Monday, November 23, 2015

Anytime Fitness Celebrating 3000th Gym Worldwide

Hi everybody! Today's update is something really useful and fruitful not only for myself but many others out there who are reading this. Not limited to just gym entrepreneurs!

Anytime Fitness officiated its newest outlet grand opening at PoMO shopping mall last week and it was amazing that it was graced by the President and Co-Founder of Anytime Fitness himself, Dave Mortensen. He was here in Singapore as part of his Asia tour in celebration of Anytime Fitness’ recent opening of its 3,000th gym worldwide. Three cheers for Anytime Fitness!

Ranked #1 on Entrepreneur’s prestigious Franchise 500® list, Anytime Fitness is the fastest-growing gym franchise in the world, with 3,000 gyms serving nearly 3,000,000 members on five continents.

Open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, Anytime Fitness prides itself on providing its members with convenient fitness options and friendly, personal service in well-maintained facilities which feature top-quality exercise equipment.

Gyms are now open in all 50 states in the USA, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, England, Scotland, Ireland, Grand Cayman, Poland, the Netherlands, Spain, Qatar, India, Chile, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, Belgium and the Philippines. All franchised gyms are individually owned and operated.

This year, Anytime Fitness is one of the best franchise to buy according to Forbes magazine!

At Anytime Fitness, you can determine your own workout schedule without restriction as they adhere to your timetable, rather than you having to follow theirs (opening hours). You will also like the fact that their gyms feature all of the equipment, programmes, classes and support you need to achieve your goals! Be it fitness, aesthetics or simply to live a happier life by being part of the gym community.

To date, Anytime Fitness is by far the world's largest co-ed health club chain that has achieved another impressive milestone; the opening of its 3000th gym. Recently honoured at number one Top Global Franchise by Entrepreneur Magazine, Anytime Fitness also received these accolades in Singapore in 2015 - Franchising & Licensing Awards' (FLA) Franchise of the Year and the FLA International Franchise of the Year, SME Business of the Year, SME Fastest Growing Business and AsiaOne's People's Choice Award.

Anytime Fitness gym began in Minnesota, USA in May 2002. The company's founders attribute the rapid growth of the franchise to a focus on convenience, affordability and a friendly, non-intimidating club atmosphere. It is evident in their welcoming chalked up entrance that states workout menu and cute drawings!

The first Anytime Fitness club in Singapore opened in Woodlands in 2003. There are now 25 Anytime Fitness clubs in Singapore and the number is expected to reach 35 next year. Look out for new Anytime Fitness club near you!

As Anytime Fitness operates 24 hours all year round, you can hit the gym any time you like! Which is highly convenient especially for those who are working on a tight schedule everyday, or those who work shift and would like to use their free time at night to pump some iron. Anytime Fitness provides an ideal space, rain or shine for one to run on the treadmill to shake off those calories.

There are many reasons why people do not exercise regularly and the top reason is time. They are tired by the time they finish work, or if they are free, it's either on a weekend or public holiday where most gyms are closed or open half day. With this model, it breaks down one of the biggest barriers to why people do not go to the gym.

The opening of 3000th Anytime Fitness gym worldwide is a significant milestone, reinforcing their leadership position as the world's largest and fastest-growing co-ed fitness club franchisor. Singapore is a key market that they are focusing, and are looking forward to extend its location strategy to take the gym to the neighbourhoods to give everyone convenience, flexibility, and lower the barriers to a healthier lifestyle.

With this expansion, they do not only break down the time barrier to why people do not go to gym, it is serving its purpose by moving closer to your home. You do not have to think about commute, which can be very daunting.

Not sure if you have ever heard a joke about how people actually rush to gym, and by the time they're there they got tired of chasing to the gym because they want to get there before it's closed! By moving closer to the heartland, you can can get to the gym relaxed and spend your energy focusing on your fitness goal!

What's value added is that members are able to rely on Anytime Fitness' personal trainers for nutritional and fitness information too!

At the opening, Dave Mortensen, President and Co-Founder of Anytime Fitness shared several insights in running Anytime Fitness.

