After a challenging year, summer offers new opportunities for refreshment and a new start. However, it is important to improve both your physical and mental health. The following activities will help you stay focused, strong, and healthy.
Swimming works your whole body and is a great way to stay cool in the summer. (G. Sylejmani (UnSplash))
Swimming is a fun activity that is also a great way to stay healthy and stay fit. Plus, it can be filled in by people of all ages so you can even take your grandparents with you. It helps relax your mind, relieve stress, and work on your body at the same time. Summer is the best time to swim because it not only helps physically and mentally, but also helps to cope with the high temperatures in a playful and familiar way.
- Don’t have a pool at home? You can visit the YMCA in East Rutherford or the Rutherford Community Aquatic Center.
- In a professional swimming pool you will be separated from other athletes by lanes so that COVID safety measures can still be observed.
- Swimming is good for our health by strengthening our muscles, helping maintain your heart rate, and helping maintain lung health. Better yet, it works the whole body.
When you start swimming, start with two or three days a week and build your routine to include more days. Make sure you take enough breaks between laps to catch your breath. If 30 seconds of rest between swimming exercises isn’t enough, adjust your time as is best for you.
You can’t swim too slowly either. Swim comfortably and you’ll enjoy it for a lifetime. Don’t worry about how fast other people are swimming unless you are preparing to step onto a lane with other swimmers. Be honest with yourself about the pace you can maintain. If you are not a fast swimmer, do not go on a lane with fast swimmers.
Junior Aurora Marin completed the meditation at the Becton Wellness Center. (J. Sanchez)
One thing that was very stressed by the school and the Child Study Team this school year is mental health and how important it is for us to take care of it as much as we take care of our physical health. Meditation is a really good practice that also has really good emotional benefits, namely:
- Gain a new perspective on stressful situations.
- Building Skills to Manage Your Stress
- Increases self-confidence
- Reduces negative emotions
- Increases patience and tolerance
In a stressful school year like this, meditation could be vital for many students who feel isolated in the summer. Meditation can be done in any room as long as it is quiet, so your backyards, bedrooms, and living rooms could be great places to practice mindfulness while meditating safely. Too many distractions at home? Meditation sessions are also offered at the East Rutherford Library.
According to Sarah Garone, author of “9 Tips To Meditate When You Are An Overthinker,” some tips to help you start meditating are:
- To create a consistent schedule, you can prepare yourself to meditate with a set time and be aware that it is time to relax.
- Create a meditative space, it is hard to relax and calm the mind when your surroundings are loud and busy.
- Start with some breath work, controlled breath work is important to calm your mind
- Add relaxing music, usually music that you associate with peace and quiet.
English teacher, Mrs. Sozzo, offers her small deck garden where she grows broccoli, cucumber and cherry tomatoes. (K. Sozzo)
In the classroom, our teachers often encourage us to develop a “growth mindset”. This mindset helps us to take on new challenges, adapt to change and achieve our goals. Coined by psychologist Carol Dweck, she describes the term in her book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success and writes: “This growth mentality is based on the belief that your fundamental qualities are things that you can cultivate through your efforts.” An easy way One of the ways to develop this view outside of the classroom is gardening and growing crops and plants. Gardening can have positive effects on your mental health. Gardening can increase serotonin levels in the brain, the hormone that makes you happy, according to a study published in the journal Preventive Medicine Reports. It also helps improve mental health by offering something to control in a world that often feels out of our control.
All you need is a seed to get started. If you are thinking about starting this hobby to improve your mental health, there are a few things you need to know:
- New Jersey’s annual temperature or “plant hardness” zone is within 6-7, which means that there are certain plants that are good in our climate (such as tomatoes, pumpkins, peppers, daisies, hydrangeas and roses) and Plants that do not survive (such as agave, palm, and avocado). When buying plants, pay attention to the recommendations “cold resistance” or “heat tolerance” so that you can be successful in the garden.
- When starting a plant with seeds, it is better to start germinating indoors until the germ is about 3-6 inches (depending on the type of plant). This prevents threats like squirrels from eating your seeds before they can grow. This also helps the plant grow strong enough to survive in harsh weather conditions.
- Speaking of the weather, when it’s time to take the plant outside, slowly let the sapling get used to the temperature. Put the plant in a shaded area outdoors for a few hours and slowly increase the time outdoors for about a week. This plastic version of a Victorian bell shell allows you to bring the sapling closer to the elements while creating a mini greenhouse that supports growth.
- Once plants are mature and begin to bloom or produce fruit, you may need to protect them from the hungry bellies of rabbits, squirrels, marmots, and deer. Fences can keep lower organisms in check, while nets help with larger pests.
Garret Morgan Mountain offers trails for inexperienced and experienced hikers alike. (J. Szewczyk)
Hiking is another great way to spend your time during the summer months. The blue sky with clouds here or there, the nice warm breeze, the hot sunshine that comes from the sky, the incredible feeling that you have when you arrive at the top, sometimes the feeling of being on top of the world.
Remember to stay safe while hiking by knowing and following the restrictions and rules, never walking alone, wearing suitable footwear, always having a first aid kit (even a small one) and having a means of contacting help. With COVID still a risk, hiking is a great way to stay healthy while following social distancing guidelines.
Hiking is a great cardio workout with numerous benefits. For example, hiking lowers your risk of heart disease and helps improve your blood pressure and sugar levels. Hiking can even lift your spirits. Because being in the fresh air can never go wrong.
Hiking is a great way to relax and immerse yourself in the beauty of nature. Some of the best hiking trails near us include the Garret Mountain Reservation Loop Trail in Little Falls, NJ and the High Mountain Summit Loop in Haledon, NJ.
Yoga strengthens the body and mind. (K. Vega (UnSplash))
Yoga is another great activity to improve your physical and mental health. Even better, with the help of YOUTube, you can complete it from the comfort of your own home.
Yoga can be easy for some and difficult for others, it mainly depends on how flexible you are and how much you focus on your breathing. To stay safe while practicing yoga, you should know the movements and limits of your own body. If something doesn’t feel right, stop. If you keep working on it, you can move forward every time.
Doing yoga regularly can help reduce stress, body inflammation, and anxiety, improve heart health, and improve quality of life and sleep patterns. Wellness consultant Ms. Gatto explains: “Practicing yoga is very beneficial for the body and mind. Yoga is good for the body as it promotes flexibility, strength, and cardiovascular health. It is also good for the mind because it is a moving meditation and therefore promotes well-being, mood, attention and concentration. “
Yoga is another amazing yet easy way to get some exercise in the summer. The activity doesn’t take long either, it can be done within 5 minutes, or you can have longer sessions if you are more experienced. As soon as we are back at school, you can visit the wellness center for more yoga sessions.