Diana J. Smith

Missing the Gym? Experts Say You Might Want to Consider Taking an Outdoor Fitness Class

As many states begin entering re-opening phases—including opening retail stores, restaurants, and movie theatres—experts agree that one of the highest risk environments for contracting coronavirus is the gym. So, what should you do if you want to start exercising and home workouts aren’t satisfying? Consider taking an outdoor group fitness class, such as pilates, yoga, or barre. You’ll get the same health benefits of exercising in the open air as you would in a studio or gym, but there’s far less chance of spreading germs.

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“Doing group exercise activities outdoors is going to be much more safe than doing (it) indoors,” Dr. Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and an infectious disease physician, told TODAY. “That could be much more conducive to social distancing and putting in measures that might make it less likely to

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Black-Owned Health and Wellness Businesses to Support Now and Always

As the country is still grappling with the tragic death of George Floyd and the ongoing protests in its wake, musician and activist Calvin Martyr has launched #BlackOutDay2020 on July 7. This campaign calls for an economic boycott where the Black community pauses on buying to highlight their economic spending power. If they do spend money, they are encouraged to buy from Black-owned businesses only.

Just like the fashion and beauty industries, the wellness and health space is full of brands that are founded and run by Black women and men. Whether they’re selling aromatherapy candles, producing fitness-minded podcasts or shattering stigmas of what it means to be “well” for Black women, each of these companies was once just a dream and is now a hard-earned reality.

But don’t just shop these Black-owned businesses today, or this week. Support them regularly, engage with them on social media and spread

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How one school district tends to students’ emotional health during coronavirus pandemic

SADDLE BROOK, N.J. – Three months ago, the Saddle Brook school district was making steady progress toward social and emotional learning as part of a district initiative.

In-class yoga, mindfulness mantras and coping strategies for anxiety were part of the daily routine.

Then came the pandemic.

Virtual learning separated children from schoolmates and teachers as the National Alliance on Mental Illness and other health experts noted a surge in stress and depression. Next came the killing of George Floyd and racial tensions that heightened anxiety for many families. 

“I’m glad that we were in front of social and emotional learning, that we had this wellness initiative in place, because we had already been talking about it and doing it,” Superintendent Danielle Shanley said.

To address a complicated new reality, the entire faculty worked together to keep social and emotional learning at the forefront.  

“My concern was the kids

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Wellness in the COVID era

Before long, wellness will be measured by more than the macabre checklist of curve-flattening behavior that’s defined life under Covid-19. Soon our well-being will demand more – the presence of a positive, not just the absence of a negative.

It’s a golden opportunity to restart life down a healthier path. But how? Before the coronavirus, 2020 actually had been a good year for wellness in medical journals. As we regain mobility, these studies are worth recalling. Wellness is closer than you might think.

According to leading lights, our long-term welfare is tied in no small part to having friends, exercising regularly and drinking coffee. Laughter, lunges and lattes – could it really be that simple? I think so.

Earlier this year, The Wall Street Journal cited a Harvard study focusing on the importance of male friendship. According to the research, the single best predictor of a man’s health and happiness

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