With quarantines taking place again around the world, it’s an incredibly challenging time for many people. Students and children have to adjust to this new normal, and a high percentage of classes and activities are now taking place online. As students and children are no longer commuting to and from their school or campus each day, it’s easy for their lifestyle to become far more sedentary, as they are remaining in their dorms or apartments almost all day every day. Unfortunately, it’s a recipe for disaster, with obesity and mental health concerns becoming increasingly prevalent. Today I’m going to share some top tips for avoiding obesity during the quarantine period to help you develop healthy habits you can implement into your daily routine to keep active and healthy.

How students can avoid obesity during quarantine

Add a daily walk to your routine

For both your mental health and physical wellbeing, I’d recommend adding at least one walk into your daily routine. Alternatively, if you enjoy jogging or hiking, this would also be a great physical activity. This will ensure you get some much needed fresh air each day, as well as time away from screens. Whether you live in a city or the countryside, it’s important to get up and out each day, and you’ll feel a renewed sense of purpose by getting changed and going out, even if just for twenty minutes. If you use a fitness tracker, I’m sure you will have noticed the minimal steps you get each day when at home, so use this as motivation to take a short walk once a day.

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Meal plan at the start of each week

One of the biggest causes of weight gain this year is a change in diet. With so many people ordering take-out and having food delivered almost daily, it’s easy to overeat, and that soon adds up to weight gain. Students and children are always busy, even in this quarantine period, so it’s hard to find time to cook extravagant and fresh meals. Take some time each weekend to plan out your meals for the week ahead, and go shopping and get all of the fresh ingredients you might need for the week ahead of time. By planning each of your meals in advance, you won’t be tempted to order food delivery come evening time, and that will also be beneficial to your bank balance!

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Keep your fridge stocked with healthy snacks

When you’re working on the computer all day long, boredom soon sets in and the temptation to snack all day long can be high. Soon the calories from fizzy drinks and unhealthy snacks will add up, and you’ll have exceeded your daily recommended calorie intake before dinner time. Avoid snacks high in calories, and instead, find some low-calorie snacks that will leave you feeling more satisfied. You’ll also find that with healthier snacks, you won’t risk the mid-afternoon crash that comes from eating sugar-laden foods. Keep some healthy snacks such as fruits, nuts, and vegetables in the fridge at all times, so when you are feeling a bit peckish in the afternoon, you’ll have something healthier to reach for.

Find an accountability partner

If you are living in dorms and have limited chances to interact with your fellow classmates, you can still find a virtual accountability partner to keep you in check with your health and fitness goals. Even if you can’t meet up to exercise together, you could take social distancing walks or do workouts together over Zoom. By checking in each day to keep track of how you are doing, you’ll find that you are more likely to remain active during this strange period of time. It’s also important for your mental health to keep in contact with friends and family and to know that if you are struggling you have someone to turn to at any point.

Try out new online workouts

During the pandemic, so many of the world’s best fitness instructors and athletes have started offering their workout services online. We now have access to incredible fitness classes at the touch of a button, and you can stream these at any time to fit around your study schedule. I’d recommend taking advantage of these services to try out new fitness classes and types of workouts that may not be offered at your college or school. By keeping things fresh and varied, you’ll keep active and want to keep up a regular exercise routine. You might also find a new favorite sport or gym instructor that you’ll look forward to continuing with after this year.

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Set yourself goals

Just because this year’s resolutions and aims may not have gone as planned, doesn’t mean you should completely abandon all of your previous goals and aims. While I don’t recommend being too harsh on yourself and over-analyzing your body mass index at this time, having simple and easy to track goals for a healthy diet and good exercise routine can help keep you motivated each day. Set yourself basic aims daily, weekly and monthly, such as cooking for yourself a few times a week or drinking your two liters of water a day, and you’ll be much more likely to stay on track with a healthy student lifestyle. Avoid just writing this year off completely as a disaster, as realistically we don’t know when life will return to normal. With the new year approaching, it’s also a good time to think about what you’d like to achieve in the upcoming year.

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Stick to your regular medical appointments

While it can be tempting to avoid the doctors and dentist this year, if you have regular appointments for blood pressure checks or know you have a high-risk illness, don’t skip your visits. While it’s easy to think that you can skip the doctors for a short time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would not recommend this, as the long term risk factor is too high. Use common sense when visiting anywhere off-campus, and wear a mask and keep your distance from other patients. If you suffered from childhood obesity, reduce the risk of this returning by sticking to your regular routines as much as possible during this time.

It’s been a challenging year for many of us, and students, in particular, have had to adjust to a world that is incredibly different from that which they previously lived in. However, the long term benefits of looking after your body are well worth keeping active and eating healthy foods each day. While we all deserve the odd treat during this difficult year, remember that days off and junk food should be an occasional treat and shouldn’t become a daily habit. When life returns to normal after the Covid-19 pandemic, you’ll thank yourself for keeping healthy and active and maintaining your ideal body.

This article was written by Dr. Sammy from PapersOwl, a professional writer covering many topics in nursing and the medical field in general. He is a passionate writer and believes that students can achieve their goals. Dr. Sammy has helped over 50 students to date and would love to help you with your next project.