Staying injury-free while running

When I started my running journey 4 years ago, I didn’t think much about sustaining injuries – after all, I’m young and it’s just simple running, right…? Wrong. I soon learnt that even running short distances can injure a person if it isn’t done properly. Here are some lessons I’ve learnt based on my experiences!

1. Always do a proper warm-up and cool down.

It’s important to warm up your muscles and get your heart rate up before the run so that they don’t get a shock when you first start running, which may cause undue stress on both your muscles and heart. Also, after your run, you should properly stretch your muscles to ensure that the lactic acid doesn’t build up in your muscles. It also helps to gradually lower your heart rate after a workout.

This is the warm-up I usually do before a run! It’s simple and warms up the legs slightly.

My cool-down stretches will cover most of the muscle groups involved in running:
– calf stretches (lunge position against a wall)
– ITB stretches (Cross your legs while standing and bend your body down towards the opposite side from the direction you crossed. Eg, if you cross your right leg over your left, then you bend towards your left)
– thigh stretches (lift one leg up towards your butt and use your hand to hold it there) 
– glute stretches (in a sitting position, open your legs to stretch your inner thigh. Then, cross one ankle onto the other thigh, and bend your torso downwards. Repeat for the other leg.) 

2. Watch your posture when running

When I run in the parks or park connectors, I see a lot of people having different running postures that will result in injury in the long run, pun intended. Watch YouTube videos to see the correct posture you should adopt – hands should be loosely held at 90 degrees, near your body. Torso should be kept straight, yet not stiff. It helps if your core is strong enough to maintain your posture. For your legs, landing on your midfoot is the best and most efficient running posture to prevent impact on your knees. Try to keep your feet pointed forward rather than outwards/inwards (I’ve been seeing a lot of this!) If you’re unable to sustain a good running posture, you should consider doing some exercises for core strength, calf raises, squats and lunges.

For strength training exercises, I recommend blogilates and global triathlon network. They have very good exercises to strengthen various muscle groups!

3. Wear a good pair of shoes suitable for your feet

It is extremely important to wear a pair of good shoes! Not all expensive shoes are good for everyone. You need to try and see which type of shoes are suitable for you. For example, I have really bad bunions and wide feet. Because of that, I need shoes that have a wide top, as well as good support so as not to strain the ligaments in my feet since they are already strained due to my bunion. I tried a pair of shoes that had better cushioning (hence, softer) but it ended up giving me a lot of pain in my foot and toes. I ended up reverting back to Asics, which I feel gives me the best support and gel cushioning, even though they are heavier.

Just 3 simple ways to get you started on being injury-free while you run! Hope this helps (:

Note: any reference to any brand/youtuber is based on my personal experience and I did not receive any form of reward in any way.

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Strengthen Your Core with These Moves!

Your core is your center of gravity, and a strong core allows for stronger functional movement throughout exercise and everyday life. Whether you realize it or not, you should be engaging your core constantly whether you are doing a workout, standing in the kitchen cooking a meal, or sitting down at work. A strong core will help prevent injury and promote more efficient workouts overall.

Here’s how you can build strength in your core, with absolutely no equipment and at the comfort of your own home.

Hollowman

Lie down flat on your back and contract the abs, pulling the belly button towards the floor. The arms and legs should be held straight out from the body with hands and toes pointed. Slowly raise shoulders and legs from the ground.

Planks

Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominus, the external oblique muscle, and the glutes. Read more about 8 plank variations that will strengthen your core.

Leg Raise

Lie on a mat on the floor, face-up, legs extended. Place your hands underneath your lower back and glutes so your pelvis is supported. Begin to raise your legs toward the ceiling, pressing your thighs together and keeping the legs straight. Lift until your hips are fully flexed and you can’t go any higher with straight legs, then lower back down and repeat.

V-sit

Sit with legs extended and torso off the ground, your body forming a V shape

Superman Pull

Lie flat on your stomach with your arms straight out in front of you. Raise your arms and feet off the floor, keeping your core flat on the ground. Hold the raised position for three seconds and then lower your arms and feet back to the floor.

Try to incorporate these core exercises and feel the difference in your body!

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Expert Series: How do you stay physically, mentally and/or nutritionally healthy during this period? – James Yeo (Sports Nutritionist)

In view of the current COVID-19 situation and measures implemented by the governments, we have asked some of the experts to share some tips with our running and sports community on how to stay physically, mentally and/or nutritionally healthy during this period.

1. How do we stay active or physically healthy during this period, considering that we are encouraged to stay at home as much as possible?

Thankfully, stay-home exercises have been introduced way before the pandemic. While we might not be able to hit high strength goals due to the limitations of weights (unless you have your own squat rack at home or something), many of us will still be able to hit maintenance and weight loss goals rather easily at the comfort of our homes.

The principles of training are generally the same whether at home or in the gym, but a little bit of creativity might be required. You can give Circuit or Interval training a go, take a jog outside of the home, or transform the staircase right outside your house into your “cardio machine”. You can also consider doing bodyweight exercises to increase range of motion, functionality, or muscular endurance.

2. How do we stay calm during this stressful period?

We don’t.

I get that times are hard and stressful for many of us during this period. The transition of work from the office to home has caused a topsy turvy transformation for many of our schedules and thus, caused us to feel stressed. While we shouldn’t stay stressed and shocked for the time to come, it is important to stay real and embrace how you are feeling, so that you can acknowledge where you are right now, and decide what needs to be done about it. So I would definitely say that step one is to stay true to your feelings and be real with yourself.

Once you feel better, a good idea would be to write down everything you need to do that you can control, and just allocate time throughout the week to get it done. If you can’t control it, don’t worry too much about it right away. After all, like the coronavirus, you can’t control what you can’t control. What you can though, is your time and how you use it to solve your problems. With time allocated and committed to getting things back on track, it’s really a commitment and process game. Great results always come from great processes, and during this time, if your plan is good, and the time spent on executing your plans are solid, you’ll be fine in no time.

3. Are there any simple nutrition plans, tips or recipes that we can follow?

Simple nutrition tips

1. Get a lot of vegetables to fill on the plate.

Since you are not moving as much, you will not need much energy too. Filling the plate with vegetables will help keep your food volume similar while reducing the calories to what your body probably needs currently.

