Learn to Move More
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The Importance of Moving More
Use our Move More blog to stay updated on physical activity tips and trends. You'll find helpful information that you can use t...
We know that an active lifestyle makes us feel better and sleep better. It�۪s also a great opportunity to spend time with family and friends. Being outside and getting our Vitamin D just feels good! Physical activity is important for everyone regardless of age, race, income, and culture. Experts recommend 150 minutes of physical activity a week for adults and 60 minutes a day for youth.
Regular physical activity can:
- Prevent chronic diseases (heart disease, cancer, and stroke)
- Control weight
- Build strong muscles
- Reduce fat
- Promote strong bone and joint development
- Improve conditions of heart and lungs
- Build overall strength and endurance
- Improve sleep
- Decrease potential of becoming depressed
- Increase your energy and self-esteem
- Relieve stress
- Increase chances of living longer
Although it may, at times, seem difficult to find ways to be active, there are many safe and affordable options available in our own communities. You can find state parks that have trails for hiking; places to fish and kayak; community trails for biking and walking; and community parks and playgrounds. Some schools even open their outdoor facilities in the afternoon and on weekends for individuals and families.
Use our Move More blog to stay updated on physical activity tips and trends. You'll find helpful information that you can use to make simple changes to your daily routine.
Be Sweet to Your Feet
The American Heart Association | 01/17/2018
Healthy feet are happy feet, and they'll keep you moving toward your activity goals!
From blisters to heel pain, foot and lower body conditions can keep you from being active. Learn more about common causes and solutions for foot and lower body issues. Finding more comfort and ease may be just what you need to get moving.
Finding Comfort and Pain Relief To Help You Move MoreBe sweet to your feet. They support you and keep you moving whether you're on the job, having fun or rocking your favorite activity. Most Americans will log about 75,000 miles on their feet by age 50. About half of us experience pain or other foot problems at least some of the time. Our feet deserve a little TLC, so start with the basics:
- Know your feet. Check them daily, after you've been active or when you get home from work or school. Spot problems early and keep them from getting worse. Look for blisters, cuts, sores, swelling, and areas that are red, warm, tender, or rough. Check between your toes, too.
- Keep it clean. Wash your feet with soap and water every day, and dry them thoroughly. You can use powder or cornstarch between your toes if needed. Apply lotion to dry or rough spots like heels. Protect blisters and open sores with a fresh bandage. Trim toenails weekly -- straight across and not too short. Gently remove calluses and corns with a pumice stone or foot file. Wear clean socks, especially when you exercise or if you already have a foot problem.
- Handle your issues. Most adults have experienced some type of foot issue. In one 2012 survey, the most frequently reported ailments included ankle sprain, blisters, calluses, cracked skin, foot fatigue, and fungal infection (athlete's foot). Other common conditions include arch pain, bunions, corns, heel pain, ingrown toenails, other nail issues, plantar fasciitis, plantar warts, shin splints, swelling, and yes, even smelly feet! Ignoring a foot problem won't make it go away, so if it doesn't start to clear up after a few days, see a doctor. Some conditions and injuries can be serious and should be diagnosed and treated by a health professional.
An Ounce of PreventionWhen you have discomfort or pain in your feet or lower body, you won't have much motivation to get off the couch and get active. Happily, there are many ways to up your comfort factor and prevent some common sources of pain when exercising.
- Take a stand: Alternate periods of sitting, standing, and moving throughout the day. If you're on your feet a lot, put them up when you sit down to take a break. If you're more sedentary, try a standing desk or walking breaks. Experts suggest standing or walking for at least two hours per eight-hour workday, or about 15 minutes out of every hour.
- Lighten up: Stay active and maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight can put extra stress on your feet, knees, and body.
- No fungus among us: Wear flip flops or water shoes in public showers, locker rooms, restrooms, pools, and other wet areas.
- Cross train: Vary your activities to avoid repetitive impact. Walk, bike, swim, run, dance, skate --- with so many fun ways to move your body, you don't have to limit yourself to just one.
