Express your patriotic spirit and have fun burning a calorie or two! Here’s how:
Recently this author led a class on “Healthy Living” and met some wonderful, engaging older women. We used an article “10 Ways to Improve Your Day In Just 5 Minutes” to discuss additional ways of having a good day. We discussed lowering stress, elevating our mood, and increasing energy using our ideas that just take a few minutes.
Some ideas in the article were simple, like make your bed, clear up your cluttered desk, or even take a stretch break.
Our group’s is offering the following ideas (from our years! of experience) that help us improve our days! Enjoy - thanks to the ladies in the “Healthy Living Class” at Active Living Senior Centre.
- Walk: Take time for a walk. Today we are aware of the physical health benefits of walking, but there are a number of mental benefits also. According to an article in Arthritis Today, the benefits of walking also include slowing mental decline, lowering Alzheimer’s risk, improving sleep, elevating your mood, and for some can also serve as a type of meditation.
- Laugh: Research has shown the many health benefits to laughter include relief of pain, and a sense of happiness. According to an article in About.com , it even can refocus your emotions when you are feeling angry or stressed. Luckily, your body can’t tell if your laughter is real or fake. So it is OK to fake it!
- Shower, (or bathe): Hmmm, how would just taking a bath or shower help to have a better day? In our discussion, we realized that when we are stressed, anxious, or just plain busy, our shower (or bath) is just something to do to just to get clean: get in, wash, get out, hurry up, go to work. To live in the moment is to enjoy what we are doing. Enjoy the warm water, use a scented soap, enjoy the “fresh, clean” feeling as you dress. There, you already did something nice for yourself.
- Write a note: Yes a handwritten note. The idea is to do something small and special for someone. Sometimes you haven’t seen or heard from a family member or friend for a while. Cut our an article from the paper or magazine, or get a photo, and write a note and MAIL it. Hey, in this day of email, I still enjoy getting a REAL letter in the mail! Why wait for Christmas or birthdays?
- People watch: People watching is an art. Try it. Sit on your FRONT porch, or on a park bench or even at the mall. It is even better with a friend. It is fun to imagine where they might be going or even what their occupation is.
- Sing: Singing elevates your mood. Sing along on the radio, or your MP3. Doesn’t matter. Just Sing! There is a reason why Karoke or Senior Sing-a-long is so popular! But since “happy songs” kinda depend on your age, here is a list of over 100 “Happy Songs”, I am sure one of them will get you singing and tapping your foot! (It did me!) “Your mama can’t dance and your daddy can’t rock and roll. . . “
- Smile: New research has found a strong connection between smiling and your general health and sense of well-being. The act of smiling can lift your spirits as well as reduce feelings of anxiety. And like laughing, your body can’t tell the difference if it is a “real” smile or not!
- Choose to be happy. Everyone goes through stressful, distressing or sad times in our lives. But it doesn’t have to define you. You don’t have to be a “Pollyanna”, but you can choose to be happy or to find joy. It’s not always easy, but happiness doesn’t just happen. We can create it.
For some of us, exercise isn’t really on our priority list, regardless of our best intentions. So let’s get honest about it. Getting sweaty and trying to look good while you struggle to do a bench press with 2.5lbs in public (I speak only for my-very-tiny-arm-self) just isn’t for all of us. So keep it simple and go for a walk. Research shows that even moderate exercise is in fact adequate for improving our mood, having similar physiological effects on us as vitamin D, and so much more! So, get walking!!!
Posted in fun, walking
I had the chance in the last week to spend a few days camping at MacGregor Point Provincial Park. It’s a favorite destination because of its wonderful situation on Lake Huron, its varied natural surroundings (forest, wetlands, shoreline) with an assortment of hiking trails, and great campsites. And, as an extra bonus, since it’s northwest of Hamilton, you don’t have to go through Toronto traffic to get to it. In fact, the drive, through farmland and small towns such as Fergus, Harriston and Paisley, is a pleasure in itself.
I said ‘hiking’ trails, but in fact several of the trails are suitable for biking or running. These pictures were taken on a perfect summer morning, on a running route that comprised the Old Shore Road Trail, the Townline road, and the Tower Trail.
The breeze off the lake was very refreshing!
A deer crossed the road moments before I snapped this pic.
‘No Motorized Vehicles Beyond This Point’ – those words are music to my ears!
We also had a chance to get in some bike riding, swimming, hiking and kayaking along the Saugeen River. Oh, and a little reading on the beach – can’t be active all the time!
– posted by Barb
Spec Kids, City of Hamilton, Rotary, Kiwanis and many others joined in on Saturday June 9 to celebrate the new Green Gym Equipment installed at Jackie Washington Rotary Park on Wellington Street North, just north of Barton. (Many of you may remember this site as the site of the Plastimet fire.) Thanks go to volunteers at the Hamilton Spectator for $30,000 of fundraising for this new, innovative outdoor equipment. If you haven’t experienced it, it is time to take a trip to this park.
Green Gym takes ordinary fitness centre equipment, and makes it. . . well, outdoor fitness equipment. YWCA Staff Sheri attended the event and loved the equipment, but what she really loved is that parents and children were playing together on the equipment!!! And it is so much fun to workout in the outdoors! Instructions are posted on the equipment.
This really gives “going to the park” a new twist. Now instead of sitting on the bench and watching the kids play, everyone can play. The park also has a basketball court, washrooms, and lots of grassy area to play in. Bike racks are coming.
Green Gym equipment is also installed at Woodlands Park at Barton and Wentworth.
Posted in Around the Bay road race, cycling, Exercises, FIT Tip, fun, health & wellness, kid's fitness, Outdoors, weight management, YWCA Hamilton
Tagged outdoor fitness equipment, outdoor gym equipment
If you happened to be on Ottawa street a few Saturdays ago-May 26 to be exact, and saw an awesome group of people dancing like crazy it was Fitness Day in the Park – ZUMBA by the Ottawa St. YWCA-organized by the Ottawa St. BIA. Some of the people are faithful Zumba Participants on Tuesday night at the Ottawa St. YWCA.-come and join the Party!!!!
YWCA Hamilton’s own Wendy and Jen led a Zumba warm-up at the Wesley’s Case for Kids fundraiser at Bayfront Park this afternoon (Sunday June 3, 2012).
Or they started to, anyway – but those threatening clouds decided to open.
The warm-up was cut short, but spirits weren’t dampened.
– posted by Barb