Ottawa County is offering a free, year-round neighborhood walking program called Ottawa Walks.
The new year is a great time to get started with a walk near you. According to the Mayo Clinic, here is how exercise helps over the holidays:
- Exercise boosts mood. The mood-enhancing benefits of exercise can help you manage the mental stress of the holidays.
- Exercise burns calories. It can help you maintain a healthy weight — even after indulging in that large holiday meal. There's nothing like a walk after a carb-laden feast. In fact, one study found that taking a 20-minute walk after a meal helps lower blood-glucose levels in people with diabetes.
- Exercise can be fun. A game of badminton or horseshoes with guests can provide laughs and exercise. In winter in many parts of the country, the weather provides bonus activities to help you stay active, such as ice skating, skiing, sledding or snowshoeing.
- Exercise is a great way to spend time with your loved ones. Instead of sitting on the couch watching the game, get outside and play a game together or go for a walk.
With the changing season and darker days, Ottawa Walks is a great way to continue being active indoors and outdoors with the accountability of meeting up with a group.
Another option to explore parks is to register for a naturalist-guided Winter Walk at an Ottawa County Park property. Snowshoes will be available if weather permits. If not, we just hike! Winter Walks are scheduled from 10-11:30 am. Check out the schedule below (please pre-register by clicking the link):
For the most up to date information, visit miOttawa.org/ottawawalks.