Our calendar features events that are informative, fun or get you thinking or moving.
Breathing properly ALL of the time, not just when exercising, is a critical component to get the most out of physical activity and life. Oxygen is the most important element needed to sustain life and breathing is the only way to get it.
Tension, poor posture, smoking and poor breathing habits can cause insufficient oxygen intake. Deep and relaxed breathing delivers oxygen to all cells and facilitates efficient clearing of carbon dioxide.
Take a long deep breath in through your nose making a special effort to fill your lungs from the bottom to the top. This, when done correctly, will push out your belly. The process is similar to blowing up a balloon. Pause briefly (1 – 3 seconds). Exhale slowly through your mouth. Make sure the inward and outward breaths take the same length of time. Continue to breathe in this fashion for several minutes. Repeat several times daily. See the video!
Another easy way to add physical activity to your daily routine is to park at the back of the parking lot. Scientists have determined that you don’t need to get your physical activity in 30 minute chunks. Even a couple of minutes of activity here and there throughout the day add up!
Another advantage of walking from the back of the lot is you get a parking spot quicker and save gas not circling for a spot near the store or building entrance.
On your way back to the car – forgo your shopping cart (if you can) and add some weight bearing exercise to your routine. It’s good for your bones!
Here’s some resources to keep your family active all year long.
Orienteering is a sport for the whole family as well as a “family of sports”. Participants use a topographical map, usually a specially prepared orienteering map, which they use to find check points in a designated area. The terrain is diverse and usually unfamiliar. Participants are “rated” based on their speed completing the course.
You can think of orienteering as a large well organized scavenger hunt outdoors. Instead of hunting for items, you are hunting for checkpoints. You use a map and a compass to locate a series of checkpoints. You are responsible for choosing routes–on or off trail–that will help you find all the points and get to the finish in the shortest amount of time.
The element of route choice is what makes orienteering mentally challenging. You not only have to move faster than other participants, you must out-think them as well. Because of this, orienteering is often called a “thinking sport” because it involves map reading, quick decision-making and athletic ability. Learn more about orienteering.
If you are watching TV, get active during commercial breaks. The average one hour television show has between 16 – 22 minutes of commercials. During a one hour TV show you can squeeze in a lot of physical activity. You can: run in place, jump rope, do crunches, jumping jacks, stretch, squats or push-ups. In the course of two shows you can complete one repetition of the Mr. Diabetes® Home Fitness Program.
Hiking is an outdoor activity which consists of walking over natural terrain in mountainous or other scenic areas. In the United States, hiking refers to walking outdoors on a trail for recreational purposes. A day hike refers to a hike that can be completed in a single day – not requiring an overnight camp. If the trail is paved, it’s a walk not a hike.
Looking for a special place to walk? Here’s a few links: Traildino – largest database of trails in the world by continent, country and region. Trailink – has information on more than 30,000 miles of bike trails, walking trails, equestrian trails, and hiking and running trails, including interactive trail maps, trail descriptions, pictures and more.
Here’s some more information to get you started on the right hiking path and some other hiking and trail resources.
Dancing is a great way for people of all ages to get and stay in shape. Experts agree that dancing is a true sport and a valid form of exercise. Dancing uses, virtually, all of your body’s muscles: feet, calves, thighs, upper and lower back, abdominals, shoulders, neck and even arms get a workout while dancing.
Dance is a full body workout that burns calories and helps cardiovascular conditioning by lowering your heart rate, blood pressure and cholesterol. It can also help strengthen bones and improve posture.
Dancing reduces stress and is just plain fun. Ever watch people on the dance floor? They are always smiling.
You can dance alone, with a partner or in a group. Whether you dance at home, a local nightclub or take a class, tonight’s the night to shake your tail feathers! Read more about dance.
Stretching is the deliberate lengthening of muscles in order to increase muscle flexibility and joint range of motion. Stretching is a natural and instinctive activity and something you can do every day regardless of your physical condition.
People stretch instinctively after waking from sleep or after long periods of inactivity. But, by making it part of your daily routine you will find that all of your everyday activities are easier.
Stretching does not have to involve a huge time commitment, but stretching can give you huge results! Even better, there are simple stretches you can do while watching TV, on the computer, or getting ready for bed. Ready, set, stretch!
Increasing evidence demonstrates the many benefits of nature on children’s psychological and physical well-being, including reduced stress, greater physical health, more creativity and improved concentration.
So this weekend explore the outdoors with your family. Here are some ideas for your family to get outdoors!
T’ai Chi is sometimes described as “meditation in motion” because it reduces stress and promotes serenity through gentle movements. It’s good for everyone, but especially good for folks that have been inactive for awhile or have minor mobility issues (arthritis).
To do T’ai Chi, you perform a series of movements called forms. Each posture flows into the next without pause, ensuring that your body is in constant motion. The image of T’ai Chi in popular culture is typified by exceedingly slow movement. However, many T’ai Chi styles have secondary forms of a faster pace. Try T’ai Chi!