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Excess denied: Everything to know about calories

Fitness first: A HomeTeamNS Fitness Workz trainer offers simple, effective tips to burn off the festive flab.



Festive and holiday periods are times to revel, refresh and reconnect with loved ones and head home with happy hearts and full bellies. While it’s easy to pack on the pounds during festive periods – after all, who can say no to a cheat day (or two) – the holidays needn’t always be about overindulgence.

HomeTeamNS Fitness Workz trainer Aidid Haidil shares his perspective on why it’s so easy to put on weight during festive periods, how to watch your calories amid the merrymaking and, when all else fails, how to trim that tummy in the aftermath.


The main drivers behind festive period weight gain are typically twofold: Increased food intake and reduced exercise. While the obvious solution for those watching their weight is to simply eat less and work out more, it can be hard to resist the temptation to indulge in.

According to Aidid, understanding the complexities of where your calories come from can make a huge difference in your consumption habits while celebrating.

“Some foods may seem small and light on calories, but may in fact be packed with calories from the ingredients they contain,” he advised.

Festive favourites like cakes and snacks, for instance, are often full of butter and sugar – both of which are incredibly calorically dense. Besides food, the fitness trainer also advises watching your liquid calories. Sweet drinks can make a big impact on weight gain, containing high amounts of sugar and being very easy to consume in large quantities. Keeping track of your intake can also help you keep the kilos off.


It’s not a must to refuse every snack that comes your way. One can still partake in all their favourite foods and traditional meals so long as they maintain a mindset of moderation. In this regard, mindfulness is key. 

Aidid himself has a few tricks up his sleeve to minimise weight gain while still enjoying festive food, especially with Hari Raya Haji incoming.

“I select a small plate and pick the foods that I am most interested in. Once done, do not immediately take another serving, but wait for a while to allow your stomach to digest the food and to tell your body that you actually ate enough.”

He adds that eating a light meal before heading off to any festive celebration can help you get full faster, lowering your overall calorie intake. Family members can also help one another cut calories amid the festivities.

“If your family members are the ones cooking, consider with healthier alternatives, or reducing the quantity of ingredients like salt and oil,” shared Aidid.


Sometimes, the festive period will end and, despite your best efforts, you’ve piled on the kilos. The best thing to do is to be conscientious in your lifestyle choices.

“Start with the basics of eating right – three meals a day, no skipped meals – and just staying active with light exercises. Also, remember to drink plenty of water,” said Aidid.

He recommends simple ways to move more like brisk walking, swimming, jogging and playing sports. Hitting weights at the gym or doing resistance training at home with bodyweight workouts can also be a great way to build strength while you cut fat.


Above all, ensuring that you maintain a healthy routine sustainably over the long term makes the biggest difference. When it comes to workouts, Aidid advises against anything too intense. Basic exercise sessions two or three times a week, each not lasting more than an hour, work best.

“Train smart and with proper form and technique, and know when to stop. Don’t overexert or overtrain – these are major causes of injury these days,” he added.

Staying motivated and consistent by creating a daily routine and sticking to it is a surefire way to see results. He says that while one typically sees results in just a month, he recommends sticking it out and progressively improving for at least 3 to 4 months.

Of course, just like how you come together for festive celebrations, it never hurts to involve your family in your fitness journey.

“Set a goal. Support one another. Share progress pictures. Motivate each other on both good and bad days. Change the lifestyle at home. Be more active together – that is how family members can influence not only themselves, but others around them to keep fit, get fit and manage their weight,” he concluded.

Need a place to stay motivated? Sign up for a gym membership with Fitness Workz now.

Like our stories? Subscribe to our Frontline Digital newsletters now! Simply download the HomeTeamNS Mobile App and update your communication preference to ‘Receive Digital Frontline Magazine’, through the App Settings.

Spotlight Club Buzz

Meet the thrill-seeker who’s aiming high for his next big adventure

This thrill-seeker is a HomeTeamNS Adventure Senior Executive whose ultimate travel adventure destination is Nepal.



