Lifestyle, Motivation, Well-Being: Students Staying Fit During Self-Isolation

As each day runs into the next, quarantine can make us students feel bogged down, tired, and even a little bit worthless. It can feel difficult to keep a routine, or to feel a sense of accomplishment while we’re self-isolating. I spoke to two students of DSHS who have been encouraging others to stay fit and moving throughout this time. 

Senior Alexa Smith has always been a workout junkie, and she started her fitness Instagram @fitaustinfoodie in 2018. Smith works out 5-6 times a week, and on her off days she likes to bake, or eat something that she’s been craving all week, and spend time with her family. 

“When I moved to San Antonio, I had no friends, so I would just go with my dad and find really awesome food places and I started taking photos of it and talking about it two years ago. So the “foodie” part is more so like a sentimental thing, because it was filling a void in the best way possible,” Alexa Smith said.

Quarantine has been giving us a lot of free time, and most of the time we don’t know how to spend it. Smith explained how working out keeps her sane during this self-isolation. 

“I feel like I have to fill my time, otherwise I’ll go crazy. I’ve been working out more, but it’s a lot more stuff that I would never do in a gym. It’s kind of cool, I’ve found more ways to be minimalistic,” Smith said. 

Social media has been an escape for all of us students, and for Alexa Smith she’s found a way to get herself even more motivated to get moving throughout this time off. It’s also been a makeshift therapy for the fitness fanatic.

“I definitely feel more inclined to workout since I started posting more on my instagram. It’s a hobby and it’s such a fun part of my day to post about it. It’s also been therapeutic to write a caption because I’m just talking about something I love,” Smith said. 

Senior Virginia Peterson, another workout junkie, also started a fitness instagram at the beginning of April, @vfit_inspo. Peterson started her instagram after Alexa Smith when Smith told her that it keeps her going with workouts and provides accountability during this time of self-isolation. We’re all looking for a sense of motivation and something to look forward to, and Smith explains that she wants her instagram to also be something that could help others, while also keeping herself accountable. 

“I think my Instagram makes me want to help/inspire other people to be better,” Smith said. 

“During quarantine it’s hard to stay motivated, and having my instagram account has kept me going and makes me feel like I’ve made a commitment to working out,” Peterson said. “It’s also to motivate people. Just get up and do it! It’ll maybe take 30 minutes to an hour of your day.” 

When talking to Peterson about staying motivated, she says that she wants to get something out of this time of being home.

“I don’t want to just waste away this next month or two, I want to come out better, at least in some areas. Working out also helps me improve my way of thinking, which I’m really big on. When I’m having an off day mentally, I make sure to go work out and it clears my head,” Peterson said. 

Peterson says that the main reason she works out is for her mental health. She stopped playing sports for a couple years and realized how much it affected her drive and motivation level. 

“Working out and knowing that you accomplished something helps you want to push yourself and strive for more in every aspect of your life,” Peterson said. 

Mental health and stability during this time can be a bit of a rocky road for all of us during self-isolation. It can be hard to have motivation or something to be excited about for your day or week. 

“I work out for my mental health. It doesn’t do anything bad for me, it just makes everything better, even when things are really bad,” Smith explained.

During this time it’s easy to compare yourself to others. We can feel like someone else is doing better than us, or that they’re spending their time better than you, which in the end just makes you feel more bogged down. 

“I don’t think this time is a productivity contest, or a who can get in the best shape contest like a lot of people are making it out to be. Even if it’s just going for a walk, it can make you feel better. It makes you feel stronger not only physically, but you’re disproving every thought in your mind that says ‘I should just quit’ and it just goes to show you that you have so many capabilities and you’re stronger than what you think,” Smith said. 

The two fitness gals want to encourage others to get moving, no matter how much it is. It’s not about what everyone else is doing, it’s about helping yourself, your wellness, and your mental health.

By Maddie Lewis, Staff Writer

Featured photo from Alexa Smith on Instagram

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