Lunchtime exercise energises him

What do you do to keep fit?

I try to do some form of exercise every day. One to three times a week, I make use of my hour-long lunch break to jog or swim.

At the park and private housing estate just beside my office, I jog 2 to 3km, then do some static exercises.

If I choose to swim, I go to the public swimming pool that is a 10-minute drive from my office and swim 500m.

I usually exercise alone but, sometimes, I do so with colleagues.

On weekends or weekday nights, I try to cover longer distances, running 10km and swimming 1.5km in each session.

I also try to go for at least one gym class a week, each of which is a rather intensive hour-long session.

For two hours on Thursday evenings, I play futsal, which is five-a-side football played indoors, with former colleagues.

For two hours on Sunday afternoons, I play football with my church mates.

Other sports which I enjoy but do less frequently are volleyball, basketball, table tennis, canoeing and badminton. I am always up for a game or two of these, whenever my schedule permits.

How has your exercise regimen changed over the years?

Due to a busier schedule than before, I now do fewer team sports and more individual exercises. It is much easier to put on a pair of shoes and go jogging or hit the gym than to call up a group of friends for football or futsal.

What is your secret to looking fabulous?

I really do not think I look fabulous, maybe just sporty, as I do quite a bit of exercise.

What I enjoy about all these activities is that they are complementary - jogging gives me the stamina to play football better, while gym workouts build my strength to swim better.

What I get is an active body that is strong and flexible enough for me to enjoy most sports.

Has there been a time when you were not fit and fabulous?

Near the start of my career, when I was about 24years old, I worked in an IT company and spent quite a few nights in the office trying to solve bugs. I even took my pillow to the office.

I had very little time to exercise and it did not help that the office was far from home, so travelling to and from work sapped my energy.

I did not pay much attention to my weight then, but I reckoned I must have put on a few kilos.

What is your diet like?

I am very ill-disciplined in this respect. I tell friends the reason I exercise so much is so I can eat whatever I want to, which is partially true.

In recent months, though, having read articles and books on running, I have been motivated and challenged to cut down on my intake of meat and to increase the amount of greens in my diet. I am still working towards having half of my diet consist of fruit and vegetables.

What are your indulgences?

Ice cream used to be one. I could finish a pint of ice cream in one sitting while watching television.

Nowadays, I seldom watch TV and, when I do, I am usually ironing clothes.

But I still give in to the chocolate bars that I have at my workstation.

Twice a year, on my birthday and Father's Day, I also get to indulge in my all-time favourite food - roast pork knuckle. It is an arrangement my wife has endorsed.

How do you maintain a healthy work-life balance?

My lunchtime exercise sessions are actually quite therapeutic, as I can feel the stress dissipate, leaving me with a rejuvenated body and mind.

This is why my usual reply to colleagues who ask if I get tired from these lunchtime activities is that "I am energised".

Besides, exercise releases chemicals that make us happy. I think I am one of the more cheerful characters in my office.

What are the three most important things in your life?

God, family and friends.

Without God, there would be no life to talk about in the first place. Without family and friends, there is no significance in any achievement or highlights in life.

Everything finds meaning in context. God, my family and friends constitute that context for me.

Would you go for plastic surgery?

No way. I may not look that good, but I will not risk what I have to get what I do not have. In any case, beauty is always subjective. With your looks, you may please someone but annoy another.

Do you think you are sexy?

No, I think I am sporty, not sexy.

joanchew@sph.com.sg

BACKGROUND STORY

Bio box

Benedict Boo Wee Kiat

AGE: 40

HEIGHT: 1.76m

WEIGHT: 74kg

Mr Boo has run 10 marathons since he was 17, with the last being the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore last December.

But his most "memorable and really cool" race was a jog that he did with his 70-year-old mother and six-year-old son on May 19 this year. The 3GEN Family Chase, a new non-competitive category of the Cold Storage Kids Run, required each child to run or walk 800m with a parent and a grandparent.

Mr Boo, a publishing manager, said: "I'm very proud that we ran the full 800m side by side."

He relishes jogging long distances because he uses that time to "sort out many things in life", he said. He once prepared a speech during a 15km run.

He believes that planning is key to exercising regularly. He said: "As long as we allow ourselves to be mired in projects and problems, we will have more than enough reasons not to exercise. But when we will ourselves to exercise, we realise that we become more productive at work after that."

He is married to a 38-year-old music teacher. They have two sons, aged nine and six.


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