Housewife Jurainah Yusof, 45, was never really partial to exercise until she discovered the fun of working out with other women.
Now, she goes to an aqua or water workout session twice every week at the public swimming pool at Choa Chu Kang Sports Complex. But the mother of four knows her new hobby is more than just for fun, and hopes to keep it up. "My parents have diabetes, so my chances of getting it are very high," she said. "Without this programme, I wouldn't be exercising twice a week."
She is one of more than 20 members of a new Aqua workout group set up by the Malay Activities Executive Committee in Keat Hong constituency in Choa Chu Kang to help residents keep diabetes at bay. Altogether, four interest groups were set up by the committee in May, the others being hip-hop, CrossFit and Zumba.
As the war against this metabolic disease gathers steam, more activity groups have been formed to cater to different interests and abilities to get more people onto their feet.
Singaporeans have tended to be a sedentary lot, with about 40 per cent not getting enough activity, said a spokesman for the Health Promotion Board (HPB).
There are now more than 800 sports interest groups at community sports clubs here - up from just 80 in 2006, said the People's Association (PA), which oversees the clubs.
There are groups for popular sports such as running, badminton, basketball and table tennis, as well as newer recreational activities such as kin-ball, frisbee and archery tag. Most of the interest groups are run by volunteers, added PA. All the groups run at community sports clubs are open to the public, who can join the groups for free.
The four new groups at Keat Hong have attracted about 150 participants who join in weekly, said Ms Hamidah Aidillah Mustafa, vice-chairman of Keat Hong Community Club's Malay Activities Executive Committee.
Some participants, like Madam Jurainah, find motivation in working out together.
"I would rather exercise in a group. I make friends and feel motivated to go for the sessions. Sometimes, we go for breakfast afterwards," she said.
Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission.