Sunday, March 18, 2018

Fruit and Veggie Challenge Starts Today

Today is the start of the fruit and veggie challenge! Fruits and vegetables contain many minerals and vitamins that help your body function at optimal levels! They are also much lower in calories than most foods which means we get to eat a lot of them! Earn extra points for consuming lots of fruits and veggies over the next four weeks! 

Good luck!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Overcoming Barriers

Understanding common barriers to physical activity and creating strategies to overcome them may help you make physical activity part of your daily life.

Lack of Time:

  • Identify available time slots.  Monitor your daily activities for one week.  Identify at least three 30 minute time slots you could use for physical activity.
  • Add physical activity to your daily routine.  For example, walk or ride your bike to work or shopping, organize school activities around physical activity, walk the dog, exercise while you watch TV, park farther away from your destination, etc.
  • Select activities requiring minimal time, such as walking, jogging, or stair climbing.

Social Influence:

  • Explain your interest in physical activity to friends and family.  Ask them to support your efforts.
  • Invite friends and family members to exercise with you.  Plan social activities involving exercise.
  • Develop new friendships with physically active people.  Join a group, such as the YMCA or a hiking club.

Lack of Energy:

  • Schedule physical activity for times in the day or week when you feel energetic.
  • Convince yourself that if you give it a chance, physical activity will increase your energy level; then, try it.

Lack of Motivation:

  • Plan ahead.  Make physical activity a regular part of your daily or weekly schedule and write it on your calendar.
  • Invite a friend to exercise with you on a regular basis and write it on both your calendars.
  • Join an exercise group or class.

Fear of Injury:

  • Learn how to warm up and cool down to prevent injury.
  • Learn how to exercise appropriately considering your age, fitness level, skill level, and health status.
  • Choose activities involving minimum risk.

Lack of Skill:

  • Select activities requiring no new skills, such as walking, climbing stairs or jogging.
  • Take a class to develop new skills.
  • Select activities that require minimal facilities or equipment, such as walking, jogging, jumping rope, or calisthenics (exercises using your own body weight).
  • Identify inexpensive, convenient resources available in your community (community education programs, park and recreation programs, worksite programs, etc.)

Weather Conditions:

  • Develop a set of regular activities that are always available regardless of weather (indoor cycling, aerobic dance, indoor swimming, calisthenics, stair climbing, rope skipping, mall walking, dancing, gymnasium games, etc.)


  • Put a jump rope in your suitcase and jump rope.
  • Walk the halls and climb the stairs in hotels.
  • Stay in places with swimming pools or exercise facilities.
  • Join the YMCA or YWCA (ask about reciprocal membership agreement).
  • Visit the local shopping mall and walk for half an hour or more.
  • Bring your MP3 player with your favorite aerobic exercise music.

Family Obligations:

  • Trade babysitting time with a friend, neighbor, or family member who also has small children.
  • Exercise with the kids-go for a walk together, play tag or other running games, get an aerobic dance or exercise tape for kids (there are several on the market) and exercise together.  You can spend time together and still get your exercise.
  • Jump rope, do calisthenics, ride a stationary bike, or use other home gymnasium equipment while the kids are busy playing or sleeping.
  • Try to exercise when the kids are not around (e.g. during school hours or nap times)

Retirement Years:

  • Look upon your retirement as an opportunity to become more active instead of less.  Spend more time gardening, walking the dog, and playing with your grandchildren.  Children with short legs and grandparents with slower gaits are often great walking partners.
  • Learn a new skill you’ve always been interested in, such as ballroom dancing, square dancing, or swimming.

Content in the "Personal Barriers" section was taken from Promoting Physical Activity: A Guide for Community Action (USDHHS, 1999).

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Active Lifestyle

A physically active lifestyle is fundamental to good health. Regular exercise is one of the best predictors of health, and no matter what you weigh, you can’t afford to be a couch potato. Yet most Utah adults don’t meet the recommended levels of physical activity.
So where do you start? Escaping from a sedentary lifestyle can seem daunting, but it doesn’t need to be. Here are some tips for developing and maintaining a regular physical activity regimen.
Just start, no matter how small! The rule with exercise is that none is bad, some is good, and more is better. Don’t worry if you can’t meet the recommendations right away. Be patient, and aim for progress, not perfection.

  • Start with aerobic activities, which have the most substantial health benefits. Use large muscle groups for enough time to raise your heart rate and break a sweat. Later on, you can add balance, flexibility, or strength training for even more benefits.
  • Start slowly and build up slowly. If you’ve been inactive for some time, you might just take a ten-minute walk every couple of days. But schedule a time and make it a part of your routine. Later, you can increase the duration of the exercise, and then the intensity. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate activity each week. (Just 30 minutes, five days a week!)
  • Sit less. Too much time sitting can increase your risk for chronic disease, even if you get the recommended 150 minutes a week. Aim for less than two hours of screen time a day, not including work and school, and try to sit for less than six hours total. If you have to sit a lot, stand up and move around for two or three minutes every half hour.
  • Do what works for YOU. You’re more likely to keep a habit that reflects who you are and what you enjoy. Exercising with a friend or family member can help you stay on a schedule and can make workouts more fun. But listening to music or audiobooks can give you time for solitude and reflection. Find what works for you.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Vigorous Intensity Exercise

Vigorous intensity means you're breathing hard and fast, and your heart rate has gone up quite a bit. If you're working at this level, you won't be able to say more than a few words without pausing for a breath. Here are some examples of activities that require vigorous effort:

  • Jogging or running
  • Swimming laps
  • Riding a bike fast or on hills                          
  • Playing singles tennis
  • Playing basketball                                                    

Build up over time
If you want to do more vigorous-level activities, slowly replace those that take moderate effort like brisk walking, with more vigorous activities like jogging.

You can do moderate- or vigorous-intensity aerobic activity, or a mix of the two each week. A rule of thumb is that 1 minute of vigorous-intensity activity is about the same as 2 minutes of moderate-intensity activity.

Some people like to do vigorous types of activity because it gives them about the same health benefits in half the time. If you haven't been very active lately, increase your activity level slowly. You need to feel comfortable doing moderate-intensity activities before you move on to more vigorous ones. The guidelines are about doing physical activity that is right for you.