During a pandemic, students adjust their exercise and eating habits to remain healthy and safe while staying at home

Grace Knudson

He pulled an all time record on his rowing piece. He felt speedy and strong from the workouts the past month and confident there was a chance to place with his teammates at the Youth Central Regional Rowing Championships in May. Little did senior Sam Lindsey know that three days later, the campus would close until further notice and be closed to students until early September.

Lindsey finished a season with the mens varsity soccer team and set a personal record on the rowing machine with the varsity mens crew team prior to the stay at home orders in March. During quarantine, Lindsey relaxed in his house for most of the time, eating a big bowl of Honey Bunches of Oats, skipping lunch and ordering take out for dinner.

“Right before quarantine started, I was pretty pumped for the year,” Lindsey said. “I was getting into shape by working out six days a week, and the school lunches were definitely helping and relatively healthy. But then quarantine hit. I have legitimately worked out only 10 times since March 12.”

Lindsey realized he needed to get his act together; he started playing basketball, tennis and golf at the end of summer to exercise and up his cardio. Additionally, he started eating home cooked meals. Now, Lindsey is participating in the socially-distanced rowing practices on campus. In addition, Lindsey attends school in-person and is not sitting at a desk all day, he gets extra movement throughout the day.

“Attending the first strength and conditioning workout was more exercise than I’ve gotten in months, and it was set up safely as well,” Lindsey said. “I’ve missed school a lot and have gone insane not seeing anybody at home. It feels good to walk around campus.”

Like Lindsey, Sophomore Ella Sjogren’s lacrosse season was cancelled in the spring and early summer, leaving her to stay locked up in her bedroom all day during the Dallas lockdown orders. Sjogren’s mom, who was concerned about her lack of activity, set a training schedule for Sjogren and her sister to ensure the sisters would not stay in bed all day. Sjogren spent every day from March 12 to the end of summer running multiple miles in her neighborhood.

“I am actually really grateful that my mom has made me run everyday since March,” Sjogren said. “I would’ve been really out of shape if she didn’t make me, and I would’ve gained a lot of weight. Considering all my classes were online, I could just sit in my room all day and not get up — which I did do.”

Because club lacrosse practices are back in session and she attends school in-person, Sjogren no longer runs as frequently as she had before, but now works out at a gym three times a week to continue staying fit during the school year. And it helps that Sjogren maintains healthy eating habits.

“I have been eating a lot more at home, and it was easier to be healthy because I could not go grab something from a store easily,” Sjogren said. “It was nice because I had a meal prepared for me by my parents.”

“Considering all my classes were online, I could just sit in my room all day and not get up— which I did do.” 

Ella Sjogren,

Juniors Esme and Mary Frances McGaughy had kept up a healthy lifestyle at the beginning of the year, during distance learning and in the present day. On the varsity field hockey team and lacrosse team, the twins are set on staying fit and healthy and enjoy fitness exercises in general. 

“Our gym had been closed for a while during quarantine, so we had to find different ways to workout,” Mary Frances said. “We see quarantine as a positive because we were able to workout more. I didn’t just want to sit at my desk all day, and working out gave me a rush to finish the rest of the school day.”

While the McGaughy’s both love exercising, they differ in their favorite types of exercises. During distance learning, Esme enjoyed going on neighborhood runs and using the Peloton, while Mary Frances enjoyed yoga and learned to love running. Now, the twins attend strength and conditioning on campus for field hockey. 

“Working out makes me feel better,” Esme said. “For sports, we just do it for fun, but all this working out has made us be faster and give us more endurance. We have to do the mile test for field hockey so this will definitely help,”

Yoga is something Senior Lilly Lutz did as well while at home. Because her season of club volleyball was cancelled, Lutz also started running and cooking. Additionally, Lutz made her own Instagram account to share the fun things she has been making and her healthy choices.

“I have had a lot of time on my hands recently,” Lutz said. “I started doing these online yoga classes, and I am still really into those. When everything started shutting down and people started eating takeout, my parents did not want that, so I started cooking meals—dessert, breakfast, everything you can think of. I would endlessly scroll through food accounts and recipe accounts on Instagram.”

Now that school is in-person and club volleyball is in session, Lutz makes quick and easy breakfasts and afternoon snacks before her practices in the nighttime. Lutz also created her own strength training workouts to be done in the morning before heading to school.

“I am so happy to be back at school even though it’s definitely different,” Lutz said. “Cooking and training are also kind of like an outlet for me when things get stressful, so I am grateful I am still able to find time to cook and train even with school going on.”

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