December 3, 2020

Tips for Staying Active during Quarantine

By: Lily Friedman

A woman uses resistance bands to stay active during quarantine.

Thanksgiving is over, and the end of 2020 is closing in. Though the United Kingdom approved a Pfizer vaccine Wednesday, December 2, with colder weather and the Covid-19 vaccine still present in the United States, many still find themselves staying indoors, working from home in their houses.

Keeping up the motivation to move while the weather gets colder is already difficult, and that task is even harder as many find themselves still working from home and on a computer for much of their days. According to the pepper perspective, a health and wellness blog by wellness author Erik Pepper, this lack of movement can be bad for us. The lack of day-to-day movement that many experience working from home, according to Pepper, can lead to physical strain, sore muscles, "brain drain" and psychological stress.

Because of this, it is imperative that you take time to work movement into your daily routines as Covid-19 continues to ramp up and many retreat into the safety of quarantine again.

These tips for staying active in quarantine will guide you toward keeping up a normal, active routine and keeping your physical and mental health in check during this holiday season and winter months in quarantine.

 

1. Schedule movement into your day

Even with the Covid-19 pandemic, many are still incredibly busy during the workday. Making time for yourself is difficult, but it is important to maintaining your well-being. In addition, with the stress of doing work and all of our other daily activities in the same space, it can be difficult to shift from work mode to a stress-free environment.

Because of this, it is important to make sure you set aside time just for your own mental and physical health. A great way to do this is to plan out your day so that you have time set aside specifically for movement that ensures you are active throughout the day. Studies have shown that putting aside everything else even for 30 minutes to move physically can reduce sedentary behavior on the whole and lead to a healthier lifestyle. Penciling these breaks into your day is a good way to plan for the breaks from work, even if you are busy.

Some great ideas for these movement breaks are taking an online exercise class, completing a stretching regimen or creating your own pre-planned physical activity plan. By planning ahead for these activities, it is much harder mentally to put them off, and it is also easier to fit them into a busy workday.

Writing down your responsibilities and plans for the day is a good way to rationalize and alleviate stress, and you'll be happy you planned your movement time ahead and budgeted time when meetings and tasks pile up.

A woman does a stretching routine in her living room.

2. Coordinate with friends and family

Given the isolation of quarantine, it is completely normal to miss social activity. According to the World Health Organization, social interaction is good for us, and there are safe and healthy ways to maintain our relationships virtually during this period of quarantine.

To stay active and also get social interaction at the same time, plan your workouts and active time with friends or family. Whether it be a virtual walk, an online workout class or even just a quick stress break, getting social interaction into your day will also help break the monotony of work-from-home and quarantine.

Interacting with other people during your active time can also take your mind completely off your daily routine and give you time to focus on an external relationship. Though self-care and alone time is important, coordinating your social time with movement is an effective use of your time and can help you remember to be social during the shuffle of your daily quarantine schedule.

3. Try a standing desk

Working from home and sitting at the same desk all day, people often start to feel sluggish and stuck in a sedentary lifestyle. To combat this, a great tip is to alternate between a sitting and standing desk throughout the day.

Even if you end up sitting for most of the day, standing for even a bit of time can provide a break for your body, helping you to feel active and motivated to move further throughout the day.

An adjustable laptop stand by obVus solutions can help you to transition to this active lifestyle with a standing desk. With adjustable heights, the laptop stand will aid you in moving the height of your laptop throughout the day and varying your position. This ultimately will lead to more activity even in positioning during your workday, something that helps with staying active in quarantine.

A woman logs her activity in quarantine.

4. Log your physical activity throughout the week

When work and other responsibilities get stressful, it is easy to forget to get up and move on a daily basis. But with movement being such an important part of maintaining your health while at home, it is important to remember and make sure to get on your feet during stressful times.

Logging your active time throughout the week is a great way to monitor and make sure you're getting the active time that you need for your health.

Throughout the week, the World Health Organization recommends getting 150 minutes (2.5 hours) of moderate-intensity physical activity or 75 minutes (1.25 hours) of vigorous-intensity physical activity at a minimum.

Oftentimes, especially without leaving your place of residence for much, the amount of time that you're active can blur, and it is difficult to remember if you're getting the active time you need. Writing down the activities you did each day, in addition to serving as a daily reminder to stay active, will help you track if you are meeting your fitness goals or whatever threshold you need to maintain your overall well-being.


Though heading into the winter in quarantine is difficult, your mental, physical and overall health does not need to suffer during quarantine. These small changes to your daily schedule and planning can make big differences in your mood and well-being.

In whatever way works best for you, implementing a plan with scheduled time to move physically, coordinating active time with social time with others, trying to stand at your desk throughout the day and logging your active time will help you maintain your health and stay on your game going into the end of 2020.

 

Sources

1. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/02/world/europe/uk-covid-vaccine-pfizer.html

2. https://peperperspective.com/2020/08/13/ways-to-reduce-techstress/

3. https://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/health-emergencies/coronavirus-covid-19/publications-and-technical-guidance/noncommunicable-diseases/stay-physically-active-during-self-quarantine#:~:text=Follow%20an%20online%20exercise%20class,During%20sedentary%20leisure%20time%20prior