Benefits (and Possible Drawbacks) of Swimming

Swimming can be a great pastime specially because of the heat in Singapore. It can also be a great sport and fitness endeavor. We get a lot of benefits from swimming, but if we’re not careful, there can also be problems.

Benefits
• Full-body workout: When you swim, you’re using most of the muscles in your body. You use your arms, legs, even you’re core and back are also engaged. Because of this, you’ll not only gain muscle strength, but also a toned figure. Take a look at Joseph Schooling’s physique, you’ll easily notice the definition of his muscles.

• Flexibility: You can easily improve flexibility through swimming. Because we do broad ranges of motion with our limbs while swimming, we train the joints and ligaments in various parts of our body to become more responsive to stretching. When we become more flexible, it reduces the likelihood of us getting injured.

• Stress relief: Much like meditation, the breathing exercises in swimming can also give a calming and therapeutic effect. The rhythmic breathing that you use when you swim can actually help you relax. In addition, floating peacefully on a pool can help you drown out all the worries and stress. The sound of water and the feeling of floating can help you unwind after a tiring day.

• A life-skill: The fact of the matter is, water is all around us. We are surrounded by bodies of water, great oceans and small rivers and lakes alike. Learning to swim is a life-skill because it is essential for our survival. Not only does learning to swim save you from drowning, it also gives you the capability to help others who might be caught in the dangerous situation themselves.

Drawbacks
• Chlorine: Chlorine is a chemical added to the water in most swimming pools. While it is necessary to keep the water clean, frequent exposure to chlorine can cause damage to us humans. For one, it can be absorbed by the lungs while breathing and can cause respiratory problems like asthma. It also strips the natural oils off of our hair and skin, leaving them dry and damaged.

• Doesn’t help much with weight loss: Even though it is a full-body workout, it has been found that swimming doesn’t really help with intense calorie burning. It is a great way to keep fit but doesn’t actually produce significant results for weight loss.

• Other factors: Firstly, when swimming outdoors, we are overly exposed to the sun. Because our body is surrounded by water, we may not notice the sunburn. The darkening of our skin as a result of overexposure to the sun should also not be taken lightly. Secondly, swimming out in the open can also be quite dangerous. The current is not exactly stable and can be strong enough to pull you in. Also, there are aquatic animals that can harm you physically if you’re not vigilant.

5 Ways to Make A Habit Stick

So, you’ve gone to an Active SG gym or you’ve gotten into the habit of running for stress relief. But days later, some unknown force is driving you to go back to bed and you find it hard to go out and exercise. Getting rid of bad unhealthy habits can be one thing, but making a new habit stick is also a different story. Here, then, are some tips to get you taking up that hobby in no time.

Ask yourself how much you can do
When it comes to making a habit stick, ask yourself how much of it you can do in one time optimally as little as possible early on. Check everything, your work, your food, the amount of time you get sleep, etc. Let’s go back to the example of going to the gym. You’ve checked everything and found that you can only go once a week. But don’t be disheartened, you were able to stick to it and you’ve become healthier because you went to the gym 52 times a year, rather than having not gone at all.

Dedicate a month to it
Probably the most efficient (and quickest) way to make a habit stick is to do it for a whole 30-31 days straight. This might sound intimidating but it’s almost a guarantee that you’ll stick to a habit when you do it without missing a day. Plus, only the initial days can be hard because you’re still adjusting. But once you’ve gotten used to it, you’ll find it quite easy.

Don’t miss in consecutive days
Let’s say you were able to do it for thirty days straight. You might be tempted to take a break once you finish 30 long days of continuous practice of a habit. Even so, it is crucial to not miss two straight days of doing a habit. If you allow yourself to do this once, you’ll do it more in the future.

Stay in a positive environment
If you want a new habit to stick, make sure that the people around you respect and support you in your choice. If you want to get rid of the habit of smoking, don’t go to places that may tempt you to do it. Your environment can have a greater impact on you than you would think, and saying that you alone can push yourself to make a habit stick is a grave mistake.

Picture your future self
When trying to kick a bad habit or making a good one stick, try to imagine what you would look like or how your life has changed (for better or for worse) in the future. An example should be appropriate here. You’re currently thinking about taking meditation as a habit, but you still have reservations. Picture yourself in the future, “I’ve been meditating for a year now, I am less stressed from work and am living a healthy lifestyle”. Something like that.

