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Pinewood's Wellness Committee: A New Exercise Opportunity written by cole stern, photo by vivian reed

As a result of COVID-19, everybody is under restrictions, so it’s harder for people to get out and exercise. The Wellness Committee, a group of faculty and staff at Pinewood, has aimed to help students and staff members get moving.

The Wellness Committee is important to the Pinewood community because students have stressful social and academic expectations, which can be even worse when they’re stuck at home all day. The committee helps these students by offering a form of stress relief management.

The committee creates a weekly plan for students and staff members to follow in order for them to become physically and mentally healthier.

“[The goal of the Wellness Committee] is to focus on students and their stress levels and mental health,” high school Activities Director and Wellness Committee member Jackee Bruno said.

The idea of the Wellness Committee was created by former principal Mark Gardner, and faculty has built it up to what it is now. The committee creates a weekly plan for students and staff members to follow in order for them to become physically and mentally healthier. It has sent out emails for the past six weeks with recommendations for workouts and meditation sessions that students and staff members can try. The workouts help people stay physically fit and ease stress and anxiety. Each workout contains a couple of circuits and a video about meditation or another workout.

Photo by Vivian Reed

“The purpose of our Wellness Committee will be to address the physical, social and emotional well-being of our students and faculty, as well as provide supportive resources for parents. We recognize that these are all crucial elements of a student's academic success and lifelong health and wellness,” Stephanie Fugita, the Head of the Wellness Committee, said.

The committee recently started to become more active with creating workouts. Learning Specialist Jyoti Sicina is a member of the Wellness Committee and believes it is going to be long-standing. The Wellness Committee plans to remain active beyond Covid in order to encourage students and faculty members to keep working out and remain mindful of their mental health.

“[The Wellness Committee] was in existence pre-Covid, and should carry on once it is safe for us all,” Sicina said.

The committee is planning on helping more students with their mental health and physical exercise in the future by encouraging more students to participate with assemblies and activities.

The committee has received photos and videos of students, families, and faculty doing the workouts. The participants have all said that it has been great and fun to try. Some of the activities the participants partake in are pushups, side planks, bent-over rows, and wall sits. The workouts also include a warmup, three circuits, and a cardio circuit.

“Students, families and faculty were enthusiastic about [the activities],” Sicina said.

The committee is planning on helping more students with their mental health and physical exercise in the future by encouraging more students to participate with assemblies and activities.