Students discover new ways to exercise during quarantine

April 17, 2020 — by Justin Guo

Without sports or in-person P.E classes in session, students seek out exercise on their own.

As students have begun to settle in with this new and oftentimes monotonous quarantine lifestyle, the state of exercise has come into question. For both athletes and non-athletes alike, this unprecedented stretch has provided the unique chance to reinvent and sometimes recharge their exercise routines.

An increasing number of students are finding that it's tiring and mind-numbing to sit and stare at screens all day. So many have turned to the simplest of all exercises: jogging or running. Some have access to a home gym, weights or other equipment. Still others have found workout, boxing or yoga videos online and follow them with friends through video calls or at home with their family.

Sophomore Michelle Jiang, who normally exercises through marching band, has started doing yoga and other indoor workout routines. She’s been exercising more during this quarantine than she would have been during school.

“When we had regular school I never had the time to exercise on my own,” Jiang said. “But now I’ve been exercising two to three times a week, and I’m finding it to actually be very enjoyable and relaxing.”

Junior Allison Ha, who has been going on jogs and doing workouts with her sisters, also noted that, relative to the amount of exercise she would be getting during field hockey season, she’s been exercising more during the mandated quarantine.

Other off-season teams and athletes are getting a bit more creative, with some athletes sticking to a strict workout regimen or diet.  On March 30, the coaches for the varsity boys’ basketball team issued a weekly workout competition between the incoming seniors, juniors and sophomores, with varying monetary prizes awarded to the winning grade level. A requirement of at least 120 pushups, 15 minutes of ball handling and a total calorie intake is all included in a daily report to the team’s group chat.

“Adding your own exercises is recommended because at the end of the day, it's a competition between the classes,” said junior guard Tyler Chu. “Overall, I think it’s a good challenge because it motivates us to work out and exercise more during this quarantine.”

On a similar note, most in-season athletes, such as junior distance runner Jessie Zhou, are still trying to stay in shape despite their sports season being canceled.

“Even though I don't really have any races to train for at the moment, I still try to get out and run, since it improves my overall mental health,” Zhou said. “I don’t really do speed workouts anymore because I’m not competing anytime soon, so I generally just run five to seven miles a day at a moderate pace.”

In general, it seems most students are doing something to move around and avoid falling into a completely sedentary lifestyle — be it a short walk or a demanding workout. In times like these, it’s probably for the best.

“I don’t want to sound trite,” Jiang said. “But working out is very important at this time because you want to keep your body strong.”