Benefits of walking during a pandemic

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Photo courtesy of Francesca Reichbach

Freshman Francesca Reichbach goes on her daily walk after school. Reichbach has found walking beneficial for her mental health.

Shani Schwartz, Reporter

As the final class ends, freshman Francesca Reichbach steps outside to feel the breeze come upon her, taking in the scenery while reflecting on her day. Over the course of the pandemic, many students have had to find alternate and creative ways to exercise, due to the exercise facility closures. Many students have taken on walking, as it is relaxing, meditative and accessible to many people.

For many members of the CESJDS community, going on walks is a way to recharge and refocus after a long, tiring day of school. Also, according to NBC News, walking helps boost one’s mood, raises their energy levels and alleviates stress. 

Furthermore, a Stanford University study showed that walking increased creativity output by 60%, and also noted that walking enhances one’s memory. 

Reichbach has included walks in her daily routine during the pandemic. She typically walks for at least an hour and about four miles everyday. Reichbach enjoys an after school walk for the mental benefits it comes with, as well as the routine that walks provide her with.

“It really clears my head and it’s a time for me to reset myself to get ready to start working again. … I really enjoy choosing my outfit for my walk and preparing for it,” Reichbach said. “It gives me a sense of normality I have been missing because I no longer have to get ready for many things.”

To advance and implement walking into its athletic program, JDS began to offer a walking club last semester. It was created specifically for middle school students but was also open to high school students as well. The club met twice a week during the Fall sports season. When they met, members walked laps around the school and occasionally took walks around the neighborhood nearby. 

When I am struggling with a problem, school, work, home or anything, sometimes getting out and getting a walk helps me to clear my head. It makes me feel a little bit more centered, and I am able to come back with fresh eyes and tackle the problem. ”

— Librarian Cheryl Fox Strausberg

The leader of the club, librarian Cheryl Fox Strausberg, enjoys walking on her own and was thrilled when she first heard of the club. Strausberg finds many benefits in the calmness of walking, including a chance to clear her mind and be with people outside her household. 

“When I am struggling with a problem, school, work, home or anything, sometimes getting out and getting a walk helps me to clear my head,” Strausberg said. “It makes me feel a little bit more centered, and I am able to come back with fresh eyes and tackle the problem.” 

Strausberg also enjoys making goals when walking, aiming for 10,000 steps per day which leads to a sense of accomplishment.

Seventh grader Ella Arking participated in the club during the fall sports season. Arking enjoys walking, for it is a stress reliever amidst difficult circumstances. 

“It’s nice to just go outside and get fresh air, especially on days when we are at home and on computers all day,” Arking said. “It also calms me down from the stress of the day.”