Not all student-athletes are taking a break from training, especially junior Andreea Stănescu

Tennis Captain Andreea Stănescu shares how she's been staying fit and healthy during the shutdown. Photo courtesy of GSU Athletics

The World Health Organization recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week during quarantine to maintain a certain level of health while gyms are closed and people are stuck inside their dwellings.

Andreea Stănescu, captain of the Georgia State women’s tennis team, has been doing just that. She continues to train despite the challenges surrounding all sports and physical activity during this time. 

“I’m trying to hit every day on the court for an hour, and then workout for another hour and a half, like upper body, agility, mobility, endurance and abs,” Stănescu said.

She joined a teammate of hers and started an Instagram account where they post their daily workouts. Bunnyeflashy was made to help other people who might not know different workouts they can do without access to a gym.

“The account was created to show people that even if you are locked down … we want to show everyone … that we can still work out. You don’t need to have weights, and you don’t need to go out,” Stănescu said. 

As an athlete, it is easy for Stănescu to understand the importance of physical activity and working out during this time.

But what about the average citizen who does not have a sport to motivate them?

It is important to note that physical activity is something that needs to happen in order to maintain a certain level of physical health regardless of if you play a sport, especially when people are stuck in the house all day and likely do not even walk nearly as much as they did during pre-quarantine.

As an athlete, it is imperative for Stănescu to maintain peak physical condition for when sports return after the quarantine. She is in a unique position, as tennis is one of the few sports where social distancing can be practiced while still getting the full experience of the sport. 

“Tennis is different from basketball or football, for example. We didn’t have fans who came to our matches,” Stanescu said. “The only people that were around were my team, the opposing team, the coaches and an athletic trainer.”

The quarantine is going to have many different consequences for all sports. Tennis and track and field will see a distinct advantage when it comes to training during the lockdown, thanks to their ability to be away from people and train outdoors with a more individualized approach and less reliance on the weight room or facilities. 

All spring season athletes should find the motivation to train during this time due to a big vote of the NCAA that put student-athletes first — something they seldom do.

“I think that’s one of the positive outcomes that has come from the pandemic,” Stănescu said. “Here is where you will see who is really passionate about a sport and who just wants to do it to get it done. Everyone needs closure in life, not just in sports, so the NCAA made a really good decision about it.”

Although physical health is very important, it is also important to take care of your mental health during this pandemic. One of the bigger issues resulting from the quarantine is chronic loneliness. 

“What will help in the bad days is to reach out to people because you need to communicate during this time since we can’t actually see each other face to face,” said Stănescu. “Relationships — and if you have the right people next to you in these days — they are going to push you forward and make you better.”

As an international student from Romania, she has had to deal with problems that many with family in the U.S. do not have to face. Her family and friends are halfway across the world, more than 5,500 miles away.

“I had the option to go back home, but at the time, I preferred to stay here until school was over so I could finish my classes,” said Stănescu. “Here, I can still hit because we have a rooftop court, so we can still hit and workout. So, it was more convenient for me to stay here.” 

This would also be the safest decision for her health as well as the health of her family, since the U.S. has the most confirmed cases in the world, with nearly 800,000 and 40,000 deaths

Despite all the negatives that have come from this global pandemic, Stănescu stressed the importance of staying positive. 

“You need to control today and do your best to have a positive attitude, to have faith that everything with this pandemic will eventually end,” said Stănescu. “I don’t think this is the end of humanity. I think that this is a challenge. We will see who took care of themselves and who just lived through this pandemic.”

Let’s look at the facts.

Yes, the world has been put on hold due to COVID-19. Yes, no one actually wants to be quarantined for months on end without seeing many of the people they care about. And, yes, it was already hard to get up and force yourself to go to the gym, and now, you have to find another way to stay fit. 

But all of us have to deal with this, and we are all facing similar struggles. Stănescu is a great example of how to maintain a routine and stay positive, even when things seem bleak. She believes that when this is all over she will be prepared and ready to dominate at her craft.

Will you be?