Opinion: 6 ways to stay active, for athletes and others

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, many athletes have suffered the suspension of their spring sports season. However, it is essential for athletes to stay active and in shape during their time off.

Credit: Courtesy of Caroline Lampert

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, many athletes have suffered the suspension of their spring sports season. However, it is essential for athletes to stay active and in shape during their time off.

Ellie Tyska

The global pandemic involving the COVID-19 virus has taken away many things from us: from going to school or restaurants to hanging out with friends to the suspension of the spring sports seasons. For these athletes, opportunities and memories have been stripped from their season. However, this by no means stops the ability for athletes to improve independently. As an athlete who plays club soccer in the spring, I have found many ways to keep my feet and head moving during this time.

With my club soccer season suspended with no practices or games until April 30, I have had to learn and adapt to my new schedule filled with lots of free time. My coach has found ways to keep in touch with my team with webinars, Zoom meetings and constant drills or exercises to work on. This time has allowed me to mentally focus on my soccer career and position on the field.

Alongside the online aspect to improving the game, I have dedicated a lot of time in my schedule to keeping in shape for the upcoming season. With this much time off, it is crucial for athletes in any sport to consistently practice in order to not lose their touch or skill in the game. Whether it’s going to the nearest field and shooting around or going on a run, I have always found a time in my day to stay active.

While athletes especially have to worry about staying fit in absence of their sport, staying active is an activity everyone should include in their day. Considering the lack of facilities for someone to go in their free time, anyone is capable of taking some time out of their day to go on a walk or just go outside.

Despite the closings of gyms and sports seasons, there are many ways one can be active during this time. I completely understand the feeling of just wanting to stay in bed and binge watch your favorite show, but with just 10 to 30 minutes of your day dedicated to moving your feet, the benefits of keeping a healthy body will pay off in the end. Here are a few activities that I have done to stay active in my time off and highly encourage others to try in their free time.

1. Long walks and runs

Considering it’s springtime and the flowers are beginning to bloom and the temperature’s rising, it would be a shame to let it go unnoticed. In my time off, I have spent a lot of it walking outside around the neighborhood with my dog and hiking in the woods. Not only is it a good way to keep up your cardio, but being outside in the sun always puts me in a happy mood. This is a easy and fun way to enjoy the beautiful weather while staying active.

2. Working out and exercising

Like I said, staying in shape during this time is crucial for athletes. Whether it’s going on a run, lifting or doing an AMRAP, there are a variety of options to work out. One easy and fast way to work out that I have done is pulling up a quick 10 to 15 minute workout video. Even the smallest acts can make a big difference.

3. Throwing a ball or playing catch

Although you aren’t allowed to hang out or do this with friends, you can grab a sibling or family member to go outside and play catch with a ball. While it may not seem like much work is being done, this is a simple way to move your body and have some fun while doing it. For me, I have been going to the nearest turf field and working on my soccer skills. My siblings and I have also found that juggling a soccer ball in the house can be fun too.

4. Yoga

Despite my lack of flexibility, I have found yoga to be a relaxing and mentally beneficial activity to do in my mornings. On youtube, you can find so many yoga instructors guiding you throughout this exercise. Along with that, many yoga studios have even live streamed their classes on Instagram or Facebook Live. Overall, yoga is a great way to work out while staying at the comfort of your home.

5. Dance

While it may seem silly, blasting music or making a TikTok dance can actually be very tiring. Jumping up and down not only gets your heart and feet moving, but takes the breath out of you while you’re doing it. I can say this from experience. It’s fun, mentally reliving and easy. I highly recommend it.

6. Online games (Ex: Wii Sports)

Again, it may seem dumb, but I have found in the past that Wii sports games can be challenging and tiring. It not only keeps your body moving but also is working out your brain. For the many who may have Wii, Xbox or PlayStation, there are many games to download that work on fitness and movement.

All of these activities are beneficial to staying active, even in the slightest way possible. These are just a few of the many things one can do to keep their body healthy during this time. With this, the WHS wellness department has kindly offered some sources and advice to staying healthy during this time, including the PLT4M fitness site.