Tuesday, May 17, 2016

A Day at Singapore Zoo and River Safari

A way to take a break from all the stresses in life is to visit the Singapore Zoo! Just look at how the animals lay back and relax, get fed promptly, putting us abled bodied and thinking creatures to shame.

Some of us do not even get to eat on time, let alone have enough food!

There are some things that I love about the Singapore Zoo. It is rated one of the best in the world for several reasons. For one, it is clean. So clean that it is hard to sniff any traces of animal stool around. It is as though there were hidden cleaners in the bushes that come out now and then to ensure we don't see them around! Not even in their habitat! No matter, you cannot rid of the animal smell. It is only natural!

The animals there look so healthy and very well fed! I have been to zoos in other countries and there is a stark difference in the quality of the animals. Thanks to the zoo keepers at Singapore Zoo that feed them so regularly that most of them were actually having their food coma, and with the sweltering weather, it make the lions look tame.

The animals in Singapore zoo are definitely lucky to own homes paid by patrons and most of all, bigger than your 5-room public flat. Funnily, somehow we are encouraged to reproduce when relatively 80% of our homes are smaller than a fish tank.

As a tourist, of course anyone would be impressed by Singapore Zoo's upkeeping. It makes the entire experience a pleasant one.

You might want to bring a towel and a large bottle of water though. It could get very hot, there is no drinking fountain around, the drinks there are so expensive that the next thing that could be thirsty is your wallet.

I also went to the River Safari since it is the latest attraction to date by Wildlife Reserve Singapore. Honestly, I felt a little cheated by the fanfare gotten by River Safari. That was probably because reality mismatched my expectation. Maybe for kids sure it would be fascinating to see river creatures like piranhas but how interactive could it get?

You know how some of us opine that fishes are boring pets because you can't really, touch or hug them?

Nevertheless, the unremarkable river-themed zoo experience was compensated by the Amazon River Quest because to feel engaged and thrilled you have to pay extra on top of the entrance fee. The river quest brings you through exhibits of some animals found at Amazon River.

The River Safari Cruise brings you a loop around Upper Seletar Reservoir and you see nothing but trees. Sure it is tranquil but I could get that elsewhere without paying an entrance to River Safari. The recorded commentary only told me so much! The idea I had of a river safari cruise was a boat journey through the waters in a vegetation where I get to see animals in its habitat just as what I saw in the Amazon River Quest.

River Safari bore me and probably a twenty-dollar lesson to not set foot in it until it steps up their touch points. The Giant Panda house was probably the other saving grace.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Basic Aesthetic - 6 Exercises to Get in Shape

How's the long weekend?

I am grateful to be able to meet one of EPN's athletes this month to find out more about workouts that could help in aesthetics. Just checking out of interest!

Introducing fitness model Zam who had just clinched the first prize at the recent Physique War 2016!

We train hard for strength and there is a difference when it comes to getting in shape. Often times I hear my friends workout to lose weight and they whine at how they either see no progress or gain in mass, contrary to what they are hoping for.

Getting in shape is more than just running on the treadmill forever!

I feel very fortunate to be able to spend some time with Zam to find out his favourite exercises when it comes to training for aesthetics but first, he shared with me how EPN products have helped him in his arena.

He takes the well acclaimed Bentancourt's B-Nox for his pre-workout which has helped him consistently in getting the energy boost he needs. He likes it because compared to other pre-workouts he has ever tried, B-Nox gives him sustainable optimum energy.

For a person who literally spends a lot of time in the gym for work and workout, he takes Bentancourt's BCAA as an intra-workout, to keep his muscles development in check, not allowing to get burnt along with fats. Like me, he likes the grape flavour too! We are trying out the latest BCAA+, and I am loving the passion fruit flavour!

While EPN is out of stock for its famed Betancourt's protein, we are currently taking NutriForce's NutriWHEY for recovery. Its premium protein is not only helpful in recovery because of its high protein and presence of glutamine that improves muscle metabolism, it is certified Halal (permissible) by Islamic Services of America (ISA), cutting down the search hassle for practising Muslims.

It is all natural, delicious and will definitely engage your tongue with its chocolate bits it has in every scoop of NutriWHEY.

You could always try them out by making online purchase via EPN's online portal and use discount code ZY 10 for 10% discount on all non-promotional items. Log on to www.epn.com.sg for more details!

Getting back on aesthetics, as recommended by Zam, you should be doing four sets of each of these exercises. You should be doing lesser reps in each set with weight increment of 2.5 kg in each set. Practically, 15 reps on your first set, followed by 12 reps, going down to 10 reps and end with 8 reps. Ensure that you are carrying an ideal weight, not too heavy nor too light!

The first chest exercise will be the inclined chest press on the Olympic bar.

Be sure that you warm up with the empty Olympic bar to get accustom to the motion. Once you are warmed up and familiar with the movements, you can add on the weights and do the first set. Lie down 45 degree incline on the bench, and ensure that the bar is on chest level. As you lift up, ensure you that you do not lock your arms, and your ending point should be the bar touching the chest. Do not rest the weighted bar fully on the chest! Get a partner if you need help, really!

Second exercise ideal for the chest would be the cable chest fly.

