Fitness bands, not Adidas or Zoot shoes, are more likely to keep Singapore's NSMen fit

Hurray, new running shoes! But Tein Hee needs something a little more effective - like a Jawbone Up or Star21 to nag him to pass his IPPT

I’ve never passed my Individual Physical Proficiency Test (IPPT) in the last decade. So you see, no new Adidas or Zoot running shoes will get me back into shape, to a time when I can run 2.4km in 10 minutes.

So here’s a thought - why not give NSmen more incentives to train? Like, a fitness band.

Think about it - most NSmen like me are no longer forced to go for early morning physical training sessions. Mornings, especially those that fall on weekends, are meant for sleeping in. And there aren’t any beloved platoon sergeants or physical training instructors kicking my bed and saying “gentlemen, take your time, walk some more” in my life anymore.

Today, the only reason why I’d wear a pair of running shoes is to go for my annual remedial training. Those newly announced Adidas shoes that I can buy with my e-mart credits? It’ll probably be gathering dust on the shoe rack. Sure, it’s a constant reminder for me to do that long overdue run, but it’s not like the shoes are shouting, “Hey, fat slob! Get off your ass, run, and pass your IPPT for once!”

If running shoes and monetary rewards aren’t enough to motivate servicemen like me to train on their own and pass their IPPT, then perhaps it’s time for the powers that be to get smart and provide better training equipment.

Two words: fitness bands.

The Sony Smartband, Jawbone Up 24 and even the recently announced Mi Band aren’t just pedometers that’ll track how many steps you take for the day. When they’re paired with their corresponding apps, they'll give you a better approach towards your diet and training plan too.

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But not all fitness bands are created equal. It’s only effective if the person wearing it has the right mindset. And I’ll admit, I’ve done little with the Jawbone Up 24 in the last two months. Looking at my sleep cycle, knowing how far I’ve walked, all these are great information. But I’ve not taken the trouble to really meet my running goals, watch my diet, and input the calorie count to keep my weight in check.

More after the break...

What servicemen need is a naggy fitness band. The kind that constantly reminds you to drink enough water or get sufficient sleep. Both of which, by the way, are constantly drilled into my head whenever I’m reminded to have seven hours of sleep and drink sufficient water before a training.

READ MOREStar.21 fitness band guilt-trips you into good health

I know myself. I’m so much of a slob that no amount of guilt-tripping will make me change into my running gear. I need a nudge. Probably not an electric shock - who in their right mind would want to wear a fitness band that electrocutes you when you slack off? A little guilt-tripping will do the trick.

Giving me a fitness band isn’t going to guarantee that I’ll work out, but it’ll be more likely to happen instead of an Adidas or Zoot shoe that will never see the light of day.

READ MORE: 6 perfect gadgets for working out

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