Five minutes can make a difference

Taking and sharing the PlaceForBikes community survey is the best (and easiest) thing you can do to make biking better in your hometown.

Just take this five-minute survey from PeopleForBikes so they can learn more about your city’s cycling infrastructure and aim to improve it. After your survey is complete, you’ll be entered to win a WaveCel helmet or a Bontrager light.

Whether or not you ride bikes, your feedback is important.

There are no right or wrong answers and your information will be kept strictly confidential.

If you have any questions or comments, you can send an email to placesforbikes@peopleforbikes.org

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Top 12 Key Benefits of Youth Sports

Swim kayaking. Swimming competition kayak. Inningace. shared that there are very few things that have a deeper impact on young kids than sports, and the evidence on psychology and statistics greatly validates this claim.

There are many reasons youth sports have a positive impact on young people’s lives and in this article, we’ll try to dissect some of them. We’ll also look at how you can get your child or student interested in joining sports in a healthy, natural way. Without any further ado let’s jump straight into it.

1.  Health Benefits

Physically Fit

The biggest and most obvious benefit of playing sports is the physical fitness increase your child will increase. Physically fit children have a lower risk of heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes.

Keep the Weight Under Control

Childhood obesity is a huge problem especially in America and sports help fight the issue in a very big way. If kids exert themselves more and burn more calories the chances of them being overweight greatly diminish.

Improve Cardiovascular Endurance

Improved cardiovascular endurance is a direct by-product of playing sports and its benefits are greatly linked to a healthier life. Read more

How Green Schoolyards Can Help Make Schools Safer This Fall

In this special feature article for Finding Nature News, author Jay Walljasper paints a picture of what Back-to-School 2020 could like all across America—with green schoolyards offering a safer, more equitable middle ground in the wrenching decisions over in-person vs. online instruction.

In inner-city Chicago, an English class spends reading time under newly planted shade trees on the schoolyard, while younger kids tend a garden plot, exclaiming “we’re growing a salad.”

In Grand Rapids, 5th graders at a lower-income school scramble across bridges, scoot through tunnels, and climb a lookout made from logs and stumps—which they helped design in art class. Middle-schoolers nearby study math at a new outdoor classroom built into a hillside.

In rural Plumas County, California, students at 18 schools now attend some classes in forests, meadows, or banks of the Feather River within a ten-minute walk from their homerooms. Read more

Take A Hike Challenge

Hiking can be good for your health. Time in nature has been proven to decrease stress and anxiety, which is essential as we deal with the challenges of the pandemic. You will reap the health rewards of movement — including being stronger and happier and reducing your risk of illness. Hiking is also relationship-building, as families can enjoy spending time together while getting healthier.

Keeping that in mind, this fall, Edward-Elmhurst Health invites you to join the Healthy Driven Take a Hike! Challenge. For the next eight weeks, from Sept. 14 to Nov. 9, rediscover the healthy benefits of being active and spending time in nature. It’s a great opportunity for all ages — from kids to seniors.

They created fun weekly challenges to help you explore the outdoors and get the most out of your hikes. Some of the challenges may not be for everyone, but we encourage you to give them a try!

Share your success with them on Instagram or Facebook, and you’ll be entered into a weekly drawing for prizes.  So. grab your family members, parent, partner, or bestie and “Take a Hike!”.

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How Older Adults Can Get Started with Exercise

The National Institute on Aging shared that deciding to become physically active can be one of the best things you can do for your health. Exercise and physical activity are not only great for your mental and physical health, but they can help keep you independent as you age. Now, let’s talk about getting started.

How Much Activity Do Older Adults Need?

According to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans (PDF, 14.5M) you should do at least 150 minutes (2 ½ hours) a week of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise, like brisk walking or fast dancing. Being active at least 3 days a week is best, but doing anything is better than doing nothing at all. You should also do muscle-strengthening activities, like lifting weights or doing sit-ups, at least 2 days a week. The Physical Activity Guidelines also recommend that as part of your weekly physical activity you combine multiple components of exercises. For example, try balance training as well as aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities. If you prefer vigorous-intensity aerobic activity (like running), aim for at least 75 minutes a week. Read more

HOW TO CREATE A HIIT WORKOUT

Dan from Non-Athlete Fitness, where we provide simple and easy health & fitness tips for the unathletically inclined shared with Healthy Lombard that when he hit a plateau in his weight loss goals, he needed a workout to push me through.

A HIIT workout, also known as High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workout, helped him break through his fitness plateau and also reaffirmed his commitment to exercise and staying healthy.

Plus, he can perform a HIIT workout with or without equipment, so it’s a super convenient way for Dan to get a quick workout in.

WHAT IS AN HIIT WORKOUT?

