Name: Serene Tan
Medical History: Overweight, insomnia, mood swings
As a fiercely self-reliant woman, Serene wanted to be able to live out her retirement years independently without being a burden to her loved ones. However, as age was catching up with her, so were her health problems.
“I was a housewife and my family always came first. I didn’t have time to exercise and I was not getting good sleep. I was constantly worried about our household finances.” she admitted.
At 50, her weight had ballooned to nearly 70 kg because of the stress and her sedentary lifestyle, and her waistline kept expanding. She was overweight, suffered from mood swings and would often have trouble falling asleep at night. After seeking medical attention, she was advised by her doctor to lose weight and start incorporating exercises into her daily routine.
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“I found out my weight gain was due to me being inactive. My health wasn’t ideal either, so upon my doctor’s advice I began exercising to get my weight under control. I tried jogging at first, but found it hard to even walk because of my size, so I decided to take up swimming instead.”
The Turning Point
Serene immediately began to notice the positive effects exercise had on her overall well-being. Not only did swimming help keep her weight down, it also helped to regulate her sleeping patterns. Feeling motivated, she started to increase the frequency of her swimming sessions to slim down further.
“It’s important to listen to your own body and choose a suitable activity for yourself. For me, I picked up swimming as it was the easiest exercise for me, and that really helped me a lot. I even managed to get back into jogging after successfully losing weight.” she recalled.
Serene also started to pay more attention to her diet by increasing her intake of vegetables and making more informed choices about the food she consumes, such as preparing steamed food over the fried variety. Thanks to better sleep and balanced nutrition, her mood had improved considerably, and she found herself more energised during the day. Her social circle had also expanded as she got to know more like-minded people in her interest group.
Now at 60, Serene is at a healthy weight of 55 kg, and staying active has become her way of life. She joins her husband and her friends for badminton Monday to Friday mornings, and on weekends, she would switch between jogging, yoga classes and cycling to keep things interesting.
The Fitness Mantra
Despite overcoming harder challenges along the way, Jason feels that the most difficult obstacle for people lies in taking the first step.
On what advice she would give to encourage senior citizens looking to start on their journey to fitness and good health, Serene has this to offer:
“Always start with something simple! I started exercising at around 50 years old so it’s definitely possible! My mood has improved a lot, and I made a lot of new friends after picking up swimming. I feel much younger than ever before!”
Serene plays badminton on weekdays and is a regular participant of the Introductory Boot Camp class held every Thursday, 9am at the Jurong East Sport Centre.
To find out the programmes happening at your nearest sport centre, visit www.myactivesg.com
Check out: Masters & Seniors Programmes