- Before and after: Warm up before working out, and cool down and stretch afterward. Make sure your routine includes stretching and strengthening exercises for feet, ankles, calves, and knees.
- Insert here: Try orthotics or shoe inserts for additional support, pain relief, and comfort. They can help with some common issues like foot discomfort, lower back pain, plantar fasciitis and knee pain. Over-the-counter shoe inserts can include arch supports, insoles, heel liners or cups, and cushioning pads.
If the Shoe Fits…The right shoes can make being active a breeze, while the wrong shoes can wreak havoc on your feet. Here are some of the key considerations when buying shoes:
- Get comfy: As much as possible, wear supportive, comfortable shoes that fit well. Save those killer heels for special occasions!
- Get specific: If you participate in a certain sport or activity at least twice a week, get shoes designed for that activity and terrain or surface.
- Get fitted: Have both feet measured each time you buy shoes, and size to the larger foot. Shop at the end of the day, when your foot tends to be the biggest. Try on shoes with your usual socks and insoles or orthotics. Don't buy shoes that feel too tight, thinking they'll stretch.
What's That Smell?Nobody likes to talk about it, but let's face it, foot odor happens. When your feet sweat, the moisture creates an environment for bacteria to grow. To help keep feet fresh so you can move more with confidence:
- Choose shoes and insoles that are well-ventilated and cooling. Avoid synthetic materials that don't let your feet breathe.
- Wear clean, acrylic-blend athletic socks that wick moisture away from feet. Natural fibers can absorb and trap sweat, so they may not be the best choice for your workout.
- Don't wear the same shoes every day, and don't leave them stuffed in a workout bag or buried under sweaty clothes. Allow them to dry out thoroughly between each wearing.
- Practice good daily hygiene and nail care.
- Don't wait to take care of foot problems.
Healthy feet are happy feet, and they'll keep you moving toward your activity goals!
Must-See Passages of the Palmetto Trail
Deanna Anderson | 04/18/2017
South Carolina is lucky to have the Palmetto Trail, a cross-state trail extending roughly 350 miles from Oconee County to Charl...
Hiking is good for the body, mind, and soul and South Carolina is lucky to have the Palmetto Trail; a cross-state trail extending roughly 350 miles from Oconee County to Charleston County. The pet project of the Palmetto Conservation Foundation (PCF), it is also the only trail I know of with its own beer, the Palmetto Trail Ale.
It can be hiked as a thru-hike or day- and section-hikes between the numerous trailheads. With 26 passages ranging from 1.3 to 47 miles, there is a lot to enjoy along the Palmetto Trail, but these are my “must-see” hikes.
Peach Country Passage: 14.1 miles
In the upstate, this trail leads hikers along rural roads, where they will enjoy peach orchards in full bloom in the springtime. The trail also overlaps urban sidewalks past a local high school, and a small country store in Gramling on US Hwy 176 is a nice stop for refreshments. The uniqueness of this passage comes from Windmill Hill, which at 1184 feet above sea level is the highest point of the Palmetto Trail.
Capital City Passage: 7.5 miles
Hike this passage on any Saturday of the year. Why? Because then you’ll end up on Main St., Columbia and the Soda City Market. Soda City Market is held every Saturday from 8 am to 1 pm, rain or shine, and is a mixed venue of artists, musicians, and food vendors with a conglomeration of cultures and styles. The free samples handed out by vendors are tasty treats to weary hikers. This passage also takes hikers through the beautiful and historical USC campus and the SC State House. It is tradition to walk up the steps of the capital building and take a group photo or selfie. A quick detour on King St. brings hikers to the Palmetto Conservation Foundation office and its always smiling and friendly staff.
