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How To Stay In Shape During This Quarantine Break

As a lot of people may know already, Covid-19 has infected huge amounts of people all over the world, especially in America. It is a highly contagious virus that is spread from person to person. If you have any symptoms contact your local doctor. As of March 27, 2020, in New Jersey, there were 8,825 positive cases of people with the Coronavirus. Because of Covid-19, schools in New Jersey have been forced to close the school until further notice. Students have to either do online school or a bunch of packets. This is forcing people to adjust to different routines and maintain good physical and mental health.

Mr. Veenstra

Eastern Christian gym teacher Barry Veenstra is staying in shape during this break. “As a matter of fact I have been exercising every day with my wife and I have lost 9 pounds of my ‘winter weight’ (5 to go) We take a 2.5-mile fast walk on the streets every day, a 3-mile hike on the High Mountain Park Reserve trails by our house at least 4 times per week, and do a strength training workout with dumbbells and bodyweight calisthenics in our basement for the time it takes to play an old vinyl record (about 30-40 minutes)” said Mr. Veenstra.

Mr. Veenstra was asked should we be eating a certain way and this is what he says, “ We should all drink a lot of water, avoid fast food drive-thru windows, stop filling the cupboard with a lot of empty calorie snacks and eat fresh fruit or baby carrots/celery & hummus or other healthy snacks, and don't snack after dinner!” Another question Mr. Veenstra was asked was how does he feel about this whole situation, and he responded with… “I have always tried to put into practice what I was taught at an early age that when life gives you lemons make some lemonade. Right now I am taking advantage of the new circumstances to grow in my faith, spend more time with my wonderful wife, learn more techniques that will help me do my job better, be creative with ways to teach skill development to our athletes, connect with neighbors, and get in touch with old friends. In a unique way, I have actually enjoyed the last two weeks!”

Mrs. Van Goor

Let's move on to what a health professional perspective is on all of this. Sara Van Goor is a yoga instructor and an aftercare worker for the YMCA in Wyckoff. Sara was asked the same questions. This is Sara’s exercise routine… “Weight training 3x/ week (although very modified since I don’t have an actual gym at home. I only have some dumbbells and one barbell with limited weights), I try to do cardio 3x/ week as well whether it’s in the form of power yoga, running, or hiking. And I do yoga at least 2x/week to stay flexible.”

She offers advice to others. If you don’t have a gym at home or you can't go outside, here are some things you can do. “If you can’t get outside at all, there are so many great videos online for all types of levels. You don’t need a gym to workout. You don’t need to be an athlete to move your body. Twenty minutes per day is more than nothing and you have to find something that you love. For some it may be dancing, some may like yoga, some perhaps aerobics, the point is it doesn’t have to feel like a punishment. It should feel like a gift!” says Sara. Sara was also asked how does she feel about this whole thing happening and this is what she had to say. “As far as how I feel about this time...It’s OK to be unsettled and to feel fear. This is not what any of us are used to and even in less serious circumstances, change is uncomfortable. I’m a mom so of course my thoughts are always on the well-being of my family. What helps me every day is remembering that God is ultimately in charge, not I. No amount of worrying will ever alter His will for us, as a matter of fact, it can only rob us of the joy that He promises us. I know that I need to turn my anxieties over on a moment to moment basis and really focus on the gifts I have. Right now, being able to breathe is a gift that I will never take for granted.”

A student perspective

You read a gym teacher's thoughts and a health professional’s thoughts on all of this, now what's better than all of those? A student's thoughts. Luke Parker is a sophomore at Eastern Christian High School and this is his workout routine.” I am a part of the track team, so our coach sends us 5 workouts a week. Besides that, though, I typically go on a 3-6 mile run. It just depends on how I am feeling that day. Our track workouts consist of 2-3 hard days and recovery days after those,” says Luke.

Here is some advice from Luke about your physical health and your mental health. “Don't force yourself or put pressure on yourself at all during this quarantine. Physical health is very important, but mental health is more important. So I would, of course, but mental health over physical health, but if you have time, I'd encourage people to get active. It's a huge stress reliever for me personally, and I know I always feel good about myself at the end of the day if I gave even a little bit of work. Just remember don't be too hard on yourself while you're stuck in quarantine. I think there is some type of anxiety in general for everyone. But I also feel like for people who are doing spring sports, it's kind of like we are in NO MAN'S LAND, waiting to hear if our season is still on or canceled. So I think for me, and I know for my teammates and players as well, it's very stressful, and giving us all anxiety about whether or not we will have a season or not,“ says Luke.


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