Ministry of Health Singapore. All Rights Reserved.
Get up and go, bro! Here are 30 fun ways bros over 30 can bond, get into shape and stay in shape.
Guy’s night out doesn’t have to be about overeating and binge drinking. These brolicious nights might be one of the reasons men in Singapore aged 25-40 are consuming around 35% in excess calories.
According to the 2013 National Health Surveillance Survey, 47.7% of adult males aged 30-39 are overweight. That means half of your buddies in their 30s could be overweight. Nothing pleasant awaits overweight men – they’re more likely to suffer from diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and many other medical conditions.
If you are not keen on being the one in two males that are overweight, next time it is guy’s night out and the plan is wings, pizza and beer, flex your persuasion muscles. Suggest to your bros something active instead. You could enthuse about the
benefits of exercise and
good dietary habits, play the wife card and pin all your healthy motivations on her, or simply say: “This uncle wants to be a hunkle!”. For those of us who are new to the lingo, an Uncle is the “horrible result when you
lepak too much without exercising or watching your diet” and a Hunkle is “what you could be when you shape up to a healthier version of your body shape”.
Whatever works! What’s most important is that you switch some of those greasy bro nights responsible for weight gain for uncle-to-hunkle activities. Pitch your bros to have a go at one of these 30 activities. At least one of them should get some love.
Night cycle to Gardens by the Bay. It’s Friday night. Skip the drinks. Gather your gear and bros at East Coast and cycle down the entire stretch to Gardens by the Bay. As you shift your focus from work to peddling, let the cool night breeze whisk away your worries and lift your mood. If the night is still young, hydrate with veggie juice at Satay by the Bay and head towards Marina Bay Sands. Burn off even more calories cycling around the Promontory while enjoying the calm, serene Singapore River nightscape.
Night run at Labrador Park. Not into cycling? How about a run at Labrador Park instead? It’s much cooler at night which makes running feel a lot easier. Labrador Nature Reserve is one of the four protected nature reserves in Singapore. The park features a 3km running trail that passes through the Dragon’s Teeth Gate and a 6-inch cannon protecting the old fort. There are look-out decks at Berlayer Creek overlooking serene mangroves where you and your bros can cool down after the run.
Go for an after-hours group run. Bring your kakis to any of the free
downtown runs organised by the Health Promotion Board (HPB). Running is a great way to clock 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical a week. Or join
HPB’s i-Run – a weekly free event led by professional trainers and pacers. Get pro tips from these trainers on how to improve your cardiovascular fitness and pop into their running clinics to deepen your knowledge on running techniques and injuries.
Play laser tag at night. If cycling or running is too serious for you and your best buds on a Friday night, hop into your time machine and set the dial to “childhood days”. Immerse yourselves in a game of laser tag. Play cops and robbers or red team vs. blue team just like you used to do when you were kids. Plenty of places close late. There are also 24-hour joints. Scampering around shooting and dodging will get your heart racing and burn off a good number of calories.
Hike at MacRitchie Reservoir Park. Mix things up a little. Suggest getting together in the day for a hike at MacRitchie Reservoir instead. Pretend that you’re back in secondary school participating in the annual cross country race with your kakis. Challenge each other and see who gets to finish first, or just take your time to enjoy the amazing biodiversity and stunning views from the TreeTop Walk.
Shoot at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve. Are you and your bros into gadgets? Pick up photography and head to Singapore’s first ASEAN Heritage Park. The Park is every nature photographer’s dream come true. Shutterbugs can trek through the many trails in this nature reserve and capture flora and fauna spring to life in every shot with your digital camera or smartphone. Test your gadgets and photography skills with your bros and see who shot it best!
Fly a drone. Prefer aerial photography? Drones might be the better way to bond while building up your brawn. Before you go piloting your drones, take note of
the do’s and don’ts by the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore. Make sure the drone stays within your line of sight to use this opportunity to increase your step count by walking and following your drone. Hitting 10,000 steps a day will be a breeze as a drone pilot.
