“Source: [Keeping physically and mentally fit with exercise, The Straits Times, 1 Sep 2015] © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Permission required for reproduction”
Mr Andrew Ang, who has three children, one of whom has autism, believes regular exercise helps reduce feelings of anxiety and depression. No matter how busy he is, he makes sure he exercises at least three times a week, and for at least an hour each time. He runs at least 20km and swims 3km each week. PHOTO: DIOS VINCOY JR FOR THE STRAITS TIMES
Q Given your long and irregular day, how do you fit in your exercise?
A I work about 12 to 15 hours daily but make it a point to exercise three or four times a week.
For instance, I keep my swim and running gear in my car. If a client should cancel an appointment at the last minute, or if I were to finish earlier, I would go for a swim or run. I’ve swum past midnight because it was my only free time.
I may use my client’s condominium pool or drive to the nearest stadium or park for a 10km to 15km run.
Q What has your experience with depression taught you?
About 11 years ago, after my first child was born, I went through another unfit phase. I was overcome with worry about my daughter’s congenital heart disease and, later, my son’s autism.
I switched to another job to ensure I earn more, because I was worried about the medical costs of my children’s conditions.
Q What happened after that?
A I was hospitalised a few times. I lost my job and my immune system was weak. I then decided to return to exercising again.
Now, I take part in about two races a year. I just completed the Singapore International Triathlon in July. I took 31/2 hours to complete a 1.5km swim, 40km bike ride and 10km run. I also participated in the Manhunt contest last year.
Q How has your active lifestyle influenced your family and friends?
A Many of my friends became fitter after joining me in the gym and for outdoor aerobic exercises. My dad picked up running a few years ago and I can see he’s happier.
Q What is your diet like?
A I work long hours, so I drink coffee to stay alert. But I avoid other sugary drinks and have home- cooked food that my mother-in-law prepares for dinner. For breakfast, I usually have oatmeal and, for lunch, rice and a few vegetable dishes.
Q What are your indulgences?
A All kinds of sinful local food like laksa and fried kway teow, and beer. But I will keep track of my indulgences to make sure I don’t go overboard.
Q How do you maintain a healthy work-life balance?
A Playing with my kids, watching movies or singing karaoke with my family. Once a while, I play golf. I also love to read and am attempting to go through my big collection of mostly non-fiction books.
Q What are the three most important things in your life?
A Family, friends and my personal values.
Q What’s your favourite body part?
A Seriously, I feel blessed with a healthy body and mind. Maybe my favourite part is my soul.
Q Do you think you’re sexy?
A I am if I think I am. Sexy is an attitude and it all depends on my mood at the point of time. I can be sexy if I feel like it.
A morning jog along Bedok Reservoir Road.
A 1.5km swim at a client’s condo pool or any Safra or public swimming pool.
A combination of physical activities, either run-swim-run or swim-cycle-run.
Several rounds of push-ups, chin-ups, sit-ups and other exercises.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 01, 2015, with the headline ‘Keeping physically and mentally fit with exercise’.