Kate Young / Contributing Writer
With Samford’s campus being closed and classes being moved online for the remainder of the semester as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, students and staff are striving to maintain a sense of normalcy. Though medical professionals are promoting social distancing to slow the spread of the disease, it has caused challenges as people learn to navigate their lifestyle changes.
The faculty at Samford are committed to the academic success of their students, but also to their health and safety during this time. Kinesiology professor Tyler Williams and university counselor Mallory Lamm offered their expertise to provide students with advice on maintaining their mental and physical health while at home.
Lamm stressed the importance of self-care in coping with additional stress caused by the pandemic.
“Self-care can be going on a walk outside, establishing a routine, engaging in devotionals, practicing yoga and turning off the news,” Lamm said.
She also said students should feel free to grieve over lost opportunities or experiences that had to be cancelled because of COVID-19.
“It is okay to feel sad about the missed or cancelled experiences this semester. Allow yourself to grieve what you’re missing out on,” Lamm said. “Journaling your feelings of sadness can be really helpful. A few questions to journal could be: What am I missing about being on campus right now? What am I having a hard time with right now? What am I in need of?”
Williams discusses how physical distancing can be challenging for those who exercise regularly.
“The physically distancing requirements have presented unique challenges to regular gym-goers,” Williams said. “Aerobic exercise can still be performed on most days by going on a walk or run outside. But, implementing resistance exercises is much more difficult with lack of equipment. Body weight exercises are a great way to maintain muscular fitness during these times. These exercises use one’s partial or entire body weight to serve as resistance. This can include lunges, push-ups, planks, and even rows.”
Willaims also encouraged creativity in using household items to workout.
“A sturdy table can be used to perform an inverted row to train the back muscles,” he said. “Also, a gallon jug of fluid weighs about 8 lbs and can be used as resistance for exercises like lateral raises, bicep curls or triceps extensions,” said Williams.
Students with active lifestyles are encouraged to adjust their dietary habits to avoid weight gain. One dietary adjustment Williams suggested in particular is increasing protein intake.
“One macronutrient that could be beneficial during this time is protein. Increasing protein intake may have a couple of benefits,” Williams said.
Eating more protein can help slow the loss of lean mass while confined at home. It also prevents overeating by making you feel more full.
Though stores may have restrictions in some areas on the purchase of common food items like meat, Dr. Williams has an alternative source of protein. “One option is to supplement with a high-quality protein supplement, which contains a large amount of essential amino acids that our body needs. These powders can be added to a fruit smoothie which helps with meeting daily protein needs, as well as great health benefits of fruits and vegetables.”
“Reach out for help if you need to, this is a hard time for everyone and staff is ready to support you,” Lamm said. “Counseling Services are able to provide counseling sessions via phone and video sessions.”
The coronavirus outbreak has caused communities across the globe to make major adjustments to protect people’s health and safety. Samford University stated they are devoted to the health and safety of its students and staff, especially during this time of international crisis. Students that wish to seek help from Samford’s Counseling Services can email firstname.lastname@example.org to set up an appointment.