Fit And Fab

Dragon-boat training helps him unwind

Accountant, who has five children, fits family time around his training schedule

Mr Jeffrey Ho fits his weekend family time around his dragon-boat training schedule.
Mr Jeffrey Ho fits his weekend family time around his dragon-boat training schedule.PHOTO: MARCUS TAN FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

Q What is your secret to looking fabulous?

A Exercise, drinking lots of water and staying positive. I watch my diet carefully on weekdays.

Q What is your lifestyle like?

A I work hard on weekdays and train hard on weekends, especially during the annual dragon-boat race season. I'd go for dragon-boat training for two hours every Saturday and Sunday, on top of my regular fitness routine.

For this year's DBS Marina Regatta which was held last week, I started training with my team from January.

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

A Some years ago, I put aside my fitness regime to concentrate on my career in the banking industry.

After a while, I didn't feel good about myself and signed up with a gym near my office. I started working out thrice a day during weekdays. I did this for a year until I was ready to take part in the Aviva Half-Ironman race in 2008.

Q What is your diet like?

A I do not have a strict diet but I eat light on weekdays. I love to eat local food, but do so in moderation.

On weekdays, I usually have a salad for lunch and I drink my tea without milk and sugar.

For weekday dinners, I will have fruit and yogurt as I try to stay away from carbs in the evening.

On weekends, however, I do not restrict my choice of food when I eat out with my family.

Q What are your indulgences?

A I love Haagen-Daz rum and raisin ice cream and snacks like potato chips and chocolate.

Q How do you maintain a healthy work-life balance?

A My wife and I have to fit our weekend family time around my training schedule.

Meanwhile, dragon-boat training helps me to unwind after a demanding week at work.

I usually see my younger children in the morning before they go to school. I do not get to see them in the evenings as they sleep early.

  • Bio Box


    Age: 42

    Height: 1.69m

    Weight: 67kg

    Mr Ho, an accountant, takes part in at least one dragon-boat race a year.

    He goes for training on Saturdays and Sundays for several months each year.

    During the week, he makes sure he finds time to exercise. For instance, instead of taking a lunch break, he jogs from Marina Bay Financial Centre to Gardens by the Bay and back, twice a week.

    He is married to primary school teacher Emelyn Tan, 39. They have two daughters and three sons, aged three to 17.

Occasionally, I will talk to them via FaceTime before they turn in for the night. I make it a point to eat with them on weekends and spend time doing activities together, such as cycling and swimming.

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

A It is very important as it keeps me healthy. It also keeps me alert and energised during the day.

Q What are the important things in your life?

A I make sure my family members stay healthy, have a proper education and strong moral values, and take up a sport for mental strength, resilience and discipline.

Q What's your favourite and least favourite parts of your body?

A None. I train hard so that I can meet the demands of my five energetic children.

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

A When I was preparing for my first Half-Ironman race, I trained three times a day, five days a week.

In the morning, I would do a 2km swim and a 10km bike ride. During lunchtime, I would cycle another 50km. In the evening, I would run 15km and do weight training.

Q How has your active lifestyle influenced your family and friends?

A We swim and cycle as a family. My wife exercises by running after our five children.

My elder daughter did competitive swimming for a few years till she sustained an injury. My eldest son is into track and field, while my younger twin sons are learning wushu and swimming. My younger girl likes to dance.

Q How extensive is your collection of sports-related paraphernalia?

A We have eight bicycles at home, one for each member of the family, including my maid.

Q Would you go for plastic surgery?

A No. We are all beautiful in our own way. We just need to find and embrace our unique qualities.

Q Do you think you're sexy?

A I have never seen myself as sexy. I just want to stay fit and fab.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 06, 2017, with the headline 'Dragon-boat training helps him unwind'. Print Edition | Subscribe