With no school and a shelter-in-place order implemented in the Bay Area, students and staff who normally rely on a gym, pool, or soccer field for exercise have needed to improvise in order to stay in shape. Here is how some students and faculty are getting exercise while being confined to their homes and local neighborhoods.
Upper School SOM teacher Sean Schochet has adapted his exercise routine to the shelter-in-place by focusing his workouts on “bodyweight calisthenics,” which requires less equipment compared to his pre-shelter-in-place workout, which consisted of “heavier, anaerobic lifting.” Schochet completes a series of exercises several times a week, which includes jump roping, push-ups, sit-ups, and pull-ups.
He has also started walking his dog, Caleta, for triple the distance than he normally would every day. Schochet enjoys spending time with his dog and in nature and feels that his walks have a positive effect on him.
“My dog is always happy. I’m so jealous of her,” Schochet said. “The greatest thing about spending time with my dog is her happiness rubs off on me.”
Furthermore, spending a little time with nature every day serves as a refreshing break from technology for Schochet.
“When I take [my dog] for walks, I leave my phone at home,” Schochet said. “It allows me to be mindful of the beauty of the surroundings—sights, smells, sounds.”
Schochet and his dog typically start their walks walking in the same direction, but Schochet allows himself to “choose a new path in the moment.”
Associate Director of Admissions and Ninth Grade Co-Dean Davion Fleming has opted to do a more intense, early-morning workout routine during shelter-in-place. Every day, Fleming wakes up at 5 a.m. and reads the news before starting his workout. Fleming works out in the morning because he feels that it gives him something to feel accomplished about throughout the day and puts him in “the right mental space” for the rest of the day. The habit of rising early was formed years earlier, when he had football practices in college, and is a routine he has kept to.
“Five years of a habit is hard to break,” he said.
Fleming has also found that working out in the morning has its benefits over working out in the afternoon: there are less people in the streets in the morning, and there are also less “variables” to interrupt his routine in the morning than in the afternoon.
“In the afternoon or evening, I also feel really sluggish either from food, or sluggish from the mental challenges of the day, or I have other commitments to family and friends,” Fleming said. “There are too many other variables that could get in the way of me doing my workout.”
Around 6 a.m., he goes on a five-mile run around his neighborhood. Prior to the shelter-in-place, Fleming’s typical exercise routine included running on a treadmill, but now he has transitioned to running outside.
“The terrain is much harsher than a treadmill,” Fleming said. “I have to take care of my body more running outside and listen to my body more carefully than running on a treadmill, which is easier on the joints and muscles.”
After his run, Fleming completes a plank circuit, following an app. He then completes the following series of exercises: 50 jumping jacks, 40 squats, 30 push-ups, 20 crunches, and 10 pull-ups.
Fleming usually finishes around 7 a.m. to walk his dog, Sophie. Like Schochet, spending more time with his dog has had a positive effect on Fleming, both “mentally and emotionally.”
“I have experienced so much on my walks with Sophie,” Fleming said. “They are calming, meditative, contemplative, and fun.”
Lael S. ’23 uses different apps and online websites to find workout sets and completes several sets every day, including core, leg, and arm exercises. In addition to exercise, Lael endeavors to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
“I am also trying to eat healthy, drink enough water, and get enough sleep,” Lael said.
Leilani C. ’23 has made it her goal to exercise more during quarantine. To help her achieve this, she decided to start planking during transition time in between classes for her Design With an Impact class “wellness project” a couple weeks ago.
“I think I could definitely exercise more,” Leilani said. “It’s just a bit harder because it’s harder to stay motivated during this time.”
She has noticed that planking in between classes has given her more energy and she feels that it was a positive experience overall.
“I’ve definitely improved over the course of the week and I want to continue it,” she said.
While the planking during the past week has been her primary source of exercise, Leilani has also been staying active by using her elliptical and her trampoline in her garage. She and her brother sometimes exercise together during lunch, alternating between using the elliptical and the trampoline.