The Benefits of Walking!

Here at Decatur Active Living we love walking and seeing as how it’s Walktober we thought we’d share some benefits of walking from our friends over at Clarity Fitness. We got together with Abbey Griffith, owner and founder of Clarity Fitness and below are her thoughts on the wonderful benefits of walking!

Abbey Griffith
Owner, Founder, NASM CPT Clarity Fitness

As a Certified Personal Trainer, Group Exercise Instructor, Gym Owner, and Eating Disorder Recoveree, I know that there is no one “best”, “right”, or “ideal” workout. What you do to workout, how long it lasts, the intensity, where it is, and so many other factors truly come down to what will be sustainable, flexible, and fun for you! You’ll not only find it easier to incorporate movement into your life longterm, but it won’t be something you dread and feel you “have” to do. Movement will be an act of kindness and respect for your body.

Let’s talk about walking. Walking in itself is an absolute blessing, privilege, and gift. To be able to stand our entire bodies over two tiny flaps of bone and muscle (feet), then coordinate our incredible bodies over top of them while propelling ourselves forward to where we want to go? Wow! For those who can’t walk, don’t worry, your body is just as phenomenal. Think about what all goes into reading this article – the neurons firing, your eyes tracing along these words, the cognitive behavior of processing the information – can we all agree that our bodies are beyond incredible?

Now that we’ve locked in gratitude for the vessels that will take us through our entire lifetime, let’s explore how we can treat them with the respect they deserve in regards to movement. Exercise is a tool to work with, not against, the body. It is our right to play with different types of movement and explore what brings light into our lives. Be it walking, dancing, lifting, running, climbing, swimming, etc. – it is movement, and it is enough. 

I so regularly hear people beating themselves up because they “should’ve” worked out harder, longer, or in a different way. Critical and scientifically untrue comments like, “I went on a walk, but my friends ran – they did so much better than me”, or “I only walked today – I’ll have to go for a run tomorrow”. 

Both running and walking are excellent forms of exercise, but it’s time to give walking the credit it deserves. Functional movement means that a movement is found in your regular day to day motions. Think about sitting down and standing up at your desk – a squat! Or bending over to pick up a pen you dropped – a deadlift! The most functional movement of all for the many of us who get around throughout our day to day this way – walking. A study on “Walking versus running for hypotension, cholesterol, and diabetes mellitus risk reduction” states that, “Equivalent energy expenditures by moderate (walking) and vigorous (running) exercise produced similar risk reductions for hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes, and [coronary heart disease].” In essence, running is not “better” at defending against major health complications than walking, especially if you would much rather walk.

Walking is also a great option for injury prevention, as running without appropriate shoes, progression, training, stretching, and recovery can more easily lead to injury than doing so in a walk (although also risky!). If you’re interested in or love running, go for it! However whether you’re walking or running, we always recommend form checks from a Certified Personal Trainer or Physical Therapist to keep you safe and feeling your best.

Last but not least, movement and mental health must be clearly connected. If running causes you anxiety, you dread your workouts on cardio day, or you just really love walking but feel like it’s not a “good enough” workout, explore that with a Health at Every Size, Eating Disorder Informed, and/or Body Positive Mental Health Provider or Personal Trainer. It is incredibly important to tailor movement around what works for you and your body on any given day, and it’s allowed to change regularly. 

Now, go play!

Celebrate Children’s Environmental Health Day

The City of Decatur, in partnership with Georgia Clinician for Climate Action will celebrate Children’s Environmental Health (CEH) Day on Thursday, October 14 at Legacy Park from 5pm-6:30pm. The purpose of the Children’s Environmental Health (CEH) Day is to raise awareness about the importance of clean air and water, safe food and consumer products, healthy environments, and stable climates to children’s health and development.

Join us for a wonderful walk with city officials and staff around the beautiful grounds of Legacy Park. Activities will include tree identification along the walk, youth groups and climate/environmental health facts from doctors. Together we can safeguard the health, safety and well-being of our most precious resource, children.  

For more information on Children’s Environmental Health (CEH) Day visit cehday.org or if you would like to participate in this event contact Gregory White, Director of Decatur Active Living at 678-553-6543 or greg.white@decaturga.com     

This week: October 4-9

Join us this week for NAMI tomorrow at 11 a.m. Our Wednesday walk starts at 10 a.m. this month and we’ll be making beautiful jewelry with Ms. Gussy in art class, Thursday at 10 a.m. Come on down to Ebster Rec Center Friday at 10 a.m. for Silver Spokes and log some bike time for Biketober!

Tuesday, October 5, 11 a.m.

This program allows people who have been diagnosed with a mental health disorder to share their lived experience. The purpose is to provide education and awareness, and promote advocacy, with the goal of eliminating the stigma. The In Our Own Voice program is free, and offers virtual presentations to all organizations and groups. The presentation: Provides an opportunity to hear open and honest perspectives on a highly misunderstood topic. Promotes a deeper understanding of mental health conditions, dispelling stereotypes and misconceptions while helping to eliminate the stigma. Promotes the understanding that people with mental health conditions have lives enriched by hopes, dreams and goals. Provides information on how to learn more about mental health and get involved with the mental health community.

