How to Stay Active and Fit During Quarantine
Health Fitness Active Quarantine
While the idea of staying home and avoiding traffic seemed like a great luxury at first, at this point, quarantine appears to be a never ending nightmare. With growing concerns over the spread of COVID-19, social distancing has been enforced. One of the major downsides of distancing has been the shutdown of all gyms. Without a designated place to get motivated and break a sweat, curling up in your bed and turning on hours of Netflix can appear to be the best option. And while there are thousands of great television shows and movies, making sure to stay active is important.
Regular exercise is an essential part of supporting your body’s immune system functionality. On top of that, regular exercise prevents weight gain and boosts your mood. During a time like this, having a release is important. Exercise is one of the best ways to get out frustrations in a healthy manner.
With orders to stay indoors, many people have wondered how to stay fit. Although it may be hard to focus on working out with a global pandemic running rampant, physical fitness could be just the distraction you were looking for. Below are some great ideas and resources you can use to help reach or maintain your fitness goals.
At this point, there are thousands of YouTube videos out there that you can use to help stay in shape. Fitness means different things to different people and you should keep that in mind when performing your searches. If you’re someone that wants to use this time to work on your flexibility and overall mobility, type keywords like “at home stretching routine” and see what pops up. If you’re a beginner, add the word “beginner” to your search.
For a person who is looking to build muscle without the presence of heavy equipment, try using keywords like, “full body workout with no equipment.” Because there are so many fitness YouTubers using that platform, many have created videos dedicated to workouts one can do without needing to go to a gym.
One of the main aims of staying active is to avoid sedentary activities. A research study performed by Hong Kong Polytechnic University found that just one additional hour of prolonged sitting resulted in decreased immune system activity in young males.
With an unending playlist of videos, YouTube will keep you occupied for a very long time.
It’s common knowledge that many people snack when they are bored and have nothing to do. Add on the additional factor of stress and you may find yourself going through bags of food at a record pace. A vehicle for nourishment, food can also be incredibly destructive.
No matter which grocery store you use, they are all similarly configured. When making your way through the store, avoid the main aisles. Fresh fruits and vegetables are located on the periphery and although perishable, nothing is healthier. Grab as much as you need to last the week.
When it comes to snacks, avoiding ones with high amounts of sodium and sugar is crucial. As tasty as potato chips are, they provide zero nutritional value. Instead of going to the aisles filled with junk food and stocking up, try some alternatives like:
- Crunchmaster Multi-seed Chips
- KIND Protein Bars
- Unsalted pretzels
- Quaker Rice Cakes
- Coconut Chips
- Saffron Road Crunchy ChickPeas
If you want to be as efficient as possible, look up healthy snack options online. Most companies have nutrition facts posted on their website meaning that you do not have to waste time reading labels while in the grocery store.
Once you’ve bought your food, it’s important to make sure to not overeat. When you’re at home watching movies all day, it can become tempting to get up and walk to the kitchen a dozen times.
A great method of self-control is to take out the amount of food you wish to consume beforehand and then place the rest inside of a hard to reach cabinet. If you really struggle with self-control and live with a significant other or roommate, have them hide your stash while you lock yourself in the bathroom.
What you put into your body will have a direct impact on how efficient it is during workouts and fighting against disease.
When you’re home all day, it can be very easy to begin a workout routine, click the pause button, promise that you’ll get back to it, and take a nap instead. There are several phone apps out there that can help keep you accountable. One of the very best is Leap Step Counter. Incredibly user friendly, this app has built-in step sensors that do not use GPS to track your steps. Without using GPS, your battery lasts that much longer. The app makes use of simple yet effective graphic representations of your walking distance.
If you’re up for a challenge, you can also set goals for how much you want to walk in a specific amount of time. By gamifying your exercise experience, it adds an extra incentive to not only meet your goals but exceed them.
If you’re looking for other step tracking apps you can try:
- Google Fit
Often neglected, sleep is a major aspect of staying fit. Studies have shown that irregular sleep patterns have a positive correlation with weight gain. Because many people are working from home, their natural routine of going to bed and waking up at a specific time has now been replaced by less orderly schedules. Although tempting, try sticking to your normal routines. It’s ok to sleep in a few times but if it becomes a regular occurrence, your body will be out of balance.
In other words, if you do not get the right and recommended amount of sleep, you’re only doing harm to yourself.
Proper sleep gives your body time to recover, repair and build muscle, and conserve energy that was expelled during the day. If you do not get enough quality sleep, you won’t be able to achieve your fitness goals because your body isn’t functioning at capacity.
One of the biggest drawbacks of traditional workouts (like running or swimming) is that it feels like you’re working out. Even if you’re running down the most majestic path, the repetitive motion of having one leg move in front of the next is uneventful. One of the best workouts that also teaches you a skill is dance. The great thing about dance is that there are so many different styles to choose from and plenty of content on the internet to draw inspiration.
If you’re stuck indoors with your significant other, ballroom dancing is a great way to burn some calories while setting the mood. Due to the popularity of dance shows, several professional dancers have come up with their own virtual dance lessons that fans at any level can follow along to. For anyone who has seen “Dancing with the Stars”, there is always that one contestant who begins their journey a little out of shape and by the finale is the fittest they have ever been.
Hip Hop Dance is another great way of burning calories. Using every muscle of the body, a 30 minute lesson will leave you sweating bullets. Although already mentioned, YouTube is a great resource to find Hip Hop dance classes. Type in the words, “hip hop dance tutorial” and you’ll find several results. Just make sure to be careful if you have a downstairs neighbor. While they may like the music, the constant banging of your feet on their roof will not be taken kindly.
Staying active is incredibly important for not only yourself but your loved ones. For those who have children or live with a roommate, encourage each other to walk around during commercial breaks. If you’re watching Netflix or have Hulu+, pause the episode during the halfway mark and go for a walk around the apartment or home. It may not seem like much but keeping your body in motion adds up.
If you do have children, you can engage them by playing games such as:
- Hide and Seek
- Indoor baseball (Remember to use a rolled up sock as the ball)
- Balance Beam
Use your imagination and you’ll be surprised what incredible indoor games you can come up with.
Quarantine has been a very interesting time for all of us. Although no one was ready for Coronavirus to hit, it does not signal the complete destruction of your routine. Although not exhaustive, the above list is a great jumping off point. Making sure to combine a healthy, balanced diet with consistent exercise will keep you in tip top shape.