Learning to Stay Active

Before this pandemic, I took for granted how much exercise I got in a day. The walk to the train station to school and from school. The three flights of stairs, I had to climb multiple times throughout the day and when it was track season, the two hour practices after school kept me more than fit— but I didn’t see how important it was until we entered quarantine.

I never paid much attention to what I ate. I snacked when I felt like it and I never switched out French fries for salads or anything like that. I’m a huge foodie, so I love trying new foods and new restaurants. Before quarantine, my friends and I would try new food places on Friday’s after school. We had sushi, tacos, and more, but that was after a two hour track practice. During quarantine, after my mom ran out of new recipes and got tired of cooking, we started eating out more and my brother and I had to cook for the family every Saturday. When we ordered out, I never thought to order salads, wraps, or anything healthy. On the Saturdays my brother and I cooked, we remade our favorite foods so of course he made chicken sandwiches and I made chicken Alfredo pasta.

Eating like this and the sudden lack of exercise, took a toll on me. One day when I was feeling extra energetic, I decided to go for a run because I missed track—I didn’t even last 5 minutes before I was huffing and puffing. I finally felt the consequences of not being able to go to practice and in-person school. The next day, I started exercising and eating better. At first I did long workouts and tough runs. I would workout everyday and eat really well for a couple weeks then completely fall off for another couple weeks and start the cycle all over again. Over time, I realized the importance of being consistent. Even if I workout just for 20 minutes a day or go on a walk—small changes would allow me to start being healthier. In the beginning, working out was a bit annoying, another tiring task on top of my long to-do list. But when I started switching up my workout routine, it became more enjoyable. I started to appreciate going on walks and eating healthy. Though I hate being cooped up in the house, this quarantine allowed me to realize the importance of and commitment it takes to stay active.