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COLUMN: Health is important in quarantine



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Adidas sneakers and a Camelbak water bottle sit on a yoga mat March 30 at University East apartments. Many IU students use their time while quarantining to practice self-care through activities such as yoga. Alex Deryn

Prior to President Michael McRobbie’s announcement that classes would be online for the rest of the semester, I had a routine. I would walk down the road to my bus stop, wait for the Route 6 bus, go to class, visit the library and end my day with a nice chicken teriyaki rice.

Now, I can’t do that routine.

The first two days of spring break, I started my day with laying on my bed scrolling through Instagram. Then, I would go to the kitchen, grab lunch, go back to bed, watch YouTube videos, make dinner (usually something convenient like ramen) and then went to bed at 10 p.m. How productive.

Stuck in my apartment with a limited amount of space and not a lot to do, I decided to research how to stay active at home. 

With limited facilities, I tried to come up with easy activities to keep myself engaged and productive. Here are some healthy routines I have been doing for the past few days of quarantine.

Stay active

In order to stay active and keep up my mental health, I have been doing pilates at least three times a week in the morning. Pilates is an physical fitness system that uses a mat to improve stability and core. I mainly do four body roll ups and hold planks for 20 seconds in my workouts. Pilates can help with building core muscles, improving posture and increasing flexibility. 

If you have your own mat, or simply a comfortable place on the floor, you can do a simple pilates routine for an easy but effective workout. Here’s a YouTube video I highly recommend for beginners. You could also practice meditation through yoga. In yoga, there are various breathing exercises when can help reduce stress. 

Doing a couple of planks in different formations will help you work out your core. The first step is to form a table top, where your hands and knees on your mat. Second is to straighten your knees and either hold your position for at least 10 seconds three different times or hold for 30 seconds. Remember to breathe normally.

Working out doesn’t need to take up one hour. Any amount of exercise is healthy, but strive for about 25 minutes a day. The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes a week. It can help keep you physically and mentally healthy. 

Make your own meals

Restaurants are closed for dine-in, and ordering food in every night can be expensive. Instead of ordering take out, use this opportunity to test your cooking skills.

With my beginner cooking skills and the leftover ingredients I have in my home, I try to eat healthily by balancing my portions and eating nutritious foods. A few recipes I have tried during quarantine can be found in another IDS article

Cooking your own meal is also safe because it decreases your contact with other people and, thus, lowers your chance of getting sick. It’ll save your money, plus you will get that satisfactory feeling of making something by yourself.

Stay hydrated

It’s important to maintain your fluid intake because drinking plenty of water helps to keep you healthy and hydrated. Drinking water can help balance the fluid in your body and clear out toxins.

 I keep my cup with me wherever I go, whether it’s in my room or going to the living room. I try not to keep it empty.

According to the New York Times, hot liquids are recommended when you’re catching a flu or cold for nasal congestion.

If you want to change your sleep routine, now is a good time to do it. For those who've been unable to get a full night’s sleep because they had to balance completing projects and homework with working out and having a social life, now is the perfect time to get those extra hours of sleep.

Because of my workload prior to spring break, I had not had proper sleep in a long time. By finally getting enough sleep, I have felt refreshed and I worked more efficiently during the day. 

Sleep is important to not only physical but also mental health. It’s important to know how much it affects your daily activities, especially your brain’s performance.

Now, I get to adjust my sleeping schedule, and it helps me to wake up in the morning fresh. Also, if you wake up early, you get to watch the sunrise while sipping on a mug with your favorite warm drink.

Getting enough sleep will boost your immune system, and help it function properly throughout the day.

It is important to maintain a healthy routine while staying at home for the rest of the semester. You may not do this all at once and might have a hard time adjusting to this routine, but it is worth it to stay healthy and refreshed during this time.

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