Have You Signed Up Yet?

This fall, we invite you to join the Healthy Driven Take a Hike! Challenge. For eight weeks, from Sept. 1 to Oct. 27, rediscover the healthy benefits of being active and spending time outdoors. It’s a great opportunity for all ages — from kids to seniors — to exercise in the fresh air and learn cool stuff about nature while bonding with family and friends.

This year’s Challenge has a new twist!

We are partnering with local community sponsors to bring you hiking insights and expertise, special programming and ideas to Elevate Your Hike each week!

When you complete and track 6 hikes during the 8-week Challenge period, you’ll earn the Take a Hike! Trail Blaze Award.

What Is A Take a Hike! Trail Blaze Award?

When you complete and track 6 hikes during the 8-week Challenge period, you’ll earn the Take a Hike! Trail Blaze Award* (includes either a commemorative pin or a walking stick with a commemorative medallion – pictured right).

Complete the Take a Hike! Tracker and bring it to one of the below locations between Oct. 28 – Nov. 30 to pick up your award:

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The Urgent Case for Green Schoolyards During and After COVID-19

Small group of happy children making bubbles and playing together in nature

The following article was published in the September 2020 issue of Green Schoolyards Catalyst Quarterly, a publication of the Green Schoolyards National Network dedicated to the advancement of green, healthy, sustainable K-12 schools. GSCQ is a peer reviewed, high interest digital magazine that highlights evidence-based practices for replication in green, healthy, sustainable schools.

Choices made in response to change can transform crisis into opportunity. The outbreak of COVID-19 across the globe has radically impacted our lives, creating significant shifts in routines and behaviors and upending our ideas of a “normal” we can never go back to. From the climate crisis to a global viral pandemic, to protests erupting around the nation in a fight to end systemic racism, it has never been more critical to invest in education that supports well-being, justice, and resiliency for students, teachers, communities, and the natural environment which sustains life.

COVID-19 has taught us we are capable of rapid change. The closing of school buildings and the move to online learning this spring was tremendously challenging for many families to navigate. While there are many benefits to online learning, especially for older students, teaching and learning to happen best in relationships with others and the rest of the natural world. How can we leverage the momentum of this time of massive disruption to shift to a more mindful, sustainable, and equitable model of public education that addresses new and deeply embedded threats and injustice? Read more

Sign Up NOW for “Take A Hike”

This fall, Edward-Elmhurst Health invites you to join the Healthy Driven Take a Hike! Challenge. For eight weeks, from Sept. 1 to Oct. 27, rediscover the healthy benefits of being active and spending time outdoors. It’s a great opportunity for all ages — from kids to seniors — to exercise in the fresh air and learn cool stuff about nature while bonding with family and friends.

The Conservation Foundation is partnering with local community sponsors to bring you hiking insights and expertise, special programming, and ideas to Elevate Your Hike each week! When you complete and track 6 hikes during the challenge period, you’ll earn the Take a Hike! Trail Blaze Award* (includes either a commemorative pin or a walking stick with a commemorative medallion).

Start your collection now — we’ll offer a new design each year!
*Supplies are limited.

The Offer is valid while supplies last. Read more

Daily to-dos for a healthier heart

Heart-shaped stethoscope. Isolated on white backgroundEdward Elmhurst Health shared in their Healthy Driven Blog that keeping your heart healthy is not something you may think about every day. But you should.

In a 2021 Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics Update Fact Sheet, the American Heart Association (AHA) reports that heart disease remains the number one cause of death in the U.S. and approximately every 39 seconds, an American will have a heart attack.

The good news is that there are some simple changes you can make in your daily life to help lower the risk for heart attack and reduce your chances of developing heart disease.

