Dear Mum,

It’s been 6 months now since we last saw you and Dad in Ipoh. The kids and I are doing well. Although, I would be lying if I didn’t say that cabin fever is weighing on all of us. Hubby is always working and he’s been putting on a few kilograms. Don’t tell him I told you. Balancing the kids and work hasn’t been easy too but I never miss their story time before bed like you always did for me. I started to get concerned in March when we ordered new clothes and none of them could fit. I found it harder to sleep at night. True enough, some of my friends were suffering from lockdown insomnia. The last straw was when we began to feel lethargic during the day. We decided it was time to add some exercise to our days. 

It wasn’t easy at first because our apartment was too small. We wanted to participate in keeping everyone safe by not going out when we didn’t need to, so we explored ways to maximise our small apartment space for some indoor sports and activities. You know lah, your grandson has too much energy and he won’t be able to sleep if he doesn’t have enough activity.

1. Indoor Ping Pong

We ordered a Ping Pong net online! We wanted something affordable that wouldn’t take up too much space or be left in the cabinet collecting dust. We turned the dining table into a makeshift ping pong table. The boys (Hubby included) really enjoy the competition. Sometimes he even takes advantage of work from home to play ping pong with the kids. It’s just a net that you attach to any table and you can play a fun match with a few ping pong bats and a ball. Super affordable and fun!

2. Maximising the Furniture

I wanted something to suit my busy schedule of balancing work and kids so I tried a few HIIT exercises. It stands for high-intensity interval training which only takes ten minutes. But since we don’t have much space, I couldn’t do some of the workouts. But I realised that I could use my furniture! I use my chair to do exercises that need a gym bench and also a towel to move back and forth in a plank position. This really makes the workout a lot more fun instead of spending on expensive equipment. Remember the bottles we use to store water? We use them as weights now!

3. A Wall

After a few weeks of this, the Hubby started getting more active again. He wanted to buy gym equipment but until today I remember the treadmill at your house that turned into a clothes rack. So he got creative and started using the plain wall in the living room. He does push ups against the wall and uses it to balance when squatting. He also researched core workouts that help his belly disappear. The other day so scary, I came out of the room and he’s upside down doing handstand push ups.

4. Suspension Trainer

After a lot of coaxing, the kids and the Hubby convinced me to get something to workout with. So after some research, I found a suspension trainer. It’s this cable thing that you can attach to a door to do many different things. It looks something like a seatbelt. After considering how little space we have, the TRX takes up the least amount of space. It doesn’t damage the door like a pull-up bar. We can use it instead of weight lifting and the boys really enjoy monkeying around with it. I’m sending one for you and Dad to try. It’s a great tool for stretching exercises too!

I really hope we get to see you soon. I do hope you are staying safe and eating healthier. We are considering moving to a landed property. I found a few neighbourhoods that are near the highway and that will make it easier to leave the city and visit you.

Let me know if you see something you like! It will be good to be near you if the lockdown persists. You can help us search also on This website has people sharing their thoughts about each neighbourhood so it can help us get insider knowledge! Send my love to Dad. See you soon.

PS: I didn’t get the treadmill.

With love,


(Written by Christian Palencia, 9th September 2021)