High Hills of Santee: 9 miles
Based in Sumter County, this passages winds through Poinsett State Park and overlaps pre-existing trails. Dubbed the “mountains of the Midlands,” this passage is in an area known as the Sandhills of Santee. This region existed as the ocean’s shoreline millions of years ago. The local limestone, known as coquina, is made of compressed shells, and the stone is utilized throughout the park in the ranger station, picnic shelters, and trail shelters. Hikers can take a dip in Old Levi Mill’s Pond, buy refreshments and souvenirs at the Ranger Station, or stay in the campgrounds. Diversity, such as Spanish Moss existing alongside of Mountain Laurel, has given this park the nickname “the mountains of the midlands.” The park also offers another twenty miles of a stacked-trail system, allowing hikers to walk as much or a little as they like.
Swamp Fox Passage: 42.2 miles
At almost 50 miles, this is the longest passage of the Palmetto Trail, but three different trailheads allow it to be hiked in sections. It travels through four distinct ecosystems in Frances Marion National Forest: swamps, grassy savannahs, pine forests, and cypress trees. The swamps are the famous as the hiding places of the Revolutionary War hero Francis “Swamp Fox” Marion, and the forest is home to the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker. This remoteness and primitiveness of this passage should not be tackled by inexperienced hikers or without planning and preparation.
Awendaw Passage: 7.2 miles
A terminus of the Palmetto Trail, this passage ends or starts at the Intracoastal waterways at Buck Hall Recreation Center and will travels through a maritime forest, palmetto trees, past a canoe launch (a perfect place to stop for lunch), and a salt marsh. Often tiny blue crabs can be seen along the trail in the salt marsh. Buck Hall Recreation Center is a scenic spot to either begin or end your hike in proximity to the picnic shelters, bathrooms, and camping amenities. A one-mile marker with the Palmetto Trail name and logo deserves a mini-celebration or at least a selfie, as it signifies either you have only one mile left of the Palmetto Trail, or you’ve trekked the beginning mile and have only 349 more miles to go!
For more information or maps on these and other passages of the Palmetto Trail, visit the Palmetto Conservation website at www.palmettoconservation.org. They also offer events and guided hikes along the trail. Never set out on a trail without researching it, packing the right equipment and maps, telling someone where you are going, and familiarizing yourself with the area.
Hikers, It's Time to Challenge Yourself!
Deanna Anderson | 11/03/2016
It's time to get moving with a new outdoor challenge- hiking!
News and social media is filled with advice on how to walk more, when and where to walk, and why we should walk. So, we’re doing it. We’re hitting the fitness tracks, taking to the trails, or walking in social groups. We’re walking more than ever, so now its time to challenge ourselves!
365 Miles in 365 Days
Sound impossible? Don’t let the large numbers scare you; this amounts to only 1 mile a day. Studies show that we typically walk 3-5 miles a day cumulatively with trips to the bathroom, to the car, in the store, at home or at work. Adding one meaningful powerwalk will be easy.
It’s difficult to determine when and where this challenge began. It appears to have originally started as a running challenge, but walking or hiking could be substituted. There is no website for the challenge, just various blogs and Facebook pages, so there is no sign-up or official way to keep track of miles.
For beginners try 1 mile per day. For more of a challenge, go for a timed distance and complete all the miles in the least amount of time possible. The challenge ends 365 days from when you start, or after 365 miles—whichever comes first. Create your own blog or Facebook page to show off your success!
52 Hiking Challenge
The program started in 2014 when one woman challenged herself to hike once a week for a year. Now it is a global movement meant to “inspire and encourage individuals to step outside their comfort zone,” according to their website.
Even though it was initially designed as one hike per week, the challenge is flexible and challengers can walk neighborhoods or urban parks. The only rules are to hike or walk at least a mile and count only one hike per day. Some challengers have even completed 52 hikes in less than 52 weeks by hiking multiple times a week.
Sign-up can be done anytime, with the challenge ending 52 weeks from when you start. This is a free challenge but cool swag bearing the logo can be purchased online. Visit www.52hikechallenge.com or the 52 Hike Challenge Facebook page to register.
1000 Mile Challenge
Is 365 miles in a year not enough for you? Then try the 1000 mile challenge. This is another challenge initially geared towards runners, but hikers and walkers are also encouraged to compete as well. You can start this challenge anytime and sign-up is free. However, Premium Members get offers for cool swag and a medal for completing the challenge. The website allows you to keep track of your miles and there is a Facebook page where you can connect with other challengers. Visit www.1000milechallenge.com for more details.