Here are things you can do each day for a healthier heart:

  1. Don’t smoke. One-third of deaths from coronary heart disease are linked to smoking and secondhand smoke, the AHA states. When you smoke, the carbon monoxide you inhale decreases oxygen in red blood cells, causing heart damage. Smoking can lead to hardening of the arteries and heart attack, according to studies. Vaping is dangerous, too. Learn about health benefits minutes, hours and weeks after you quit smoking.
  2. Get moving. Walk the dog. Work on your garden. Go for a swim. Walk around the block. Dance like no one is watching. Exercise doesn’t have to be a chore; it can be fun. It takes 30 minutes of brisk activity at least five days a week to keep your heart healthy. The key is finding something you enjoy doing and making it part of your routine. Get heart-healthy exercises.
  3. Eat right. Excess weight contributes to heart disease. Research suggests that even healthy, slim adults can improve their heart health by cutting a few calories each day from their diet. Don’t snack after dinner, and find healthy alternatives to sugary sweets and drinks. If you’re overweight or obese, talk with your doctor about how to get to a healthy weight. Check this online nutrition guide called DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) for easy and healthy recipes.

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AcceptThis Invitation For The Take A Hike Challenge

This fall, we invite you to join the Healthy Driven Take a Hike! Challenge. For eight weeks, from Sept. 1 to Oct. 27, rediscover the healthy benefits of being active and spending time outdoors. It’s a great opportunity for all ages — from kids to seniors — to exercise in the fresh air and learn cool stuff about nature while bonding with family and friends.

This year’s Challenge has a new twist!

We are partnering with local community sponsors to bring you hiking insights and expertise, special programming, and ideas to Elevate Your Hike each week!

When you complete and track 6 hikes during the 8-week Challenge period, you’ll earn the Take a Hike! Trail Blaze Award. See details below.

Read more

Effective workouts when you’re short on time

Edward Elmhurst Healthy shared in its Healthy Driven Blog that life is hectic. Many of us get caught up in our work schedules, kids’ sports, home projects, social obligations, and an ever-growing to-do list.

It’s easy to eliminate exercise and overall wellness for the next item scheduled on the calendar. But we all have to make time to exercise, even amidst the hustle and bustle.

As the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state, in order to see measurable results for the aerobic and cardiovascular systems, we should aim to get 20-30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise 3-5 days a week in at least 10-minute increments or 10-15 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise 2-3 days a week in bouts of as little as 5 minutes.

From a strength-training perspective, ACSM suggests using all the major muscles groups of the body, such as the legs, trunk, butt, chest, and back, in compound (multi-joint) exercises 2-3 days a week to see an improvement in overall body composition, muscle tone, and injury prevention.

There are ways within your day to get a quick burn with strength training and physical activities. Some of these solutions are a lot easier than you may realize. Read more

MENTAL HEALTH IMPACTS FROM WORKING OUT AT THE GYM

Sean, an outreach manager at The Boxing Club a martial arts & fitness center based in San Diego, shared that we’re always looking for ways to step up our game for our physical and mental health. It’s always a bonus when both physical and mental health is prioritized. Ahh, gotta love efficiency, right? *Inserts exercise here* – Exercise is more than heart rate and weight loss. While those two can be very important, it is also important to note the massive mental health impacts that can be gained from regular exercise. The best part is that it’s not exclusive to anyone in particular – it’s universal. Specifically, exercising regularly has a profound impact on depression, anxiety, and ADHD. It is recommended that adults do at least 30 minutes of moderate to intensive physical activity on most days.

Exercise and depression

A recent study done by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that running for 15 minutes a day or walking for an hour reduces the risk for major depression by 26%. Exercise can positively impact depression by also providing a maintained schedule to prevent relapse. Exercise is known as a powerful depression fighter for several reasons. Firstly, getting a good leg day in or getting that heart rate going promotes all kinds of changes in the brain, such as neural growth, reduced inflammation, and changing activity patterns that can help bring feelings of calm and well-being. Endorphins, powerful chemicals related to emotions, are released during exercise. Plus, when one is plugged in during a serious lift or run, exercise can serve as a distraction to cut out the noise and prioritize you.

