Use Monday to Stay on the Right Track

New routines can take some time to get going. If you’ve been trying to make your day more active, use this Monday to check in on your progress and to stay on track. Did you use January to make a new resolution? Consider Mondays instead! You can resolve to keep moving and try new activities every week. You haven’t fallen off the wagon yet! You might just need to make some minor adjustments.

Staying active can become second nature to you no matter what your fitness level is. In the beginning, keep track of how often you get up and move throughout the day and how much time you spend moving.

Experts recommend 150 minutes of moderate physical activity a week, or about 30 minutes per day, five days a week. You can build up to that kind of goal over time. For now, draw up an hourly schedule and note when you get up and what you do. If you find that you’re sitting for a long period of time, find an activity that will help break up that block of time.

You can use every Monday to reset your practice, add to it, or change it up if you want to do something more or less challenging. Changing your lifestyle is not a sprint – it can be done incrementally, over the course of time. You can hit the “reset” button every Monday and reach new goals every week!

Here are a few simple exercises that will keep you moving throughout the day:

Mini workoutsWhenever you can find a few moments, do quick exercises in short bursts that will get your heart beating and muscles moving!

Chair yogaIf you can’t leave your desk, take some time to stretch and prevent yourself from getting stiff. Bonus: A little yoga will help you reduce stress!

WalkingWalking is real exercise. Consider organizing or walking a Monday Mile. But if you can’t find the time to do that, take short walks throughout the day. Park your car further away from your destination instead of finding the closest spot. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Walk during conversations or meetings at work. Every step counts!

It’s never too late to start being more active on a daily basis. Monday is a great day to start adding a little bit more movement to your day that can continue through the rest of the week!

Kick Off Your Monday with a Pre-Thanksgiving Workout!

It’s almost Thanksgiving and many of us are busy finishing up projects at work, traveling to see family, or planning to cook for the big day. Make the time this Monday for some pre-holiday physical activity!

Here are some quick ideas, for all fitness levels, to get your heart pumping when you have a limited amount of time.

Low-Intensity – Do a Monday Mile! Take the family dog and fit in 2,000 steps (a mile). It’s great for your heart, bones, and mood. Getting moving will also boost your energy levels, not to mention, help you digest!

Medium-Intensity – Play Ball! If there are kids and teens around or merely willing and able adults, grab a football, a soccer ball, or a Frisbee, and play outside. You’ll be getting some cardio and having fun.

High Intensity – Try High-Intensity Interval Training (H.I.I.T.) for the Holidays! Take over the living room and do some H.I.I.T. for 20 minutes. Need a suggestion? Try some lunges, squats, jumping jacks, and push-ups. Do each exercise for 20 seconds, and then rest for 10 seconds. Do three circuits.

Researchers have found doing vigorous exercise can increase metabolic rates for as much as 14 hours afterward, which means you’ll still be burning calories long after you fit in a workout.

Use Monday to fit in quick workouts while spending quality time with your family and friends. It will pay off by alleviating stress and enhancing your mental well-being. Happy Thanksgiving!

Launch of the UNICEF CFCI Local Action Plan for Youth in Decatur!

The City of Decatur is thrilled to share some exciting news as part of the Decatur Child Friendly Cities Initiative (CFCI). We are officially launching the CFCI Local Action Plan for Youth, becoming an official UNICEF CFCI Candidate City!

To celebrate this milestone, the City of Decatur invites you to join us for a special event in collaboration with the Decatur Youth Council-sponsored Screen on the Square on December 1st at 6:30 p.m. UNICEF USA representatives will be present to share in this celebration.

Don’t miss out on the festivities! 

6:00 p.m.: Tunes by DJ K-KAT
Experience the beats of a talented youth DJ as we set the stage for an evening of celebration.

6:30 p.m.: Child Friendly Cities Initiative Local Action Plan Launch
Celebrate with the City of Decatur as we become a UNICEF CFCI Candidate City! Hear from speakers, including members of the CFCI Teen Leadership Team, City of Decatur’s Mayor Garrett, Tracy Nájera, VP of US Programs for UNICEF USA, as we officially launch the CFCI Local Action Plan.

7:00 p.m.: Screen on the Square: Happy Feet
Enjoy a special screening of Happy Feet, sponsored by the Decatur Youth Council. Bring your friends and family for a night of joy and entertainment!

A Child Friendly City prioritizes the well-being and development of its children and youth by ensuring their rights are protected and promoted. Decatur is actively engaged in the Child Friendly Cities Initiative, being one of the first seven cities in the U.S. to sign a memorandum of understanding with UNICEF for this transformative journey.

