Quaran-time Qs with Linora Low: All the health and fitness tips you need during MCO
Giving you the Low-down
BURO. HANGOUTS LIVE
For the whole month of April, we'll be curating a series of IG Live sessions on @buromalaysia with tastemakers, influencers and rightful experts in various industries.
Our purpose: To make staying at home, isolation and social distancing just a bit easier, as well as connecting all Malaysians riding out the current MCO. We'll share meaningful—and important—conversations and entertain with creative challenges.
Missed the episode with Linora Low? Fret not cos you can watch it now on our IGTV. We've also transcribed some of the key questions she answered below.
Tips for people working out at home.
"I understand that times are hard but if you could, my first piece of advice would be to find a coach who can oversee your form and teach you what to look out for—which muscles you should be activating. Get a small package or something like that.
"If you can't afford it, then find some tutorials online—there are so many on YouTube. Just make sure you vet through the channel or coach that's teaching it. They need to explain things well and sound like they know what they're talking about. They should be showing you the targeted muscle groups as well.
"Once you do either of that, just make sure you stay active at home. Don't stay idle. Walk around the house!"
Is it better to workout with or without shoes in the house?
"No, it’s not necessary to wear shoes though I do recommend people to work out inside the house only if your floor is the hard, marble type. Most importantly, get a mat.
But what if you're doing jumping jacks?
"Be careful if you’re doing any jumping movements because the impact would be a lot harder on the joints. So, yes, in that sense, shoes would actually help. But if you’re a beginner, I wouldn’t recommend high impact routines—anything that involves jumping is high impact. For those starting out, your priority should be looking at your form and keeping it to low impact for the time being. It's not necessary to jump unless you're an actual athlete for a particular sport that requires explosive movement."
Is there such a thing as working out too much?
"That depends on the intensity of the workout. Rather than jumping, for example, you can increase the intensity by adding more reps and tension in the muscles, which makes the workout more efficient. Here's a tip: When doing a squat, have your toes "grip" the floor or mat. Do 20 squats but with a slow tempo—you'll feel the tension and the difference immediately. Do it continuously and it'll add more stress to the muscle while building up your mind-muscle as well. Think of it this way: The next time you go out and have to carry heavier things, your mind-muscle is already trained to know you can carry it."
Encouraging your parents/older folks to stay active at home.
"The older you get, the more you need to be moving because it keeps your joints nice and fluid; make your muscles stay healthy (for your joints), and generally feel good all over.
"If you’re seated down for the whole day—and if you take a brain scan—the scan wouldn’t show much colour at all. The minute you start moving—just a 20-minute walk—you’ll see changes in the brain waves immediately. So, yes, any kind of movement is beneficial.
Just start by getting your parents to do some stretches or any slow movements. That way, they can start getting certain muscles that they usually don’t work on to start moving."
Tips for the rest of us who are often sitting down, looking at our compter or phone screens the whole day.
"1) Get up every 30 minutes—set an alarm—and walk around to avoid staying in that slouch position all day. This helps to open up your chest area, which is the opposite position of a slouched back
2) If you’re feeling stiff, keep twisting your waist to alleviate lower back pain
3) Do upper body activations. I have a Youtube video featuring my favourite upper body activations and warm-ups—those drills are enough to give you a really good back workout and stretch out the chest area
4) Stretch out periodically neck—look to the right, left, up and down."
What's the best way to boost our immune systems?
"There are so many. At the moment, I'm taking vitamin C, amping up on green powders (like spirulina), turmeric and even reishi powder.
"Also—this, I learnt from my friend who's a doctor at the KL Sky Clinic—since we're mostly inside, take vitamin B for that extra boost of energy; as well as vitamin D since we're not getting a lot of it from the sun. Watch your calcium intake as well as vitamin D, K and calcium all work hand-in-hand.
"That being said, boosting your immunity isn't just about the food you eat but also your sleep quality and digestive system. There is no one way. Sleep is the number one thing when it comes to your immunity though. If your sleep quality is bad, your immune system will go down at the same time because your body is stressed up. So, during this MCO, try to destress as much as you can."
What would you recommend for people finding trouble with sleeping though?
"Unfortunately, sleep is something that you have to put effort in. There is no magic pill and I would never recommend anyone to take a sleeping pill. I do think that certain supplements help; it could calm you down but it's no magic pill.
"So, for example, the one I take is magnesium. Find a good one that is bioavailable. There are so many out there but the ones I mostly talk about is: magnesium glycinate, magnesium chloride and magnesium malate. Glycinate is the easiest to find online. Even applying magnesium topically on your feet would greatly help sleep. When I can't sleep, I just spray magnesium on my feet and then I'd konk out. Alternatively, you can look for magnesium oil; or flakes (which you can then add to hot water and soak your feet in it). I've tried getting my supply from Magnesium Elementz, they're a local supplier.
"Here's a fun fact: Magnesium has over 300 functions in the body. It actually helps with a lot of things that we don't realise. It's one mineral I would highly recommend because we don't get a lot of it in our daily food intake and magnesium can be used up really quickly in our body."
With so much uncertainty due to MCO and the pandemic, can you share some tips for those going through a tough time, dealing with the anxiety or stress?
"1) This is a great time to pray to whoever you believe in
2) Write down your thoughts. It helps me process a lot of things better
3) Speak to family members. Right now, communication is really key. We’re not like Will Smith in I Am Legend. We’re not meant to be like that. We’re meant to communicate with people, as much as we can. Play games!
4) Cook. Do things that you don’t usually get to do because now is the time for you to chill and focus on breathing.
5) Breathing really helps if you’re having anxiety issues or worries at night
6) Don’t read the news to a degree. It brings a different kind of worry. Be updated, but don’t perpetually be finding out what’s happening everywhere. If you’re going to read, read something positive and motivating. Read the Bible, read a verse, read anything that gives you comfort!
But the main one is to speak to someone. The biggest monster, when it comes to pressure, anxiety, and mental stuff, is the voices you have in your own head so express them out."
Don't forget to check out the rest of our BURO. Hangouts: Live episodes here.