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How to stay in shape during quarantine


Now that the majority of the United States, including Illinois, is under quarantine, many restaurants, jobs, gyms, cinemas, and stores are closed down due to the pandemic, and most of us are inside our homes 24/7. A lot of people are finding it hard to stay productive. Many use this time to sit around, sleep, or snack on unhealthy foods. However, it is important to keep your mind and body occupied during these times.

First, it is important to check up on your health during this period of quarantine. One big component of your health includes your physical health. When we are stuck inside our homes, you may find it hard to do any physical activity. As of now, we don’t know how long this quarantine will last, so one cannot remain sedentary for extended periods of time. 

Here are some ways to stay active and in shape during the quarantine. For those of you who already have gym equipment at home, you are in luck! Use these to your advantage. Whether it involves running on a treadmill for thirty minutes to an hour daily or lifting weights to tone your muscles, any form of physical activity is essential. Working out for at least thirty minutes every day is recommended for youth and adults. Make sure to keep the equipment disinfected and clean, especially if multiple people in your home are putting the equipment to use.

For those of you who don’t have any gym equipment at your home, don’t fret. With a simple internet connection, you have access to millions of videos, guides, and apps online designated for at-home workouts. The majority of these won’t require any gym equipment. With the search bar, it is easier to target specific types of workouts you’re looking for, such as HIIT, cardio, low intensity, muscle building, or toning. Even further, you can navigate it down to specific body parts you’re looking to work on, such as your abdominals or legs. If you have a smart TV at home, you can play YouTube videos on the big screen to follow along. However, a simple smartphone will suffice. Something to note is that not all apps or videos online are free, but because of the quarantine, many companies are giving out free videos and trials. Some popular YouTube channels to check out are Chloe Ting, POPSUGAR Fitness, and Pamela Reif. You will find tons of effective, quick, and beginner-friendly workouts under their channels! 

If you are not a very active person, you can try meditation, yoga, or going out for a simple walk outside! If you have a dog, try taking them out for a walk one to two times a day. Everyone needs some fresh air. Since this pandemic has brought a lot of stress in our lives, meditation and yoga are effective ways to relieve that tension and stretch. They do not require high-intensity activity, so this is suitable for people who are not too active. Down Dog is one of the best yoga apps for mobile phones, and they made the app completely free through May 1st, as well as free for students, teachers, and healthcare professionals through July 1st. 

In order for these workouts to actually work, you need to watch what you eat. When we are bored, we tend to eat even though we aren’t hungry. To prevent this, keep yourself occupied. If you find yourself looking for snacks in the pantry or checking your fridge often, you might not be hungry, just bored or thirsty. Try drinking some water and keeping yourself busy to prevent binge eating. If you want to snack on some things, try switching out crackers and chips for carrots, celery, nuts, or smart popcorn.

You are still free to go outside, so playing sports in your backyard, going to a park or forest to run or walk, or simply taking some fresh air, is highly encouraged. Just make sure to choose isolated areas and contact should be limited to those who you are already in quarantine with. 

Although it is very frustrating to be in quarantine, all this free time could be put to good use. Working out and staying active is one way to release stress, get in shape, and feel better about yourself. Don’t miss out on the thousands of free resources and videos online that anyone could follow along, beginners or not.

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