Cities are Addressing Inequality in Parks Access

Changing America reported that residents with lower incomes are less likely to find green space nearby in their neighborhoods in several major U.S. metro areas. But American cities have started addressing long-standing disparities in access to parks and green space, new research finds. A report from the City Parks Alliance showcases cities that are leading the way in distributing funding for parks more equitably, using data-driven approaches.

The research, published on Tuesday, includes recommendations and seven case studies of cities that have made equity in park funding a priority. These cities include San Francisco and L.A. County, Calif.; Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, New York City, Minneapolis and Detroit.

Catherine Nagel, City Parks Alliance executive director, says, “There’s been a greater awareness of the unintended consequences of many of the linear parks, which inadvertently have contributed to rising real estate values around them. I think cities are really trying to figure out how they pay more attention to neighborhoods … [without] driving further displacement.”

The recommendations of the report include getting leaders from one or more sectors of the city to champion, explain the need for and work toward better equity in parks funding. In some of the cities featured in the report, it was the city’s parks and recreation department that led the effort, but in others, it was the mayor or nonprofit sectors that play a role. Read more

The Effect of Exercise on a Child’s Mind 

College of DuPage Nursing Student Emily Green wrote for Healthy Lombard that it is not entirely surprising that it can be difficult to motivate children to get enough exercise. In an age of video games and technology in the hands of almost everyone, it seems as if the amount of kids getting out and being active is declining. Cuts in school funding have even cut down physical education classes for some districts. Some schools now only have students go to a gym glass one or two days a week. It is known that increased physical activity can help to improve our physical health, but what would our children’s minds look like if they were being more active rather than playing more video games?

The Facts

In 2013 Dr. Caitlin Lees and Dr. Jessica Hopkins reviewed multiple trials that looked at how aerobic activity, or activity that lasts for a sustained amount of time and raises the heart rate, influenced a child’s academic performance and social abilities. It has been found that aerobic activity actually changes the structure of a child’s brain. In cases where this was seen children were found to have a better memory, and ability to control stress. The doctors evaluated 1,192 studies and every one of them showed that exercise had a positive effect on children’s mental abilities with no evidence of any negative outcome.

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Maintaining a Healthy Weight

The National Institute on Aging shared that as you grow older if you continue eating the same types and amounts of food but do not become more active, you will probably gain weight. That’s because your metabolism (how your body gets energy from food) can slow with age, and your body composition (amount of fat and muscle) may be different from when you were younger.

The energy your body gets from the nutrients in the food you eat is measured as calories. As a rule of thumb, the more calories you eat, the more active you have to be to maintain your weight. Likewise, the reverse is also true—the more active you are, the more calories you need. As you age, your body might need less food for energy, but it still needs the same amount of nutrients.

How Can I Keep a Healthy Weight?

Many things can affect your weight, including genetics, age, gender, lifestyle, family habits and culture, sleep, and even where you live and work. Some of these factors can make it hard to lose weight or keep weight off.

But being active and choosing healthy foods has health benefits for everyone—no matter your age or weight. It’s important to choose nutrient-dense foods and be active at least 150 minutes per week. As a rule of thumb:

  • To keep your weight the same, you need to burn the same number of calories as you eat and drink.
  • To lose weight, burn more calories than you eat and drink.
  • To gain weight, burn fewer calories than you eat and drink

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Help your child overcome childhood obesity

Edward-Elmhurst Healthy Driven Blog shared that in the past 30 years, childhood obesity in the United States has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents. Today, it affects more than one in three children, making it the most common chronic disease of childhood. It’s no wonder the battle over childhood obesity has gained national attention, with September declared as National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month.

Childhood obesity is caused by various genetic, behavioral and environmental factors. Exposure to unhealthy foods and eating patterns, increased portion size, physical inactivity, socioeconomic status, medications, and other factors contribute to this growing national epidemic.

The consequences of obesity during childhood affect a child’s health and well-being now and later in life. Obese youth have a greater risk of heart disease caused by high blood pressure and high cholesterol, and other serious health issues, including:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Sleep apnea
  • Asthma
  • Joint problems
  • Fatty liver disease, gallstones, and heartburn
  • Psychological distress (e.g., depression, low self-esteem)

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Benefits of Cycling: A Comprehensive Guide

J Dinesh, from Best Indian Products, Sector – 11, Vashi,, Navi Mumbai – 400703, Mobile: +91 998 759 1800

email:  shared with Healthy Lombard that to lead a fit and healthy life, you need to be physically active. Other than boosting your health, regular exercising can help and protect you from several ailments, such as heart disease and cancer.For exercising, most people generally opt for running or walking. However, if you do not want to follow these conventional ways, but want to stay fit nonetheless, then your way forward is cycling.

Cycling comes with a lot of benefits. Not only it lets you stay physically energized and fit, but it can also help you lose stubborn fat around the waist. Also, cycling is a low-impact exercise, so it can be enjoyed by people of almost any age.

Along with this, cycles generally do not require a lot of maintenance and don’t emit unhealthy gases. They are excellent for the environment as well as your pocket.

Below is a detailed breakup of the benefits which you can get from regular cycling.

1. Increase Awareness – Makes you a better car driver

Cycling regularly can help you to have a better understanding of the road while driving. Along with this, it can help to increase the sense of awareness as a rider, which is very crucial while driving. Almost 68% of driving instructors also think cycling to be excellent preparation for driving both cars and bikes.

Thus, if you ride your bicycle regularly, then you will surely become a much better driver than you already are.

