5 Fun Things to Do in Bangkok

If you’re going on a Thai vacation, don’t just pass through Bangkok and head towards the islands and jungles of Thailand. This city is full of interesting things to do and sites to see, from street foods to temples, kickboxing to beautiful rooftop bars.

Here’s our top picks of the things to do when you’re in Bangkok.

1. Sleep in Style and Wake Up to a Breathtaking View
First things first, you need a place to stay while in Bangkok. Book a hotel that’s located near tourist attractions, that’s comfortable and preferably with a scrumptious complimentary breakfast—ideally, a buffet. Your Bangkok experience should start the moment you land into the place, and that begins with a great accommodation.

2. Visit the Floating Markets
Markets on boats is one of the things Bangkok is known for. Small river boats selling fresh fruits, desserts, spring rolls and grilled seafoods paddle towards you at the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. It is one of the capital city’s tourist attractions, so make sure to check it out while you’re there. For a more sedate setting, head to Taling Chan Floating Market instead.

3. See Buddhas in All Sizes and Set-Ups
As a Buddhist nation, Thailand loves their Buddhas as much as their king. From the Reclined Buddha, 1,000 Buddhas, Emerald Buddhas to Golden Palace, you will never ran out of unique Buddhas to see. If you have extra time, take a trip to Ayutthaya to explore more Buddhas.

4. Shop ‘Til You Drop
Thai love to shop. That’s why Bangkok is laden with market places and shopping destinations and you’re sure to find goods for any budget you may have. Just take a look at their nightly pedestrian traffic. You can head to malls or stroll the sidewalk, where vendors sell everything from souvenirs, clothing, beauty essentials and many other knickknacks you can imagine. Some of the best malls to check out are Paragon, MBK and Siam Center; while for nightly street vendors are Nana district, Victory Monument and Khao San Road.

5. Experience Thai Street Food
From fresh fruits to soups, fishball to noodles, Thai sidewalk food hawkers offer a mouth-watering feast. This is definitely one of the best charms of Thai culture that people from around the world can’t get enough of. The hawker stalls, which glisten with inviting visual experience, will surely extract temptation and curiosity from your palate.

Bangkok is a destination you won’t forget. It’ a vacation spot where you can stay for a few days or weeks and your trip will be packed with awesome and unique activities to do.

Why Reading is Good for You

There are a couple of people we know of who absolutely dread reading. Why should they? Is it really that bad? Definitely not! Maybe people tend to dread reading because they haven’t really experienced it to the fullest and the memory of how they felt when they were reading was but a mediocre experience. Everyone should read but the sad thing is not everyone can. What’s even worse is that some people even choose not to read at all. We’re here to argue why reading is good for you and hopefully after reading this article, you might just pick up a good book.

Here are some reasons why reading is good for you:

1. Exercises the brain
The brain is still a muscle and it definitely needs exercise. A lot of us forget to exercise our minds which leads us to a dull functioning mind. Learning itself is actually a skill and the best way to improve your learning skill is by exercising. This is why we have people whom we can call fast learners. These people have exercised their learning skills and have become able to learn faster than other people.

2. Encourages imagination
Some people think that knowledge is everything and we would like to counter that thought. In fact, we believe that knowledge is only half of the whole pie. It is knowledge and creativity that is important. We work on our knowledge every day and somehow forget that investing on our creativity is of equal importance.

Everything we have today has been a product of both knowledge and creativity. When the plane was invented, it started from imagination. It seemed absurd but with the necessary knowledge to back it up, it was then made possible! Imagination or creativity and knowledge always go together. In fact, you can’t possibly take these two apart that is why you have to work on both.

Reading is an excellent way to encourage imagination. After all, reading sharpens the imagination and helps readers practice putting details into their minds with the work of their own minds as their very own paintbrushes.

3. Improves vocabulary
Vocabulary is needed in our everyday lives. We all have a specific range of vocabulary. We know some words and there are definitely still other words we don’t know. So is improving your vocabulary basically about collecting different words? No! It is about being able to speak better. The more words you know, the better you tend to talk. Because of the wide selection of words, you’ll be able to really say what you mean instead of having to substitute it for an easier word.

4. Teaches you something new
It’s always good to learn something new every once in a while. Besides, why stop building your brain? Learning something new every now and then is definitely beneficial to you because the more you know, the better you will become in terms of reacting to certain external factors around you.

