18 April 2008

Get fit reading, too!

Who says you've gotta be all brawn and no brain? What makes you think it's one or the other, all or nothing. Be a well-educated fitness-freak. Be a healthy book worm.

Yan commented in the last post that she reads on her cross-trainer. See? What do you think makes a good journalist? Kit-Kats and ASTRO?

I've had to innovate a bit more this week because of the silly IELTS that I have to sit for to go overseas and study. It's ridiculous, of course. That I'm published in international peer-reviewed scientific journals but I have to sit for a silly English exam to prove that I can go read in the white man's university. My wife insists I should at least be familiar with the format of the test, so..

A sturdy document holder with clips for holding back the pages so you can read hands free is essential.

A good-sized book, with considerable thickness can fit in these (easily obtained from a PC store).

Makes me feel like I want to go back to school!

13 April 2008

Number of obese growing bigger

Malaysians had also grown accustomed to an affluent lifestyle, and were more comfortable sitting at home and watching television or being in front of the computer, instead of enjoying the outdoors.

..so says our YB The Health Minister who admits to being obese himself.

The point of my last post exactly! Now you can be in front of the computer as long as you like, and the longer the better. I've just done 15km on my bike just reading the Star and chatting with a couple of friends.

And, as promised, I found a pine-wood plank to put up on the handles, as pictured below. So now the mouse can go on and I have full PC control.

NEXT: The brackets and screw or maybe velcro to immobilise the tray.

The FIT Geek

Ever felt you waste too much time on your PC? Knowing you could be doing something else more useful but can't think of what because you're too busy clicking and your mind is numbed by mindless surfing? Is your exercise bike gathering dust because you can't for the life of you spend 30 minutes pedalling nowhere?

Well.. here's a solution for you. Exercise AND surf the NET.

You'd be surprised how synergistic the two activities are. The mind-numbing effect of surfing the internet makes you FORGET you are exercising; so calories are being furnaced away while you're getting the latest lowdown on Malaysian politics, watching Marie Digby on YouTube or whatever it is you whittle your bandwidth on. No PAIN, ultimate GAIN.

How the heck do you do that, you ask? The question's been bothering me for a whole week. I've been going from twisting wires to drilling holes on my bike-shaft. I've surfed the net for adjustable-arm keyboard-tray to handheld remote-web-controllers. Then, I thought, why not ask my brother-in-law (Dr. Liew), the Mr.Fix-It-All of my family. In his typical mechatronic-genius, he knit his brows for a few seconds and dispensed his wisdom: Why can't you invert your bike handles?

And wa...laaa...

My wireless keyboard rests nicely on the tension-adjuster knob anteriorly and the edge of the handles posteriorly. The handles can be further rotated to get the correct angle to prevent RSI (though if you do, you should really just sit and work on the PC.) It's important to use a good browser like Opera where you can use a host of keyboard shortcuts to navigate - from switching tabs to going back and forward, zooming in and out, and activating voice and entering passwords automatically. And with this configuration you can still check your speed and distance every now and then.

Shown here is my workstation (under the cloth is my Korg 01/W - I haven't figured out how to play the keyboard while cycling yet.) To the right of the bike is my baby-monitor - young dads can only exercise when baby's asleep, you see... Now I REALLY have no excuse not to exercise.

In the last two days I've managed to get in 90 minutes of vigorous cycling, AND go through the whole of Malaysiakini, Malaysia Today, The Star and Reuters Health with time to spare. Talk about efficient! My next goal will be to write an entire paper or prepare a lecture while speeding through my 10k.

Who says geeks can't be fit?

NEXT PROJECT: Mount a board on those handles so I can put my wireless mouse on it too. Look out for the next edition of 'The FIT Geek!'