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Marathons: Setting Goals

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With a rapidly-growing list of marathons and fun runs that keep popping up almost every week in Singapore, it’ll only be a matter of time before leisure runners (and even non athletic types) will start taking part in one. But if you haven’t run a marathon (or long distance) before, there are things to keep in mind when preparing for one.

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Rugged Phone Cases

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As ‘responsible’ smartphone owners, we’ve all had minor incidents involving spilled coffee or maybe even mud. While some phones may be waterproof, the safest bet is probably to house them in a waterproof casing – some of them also happen to be shockproof (great news for those who drop their phones often enough). Here are some options to toughen up your phone:

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High Altitude Performance: Train your respiratory muscles

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For four weeks leading up to an expedition, fourteen climbers volunteered to take part in a study on inspiratory muscle training (IMT). During the expedition and at the Base Camp at over 16,000 feet, their arterial oxygen saturation was recorded to have desaturated by only 14%, compared to the others who had not partook in the training who were recorded to have desaturated by 20%.

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Alcohol Not So Great After Workout

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Most people tend to have a drink of alcohol after they have exercised, probably as a reward for completing it, or because they have used up all their willpower to resist a drink of it. Some feel that it helps them to sleep, or relaxes their muscles, numb the pain or increase blood flow to aid in their recovery after their exercises. Regardless of the reasons for drinking, the truth is that it is actually detrimental to drink any form of alcohol after any type of exercise.

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Core-engaging chairs

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Most of us spend long hours sitting on a chair, working the day away on our computers, and this doesn’t do our health any good. This sedentary lifestyle actually heightens cardiovascular diseases and colon cancer, as well as other diseases such as osteoporosis and slower brain functions. To counter this, here are 5 types of core-engaging chairs that can provide a more active alternative to the standard desk chair – one that allows you to wobble, bounce and overall, engage your muscles while you sit at your desk in the office.

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Snow Safety

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by Liang Kaixiang

To chase after the fresh powder and first tracks down a slope, backcountry skiers have to rely on their partners and their own skills to minimise the risk and exposure to avalanche prone terrain. It is strongly recommended that you take an avalanche skills training course or engage the services of a professional guide prior to backcountry skiing, but here are a few basic things to know:

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Training and Preparation for Snowsports

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by Liang Kaixiang

Planned a ski trip this winter? Get your body ready too! Specific conditioning workouts help strengthen the muscles you need to perform well and last longer on the slopes, but more importantly they also reduce your risk of injury. This article covers a few tips to get you started, especially for beginners who have never been on snow. They act as a supplement to whatever form of exercise you are doing on a regular basis.

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Washing Your Down

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If you use your down jacket often, it’s essential to wash it to help it retain its water resistance as well as puffiness to ensure it keeps you warm for your next winter trip. As the fabric of a technical down jacket is often coated with durable water resistant (DWR) finish, it repels water to keep the feathers protected from water. However, dirt, abrasion, body oils and regular use will reduce its performance.

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A Basic Guide to Layering Up

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by Liang Kaixiang

While winter in the great outdoors brings to mind freezing temperatures, this won’t be a problem if you layer properly.

The key is having different types of clothing of varying materials and thicknesses which help to regulate your temperature – simply put, layers provide the flexibility to adjust your temperature by adding or taking a layer off.

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Wagler’s Pit Viper

A juvenile Wagler's Pit Viper

The Wagler’s Pit Viper is perhaps the most prolific arboreal snake that can be found in tropical Asia, and can be spotted all the way from Thailand to Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and the southern forests of the Philippines. Easily identified by its triangular head, these vipers come in many colour varieties: juveniles are mainly light green with narrow pale bands or spots, and adults are dark green with thicker yellowish bands. As with all vipers, their venom is poisonous, so when hiking in dense rainforests, do watch out for them. They are inactive by day and sleep on tree branches (sometimes pretty low to the ground), so be careful when going through trees.