Exercise and anxiety

Exercise is probably one of the best and natural anti-anxiety treatments. The healing properties of exercise include relieving tension and stress, boosting physical and mental energy, and enhancing well-being through the release of endorphins. The most ideal scenario is when physical exercise combines moving with paying attention. You can find this by paying attention to the sensation of your feeling your heels on the ground when going into a squat or the rhythm of your breathing as you change from a jog to run, or the feeling of sweat dripping down your skin. Adding a mindfulness element, really focusing on your body and how it feels as you exercise will help to interrupt the flow of anxiety.

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Best Swim Workouts for Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced Swimmers

Jean, an Editor at Happy DIY Home, was doing research on swim workouts. The result is a just-published and updated, comprehensive swim workouts guide that they posted on their sister site, Sport Fitness Advisor.   In the article, they state that swimming is one of the best forms of cardiovascular exercises and sports to get fit, strong, and toned, and to stay healthy, both physically and mentally. It gives you a full-body workout, where almost every muscle in the body is used, it burns calories, and helps with weight loss and maintenance, and de-stresses and relaxes you.

Swimming is a non-contact and non-weight-bearing sport and supports the body when in the water, as well as has a very low risk of injury. It increases your metabolism, which results in increased energy levels and feeling great overall.

There are different levels of swimming, ranging from swimming for recreation to competitive swimming, all of which require different workouts in the pool to achieve different goals. Depending on your goal, workouts will differ in a range of factors from distance or mileage and time spent in the water to types of drills and sets in the pool and the speed at which they are done.

Swimming for Recreation

Swimming is a great recreational activity for people of all ages. Recreational swimming can provide you with a low-impact workout, keep your body fit and healthy, and it’s a fantastic way to relax, de-stress, and feel good.

Competitive Swimming

Swimming can also be enjoyed at a competitive level. Competitive swimming can range from competing in events in the pool, the open water, and triathlons at all ages and levels. Competitive swimming generally requires training with a coach and working towards specific goals like training to win a 100-meter freestyle event in the pool, taking part in an open water swim in the ocean, or completing your first triathlon.

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Take a Hike! for your health

Join us this fall for the Healthy Driven Take a Hike! Challenge.

For eight weeks, from Sept. 1 to Oct. 27, rediscover the healthy benefits of being active and spending time outdoors. It’s a great opportunity for all ages — from kids to seniors — to exercise in the fresh air and learn cool stuff about nature while bonding with family and friends.

This year’s Challenge has a new twist!

Edward Elmhurst Health is partnering with local community sponsors to bring you hiking insights and expertise, special programming, and ideas to Elevate Your Hike each week!

Also, when you complete and track six hikes during the 8-week Challenge period, you’ll earn the Take a Hike! Trail Blaze Award.

Grab your family members, parent, partner, or bestie and …  Take a Hike!

Read more

Exercises for Overlanders

Interior view of a young man driving a van or truck. Shallow depth of field.If you’re an overlander, (or truck driver, or live in an RV), you spend a significant amount of time driving. It’s easy to neglect your health. Some health risks drivers face are Obesity,  Heart disease,  Diabetes,  High blood pressure, and Depression.

The lack of a general routine can also lead to neglecting your exercise routine.

Exercise improves both mental and physical health. Overlanders should make an effort to establish a routine and exercise daily to avoid these health risks.

Doing aerobics every day continuously works on your larger muscle groups, gets the blood flowing, and maintains a natural rhythm.

If you spend just thirty minutes a day exercising, you’ll gradually improve your health. After a long day of sitting in your cab, even stretching helps strengthen your muscles.

The long hours you work are very tough. You don’t have to tackle it all at once. Take small steps to accomplish your health goals. Improving your diet combined with exercise will help you on your journey to living healthy.

Below are ten exercises you can do daily while on the road. These exercises work all the muscles in your body, including your lower back.

For drivers, working on the lower back is essential. One of the leading causes of drivers experiencing lower back pain is sciatica.

Oddly enough, sciatica doesn’t start in your back. The sciatica nerve is on the back of your leg. Sitting for long periods can pinch the nerve. Read more