Move It Monday: Get More Out of Your Workout

From our friends at the

Warming up and cooling down are two important components of every fitness routine, but how can you use them to improve the quality of your workout?

Benefits of a Warmup

Although there’s no strict definition for what constitutes a “warmup,” the basic idea is doing an activity or exercise at a slower pace to help prepare the body for more intense aerobic workout.

A warmup gradually engages your cardiovascular system, which raises your body temperature and increases blood flow to the muscles. This improves the elasticity (the stretchiness of muscle tissue) and can help reduce muscle tightness, pain, and risk of injury.

A warmup can also be an exercise in itself. Stretching during or immediately after your warmup can improve your flexibility in both the long and short term. Just remember to stretch after you’ve done a short aerobic exercise to get the blood flowing to your muscles.

Properly warming up before a workout can also benefit your mental state. If you start your fitness routine with heavy weights or a strenuous aerobic fitness routine, you’re more likely to be discouraged. Starting slowly and easing yourself into your exercises gradually prepares you for a full and effective workout.

Benefits of a Cooldown

After you finishing a workout, a 10-minute cooldown allows body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure to return to their normal levels. Stopping an intense exercise abruptly without a cool down can possibly lead to dizziness or even fainting.

Cooldown exercises, like stretching, walking, foam rolling, and deep breathing, can help lower your risk of injury and reduce stress to the heart and other muscles.

If you’re looking to incorporate more stretching into your workout routine, try starting with some beginner yoga poses. Stretching helps improve your flexibility as well as range of motion around the joints, while also benefitting balance and bone health.

This Monday, take a few extra minutes before and after your workout to fit in a warmup and cooldown.

March is Nutrition Month: What to eat before and after workouts

From our friends at

What you eat before and after you exercise is almost as important as the workout itself. Food is your fuel—it gives you the energy necessary to be active and focused, and it also provides the nutrients required to build muscle and bone strength, as well as help the body recover post workout.

This Monday, in honor of Nutrition Month, plan some meals around your workouts.

Free Community Classes on the Square in March

All levels Yoga on the Square – Tuesdays at 10 am. Free. Masks and registration are required. Class is limited to 10 participants. Register here:

Body Positive Boot Camp – Thursdays, 11:30 am – 12 noon – for all levels and all body shapes; taught by Abbey Griffith owner of Clarity Fitness. Free. Masks and registration are required. Limited to 10 participants. Register here:

Contact for more information.

Destress Monday: Managing Challenging Emotions

From our friends at

There are times in life when powerful emotions can overwhelm you. But being swept away has its consequences. Uncontrolled anger can impact your relationships and even your health. You might feel your heart racing or tension in your body. Research suggests that anger may even be a risk factor for coronary heart disease.

So, how do you bring intense emotions under control? Acknowledge your feelings and restore calm with the simple ideas found here.

February 19th is National Caregivers Day

National Caregivers Day is observed on the third Friday in February — on February 19 this year. The day honors individuals who selflessly provide personal care, and physical- and emotional support to those who need it most. There are different types of caregivers who are not just limited to the health sector. The types are: family caregiver, professional caregiver, independent caregiver, private duty caregiver, and informal caregiver. Some of them are not always paid, which is why it is essential to appreciate and thank them for their long-term commitment. 

Read more about the history of the day as well as ways to celebrate here.

Here are some tips for caregivers from

Glenn Creek Nature Preserve to be Inducted into the Old-Growth Forest Network

On February 26th at 3 PM, Glenn Creek Nature Preserve in Decatur, GA will be formally inducted into the Old-Growth Forest Network. Dr. Sarah Horsley, Network Manager of the Old-Growth Forest Network, will present a plaque to the City of Decatur and neighborhood volunteers recognizing the value of protecting the remaining patches of mature forest throughout the city. A short guided hike of the forest will follow the ceremony. Mayor Garrett will be on hand to accept the award.

Glenn Creek Nature Preserve will join a group of other Old-Growth Forest Network sites throughout metro Atlanta known as “The Original Forest of Atlanta.” The Preserve, which is owned by the City of Decatur and maintained by neighborhood volunteers, contains two acres of native Piedmont forest, including large tulip poplars and pines. Though the Preserve covers 2-acres, it serves as a haven for birds and native plants and connects to 60 acres of forest on private property, protecting a stretch of Glenn Creek and its watershed. In 2004, the City of Decatur purchased the property with $90,000 from the Governor’s Greenspace Program and $65,000 raised by the Glenn Creek Nature Preserve Alliance. Approximately a half-mile of natural trails allows visitors to explore this preserve.

The mission of the Old-Growth Forest Network (OGFN) is to connect people with nature by creating a national network of protected, mature, publicly accessible, native forests. The goal is to preserve at least one forest in every county in the United States that can sustain a forest, estimated to be 2,370 out of a total of 3,140 counties. OGFN’s program works to identify forests for the Network, ensure their protection from logging, and inform people of the forest locations. OGFN also educates about the extraordinary ecological and human wellness benefits of old-growth forests, and speaks out regarding immediate threats to specific ancient forests.

Founded in 2012, OGFN has over 115 forests in 24 states currently in the Network.  Glenn Creek Nature Preserve will join other DeKalb and Fulton County forests historically linked to Atlanta’s original forest cover in the “Original Forest of Atlanta”

States that have forests in the Network include Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. The full list of forests may be viewed at

Dr. Horsley states, “Each of these Atlanta area forest preserves are native Piedmont gems among our City in the Forest. As a Decatur resident, I appreciate the work of the City and community toward preserving these forests that are essential to our well-being and native biodiversity. The Old-Growth Forest Network grows from our network of dedicated forest preservationists.”  Interested volunteers are welcome to contact us through our website:

February 11 is International Day of Women and Girls in Science

From NationalToday:
The International Day of Women and Girls in Science on February 11 allows us to honor women’s significant achievements in science and place a much-needed focus on girls entering Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) careers. As the fastest-growing segment of jobs with employers finding it hard to find available talent, STEM needs women. Have some fun today by learning about women charting their course as techie trailblazers and by supporting young women to pursue their passions in STEM.

Read about the history and find some activities to celebrate the day here. is celebrating women in science who are making a difference during the pandemic, including a 14 year old girl. Read about these heroes here.

Do a Monday Mile for your Heart

From our friends at the MondayCampaigns:

February is American Heart Month and we’re highlighting some of the positive impacts physical activity can have on your heart. Being more active can offer many benefits to your health. It can help reduce stress, build muscles, and increase your endurance. It can also boost your heart health!

Walking is something many of us do every day, several times a day. When it’s done for more than 30 minutes a day, it can be a great exercise for people at almost any level of fitness.

Here’s why just 30 minutes of walking a day can make a difference.

Score a Free Tree for Arbor Day!

Celebrate Black History Month

Every Black History Month, we tend to celebrate the same cast of historic figures. They are the civil rights leaders and abolitionists whose faces we see plastered on calendars and postage stamps. They resurface each February when the nation commemorates African Americans who have transformed America.

Click here to read about historic figures, such as Major Taylor, a fearless cyclist who broke world records in the early 1900’s.

Looking for some virtual activities to celebrate the month? Click here for some family activities including free yoga classes.

Carter G. Woodson, known as the “Father of Black History,” developed Black History Month. Woodson, whose parents were enslaved, was an author, historian and the second African American to earn a Ph.D. at Harvard University. Read more here.