Friday, September 28, 2012

Daily Fitness Tip: Sept. 28

Happy Friday!  It's almost the weekend and a lot people forget that what we eat on the Friday through Sunday counts too! Here are a few fun, healthy, yummy breakfast "treats" that the kids will love and keep nutrition in check too!

1. Carrot Cake Pancakes - Perfect  for Fall! 
Sweet, slightly spicy, and brightly colored, these lightened flapjacks use low-fat buttermilk and spices to create a dessert-like breakfast for only 315 calories. Get the recipe here: Carrot Cake Pancakes

2. Blueberry-Maple Muffins - Tastes like your traditional blueberry muffin with 4x the fiber! Get the recipe here: Blueberry Maple Muffins

3. Potato Egg Bake - For those of you that like a more savory, hearty breakfast give this one a shot!  Get the recipe here:Potato Egg Bake

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Daily Fitness Tip: Sept. 27

There is a positive relationship between physical activity and children's motor development!  Motor skills (like kicking, jumping, throwing a ball, etc.) are important aspects of physical, mental, and social development.  Think physical activity, playing team sports, and gaining self confidence all while improving kids health!  #60minutes
Want to learn more?  Check out this source: A. Kondilis, Brian H. Wrotniak, Leonard H. Epstein, Joan M. Dorn, Katherine E. Jones and Valerie. The Relationship Between Motor Proficiency and Physical Activity in Children. Pediatrics 2006;118;e1758

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Daily Fitness Tip: Sept. 26

Drink Up!  Water is a healthy, affordable, accessible, and important part of your daily nutrition! Between 55-60% of our bodies are made up of water, so drink up!  ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) recommends that we drink 8-12 cups of water everyday! So wether you like it in a bottle, or from the tap, start sipping!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Daily Fitness Tip: Sept. 25

Fun fact: September is also national yoga month! Since yoga is also beneficial and safe for kids- teach your kids a few new poses today!
Try fun animal oriented poses like downward facing dog, cat, cow, and hare for starters!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Daily Fitness Tip: Sept. 24

September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month and in the spirit of beautiful fall weather today's tip includes fun, outdoor, educational activities!  These two activities could be fun family adventures or applied in the classroom!

1. Go on a nature walk!  Collect leaves, talk about the different shapes and colors (for younger children) or discuss the biology about why leaves changes colors (with your older students)!
2. Become cartographers!  Go for a walk around your neighborhood or walk to school, the store, friends' houses, etc. Note the different landmarks, street names, and whether you turned right or left.  Then head home or back to the classroom and map your walk!  This is a great way to discuss safe routes to school or the park!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Daily Fitness Tip: Sept. 21

Start the day off right! Kids need to eat a healthy breakfast every morning in order to perform their best at school. In a rush? Keep easy to grab-and-go fruits on hand like apples, grapes, or bananas, paired with yogurt and some granola or dry cereal packed the night before! Include 10 jumping jacks before you head out the door to PowerUp kid's bodies and brains!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Daily Fitness Tip: Sept. 20

 Today's Tip: Turn off the Tube!  On average kids between the ages of 6 to 11 years old watch 28 hours of TV per week! That's more than an one ENTIRE day spent in front of the TV per week, yikes!  Turn off the TV, get outside, and enjoy the beautiful fall weather!  There will always be reruns, TV, and movies, but kid's only have one childhood!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Daily Fitness Tip: Sept. 19

Are your kids getting enough physical activity?  Kid's need 60 minutes everyday!  Be sure to include all three types!

#1 Aerobic activities

#2 Muscle strengthening

#3 Bone strengthening

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

What do you think is the government's role in the obesity epidemic?

There is a GREAT article in the Wall Street Journal about Government policy and how if affects obesity. 

In an effort to tackle the obesity epidemic Major Bloomberg of NYC recently approved a ban of sugary drinks in quantities greater than 16oz.  Also in NYC, fast food restaurants display calorie counts on the menu in an effort to educate the consumer.  Some fast food chains have taken this policy on a national, for example, even the Panera here in Knoxville, TN posts the calorie count next to each food item on the menu.  As a conscious healthy eater regardless, I know it has affected the choices I make and in some cases has even surprised me!

Here's the article: What Role Should Government Play in Combating Obesity?

What about the 16oz policy?  A few weeks ago I went to the movies, I walk up to the concessions to order a "small" diet coke and a "small" popcorn to share.  I had to hold the "small" diet coke with both hands and halfway through the movie we had barely made a dent in the popcorn.

The article also discusses influential policies on a national level.  The quality of food available on the food stamps program doesn't exactly promote healthy options...

What do you think about these policies?  Should the government enforce more policies that help tackle the obesity epidemic?  Or should the focus be toward educating the consumer but letting them make the choice?  Would they pick the healthiest option?

