Standing graceful at the
pinnacle of the Malaysian
entertainment scene is
Maya Karin – acclaimed
actress, musician, TV host,
brand ambassador and
Known for her award-winning role as the restless, vengeful vampire in Pontianak Harum Sundal Malam, the German-born Maya Karin started her career as a TV host, releasing her debut album “Erti Cinta” (Definition of Love) in 2002 before transitioning into film. To date, Maya has starred in over 20 movies, as well theatre performances and musicals, while keeping busy on the music front with her 2014 release, “Teka-Teki”.
One of Maya’s achievements includes her MayaLovesNature campaign, an environmentally conscious programme that has raised awareness of 22,000 school children in Malaysia on the excessive use and waste of plastic bags. As an active supporter of the Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) and World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Maya practises what she preaches by composting her organic waste at home and planting it in her garden.
When it comes to health, Maya knows she’s 100 per cent in charge. She takes great care and effort to work hard to maintain her slender body and her health.
Her healthy habits include regular workouts in the gym, drinking plenty of water daily and going vegan on certain days. In addition to all that, she finds the time to practise yoga.
Warner Music Malaysia invited InfoMed to speak with Maya Karin on personal healthcare. She is a good Malaysian role model for all, especially the younger generation who needs greater awareness on healthcare and the importance of taking charge of one’s own health.
When did you decide to play a more active role in your health and fitness, and what prompted that decision?
My parents actually decided for my siblings and I by making sure we had healthy eating habits and exercise! It’s great because I grew up out of the city with lots of cycling and climbing trees. I was always good at sports in school and naturally athletic, participating in hockey, swimming, tennis, basketball and all kinds exercise. It became a habit, and even after finishing school, I was always moving.
Maya Karin: You’ve got to take care of your body. It’s as simple as that, but not many people do it. That’s sad, and it’s got to change.
InfoMed: What’s healthcare to you?
InfoMed: The celebrity life doesn’t generally leave you with a lot of time, and it must be challenging to meet all your obligations. How do you manage it and still find time to stay healthy?
Maya Karin: Celebrity or not, everyone’s busy with something. You’re working two jobs with five kids, or you’re in a constant photo shoot, and it feels like you’re always occupied. But the truth is, to be healthy you don’t have to be at the gym six hours a day. All you need is a little exercise of 20 minutes every day, or even if it’s just once a week, it’s something. A little commitment, that’s it, and it can be done. You just have to make time.
Maya Karin: Personally, my family doesn’t. It’s hard when you don’t actually have a base; we used to move around a lot. That said, you should be managing your own healthcare history. You know yourself best.
InfoMed: Do you have a family doctor who knows your healthcare history and manages your healthcare?
InfoMed: Malaysia is now number one in this region for obesity. How can celebrities play an important role to create awareness on good healthcare and habits to circumvent this serious health issue?
Maya Karin: We definitely need to highlight this issue more. People need to know that this is a problem and it can kill you because of all the diseases obesity makes you vulnerable to. There are quite a few campaigns already but it’d be nice to see the ministry come up with a focused campaign by engaging local personalities.
Maya Karin: Number one is definitely regular exercise. Just find a regular time and make a habit of it, it’s not hard. I also drink lot of water and stay away
from sugary drinks. Soft drinks are a definite no-no, and I even limit my caffeine intake, keeping the coffee and teas to a minimum. Thirdly, is eating my greens! I actually love eating ulam (raw vegetable Malay salad) so it’s enjoyable for me.
InfoMed: What are your three most important healthy habits?
InfoMed: How often do you take vegetarian food and do you have specific preferences?
Maya Karin: It’s sporadic, because for me, the most important thing is variety and balance. I like to make sure I get all my food groups – variety is the spice of life!
Maya Karin: I actually dabbled in yoga about 10 years ago but I’ve only gotten more disciplined about it four years ago – though I have to admit, I’ve been slaking a little in the past year! My dad is always telling me how your body gets stiffer and less flexible when you get older, and yoga does a good job of keeping you limber, which means less accidents too. Oh, and definitely being able to find a peace of mind for at least two minutes!
InfoMed: Yoga is as much about the mind as it is about the body. How long have you been practising and what changes about yourself have you experienced?
InfoMed: What does your calendar as a social activist for the environment look like?
Maya Karin: The little things like advocating recycling and composting are things I make into habits, and posting about it helps raise awareness (Maya posts regularly on her Twitter account, @maya_karin to her 1.07 million followers). I’m also an ambassador or the Ministry of Energy, Green Technology & Water (KeTTHA) and am right now involved in a campaign for electric cars. We’re looking at bringing this alternative method of transport to the public as well as increasing the charging stations around Kuala Lumpur. The idea is to advocate renewable energy; if you keep the earth healthy, you keep you body healthy. I mean, it’s the circle of life! If you pollute the land and the waters, and you eat the produce from that, you’re only poisoning yourself.
Credits: InfoMed ( Malaysia )