Celebrate National Walking Day!

Come walk with us! Decatur Active Living will celebrate National Walking Day on Wednesday, April 6th at 10 a.m. Meet outside the Decatur Recreation Center and be ready to walk 2-3 miles around Decatur.

The first Wednesday in April is National Walking Day and it encourages Americans of all ages to get out and stretch their legs and get their hearts pumping. The American Heart Association launched National Walking Day in 2007 as part of its efforts to promote healthy living.

Unable to join us? Wear your sneakers (or take them with you) to work, and at some point in the day, take a 30-minute walk. 

  • Take thirty minutes out of your day to go for a walk.
  • Find a trail near you or walk around your neighborhood.
  • You can also visit a local park or walk on your treadmill.
  • Take your canine pals with you, too. They need the cardiovascular workout, too!

Here are some great ways to make that 30-minutes more enjoyable:

  • Wear comfortable clothes.
  • Take a friend to pass the time.
  • Make sure to stretch those muscles.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Move your arms, too.
  • Make sure you have good posture.

Spring is Blooming at Scott Park Community Garden

Scott Park Community Garden

Spring is blooming! I have checked the temperatures for April and we seem to be out-of-the-danger-zone for late frosts. With this belief in hand, I decided to sow my wildflower seeds this past weekend using a mix of annuals and perennial seed types adapted for the Central Piedmont of Georgia. As I have written before, soil preparation is crucial. To this end, I turned over the Scarlett Clover into the soil. Scarlett Clover is a legume – a type of plant that harbors bacteria which “fixes” Nitrogen and makes it available for growing plants. The nitrogen and the decaying plants will nourish this year’s seedlings.   Plants like Scarlett Clover are called Cover Crops and as they decay, the plants are called Green Manure.  As the plants decay, they release their nutrients slowly for optimal uptake by the seedlings and young plants.

I walk the garden and view the plots every few days. Many are looking wonderful – no weeds, a covering of mulch, plantings galore, fencing when needed, and some whimsical additions! All-in-all, the garden is quite beautiful and it will become even more so. However, I strongly encourage those of you with plots that need tending to do so! Weeds are and will take hold and seed quickly in the warming weather.   Less work weeding now, than in the future. Remember, the seeds from the weeds in your plot spread to other’s plots. So, help out and tend to your plot sooner rather than later.

As you are working on your plot – remember a few basics! Planting the same type or a member of the same family of plant in the same spot every year degrades the soil and invites pests such as nematodes specific to the type of plant you are hoping to grow to move in. So, I suggest, trying different plants in your plot or at least move them to a new section of your plot. Test your soil’s profile for nutrients needed and for the correct pH. Add what you need and don’t waste money on what you do not need. Weed your plot and cover with a layer of mulch – not too much. Water as needed. It is best to water deeply and less frequently in order to encourage deep root growth. And, never forget to enjoy your plot! Take time to enjoy the smells and sights associated with a healthy garden. The pollinators and birds benefit from your efforts. I hope to see and talk with you at the garden!

Touch A Truck & Touch A Budget TOMORROW!!

After two long years Touch A Truck is back! Visit trucks, bikes, MARTA vehicles and get a popsicle from King of Pops! We are partnering with City’s Touch A Budget and Clean Energy Plan. Help us kick off Spring with our most beloved event. See you all there!

Touch A Truck – Saturday, March 19 . 10am – 2pm . East Lake MARTA Station, North Lot

Celebrating Women’s History Month with Billie Jean King

Billie Jean King

For those of us who watched this year’s Super Bowl, we saw a female pioneer committed to breaking barriers continue her efforts by becoming an Honorary Coin Toss Captain for the Super Bowl LVI. Billie Jean King is an American world No. 1 tennis player winning 39 Grand Slam titles and much more in her career. In the 1970s, the tennis icon quickly become a pioneer for the fair and equal treatment of women in sports. King stated, “It’s an honor to stand with these outstanding student athletes and celebrate the 50th anniversary of Title IX on one of the world’s biggest stages. It’s hard to understand inclusion until you have been excluded, and I am proud to be part of this year’s Super Bowl Coin Toss and the NFL’s commitment to bring us together and make us stronger (Kamal, 2022).” Decatur Active Living is committed to continuing King’s efforts ensuring that all programs and events are inclusive for all because, above all, we are Better Together!

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!

Don’t Forget to Sign Up for the Love Run 5K

Don't forget to sign up for the Love Run 5K. Proceeds benefit The Women's Resource Center to End Domestic Violence. The race is on Saturday, February 26th.
The Love Run 5K Race

Today is Parent Mental Health Day

This year is the first Parent Mental Health Day (PMHD) and will encourage understanding and awareness of the importance of parent mental health and its potential impact on the whole family system with the theme ‘Balance’. The day aims to get parents and caregivers to take a moment to reflect on the balance they have in their lives, as well as how they balance looking after their family’s mental health and to take steps to make positive change and ‘balance out’.

The past two years have been like no other, with huge impact on young people’s mental health. With ever-changing restrictions, uncertainties, multiple roles, health, educational, economic and social impact, it is easy for parents and caregivers to overlook their own mental health as they juggle daily tasks.

Parent Mental Health Day is here to shine a light on the unsung heroes who have parented under changed circumstances throughout the pandemic, but now need some focus on themselves.

It’s important to take care of yourself as much as you have taken care of your family. Below are a few tips to look after your mental health.

Talk about your feelings

Talking about your feelings can help you stay in good mental health and deal with times when you feel troubled.

Keep active

Regular exercise can boost your self-esteem and can help you concentrate, sleep, and feel better. Exercise keeps the brain and your other vital organs healthy, and is also a significant benefit towards improving your mental health.

Eat well

Your brain needs a mix of nutrients in order to stay healthy and function well, just like the other organs in your body. A diet that’s good for your physical health is also good for your mental health.

Keep in touch

There’s nothing better than catching up with someone face to face, but that’s not always possible. You can also give them a call, drop them a note, or chat to them online instead. Keep the lines of communication open: it’s good for you!

Ask for help

None of us are superhuman. We all sometimes get tired or overwhelmed by how we feel or when things don’t go to plan.

If things are getting too much for you and you feel you can’t cope, ask for help. Your family or friends may be able to offer practical help or a listening ear.

Local services are there to help you.

Take a break

A change of scene or a change of pace is good for your mental health.

It could be a five-minute pause from cleaning your kitchen, a half-hour lunch break at work, or a weekend exploring somewhere new. A few minutes can be enough to de-stress you. Give yourself some ‘me time’.

Do something you’re good at

What do you love doing? What activities can you lose yourself in? What did you love doing in the past?

Doing an activity you enjoy probably means you’re good at it, and achieving something boosts your self-esteem and lowers stress.

Accept who you are

We’re all different. It’s much healthier to accept that you’re unique than to wish you were more like someone else. Feeling good about yourself boosts your confidence to learn new skills, visit new places and make new friends. Good self-esteem helps you cope when life takes a difficult turn.

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

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.