Experts suggest staying at home might lead to gaining 15 pounds. Webster students are trying to prevent that.

By Micah Barnes

The phrase “Quarantine 15” was quick to gain notoriety on social media when the community began practicing social distancing. “Quarantine 15” refers to the gaining of 15 pounds while in quarantine. Though this is a popular hashtag, Webster students like junior Abby Anderson are determined to not actually gain 15 pounds during quarantine. 

Students are channeling this determination by working out while practicing social distancing.

“Staying home from school and work has also limited my mobility throughout the day. My Fitbit steps are so sad,” Anderson said. “So working out makes me feel better about it, plus I have more time to do it.”

Though being stuck at home makes more time for exercise, one’s mental and physical state can potentially become burned out.

“I started quarantine with a great positive outlook, and that’s changed quite a bit,” senior Elizabeth Gerger said. “I miss being more active, but it’s much easier to create excuses now that no one is holding me accountable.”

This is especially true for spring student athletes who have had their training cut short. As a tennis player, Gerger no longer has the ability to work out in her favorite way.

“I think both practical reasons and lack of motivation have affected me working out,” Gerger said. “I definitely prefer playing tennis over other types of workouts, and that’s not possible to do right now.”

Gerger believes many people, including students and athletes, are being affected in different ways.

“Some are overwhelmed with the lack of a schedule, and others are embracing the free time,” Gerger said. “Usually, people are either really committed to working out, or keep putting it off.”

Though working up the motivation may be hard at times, working out can have benefits for one’s mental state. Webster University’s athletic training service coordinator Jennifer Popken is of the opinion that physical activity improves several aspects of life. 

“Maintaining activity levels can help regulate sleep patterns, improve immunity and it can decrease symptoms associated with anxiety and depression,” Popken said.

Obtaining these benefits does not have to be through vigorous, challenging workouts. Popken affirms that the simplest of workouts still produces benefits. Popken states that just taking a walk and getting out of the house can make a difference. 

In agreement with Popken, Anderson believes now is the ideal time to begin an active lifestyle, no matter what the particular workout may be. 

“I think that now is a great time to try [working out] and start if it’s something that someone’s been thinking about doing,” Anderson said.