Let’s face it, quarantine has been hard on all of us. COVID-19 brought our sense of normalcy to a halt — No more eating out the way we used to, no more social events, no more going to the office or school. So, how are we to maintain an active lifestyle (and stay sane) while cooped up in our homes?
Before the pandemic made its way to North America, I was a dedicated gym-goer. It was my peaceful place that allowed me to unwind and step away from my busy life. When my gym closed, I lost that peaceful place and I needed to find a new one. I realized that my peaceful place didn’t need to be a physical location, rather, it was a “place” I went in my mind while moving or exercising that filled me with a sense of purpose. It was a mental escape. Luckily, I found some ways to mentally escape during self-isolation and I am going to share them with you.
Now, depending on where you are in the world, regulations may be different. Hence, I have come up with some methods of keeping an active lifstyle that will work just about anywhere.
1. Go For a Walk
As long as you are wearing a mask and staying at least 6 feet apart from other people, walks are a great way to enjoy some fresh air while exercising. Since many people stay inside all day, walking is a great way to get a change of scenery during isolation. It can be a simple walk around your neighborhood, or you can drive to a good trail or park. Walking also allows you to reconnect with the Earth. While many things may seem unstable right now, it is reassuring to see that nature remains stable. It also helps you gain a sense of mental clarity which is extremely important during this chaotic period.
Have a work call? Consider taking it while walking around the block. Have a dog? Take them for a walk or play fetch with them. Have kids? Take the whole family for a post-dinner walk to digest and spend some quality time together. Need some “you time”? Pop in some headphones and listen to your favorite podcast, playlist, or audiobook (you can even meditate while walking using an app like Headspace).
2. Do Housework
We all have some sort of housework that we have been putting off. Being at home all day provides the perfect opportunity to get all that stuff done that you haven’t had the time for. Whether it be gardening, cleaning, organizing, or remodeling, you can keep on your feet while completing a task that will make you feel accomplished. Here are some ideas:
Plant a vegetable garden or some of your favorite flowers
Organize your kitchen pantry or fridge
Clean out your closet and donate the things you don’t wear to Goodwill or Value Village (you could even make some extra cash by selling things on Poshmark or Facebook Marketplace)
Remodel your bedroom by rearranging the furniture
Clean your car
3. YouTube Videos
If you’re looking for something a little more rigorous than walking or housework, this one is for you. I know what you’re thinking — videos are going to help me move? Let me explain. After the coronavirus hit, I heard of many Youtubers starting to post free exercise classes on their channels. Whether it’s cardio, yoga, pilates, or boxing, these were all things people could do at home without equipment. So, I tried it. I laid down a yoga mat in my basement and pressed play on one cardio video I found. I thought it would be pretty easy since, for the most part, I would be staying in place. But, boy was I wrong. By the end of the 30-minute workout, I was drenched in sweat and I’m not someone who sweats easily. I found many different Youtubers, but my personal favorite was Sydney Cummings.
Exercising again helped me regain a sense of routine and comfort. While I wasn’t able to go to the gym anymore, I could still evoke that same feeling the gym gave me. That feeling of withdrawal from the stresses of daily life.
As the Obesity Medicine Association says, physical activity can help you to maintain your mindset during the quarantine. Physical activity doesn’t have to be strenuous or difficult — it just means staying on your feet and moving (aka not binge watching Money Heist all day). It’s a strange and uncertain time for all of us, so it’s important to keep a sense of purpose and fulfillment. Maintaining our physical well-being can help us not only physically, but mentally.
Want an app that can track your movement for you? Check out PlayFitt, the movement app that can track your squats, pushups, stairs, steps, and more! Who knew living a healthier life and building sustainable habits could be so fun?