2. Prepare your ingredients in advance.

Shave time off your main cooking time by chopping your vegetables and marinating your meat in advance. Feel free to buy frozen vegetables if you must – many of them are chopped and prepped, and the super low temperature keeps nutrients locked in. Preparing your ingredients in advance will save you hours when you cook for yourself or your family.

3. Invest in time-saving kitchen equipment.

You don’t need to spend an hour in the kitchen to cook your meals, and you certainly do not need to be a masterchef to feed yourself with nice food. Investing in time-saving kitchen tools like an oven, a blender, a sous-vide machine and/or a rice cooker can help you get a nice meal out at a fraction of the time you need to spend in the kitchen.

4. If it doesn’t fit the goal, it doesn’t go into the kitchen.

If you are like me, and you’re cooped up at home all day long, there’ll only be one thing you want to do: SNACK.

It could be because you’re bored or stressed, but the one answer to feeling comfortable again is most definitely going to be food. While you don’t have to stop eating nor snacking, you do want to avoid dishing in too many high-calorie products into your body.

A typical rule of thumb I would share with my clients is to not keep anything that doesn’t fit their fitness goal in their house. Unfortunately, it’s easier to say than to do so if you absolutely must have that packet of potato chips in the house, hide it somewhere you can’t see.

Meanwhile, choose snacks that might help your fitness goals. A lean protein snack like eggs or lean beef jerkies will come in handy to regulate your appetite, while fruits and vegetables will help you get some of the nutrients you need.

5. Always, always have emergency food lying around

I use this nifty trick as a way to avoid the hungry hippo situation. Yes, the one where you eat a truckload of junk food because you do not feel like cooking, or have simply too much work to do and when you finally feel hungry, the hippo effect hits fast and next thing you know, you ate a cow.

Keeping low to no cooked food around like skimmed milk, yoghurts, oatmeal, muesli salad greens or pre-chopped fruits allows you to have food when you are hungry, and therefore avoid moving towards the excuse of convenience due to the lack of healthy food available. You can easily mix some oats, milk, nuts and berries together to get a healthy meal ready in less than 2 minutes.

6. Keep things simple.

Ultimately, practical nutrition is not supposed to be hard. If you prepare in advance, build up a routine and have a few useful recipes to curb your hunger according to your own goals and preference, cooking in the kitchen should and will be super easy. And if not, plan some days out that gives you an allowance to order out. At least in Singapore, we have multiple options to consider eating out at, so you will be fine.



ABOUT JAMES YEO




James also holds rich experiences in both the exercise and performance nutrition industry. His experience includes sports coaching, personal training and was even a sports scientist for a well-known government corporation.

With a niche in weight management and sports performance, James is a sports nutritionist at Core Collective who empowers different individuals, including competitive athletes, salespeople, and busy business owners to achieve their fitness goals in the most successful and sustainable way possible.

Holding multiple qualifications from both exercise science and nutrition, James links both exercise and nutrition together to paint a fuller picture on how to better measure and manage your health, fitness, and nutrition to reach out to your goals. He believes that eating towards your best body doesn’t require any sacrifice in taste.

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David Beckham and Tottenham Hotspur to share healthy living tips during the circuit-breaker

Photo credit: AIA Singapore

While sporting arenas have fallen silent in coronavirus times, AIA Global Ambassador David Beckham, celebrated coach Jose Mourinho and the stars of Tottenham Hotspur have come together to remind us that the virus outbreak can never put a damper on the true value of sportsmanship. Our shared love for sports continues to be a powerful platform to positively impact people’s lives.

Through a series of episodes, it will speak to the importance of taking even small actions to improve our health and wellness, whether relating to getting sufficient sleep, spending time with family and friends, eating well or getting enough exercise.

The episodes include a focus on the importance of getting sufficient sleep, which raises awareness of the physical and mental benefits of sleep. In one episode, David Beckham meets South Korea’s Son Heung-Min and Brazil’s Lucas Moura, both of whom credit stable sleep patterns as one of the major factors in boosting their performance in training and on the pitch.

Alongside Spurs in-house experts, they discuss how the Club supports them in establishing good routines, getting enough quality sleep and offer tips everyone can use in their daily lives. The Spurs team emphasize how the combination of all these individual actions can really help to increase both mental and physical fitness. At a time when we are all focussed on our health, doing what we can to help us be stronger, fitter and boost our immunity has never been more important.

Stay tuned!

Photo credit: AIA Singapore

“As new club owner with Inter Miami CF, I want to help our team be the best they can be. I am grateful for the opportunity to learn about Spurs’ pioneering approach to player health and wellness and to get insight from a manager as experienced and successful as Jose was a real privilege. There is a lot of science and new thinking in the game since I was a player but it’s clear that simple things like a solid routine and great sleep are still really important.”

– David Beckham, Football Legend & International Sporting Icon

About Tottenham Hotspur

Founded in 1882, Tottenham Hotspur Football Club has a tradition of playing an entertaining and attacking style of football. The English Premier League Club, based in North London, reached the final of the UEFA Champions League for the first time in its history in the 2018/2019 season having already secured qualification for Europe’s elite competition for the fourth year in a row.

In April 2019, the Club opened a new 62,303-seat stadium that sits at the heart of a £1billion sport-led regeneration of North Tottenham. The stadium is the largest football club stadium in London and is a multi-use venue with the ability to host a variety of events 365 days a year, including NFL, rugby, concerts and other major events.

When complete, the stadium development scheme will support 3,500 new jobs with £293m pumped into the local economy each year – an increase of 1,700 new jobs and £166m in local spending per year

Tottenham Hotspur also has:

  • A fan base of more than 460 million followers worldwide including 272 highly engaged, mobilised and official Supporters’ Clubs
  • A £100m state-of-the-art Training Centre that supports the Club’s ambition to attract, develop and retain the best talent
  • Commercial partnerships with globally-recognised brands including AIA Group Limited (AIA), one of the world’s leading providers of life insurance services, and Nike, the world’s leading sports footwear and apparel company
  • An award-winning Foundation that has created three million opportunities to help enhance the lives of people in its local community through education, employment, health and social inclusion programmes

The initiative is underpinned by AIA’s purpose-led brand promise of helping people to live Healthier, Longer, Better Lives. It sees David Beckham visit Spurs’ training ground and stadium where he met with Head Coach Jose Mourinho, first team players, coaches and nutritionists. David Beckham and members of the Spurs team discuss the simple health and lifestyle choices everyone can make to improve their health, whether a professional player or not.

