Returning to Physical Activity After COVID-19
By Exercise Specialists Erin McHugh and LaShawn Michalski
After recovering from COVID-19, it is very important to get back into (or to begin) an exercise program. Consult your doctor before starting your exercise program, and return to exercise only after at least seven days of no symptoms.
Returning to exercise can be broken down into phases, beginning with light intensity activity for at least two weeks. This includes household chores and light gardening, gentle walking, and light yoga/stretching activities. You should be able to hold a full conversation during physical activity without any difficulty.
Next you can progress to more challenging, moderate intensity activities, such as brisk walking, going up and down stairs, jogging, swimming, cycling, and light strength training using your own body weight or light weights.
Lastly, you can add more intense activity, such as running and strength training at a higher intensity and workload.
Everyone has different fitness levels and progression depends on many factors, including your pre-illness fitness level, and how COVID-19 affected you. Plan to stay at each phase for a minimum of seven days. Allow adequate recovery time between each exercise session, and focus on stretching before and after exercise to expand your chest and lungs. In addition to its physical benefits, exercise can have a positive effect on your mental health by encouraging the release of dopamine and endorphins in your brain that make you feel happy, decreasing symptoms of anxiety and depression.
LifeStyles App Coming Soon!
The Valley Health LifeStyles app – expected to be available in Google Play and the iPhone App Store in early April – will help you get the most out of your membership! Make movement your motivation with our connected wellness experience that helps you achieve your health and fitness goals. Track all your activity both inside and outside of LifeStyles by measuring exercises performed, miles traveled, calories burned, and classes taken in both in person and on-demand. Check your results, monitor, and track your progress 24/7 in real time remotely. The app will also enable you to participate in livestreamed exercise classes that you can participate in from home or anywhere. More details to come soon!
Fitness Department News
LifeStyles at Home
Our online library of videos is available 24/7 featuring your favorite LifeStyles group fitness instructors. Visit LifeStyles-at-Home to access over 75 videos focusing on cardio, strength training, yoga, Pilates, meditation, and more!
Lifeguard 2-yr. Certification Class – $350 for members; $375 for non-members.
Blending Learning Format Course
The American Red Cross Blended Lifeguarding course is designed to provide entry-level lifeguard participants with the knowledge and skills to prevent, recognize, and respond to aquatic emergencies, and to provide professional-level care for breathing and cardiac emergencies, injuries, and sudden illnesses until emergency medical services (EMS) personnel take over. The blended learning option combines online learning with in-person skill sessions conducted by a Red Cross-certified instructor. Certifications earned are valid for 2 years.
◗ Must be at least 15 years old by the last day of the course.
◗ Successful completion of skills pre-test
Contact Aquatics Manager Mike Lupo at 201-316-8435 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
EMPLOYEE SPOTLIGHT: Sharon Kaminski, Personal Trainer
Sharon has been on the LifeStyles team for approximately 2 years and has made a name for herself as a personal trainer and a group exercise instructor. Sharon shares, “When I moved back to New Jersey from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, I was looking for a gym that was different. LifeStyles is more than just a gym and I get to work with the exercise specialists and physical therapists to provide the best care and programming for my clients. Working at Valley also allows me to work with all different age groups from young adults to seniors.” Sharon has a Bachelor of Arts in Dance from Point Park University and traveled the world for years before moving to Myrtle Beach to perform for the Alabama Theatre. “My years of dancing provided me with a true awareness of the importance of keeping fit and healthy.” She is a certified mat Pilates instructor and a year ago completed an intense, 500-hour Pilates reformer certification. Sharon believes, “The reformer has something for everyone whether you are looking to tone up, rehab from an injury, or train for a sport. The reformer can be adjusted to any body type or fitness level, and focuses on core stability, as well as postural alignment. I encourage, motivate, and energize my clients with workouts that are fun and personally designed for them. I focus on exercises that promote strength, stability, and the mind-body connection using a wide variety of equipment so they enjoy their workouts and never get bored.”
A Message from Our Medical Director: Robert Silverman, MD
Vaccination is Safe
Why should I get vaccinated?
As a physician and the medical director of the Valley Center for Health and Wellness, I think it is important to voice my opinion on COVID-19 vaccinations. In the course of my day, I have the chance to talk to my patients frankly about the vaccination. I am surprised to hear a small, yet significant, percentage of my patients saying they are not sure. Now that we are starting to see mutations that may or may not be stopped by the vaccine, patients are asking why get vaccinated? What is the point?
The simple answer is: Viruses are living organisms and the greatest drive of all living creatures is to survive. Viruses need a host to survive; they cannot live on their own. If a significant percentage of the population is vaccinated, the potential hosts for the virus to thrive in no longer exist and, with time, viral infections will dramatically recede. Examples where this has been successful include smallpox and polio, which are virtually eradicated in the U.S. If we do not reach a critical mass of people vaccinated against COVID-19, we will never be able to achieve a similar success against this virus.
Patients also ask me about the long-term safety of the vaccine. While the long-term patient data is still coming in as more people get vaccinated, what I can say is this: The risk of getting COVID-19 with its potential severe short-term complications (including death), as well as long-term complications, is great. Millions worldwide have been vaccinated and the percentage of untoward side effects and severe reactions is incredibly small. In medicine, everything is based on a risk/benefit ratio and in my opinion the benefits of getting the vaccination and protecting yourself from COVID-19 far outweigh the risks.
My take-home, therefore, is this: Please get vaccinated for yourself, your family, and society as a whole.
Attention LifeStyles Members on a COVID-19-Related Membership Freeze: Due to the ongoing pandemic concerns, if your membership is currently on freeze, it will be extended until May 31, at which point your membership will be reactivated. If an extension beyond that date is needed, you will be required to provide a doctor’s note before the end of May stating a health or medical reason. As a reminder, monthly dues are charged on the first of each month. If you would like to reactivate sooner, or have any updates regarding your membership, please contact Evan Pagliei, Membership Services Coordinator, at 201-316-8436, at email@example.com.
Please take note of LifeStyles Holiday Hours:
May 31: Memorial Day — 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.
New Member Virtual Welcome Orientation
Tuesdays, April 13, May 11, or June 8 at 6 p.m.
All members are welcome to join one of our virtual orientations to the Valley Center for Health and Wellness via Zoom. Everything you need to know about making the most of your LifeStyles membership will be presented by our expert staff, with a Q&A with representatives from the clinical services located in the Wellness Center.
JOIN ZOOM MEETING using this link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/2516912019 Passcode: 11221
Valley Center for Health and Wellness Resource Listing
LifeStyles Fitness Center
Aquatics/Swim Lessons: 201-316-8435
Main Directory: 201-389-0839 Front Desk/Fitness Desk
Member Account Services Office: 201-316-8436; (fax) 201-316-8457
Membership Sales: Lisa Channel – 201-316-8440
Sports Institute: 201-447-8133 Prehabilitation/AfterCare Fitness, Resting Metabolic Rate testing, Functional Movement Screening, Concussion Baseline Testing
Outpatient Rehabilitation (Physical Therapy/Aquatic Therapy)
Main Directory: 201-447-8134; (fax) 201-316-8442
Main Directory: 201-316-8452; (fax) 201-316-8453
Main Directory: 201-291-6467
PrimeTime Program: 1-877-283-2276
Main Directory: 201-316-8444; (fax) 201-316-8445
Valley Medical Group
Main Directory: 201-389-0075; (fax) 201-962-9730