Why Apples and Green Tomatoes May Be The Ideal Vegan Replacement for Your Whey Protein


Thinking that only red meat can grow your muscles? Wait until you read through this.

Two natural substances (ursolic acid and tomatidine) found in apples and green tomatoes apparently can make your as strong as Popeye. They may help us combat aging processes in our muscles. As we all know, as our age advances, we lose more and more muscle mass.

This is a finding that scientists had after an experiment involving mice. Old mice that fed on apples and green tomatoes are known to have a higher muscle mass (10% higher) which enables them to be 30% stronger than their counterparts with no such fruit consumption.

Most of us may find out that muscles get weak and their strength decline as we grow older. And this means elderly people are more vulnerable to less quality of life. They should be able to lead an independent and productive life at an advanced age with sustained muscle mass.

Even if you’re not an elderly and young enough in your twenties or thirties, benefits of the two compounds are still existent. Eating apple peel and green tomatoes helps you replenish your muscle mass and strength, which may make both produces an ideal pre and post workout meal.

The research was conducted by Christopher Adams, who teaches internal medicine in the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine and senior study author. He founded Emmyon, Inc., a biotechnology company which worked in partnership with the University of Iowa.

BodybuildingWomanWe know the trend now that more and more people are told by advertisers that the more protein they consume, the better their physique and health would be. But that is not always the case because overconsumption of protein supplement such as protein powder can bring us more risks of health destruction than improvement. Cited from Harvard Medical School, protein powders may contain added sugar, calories, or even toxic chemicals. Which totally makes sense because they are artifically produced by humans.

Apples and tomatoes are different especially the organic ones as they are less likely to have such disadvantageous substances.

So, are you ready to replace that protein powder and whey protein with more FRESH fruits and vegetables? (Source: University of Iowa)

Finding Vegan Pho in Jakarta

I have developed a heavy aaddiction of vegan pho (Vietnamese noodles) recently. Jakartan weather has been getting frigid and polar-like in some way, with intermittent downpour and ….perpetual drizzle.
But because I’m living in Jakarta, Indonesia, there’s no way I can get the palatable food easily.
The first time I ate pho (the real pho made in Vietnam by Vietnamese chef) is when I visited  Vietnam in 2015 and I simply fell in love with it. Pho might be the equivalent of Indonesian soto. It’s anywhere to find in its country of origin and super affordable.
Yet, as I live in Indonesia, the price of pho is of course so un-cheap. This Vietnamese food chain outlet named Madame Mai at Lotte Shopping Avenue I found here in Jakarta sells vegan pho that I really like. Just because it tastes so fresh and warm in the belly..
One ingredient that I seriously get addicted to is the herbs that I can just add liberally and generously and guiltlessly. Seventh heaven!


What Getting Involved Actively in Non Profit Communities Has Gotten Me into

yogem.PNGThis year marks my 9th year of involvement in a local yoga community in Jakarta. It’s a totally nonprofit community that grows purely organically. As one of the witnesses in the early phase besides the founder himself, I was proud enough to see how the community has thrived in all these years. I still recall one weekend when things were not so bright. It was post savasana (corpse pose) bliss that I experienced under the morning sunlight after I had a quite depressing week at work. It was just a nice person behaving badly under the spell of hormonal imbalance, I guessed. And it was more than enough to ruin my work mood.

In my hometown, I’d never been involved in a community. In fact, I had always avoided the world of organization or community whenever possible. I hated being appointed a member in an organization as it brought so many social responsibilities. I’ve been always an introvert so getting too social is a lot of ‘work’. I always felt what I had was just enough and never wanted to ask for more.

Yet, in this yoga community I feel a totally different sensation. I came into yoga through the community, and it makes me a lot like home to practice here. In this social, super supportive circle.

Why so?

The first and foremost, it was because I got into the community on my own will. Unlike in the past, I participate because I voluntarily signed up for it. It was never obligatory, compulsory, or such. I had made a decision to be committed to the community and whenever I feel like I’m not being social, I am not made to attend or join. And I’ve experienced many times when I had a bad week, going to the park and seeing the yoga community turned out to lift my mood up. And this is a very genuine feeling that is beyond transactional terms.

