When it comes to exercise, you can divide people into two categories: spenders and non-spenders.
The first decides he wants to get fit and applies to the World Bank for a US$100 billion loan so he can buy vast amounts of equipment, a gym membership, designer sports shoes and hi-tech clothing.
The second just strips off his clothes and jogs out of the house.
My banker friend Sze Sze Tan, a Singaporean, is the first. I am the second.
Last weekend Sze Sze and I met for a morning jog along the coastline near my apartment.
Noticing the sun rising, I stripped to my ancient shorts (Jurassic era), singlet (Mesozoic era) and shoes (pre-Cambrian era), and stepped outside.
Sze Sze turned up in a taxi in a brand new skin-tight aerodynamic suit. He looked like a Marvel superhero, if you can imagine a small, bald, Singaporean banker Marvel superhero. (No, I can't either).
His costume had strange stripes which went from the outsides of his hips to the insides of his knees. I wondered if I should tell him that he had his "knickers in a twist". He explained: "These lines on my running gear follow the line of the iliotibial band, which are muscle fibers."
We set off, jogging along the coast. The two of us ran at the same pace, so I guess the hi-tech suit didn't make much difference.
Half an hour later, I estimated we were halfway along the route. He replied: "Actually, we've travelled 4.9 kilometers." He explained he was carrying a global positioning device which sent a pulse to a satellite and continuously recalculated how far we'd gone.
After another 15 minutes, I noticed he had something under his shirt. He flicked it up to reveal (above his chiseled stomach muscles) a device which measured his heartbeat. "It tells me that at the fastest point of the run, the slope we just did, I reached 99 per cent of my recommended heart rate," he said.
I didn't explain that I have a simpler way of finding out when I over-tax my heart. I drop dead.
We continued to pound the track until we reached our destination, a distant beach.
Coming to a halt, Sze Sze checked his over-sized wrist monitor. "We ran 9.8 kilometers in one hour, six minutes," he said. He clicked through a series of graphs on the screen. "That's my heart rate. That's my running speed. That's our distance. That's my cadence, or running rhythm. That's my average stride length. That's our elevation. And that's my score on the running index."
The machinery he was wearing, he explained, would send the data to his home computer which would analyze it for him.
On the way back, a woman jogger approached me. She pointed to her wrist monitor and said: "I can't work out how to make this thing tell me the time."
I looked at how far the sun had risen. "It's about eight-thirty," I said.
Then she noticed that my wrists were bare. "Where IS your watch, anyway?"
I pointed to the sun. "I keep it in the sky, where everyone can see it," I said. "It's lo-tech, but it works."