Books are one of the things you must learn treasure and if you are capable of treasuring your books, your books will do the same for you. Books improve you as a person and with a lot of them out there, there’s no doubt you’ll improve.

4 Foods to Eat to Get Enough Vitamins You Need in Your 30s

While you should always take good care of your health, make it a top priority when you’re already in your 30s. Your poor diet in your 20s could already be taking a toll and gone are the days when you can survive with junk food for lunch while still feeling great. Now that you’ve become older (and wiser), improve your health by including these vitamin-packed food items to your diet.

Green Leafy Vegetables
This comes as no surprise that green leafy veggies are on the list. Adding more greens to your meals provide heaps of essential vitamins and minerals. Spinach, lettuce and cabbage are jampacked with calcium, which make good alternatives for vegans and those who are lactose intolerant. More than keeping your bones healthy, calcium from these veggies can also protect you from cancer and certain heart diseases.

Green leafy vegetables are also rich in vitamin A, which helps boost your immune system. When it comes to these foods, the sky is your limit. They have zero cholesterol and very low in sodium, so you can devour as much as you can on any day.

Beans and Legumes
Many people get intimidated by beans, but they are good sources of nutrients. Beans and legumes are loaded with B9, a vitamin essential for your baby’s brain development (if you’re an expectant mom) and essential for cell repair. Incorporating a cup of garbanzos to your salad can give you a complete doze of folate you need in a day.
Moreover, these foods are great source of phosphorus, copper, potassium and magnesium as well. It helps reduce your calories intake, since they are high in fiber, which keep you feeling full for longer.

Fresh Fruits
Fresh fruits are rich in antioxidants that counteracts the effects of free radicals. They are rich in vitamin C and E, which are the skin’s best friends for looking young. They help with he generation of new skin tissues and regulate the skin’s retinol levels to prevent early onset of fine lines and wrinkles.

Also, fruits are packed with essentials like natural glutathione and phytonutrients that keeps your skin moisturized and blemish-free. Freshly picked fruits are wonderful source of prebiotics that takes care of your gut health, boosting your overall fitness. Instead of a doughnut for snacks, get a bowl of fresh fruits for a healthier alternative.

Dark Chocolate
That bittersweet taste from a high-quality dark chocolate is what makes this treat nutritious. The more bitter it is, the higher its cocoa content, which makes a bar of dark chocolate more nutritious. An ounce of pure dark chocolate provides a significant amount of iron, which is an element essential for blood regulation.

Dark chocolate also boasts excellent amount of flavanols, which can even equate to the amount found in acai and blueberries. Stick to at least 70% cocoa to get the most nutrient out of this treat.

Eat right to feel right. At this stage of your life, what you eat greatly matters in making you look and feel your best.

5 Reasons to Stop Using Gadgets When Babysitting

Most parents have probably done it: hand the iPad to the kids while waiting for the food in a restaurant, put on a cartoon during a long drive or let them play video games while you’re doing the chores. You can say that your child is happy and even learning how to count and read, and that they should learn to adapt to technology.

However, screen addiction can be detrimental to your child’s mental, physical and socio-emotional development. Here are more reasons why you should stop using gadgets while babysitting and avoid your kids from too much exposure from such technology.

1. It affects the child’s overall brain development
During a child’s first few years, over a million of neural connections are growing every second. Children who spend so much time on gadgets lack the opportunity to play and socialize with other children, which is crucial in the development of your kid’s social skills. Youngs kids who prefer screen time instead of playing their toys and their friends are deprived of the chance to exercise their communication and problem-solving skills.

2. It affects healthy sleep pattern
According to experts, watching TV within two hours before bedtime can make it harder for toddlers to fall asleep. Even just the mere presence of mobile device in the room during bedtime already increases the risk of poor sleep quality and inadequate sleep. And don’t forget the notorious ‘blue light’ from your device’s screens, which can suppress melatonin—the hormone that signals your brain to relax and rest.

3. It puts mental and psychological health at stake
More and more studies today have shown mental and psychological effect of technological overuse. Linking digital overuse to anxiety, aggression, autism, ADHD and depression. Addiction to video games is also linked to lower life satisfaction and higher levels of depression and anxiety.

