How to Stay Active During Quarantine


Illustrated by Luka Steele.

   Although numerous aspects of life have changed, health and fitness does not need to fall to the wayside. In fact, maintaining your fitness can help you cope with stress. National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer Tiffany Driskell, a senior at CSU, commented, “I think everyone has a little more anxiety because we don’t know what’s going to be happening, and exercise releases endorphins… Right now we need those endorphins more than ever.”

   Here are a few tips for how to stay active during quarantine:   


Create a Routine

   Although numerous aspects of life have changed, scheduling your workout at a specific time every day will help add some stability to your day. CPT Driskell acknowledged that every person has something different that works for them, but “the morning is my favorite time to workout because then I don’t worry about it for the rest of the day… and then you’re feeling great the rest of the day.”

   You may also want to give yourself something to look forward to after your workout. In The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg came to the conclusion that rewarding yourself after completing a desired behavior reinforces that behavior. You can apply this to your fitness goals by treating yourself after your workout. This treat can be anything from a long shower to a FaceTime call with your best friend. You could reward yourself with a cookie, but depending on the fitness goals you’ve set, eating a cookie after every workout may not be as beneficial.

Illustration by Luka Steele.

Find a Buddy

   Finding a workout buddy can make the workout not only more fun, but can also encourage you to hold one another accountable. If you already had a gym buddy, you can still video chat with them and workout together. You can also do this with several friends. Ask around your residence as well. You may be able to use your daily workout as a way to bond with a family member or roommate.


Use Body Weight Exercises

   For people without access to workout equipment, body weight exercises are a viable way of maintaining and strengthening muscles. This includes any kind of movement that utilizes the weight of your own body, including push-ups, reverse lunges, and squats. Body weight exercises are very versatile and can be done anywhere.


Get Creative with Household Objects

  If you would like to work with some weight, water or laundry detergent jugs can be used as kettlebells, or try moving some furniture around your house with appropriate deadlifting form. Put something heavy in a bookbag; it has handles, and you can make it as heavy as the combined items you fit in it. Broomsticks may not be heavy, but you can use them to work on form if you do not own a barbell.


Search for Workouts Online

   If you prefer to have someone leading a workout, there are several resources online. Several fitness apps, including Nike, are offering free live workouts since several gyms are closed. These live workouts are similar to attending classes at the gym because oftentimes you’ll be able to see the instructor and other class members. CPT Driskell said, “I think live workouts are sometimes better for me because the motivation is right there.”

   YouTube is also a great way to find new workouts. Look up yoga flows, dance routines, core workout, or any other kind of activity that may interest you.


Work on a Skill

   Working on a skill can help you work toward your fitness goals. CPT Driskell has recently been looking up jump rope tricks on YouTube and challenging herself to learn them. “It’s like I’m working out, but it’s also something that I can improve at because it’s a skill.”

   Through choosing an active skill to work on and setting progressive goals, you can learn something new during the pandemic while releasing post-workout endorphins.


Distract Yourself

   Several treadmills and other cardio machines are equipped with a screen so that users can watch a television show or listen to music. This allows you to focus on something other than the discomfort of your workout. CPT Driskell commented, “Distracting yourself while you’re working out is helpful. Podcasts are my best friend.”

   These distractions can come in several forms. You can watch a YouTube video, listen to music, or even get creative during a movie. Look up a workout that goes along with a movie, or get inventive and create one yourself. For example, if you’re watching Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, do 25 push-ups every time Hagrid says, “I shouldn’t have said that.”


Go for a Walk

   Walking is a very simple yet effective way to stay active. It boosts your heart rate a little, and you get the added benefit of soaking in some vitamin D. Going for a walk can also allow you to have a short, mentally healthy break from those you are quarantined with. You can clear your head and enjoy the beauties of nature while positively impacting your health.

   Several hiking trails are still open as well, but be careful to maintain social distancing and avoid narrow trails that may cause you to pass too close to someone.