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Coping with quarantine through exercise, games

Blog by Zac Shoopman | Photo provided by Zac Shoopman

If you are like most sensible Americans right now, you have probably spent the majority of the past few weeks in isolation. It can be a grueling experience for extroverted people who thrive on the energy and experience of social interaction.

Here in Kentucky, all non-essential businesses are closed. This includes bars, music venues and basically anything considered fun. This has caused a major change in many people’s lives, including mine.

As a musician, I enjoy seeing live bands perform and socializing with other music fans. This is something that I have had to give up while this pandemic passes over.

Luckily, I have found other things to occupy my time in isolation.

At first, things like sleeping, staring at the walls and browsing my neverending news feed occupied my time. But then I got bored of that and thought, why not capitalize on this moment of isolation and turn it into a positive?

That is what I’m here to try to do, and maybe I can spread some ideas and positivity to other people as well.

I am considered an essential employee through the University of Kentucky’s IT Department, so I am not in full quarantine mode like some of you. But I still have a lot of ideas to share to entertain and improve yourself.

One major downside is that all gyms and recreational centers are closed. As someone who derived a lot of happiness from lifting heavy things, this sucks for me. On the bright side, I own a set of dumbbells and I’m not afraid to use them.

For a quick at-home workout, try doing three sets of 20 pushups, followed by three sets of 20 dumbbell squats. I try to do this three times a week. I supplement the other days by spot training things like shoulders, biceps, and triceps. This is where you can get creative. I’m not a workout guru, but Google and YouTube offer many resources on exercising with proper form.

Personally, my goals for the gym were a lot different than my goals in quarantine. For example, I’m no longer going for an increase in mass and strength. These exercises are mostly to help me stay somewhat in shape, and to keep the endorphins flowing so I don’t feel like a wet paper towel.

If you are a gamer that likes classic, nostalgic video games like myself, I recommend a site called You can find many classic computer games, and they’re all relatively inexpensive. I recently downloaded Civilization IV, a game where you control your own empire and compete to win against other nations. Fair warning, this game eats time. One second it’s 7 p.m. and you’re building a theater in your capital city, and before you know it, it’s midnight and you’re in the middle of a tense world war between rival countries. It’s absolutely addicting.

This alone should get you through the week before you’re bored. Remember, it isn’t forever. FaceTime your friends and play Civilization with them. We got this.

Song of the day: "No Particular Place to Go" by Chuck Berry


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