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Physical health

How can we stay fit during corona quarantine?

It's not just schools, restaurants, and pubs that have closed their doors to stop the spread of the coronavirus – fitness centres, sports clubs, and swimming pools are also out of bounds. And now that public life is at a standstill, you will even miss out on your daily bike ride to the university or your sprint to the train station. We’ve been asked to stay indoors as much as possible. So how can we stay fit during corona quarantine?

Sport not only keeps us physically healthy; it also improves our concentration, willpower, and stamina. It's no coincidence that physical exercise is often used as a remedy for stress. Good physical fitness can really help at this time of isolation, so get moving: go for that run, or dance yourself dizzy in your kitchen! Below we have some tips to help you stay active. And don't forget the online options provided by the Leiden University Sports Centre.

Our tips

‘Commute’ to your home office

Use the time you would normally spend on commuting by car, train, or bike to get moving. Do all those chores that otherwise get overlooked: go to the bottle bank, wash the windows or the car, dig the garden, kick a football around outside with your roommates or children, or go for an energetic walk or bike ride in the countryside.

Move around as you would do in the University

Instead of popping out to the printer, a lecture, or a meeting, walk around the block, do an errand, or walk up and down the stairs in your house or apartment building.

Take breaks from sitting still

‘Sitting is the new smoking’, they say – and if you're at home the temptation to sit all day may be even harder to resist. If you're calling a colleague or fellow student, you could stand or walk around for the phone call. Get up every half hour and walk around the house. Do some stretching exercises or walk up and down stairs a few times – then you'll go back to work with renewed energy.

Make a schedule

When you're studying or working at home, it can be easy to put tasks off and forget to prioritize exercise. The danger is that your exercise period will get forgotten. So schedule a time for exercise, as well as scheduling the short bursts of activity in between work blocks.

Search for digital sports challenges

Try downloading an exercise app that gives you a series of challenges of increasing difficulty, for instance; google online workouts or dance classes; or search for #stayfit or #stayathomechallenge on social media. The Alles over sport YouTube channel may provide inspiration. And don't forget the television programme Nederland in Beweging (The Netherlands in Action). Exercising together with others via webcam can also be a good and fun way to get yourself motivated

University Sports Centre

The University Sports Centre has a wide range of sports and will do its best in this quarantine period to help you to stay as fit and healthy as possible in a variety of ways. It offers live classes on Instagram and videos of workouts of various lengths for you to do at home (on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook) The sports on offer include power yoga, yin yang yoga, HIIT classes, aerobic dance, core training, and Zumba classes. Check the hashtag #uscathome for more information.

Additional tip: struggling to stay balanced iwhile working or studying from home? Watch this video! In only 10 minutes, Aurora de Leeuw (Law Faculty teacher and yoga teacher at the USC) shares how you can release physical tension behind your desk, by using three yoga inspired poses. She also shows a breathing exercise to help you to slow down and check in with yourself.

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