Enjoy The Outdoors
The crisp fall air beckons us to go outside and walk as the leaves turn their many shades of change.Many health experts have coined October “Walktober”, as the temperatures and festivities are so favorable for outdoor fitness.
Most people agree that fall is their favorite time to be outdoors. Whether it’s to enjoy a weekend football game, ride down state to see the elk, or take a hike through the recently completed Corry Junction Greenway trail, the fall weather just can’t be beat!
Although summer has ended, there is still plenty to do in Erie County. Make time to stroll around and peruse the local harvest; take your loved ones to a corn maze; and bite into a crunchy, locally grown apple. Pumpkins are on display and local farmer markets are proudly showcasing their autumn wares and apple cider. Visit: www.ecdh.org, select the Publication tab, and browse the column for the list of local farmer markets. With all the fun-filled fall events, it’s easy to start the habit of walking now, which may encourage you to get moving later this winter.
Take note that as the daylight shortens, a brisk walk on a work break, before lunch or at the end of the day will lift your mood. The natural energy boost may help increase your stamina and carry your spirit through long winter months. Just be sure to wear layers and bright, reflective clothing.
With limited and low sunlight, clothing visibility is essential to protect you from oncoming motorists. Carry a cell phone or safety whistle in case you need emergency assistance, and always let someone know when you are planning to venture out into dark or cold conditions.
If you have sidewalks, keeping them clear of leaves and debris helps prevent pedestrians from resorting to the streets as their only option, which can be frightfully dangerous during fall and winter months. It can be particularly challenging for children, the elderly and persons with disabilities to maneuver through slippery and snowy terrain. Perhaps you have a neighbor who has small children, is elderly and living alone, or has limited mobility. Do them a favor and clear their sidewalk. If your family is looking for something to do, clearing a sidewalk is a good old-fashioned, simple way to stay active.
Remember too, as the weather turns, there are plenty of exercise facilities throughout Erie County. Friendly staff, aerobics classes, warm saunas, steam rooms, swimming pools, and treadmills will keep you warm and moving, while keeping the pounds off. If you aren’t the gym type, grab a buddy and walk the mall.
Regular exercise is one of the best things you can do for your health and will substantially lower your risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and other illnesses. Keep it up and you may live longer and healthier, insuring you’ll be around for many “Walktobers” to come.
This information is distributed by Erie County Department of Health, 606 W. 2nd Street, Erie, PA 16507, 814-451-6700, www.ecdh.org
Kimberly Beers, CHES
Public Health Educator
Healthy Communities Program