I've always admired professional sportsmen. It takes a lot of discipline and determination to train every day. I am inspired by them.

Read also: Years of intense exercise tied to dip in male libido

Q How extensive is your collection of sports-related paraphernalia?

A My most prized possession is the collection of about 40 medals from races that I've taken part in over the years.

They may not be gold, silver or bronze medals, but they are important because they motivate me to keep at it and do better the next time. The half-marathon medals are my favourites.

Q What sort of shoes do you use for stair-climbing?

A Since I do most of the stair-climbing at work, I wear flats. It's not the most ideal but it's convenient.

If I could, I would wear running shoes that provide good support for my feet. I do wear these shoes for the team runs because we cover at least 5km each time.

Q Would you go for plastic surgery?

A I've always liked to keep things simple and natural, so it's not something I would consider.

Q Do you think you're sexy?

A I am happy and confident with who I am.


This article was first published on Mar 28, 2017.
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