Both David Beckham and Spurs are playing a key role in making AIA synonymous with Healthier, Longer, Better Lives, through leveraging the power of football to reach millions across the Asia-Pacific region.

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How Can A Climber Machine Help You Become A Better Runner

Now more than ever it is of utmost importance to make sure your body is in its best condition possible. With that, there is no better form of exercise to push your body to its potential limits than running. 

There are many ways you can go about running and getting the most out of what can often be a daily experience for many, but there are few better techniques than when it comes to using a climber machine to push yourself to your limits.

A Major Calorie Burner

When using a climber machine, it ensures that you are getting the most out of the effort you are putting into your exercise. The climber machine ensures that all the major muscles in your body are working together in harmony as one, as well as increasing your body’s metabolism, which will make sure that your body is burning more calories in less time in comparison to other exercise machines like treadmills and rowing machines. It is clear, especially from websites like bestybesty, where they list a ton of pros that come with using a climber machine and even show candidates for climber machines you might want to consider buying if you do not already have one.

Intensity

For anybody who has worked out using a climber machine, you’ll know, it is not easy. In comparison to the more common similar workout machines like treadmills, rowing machines, or bikes, it is clear why they are not most people’s go-to machines when it comes to working out. That reason being pretty simple, it is harder and does more of a toll on your body in comparison to those other machines. However, should you commit to using a climber machine, it is as clear as day why they are more beneficial to use instead of the bikes, rowing machines or treadmills, despite how commonplace those machines are in our society. You will see faster and better results using a climber machine, so, despite its difficulty, stick with it, you won’t regret it when the results start showing.

Practicality

The weight loss and muscle intensity of climber machines are huge beneficial areas that the machine has over its competitors. However, there are also more pressing selling points for climber machines, some of which are stated here

The practicality of a climber machine is another of the main selling points when it comes to items that can improve your running ability and overall fitness. Climber machines are relatively cheap when it comes to market value for work-out machines, and are relatively easy to get a hang of once you have made the step toward purchasing one. 

The benefits of being able to use one from the comfort and peace of mind that comes from within your own home are something that many people longing for. Whether they are only starting to get into working out, or whether they are long-term gym enthusiasts. The idea of having the ability to do work out in your own time, whenever you want, with nobody watching is the perfect scenario for a bulk of people who work out consistently.

In addition, a climber machine is one of the simplest and easy-going machines to get the hang of. Yes, I stated it can be intense, but that is only for people who want that intensity. If you have nothing to do and are just plain bored, why not just hop on the climber machine for a while and get in some beneficial exercise. It is simple to get used to.

How Does A Climber Machine Make Me A Better Runner?

Using a climber machine consistently can help you learn to sustain your stamina in running, as well as help you learn to regulate your pacing when running. 

The verticality aspect of a climbing machine will also train you to learn to overcome and sustain your strength when attempting to overcome challenging or steep slopes. A climber machine is also an incredible reliever of pain for people who may potentially struggle with joint pain and joint problems in general. These can also be a great way to slow any potential fast-tracking of a joint disease you may have.

However, do not hesitate and ensure that you contact a medical professional before committing to using any form of gym machine in an attempt to help or alleviate any joint pain or joint diseases that you may have been diagnosed with. Nonetheless, along with all these reasons, the general exercise and health benefits that it will have for your body will help you in almost every aspect of becoming a better runner.

So, Should I Get A Running Machine?

In short, yes. If you are looking to become a better runner or just train yourself in general, there are few exercise machines that yield faster results when consistently used than a climber machine.

They are relatively cheap, readily available, and are incredibly efficient in comparison to their gym-market competitors like bikes and treadmills. Climber machines are the perfect gym machine for you to become a better runner, or in general, a healthier and more active person, so I would not hesitate to advise you to go for one over other machines if any of these goals are applicable to you.

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How Essential Oils Are Used To Relieve Pain And Promote Relaxation

Essential oils are becoming more popular as each day rolls by. More people are becoming aware of the vast benefits these therapeutic oils offer and go all the way out to purchase them for physical and mental use. Essential oils are known to provide relaxation and relieve pain. Presently, it is commonplace to find these amazing products in spas, drugstores, salons, offices, and other activity-filled places.

Due to the myriad of essential oils out there, it becomes challenging to opt for the ideal product that suits your personality and needs. Besides, there are essential oils that are ineffective due to their substandard quality. If you intend to soothe a particular pain in your body or relax and meditate, you need the right essential oil. To get the ideal product, it is important to know their functionalities.

If you would like to know more about essential oils, please visit this link: https://zenveaessentialoils.com/essential-oils-uses/.

Choosing Essential Oils That Meet Your Condition

One way to find out the essential oil that will address your health condition or help you achieve some health goals is to experiment. When purchasing these products, do not use a one-size-fits-all approach, as each product is tailored to meet some specific needs.

To begin with, understand your health challenge or desire. In the case of relieving pain, you need to get an essential oil that has the right amount of nutrition targeted to relieve the pain; this could be a swollen joint or injury. The same also applies to relaxation. The following include some essential oils and the health issues they resolve:

  • Peppermint: General pain relief, head tension, joint pain and function, muscle pain, enhanced energy.
  • Frankincense: Inflammation and relaxation.
  • Lemon: Energy and immune support and defence against viral, bacterial, and fungal infections.
  • Grapefruit & rosemary: Energy
  • Roman chamomile & ylang ylang: Relaxation
  • Copaiba, marjoram & Cypress: Joint pain and function

In general, essential oils are linked to stress relief and relaxation. For this reason, they are widely used by massage therapists. Their benefits are backed with scientific facts; presently, there are over 17,000 medical studies on the therapeutic benefits of essential oils that are channelled towards several health concerns. For each essential oil that is produced, there is a distinct combination of medicinal properties. An example is peppermint oil; this oil contains certain cooling and anti-inflammatory properties which makes it an ideal option for soothing chronic pain. Whereas oils like lavender possess sedative properties that relieve stress and tension, relax the body and mind.

