Personal Health and Wellness
What will it look like?
It’s easy to find ways to move more or exercise each day, and it’s just as easy not to.
The benefits of exercise have been widely publicized. Which choice will you make today? Will you move more or not move more?
Experiment to find a type of activity that you enjoy (or can tolerate best :-)).
Seven Benefits of Exercise
1. Helps obtain and maintain a healthy weight.
2. Promotes more restful sleep.
3. Boosts energy.
4. Improves your mood.
5. Helps combat health concerns:
high blood pressure
to name a few…
6. Reduces stress.
7. Improves brain function.
Start with one step at a time and increase your activity as you go. Appreciate every effort you make.
Find your sense of wonder or awe once again in the natural world. Explore your inner stillness and delight. Visit woods and forests, rivers, lakes and ponds, prairies, an animal refuge, or mountains. Use the local forest preserves—hike on trails, bike, x-country ski, swim, camp, kayak or walk barefoot if you can, depending on the season, in any setting in nature. Notice the minute miracles of nature like a home in a hole in a tree, moss growing on a stump, or signs of life in a dead log.
Find evidence of wild life, whether they are footprints, flattened patches of grass, or marks in bark on the branches of a tree. Being quiet enough and still enough, listen to the sounds around you, even if there are cars passing in the background. Just walking through the neighborhood on a sidewalk is good enough! Be aware of your surroundings and the miracles that nature provides.
Exercising outdoors adds variety to your routine and will help increase the amount of time that you are physically active. Some outdoor activities include walking, jogging, running, bicycling, and hiking. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued physical activity guidelines in 2008. One of the basic findings of the research done in preparing these guidelines was that 150 minutes (about 2 hours and 30 minutes) of moderate physical activity per week increases health benefits.
DuPage County Forest Preserve has 60 forest preserves. Follow this link for DuPage Forest to get a list of the forest preserves. This list tells you how big each preserve is and how many trail miles each one has. If you click on the Preserve Map section, the location of the park, map of the park, features and activities, and times that the park is open are available. Besides yard work, gardening, and walking in your neighborhood, use these areas to help get you outside and spend more time exercising.
Being active is something you can do yourself or with friends and family. Adding time to your physical activity per week increases your health benefits. Exercising outdoors and making use of our wonderful forest preserves is a great way to meet these goals.
Great tip: Consider wearing bug spray in the summer and wearing layers in the winter. Dress for the weather! Check in with your health-care provider if you have a medical condition and are just starting to exercise or increasing your intensity.
Nancy Klotz NaperFit
Personal Health and Wellness