How to keep yourself healthy during MCO

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IT’S the second day of the Movement Control Order (MCO) and Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin went on air last night to plead with everyone to #juststayathome to #flattenthecurve and cut new Covid-19 infections.

We owe it to everyone - from the medical fraternity who are working full force, to ourselves and our families and to communities who live with compromised immunity-- to do our part in bringing down the number of infections.

So your spinning classes are cancelled and parks are off-limit for your morning runs, but there are ways to keep yourself physically and mentally healthy without having to venture out of your house.


Use this time to throw out things that are useless and pack those that can be donated after the MCO is over. Research is clear on this - spring cleaning is good for mental health. Author Regina Leeds, who wrote One Year to An Organised Life says cleaning up creates in the physical world, the pattern of how we think and experience the world.

"Your clutter is what's going on inside of you." So clean your house and your mind of the things that’s been surrounding you and enjoy that clearer space and head.


Sure, restaurants are open and Grabfood and Foodpanda riders are available to deliver your meals, but since you are eating-in anyway, fix your meals yourselves.

One of the ways to lose weight is to cook your own food. This way, you know exactly your portion and the ingredients that go into them, giving you more control over what you consume for the next 13 days. Do this diligently and plan your meals well and you may even drop one size when this period is over.


Whether it’s dance, zumba, HIIT or Tabata, workout videos help you exercise within the confines of your home. High intensity interval training, for example, helps with strength at a time when you cannot develop cardiovascular fitness by running outdoors or cycling. But don’t forget the cardinal rule of exercise - warm up before you start and warm down after.


When you go out to get your provisions, make sure you stock up on nutritious, not easy food. Instead of instant noodles and chips, put more fruit and vegetables into your cart. Since you are going to be home most of the time, you will end up eating what’s on your food shelf and refrigerator, so keep them stocked with healthy options like nuts or low-sugar granola. And always practise portion control.

Remember to stock up on healthy food. Picture: Designed by Freepik.
Remember to stock up on healthy food. Picture: Designed by Freepik.

We are all guilty of sleep deprivation so use this period to give yourself much-needed sleep. Medical website Webmd says adults need between 7-9 hours of sleep every night. If you don’t sleep enough, you will accumulate what experts call “sleep debt”. Continuous sleep debt may result in feelings of depression and weight gain. Use the next 13 days to adjust your circadian rhythm so you are healthier.

Originally published by Syida Lizta Amirul Ihsan -NST on March 19, 2020


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