Students, community should take advantage of free time, exercise over COVID-19 break


Leah Tan

While there are countless inconveniences that have come with the COVID-19 outbreak, one benefit most overlooked is how much more time we have; who knew I could finish all of my school work in a matter of only four hours? 

But, instead of constantly wasting the rest of your free time watching Netflix or eating snacks (which I’ll admit, I’m guilty of), try doing something more productive and beneficial for your body: exercising.

Be honest, we’re all familiar with the excuse “I was going to exercise, but I just didn’t have time!” However, with school and many other activities being cancelled, everyone has more time, meaning everyone has the time to exercise.

Some of you may be thinking to yourself: “I’m already doing that!” and for that I applaud you, but for those who cringed by simply reading that word, I promise it is easier and far more enjoyable than what you may think.

Sophomore Yiling Li exercises during COVID-19 by running. Li said running helps relax from all the stress from school and to boost her cardiovascular fitness and endurance.

One of the only activities you can still do outside is exercise, so take advantage of getting that fresh air. Biking, jogging, or walking are all simple forms of exercise that can significantly boost your physical as well as mental health that is especially lacking now. In fact, according to a poll conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, 45% of people have reported that their mental health has been negatively affected by the social isolation and anxiety from the pandemic. 

But through exercise, you release endorphins and enkephalins, which are the body’s feel-good hormones that can relieve many of the anxious thoughts that come during this troubling time. That’s why, although it may be painful in the moment, you feel like a champ once you complete a workout. Furthermore, exercise can increase the strength of your immune system, making your body’s ability to fend off diseases even stronger, something especially important during a global pandemic. Exercise is extremely rewarding, and all you have to do to reap these benefits is take some time to be active; according to Better Health channel, even a 30 minute walk, the equivalent of one TV episode, can bring these benefits.

If these standard forms of exercise aren’t your cup of tea, there are still plenty of other ways to get active. Yoga, pilates, or dancing around your room are just some more fun alternative ways to exercise. So take it upon yourself to stop watching others on TikTok do Chloe Ting’s ab workouts, and start doing them yourself! It has never been a better time to do so.