As a Senior Executive in the Business Development Department of HomeTeamNS, Nazron Hadi thinks about water a lot. That’s because he is tasked with overseeing operations, safety, business opportunities and processes at Aqua Adventure, Singapore’s first integrated indoor water park located at HomeTeamNS Bedok Reservoir.

While he enthusiastically recommends that newcomers to HomeTeamNS visit Aqua Adventure, Nazron’s idea of a thrilling adventure during his downtime features high peaks and soaring views instead of diving or swimming. “My ultimate adventure destination is Nepal, Annapurna Base Camp,” he said. “It’s a dream I’ve long wanted to do, but I just haven’t found the time or company.”

According to Nazron, Annapurna Base Camp – a 60km-long trek starting from the city of Pokhara – appeals to him because of the prospect of a breathtaking view at the end of a long climb. “It will give me a sense of achievement and satisfaction,” he explained.


As a bona fide thrill-seeker, Nazron is eager to try new things wherever he goes. While Annapurna will have to wait for now, he plans to head down south on his next journey.

“I would like to caravan across New Zealand,” he said. “It would be exciting to see all the mountains and lakes. It’s like camping on the go, but with all the amenities fully loaded.”

To get into the right mood for his epic overland adventure, Nazron offered a sample of what his perfect driving playlist would sound like: “I would pick upbeat and fast-paced songs that keep me moving, like Thrift Shop by Macklemore, Helena by My Chemical Romance, and Danza Kuduro by Don Omar.”

He also appreciates having a flexible itinerary that allows him to make spontaneous plans, which adds an element of adventure to holidays abroad.

“I spent 11 days in Sri Lanka with my cousin,” he recounted. “We visited four different places, but only booked our accommodation in advance at two of these locations. It was exciting because I didn’t know what lay in store for us. Everything was such an eye-opener, from the culture to the scenery, people and landscape. It was just exhilarating.”


While he treasures spontaneity, Nazron is also practical and believes in being well-prepared. The one item he’d want on a desert island – apart from food and water – is a Swiss Army Knife.

“It can cut food and even make shelter,” he reasoned. “It’s important for my survival.”

And if he were to embark on a Bear Grylls-style man vs. nature adventure showdown, he knows exactly who he’d bring (no, it’s not Bear Grylls): “I would bring my best friend, because he has similar interests and is into exploring, outdoor adventures and travelling like me.”

Nazron also has a pro-tip or two for anyone wanting to prep for the adventure of a lifetime overseas: “I would definitely ask them to try out Adventure HQ at HomeTeamNS Khatib, especially the height activities and the amazing walls that they have. They should also head over to the Fitness Workz Gyms to train their stamina.”


Being a fan of adventure travel doesn’t mean having to leave things to chance. Finding the right service providers can help provide additional peace of mind so you can make the most of your journey. For instance, HomeTeamNS members enjoy 20-per-cent discounts on Singlife with Aviva Single Trip Travel Insurance and 10-per-cent off the base rate at Hertz car rentals worldwide.

Even if you can’t climb a mountain anytime soon, you can still get an adrenaline rush at HomeTeamNS clubhouses. Plus, you get to maintain your physical fitness until your next big adventure.

Take action, at Action Motion

The gamified obstacle course not only puts you through a series of heart-thumping zones that test your speed, strength and agility, it keeps things competitive with a live scoreboard – so you can challenge yourself, and your friends.

Challenge yourself at Adventure Centre

Gather your friends and family for a customised package at Adventure Centre, where you can pick any two activities from abseiling, rock climbing, a 50m-long flying fox zipline and a challenge rope course.

Take aim at Tactsim

The first indoor player vs. player airsoft arena in Singapore has advanced moving wall panels to keep things fresh with every visit – so you can’t predict your opponents’ next moves. Keep your reflexes sharp and hone your accuracy, all while having fun.

Like our stories? Subscribe to our Frontline Digital newsletters now! Simply download the HomeTeamNS Mobile App and update your communication preference to ‘Receive Digital Frontline Magazine’, through the app settings.

Spotlight Club Buzz

A day in the life of an Action Motion specialist

His job may seem like it’s all play, but plenty of hard work goes into ensuring that Action Motion guests stay safe and have fun.



