Are You Ready to Start Walking?

Walking is a convenient exercise for individuals looking to incorporate more low-impact physical activity into their daily routine.

Adopting a consistent walking routine is an important step towards an overall healthier lifestyle and can help reduce instances of chronic illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease; but even an activity as straightforward as walking requires a little bit of planning.

First, set a daily or weekly walking goal, such as walking every Monday morning, that focuses on either distance, pace, duration, or some combination of the three. The US Department of Health and Human Services recommends able-bodied adults engage in at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week, so getting in around 30 minutes of walking a day, five days a week is a good goal to work towards. If 30 minutes is too much, start with 15 minutes and add an additional 5 minutes every subsequent day until you reach 30 minutes.

Second, as with any new physical fitness routine, it’s important to go at your own pace and aim for steady incremental progress. Dramatic changes don’t happen overnight, so trust the process, and help yourself stick with it by making your walks easily accessible.

Lastly, make sure you have the proper equipment and footwear. A high-quality pair of walking shoes with proper padding and enough space between your toes and the front of the shoe will make each step smoother. There are other features — an Achilles tendon protector, heel collar, gel or air midsole — that will ease the impact on the joints and reduce the chances of injury.

This Monday, write down your goals and make sure you’ve got some supportive shoes.

November Marks the Start of Healthy Lifestyles Month

In recent times, the challenges to maintaining a healthy lifestyle have increased. As our lives have become more hectic and digital screens more pervasive, the battle against sedentary living and poor nutrition has intensified. That’s why November is so important; it’s Healthy Lifestyles Month, a time to remind ourselves of the significance of a well-rounded, health-focused way of life.

Understanding the Significance of Healthy Lifestyles Month

Healthy Lifestyles Month, celebrated every November, serves as an annual reminder of the importance of taking care of our physical and mental well-being. It’s a time for individuals, communities, and organizations to come together to promote health-conscious choices in daily life. The month-long observance encourages people to reflect on their habits and make positive changes for a healthier future.

Physical Health and Wellness

The pillar of healthy living is, without a doubt, physical fitness. Regular exercise has been scientifically proven to reduce the risk of various diseases, increase life expectancy, and improve overall well-being. In addition, it can be a powerful stress-reliever, boost self-esteem, and enhance mental health. This Healthy Lifestyles Month, consider setting aside time for exercise – join our Wednesday Walkers, every Wednesday at 10 am at the Decatur Rec Center, take a yoga class; Slow Flow Yoga, Deep Stretch Yoga or Intentional Yoga, or by checking out one of our other classes.

Nutrition and a Balanced Diet

A significant aspect of a healthy lifestyle is maintaining a well-balanced diet. Proper nutrition is the foundation of good health. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains provides the body with essential nutrients. During Healthy Lifestyles Month, it’s an excellent opportunity to assess your eating habits and make necessary adjustments. Small changes, such as reducing sugary snacks or incorporating more vegetables into your meals, can have a substantial impact on your health. Find fresh fruits and veggies at the Decatur and Oakhurst Farmer’s Markets!

Mental Health and Well-being

Healthy living doesn’t revolve solely around physical health. Mental well-being is equally important. Stress management, relaxation techniques, and emotional well-being are critical components of leading a balanced life. Prioritize self-care and incorporate practices such as meditation, mindfulness, or spending quality time with loved ones into your routine. Try out a Tai Chi class or if you need extra resources reach out to our friends at NAMI Dekalb.

Community and Support

Creating a culture of healthy living within your community can be an empowering experience. Join local groups or engage in community programs that promote wellness. Healthy Lifestyles Month provides an ideal opportunity to start initiatives that encourage your community to embrace healthier habits collectively.

Taking Small Steps Towards a Healthier Lifestyle

Implementing healthy changes doesn’t have to be overwhelming. During Healthy Lifestyles Month, take small steps that can lead to significant results. These may include:

  1. Physical Activity: Aim to engage in at least 30 minutes of physical activity most days of the week. Whether it’s a morning stroll, an online fitness class, or dancing around your living room, every bit counts.
  2. Nutrition: Gradually incorporate healthier food choices into your diet. Start with a daily serving of fruits or vegetables and then build on it.
  3. Mental Health: Dedicate time for relaxation, meditation, or mindfulness practices. These moments of self-care can help reduce stress and improve your mental well-being.
  4. Community Engagement: Join local fitness or wellness programs, attend health-focused community events, or create a support group to encourage healthy living among friends and neighbors.

Healthy Lifestyles Month in November is a reminder that the journey to better health is an ongoing process. It’s an opportunity to reassess your lifestyle and make positive changes, no matter how small. By embracing healthy living, we can enhance the quality of our lives and inspire those around us to do the same. This November, let’s celebrate Healthy Lifestyles Month by taking steps toward a healthier, happier life.

