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Confessions from an Athlete: Staying Active and Staying Healthy

By Tamas Zador

No matter how many classes or how big our workload, we should not forget about giving our mind and body the necessary fuels to succeed during the current ‘remote’ world. I have some easy and simple steps that help me get things done and stay productive while managing classes, tennis, and other responsibilities:

The Importance of Rest

We all know the importance of sleep but we still tend to neglect it. Going to bed at a reasonable time and getting 8-9 hours of sleep while waking up around 7-8 is underrated. Now that I spend more time inside, thanks to my classes being online, I have more flexibility with my schedule. However, I found myself being more productive in the morning these days when I wake up early. It also allows me to stay productive throughout the day as it feels like the days are longer in a good way, with having more time to do something fun or entertaining in the evening instead of working.

Feeding Your Body Fuel

Nutrition is key. I try to have 4-5 meals a day, so I keep fueling my body, that also helps keep my energy level. Water consumption is just as important as the food intake. I often find myself standing after I worked on a project or watched a lecture without touching my water bottle. Staring at blue light is a lot worse when your body does not get what it needs, so if you do not want headaches and sleepiness make sure to take care of your body and hydrate it.

Staying Active: Physically and Mentally

There are plenty of ways to exercise these days. The weather is still nice enough to go for a stroll, run or a bike ride outside, or to even do a yoga session in the park if you're not shy. If that isn't your cup of tea and you rather workout in your apartment that is fine, just make sure to exercise at least once a day as it is a good way to take your mind off of work, class and your private life.

Stimulate Creativity and Inform Yourself

It is a great time to pick up a new hobby or get back to an old one. Last quarter I tried surfing in the mornings but now that I am back in Chicago, I started looking up new restaurants and coffee shops around the city. I am not sure if eating out and finding new places can qualify as a hobby but it certainly helps with feeling more normal about our ‘socially distanced’ world. I also like to think that it also helps small businesses. If you are looking for ways to get out and about, football season is another good reason to watch the games somewhere other than your home.

I always try to keep up with what is happening in the world through reading different news publications. Sometimes now that I am more confined to my apartment, I catch myself reading the news less, or at least before the big election campaigns started. Since it is already voting season make sure to check news daily, it will likely help you with other aspects of your life as well.

Lastly, there is nothing wrong with watching a movie or a show at night to tune out everything else, but be aware of the blue light. It doesn’t help our eyes recover effectively. Once I changed my habits and started reading a book before I went to bed, I started falling asleep faster and waking up with more energy.

These are the routines I have been working on this quarter and now as Week 6 is approaching, they are becoming more and more automatic, helping me to stay on top of my workload!


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