How To Get Fit During The MCO
For the year 2020, we were blasted with many new acronyms – COVID, MCO, WFH and the list goes on. And if you’re well aware of what’s happening around the pandemic, you’ll know it is more important than ever that we start taking care of our health and bodies. The data has shown that people with Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) are the biggest victims to this virus.
Well, that’s the bad news, but for the good news, all of them also have another thing in common; most, if not all of them (NCDs) can be prevented if we adopt exercise and healthy living! The WHO has advised healthy adults to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day and an hour for the younger ones. (1)
Now as exercise professionals, we know that this is tough to do to – even more so during a pandemic, that’s why for 2021, we wrote this article to help you with this goal – especially if you are a beginner!
Here Are 5 Ways To Begin Your Exercise Journey During A Pandemic:
This is definitely one of the ways that anyone can do, simply because it is free nowadays! You can get plenty of information from YouTube or even just by simple Google searches to answer all your questions. Read articles that go in depth so you can get reliable answers, just make sure you are getting them from trusted sources. A good rule of thumb is look at scientific references that are credible when you are reading them. It’s usually at the bottom. The downside of this method is, you need very high discipline levels and it probably takes the most effort as you need to have your own trials and errors before you get your desired results.
2. Get A Workout Buddy
This is a very good way to push yourself and you can keep each other accountable. You can get your spouse, siblings, housemate or even a friend to be your workout partner. Make a schedule that the both of you would commit to and check-in with each other 15 minutes before each session. You can even make use of video calls nowadays to make it fun if you are not living together. Here are two bonus tips because you are awesome:
- Sign a contract with each other about your commitment – as funny as it sounds, research(2) has shown that this actually works! Send us a message if you want a sample contract.
- Make a wager with your buddy – e.g. anyone who skips a workout has to put RM5.oo into a fund. Get creative and make sure to follow it strictly!
3. Get Online Training
Well, this is pretty much similar with the first one except you get to skip the trials and errors – which is a huge understatement. Getting an online coach to check on you and tell you what to do will save you a lot of time, effort and money (from the trials and errors) and get you the results you want quicker and safer. Here’s what you can expect from a online training:
- Exercise selection
- Customized program (it’s not as easy as you think)
- Weekly conference calls check-in
- Nutrition advice
- Video technique correction
- Online support
Of course the list above will differ from coaches to coaches and obviously the pricing too but as the saying goes, “You get what you pay for” so pick wisely. We will sneakily slide in ours in the illustration as shown below.
4. Virtual 1-on-1 Personal Training
You might think this is a repeat of no.3 but it’s entirely different. What you can expect from virtual personal training is much more than online training. This is where you get maximum attention from your trainer just like you would in a normal personal training session except it is done over a webcam or a mobile camera. The effort that goes into running a session like this is a lot as it is very personal and customized to your needs.
This is a great option if you are someone who has specific issues or you really need personalized attention. But also do expect these sessions to cost as much as actual personal training sessions as they are in fact work that requires similar effort, expertise and time from the service providers. (some even claim it is tougher due to certain factors like focus, creativity and latency).
5. Buy Some Exercise Equipment
You might be skeptical with this way as we all have that one friend who bought a ten thousand dollar treadmill but never uses it. Well we hope you don’t have a treadmill lying at home for years but if you do, now’s the time to use it!
If you don’t, good news, you don’t have to fork out thousands of dollars for exercise. Treadmills are great if you want to improve your running but if you just want to get healthy, a treadmill is unnecessary. Honestly, we don’t even think it’s that good of an equipment but don’t quote us on it, get the treadmill if you want to, it’s better than nothing! And if you don’t, here are some cheaper alternatives that can give you amazing results:
- Resistant bands (our favourite)
- Yoga Mats
- TRX/Suspension trainers
- Glute loops (it’s trending these days – and for pretty good reasons too)
- Running shoes (you are still allowed to jog during the MCO)
- Foam rollers
- Skipping ropes
The list above are items that you can get below RM100 if you know where to search and they are all useful for their own benefits and reasons. So just pick one and start exercising! And if you don’t know how to, go back to number 1 search for the equipment of your choice.
There you have it, you now have 5 different ways to start living an active lifestyle so choose the best one for you and start today! Don’t use this MCO as an excuse to skip exercising, but instead use it as an opportunity to begin your fitness journey. Stay safe and keep moving.
(1) “NCDs & COVID-19” https://www.paho.org/en/ncds-and-covid-19
(2) Dishman, Rod K. “Increasing and maintaining exercise and physical activity.” Behavior Therapy 22.3 (1991): 345-378.