NSmen can soon train virtually from home
Hour-long FIT@Home sessions count towards the 10-session annual requirement
Operationally ready national servicemen (NSmen) will soon be able to fulfil their annual fitness training requirements from their homes through virtual workouts.
The Ministry of Defence (Mindef) announced yesterday that the virtual sessions, conducted over a video-conferencing platform, will be added to the NS Fitness Improvement Training (FIT) programme launched this year.
From next Monday, up to 45 NSmen can take part in each FIT@Home session with at least two fitness trainers checking on their safety and performance.
NSmen can register on the NS Portal from tomorrow for the hour-long sessions, which are similar in duration to other NS FIT programmes and count towards the NS FIT 10-session annual requirement.
Those registered will get a link via e-mail. Two sessions will be conducted daily, except on Fridays.
Before this, NSmen had to attend fitness training at 42 locations such as Singapore Armed Forces camps and Safra gyms.
Head of the National Service Affairs Department, Colonel Lim Han Yong, said NS FIT@Home will complement the list of current NS FIT activities for NSmen to maintain active and healthy lifestyles and remain operationally ready.
"This virtual option aims to provide flexibility and make it more convenient for NSmen... while maintaining comparable standards of training and safety to other NS FIT activities," he said.
NS FIT@Home can also minimise disruption to training should the Covid-19 situation worsen.
NSmen can do up to nine NS FIT@Home sessions for their annual requirement. The 10 sessions include an individual physical proficiency test that must be taken in person.
NSmen can do NS FIT@Home wherever they can join the video-conferencing session, as long as the environment is safe, they have at least 2m by 2m of space, and a stable Internet connection.
Measures to ensure safety include a declaration form, which asks participants to key in their workout location, an emergency contact person, their health status, and if they have checked that their environment is free of hazards.
If instructors notice any potential signs of injury, they will first call the NSman, and then his emergency contact if he does not respond. Should both methods fail, an ambulance will be sent to his specified location.
At a preview session of NS FIT@Home last Thursday, the instructor said participants can do the workout at a higher or lower intensity, depending on their fitness. Participants were asked to engage with the instructor by giving a thumbs up sign, and feedback was given on their performances.
Cameras have to be turned on and participants need to be fully visible at all times. They must also be in proper workout attire, including sports shoes.
Major (NS) Garick Bay, 39, an NSman with the 9th Singapore Infantry Brigade, said the virtual format can be as effective as exercising together at one place.
He said: "A push-up is a push-up, whether you do it virtually or on-site."