Erna Mahyuni

Erna tweets too much on @ernamh. Angry Sabah native, slave to her dog/cat and blogs at ernamahyuni.com

JULY 19 — “But it's not that far!” “I'm just being Malaysian mah.”

Thus was the argument I'd have with boyfriends, friends, soon-to-not-be-friends when they would insist on finding the nearest parking spot to the entrance even if it took circling for ages.

Malaysians are just allergic to walking, that's the reality of it.

Yes, it's hot. Yes, sweating copiously is annoying. Yes, air conditioning is brilliant.

And yet at the same time, Malaysians won't stop complaining about traffic jams. I have zero sympathy for that, especially on Fridays.

Look, everyone knows that rush hour traffic on Fridays is always going to be killer so why must you go “Aiyo, why jam ah?” You know why there's a jam, it's because everyone else thinks they're the only ones who need to be on the road.

I worry one day, I'm going to wake up and find I've woken up in Jakarta. That the roads will be snarled in so much traffic that it would be faster to walk along the highways than be inside a car on them.

Because we're such spoiled sods that walking more than 50 metres is, to the average Malaysian, too much trouble. It's partly our faults, this national love of “tak nak susah-susah” (don't want to be inconvenienced) but it's also the problem with immense shortsightedness on the part of developers.

Our Sports Minister has tried to not take car to Parliament ― now, I'd really like to make all our politicians (I don't care what party you are) to try and do the same ― from wherever they're domiciled in the Klang Valley.

Because most of them just don't seem to get how tricky it is to use public transport on a daily basis ― buses that may or may not arrive on time, sidewalks that are too small/used by motorbikes/don't exist at all, taxi drivers driven by desperation or greed into charging ridiculous sums.

I hated the idea of an airconditioned walkway from Pavilion, but now it exists? I'm glad. It means that instead of cars clogging Bukit Bintang to get from KLCC to Pavilion, they can just walk. The walkway is brightly lit, it's cool, it's safe. It wasn't enough to convince my date to walk to KLCC but it was good enough for me.

Still, Malaysians don't move enough. I've been reviewing various health trackers ― from Fitbits to Android Wear to the Apple Watch and they've all been telling me the same thing: I don't move enough. I set super-low fitness goals and you know what? I don't meet them. Not daily, not weekly, not monthly.

I see people my age on various medications, battling diabetes and gout. I'll be 40 next year and I still haven't reached my weight goal, the one I've set for myself the last five years.

My recommendation is everybody get one of those annoying step counting apps, grab a cheap fitness band (Decathlon has some cheap options) and for heaven's sake, start moving.

Move before you get too old, or too fat that you wish you'd moved more when you were younger.

Now that RapidKL has finally embraced TouchNGo I'm calling for cars less, and trying to take the train more. Even if isn't as convenient as it should be, not yet.

But every journey starts with a single step and the more steps you take, the least likely you'll be regretting not taking those steps when you're old.

* This is the personal opinion of the columnist.

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