Turn your fit girl dream into reality by shooting for these absolutely achievable goals.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

Turn your fit girl dream into reality by shooting for these absolutely achievable goals.

<b>PHOTO</b> 123RF
<b>PHOTO</b> 123RF

Every year, people resolve to lose weight and get fitter. However, stats show that less than half the population actually meet their goals. Instead of aiming to shed X amount of weight, or gain six-pack abs, make these more meaningful resolutions. They are so doable, and will lead you to a stronger, healthier body.


Health and fitness bodies, like the Health Promotion Board, recommend 150 minutes of physical activity a week, to stay in optimal health. How on earth is a sedentary person going to achieve that, you ask? The good news: lifestyle activities count too. If you move often enough, you may not even need a workout routine to clock those 150 minutes! 

DO IT Break it down, and you’ll find that 150 minutes a week works out to about 20 minutes a day. Not too bad, right? Just think about adding more steps to your daily life. Ditch the bus or couch for a walk, the lift for stairs, the robotic vacuum cleaner for manual sweeping and mopping. Wear a fitness tracker to log your daily steps, distance covered and calories burned. You’ll be motivated to do more and more when you see those stats! 


It’s proven: How often you visit the gym after joining one is a strong predictor of your future attendance. Some researchers say that habits need 21 days to be cultivated, so if your last visit was one month ago, chances are high that you won’t be going back to the gym in the future. Of course, visiting the gym often is easier said than done. Knowing yourself and what motivates you will go a long way. 

DO IT Are you the sort to be inspired by flat abs and toned bums? Do you prefer to work out at your own pace, or have someone tell you what to do? If you’re more of a lone ranger, you’re better off exercising at home, or at a gym with simple equipment. If you like sweating in a group and taking instructions, group fitness classes will energise you. 

However, before committing to a gym, consider if it’s convenient (near your home or workplace), and has the facilities you need. It should have welcoming vibes that make you want to return again and again. Classes should be easy to book and available at convenient times for you. 

Always ask for a free class trial or day pass to suss out the gym. When unsure, buying small class packages instead of a long-haul membership is always a good idea. Increasingly, gyms are offering express lunchtime classes – more opportunities to sneak in a workout. 


If your idea of working out is doing a 30-minute jog on the treadmill at a constant, comfortable pace, it’s time to switch things up. Research has consistently found high-intensity interval training (HIIT) to be more effective than steady-state workouts at burning fat and improving anaerobic fitness. 

It involves alternating between intense bursts of activity with periods of slower-paced activity or complete rest. The idea is to go all out – as fast or hard as you can – to reap the most benefits. You should be panting and finding it hard to talk. Another beauty of HIIT: you’ll spend much less time at the gym; classes usually last no more than 30 minutes. 

DO IT If you already have a gym membership, sign up for HIIT classes on non-consecutive days, starting with once a week. Don’t worry about not being able to keep up. Chances are, there will be one or two more newbies in every class. Let the instructor know if you’re new, so he or she can pay more attention to your workout form. 

Besides joining HIIT classes, you can incorporate HIIT into your daily workouts, too. While running, aim to sprint for one minute, and brisk-walk the next minute or two. When this starts to feel easy, increase the all-out period to two minutes, and/or cut your resting time. The key is to keep pushing yourself out of the comfort zone. 


According to the American College of Sports Medicine, a well- rounded fitness programme should include both aerobic and strength training exercises. Why? Aerobic exercises focus on improving cardiovascular health, while strength training targets various muscles in your body to help you build lean muscle and gain strength. 

Aerobic activities include running, cycling, swimming and stair-climbing; strength training involves using your body weight, free weights like dumbbells and kettlebells, resistance bands, and medicine balls or weight machines. Having a balanced workout routine will stave off boredom, reduce your risk of injuries and make you fitter. 

DO IT If you’re only running, do strength training on rest days. Yoga and pilates are good exercises to start with. You’ll be using mainly body weight and perhaps a resistance band or exercise ring in a pilates class. Strength training classes like yoga and pilates are big on core activation, so you won’t just be toning your arms and legs, but the abs and back as well. 

For yogis, add some cardio activity to your routine. Feel breathless easily? Start by brisk walking around your neighbourhood or from the bus stop to your home. Increase your mileage and pick up the pace every week, and you’ll find that jogging isn’t as tough as it seems. You may soon be able to do 5km runs! 


Why not? As we get older, our senses become duller. Our ability to absorb information and pick up new skills declines. Physical reflexes are poorer. Joints become stiffer. To slow down these undesirable ageing effects, consider learning a new sport. It will widen your perspectives and social circle, and also boost your zest for life. 

DO IT Now’s the best time to check out new classes, as the fitness scene heats up. Trampolining is fast gaining favour among the cardio crowd. So is rock climbing; more climbing gyms have opened in the past year. 

Get stronger and nimbler by doing parkour or gymnastics at The Yard, a gymnastics-focused space. If you like being in water, give cable skiing a shot at the Singapore Wake Park. It lets you experience the thrill of riding on water in a safe environment.