Walking and Jogging for Change

After jogging at Sheraton Hanoi Hotel in November 2011

This morning, it is the day # 237 of week 52 in 2011. I walked for 3.6 Km and jogged also for 3.6 Km, from 4:45 till 6:15am. I have done this regular exercise since 2008. The main reasons for starting this exercise are to bring my weight down, to keep myself a healthy man, to keep my brain fresh and to increase my self-discipline. Before, I did physical exercises also such as: walking, jogging, playing football or volley ball and swimming. But, it was not on a regular basis or in a systematic way. In early 2008, I felt not well with my big belly and heavy weight (85 Kg). In the eighties, when I was young, my weight was 55 Kg. After returning from Germany in 1996, it increased to 75 Kg. After saying “No” to beer for three months (January-March in 2008, which was very hard for a beer drinker), my weight went down several Kg and I started to feel much better. I decided since then to walk and jog on a regular basis. I did take exact notes for follow up: when I woke up, how long I did the exercise, where, how many Km? And how many times per week etc. If I could not exercise in the morning, I will make time to do it in the evening.

In 2008-09, I usually woke up at 4am and walked from my house in Tuol Kork to a Park in front of the Ministry of National Defense, about 1.5 Km, one way. Since Mid 2009, we moved to a new apartment. I do not need to go the old place anymore. I can walk around our compound and jog across the quiet streets in our area in the early morning. My normal day begins at 4:30 or 4:45am and lasts till around 6:15am. After that, I listen to RFA and VOA while drinking coffee with my wife. At 7:15am, I bring my daughter to school and at 7:45 I will usually be at office. Summary of achievements in the table below:

Year Goal Total Average/w. Compared to goal
2008 3 times/week 111 times/40 w. 2.77 Almost achieved
2009 3.5 times/w. 175 times/53 w. 3.30 Almost achieved
2010 4 times/w. 208/52 4.00 Achieved
2011 4.5 times/w. 237/52 4.55 Slightly over achieved
2012 5 times/w. Beer/drinking evening reduced to two times/w.

Walking and Jogging at Pic Nic resort up and down the hill

During the past years, I have been practicing my physical exercise wherever I go, either private or business trips. In Cambodia, I took my sport shoes with me and jogged in Kampong Cham (across 1.6 Km bridge), Kampong Thom, Koh Kong (across 2 Km bridge), Kampong Chhnang, Siem Reap, Sihanoukville, Kampot, Mondulkiri, Battambang, Cheav/Pailin, Pic Nic resort (up/down the hills), Koh Nhek, Kampong Thmar etc. Outside the countries, I have done it during my trips to Vientiane, Hanoi, Australia (Melbourne, Hobart, Gordon dam), Thailand (Pattaya), Germany (Berlin) etc. While doing exercise, I started to reduce my beer drinking evening to 2-3 times per week. This year, it was 2.5 times per week. In addition to regular movement, I watch my food intake very carefully, especially almost no meat in the morning.

Some benefits, I feel that I might get from doing regular exercises:

  • My weight goes down from 85 Kg in 2008 to 77 Kg in 2009 and it remains the same till now. I would prefer to have it goes back to 75 Kg. My beer belly is gone;
  • I feel stronger and healthy. In the past years, I did not spend money on medicines, except for regular blood tests and going to see the dentist; 
  • I have a clear and healthy mind and feel fresh the whole day;
  • At the beginning, I could jog only 500 meter, I must pause for a while. Now, I can jog till 6-7 Km without stop;
  • I wake up regularly on time without having to use alarm o’clock in the morning;
  • It increases my self-discipline;
  • Inspire other people in our area/my neighbors to start doing physical exercise.

In Phnom Penh and in other big cities, more and more people make time to exercise, either in the morning or in the evening, and either with music or without music. The city hall should keep more open space and construct more new parks for public use. It could help to save millions of U$ spent for visiting doctors, especially outside the countries. For the new year, I will buy a bicycle, so that I can diversify my physical exercise program. Sport is the one of best preventive medicines on earth.

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