4. It can also affect your kid’s performance in school
Many preschool teachers in Singapore have reported an increased cases of short attention spans, less interest in play time and delayed speech among children who they found out are excessive gadget users. Why is this so? Playing with a gadget, instead of interacting with a real person, children do not have the chance to express themselves and have a hard time paying attention when they are spoken to.

5. It halts healthy development of motor skills
Use of iPads and other mobile gadgets may get your children sit still, but it is not the ideal way of training them to practice focus. Instead, it only prevents your kids from engaging movements and being active. Remember, how the body executes movements and how the brain works to organize series of activities that the body will perform is directly related. This is what you want to develop in your growing child.

Technology is not pure evil. They also provide entertainment and education value. However, it is up to the parents to control and teach their children how to use gadget properly and responsibly.

Here’s Why You Should Try Boxing Today

To start off, boxing is an activity that can be taken by almost anyone! Doesn’t matter if you’re doing it as a hobby, for exercise, or if you want to become a professional boxer. There are also a lot of gyms around Singapore that offer boxing courses and training. Safety and fitness are only some of the many benefits of boxing. So, here are some reasons why you should go and hit the boxing gym today!

1. It’s Fun!
Because of how we see professional boxers on TV, we tend to initially think that boxing is just painful. Although it is, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re always getting hurt. Boxing is a fun way to relieve stress because you can release your frustrations on the punching bag. It is said that being able to release tension like this (punching the bag) can actually boost our endorphins too. In addition to that, trainers usually try their best to create a fun environment for you at the gym.

2. Boxing can teach you to defend yourself
Another big reason many people get into boxing is to learn how to defend themselves. Sparring sessions usually emulate a real fighting scenario. These can help you get a feel on real combat and can help you move to the right positions and strike at the right times. Always remember, though, that you should not use your skills to impose your power on others but instead only to defend yourself or others when necessary.

3. Boxing is a great workout
What makes boxing a great form of exercise is that it is a full-body workout. The strength of a punch, for example, doesn’t only come from the arms, but also the muscles on the back and the core. You also draw power from the ground using your feet and you have to use your legs to move around quickly too. 30 minutes on the ring during a sparring session, for example, can actually help you burn an estimated 400 calories. It can give you a tiring yet very fulfilling workout especially if you’re trying to lose weight.

4. Helps improve cardiovascular health
Boxing is essentially a cardio workout. You move around a lot, and you also draw a lot of energy when punching. This also has a lot to do with breathing. When boxing, you normally breathe a lot to take in more oxygen for the heart to function more efficiently. After having a few sessions, you’ll notice that your cardiovascular endurance and overall stamina has greatly improved, not just inside the gym but also outside. This means that your resting heart rate has also lowered. Basically, a lower heart rate means that your heart is able to pump blood more efficiently.

Tips to Help You Get Out of Debt Faster

Whatever your job may be in Singapore, there will always be times when we’ll have to make loans or borrow money. Getting in an emergency and paying for hospital bills, losing your money from gambling, and many other situations may arise in which you’ll have to borrow some money. At times, we might forget our debts and end up piling them on top of each other. We might reach the point where we’re stuck in debt that our financial life is going down in a spiral already. So, here are some tips you can try so that you can finish paying off your debts faster.

Use different strategies
Even when you’re not trying to pay off debt, you should still employ strategies when spending or saving money. A good method to try is the 50/30/20 strategy, whether you intend to pay your debt faster or just want to save money more efficiently. Basically, 50% of your income goes to your necessities, like food, electricity bill, and etc. 30% goes to your wants and 20% should be left as savings or payment for debt. Take note that you don’t have to use up all 30% of your money on wants. If you have some left (and you usually will), add that to your savings/debt payment.

Make a list of your debts
Having a list can be a good way to organize and prioritize the payments you need to make. This is because you can immediately see the things you have to pay off and you’ll also see your progress. You can also use that list as a reminder so that you at least won’t miss a day paying. On the list, you can write down your balance, the interest rate, your monthly payment, and other necessary information.

Get a side hustle
If you are desperate to pay your debts fast, it may be a good idea to do extra work. This way, you won’t have to rely on only one source of income and you can simply earn faster. If you have time to spare and you have a certain knowledge on content writing, web design and etc. you can try looking for side jobs on the internet or anywhere around Singapore. If the thought of having a second job feels tiring, try ones that don’t really require much effort like ones you can just do at home.