The CFCI project involves a multi-year commitment to actively involve community members, especially children and youth, in identifying priorities and taking action in key areas: Safety and Inclusion, Children’s Participation, Equitable Social Services, Safe Living Environments, and Play and Leisure.

In its first year, the CFCI Teen Leadership Team identified five priorities that will make a significant impact on the lives of young residents in Decatur. These include enhancing trust with law enforcement, promoting an equitable and inclusive city, improving access to and awareness of mental health services, fostering an environmentally conscious community, and enhancing public spaces for all.

On June 5, 2023, the City of Decatur’s City Commission formally adopted the CFCI Local Action Plan for Youth, showcasing our commitment to our younger generation.

Decatur is leading the way towards a brighter and more child-friendly future, proving that a united community’s efforts can bring about positive change and make a lasting impact on the lives of its youngest members.

We look forward to sharing this momentous occasion with you and the entire Decatur community. Your presence will make this celebration even more special.

See you on December 1st!

The Many Benefits of Better Endurance

Have you ever been winded after a bike ride, found yourself panting during a run, or felt tired after climbing the stairs?

The way your body responds to physical exertion is linked to your level of endurance. Endurance, along with balancestrength, and flexibility, make up the four core elements of personal fitness. Endurance exercises are also commonly referred to as aerobic exercises because they require the pumping of oxygenated blood to the working muscles. Aerobic exercises cause you to breathe faster and more deeply while also raising your heart rate.

Healthy adults should aim to get 150 to 300 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity. Incorporating regular aerobic workouts into your weekly fitness routine can help you stay healthy by reducing the risk of major health conditions such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.

Endurance training can be intimidating at first, especially if you haven’t attempted a lot of medium-intensity workouts in the past, but you’ll be glad to know that aerobic exercises encompass a broad range of activities including speed walking, jogging, running, biking, swimming, dancing, kickboxing, or team sports like basketball, soccer, and football.

So where should you start?

Building up your endurance can be fun as long as you take it slow and safe. First, make sure the body is warmed up by taking a short walk or jog before engaging in any form of aerobic exercise. Next, start with 10-15 minutes of an aerobic exercise of your choosing such as jogging, swimming, or spinning on a stationary bike. Afterwards, take stock of how you feel and listen to your body; you don’t want to over exert yourself. Remember to take it one day at a time, and continue building upon your progress by increasing the time or intensity of your aerobic workouts.

Are You Ready to Start Walking?

Walking is a convenient exercise for individuals looking to incorporate more low-impact physical activity into their daily routine.

Adopting a consistent walking routine is an important step towards an overall healthier lifestyle and can help reduce instances of chronic illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease; but even an activity as straightforward as walking requires a little bit of planning.

First, set a daily or weekly walking goal, such as walking every Monday morning, that focuses on either distance, pace, duration, or some combination of the three. The US Department of Health and Human Services recommends able-bodied adults engage in at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week, so getting in around 30 minutes of walking a day, five days a week is a good goal to work towards. If 30 minutes is too much, start with 15 minutes and add an additional 5 minutes every subsequent day until you reach 30 minutes.

Second, as with any new physical fitness routine, it’s important to go at your own pace and aim for steady incremental progress. Dramatic changes don’t happen overnight, so trust the process, and help yourself stick with it by making your walks easily accessible.

Lastly, make sure you have the proper equipment and footwear. A high-quality pair of walking shoes with proper padding and enough space between your toes and the front of the shoe will make each step smoother. There are other features — an Achilles tendon protector, heel collar, gel or air midsole — that will ease the impact on the joints and reduce the chances of injury.

This Monday, write down your goals and make sure you’ve got some supportive shoes.

November Marks the Start of Healthy Lifestyles Month

In recent times, the challenges to maintaining a healthy lifestyle have increased. As our lives have become more hectic and digital screens more pervasive, the battle against sedentary living and poor nutrition has intensified. That’s why November is so important; it’s Healthy Lifestyles Month, a time to remind ourselves of the significance of a well-rounded, health-focused way of life.

Understanding the Significance of Healthy Lifestyles Month

Healthy Lifestyles Month, celebrated every November, serves as an annual reminder of the importance of taking care of our physical and mental well-being. It’s a time for individuals, communities, and organizations to come together to promote health-conscious choices in daily life. The month-long observance encourages people to reflect on their habits and make positive changes for a healthier future.

Physical Health and Wellness

The pillar of healthy living is, without a doubt, physical fitness. Regular exercise has been scientifically proven to reduce the risk of various diseases, increase life expectancy, and improve overall well-being. In addition, it can be a powerful stress-reliever, boost self-esteem, and enhance mental health. This Healthy Lifestyles Month, consider setting aside time for exercise – join our Wednesday Walkers, every Wednesday at 10 am at the Decatur Rec Center, take a yoga class; Slow Flow Yoga, Deep Stretch Yoga or Intentional Yoga, or by checking out one of our other classes.

