With the current coronavirus pandemic, students are being told to stay home, shelter in-place and try their best to learn from home.
However, not only has the COVID-19 situation taken away regular school life, but the coronavirus has cancelled spring sports and stopped PE class at Uni, times in the day where students get in a big chunk of their daily exercise.
The day before Spring Break, which marked the last day where students would be in-class for the foreseeable future, and in preparation for the COVID-19 setbacks, PE teachers set requirements for Uni students to complete at least 150 minutes of exercise that must be logged by the end of each week by 5 p.m. Sunday for PE credit.
This requirement means that students must find ways to exercise while at home.
With the luxuries of getting more sleep, having a more open schedule and free time, and being able to listen to lectures from the comfort of one’s own home, it may be hard to be productive during this time, especially regarding exercise.
However, with this requirement, students are finding their own creative and unique ways to stay active and really just stay moving during the shelter in-place.
Here are some ways that Uni students have been able to stay moving and simply get off the couch.
One simple but extremely common way for many students to achieve their daily exercise during quarantine is going on runs or jogs.
Going on a run or jog can be done basically anywhere, whether that be on the sidewalks in the neighborhood or trails around where people live.
Going out for a run or a jog allows for great cardio sessions and can be done for any period of time or distance depending on whatever the personal goal or objective is.
Some Uni students incorporate a run into their daily workouts as a warm-up to their main workout.
On the other hand, some students try to do a set amount of miles a day or week to keep them active.
Sophomore XC and Track runner Henry Laufenberg says that he runs everyday and accumulates between 50 to 65 miles weekly.
Laufenberg says this incorporates a sense of normality to his daily routine and still fills in for part of his regular school life as he would be doing this for track if the season had not been cancelled due to COVID-19.
“Getting outside to run [has] been important for me because it’s not only something I enjoy doing, but it’s also something that I would be doing after school every day anyway with track, so it’s kept at least one aspect of my life normal,” Laufenberg said.
Some student-athletes like Laufenberg also mention the prospect of being prepared for next season.
Danbi Choi, Junior XC and Track runner, speaks about how she wants to end off well for her last seasons as a high-school athlete next year.
“I’m a junior and I want to go into my senior XC/Track season strong,” Choi said. Choi also speaks on how she feels her training impacts her team too.
“I also think a huge part of it [my training] is [for] the team,” Choi said.
“A lot of XC is team-based so every runner counts a lot so especially because we’re losing some good seniors this year, I want to improve to make up that gap.”
However, as much as students want to train for next season, many including Laufenberg and Choi run because they simply enjoy it.
Senior XC and Track runner Anya Kaplan-Hartnett says that runs provide her some benefits while still being enjoyable.
“[It] is nice because it gets me out of the house for a bit,” said Kaplan-Hartnett. “Track season is cancelled but I still enjoy running anyways. It’s nice to spend time outside and go places around town.”
If you’re inclined to put in a little bit more energy into your exercise, running is a great way to get in shape and can be fitted to your goals.
Another common way that Uni students have been getting off the couch while still getting in good amounts of exercise is biking.
Like runs and jogs, biking can be done anywhere as long as you, of course, have a bike.
Whether it be riding around the neighborhood or going around town, biking provides a great workout while still being refreshing and relaxing and is done by many students.
Junior Maher Adoni says that biking is his main quarantine exercise activity: “I have exclusively been biking for my activity… I just bike for long periods of time around the neighborhood or town.
Reed Broaders, Junior, says that biking helps her prepare for her next season of her main sport swimming. Broaders said that along with core, she bikes 30 minutes daily.
“Biking is probably the closest thing to swimming that can keep me remotely in shape for my upcoming season,” Broaders said. “I have high expectations for my next swim season so I have to do as much as I can.”
Some, like Junior Charlotte Ebel, use biking as a way to travel to places while still getting exercise.
“I’ve been biking to the Quad a lot because it’s pretty consistently empty and a great place to kick a soccer ball or throw a football,” said Ebel. “[These activities are] mostly for enjoyment and are a great way to spend time with my younger sister.”
All in all, biking is definitely one of the best choices to get in exercise if made available to you.
When it comes to exercise or simply getting off the couch, walks are up there for some of the easiest and most simple ways to do so.
Some find walks an easy but great way to spend time with family.
Freshman Lili Tiouririne says that she goes on 3 mile walks with her mom everyday.
“Walks are a nice and safe way for me and my mom to get out of the house a little bit,” Tiouririne said. “It also gives us time to bond since when we’re in the house, we’re usually working.”
Senior Faizah Rauther says that she goes on walks with her brother often as a way of getting exercise but also connecting with her family.
“Having more time due to the quarantine situation means I can spend more time with my family and my brother’s pretty active, so I just join him in whatever he’s doing.”
Going out for walks can be very relaxing and stress-relieving, so next time your teacher or friend tells you to go on a walk when you say you’re bored, consider taking them up on it.
When it comes to personal fitness goals, there are many variations as obviously each individuals’ goals are personal to them.
Many choose to complete these goals through their own ways of exercise or their own personal workouts.
There are countless workouts created online that can be accessed and done at home during the quarantine.
Along those same lines, there are countless individual exercises too that can be put together to create a custom workout.
This is a very popular option for many Uni students as a way of getting exercise and getting off the couch.
Many student-athletes who would be in season right now create their own workouts to train in a setting resembling their sports’ activities.
Sophomore Track & Field member Andy Brown says that he goes to the nearby track and does workouts there as well additional at-home lifting workouts.
“Since the track season got cut short, I’m trying to stay in shape and hopefully improve,” Brown said. “I also want to utilize this time to get ahead of other track players.”
