Post-CNY Weight Gain: 8 Ways to Shed the Kilos — Without Spending A Single Cent


Like me, you’re probably guilty of overeating (and overdrinking) this Chinese New Year. 

Nevermind the glorious seafood, pencai and grilled/shabu meats; other tempting goodies you couldn’t resist include cheesy pineapple tarts, folded love letters slathered with luscious peanut butter, bak kwa, kueh bangkit, hae bi hiam, salted egg fish skin and what have you.

You’re probably thinking, “aiyah, I will diet after CNY lah” — but the inertia is immense and you’re still in the holiday (binging) mode.

Stop procrastinating! It’s time to restart/kickstart your fitness regime. Here are 8 ways you can shed the post-CNY weight gain, without spending a single cent (you have no excuse~).



1. Seek out trails and tracks

Singapore is pretty urbanised, but this Little Red Dot has got some nice trails and tracks to explore — no need to pay any admission fee.

If you’re not comfortable hiking up uneven terrain or tackling mud trails, don’t worry. There are plenty of flat paths for walking, such as through the Park Connector Network (PCN), walking from your home to a nearby park and back, or just taking a stroll around the perimeter of your neighbourhood and grabbing groceries on the way home.

Achieve your 10,000 steps and even monitor your heart rate, distance travelled, calories burnt with a smart device such as the Apple Watch SE. It can even detect a workout and automatically begin tracking your walk even if you’ve forgotten.



2. Start a regular fitness programme

To supplement your weekend walks/treks, consider starting a regular fitness programme — you don’t even need to pay for a gym membership as there are plenty of resources on YouTube (yes, even full workouts and 6-week regimes).

If you want to customise your own regime, create playlists and add videos to them. I’ve found everything from Zumba, K-pop dance, HIIT, yoga, body combat, tabata… even peppered with workout tips and healthy eating pointers. Do these workouts weekly, 3 times a week, or even daily… it’s up to you and your fitness level.

And those annoying YouTube ads? I’m cheapo, so I don’t bother with YouTube Premium ($$$) — let’s just say the ads are like a water break for me.

You can even attempt to book HPB-organised free fitness classes held at a gym near you (you’ll need to book in advance, fastest fingers first). Covid-19 safe management measures in mind, some gyms may even offer their gym/shower facilities after the class. I used to be a regular to a K-pop dance class every Sunday morning… then Covid-19 happened. 🙁

Tip: Use your Apple Watch SE to track how many dance steps you’ve done (you’ll be surprised), heart rate and calories burnt for effective workouts. Don’t forget to drink lots of water when exercising!


3. Use your neighbourhood pool/gym

Don’t have a friend who stays in a condo with a pool and gym? Or perhaps you’re too paiseh (shy) to keep bugging them to let you into the condo grounds to use these facilities.

If you’re not thick-skinned enough, it’s your neighbourhood pool/gym to the rescue!

Although it’s just a few dollars (a token fee, really, because fitness is priceless) to enter, why pay when you can enter for free?

Did you know that you can sign up for a free ActiveSG membership and receive $100 in credits? That’s probably more than 20 trips to the pool/gym.

Lift your weights, do those laps… and you can even track your pace in the pool with a water resistant smart device such as the Apple Watch SE. Turn on some Apple Music while at it… and it might even pair with compatible gym equipment such as treadmills, ellipticals, indoor bikes (if the gym is high tech enough).




4. Make it a healthy competition

As they say, you’ll find strength in numbers. According to various studies, friends’ exercise behaviours can rub off on you, especially if they are fit. Similarly, group exercise classes can boost your motivation to finish off that last set, even though your muscles are already screaming.

C’mon, it doesn’t take rocket science to figure out that if you constantly have people around you who are setting meet-up timings to exercise, or a partner who’s around to wake you up early in the morning to go for a run and eats healthy with you, you’re more likely to succeed.

(The reverse is also true — you guys might end up de-motivating each other.)