To the uninitiated, the specialists at Action Motion – Singapore’s first digital active experience arena at HomeTeamNS Bedok Reservoir that offers gamification and augmented reality elements –seem to spend their entire day hard at play.

While players at Action Motion focus on conquering obstacles and setting high scores, specialists encourage them. While they certainly enjoy their jobs, there’s also a lot of behind-the-scenes preparation that helps ensure that Action Motion players enjoy themselves at every turn.

Specialists like A’fif Nazali, wear many hats to ensure guests get the most from their visit to Action Motion. He lifts the lid on what it’s like to be serious about having fun.


A'fif and his team observe the Action Motion arena for guests who may require assistance.
A'fif and his team observe the Action Motion arena for guests who may require assistance.

Before the various obstacles – which include rolling logs and pop-up stubs – are activated for visitors, they’re subjected to technical checks by specialists like A’fif.

“As part of our daily checks during the facility’s opening and closing, we ensure that all our installations are in good working condition and safe to use,” he shares. “We have an operation checklist for us to cross-reference and spot any faulty or unsafe conditions.”

These apply not just to the mechanical elements but to equipment and station gear as well, as specialists watch for signs of wear and tear. Even as players engage in each experience, A’fif and his team will observe the arena much like lifeguards and provide immediate assistance should the need arise. Specialists also provide safety briefings before encounters at Valo Climb and Ascend Lab. Players will be instructed on how to gently descend from the bouldering and rock-climbing walls, correctly harness themselves, and use the auto-belay system available.

On top of maintaining safety and managing operations, A’fif explains that they love to create a fun atmosphere because he wants to ensure that “my visitors are always excited to visit Action Motion.”


Players can accumulate their points through various installations in Action Motion such as the Valo Climb.

Action Motion’s biggest draw has to be its gamifier system, which displays player scores and timings on a leaderboard – the first obstacle course in Singapore to do so. This adds a competitive layer for even more fun, and A’fif is all for it.

“We encourage our members to keep challenging themselves by using the gamifier system,” he said, adding that it allows anyone to discover their own potential. “They could actively challenge themselves or with friends and family, to either beat their own personal scores or even the highest points on the leaderboard screen.”

“The feature helps us to stay active by encouraging people from different walks of life to learn that we can improve ourselves by beating our own standards,” he explains, believing sincerely that players can “become a better version of themselves when they leave our doors”.

This is why Action Motion has no age restriction, just a minimum height requirement of 1.25m to attempt the obstacles. Through these encounters, the young specialist also enjoys his interaction with fellow HomeTeamNS members who served their National Service in the SPF or SCDF units. He especially loves listening to them reminisce about “their glory days”.

“I enjoy meeting different people from all walks of life,” A’fif says. “And I love challenging and engaging my participants to become a better version of themselves by attempting the most difficult but fun activities.”


Players can get a taste of augmented reality gameplay with Valo Jump in Action Motion.

Spending a few hours at Action Motion offers visitors a fun way to stay in shape. “Staying active means keeping healthy, and being healthy means we are able to have more time with our loved ones,” A’fif said.

Get a cardio workout at Valo Jump (which is also where A’fif enjoys bringing his kids) as you bounce to score points, or work on your mobility, balance and strength as you work your way across the obstacles in Rapid Action. Enjoy the view from up high? Try rock-climbing safely at the Ascend Lab with its auto-belay equipment.

And if a player shows signs of discouragement, A’fif is always at hand to offer support and motivation. “We will see if they are able to give it a go again,” he shares. “If not, we will bring them to a safe spot for us to encourage and to see what we could do to help them complete the activity.”

After all, it’s all in the name of challenging yourself in a fun, safe way.

Experience for yourself how Action Motion brings fun and bonding while keeping you active.

Like our stories? Subscribe to our Frontline Digital newsletters now! Simply download the HomeTeamNS Mobile App and update your communication preference to ‘Receive Digital Frontline Magazine’, through the App Settings.

Club Buzz Featured

Long, proud journey of service with the Home Team

Home Team’s two longest-serving National Servicemen – SUPT (NS) Mohd Azman Mohd Sidek and COL (NS) Jorge Lau Hock Huat – share with us what motivated them to continue serving after their statutory age, and how their roles have changed over their decades of service.



