Staying Healthy While Being Stuck Indoors

Kimleng Kit

Many of us are forced to stay at home, and much of our activities are interrupted by the quarantined. Some people, myself included, completely forgot about our physical health due to how easy it is to have a “lazy day” at home. Online learning makes it extremely convenient for students to attend classes from the comfort of their home and even from the comfort of their bed. I was guilty of that. Nonetheless, I’ve been challenging myself to get up and move around this week. When I tried to be more physically active, I discovered that some everyday activities somehow became so troublesome. The “everyday activities” that I’m talking about are as simple as getting up early for class or even just getting out of bed to go out for a walk. I’m sure some students actually continue their routine before the quarantine. Some students are doing sports. To that, I say this article is specifically for people who found themselves sitting in bed all day, doing their schoolwork, and scrolling through their phones.

I’ve seen a lot of teachers putting a huge amount of emphasis on mental health. Believe it or not, your mental and emotional health is linked to your physical health. So the next time you’re feeling stressed, maybe it’s a calling for you to go out for a walk. I know you’ve heard this from many people, especially your health or gym teacher. I promise you it will help at least a little bit. There’s a logical reason why they kept telling you that. In addition to that, exercise helps maintain a healthy immune system. Staying active is very important, especially when there’s an outbreak of a virus that specifically targets people with weak immune systems. 

Regular exercise influences the body to release endorphins, the body’s natural painkilling, boosting pleasure. This neurochemical responds explicitly to stress, which is why keeping your body active is so crucial. It also momentarily distracts your mind from the thoughts that can negatively impact your emotions. Exercise can ultimately improve your mental health as well as your physical well-being. 

Before the pandemic, students had to walk from one class to the next, which was a great way to keep them active. Now we no longer have to walk to our classes. So, what can you do to stay active while keeping your distance from people? That’s a good question. Gyms in Lowell are opened, but not all of us have the extra cash for a gym membership. Maybe you do, but how about the transportation to get there? Here is a list of simple exercises you can do at home. 

  • Squatting 
    • It can be done inside your room, and it doesn’t take up much space. 
    • While doing squats, the distance between your feet should be the same as the distance between your shoulder-width. Keep your back straight and make sure your heels touch the ground throughout the exercise. Bend your knees as close to 90 degrees as you can while maintaining your form and then standing back up.
    • This exercise helps improve your posture, which is great for students who spend most of their time sitting during their online classes.
    • There are different squats variations that you can do to diversify your exercise routine, but this is the simplest form of squat. 
  • Pushups
    • There are different levels of pushups based on people’s strength, so you can slowly build your muscles until you can successfully do a full push up.
    • The most effective form of the pushup is to get on the floor, using your legs and arms to support yourself. Position your hands a little wider than your shoulder distance. Extend your body in a straight line and balance yourself on your hands and toes. Make sure your back is straight, meaning do not arch your back. While maintaining the form, slowly bend your elbows, so it forms a 90-degree angle then push yourself back up.
    • This exercise works on your body’s different muscles, including the abdominals, triceps, and biceps. 
  • Jogging/Running/Walking
    • It doesn’t require you to go outside. You can jog around your bedroom or your house. Especially since it’s winter, it is more convenient to jog indoors. It can be as simple as jogging from the living room to the kitchen. My aunt, who is 67 years old, keeps herself active by pacing around the house because she couldn’t be bothered to go to the gym. This exercise is very possible to do inside the house.
    • This helps improve your cardiovascular health by exercising your health. When you first start out, your heart will start rapidly beating. Eventually, as you get fitter, your heartbeat will start to slow down quickly after exercising.

These are the very basic exercises that you can do indoors. There are other forms of physical activities that can help improve your fitness. If you’re looking for another activity that doesn’t require as much physical movement, you should try yoga. It pairs really well with relaxing your mind and enhancing people’s ability to control their emotions and thoughts. There are various yoga forms on the internet that you can search for. Looking for a mental exercise? Meditation is an amazing way to clear your mind and explore your emotions. Just make sure you free up some time in your schedule to sit down and meditate. The year is ending, and Christmas is coming up. I hope you can try to stay active to maintain your physical and mental fitness. Let’s end the year with peace of mind and great health.