Play team sports. Love team games like football, floorball and ultimate frisbee but have a hard time getting players? Sign up for
Kaki Sports, organised by HPB. Form a team with your bros and play against other teams just like the good ol’ days. There are coaches at hand to conduct drills so you and your bros can level up before playing matches.
Hit the beach. Can’t get enough of your bros? Turn guy’s night out into a full-blown, full-day beach event. Play a round of beach volleyball, a game of frisbee, and take a quick dip in the sea. The fun things you and your kakis can do at the beach are endless. A full day out may be just what all of you need to zap more calories after a relatively sedentary week.
Ride the waves. After spending days out at the beach, you’ve fallen in love water sports. You are not alone. Singapore’s relatively tranquil waters isn’t the perfect setting for aspiring surfers to show off a trick or two but fret not. Men’s ingenuity and love for water sports is the reason for Wave House Sentosa – a place where you and your surfer bros can test the waters (and the waves). Work those core muscles to stay in balance and see who’s the last bro standing.
Not all bros are into the outdoors. We get that. Sometimes we are in the mood to stay indoors, especially when it gets too hot. Then there are rainy days. Wondering where to go in Singapore for some indoor bro-time that will still get you from uncle-to-hunkle? Here are some activities that are fun and, at the same time, will burn some cals.
Break out from an escape room. It’s bros night out – the night you can stay out really late and it’s raining which makes it perfect for escape room! Bring out the Sherlock in you and the Watson in your best buds as you attempt to get out of a room together. Many places close after midnight which gives the gang enough time to meet, eat and escape. Will you work well together or fall apart under the pressure as you try to figure out challenging puzzles and head-scratching clues? Will the bromance stand the trials of an escape room?
Go for an after-hours climb. You’ve hit a wall at work recently and you’re feeling down. What better way to lift your spirits than to literally climb over a wall? Grab your bros and get over that wall together. This fun, full-body workout will leave you and your buddies hanging for more. Most places open till 8pm.
Take aim with an air rifle. You don’t have to wait for reservist to go back to the shooting range. Grab a meal together and then head straight to SAFRA’s Indoor Air Weapons Range to relive your army days. Stay sharp as a marksman and polish your skills together. Bonus: you and your bros don’t have to clean the rifle after use.
Pick up archery. Want to be an after-hours avenger? As a mere mortal without an indestructible shield, a mighty hammer, or hi-tech armour, a bow and arrow could be your best shot. This old-school traditional sport is perfect for guys who bonded over “Lord of the Rings” instead of “Star Wars”. Instead of meeting up to guzzle, head to the range together instead. Many places close late.
Bounce. Let’s face it. No matter how old we are, we can’t resist the jumping onto a trampoline. Bear your desire to bounce to your bros and burn those calories together at the nearest trampoline park. Fair warning: bouncing for an hour is a full body workout. Bros that ache together, stay together.
Take flight and freefall. Always wanted to try sky-diving but have a fear of heights? Do it indoors at iFly Singapore’s wind tunnel and experience what it’s like to fall through the air from 12,000 to 3,000 feet. Bro, you jump, I jump!
Hang in the air and say
namaste. You’ve tried yoga but it didn’t feel challenging or exciting enough. Why not give aerial yoga a shot? Aerial yoga is great for relieving compressed joints and correcting muscle imbalances, so you and your bros will have better posture and increased flexibility.
Run. Checked. Cycle. Checked. Hiked and rock climbed. If you’ve been there and done all of that with your bros, it’s time to suggest some higher-intensity workouts to build some serious muscles together to go from uncle-to-hunkle. Here are some ways to crush it together with your bros, deadlifts and all.
Get intense with
Quick HIIT. The free High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) classes organised by the Health Promotion Board will get your heart rate racing with short bursts of intense exercises combined with periods of rest or lower-intensity exercises. If you and your buds have been working out and are looking to the next level,
Quick HIIT is it.
Try Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). Pick up a few self-defence techniques while you keep fit with MMA. MMA employs both striking and grappling techniques from martial arts like boxing, jujitsu and muay thai. You’ll be able to burn calories, burn fat, lose weight whiling living out your childhood Jet Li fantasies.