For COL (NS) Jorge Lau Hock Huat, 2017 was a very special year. Not only was it the 50th anniversary of National Service (NS), it was also his 50th birthday.

“It made me feel like I was born with NS,” he recalled. “During NS50, I had the privilege of meeting President Tony Tan and the First Lady during the Home Team Festival at Kallang Wave.”  

The double celebration heralded another milestone the following year, when COL (NS) Lau became the first NSman in the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) to have successfully extended his NS service beyond the age of 50 under the Volunteer Extension Scheme (VES).

Like COL (NS) Lau, SUPT (NS) Mohd Azman Mohd Sidek is also participating in the VES at the ripe age of 59. SUPT (NS) Azman is an SGSecure trainer who has also played an active role in HomeTeamNS, serving as the first chairman for HomeTeamNS’ REAL RUN committee. Over their long period of service, both men have seen National Servicemen play more important roles over time.


COL (NS) Lau’s journey began in 1986, when he enlisted with the Singapore Armed Forces. After three months of basic military training, he was selected for officer cadet training with the Singapore Police Force (SPF), where he served until his Operationally Ready Date (ORD).

In the early 1990s, he was transferred to the SCDF, where he is currently Deputy Division Commander NS, 3rd SCDF Division Battalion Commander, 32B RBn Deputy Battalion Commander, 32A RBn Head Ops, 32A RBn Company Commander, and NHG Medical Company Personnel Officer, GWBn.

He has also collected a slew of awards along the way – such as the HomeTeamNS Meritorious Award (Gold) and HomeTeamNS 20 Years Long Service Award in 2021, and the Long Service Medal (Civil Defence) at the National Day Awards 2020 – and has been part of numerous committees. He has chaired the 3rd SCDF Division Tactical Forum and co-chaired the Clubhouse Development Committee (North), which oversaw the building of HomeTeamNS Khatib.

“After more than three decades of service as an NSman, I was referred to as a ‘career National Serviceman’,” he said. “During my NS years, I was literally everything, everywhere – participating in many of the NS50 committees, ICTs, NS unit exercises, NS dialogues, and Home Team events and activities.”


At the ripe age of 59, SUPT (NS) Mohd Azman Mohd Sidek is also participating in the VES.

SUPT (NS) Azman, who enlisted for National Service in 1981, said that he decided to extend his service after enjoying his time as an NSF and National Serviceman with the SPF.

“This is my way of paying it forward,” he explained. “In addition, given my profession (I am an educator), my role in SGSecure is very relevant, because I want to play my part in educating our youths to navigate their lives grounded on specific principles.”

In extending his service, SUPT (NS) Azman was joined until recently by a batchmate, SUPT (NS) Ow Kok Meng, who stepped down two years ago to focus on other things. “We have been buddies for so long and have shared many amazing NS-related memories together. Both of us also share the same passion and attitude in wanting to pay it forward, which stems from us being in the same profession as educators.”

SUPT (NS) Azman’s pride in the next generation is evident when he mentions that his son is an NSman with SCDF: “Between the two of us, we have the Home Team covered – SPF and SCDF!”

Now in his 42nd year of serving the nation, SUPT (NS) Azman is still as dedicated as he was in 1981. Of the awards he’s collected, he said: “It is always good to be recognised, but that is not the reason that I am still at it. It’s about who I am and what I love to do, in the SPF and other areas of my life. If there’s anything that I might eventually treasure, it would be the bragging rights of being the longest-serving National Serviceman in Singapore across all the uniformed services!”

“Extend because you want to, and because there is a niche for you to contribute to,” advises SUPT (NS) Azman. “This way, your motivation and passion will make your contributions so much more meaningful.”


COL (NS) Lau attained his Operationally Ready National Serviceman (ORNS) status in 2021 and relinquished his post as deputy division commander of the 3rd SCDF Division. He continues to serve as a volunteer in the Civil Defence Auxiliary Unit (CDAU), as part of the CDAU Executive Committee. He is also a mentor to the CDAU Recruitment Team and the CDAU officers in the 3rd SCDF Division.

