Fit & Fab: Ex-SQ girl packs a punch with kickboxing

Turning to exercise helped Ms Khamnee Martin Thrumalinggam feel better mentally and physically.
Turning to exercise helped Ms Khamnee Martin Thrumalinggam feel better mentally and physically.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

SINGAPORE - Ms Khamnee Martin Thrumalinggam, 28, has enjoyed running since childhood.

She was in the track and field team at St Anthony's Primary School and Chua Chu Kang Secondary School.

However, after the Ngee Ann Polytechnic mass communication graduate became an air stewardess with Singapore Airlines, her erratic work schedule did not allow much time for exercise.

She thus took a long break from running in her mid-20s.

It was only after she moved two years ago to Munich to be with her then boyfriend, Frenchman Mathias Martin Bouchet, a senior business controller, that she started to exercise regularly again.

They got married last year.

She says: "When I was based in Munich two years ago, I was in a new place and did not know anyone except my husband.

"This took a toll on my mental health - juggling an intensive professional career as well as getting used to a new environment."

Feeling easily fatigued, she decided to join a gym with Mr Bouchet, who is also 28, and picked up kickboxing.

Turning to exercise helped her feel better mentally and physically. "The highly intensive workouts helped me build strength and I felt more relaxed after each kickboxing session," says Ms Thrumalinggam, who is based in Munich and works as a communications specialist at a company called InterNations, where she manages events for expatriates in America and the Caribbean. She is in Singapore on holiday.

On days when she is not free to hit the gym or run outside, she does yoga at home.

She says: "Incorporating a well-balanced diet and trying different forms of workouts have helped me become a happier and healthier person.

"It is true that having a healthy body helps you maintain a healthy mind."

What is your secret to looking fabulous?

Having a balanced diet, keeping up with a fitness routine and, most importantly, reminding myself that my body is my temple and to take care of it.

Has there ever been a time when you were not fit and fab?

Yes, during my secondary school days, when I could not resist a McDonald's cheeseburger every other day.

What is your diet like?

I strike a good balance between carbohydrates and protein-rich food such as fish, chicken and turkey breast. I substitute rice with quinoa.

I avoid having dinner after 7pm and I drink a lot of water throughout the day.

What are your indulgences?

I am a sucker for chocolate.

How do you maintain a healthy work-life balance?

I make it a point to go for a run after work with my husband. Not only does it keep my body healthy, but it also helps me destress.

On days that I am not running, I swim 30 laps.

I also recently joined a gym with my friends and we do kickboxing together.

Doing different exercises each day helps me keep my motivation and avoid boredom. I am also more encouraged to maintain a healthy work-life balance that way.

What are the three most important things in your life?

Family, health and happiness.

What is your favourite and least favourite part of your body?

My favourite part of my body has to be my legs. Swimming and running help me maintain lean and strong legs.

If I have to choose the least favourite part, it would be my abdominal area. When I put on weight, that's where it shows.

What are your must-dos before and after a workout?

Stretching is essential before any sort of workout I do.

After my workout, I make sure I drink enough water.

How important is it for you to keep up with your fitness routine?

Maintaining a routine is important as it keeps my body and mind healthy and happy.

As I get older, I find that routine is even more important as my metabolism has slowed down over the years.

Consuming alcohol and eating whatever I wanted was still okay while I was in my early 20s.

Now, I have taken a more serious approach to keeping up with exercising regularly and maintaining a balanced diet.

What are the changes you have made to keep exercising during the Covid-19 pandemic?

I followed videos online and did home workouts when the gyms were closed.


She took a long break from running in her mid-20s due to her erratic work schedule. ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

How has your active lifestyle influenced your family and friends?

It was my husband who encouraged me to try something different, like kickboxing.

In turn, though he disliked swimming before, he has started to join me every other evening.

What is the most extreme thing you have done in the name of fitness?

It would have to be a 25km race called Xing - B2Run that I did in August last year.

The run was organised by my company and I trained for it with my colleagues, three times a week after work.

How extensive is your collection of sports-related paraphernalia?

I have a pair of running shoes, a few swimsuits and a pair of boxing gloves.

Would you go for plastic surgery?

I haven't had any procedures, but who knows what will happen in the future?

It is something I am not against. To each her own.

Do you think you are sexy?

I think everyone is sexy. You just have to be confident about your body and treat it right.