With more than 25 years of experience managing, consulting, owning and franchising health clubs, Dave has distinguished himself as a leading authority in the field of fitness. He revolutionized the fitness industry when he and Chuck Runyon co-founded Anytime Fitness – an alternative to big-box gyms. In contrast, they designed smaller, neighborhood clubs featuring the things members want most: convenience, affordability, quality equipment and surprisingly personable service in friendly, non-intimidating facilities.

Under Dave's leadership, Anytime Fitness has earned numerous industry accolades, including “One of America’s Most Promising Companies,” “Top Global Franchise” and “Fastest- Growing Fitness Club.” Additionally, Anytime Fitness has been honored as a “Military Friendly Franchise,” a “Top Franchise for Minorities” and “The Best Place to Work in Minnesota” four years in a row.

I am deeply honoured to be able to rub shoulders with Dave and pick his brain a little bit.

It is undeniable that even large companies like Anytime Fitness face challenges like sustainability and competition. It is a wonder that till today, we have never, or rarely heard about 24 hour gym chains but why are other gyms not exemplifying this great idea?

According to him, running a 24 hour gym incurs cost in so many ways like staffing, maintenance, and most paramount, security. They have to ensure that there's enough staff to work through its peak hours and that they are not overstaffed during their non-peak period. They also have to invest in security and safety -  for example, they have invested in a wireless panic button to alarm someone immediately in case of emergency. Such heavy investments could be one of the deterrents to why they are not exemplifying this idea.

Anytime Fitness also have never endorsed a celebrity for its brand, allowing finances to be channeled into the welfare of consumers and allowing the gym to run 24 hours. From Anytime Fitness business perspective, endorsing a celebrity incurs unnecessary cost that is indirectly cushioned by the consumers themselves.

To keep the business sustainable, Anytime Fitness is known for its frugality in its gym sizing too. Their gyms are intimately sized to cater to community within the area, ensuring comfort for everybody to use the gym.

He also mentioned the four things that any business should embody to ensure sustainability and survival - people, purpose, profit and play.

A business should focus on satiating people's need be it consumers or internal customers, with the purpose of helping people to achieve their goals - in this case we are in the topic of getting fit and health while ensuring that it is profitable for the business. Most importantly he said, one must always play by enjoying what they do.

If you are undecided on which gym to subscribe, remember Anytime Fitness, any time!

To find out more about Anytime Fitness' free trial pass, location and franchise information, log on to

Bank Art Fair 2015

The Bank Art Fair is organized by Art People Art Company from Korea and led by Korean art entrepreneur, Dong Myeong Kim (Tomy). Kim is a specialist in art galleries as well as art publishing and is especially knowledgeable in both the creative and commercial aspects of the Art industry. Aside from running a gallery in South Korea that supports young emerging artists, Kim and his team have also successfully organized art fairs internationally in countries like Hong Kong, Vietnam, and China.

According to the organizer of Bank Art Fair, Tomy Kim - art, it’s a mysterious beauty we fall in love for it being the reflection of our society. And arguably, it’s an investment if you collect the works of emerging artists. He believes in creating a platform that is mutually beneficial for both the collectors and emerging artists.

With its successful Singapore’s debut in 2014, Bank Art Fair 2015 was back town with more exciting galleries representing artists from more than 15 countries. The warm, welcoming hotel rooms on the 7th and 8th floors of Pan Pacific Hotel was transformed into intimate viewing art galleries.

Art aficionados in town had the opportunity to bring home some of the paintings and artworks on display, with prices ranging from USD100 – 20,000. One of the popular paintings is the painting of late Mr Lee Kwan Yew, which was already tagged sold when I arrived! The painting that was done by a Myanmar artist was unique because he used dotting technique which is painstakingly tedious and time consuming. It took tremendous effort to complete it!

There were many highlights especially from Singapore, Japan, and Korea.

One notable local feature at the Bank Art Fair were the works of young artists from Singapore Contemporary Young Artists Association (SCYA). One of the SCYA highlight artists, Dan Wong, also known as Citizen Dan from A Good Citizen, was definitely a must-not-miss! SCYA also conducted printmaking, acrylic painting, weaving and drawing workshops for art lovers.