Nutrition and a Balanced Diet

A significant aspect of a healthy lifestyle is maintaining a well-balanced diet. Proper nutrition is the foundation of good health. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains provides the body with essential nutrients. During Healthy Lifestyles Month, it’s an excellent opportunity to assess your eating habits and make necessary adjustments. Small changes, such as reducing sugary snacks or incorporating more vegetables into your meals, can have a substantial impact on your health. Find fresh fruits and veggies at the Decatur and Oakhurst Farmer’s Markets!

Mental Health and Well-being

Healthy living doesn’t revolve solely around physical health. Mental well-being is equally important. Stress management, relaxation techniques, and emotional well-being are critical components of leading a balanced life. Prioritize self-care and incorporate practices such as meditation, mindfulness, or spending quality time with loved ones into your routine. Try out a Tai Chi class or if you need extra resources reach out to our friends at NAMI Dekalb.

Community and Support

Creating a culture of healthy living within your community can be an empowering experience. Join local groups or engage in community programs that promote wellness. Healthy Lifestyles Month provides an ideal opportunity to start initiatives that encourage your community to embrace healthier habits collectively.

Taking Small Steps Towards a Healthier Lifestyle

Implementing healthy changes doesn’t have to be overwhelming. During Healthy Lifestyles Month, take small steps that can lead to significant results. These may include:

  1. Physical Activity: Aim to engage in at least 30 minutes of physical activity most days of the week. Whether it’s a morning stroll, an online fitness class, or dancing around your living room, every bit counts.
  2. Nutrition: Gradually incorporate healthier food choices into your diet. Start with a daily serving of fruits or vegetables and then build on it.
  3. Mental Health: Dedicate time for relaxation, meditation, or mindfulness practices. These moments of self-care can help reduce stress and improve your mental well-being.
  4. Community Engagement: Join local fitness or wellness programs, attend health-focused community events, or create a support group to encourage healthy living among friends and neighbors.

Healthy Lifestyles Month in November is a reminder that the journey to better health is an ongoing process. It’s an opportunity to reassess your lifestyle and make positive changes, no matter how small. By embracing healthy living, we can enhance the quality of our lives and inspire those around us to do the same. This November, let’s celebrate Healthy Lifestyles Month by taking steps toward a healthier, happier life.

All of Your Scariest Fitness Fears Dispelled

Regardless of age or ability level, sometimes it’s just hard to find the energy, motivation, or confidence to get back into a workout routine. Whether you fear getting injured or are just reluctant to get back into the gym, it’s important to remember that a little anxiety about recommitting to exercise is perfectly normal.

This Monday, take a moment to consider the thoughts that are holding you back. By identifying our own barriers, we are better equipped to break them down.

Check out our list of common fitness fears, and start overcoming them.

Little/No Time

Our schedules are pretty tight, but there’s always some time to fit in some fitness. If you’re stuck helping with homework or cleaning up after dinner, use this time as an opportunity to perform some quick-and-easy kitchen workouts, like counter pushups or stove squats. You can also find more creative ways to fit in fitness, like parking farther away from store entrances or taking an additional walk up and down your staircase.


Getting back into exercise can be a lot to handle. Build up your confidence and squash feelings of self-doubt by repeating a few positive affirmations throughout the day. These words of inspiration provide the extra courage and focus you need to take your first (and second) step towards exercise.

Lack of Support

You don’t need to be working out next to someone to be part of a fitness community. Create your own virtual workout group by connecting online with friends, colleagues, or distant cousins. You can send each other sweaty selfies or other (maybe more flattering?) evidence of your progress. If you’ve got a full household, get everyone involved in your workout by practicing some easy family yoga poses.

Low Energy

A lot of factors contribute to your energy levels, but a restful sleep can really make a big difference. Try getting some extra shut-eye, and make sure to schedule your physical activity for times you feel the most awake and energized.

Missing Motivation

Sometimes, even the assurance of better health is not a strong enough motivator. To solidify the commitment, try scheduling a specific time to work out, and write it down on a calendar, weekly planner, or in a fitness journal.  If your workouts are getting a bit drab or monotonous, mix up your exercise routine to infuse it with a some more fun.

Fear of Injury

An important way to avoid injury and stay physically active is to understand your fitness level and know your health numbers. A quick self-assessment can help you identify which parts of your body are strong and healthy, and which may require some extra attention. Before doing any strenuous movements, make sure that you warmup beforehand and learn the proper form. Engaging in some simple stretching at the beginning of a workout can also reduce the risk of a strained muscle by improving your flexibility, coordination, and balance.