Hike Like A Woman
For our female hikers out there, the blog hikelikeawoman.net offers a challenge every May, lasting only a few weeks. It is not so much about getting out and hiking but it involves things to do along the trail. Past challenges have included hiking with a friend, picking up litter, hiking in a new area, and hiking to the highest elevation in your area. Challengers post pictures of them doing the themed challenge of the week and one winner is chosen every week and given free swag. Hike Like A Woman is also on Facebook.
This challenge is hosted annually by the Palmetto Conservation Foundation (PCF) for seven weeks in the spring (usually March to April). Challengers log in their steps or miles each week and at the end of the seven weeks attend a cook-out where prizes are given to the top teams.
The PCF is an organization that promotes outdoor recreation and one of its main projects is the Palmetto Trail, a 400-plus mile cross-state trail. However, this challenge does not have to be hiked along the trail but can be miles logged anywhere. PCF membership is also not required, but encouraged. This challenge is free but membership fees do apply depending on levels. Visit www.palmettoconservation.org for details.
SC State Parks Ultimate Outsider
Hike your way to becoming an Ultimate Outsider. This program is not necessarily a walking or hiking challenge, instead it encourages people to visit all 47 South Carolina state parks. At your first park, purchase the Official Guide to South Carolina State Parks for $2 (or online for $4) and as you visit each park get its corresponding page stamped. When completed you receive a free Ultimate Outsider T-shirt, and ultimate bragging rights. This is another challenge that can be started anytime and there is no time limit. Visit www.southcarolinaparks.com for details.
5 Great Outdoor Tech Hobbies
Eric Carrell | 08/23/2016
Get moving by taking technology outside!
Gone are the days when techie’ synced with geek’ and was defined as a person who sits in front of a computer all day and has no taste for anything going on outside. Tired of the stereotype, techies have been out to develop fun stuff that can be enjoyed outside while still maintaining their love for technology.
And the results are amazing; fun tech activities that attract even non-techies and encourage people to explore the outdoors and be active. Here are the best five tech activities you are likely to enjoy outdoors:
- Pokémon Go
Pokémon Go uses iOS and Android mobile devices to find virtual creatures (Pokémon) all over the world using GPS locations. The player can then capture, train or fight with the Pokémon. The power to catch Pokémon increases as you go up the levels and you can also join teams later on. A portable Pokémon Go plus device that can be worn on the wrist keeps you in the game even when you do not have your device at hand.
The fun of it all is the feeling of excitement a player gets when their phone vibrates to indicate there is Pokémon nearby, and the trick of throwing a Poke Ball to capture it as it tries to escape. Also, the possibility of finding Pokémon anywhere offers the thrill of exploring the world, as Pokémon are often located at popular, local attractions, like parks, trails, museums, and more. It’s the perfect excuse to lace up your shoes and go for a walk while still playing a video game.
The game was released barely two months ago, but it has already caught on deeply in many parts of the world.
Another GPS powered hide-and-seek, Geocaching is more of a hunt for hidden treasure. This treasure can be anywhere in the world, so traveling is Geocaching’s first shot at having fun. Once you locate the cache, you retrieve or store a treasure or leave it the way you find it. You then sign off to show you were at that location.
Geocaching is a great way to meet new people. There is absolutely no obligation to interact, though, so it works for both extroverts and introverts.
- GPS Mission
This one is pretty easy. You set out on a treasure hunt on some mapped destinations, then answer questions using clues you find at your allotted destination. You compete against opponents and update your progress online, and the winner of the mission is the person who completes the mapped visits before everyone else.
GPS mission is a great way to stay in touch, create new networks and visit new places all while sneaking in some exercise.
- Flying Drones
Possibly the best outdoor activity to give you the video game feeling, flying the best drones is a sure win when it comes to outdoor fun tech stuff. It combines the virtual power of taking control of strong aircraft from a console with the real environment of the outdoors. Obstacles and damage to your craft are real in this instance, so you have to be even more attentive here.
