Singapore National Day 2013 : Be the Firework

While the National Day Parade (NDP) attracted thousands to join hearts in the celebration of Singapore’s 48th birthday at Marina Bay, I joined limbs, torso and buttocks with fitness lovers at SAFRA Mount Faber for a mass kick-boxing and Zumba session!

The 2-hour non-stop adrenaline pumping workout gave me a high that was equivalent to the euphoria of watching the NDP fireworks ‘live’. But even better. The firework was brought within to torch calories and burn fats with the feel-good mood lasting the whole day instead of a mere 10 minutes at the grandstand!

Happy Birthday Singapore! 新加坡,生日快乐!Selamat Hari Jadi Singapura! இனிய பிறந்த நாள் நல்வாழ்த்துக்கள் Singapore! I love ya!

Put your hands up if you love Singapore! Regardless of race, language, religion and deodorant use, the theme this year salutes our unity in diversity through “Many Stories… One Singapore”. The many strands of fur under my armpits concur!

Fireworks can also come from the faces of people. The smile from this gungho nanny who kicked and grooved through the aerobic moves brightened my morning and showed that exercising is the fountain of youth!

A-cha! 李小龙俯身! High intensity kickboxing is one of the best calories burner with an hour burning up approximately 400 calories for women and 700 for men. How much calories one burns depends on age, sex, weight and muscle mass in the body so those numbers are just a gauge, but kickboxing is definitely one great way to rev up the metabolism. Plus, it is very cathartic to throw those punches and high kicks at the stressors of life.

Participants of the free aerobics session from 10am to 12pm were encouraged to turn up in red and/or white attire.

The sessions were injected with national songs such as “Stand up for Singapore”, “Home”, and this year’s theme song, “One Singapore”. I got goosebumps when they came on, feeling how lucky I am to call this little red dot home.

It may seem like psychological propaganda to exhaust the body and mind so that nationalistic messages may sink in, but I don’t think of it as propaganda because the fact is that Singapore, despite its faults and flaws, is truly a great place to be. So to any one who dislikes our nation, the above photo is for you *smile*

After an hour of kickboxing, the endorphin rush reached a crescendo with Zumba. Always game to try a new workout, I’ve perspired through almost all of them… step aerobics, body combat / kickboxing, body pump, hatha yoga, ashtanga yoga, pilates, and spinning, but I’ve never done Zumba. The reason? I have 2 left feet and 2 right hands. Need I explain more? My lack of coordination made keeping up with even the simplest of sequences in step classes a Charlie Chaplin act. So I’ve always regarded my participation in Zumba to be nothing short of being the joke of the town.

But I had the last laugh as the workout is really not as difficult as it looks and hips heaps of fun!

Zumba fans up in arms for their favourite aerobic workout.

What makes Zumba such an aerobic phenomenon is the hip (no puns intended) factor where it is not just a workout, but a freedom of self expression through fashion and dance.

Our Zumba instructress is a firecracker on stage with abs to serve ketupat on.

A 60-minute session of Zumba can burn between 500 – 1,000 calories depending on intensity. To make the aerobic moves more challenging, try strapping on some additional weight around the ankles and wrists.

Keep the fat off with a Zumba dance-off!

Bobee-bobee during Seventh Month (Hungry Ghost Festival)? LOL. The variety of Zumba moves is limited only by imagination and linked by enthusiasm. We all pray for continued harmony, prosperity and happiness for our nation as well as… world peace!

I made it through my first Zumba session and loved it!

We are the fireworks at SAFRA Mount Faber to celebrate Singapore’s birthday! Just realized I’m the only guy on stage with my extended Singaporean family. I don’t know any of them but I didn’t feel like a stranger after sweating it out together.

I used to think that the best way to celebrate National Day is to enjoy the parade ‘live’ with thousands of Singaporeans and our foreign friends. However, the NDP tickets are always so hard to get and traffic is a bane. But having participated in the unique mass aerobics session held in honour of our nation’s birthday at SAFRA Mount Faber, I felt it is really a great alternative or supplement to plug into the national spirit on this special day.

Moreover, what better way to enjoy a fantastic country like Singapore and all it has to offer by being in great health? So do more than just watch the fireworks, be the firework that builds our Singapore!

You can start igniting your body for better cardiovascular health with various fitness courses such as Kickboxing, Zumba Party, and Zumba Fitness at SAFRA. Check out safra.sg (Events & Activities > Courses) for more details.

Here’s wishing Singapore a very happy 48th birthday and excellent health to everyone so that we can continue creating more amazing stories to be told!

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kimmy
    Aug 11, 2013 @ 16:49:21

    Darren, thank you for sharing your heart……love your sense of humor too. It was really nice dancing with you n all those that showed up. It sure was a good morning.

    Reply

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