MAJ (NS) Dr Toh Lim Kai, 45, picked up running in his mid-30s and hasn’t looked back since.
TEXT: KEENAN PEREIRA
PHOTOS: MAJ (NS) DR TOH LIM KAI
“My wellness journey began by chance. Throughout my life, I’m someone you would describe as athletically average. I wasn’t very sporty but, on the other hand, am genetically trim. My fitness regime as a young adult was a run or two every month and I ate sensibly.
Then, when I was in my mid-30s, I had a routine blood test done during my reservist. It showed that my cholesterol levels were raised. The numbers were moderately high and not alarming but it was enough to jolt me into action. So, I started making it a point to run at least twice a week — one long run of about 8 km to 10 km, and when I was strapped for time; a shorter one of about 5 km to 6 km around the neighbourhood.
I’ve been eager to share my enthusiasm for fitness both at home and at the workplace. I’m a father of four sons, aged between six and 14. Before COVID-19, the whole family made it a point to stay active with sports like whitewater rafting and hiking. My wife and I would also go for a run together, but since the pandemic, we have changed our habits. These days, I bring my older sons for the long runs, while the younger ones accompany me on the shorter ones. This is a way of walking the talk, since I regularly advise patients to up their activity levels as well. Most patients look to running as an activity to lose weight. However, running is so much more: it can be fun, builds endurance, and improves mental focus and discipline.
Getting into the habit of exercising requires discipline. I plan my runs in advance so that I can stick to them and make the most of my schedule. I currently serve at a COVID-19 facility in Pasir Ris once a week, so I take the opportunity to run around Pasir Ris Park, which is a nice change from Bukit Batok Nature Park, where I usually run. Small things like these keep the experience fresh and maintain the feel-good factor. Since picking up running, my physical fitness has improved and I’ve been achieving the gold award in my IPPT every year for the past eight years!”
MAJ (NS) Dr Toh is the Medical Platoon Commander of 41(B) Rescue Battalion at 4th SCDF Division.
MAJ (NS) Dr Toh’s passion for wellness led him to join the HomeTeamNS REAL® Run Organising Committee, which put together the first-ever virtual REAL® Run Solo last year. “The committee members are running kakis (mates) and we would regularly go on runs together before COVID-19,” he shares. “There’s a special feeling when you run with your buddies and friends and I have even flown overseas with them to take part in half-marathons. That wasn’t something I would have imagined 10 years ago!”