Fit tips: how to achieve health and well-being in our new reality

April 22, 2020 — by Anjali Nuggehalli
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Sophomore Grace Hsu doing an ab workout in her backyard

Whether you’re an athlete who trains every day or someone who hasn’t played sports since sixth grade P.E., quarantine is adept at draining any remaining motivation you previously had to stay fit.

Even as a competitive athlete, I can’t say I’ve been completely immune to the appeal of watching TikToks in my room all day, but I’ve found that staying healthy during quarantine is purely dependent on your mindset.

I guarantee that you will be more inclined to exercise if you form a list of what you want to accomplish in a day. By setting aside time to do schoolwork, pursue hobbies and work out, you have a concrete time slot for when you’re planning on getting active.

By making a schedule for yourself, you’re also increasing your productivity in everything you do, whether it’s homework or extracurriculars. With a set routine to get everything done, you’ll have a stronger incentive to put down your phone and start grinding. 

Creating a workout routine is also extremely helpful. By writing down specific body areas you want to target every day, the thought of working out suddenly becomes a lot less daunting.

If you’re looking for great places to start, one of my favorite resources is a YouTube channel called Fitness Blender. They have hundreds of videos that focus on specific muscle groups, ranging from five-minute quad workouts to 50-minute upper body strength training. Their videos vary in intensity — if you’re looking for an ab workout, they have both shorter, modified videos as well as intense six-pack sculpting routines. 

While it may be tempting to throw yourself into high-intensity workouts when you’re just beginning an exercise routine, I recommend starting slowly and building up toward an end goal.

For instance, when I first started running back in 2019, I did only 1 or 2 miles at a time, and over the course of a few months, I now run up to f5 miles regularly.

Along with staying vigilant with a daily workout routine, maintaining a healthy diet is also important to maintaining a well-rounded lifestyle.

It’s hard to find nutritious options when grocery stores are practically cleared out and all that’s remaining in your fridge are 10 frozen pizzas. However, many grocery stores contain food items that can last for long periods of time and are easy to store.

For example, as a vegetarian, I always keep cans of beans in my pantry for protein; these are delicious both when prepared alone or prepared in a wheat tortilla for more sustenance. 

Similarly, I’ve found that baking my own desserts is not only enjoyable, but also a step-up from buying junk food at the store. I recently made carrot cake cupcakes using ingredients that most people have in their kitchens — flour, cinnamon, sugar and some carrots. I was surprised to see my creation turn out to be delicious and much healthier than any boxed cupcakes I’d ever eaten before. 

Besides desserts, I’ve been spending time in quarantine experimenting with making homemade minestrone soup, mushroom pasta and vegetable pizza from scratch.

In my daily life, I’m by no means a health guru who tries new exercise videos every day and makes homemade food. However, because of the shelter-in-place order, I’ve been forced out of my comfort zone of finding exercise in sports and nutrition in the lettuce at Chipotle. 

While it’s hard to adjust to an alternate version of a “healthy lifestyle,” it’s completely worth it. Not only will you maintain your strength during a time where staying healthy is critical, but you’ll walk out of quarantine feeling like the best version of yourself. 

 

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