Getting involved in a community has led me to another world of opportunities that I’d never imagined before. Such as, making new friends, getting a lot of new acquaintances, and sometimes – unexpectedly – a number of professional opportunities for my development. To me, it was more than my own expectation as I started joining it not because of any possible rewards but more because of self development.

Getting involved in a community that is diverse in terms of the member composition also allows me to acquire better social skills. This is absolutely beneficial to balance my introvertedness, which sometimes can bring me trouble than benefits.


Getting involved in a community makes me feel liberated

Because I have time for others, I feel like I have more time for myself, too. Research shows that volunteers feel they have more time. In other words, the more you give, the more you have. It might be illogical and doesn’t make sense but — unlike economic, transactional activities in our life — giving has its own logic, don’t you think?


Getting involved in a community helps me acquire new skills

We’re getting transactional here. When we talk about self development, of course we turn a little bit more self-centered. But it’s unavoidable, really. Based on the research finding published in Stanford Social Innovation Review, skill-based volunteerism is a golden opportunity for employers to hone new skills of their employees and executives, which are essential in career development.


Getting involved in a community aids me to stay healthy and fit

Being an active member of a community, a report says, helps us to stay healthy as they are said to have “lower mortality rates, greater functional ability, and lower rates of depression later in life”. Isn’t it fantastic? Besides, what I join is a yoga community so obviously enough I can never be more healthier than now!


Getting involved in a community helps amass more experience of life and work

In a tightly-knit community, I can see multitude people from various walks of life. More often than not, they have life and jobs that I have never familiar with before. From chats, I can usually see their foreign perspectives towards life events and this is very interesting and stimulating in every possible way.


Be prepared for any opening of amazing opportunity doors that can catch you off guard. I sometimes run into people who needs my skills in these community meetups, and this is not made up. They come to me naturally. It’s a totally genuine and real example of word-of-mouth marketing method.


And if you’re looking for work, getting involved in a community may be a good idea to fill up your scanty resume. Without having to be pompous!


Getting involved in a community makes you happier

Feeling low about life or demotivated after a recent massive life failure? Be happy with only joining a community. A study conducted by London School of Economics discovered that volunteers are happier when they do more for the community. It does make sense as getting involved actively in a community builds empathy and social ties, which eventually leads to a more meaningful life.


How about you? Have you joined a local community around you and make your life more meaningful in 2019? (*/)


Here’s My Secret to Not Gaining Weight After A Huge Huge Meal

people holding sliced pizza
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

In my entire childhood and early adulthood and current adulthood, never did I lose the title of “thin boy”. Every time people see me, the first thought that occured to them is this:”You must eat more” or “You must eat more often.”

But they hardly know that it is all futile. Just a waste of resource. I liken myself to a small glass that everyone thinks could enlarge once they pour more liquid into. Which is of course unfeasible.

That said, they always get curious as to how I stay slim and thus never change my clothing size since the last day I left high school. That in fact irritates some of them to no end.

Whenever I am asked the question, I used to have no answer. I blabbered, saying,”It’s genetic…” And when they chased me more for accurate, believable answers, I told them to speak with my parents. That quietens them in some way.

Recently, a band of researchers managed to unravel the mystery for me. As I read on Jakarta Post, researchers of Flinders University, in the Land Down Under, just found out that there is this obesity gene called RCAN1. Not having this gene enables you to eat in a literally crazy amount without even gaining a slight weight. That sounds cool to some people having obesity issues. When removed, one would never ever gain weight no matter how much s/he eats. Without the gene in our body, we can stay slim without even exercising a single minute or restricting calorie intake or modifying diets. You can just eat liberally.

Of course, the news told us there are possibilities for future development of obesity treatment with genetic engineering. But if you’re someone whose health care is only covered by BPJS, that means nearly impossible to have such treatment owing to the costs. (*/)

What Shifting from Artificial Face Moisturizer to Olive Oil Can Do to My Face and World View

LIKE everyone in the era of glorious advertisement, I also believe strongly in what widely promoted commercial products can do for me to improve my quality of life. I, for instance, saw this 33-year-old Nicholas Saputra applying some branded face moisturizer on his face and I was instantly stunned by how good-looking he becomes. Though I know well he is just fine with or without the product, there is something inside me firmly clenching to the idea that the hope is there – no matter how small it is – to look lighter than you are exactly in actuality. And when the day comes, you will be living happily ever after.

