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Top 5 Ways to Stay Active: Global Pandemic Edition Written by brandon ge

Photo courtesy of Pinewood SmugMug

When lockdown first started, sport teams disbanded, people were quarantined, and many struggled to remain active, myself included. So what methods have Pinewood students and faculty been using to stay active? Some answers include chores, runs, hikes, YouTube workouts, and bike rides. That’s right, I said chores. Read on.

1. Chores

Chores are common among many households. Sweeping the floor, cleaning the windows, and making your bed – these chores are arguably among the easiest and most rewarding ways to stay active. You don’t even need to leave your house! While you are stretching your muscles by reaching high places, you are also making your house a better environment to live in and helping your family out. I myself sweep the floor every once in a while, which requires me to stand up and move around, hence staying active.

2. Running

Running is yet another simple exercise to help stay active. With the additional break time between periods, faculty and students have the opportunity to run between classes! Just open your front door, pick a route, and casually jog and enjoy the outdoors. Personally, I find it helpful to run a bit after I eat dinner. Not only does it help you stay active, it also helps your digestive system. For me, one to two mile runs are ideal because they efficiently exercise my body but do not completely wear me out.

Illustration by Janet Liu

3. Hiking

Hiking is another one of those activities that rewards you at the end. In the case of chores, your work rewards you with a cleaner house. In the case of hiking, it is the feeling when you have walked up a mountain for an hour to see the wondrous views the Bay Area has to offer. History teacher Sam Jezak is an avid hiker. According to Jezak, hiking doesn’t require too much pre-planning.

“The most important part of starting is just getting out there – there is an incredible amount of hiking access within a 30 minute drive of everyone in the Bay Area. . . You just have to go!” Jezak said.

“I use an app called AllTrails, which gives me all the information I need for the hike: mileage, elevation, even GPS if I get lost. So I don’t have a ton to preplan, but really just looking through the trail options on AllTrails for whatever park I want to go to,” Jezak said.

Jezak added that he variates the trails he goes on frequently.

“I want to see everything that’s out there,” Jezak said.

If anyone is interested in starting to hike more often, Jezak has some simple tips.

“The most important part of starting is just getting out there – there is an incredible amount of hiking access within a 30 minute drive of everyone in the Bay Area, with everything from ocean views to dense redwood forests to mountain ridgelines. You just have to go!” Jezak said. “Beyond knowing where you are, keeping yourself safe by bringing plenty of water, snacks, and a flashlight are necessities.”

4. Youtube workouts

Another way to stay active while remaining in your house is doing Youtube workouts. This is quite popular because of the fact that all the videos are already made and ready to be used. All you have to do is follow along! Freshman Arnav Gupta is one of the frequent users of this method. According to Gupta, Youtube provides a wide variety of exercises for your use: pushups, lunge jumps, planks, mountain climbers, just to list a few. These different exercises target different parts of the body to work out.

“Create a schedule, and try to motivate yourself to do these workouts. Find a goal if you can. . . I would suggest doing Youtube workouts to start, and then move on to Classpass or Barre or any other business dedicated to running workouts,” Gupta said.

“I like to differ from [high intensity interval workouts], which are high intensity and more cardio based, and dumbbell and core workouts, which I feel are my two weak spots,” Gupta said.

Gupta also said that there are multiple different channels to choose from.

“I use around two to three channels. The main one I use is BullyJuice, in which I mostly do HIIT workouts, but he also has good dumbbell workouts. I mostly do my dumbbell workouts on Sydney Cumming’s channel, [which] has decent dumbbell workouts. The third [channel] I use is Classpass,” Gupta said.

Gupta also added some helpful tips to those starting to do these workouts.

“Create a schedule, and try to motivate yourself to do these workouts. Find a goal if you can. The thing about YouTube workouts is that there isn’t enough of them, so I’m running out of videos to do, because if you do the same thing over and over again, your muscles get used to it and it doesn’t have the same effect… I would suggest doing Youtube workouts to start, and then move on to Classpass or Barre or any other business dedicated to running workouts,” Gupta said.

5. Biking

Lastly, biking is another enjoyable yet effective way to stay active. Spanish teacher José Luis Orduña is an avid biker, logging up to 150 miles a week. Orduna says that he has a schedule to help maintain that average.

“I ride my bike to work on Mondays and Tuesdays. Hence, I ride in the mornings 10 miles each day and in the afternoons, I try to ride another 15 miles each day heading home. On Saturdays, I have been riding about 60 to 80 miles,” Orduña said.

“Saturdays [are] when I get to vary the routes. For example, I rode 80 miles around the peninsula [but] last Saturday, I rode 80 miles in the east bay. By varying the routes, it keeps me motivated and I get to explore different sceneries. The Bay Area is a cyclist’s paradise,” Orduña added.

If you are looking for a quick and easy way to remain active during these times, doing more chores, running, hiking, doing Youtube workouts, or biking might just be the thing for you.