Monday, January 30, 2017

Featured Activity of the Month: Indoor Cycling

Indoor cycling classes are one of the best ways to engage in heart healthy cardiovascular exercise. Over time, continuous cardiovascular exercise can help lower the risk of coronary artery disease, lower blood pressure, lower LDL cholesterol, and lower overall resting heart rate. Another positive impact on health is the release of endorphins, which are the happiness inducing neurotransmitters that Elle Woods is so fond of in Legally Blonde. Endorphins can also enhance immune response and lower stress levels. Who doesn’t want that?
            Indoor cycling can also increase muscle endurance and muscle strength in the lower body. Repeatedly exerting force on muscles can lead to increased muscular endurance. Cycling significantly impacts strength of quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and calf muscles. Use of these muscles help to strengthen the surrounding bones, tendons, and ligaments. In order to maintain optimum health, the American College of Sports Medicine recommends that individuals perform 30 minutes of vigorous cardiovascular activity three times per week, or moderate intensity activity 20 minutes, three times per week.
            If you are looking for a new activity to aid in weight or fat loss, this can be an ideal activity for you! Depending on the individual a 45 to 60-minute class can burn up to 400 calories. Combining spin with a healthy diet can lead to a change in the number you see on the scale!
            Worried about the intensity of cycling? It can be low-impact if done correctly! If you talk to your instructor and educate yourself on bike safety there is minimal impact on hip, knee, and ankle joints. Just remember that these bikes are not one-size-fits-all! Always arrive to class early to set up your bike. Adjust the seat and handlebars to fit you. Again, do not be afraid to talk to your instructor. Instructors are there to assist you because they want everyone in their classes to have fun, and be safe. So, grab a bottle of water and a towel, and get ready to ride!
           


            

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

8 Reasons Your Child Should Play T-ball, Softball, and Baseball with CP&R

Spring is just around the corner, which means fun nights at the ball park with friends, family, and your favorite lawn chair! Ball season means time for making new friends, learning new skills, and enjoying the greatest game every played! So, what is so special about CP&R’s baseball, softball, and t-ball programs? Here are eight reasons your family will have a ball with is this Spring!

8. Facilities. CP&R features some of the most award winning facilities in the country at Heritage Park and the Field of Miracles. In 2013, both of these parks were recognized nationally by the United States Specialty Sports Association as the number one complex of the year. Our staff take pride in our facilities and strive to ensure that the parks are in premium condition for all Spring ball games.

7. Experienced Coaches. CP&R seek out the best coaches in the area! All of the CP&R volunteer coaches are instructed by college and high school coaches on drills, practice layouts, technique, and game strategy. Over 70% of coaches are returning from years past and committed to teach young athletes the basics of the game.

6. Full service concession stands for athletes and spectators. A night at the ball park isn’t complete without a Coke, hotdog, and a box of popcorn! CP&R offer the best concessions options for busy families that need to eat an affordable and quick dinner before games. Our concession stands also offer your athletes favorite snacks, such as: PowerAde, sunflower seeds, and Double Bubble. You won’t have to make a special stop by the store before arriving to the games. We have everything you need, on site!

5. Front row seats for the whole family. The Heritage Park and Field of Miracles complexes feature large sections of bleachers on first and third base lines of the field. While some facilities feature outdated seating (or, none at all) we are proud that we can provide the best seats in the house for everyone!

4. Lifelong friendships are created for you and your child. Many friendships that have stood the test of time, started in the CP&R baseball and softball fields. These athletes will make friendships that will last throughout their time in school, and their athletic career. In addition, parents will also get to know one another better and create lasting relationships.

3. Youth athletics is one of the biggest ways to teach life skills. Teaching your child hard work, dedication, sharing, teamwork, and social skills can all take place on the ball field. Youth sports are sometimes a child’s first experience playing on a team, and working together to achieve something bigger than themselves. The abundance of local parents, coaches, and staff positively impact youth to create the best experience and memories that can be taken away from the program.

2. Most competitive league in the area. The youth t-ball, softball, and baseball programs offer the most competitive leagues in the area. Some families drive almost an hour to play and participate in our leagues. Athletes that play with CP&R compete with some of the most competitive leagues in the state. These athletes will play more teams and undergo more strenuous training. If your child is looking to become a serious ball player, CP&R’s leagues are where you want to be! The All-Star teams will provide opportunities at the end of the regular season to continue competing at the highest level.

1.     It’s fun for everyone! Who doesn’t love getting out of the house and meeting up with friends and family to watch a ball game? Parents, family, and friends will love watching the competition progress through the season. Athletes will love playing the game and interacting with teammates. Heritage Park and the Field of Miracles offer an atmosphere that is fun for everyone, and will take you back in time and serve up a little bit of nostalgia!




Baseball, softball, and t-ball registration is now open online at cullmanrecreation.org, or at the Cullman Civic Center. Cost is $90 which includes a uniform, hat, and trophy at the end of the season. Boys and girls ages 4-14 can register through February 15th. Practices will begin in March with games starting in April. Don’t miss out on this fun opportunity to make memories with the whole family! For any additional questions regarding registration, please call 256-734-9157.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Featured Activity of the Month: Dancing

 Love to cut a rug? If so, getting down on the dance floor could improve your overall health! Have a Grey’s Anatomy-style dance party in the middle of the living room, or take a dance-based fitness class at the Cullman Wellness and Aquatic Center, or line-dance at the Donald E. Green Senior Center! It’s instinctive to move to music, so don’t stop! These facts can help you dance your way to better health!



·      It’s instinctual to move to music! Rhythm response starts in the brain where musical vibrations light up timing circuits in the brain that prompt you to move.
·      Individuals with cardiac conditions that danced 20 minutes, at least 3 times per week can see significant improvement in heart health.
·      Dancing helps increase bone strength which can help fight against osteoporosis
·      Learning dance routines and following the cues of an instructor can help to preserve motor skills and perceptual abilities and decrease risks of developing dementia by 76%, which is important for the aging population.  
·      A 30-minute dance class can burn up to 250 calories
·      Depending on the type of dance class you taking, it can be a full-body workout! Dancing can engage core, arms, legs, glutes, and back.
·      This activity can increase flexibility, aerobic activity, and strength. If you have sustained an injury, or suffer from certain medical conditions dance can be made a low-impact activity.
·      Dancing is a great way to stay fit during pregnancy, especially if you were a dancer before pregnancy. Just be mindful of balance and heart rate during 2nd and 3rd trimesters.

      Bottom line is dancing makes you feel good! The more time you spend busting a move the happier you will be (it’s all about those endorphins, people!). If you have never taken a dance class before, don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone!