Celebrity fitness secrets: Lisa Wong
You’ve covered a huge range of sports for TV – cycling, F1, football – are there any sports you haven’t touched on yet but want to?
Being in this part of South East Asia, we have no chance to experience winter games. I’d be thrilled to cover the winter games, and inform viewers what’s involved in such sports, and of course be spellbound by the picturesque snowy landscapes! There’s so much to be in awe of, in sports such as Alpine skiing and ski jumping. They are magnificent sports to watch, and you think about the bravado of these athletes, attempting incredible feats down dangerous slopes.
On a similar note, have you tried out all the sports that you talk about on TV?
I wish there were opportunities to try all of them, including driving an F1 car! [laughs] The closest I got to it is the splendid experience of being driven by Mika Hakkinen in an F1 car. Anyhow, I do enjoy a few sports myself. I run regularly, and have taken part in a couple of half-marathons and public running events. Occasionally I swim, and when I have the opportunity with friends, I play tennis, badminton and futsal.
If you could only play one sport, what would it be and why?
If I had the chance to excel in one sport, it would be tennis, simply because tennis is such a great all-rounder, both physically and psychologically. I truly appreciate the sport, especially now that I’ve got round to playing it after a series of lessons. I play for leisure but competitive tennis is a highly explosive sport that needs great technical skill, speed, agility, fitness and remarkable mental resilience. I admire Roger Federer for his extraordinary single-handed backhand and forehand, his grace and silent resilience on-court and Rafael Nadal for his speed and agility.
Who are some of your favourite sports personalities?
My national favourites are Datuk Nicol David, Datuk Lee Chong Wei and Azizulhasni Awang. I have enormous respect for Nicol. She’s always stepping up and pushing her performance in a highly competitive sport where every other female squash player is looking to topple her from her number one reign. Her professionalism and dedication to her sport are unparalleled. I guess that’s why she is where she is, a six-time World Champion. And beneath her sporting demeanour, she remains humble and amazingly friendly. It’s unbeknownst to many how much she adores hip hop music and how music propels her preparation before any tournaments. Meeting these high performance athletes has taught me to discipline myself in fitness.
Has it been hard making your way as a female presenter and commentator in such a male-dominated industry?
I have had countless good experiences and very few tough ones, so I do feel blessed in many ways. The people I worked with are very encouraging and willing to teach when you have doubts. Of course, being in television, you’re watched by different viewers. Some pay you compliments, while some come with constructive criticism, and you have to take it all in your stride and work at improving your performance as a presenter. Anyone in this job has to love journalism and broadcasting to prevail.
What are your favourite ways to keep fit in between your shooting schedule?
I run with a mini-bootcamp routine. I’m used to the workouts that use body weight like push-ups, squats etc. In my head, I can hear my Sergeant at Bootcamp screaming, ‘Yes Lisa, you can do it!’. At the end of a 45-minute run and 45-minute body-workout, I’m totally knackered. It’s a great way to burn the stubborn fat and keep toned. When my schedule permits, I go for proper Bootcamp at 7am. I love the ‘grilling method’ employed by Bootcamps.... no pain, no gain right? Otherwise, I gym and play tennis.
What are your biggest weaknesses?
My biggest weaknesses when it comes to food are cheeses, deep fried potato wedges, cookies… need I go on? But generally, if I eat badly for lunch, I’ll balance it out with healthy eating for dinner. Being vegetarian, there’s still plenty of unhealthy options like deep-fried and processed food around that don’t help. Thankfully, I love my greens, and can happily finish a big bowl of salad.
What’s your biggest motivation to keep fit?
I’ve learned that exercise helps with keeping me positive about life. The boost after a workout, after being drenched in sweat is simply awesome. I operate better throughout the day and it helps to keep my energy level up, especially during times when I have tons of activities to keep up with. It’s the best stress-buster, and hey you fit better into clothes too! Emma Chong
Lisa Wong is the co-host of ‘The Breakfast Show', Mon-Fri, 8am on ntv7.