Essential oils are also ideal for the promotion of digestion, detoxification, and hormonal balance. Hence, understanding what you want is key to getting the right essential oil for your condition. When applying an essential oil to your skin, ensure that you dilute it in a carrier oil. Aside from the fact that it reduces the harshness of such oils on your skin, it also retains the oil on your skin longer. Some carrier oils include jojoba oil, almond oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, and the rest.

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Zach Bitter To Attempt 100 Miles Treadmill World Record on 16 May 2020

During this time of the COVID-19 virus epidemic where staying indoors is encouraged, American extreme endurance runner Zach Bitter will be attempting another world record – the 100 Miles (160 km) Treadmill World Record. This feat will be taking place on 16 May and streamed ‘live’ on the SFuels YouTube Channel at 6.30am PST (9.30pm in Singapore/Malaysia).

For this world record attempt, Zach will be wearing the PURPOSE PRO Performance running top and shorts for the entire duration. Runners from all over the world are invited to run with him via Zoom. Funds will also be raised for charity ‘Fight for the Forgotten’. Runners all over Southeast Asia can join him in his run via Zoom video – only limited to 250 runners, you may register at https://www.sfuelsgolonger.com/100miletreadmill.

Zach currently holds the 100 Miles Run (160 km) World Record with a time of 11 hours 19 minutes 13 seconds and also holds the World Record for Distance Run in 12-Hours with 104.88 miles (168.8 km) – a record he has set three times.

A multi-year partnership between PURPOSE Performance Wear and Zach will have Zach wearing PURPOSE for all his training and races. Besides athlete sponsorship, Zach will also be heavily involved with PURPOSE in the development of new and future running collections that will carry Zach Bitter’s brand name on them – a collaboration that will take both parties to new levels.

From Singapore, PURPOSE is a fast-growing brand in Southeast Asia. With achievements in triathlon and cycling apparel – the trisuit worn by current Ironman World Championship Age Group World Record Holder Dr Dan Plews, as well as Team Australia II’s cycling team who were runners-up at Race Across America – PURPOSE aims to bring similar successes into running with Zach.

Zach brings top-level performance in the ultra-running field, and together with PURPOSE, the goal is to create products to further cater to the needs of runners around the world. Zach primarily race distances of 50km up to 200km on trail, road, and track. He has competed on Team USA’s 100km World Championship Team on three occasions. Other notable performances by Zach include wins at both the San Diego 100 and Javelina 100. He also holds the 9th fastest time at the historic JFK 50 Mile.

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Expert Series: How do you stay physically, mentally and/or nutritionally healthy during this period? – Jing Zhi Chua (Running Coach)

In view of the current COVID-19 situation and measures implemented by the governments, we have asked some of the experts to share some tips with our running and sports community on how to stay physically, mentally and/or nutritionally healthy during this period.

1. How do we stay active or physically healthy during this period, considering that we are encouraged to stay at home as much as possible?

The fundamentals of staying active and physically healthy remain the same: Set outcome goals, set process goals, and then execute. 

The considerations of setting fitness outcome goals, for example, ‘doing 30 push-ups’ remain much the same pre-COVID-19. 

Event-based outcome goals are harder to set because mass participation events are likely one of the last to return as the world progressively reopens.

Three ways you can work around that is to sign up for virtual events, aim for an event later in the calendar, and do individual time-trials. 

Process goals like working out every day or leaving your seat to move every 45 minutes keep you on track to your outcome goal.

Ultimately, having goals help. 

As for execution, things are more challenging because of space, equipment, and social limitations. 

But one thing almost everyone can do is to put more focus on strength and conditioning fundamentals, which consists mostly of bodyweight workouts and mobility work. You can do these at home. 

The next step will be to follow a structured strength and conditioning plan. For this, you might need home-gym equipment or improvisation. 

Another place to start is generic workouts that are in abundance on the internet. They work excellent for the short term or if you know what you’re doing. In the long run, it might lead to overuse injuries, and eventually, a personalized approach is more sustainable. 

Regardless of your fitness understanding, the current period is an excellent time to find out more about your body through the help of professionals or self-exploration. Paying attention to your mental, physical, and emotional strength and conditioning is one of the best investments to make now.

2. How do we stay calm during this stressful period?

There’re plenty of mental strategies you can adopt. The one which worked best for me was to sense-make, plan for the worst, and then forge ahead. 

Like many, I struggled with adjusting at first. The turning point came after I tried to make sense of the change the world is going through.

During this period, plenty of paid information is cheaper or even free, so I took advantage and tuned in to more webinars, podcasts, and news. I gathered the content and analyzed them.

The result is a written piece about the most probable future for our lifestyles, the economy, and various industries. 

I sent a summary of my thoughts to my employees to let them know what things are going to be like in the days ahead and made sure that they know everyone’s taken care of. 

I’m not sure how useful it was for them, but having a better sense of the future helped me set new personal goals and direction for the company. 

Since then, every day has had more resemblance to another working day, and it has been easier to stay calm.

3. Are there any simple nutrition plans, tips or recipes that we can follow?

Yes, there are, but first I have to make a disclaimer that I’m not a professional in this area. 

I subscribe to a whole-food plant-based diet for compassionate reasons, and I find it meaningful, healthy, and sustainable.

4. Are there any recommendations on resources (youtube channel/video, social media pages, blogs, books, podcasts etc) to refer to?

For fitness and wellness goals, I believe the most efficient way to learn is to talk to a professional. I recommend seeking out residents of Core Collective, which is a co-working space for such professionals.

My team at Second Wind Nation is also working on an app that aims to mass-personalize structured strength and conditioning and running training plans. Follow us at our Instagram or Facebook for more updates.



ABOUT JING ZHI CHUA

Jung Zhi Chua is a Running Coach and the Founder of Second Wind Nation.

Jing Zhi is also a swim and bike coach who has worked with clients ranging from Southeast Asia’s top marathoners and triathletes to absolute beginners and injured folks. His services are sought after by international brands like Pocari Sweat, New Balance, and Polar.

