Cranbury wellness campaign adapts to COVID-19 pandemic

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The Mayor’s Wellness Campaign (MWC) in Cranbury has continued its mission of helping residents have a healthier lifestyle, since adjusting its programming during the current coronavirus pandemic.

Cranbury’s campaign team is spearheaded by Laura Zurfluh, who is joined by Eman El-Badawi and Joann Charwin. The Cranbury MWC has been conducting virtual wellness sessions and is set for in-person hikes of four trails in Cranbury on June 12.

“I started the wellness sessions before we had a team. Part of the reason I started it was because I knew people were cooped up and this was a way to get our community get together a little bit and do something together,” Zurfluh said.

The campaign started 2021 programming in February and began with virtual wellness sessions each month, every third Wednesday. Each of the wellness sessions has a guest host.

“We have had one a month. The first was on nutrition and how it relates to your immune system, since then they have been active sessions and mostly hosted by people who have studios in Cranbury,” Zurfluh said.

Those active sessions included a chair yoga session, a Feldenkrais session (a type of therapy that uses gentle movement to improve flexibility and coordination), and a Jazzercise session.

Zurfluh added that the monthly wellness sessions remain virtual at this time.

“We have at least a couple others planned virtually. We will see what people want to do,” she said. “If the interest still maintains and people want to do it in-person we certainly can consider that as restrictions lift,” she said. “We are looking for guidance from the community on what they find helpful.”

An upcoming session is called Optimal Exercise Home Workout and is with Bill DeSimone of the Optimal Exercise studio in Cranbury on June 16. According to Cranbury’s MWC, Bill DeSimone will demonstrate the home workout he provided his clients to tide them over during last year’s shutdown.

In July, a meditation session on July 21 by Anjali Joshi, a certified meditation teacher, who conducts an ongoing wellness meditation program at Cranbury Library, will follow June’s session. Joshi will provide a guided meditation and explain a meditation that can be useful for decreasing stress, anxiety, reducing physical pain and enhancing social connection.

Additionally, Cranbury’s MWC has also hosted a virtual program, which explores Cranbury trails. The virtual event had 63 attendees on June 3 through Zoom. A narrator took attendees through the Unami Woods, Reinhardt Preserve, Pin Oaks and Cranbury Brook Preserve trails in Cranbury.

“We had students put together a video. For each of the four preserves there was a several video guide through the preserves talking about the history and what you will find there,” Zurfluh said.

To view a video about the trails, visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIPV4i66kJw&feature=youtu.be

Following the virtual event, people will be able explore the trails in-person through a guided tour of each of the four trails. The in-person event takes place on June 12. Sign up at https://bit.ly/3yEbgYo

The Mayor’s Wellness Campaign (MWC) is a statewide initiative established in 2006 by the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute (NJHCQI) in partnership with the New Jersey State League of Municipalities (NJLM).

According to MWC handbook, the MWC helps residents achieve healthier lifestyles and improve community health and wellness with support and guidance towards programming and goals.

“The goal of the campaign in general is to determine what the needs of Cranbury are and address those needs, whether it is through education, implementing exercise, or dietary issues, just to name a few,” she added.

For more information or to register for Cranbury MWC events, contact lzurfluh@cranbury-nj.com.