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Health & Wellness

Health & Wellness
Health & Wellness



Mission 2: Promoting a healthy lifestyle


Prevention is better than cure


You have heard this many times, prevention is better than cure. When it comes to prevention, we will have to talk about living a healthy lifestyle to protect ourselves and people around us from COVID-19.


Truth to be told, the pandemic has altered many of our daily routines and contributed to unhealthier lifestyles among a significant proportion of the population due to physical inactivity, unhealthy eating, and sleeping disturbances.


According to Info Sihat, during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021, several critical public health measures were adopted, including lockdowns and limitations of access to public spaces for physical activities. Unfortunately, these measures - although necessary - have had a negative impact on physical activity levels and sedentary behavior, when they were already insufficient among Malaysians.



Thought process behind promoting a healthy lifestyle

Personally, I believe that instead of the advice-giving kind of communication style, a more people-centered, conversational style of communication will elicit better responses because it provokes the thought process behind why one needs to live a healthy lifestyle.


Hence, for Mission 2, I commit to promoting healthy behaviors in my community by initiating conversations regarding the domain of fitness, i.e., physical activity, healthy eating, and emotional well-being.


Fitness domain #1: Why is regular physical activity important?


Regular physical activity is crucial for people of all ages. It can reduce high blood pressure, help manage weight, and reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and various cancers - all conditions that can increase susceptibility to COVID-19.


Regular physical activity can help give our days a routine and can be a way to stay in contact with family and friends. It's also good for our mental health - reducing the risk of depression, cognitive decline, and delaying the onset of dementia, and improving overall well-being.


However, telling people about the importance of engaging in 30-60 minutes of uninterrupted physical activity every day may not result in long-term health behavior change. This actually happened to me. In fact, I disliked being told that I need to exercise or else I will become fat.


Instead, why don't we initiate conversations with people in a way that probes them to think about what they could do for just 5-10 minutes per day to improve their physical activity?


For example, I have been leading a sedentary lifestyle due to the pandemic. What I'm doing now to increase physical activity is that I will park my car at the far end of the office block to increase my daily steps count. I will also take walking breaks once every 2-3 hours. I keep track of my steps count with my smartwatch.


The idea behind getting people to think about what they are willing to do to increase physical activity is to build confidence and capacity, while avoiding injury or a sense of failure or resentment. Thus, a long-term behavior change can be achieved.

Fitness domain #2: What is healthy eating?


Healthy eating is more than just understanding what to eat and what not to eat or what is healthy food and what isn't.


It's also crucial to look into the thought processes associated with eating habits, how to respond to hunger cues properly, etc. Many people have a negative perception about dieting. Hence, a non-diet approach can produce a more long-term eating behavior change while not relying on rigid diet rules or strict weight-reduction diets that seldom work in the long run.


Fitness #3: How is emotional well-being playing a part towards a healthy lifestyle?

It's true that physical activity and healthy eating are often tied to a person's emotional well-being. Many have experienced feelings of anxiety, stress, and unhappiness due to the restrictive pandemic situations.


Even something as sidelined as lack of sleep or perhaps even the loss of positive self-image, self-esteem, and confidence could potentially lead to a less than ideal emotional well-being, which in turn will lead to even lesser physical activity and healthy eating. It's like the chicken-and-egg situation.

Hence, instead of pointing out what the person should or should not be doing, it's best to practice kindness and mindfulness while sharing strategies for coping, such as how to express feelings in a safe environment, talking to someone you can trust, using relaxation methods, and taking time for self-care.


I'm a big fan of incorporating small and incremental changes rather than an "all-or-nothing" approach in terms of promoting a healthy lifestyle.


By setting smaller goals such as walking more steps per day, eating more servings of fruits and vegetables, taking time to do things that I enjoy, I find that I'm a much happier person.

Related posts:

Be A Champion Against COVID-19

Mission 1: Sharing the facts & stop misinformation about COVID-19

Mission 3: Personal responsibility & self-monitoring

Mission 4: Staying mentally healthy during COVID-19

Mission 5: Supporting COVID-19 vaccination

Mission 6: Living with the virus



Mission 1: Share the Facts & Stop Misinformation About COVID-19

COVID-19 Infodemic


According to WHO, infodemic means a flood of information on the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks, and no thanks to technology, social media, and messaging apps, they have created a space for an overabundance of both information and misinformation about COVID-19, the virus, and vaccination.


While technology keeps us connected and updated throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, they have also become an avenue to spread rumors and misinformation. Rumors and misinformation can be dangerous to our health. They can stop us from taking the right action to protect ourselves, lead to harmful practices or make us feel stressed because we don't know what to believe.


