Helpful hints: Tips and tricks to staying in shape while social distancing

Lilia Flores, then-senior in public health and nutrition, jogs around Memorial Stadium. (Archive Photo by Hannah Hunsinger | Collegian Media Group)

With COVID-19 spreading rapidly across the world, many businesses and public facilities are temporarily closing their doors. As Kansas State follows suit and shifts to limited operations for the remainder of the semester, the Recreational Complex will be unavailable indefinitely.

Here are a few ways to fill your new found free time and keep in shape.

Running (or walking) outside

The concept of running often is met with groans of protest. If it’s not your regular means of exercise, you might have to trick your brain into enjoying it.

Make yourself look forward to running by wearing your favorite workout clothes, making a new running playlist or choosing a fun location.

It’s not about how fast your pace is during a run, but that you got out there. It takes only 30 minutes of exercise for your brain to reap serotonin benefits.

Yoga (without the studio)

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends against events or gatherings with a large group of people for the next eight weeks. Instead of going to a local yoga studio or attending a group fitness class, roll out your mat in the comfort of your own home. You’ll get to work on your practice, but you don’t have to worry about who else has touched the equipment your using.

You don’t need an in-person instructor to get a good stretch. Supplement your studio experience with online instructors and blankets for a yoga mat — if one is not in your possession.

My favorite yoga accounts on YouTube are Yoga with Adriene, Body Positive Yoga, SarahBethYoga and Bad Yogi.

Body weight exercises

It’s unlikely that the average person has an in-home gym of the same caliber as a public gym. Therefore, you have to get creative with your surroundings.

Body-weight exercises can offer the same strength-building results you normally would obtain utilizing machines and weights. Like yoga, YouTube and a quick Google search can be a great source of instruction.

Exercise your mind

This won’t give you the same benefits as physical fitness, but it is just as important.

The anxiety and boredom that comes with practicing social distancing can be tedious. You can help your brain by picking up a new book, creating something or trying out a new informative podcast.

Listen to your body

Although Shakespeare wrote King Lear while in quarantine, don’t put such high expectations on yourself. It is a huge accomplishment to treat your body well.

Keeping you and others safe from the spread of COVID-19 is so important. Make sure to listen to your body. If you feel ill, do not risk exposing the illness to others who could be lethally affected.

If you want more information on safe practices and public health protection, visit the CDC website.

My name is Katelin Woods and I graduated with a Bachelor's of Arts in public relations in May 2020. I worked as the first audience engagement manager of the Collegian from 2019 to 2020 and took photos for the multimedia staff. I was also the founding editor of the culture desk in 2018. I am an enthusiast of a poetry, pizza roll and pajamas.