Teo exercises option to manage health

The 65-year-old Teo Yok Wan heeded the advice from daughter Zann Soh to start exercising after she was diagnosed with high blood pressure and cholesterol.
The 65-year-old Teo Yok Wan heeded the advice from daughter Zann Soh to start exercising after she was diagnosed with high blood pressure and cholesterol.PHOTO: GREAT EASTERN WOMEN'S RUN 2015

After a routine medicalcheck-up in 2013, Teo Yok Wan's doctor wanted to prescribe her some medication to control her spiralling blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

But she had other ideas.

Speaking in Mandarin, the 65-year-old told The Sunday Times yesterday: "I expected these symptoms to come with age but I didn't want my body to rely on the medication. I wanted to be in control of my own health."

The production operator adjusted her diet - to no avail.

It was then that she decided to take up the advice to start exercising from daughter Zann Soh, 40, a finance accounts executive.

And it worked. After three months of thrice-weekly brisk walking and running, Teo's blood pressure and cholesterol dipped to healthy levels.

  • RUN TO RAISE FUNDS

  • To celebrate the 10thanniversary of the Great Eastern Women's Run, organisers hope to raise $100,000 for three groups - the Breast Cancer Foundation, Community Chest and a SingHealth Duke-NUS academic clinical programme, which seeks to improve care for women and babies.

    There are three fund-raising mechanisms:

  • Don a tutu skirt for a good cause

    For a minimum donation of $5, participants will get a tutu skirt, which they can wear on race day. The 10 most creatively designed tutus will win a limited-edition Great Eastern SG50 commemorative EZ-link card with $200 stored value.

  • Corporate charity element

    Great Eastern will call on corporate partners to sign up for the 5km Live Great! Fun Run, where it will also donate $1,000 to the adopted causes for four spots in the category.

  • Fund-raising

    Runners and GE staff and distribution representatives will be encouraged to do so via Give Asia: giveasia.org/movement/greateasternwomensrun2015

    This fund-raising platform is open to the public as well.

It even led to her signing up for her first mass run, last year's Great Eastern Women's Run (GEWR), where she completed 21.1km in three hours and three minutes.

Yesterday, Teo and Soh were invited to speak at the GEWR's #RuntoLiveGreat launch, held at the Luxe Museum.

The programme, back for a second year, requires runners to find a buddy and commit to four months of training in the lead-up to Asia's largest all-women run - commissioned by insurance company Great Eastern - on Nov 1.

This year, 80 pairs were chosen, up from 50 last year. They will have priority and free access to GEWR's fringe activities such as training runs, yoga classes and piloxing sessions that blend pilates, boxing and dancing.

Teo, decked in a running T-shirt, tights and bright sports shoes, hopes she can inspire people to start exercising before it is too late.

She said: "It's difficult to get started. Initially, I kept finding excuses to stay at home, like complaining how it might rain soon.

"Luckily, Zann persisted and accompanied me each time. Now, it's the other way round. I'm the one itching to get out of the house."

The GEWR, entering its 10th edition, has three categories - 5km, 10km and 21.1km. There is a new Princess Dash category, a 100m event for girls aged three to nine.

Teo will be running in the 10km category as Soh is volunteering as a pacer in the event.

The run will start at the Singapore Flyer and end at The Float @ Marina Bay. Early-bird rates apply till July 31. More than 15,000 participants took part last year, and organisers are targeting a turnout of 17,000 this time.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 26, 2015, with the headline 'Teo exercises option to manage health'. Print Edition | Subscribe