While Netflix and other streaming platforms have limitless films and TV series to last you through the country’s partial lockdown, there are only so many of them we can binge on at one go, before your body starts aching from being a couch potato, and you start longing for the world beyond the four walls you are subjected to during the Movement Control Order (MCO).

Besides being entertained by musicians hosting one-off acoustic concerts in their living rooms, TV hosts conducting their talk shows in their jammies, and actors reciting Shakespeare’s Sonnets in their favourite chairs – here are five organisations out there helping you get up and at them, and doing the things you have been putting off even before the pandemic happened.

Oh, and did we mention they are free?


1. (Finally) start a workout regimen with Nike
Meet your new quarantine workout buddy, the Nike NTC app

Don’t let the partial lockdown be a new excuse for you to start working out, especially during a time when staying healthy is crucial to combating the Coronavirus out there. The Star has suggested that increasing your lung capacity will help a ton in preventing the spread of the virus.

“Exercising regularly can help you to slowly and steadily take in more oxygen,” the reporter mentions in the article. “The lungs are responsible for the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide that keep the brain, heart, and other parts of the body healthy.”

The Nike NTC app is available to download for iOS and Android devices

The Nike Training Club (NTC) is the perfect place for you to try out any form of exercises available on its app. NTC features an archive of over 185 free workouts that keeps expanding every month, led by Nike’s Master Trainers. These workouts include sessions ranging from 15 minutes to one-hour long, and regimens for all fitness levels.

Complementing these NTC workouts is Nike’s podcast Trained, featuring inspirational talks from industry experts to help you train better, as well as keep up to date with the latest technology and insights that are impacting the training world.


2. Learn to Cook with London’s Borough Market
Borough Market, London

While many have folded up their sleeves and cooked up sumptuous meals at home (as seen on many Instastory feeds), it’s time to up your game for the second week of the MCO. And where better to get tips on cooking and baking from one of London’s largest and oldest wholesale and retail market, Borough Market?

Two weeks ago, Borough Market started the Borough Market Community on Facebook to share cooking recipes via live demonstrations, as well as tips on what pantry essentials you should have in your kitchen. These are updated regularly on the Facebook group page, as well as on its Instagram, where more live stream takeovers and recipes are available.


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Besides Borough Market, you can always find more mouthwatering recipes from your favourite foolproof chef celebrities, such as Jamie Oliver, who has just launched yet another TV series called Keep Cooking and Carry On.

While full episodes are not available for viewers outside of the UK, he does post up nuggets of them on his Instagram from time to time, like this snippet for whipping up a hearty bowl of minestrone soup.


3. Watch Theatre Performances with National Theatre

For a while now, National Theatre has been doing theatre enthusiasts around the world a solid, by screening selected world-class theatre performances at various cinemas and art centres around the globe; none yet in Malaysia though, we still have to fork out travelling expenses to get to the next nearest venue, which is the Esplanade – Theatres by the Bay in Singapore.


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Its National Theatre Live series has given viewers a chance to catch these showcases – albeit mere screenings not unlike watching a movie at the cinemas – without flying halfway across the world to see them live.

This groundbreaking initiative has broadcasted theatre performances such as King Lear (which starred Ian McKellan), Arthur Miller’s All My Sons (Bill Pullman and Sally Field), Skylight (Bill Nighy and Carey Mulligan), and the acclaimed Hamlet production (Benedict Cumberbatch).

A few days ago, National Theatre upped its game, when it announced its National Theatre at Home series, which will begin its “virtual screening” this Thursday. The series will feature four theatre performances: One Man, Two Guvnors (2011), which has bagged the lead James Corden a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play in 2012; Sally Cookson’s adaptation of Charlotte Bronte’s 19th century gothic novel Jane Eyre (2014); Treasure Island, Byrony Lavery’s 2014 stage adaptation of the beloved classic by Robert Louis Stevenson; and a modernised twist of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night (2017) with theatre thespian Tamsin Greig as Malvolia.

These full-length plays will go live every Thursday on National Theatre’s YouTube channel, at 2PM (Malaysia time), and will remain on the platform for one week.


4. Study Something New with Coursera

Founded in 2012 by Professor Daphne Koller and Professor Andrew Ng of Stanford’s computer science faculty, Coursera has been offering online courses, Specialisations, certificates and degrees from 200 renowned universities and companies – Duke University, Imperial College London, Stanford, IBM, Google and more – to more than 49 million people and 2,300 businesses around the world.

During the Covid-19 crisis, with many stuck at home with plenty of time to spend, Coursera has recently made a selection of courses free to anyone out there with a thirst for knowledge.

Coursera, sera; which course will it be, will it be?

From free online courses for high school and college students; for working adults looking for career developments; and for those who would like to know a little more about mental health and well-being, and public health – Coursera’s got you covered.

Not only that, Coursera also hosts collections of educational and informative courses to nurture new interests and hobbies to do with gaming, journalism, literature and art, even neurobiology!


5. Travel the World with AirPano
Around the world in 80 minutes – with AirPano

In case you are starting to forget how the rest of the world looks like beyond your apartment, AirPano’s extensive archives of the world will get you sorted. Founded by Oleg Gaponyuk and former founder Andrey Zubetz in 2006, AirPano has thus far documented more than 4,000 panoramas and close to 150 360° videos of places around the world, with a new virtual tour of somewhere significant every week.

The masterpieces are widely used by renowned companies like Google, Microsoft, Samsung and Starbucks, with commissions from Moscow’s Kremlin, the Kronotsky Nature Reserve and other museums and nature reserves around the world.

So, take time to immerse yourself in the rowdy Carnival of Venice, or climb every mountain in the French Alps; spend winter in Russia, and summertime in the Carribeans within an hour; light up your screen with the Northern Lights in Iceland and the city lights in downtown Manhattan.

Who knows – after the pandemic is over and done with, you may already have an idea on where to visit in the world, thanks to AirPano.


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