What happens when an average Malaysian learns to live healthy

Zaliha says the 50Keluarga Sihat programme has shown her that the benefits of exercising and living a healthier lifestyle. — Pictures by Shafwan Zaidon
Zaliha says the 50Keluarga Sihat programme has shown her that the benefits of exercising and living a healthier lifestyle. — Pictures by Shafwan Zaidon

PETALING JAYA, Jan 12 — Zaliha Abdul Rahim is your average homemaker in Malaysia.

The 57-year-old cooks and spends time with her children daily while balancing household chores such as grocery shopping and cleaning the house.

There was however something she was not too sure about – living a healthy lifestyle.

“I’ve never done any exercises in my life but I’ve started to pick up this habit. 

“I’ve also started to know the benefits of exercising and living a healthier lifestyle,” she said.

Zaliha is part of the 50Keluarga Sihat programme by #Sihat105, a joint effort a joint effort between Universiti Malaya (UM) medical faculty, volunteers of Petaling Jaya MP Maria Chin Abdullah and Taman Medan health clinic.

The programme involves 50 families from Block A, B and C of the Taman Medan Cahaya Flats.

Among the activities they have had are bootcamps every Sunday, Zumba classes every Tuesday and Thursday and health-related talks and campaigns in the area.

There are health coaches consisting of fresh medical graduates, volunteers from non-governmental organisations, Maria’s group of volunteers and professional coaches.

The coaches are guided from the Taman Medan health clinic doctors, professors from various fields of expertise from the UM medical and dental faculties and professional coaches.

“It’s been quite an enjoyable period because I’ve learned a lot of new things along the way.

“Previously I’d have just sat down at home and watch television, but these days I’m exercising and learning about healthy with my friends here.

“It’s better than doing nothing at home,” Zaliha said.

Zaliha has taken part in the Zumba classes and she confessed that she is starting to feel healthier.

“I’ve lost weight and assessed myself during a few medical check-ups. I feel like I’ve improved.”

Suhaimi has started to share with his friends and family the importance of exercising and dieting.
Suhaimi has started to share with his friends and family the importance of exercising and dieting.

Another resident Suhaimi Baba, 60, said the programme was beneficial as it could ensure a healthier future generation.

“We are part of the 50 families selected and we are the example for them (the next generation).”

On his own, Suhaimi has also spread the word on healthy living.

“Whenever I hang out at the coffee shop with my friends, some who were not selected to be part of this programme, I stress on the importance of living a healthier life.

“It leads to a better life alongside lesser unwanted medical conditions,” he said.

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