Sporting couple Mr and Mrs C. Kunalan’s daily workouts

A COUPLE that sweats together, stays together… for 75-year-old Singapore track and field legend C. Kunalan and his wife, Madam Chong Yoong Yin, that is. Scroll through the photos to read about their daily exercise routines.

knee stretch

Mr Kunalan, who is currently a Senior Manager with Sport Singapore, shares with I Feel Young SG:

I set the alarm for 5am every day. Most times I wake up just before 5am and I am ready for my morning exercise by 5.30am.

I do 50 deep knee squats – slowly, because I can feel stiffness in my knees and lower back. As I squat I massage my knees, because in the knees there are many acupressure points.

elderly situp

Then I do 130 crunches.

elderly pushup

On alternate days I do 60 to 80 push-ups. I place a soft cloth on the ground so that I have a target for my chin, and ensure my elbows are down to a right angle. I try to straighten my elbows on the way up, getting a full extension. If I do this correctly I can hit 70 push-ups; if I hit 80, then I know I have not done the full right angle and elbow extension.

leg back stretch

In between the squats and crunches, I do a quick dynamic stretch of the calves, Achilles tendon and the gluteal area.


Then I am ready for the road.

On days where I do chin-ups, I skip the push-ups. I walk 3km to the MOE PESEB Stadium at Evans Road where there is a chin-up station and I do 13 chin-ups.

Then, I walk back. Sometimes I include a 12-minute jog (4 x 3-minute jogs) on the way back


The next day, I run around the estate and do “interval training”. For example:

Option (A): Brisk walk or jog for 500m to warm up. Then, start workout: Stride past 4 lamp posts then walk past 4 lamp posts. I try to do this for 3 to 4 km. Then I walk 1 km to cool down.

Option (B): Brisk walk or jog for 500m to warm up. Then, start workout: Stride past 10 lamp posts then walk past 5 lamp posts. I try to do this for 3 to 4 km. Then I continue to walk 1 km to cool down.

Option (C): Brisk walk or jog for 500m to warm up. Then, start workout: Run 500m and walk 500m. I try and do this twice.

Option (D): Brisk walk or jog for 500m to warm up. Then run 2.5 km as fast as I dare – it usually takes 16 to 17 minutes and is really hard for me these days. Then I walk 1 km to cool down.

Option (E) is only for rainy mornings. I’ll usually run 2.4km around the National Stadium.

leg stretch 2

When I return from my workout, I do cooling down stretches for the calves, Achilles tendon, quadriceps, glutes, 4 different hamstring stretches and 2 different groin stretches. I hold each stretch for 20 counts.

back stretch

I end off with a massage – 20 counts each for calves, hamstring, quadriceps, glutes and lower back – using a roller.

back stretch 2

Madam Chong Yoong Yin, a former national sprinter and avid sportswoman, also keeps to a daily exercise routine. She shares:

I exercise in the morning for an hour, using the TheraBand (a resistance band). I do a lot of stretching, putting weights on my legs and then doing 100 leg lifts on each leg with the TheraBand every day.

back stretch choo

This is followed by 2 sets of 30 arm raises with the TheraBand.

finger stretch

I use massage balls on my fingers to reduce stiffness. 

temple stretch

I also rub a massage ball on my temple area and forehead, which helps a lot with blood circulation.

I use a foam roller for my back and roll against a wall. We get a lot of “knots” because of old age and rolling improves blood circulation. 

couple walk

I go for a walk every afternoon and in the evenings, if we have time, my husband and I will go for a walk together at Labrador. That’s how I keep fit.

Psst. Read Mr and Mrs C. Kunalan’s love story here

Article published on: 7/2/2018