How to stay fit during quarantine

Elena Waldman

The World Health Organization recommends 75-150 minutes of moderate to high intensity exercise per week to combat the sedentary lifestyle brought on by the recent stay-at-home orders that are being enforced across the world. 

The nationwide closure of gyms is upsetting for many people, but for people who don’t see working out as a lifestyle accessory, but as an entire identity, it’s a pretty heavy blow. 


“I spent so much time toning my shoulders, I totally forgot to develop a personality,” said local gym rat Matt Connor-Zack-Kyle. 

Fortunately, there are plenty of workouts that can have you breaking a sweat from the comfort of your COVID-free home. Here is an at-home workout routine to try out this week to meet your health needs. 

30 seconds of high intensity self-sabotage

High intensity interval training is said to have many benefits, from building muscle to thwarting cardiovascular disease. The goal is to alternate between intense and moderate exercise to rapidly raise your heart rate in short bursts, followed by a period of rest.

One of the best ways to raise your heart rate is by creating stressful situations. Procrastinate on your homework, think deeply about your lack of a social connection, make your room incredibly messy and observe the mess while doing nothing about it, pick petty fights with your roommates, pick at blemishes on your face and make them much worse — get creative.

To achieve the desired effects of HIIT workouts, aim for increasing your heart rate to 85% of your maximum heart rate. 

Five minutes of staring in the mirror 

Staring in the mirror can feel like a workout depending on how much self-loathing you have, so spend this time really picking out your flaws. Keep a mental note of the size of your pores and pasty skin from not going outside. If you reach a brief period of hyperventilation from the realization you are ugly, congrats! The workout was successful. 

Two minutes of dissociating 

Many people forget that an important part of any workout is a resting period, such as stretching or meditation. Use this time to entirely detach from reality. The recommendation is two minutes, but this may last for over an hour depending on how much you lose the perception of time. Stare at a wall, sit on your bed in a towel, mindlessly scroll through Twitter and read the same tweets 20 times. Do what works for you. 

40 minutes of online shopping

The quarantine doesn’t leave many people in a good economic position, but being irresponsible with money is basically the COVID-19 workout equivalent of Zumba class.

Justify your spending decisions by telling yourself you are “stimulating the economy.” Scour clothing websites for online sales to buy clothes that you won’t wear because you have nowhere to go to. This may not seem like a workout, but the excitement from waiting for your package to arrive when you have nothing else to look forward to is a major serotonin booster, similar to jogging or dancing. 

Two hours of crying

Crying is one of the best stress relievers and a great way to wrap up a good workout. Cry in the shower, cry in your bed under the covers, cry in the middle of the night loudly enough to wake up your roommates — whatever is most comfortable for you.


Repeat this routine three times at least five days a week to achieve the desired effects.

Elena Waldman can be reached at or on Twitter @WaldmanElena.