It offers an endless possibility of tricks you can try with your drone and is a great way to rope in players of diverse age groups, from your kids to your dad. The versatility of drones is another fun feature. If photography is your hobby, you can combine flying drones and taking creative shots and films, two birds with one drone!
- Electric RC Car Racing
The Remote Controlled (RC) car is more of a pilot program as the world prepares to embrace the unmanned mode of transport. And before it becomes official, what better way to get involved than having it as a hobby!
It gives you the chance to watch the science of vehicle movement from a distance; to execute all those moves you watch a race and predict what the driver would have done. It offers you a lesson too, as it helps you grab some driving tips that you could actually use in real life. Another excellent bonding activity, as you could just put together a team and have fun all day long!
Technology has been widely blamed for a cropping culture of laziness, with video games taking most of the flak. Techies’ response in the recent past has however been fantastic, with most new outdoor games building on traditional forms of play to combine both physical activity and tech enthusiasm.
Call it common ground, at last.
- Pokémon Go
Why consistent workouts are essential for new moms
Albert Krav | 08/08/2016
Sticking to your workouts will elevate your mood, re-energize your body, and ensure you get back in shape faster.
After giving birth, your body and mind may feel exhausted, but the last thing you should do is give up your time at the gym. Sticking to your workouts will elevate your mood, re-energize your body, and ensure you get back in shape faster.
How to Squeeze in a Workout
The first few months after your baby is born, it can be easy to neglect your own health, as you�۪ll inevitably be starved for time and sleep. However, the healthier you are, the easier it is to take care of the baby. It�۪s important to create a schedule where you can still have time for yourself. This is crucial to balancing a new lifestyle and guaranteeing that your self-value is still strongly upheld.
See if you can work with your family, loved ones, and friends to take care of the baby a few times a week so you can exercise. In the meantime, there are many low-impact stretches and workouts you can do throughout the day. These light exercises not only help boost your energy, but give you the emotional flexibility to withstand the new changes and stresses necessary to be at your best.
Staying active will help you regain your strength and give you some much needed personal time.
The Heart of Your Post-Pregnancy Workout
Cardio is a baseline necessity of any exercise regiment. Getting your heart rate up is the quickest way to shed pounds, slim your figure, and strengthen your core. Jumping jacks, heel kicks, high knees, and half-squats are all great exercises that work core muscle groups while raising the heart rate.
The most important thing cardio does is revitalize your energy. When you get your heart pumping, you�۪re improving your cardiovascular efficiency, boosting neurotransmitters, and creating more mitochondria. All of these elements come together to raise your daily energy levels without needing coffee, energy drinks, or extra sleep. In this way, you can tend to your baby�۪s needs without feeling like you are stretched thin. Feel better naturally and ensure that you are spreading positivity and love into a new home.
Don�۪t Make This Classic Mistake
Many new mothers are only focused on losing weight after their pregnancies, but the biggest mistake new moms make is only working on specific muscle groups. Your intuition may tell you to do crunches and ab workouts to tighten up your postpartum belly; however, this can actually make your stomach worse. Since crunches only work the muscles underneath, to truly get your shape back, you�۪ll need to burn fat and engage in a full body workout.
In addition to cardio workouts, supplement your routine with various strengthening exercises like lunges, pushups, and planks. While cardio and strength training create a powerful workout regimen, some of the best exercise routines exist outside of the traditional gym setting.
High-intensity training—whether it�۪s rock climbing, swimming, or boxing—can burn fat, amp up your energy, and be productively entertaining. For new moms, working out is about more than just returning to your previous form; it�۪s about pushing yourself into a new realm of health, so that you�۪ll be better prepared for the road ahead.
When is the best time of day to work out?
Morning, midday or midnight --- when's the best time to work out?
Morning, midday or midnight — when's the best time to work out?
Well, that depends on when's the best time for you.
--- The best time of the day is when you will do it most consistently, because the benefits of physical activity are tightly linked to the amount you do on a consistent basis,--- said Russell Pate, Ph.D., professor of exercise science in the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina in Columbia.
