Exercise is becoming increasingly important for students as they lead more sedentary lives during distance learning. To gauge students’ activity levels, the Smoke Signal collected 82 responses through a student survey via MSJ’s Facebook groups and School Loop about their exercise habits throughout quarantine. Of the MSJ students who filled out the form, 13.4% were freshmen, 12.2% were sophomores, 35.4% were juniors, and 39% were seniors.
There are a variety of resources students may use to stay fit during quarantine. From yoga to YouTube videos, hundreds of exercises are available to help those at all levels start a healthier lifestyle and begin their fitness journey.
A calming combination of stretches, breathing techniques, and meditation, yoga is a great option for a quarantine workout. With workouts starting at ten minutes, yoga requires a small time commitment and includes low intensity exercises that anyone can adopt. Beyond burning calories, yoga also provides benefits fitting for students in online school amidst a pandemic, such as relieving tension and anxiety in the mind and body, improving posture, boosting endurance, and increasing muscle strength and flexibility. Yoga resources and guides can be found on www.yogiapproved.com and www.yogajournal.com.
Calisthenics are bodyweight exercises that include squats, planks, sit-ups and push-ups, jumping exercises and more. It requires little equipment and space, and comes at a range of intensities suitable to different fitness levels. According to Insider, calisthenics can reduce body aches and pains and improve sleep quality, issues that students may commonly face. A workout can range from 30-40 minutes, with frequent breaks between exercises and sets. Each set has three to six exercises, with about 45 seconds of rest between each exercise and three minutes of rest after each set. Online calisthenics workouts for varying levels can be found on the Caliverse app, and calisthenics Youtubers can be found on www.tubbygorilla.com .
Fitness YouTube Channels
YouTube provides an excellent platform to explore various fitness workouts that suit one’s interests. From heavy-duty gym exercises to quick, at-home workouts, there are a variety of Youtubers who upload videos for people of all fitness levels. With five million subscribers, POPSUGAR Fitness is one such YouTube channel with exercise videos ranging from fun, beginner hip-hop classes, to high intensity interval training — they often also feature guest celebrity trainers, such as Megan Roup and Kayla Itsines. OfficialBarstarzz is another YouTube channel solely focused on calisthenics and teaching its 700k subscribers workouts involving solely creative bodyweight movement, eliminating the need for expensive gym equipment. HASfit is also widely popular, having more than 1 million subscribers, and more than 1,000 free, diverse workout routines of varying lengths, as well as 30-90 day fitness programs — including meal plans — to help those at all levels continue their fitness journey.
Workout Apps/Fitness Tracker Apps
Using a smartphone or smartwatch, fitness app users can discover new workout routines and track their exercises with relative ease. There are plenty of resources to help fitness enthusiasts and beginners enhance their exercise routines. PEAR – Personal Fitness Coach, available on Android and iOS for free, provides users with a range of exercises that meet user-specific goals and adapt based on the users’ performance over time. The Nike Training Club App, available for free on Android and iOS, is another great program which includes more than 100 workouts designed by Nike trainers, complete with visual and audio guidance for users. Users can also track their other fitness activities on the app, and scroll through the app’s newsfeed to get insights on nutrition and how to lead a healthy lifestyle. Freeletics – Strength Training, available for free on Android and iOS, is also a notable, unique fitness app which provides users hundreds of exercises which solely rely on one’s body weight, allowing users to begin their fitness journey, without having to spend extra money purchasing various exercise equipment.