Cut unnecessary expenses
You usually won’t notice that you’re spending a lot of money on the wrong things. Taking control of your spending habits is probably one of the more straightforward ways to pay debt and save money faster. Take a bike to work if you can, cut your website subscriptions if you don’t go to those websites anymore, or maybe cook your meals at home instead of eating in restaurants.

6 Ways to Keep Our Brain Sharp

Keeping our mind in shape is very important if we want to keep working efficiently each and every day. But sometimes, we often overestimate our capabilities and tire our brains out. For this reason, we have to come up with practices and activities to sharpen our mind. So, here are some ways for you to keep your brain in top condition.

1. Read books
Reading books (daily if possible) can help keep our mind stimulated. When we read, we activate areas in the brain that are not only involved in speech but also the ones involved in imagination and creativity. Reading also enhances our memory therefore delaying mental aging and memory decline. You could also try reading out loud so that you’re not only engaging your eyes, but also your mouth and ears.

2. Learn a new language
There are four main languages used in Singapore namely Malay, English, Mandarin, and Tamil. With that, chances are you have a first language, and know a few words used in these other languages. But, learning a language as a whole can have a lot of benefits to the brain. Not only that, you’ll also be able to communicate to more and more people.

3. Exercise
Physical exercise also offers many benefits to the mind as with the body. When we exercise, especially when we do cardio, we improve our ability to control our breathing. This means that we are able to take in oxygen efficiently. Having enough oxygen supplied to the brain keeps it functioning healthily.

4. Meditate
Having high stress levels contributes to a lot of harm on the brain. And meditation is one of the best ways to reduce stress. Our stress piles up because of all the work we are doing each day and all the information that the brain has to process. When we meditate, we give our minds a time to rest and keep fresh.

5. Have enough sleep
Having enough sleep also contributes to the reduction of stress. Sleep is also a very important part of the human’s natural body clock. Sleeping allows our mind to repair and reconnect brain cells and nerve connections that may have otherwise been damaged by stress and overworking. When you lack in sleep, your mind and body will stay exhausted.

6. Puzzles and strategy games
Playing strategy games and completing puzzles are probably the most common activities to do to keep our brains sharp. Even so, they are actually undervalued and often overlooked. Puzzles and strategy games makes us analyze and engage our mind compared to a lot of other activities. Just remember to challenge your brain and increase the difficulty of the puzzle from time to time.

Things You Should Not Do in the Gym

So, you’ve finally decided to get a work out at ActiveSG (or in any gym for this matter) and you go there pretty confident that you’re going to get some good exercise. But just like in any other place, there is very much a thing called gym etiquette. And whether it’s an unspoken rule or an established one, its best for you to know the things you should do and should never do in the gym.

Not cleaning up
Clean your place up after you’re done with your workout. Obviously, you will get pretty sweaty once you’re done. Cleaning the drops of sweat you left on the seat of a machine not only leaves the place sanitary, but you will also show consideration and respect for the next users. Also, put the weights back on the rack. It will be very annoying for others to maneuver over dumbbells lying all around the floor.

Giving unsolicited advice
Unless the other person is putting others or himself in a risk of injury, it’s better not to say anything. Of course, giving advice is a good thing and by all means do it if someone asks. But only do so if you really have thorough knowledge on what they’re asking about. You might teach them wrong and lead them to an injury.

Not having a plan
Having a trainer even on your very first days can benefit you a lot. But if you find yourself not hiring one, it’s good to do some research before going to the gym. Look exercises up in the internet, whether for losing weight, building muscle, strength training, and etc. depending on what your goal is. You don’t want to hit the gym walking around doing random exercises and not having any plan in mind beforehand.

Sticking to one routine
It’s good to stick to one routine when you’re a beginner to really get a feel for the fundamentals of the weights and the machines. But, you should stop doing that routine if you become used to it already. For one, your muscles will hit a plateau, meaning they won’t grow because they’re already prepared for what’s coming. If you really want to get bigger muscles, you’ll have to “shock the muscle,” as Arnold Schwarzenegger used to say. And you can only do that if you switch up your exercises.

Using your phone inappropriately
You never want to answer a call on the gym floor. Someone talking loud on their phones can be very distracting to those who are exercising. Plus, when you keep texting between sets, it gives the impression that you’re not serious about your workout. Another VERY important thing, don’t text when you’re walking around the gym. You could run into machines, weights on the floor, you might even throw off someone’s groove when their lifting.