A familiar name amongst local radio listeners, Rod Monteiro has been on the airwaves since 1994, where he first launched the then SAFRA Radio.
An avid fan of mountain biking (you’ll be shocked to find out how many bikes he has), golfing, and running, ‘pretty active’ is an understatement when it comes to Rod’s lifestyle. With 4 marathons and 3 triathlons under his belt, Rod isn’t a stranger to the sweat and hardship that goes into training for such physically demanding events.
NSman sits down with the veteran radio DJ to uncover the reasons behind his enjoyment for the above-mentioned activities and how you too can lead an active lifestyle – at any age.
Q: How often do you exercise in a week, and what kind of activities do you do to keep fit?
I like to exercise almost every day in the week, it’s just like a part of life – wake up, go running, stretch and all. I like to do runs 3 times a week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) 7km each time (I just came back from a run this morning!). I like to go to the gym on Tuesdays, Thursdays & Saturdays. Because of my stroke, I am doing light workouts now, not like before when I used to do mad workouts and try to be a bulky guy, to look all muscular. Now it’s more for form and function. To keep my shape going & fitness up especially at this age, so that I can roughly keep up with my son who is preparing for National Service. I have trained him since he was young, exercising and running, so now I try to keep up with him lah… TRY only lah.
SAFRA members get to enjoy exclusive rates on gym memberships at EnergyOne Gyms. More info at safra.sg/energyone-gym/promotions
Q: What do you like most about these activities?
Honestly other than keeping fit, it’s the sweat that comes down from the neck that gives me a rush! Every time my shirt is sweaty, and I am stinky out of the gym – YES! It was a very good workout! The sweat coming down from your neck, the pump after, the buzz in your legs after a long run, and the aches the next day after gym workouts… those are the most awesome feelings and I crave that. If I don’t have that, I am usually angry and grumpy at home kekeke.
Q: Do you often share your active lifestyle with your family?
All the time! I have been training my son for National Service since he was like 3 or 4 years old, as well as golf, cycling, and going for mountain bike races! He has been going for mountain bike races since he was 4 years old – on 2 wheels!
As I mentioned, on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, I would run 7km, my wife will walk 3km and I will meet her on the way back (from my 7km run) and walk another 1km together back home. My son would run with my dog and meet me to pass the dog to me to walk it home, as he continues his run. So everyone gets to exercise, even my dog! It’s a family thing!
Get your young champions started on fitness activities and have fun cycling! SAFRA members enjoy discounted rates for kids cycling lessons conducted at SAFRA Jurong. More info at safra.sg/whats-on/cycling
Q: Where are your favourite spots to exercise?
Anywhere and everywhere! We went on a trip to New Zealand, I was running almost everyday, and I also played 2 weeks of golf there. Australia, I went to Bondi, it was cold but what a fantastic morning run there. When I was staying in Malaysia for 8 years, I used to run almost everyday in the trail. I would pass by 3 waterfalls! Absolutely spectacular! So really it can be anywhere and everywhere!
I stay in Punggol now and I love running on the PCN, on the ridge bridge, watching the sunrise in the morning, and checking out the wild boars and the monkeys. But the monkeys were irritating because they chased me! I love animals and all, but these monkeys scare me.
Q: You previously suffered from an acute stroke and have even been a stroke ambassador for a year. How has your lifestyle changed since that incident?
Life has changed since the stroke. When I first got the stroke I still didn’t feel like I was a sick person. I would exercise normally and carry the same weights, but that wasn’t good. So now I carry lighter weights, do less intense workouts and not push it too hard. I still run, but sometimes when the body tells me that today I should rest in, I will listen to the body and just rest in so as to not push too hard.
But I will still exercise – I have to exercise! Stroke has not stopped me from exercising, even asthma, I feel like the more I exercise the better I get. The doctor said that one of the reasons that got me better from stroke is probably because of my exercise. If I didn’t exercise, the stroke would have been worse. So I am going to keep exercising till I can’t anymore!
Q: Can you share with us some tips on keeping a healthy lifestyle?
A lot of people would say exercise regularly, eat healthy food, wear proper shoes & have the proper equipment…. Which is all good. But if you ask me, the big tip is YOU!
You motivate yourself, telling your brain – You got to do it! You got to get up and do it! If your brain is not healthy or disciplined enough to get up to do these exercises, that is not going to happen. So the best tip to exercise / keeping a healthy lifestyle, is to tell yourself – Let’s go! Let’s do it! Let’s eat the right food! Done deal!
If you have a family, I want to exercise and live long enough to be with my family. That’s it!
Q: We understand that you’ve completed an astonishing 4 marathons and 3 triathlons so far. Can you share with us what made you take part in these events and what goes into preparing for them?
Being an athlete, runner, cyclist, and swimmer, obviously I like to put it together and test myself. So when I was young, with the mindset that I just got to do it, I just went for it and did a 42.195km.
Like when you run, you will set goals for yourself right? So these were goals that I set for myself – to do marathons, triathlons, and to climb up Mount Kinabalu (not once but 3,4 times!).
This year I might want to do a 21km, not sure if I want to do a 42km, because you will really need to train for it and dedicate time to do so. With my new show POWER CRUISIN’ with Carmen & Rod, I am not sure if I can commit the time to train for a 42km.
Q: If you could only choose one activity from jogging, cycling, and golfing, which activity are you most passionate about and why?
I can’t choose! It is like asking someone to choose who his /her favourite child is. I can’t choose, I love them all with a PASSION. I would go to Malaysia myself, play golf and drive back like twice a week. Whenever I travel, the first thing I will pack, are my running shoes, and I would run by myself when I am there. I love cycling & mountain biking too, I have 12 bikes – mountain bikes, folding bikes, racer bikes… I really can’t pick one! Sorry!
SAFRA members enjoy Buy 2 Service Packages & Get 1 Service Package FREE (U.P. ranges between $30 – $60 (subject to bike model)) at Bike Stop SAFRA Punggol. More info at safra.sg/promotions/buy-2-service-packages-get-1-free
Q: Lastly, what kind of activity/sport would you recommend to someone who’s looking to lead an active lifestyle?
This is a tricky question. It sounds like an easy question but is not. Recommending an activity / sport really depends on what the person likes, what gets him/her motivated, what pushes and makes him/her enjoy the process, as well as the aches & pains after. If there is a sport that they love and enjoy suffering from the aches & pains that comes with it – JUST DO IT!
Join Rod Monteiro with co-host Carmen on POWER CRUISIN’, weekdays from 4pm – 8pm on POWER 98 LOVE SONGS
Follow Rod on Instagram: @power98rodmonteiro
Photos were provided by Rod and taken from his Instagram with permission.