Being stuck inside can often make college students who are typically juggling a busy schedule with coursework, extracurriculars and a social life, go a little stir-crazy. Many students instead end up laying in bed, watching Netflix, snacking on a bag of potato chips and simply wondering, “Will this nightmare ever end?”
Though it is more than OK to be upset and wallow in sadness by doing nothing, attempting to live a healthier lifestyle can be beneficial for both the body and mind. During a time when positivity seems scarce, staying active and focusing on bettering oneself can be just the boost one needs to begin looking at the brighter side of life. To begin a quarantine health regime, start by eating better and working out more with these seven suggestions:
Make healthy snacks
Everybody loves munching on their favorite bag of Lay’s potato chips, whether they be barbeque, salt and vinegar or sour cream and onion flavored. However, devouring a bag of these is only going to leave one feeling bloated and lazy. Potato chips and snacks alike are what health seekers need to avoid during the process. Sticking to healthier, homemade snacks is key when wanting to be successful.
Many may be surprised by how delicious healthier snacks can be. First and foremost, fruit and veggies are always an option when mid-afternoon hits and the stomach begins to grumble. However, fruits and veggies aren’t for everyone making more creative snacks, such as baked sweet potato chips, no-bake pumpkin pie energy bites and Greek yogurt breakfast bark, seem more appetizing. The recipes for these innovative snacks can be found here.
Eliminate take-out and fast food
Snacking isn’t the only time one needs to be conscious about their calorie intake throughout the day. Meals are also, if not more, important than snacks. Driving through the local Chick-Fil-A drive-thru is no doubt convenient and tempting, yet the nutritional value is especially low. Instead of relying on fast food options that have remained open, try cooking a meal from home. It may seem as if the only healthy options are grilled chicken, salad and fish, though we promise this is not the case. With the help of seasoning and holistic sides, making dinner can be fun and adventurous. Try making stir fry, shrimp tacos or garlic butter chicken bites. There is a recipe out there for everyone’s taste buds, and who knows, maybe you’ll become a chef when all is said and done.
Do at-home workout videos
Without the gyms open, a lot of people might make excuses for why they can’t fit in their daily cardio or complete leg day. Nonetheless, this is not an excuse. There are several online, free programs on YouTube that guide participants by telling them what videos to do each day and when to take an active rest day. An effective program is the Chloe Ting 2 Weeks Shred Challenge, which can be accessed here. The challenge focuses on all areas of the body, ensuring everyone is working on whatever part they feel could use improvement. Getting motivated to begin can be difficult, but after the first couple of days, it gets easier.
The easiest thing anyone can do while taking a study break is go on a walk. Bobcats are used to walking around campus through College Green and up Morton hill anyway, so maybe a sense of normalcy will return during the daily stride through the neighborhood. With the weather warming, getting some fresh air can be more than therapeutic. For those who are looking for a higher intensity workout, running and biking are always an option, too.
Stick to a consistent schedule
Holding oneself accountable is crucial when trying to make changes to one’s diet and activity level. Exercising one day just to take multiple days off is not beneficial. The same goes for eating healthy one day and then eating unhealthy the next. Practicing consistency will train one’s body to adapt to a new, healthier way of living. Ways to remain driven and constant include blocking off an hour each day to exercise and keeping a food log. Per contra, it is important to remember to have a rest day and a cheat day separate from one another where there is no exercising and one’s favorite food can be enjoyed. Without having something to look forward to, diets become impossible.
This one is self-explanatory and incredibly easy to do. Nothing is more simple than giving up a can of pop for a bottle of water. Water helps fuel and revitalize the body without putting unnecessary sugar in it. Water is all-natural and undoubtedly refreshing.
More times than not, people play on their phone or watch TV while eating. This results in people not feeling full, considering they were multitasking and not concentrating on the flavor in their dish. Once one stops doing this, they will ultimately feel more fulfilled and likely not get second servings. Using smaller plates is also useful, as the plate will still seem intact, yet not as much will be consumed. Lastly, partaking in intermittent fasting from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. is recommended to lose weight.