His skillsets include biomechanical assessment, strength and conditioning, and training program design.

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Energy Boosting Tips for a Better Run

Fatigue, having difficulties staying active, and feeling completely drained throughout the week is a suggestion that you need to boost your energy before a run.

Your energy levels are essential as it plays a major role in your running’s effect on your health.

To make sure you don’t experience these difficulties while running again, here are a few tips to boost your energy levels as well as avoid tiredness as it eats up your energy:

Track Your Calories

A balanced diet is a basic way to stock up energy for your run. Remember, watching what you eat may be important but when it comes to running, having enough fuel is what you should focus on.

Making sure that the calories you lose while running will be gained back through your diet is essential, and will assure you that you still have energy stored for tomorrow’s run.

According to health.gov, an adult woman needs 1,600 to 2,400 calories per day while men need 2,000 to 3,000 calories. Tracking your run distance will help you identify how much calorie loss you’ve got so you’ll know how much more to add again.

Estimated Energy Requirement

Whether you are planning for burning your calories, losing or gaining your weight, your energy will be the most important factor. To maintain your weight, you need to know how much energy you require. Your energy requirement depends on your gender, age, weight, height as well as your amount of workout. In this way, you can know the number of calories you need to burn to achieve your weight goal. You have the option of measuring the Estimated Energy Requirement (EER) manually or through online calculators.

Some online tools can calculate the estimated energy requirement quickly. Once you enter basic information about your physical conditions, they will compute the amount the calories intake you require. These online tools are usually available online for free and are based on the formula introduced by the Institute of Medical Equation in 2002.

Observe Your Diet

Your meals play a major role in affecting your energy, and even the ones stocked for further use. Making sure that what you eat turns into energy and is beneficial will help with your energy boost.

Eat Small Portions

Constant energy is beneficial, so make sure to eat multiple small meals throughout the day. Having a large meal for dinner is not advisable as it can be stored as fat rather than be burned as energy.

Energy-Boosting Food

As you lose calories, it’s good to know which food is most useful for your calorie restock. Bananas and natural honey are best before a run as they both provide a quick boost of energy.

Food with high fibre content such as whole grains and sweet potatoes fuel your body longer than usual with steady energy as your body digests them at a slow pace. 

Have a Running Pre-Workout Supplement

Pre-workout supplements (if taken in proper doses) give sudden boosts of energy. But that’s not all it does for you, it also perks up your endurance as well as your strength or power.

Make sure to check out one of these options for recommended supplements if you need an instant boost before your next run.

Avoid Misconceptions

Intake of caffeine and sugary snacks are something you’d want to avoid. You might think they’re beneficial for your run, but they are most likely to lead you into difficulty. It’s best to avoid doing things that you think will boost your energy but eat it up instead.

Stay Away From Sweets

While eating sweets may give you energy, it never is enough nor is it the right way to get your body moving. Eating sugary snacks will only give a short term energy boost that wears off immediately.

When your sugar level gets high it will eventually decline, and if that happens while running you’ll surely experience weariness and struggle.

No to Caffeine

Caffeine may sound like a great energy boost. But it can also lead to dehydration and exhaustion while running if you aren’t properly hydrated.

Watch Your Liquids

Since you will sweat a lot from running, it’s best to know what you should do to replace what you’ve sweated out, including what to drink and how much.

Drink Enough Water

Drinking water is the best way to prevent dehydration, it also helps in avoiding mid-run fatigue and makes sure that you are full of energy until the end of the run. Two litres of water per day is highly suggested.

Lessen Alcohol Intake

Alcohol gives negative effects on your muscle and weight. It will also make sure that no matter how much energy you have stocked, you’ll still feel lethargic.

Remember not to drink alcohol at night as it will disturb your sleep pattern, a glass of wine would be better than the whole bottle or any other alcoholic substance.

Guard Both Your Mental And Physical Health

You may think that your physical health is the only thing you need to have covered, but there are a lot of ways that mental health can affect it. It’s best to mind both. 

Have Enough Sleep

Sleep is as essential as eating and breathing. It allows your body to repair and recover from your running session and tops up energy for the next day.

Lack of sleep can cause mental and physical health issues that link to stress.

The reduction of stress levels is important as it is a major cause of tiredness and lack of concentration. Meditation, yoga, and emotional management are the best ways to relieve stress naturally.

Avoid Smoking

Smoking can weaken your lungs resulting in smaller amounts of oxygen transported. This can cause shortness of breath, raised heart rate, and fatigue. Smoking can also cause you to feel irritable, anxious, or low, these can eat up your energy.

Care For Your Body

“Nobody can improve when they are injured.” Says Usain Bolt. It is crucial to make sure your body is well before running.

Have a Proper Warm-Up

A warm-up exercise will ready your body for energy use, warm your muscles, and increase your heart rate. While there are multiple ways to warm up, the best way is to do an easy version of your activity for five minutes, then begin with the actual activity.

Without a proper warm-up, your body will feel more exhaustion while exercising and have a higher risk of an injury.

Getting a Sports Massage

Never ignore pain. Aside from having it checked, a sports massage is helpful for stiff, pained, and tired muscles, this will loosen them for better performance.

Be Flexible

Activities such as yoga and pilates will increase your energy levels and flexibility. It will make your running more effective and help you lose less energy.

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Introducing ‘Stream The Beat’, A Free Live-Streamed Music & Fitness Festival Raising Funds For Food Banks

In these challenging times of COVID-19, Fresh Events Asia, a Malaysian based events company has created a free, live-streamed music and fitness festival to provide people with some much-needed entertainment, whilst raising money for a worthwhile cause. Held over two sessions with 8 action-packed hours of entertainment, ‘Stream The Beat’ brings together a star-studded line-up of the best music, fitness and wellness artists in an online event, streamed live and direct to viewers’ homes. Participants are encouraged to support the event’s official cause, The Lost Food Project; a pioneering food bank in Malaysia that is running an emergency food and fund drive to ensure that vulnerable charities and people receive the food they need to survive during this difficult time.

