Home fitness rises in popularity during coronavirus outbreak

For most people, life in quarantine has continued to be the norm for the past few months, and it has […]

For most people, life in quarantine has continued to be the norm for the past few months, and it has naturally resulted in the neglect of their physical health and wellbeing. As the majority of fitness centers and public parks closed operations to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, those who regularly exercised outside have not had the usual options to stay in shape and relieve stress. Students are especially limited to a sedentary lifestyle consisting mostly of studying, spending leisure time, and interacting with others through computer screens. In response, more people have turned to home fitness as an effective form of exercise to compensate for the lack of outdoor activities. 

“I would say that I became less physically active compared to the past since I have to stay at home all day due to quarantine,” said Michelle Choi (9), JV basketball player. “However, home fitness definitely helped me stay fit and spend my time more productively. I usually work out late at night after I study in order to refresh my mind and feel relaxed. I consider home fitness as one of the things that have helped me stay focused and sane.”

Home fitness is favored not only because it encourages movement, but also because it has had many comparable physical and mental benefits to outdoor exercise. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle while staying at home has proven extremely difficult because of how individuals tend to eat snacks much more frequently, sleep for extensive periods, and rarely leave their bedrooms. Consequently, occasionally adding a short time slot for exercising can have a tremendous impact on students’ lifestyles, as it serves as a way to break these growing unhealthy habits. The pandemic has also had a mental effect on students who were not accustomed to being socially isolated for such a prolonged period of time. While some students grew anxious, depressed, and frustrated about the situation, many have been able to seek mental stability by exerting the pressure into manageable exercise.

“When it comes to fitness, working out doesn’t have to mean going out,” said Dorothy Bañas, Physical Education teacher. “You can still be active and stay fit at home, whether you want to build your endurance, increase your strength, or burn calories. Physical activity in any form can help manage weight, strengthen muscles and bones, and improve mental health to make you feel happier. Regular participation in aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep, and improve self-esteem.”

Home fitness offers a wide range of methods to stay active. While some individuals have started to make use of previously untouched exercise equipment stored at home, others have been unable to obtain gym equipment easily. Thus, the majority prefer to adhere to simple, yet effective, no-equipment workouts that can be learned in various platforms. One of these equipment-free methods is using a fitness app on the cell-phone that helps keep track of one’s exercise programs. Many of these apps, such as My Fitness Pal and Nike Training Club, are currently flourishing with an increase in the number of downloads. YouTube, where thousands of fitness experts upload videos of instructions for exercises, has been another popular platform for students to seek guidance on home fitness. By watching and following these experts who upload a diverse range of exercises, from High-Intensity Interval Training work-outs to calming yoga sessions, viewers gain the motivation they need to stay balanced during this unsettling outbreak.

“Watching fitness videos on YouTube has helped me stay in shape when quarantine provided challenges to maintaining a healthy lifestyle,” said Seungkyu Han (9), varsity soccer player. “The muscular demonstrators in the videos really gave me the motivation to persistently engage in active work-outs. Usually, I search up and watch fitness videos with the highest view counts, since they sometimes reflect the quality of the video. One YouTuber whose videos I watch the most is ATHLEAN-X, who uploads effective home exercises frequently.”

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