While Indonesian women are widely known to be demanded to look fairer, no one seems to understand the fact that the similar demand and propaganda are internalized inside the heads of Indonesian men. You can see male talents on popular ads are depicted as fair-skinned, clean-cut, clean-shaven, charming, tall, broad-shouldered and lean. While more feminists have already protested and pushed back against the prevalent trend of skin bleaching amongst women (which now seems futile because every woman wants to look lighter in the country), hardly do I ever find men who sharply criticize or at least acknowledge this very substantial issue. I am not saying they are shutting their eyes to the problem but they just subconsciously opt to set it aside. They do not want to tell themselves that men are now also increasingly encouraged to look lighter (the rapid penetration of Korean male beauty standards also contributes here). Disgraceful indeed, gentlemen.

I too had long admired and longed to have fairer skin as a boy. It was not about being more good-looking because later on I also found that there fair-skinned boys who still look unpleasing and uninteresting, or have horrible personalities and characters. But it is true that because the majority of our people are darker-skinned, those with fairer skin are considered ‘chosen’, and thus seen as better, higher and more priviliged. Of course that is a ridiculously groundless assumption. Unfortunately, though I am quite aware of that, my mind, judgment and conscience are heavily clouded owing to the bombardment of ads around me.

And then I experimented with olive oil. I did it at first because I was curious. I had read before that applying this oil on skin can improve my skin. But because it is oil and applying it onto my skin intensifies my dark skin, I avoided using it at work but then I realized applying olive oil inside a heavily air-conditioned workplace can help retain skin moisture efficiently throughout the day, so I started to apply it in daylight as well. And I was happy with the result. The thing was I saw my face looked darker and more oily, which may rise a question in people’s mind whether or not I had washed my fash this morning properly with soap.

For some time, I retreated back to that pricey oil-free whitening face moisturizer which the ad subconsciously asserted me that I too can be as gorgeous as the aforementioned actor and public figure.


I ditched that dogma gradually and after proving that olive oil can basically and safely and naturally function as the replacement of the chemical-ladden face day moisturizer, I never go back ever since.

It is not only about saving more money to me, but also a more plausible and sustainable method of self care. I am no longer very much dependent on a corporation selling the product. I am thus free from their agitation broadcast on television. And it pretty much helped me too to come to this point that I have no television in my room. Having this box in my room is no longer a fascination. I am so much accustomed to the silence of my room so when even I had a television as a prize from a blogging contest, I shipped the television to home, where my family live.

Apart from the pleasing results I have gotten from olive oil so far (let’s say far less apparent wrinkles and dark circles and eye bags plus firmer and smoother facial skin), I am also happy to say I don’t add more burden to my bodily system with more chemicals. I still thinly apply sunscreen when I have to go outdoor for quite an extended period of time but most days I just let my skin bare with only olive oil as my skin protection and it definitely worked. Maybe that is why Ancient Greeks would apply olive oil on their naked body before competing under the sun in the early Olympics.

And though I never mean to defy the bad effects of sunrays, I now feel less worried about my skin looking darker. I do not mind it look darker as it should, which is different from the way I used to. There comes a voice inside my head that defenses my being dark:”You live in the tropical country where the sun shines throughout the year. Everyone who thinks you must look pale, fair and un-oily despite the humid climate and nature is a moron who has been brainwashed and colonialized by advertisers and brands!”

So shifting my face moisturizer from artificial products to natural oils such as olive oil is not only a real campaign of going back to nature but also a political statement, i.e. that I refuse to be regulated and judged under certain norms that some create and the majority upholds and practices. And if you think I am dependent on imported olive oil now, I will tell you I can happily switch to locally-produced virgin coconut oil (I had tried this as well and it proved awesome too) or sesame oil.

If you are a man, what is your stance on this issue? Do you think being an Indonesian man should change the way their natural appearance to attract opposite sex? Have your say. (*/)

Social Eating in Ramadan: Pros and Cons

THE English and Korean may have been campaigning against loneliness, depression and unhappiness which have been too prevalent among them. Americans also complain about not eating together as often as they used to (read this).

Here in Indonesia, we have our best cure to the aforementioned global pandemics: having meals together on every occasion. Yes, indeed eating together has been proven as an effective method to get rid of a sense of being all alone and forlorn.

