Preparing for Winter Weather

file1-004Preparing for winter isn’t complicated or expensive. While winter is dangerous, a few simple steps can help you and your family stay safe this season. Here is what NOAA’s National Weather Service (NWS) recommends:

Know Your Risk

  • A few inches of snow or ice can shut down a city and leave you trapped at home for days.
  • Driving on ice and snow-covered roads can lead to car wrecks, injuries and death.
  • Snow, ice and wind associated with winter storms can have a huge impact on travel, infrastructure, schools and businesses.
  • Some winter storms can cover nearly half the nation, affecting tens of millions of people.  Annually, damages from winter storms add up to over $1 billion.
  • Frostbite may develop on exposed skin when temperatures are below freezing. Add wind to below freezing temperatures and frostbite can set in even quicker.
  • Other winter dangers include hypothermia and avalanches.
  • Flooding is also possible due to snowmelt, ice jams and coastal storms such as Nor’easters.

Take Action

  • Before you go out, check the forecast at weather.gov to make sure you’re prepared for the elements. Follow NWS on Twitter and Facebook to stay up to date with the latest weather news
  • At home: have an Emergency Preparedness Kit with three days of food, water, prescription medications and other supplies. Also consider obtaining a NOAA Weather Radio.
  • Make sure your cell phone is fully charged when a storm is approaching and also anytime you’re planning to leave the house. It could become your life-line should disaster strike.
  • In your car: make sure you have food, water and blankets in your trunk. Stay off the road when advised to do so by local authorities.
  • Dress for the season: wear loose, warm clothing in layers.
  • Don’t forget your pets! Keep them inside during cold weather.
  • During and after the storm: never use a generator or kerosene heater indoors – carbon monoxide poisoning is a silent killer.
  • After the storm: take breaks when shoveling snow and stay clear of downed power lines.

Be a Force of Nature

  • Create a Family Communication Plan so that your loved ones know how to get in touch during an emergency.
  • Help your neighbors before and after winter storms – especially the elderly, who are particularly vulnerable.
  • Look for opportunities to help your town prepare, such as volunteering with the American Red Cross.
  • Register for Smart911

In the event of snow and/or ice in Decatur

  • The city will concentrate on providing a usable travel lane in each direction on major streets and clearing sidewalks near MARTA stations.
  • The city will work with City Schools of Decatur to make sure entrances, exits, and driveways at the schools are clear.
  • Residents should expect to clear their driveways and sidewalks. It is unlikely that the city will be able to clear interior neighborhood residential streets.
  • If you, or a neighbor, are a senior, someone with a medical need or someone with special needs, consider creating a safety profile at smart911.com. Stay tuned to thedecaturminute.com blog, City of Decatur GA-Government on Facebook, @downtowndecatur or Twitter, and the city’s website for information about facilities closures.

These simple steps will help keep you safe from blizzards, ice storms and other winter hazards. A little bit of preparation can make a big difference. And many of these steps – such as preparing an Emergency Supplies Kit – will also come in handy for other hazards, such as hurricanes or power outages.

Stay tuned to www.decaturga.com and thedecaturminute.com for up-to-date information.

Healthy Monday: Try Belly Breathing to Destress

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From our friends at The Monday Campaigns:

Heart racing? Feeling overwhelmed? Use Monday to practice belly breathing as an easy and proven way to reduce stress.

Stress can have a toll on your body and on your heart health. It also impacts your mood and general wellness.

Belly breathing is a simple antidote to stress. It works by activating your body’s natural relaxation response, which helps relieve muscle tension all over your body, as well as lower your heart rate and blood pressure.

Try some belly breathing to quickly get back to calm:

  1. Place one hand on your chest and the other on your belly.
  2. Close your eyes and mouth. Place your awareness on your breath and not on your surroundings.
  3. Inhale deeply through your nose for a count of four, making sure your diaphragm, or abdomen, is expanding and not your chest.
  4. Exhale slowly through your mouth for a count of four.
  5. Continue in this way for a few breaths, or until you feel calm.

An added benefit is that by focusing your thoughts on the sensations of breathing, or even counting your breaths, you also help settle your mind. The next time you feel your heart race or your stress start to spike, do some belly breathing and feel the needle return to normal.

To calm your body and mind, enjoy these DeStress Monday animated breathing GIFs.

 

Is Your Dog a Good Candidate to Become a Pet Therapy Dog?

golden_retriever_therapyOn Saturday, January 26 at 10 a.m join Terri Kruzan at the Decatur Recreation Center for this information session to find out what it would take for you and your dog to become certified as a Pet Therapy Volunteer Team. This one-hour session, for humans only, is to provide information on the pet therapy process and requirements, such as dog age, health, obedience skills, polite behavior and comfort in stressful situations.

 

The session is free. For more information, contact Terri Kruzan, tkruzan@bellsouth.net or 404-510-3113.

Correction: Decatur Youth Basketball Night is Friday, January 25


decatur youth basketball night

Move It Monday: Diversify Your Workout

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From our friends at Move It Monday:

Mix it up! This Monday, stir up your exercise routine. Studies show diversifying exercise routines avoids stagnant results. If you do the same routine over and over, it could be time to explore some new work out options.

Targeting different muscle groups keeps your muscles on their toes. Unless you’re training for a race, repetitive exercise doesn’t reap the full benefits of varying your fitness routine periodically. With some planning, soon you’ll be able to reshape your shape.

