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Tech faculty share health tips

Sunday, March 29, 2020
Tech faculty share health tips

Submitted photo Outdoor yoga is one of the things Louisiana Tech kinesiology graduate assistant Alexandra Ziepke, pictured above, suggests for those seeking to stay active and healthy while under Louisiana’s coronavirus stay-athome order.

Editor’s note: This is the first article in a series featuring Louisiana Tech University health faculty promoting physical, mental and dietary health during the coronavirus outbreak.

Louisiana Tech University just wrapped up its second week of online-only instruction in response to the spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, with no definite return date. As mitigation efforts continue to alter the daily lives of students, faculty and the surrounding community, a trio of Tech health experts are offering tips on how to adapt to the changes and incorporate good habits for physical, mental and dietary health, even while social distancing.

The first is Alexandra Ziepke, a graduate assistant in Tech’s Department of Kinesiology, who shared some healthy ways to stay physically active while adhering to Gov. John Bel Edwards’ stay-athome order and other guidelines.

“It’s important to stay physically active to maintain a healthy immune system and energy throughout the day,” Ziepke said. “Sedentary activity is not productive and can have adverse effects on our mental and physical health.”

Develop a routine

Setting new routines can take anywhere from one to two weeks, Ziepke said, but over time they help one become more productive. “An example would be waking up at the same time every day, eating around the same times, exercising, maintaining a set work schedule, going outside everyday, and whatever else is important in your routine,” she said.

During work or homework time, an active break of five to 10 minutes for every 60 minutes of work is recommended.

Exercise outside

It may be called a “stay-at-home” order, but state guidelines do not discourage taking a walk, riding a bike, hiking, jogging or doing yoga outside for exercise — as long as six feet between people is maintained.

“Being outside is recommended when following the appropriate guidelines,” Ziepke said. “Additionally, sunshine from being outside is a great source of Vitamin D, which is important for one’s immune system health.”

Use an online resource

With local gyms and yoga studios temporarily closed, several local and national gym facilities add daily workout routines to their You-Tube channels or other social media platforms that serve as an at-home alternative.

There are also several blogs and workout apps dedicated to working out from home, such as Downdog and Nike Training Club.

Those online resources become even more crucial when considering the alternative during the present coronavirus situation, Ziepke said.

“Group physical activity with possible contact and shared interactive items should be avoided at this time,” she said. “Instead, log onto Facebook or Instagram to find many online classes. Consider supporting local studios during this time.”

Have an accountability partner

Just because exercising together in person may be difficult, that doesn’t mean social interaction is discouraged. Ziepke recommends discussing with a friend or family member a time you plan to exercise and seeing if you can coordinate exercising at the same time.

“An accountability partner helps you stay motivated when you don’t feel like doing anything,” she said. “There are apps to track your runs at the same time as someone else’s. My four-year-old niece and I video chat and complete the same kids’ yoga practice together.”

Meanwhile, for anyone who believes they are becoming ill or have any symptoms of the coronavirus, exercise would not be appropriate. Resting the body and allowing the immune system to be at its best, calling a doctor to check further, is recommended.

Look for more tips from Tech faculty concerning mental health and dietary health in the coming days.