I get up at 7 am on weekend morning. It’s a bonus of one hour sleep from normal working day. I’m glad I wake up to a new day, still alive. I will do my best on this precious rest day. After 2 glasses of vege/fruit juice, I set off to the park nearby to exercise.

Lush greenery and tall trees with spreading branches providing good shade welcomed me. The tranquility calms my mind. A clean toilet upgraded recently allays my worry of having to answer nature’s call along the way. What more can I ask for?

I always start with brisk walking for about 2-3 rounds in the park. I could not wait to join the trail of residents making efforts to sweat it out – the elderly, the young and family group, the runners and some convalescents in wheelchairs accompanied by family or helpers. The scene is very much typical of a heartland neighborhood. Before I moved to my current residence, I used to exercise in Botanic garden, where there are many exercise groups, strolling pets, family groups and also tourists. Wherever the location, as long as there is greenery, nature imparts its power to anyone who embraces it willingly.

By the time I complete walking the 3rd round, the perspiration on my back trickles down and my t-shirt is wet by then. After that, I choose a shady spot under a big tree to do stretching. I’m pleasantly surprised that when I walk, the muscles all over my body are naturally relaxed and I exercise my jaws naturally. I stretch my jaws wide repeatedly and at the 5th count, stick out my tongue and throw out my voice. My blocked ears clear. Looking at the trees far away, I relax my eyes without my glasses. I’m not sure if it’s possible, but I hope to reverse my eyesight by relying less on glasses.

My stretching exercise consists of what I learned from a yoga instructor, previous aerobics class and other friends who taught me qigong. I start with neck and shoulder exercise. Massaging the face, jaws and ears is a good way to relax. Arm swing and arm stretch release the tightness in the joints that gives a “cracking” sound as I swing my arm. Then I move on to the knees and ankles. I feel good as I restore my body to good condition one by one with my own effort. By the time I’m satisfied, I stand still and enjoy the light breeze. It’s such a blissful moment in life. The breeze brushes away the aches and impurities in me. It gives me hope and courage to start a fresh new week. I wish I could exercise in the park every morning. Well, I have to make do with what I can do on weekends now.

I always encourage people to go out to the park, get sunshine and fresh air and exercise the muscles. It is one sure way to healing. No matter how much good food we take in, the absorption is limited if we lack exercise. This is especially so for constipation and degenerating bones. Getting into nature will definitely lift up our spirits which also plays a part in healing. There is nothing to lose by spending that 1-2 hours in the park exercise. It does not matter if we do not know qigong or taiji or yoga. Just get on with brisk walking and arm swing. It’s good enough. Another bonus to having sweat out is that the skin feels smooth after shower. Sweating is a good way to detox. So put on your sports shoes and start walking.

Contributed by Lim Wai Cheng / NPC survivor
Date: 8 August 2010
Survivor since 2005

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