Adaptation is Plateauing

Tricking adaptation is the key. Your body is so smart, it tries something a few times and gets the hang of it very quickly. It adapts beautifully. Muscles stop getting stronger, heart rates level, and you don’t need to work as hard as you were during the first few weeks of an exercise. Avoiding repetitive motions also decreases the likelihood of injury.

Whole Body Workout

When you design your exercise routine include upper body, lower body, and cardio to have a whole body workout. Make it fun. Mix up an exercise like jogging with some low-impact activities like crunches and squats. Or, swim for 30 minutes then do some lateral lunges to open up your hips and strengthen those muscles. Draw up a plan, put it on the fridge, and check off your weekly accomplishments. By the end of the week, you’ll be humming along with a perfect routine.

Spice it Up

Doing the same thing over and over also takes the fun out of doing it. If you like to walk, walk on the treadmill and mix it up with the incline settings. If you like to ride a stationary bicycle, try the elliptical. If you like to lift weights, take a strength training class. Or a dance class. Or a yoga class. Use this Monday to reset your routine to get stronger faster, build endurance, and trick adaptation.

By shaking up your routine this Monday, you’ll keep your body and its adaptive powers on its toes. Diversity makes you stronger but it also keeps things stimulating. Challenge yourself to get creative with your routine, you’ll be surprised by what you can achieve.

Run With the Dogs 5K is Saturday, January 12

  It’s not too late to register for the Run with the Dogs 5k on Saturday, January 12.

2019 run with dog The 5K run/walk begins at 9:00 am, rain or shine at Decatur High School in Decatur, GA.  The one mile Pup Trot begins at 8:30 am. One registration fee allows you to do the 5k and the 1 mile puppy run.  Do one or do both!  Runners and walkers of all levels are invited to participate with their furry canine companions!  You don’t have to have a dog though :).  All proceeds will be used by the Decatur Bulldog Boosters to help fund the sports programs at Decatur High School and Renfroe Middle School.

For more information and to register, click here.

Move It Monday: Start Slow and Build Up

healthy monday

From our friends at Move It Monday:

If you’re using this Monday to begin a new fitness routine, this is a great step toward following a healthy lifestyle! However, before you start moving, make sure you start smart and ease yourself in. This Monday, start your new workout slow so you can avoid injury and get stronger!

When you’re motivated and ready to start a new activity, it’s tempting to want to dive right in – especially if you’re starting something fun! Many people who push themselves beyond their fitness levels may put themselves at risk for injuries. But there’s a smart way to begin a new workout without hurting yourself, and it’ll even make a challenging workout easier to get used to.

First, be prepared for a workout. Make sure you’re wearing comfortable, breathable clothes and sneakers. Have a bottle of water handy to stay hydratedduring your workout; it’s a good idea to be hydrated before and after, too. Once you’ve decided on a workout, set a simple goal for yourself. For example, if you’re walking, aim to walk at a moderate pace for about 10 to 15 minutes to start. If you’re lifting weights, start with lighter weights at first. If you’re hoping to do something more aerobic and high-impact, start with short sets of mini-workouts. Starting slow will not only prevent you from overdoing it, it will help you assess your current fitness level.

You can use every Monday to track your progress and challenge yourself to reach your next level. Spending your first week as a beginner can also serve as a warm-up for your body and get it used to a new activity. Doing low-impact exercises will get your blood flowing and your muscles moving, so you’ll still be doing something great for your health! After that first week, see if you’re ready to move to the next level – then challenge yourself!

This Monday, work out the smart way by starting slow! Every Monday can be the perfect time to either keep going or take your exercise to the next level.

Decatur Recreation Center Gym – Updated

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Update: The gym will reopen on Friday, January 4. The walking track is currently open. 

The Decatur Recreation Center gym and track will remain closed through Friday. We had the floors redone over the holiday and the fumes are pretty strong. For everyone’s safety, we will keep the gym closed for a few more days. Classes scheduled for the gym and multi purpose room will be canceled. The rest of the building is open.

The gym will be available for basketball on Saturday.

Ebster Recreation Center gym is open and will have open gym at the following times:

January 2nd – 2:00 pm-6 pm

January 3rd – 2:00-6:00 pm

January 4th – 12 pm-5:30 pm

 

Decatur Active Living Holiday Closings

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Decatur Recreation Center and Ebster Recreation Center will be closed from December 24 through January 1 and will reopen on January 2, 2019. The gym floors will be redone over the break.

Ebster Recreation Center will have open gym on the following days:
January 2nd – 2:00 pm-6 pm
January 3rd – 2:00-6:00 pm
January 4th – 12 pm-5:30 pm

The Oakhurst Indoor Pool holiday schedule is here.

Decatur Active Living wishes the community a safe and fun filled holiday season!

Move It Monday: The Family That Walks Together Talks Together

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From our friends at Move It Monday:

It’s the end of the year, and with the holidays and New Year’s, you’re probably spending more time with your friends and family than you usually do. Maintain a fitness routine during the holidays by rallying your seasonal support system to keep moving this Monday.

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

So, instead of working out solo, grab a friend, or your whole family. Here are some fun group fitness ideas:

  • Take a fitness class together like Zumba or Pilates
  • Walk or jog a Monday Mile
  • Grab some bikes and take a bike ride
  • Do some mini-exercises together
  • Sign-up for a dance class, where partners are part of the fun!
  • Roll out your mats and take a yoga class
  • Organize a game in a court, like basketball or volleyball

This holiday season do some group fitness with your family and friends on Monday to be happy and healthy, together. Happy Holidays from Move It Monday!

Find Move It Monday on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram for more great motivational tips and ideas to keep moving.