Category Archives: Exercise & health


During my army service i was frequently given the task of instructing a class. Sometimes young men my age but also national guard reserves, men older than my father at the time. As anyone who has ever served in the National Guard here in Cyprus can tell you these classes were a living nightmare. They were very repetitive and because i had to do a lot of them after a certain point i got really good at it. There were a few, rare times when everything clicked and i got a sense of reward and satisfaction that i still remember to this day.

It’s funny then that i rarely got that feeling at the university and then later on in my professional life. My highest academic/professional achievement is possibly qualifying as a Chartered Accountant. It was not a sense of achievement that i felt after each exam i passed and then finally qualifying. It was a sense of relief.

However, i get this warm, satisfying feeling when i read books with Sophia. Last week we played a card game, then i read The Secret Garden to her and then we played something else as well. Out of the three she said she enjoyed the book the most. That made me feel great.

I also have this feeling when i teach board games to new people. People who want to learn. I could see it in the eyes of a 6 year old boy and his father’s while i explained King of Tokyo and then all 3 of us played it together at the Cyprus Comic Con. I saw it when i played Blueprints for the first time with two teenagers from Paphos. We finished a complete game and then they wanted to play again.

But what can i and what should i teach?

It’s clear that i need to be passionate about what i’m teaching. That immediately rules out teaching a subject for the ACA/ACCA professional courses which was one of the possibilities i was considering last year. I don’t even know if would be able to but now i know that i don’t want to.

The second option is teaching and playing board games at different NGOs, homes for the elderly or youth groups. I spend enough time on board games as it is and i prefer to teach something that is more challenging. In any case there’s nothing to stop me from doing the odd board gaming event at these places every now and then.

Another option i’m considering is A(S) Level Economics which was my favourite subject in school and i followed it up with a BSc. Earlier this year i had a look at the syllabus. I have a lot of catching up to do of course but it’s possible. I would have to do this my way and I have some ideas. Also, a friend has suggested that i should check out the possibility of online tutoring.

Nothing is final yet and i’m open to other ideas, particularly training/teaching at the level of professionals (employed or unemployed).

I need this sense of fulfillment and achievement which is currently missing from my life.



Wall climbing

Two weeks ago i gave wall climbing a shot. I had this on my to do list for types of sport i could try, considering my arthritis. My knee and ankle said no after 2 sessions. I’m 10-15 years late. I’ll try something else.

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Posted by on September 15, 2014 in Exercise & health



Personal development

I want to teach.


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Home exercises (videos)

I’m slowly getting back to doing home exercises again and i have found a few more videos which i recommend. I don’t follow the exercises schedule entirely as there are exercises which i can’t do and i simply replace them with others. Here are a few of the currently “hot” for me.

1. Total Body Toning & Functional Strength Training Exercises – I love this one even though lately i have replaced more exercises than i would liked. The Walk Down Push Up is one my favourites.

2. 10 Minute Abs & Obliques Workout – Lean Toned Stomach Workout – This one is the latest abs/obliques exercise I’ve tried and it surprised me with a few new exercises like the Flutterkick Crunch.

3. Chest + Abs MEGA workout “No music version”– An oldie which unfortunately can’t always do on a weekly basis. It’s brutal but worth trying even though i can’t do all the repetitions, particularly the Diamond Push Up (knees)

4. Six Pack Burn Out – Intense Abs Workout– Another newbie for me and currently my favourite abs and obliques exercise video. Love it. Spiderman plank is cool! 🙂


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Exercise (setback)

My right knee (which together with my right ankle have been the more problematic due to the arthritis) has been in a bad shape for the last couple of weeks. I can’t exercise at all as i’m in pain whatever i do.

Walking helps but anything else just generates more pain. Also i’d like something with more intensity. Swimming looks like my best option. Definitely requires more commitment and a higher budger but i’m willing to sacrifice other things to give it a good try. I spend money on things i really don’t need anyway. My annual leave ends this week so will leave the “research” (already have an idea) for next week. This will give my knee some more time to get some rest.

10 years ago i would continue to exercise ithrough the pain. 4 years ago this situation of not being able to exercise would have left me in despair. Now i’m just looking to rest my knee and look for alternatives. It took me years to get my s*** together and put up a fight. Never again. There are always options out there. Just need to find them.


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Exercising and setbacks

I expected this to happen at some point.

My ankle and knee have been hurting one and off for a few years now. After i started exercising i managed to go around it by focusing on upper body exercises. I still do leg exercises but can do them lightly or sometimes skip them for a week depending on the pain. It usually is enough.