As Wikipedia says, social eating tradition has its root back in the Ancient Greek age. People cooked and enjoyed foods and drinks to join a commemoration of a special moment or day.

In Ramadan (the fasting month in Islamic calendar), social eating in iftar time has been also a norm. Even those who are not muslims join dinner and chat together as it is a perfect time to interact over good foods. That shows just how much people can mingle with each other irrespective of their faiths, races, tehnic groups, and other differences.

But things are not as ideal when we see it in reality. That includes the case of social eating. Here is why.


Social eating is certainly good when it comes to restrengthening social connections. Science proves it (read here). Conversations among individuals at dining tables can alleviate someone’s chronic stress. Talking about recent experience or life events is even more relieving with friends face-to-face, instead of telling them via chat applications or social media.

Maintaining social ties over foods at dining table also lowers down the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Being in the middle of family members, friends and neighbors can be intimidating for some introverted folks but it turns out that it helps people slow down the brain aging process as well.


We all have been familiar with the bright sides of social eating. So how about the dark, undiscussed side of it?

As pointed out here, social eating can be bad as it potentially unleashes most people’s unhealthy eating habits. People are encouraged to swallow more foods and drinks which later causes overeating. I have seen a coworker who was taken to a nearby hospital days after Idul Fitri just because he lost himself during the festivity season. He ate almost everything he saw on the table.

Overeating also means people tend to consume more and more calories, leading to accumulation of body fats. This is ironic because you have meal together after you refrain yourself from eating anything for 13-14 hours in daylight in Ramadan. In Idul Fitri, the tendency of overeating is even higher. Suddenly you can eat anytime you want again and that is not an opportunity to get wasted so people binge-eating and find themselves clogged inside after eating like the greedies pig ever born.

Science also proves that social influences on eating are powerful. Eating together can affect someone’s body weight. So if you have a weight-related health conditions, eating together very often especially with people who are more ‘promiscuous’ will definitely bring you more issues than benefits.

What to heed

Now, what should be paid attention to when you want to eat together without having to endure its negative effects? Remaining mindful throughout social eating rituals is needed so that you won’t get yourself stuffed with junk foods or overload the intestines with foods in enormous portions.

When you are mindful, chances are you will eat more controllably. You are aware of making choices, which food to pick and to avoid. And of course, trying to limit that comfort food as least as possible because you know once you chew it, you cannot stop.

On that note, also never forget the essence of social eating, i.e. uniting. Some people are trapped in making more enemies than refreshing their stale friendships or relationships here. They bully each other, show off their latest posessions, which is at the end totally against the aim of social eating itself.

And what matters most is that you know that social eating should not get in the way of observing your religious responsibilities (read: your essential daily rituals). For muslims especially, what is the point of eating out at malls if you miss your maghrib prayer? (*/)

Menelisik Fitartistik: Pentingnya Imagery

Imagery dalam senam, bergunakah? [Sumber foto:Wikimedia Commons]
SAYA masih menghadapi mental block yang besar dalam melakukan back handspring seperti yang sudah diajarkan coach saya di kelas Fitartistic, Jonathan Sianturi, dalam beberapa pertemuan terakhir.

Sebenarnya saya sudah tidak ada masalah berarti saat mengeksekusi gerakan ini dengan matras tinggi di belakang saya. Tapi begitu matras setinggi lutut itu disingkirkan, otak saya seolah memberitahukan kecemasan akan ancaman potensial. Seolah-olah saya tidak mempercayai kekuatan kedua telapak tangan saya dalam menopang tubuh agar kepala ini tidak terbentur lantai. Konsekuensinya, saya bisa melenting dengan percaya diri saat masih ada matras setinggi lutut itu. Begitu matras itu tidak ada, keberanian dan kepercayaan diri saya juga sirna seketika.

Padahal secara esensi, gerakannya sama saja. Hanya saja saya harus membangun kepercayaan diri itu dengan imagery, demikian kata coach Jonathan.

Saya mencoba meresepi kata-katanya itu. Pertama-tama saya tentu heran. “Apa hubungannya imagery dengan senam?” protes saya dalam hati. Rasa-rasanya kedua bidang ini sama sekali tidak berkaitan, batin saya terus memberontak.

