Making the most of your shelter-in-place

Hello world, it’s been about two months that we’ve been stuck in a state of shelter-in-place, and I don’t think I’ve ever been more bored. 

I never thought that I would miss going to school, or that I’d be tired of watching TV, but alas- it has happened. I think my eyes have literally gone square from sitting at my computer all day.

Although online school is keeping me busy, I’ve decided that in order to somewhat return to a state of normalcy, I need a schedule. So, I’ve done some research on the best ways to stay healthy and happy while in this state of shelter-in-place!

One of the best ways to stay healthy while stuck at home is to pay attention to your diet.

I know that I have been a victim of aimless snacking- probably out of boredom, but I’ve come to realize that it is more important to focus on eating the right foods and find other ways to keep myself entertained. 

Thus, it is of the utmost importance to realize that you cannot achieve your fitness goals unless your intentions are correct: focusing on eating the right foods will make you not only healthier, but happier in your lifestyle and appearance.

That being said, the American Heart Association suggests that each person eat between eight and ten servings of fruits and vegetables per day (these can include fresh, frozen, or canned products) in combination with low-fat dairy products, skinless meat products, nuts and legumes, and whole grains.  

Additionally, drinking approximately 64 ounces of water everyday will help to prevent aimless snacking.

Another way to stay fit is by taking long walks or hikes near your house to stay active. 

A great hiking trail to try out is the Triunfo Park Conejo Crest Loop trail, which is a 5.3 mile loop that begins (or ends) at Triunfo Park.

Also, walking around the Westlake Lake is both a beautiful and relaxing way to unwind and stay fit. The walk is about four to five miles, and taking that trail every day has allowed me to burn more than 400 calories in less than an hour and 15 minutes. 

Another great way to stay active in your home is to take free, online exercise classes.

I am a dancer, and I’ve found that New York City Ballet’s principal dancer, Tiler Peck, gives an outstanding ballet class that is challenging and fun. She hosts her free classes every day at ten a.m Pacific Time on her instagram account (@tilerpeck).

A local studio, California Dance Theatre, is also posting youtube classes for all styles of dance. These classes are a great way to improve flexibility and strength and I highly suggest that everyone try them.

For non-dancers, it is a good idea to try pilates or yoga to build strength and tone your muscles. I also really enjoyed the “30-Minute HIIT Cardio Workout with Warm Up- No Equipment at Home” routine created by SELF on youtube.

In terms of keeping yourself happy and your mental health strong during these difficult times, I really suggest picking up a new hobby, reading a good book (it’s really not so bad when you’re not forced to read for school), and practicing meditation.

I have been teaching myself to play the piano, recently read The Great Gatsby (and cried way too much), and meditating every morning before I start my day.

I have seen a big difference in my optimism, positivity, and outlook on my day since I started meditating, and I recommend downloading the free app “Insight Timer” to learn how to practice mindfulness. 

Hopefully by staying fit and entertaining the mind with some of my favorite at-home activities, you can stay safe and keep others safe while making the most of your shelter-in-place experience.

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