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Just the other day, I came across this sign “I keep losing weight but it keeps finding me!”

It is so true for some of us who are struggling to maintain our ideal weight* – I had the same issue during my 20s. Although I was not overweight, I wanted to maintain “M” size and hopefully move on to “S” size and not “L” size! At that time I was single and especially conscious of appearing on the heavy side. My weight yoyo-ed for years, and I never reached “S” size. Of course now I have accepted this fact.

Over the years, I have learnt which is more important. Size matters – but more so my overall health and vitality. In his book “Return to Life”, Joseph Pilates wrote – Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness.

So does Pilates training help me lose weight? When it comes to losing or maintaining our weight, it is a combination of things – not solely physical activity. The simple formula is “calories in = calories out” i.e. if we eat more calories than we expend then the remaining calories will be stored in the body as fat.

In today’s world we are tempted by the widespread availability and variety of food, and with increasing wealth, we can afford to spend on food. Coupled with inactivity, this leads to weight gain.

In the FT article (29 October 2012) “Singapore cracks down on obesity” – about 11% of Singapore adults are considered obese, compared to OECD average of 17% and a US figure of more than 35%. It is a major concern – statistics show obese people will spend at least 20% more on healthcare over their lifetime.

The key to maintaining the ideal weight for anyone is to adopt a healthy lifestyle, preferably from young. We see young children indulging in food high in sugar and calories and very little activity – i.e. they spend too much time on their computers, iPads, cell phones and game consoles. It is a habit that can be hard to change when they reach adulthood.

Apart from eating healthy, it is not too late for adults to practise some form of physical activity – e.g. brisk walking and increasingly popular zumba classes.

For those of you who are not used to intense activities, personally I would recommend swimming, aqua aerobics, yoga and Pilates training. These activities are less strenuous on the joints, and even senior people can learn these activities. Even if these activities do not directly contribute to weight loss, it keeps the body moving and this is important for healthy joints. And more so with overweight people, as there is more stress on the joints.

For me, Pilates Training is more than a physical activity – it is a holistic approach to physical fitness, a complete coordination of body, mind and spirit – and as Joseph Pilates wrote – a body capable of naturally, easily, and satisfactorily perform our many varied daily tasks with spontaneous zest and pleasure!

It has to be an adoption of a healthy lifestyle – proper eating, sleeping, physical activities, managing stress – to achieve our ideal weight*.

Written by LayYong

*ideal weight refers to recommended weight based on age, gender and height.

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