Sebagai mantan mahasiswa sastra, saya tahu apa itu imagery. Menurut Collins Dictionary, imagery merujuk pada bayangan yang kita ciptakan dalam benak/ otak kita berdasarkan pada kata-kata yang biasanya ada dalam karya sastra seperti syair, bait lagu, atau puisi.

Lama-kelamaan saya paham dengan saran coach Jonathan untuk menggunakan imagery dalam berlatih gerakan-gerakan yang menantang.

“Kadang dalam melakukan gerakan-gerakan senam, Anda harus menggunakan imagery karena apa yang Anda pikirkan itu mempengaruhi realitas,” tegasnya.

Dengan kata lain, pikiran memiliki pengaruh pada apa yang terjadi dalam kenyataan. Jika Anda hanya berpikir,”Duh, saya akan gagal pasti habis ini” atau “Gerakan ini susah. Pasti saya jatuh deh!”, vibrasi pikiran itu seolah akan mengirimkan sebuah sinyal ke alam semesta bahwa Anda memang pantas untuk jatuh. Maka, saran coach Jonathan, bangunlah mentalitas positif melalui imagery yang positif juga.

Dan inilah tantangan mengajarkan pada orang yang sudah dewasa, selain tubuh yang sudah lebih kaku dan terbiasa dengan rutinitas lainnya, mental mereka juga lebih sulit dibentuk.

Kenapa? Karena kita sebagai orang dewasa sudah memiliki kemampuan untuk membentuk pendapat dan pemikiran sendiri. Dan kita lebih asertif dan defensif dalam memegang opini itu dibandingkan anak-anak.

Karena itu, saya memiliki pekerjana rumah yang sangat besar di aspek ini. Bila saya sudah menaklukkan mental block satu ini, saya akan bisa menaklukkan yang lain juga. (*/)

Is Vegetarianism Too Hard? Try Semi Vegetarianism

I have a friend who stealthily urges me to turn vegetarian. He sent me once in a while some videos on why eating meat is like crime. His idea is basically like this: you kill living creatures that deserve to live if you eat meat. You allow yourself to be a walking cemetery. Under no circumstance, leave meat.

His message is clear and sound. There is no reason why I can neglect or misunderstand it.

But if he does it because he believes that it is part of his faith, I also have my own reason. I have my faith which does not seem to allow me to go completely vegan. As a moslem, I have Idul Adha. Though I can skip eating meat, there must be a meaning behind the celebration of Idul Adha. And according to my interpretation, God allows us to enjoy meat once in a while as our body needs nutritions in it. No matter how nutritious plant-based diets can be, there must be some elements that you miss from avoiding meat altogether. It is a self denial to say, “We do not need meat at all”.

Though we can eat meat, it does not necessarily mean we must consume it every day, every time we wish. That is another extreme end of spectrum.

I need the balance. And I discover that in SEMI VEGANISM. We definitely still can eat any meat, only with less frequency and in a restricted amount.

Meat, if consumed without control, gives us health issues. It causes addiction as well.

Now that people live in an era when meat is cheaper and almost everywhere, they can eat meat every time they have meal.

But this brings health impacts as well on our overall quality of life. People start suffering from gout, diabetes, coronary diseases, etc because of this horrible meat-loaded diet.

We need to transform our foods of choice. We must transform the way we think of foods.

Meat should be consumed less frequently in a fewer amount. Eat meat only once a week to stay  healthy and fit.

And moslems in the epoch of Muhammad PBUH were semi vegetarians. They ate date and water on daily basis. But meat? That is just on rare occasion. It is not part of daily meal. Meat is eaten as a mark of important celebration.

So eating healthy, fresh [instead of processed] foods is in fact not only good in terms of your health maintenance. It also shows that you observe your religious teachings.  God tells us to eat what is halal and thayyib, which means our food must be sourced in a halal way and  all substances in it is halal and proves to be beneficial for the body. (*/photo: WIkimedia Commons)

Fitartistik: Tanpa Batas, Lebih Asyik

HUMAN flag adalah salah satu gerakan yang tidak terbayangkan bisa saya lakukan. Gerakannya disebut demikian karena posisi tubuh meniru bendera yang tengah tertiup angin kencang, sampai benar-benar tegak lurus dengan tiang.

