ARTS & LEISURE, COVID-19 — March 30, 2020 at 6:29 pm

How to stay active during quarantine

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Despite going into quarantine because of the coronavirus pandemic, students are still finding ways to stay active.
Despite going into quarantine because of the coronavirus pandemic, students are still finding ways to stay active. Photo by Ivy Lam

With concerns about the coronavirus pandemic across the United States, many Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students are exercising and staying active during quarantine in various ways, indoors and outdoors.

“I have stayed active by going on runs and walks around my neighborhood and doing cardio exercises inside my house,” junior Haleigh Grose said. “I think it’s important to stay active during this time because a lot of people turn to food as a source of entertainment and it is likely for some of us to feel unmotivated to leave our homes and stay fit.”

Popular gyms such as LA Fitness, Orange Theory and Planet Fitness have been closed as a precautionary measure during the ongoing outbreak of COVID-19. Since families are requested to stay at home and avoid social interaction, it may be significantly more challenging for individuals to remain physically active indoors. Self-quarantine can increase stress and laziness among students, yet exercise and physical activities can serve as a solution.

“I’m doing outside workouts because I find it to be really pleasing and rewarding when I’m with nature and not couped up in a small space. I’ve used a workout plan which I created to best suit me and what I want to do, if that includes lose weight, gain muscle, or tone out some areas,” junior Isabela Ford said. “My old gym put out workout videos online so I’ve been taking advantage of those. I think body mind coordination is really important, which is why I do yoga to calm my mind so I can focus on what’s important.”

Since Broward County superintendent Robert Runcie announced schools will be closed until May 1st in a news conference on Tuesday, March 31, many students need to find their own ways to remain healthy within the limits of their personal homes and communities. Several are working out at home by utilizing yoga mats, weights and resistance bands. Others are biking, walking, or running in their neighborhoods and parks to support their bodies, while still getting fresh air.

Weights, yoga mats and resistance bands are among the most popular equipment used for at-home exercises.
Weights, yoga mats and resistance bands are among the most popular equipment used for at-home exercises. Photo by Ivy Lam

“I try to run at least four miles everyday with an ab and leg workout to stay strong and not get sore,” sophomore Sophia Torres said. “I use dumbbells and medicine balls with different weights to do different ab workouts, and a resistance band to help build muscle in my thighs.”

Additional ways people can stay active during quarantine can be through online exercise classes, like Youtube, a widely used video sharing platform. Following a workout plan is another great way to consistently stay fit, while even dancing can provide relaxation and freedom to let loose.

“I like going on evening runs as a warm up for a couple of miles then using an online YouTube workout routine,” junior Ciana Steller said. “I personally like fitness YouTubers, like Chloe Ting, who create schedules for their users that range from 2 weeks to over a month and focus on strengthening and toning certain parts of the body.”

Since training for sports at school is no longer achievable, student athletes are forced to preserve their own strength training in preparation for their sports at-home. According to Very Wealth Health, “Doctors recommend that teens age 13 to 18 get at least one hour of moderate to vigorous physical activity most days of the week.” Some fun methods to still gain activity can come from swimming in a pool, playing basketball in the driveway, or taking the dog out for a walk.

The lack of activities and school may lead to lying in bed or binge-watching Netflix or Disney Plus all-day. Furthermore, regular exercise is essential, especially during quarantine. Preventing weight gain, building muscle and boosting moods are pros of everyday movement for maintaining one’s health and fitness. With so much time at hand, students should focus on incorporating daily exercise into their daily schedules and making themselves stronger, mentally and physically.

“I think it’s definitely important to go outside on walks and jogs because staying inside all day can be unhealthy for physical but also mental health,” Steller said. “Staying active in general can be a good way to break up the time during the day as well as motivate yourself to keep improving with fitness goals during quarantine.”

Business Insider suggests to get creative about using household items as fitness tools. The site proposes substituting weights with “a few gallon jugs of water,” as it “can provide some resistance for squats, lunges, shoulder presses, and other movements, along with providing convenient post-workout hydration.”

“I think staying physically active is super important because the healthier you are, the better your quality of life, overall mood, and body language,” Ford said. “Staying active occupies your mind and body and makes you aware of your surroundings and conditions and helps you be able to be strong enough to fight off diseases such as coronavirus.”

Even without having gym equipment at home, the internet and app store holds a variety of workouts for any fitness level. These online streaming services offer numerous videos for working out the desired body parts, common ones including abs, arms and legs. On the other hand, strength training is very important for the immune system for maximum functionality. This can take form in doing pushups, planks, lunges, squats, burpees and much more. “There is substantial evidence that physical activity can help improve academic achievement, including grades and standardized test scores,” the Center for Disease Control and Prevention states. 

“I think it is important to stay active because it gives you something to do during quarantine and it can only do good things to your body,” Torres said. “[Working out] helps you stay in a positive mindset because it gives you something to focus on and it makes you happy to feel good about yourself.”

No matter where you work out, using the resources, tools and materials at home to stay active are smart choices and options. Besides exercise, getting enough sleep, washing your hands regularly and staying hydrated are significant factors in staying healthy.

Assistant Editor-in-Chief | + posts

Ivy Lam is a sophomore at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. She is the Coordinator of Press Releases for DECA, the secretary for HOSA and an Assistant EIC for the Eagle Eye newspaper. In her free time, she enjoys reading, writing and traveling.

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