Our calendar features events that are informative, fun or get you thinking or moving.
July is Physical Activity Month! Scientists are now convinced the single best thing we can do for our health is to be physically active on a regular basis. Notice we didn’t say exercise…For some people exercise is a “dirty word” wrapped with negative connotations and a chore to be avoided at all costs. Yet the benefits to your health and happiness can never be understated. For the next 30 days we’ll provide you with different types of physical activity you can enjoy.
Remember too, for people with diabetes and those at risk for developing diabetes, regular physical activity is crucial for long term health. So it’s especially important to figure out HOW to incorporate regular physical activity into your daily routine.
Like most people, you probably think your family gets plenty of physical activity.Yet, parents routinely overestimate the amount of physical activity kids are getting. Use this Physical Activity Log to get a baseline so you can track improvements over time.
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!
Start with a 4th of July scavenger hunt. It’s a great way to explore the outdoors, spend time with family and friends, and get in a little exercise at the same time.
Whether you visit a city, county, state or national park; the beach; a local river or the local playground – it’s an opportunity to get more in touch with the world around you. Here is a Nature Scavenger Hunt Checklist. To celebrate the 4th of July, be sure to add items that are red, white and blue! Follow it up with a healthy picnic or barbecue and some fireworks!
Scientists have determined that even short bursts of activity throughout the day add up.
Start adding a few to your routine each day. Exercises to do at your desk
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!
There are plenty of waterways that can be navigated in a human propelled water craft that will still keep you cool. We’re talking about paddling or rowing in a kayak, canoe or rowboat but you could also sail too.
Consider taking a lazy trip down a river in a canoe.Or rafting or kayaking local white water. Take a leisurely sail or rowboat trip on a local lake. Or throw your pole in the water for some fishing on this hot weekend.
You can do an Internet search for canoe liveries or rafting outfitters for locations in your area.
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.
During hot summer months you may need to be physically active in the early morning or evening hours, when it is cooler. Another option is to take it indoors.
You can go the local mall for a power walk in their air conditioned space. You can hit the bowling alley for a different type of weight training. Find one in your area. Many bowling alleys even participate in a Kids Bowl Free Summer program.
Some archery ranges are indoors and there are many indoor rock climbing walls too. Really want to cool off? Hit the local indoor ice skating rink!