How to stay physically active during quarantine

Many people enjoy walking around their neighborhood to get exercise. With the weather improving, this is a great way to enjoy the outdoors, while still getting your heart rate up. Photo by Tracy Bender.

It can be hard to find motivation to start exercising, especially during a global pandemic, when you’re ordered to stay inside and self quarantine. There are many things you can do to stay in shape during a difficult time like this, despite parks, fields and gyms being closed currently. As an athlete myself, it’s tough when I’m not allowed to play basketball at Clinton Park or punt at the Franklin field. To stay fit, I’ve been doing the workouts that my weight training teacher Mr. Jaynes has assigned me, running, walking my dog a lot, working out on my own, and punting into the kicking and punting net that I recently set up in my backyard. Some things you can do to stay active during quarantine include lifting weights, working out on your own by doing push-ups, squats, planks, lunges, sit-ups, and other core exercises. You can also run, walk, and even do gardening to stay active.

According to Franklin health and weight training teacher, David Jaynes, there are many ways to stay active even though we aren’t living a normal lifestyle right now. Jaynes walks his dog three miles every day to get some fresh air and to get out of the house. He also lifts weights at home, goes on his treadmill and does a Peloton class, which is a workout on a treadmill to stay active. “I get out no matter what. I don’t make excuses, I just do it,” said Jaynes. According to Jaynes, the best workout app is instagram, because there are so many at-home workouts that people post online that are easy to do. Some examples of people that post workouts include Ben Bruno (@benbrunotraining) and Kelsey Heenan (@thedailykelsey). Jaynes says that he is encouraging his weight training students to improve their physical and mental health in quarantine by exercising, which can be achieved many different ways. 

According to Mr. Jaynes, the best ways to stay physically active during quarantine are: “Finding those movements that are simple. Whether that be squats, or rear foot elevated split squats, and just doing those body weight wise, enough volume that you’re feeling it in your legs. The other way to do it is to find objects around your house that allow you to add resistance. Whether that be a backpack full of books and squatting, and doing movements and push ups with those to add resistance is a great way.”

Franklin students are also finding creative ways to stay fit. Franklin junior, Hawk Baxter is a varsity center midfielder for Franklin soccer, and a track sprinter and hurdler. He has been staying active by participating in his dad’s online workout class. “We do lots of small soccer touches and then body weight exercises such as push-ups and sit-ups, as well as going on runs on my own around the neighborhood.” Baxter explained how his exercise routine is different during quarantine: “I don’t have access to goals to work on shooting but I have found other alternative ways to stay active and fit, as well as focusing on my nutrition just as much as physical exercise to stay in shape and healthy.”

Nando Magallanes is also a Franklin athlete: he’s a junior football running back, defensive back, and kick/punt returner, in addition to being a track sprinter. Magallanes, along with many other athletes globally, is trying to make the most out of his time during quarantine. “I’ve been able to get some workouts in at my house with a pull up bar and dip bar. Also there’s a field by my house I go to all the time to get some field work in.” Magallanes used to lift more weights because he had access to a gym, but now he’s focusing a lot on plyometrics (jump and interval training) and body weight workouts to do what he can during the pandemic. 

Although many people don’t have a lot of resources at home, there are still many things you can do to stay active during quarantine. As Mr. Jaynes said, you can always use things around your house as resistance to workout with, including putting books in a backpack and squatting while wearing it, or putting it on your back while you’re doing a plank or push-ups. It’s very important to exercise during quarantine, not just if you’re an athlete, as it not only improves your physical health, but also your mental fitness too.

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