Sam Middlehurst, Chief Executive Officer of Fresh Events Asia enthused, “At this challenging time we’re all facing, we wanted to create a unique live-streamed event that brings together fans of our events to celebrate the things we love best: music, fitness and wellness. We felt obliged to do our part for those suffering below the poverty line and we’re delighted to partner with The Lost Food Project to raise funds and help feed Malaysia’s most vulnerable. We couldn’t do this without the support of Universal Music and all of our amazing artists, who are kindly donating their time to showcase their talent and entertain people at a time when everyone is in need of a little joy and happiness. A donation of MYR10 provides 50 people with a much-needed meal, so we’re really hoping people who tune in can rally behind this cause and make a difference to those who need it most.”

Fresh Events Asia has brought together an impressive array of talent from the worlds of music and fitness, and with the support of Universal Music, viewers will be treated to a line-up of some of the region’s best acts. Actor-singer Alvin Chong, Hip-Hop artists SonaOne and Rabbit Mac, Blue’s Simon Webbe and girl band Dolla are just some of the music stars lending their support. Universal Music’s Managing Director and Head of Special Projects for Southeast Asia, Kenny Ong, says; “We’re delighted to partner with Fresh Events Asia on this exciting new event that combines music and fitness at a time when people are craving unique content. Together with our artists, we hope to be able to help generate some significant funds for Malaysia’s food banks and those in desperate need of food supplies. We hope you can all find some time to tune in for what is sure to be a fantastic day of entertainment.”

For those looking to raise their heart rate, or find some inner calm during the lockdown period, there will be plenty of fitness and wellness activities for the whole family. Fitness icon, Nana al Haleq, will be hosting a HIIT class, lululemon’s ambassador, Hansen Lee, will be leading a yoga practice and celebrity chef, Anis Nabilah, will be helping you to cook up some healthy food. Says Anis, “I’m looking forward to sharing some tips on cooking up some great healthy food and being part of this exciting and worthwhile event. As an ambassador of The Lost Food Project, it’s amazing to see the music and fitness industries combine to raise much-needed funds to help the growing number of people in desperate need of food and support for them and their families.”

With the live-stream running from 2pm until 10pm, the music, fitness and wellness sessions will be interspersed with contests where viewers will have the chance to win great prizes from the artists and partners. There will also be live Q&A opportunities for fans to interact with their favourite artists, and for those looking to show off their best moves, there will be a live Dance Cam to groove along to their favourite tunes on the live feed.

The Lost Food Project’s General Manager, Mohd Syazwan Mokhtar, is thrilled to have the support of Stream The Beat; “At a time when we are overloaded with requests for food supplies, we feel blessed to have the support of Fresh Events Asia and everyone involved in the Stream The Beat festival. Like many countries around the world, Malaysia has more people falling beneath the poverty line than ever due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and it is our role to source the funds and food to feed them during their time of need. From all of us at The Lost Food Project and the many charities we work with, we would like to thank everyone who joins the live-stream for any support they can offer.”

Stream The Beat takes place between 2 pm and 10 pm on Saturday 2nd May and is free to view. To register, visit www.streamthebeat.com and to find out the latest news, follow facebook/streamthebeat and instagram.com/streamthebeat.

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Metabolic Training: The Benefits for a Runner

With such fast-paced lifestyles we all seem to lead, finding enough time to work out can be a bit challenging. That is precisely why many people are on a lookout for exercise regimens that will enable them to get the maximum benefits in the shortest time possible. As a form of such a workout, running became quite a popular choice.

But the fact still remains that you simply can’t pick only one exercise regimen and stick to it blindly if you want your entire body to experience all the benefits. Instead, you’ll need to find some other exercise plan that will focus on all the parts that are not being engaged so much with your main exercise plan. That is why many runners choose to take up metabolic training as well. 

With that in mind, let’s learn more about metabolic training and all the ways runners can benefit from it.

What is metabolic training?

Metabolic training, also known as metabolic conditioning, is a type of exercise plan that focuses on combining weightlifting exercises with moderate cardio exercises. The strength training part of the regimen will focus on getting your body in top shape – strength-wise, while the cardio part is there to make sure that your body can take it. For that reason, so many people seem to enjoy metabolic training as it combines the best of these two worlds.

How does it work?

Metabolic training heavily focuses on various exercises that are being performed in short intervals of time, combined with periodic rest. That said, you can easily incorporate some of these exercises into your regular running routine. For instance, try to go for the usual run, but section the time you spend running into intervals. After your first running interval is over, try to complete a metabolic circuit of either burpees, lunges, pushups or squats. In the beginning, make the circuit last 45 seconds of workout and 30 seconds of rest, and repeat it 3 to 4 times before you continue with your run. For additional comfort, don’t forget to wear proper gear. Comfortable workout clothes combined with compression sleeves that can reduce swelling are simply a necessity.

Is it good for weight loss?

As you may have already guessed, metabolic exercises are excellent for weight loss, especially if combined with running. From a scientific standpoint, it has already been proven that exercises that vary in intensity are far better for weight loss than those that maintain you at a stagnant pace. So, it is safe to say that with this type of exercise, you will be able to start noticing the positive results far quicker than you otherwise would.

How else does it benefit runners?

Even though we have already mentioned certain ways adding metabolic training to your usual workout can benefit you, there are still other ways we haven’t even mentioned yet. For starters, MetCon will improve your movements. As a runner, the majority of your movements are usually front-focused. But with MetCon, you will also add dynamic lateral movements to the mix. Next, since MetCon is also heavily involving cardio exercises, it will help you even further improve the overall state of your cardiovascular system. Furthermore, it will add another dose of varied intensity training to your usual routine, which will significantly help you not only to lose weight but to improve the results of your efforts, in general. And finally, this type of exercise will greatly boost your physical strength, which is certainly something to look forward to.

Therefore, it is safe to say that combining some type of metabolic training with your usual running will be more than beneficial. This way, you will not only improve the state of your overall health. Instead, you’ll also improve your strength and agility which is not something that’s commonly mentioned when talking about different exercise plans, but it is something that is incredibly important.

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Benefits of Recovery Runs: Why Running Slow Is Good for You

When running as a means of exercising is concerned, people usually presume that the faster and longer you run, the more beneficial the run will be. However, it’s simply not always the case. While it is certainly fun and even advised to try and push yourself outside of your comfort zone every now and again, it’s not always the best route to take. 

