Walking is Real Exercise

Walking is real exercise; the startling health benefits prove it!

Don’t let that hard-core runner convince you otherwise: Walking is real exercise. A 2013 study found that walkers who cover the same mileage as runners enjoy comparable improvements in a variety of health markers. One reason is because walking works the same muscles as running, only the intensity and duration are different. Sure, it’ll take you twice as long (or more) to cover the same distance as your runner friend, but walking is easier, more accessible, and may be the best exercise to start off with, especially if you’re a beginner.

Here are your talking points for why walking is real exercise:

Keeps your weight in check. According to a 2009 study, people who walk to work are less likely to rattle that obese marker. To burn enough calories to lose weight, the Mayo Clinic suggests putting on your sneakers and walking 30 minutes a day.

Helps regulate blood sugar. Walking combats Type 2 diabetes because it helps lower blood sugar levels, thus reducing insulin levels. But timing is everything. Walking for 15 minutes after every meal regulates blood sugar levels just as effectively as one 45-minute walk per day.

Promotes better digestion. What’s the antidote to lying down after a big meal (one of the worse things you can do for acid reflux and a host of other conditions)? Walk! The activity super-charges your digestion by moving the food faster through your body.

Prevents varicose veins. Walking helps to drain excess fluid from the lower legs and can help prevent varicose veins through the pumping action of the calf muscles. That increase in oxygen you’re feeling also gets rid of waste products in the tissues.

Lowers blood pressure and cholesterol. Walking briskly can lower your risk of high blood pressure as well as high cholesterol just as much as running can, according to findings reported by the American Heart Association. In fact, the more walkers walked, the better their health improved.

Gentle on the joints. Doctors say gentle walking is the best exercise if you’re pregnant, morbidly obese, or suffering from arthritis. Walking may even help ease the pain of chronic illness. For those experiencing these conditions, experts suggest starting with just two to five minutes a day, then adding an extra two minutes every third day.

Mood lifter. Walking just makes you feel good! That’s because moving your body releases endorphins that dull pain receptors in the brain, sedate you, and can even make you feel happy, if not euphoric. A 2005 study found that walking briskly for 35 minutes five times a week, or 60 minutes three times a week, could significantly impact mild to moderate depression symptoms.

Better night’s rest. Tossing and turning all night? Take this insider’s tip from travel experts, who suggest walking around a new city on the day you arrive until it’s dark can help recalibrate your supply of melatonin. Essentially, the hormone is needed to synchronize your body clock to your new time zone; the more melatonin in your body, the sleepier you’ll feel at the right time.

How to walk right? Experts say that to ensure walking is real exercise and not just a friendly stroll you must walk fast enough to cover at least 3.5 miles an hour. That will feel like hurrying to a bus or trying to get out of the rain; the point is to feel slightly winded. If you’re a beginner, see that goal as an aspiration and slowly work up to it.

Today is Take A Walk Outdoors Day!

Take A Walk Outdoors Day falls on January 20 every year, and as the name suggests, it’s a day to step outside for a walk! Walking comes with a host of health benefits, and taking a walk outdoors is a great way to get to know your neighborhood and city. Walking outdoors lets your body absorb Vitamin D which is good for your bones and muscle growth. For best results, try an early morning walk because only the early morning sun generates Vitamin D, and 75% of adults don’t get enough of it. Taking walks can brighten your mood, as chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine are released during and after walks. Walking can also lessen depression, and it is more effective in doing so if you walk outside than inside. Taking a walk can also benefit the brain by helping new brain cells to grow, which can fight memory loss and dementia and is beneficial for the heart: it can lower your blood pressure, and can lower your risk of getting a heart attack. It can also lessen your chances of getting lung cancer, help you burn fat, strengthen your bones, and keep your skin healthy by helping your body to produce more collagen. The best part is walking is fun and easy and requires no special equipment. You can walk alone, with friends or with your furry companion.  

The City of Decatur, with its tree lined streets and more than 60 miles of sidewalks in 4.5 square miles, is a prime location for walking. Decatur also has a variety of parks and greenspace along with the PATH trail that runs through the city. Take a nice leisurely stroll, or power walk at a brisk speed. Walk in your neighborhood, or take in a hike. Above all, make sure you get outside and get some exercise. Your body and mind will thank you.

