Category Archives: exercise

Managing Stress with a Busy Schedule

What are stressors? Stressors are stimuli that cause stress. These stimuli come in many forms. These can be stressors from relationships at work and at home, worries on finances, career changes, health issues, and even safety. Stressors are normal and they can either cause positive stress or negative stress.  One reality though, we can’t totally remove stress from our lives. They will always be there.  The big difference, however, lies in how we manage them.  No matter how busy we are, there’ll be ways or strategies to keep them from causing havoc into our lives.

Manila Bay as seen from the back of Ocean Park (Photo by RD, October 2013)

How do I manage stress with my (sometimes) hectic schedule?

I DO REGULAR WORKOUTS. Typical workout week for me is setting five days for training and two days for me time.  Meaning, I set aside two days for myself or family or friends, for spiritual development, or a day for simply doing things that I’d like to do. My regular workouts give me a different high. This happens every time I finish my training, or even after finishing a race. Running, first and foremost, keeps me sane. Swimming, just like running, is my therapy.

I MAINTAIN THIS BLOG. Blogging is worth the time and effort for me.  Been blogging these past seven years, and it is through blogging, where I gain lots of friends, broaden my network, and perhaps, improve as a writer.

I LISTEN TO MUSIC OR PLAY A MUSICAL INSTRUMENT. For me, music is a great therapy for stress. I appreciate music that sets the mood or pace the way I do things at my place.  It can be mellow or upbeat.  Music (and singing to the tune, too) relaxes me as well.

I GO FOR A THERAPEUTIC MASSAGE. I know when I’m so beat, dead tired, or fatigued. Massage helps me manage that. Massage creates wonders, in particular, soothes tired back muscles, and reduces soreness or muscle tension.

I GET A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP (AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE). This is such a challenge for me knowing that I do my workouts/training at night.  But again, getting a good shut-eye or an adequate sleep is one of the most important things one can do for the overall health and well-being of the self. Thus, I always try to get a good rest of six to seven hours.  At times, I spend Saturday afternoons as siesta time.

May be it’s the reason why I felt magnetized by the be-stress-free-ask-me statement shirt at the Feel Good Lactium booth during the BLOGAPALOOZA 2014 earlier this month. The statement reflects their stress-free advocacy, which is turning stress into good or positive stress.



We do have a choice.  And the path we choose and have control over with is our attitude on things. Life’s too short to be stressed out all the time. So chill out!

Myra Holistic Skin Care Campaign


Facial creams and lotions are not enough to keep your skin look beautiful. Recent studies show that the secret to healthy, young-looking, and glowing skin has to start from within.
To have that inner glow, one has to complement creams and lotions with a healthy lifestyle and way of life. When thinking of beautiful skin, remember this formula:

Creams and lotions + healthy lifestyle + healthy cells = Healthy, youthful-looking, and glowing skin

To better illustrate this, below is a checklist to guide you whether you’re taking care of your skin or not: 

SLEEP.  The body goes into repair mode when we sleep or rest.  A quality sleep helps our skin to regenerate.  It also relaxes the muscles.  If you feel like you’re not getting enough rest, one possible culprit is that your alarm is rousing you in the middle of your deep slumber. To make mornings less of a drag, or if you’re only catching a few hours of shut-eye, try setting a wake-up alarm that’s a multiple of 90 minutes. This is the length of the average sleep cycle, so you’re sure to wake up to a beautiful morning.

EXERCISE.  A good workout is great for your heart, lungs, and mental alertness.  Regular exercise is one of the keys to having a healthy skin. By increasing blood flow, exercise helps nourish skin cells and keeps them vital. It also removes waste products, including free radicals, from working cells. Think of it as a cleanser for your skin, but from the inside.

HYDRATE.  Healthy skin is well-hydrated skin. If you want your complexion to glow, you need to drink enough water every day.  Want to add a little flavor? Toss in a lemon wedge or a splash of fruit juice—it’s a great substitute for sugary sodas or iced teas.

EAT WELL.  What we eat matters so plan your meal every day, so you don’t end up going for unhealthy options.

TAKE VITAMIN E. This is where the heart of Holistic Skin Care is. As you go about your usual work day, you get exposed to bad and uncontrollable free radicals that damage your cells. The results: dull, tired-looking skin, dry, and aging. Help your skin bounce back by adding a daily dose of Vitamin E to your diet. Since this vitamin isn’t produced by the body, taking a vitamin supplement like Myra E can help. It’s rich in anti-oxidants to help your skin protected which will result to having a beautiful, glowing and younger-looking skin through the years.