So, are we doing enough to address the infodemic that happens in tandem with the COVID-19 pandemic/endemic?



Our mission: Share the facts, stop misinformation!


Informed individuals like you and I have the power to reject misinformation and only share information that is factual and helpful. Here's what we can do before we share or forward information about COVID-19.


Look for facts and evidence


Be critical of the information you receive. Does it seem accurate and draw on scientific research and guidelines? Have you compared the information with trusted sources such as WHO, CDC, and KKM?


Some may comment that these trusted sources are not trustworthy or they are saying things for the benefit of the vaccine companies, etc. If that's your opinion, I won't argue with you because to each its own. However, you need to take accountability for what you believe in. Misinformation may cost someone their life.

Navigating the infodemic: top tips to identify misinformation or disinformation


Choose carefully


Only share, like or forward content from trusted sources as mentioned earlier on. For me, I will always go back to what WHO, CDC, and KKM say. By doing so, I know I will be sharing facts and not rumors and hear-says or conspiracy theories that cause more panic.

Everyone can help to stop the spread. If you see content online that you believe to be false or misleading, you can report it to the hosting social media platform.


Be cautious


Be careful with what you share. Things aren't always what they seem online. Refrain from sharing information if you are unsure how true or untrue it is. Digital footprint can be impossible to erase. Once you share something that becomes viral, people may screenshot it and spread it around. So, if it turns out to be untrue, can you imagine the repercussions? Call me a coward but I don't want to have someone's blood on my hands.


Be a good example


Respectfully correct or talk to people in your social networks who spread rumors or misinformation. For this, I pledge to commit to spreading facts about COVID-19 to keep society happy this week by only quoting information from WHO, KKM, CDC for anything related to COVID-19 on my social media posts.

Related posts:

Be A Champion Against COVID-19

Mission 2: Promoting a healthy lifestyle

Mission 3: Personal responsibility & self-monitoring

 Mission 4: Staying mentally healthy during COVID-19

Mission 5: Supporting COVID-19 vaccination

Mission 6: Living with the virus



Planet LEGOLAND Education Initiative by Legoland Malaysia


Building on Malaysia's key educational tourism destinations, key Malaysian ministries have announced the strengthening of their partnership with LEGOLAND® Malaysia Resort.


To celebrate this momentous occasion, LEGOLAND Malaysia has launched the Planet LEGOLAND Education Initiative which will drive a series of activities encouraging educational field trips and school tours to LEGOLAND Malaysia and Johor.


"With the joint effort of the government and private institutions such as LEGOLAND Malaysia Resort, we hope to reinvigorate tourism activities in Malaysia and subsequently contribute to a faster economic recovery. We have identified strategic locations throughout Malaysia to seek opportunities to help them drive visitations, benefiting the destination and the community around them such as LEGOLAND Malaysia Resort," Datuk Seri Dr. Santhara J.P., Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Malaysia said.



The partnership will draw active involvement and support across federal and state government departments, including the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC), Johor Tourism, Johor State Education Department and Iskandar Puteri.


Why Does Lack of Sleep Cause You to Gain Weight?



Numerous studies have shown that if we get less sleep than we need, our weight tends to increase. According to CDC, 18 to 60 years old adults should aim to get 7 or more hours of sleep each night. In fact, sleeping fewer than the recommended 7 hours each night may increase the risk of weight gain and obesity.

Question is, why? Why does lack of sleep cause weight gain?


Would you agree with me if I say that when we think about managing our weight, diet and exercise are the two key factors that come to mind immediately, right? Yes, eating healthily and exercising regularly will help to keep our weight in check, no doubt.


But did you know that adequate sleep plays an important role too? I didn't know about this matter until recently. To be honest, it's kind of hard to accept until I look into the science behind sleep and weight loss.

What actually happens when we are sleep deprived?


I will talk about two things in this post. First, sleep deprivation slows fat loss and burns muscle. Second, lack of sleep triggers five different hormones that have a direct impact on your weight.



Sleep deprivation slows fat loss and burns muscle




According to The Science of Fitness - Sci-Fit, sleep deprivation will put your body in a catabolic state. This means you may gain fat and lose muscle mass.


Now you may wonder what's the relationship between fat gain and muscle loss.

Here's a very good description explained by Dr. Michael Roizen, MD: "Adding muscle to your body burns fat because, well, muscle needs energy to survive. A pound of muscle uses between 75 and 150 calories a day (remember, it's working and using energy), while a pound of fat only needs 3 calories a day (fat does nothing to help your body, the ingrate, so it doesn't need energy to maintain itself). Maintaining that friendly, fat-burning muscle mass only takes a few minutes—10 minutes, three times a week, to be exact."