Highlights from returning Singapore gallery Aseana include Barcode Zebras series from artist KY Huang. INSTINC Art Space featured young artists such as 31st UOB Painting of the Year Competition winner Liu Xuan Qi.

Moving on to the Far East, fans of the legendary Yayoi Kusama, UG gallery brought in some of her previous works such as Morning and Night series, and Stool. Systema gallery, known for its Neo-Japon showcased works from emerging young artists such as Katsu Ishida and Stefano Perrone.

With K-pop craze spreading worldwide, interests in Korean art has been flourishing and paving ways for emergence of new Korean artists in the market. Carefully curated works from participating galleries such as Miroonamu Gallery, Peace Gallery and Chung Jark Gallery were in town to capture the eyes and souls of many potential buyers.

Thank you Bank Art Fair for having me once again this year! I for one am loving the sculptures!

Correcting Vision Problems at The Eye Clinic by Dr Cheryl Lee

A few days ago I had the opportunity to drop by The Eye Clinic by Dr Cheryl Lee to find out more about a disorder that is not foreign to us. It has become so prevalent today that it has become a new normal. Yes, we are talking about myopia, the reason why at least 80% of Singaporeans today put on glasses. Singapore has one of the highest myopia rate in the world and it comes to no surprise to what has caused this. Our rate is so high that Singaporeans spent about SGD3 million anually for refractive surgeries and more than 800 cases of contact lens related corneal infection. Ouch! Here's the one reason I don't think contact lenses should even exist.

It was funny because Dr Cheryl asked who has slept with the lenses on and there were a few with grins of guilt! Much needed lesson for them and even myself who was not aware of the pains of having impaired vision.

According to Dr Cheryl Lee, at most 33% of the cause is hereditary while the other 67% attributed to habits like near work, lack of outdoor activities, bad lighting when reading, and many more. It is quite appalling to find out that myopia hits children as young as six years old and most times goe undetected until it's tad to late. By the time it reaches to a point where the degree gets too high and exposes to other complications.

Believe it or not, myopia is the fourth leading cause of blindness in Singapore. Myopia triple the chances of getting glaucoma and six times the risk of retinal detachment. Sounds gory doesn't it?

I am no parent but word has it parents invest in their child's well being which includes vision health. If you believe that your child could be myopic, you can always drop by The Eye Clinic by Dr Cheryl Lee and have their eyesight fully tested. It is interesting to know that the cause of this disorder is due to the irregular shape of your eye ball. It could be too long or the cornea has too much curvature, so the light entering the eye is not focused correctly causing the blurred vision. There are two options parents can opt to reduce or minimize the odds of getting myopia. They are antropine eye drops and ortho-k contact lens.

Here's how antropine eyedrops work. It temporarily paralyses the muscles that help the eyes to focus. By relaxing the internal eye muscles, it reduces eye elongation. With 0.01% antropine, studies have shown it slows down myopia progression of -0.49 in two years. This is non-invasive but may cause a little stinging which goes away. Better temporary pain than having a point of no return!

Alternatively, one can opt for orthokeratology (ortho-K), a type of contact lense that temporarily reshapes the cornea. The great thing about this is that you do not need glasses during the day, the quality is great with minimal problems compare to common contact lens. Ortho-k lenses are worn during sleep and taken out upon waking up. The lens does the reshaping when you sleep, while your eye muscles are most relaxed and minimize exposure to foreign particles which you could have been exposed when you're awake. It slows down axial elongation by about 43% as compared to children with conventional spectacles.

Definitely ideal for active children who tend to be careless with their glasses or dislike wearing them.

At The Eye Clinic, kids and parents will be taught on the correct insertion and removal techniques, as well as proper hygiene for the lenses. Hygiene is paramount as the lens is going to last for a year before it gets replaced. Additionally, the child will get a follow up to ensure their eyes are healthy and have their myopia progression monitored.

So, if you suspect that you child could be having vision problems, you can have it determined by sending them for a full eye check-up. They look for the totality of your child's eye health like vision, colour vision, or even lazy eye. Oh, and Dr Cheryl Lee can also tell if you child is faking it just to wear Harry Potter glasses!

Okay but not everybody has a child and I don't think children would check out this space so here's the real deal shared by Dr Cheryl Lee during my visit, for all of us here!

