Letting national service pre-enlistees use Safra gyms for free does seem a little unfair to existing gym members, but the gyms do come under the umbrella and aegis of the Singapore Armed Forces.
They are open mainly to previous members of the military service and do come somewhat subsidised (Letting pre-enlistees use Safra gyms may cause overcrowding, Oct 15).
For a united force spanning generations that must be prepared to fight together at any time, it is not only virtuous but also necessary to be generous and gracious in efforts to promote empathy, fitness and future camaraderie among combatants on the same side.
As they have done with the Merdeka Generation, ActiveSG gyms can also do more and should also allow pre-enlistees a year's worth of highly subsidised membership as inducement for them to further develop stamina and get in shape to counteract sedentary habits.
When it comes to overcrowding in gyms, it almost always seems to be the aerobics machines which draw the most frustrating wait. Timed usage should be set no longer than 20 minutes, and when there is no haze, gym users should be encouraged to jog around the premises, a running action that is far more natural.
Doing hundreds of repetitions on one machine, while blissfully oblivious to the snaking queue, helps as much in strength development, or even just toning of musculature, as breathing does.
If everyone is mindful of gym etiquette - keeping sets to 20 repetitions each, vacating the machine expeditiously when done, without the time consuming stretching before and after a workout which should be done away from the machines - the problem of too many people using too few machines disappears.
We all have a social contract to one another in civilian, pre-enlistee or full-fledged army life. Fulfilled, we live more graciously, harmoniously and well-guarded together.
Yik Keng Yeong (Dr)