Cable chest fly is pretty straight forward. Set the cable to the top on each side. Grab the handles on each side and bring it forward. While it seems easy, you should be feel the stretch and activate the muscles on your chest. Pull it down to the same level as your navel. Do not lean forward too much and try to keep your body as vertical as possible.

Once you are done with your chest, let's move on to shoulders! The first shoulder exercise in order is the standing shoulder press.

Set the starting point of the bar to chest level so that you could carry and put it back easily. With your hands just outside the alignment of your shoulders, lift the bar up and ensure you do not lock your elbows. Then, bring it down again to your neck level before bringing up again for the next rep. Avoid letting the bar hit your chin, it happened once when I was doing cling and jerk, it was awful!

The second exercise useful for a more defined shoulders is the side lateral raise. It is probably the easiest amongst all shoulder exercises really. Have one dumbbell on each side, and lift it up to the same level as your shoulders. Allow your arms to straighten out to its maximum, without forcing it to do so.

The last two exercises are for your lats. Some might not understand this but there was this joke about how some people look good from the back until their turn their heads. That's probably because they have a very well defined lats!

I do not mean to make degrading jokes or anything but if that pushes you to have a more defined lats, these two could be helpful because it is pretty much safe to say we see these two equipments in the gym.

Lats pull down is simple but there are variations. You could try this - have your hands at the very end of the handle and then pull it down to your lip level. Just don't pull it too far down to your chest, that's the point. Release slowly, and repeat.

Lastly, an exercise that require no explanation - the seated row!

As you do your seated row, keep your body upright throughout the exercises for optimum results.

While there are many other forms of exercise, these are great for starters! To learn more about getting in shape, feel free to find Zam at Anytime Fitness at PoMo Mall!

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Affordable Art Fair 2016 - Spring Edition

The third Spring Edition of the Affordable Art Fair Singapore saw its seventh year on the Singapore art scene - the newest and fastest growing art scenes in the world. The fair remains true to its mission of offering affordable and accessible art.

It was heartwarming to be among those who got to see it first hand.

There were so many artwork that were showcased, especially coming from new and emerg
ing artists with a diverse selection of contemporary artworks, across a variety of styles from abstract to figurative, and a range of art forms including paintings, sculpture and photography.

Where else can you get beautiful and exclusive, yet affordable artwork for your home or office if not Affordable Art Fair?

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Domino's Pizza Latest Addition - Cheesy Mozzarella Stix

I love cheese. Enough said.

I was thrilled to be one of the few to try out the latest addition to Domino's Pizza's menu. Stylized as the Cheesy Mozzarella Stix, it should be the staple for parties who are in search of filling food.

How can one not feel full eating cheese?

Baked to golden perfection, the new Mozzarella Cheese Stix is loaded with 100% Mozzarella Cheese for you to savour.

I love Domino's Pizza even though it is considerably pricey, it allows you to customize your pizza be it the crust, the sauce and toppings. It is becoming a little bit like baking your own pizza at the click of a mouse.

While Domino's Pizza have pizzas dominating its menu, its side dishes are no less delicious and well known. Most of you like myself surely love the Chocolate Lava Cake, Tom Yam flavoured Chicken Crunchies and Cinnastix. Now there is something to love even more!

I remember back in those days when Mozzarella Cheese Stix was not in the menu, I had to change my pizza crust to cheesy crust just so that I will have that extra cheese to my meal. Now, I am able to enjoy more of the crunchy crusts and order Mozzarella Cheese Stix on the side so that I could enjoy my calories the way I like it!

Cheesy Mozzarella Stix is selling at an introductory price of S$5.80 and as a reward to all Domino's Pizza's customers, I have a discount code for you to use! Here are the codes and details:

TIN74A - S$24 for 2 of 9" regular pizzas and Cheesy Mozzarella Stix.

TIN74B - S$34.50 for 2 of 12" large pizzas and Cheesy Mozzarella Stix.

TIN74C - S$45 for 2 of 15" extra large pizzas and Cheesy Mozzarella Stix.

Half price, don't think twice. Order! Codes valid till 20 May 2016.

Note: Surcharge applies for Cheese Burst, Cheesy Crust, Classics, First class pizza and Cheese sausage upgrade, Half and Half, Extra Toppings, Extra Cheese and Extra condiments.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Melbourne 2016 - Never A Dull Day at Hosier Lane

Knowing Melbourne as a major centre for street art, it would not be wise to skip this in your itinerary!

Hosier Lane in Melbourne is one of the most renowned landmark for urban art. It would be a slap to call it vandalism but I thought it was until I found out that it is a legit platform for graffiti artists to showcase their work or even graffiti advertisements.

Vandalism or not, they are arresting and God knows how much spray cans were utilised just to make these monumental artwork. It would be a waste to have it sprayed over by another art work in the next few months or so, but it would be worth it if it is going to be documented in someone's social media, and only the few thousand of you get to see them first hand.

Melbourne is beautiful in that sense. It is not exactly a lustrous, bright, glossy city as much as I wanted it to be, but given the colourful and vibrant art at every corner of the city, it is hard to say I ever had a dull day there.

Enjoy the bad boy pose I was trying to work on!