A workout in just a few minutes?

My friend will be the best man in our friend’s wedding and he is now preparing for his best man speeches. But while he is dreading that moment, he is shy you know. I said he should dread how he looks. I saw an article about dieting and he came to my mind because he is a little weighted, and I would like to share with him some of the full proof ways to get fit in just minutes. We often hear people complain, wishing they had time to squeeze in a workout but are too tired to do so because of the fast-paced world we all live in. Unfortunately, “fast” means fast food and with the advent of technology, people may prefer to stay indoors, thus resulting in poor health. But what if you can work out in the comfort of your home or office, burn 600 calories and you don’t have to go to the gym or buy special equipment? Sounds too good to be true but, yes there is a way, thanks to the 4-Minute Workout. The 4-Minute Workout is a metabolic and highly intense workout that exercises all parts of your body in four short minutes. By maximizing the time given, you will burn calories equivalent to an hour’s workout, consisting of, say, a run in the village. The workout is simple. In four minutes, all youhave to do are four types of exercises:

  1. Jumping Jacks
  2. Squats
  3. Push-ups
  4. Lunges

The key to this workout is not to go beyond the time allotted. While you can do this anytime, it is highly recommended that you exercise in the morning as it has been proven many times that working out after waking speeds up the metabolism.

  1. Jumping Jacks
  2. Stand straight with your feet together. Make sure your arms

are on the side.

  1. Starts jumping making sure that your legs are spread, your

hands touching over your head like clapping.

  1. Return to the first position and the exercise in 10 repetitions.

Now for those who have difficulty doing jumping jacks, you may modify them by spreading your legs left and right, with your hands clapping over your head.

  1. Squats
  2. Stand straight with your feet and shoulders apart. Make sure

your knees, hips and toes are forward.

  1. With hands on the side, bend your body, your knees pointing

forward. Make sure that you are not going beyond the toes.

  1. Go back to neutral position and bend again until you reach

10 moves.

For the hand position, you may either bend with your arms front, hands back or depending on the level that you can do. Tip: You may not know it but sitting on the chair and standing and sitting again is already a squat.

  1. Push-ups
  2. Lay face down with your palms on the floor, your shoulders

wide apart and your legs straight.

  1. Push yourself up and down, your chest touching the floor but

making sure that your body is straight.

  1. Return to starting position and do it 10 times.

There are many variations of the push-ups. You may modify it by placing your knees on the floor, legs up or crisscrossed. You may also do the push-ups by using your desk table or pushing against the wall.

  1. Lunges
  2. Put your hands on your hips.
  3. Place one leg forward about two feet or more depending on

your height.

  1. Bend your knee with the front knee aligned with the ankle. The

back knee meanwhile should be vertically aligned to the shoulder

and hip. Make sure that the heel of your feet is lifted from the floor.

  1. Do it on each leg, repeating it for 10 times.

For balancing purposes, you may use a chair for support. Notice anything with the workout? The key number is 10. Once you are finished with the lunges, start all over again with the jumping jacks, making sure that you have done four sets of each exercise. Some, however, may not be able to do it well at the start but the goal is to do all the exercises non-stop in the allotted time and challenge your body as you go. So there is no excuse not to workout. With these four simple exercises, you’ll surely get results and lose a pound or more. Remember, it is advisable to consult with a doctor before doing any rigorous training.



There are many students who fear of losing their scholarship or getting a failing grade in their subject, or graduating in the right time. There is nothing wrong with it. But, you keep on trapping yourself in a box labelled ‘pressures’.

We always think about what others would say if we get a failing mark.  We would also wonder if, even with failing grades, we’ll get a decent job. We tend to over think things thus, being unable to get a grip with the true essence of every happening.

We should always bear in mind that there have been a lot of graduates. But many are unemployed and underemployed. Let us also remember that there are people who did not graduate but eventually became triumphant in life like Fernando Poe Jr., Dolphy, Steven Spielberg, and Henry Ford. I’m not implying that we should throw our books into the trash can and head on to the real world. What I mean to say is the future is like a Jack in the box. You will never know when it will come out and surprise you.  You just have to be ready and face it head on.


You should just learn to enjoy your studies and just do your best. Always remember that you can do anything anyone can do. But keep in mind that only you can do it better. For me, I am enjoying learning the trades of hosting ranking and it keeps me busy during the wee hours.