This means, when you have lower muscle mass, your body couldn't burn fat effectively. In a nutshell, lack of sleep contributes to muscle loss which leads to harder to lose body fat.



According to the infographic above from, the conclusion as shown by studies is that sleep-deprived people lose more fat-free mass (i.e., muscle and water).


Now let's talk about the hormones.

Lack of sleep triggers five different hormones that have a direct impact on your weight


First, lack of sleep reduces your fat cell's ability to respond to insulin by 30% (less sensitive), which increases blood sugar levels that cause weight gain.



Second, your hunger hormone (ghrelin) goes into overdrive so your desire to eat high calorie food increases.


Third, the hormone that signals fullness (leptin) plunges, resulting in permanent hunger pangs and causing you to overeat.


Fourth, stress hormone (cortisol), surges with lack of sleep, making your body store more fat, especially in the belly.


Fifth, less deep sleep deprives your body of the Human Growth Hormone (HGH), hence decreasing the rate at which your body burns fat.

How to sleep better?

I think for me, it starts with understanding why I should sleep for at least 7 hours. For an night owl like me, it's extremely difficult. However, there are a few things that can be done to start building a healthy sleep habit.


First, avoid large meals, alcohol, caffeine two to three hours before sleep. Second, develop a relaxing night-time routine including avoiding mobile phone and other sources of light that may interrupt your melatonin production. Third, establish a proper sleep environment free from noise and light. Fourth, adhere to a schedule even on weekends because by following a set schedule, you can help regulate your body's clock and stay asleep throughout the night.


Read more


The Science Behind Sleep and Weight Loss
Can lack of sleep cause weight gain?
Is a Lack of Sleep Sabotaging Your Weight Loss?
Does sleep affect weight loss? (Research Review)


Stay informed about COVID-19 vaccination


Stay informed about COVID-19 vaccination


As Malaysia transitions from pandemic to endemic, here's what we can do - collectively and individually - to stay informed about COVID-19 vaccination.


Help your friends, family & community get vaccinated

👉 Learn about COVID-19 vaccines
👉 Listen to people's concerns with empathy
👉 Share your reasons for getting vaccinated


Lead by example - get vaccinated when it's your turn!



Get vaccinated as soon as it's your turn


Get vaccinated as soon as it's your turn to protect yourself from serious COVID-19 disease and death.


Get vaccinated against COVID-19 to protect yourself and others from serious illness, hospitalization, and death.


COVID-19 vaccines provide strong protection against serious illness and death caused by Omicron and Delta.



Keep taking precautions after vaccination


Even after getting vaccinated against COVID-19, keep taking precautions to protect yourself, family and friends.


Infographics are sourced from WHO.


Be A Champion Against COVID-19

 Do you want to be part of the solution to COVID-19 in your community?


Let's join the Ministry of Health Malaysia on a six-week campaign to harness the good in people just like all of us and find solutions to the challenges our community is facing. Be a Champion Against COVID-19 alongside a network of amazing, committed, creative and kind people who want to drive change.


No matter who you are, no matter what you do, you can make a big difference to the world by focusing on the issues on your doorstep.


Six weeks. Six missions.

According to the Info Sihat website, participants will receive exclusive content, identify ways to make a difference, and most importantly, take action via 6 missions over 6 weeks, starting on 11 April 2022.

Missions will cover topics which include ways to share facts on how to prevent COVID-19, promote a healthy lifestyle, conduct self-monitoring, promote vaccine uptake, and to take care of your mental health during COVID-19.


By taking one small action each week, you will realize your own potential to change the world.


What values motivated you to sign up as a Champion Against COVID-19?

Your values describe the kind of person you want to be, how you want to treat yourself, other people and the world around you. You can always try to live your values, even when things feel out of your control (like in a pandemic!). What are your values?


Turn your own values into an action plan


For each value, think of one or two actions you could take that would express it. Over the next few days, see if you can take one or two of these actions.

Champions Against COVID-19 Campaign FAQs


See the FAQs below.


How to sign up?


Registration links:


BM -

Eng -


Related posts:


Mission 1: Share the Facts & Stop Misinformation About COVID-19

 Mission 2: Promoting a healthy lifestyle

Mission 3: Personal responsibility & self-monitoring

Mission 4: Staying mentally healthy during COVID-19

Mission 5: Supporting COVID-19 vaccination

Mission 6: Living with the virus