Changes occur in the physical health of students during quarantine

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Arianna Hernandez, a junior, on the Don Lugo soccer team, physically exerts herself on the field.  She avoids eating unhealthy food so she can maintain top-notch athleticism. Now during quarantine, she explains, she exercises not nearly as much and eats more fast food now. (Photo Courtesy: Arianna Hernandez)

Cheyanne Jauregui

Students went from normal everyday life to being quarantined home because of the COVID-19 pandemic. They continuously make major adjustments in their lives which can take a toll on anybody’s health.

Students being home the majority of the time while school is virtual and sports are canceled can either be healthy or unhealthy depending on the student. The quarantine can be used to improve physical health by eating right and exercising or the opposite can occur where it declines instead. An adjustment such as this brings up the question, how many changes have occurred within the health of students?

Out of 152 responses, 48 percent of students think they have gained 5 pounds and 34.2% of them say 10 pounds. Students were asked what they think the cause of their weight gain is and out of 155 responses they reported that the top three causes are lack of movement, stress, and overeating.

Yahir Orihuela, a sophomore, in the Don Lugo Marching band, practices his clarinet before a competition. He maintains his health by jogging. Now, he says, “As we entered school and the classes got progressively harder, I no longer had time to go back and exercise.” He states his health decreased because of it. (Photo Courtesy: Christen Wroth)

There is a consistent pattern with students, saying their lack of movement is due to not going to school and/or sports being canceled. Xiomara Aguilar, a student that is not in any sports prior, says, “The constant walking from going to each class did provide me my daily exercise. Now, I rarely have any exercise.” In comparison, Sara Mendoza, a sophomore, explains her physical activity was reliant on sports. Then when the pandemic hit she stopped being physically active.  If you are struggling with staying active while still following CDC guidelines, students suggest: walking, running, or cycling.

Students were asked the question: Are there any differences in your mental health because of the changes in your physical health? Keeping yourself physically stronger helps your mental health,  sophomore student, Sophie Laing says. She continues, “Most days, you feel mentally drained after online school, but what has kept my mental health easier to handle has been a good workout and physical activity after school every day!”

Out of the 155 people surveyed at Don Lugo, 14.8 percent of them say overeating caused their weight gain. Participating in physical exerting activities like sports and visual performing arts results in students being healthier. This causes them to adopt healthy eating habits to maintain good athleticism but this changed when COVID-19 hit. It took away consistent routine and the accountability they received from coaches, teachers, and peers.

A Don Lugo wrestling athlete, explains, that before quarantine, she would strictly eat healthy foods consisting of a lot of protein and vegetables to maintain her weight. After a while in quarantine, her healthy eating habits started falling apart and she started eating more junk food. According to her, this caused her physical health to decline. Other students have given similar stories as this athlete and also say their unhealthy eating is caused by boredom and/or stress.

Do it for you. No one else will. A few minutes or hours each day…work on yourself.”

— Madi Hughes

Your health matters. You matter. This time can be physically and mentally draining which can result in unhealthy habits forming. It can be hard to stay motivated but always remember you are apart of one school and one family which your peers are always cheering you on. A Don Lugo Sophmore, says, “I know these times are rough but just push through because once you walk down that stage, with your diploma in your hand, waving at family in the stands, it will all be worth it.”