Health Opportunities During This Isolating Time

by Susan Donovan, Director of Fitness & Wellness Services, JCC of Greater New Haven

The pandemic lockdown has given us the opportunity to learn many lessons if we choose to look at it that way. Among the fear and isolation, there is some light and positives from all of this that we should keep in mind. Certainly, a pleasantness can be found in the calm and slower lifestyle that has been pushed upon us in the lockdown. Mother Nature had a well-needed “time-out” with the environment definitely benefiting from less cars being on the road and pollution being pumped out. And, for some, working from home has removed the hustle and stress of the daily rush hour.

In every experience, both good and bad, opportunities are presented to us that can lead to enhanced personal growth and help us realize what’s truly important in our lives.

HEALTH leads the list as our most important asset. This coronavirus has certainly brought light to the importance of a healthy immune system. Most of us have gone through life not thinking much about our immune system. We’ve always just trusted it’s doing the best it can to protect us from infections and disease. But we do have control over keeping our immune health strong by feeding our body good nutrition, choosing to be active, managing stress and getting enough quality sleep, to name a few.

GRATITUDE is not far behind for all our blessings big and small. This crisis has taught us the fragility of life and, with that, a deeper sense of appreciation for our environment, our family and our health.

Finding our INNER STRENGTH is important. We are stronger than we think and, when faced with adversity, we can dig down deep into ourselves and find meaning and purpose to each day.

We are seeking CONNECTION or reconnection to our core values and principles. Between our health and loved ones, it has become more clear what’s important in our lives.

Realizing ADAPTABILITY in work and personal life is beneficial. Through learning technology to work remotely or to stay socially connected when our fitness facility closed, we found new ways to work out through virtual platforms and outdoor activities.

And, speaking of fitness, there may be a new fitness revolution on the back of this pandemic where there is a focus on healthy living in harmony with the environment. Activity and movement programs will be geared toward your health and wellness goals while virtual fitness programs will offer more options and variety along with live classes. The growth of health coaching alongside personal fitness training can offer guidance in sustainable lifestyle change.

Our new normal will find the JCC Wellness and Fitness Center transformed as well. We will be impacted by what we have gone through by being equipped with appropriate spacing protocols to keep our members safe as they resume some sense of social connection and camaraderie. We will all come back stronger, wiser and a bit more grateful.

For more information on joining a virtual class or an online healthy coaching session, contact

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