Pink flamingos on front lawns brighten the picture.
To Your Health, Now More Than Ever
By Lee Sandford
“Even small social interactions throughout the day are great for your health, and we should take them where we can find them at the moment.”
I hope that every Rye Record reader is prioritizing their physical and mental health during the crisis. In our house we’ve been coloring, painting, and baking bread as a distraction from media and social media when we need it, and these activities are working. But remember that your physical and mental health are intertwined in physiologically very complex ways, though intuitively in a very simple virtuous circle. Looking after yourself physically by getting enough sleep and exercise and eating a healthy diet will not just mean your body fights any virus better but will have immeasurable positive impacts on your mental health.
As I write, outdoor solo or family exercise is permitted. I urge you to take advantage of this. Being outdoors helps set your circadian rhythms for the day, which is essential for sleep. Sleep, which is even more essential in anxious times, may be elusive. Getting a good dose of daylight before midday is one way to ensure a good night’s sleep.
While you’re out there, notice what a beautiful time of year it is. Birds are going about their spring activities, cherry blossoms are blooming, the sun is higher in the sky, and warmer sunrise and sunsets can be spectacular. The world is still turning, and spring has arrived as it always does. There is tremendous comfort in this, if you make a point of looking for it and taking it in.
There has been some community tension as we settle down into acceptance of the New York PAUSE, so I also made a point on my long run of noticing the thoughtful things people do for each other. Every year, I love watching the host of daffodils planted by kind and community-minded residents crop up along Manursing Way and seeing flocks of pink flamingoes on front lawns in celebration of big birthdays.
If you’re running or walking, convention is that you run against the traffic. Sticking with this makes it easy to respect social distancing requirements, but make sure to wave or yell a friendly greeting to fellow runners. Myriad studies show that even small social interactions throughout the day are great for your health, and we should take them where we find them at the moment.
As regards more structured workouts in your home or yard, first check in with your favorite local class leader and see what they are offering online. I will be offering workouts, live and recorded, and you can find me at Thryverye on Instagram for times and details. Other local fitness providers I’m aware of are listed below. I’m sorry I don’t have a comprehensive list and I’m sure more and more will be up and running soon, so please support local businesses by regularly checking what’s out there.
Rye Ballet Conservatory, via Facebook
Brava Dance Center, via Instagram stories
Pilates Studio of Rye, via Zoom
JT from the Y, via Zoom, find him at Yogaloku on Instagram
Beyond Yoga with Janet Muller, via Zoom
The R.I.T.E Method Barre Studio, via Zoom. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re new.
Joe Wicks, one of Britain’s online workout coaches, has declared himself the nation’s gym teacher now that British schools are closed and is doing a daily gym workout that is great to get your kids’ brains in gear for their virtual school day ahead, or to reset if stagnation sets in throughout the day.
For low–impact and/or beginner workouts for those worried about their joints or starting out, try these providers on YouTube: Heather Roberston, Popsugar fitness, Madfit, and Sydney Cummings.
Any workout you do will reap benefits upon benefits, I assure you. If you’re a mom or dad home with kids, it gives you an opportunity to say the short-order chef is off duty for twenty minutes, but you’ll also be setting an amazing example that movement is crucial for a healthy body and mind. Stay strong Rye.