Exercise

My Two Perfect Days

I’ve been thinking about what my perfect day would look like and I actually have two kinds; one where I stay home and one where I go out and about.

The One Where I Stay at Home

My perfect day starts early in the morning, usually on my day off, once I’ve dragged myself out of bed. I love to exercise and whether that’s a session in the gym, which is what I did this morning, swimming a few lengths of the pool, or running round the park or reservoir, I feel energised, most of the time 😉 and ready to indulge in my day.

Things to Do in Bangkok
Running at Nong Bon Reservoir, Bangkok

The next part of my perfect day is to have breakfast of cereal and coffee, while I catch up on emails and blogs that I follow and once that’s done, I sit done to write. Whether that’s for this blog or working on my book or writing up a course for work, I write, something. I love writing, and if I don’t do it, I feel kind of guilty, especially on my day off.

Things to Do in Freetime in Bangkok
Writing and Writing (not always with wine!)

When I’ve finished writing, I’ll potter around my apartment, making lunch, or deciding what to do next and I’ll listen to music. I try to listen to music every day and since I have iTunes on shuffle I am getting to hear songs by different artists, some of which I love but have forgotten about, like Pink Floyd, Simple Minds, and Prince. It’s a great pick-me-up and sometimes I’ll sing and dance along. I am a terrible singer, but it makes me happy. 😉 This is one tune I loved in the past, but had totally forgotten about it until recently..

I usually have more than one book on the go at any one time and there’s nothing I love more than to kick-back and read. I spend just an hour or two relaxing on the sofa reading my favourite books. At the moment, I’m reading River of Smoke by Amitav Ghosh. He’s a really fabulous writer and I have a few of his books in my collection. I’m also dipping in and out of a few travel books, and Jaya, a retelling of Indian’s greatest epic; The Mahabharata.

Things to Do in Freetime in Bangkok
Perfect days reading

My perfect day ends with an evening out with a friend for dinner or drinks. I usually go to my friend’s house, here in Bangkok, for cocktails, or we’ll venture out to any of our favourite places to hang out. We always have loads of fun together and it’s great to spend time with my little partner in crime! There are a few more people back home that would fit this bill, and whenever I go home for holidays, I get to have perfect evenings with them too.

The One Where I Go Out and About

My perfect day out and about happened just last week. I started the day much the same, exercise, breakfast and catching up with emails and blogs, but then I left to go to an art exhibition at the Bangkok Art and Cultural Centre, a huge building full of art exhibits and one I go to regularly. The exhibition was called ” Opera Omnia” and it displayed 40 masterpieces by Caravaggio, only they were HD reproductions of the incredibly detailed originals, which are currently housed in museums across the globe. Having just been to Italy, I wasn’t going to miss out on this. It’s a fabulous place to wander around and it’s one of my favourite places to spend time.

Art fix satisfied, my perfect day continued with a spot of lunch at a restaurant I was introduced to a few weeks ago by a friend. I had two favourite lunch places, both of which have since been closed to make way for new hotels and condos. I prefer going out during the day and I was struggling to find a place that opened all day, and one that had a 6-hour happy hour! Most places don’t open til 5 pm and they’re a little expensive to go to all the time, so I was thrilled when I found Monsoon. I’ve only been a couple of times so far, but it’s my new place to go for my perfect days out.

Things to Do in Freetime in Bangkok
Perfect days out

After lunch, I headed to Emquartier, one of Bangkok’s glitzy malls. As a rule, I hate these places, too many people and overpriced shops that you find anywhere in the world, but I by-passed all that and browsed around Kinokuniya, a Japanese bookstore that I like to go to for travel books. I love browsing around bookstores and, usually, I go to a much smaller one that has 4 floors with shelves and shelves full of second-hand books, but I wanted to buy The Rough Guide to Spain and I like those all shiny, new and up to date. I found what I was looking for, plus I made two extra purchases, a beginners guide to Spanish and a book about the history of art. Perfect!

Things to Do in Freetime in Bangkok
Kinokuniya, Bangkok

I arrived home and spent the rest of my day, watching TV, with a glass of red, or two, and chilled out before work the following day. A perfect end to a perfect day!

What’s your idea of a perfect day? 🙂

Cecil the Horse

I have written about this day out horseriding in my previous post, Nelson to Queenstown, but I thought I’d dedicate a whole post to Cecil the horse.

I have loved horses since I was a little girl, so this was the perfect way to spend a day in Glenorchy and I was looking forward to it immensely. I arrived and was paired up with a horse named Cecil, who was a magnificent bay stallion. My horse and I spent three hours riding through the Rees Valley surrounded by a landscape of rocks, glacial fed rivers and magnificent mountains. It was an incredible experience as we rode our way passed the Misty Mountains which were made famous by The Lord of The Rings. We spent the whole morning riding and after a break for lunch we rode out again.