Download our walking map with six routes around Decatur! https://www.decaturga.com/parksrec/page/take-walk-decatur-map

Decatur’s Clean Energy Plan

Decatur is developing a Clean Energy Plan and needs your help! We have many opportunities to provide your input and help guide Decatur’s future. Supported by Southface Institute and Greenlink Analytics, the City held our first community roundtable focused on equity and community on November 17, now posted on www.cleanenergydecatur.com, and will hold our next virtual roundtable, focused on clean energy and the economy, on January 19, 6:00 – 7:30 pm. We would love to see you there!  The City of Decatur has released a survey and is posting educational videos online, as well as holding an integrated planning charrette on March 8 and 9, 2022 in the Decatur Recreation Center. Please join our efforts to promote engagement opportunities and information on clean energy by signing up to be an Energizer on cleanenergydecatur.com. To learn more about Decatur’s Clean Energy Plan, how you can get involved, and take the survey go to www.cleanenergydecatur.com

Table Tennis is Cancelled for Sunday, January 16

Table Tennis is cancelled for today – Sunday, January 16. Table Tennis will resume on Thursday, January 20. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Observance of Martin Luther King, Jr Day

Decatur Active Living will be closed on Monday, January 17 for the observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. We will resume normal business hours on Tuesday, January 18 at 8:00 am.

Reflecting on Active Living’s Holiday Gift Giveaway

Over the holiday break, our Youth and Teens Programs were able to give gifts to over 60 families in the community. A massive THANK YOU to Wal-Mart, Thumbs Up Diner, and Southwest DeKalb High School for graciously donating and putting smiles on our kids faces. We are always so grateful for our rockstar staff for exceeding expectations and ensuring that we are providing the best services for our community.

Youth Basketball Dribbles On

Opening weekend of Youth Basketball shoots and scores! Last weekend Decatur Active Living kicked off our Youth Basketball season after a two year hiatus. It was great to hear the gyms filled with the dribbling of basketballs and whistles blown. A huge shout out and thank you to Stacy Green, Athletic Program Supervisor, and her team who ensured the safety of players, staff, and spectators. Can’t wait to see you on the court!

Decatur Active Living’s Updated & Modified Schedules

Due to the rise in COVID-19 cases, Decatur Active Living’s indoor programs and activities have been suspended until Monday, January 10, at Decatur Recreation Center and Ebster Recreation Center.

Basketball games will be played this week so be sure to check out the updated schedules on QuickScores. The following modifications will be followed to ensure the safety of our patrons and staff:

  1. Two spectators per player allowed.
  2. Players, Coaches, and Spectators must leave the gym immediately following their game.
  3. Players, Coaches, and Spectators will enter through the front door and exit through the side doors.
  4. Players and Spectators for upcoming games will have to wait until the gym is cleared before entering.
  5. Spectators, Coaches, and Staff are required to wear a mask at all times.
  6. Players are required to wear a mask while sitting on the bench, however, wearing mask while playing is optional.
  7. Players, Coaches, and Spectators must not congregate in the Lobby or stand in doorways.

Contact Sara Holmes if you have additional questions or concerns.

Decatur Active Living’s Holiday Hours

Happy Holidays to all! Decatur Active Living facilities and programs will have a modified schedule until the New Year.

Decatur Recreation Center and Ebster Recreation Center will close on Thursday, December 23 at 2:00 PM through Monday, January 3.

Glenlake Tennis Center will be closed on December 24 and December 25 as well as December 31 and January 1. All other days have normal business hours.

Oakhurst Indoor Pool will have normal business hours except for the following dates:

  • Friday, December 23: 6:00 AM – 3:00 PM
  • December 24 and 25: Closed for Christmas
  • Sunday, December 26: 12:00 PM (noon) – 5:00 PM
  • Friday, December 31: 6:00 AM – 2:00 pm
  • January 1: Closed on New Years Day
  • Sunday, January 2: 12:00 PM (noon) – 5:00 PM

If you are in need of immediate assistance, please reach out to our front desk at 404-377-0494.

National 4-H Congress Service Project selects McKoy Park

Decatur Active Living hosted 45 high school students and 8 adults from across the country for the 4H National Congress Work Day in Decatur at McKoy Park.  Students worked really hard to make a difference at the park raking leaves, painting doors, pulling ivy and cleaned park signs.  National 4-H Congress is a premiere nation-wide opportunity for 4-H members across America. National 4-H Congress is a five-day event that engages high school-aged 4-H members in leadership, citizenship, global awareness, and inclusion.