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How I Stayed Active During a Year of Online School

We all understand the importance of physical exercise and its benefits on both our mental and physical health. But like many others, after almost a year of locking myself at home, I’ve lost all my motivation to stay physically fit as the stay-at-home order repeatedly gets extended. Most of my days consist of waking up, doing schoolwork, having my daily three meals, and going to bed. Over time, I’ve noticed negative changes in my mood and endurance level, found myself constantly stressing over little things, and have been feeling constantly tired even after getting 10 hours of sleep. I’ve discovered some ways to end this unhealthy lifestyle that are fun and effective at the same time. I’m sure that I’m not the only one who’s experienced this, so here are some of the methods that kept me physically active during this year’s online school:

1. Go on walks and explore new trails

This is probably the easiest activity you can do to maintain an active lifestyle. There are so many different trails and parks out there, and there has to be one that you have never been to before! Even if there are no parks near you, walking around the neighbourhood or minimizing driving when running errands would also help you to get a daily dose of activity.

2. Utilize your video game consoles

If you’re a huge fan of video games and don’t enjoy exercising outside, this might be a great option for you! Many fitness video games such as Just Dance and Wii Sports are great alternatives to traditional workouts that can actually make you break a sweat from the comfort of your own home. There are a variety of different fitness games on the market for you to choose from. You can get your heart rate up and experience the fun gameplay at the same time without making exercise feel like a chore!

3. Do house chores to keep your feet busy

No one has said that going to the gym or out for a run are the only forms of exercise. Doing housework might burn more calories than you think as it usually involves lifting, pushing, pulling, and walking that are commonly found in a workout session. If you find yourself not having enough time for a walk or proper workout, consider putting some chores in your daily to-do list so that you can still get your steps in for the day.

4. Yoga and meditation

I was never really a fan of yoga because I always thought you need some crazy flexibility in order to start. But recently, I’ve been slowly incorporating yoga and meditation into my daily workout routine and noticed improvements in my mood and flexibility after a few weeks. More intense yoga sessions are perfect for warm-ups before workouts and the ones that have a lot of stretching actions are great for cooldowns after. 

5. Try out new things

Since I get bored really easily, I’ve been exploring other forms of exercise to keep myself motivated. If you’re also getting tired of doing the same workout or type of exercise every day, I recommend trying out rollerblading and skateboarding. They might require some learning in the beginning, but once you get the hang of them, they will become a mode of transportation that can be easily incorporated into your daily life - not to mention how fun they are!

Staying physically active isn’t difficult as long as you find a way that keeps you entertained during the process. I’m sure there’s more things out there that can be equally as enjoyable as some of the methods I mentioned above. Be creative when it comes to exercise and make it a pleasant experience of your everyday life! So, what are you still waiting for?


Catherine Yu

McMaster '23

Catherine is a second-year McMaster student majoring in Kinesiology, and hopes to minor in Economics. Outside of school, she loves to sing, dance, and go on hikes with friends and family! You will often catch her at the candy aisle in the grocery store.
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