Commentary: Exercise is important, despite the lingering effects of the pandemic

File Photo

Commentary: Exercise is important, despite the lingering effects of the pandemic
September 14
14:30 2022

By Dr. James B. Ewers Jr.

Most of the news these days is about world and stateside events. News wires are filled with economic news about what is happening in this country and in the world, for that matter.

If you own stock, you are checking to see if Wall Street had a good day or a bad day.

If you are grandparents like we are, you are spending more time with your grandchildren. For example, we know most of the programs on Nick Jr.

It could be that you are traveling again to some of your favorite destinations.

As we go through these momentum swings, our family’s health and wellness has gone mostly under-publicized and unnoticed, in my opinion. 

For example, if you ask some students what their favorite class is, they may say it is physical education. There are some obvious and not so obvious reasons for their response. First off, it gets them moving either outside or in a gymnasium. They get a chance to talk with their friends and classmates. No sitting at a desk and being quiet.

A not so obvious reason is that it gives students a boost for the rest of their day. They are motivated and stimulated to do their best academically and socially. 

The joy of exercising should be a regular part of a student’s day. That joy took a hiatus for almost three years. COVID-19 stopped physical education in schools as school systems had to stop in-person learning. Virtual learning took over, which meant no physical activity for students.

The good news now is that the schools have reopened. Physical activity for our children and grandchildren has resumed.

Without an organized and consistent activity schedule, they missed an important part of their school life. We have heard the expression “all work and no play.” Without physical activity, our students were suffering.

This notion also applies to adults.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have been without a regular routine for physical activity. We fell into some bad habits and practices. Instead of one cookie, we would have two cookies. Our sandwiches always had fries with them, and we consumed too much soda.

Some of us couldn’t help ourselves. Bad became worse!

Some will opine that we had virtual exercise activities and that was true. Virtual classes aren’t for everyone. Many of us simply took a vacation from exercise.

However, our in-person aerobics and dance classes have now resumed. Our class in New Orleans is for older adults. The instructor is Carly Bourgeois, a senior dance fitness instructor with the New Orleans Ballet Association. She has been dancing since she was three years of age. At age 11, she was taking instruction in classical ballet. Carly has the pulse of our class and creates an environment that is both healthy and fun.

In a recent conversation with her she said, “Physical activity is great for the heart and mind.” She added, “It is gratifying to see how engaged our class is. We have fun and that’s important.”

When you come to our class, you will hear a variety of music which makes you want to move around and get in step. It is pretty cool to listen to the Temptations, Don Omar, Bill Withers, the Bee Gees, Aaron Neville and Linda Ronstadt as we go through our routines. Rose Marie Powell, one of our participants and a retiree said, “I look forward each week to our classes. They are both relaxing and energetic.”

If you are an older adult, put exercising regularly on your schedule. Contact an appropriate agency in your community. Take a friend or family member with you and enjoy moving around and the fellowship of others.

The importance of it cannot be overstated.


James B. Ewers Jr., Ed.D., is a former tennis champion at Atkins High School in Winston-Salem and played college tennis at Johnson C. Smith University, where he was all-conference for four years. He is a retired college administrator. He can be reached at


About Author

WS Chronicle

WS Chronicle

Related Articles


Featured Sponsor

Receive Chronicle Updates

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.



More Sponsors