Eight-year-old actress Norah Debra Dobbyn and her family have been in self isolation, with a few outings here and there, including to Whonnock Lake, where the family strolled, puddle jumped, and even did some rain dancing. (Special to The News)

IN IT TOGETHER: Important to move your butt

Maple Ridge mom offers series of wellness columns aimed at helping navigate through COVID-19

By Alex Bruce/Special to The News

Recently I was listening to a recording from a health phycologist who was saying that exercise is as close as we will ever get to a magic pill for our health.

During times of stress, over any other exercise is vitally important.

I know that many of us don’t want to exercise when we are over-stressed, or over-worked, or over-tired but getting mobile is truly a cure for so much of what ails us.

Paradoxically, exercising when we are tired (not so tired that we can’t exercise properly) can help to provide us with more energy and make us feel more invigorated.

It is excellent for improving our emotional and mental state, and is a perfect way to boost our overall physical health.

I’m not suggesting that you run your next marathon.

Go for a walk if you are able to.

Do some jumping jacks inside.

In fact, do stuff that’s way more fun if any of those suggestions seem like too much work for you.

Put on some music and dance.

If you’re a good dancer, show the mirror or the people in your house your moves.

Children love to dance, and dancing with others has been shown to have tremendous health benefits.

Not only does it promote the release of dopamine (the “bonding” hormone), but it also helps to reshape our brains in significantly positive ways.

If you dance like Elaine on the sitcom Seinfeld, then dance your little heart out and enjoy a good laugh.

If you’re up for it, invite the kids or someone who could use a giggle to watch you.

You may be surprised that even adolescents will join if they’re in the right mood.

Exercise is not synonymous with torture, unless you choose for it to be.

We’ve got enough going on right now, make it fun.

Now’s a great time to learn or use the mindfulness practice of yoga, which has been shown to help reduce stress and promote – both physical and mental flexibility – from a video or the TV.

Get creative and have fun with making your home a place where you can do laps, or stairclimbing, or some other type of activity.

If getting outside is an option, enjoy the outdoors!

Humans are a part of nature, so more nature is good for us.

Feed the ducks, go for a hike, dust off your bike, run on the spot, or stretch on your balcony.

Do what you can with what you have because that feels a heck of a lot better than doing nothing, both physically and psychologically.

Move your butt.

• Join us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/MapleRidgeNews/ and post your pictures depicting yourself or others Celebrating What’s Right. Share your creativity during these times and be sure to include names, ages, and details for an opportunity to be highlighted in a future article.

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FIRST COLUMN: Maple Ridge woman offers series of wellness tips amid COVID crisis

SECOND: We mammals are in this together and will thrive together

THIRD: Trying something new can help

FOURTH: Celebrating inclusion in team humanity

FIFTH: Learning to learn at home

SIXTH: Take good care of yourself, so you can care for others

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– Alex Bruce is a health and wellness author and accredited meditation and mindfulness instructor, and this is excerpt from her: “Let’s Be Calm: The Mental Health Handbook for Surviving and Thriving Through Pandemic”

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• Stay tuned tomorrow for the next COVID-19: In It Together column

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• If there is more to this column, please let us know about it. Email us at editor@mapleridgenews.com. We look forward to hearing from you. In the meantime, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

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