When it comes to fitting in your walk, get creative!

You don’t have to do your 30 minutes of daily physical activity all in one shot. Find creative ways to incorporate more walking into your normal routine.

Daily physical activity is the foundation of a healthy lifestyle, and it’s recommended that able-bodied adults get in at least 30 minutes of exercise—whether it be walking, jogging, running, weight training, or dance—five days a week.

But what if you don’t have a 30-minute block of time to spare? Well, you don’t have to do all your physical activity in one shot. Many times, it’s actually easier and more convenient to work in those low-intensity movements throughout the day. All it takes is a little creativity.

One of the best ways to boost your step count is to incorporate as much walking into your daily routine as possible. For example, when you’re out and about running errands, try parking farther away from the grocery store, veterinarian, shopping center, etc.; you’d be surprised how many steps you can accrue making this one tiny adjustment. A socially distanced walk with friends or family is another way to get moving. Use your next coffee date as another opportunity to get in extra steps.

Even shopping can be a source of physical activity. Save your online ordering for another week, and try going to the mall, where you can briskly move from store to store. And let’s say the weather is dark or damp or just dreary, well, there’s an easy solution — get your walk in at home. The next time you’re tidying up, preparing a meal, or streaming Netflix, consider taking an additional lap or two around the house. If you’re able to use your stairs without discomfort, go up and down a couple extra times.

This Monday, use your imagination and think about how you can effortlessly add more steps to your daily routine.

Don’t forget about our new programs! Sign up NOW

Just like the image says, “We’ve miss you so much!” So much that we are happy to tell you about our new programs below.

Decatur Walking Group will meet on Wednesdays at 9 AM. We will start and end at Decatur Recreation Center. You must pre-register for the walk, wear a mask, and we will practice our social distancing guidelines.

Kaiser Permanente Virtual Bingo on Wednesday, September 23rd at 11 AM.

Kaiser Permanente Virtual Grassroots: Stress Management class on Wednesday, September 30th at 11 AM.

If you are interested in registering for one of our programs please reach out to Sara Holmes at sara.holmes@decaturga.com or 404-360-0067.

Move It Monday: Mindful Walking

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From our friends at the Monday Campaigns:

Make Monday an occasion to try some mindful walking when you need to de-stress for a few minutes between activities.

Any style of mindfulness is a robust antidote to stress. Mindfulness engages your normal powers of awareness and is something you can do anytime, anywhere. Here are some steps to follow for a short and easy session of mindful walking:

  1. Pick a time in your daily routine to practice mindful walking for at least five minutes.
  2. Concentrate on the physical sensations of walking – the sights, sounds, and feelings of each step.
  3. If your mind wanders, gently return your focus by repeating “left, right” as you walk.

As you walk, pay attention to the physical experience of walking. Bring your attention to your feet, noticing the sensations of walking itself. Witness the heel, ball, and toe of each foot as it makes contact, over and over, in every step. Bring your attention to the breath and the rhythm of your stride.

Mindful walking is a form of mindfulness, which is a way to focus on the present and not get caught up in thoughts of the past or worries about the future, giving you a greater sense of well-being and relaxation. This naturally slows down your heart rate and lowers your blood pressure. Its benefits include: stress reduction, reduced rumination, and increased focus.

This Monday, no matter where you’re going or how fast you’re walking, use this tip to de-stress and slow down, yet keep moving.

Take a Breath-Awareness Walk

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From The Walking Deck:

Our breath powerfully links body and mind – an unconscious process that can be made conscious. Deep breathing balances body mind, and spirit. Blending your walk with deep-breathing exercises is natural and restorative.

  • Find a comfortable pace
  • Draw attention to your breath
  • Make no effort to change it, simply observe as you breathe in and out.
  • Notice your belly and torso expanding, and feel the breath as it moves in and out of your nostrils.
  • Repeat to yourself: I am breathing in, I am breathing out….
  • With each exhale, imagine that any tension you are holding is pouring out; let go of all the things you no longer need.
  • With each step, feel your shoulders growing lighter as you let go.
  • Imagine your heart opening, embracing what is new and now able to enter into your life.
  • Enjoy feeling lighter, clearer, and more refreshed when you are finished.

 

Don’t forget to sign up for our June Walkathon! Complete the walkathon to receive a Walk There Decatur bandanna.

Do a Virtual 5K on May 2 with Prevention Magazine

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Prevention Magazine is doing a virtual 5K on May 2. You’re probably familiar with local runs and walks held at a specific location. You’ve got to live close enough to get there by the start time—and parking can be a beast. With a virtual walk, you pick where you do it, who you do it with, and what time you start.

Registration is free, however if you want to get a t-shirt the fee is $35.

#stayactivedecatur

Take an Urban Walk

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Take a walk around Decatur using the city’s landscape as your outdoor gymnasium.

  • Warm up with an easy 5 minute stroll.
  • Increase intensity for 5 minutes.
  • Do city block intervals for the next ten minutes: Alternate between a slower pace and a faster pace on each block. You can walk up on block at a slow pace, then cross the street and walk back at the faster pace.
  • Find a flight of stairs and walk up taking two steps at a time, then walk down. Continue for one minute.
  • Repeat the city block intervals.
  • Find a tree to support you and do 16 calf raises on each leg. Or if you don’t have a tree do both feet at once and practice balance.
  • Cool down with a 5 minute stroll.
  • When you get home, so some push-ups. If these are difficult, you can do them with your knees dropped or standing and pushing off of the wall.
  • Don’t forget to stretch!

Take a Walk in the Decatur Cemetery

unnamed (1)This is  a great time of year to wander around the Decatur Cemetery. Take a guided tour with the Walking Tour Brochure that you can download here.

The walking tour brochure provides an overview of 40 of the most interesting sites at Decatur Cemetery. Among them are the resting places of three veterans of the American Revolution, a monument standing over a field where numerous orphans are buried, and the final resting place of Dr. Thomas Holley Chivers, who abandoned his medical training for poetry and was described by Edgar Allen Poe as “one of the best and one of the worst poets in America.”

The brochure, in describing the 40 sites, provides a glimpse of Decatur’s history. The 58-acre cemetery dates to 1823 (it’s a full decade older than Atlanta) and provides an interesting overview of how the nation’s attitude about cemetery design (and death) has changed over the years.

The brochure includes a map of the cemetery, lots of color photographs, and a short collection of “cemetery manners” to ensure that the dignity of the site is not compromised.

Are You Ready to Start Walking?

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From our friends at The Monday Campaigns:

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, but even an activity as straight forward as walking requires a little bit of planning.

First, set a daily or weekly walking goal 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.

Second, as with any new physical fitness routine, it’s crucial that you 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.

The Walking Book Club Begins Tomorrow!

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