Since Sunday, our fellow Singaporeans have called into Mediacorp about a transient smoke screen blanketed over Singapore. The ASEAN Specialised Meteorological Centre put up a regional haze map yesterday (29 March) at 7.30pm, identifying hotspots in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Brunei as well.

This sounds like our nightmare recreated on a larger scale. Why is the haze happening? Isn’t it the wrong time of the year? NEA spokesperson commented that “transboundary smoke haze from forest and peat fires in the region” may be a possible cause, but the real cause  of such smells cannot be confirmed yet due to their “transient nature” (Source).

What now?

The biggest concern for our avid local runners is going to be how you can get in your daily sweat session? However, runners often forget that there are other ways to build strength and aerobic fitness. They often neglect other muscle groups too. This would instead be a great opportunity to do the following workout!

High Knees

Photo Credit: Competitor
Photo Credit: Competitor

Lift your knees up to hip height. Swing your hands for momentum. When you land, touch the ground with the balls of your feet. This motion is a full lower body workout, especially for your calves. Having strong calves help you move faster and go uphill stronger. They’re often neglected in isolated exercises, but they’re also so important that when you train other muscle groups you train your calves too. With the haze, high knees can get your heart rate up for your daily cardio fix too!


Photo Credit: Dailymail
Photo Credit: Dailymail

These train your leg strength and balance. As unilateral exercises (in which you work one side more than the other), they require your mind and body to respond accordingly so that you don’t topple over. If you want to add power, do jump squats instead.


1Dx_1_0055Tighten your core. Specifically, you should clench your fist and squeeze your core muscles. Hold there for 30s, or you can start by holding for the last 10s of your set. A strong core helps to support your upper body when you’re pounding away at a marathon. There are variations you can do too!

Best way to get these in is by working it into a high intensity circuit training. It gets your heart rate up, metabolic rate up and also trains those fast twitch muscles (which endurance runners most easily forget).

So haze? Don’t fret!

Infographic: 4 Ways To Stay Unfazed With The Haze