I recently posted a photo of my visit to The Eye Clinic and a friend asked me if I knew anything about LASIK. Honestly, when I was fourteen and heard about LASIK, I thought it was just a laser procedure that zaps away the problem. Apparently I was wrong! Here's the thing about having a 20/20 vision. You take it for granted and get to be ignorant about all these procedures. I was really, really grateful that Dr Cheryl Lee shared with me this. Everything about LASIK, epi-LASIK and ICL. By the end of this entry, you might want to assess your options in vision correction.

While LASIK rectifies your vision, its clarity of vision and contrast is subpar. LASIK simply takes a layer of the cornea (like Kuih Lapis, a layer each time till there's no more left) and replace the flap of the top layer of the cornea. Sounds simple but it comes with potentially great complications as LASIK is not suitable for all. For one, genetically, most of our (Asian) eyes have thin cornea which is why most of us fail the LASIK test. Additionally, it may cause severe dry eyes which may subsequently be too severe and it will affect your vision once more (because your eyes need to be constantly lubricated). What's worst, this procedure is irreversible. Which means to say, once done there is no turning back as the corneal tissue has been removed. Damage is permanent.

What Dr Cheryl Lee recommended is a state of the art version of vision correction. While it is still invasive, the probability of complication is minute as compared to LASIK.

Implantable Contact Lens (ICL) is a lens places within the eye and is made of Collamer, which is similar to collagen. It is biocompatible and is never rejected by the body because collagen is found in our bodies naturally. Rather than altering the shape of the cornea by thinning the corneal tissue as in LASIK, the ICL is easily inserted into your eye behind the iris through a tiny self healing wound of 2.5mm. The cornea where light enters the eye is kept pristine. It works like normal contact lens less the hassle and discomfort. On the upside, it does not cause dry eyes, it has UV protection and reversible as non of the cornea tissues are torn.

ICL corrects short-sightedness up to 1900 degress, long sightedness up to 1000 degrees and astigmatism up to 600 degrees.

While any invasive procedure carries risk, there is only a rare 0.01% risk of infection. Other risks related to it can be prevented through the usage of ultrasound that can be found at The Eye Clinic. Should your vision changes long after the procedure, the ICL can be removed and replaced! The procedure takes only about five minutes in each eye and can be performed under local anaesthesia if you wish not to be aware about the surgery!

Knowing this option, you may want to consider The Eye Clinic by Dr Cheryl Lee as she has all the knowledge and equipments pertaining this common vision problem. Dr Cheryl Lee was a medical student a National University of Singapore (NUS) who won an eye reserch competition and was mentored by Professor Donald Tan, a well regarded ophthalmologist and former medical director of the Singapore National Eye Centre. She has more than 10 years of international experience in the field of ophthamlmology. As eye, cataract and retinal specialist, she is well versed in the management of retinal conditions like diabetic retinopathy and ocular inflammatory disease. It comes to no surprise that she is also trained to work with children! Look at the cute dolphins and toys in one of her diagnostic rooms.

Above all, she's pretty much power communicator. She's septilingual - great proficiency in common languages like Mandarin, Malay and Hokkien to name a few. Much respect for that!

To find out more about The Eye Clinic by Dr Cheryl Lee, log on to

The Eye Clinic by Dr Cheryl Lee
33A Orchard Road
#04-24/25 Mandarin Gallery
Singapore 238897
Telephone: +65 6235 5833

Glad to have tea prepared and served by Chef Kenjiro ‘Hatch’ Hashida with everyone after!

Thank you The Influencer Network for this arrangement and Gerald for the wonderful photos!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

SIM Sports Awards Night 2015

Happy weekend everyone! There's a galore of interesting updates coming up but let me entertain you with a personal update first. Friday was a great start of the weekend because there were so many events to attend - with one that I jokingly dreaded; SIM Sports Awards Night 2015. It is an award presentation ceremony recognising the efforts of the sports team that brought glory to the school. Congratulations to all winners and prize recipients! You made us proud!

My purpose going to SIM University; SIM Sports Awards Night. It's an annual event that must not be missed! Wouldn't want to miss out who won what. We stayed on to find out who was the sportsman and sportswoman of the year!

