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Here’s how to stay healthy during your COVID-19 self-quarantine

Tips for maintaining your workout routine and eating well during the crisis
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SKYLAR CHEUNG/THE VARSITY
SKYLAR CHEUNG/THE VARSITY

It might be hard to maintain fitness and health during the COVID-19 pandemic. U of T has closed all gyms, and minimizing grocery shopping does not bode well for fruits and vegetables, which tend to go bad after about a week. However, there are still many ways to maintain your health without needing to leave the house often.

Fitness

Although it is recommended that everyone stay inside during the pandemic, it is perfectly safe for you and others around you to go for a run. As long as you are complying with social distancing guidelines, there is no harm in engaging in most outdoor physical activities.

If you are used to running on busy streets, it may be best to find residential areas in order to maintain the recommended six feet of distance between yourself and others. Remember to also avoid drinking from any water fountains.

In terms of strength and conditioning, burpees are one of the best exercises to do at home. They are accessible to anyone at any fitness level and are incredibly efficient. However, you should also be conscious of varying your exercises as well, and should include pushups and squats into your routine. These three exercises alone make for an effective workout.

Nutrition

Grocery shopping can be difficult during this pandemic, given that many things are already off the shelves, and that canned and other non-perishable foods last much longer than other food.

When buying milk, it is best to look for shelf-stable milk, such as soy, almond, or hemp milk. These have a much longer shelf-life than regular milk, and can be a substitute for almost anything you normally use milk for.

In terms of food, beans are one of the most nutritious and cost-efficient items to buy. Dry beans are cheap and can be bought in large quantities, but canned beans work well too and are much more convenient.

Although many fresh vegetables spoil quickly, there are many that you can buy frozen, such as corn, peas, and broccoli. The freezer is also a great way to keep many of your meals fresh for a long time.

One last trick is to smear your pasta sauces, lentil and bean soups, chilli, or other stew-like meals into an ice tray, freeze them overnight, and put the cubes into a plastic bag the next morning. This saves a lot of time in having to thaw meals, and can be reheated in the microwave very quickly.

Mental health

Eating healthy can positively affect one’s mental health. This is important during a time of crisis that causes a dramatic change to routine — especially one that requires self-isolation.

Dark leafy greens, asparagus, legumes, nuts, and whole grains help keep your blood sugar stable, which helps reduce anxiety. Anxiety can also be curbed by antioxidants, such as blueberries, acai, and foods with Omega-3 fats, such as salmon.

For a treat, chocolate can be a stress minimizer as well. Try to avoid foods that trigger anxiety, such as simple sugars, fried foods, alcohol, and excessive caffeine.