There are precisely four weeks left of 2010. To start the new year looking and feeling great, you’re going to need to start now. Our twenty eight day regime will rid you of those bags under your eyes, that flab under your arms and the accumulated malaise of the last 11 months. The countdown begins now!
This first week is all about training your body so that when obstacles get thrown your way, you won’t be surprised (well, at least not physically).
1. Spring clean your system
If you want to start the year on a clean slate, you’ll need to first rid your body of impurities from the inside out. Try the colon hydrotherapy treatment at Clinic 10 (#09-31 Novena Medical Center, 10 Sinaran Dr., 6336-0504, clinic10.webs.com), which employs enemas to inject water (often mixed with herbal nutrients) into the colon to rinse the body of nasty stuff like toxins, fecal debris and inorganic matter. If having water pumped into your rectum isn’t for you, go the non-invasive route and visit Fabulous Group’s Quantum Detox Foot Spa (#05-03 Orchard Cineleisure, 8 Grange Rd., 6735-5335) which uses water rich in ionized minerals to draw toxins out of the body.
2. Quit smoking
If you’re going to be puffing on “cancer sticks” your whole life, you’re never going to be fully rid of poisons, no matter how many times you stick a tube up your ass. According to the Health Promotion Board, cigarettes contain over 4,000 chemicals including toxic substances that are often found in stuff like rat poison, insecticide and floor cleaners. Do yourself a favor and give the National Quitline Center (1800-438-2000) a call, or make an appointment with the pharmacist at some of Singapore’s listed quit centers like Guardian Health & Beauty (#B1-18/19 Great World City, Patient Care Center, 6235-4037).
3. Work it out
There’s no other way to say it—if you want a hot bod, you’ve got to work for it. Hit one of the city’s newest gym establishments Pure Fitness (3/F Knightsbridge, 270 Orchard Rd., 6100-3813) and work on all your vital areas in their strength training, boxing and free weights zones. If you suffer from a short attention span (or if you just want to be entertained 24/7), get on their cardio equipment equipped with DVD entertainment systems, cable television and personal screens.
4. Practice hot yoga
Yoga on its own is awesome but hot yoga is something else. Not only do the intricate 26 or so poses help promote flexibility and muscle tone, hot yoga also results in excessive sweating, making it a useful means of detoxification. Don’t believe us? Try a class ($43) at Bikram Yoga City Hall (#02-14 Raffles City Shopping Centre, 252 North Bridge Rd., 6339-6639) or go all out with a one-week unlimited pass for beginners ($100).
5. Learn the art of self defense
Firm shoulders, a slim waist and toned legs are all very nice but we highly recommend you train them up for street fighting just in case (you never know with all the slashing cases happening these days). Mixed martial arts has been deemed the most effective in a real life, no-rules situation so go get some expert guidance from the experienced trainers at Evolve MMA (#01-01 Far East Square, 26 China St., 6536-4525), Asia’s biggest martial arts training academy.
6. Jive your way to fitness
We all know dancing can improve stamina and tone up your arms and legs, but to impress at your office Christmas party you’re going to have to bust out all the right moves. If street dancing is your thing, look no further than Recognize! Studios (#05-31 Orchard Central, 181 Orchard Rd., 6509-0650) which provides hip hop, B-boying, popping and locking classes ($15-25 per class). If you’re into old classics, consult the lesson schedule at Jitterbugs Swingapore (#B1-08 The Cathay, 2 Handy Rd., 6887-0383) for Lindy Hop, ballet, merengue and four different types of jazz classes.
7. Wax the surface
You know what they say about big projects—it’s all about the presentation. The award-winning Pink Parlour (#03-19/20/22 Orchard Central, 181 Orchard Rd., 6100-8266) provides waxing services for your back, arms, legs, chest, bikini area and even the dodgier spots like your butt and upper lip (approximately $12-68 per session). Polish it off with a detoxifying Dead Sea salt scrub ($48 for 20 minutes) or their Smoothie Back Dermabrasion treatment ($88 for 45 minutes) and you’re all set for the next phase of your makeover.
8. Repair and Relax
If you’ve been following our advice in week one closely, you should be feeling slightly better already. Otherwise, well, there’s still time. This week, we concentrate on curing you from the inside out.
9. Opt for traditional healing methods
If you’re aching from all that running on the treadmill or, more likely, from yet another party the night before, chances are you’ll want to run out to the local pharmacy for your usual remedies. Why not try some traditional healing methods instead? They’re mostly organic (minimal or zero use of chemicals) and many claim they work. Acupuncture has been known to relieve aches and pains and cure illnesses such as asthma, heartburn and even infertility. To learn more and book yourself a session ($35-40), call Fong Acupuncture and Medical Hall (#01-270, Blk. 479 Jurong West St. 41, 6563-8619).