Lack of Skill

You don’t need to be a fitness junky to get in a decent workout. Any regular physical activity—walking upstairs, jogging around the block, carrying groceries—can be converted into a form of exercise. Try finding ways to fit in fitness; you’ll be surprised at how quickly those steps add up. Even an activity as innocuous as gardening can be a useful form of physical activity.


Want to work out for free? Easy. You don’t need any expensive gym membership or equipment to exercise. Walking, dancing, home workouts, and free online fitness classes and tutorials are all no-cost exercise options that can spice-up your fitness routine without busting your bank account.

Poor Weather Conditions

It’s too wet; it’s too cold; it’s too hot—these thoughts always cross our minds when the weather isn’t ideal. But on these less than perfect days, consider taking your workout or Monday mile indoors. Getting a modest workout even on days when you don’t feel like will help you stay consistent and on track.

Project Updates

Exciting news from your Decatur Parks & Recreation team! Here’s a quick rundown of what’s happening in our parks:

🎾 Oakhurst Tennis Courts: The resurfacing is almost complete, and our courts are drying in preparation for the next phase. Soon, we’ll add the lines and put those nets back on for some awesome games!

🐶 Adair Dog Park: We’ve improved the park with a brand new second entrance on the W. Trinity Place side. Fencing repairs are complete, ensuring a safe and fun environment for your furry friends.

🛹 McKoy Skate Park: The adrenaline is building! Construction is set to start on October 30th with the pouring of concrete. Get ready for some shredding action!

We’re dedicated to making our parks better for you, and we can’t wait to see you enjoy these fantastic updates. Stay tuned for more news from your local Parks & Rec!

Boost Your Mood With a Partner Walk

Walking is a key component of physical activity for all ages and abilities and a daily walk can be the perfect opportunity to get up from your chair and take in some fresh air. Walking by yourself is certainly relaxing, but sharing a stroll with a companion or friend can make it that much better.

study looking at group fitness showed that physical, mental, and emotional quality of life improves when participants exercise together, potentially leading to a significant improvement in mood and well-being.

You likely have plenty of options when it comes to securing a walking partner. Start with your immediate family or the people you see on a daily basis. If family members aren’t available, look to a colleague who shares a similar schedule as you, just make sure you take the proper precautions to ensure everyone’s safety. Pets are also great walking buddies; if you don’t have a dog, see if a neighbor or friend will let you borrow theirs.

If the above options are unavailable, look to join a virtual walking group or organize your own online Monday Mile. This is an excellent way to get motivated; plus, it’s a nice way to socialize and connect with new people, while staying socially distanced.

Get Ready for Spooktacular Halloween Fun with Decatur Parks and Recreation! 🎃👻

It’s that magical time of the year, and Decatur Parks and Recreation has a lineup of Halloween events that will make your spooky season memorable. 🕷️🌙

Parent’s Night Out – Halloween Edition 🌟
📅 Friday, October 27, 5:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
📍 Oakhurst Recreation Center
👻 Kids ages 5-12 welcome!
🎃 Residents – $35 per child, $10 each additional sibling (register using link)
👻 Non-Residents – $45 per child, $10 each additional sibling

Join us for a night of spooky fun! Wear your Halloween best and enjoy Trunk or Treat festivities in the parking lot. Let the little ghouls and goblins revel in a night of games, treats, and more.

Halloween Jam 🎸
📅 Friday, October 27, 6:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.
📍 Ebster Recreation Center
👻 3rd, 4th and 5th grade dance, costumes encouraged! (register using link)
🎃 Brace yourself for a night of thrilling games, exciting activities, delicious food, and drinks. Embrace the Halloween spirit with bone-rattling tricks and spooktacular surprises!

Family Bike Ride – Halloween Edition 🚴‍♂️
📅 Saturday, October 28, 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
📍 Starting and Ending at DRC
👻 Bike through the neighborhood and witness Halloween decorations come to life. A delightful family adventure awaits! Ends just in time to see Coco on the Square.

Movie on the Square – Coco 🍿
📅 Saturday, October 28, 7 p.m.
📍 Decatur Square
👻 FREE Popcorn (while supplies last)
🎃 Dress up in your spookiest costumes and join us for a frightfully good time. Visit nearby shops for candy treats and immerse yourself in the fantastic community atmosphere.

Don’t miss out on the spooktacular fun! Mark your calendars, grab your costumes, and join us for a Halloween celebration that promises thrills and chills for the whole family. Let the spooky season begin! 🎉👻