Time to get active

by Pat Gulik, Parish Nurse

We’ve spent many months restricting our activities to protect ourselves and others from Covid-19. Those months of restrictions may have affected our regular exercise routines, resulting in more sedentary lifestyles. Warmer weather and the lifting of most restrictions for those who are vaccinated (Yay!) will allow us to resume –or begin–the active lifestyle that is so important for general good health and well-being.   

There are many ways to get more active. A simple way to jump-start that active lifestyle is to walk. Here are two online articles from AdvocateAurora Health with some important things to keep in mind when planning a walking program:  

How to make the most of your walking routine

Do you really need 10,000 steps every day?

How do you turn your good intentions into a sustained routine? One way is to do it with a partner. Let’s face it, you may not particularly enjoy physical activity, but if you commit to walking with someone else on a regular schedule, it’s harder to make excuses and skip a day. Also some socializing is built right into your activity.  

Don’t have someone who can commit to a regular routine with you? I’ve had many requests for a Grace walking group. If you would be interested in this, leave me a message at 708-366-6900 ext 219 or send me an email at pgulik@graceriverforest.org.  I can connect you with others who are interested in walking with a group or a partner.  

Prefer to have some variety in your active lifestyle? There are many ways to take a class or participate in a group activity. Check your local park district for options. Here are a just a few places in the community that offer ways to be active. 

Park District programs

Park District of Oak Park. On June 18 there’s a Park to Park Walk from Taylor Park to Austin Gardens.

Elmwood Park. Fitness classes and pool

Memorial Park District. Serves residents of Bellwood, Hillside, Berkeley, Melrose Park, Northlake and Stone Park. Some classes offer a “drop in” option. 

Park District of Forest Park Classes and a pool.  

Fitness centers

West Cook YMCA. The YMCA offers many different types of programs for people of all ages. If you are age 62+ check out the Healthy Aging program. This progra has been offered on site at Grace in the past, and we hope to do so again this fall. Meanwhile, there’s a new class starting at the Y in Oak Park on June 21. 

Loyola Center for Fitness. There’s a pool if you prefer to swim.

CFX North RiversideSenior Planet. Virtual fitness and wellness.

Silver Sneakers

Adults age 65+ may have programs available at no cost through Silver Sneakers (which is offered through some Medicare programs). Check your insurance coverage or you can check your eligibility here. 

Want to do something a little different?

Here are a couple of suggestions:  
Fitness walks and other events in the Forest Preserves of Cook County
Trailbound Trips. Outdoor adventures in nature for women — everything from local day trips to weeklong adventures at scenic destinations.