Quarantine in shape: How to stay active when RSF is closed

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Although an apple a day may keep your doctor away, exercise has become as important as ever, as schools across the country are beginning their semesters remotely.

Some of us are pining for the Recreational Sports Facility and other gyms to open up again, but there are plenty of ways to get creative with home workouts.

Here are some simple exercising tips that have helped get me through quarantine so far.

Let’s start with some basics. Cardio. Yes, I know what you’re thinking: “There is no way I’m getting on that treadmill or going out in the blazing sun!” But I promise it’s not so bad once you hit that comfortable pace.

I normally run 2-3 miles every other day to give my legs a day to rest in between. I’m not talking about an all-out sprint either, but you should absolutely push yourself a little more every time.

Remember, we’re not running to make the Bears’ track team; we’re trying to stay physically and mentally healthy.

This brings me to another point I wanted to present: clearing your mind.

Staying inside all day can be extremely stressful, and I personally find these 20-minute getaway runs relaxing, putting my mind more at ease.

There are plenty of places to jog in Berkeley, including flat streets such as Derby Street and Piedmont Avenue. The Clark Kerr Campus offers its very own track, with plenty of space to fulfill any amount of running you’d like to do. If you’d prefer a more intense experience, then look no further than the Berkeley Hills.

Next, we have high-intensity interval training, or HIIT.

For those who enjoy quick workouts but also appreciate the intensity that comes with breaking a sweat, HIIT may become your best friend during quarantine.

Air squats, mountain climbers, planks, hill sprints, pushups, situps, you name it — these exercises are calorie and fat burners that reward you with loads of exhaustion, a workout junkie’s favorite sensation.

Not only that, but also, the amount of time spent on these exercises is in the 30-minute ballpark, and almost all of them can be done in your living room.

Netflix and chill? Try Netflix and shred. That’s right, binge your favorite TV shows and get in shape. It’s possible.

If you have been deprived of weights and other iron things that need to be moved or lifted from point A to point B, I apologize. Your only option at the moment is to buy your own weight set or just be as clever as I may be and get extremely crafty.

Be ready to build your own squat rack using lumber and a little bit of cement, and get after it.

No dumbbells? Try firewood. I know that sounds hilarious, but desperate times call for desperate measures. Plus, it’s carbon neutral, so I’m calling them “smartbells.”

Summer may be over, but the gains never stop, my friends.

The only other advice I can give is to remember that a solid workout is complemented well by a friendly diet. Don’t be fooled by those diets that can “get you slim in 30 days!”

What’s tried and true is balanced meals at specific times in the day and a few snacks in between meals to keep that engine running.

If you’re hungry, eat! Keep in mind, however, that we’re eating to live, not living to eat.

Finally, give your body time to recuperate and rest! Too often, we push ourselves to our limits and call it a day before the next day even begins.

Get your sleep, take a day off if you’re sore and always plan a rest day every two or three days. It’s going to be a long semester, and these steps will go a long way in keeping you happy and healthy.

So from me to you, remember to stay active, and don’t let being inside get the better of you physically and mentally.

Just because our favorite gyms are closed doesn’t mean we can’t take care of ourselves.

Contact Lucas Perkins-Brown at [email protected].