A Beginner’s Guide to Being a Landlord in Singapore

The promise of a rather balanced risk-reward profile of real estate makes it lucrative from an investment standpoint, but being a landlord can be tricky once you’ve made the investment in your property.

Here’s what you need to know to get you started on earning income on your property:

1. Being a landlord is not a 9-to-5 job
When you’re a landlord, days tend be more spontaneous than planned out. While on one day you may just be working for an hour, you might find yourself working for fifteen on the next.

Your obligations can also change depending on the situation at hand. For instance, what could be a rent collection for five or ten minutes could turn into a four-hour job trying to fix their sink, or cost you a significant amount for hiring a plumber to do the job for you.

2. There is a learning curve in the process
There is only so much you can learn from reading up on something and talking to others about it. When it comes to being a landlord, you will learn a lot of things about people you never even thought were possible.

That also means having a learning curve in dealing with people for extended periods of time, and you will inevitably hit some bumps when you first rent out the property to prospective tenants.

3. You can’t sell the flat at any time
Technically, you still can, but don’t expect a good return when you do – you need to remember that you may not always have the rental income to cover the mortgage costs. Worse yet, you may even end up making a losing investment if you’re forced to sell during the downturn.

When it comes to investing in property, it’s a good rule of thumb to have at least six months’ worth of mortgage payments on you before buying the house.

How Property Management Can Help You
Hiring a property manager can do a lot to maintain your property’s value and keep the rental income coming, especially with these services that they can offer you to get your property to its best:

• Screening potential tenants – Managing agents have a system of screening potential tenants for your property that’s both legal and highly efficient, and always with amazing results.

• Rent collection – Property managers can also collect rent using an efficient system that keeps everything hassle-free for everyone, especially if you’re busy and can’t collect on time.

• Maintenance – They can also take care of keeping the property in good shape for you while you’re away, as they often have a network of maintenance contacts that they can reach out to.

The Top 5 Sandwich Places in Singapore to Get Your Fix From

Sandwiches are more than just a few slices of ham and cheese packed between two slices of soggy, white bread. In fact, you can make an amazing meal out of them when you choose the ingredients well, and you can mix and match the types of bread and fillings to find out what works for you.

If you want to grab a quick bite before rushing off to where you need to go, but don’t know where you can get it, worry no more – here are some of the best sandwich places in Singapore you should definitely try out:

1. The Sandwich Shop
Looking for cold sandwiches you can order on takeaway that don’t cut down on the taste and texture? Then head on over to The Sandwich Shop, where bread and sandwiches are prepared fresh every day with amazing combinations, such as their Double Cheese and Onion, and their Roast Beef with cheddar.

2. Park Bench Deli
Not only is the deli itself cozy and inviting (great if you want a place to chill in for a while before getting back to work), but they also serve classics such as the good old PB and J, which they coat in cornflakes and fry, and their mouth-watering Cubano sandwiches.

3. Sarnies
Sarnies has you covered with different sandwich combinations, from Steak Wraps with Scrambled Egg and Mushrooms, Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Bagels (or wrap with scrambled eggs and avocado), to even the classic Bacon and Egg sandwich.

And don’t let the name fool you – though the word itself is a British slang for “sandwich”, their extensive menu includes delicious options that include salads, slicers, and even breakfast bowls and pastas.

4. Forty Hands
Also known as “Toasties”, the sandwich shop has since grown from its humble café origins to become a name that stands for good food and good coffee, and you can choose from their different options of sandwiches with a good helping of fries and salad.

The best thing about Forty Hands is that they have something for everyone’s dietary preference, which is good news for people who don’t happen to be in the mood for any meat in their diet.

5. Kraftwich
Kraftwich’s gourmet sandwiches are not only both delicious and wholesome, but they are also perfect for having a filling lunch for everyone. For instance, you can choose to have duck, chicken, beef, and if you like, you can even go for their vegetarian options.

They also deliver via Deliveroo and Foodpanda as well, which is a really convenient way to get your food to your doorstep if you’re feeling a little lazy.