Boost Your Mood With a Partner Walk

Walking is a key component of physical activity for all ages and abilities and a daily walk can be the perfect opportunity to get up from your chair and take in some fresh air. Walking by yourself is certainly relaxing, but sharing a stroll with a companion or friend can make it that much better.

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

You likely have plenty of options when it comes to securing a walking partner. Start with your immediate family or the people you see on a daily basis. If family members aren’t available, look to a colleague who shares a similar schedule as you, just make sure you take the proper precautions to ensure everyone’s safety. Pets are also great walking buddies; if you don’t have a dog, see if a neighbor or friend will let you borrow theirs.

If the above options are unavailable, look to join a virtual walking group or organize your own online Monday Mile. This is an excellent way to get motivated; plus, it’s a nice way to socialize and connect with new people, while staying socially distanced.

Make it a Biketober and Walktober Weekend!

Gear up for an action-packed weekend with our Biketober and Walktober events!

Biketober Highlights:

  • Bikes & Brews: Friday Night! 🍻🚴‍♂️
    Join us for a thrilling cycling experience on Friday, October 6th, at 6:30 p.m. Meet in front of @guildjourneyman, 115 Clairemont Ave, and let’s hit the road together.
  • Saturday Ride: October 7th at 10 a.m. 🌞
    Embrace the morning breeze and scenic views on our Saturday ride. Get ready to pedal your way to a fantastic weekend!

Walktober Adventures:

  • Art Walk: October 8th at 2 p.m. 🎨
    Explore the artistic side of Decatur! Join us for an Art Walk on October 8th, starting at 2 p.m. Meet at the Community Bandstand on the Decatur Square. Co-sponsored by the Decatur Pedestrian Advisory Committee, these walks will be led by Angie Macon of the Decatur Arts Alliance.

Decatur Historic Cemetery Tour:

  • Second Sunday Tour: October 8th at 2:30 p.m. 🌳
    Don’t miss the last Second Sunday tour of the season at the Decatur Historic Cemetery! Hosted by Friends of Decatur Cemetery, these captivating tours happen every Second Sunday, May through October. Meet at the wellhouse/gazebo in the Historic Old Section at 2:30 p.m. for an enriching journey through history.

Get ready for a weekend filled with outdoor adventures, community spirit, and the beauty of Decatur!


Looking for a fun and rewarding way to embrace a healthier lifestyle? Look no further than Walktober, a celebration of all things walking!

Why Walktober?
Walking is not just a stroll in the park; it’s a journey to better health, both physically and mentally. As we step into October, join us in making walking a daily habit. The benefits are numerous and impactful:

  1. Physical Fitness: Walking is a low-impact exercise that’s suitable for all fitness levels. It helps improve cardiovascular health, enhance endurance, and maintain a healthy weight.
  2. Mental Well-Being: Enjoy the therapeutic effects of a leisurely walk. It’s proven to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, leaving you feeling refreshed and revitalized.
  3. Connection with Community: Walking brings people together. Whether it’s a stroll with neighbors or a walk in a local park, it fosters a sense of community and belonging.
  4. Creativity Boost: Need to clear your mind? Walking has been linked to increased creativity. Take a walk, let your thoughts flow, and see the ideas bloom.

Walktober Bingo: Fun, Fitness, and Prizes!
To add an exciting twist to your walking routine, participate in our Walktober Bingo challenge. Here’s how it works:

  1. Pick up a Bingo Card: Visit any of our three recreation centers to grab your Walktober Bingo Card. It’s your roadmap to a month of walking adventures! Or print the card off from this post.
  2. Complete the Challenges: Each square on the Bingo Card presents a unique walking challenge. Explore your neighborhood, parks, and trails while ticking off the activities.
  3. Capture the Moments: Take pictures as you complete the spaces.
  4. Submit for a Chance to Win: Completed the card? Share your pictures with us and get entered into a raffle to win one of five exclusive Decatur 200th Birthday Swag Bags. It’s a celebration, and you could be a winner!

Join the Walktober Movement!
Walktober is more than just a month-long event; it’s a commitment to a healthier, happier you. Lace-up those walking shoes, embrace the beauty of fall, and step into a new level of well-being.

Art Walks in Decatur!

Downtown Decatur has always been a vibrant hub, brimming with creativity and culture. Among the many facets that make this community so unique, public art stands tall as a testament to the city’s commitment to artistic expression. Have you ever strolled through these charming streets and wondered about the stories behind the sculptures, murals, and installations? Or perhaps you’ve missed some of these artistic gems tucked away in corners waiting to be discovered.

