getting in line Line dancing can help much in active ageing, says Michael Pang, Managing Director of Lifeline Corporation. By Anita Yee
t Ho Photo by: Ealber
s the founder and managing director of a company distributing healthcare products and medical rehabilitation equipment, Mr Michael Pang knows just how important it is to maintain quality of life. For the 60-year-old, it is the simple things in life that bring joy, such as watering the plants or eating breakfast with his wife. Recalling earlier times, Mr Pang, who started Lifeline in 1991, says; “I was out of town for about two weeks every month. I have now halved the travel to trade shows or international sales conferences to 50 to 60 days in a year. ”
A typical day at work for Mr Pang in Singapore includes replying to emails and visiting the company’s retail outlets. He also attends product presentations with his sales managers if his presence is necessary. When not at work, Mr Pang, who has a 33-year-old son, spends time with his grandchildren, aged five and two. The elder one lives with Mr Pang and his wife. During the weekends, he brings his grandchildren to West Coast Park — just a stone’s throw away from his home — where they might fly kites together. They also
cycle round their estate, swim in the pool or watch TV together. “I forget about work when I am with my grandchildren,” he says. “Children are the best ‘stress-relief solution’ for any grandparent.”
Step to it
If you think a senior will not be able to keep up with the high energy of young children, then obviously you haven’t met Mr Pang, who’s also the founding — and current president — of the Country Line Dance Association (Singapore). Mr Pang founded the association 12 years ago. “Line dancing is the best form of low impact exercise. You also get to meet people and make new friends,” he says. He line dances three times a week with each session lasting about three hours. The enthusiast has even roped in his wife to join him at the Singapore Recreation Club on Mondays, and at the Fountain Plaza at Singapore Post headquarters on weekends. “Line dancing is very suitable for keeping the elderly fit,” says Mr Pang. “This activity is not an extreme sport so it does not require much stamina.
Mr Pang (centre) keeps fit and socialises at the same time with line dancing.
You have ample opportunities to rest while waiting for your favourite dance to start.” He is happy to have had a hand in popularising the activity in Singapore, and in Malaysia, where Lifeline Corporation also has retail stores. Mr Pang has also been involved in organising many local and international line dancing events. His most memorable one was for the largest gathering of line dancers in the world, which took place in May 2002. That event, which featured 11,967 participants, actually set a Guinness World Record. He’s an advocate of active ageing, but Mr Pang does not adhere to any particular diet nor does he take supplements. What he subscribes to is “eating right” and by that he means having a balanced meal at the right time. A favourite meal of his is braised duck rice washed down with a hot cup of tea. He hardly snacks. Retirement is not on the cards yet although Mr Pang has pencilled in 2015 as a target date. And what will he do when he eventually retire? “Travelling and line dancing of course,” he quips with a smile.