However, now my right wrist has hurting for a few weeks now. I think it’s tendonitis. It was worse over this past weekend which i can’t understand why since i don’t use the pc mouse as much as i do at the office. However i do quite a few demanding exercises using my wrists and i did those on Friday. So that’s probably the reason. So now i have to adjust again.

One positive thing with arthritis is that you get used to making adjustments. It’s pushing you back and you can either surrender which is what i did for 3 years or push back. Now i’m more confident of pushing back and focusing on finding other exercises which don’t need me to use my wrists.

Of course, i have to wonder how far back this thing will keep pushing me and whether i will be able to be positive in finding new ways to adjust. Right now though i am pushing back.

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Posted by on October 15, 2013 in Antidote, Exercise & health


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Home exercises

For the past month or so i’ve started using youtube videos to get my exercise fix. I’ve been streaming them (via mob) on my tv which is pretty handy and relatively trouble free. The exercises i’ve been doing are more focused on toning, abs/obliques and low impact cardio.

Most of these exercises involve no extra equipment apart from an exercise mat. I bought a physio ball more than a year ago but i never used it and recently acquired a medicine ball as well. I love the latter but i’ve been disappointed with the former. The physio ball also takes up a lot of space in the apartment so i’m thinking of getting rid of it.

In order to keep my interest and motivation high for these exercises i’m switching the schedule a bit every other week and introducing new exercises. There is an abundance on excellent videos on Youtube. Fitness Bender for example have some great videos and are all available for free.

My aim is to keep the different exercise schedules around 30-40mins with limited break time.

These are two of my current favourite videos.

Train like an Athlete Interval Training – At Home Cardio and Toning Boot Camp

In the first video i’ve substituted a few leg/calf/foot exercises with easier ones with less impact to minimise the pain. The final exercise in this video is simply fantastic. It’s called the “Push up planks” at 14:50.


Flat Belly Workout – Abs and Obliques Workout to Tone Stomach

The second video it’s all about the abs/obliques and this is a tough one. I have yet to managed to do both rounds and all the 8 exercises (50 seconds each). In this video my favourite is “Plank Knee Tucks” at 3:36.


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Parks & Recreation (Ayios Demetrios Park)


I don’t miss London life for the most part. I only spent my university years there and after i left, i honestly never looked back. The city life does not suit me. However, i did love the parks whether it was for playing football, jogging, walking and of course book reading.

This is something I’ve missed since coming back to Nicosia. Of course a lot have changed since then in this small and ugly miniature of a city. I’m fortunate enough to now live close to multiple small sized, green areas that litter Nicosia.

I will be posting about Nicosia’s parks every now and then (basically until i get bored or forget).

Let’s start with the one i most recently visited.

The Park of Saint Demetrios (Ayiou Demetriou) which is situated behind Makarios Hospital and the Municipality Sports Center of Strovolos.

This is actually a bigger and more organised park than i had realised. Unfortunately (or fortunately if you have children) it has a playground and a cafeteria but it also has benches (with backs!) scattered around the park. It has a enough thick foliage so that you can sit in the shade and is large enough to remain relatively isolated from most walkers, runners and cyclists.

Anyway, depending on the weather the park provides a good alternative to the air-conditioned (one hopes) Nicosia coffee shops.

Here are a few photos. I will post a greater variety of photos at a later date. Again, i might not…..

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Exercise diary (2)

I’m slowly getting back to physical activity.

The last 2 Sundays i went cycling with a friend and at a level that seems more suited to what i can do now and less likely to cause pain during and after.

Around 45-55 mins of mostly flat road and cycling routes but with some off road as well to break up the monotony.

I’ve also been doing some basic exercises at home. Stretching, push ups etc. I am only doing these once a week because frankly they are boring. But once a week is tolerable.

Finally, physical therapy, again once a week is helping me more than i expected. Especially after the Sunday bike ride.

It’s not ideal, but it’s start.

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Posted by on February 27, 2013 in Antidote, Exercise & health


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Exercise diary (1)

On Sunday, i went biking with a friend to the Athalassa park.

It was a fantastic day, cold,but not too cold and sunny. It was the kind of day i wanted 4-5 years ago when i was really at it. This time it was much calmer, easy going.

We biked for around 50mins which is not much but i struggled and felt pain in my right leg. It was the same pain that was at the initial stages 5 years ago. So, i am not too optimistic i can go back to it at all.

However, i loved the fact that we were out and about on a day like that. I need to find some outdoor sports or physical activities that take advantage of days like these.

If i feel the pain go away in the next couple of days i plan to go again this Sunday. Maybe take it easier as well i.e. more flat road and 30-40mins max. I will be keeping diary exercise records like this one which hopefully will motivate me.

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Posted by on January 21, 2013 in Antidote, Exercise & health