5 Tips to Stay in Shape During #COVID19 Times

Taken by my nephew at the Punggol Waterway, Singapore in December 2019

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought fear and uncertainty to people all over the world. Here in the Philippines, the national government imposed a Luzon-wide enhanced quarantine (including Metro Manila) to prevent the spread of the virus. As a result, many running enthusiasts can’t enjoy running outdoors because of the lockdown.

Being safe at home is our priority. But our cardio training is compromised since gyms are closed and not everyone owns a treadmill at home. Here are a few tips to maintain an optimum running shape while on lockdown. Hope this helps!


You have multiple alternatives to running such as skipping ropes, jumping jacks, high knee taps, burpees, and jump squats that keep your heart pumping and enjoying the routine. At least 10 minutes of cardio each day except on a rest day will be more than enough.


All you need are a bicycle, a bike rack, and cycling simulator apps like RGT Cycling and Zwift. Indoor cycling is one of the best and most grueling alternatives to running. It burns calories faster and is easier on your knees than running. You can also switch up your workout by changing speed, intensity, and stance.


You can mix it up with other programs like bodyweight training, five-gallon container squats, and even shadowboxing. I started incorporating the prisoner’s workout program by Coss Marte early today and I felt sore while I’m writing this.


Zumba and hip-hop dancing can be a good form of cardio and core workout. It promotes flexibility and loosens up our muscles particularly the abs, glutes, and lower back. Dancing is a full-body workout. Also, if you love using TikTok and Kumu, this one is for you!


Yoga strengthens both the key supporting muscles used in running and the underused muscles. The movement on the mat develops strength in the core, quads, hamstrings, and hip flexors which will help runners stay injury-free. One hour of yoga per day helps is beneficial in relaxing the body, mind, and soul. Mindfulness meditation, on the other hand, helps to alleviate anxiety. Please check out guided meditation by Imee Contreras live on the Awaken Global Meditation Facebook page. Besides, good mental health is really important during tumultuous times.

Before I wrap this up, please visit all the resources and watch the following links:

Coss Marte’s 5 Prison Cell Workout

You can also check out other clips by adidas Runtastic and adidas Runners Manila:

adidas Runtastic: 10 Exercises to Become a Better Runner

adidas Runners Manila: Strength & Conditioning

adidas Runners Manila: Tempo

As always, wash your hands, don’t touch your face, and stay indoors! The virus will die down but not our spirits. Let’s punch COVID-19 out!

My Advice as a 40-Something to My 30-Year-Old Self

Left: Young and adventurous and at 30, Right: Older and wiser at 41

I’m turning 42 on March 28. After years of dealing with insecurity and trials in life, I am proud to say that I am wiser and stronger than I was several years ago. Let me share with you a few important things I learned as a 40-something to my younger self as well as to you especially, to men under the age of 30.

Stay fit – It doesn’t matter whether running, yoga or jujitsu, as long as you enjoy doing it, you can look and feel younger compare to the average sedentary men. Study shows that fitness can help to increase our lifespans for up to 5 years. You should start racking up finisher’s medals and trophies at 40 than at 50. I forgot to mention that you have to cut the daily intake of sisig and crispy pata.

Keep a journal – Your journal can be set us as your idea bank. I learned this from my mentor Jonah Chipeco last June. I remember years of collecting planners from Starbucks during the Holidays but I never really wrote anything on those and started collecting dust. I realized that those great ideas I should’ve written went to dust. After my trip to Japan in October 2016, I bought myself a journal by Muji and started jotting down great memories and wonderful ideas. If you collect journals during the end of the year, make sure to write on it.

Don’t marry out of fear or just to have kids – At the end of the day, having kids is a huge responsibility. Nobody wants to be a bad parent.

Drink moderately… Seriously!  – Gone are days that we end up wasted with too much alcohol and embarrassing ourselves at parties. Not worth it!

“Be A Man” ideology is complete bullshit – It’s a shame that many of us Filipinos are raised to become the stereotypically macho. As a result, many men suffer from depression because of toxic masculinity. Also, there is a common misconception that vulnerability is a sign of weakness. It is in fact, one of the most under-utilized traits of a mature man. There is nothing more fulfilling than taking care of our children, parents, and loved ones.

Our parents are always right! – When we were young, rebelling was cool and we hated being told by our parents. As we grew older, we adopted their wisdom into our daily lives. The first people we run to during our downtimes are our parents.

The end of your career is NOT the end of the world – I’d like to share that I left my career as an HR Professional for 10 years. My career helped me to become financially stable, buy investment portfolios, and travel a few countries at my own expense. Deep inside, I was unhappy and dissatisfied with my career direction. So, I decided to start doing what I’m passionate about rather than working hard to be somebody else and end up miserable. Let’s take care of our mental health, gentlemen!

Read more books – I know this is a bit old school but there are lots of advantages of reading books over checking your social media regularly. According to the November 2019 article on The New Strait Times, print media provides genuine information that have gone through fact-checking and verification.  It also helps our brains to work harder and stimulate more ideas. So, I highly recommend reading at least one book per month (regardless if it’s fiction or non-fiction) to stimulate your brains.

Control your temper – I have a confession to you guys.  I have a short fuse, a sore loser and always cranky especially when I experience canceled Grab bookings and the slow MRT. Living in Metro Manila is never easy, but we have to deal with it. Culture, urban environment, mental health, and even low level of testosterone can cause men’s poor judgment and short temper.

When I attended the adidas FOCUSBREATHEIN Run on February 2, I was introduced to Mindfulness Meditation by Imee Contreras. Mindfulness is the psychological process of purposely bringing one’s attention to experiences occurring in the present moment without judgment, which one can develop through the practice of meditation and other training. You can try that to clear your mind and control your temper.

Master your hobby and love it – Some people either make fun or underestimate people with eccentric hobbies and interests. Let’s say you exchanged your successful career in IT to become a furniture maker. They may start to mock you because you exchanged a stable and prestigious job in exchange for an unstable career. You will indeed struggle at first. Don’t give up! Ignore their mockery, enjoy what you love doing most, and focus on your new career path.  Don’t lose your passion until you earn the success that you deserve.