For more information, please contact: 

Rhinna Cua
Assistant Product Manager, Myra

Support Myra Holistic Skin Care Campaign by following it on Twitter, MyraHolistic or Facebook, or using IG: MyraHolistic and hashtags #tuloyangganda #MyraHolistic 

Press Release: Feel Great and Look Great

This November, Women’s Health shows you that there’s a lot to love and much you can do when it comes to being a woman and living your best life. In this month’s Feel Great, Look Great issue, learn how you can get a head start in staying fit and living healthily by taking cue from some of the country’s best and brightest fitness professionals. Plus, take inspiration from cover girl Bianca King on how you, too, can reap the fruits of your labor.
Leading a lifetime of health and wellness only takes 11 steps. For fitness professionals like Reema Chanco, Mitch Felipe Mendoza,Mona Lisa Neuboeck, Nadine Tengo, Ani de Leon-Brown, Bam Mogato, Debbie Yabut, Joie Castillo-Viado and Tessa Celdran, staying fit and living healthy is no joke. It takes a lot of discipline, patience and determination to become a better version of yourself. In fact, according to master trainer of Barre3 Joie Castillo Viado, It’s a simple strategy of working smarter rather than harder. “It’s working out right and eating right. We [should] want to be truly healthy inside, which involves both mind and body.”
While Bam Mogato, Women’s Health columnist and personal trainer emphasizes that losing weight is indeed a process. Although women are now bombarded with quick-fix diet plans, women should keep in mind that hard work is key. “There is no shortcut to losing weight. It involves having a good diet and regular exercise” adds Tessa Celdran, Women’s Health columnist and certified yoga instructor.
Speaking of hard work, cover girl Bianca King also shares with Women’s Health how she is able to reap rewards from years of hard work in the industry she loves. Describing her journey in the business as “taking the long road”, Bianca feels grateful for how this has built her character. “It’s not all about fame, money, lead roles, or endorsements. It’s also about being proud of the person you’ve become.”
The actress even admits to Women’s Health that it’s her dream to portray physically demanding roles (read: Nikita or Alias) that’s why she sees fitness as a worthwhile investment. “I’ve been preparing myself for roles like that. That’s why I exercise and stay active, so you know, when the time comes that there’s an opening for those kinds of role, they’ll see that I’m prepared for it.”
Aside from yoga, Bianca’s exercise regimen includes dancing, swimming and muay Thai.A recent addition to her list of staple workouts is running, which she does twice to thrice a week. When asked what fitness tip can she give to those aspiring to feel and look great, she simply says: “Stay committed. There are people who start something, then procrastinate. It’s mind over matter. You have to psych yourself that once you get into something, it’s your goal to finish it. Try out an exercise for a month, if you really don’t like it, that’s when you move on to something else.”
Catch more fitness tips from both cover girl Bianca King and the experts by grabbing the November issue of Women’s Health. The November issue of Women’s Health is available in newsstands and bookstores nationwide. For more of Women’s Health online, become a fan on Facebook ( and follow them on Twitter (

Are You Game? I’m Game!

20 May 2012 – It’s not what you are thinking.  Nope.  I didn’t grace the cover of the Women’s Health (WH) magazine.  This was a freebie taken at a photo booth during the first-ever Are You Game? event last Saturday, May 19 at Bonifacio High Street Amphitheater, Bonifacio Global City.  The sun shone brightly that afternoon, but thankfully the weather later was extremely cooperative.

The leading lifestyle publication for women’s wellness and fitness, WH Philippines reached out to quite a number of Pinays searching for ways to get fit and healthy with its Are You Game? event.  

Are You Game? is the signature event of WH International held in New York, Chicago, Sydney, and now, for the very first time in Manila. “The many innovative, fun, alternative workouts, and fitness partners convinced us that the Philippines is ready for Are You Game?,”  says WH team publisher Christine Ongteco. 

Women’s Health Editor-in-chief Lara Parpan notes that, “Getting fit and healthy is a lifestyle not just a fad. “Are You Game?” introduces our readers to many ways of getting to their weight loss and wellness goals in a friendly, encouraging, and fun environment.” 

For one to join this event, you only need to present the May issue of WH magazine, register, and get your passport to all freebies, access to all workouts, and fun activities.

