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Cost of COVID: Central Georgia works to avoid the dreaded 'Quarantine 15'

During the pandemic, some have experienced weight gain. Doctors stress that people should still be getting 30 minutes of exercise a day.

MACON, Ga. — The 'Quarantine 15' is a silly way some people are describing the weight gain they've experienced at home during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Some people are working hard to make sure they avoid adding on the pounds.

As a personal trainer, Brittany Deal knows pandemic stress can show up on the scale.

"People have gotten really stressed out and nervous and we've kind of isolated ourselves, which is really bad for our health," Deal said.

Those COVID-19 calories can really add up.

"The pantry is right there,” Deal said. "You can grab food whenever you want it."

As it turns out, there's been a lot of snack grabbing going around. 

Yale Medicine reports that since the height of shelter-in-place mandates, comfort food recipes have been trending on Google and some patients have gained up to 30 pounds in just three months.

But Deal says there's no excuse, even after gyms were shuttered and fitness classes cancelled.

"I think working out in the park is an excellent way. You have plenty of space,” she said. “We're all six-feet apart, plus some, and we still get that community. We get that fresh air."

Christa Conn agrees. She is the owner of Sparks Yoga Studio, and she sees people seeking solutions to take care of themselves.

"We've had a lot of actually new people through Sparks, join and come to classes that have never taken yoga, but they knew they needed something for their mental and physical health,” Conn said.

Conn says the pandemic brought a new awareness to the importance of fitness.

"[Yoga] gives you stress relief, it gives you that movement that releases endorphins, and then of course with meditation and breathing is just continually coming back to a positive place and reminding yourself to let go of those things that are out of your control."

Conn says there have been gifts along the way too.

"The pandemic has allowed us to come together and take care of ourselves, but also take care of each other during these crazy times,” she said.

Whether you're at home or not, the Mayo Clinic says that adults should be getting at least 30 minutes of exercise every day, even during a pandemic.

For fitness tips, click here.

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