Shaping Up to Stay In
Although it feels like its only been a few weeks, our last day in MacEwan was Friday the 13 (seems a little suspicious) and our collective quarantine began on March 16 when MacEwan announced classes would transition online. These last eight weeks have been an absolute roller coaster. We’ve had to finish our courses and prepare for finals online, and then some of us have had to prepare for online spring classes too. Outside of class, our lifestyles have also been affected, as we went from extreme quarantine lockdown and isolation in March and April before seeing the fruits of our social distancing success in May as restrictions are being eased and things are re-opening. However, gyms and athletic facilities will remain closed for the foreseeable future, which begs the question, how can we stay healthy, fit and maintain our personal wellbeing while at home?
Staying active at home
With no workout equipment, what can you possibly do at home to stay in shape? Actually, quite a bit. Sure, without weight you won’t become some body builder or pro athlete, but there are activities you can do that will produce a noticeable difference in your physique over time. If you’ve been struggling to find something productive to do this quarantine, getting in shape might be it!
- A great workout circuit for beginners is a simple push-up, sit-up and squat routine. You can start at whatever number of repetitions of each is comfortable for you, 5, 10 15, 20 etc. and the goal is to do this circuit everyday for a month and add one repetition each day. If this is done every day for a month, you will see results.
Ex. Monday: 10 push-ups, 10 sit-ups, 10 squats
Tuesday: 11 push-ups, 11 sit-ups, 11 squats
Wednesday: 12 push-ups, 12 sit-ups, 12 squats
It’s all about increasing the volume of repetitions each day, so if the starting number is very low, that’s okay. It’s also okay to take a day off if you’re sore or busy, but the key for this to be a success is consistently and to increase your effort and rep volume. This should only take a few minutes and can produce results especially if coupled with a good diet.
Reconsider your Drinks
Look I get it, we’re bored, probably don’t have that much to do and want to enjoy some drinks while we quarantine at home. I’m not telling you not to drink, I’m saying watch what you’re drinking. Its no secret that many drinks are loaded with sugar and calories, and from a pure personal fitness standpoint, they’re not doing your summer bod any favors. Avoid sugary drinks like Palm Bays and coolers and consider alternatives like Nude and Nutrl sodas. If you’re a beer person, switch out that Budweiser for a Bud Light or a Michelob Ultra to avoid some of the carbs and calories that are packed in regular beer. Or best yet, mix a classic spirit like Vodka or Gin with some soda or tonic water for a refreshing drink with almost no sugar. Your summertime poolside Instagram pictures will thank you. Don’t forget – please don’t drink and drive and please drink responsibly.
Order smart from food delivery apps
Skip the Dishes might be one of the only business that will come out of this pandemic richer than when they went in, and for good reason; food delivery is a safe and convenient way to get a meal without risking exposure to the virus in public. However, a lot of popular choices and restaurants don’t always serve the healthiest options. Mix this with a general lack of exercise due to the closure of gyms and sports fields, and you have all the ingredients of an unhealthy lifestyle. This is not to say you can’t enjoy a burger or a pizza delivered to your door, but do so in moderation. If it becomes a daily habit it can have negative health and personal fitness consequences. Try ordering a veggie wrap or a chicken and rice bowl if you notice that too much of your food is greasy or deep fried. Or try out a new recipe or preparing your own meals at home. If you can’t afford groceries or aren’t willing to venture into the wild to the grocery store, SAMU’s Pantry is still operating and can provide a hamper full of food options you can use to make a ton of healthy and delicious meals.
Don’t ignore your mental health
If a fortune teller told you last fall that 2020 would unfold to be the absolute gong show it is, with a global health pandemic that brought society to a screeching halt, would you believe them? Probably not. None of us predicted or anticipated this pandemic and the effects it would have on our society, and it’s completely normal to feel anxious and worried. SAMU is still offering the Peer Support service if you feel like you need someone to talk to, Peer Support online chat runs from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. every Tuesday at samu.ca/peersupport, and the distress line can be reached at 780-482-4357 in the event of a crisis or need to speak to somebody immediately. SAMU’s Pantry is also open during the Covid-19 pandemic, and hampers will be distributed twice-a-month until the pandemic subsides. You can submit an online request from at https://samu.ca/programs-services/pantry/ to secure your hamper. There is no income requirement to receive a food hamper, any MacEwan student is eligible to receive one.
COVID may be here for a while, but we are learning to adjust and make the best of it. Maintaining health and fitness can positively contribute to our mental well-being, and in times like this, we must do everything we can to take care of our mental well-being.