HIIT is a workout training technique that alternates intervals of rest or low intensity with intervals of high-intensity exercises. HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training. The intensity level corresponds to how difficult the exercise feels.

Another way to measure workout intensity is to monitor your exercise heart rate. During the high-intensity intervals, aim to increase your heart rate between 90 and 95 percent of your maximum heart rate, MHR.

Calculate your high-intensity interval heart rate by subtracting your age from 220. Then, multiply the result by 90 percent. For example, 220 minus 40 equals 180. 180 multiplied by .90 equals 162. 162 beats per minute are the high-intensity interval target heart rate goal for a 40-year-old who participates in HIIT.

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The Ultimate Guide To Playtime For Kids

Happy children playing with bubbles outdoor, selective focus - kids in motionSandy Harrison from Mumeemagic.com asks, ever heard of  “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”?This single statement conveys great truth on how important play is in the healthy development of a child. In fact, its importance has been hailed as the right of every child by the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights. Not only does it contribute to the cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well-being of children and youth,   it also helps foster a stronger child-parent bond via parental involvement in different types of play!

So Knowing How Important Playtime Is For Our Kids, Why Are They Playing Less And Less?

Recent research by  The American Academy of Pediatrics’ explains that playtime has reduced considerably in schools and at home. This is due to academic pressure at school, leading them to focus more on reading and mathematics. Structured extracurricular activities take up even more time to enable your child to participate in competitions or excel academically.

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8 Science-backed Mental Health Benefits of Exercise

Christine Castillo, from siege media, shared with Healthy Lombard that starting the day off right might mean a big glass of milk or a hot cup of coffee. For others, it’s that morning run, yoga session, or full-body workout at the gym. Exercise is one of the best ways to keep yourself healthy from a physical standpoint. But not many know about the mental health benefits of exercise. It goes a long way towards helping improve things like mood and can even help combat depression.

The recommended daily workout from the World Health Organization (WHO) is 75-150 per week. If you can work that into your routine within the week you should start feeling the benefits.

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Shotokan Karate – An Organic Approach Towards Holistic Youth Development

Pratik Dalal, an instructor at JKA WF Chicago Karate Institute, Inc., shared with Healthy Lombard that are different styles of traditional Karate, ‘Shotokan’ is a very popular style developed from various martial arts by its founder and the father of modern-day Karate, Sensei2 Gichin Funakoshi. For Sensei Funakoshi, the word ‘Karate’ eventually took on a deeper meaning than just martial arts training. He was to modify the Okinawan art by taking inspiration from traditional Japanese budo (kendo, judo, etc) and integrated their philosophical aspects into his training and teaching methods.

This became a total discipline, which represented a synergy of Okinawan and Japanese schools and in 1936 he established the ‘SHOTOKAN’ style of Japanese Karate which was to be greatly influenced by his son Yoshitaka (Gigo) and Masatoshi Nakayama, the first headmaster of the Japan Karate Association. There are no weapons used in Shotokan Karate and literally speaking, it is indeed the way of the empty hand.

Said differently from purely a self-defense perspective, the Karateka3 undergoes rigorous physical and mental training to develop his/her own body and mind into a weapon, thereby increasing one’s chances to better defend against the unforeseen ‘threat’. However, Karate-do is not just about punching and kicking. The Budo4 aspect, i.e. the martial arts way of Karate aims towards perfection of one’s character, and this aspect of Shotokan Karate is what I intend to focus on in this paper.

Some important questions I have pondered over for years during my training of Shotokan Karate: ‘Can a traditional martial art like Shotokan Karate be a potential solution to address some of the grave issues experienced by our youth today? Can it treat such issues at the grass-root level organically? If so, how?’ Read more

Top 15 Best Exercises For Depression And Anxiety

Meditating woman sitting in pose of lotus against clear sky outdoorsAndy Brown from HomeGym101.com shared an article byAnxiety was barely known as an illness before the 19th century.  Anxiety is caused by worrying about the future.  Depression is a prolonged state of sadness because of past events and experiences.

Most people experience anxiety or depression at some point in their lives.  Many physicians prescribe mental and physical exercises to improve a patient’s state of mind.

Here are some of the best exercises for anxiety and depression. 

It is not a one size fits all. Find an exercise that resonates with you and your lifestyle.

Mental And Breathing Exercises

Mental and breathing exercises help you relieve stress and tension from your body. It helps the body to release feel-good hormones. It also decreases hormones that cause stress symptoms like increased heart rate and shallow breathing.

1. Relaxation Through Breathing

By changing your breathing, you can stimulate the body’s hormonal system to get you into a relaxed state. You can also reverse the symptoms of a stress response, like increased heart rate, shortness of breath, and tense muscles. Read more