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Winter Workout Wonderland

Set your healthy resolutions early this year

By Caitlin Straubinger

The beginning of a new year is a time for resolutions—and often, health is at the top of the list. We are fortunate to live in an area with great outdoor accessibility year round to help with healthy resolutions. The Greenbelt provides a wonderful opportunity for the development of healthy habits, including walking, running, and biking.

A few of my resolutions are consistent every year (run a new race, practice the banjo, call my sister), and I try to add one or two specific, health or wellness-focused goals each year as well. My resolution one year was to pack my lunch four days per week. Having a specific, measurable goal that I monitored every day helped me to stay accountable and made me more likely to throw something together to take to work, rather than buying an expensive soup and salad made with unknown ingredients.

Have you made any health resolutions for 2016? According to Time Magazine, the most common New Year’s resolutions include getting fit, learning something new, spending more time with family, and being less stressed. Are any of these on your list? Studies show it takes anywhere from 21 to 66 days to form a habit, so stick with it! We try to make SMART goals, which are specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused, and time-bound. Creating resolutions following the SMART goal-setting formula leads to greater accountability and follow through. Tell your friends and family about your healthy goals, and enlist them to keep you accountable. Going for a morning walk is much more enjoyable with a buddy!

Winter is a wonderful time to recreate outdoors if you follow a few precautionary measures:

1) Dress in layers.

2) Check the forecast—cold temperatures plus wind can lead to avoidable discomfort, so pick a warmer or less windy day to begin a new outdoor exercise program.

3) Cover your head, hands, feet, and ears.

4) Drink plenty of fluids.

5) Always let someone know where you are going and your expected return time.

6) Listen to your body! Consider shortening your workout or taking it indoors during particularly extreme weather.

Eagle Parks & Recreation Department is here to help make 2016 your best year yet! We have many opportunities for you to stay healthy and active throughout the year. Recruitl a friend and try one of our adult fitness classes. We offer adult tap dancing, adult aikido, and even YoKa (a fun new yoga and karate combination class). Is your resolution to get in touch with your creative side? Try your hand at beginner drawing, watercolor, or charcoal. Alternatively, join us for a relaxing and stress-free evening at our monthly adult coloring club. As always, we have plenty of options for the children in your family to stay active as well: from karate to basketball to lacrosse, your kiddos are sure to find something they love. Stay healthy and let us know how you are doing with your resolutions!

You can learn more about Eagle Parks & Recreation programs or sign up for classes at www.cityofeagle.org/recreation.