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Jeffrey Cheng and Michelle Loke: The Couple that Works Out Together, Stays Together

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Health
Dec 13, 2018

There are days after work where you are exhausted and you just want to go for a good dinner and head straight to bed. This is where your partner can make the difference.

Married couple Jeffrey Cheng and Michelle Loke, both 34, make it a point to run or do a sport together at least once a week.

“You can always find an excuse to postpone your exercise plan,” said Jeffrey, who works as an IT manager. “The challenge is to stay disciplined, stop finding excuses and start doing it; or at least, try to have the discipline to do a few sets of planks each day.”

Michelle, AXA Singapore’s digital services and engagement manager, added in agreement, “It is incredibly challenging trying to balance work schedule with a regular fitness routine. Sometimes, compromise is necessary in terms of workout timing or even switching up the routine to keep it interesting and motivating.

We enjoy running together and we regularly play sports like badminton, squash or swimming. We also make it a point to eat healthy and try to cook more often!”

Growing up, sports and fitness was more of Jeffrey’s thing. He was quite active in school, participating in badminton, track and field, and spontaneously signing up for competitions.

Michelle on the other hand, always had the heart for fitness and loves how sports motivate people but finds that she does not quite have the aptitude for it. “I always faced a real uphill battle for the 2.4km run of the NAPFA test; running was the ultimate challenge for me!”

Ironically, all of those physical activities came to a grinding halt for Jeffrey once he finished school and now, it is Michelle who drags him out for exercise, such as for the Tuesday ROCKrunners sessions with AXA Game Changer.

The idea of having weekly running sessions and monthly workouts, as part of the AXA Game Changer initiative, was Michelle’s.

“I wanted to create an engaging activity for AXA prospects and customers as a casual, fun way to get to know about AXA, moving us from a ‘payer to partner’. Engaging them on a weekly basis was a commitment we made towards being a partner in their fitness journey, rather than organising a one-off event,” she explained.

“The workout sessions have been not only to AXA staff and customers, but also to the public. Over the year, we have formed a tight-knit community of fitness enthusiasts that has enabled us to get to know other departments and also engage stakeholders in the business on a less formal basis.

Everyone is really busy at work and that creates unnecessary stress on our bodies, our families and colleagues. Thus, taking conscious time out can really help get our minds off work and start building better connections with people who are on that same health journey.”

Jeffrey comes over after work to join Michelle for the weekly runs and is amazed at how disciplined the runners are, coming all the way from Jurong and Ang Mo Kio for example, just to run together every week.

“Running with them creates positive energy within me, especially after a long day at work,” he shared.

Both Jeffrey and Michelle, who got to know each other over 1kg of Haribo gummies at their former workplace, feel that it is important to stay active to keep energy levels up.

Being active keeps you healthy so you don’t fall sick easily and you can also concentrate better.

“Overall it makes one feel lighter, creates more interesting conversations and it’s great being part of a community. It even helps with sleeping better, which is definitely rejuvenating!” Jeffrey added.

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