He says that over the three decades and counting of his service, Home Team National Servicemen have played a critical role in ensuring the safety and security of Singapore, going far beyond policing and firefighting duties.

“Something that was little known in the past is that SCDF ORNSmen were involved in Ops LionHeart deployments, where they worked alongside with SCDF’s elite unit, the Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (DART), in overseas Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) missions,” said COL (NS) Lau. “In October 2022, SCDF became the first Asia-Pacific organisation to have its USAR framework accredited for its ORNS Rescue and Medical Units. Hence, NS has definitely transformed and evolved compared to the early years.”

SUPT (NS) Azman, the former NS commander with the SPF, added: “I have personally seen National Servicemen rising from playing a support role to working hand-in-hand with the regulars, as the overall responsibilities for SPF officers – both regulars and NSmen – have evolved and become more demanding. The roles have similarly evolved, including appointments and ranks to recognise the roles of NS commanders.”

COL (NS) Lau concurs that service and duty apply to both NS and other parts of life, such as one’s career. “Service and duty are the keys to developing trust and respect,” he said. “Hence, I believe in taking pride in everything we do, yet being humble in serving the community. I would tell NSFs and National Servicemen who are thinking of extending their service that leadership is all about serving – serving Singapore, serving the National Servicemen under your command, and serving beyond your NS communities. Serve with a willing heart, and the rest will fall into place.”

Like our stories? Subscribe to our Frontline Digital newsletters now! Simply download the HomeTeamNS Mobile App and update your communication preference to ‘Receive Digital Frontline Magazine’, through the App Settings.

Club Buzz

A waterful time at HomeTeamNS clubhouses

World Water Day was celebrated with a splash at HomeTeamNS Clubhouses, where junior members had fun learning about the environment through exciting activities.



In March, HomeTeamNS hosted guests and members for an array of water-themed activities in commemoration of World Water Day at all the clubhouses. The clubhouses also welcomed Water Wally and Sally, PUB’s renowned mascots, to greet members and patrons. From colouring activities to a relaxing day at the swimming pools, here’s what went down at the clubhouses.


Water-themed kids’ corner activities were organised at HomeTeamNS-JOM Balestier.

An array of exciting activities for junior HomeTeamNS members and patrons taught them about the importance of water and how to save this precious resource. Activities including colouring, water-themed maze puzzles and word searches about Singapore’s key water sources were provided to the participants to help raise awareness about the importance of water.


Young guests letting loose at the Dip n’ Splash pool party at the HomeTeamNS Bedok Reservoir clubhouse.

About 240 members and guests had fun at Dip n’ Splash, a pool-party at HomeTeamNS Bedok Reservoir. The swimming pool sprawled with installations and games like an inflatable water-obstacle course, noodle war, captain’s ball, paddle boats, and pool floats. Participants soaked in the fun while enjoying the picturesque views of Bedok Reservoir.

Over at HomeTeamNS-JOM Balestier, the clubhouse also had a #WaterWeekend Floating Fun pool party, in celebration of all things H20-related. About 50 members and guests played with their families while basking in the sun with large floats.


PUB’s Water Siblings, Water Wally and Sally, helped spread the word about water conservation at the HomeTeamNS Khatib clubhouse.

World Water Day can’t be celebrated without the PUB’s brother and sister pair, Water Wally and Sally. As they wandered around the lobby of all the HomeTeamNS clubhouses, visitors stopped to take a quick snap with the mascots. The water siblings are on a mission to share their knowledge and experience on water sustainability after witnessing the water crises around the globe.

Every effort counts when it comes to building a sustainable future. HomeTeamNS takes pride in the movement towards sustainability, where the newer clubhouses under its Masterplan – Khatib and Bedok Reservoir – have taken a big step towards water conservation and reduction in energy consumption. Through the installation of blue and green features like the solar panels and rainwater harvesting in the clubhouses, HomeTeamNS looks forward to a brighter and greener future.

Like our stories? Subscribe to our Frontline Digital newsletters now! Simply download the HomeTeamNS Mobile App and update your communication preference to ‘Receive Digital Frontline Magazine’, through the app settings.

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