While your local gym might be out of the question, there are plenty of ways to keep your mind and body in good health during a lockdown, even if you're not a fitness nut.
As a lifelong introvert and gamer, I consider myself a bit of an expert when it comes to staying inside.
While I'm not a health guru or fitness nut, I do want to share some suggestions for staying sane and healthy during a quarantine.
Everyone knows that sleep is important to both our physical and mental health, now more than ever. With added stress for many people right now, it's important make sure you're getting enough sleep to allow your body to stay healthy and your mind to recover.
Consider a sleep tracking device like a FitBit if you'd like to keep an eye on your sleep quality.
Stay physically active
If you're at home more, you might not realize that your usual physical activity has dwindled.
I've found that any amount of activity helps improve my mood. I have days where I feel that I'm in a "slump" that can only be fixed by getting my heart rate up.
Just remember, when it comes to physical activity, something is always better than nothing.
Anything that elavates your heart rate (even a little) is great. Here's some ways that I exercise without ever going to the dreaded gym:
- Playing Beat Saber
- Running up and down the stairs (be careful if you are wearing socks, not that I learned the hard way)
- Pedaling a stationary bike while watching Netflix or playing a mobile game
- Planking while in queue for a game
- Walking around the neighborhood (avoiding other people)
If you're looking to get a more gym-esque experience in your home, but lack the equipment or space, check out /r/bodyweightfitness for routines and exercises at all levels.
Not feeling up to exercise? You can always do some stretches (especially if you're sitting more than usual), try some basic yoga, or meditatative breathing.
There are tons of great resources on the internet for beginners and experts alike - use them!
Stay mentally active
In addition to staying physically active, I've found that exercising my brain helps me to feel like I'm moving forward and not stagnating in front of Netflix (although sometimes that's important too).
Staying mentally active doesn't mean that you need to do something you don't like. Find activities that you do enjoy. Here are some examples:
- Play a puzzle or strategy game you enjoy
- Read a book you've been wanting to read
- Learn or improve at a foreign language you're interested in
- Practice an instrument
Get some fresh air
If you're able and allowed, getting some fresh air (while avoiding others) can work wonders for you both physically and mentally. If you can't go outside, consider cracking a window to let in some fresh air.
First and foremost, make sure you're drinking plenty of water, regardless of your diet. Since we don't get a lot of sun here in Chicago winters (and even less now that we're stuck inside), a lot of us take vitamin D or just a daily multivitamin.
Just because you're stuck inside doesn't mean you need to subsist off of frozen pizzas. Being at home more often gives us the unique opportunity to cook and eat well.
I'm a huge fan of one pot meals, like soups, chilis, and stews. They're fairly easy to cook, healthy, and you can make a huge pot to last for several meals.
If you're new to cooking, consider learning from video recipes vs. trying to decipher traditional text ones.
Here's some helpful cooking-focused channels on Youtube that will help you whip up some amazing grub in no time:
- J. Kenji López-Alt
- America's Test Kitchen
- Cooking with Dog
- Joshua Weissman
- Binging with Babish
- Not Another Cooking Show
- Hilah Cooking
- You Suck at Cooking
- Cheap Lazy Vegan
- Sam the Cooking Guy
- John Kirkwood
Many of these channels also list out their ingredient amounts and more, making it even easier for you to re-create in your kitchen.
Stay socially active
If you're spending more time alone than usual, don't neglect your social needs if you're feeling isolated. Some ideas include:
- Stay in touch with friends and family, even if you can't see them in person
- Use FaceTime or other video apps to chat face-to-face
- Organize an online movie or board game night
- Check out your favorite streams on Twitch and spend time chatting
- Play multiplayer games with friends in Discord
It never hurts to reach out and check on a friend or family member. Ask how you can help, ask for help, or just enjoy playing a game.
Stay strong friends!