Recovery runs – or slow running – is equally beneficial to your overall progress. Some would even argue that without it, you won’t be able to progress with your efforts like you would if you were to include them in your regular routine. But what does slow running actually involve and how often should you opt for it?

What are recovery runs?

Recovery runs – as their name suggests – are a type of slow run whose main purpose is to enable your body to rest and recover from your usual exercising routine. It offers you the opportunity to allow your body to rest while still being active. That is why you should make slow runs and recovery runs an integral part of your usual routine. So, the next time you put your comfortable running shoes on, try to go for a slow run and see just how good you’ll feel after it.

How slow should I be running?

The best way to determine the right running speed when aiming at a recovery run is to monitor your heart rate. As a rule of thumb, your heart rate during a slow run should not exceed 65% of your HRR (heart rate reserve). If you’re still not sure what this means, we’ll try to make it as simple as possible. Your HRR is the difference between your resting heart rate (RHR) and your maximum heart rate (MHR). So, in order to do the calculations right, you’ll need to determine your RHR and MHR. If your MHR is, let’s say, 170 and your RHR is about 60, your HRR will be 110. The 65% of that 110 + your RHR will be the ideal heart rate you should be aiming at when going for a recovery run. Luckily, you only really need to do all that math once and there are plenty of gadgets on the market that can help you monitor your heart rate at any given moment. 

Why should I do it?

Simply put, just like your body needs a good exercise routine to stay healthy and fit, it also needs to rest properly. What most people don’t realize is that just because they’re not pushing their bodies to the limit, that doesn’t mean they’re not exercising. For starters, slower runs will help your body learn how to use fat as a source of energy more efficiently. This will, of course, lead to a quicker body fat loss. 

Next, slower runs are much better at training your cardio system and teaching it how to work more efficiently. By building up your cardiovascular endurance, you’ll soon start to notice that your faster running days will become far easier to handle. In the end, slow runs will also improve the state of your tendons, ligaments and joints. Faster runs can put a lot of strain on your muscles which can easily lead to injuries if your tendons, ligaments and joints can’t handle it. But by toning your legs entirely – by mixing up the two running styles – you’ll ensure that your body is ready to take up anything. 

How often should I do it?

Believe it or not, it’s actually advisable to make short runs your usual exercise. If you’re simply a recreational runner, you should ideally be aiming at 3 slow runs, 1 fast session and 1 long run at a conversational pace. This way, you’ll be building up your body muscles at a steady and even pace, which will certainly benefit your workout efforts in the long run.

In order to make the most out of your running efforts, you need to learn how to run properly. And while you may initially presume that the faster the run the better, you will actually benefit much more from regular slow runs.

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National Athlete Series: How do you stay physically, mentally and/or nutritionally healthy during this period? – Aldrian Yeo (Triathlete)

In view of the current COVID-19 situation and measures implemented by the governments, we have asked some of the National Athletes to share some tips with our running and sports community on how to stay physically, mentally and/or nutritionally healthy during this period.

1. How do we stay active or physically healthy during this period, considering that we are encouraged to stay at home as much as possible?

I ride my bike almost every evening on the smart trainer going on Zwift, the virtual reality cycling app. I created a structured training for my group, so it has been more than 30 days riding on a specific plan.

I also incorporate strength training (weight & body weight) after each ride, so that I can still maintain my strength for swimming and not lose too much muscle mass. 

2. How do we stay calm during this stressful period?

I think it’s important not to get too carried away with the current outbreak, of course, it’s important to practice precautions but don’t get too obsessed about things like trying to sanitize or cleaning everything there is to clean, hoarding food or buying grocery like it’s doomsday coming. It creates unnecessary stress for yourself and people around you.

I think what helps is also to continue to exercise or for those who do not exercise on a regular basis, it’s a good time to start. We all know by exercising, it boosts our “feel good” hormone and that keeps us calm & happy during a challenging time like this. You immediately feel good after each workout and it stays with you for the rest of the day. You will be less grumpy or moody indirectly, and you will see yourself lighten up, talk to your spouse and kids better.. and you sleep better!

3. Are there any simple nutrition plans, tips or recipes that we can follow?

I eat clean most of the time and it has helped with weight management during the less-active time during my off-season. It will also work during lock-down period like this when your overall activity level (not just training volume) is lower.

Eating clean to me means – I avoid processed food, oily meals like our all-time favourite “Char-kueh-tiaw”, “curry mee”, “nasi lemak” and sweet stuff such as ice-cream and alcohol.

My wife cooks mostly at home, so our diet is more towards vegetables (complex carbs) and 10% or less is meat.

4. Are there any recommendations on resources (youtube channel/video, social media pages, blogs, books, podcasts etc) to refer to?

For the past few weeks, I take the time to read & watch videos on sport science studies to understand human performance better.



ABOUT ALDRIAN YEO

Photo source: Aldrian’s Facebook


Aldrian Yeo is a Team Malaysia Triathlete who represented the country at the Southeast Asian Games 2019.

Aldrian started off as a swimmer representing Sarawak in his teens. He then moved to triathlon in 1999 but only took the sport seriously 8 years ago at the age of 28.

His other achievements include 3rd Overall Men (2nd Malaysian) at the Port Dickson International Triathlon 2016, 3rd Overall Malaysian at the IRONMAN 70.3 Putrajaya 2016 and 12th (Elite) at the Thailand Tri-League 2016 (Bangsaen, Thailand).

Other than being a competitive triathlete, Aldrian also coaches triathlon for a living. He founded “GoGetter Triathlon Squad” in 2016 and recently took over management & coaching for a youth team “Team TIME”. He is the husband to Serena Yang (who is also a National Triathlete having represented Malaysia in the Commonwealth Games) and father to a cheeky one-year-old, Trevor.

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Expert Series: How do you stay physically, mentally and/or nutritionally healthy during this period? – Zac Newman (Running Coach)

In view of the current COVID-19 situation and measures implemented by the governments, we have asked some of the experts to share some tips with our running and sports community on how to stay physically, mentally and/or nutritionally healthy during this period.

1. How do we stay active or physically healthy during this period, considering that we are encouraged to stay at home as much as possible?

