The popular phrase “Quarantine 15” has been trending since COVID-19 has made maintaining healthy habits more complicated for some.
According to Psychology Today’s article, “What is “Quarantine 15?” stress from COVID-19 has a powerful effect on people’s appetite, which is leading to people calling the 15-pound weight gain the “quarantine 15.”
Sally Rychlak, an Oxford Pure Bar instructor and health enthusiast, believes it’s a combination of stress and a lack of routine that is leading people to break good habits.
“There is so much uncertainty in our jobs, our future, our families, and therefore that affects our everyday activity,” Rychlak said. “The best thing to do is accept that every day may be different as it applies to family time, work, chores, exercise, diet, but it is important to find that balance and continue to prioritize health and wellness.”
Rychlak is aware of the phrase quarantine 15 but hopes that people will take the initiative towards their health before gaining the full fifteen pounds.
“The main thing is – be mindful of what you have in the house,” said Rychlak. “…Now more than ever, we are bound to our homes and what is in our pantry or fridge. Make a point to buy lots of fruits, vegetables, fish and etcetera. You can freeze produce and use it later on if perishability is a concern.”
Rychlak said it’s important not to get caught up in the cycle of buying cookies or whatever your vice may be. She said that if she has a box of cookies at her house, she will most likely eat all of them, but the key is not to repurchase them.
As a Pure Bar instructor, Rychlak also values keeping up with your physical health through working out.
“Just getting up and moving every hour or so can be so beneficial for both physical and cognitive health,” said Rychlak.
Since quarantine, Rychlak has taught virtual Pure Bar classes but understands that it is different than real-life courses.
“People like taking workout classes because they are motivated by the energy of the room, the instructor’s presence, and the community feeling that the environment provides,” said Rychlak. “… We have clients that take our virtual classes, but energy is definitely a lot different, and I am unable to do hands-on corrections with clients. The owner of my studio has done a great job working with our clients and asking for feedback, so we are adapting as much as we can during this time.”
The temporary closing of gyms and fitness studios such as Pure Bar has been challenging for some people such as Bryce Echols, a soon to be Ole Miss graduate, who views gyms as a place of motivation.
“Without access to the equipment I used in the past, I have not been working out as much as I did before the coronavirus,” said Echols. “I used to go to the gym every day and lift weights and do a little bit of cardio. Now I mainly do cardio and bodyweight exercises. I have even tried to use tables and chairs as weights.”
Echols said that he has even slightly injured his shoulder while trying to work out while in quarantine. He said he misses the gyms equipment since it is safer and more convenient to use.
Other Ole Miss students seem to agree with Echols, such as Lauren Perry, a junior art major.
“I think it’s much harder to work out during quarantine because I lack the motivation just to get up and do an at-home workout,” said Perry. “I love going to the gym and workout classes, so not having that has definitely affected my workout schedule.”
Perry also commented on how quarantine has affected her eating habits as well.
“it’s difficult to keep motivated when we don’t know when things will go back to normal,” said Perry. “Trying to create a new and completely different routine is pretty difficult and takes adjusting.”
Perry said that “quarantine 15” is very accurate and relatable; people are consuming a lot more food without exercising due to stress and boredom.
When the quarantine ends, Perry believes there will be a spike in diet and exercise plans. People are going to want to get back in shape, but she doesn’t know if it will be very effective.
“I think it might be similar to new year’s resolutions in a way that people are so excited to get fit at first, then quickly get burnt out,” said Perry. “But I also think that if people are noticing changes they don’t necessarily want, now would be the ideal time to make changes in their diets.”
Madison Collum, a junior who is majoring in Dietetics and Nutrition at Ole Miss, said it’s essential to have self-discipline with your self during quarantine and to be mindful of “bored eating” since snacking is one of the biggest causes of weight gain.
“It is important to maintain healthy eating habits because creating bad ones during this quarantine could potentially become harmful health habits after quarantine ends,” said Collum. “It is important to fuel our bodies with nutritious foods to keep our bodies healthy and immune system strong.”
Pure Bar instructor and health enthusiast Sally Rychlack said she believes everyone can fix their habits while in quarantine.
“You can still workout from home,” said Rychlak. “If you are in an area with little pedestrian traffic, getting out for a walk or run is a great way to get a workout as well as get some fresh air. We are so fortunate that this time of social distancing is a time of year when we have warm weather, and the sun stays out longer.”