Turn fitness into a healthy competition, with a points system, buddy system and rewards for when goals are hit. If that’s too abstract for you or you’re too lazy to gamify it on your own, turn to apps such as Zombies, Run! (also available on the Apple Watch SE) or Habitica.

If you have the Apple Watch SE, hitting fitness goals can earn you badges — the first one to receive the badge wins!

free Apple Watch SE - MoneySmart



5. Take the stairs

Okay, no one’s asking you to tackle a 40-storey building (but you can if you want to).

Climbing stairs is good cardio training (and puts you in good stead for mountain trekking post-Covid-19 or a vertical marathon because #achievementunlocked) but it tends to be somewhat harsh on the knees, so do wear a knee guard or avoid this activity if you have knee issues.

How high can you go? In addition to counting the number of storeys climbed (height of floors/number of steps can vary between blocks), why not track your total elevation with a smart device such as the Apple Watch SE?


6. Boost your workout programme with a fitness app

We’ve highlighted some fun apps above to gamify your fitness journey. However, if you’re looking more for serious performance, you might want to look into apps such as MyFitnessPal to track your calories and macros, Strava (or Runkeeper if you prefer) to track your runs/walks/cycling sessions, Gymatic (to count your reps for you) and more.

There are even apps to track your water consumption, sleep, help with meal prep, manage your carb intake if you’re on a keto diet, check if you’re on schedule with your intermittent fasting… the list goes on.

If all you need is music to get you going, tune into Apple Music on your Apple Watch SE and create a playlist suited for pacing your run (i.e. 120bpm songs etc).



7. Plan a fun and active day per week

Haven’t touched your Singapore Rediscovers vouchers? Why not use them to plan a fun and active day per week?

You can use them to book activities such as the Jewel Changi Airport Canopy Park, redeem a Sentosa Fun Pass, go on Walking Tours to rediscover Singapore’s heritage, architecture and food (make sure it’s on your diet cheat day), go on a Coastal Walk, and more.

Or you can take out that bicycle or skateboard from storage and set a long distance to fulfil over a certain amount of time — for example, you can target to ride 100km in 1 month, doing 25km or so per week.

If you’ve got friends with kiddos or neighbours with pets, why not volunteer your baby/pet-sitting services? Run after the children as they clamber around on the playground while your parent friends finally get some time to chill, or spend time getting to know your next-door neighbour and walk their super cute pooch (pets also tend to have a destressing effect).

Or how about jio-ing your friends for a day out at the beach, community centre or park for a weekly “games day”? Volleyball, relays, ping-pong, badminton, swimming… anything goes~ Remember to track your activities on your Apple Watch SE!



8. Incorporate exercise into your day

If you don’t make time for it, you’re never gonna do it.

Deliberately plan exercise into your day. Use a calendar and set reminders — it’s all the more important if you’re still working from home and spending 60% of your day sitting down and the remaining 40% sleeping (ugh sedentary life, but sometimes deadlines are looming).

Just like you organise your meetings on your calendar, make time for exercises as though they are meetings (with yourself) too. It can be a quick 15-minute HIIT session, or 1 hour after lunch to walk off the impending food coma. There’s a calendar function on the Apple Watch SE to help you incorporate exercise and remind you when it’s time to drop work for some self-care.

The smart watch can also ping you to stand up and walk around after say, 45 minutes of non-activity (typing furiously is not being active), drink some water or do simple stretching.

Without scheduling exercises for a well-rounded day, there’s this slippery slope of drifting off into the K-drama/Netflix blackhole or mindlessly scrolling through your Facebook feed or on a shopping app. Before you know it, it’s past 1am! Just where has all the time gone… (true story).


You can get the Apple Watch SE completely free (worth $419)

You’re probably wondering by now if this is clickbait — because the Apple Watch SE costs a pretty penny ($419 to be exact, not including fashion/sports straps or special finishes).

Aha! But if you sign up for a Citibank card with us, you can get an Apple Watch SE for absolutely free*, here’s how:

Free Apple Watch SE with Citi Credit Cards -


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