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How to Stay Active While Social Distancing

Small hand weights can make at-home workouts more effective. Photo: rawpixel.com

Since GHSA officially cancelled spring sports April 2, students may be tempted to abandon their fitness goals and resort to binge-watching Netflix shows. Although watching TV series and movies is always a good way to relax and escape boredom, it’s important to continue exercising to stay mentally and physically healthy.

According to the New York Times, Dr. Russell G. Buhr, a pulmonologist at U.C.L.A. Health, explained that “trying to preserve some sense of normalcy is really important for people’s well-being.” In addition to maintaining normalcy, the American Heart Association recommends that adults engage in at least 150 minutes of exercise per week to prevent negative effects on one’s physical health. 

It is not necessary to have a full home gym with special equipment to stay active while social distancing. It can take as little as 20 minutes to get a full workout done, which will promote both better sleep and healthier immune function. If possible, Dr. Buhr recommends getting out of the house and going for a walk. “As long as the public health practitioners haven’t suggested a total lockdown, as long as you’re able to maintain a reasonable amount of distance and you’re being good about hand hygiene, and especially if you’re staying completely home if you’re having any signs of illness, then getting outside for a walk is good,” he said. “It clears your mind, and it keeps you active.” 

If a walk or run outside is not possible, there are still easy ways to get one’s heart rate up every day. For example, the free app FitOn suggests workouts based on the equipment one has access to (even if that is no equipment) and it allows users to set weekly goals in order to hold them accountable. Furthermore, there is a social aspect of the app that lets users workout with friends – it’s a way to be social while social distancing.

Even without downloading an app, there are a plethora of YouTubers who post workouts that require little equipment or skill. Some examples are Blogilates, Popsugar Fitness and FitnessBlender. 

Some spring sports teams are staying fit by keeping connected during social distancing. Junior Reily Hamilton explains how the girls varsity lacrosse team is staying motivated. “Coach Ayers sends us daily exercises and gives us incentives to exercise by breaking us into teams and offering prizes,” she said. “The whole lacrosse team has also joined the Iron Knight challenge to compete with the whole upper school for even bigger prizes.”

The Iron Knight challenge began April 4 and is a competition within the Upper School for who can consistently complete daily workouts. Even for those who did not sign up in time, students can contact the Strength and Conditioning department for access to the daily workouts that students are doing. 


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