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!

Decatur Parents Network hosting “The Science of Addiction Recovery” speaker series.

Join the Decatur Parents Network for National Recovery Month tomorrow, September 29th at 7pm via Zoom.. Hear from Certified Addiction Recovery Empowerment Specialist , Susan Morley, about The Science of Addiction Recovery. Scan the QR code below to register for the speaker series.

Biketober starts next Friday!

Roll with us next month for Biketober! Check out our biking programs and don’t forget to sign up for our We Bike Decatur team with Love to Ride.

Terri Kruzan’s Dog Training for People

Terri & Blaky at Run with the Dogs

We sat down with our resident dog whisperer, Terri Kruzan, to talk about her passion for dog training and agility:

I work with people to help their dogs become confident and happy companions in our community. We all want to walk our neighborhood sidewalks with a calm dog by our side and be able to have a conversation with a friend without a pulling, barking dog at our feet. People seek me out for help with basic obedience skills, with separation anxiety and with reactivity to new people, dogs and things. The most common feedback I get from people is how they learned 15 minutes of mental stimulation is equal to 60 minutes of physical stimulation to calm their dog.

I work with people in their homes and with members of their household as well as in group classes through Decatur Active Living.  I am a long-term resident of Decatur and in my retirement, I followed my passion and became certified as a dog trainer through Animal Behavior College.  The name for my business came from my son and his friends who said just name your business after your approach that ‘people need to learn just as much as their dogs!’  Neighbors know and trust me and I chose to share my classes through the Decatur Active Living as a way to give back to my community.

Fall Classes are:

Dog Agility for Fun

Six-week course teaches your dog how to go over, through & on obstacles and how humans guide their dogs – a mentally & physically stimulating sport.

Starts on Thurs 9/23 at 5:45-6:45PM

Basic Dog Obedience

Six-week course focuses on learning basic dog obedience manners, as well as solving problem behaviors, such as jumping, pulling & barking.

Starts on Sat, 10/2 from 10-11 AM.

For questions, contact: Terri Kruzan at tkruzan@bellsouth.net or 404.510.3113

Move It Monday: Try Habit-Stacking

From our friends at the MondayCampaigns.org:

We know what you’re thinking — what is habit stacking?

The idea behind habit stacking is simple: add a new behavior to your daily schedule by “stacking it” on top of an existing habit. The concept of habit stacking was pioneered by James Clear, author of the New York Times bestseller, Atomic Habits, and it is designed to help individuals incorporate more healthy behaviors into their lives without disrupting their normal routine. Seamlessly incorporating physical activity throughout the day can lead to weight loss and reduced instances of chronic illnesses such as diabetes or hypertension.

For example, many of us make coffee in the morning, and, whether you’re using a drip pot or French press, the brewing process takes between 5 – 10 minutes. During the time you wait for your coffee, you can easily add a new better-for-you behavior into your schedule, such as a few sets of high knees or a light jog-in-place.

By stacking enough of these habits, you’ll effectively incorporate a surprising amount of extra physical activity into your daily routine without even realizing it.

For ideas and to learn more, click here.

Third Friday Bike Ride is Friday, August 20

Join Decatur Active Living for this social-paced bike ride around Decatur neighborhoods. We bike approximately six miles and no-one will be left behind. Please wear a helmet and mask. This ride is not appropriate for children.

Meet in front of the Decatur Recreation Center and be ready to put wheels down at 6:30 pm.

Move It Monday! Write Your Own success Story

From our friends at MondayCampaigns.org:

This Monday, keep a record of your workouts. Tracking your fitness accomplishments will help identify useful patterns, reveal a picture of your overall performance, and help you stay on top of your progress.

Previously, we’ve covered how and why to keep a journal. We’ll now share tips on what to write down to keep you motivated and inspired.

  • Set a goal. 10,000 steps in a day? 20 minutes of non-stop cardio three times a week? Three weight-lifting sessions in a week? 30 minutes of laps every Saturday? Whatever it is, put it on the horizon. This is your goal.
  • Keep track. Track your numbers every day and be accountable. A possible entry would include: Date, exercise, time, distance, and any other miscellaneous notes – like how it made you feel or what you might need to change to bring you closer to your goals.
  • Find activities you enjoy. When you’re invested and having fun, you’re more likely to want to achieve your fitness goals. Be adaptable, not only will you work more muscles, but fitness may be less routine and more fun. Also, consider making fitness more social by inviting your friends or taking a class.

This Monday, use your personal data to see the big picture. When you see all your fitness accomplishments in one place, you’re more likely to feel a sense of completion and be motivated to achieve your fitness goals. Plus, it feels good!

Adult & Senior Programming is BACK!

We are thrilled to re-introduce adult and senior programming and cannot wait to see you there. Check out the image below to see our offerings for August. Be sure to contact Sara Holmes at sara.holmes@decaturga.com to register for programs.

Recreation Centers Open August 2 for Classes and Open Gym

Decatur Recreation Center and Ebster Recreation Center will open on Monday, August 2nd for classes, programs and open gym.

We are following COVID protocols and visitors will be greeted with the following upon entering:

*Temperature Checks
*Sign-in via QR code or Contract tracing notebook
*Facemasks are required when entering the building, moving through the building, or while waiting for open gym play. You may remove your mask while participating in exercise.

The following programs will be offered:

*Adult and Senior Programming
*Exercise Programming at Decatur Rec.
*Adult Open Gym Activities
*Youth Open Gym Activities

For more information and a detailed schedule, click here.


Parks and Recreation Month comes to an end!

Parks and Recreation Month is coming to an end but our programming continues on. Our last scheduled program for the month was our Wednesday Walks with a Special Guest. This week we had the pleasure of Mayor Garrett joining us to tell participants about Legacy Park and the future plans for the area. Legacy Park Caretaker – Doresy Nobles – led walkers through a tour of the beautiful Moore Chapel.

A sincere thank you to Mayor Garrett, Decatur City Commissioner Kelly Walsh, City Manager Andrea Arnold, and Active Living Board Member Jack Kittle for joining us for our Wednesday Walks in July. Participants enjoyed getting to know each special guest and learn more about each of the parks visited – Glenlake Park, Oakhurst Park, Hidden Cove, and Legacy Park.