Educate and Promote an Active and Healthy Lifestyle
Cuyahoga Community College, Greater Cleveland Sports Commission and Cleveland Metroparks partnered to educate and promote an active and healthy lifestyle. Throughout the year, visitors to this site will learn about nutrition and fitness tips that can be applied to improve performance through fun activities.
Consult a physician before starting any diet or exercise program. Information on this website is the opinion of program experts and nationally recognized resources, but it is not a replacement for medical advice.
Cleveland Metroparks Outdoor Recreation: Hiking and Walking
There are hundreds of miles of hiking trails throughout the more than 23,000 acres of Cleveland Metroparks. Take a walk or hike to enjoy nature at your own pace. You can view the Squaw Rock carvings in South Chagrin Reservation, enjoy the convenient loop trail to Buttermilk Falls in North Chagrin Reservation, explore Fort Hill on the trails behind Rocky River Nature Center in Rocky River Reservation, walk across historic bridges in Garfield Park Reservation or take in the historic sites of Ohio and Erie Canal Reservation.
Physical Activity and Nutrition
Good nutrition is essential to performance. Whether you are a marathon runner or a mall walker, your diet must provide enough energy to fuel activity, including enough protein to maintain muscle mass, sufficient micronutrients to metabolize the energy-yielding nutrients, and enough water to transport nutrients and cool your body. The major difference between serious athletes and the casual exerciser is the amount of energy and water required. A pre-exercise meal for a casual or weekend athlete should include enough fluids to maintain hydration and carbohydrates to help maintain blood glucose levels and maximize glycogen stored in the muscles. Good carbohydrate choices include normal servings of pasta (no cream sauce or butter), pancakes (light on the syrup) or a bowl of cereal with low-fat milk. A pre-exercise meal should contain about 300 calories and be moderate in protein (10 to 20 percent), low in fat (10 – 25 percent), low in fiber and high in carbohydrates (55 – 80 percent). Food choices should be nutrient-dense to supply needed vitamins and minerals. Nutrient-dense foods, like low-fat milk, have a high amount of vitamins and minerals compared to calories.
Make Hiking More Fun
To get the proper aerobic conditioning for a five-mile hike, walk 30 to 45 minutes three days a week. On a fourth day, do a longer walk on hilly terrain. For each of the exercises that follow, do one to three sets of eight to 12 repetitions two or three days a week. One Leg Squats: With your left hand on a wall, balance on your left leg, bending your right leg behind you. Maintaining an upright posture, lower your body toward the floor by bending your left knee. Keep an eye on your left foot and stop bending before your knee extends beyond your toes. Hold, then slowly stand back up. Repeat with the other leg. Step-Ups/Step-Downs: Place your left foot on an eight to 12-inch high aerobic step, then step up with your right foot. Next, step down in front of the step with your left and then your right foot. Turn to face the step and repeat, beginning with your right foot. Shrugs: Holding dumbbells at your sides, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Without moving your arms, lift your shoulders toward your ears. Hold, then slowly lower. Back Extensions: Lie face down with your arms folded and your hands under your chin. Keeping your feet and hips on the floor, lift your chin and chest about three to five inches. Hold, then slowly lower.