Join a CrossFit gym. CrossFit is really a lot more fun when you do it with like-minded friends who share your passion for this increasingly popular workout programme. It doesn’t matter what level of fitness you and your kakis are at, CrossFit is an all-inclusive workout programme that gets everyone sweating, hugging, and crying tears of joy and accomplishment by the end of the hour.
Be a Spartan. Test your endurance and join a Spartan race. There are different races depending on your fitness levels. Whichever you pick, the Spartan race is an excellent way to bond with your bros as you encourage one another along this gruelling obstacle course that will really train your physical strength and mental fortitude.
Learn Parkour. This concrete urban jungle we live in is the perfect environment to practise Parkour. Run, crawl, roll, balance, jump, vault and swing around the spaces we inhabit and discover a sense of physical freedom your body has never experienced before. Perfect for bros who have always loved the acrobatic stunts in Jackie Chan movies.
Lift kettlebells. This high-impact activity will work out your hips and back, as well as your knees and shoulders. Perform various exercises with a cast iron or cast steel ball that resembles a cannonball with a handle and you and your workout bros will be flexing your biceps as a greeting every time you meet.
Some nights, you and your bros might just want to do something chill. Before one of your bros suggests booze and binge which could get the gang back into the uncle zone, butt in with these suggestions.
Get groomed. Bring your bros to the barbershop for a classic hot towel shave to wind down instead. Sit down on a vintage barber chair, shut your eyes and let the barbers work their magic while you and your mates have a good talk about the latest happenings in your life. Mental health is just as important as our physical health, so remember to take some time out for yourself and support your bros at the same time.
Get nerdy on card/board games. Get a retrospective education with your bros as you play every popular board game in the 90s such as: “Cluedo”, “Risk”, “Dungeons and Dragons” and “Monopoly”. Shuffle a pack of “Uno” cards and start drawing away. Or, for a more physically active afternoon, test just how well you can read your buddy’s body language by playing “Charades”.
Play your favourites console games. Try out the latest games together or play some of your old favourites. If these games involve standing up or moving around, you boys could be burning some serious cals while bro-ing.
Volunteer at a shelter. How does one spend time with a best friend? By spending it with man’s best friend. Bring your best bros to the animal shelter and give your time—and your hearts—to the canines and felines.
Once you and your bros have been bonding over more healthy activities and feeling like the hunkles you truly are, it’s time to tackle the topic of food. Charm them, tease them or challenge them to give these a try.
Join a healthy cooking class. Learning to cook is an excellent way to monitor how much salt and sugar goes into our meals. You and your bros will learn to appreciate the beauty of healthy food and whip up a few dishes that are not only delicious but also healthier for your newly minted hunkle bodies.
Have a potluck. Instead of eating out, why not choose to dine in and arrange a potluck session with your bros instead? Test those new recipes you’ve picked up from your cooking classes (see above), and wow your friends with healthy meals—made lovingly with less oil, salt and sugar, and more of wholegrains, vegetables and lean protein—that won’t hurt their waistlines.
Start gardening. Sustainable urban gardening and farming are really taking root in Singapore. Why not get on this bandwagon with your mates and start growing your own vegetables together? You’ll be able to enjoy the many health benefits of eating more greens (you need at least 2 servings of fruit and vegetables a day!) as you and your mates enjoy the fruits of your labour.
Getting your bros onto the same uncle-to-hunkle journey may not be easy at first. Keep at it. Don’t give up. They may binge behind your back. Booze when their hearts are broken. Ghost on the gang some workout nights. Keep calm and carry on so you can live long and prosper together.
After a while, you and your bros will reap the rewards. You will look younger, feel more energised and, perhaps most importantly, be able to fit into an old pair of pants. That should be reason enough to “Don’t Uncle, Be Hunkle”.
Health Promotion Board offers a variety of
free workouts to help keep you and your bros in shape. Join
Kaki Sports together for a game of Floorball, Ultimate Frisbee, and many more. For more simple, practical tips on how to go from uncle to hunkle, check out the
Go Hunkle page!
Download the HealthHub app on
Google Play or
Apple Store to access more health and wellness advice at your fingertips.
This article was last reviewed on
Tuesday, August 20, 2019
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