During this time, it’s really important that we all follow the guidelines set by government and health authorities and practice social distancing.

However, where possible and if allowed (this varies from country to country and even state to state) getting out and running is a fantastic way to stay active, move and also reduce the stress and anxiety that may have been caused by the current situation.

In Australia, there is a ‘running’ boom occurring, however, at present runners are only able to head out in pairs. It’s critical that this privilege is not taken advantage of, with seasoned runners really embracing the opportunity to continue to still be able to train, whilst others are venturing out for runs more than ever before.

During this period, it’s important not to put your immune system at risk with hard workouts, making sure you prepare before runs with hydration and refuel after runs and not to overreach.

It’s also important when running outside where it is busy, to try and avoid crowded tracks/trails where possible. In order to combat this, avoid peal times by running at different times of the day. When passing runners out on course, make sure to go wide and give fair warning to ensure you are not going to close to each other.

If you cannot leave the house due to restrictions, using online training exercises to focus on core strength can be a great way to stay active, or if you’re lucky enough to have a treadmill then obviously that’s another avenue to take.

Why not use this time to mix things up? Online yoga courses are fantastic if you want to focus on developing such things as physical, mental, social and spiritual development. Try to focus on any other weaknesses and imbalances, in such hectic and busy lives this time could really be used to improve those ‘1%ers’.

2. How do we stay calm during this stressful period?

This sudden change to all lives has caused a lot of stress and anxiety worldwide, people from all corners of the globe are being faced with uncertain and unprecedented times. There is a lot of anxiety around the loss of control over the situation, on top of the health concerns and risks associated with COVID-19. Many have even lost jobs, gone into financial hardship and been distanced from family and friends.

In these times it’s important to focus on what you can control, and doing your best to keep yourself calm and safe.

With the constant news cycle and social media feeds it can all become overwhelming, so ensure you consider taking breaks from constantly reading and watching ‘Corona’ related news and stories. Try to give yourself a mental refresh and find some positive stories, documentaries to watch, or even listen to a podcast that is fun or informative.

Take time away from the screens, by reading a good book, engaging in a fun game, plant a veggie patch. Things that you have always wanted to do but just didn’t have the time. Even try meditation or yoga, which are a fantastic way to manage stress. So ensure you incorporate a variety of activities, which allow you to break up your day and help establish that routine.

3. Are there any simple nutrition plans, tips or recipes that we can follow?

Given that we are a bit more restricted around general moving in our regular daily lives, it’s super important now more than ever to make healthy choices during this period. The level of incidental exercise has dropped (ie walking to public transport) so we are burning less overall calories.

Stress and anxiety have obviously built up with the isolation and along with that, there is a real danger that we turn to food as a distraction or support mechanism. If you can try to ensure you continue a healthy association with food and that connection needs to be around using foods to enhance your physical and emotional wellbeing, then you will be much better for it.

This is a great chance to hone your cooking skills and focus your energy on eating healthy and wholesome food. Consider experimenting with some different dishes, jumping online and finding some new and interesting recipes. This time could also be used to bulk cook and freeze food to reduce food waste.

4. Are there any recommendations on resources (youtube channel/video, social media pages, blogs, books, podcasts etc) to refer to?

Here are some specific running-related recommendations, which can assist with that motivation and inspiration:



ABOUT ZAC NEWMAN

Photo source: Zac’s IG

Zac Newman is a Running Coach and the Co-Founder of Run2PB Online Run Coaching.

Zac is a long-distance runner with a wealth of experience in track, cross country and road races spanning over 20 years of training and competitive experiences across the globe.

He has competed in major marathons including London, Chicago and the prestigious Lake Biwa Marathon in Japan, as well as finishing in the top 10 at the Melbourne Marathon on two occasions. His personal best timing for the Marathon is 2h25min.

Zac’s other achievements include 4th Position at the 2017 Steigen 10k Track Race with a personal best of 30min25s, 1st Position at the Great Ocean Road Half Marathon 2017, 1st Position at the Townsville Half Marathon 2017, 4th Position at the Melbourne Marathon 2016 (1st Victorian – State Champion) and 1st Position at the Victorian Half Marathon Championships 2016 with a personal best of 66min55s.

Run2PB features running training programs for distances and types ranging from 5km, 10km, half marathon, marathon, trail & ultra-marathon and even triathlon-specific run.

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6 Japanese/Korean Halal Food With Islandwide Delivery While You Stay At Home

Since the COVID-19 outbreak, many of us are staying home and working from home due to social distancing regulations. With the “circuit breaker” measures in place and the Ramadan kick-starting today, you will be pleased to check out the following healthy halal food with islandwide delivery.

GOSHIN RAMEN

Cuisine: Japanese / Ramen

Delivery: Islandwide via Oddle

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JINJJA CHICKEN

Cuisine: Korean / Fastfood

Delivery: Islandwide via Oddle

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JW KOREAN FOOD STORY

Cuisine: Korean

Delivery: Islandwide via Bungkus

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MAKI-SAN

Cuisine: Japanese / Sushi

Delivery: Islandwide via Oddle

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THE RAMEN STALL

Cuisine: Japanese

Delivery: Islandwide via Call +65 87330425

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WAKU WAKU YAKINIKU

Cuisine: Japanese / Donburi / Bentos

Delivery: Islandwide via Oddle

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6 Healthy Halal Food With Islandwide Delivery While You Stay At Home

Since the COVID-19 outbreak, many of us are staying home and working from home due to social distancing regulations. With the “circuit breaker” measures in place and the Ramadan kick-starting today, you will be pleased to check out the following healthy halal food with islandwide delivery.

ALL THINGS DELICIOUS

Cuisine: Rice Bowls / Bakes

Delivery: Islandwide via ATD to GO

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BIG BOWLS PROJECT

Cuisine: Rice Bowls

Delivery: Islandwide via Big Bowls Project

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GRAIN

Cuisine: Fusion

Delivery: Islandwide via Grain

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LIMAA

Cuisine: Fusion

Delivery: Islandwide via Limaa

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POKE THEORY

Cuisine: Poke Bowls

Delivery: Islandwide via Oddle

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YOLO

Cuisine: Fusion

Delivery: Islandwide (for Meal Subscriptions) via YOLO

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