How to Stay Fit and Healthy While in Quarantine?
Two years into the pandemic and almost all of us have been at least once in quarantine. It doesn’t matter if your confinement is seven, fourteen or twenty-one days, it takes a toll on your health - physically and mentally. Of course, the longer the harder it is to not only stay fit and healthy but also sane. Quarantine is not only binge-watching Netflix, reading a book without being interrupted or eating room service all the time. Even if some people treat in like a staycation and enjoy it actually, which is absolutely ok and enviable, as a very active person and freedom lover, it is tough, especially the first time. And believe me…. I know what I am talking about: I just finished on my fifth quarantine, and I have done all three lengths so far… 8 weeks in total and I know there will be more to come. However, I call myself lucky because I only had to serve twenty-one days once. And I swear I will never do that again.
However, there is no “one size fits all” approach when it comes to fitness and health in quarantine and the following tips are based on personal experience.
1. Keep Moving
The longer your quarantine is the more important it is to keep moving. If you can, get a treadmill or an exercise bike delivered to your room. They are quickly sold out in hotels and unfortunately not every quarantine room is suitable for such a large exercise equipment. But if moving is one of your goals, try external companies, since quarantine became a business in Hong Kong, some offer rentals especially tailored to quarantine stays. You can basically walk all day long, during your phone calls, zoom meetings or while watching the news. If none of those options is available for you, just walk around the room….sounds weird? But it works…. I heard of people finishing a marathon. It's surprising how quickly you can get used to pacing around while talking to colleagues, friends, and family.
2. Stretch Out
Stretching is especially important because most likely you will sit around much more than usual. Stretching is easy…. all you need is a little space. 10 – 15 minutes a day should be sufficient to avoid muscle stiffness. Ideally, you combine dynamic and static stretching. Start with active stretching such as inchworm, the Greatest stretch in the World, Side Lunges, Torso and Arm Rotations etc. Finish with static trenching such as four figure stretch, hamstring stretches or neck stretches.
3. Bodyweight Exercises
If you are really keen to properly exercise, all you need is yourself – and maybe a yoga mat. The most basic and efficient workout in my opinion are simple bodyweight exercises such as Squats, Push-ups, Planks, Lunges, Crunches, Leg Raisers just to name a few. If you want to take your quarantine workout up a notch, use what you have in your room. A chair or a couch is perfect for incline Push-ups, Bulgarian split squats or Dips. You also can just do a Wall-sit at the door (no one will open it anyway….). To bring some cardio into your routine you can easily do things like High Knees, Burpees, Squat Jumps, Jumping Lunges or Mountain Climbers. You can do all those exercises in Circuit Style, Tabata Style, Supersets, AMRAPS etc. And just like that, you can put together a 30-60 minutes workout….
4. Pack Light Equipment
To bring light exercise equipment absolutely makes sense if you have to serve a longer quarantine and you do not have the luxury of a treadmill or a bike. It will make your routine not only more effective, but also less boring. Light things to carry are booty bands, resistance bands, gliders, Pilates bands and of course a rope to bring the heart rate up.
A healthy diet during quarantine is as important as exercising. If you are lucky, you might be able to secure one of the hotels which offer lots of healthy choices. If your diet is important to you, check with the hotel before booking.
Most of the provided meals however lack in fresh fruits or vegetables and good quality meat. They are mostly based on carbohydrates – think steamed rice or noodles. To meet your daily protein, take a shaker and order some protein powder.
Last but not least you might want to consider supplements such as Vitamin D, due to the lack of sunshine.
I hope these few personal tips and experiences had something useful for you. Good luck with your next quarantine. I hope to see you soon at Project S.Stay Strong with Us!