10. Vibrate it off
We know that you might not have found the time (or motivation) to hit the gym last week. Well, it’s time to wake up and smell the coffee as you now have only three weeks left to lose those pounds. So, unless you plan on spending every waking hour at the gym, here’s a little quick fix secret: The Power Plate, a vibrating platform from the US that recreates the effects of an hour-long workout but only takes 15 minutes. Go for the complimentary trial session at Power Work Studio (Frankel Estate, 695C East Coast Rd., 6445-0156).
11. Overhaul your face
We’re not usually advocates of plastic surgery but we see nothing wrong in making little tweaks here and there if it boasts your confidence. Check out the impressive range of treatments and services at The Sloane Clinic (#03-18 ION Orchard, 2 Orchard Turn, 6509-8108), including the Skinsaver programs designed to target and diminish facial skin problems effectively and in time for your next big event (like a Christmas high school reunion for example). Worried about jiggly jowls? Try their SuperLift Program ($3,400 for six sessions) or the Tone & Lift Program ($3,000 for six sessions).
12. Get a full body rubdown
We can’t stress enough the awesome benefits of a luxurious, long massage. A good masseuse really can pummel away persistent aches, warm your muscles, rejuvenate your skin and ease you into the kind of fitful sleep only babies seem to enjoy these days. Reward yourself with a session at one of the city’s leading massage destinations Estheva Day Spa (#03-25 ION Orchard, 2 Orchard Turn, 6509-3900). Try their award-winning Aviva and Chakra Stone massages ($185 before GST).
13. Suck out excess fat
We don’t mean to be crude but if you’ve been running (cycling, punching or stretching) like hell but your love handles are still happily swinging away then it’s time for some emergency action. If liposuction makes you queasy, go for the second best option: CoolSculpting by Zeltiq. This quick slimming procedure is fast gaining popularity with the discerning crowd, having been featured on TV programs like The Doctor and The Rachael Ray Show. The whole process involves sucking your targeted area using a vacuum and freezing your fat into oblivion. It lasts an hour and costs $1,500 per treatment. Call Medical Aesthetics (#02-12 Cluny Court, 501 Bukit Timah Rd., 6462-2559).
14. Get a full body checkup
When we say full body checkup, we don’t mean a few minutes at the doctor’s getting your stomach prodded. We mean a complete assessment to make sure that all systems are go. Homegrown integrated wellness center Verita Advanced Wellness (308 Tanglin Road, Phoenix Park, 6737-2377) conducts all sorts of assessments, including the Esteck, which uses a non-invasive electrical scan to suss out information on your overall functional health. It takes no longer than six minutes and results are immediately available on screen in 3D.
15. Reverse psychology
While you’re busy repairing your physical health, don’t forget to do something about your mind. It won’t do to go mental just as you’re about to ring in the New Year (or at all, come to think of it). As the old adage goes, “Laughter is the best medicine” so treat yourself to a night of loud guffawing at one of The Comedy Pimp’s (www.thecomedypimpsingapore.com) standup gigs held every month or try something different altogether with Laughter Yoga (www.laughteryoga.org or call Zareena Bana of the Joo Chiat East Coast Laughter Yoga Club at 9786-7451).
the glam slam
Fitness fixes take time, but there are some simple shortcuts to wowing the crowds.
16. Trim it down
The whole point of this exercise is to fashion a whole new you and one way to do that is by getting your hair cut. And we don’t mean just any haircut; we mean something that really turns heads and gets people talking. One of the newest salons to hit the local hair circuit is Essensuals Hairdressing (#B1-20 Orchard Central, 181 Orchard Rd., 6884-4218), which translates catwalk trends into hot wearable styles for real people.
17. Revise your skincare regime
At some point, all of us are going to grow out of our Garnier face wash—be sure to know when this happens or you’ll risk breaking out the morning after a mad countdown party. We asked celebrity hair and makeup expert Andrea Claire for some tips on revisiting your skincare regime:
- Skin can break out every 28 days. Don’t mistake hormonal breakouts for the need to change your regimen.
- Look for skincare for your skin type. If you’re not sure if you have oily skin, take a few pieces of tissue and press them against your face in the morning. See if they stick.
- Use the complete set of skincare from one product line as they are developed to complement each other.
- If you react to products easily, look for sample sizes. Fourteen days is a good amount of time to try a new product and see if it works for you.
- Some skin conditions look worse before getting better so consult the manufacturer or a dermatologist for signs the product is or isn’t working.
18. Tame your brows
Nice eyebrows can really pull your look together so be sure to get yours done only by the experts at Browhaus (#01-004 Suntec City Mall, 3 Temasek Blvd., 6333-5875). We love their Brow Resurrection ($900-1200) treatment, a semi-permanent procedure that enhances half-assed eyebrows, making them look fuller and more balanced. If you’re looking at fixing a little more than just your eyebrows, you can also try the Eye Define (semi-permanent eye liner, anyone?) or Lash in Bloom (quickie extensions that go on forever).