There is another resolution that is commonly made by a lot of people all across the globe, “I will become more physically fit by dieting, exercising, etc.” This instance again shows how afraid we are of people perceiving us as plump or hideous. It shows us how afraid we are of being unhealthy, of losing people, and of dying. Again, there’s nothing wrong with it. But should people’s opinions matter? We should be doing this because we want to do it. Not because we want people’s opinion of us to change. Also, no one should be afraid of losing someone they love. Besides, we all know that our eventual end will be six feet under the ground. No one lasted forever in history either.


However, fearing of losing an important person in their life when they are not ready is natural. But shouldn’t we use all the time that we have to spend it with the people we love so that we won’t have regrets in the end?

Resolutions that are made may be the same as others in the previous years, they may be new, they may be out of this world, or maybe they are selfless. But have these thoughts ever been put into actions?

We always say that they serve as motivations for us to accomplish our goals. However, motivations are not enough. They will never be enough as long you do not budge and become proactive. Actions are needed for them to be accomplished not just thoughts.

Have you ever asked yourself “What if…? What if…? What if…?” What if instead of just thinking you were actually doing it? What if instead of doing the mañana habit you seized the moment and began?

We have lived behind the shadows of our fears for 19, 18 or 27 years.  Should you continue living in it? Or is today the time for you to step out of it, be free, and live your life?

What if?

Learn to conquer your fears today because they will be haunting you forever. But if you are not yet ready, I hope someday you will be. And you will have the audacity and say, “I will!”

Do not forget that fear is only in your mind but courage will always be in your heart!

Losing weight


Like most regular people I know, once they reach their thirties, they mellow down.  Gone are the hyperactive party-all-night-Fridays  or swim-all-day-weekends.  Instead, most prefer to stay home to read or maybe work on a presentation.

I was never the “fat” person (sorry, for the bluntness), I have been thin all my life without meaning too.  In fact, I was barely over 110 pounds or 50 kilos  during my college days.  My metabolism during my twenties allowed me to eat what I wanted and I never thought that one day I would struggle with my weight as my age caught up with me.


As I soldiered through medical school during my early thirties, I started gaining weight.  I’m not sure if it were the Oreos and chips I ate during all-night study sessions or the fact that I drank soft drinks (Coke zero, I mistakenly reasoned, ergo no calories or sugar) morning, noon and night to cope with the stresses of school.  Food was my reward, and at the same time my comfort measure when I was feeling down.


By the time I graduated, I was a solid 64 kilos.  At 164 cm height, I had a Basal Metabolic Index (BMI) of 23.7 which was still within normal limits in the World Health Organization (WHO) classification.


Internship stress


Enter the era of my training at the Hospital, the mecca of medical internship.  The stresses of adapting to the environment and the inherently toxic duties had me reaching for more comfort food, which were unfortunately junk, plus the fact I need to get a good parking for my Nissan Juke.


Except for pushing stretchers and wheelchairs of patients, or running to the third floor to assist on an operation, I never exercised.  This was the time I exceeded my ideal weight and reached 70 kilos.  I was officially overweight.  My cheeks puffed.  My old clothes failed to fit, but luckily my scrubs accommodated my extra bulk (especially on my belly).


My family has both a history of hypertension on both sides, plus diabetes on my paternal side.  My parents both died in their early fifties, which puts me at very, very high risk.  When my glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1C) came out almost borderline for diabetes, and had one episode of palpitations while on duty in PGH, I was officially scared.  I was 37, overweight, and started having symptoms of polyuria (frequent urination).  That was the last straw.



Working on having a fit body and a fit mind needed a conscious decision every single day.  I realized we always have a choice, a choice between fried processed pork over grilled chicken, or getting a bowl of fruit over cake for dessert.  Making fitness as a choice was also made easier because my gym was closer to where I worked and lived, and my trainer not only instructed me but also encouraged me to complete every single routine.


Recently I had my glycosylated hemoglobin taken again, and it was 5.2 percent–within normal limits.  It meant that my sugar levels within the past three months had not been excessive.  Nowadays I rarely drink softdrinks or eat sugary food, but of course allow myself a chocolate bar or two on Sundays for a treat.


Losing weight wasn’t just about looking good, it also taught me about being determined and consistent with working towards your goal.  It does not take someone extraordinary to get back in shape, and age should not be an excuse.  I think I may even be in better shape now than I was in my twenties.


So this is my take-home message to anyone aspiring to lose weight for health or any other reason: if I can do it, anyone can!