My real purpose though, was to laugh at my captain fumbling the script. Okay, he did not exactly fumble although it seemed like it! He looked really confident. Our team stood in ovation when our coach was called on stage to receive a token of appreciation for guiding our team!

But really, I was there for these people. Endless selfies and of course, food! Should have taken the photos at the booth before eating so that everyone could fit in perfectly. Haha!

I have gone fifty shades darker after so long under the sun. Isn't much of a problem if my skin tone is even. I am trying my best now to stay fair (almost impossible) by covering myself up and spamming all sunblock at practice and whitening cream at night. Whatever it takes! While I love the health benefits of sunshine, I still need to protect myself from harmful UV rays!

It's funny that some of my friends (who are non-paddlers) find it cool to carry the paddle around. That's because it's not you who're carrying it! In all honesty, I want to do all the paddling, not the carrying. The paddle is such a burden on commute. I have to carry it everywhere I go (on practice days) and it's bulky enough to make you shorthanded. It's tough! Probably tougher than practice!

Anyway, we will be going overseas in a few days time. Hopefully I will be strong enough for the race, wish me the best! Speaking of my strength, I really need to keep up! I felt almost dead at every deadlift. Let's also hope I am paired in a room with someone I can relate. Otherwise, I'd probably plug in my headphone throughout in the the hotel room.

Or maybe... I should just quietly book another room and stay there. Wait, shan't do something that drastic. I'd just kick them out. Okay, just wanted to say that for fun. I don't mean it.

See you guys!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Final Sprint to 2016!

Hello everyone! I hope things are great on your end! Last week was a crazy week I am back to party and share with you everything I could on what's coming up for me this last two months of the year, and latest events you should look out for!

Glad that my team is back from Taiwan! They were so sweet to got the rest of us this milk tea.

For one, I am excited for an overseas trip with my team for a race this early December. SRR last month wasn't our best even though some of us won something.

As we are in the last quarter of the year, I am elated to share some news on coming up events and projects I am working on.

Firstly, this coming December there will be Lenka's concert in Singapore, and for those who have not bought your tickets, remember to do so! This is a rare opportunity to get up close with this Australian songbird! Tickets can be purchased here and remember to share the news with your friends about it too!

Bank Art Fair 2015 is coming up this week and for the second year I am excited to check out new art pieces that can suit my wall. I am excited because I am hopeful to do something to my home this coming January. This includes repainting the wall, and maybe revarnish the doors. Really excited for this DIY project because I have not been in touch with the "carpentry" side of me for quite some time!

This coming Friday also I will be attending an official opening of a new gym. Yes, most of us are excited because there will be a new gym in town to accommodate those who wish to get in shape! Very optimistic to meet an inspirational man behind this gym business.

Following week, I will be hosting a charity event. I am very, very excited about it because I love hosting and getting touch with people and what's more for, I am doing it for a charity event! Please render your support by coming down this 5th December 2015 at East Coast Park and enjoy this wholesome programme! You are not only supporting me, but you are also supporting an association that supports children in need.

Following event would be the 26th Singapore International Film Festival. Looking forward to support all contestants and prize recipients in the upcoming Silver Screen Awards 2016. This year's line up of film screenings are international, inspirational and some are thought provoking!  Especially ideal for film goers like myself! Find out more about its ticketing information here!

Then I will be left with just a few days before flying to the land down under to celebrate my new year. So, stay tuned because this trip will be full of fun stuff, a little bit of drama and definitely something to take away - especially for those who have not been and would like to know, looking forward to share it with you guys! What you can be sure of, it's gonna be sunny here for the next few months.

I am looking forward to watch the final Hunger Games! One of my favourite movies. For any movie adapted from a book, I usually watch them for the visuals and I am loving Hunger Games for their outfit and its artistically futuristic effect.

You'll be glad to know that there are new things in the pipeline for this space. Keep a lookout if you are interested in health and looking good. It's going to be fun and informative, not only for you guys, but myself too. It'd be appropriate to pen down the knowledge I learnt and benefit not only myself but all of you too! So let's hope everything is moving on to the right direction!

Please pray for my well being and my health to go through all these which I am truly grateful for. Let the holidays begin!