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While everyone has been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 lockdowns, athletes are facing prominent physical and emotional health problems. The sudden lack of physical activity and social interaction can result in a loss of muscle mass, depressive episodes, and other health issues. However, there are things athletes can do at home to help them stay in peak condition.

Focus on the Basics
Finding yourself in a confining situation can affect your mental health more than you realize, so it’s important to focus your attention on things that you can affect. The stalled economy has resulted in reduced household incomes, which makes it more important to focus on making sure your basic needs are met. This includes ensuring your rent or mortgage and utility bills are getting paid and ensuring you have enough food in the home.

Connect With Teammates
Social interaction is important for emotional health and cognitive stimulation. While you may not be able to meet on the playing field, you can still interact with others through virtual connections. Text messaging, social media, and video conference calls are just a few ways to keep in touch with friends and teammates.

Maintain a Regular Workout Schedule
Even though you can’t attend team practice sessions right now, you should still be exercising on your own. At the very least, you should engage in 30 minutes of moderate to high-intensity exercise every day. This can include going for a run around your neighborhood, doing push-ups and crunches at home, and lifting free weights. There are plenty of outdoor exercises you can do as long as you maintain social distancing guidelines.

Stay Alert to Emotional Problems
As you obey lockdown restrictions, it’s important to recognize the effects this has on mental health. Even an athlete who is in excellent physical condition can still suffer from depression, anxiety, and other emotional problems. If you do feel depressed or anxious, it will be vital to talk to someone about your feelings. If you don’t know anyone who you can talk openly with, look online for therapists offering virtual counseling sessions. 

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle includes caring for your physical, emotional, and financial health. If you notice a problem in any of these areas, it will be up to you to find the help you need. Your coach won’t be around to motivate you, so you’ll have to become your own coach.