I want to hear what you have to say on the issue!  Leave a comment on my blog! What do you think would work?

More on this issue?  Check out this book: The Fattening of America - How the Economy Makes Us Fat, If It Matters, and What to Do About It by Eric A. Finkelstein & Laurie Zukerman

I want to hear what you have to say!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Daily Fitness Tip: Sept. 17th

Rainy Day?  Here's a list of 5 exercises you can do indoors and keep kids fit!
1. Dance - play your family's favorite tunes and show off your dance moves for a fun cardiovascular boost!
2. Alternating lunges - start standing up. Step your right leg forward and bend both knees. Push off of your right foot back to start position then repeat with left leg.
3. Jumping Jacks - another great cardio boost when its a dreary day outside!
4. Pushups - as all of my clients, and they'll tell you this is my number one upper body exercise. Whether you're on your toes or knees, give one a shot and try to work your way up to 10, then 15. Then half on your toes and half on your knees, adding one more each day!
5. Sit-ups - commercial break crunches anyone?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Daily Fitness Tip: Sept. 12

When trying to make any type of changes or improvements its best to know where you start!  So to get going take this quiz!  How fit is your family?

It only takes about 3-5 minutes!  Afterward you'll see your family's fit score, a list of your healthy habits, and ways to keeping improving in the future.

I'd love to hear from you!  Did your family's fit score surprise you?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Daily Fitness Tip: Sept. 11

Flexibility is important for all ages BUT stretching before exercise can lead to injury if you haven't warmed up properly.  It's most beneficial to stretch at the end of a workout when your muscles are totally warmed up and ready!

Want more info?  Visit

Calories In = Calories Out Right?

I think NPR does a great job of educating their readers and listeners.  This article Heavy Teens Eat Less But Weigh More Than Their Thinner Peers explains the physiological changes that happen as excess weight accumulates throughout puberty.

Excess weight and lack of physical activity can have unhealthy consequences for kids and adults!  Check out the article for more information!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Daily Fitness Tip: Sept. 10

Put activity on the calender.  Studies show that families that plan to be active, by writing it somewhere or talking about it together are more likely to meet the physical activity recommendations!  Need some ideas?  Use CDC's BAM! Body and Mind physical activity calender for kids!  Click on the picture to go to their website!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Daily Fitness Tip: Sept. 6

To make the recommendations realistic, (60 minutes everyday),  kids (and adults) should increase physical activity gradually.  Find something you enjoy and participate in 10 minute bouts to build up to 60 minutes! #makefitnessrealistic

Biggest Loser Teen Contestants?

Biggest Loser has released that the January season will have teenage contestants on the show.  I have mixed feelings about this.   The article in the Huffington post suggests that the teenagers won't be subject to the the traditional Biggest Loser tactics; they won't weight in, and the overall goal is "getting healthy."

I think the show has done a lot to encourage people of all shapes and sizes to make a healthy change no matter where their starting from.  But as an Exercise Physiologist, it is important that I mention the extreme week-to-week weight loss is unrealistic and the contestants are under medical supervision.  I hope the teens that enroll for the show feel encouraged, empowered, and in control of their own health.  Is it a good idea?  I don't know.  What do you think?

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Daily Fitness Tip: Sept. 5

Replace one soda or sugary juice drink with a glass of water and you'll save over 50,000 calories a year! 

Visit for more resources!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Daily Fitness Tip: Sept. 3

Happy Labor Day!  Kids are home from school and hopefully you're off work!  Soak up the last few warm days of summer!  Hit the pool or go on a nature walk!  Planning a barbeque tonight?  Get a game of flag football going before dinner is served for a fun (active!) get together!

Health Complications of Childhood Obesity

Some people are audible learners, some are visual, and some are kinesthetic (learn by doing).  I think the importance of this picture can be understood by all types of learners.  The health complications that are associated with childhood obesity warrant serious concern.  For some, the childhood obesity epidemic hasn't quite sunk in yet, but whether you describe obesity as being a little overweight, chubby, or just big boned, these health risks could be around the corner.  
So if you're an audible learner, read the health complications out loud. For visual learners take a look at the picture and how each complication affects different areas of the body.  And for kinesthetic learners, feel your heart beat as you read the cardiovascular risks, stand up while you read the musculoskeletal complications, and take a deep breath for the pulmonary concerns.
However you need process this image for it to sink in, do it.  I am all about fun and fitness, but I truly believe that education is a big part of reversing the obesity epidemic.  Sure you've read all the health issues related to obesity for adults, but those risks apply to children as well.  Help me raise awareness, educate, and encourage kid's to get active and get healthy!