Some students find videos or workouts online to follow. Whether it be on Youtube or through special programs, the internet provides tons of workouts and workout plans to follow for exercise and for any skill level or goal.
Freshman Florence Lin says that she follows an online 25-day workout ab workout from a Youtuber.
“I find that it helps because there is a schedule and I don’t want to fall behind,” Lin said. “I’ve been doing the… program because… [it] is something I’ve been wanting to work on for a while but I haven’t had time usually… but now I have more time so I thought I would work on that.”
Kevin Chen, current Sophomore, says that he does a full body workout, an additional workout for chest, abs, etc. everyday, and a vertical jump program that he found online.
“I’ve been doing a 2 week jump program I found on YouTube and am just doing it on repeat during this time because why not,” said Chen. He also adds, “Overall, staying active is just a way to put a sense of routine into these days where all I do for most of the day is sit at my desk.”
Some students also have created very specific workouts towards general lifestyle goals.
Senior Steven Blanke says that along with basic activities such as running or flexibility workouts, he has been utilizing his punching bag most of all as his main source of his daily exercise.
“The punching bag workouts are great for explosiveness and endurance,” said Blanke. “The goal is just to continue getting stronger and more fit over time to keep me healthy and feeling good.”
Senior Angelynn Huang says that she has pieced together different videos to form her own HIIT workouts. HIIT stands for High-Intensity-Interval-Training and is an intense type of workout, as the name suggests.
I’ve been a competitive swimmer most of my life, so keeping shape has become a habit,” Huang said. “My current goal is to keep in shape for summer,…, to feel good about myself, and to build [and] maintain healthy habits as I’m going into college.”
Whatever the goal or objective is, creating personal workouts or finding workouts online to fit your needs or desires are strong ways to stay active and can even be more self-motivating as they are fit to your ambitions.
Basketball, Soccer, and other Sports
Sports are a huge part of Uni students’ ways of getting in their daily exercise while also pursuing personal passions or personal goals for their sport of interest.
Many students play sports such as basketball, tennis, soccer, etc. because they are provided the right opportunities to do so, such as having a basketball hoop outside or having a court at a park or a field
Sophomores Ethan Mok-Chih and Ian Evensen both say that they play basketball and find it enjoyable and want to take time to get better.
Mok-Chih says, “I play basketball because it’s fun and good exercise at the same time.”
Evensen also added his experiences playing basketball during quarantine.
“At the beginning of quarantine, I went to this park that had a court, but now that they’ve taken the rims off all the hoops, I just play in my driveway,” Evensen said. “I play basketball just so I don’t fall behind during quarantine.”
Freshman Zev McManus-Mendelowitz, who says he has been practicing tennis during quarantine, relates to Evensen.
“Before the parks closed, I was playing a lot of tennis” McManus-Mendelowitz started, “but unfortunately they took all the nets down a couple weeks ago.”
Aryan Sachdev, Subfreshman, also said he played tennis: “For tennis, there is a goal for me because I want to get better at it before everyone starts playing again.”
Finally, many students who are a part of sports that are in-season right now, such as Track & Field athletes and Girls Soccer athletes, are being given workouts to do at home by their coaches.
Sophomore Track runner Madeleine Keenan says she’s been doing the track workouts the coaches have been sending out every two weeks with weight and track exercises for each day.
Freshman Mikalya Blanke and Junior Allie Kim say they’ve been doing the Soccer workouts assigned by their coaches.
“Before quarantine, it was soccer season and because we didn’t know if/when we would be back, our coach gave us at-home workout plans to stay in shape,” Kim said. “I’ve really liked doing those because I can work on skills that’ll be useful for next season.”
If you have the objects you need, sports or activities of personal interest are a great way of exercise to fall back on because they will most likely help you improve and you can enjoy it if you have that personal passion for that particular sport or activity.
PLT4M is the online program that Uni students have been given by the PE teachers to use for exercise. In the PLT4M app, there are day by day workouts for students to choose from and follow, including basic programs like Intro to Fitness, Intro to Training, Mastering Mobility, and more.
Students are required to log at least two of these lessons each week which are checked weekly by the teachers to maintain full credit for PE.
Students complete their two lessons a week, but the majority of students do not solely complete their weekly exercise entirely through PLT4M, but instead through other activities like sports, runs, or personalized workouts.
Some students use certain parts of PLT4M alongside their own ways of exercise.
Henry Laufenberg takes advantage of PLT4M’s mobility exercises as a way of avoiding injury while running: “I’ve been doing the PLT4M mobility circuit just for stretching so I don’t get hurt.”
Senior David Sun says that he does a program very similar to PLT4M.
“I do workouts from another app called Freeletics. That’s my main workout,” Sun said. “Freeletics is kind of the same as PLT4M but the workout plan is personalized and it’s a lot of body weight stuff so it’s more suited for quarantine.”
Not all students love doing the PLT4M workouts as they may be boring or might take extra time on top of one’s already filled exercise requirement, but PLT4M still provides an easy backup for anyone needing to still fill their 150 minute requirement.
Finally, not all activities have to be strictly considered exercise or workouts. Taking the time and energy to get up and do activities around the house can be good too.
Some students have been doing yard work while others take part in cooking. Some also say that they help out around the house with cleaning and organizing.
Sophomore Ekam Ghotra says that he has been taking time during quarantine to fix up some of the rooms around his house.
“I’ve been doing a lot of cleaning and organizing rooms that usually are messy around the house,” Ghotra said. “I actually enjoy cleaning and stuff so I do that and put some music on cause it’s a way to pass time.”
Getting off the couch doesn’t mean having to go run 15 miles or play basketball outside for a few hours, but there may be some things that you can do around the house that could be beneficial and helpful for you.