Your best time is based on a --- constellation--- of factors:
- time of day,
- type of physical activity and
- social setting, among others.
---It's not just what time, but what activity, with whom and where,---said Pate, who is also an American Heart Association volunteer. This mix of factors for people come together to result in being consistent.
---Different people will have different preferences and predispositions with regard to how they respond to exercise at different times of the day,---Pate said.
For example, if you're much more likely to work out consistently with a partner, ---then you're better off to opt for a social part regardless of the time of day,---Pate said. ---On the other hand, some people like the solitude, the chance to get away.
You might have heard that the best time to work out is early in the morning — to get your metabolism revving or to avoid unexpected distractions during the day that could derail your regimen. ---Are there differences in working out at different times of the day? Maybe. But those differences would be minor compared to the overall effect of doing it consistently,---Pate said.
---If you're not a morning person, it does no good for you to try to get up at 5 in the morning to work out,---he said. ---Try to stack as many cards on your side of the table as possible by doing what's most likely to work for you. The converse is, don't make it as hard as it doesn't have to be.
Fit in Fitness
The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) a week of moderate-intensity, or 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity. But what if you're tight on time? Then, be creative and break up your activity into daily bouts of 3-10-minute increments.
- In the morning, park 10 minutes away from the job and walk briskly.
- At lunch, walk 10 minutes in or around where you work.
- In the afternoon/evening, walk briskly 10 minutes back to your vehicle.
And there you have a 30-minute workout!
---Accumulation across the day doesn't have to be performed in one bout, but can be across the day,---Pate said. ---More is better, but we're absolutely certain even modest amounts are much better than being sedentary.---And remember, ---exercise---is any kind of physical activity that gets your heart rate up for at least 10 minutes at a time.
So get moving — at the time that's right for you!
Fairfield Central High School: A partnership for community health
Elizabeth Gerndt | 07/27/2016
Fairfield Central High School makes open community use of its outdoor facilities work.
How does Fairfield Central High School make open community use of its outdoor facilities work? “It’s a partnership”, says Principal Tracie Swilley, “If we give back to the community in ways to show them how to be healthy, it’s going to better our community.” According to Principal Swilley, the outdoor track is used daily by community members as a place to walk, jog or run. Located off US-321 Bypass in Winnsboro, Fairfield Central is the only high school in the county. Principal Swilley credits the strong pride for the Griffins as the reason littering, property damage and vandalism have not been a problem. She has also found an open dialogue between the school and the community to be an important part in ensuring that open community use can be practiced in a way that is beneficial for everyone. Because Fairfield Central is located within a tight-knit community, information about open community use of the outdoor facilities is often spread through word of mouth. In addition, the school partners with local organizations for a number of community-wide events, such as Fairfield Behavioral Health Services’ Recovery Walk. These events help bring awareness to the existence of the track and field as well as strengthen the relationship between the school and the community.
The track is open for community use from dawn to dusk every day, unless it is being used for student activities. During school hours, users are simply asked to check in at the front desk. Location of the track is key. While there is a gate blocking entrance to the track and field from the front of the building, community members are able to access the facilities from the back side of the school. Principal Swilley believes that because the track is located behind the school, it serves as a safe, private place for people to exercise while avoiding the fear of judgment that is often associated with attending a gym.
Allowing the community access to the Fairfield Central track has been influential in giving the school a positive image in the community. Principal Swilley recommends open community use for schools that are trying to build community rapport. “I would encourage it, especially if it’s a small community like ours where the recreational facilities are limited,” she said. “If people are healthy, that means you have healthier citizens in the community, healthier people that can partner with you, and healthier people that are passing those lifestyles to the children you engage with every day.”
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control is encouraging schools and districts to expand open community use statewide. Healthy Eating/Active Living coordinators from DHEC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity are providing assistance and guidance in an effort to convince schools across South Carolina to make their outdoor facilities available for public use to promote physical activity, healthy lifestyles, and stronger communities.