How to Lose Weight if You’re Hypertensive

Losing weight if you are hypertensive can make a lot of difference, because it lowers the risk of complications of the disease and it will make managing your blood pressure a lot easier. While practicing good eating habits and having regular exercise might sound so easy, these are difficult tasks for some people.

Talk to Your Doctor
You will need a lot of support and encouragement to lose weight, so start by talking to your doctor or your healthcare team in Singapore before undertaking such a task. You are not supposed to just stop eating certain food to lose weight, because your body will still need nutrients and vitamins from a variety of sources. An ideal diet for a hypertensive will consist of the following: whole grains, fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy food, legumes and nuts, non-tropical vegetable oils, and skinless fish and poultry. You should also avoid taking medication, supplements, and vitamins that your doctor is not aware of.

Determine the Ideal Weight
You are considered overweight if your body mass index (BMI) exceeds 25. Obesity can place you at risk for various heart complications, as well as diabetes and other diseases. Maintaining an ideal weight has proven to have improved blood pressure in various studies of both hypertensive patients and non-hypertensive individuals. Weight and fat mass are even considered determining factors when predicting the likelihood of developing hypertension in people. Ideally, the waist circumference should not exceed 102 cm in men and 88 cm in women.

Determine the Best Diet Plan
Your doctor will encourage you to prepare your food so that it will be easier to monitor what type of food you’re eating. As a hypertensive, you must avoid the following food: high-sodium content, trans fat and saturated fat, red meat, sweeteners or added sugar, and high sugar content. If you need to buy food from the shops, you should practice reading the labels to avoid food high in trans-fat, saturated fat and sodium, which can all increase cholesterol levels and blood pressure.

Exercise Properly
Before starting any exercise regimen, you also have to consult your doctor, especially if you have other pre-existing medical conditions like heart problems. You might be asked by your doctor to monitor your heart rate (there are tools you can equip on your wrist for this) while you’re exercising and resting to get a good comparison of what physical activities do to your body. Once your doctor has determined the ideal training heart rate, your exercise routine should be within 50% to 85% of your maximum heart rate.

Monitor Your Blood Pressure
Lastly, you need to monitor your blood pressure regularly using a bicep monitor and to record the results in a diary so you can show it later to your doctor. Take note of the following numbers:

• Normal: 120/80 or less
• Prehypertension: 120/80 to 139/89
• Hypertension: 140/90 to 160/100 or higher
• Hypertensive Crisis: 180/110 and higher

How to Pick a Gift for Newlyweds

While it is a lot easier to pick a gift for an individual, the task becomes much more complicated if you are required to give a gift for two people, especially a couple who just got married. So, do you give them something that they will both enjoy or something that can be useful for them in their new home?

Home Items
For practical individuals, giving newlyweds home items that they can use is never out of style. It will symbolize their journey into a life together as husband and wife. Most couples will be more than glad to accept home items after spending so much money on the wedding ceremony. Popular home item gifts include bed linens, bath items, small appliances, and cookware.

Home Decoration
If the couple is moving into a new home, it is a great idea to give them something that will be useful such as home decorations. It could be an artwork or framed picture that they can hang on the wall, or if you’re the artistic type, you can create the items yourself so they will always remember you.

Kitchen Items
One of the tests of marriage is preparing food in the kitchen, that is why kitchen items are also a popular gift idea besides other home items for the newlyweds. You can give them a beautiful set of dining ware or specially crafted tea set that they can put on display. If you’re feeling more generous, you can give them quality kitchen appliances that will be very useful.

Money to Spend
While this might seem lazy to you, it is a practical gift for a couple who has just spent a lot of money on the wedding ceremony. You could also send them gift cards or coupons they can spend on their honeymoon and a note saying you appreciate being part of their most important celebration.

Customized Item
This could be a pair of pillows, towels, shirts, mugs, or any other item that is specially made for the couple with their names or faces on them. The effort will let them know that you did not pick the items randomly, but that you have thought about them during the process.

Fun Items
You could also get an idea for a gift based on the common traits of the couple. For example, if they both love traveling, you can give them items that they can both use during their honeymoon. If the couple loves books, give them a title you think they might both enjoy.

Something Unusual
If you want the couple to remember you for your gift, pick something that will stand out from the usual items. It does not have to be useful or expensive, just something not everyone will think of giving, but will symbolize a couple’s new life as husband and wife.