In the effort to try and flatten the COVID-19 curve, staying at home as much as possible has been strongly encouraged all across the country.
One unexpected consequence of staying at home is what’s been termed “the quarantine 15.” It’s a tongue-in-cheek play on “the freshman 15,” a reference to weight often gained by college students who have just left home. In this case, being stuck at home seems to have a similar effect on some people’s weight and overall fitness; the former goes up as the latter goes down.
You could blame this on no longer having easy access to your nearby gym. But you don’t have to just settle for it. With a little creativity, you can still get exercise and stay healthy, even when you’re stuck at home.
Turn a Corner of Your Home into a Gym
If you have the option of transforming a part of the garage, a spare room, or other part of your home into a dedicated workout space, that’s great. But if not, you could still have the opportunity to temporarily “borrow” space for exercise.
Really, anywhere that has enough floor space to accommodate your body in a variety of positions can be made into a workout space. The living room can be particularly ideal in that it’s often the biggest room, and so allows you greater range of motion. And you can follow along with an exercise routine on the TV. Or you can borrow a bedroom to work out when you want a little more privacy.
Experiment with Healthy Cooking
In-between supporting your local restaurants with the occasional take-out or delivery, take this time at home to try new things in the kitchen. That is, try new things with healthy ingredients.
Plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables are readily available this time of year, at grocery stores and farmers markets or stands. Not to mention organic eggs, dairy products, fresh seafood, and so on. With a little extra time on your hands at home, you could try out your culinary chops and experiment with new flavors and ingredients you don’t typically use.
This can also be a great opportunity to get the whole family involved. Spend some quality time together while creating a new family meal.
Find a Way to “Get Away”
Being in quarantine can easily lead to a feeling of being trapped. This can have a crushing effect on your emotional and mental state, but only if you let it. It’s important to provide yourself with some kind of escape to keep yourself from going stir crazy.
This escape can be literal. As long as you’re prepared to practice adequate social distancing, you can get out of the house, at least for a little while. You can get in the car and go for a long drive. Find a quiet hiking trail somewhere and get some fresh air.
Or, the escape can be just in your own mind. Turn off the news, and give yourself a break from social media for a while. Read that book you’ve always been meaning to. Try painting or some other creative hobby. Use the same space where you work out as a place where you can meditate.
Sure, the temptation when stuck at home is to lay on the couch and binge-watch a show while eating junk food. But that doesn’t have to be your new way of life. If you’re staying at home to stay healthy, then you should also try to be healthy in the meantime.