Email Gael Doyle at Gael.Doyle@decaturga.com to register or for any questions

Pop-up vaccine clinic tomorrow!

10 a.m. – 4 p.m. 2nd shots of Pfizer will be provided. You may also get your 1st round and schedule with CORE for your 2nd shot. Decatur Rec Center, 231 Sycamore Street.

Questions or more information email Gael Doyle at Gael.Doyle@decaturga.com

Family Bike Ride this Saturday at 10 a.m.

Join us for our family bike ride this Saturday at 10am! We will start and end at the Decatur Rec Center.
Helmets required. Email Gael Doyle at Gael.Doyle@decaturga.com for more information.

Wednesday and Thursday!

Join us for a Wednesday walk tomorrow at 9 a.m. Meet outside the Decatur Rec Center.

Make beautiful silk scarves with Ms. Gussy at 10 a.m. Thursday. Also, don’t forget to sign up for our Edward Jones Financial Literacy Class Thursday night!

 For more information about any of our activities or to register or just to say hello!, email Gael Doyle at Gael.Doyle@decaturga.com

Check out what’s happening this week!

Join us this week for the start of our running group, we’ll be playing bingo, going on a Wednesday walk, making silk scarves with Ms. Gussy in art class, and learning about financial literacy with the Edward Jones’ class. Don’t forget about our upcoming 3rd Friday bike ride, happening this Friday at 6:30 p.m. For more information about any of our activities or to register or just to say hello!, email Gael Doyle at Gael.Doyle@decaturga.com

Small Ways to Start Moving More

From our friends at Move It Monday:

One small step for mankind, one giant leap for your overall wellness.

We’ve all got busy schedules, but it’s important to remember to set aside time for some movement. It might be hard to believe, but it’s possible (actually, pretty easy) to go an entire day without having to walk more than a few hundred steps.

But making slight modifications to your daily routine can lead to monumental life transformations. Simple activities such as walking, gardening, or even climbing a few extra flights of stairs can positively impact your overall health, reducing the risk of developing diabetes and helping with weight management. If you want to expand your range of motion and incorporate more physical activity into your day, then you’ve got to go small and walk home.

Here is our list of other small changes you can make to your daily routine that can help you become more active.

Take a Lap (Around the House)

It might not seem like much, but tidying up the house or simply walking from room to room are two simple ways to re-introduce yourself to some low stress movements.

Move with Music

Music is a powerful motivator. Put on a playlist —rock, jazz, POP…whatever gets you going, and let the tunes take over.

Track Your Progress

Wearable fitness devices like an Apple Watch or Fitbit can serve a number of functions like track steps and distances, measure the calories burnt, and monitor heart rate and sleep quality. Tracking your progress and seeing improvements will help keep you motivated and committed to your activity goals.

Suggest a “Walking” Coffee Date

We know that everyone loves a meet-up over coffee, but what if you could take your chat outside? Ask for your Joe to-go, and try walking and talking – you’ll get fresh air and extra exercise.

Park Far Away

May not seem like much, but those extra steps in and out of your barber shop or grocery store do add up.

Chores Build Cores

No, this isn’t a way of tricking you into cleaning the stove top or lint-rolling couch cushions. By giving the house or apartment a thorough cleaning, you’re doing your body a lot of good by engaging muscles that you may not use otherwise. A little bit of elbow grease goes a long way.

 Take a Class Outdoors

We’re not talking extreme kayaking or rock climbing. Learning a new skill that gets you out of the house — be it photography, birdwatching, or gardening — can help add a surprising number of steps to your daily routine.

Today and Upcoming

Tonight at 6:30

Social Security: Understanding and Maximizing your benefits. A great resource for anyone who plans to retire in the next 15 years.

Starting Monday evening at 6:30

Have you always wanted to become a runner but didn’t know where to start? Then this group is for you!
We will work through an 8-week Couch to 5K program and a 14-week 10k program.

Coming up Friday September 17th, our Third Friday Bike Ride! Meet outside the Decatur Rec Center at 6:15 p.m., wheels down and ready to ride at 6:30 p.m. Helmets required!

Contact Gael Doyle at Gael.Doyle@decaturga.com for more information or to register for any of our events!

Social Security: Understanding and Maximizing your benefits

Tomorrow night, 6:30 p.m. at the Decatur Rec Center: Social Security – Understanding and Maximizing your benefits. A great resource for anyone who plans to retire in the next 15 years.

Topics include how your benefits are calculated, spousal and ex-spousal benefits, survivor benefits, potential taxation of benefits, early retirement and delayed retirement strategies, and more. RSVP with Gael Doyle at Gael.Doyle@decaturga.com