Beauty & Wellness

7 Most Low-Effort & Easy Health Habits To Incorporate Into Your Day For Lazy Singaporeans

Easy health habits to adopt in your daily life

If having to head over to the next HDB block’s hawker centre to get your fix of bak chor mee already feels like a workout, then you’re in a teeny bit of trouble, my friend. But it’s not all doom and gloom, because we’ve got a list of hacks to make your journey to better health a little easier.

We asked our friends for low-effort and easy health tips that can comfortably be incorporated into our day-to-day lives, and here’s what they had to say.

1. Alight 1 floor below your home for bite-sized cardio

You’ve probably tried making one of your fitness resolutions to take the stairs as much as possible in the past and then failed miserably at it. We don’t blame you, especially if you stay on anything above the 5th floor.

Well, here’s a cheat: take the lift to 1 or 2 floors below your HDB level, so you are forced to climb just 1 flight of stairs. Once that becomes more than doable, take it up a notch by always walking down the stairs – much easier than ascending – and only taking the lift when you have to go up.

2. Take photos of your meals to keep track of the variety of food

Most of us whip out our phones to let the camera eat first anyway. So, the next step is creating a dedicated album on your phone to collect all your food pics. This makes it easy to track what you’ve been eating, so you can add variety to your next meal in an attempt to maintain a balanced diet. 

For example, if you’ve had salmon and eggs, that’s a check on the omega-3 and protein. Next on the priority list should be dark greens for your iron intake and citrus fruits for vitamin C. And if you need a more systematic method, use the meal log tool on the free Healthy 365 app (App Store | Playstore). At one glance, you’ll get a summary of what you’ve consumed that day and your total calorie intake.

3. Do simple exercises that keep you moving at your desk

Sitting at a work desk all day is one of the largest culprits for lower back pain, poor blood circulation, and not being able to hit your daily steps. Make the most of your time in the office by doing simple exercises at your workstation. Put an alarm on 2-3 times a day to spend just 10-15 minutes moving your arms and legs each time.

If you really can’t afford to stop typing at any point in time, you can try knee extensions and toe lifts while seated.

4. Wear your gym clothes all day until you get to exercising

Lay out your clothes in a visible area so you’ll have a visual reminder to exercise.

To all the lazy people with 101 excuses for why you couldn’t make it to the gym, we say just wear your workout gear to sleep. We kid, but that is seriously what some people do so that they can cross off an early exercise first thing in the morning. 

Alternatively, get into your gym clothes first thing in the morning and wear them all day until you get to the gym or your yoga class. If you don’t have to change your outfit, that’s one less step to take, and it lessens the chances of you backing out. On that note, get yourself some cute activewear that will make you want to flaunt your outfit at the studio. 

5. Suggest walking meetings for casual discussions at work

You know how you walk around the house while talking to your bestie over the phone? In the same way, suggest a walking meeting for a casual work discussion with a colleague. Scheduled meetings might pop up more often in your daily schedule, ensuring you consistently get a chance to make use of this lazy person tip. 

An hour’s discussion with a colleague can clock in about 6,000 steps, depending on your pace. In this way, you won’t even realise how much time has passed since you’ve been doing this low-effort exercise.

6. Jio your BFF for a free trial class & low-impact workout

Free yoga session at Hub & Spoke Cafe, booked through the Healthy 365 app.
Image credit: Changi Airport

Having a workout buddy has proven to be an effective way for most people to motivate themselves to get moving. So, join a trial class with a trusted friend. You’ve got the social pressure getting you off your butt, and it’s low commitment since you’re not saying yes to a full package right away.

And if you didn’t already know, there are even options for free workouts in Singapore. Just log on to the Healthy 365 app and you’ll see over 200 classes happening all over the island that are free to join. We’re talking outdoor yoga, pilates, and even kickboxing. Plus, there’s line dance, low-impact aerobics, and chair Zumba which are all suitable for seniors too.

7. Plan when you drink water in the day to maximise health benefits

We all know that 8 is the magic number of glasses of water we have to drink a day. But little did you know there are also optimal times at which you should be drinking. Consume your first glass just after waking up to help activate your digestive system and remove any toxins before the first meal of the day.

Drinking a glass an hour before a meal also tricks your body into thinking you’re already partially full, so you don’t end up overeating. Plus, we sometimes mistake our body’s signals of dehydration for hunger pangs.

Incorporate these easy health habits into your daily life

Even without regularly exercising or keeping a watch on your diet, you may feel like you’re in the pink of health. Everything is fine and dandy until it isn’t. As sluggish as you might feel on a given day, we think these low-effort tips are pretty simple to implement. Do them continuously for 30 days, and you’ve formed some health habits.

Anyway, you really never know what’s quietly happening on the inside of your body, especially when there are multiple illnesses that might not reveal any symptoms until later stages.

Hence, the smart thing to do would be to go for regular health check-ups. Such screening can help uncover hidden conditions such as pre-diabetes, hypertension, and hyperlipidaemia. There are screening tests that can also detect early stages of cancer, including breast, cervical, and colorectal.

We know it can be scary for many of us to think about health test results and a fear of what the outcome may be is very real. However, there is a compelling reason to want to know as early as possible. Being aware can reduce the risk of developing further health complications, such as heart attack, stroke, and kidney failure. Once detected, medical professionals can recommend an effective treatment right away.

Now you may be wondering what options are out there for affordable health screening in Singapore. One such initiative is the Screen for Life programme by the Health Promotion Board (HPB) which offers subsidised screening tests for *$5 or less – inclusive of the GP consultation and first follow-up visit.

The tests you can go for under this scheme include blood tests to check for levels of sugar and cholesterol in your blood, detecting possible diabetes or hyperlipidemia; as well as, Pap tests, HPV tests, and faecal immunochemical tests. Mammograms are also available at separate subsidised rates, starting from $50 for eligible Singapore Citizens.

If you’re a Singapore Citizen who has enrolled in one of the Healthier-SG (HSG) clinics, the nationally recommended tests under Screen for Life will be fully subsidised for you. Simply check with your HSG clinic when your screening is due.

To check whether you’re eligible for the subsidised tests, simply login to HealthHub via your Singpass to find out which tests you’re due for.

Check your eligibility for subsidised health screening

This post was brought to you by the Health Promotion Board.

*Your screening eligibility depends on your age, gender, pre-existing conditions and your last screening date. Different fees are applicable for breast cancer screening. Please check with participating Screen for Life Breast screening centres for more information.

Aditi Kashyap

Serial offender of binge-watching whodunnit shows

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