Cecil was very well behaved in the morning, I think he was a little sleepy, but it was another story when we got together again. When we left the stables for the second time that day, everything was calm and we rode in silence without any problems. On the way back, I think Cecil got a little excited at the thought of ending his day with a bale of hay and a nice comfy stable because he started to buck his hind legs, jumping for joy it seemed. He didn’t let me know he was about to do that, being a horse all conversation is lacking, and it took me completely by surprise. I nearly came off a couple of times but he didn’t manage to throw me, I gripped as much as my knees would allow me too. Maybe he was just fed up with me on his back for a whole five hours, who knows what goes through a horse’s head!

Back at the stables, Cecil posed with me for a photograph as a memento of our day together and we said our goodbyes.

Activities in Glenorchy
Cecil and I

Afterwards, I wondered how I could spend the day walking over a volcano and another hiking a glacier and not ache in the slightest, but five hours on a horse and it was a very different story. I couldn’t move for the next few days, my muscles had packed up and I struggled to move even a few inches. Now I think about it, it was probably Cecil’s revenge and he was back in his comfy stable sniggering with his horsey pals.

Activities in Glenorchy

Activities in Glenorchy

This story is an excerpt from my soon to be published book.

Exercise: you don’t have time not to. – Quote Unknown

I have discovered that living in Thailand is good for my health. I live a very simple life. Going to work, seeing friends, and exercising almost daily. I feel so much healthier living here.

My friends think I am an exercise freak and I will happily admit that I am. I love exercising. Don’t get me wrong I still have to psyche myself up to do it but once I get going I am so happy that I made the effort. After all it’s only a small part out of my day and it makes me feel so much better.

exercise

I have been into exercise, on and off, since 2006. I started going to the gym and made friends with the gym instructor, who is one of my best friends today. He was doing spinning classes so I went along and started doing that for the next two years. He also started kick boxing lessons so I went along to those too. I loved kick boxing and it inspired me to go to Thailand and learn Muay Thai boxing for two months.

kboxing
When I first moved to Thailand I naturally lost weight because I wasn’t eating bread, crisps and such like but I soon put that weight back on when I got a social life and started drinking regularly. And after two years at home in the UK, merrily drinking my way through four bottles of red wine a week I was heavier that I had been for a while.

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A friend told me about Insanity- an intense cardio workout- so I began the 60 day schedule.

Insanity-Workout-Program
Source: http://www.vtmfcn.org/shaun-t-insanity-workout-dvd-review-and-results.html

That was last April. At first I wasn’t seeing results-and I need to see results instantly otherwise I get disheartened- but I realised that it wasn’t going to happen overnight. After the 60 days was finished I started running and swimming again as well as Insanity.

Running is my first love but I was determined to finish the 60 day Insanity schedule and because Insanity is tough going I couldn’t do both. So running was put on hold. When I first started Insanity I couldn’t even get through the warm-up without stopping-dripping in sweat and out of breath. Afterwards I was able to do Insanity followed by a 5 km run. It was amazing how much I had improved. And by then I was seeing results so this really spurred me on to continue with my regime.

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Source: http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/05/insanity-the-rise-of-the-supercharged-home-workout/275907/
insanity
Source: http://blog.extremefitnessresults.com/2010/10/can-you-do-the-insanity-workout-if-youre-out-of-shape/

After a move to Bangkok and finding myself living in an apartment building with a gym, swimming pool and jogging track- of course I was going to make the most of that. It has become part of my daily routine and now I run, swim, bike, use weights, and do a combination of Insanity workouts. I find that if I mix things up I never get bored.

conquer
Source: http://www.tazfitness.com/?page_id=628

After nearly a year of this freakish exercising behaviour I have lost nearly two stone and feel so much healthier. I have cut down on drinking and eat a lot more fruit and vegetables than I ever did before.

Tips:
# Rather than doing the same exercise every day which can become monotonous- mix it up and do a variety of workouts.
# Don’t do treadmill runs the entire time- find a local park and run round there. It’s much more interesting.
# Buy loads of vegetables from the supermarket and make a curry with curry paste and coconut milk. I find I don’t miss the meat because it is still very filling and delicious.
# Stop smoking at work. Do you really need those 2 or 3 ciggies during the break times?
# Don’t drink at home unless you have friends round. Or save it for when you are out and about. I love my wine but if you are serious about losing weight don’t drink all the time- it really does pile on the pounds.
# Most importantly, find an exercise routine that works for YOU and stick to it. I think you will be amazed at what a little willpower and determination can do.

It would be great to hear your success stories!

Exercise-to-have-fun-amira-celon