19. Get youthful skin
Most beauty products offer anti-ageing solutions over a minimum usage period. People who want more immediate effects usually turn to cosmetic surgery. If you can’t afford to go under the knife, check into Cristalle de Paris (56 Temple St., 6221-4288) for its non-invasive plant-based treatments like the Lemieon 8° Enhanced In-Classic (price upon application). Besides being one of the most relaxing facials we’ve ever tried, it also lifts and tightens sagging skin to make you look just that little bit younger in time for the New Year.
20. Wear a Hollywood Smile
Never been kissed? Maybe it’s time you pull in some reinforcements from the good people of Smile Inc Dental Surgeons (#02-124/126 Suntec City Mall, 3 Temasek Blvd., 6733-1802), who can lift and shape your smile, whiten teeth and apply laminates—whatever works so you can get that winning grin (and maybe score a smooch or two when the clock strikes midnight). There are also general dentistry services here in case you need to extract that annoying wisdom tooth (ouch!).
21. Dress up your digits
Don’t think you can get away with neglecting your nails because they hardly get noticed—they do. A chipped toenail will make a pair of the latest Prada strappy sandals look shoddy and nobody wants to shake a hand connected to chewed-to-death nails. Get them done at Vedure Nail Spa (MediBoutique, #04-06 Wheelock Place, 501 Orchard Rd., 6732-6448). If you’re feeling adventurous, try their Minx Nails manicure ($80) and pedicure ($120), which involve adhesive nail stick-ons with quirky (and sometimes downright bizarre) designs.
22. Get a makeover
We personally think that the best way to get ready for a party is to hire someone to worry about all the beauty aspects for you. Flashy makeover spot The Studio (22 Amoy St., 6221-3717) is Sweden’s largest makeover studio company, with expansive professional makeup and photography services to psych you up for your big night out. Their “Model for a Day” package ($88) consists of makeup and hairstyling for up to four people, and you are entitled to one 4R print and two soft copies of your favorite pictures.
in the habit
With hair and makeup sorted, and perhaps even a few pounds lost already, it’s time to make sure you establish some good habits to see you through 2011.
23. Watch what you eat
You can kill two birds with one stone at Updog Yoga Studio (#02-05A Playground @ Big Splash, 902 East Coast Parkway, 6440-0282) which is especially great for all you busy people out there. After your hot Hatha yoga class, enquire about the detox and nutrition programs by co-owner and renowned chef Emmanuel Stroobant, who will customize healthy meals to go with your exercise regimen. Craving “junk”? Hit new fast food establishment VeganBurg (44 Jalan Eunos, 68440-6868) for their delicious and healthy burger menu, or better yet …
24… take a healthy cooking class!
An Apple a Day (#08-00 Tan Ea Kiam Bldg., 15 Philip St., 9154-9410, anappleaday.com.sg) combines gourmet cooking with natural therapies, conducting cooking classes (starts at $550) and even personal chef services ($650 per four to six hour session with 20 individual meal servings) in the comfort of your own home.
25. Hire a personal trainer
Here at I-S, we understand more than anything how hard it is to break bad habits and commit to new ones. To help you effect real change, we recommend that you hire a personal trainer or nutritionist (or both if you can find/afford them) to help you plan your exercise regime and diet plan for next year. Most gyms provide personal training services (for a fee of course) but if you want us to drop names, we say fitness instructor and nutritionist Ladislav Demko from Willow Stream Day Spa (8/F Fairmont Singapore, 80 Bras Basah Rd., 6339-7777) is a great bet. We also recommend Pro-Fit (#02-01/02 Phoenix Park, 316 Tanglin Rd., 6887-3574) for access to a pool of professional trainers whose attention is solely focused on you (they don’t even believe in buddy training).
26. Do an inventory of your grooming essentials
We know you hoarders—you will never throw a perfectly good (or looks like it’s good) tube of cream even if it’s been there since before you hit puberty. But there are some products that could make you sick if used after their use-by date. For more information on when you should start throwing out your beauty cabinet essentials plus tips on how to make them last longer, log on to http://is.asia-city.com/health/article/shelf.
27. Lend a hand
No, we’re not joking. One of the best ways to feel good is to do good. We believe in karma and how continuously giving will be repaid to you ten-fold. Start at the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Center (#04-88 The Central, 6 Eu Tong Sen St., 6550-9595), where you can register with their SG Cares team of volunteers to entertain and contribute to less fortunate children and the elderly. There’s an online calendar on their website (www.sgcares.org) so you can plan ahead—no excuses.
28. Get a life…coach
Want to relight your passion and translate it into success? Get acquainted with consultant Christina Teo of My Journey of Passion (www.myjourneyofpassion.com), a company that trains individuals in personal branding and setting career goals as well as leadership and negotiation skills. Workshops are usually conducted on a one-to-one basis and you can register on her website.
29. Believe in yourself!
Repeat after us: “I look fab!”