Tapi hari ini saya mencoba dan ternyata bisa juga!

Fitartistik inilah yang menurut saya adalah latihan dengan hanya menggunaka  berat tubuh (body weight workout) yang tanpa menargetkan harus menguasai ini itu tetapi secara lambat namun pasti membangun kekuatan dan kelenturan tubuh sehingga kita pada suatu saat tiba juga pada titik yang diinginkan. Tentu jika syarat-syaratnya terpenuhi: latihan dengan disiplin dan konsisten.

Coach Jonathan Sianturi sendiri memberikan sedikit nasihat pada saya yang memiliki tipe tubuh ectomorph ini agar memperbanyak latihan fisik jenis muscle-up agar kekuatan lebih terbangun secara alami. Ia menyarankan makan lebih banyak protein alami seperti putih telur dan ikan.

Jadwal latihan juga perlu diatur. Bisa dengan dua hari berturut-turut latihan sampai lelah baru dua hari berikutnya benar-benar istirahat. Ini yang dinamai recovery period. Kemudian bisa juga selanjutnya satu hari latihan dan diikuti satu hari istirahat. Ini yang dinamakan mini break. Demikian saran Jonathan.

Apakah Olahraga di Rooftop Saat Malam Hari Baik untuk Kesehatan?

Olahraga di rooftop memang mengasyikkan, tetapi perlu dipertimbangkan efeknya untuk tubuh. (Foto: Wikimedia Commons)

Kemarin saya dihubungi seorang pewarta media nasional, dengan tujuan untuk mengetahui pendapat saya sebagai praktisi yoga tentang tren olahraga malam hari di atap bangunan alias rooftop.

Memang saya amati ada komunitas-komunitas yang dengan sengaja membuat jadwal latihan fisik di malam hari dengan tujuan untuk mengakomodasi para pekerja kantoran usia produktif yang ingin tetap bisa berolahraga tetapi tidak sempat melakukannya di pagi hari.

Ada beberapa hal yang menurut saya perlu diperhatikan bagi mereka yang ingin berolahraga di malam hari.

Tidak terlalu dekat dengan jam tidur

Hal pertama yang menurut saya perlu diperhatikan saat berolahraga di malam hari ialah usahakan untuk tidak melakukannya saat mendekati waktu tidur.

Kenapa? Karena tubuh kita ini sudah memiliki irama sirkadian (irama alami kerja tubuh) yang diatur secara alami, dan ditandai dengan terbit dan tenggelamnya matahari. Manusia memiliki kecenderungan sebagai makhluk diurnal, bukan nocturnal. Artinya, manusia itu berkegiatan di pagi sampai petang hari dan begitu matahari sudah tenggelam, tubuh manusia melambatkan kinerjanya untuk fase istirahat yang diperlukan agar tetap bisa berfungsi baik. Karena itulah, manusia tidak bisa disamakan dengan kelelawar atau burung hantu yang nocturnal atau beraktivitas di malam hari.

Saat kita berolahraga terlalu larut dan dekat dengan jam tidur, tubuh kita cenderung hangat dan adrenalin terpacu, sehingga bagi sebagian orang ini justru membuat mereka bersemangat, bukannya tertidur pulas pada malam harinya.

Memang olahraga akan membuat tubuh melepaskan hormon endorfin sehingga membuat kita lebih rileks dan tertidur lebih pulas. Namun, patut diingat bahwa tidak semua orang merasakan efek yang sama. Ada yang mendapati efek overstimulasi sehingga tidur mereka justru terganggu. Ini yang pernah saya alami setelah saya beryoga dengan intens (banyak pose-pose inversi yang lumayan menguras tenaga) di malam hari. Alih-alih merasa rileks dan mengantuk, saya malah melek semalaman dan bersemangat. Jelas esoknya saya justru makin lemas karena kuantitas dan kualitas tidur berkurang. Tentu sekali lagi ini berpulang pada masing-masing individu. Jika Anda tipe orang yang seperti saya, hindarilah berolahraga terlalu malam (jam 8 malam ke atas).

