Cooler Autumn weather and the last few weeks of Daylight Savings Time offer an opportunity for outdoor exercise after the work day. Luckily, our area has lots of greenways just waiting for you to walk, bike or jog.
Physicians, fitness experts and – let’s be honest, the voice of your conscience – all tell you that regular exercise is good for your health. If you can exercise, you should, at the highest level that matches your personal ability (and after consulting with your doctor, of course).
The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, has published these recommendations for adults, including people in their mid-60’s and beyond:
Some regular physical activity is better than none — and any amount has health benefits.
Do Aerobic Activity
For substantial health benefits, do one of the following:
- 2 hours and 30 minutes each week of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity, such as brisk walking or gardening
- 1 hour and 15 minutes each week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity
- An equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity
Cool weather walking
Summertime heat makes it difficult, even dangerous, to overindulge in outdoor exercise. But, as temperatures simmer down toward the cooler days and evenings of autumn, it’s good to remember that Daylight Time runs past Halloween – until November 6 – so you’ll have time after work or on a weekend evening to invest in some healthy walks.
The Atlanta area is blessed with miles of greenways and walking trails. Here’s where to find descriptions, maps and reviews:
Atlanta Trails has a list of 10 favorite hiking routes
Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, which helps to turn abandoned train tracks into trails and greenways, has advice on favorite Atlanta trails.
The Path Foundation has a map showing more than a dozen favorite routes, from the Silver Comet in Smyrna, to the Conyers trail.