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Cycling Accidents Do’s & Don’ts

Andries from UpPedal asks, “Have you ever had a big fall from your bike?”  Most people who ride bikes fall at some point…it is just how it is. A rite of passage even! Usually, it is nothing serious. Just a slight tumble where you get up again and dust yourself off. But sometimes it can be a bit more serious. So when there is a serious cycling accident, what should you do?

Not too long ago, Andries and her friends went for a ride and one of her friends had a big fall (the dust cloud from the tumble looked like a nuclear mushroom cloud!). Luckily there were no broken bones or serious injuries (just a cut requiring a trip to the emergency room for some stitches that resulted in an awesome scar). But the incident made us realize that they were not prepared for such a situation. After that, they figured out what they would need to do and what they should carry with them to be able to handle a similar situation again.

Below she outlines a list of do’s and don’ts that anyone involved in a cycling accident should keep in mind. Obviously your choice of cycling (road cycling, cycling to work, mountain biking, etc) will have its own unique set of circumstances. But hopefully, the information below will help you when you don’t know what to do! Read more

8 Reasons to Use Streaming for a Budget Workout

Lauren, who works with the content team at shared with Healthy Lombard that as we begin the new year, many folks are making plans to get in shape for the first time in 2020. For those who may be nervous to visit a gym and work out in front of others, that can be a daunting task. 

The team at recently released a guide to streaming workouts, which is a great alternative to the drudgery of the gym. Their goal is to help folks find a realistic, accessible routine that works for them — cutting out obstacles that may derail their progress.

Because Americans are as busy and sedentary as ever, with technology increasingly connecting the various components of their lives, exercising in this age of connectedness requires great will power and determination, despite its general importance to people’s health. Along with the obvious benefits of exercise and an active lifestyle are enhanced emotional wellbeing and even higher energy levels.

But going to the gym isn’t for everyone. Between work, school, parenthood, and so much more, fitting a workout in can be difficult and expensive. Looking for an alternative to a gym membership? These are some of the most important (and sometimes hidden) benefits of streaming your next workout:

1. It Saves Money

Chances are you’re already paying for internet service at home. Dropping your gym membership could save you hundreds of dollars per year. Think about all the things you could do with this extra cash. In case you’re still on the fence, just think about how many people sign up for and pay for a gym, only to work out for a month in January and then basically stop going.  Most of these people probably tell themselves they’ll start their gym routine again. This well-documented trend leads to people paying for a membership they don’t use. Instead of falling into that cycle of signing up for and then never using the gym, you could use this extra money to splurge on that paid yoga app you have been wanting to try. All you’ll need after that is a yoga mat. Read more

Exercising Safely in the Cold

Hiking Essentials – Guide to staying safe and having fun!

It’s a glorious day!  You decide to take a jaunt at a nearby park and find yourself refreshed and feeling positive. That wonderful sensation is one of the many reasons that hiking’s popularity has grown, along with positive health benefits.

In this article David Hoyt, the Funder of shares with you a wealth of information that helps both beginner and experienced hikers alike. His goal is making your trek enjoyable while also keeping yourself protected.

What constitutes hiking?

Nailing down a definition of what constitutes hiking often depends on who you ask.

In the United States and Canada, a hike is a long, brisk walk along rough trails or even old cow paths. Meanwhile, in the UK, if you say “walking” you can be talking about backpacking too. The English call hill hikes “fellwalking” and in Australia, it’s called “tramping”!

If the linguistics weren’t confusing enough, then there are other factors.

When making your way through dense forest with undergrowth over more than one day, you’re bush-walking (or bushwhacking if the area is really close-knit). Africans call long-distance trail efforts trekking and returning back to the US hikes with camping bear the designation of backpacking. Read more

11 Face Yoga Exercises for Anti-Aging, Slimming and More

Heidi from shared with Healthy Lombard that if you’re at all tuned in to the Meghan Markle craze that has swept the globe since the royal wedding, you’ve probably heard about her unique facial exercise routine. In order to maintain her youthful, wide-awake “Markle Sparkle,” she and many celebrities (including Jennifer Aniston, Madonna, and Gwenyth Paltrow) have taken up “face yoga.”

Face yoga, or facial exercises, work by strengthening specific muscle groups to keep the skin on top plump and firm. Not only is face yoga a less invasive alternative to Botox and other facial fillers, but it’s also way cheaper (as in, free!). Though it might sound too good to be true, there are a lot of before and afters out there that make a compelling case. But we understand if you’re still skeptical, so read on to see what experts have to say about the benefits of facial exercises.

Does the Face Yoga Method Actually Work?

Unfortunately, there haven’t been many studies on the effectiveness of face yoga. Maybe scientists don’t care about fighting wrinkles? However, the practice is becoming more widespread and a couple of studies published last year showed promising results.

In the first study, a group of 40–65-year-olds was trained on muscle-resistant facial exercises and instructed to do the exercises every day for 30 minutes. After eight weeks, before and after photos were evaluated using the Merz-Carruthers Facial Aging Photoscales (MCFAP). When compared to their baseline photos, participants showed improved upper cheek fullness and their average estimated age decreased significantly.

The second study tried to take any human bias out of the equation by evaluating participants with a sonograph and laser scanning system to measure facial surface area and muscle thickness. Participants used a PAO device (a very interesting-looking Japanese facial exercise tool) for 30 seconds twice per day over the course of eight weeks. The findings were similar to the earlier study, in that facial muscle thickness increased for a more rejuvenated look. Read more