Tidak terkena angin malam

Satu poin penting lain yang menurut saya patut diperhatikan saat berolahraga di rooftop ialah memastikan apakah tempatnya terlindung dari angin malam. Berolahraga di tempat terbuka memang asyik karena udaranya lebih segar tetapi efek menyehatkan itu akan maksimal jika itu dilakukan di pagi hari. Sinar matahari membuat imunitas meningkat, tubuh mendapatkan asupan vitamin D, dan sirkulasi darah meningkat sehingga kita bersemangat menjalani aktivitas seharian. Kalaupun ada angin saat pagi hari, rasanya di badan juga menyegarkan karena angin ini bukan jenis angin malam.

Lain halnya jika kita berolahraga di ruang terbuka di malam hari. Angin malam membuat mereka yang kebugarannya kurang malah makin rentan. Seperti kita ketahui bahwa tidak semua orang yang ikut tren olahraga di rooftop adalah mereka yang memiliki tingkat kebugaran yang sangat prima seperti atlet profesional. Ada kondisi-kondisi yang perlu diperhatikan sebelum berolahraga di malam hari agar olahraga itu tidak membuat kita malah sakit.

Namun, tentu hal ini masih bisa disiasati. Cobalah berolahraga di tempat yang relatif terlindung angin malam kalaupun memang terpaksa hanya bisa olahraga di malam hari sehabis kerja. Dan jika ini tidak memungkinkan, pakailah kaos atau jaket tipis yang berfungsi untuk menahan tiupan angin yang akan membuat tubuh kita yang ‘kebingungan’. Kita ibaratkan tubuh sebagai sebuah lilin yang kita nyalakan dengan olahraga sebagai korek apinya. Apakah kita bisa menyalakan lilin di tempat yang anginnya kencang? Nah, itulah kenapa tubuh kita akan kerepotan menyesuaikan suhunya. Saat ia dipacu untuk lebih panas, ia akan ditiup angin sehingga dipaksa lebih dingin. Bukannya menjadi sehat, kita bisa masuk angin akhirnya.

Karena itulah, dalam yoga yang saya tekuni selama ini kurang disarankan untuk beryoga (melakukan latihan asana/ fisik yang berintensitas tinggi) di malam hari. Jikalau ingin beryoga di malam hari, disarankan untuk memilih jenis latihan yang bersifat Yin, atau restoratif, yang fokusnya berbeda. Jika latihan vinyasa atau power yoga berfokus lebih banyak pada penguatan otot dan peningkatan kekuatan kardiovaskuler, latihan yoga jenis Yin akan memberikan kesempatan tubuh untuk rileks, meregangkan otot, sendi dan ligamen, mengendurkan syaraf serta condong pada meditasi agar alam bawah sadar lebih tenang dan istirahat lebih berkualitas.

Jaga intensitas

Intensitas berlatih saat malam hari menurut saya lebih sulit dijaga karena suhu udara yang lebih rendah membuat kita memerlukan waktu lebih lama untuk pemanasan. Karena itu, pemanasan perlu dilakukan lebih intens untuk menghindari kram. Tubuh juga menjadi kurang peka terhadap intensitas karena suhu yang lebih sejuk. Kita pacu dan pacu terus sampai tiba-tiba terasa lelah sekali atau lemas. Lain halnya jika berolahraga di pagi hari yang menurut saya lebih ideal. Untuk itu, Anda bisa coba membandingkan efek olahraga di pagi dan malam hari. Bagaimana rasanya di tubuh?


Jadi, apakah berolahraga di rooftop itu bagus atau tidak untuk kesehatan?

Jawabannya tergantung pada banyak faktor.

Dan tentunya masih mau menyisihkan waktu untuk berolahraga malam hari sekalipun lebih baik daripada tidak berolahraga sama sekali. Maka dari itu, meski ada hal-hal yang perlu diperhatikan, bukan berarti kita hindari sama sekali olahraga di malam hari.

Satu yang juga tidak kalah penting ialah mencoba bereksperimen dengan tubuh. Mungkin ada orang yang lebih cocok berolahraga di malam hari karena alasan-alasan tertentu. Sebaliknya, ada yang lebih pas di waktu lain.

Lalu mana yang benar dan bagus: olahraga di malam hari atau pagi hari? Begitu mungkin tanya Anda.

Yang saya ketahui pasti ialah keduanya lebih baik daripada tidak berolahraga sama sekali. (*/Foto: Wikimedia Commons)