Saturday, July 11, 2009

Trek Me Down

Dear Friends,

It rained this morning and I thought to myself, the treks are going to be slippery. A group - my hotel mates and I, in a five car convoy made our way to Gasing Hill for jungle trekking. In the spirit of camaraderie, we came in all sizes. Tall, short, fit, unfit, with and without love handles; we came all.

Most city-bred dwellers know this Hill as having phenomenal surroundings for burning calories, toning up and promoting cardiovascular benefits. But uncharted to many too, the potpourri of terrains in the Hill offers much more than merely routine exercise. I am talking about real 'hardcore' trails in the forest. Unless, you are merely seeking for inner 'Qi Gung' potency, practiced by a platoon at a field across the entrance to the Hill. Gasing Hill has been gazetted as a forest reserve for over 44 years spanning more than 36-hectares. This secondary jungle, which was once a rubber plantation has more than 32 species of plants ranging from tropical timber to wild flowers and ferns.
There are variations between brisk walking exercises and jungle trekking for real cardiovascular workouts. Walking needs no concentration unlike jungle trekking. The concept of walking on uneven terrains requires diligence, discernment and ability to negotiate. This constitutes to mental strain on the mind and body to perform well and not getting hurt. When it comes to jungle trekking, the accomplishment needed increases, brought about by the terrain. Out of all the terrains we attempted today, the most challenging I would say will be the 'Stairway to Heaven' which was very steep. This is a climb up a continuous 45 degrees slope and will draw all your imagination, durability and to some even self esteem. At this stage, I was particularly proud of Adele Ang who performed beyond her calibre, even if she was the last to arrive.
During jungle trekking, a pair of specialized hiking boots could help along the way. Nature can be unforgivable at times, so when technology prevails, go for it. Hiking boots are specialized pieces of equipment that allows traversing the most daunting of landscapes. Because of its thick soles and increased ankle support, it absorbs the impact of jumping down terrains or stepping unevenly on stones. It will also prevent sand and thorns from getting into the boots, while also being waterproof for times when crossing swamps or streams. The sole of the boots reflect threads of a car tyre to ensure every probable grip. I use a pair of 'Hi-Tec' hiking boots and it has proven its' worth for many years.
On the average, I burn about 2300 calories after a two and a half hours jungle trekking session. This is complemented with a burn of at least 45% fats. I gather these readings from the heart rate monitor which I wear while jungle trekking. This monitor checks and guides me to a suitable intensity while jungle trekking. For maximum fat burn, I keep my intensity at an average 80% of my maximum heart rate per minute which is also classified as aerobic. At times, it does escalate to over 90% of my maximum heart rate per minute which enters the anaerobic zone. This is when the heart is pushed to its' maximum for strength and heavy panting could be experienced. This level should only be attained at times and not practiced often as it could be strenuous and detrimental. I normally experience this when I trek on the 'Stairway to Heaven' - 45 degrees continuous slope. For reliable and effective heart rate monitors, I recommend

Good jungle trekking tips are needed to ensure a soothing and successful hike. Amongst them are to use good judgement on personal fitness levels required for a particular trek and know personal physical limits. Take plenty of water and pack easy to eat snacks to keep energy levels high. Cover legs with long trousers to ward off mosquitoes and to provide protection against thorny plants. Choose sturdy footwear with proper ankle support and good traction.

In the jungle trekking activity today, I realised that the common goal my team has is to succeed. But, I also recognize that each individual has different competency levels, in terms of physical fitness and mental strength. As long as the need to excel be actualized with much determination, we will go far.
Remember this; when jungle trekking, we only take memories and photographs from the treks out with us and the only thing we leave behind are our footprints.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

King of POP-ping Pills

Dear Friends,

The initial post-mortem of the King of Pop, Michael Jackson.

8st 1oz, no food just pills in his stomach, bald, bruised, his ribs broken by CPR, 4 needle wounds near his heart ... THE horrifying state of pop superstar Michael Jackson in his final days can be revealed by The Sun today. Harrowing leaked autopsy details show the singer was a virtual skeleton — barely eating and with only pills in his stomach at the time he died. His hips, thighs and shoulders were riddled with needle wounds — believed to be the result of injections of narcotic painkillers, given three times a day for years. And a mass of surgery scars were thought to be the legacy of at least 13 cosmetic operations. Experts found the distressing evidence of Jacko’s physical decline while investigating his startling death in Los Angeles last week. The examination showed the 5ft 10in star — once famed for his on-stage athleticism — had: PLUNGED to a “severely emaciated” 8st 1oz. It is understood anorexic Jackson had been eating just one meagre meal a day. Pathologists found his stomach empty aside from partially-dissolved pills he took before the painkiller injection which stopped his heart. Samples were sent for toxicology tests. LOST virtually all his hair. The pop pin-up was wearing a wig when he died and pathologists said little more than “peach fuzz” covered his scalp. A scarred section of skin above his left ear was entirely bald — apparently the result of a 1984 accident when his hair caught fire as he filmed an ad for Pepsi. SUFFERED several broken ribs as frantic rescuers pumped his chest after he collapsed in cardiac arrest. Four injection sites were found above or near to Jacko’s heart. All appeared to result from attempts to pump adrenaline directly into the organ in a failed bit to restart it. Three of the injections had penetrated the heart wall — causing damage — but a fourth missed and hit one of the 50-year-old star’s ribs. The autopsy also found unexplained BRUISING on Jackson’s knees and on the fronts of both shins. And there were CUTS on his back, indicating a recent fall. The King of Pop’s once handsome face bore a network of plastic surgery scars, while the bridge to his nose had vanished and its right side had partially collapsed. As inquiries into the tragedy last night focused on the star’s personal physician Dr Conrad Murray, a source close to the Jackson entourage said: “Michael’s family and fans will be horrified when they realise the appalling state he was in. “He was skin and bone, his hair had fallen out and had been eating nothing but pills when he died. Injection marks all over his body and the disfigurement caused by years of plastic surgery show he’d been in terminal decline for years. “His doctors and the hangers-on stood by as he self-destructed. Somebody is going to have to pay.” Cardiologist Dr Murray was thought to have given Jackson the final injection of painkiller Demerol. He is facing serious questions about his resuscitation attempts, which began when he started CPR as Jacko lay unconscious on a bed. Basic first aid guidance says patients must be face-up on a hard surface before compressions.