Greetings from the blood donation chair at the North Conway Community Center. We have closed our doors for at least another two weeks in accordance with the community mitigation strategies put forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The center will, however, remain open Fridays for blood drives hosted by the American Red Cross through the month of April.

The American Red Cross is experiencing a severe blood shortage due to the coronavirus outbreak. Jonathan Ballard, department of health and human services chief medical officer, said: "In this time of crisis, Red Cross blood drives are still very important ... DHHS currently certainly supports this event given the precautions being taken."

To learn more about the protocols in place to keep donors and recipients safe, visit the American Red Cross website. Individuals who are healthy and unlikely to have been exposed to the virus are encouraged to make an appointment at Blood drives will take place March 27, April 3, April 10, April 17 and April 24 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at the North Conway Community Center located at 78 Norcross Circle in North Conway.

As we continue to practice social distancing, it is important to think about how we can create a healthy quarantine lifestyle routine. A routine of indoor and outdoor exercise will be key in the coming weeks for maintaining our physical and mental health.

Despite recommendations to isolate, we do not need to maintain new routines on our own. Many folks with careers in fitness are finding creative ways for us to access their services. Anjali Rose, yoga instructor at the North Conway Community Center, is continuing with her yoga classes via Zoom, a video conferring app.

"Being home during the day may feel like a reprieve, and it's easy to get into couch potato habits, so let's take a look at what many of us can do each day to re-energize and keep our mojo moving forward," Rose said. "Exercise is the key to relaxation and staying positive in these ever-changing times."

Rose offers a variety of classes designed for those who are new to yoga to those who are more experienced. To learn more about how to access her classes, visit her website at

Rose is interested in starting a kids' yoga class as well. Go to the Facebook page of the North Conway Community Center to find a link to a survey to help her design a class that works best for local families.

If you are looking for more vigorous exercise, Sportfit New England offers online personal training. Carl Iocazilli, Sportfit founder, personal trainer, designs workouts aligned with personal goals that can be done at home with little to no equipment. His services guide clients through their workouts with bi-weekly check-ins to evaluate progress and update customized programs. "You and your family will be able to stay fit during these tough times," Iocazilli said. "Exercise is stress relief, stay healthy." To learn more about Sportfit New England, go to @sportfitnewengland on Facebook. To set up personalized programming from simple workouts to specialized programs, email

For families with kids at home it will be helpful to schedule movement breaks. Kate Duval, mother of five and owner of MKD photography, has found that movement can be a great tool to keep the peace. "I think sitting too long with a screen or even with a book gets difficult without something to break up the time and get our bodies moving," Duval said.

The Duval family takes walks together and blocks out time each day for active play. While Duval's sons enjoy having push up competitions and hanging upside down shooting Nerf guns at a target, her oldest daughter likes to teach her cousins dance lessons on FaceTime.

Her daughter explains, "Quarantine gets pretty boring, but if you get creative and active and do things like yoga in your living room or workout challenges with your sibling, it's not so bad."

Courtney Dimon, the physical education teacher at Molly Ockett, recommends creating personal goal setting with wellness plans. She provided her students with a variety of fitness challenges and tracking charts. "The work provided is not intended to be difficult, but is there to inspire kids to get and stay active. I understand that these days are difficult, but it's important to stay active as part of personal health."

She implements a concept called DREAM-DRop Everything And Move. Tracking these activities in a chart that motivates kids to do more and challenge themselves.

Thanks to everyone for your patience while we pause our programming. Keep moving and be well.

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