I, together with Bards aka Banana Running as my partner and with other ladies, tried various workouts like Partner Yoga, a yoga routine that combines Thai massage, yoga, and the dynamic power of acrobatics.  Knowing that I was not that flexible as Bards and since I haven’t done yoga before, I chickened out from doing the acrobatic part.  What I loved most was when I had the chance to use the Kangoo Jump shoes and did some dance workouts with Queenie.  We were bouncing the whole time.  It was really fun!  The ladies who led the workout told me that they’ve even used the shoes in one of the fun runs. So it’s no longer running but also bouncing your way to the finish line.  Hmm, an interesting idea, but I don’t know.
Others tried their way to weight loss with a tailor-fit Model’s Runway workout. The ladies were also taught how to make healthier meals through food preparation demos and select a customizable workout routine for their body through one-on-one sessions with WH fitness and nutrition experts. There were also fun activities such as the bungee trampoline, surf machine (I tried this one but I can only say one thing…balancing is no easy feat! I gave up! Haha!), and bull riding.  There was also total body training via TRX Body Blast and Rip Training, which works on strength, balance, flexibility and core stability which I didn’t get to try.  But I did try the Kettlebell exercises and workouts.  The next day it left my muscles sore and aching.  Oh, my…

Co-presenter Gatorade low carb also invited the ladies to dance their way through chart topping club tunes with Gatorade Low Carb Cardio Mash-up along with some celebrities present in the event.  

After Kangoo jumps, we’re waiting for Techno Rave to start, which was supposed to be the last cardio fix dance workout, unfortunately, it rained all of a sudden.  

I hope that WH will bring this event next year.  I wish them to include Zumba next time. 

Overall, the event was successful.  I had Karina of WH and Que of to thank for.  Their persistence to invite me really paid off.   Many thanks, too, to Bards and Noelle for the photos.

Thank you, ladies!  And super-duper thanks to Women’s Health! Cheers!

Aging Antidote

Two weeks ago, I had a long run with a running group. They usually have long runs near Mall of Asia and Cultural Center of the Philippines areas. They run regularly on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and even on Sundays. There are more than five of them whose ages I couldn’t really guess. They call themselves Lost Command . I can’t remember exactly in detail why their group is named as such.

Anyhow, allow me continue my story…

I arrived late. The good thing was , two of my Happy Feet fellow runners, Master Mon and Kinderdorf, waited for me. I was really grateful for that gesture. Anyway, they’ve started running and we just met near Star City. The three of us then proceeded and passed through a street leading to Macapagal Highway. As we reached the bridge along Macapagal Highway, they greeted a runner who was already walking towards to where we came from. From a distance, I could already see the LC runners.

While the two HF runners maintained a pretty much enjoying-the-view-while-running-pace, I asked permission if I could go ahead. I left them then trying to catch up with the LC group. When I finally caught up with one of the LC runners, who was running slowly (so I’ve thought), I said, “I’ll pace with you.” The runner then just laughed meaningfully. You would know later why … and he had pretty good reason to laugh at me. A young guy, who was also running, tried to pace with us. In the end, it was me who eventually gave in because the two of them were just too fast for me. I waited, instead, for the two HF runners I left behind and decided to run the next kilometers with them.

After we ran a good six-kilometer, all of us met near McDonald’s area for kidney break and hydration. The runner, whom I paced with earlier, was so surprised to know I was with the group after all. Gotcha!

It was a fun long run for me. They seemed to be a very happy group with a common passion to just run together. As we were heading back, it was during this time that another runner asked me to guess the age of the runner on my left. I answered 57yo. There was shared laughter. I wondered why. The surprise of my life! His real age, by the way, is 74. Isn’t it amazing? I really thought he is within the range of 55-57. By the way, he is fondly called by his fellow runners as “45”. Why? His answer would always be “45” every time he is asked of his age. Now, I found that hilarious!

Here is a group of runners, whose members are mostly beyond 60s yet can run like a bull. To top it off, they’ve won in their respective age category not only in the past but also even up to this time. They used to smoke and drink but eventually stopped and tried to live a healthy lifestyle. Some of them had suffered hypertension, but this was gone after they were hooked into running.

So, to answer why that other runner seemed to be silently “laughing” at me? Just put it this way … I was in a situation where I challenged a very fast runner and discovered later that he was one of their bests. Now, that’s “gotcha” for me!

Why am I sharing this experience, dear readers?

Running can do wonders to you. To us. To almost every one. It keeps us young. I’m not saying that we don’t age at all. We do. It’s a fact. But any form of exercise can make a lot of difference on how we age.

In one of my readings, running is just but one of the exercises that slows the aging process. The article says, “the average person is living longer these days, and life expectancy is increasing. And we won’t be frail and senile at age 150.” (Reader’s Digest, May 2007). This is good news, isn’t it?

The article further says, “you need to keep yourself moving. No need to jog or run. A brisk walking for about 30 minutes a day will do wonders.” Running, according to a medical research, may help prevent disability and early death from cancer and diseases. For complete text, click here.

If you haven’t seen the movies, Drumline and Stomp the Yard. I recommend, get a copy, and watch them. In these movies, you will see that running improves the performers’ stamina and develops not only friendship but also teamwork.

Our body, after all, just like a car, needs tune up and maintenance.