If you share our curiosity or want to explore Decatur in a new light, we invite you to join us on Sunday, October 1st and 8th at 2 p.m. for a captivating journey through the city’s public art landscape. These guided walking tours promise not only to reveal the narratives behind the art but also to unveil hidden treasures you may have missed.

On October 1, we will cover the east side of downtown Decatur and on October 8, we will cover the west side of downtown Decatur. Co-sponsored by the Decatur Bike & Pedestrian Advisory Committee, these walks will be led by Angie Macon of the Decatur Arts Alliance. Meet at Community Bandstand for these enjoyable and informative FREE walking tours. 

Walking Is Real Exercise

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. Join us every Wednesday morning at 9 a.m. (10 a.m. starting in October) outside the Decatur Recreation Center for a 2-3 mile walk around the city.

Celebrate National Wellness Month with Decatur Parks & Recreation!

In August, we come together to celebrate National Wellness Month, a time dedicated to prioritizing self-care, managing stress, and promoting healthy routines. It’s a perfect opportunity to create wholesome habits in your lifestyle and focus on self-care to feel like your best self! We all know how life can get busy with work, traffic, family obligations, and other stressors. However, research has shown that practicing self-care helps manage stress and promotes happiness. To lead a happy and healthy life, it is crucial to prioritize wellness and self-care.

Physical Fitness and Activity: Moving Towards Better Health

One of the key pillars of Wellness Month is promoting physical fitness and activity. Engaging in regular exercise not only benefits our physical health but also improves our mental well-being. Whether you love jogging in one of our many parks, attending yoga classes, or playing sports, finding activities that bring you joy can make staying active a delightful experience. At Decatur Parks & Recreation, we offer various fitness classes and open gym activities, like basketball and pickleball, to support your health and well-being. Check out our Playbook to see all our program offerings!

Nutrition: Fueling our Bodies with Nourishing Choices

A balanced diet is essential for maintaining good health, and Wellness Month encourages us to reevaluate our eating habits and make healthier food choices. Incorporating more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains into our meals can provide essential nutrients and support our immune system. At Decatur Parks & Recreation, we collaborate with pre-med Emory students to promote nutrition and healthy eating habits for the community. If you have expertise in cooking or nutrition and would like to teach a class at one of our rec centers, reach out to us at

Mental Health: Cultivating Inner Peace and Resilience

Taking care of our mental well-being is equally important as caring for our physical health. During Wellness Month, we encourage practicing mindfulness, meditation, and other stress-reducing techniques. Nurturing our mental health can lead to increased focus, better sleep, and enhanced overall happiness. We offer Yoga and Tai Chi classes to help support you on your journey.

Community Engagement: Building a Supportive Network

Social connections play a vital role in our well-being, and Wellness Month motivates us to connect with our community and build supportive networks. Join us for a 2-3 mile walk every Wednesday morning to connect with your neighbors while getting your steps in. Additionally, you can visit Volunteer! Decatur to actively participate in various community events organized by the City.

Healthy Habits for the Long Run

Remember, investing in our health is an ongoing journey, not a destination. By cultivating healthy habits and incorporating them into our daily lives, we pave the way for a happier, healthier future. As we embrace this month-long celebration of health and well-being, let’s support one another, strive for balance, and make Wellness Month a stepping stone towards a brighter and healthier future. Happy Wellness Month from Decatur Parks & Recreation!

Wednesday Walks

Living close to parks and recreation facilities has incredible benefits for both adults and youth. Studies consistently show that proximity to these spaces is linked to higher physical activity levels. Get ready to lace up your sneakers and experience the positive impact firsthand!

But the benefits don’t stop there. Parks also provide a vital connection to nature, offering a sanctuary of tranquility and wellness. Research demonstrates that spending time in nature can relieve stress, strengthen interpersonal relationships, and enhance mental health. It’s a win-win for your body and mind!

Join us this Wednesday at 9 a.m. in front of the Decatur Recreation Center for an invigorating 2-3 mile walk around Decatur’s vibrant neighborhoods. Embrace the fresh air, enjoy the scenic views, and connect with like-minded individuals who prioritize their well-being.

At Decatur Parks & Recreation, we understand the importance of equitable opportunities for all community members to stay active. Our dedicated park and recreation professionals play a key role in ensuring that everyone has equal access to these transformative experiences.

Don’t miss out on this fantastic chance to improve your physical and mental well-being while exploring our beautiful community. Grab a friend, bring your family, and let’s walk together towards a healthier and happier lifestyle!

See you Wednesday at 9 a.m. in front of the Decatur Recreation Center. Let’s make every step count!

#WhereCommunityGrows #growththroughhealthandwellbeing #decaturparksandrec

Upcoming Adventures!

Email Jada Jordan to RSVP for Trails & Ales and Hiking Club.