How Students Can Stay Active in 2020
Written by: Maryam Khan, 2nd Year Health Studies
Staying active may be a challenge for some, especially during a pandemic in 2020. For me, it's a struggle to find the time to work out and encourage myself to continue with healthy habits. I much rather spend my limited free time watching re-runs of Friends, but the effort to stay healthy does count. Working out is more than "staying in shape" or "maintaining weight". Personally, working out is almost a ritual, where I see myself being productive and enjoy being active before I have to return back to my chair for the day! It's important to practice healthy habits based on educational, inspirational, and empowering methods. We especially need to find ambition and time for ourselves, to improve our health habits.
Personalizing routines is beneficial not only because it provides productivity, but also a determined mindset. Since we already have a daily task to accomplish for classes, why don't we establish a routine for our health? We may become robots in the process, but healthier! Scheduling workout sessions or recreational activities helps build a healthy perspective on balanced living. Following an agenda motivates students as they see themselves able to accomplish tasks. Setting out time for activities such as running, kickboxing, or even as simple as walking helps reach optimal health, and then we can munch on some s'mores! Students may have a heavy course load, so even a 10-minute workout routine four times a week does matter and does make a difference. The goal is not how much we sweat, but a genuine devotion to health by staying active based on healthy goals.
Exercise at Sunrise
Another tip for staying active would be starting the day early with an exercise. My cat actually helps me wake up early, as she stands on my chest at 6:00 AM! However, since classes are online, it may not be easy to wake up early, but a low-intensity exercise or yoga can freshen you up whenever your morning starts! Working out in the morning helps with better focus and improves sleep with a regular sleep cycle. We need to have a dependable sleep cycle as hormones are released to regulate our mood, energy, and mental acuity. Especially when students tend to stay in sedentary positions, as they attend Zoom class and study for extended time periods. Being well-rested and starting the day with a positive mindset can ensure a better health outcome and provide the potential to power through the day! If I were you, I'd much rather adopt a pet, than invest in an alarm clock!
Location is Key
For some of us, working out has been an issue in terms of location safety. As gyms were temporarily restricted and now have recently reopened, deciding what's best is based on how comfortable, mindful, and aware an individual is about Covid-19 in their community. Safety has been an element that weighs the options of workout locations for individuals. We can either decide to rejoin our gym and follow health care guidelines or cancel the membership to workout at home or other secluded and safe spaces in public, like a park or an outdoor trail. If you are working-out at an outdoor trail, try not to be chased by geese, it hurts! However, it's not an easy decision, since we should be mindful of our health, the people we live with, and others in our community. For some of us, including myself, we may assume working out alone isn't motivating or enjoyable. So instead, I have been working out my housemates, and I have also been hiking in nearby trails while wearing my mask. It's the effort to find a balance and stay active within your comfort zone while being mindful of health outcomes.
A pandemic is not an opinion to believe in, but rather a fact that many are affected with. Staying healthy and making healthier decisions for oneself and others is a crucial decision now more than ever! Staying active is challenging even under normal circumstances, but as of the 2020 pandemic, we can make the best effort and decisions for our health and those around us. Staying active in 2020 may be a challenge, but it's not impossible!