Archive for the ‘Taking Care of Yourself’ Category

Memorial FIT Kids Leads the Way for Healthier Futures

By Vicki Hemenway, Guest Blogger
Communications Specialist, Memorial Healthcare

It seems like there are so many extra-curricular activities available for our children these days that it can become overwhelming. If it overwhelms us, as parents, just imagine what it could be doing to our kids. I know when I’m stressed I get short-tempered, or as my daughter says, “snippy,” and my life is pretty simple compared to those of my friends.

In our house, school and homework comes first, then, if there’s time, it’s on to bike riding, basketball, etc. The part that I struggle with is healthy eating for my family. It’s too easy to just warm up a frozen dinner or go through the drive thru to save time, BUT, in the long run, it can do more harm than good.

I’m lucky enough to work at Memorial Healthcare right next to our FIT Kids Facilitator, Becky Dahlke. She is a wealth of information on healthy eating tips, low-fat/calorie recipes, the importance of exercising and more.

Memorial FIT Kids, which is funded by the Memorial Healthcare Foundation, is a joint effort between Memorial Healthcare, area school districts, Project Healthy Schools, University of Michigan, Baker College of Owosso, and the Shiawassee Family YMCA. The program was recently named one of the nation’s top 10 Programs of Excellence by Jackson Healthcare Hospital Charitable Services Awards.

In 2008, Memorial FIT Kids piloted the Project Healthy Schools (PHS) program, in conjunction with the University of Michigan and Corunna Public Schools to conduct CVD risk factor assessment followed by 10 weeks of in-class, interactive health education. Topics covered in the lessons range from assessing advertising to making salsa in class to learn the importance of choosing fruits and vegetables of all colors. Following the 10-week education program, students were re-tested to evaluate behavioral changes and health perceptions and to determine if CVD risk factors had decreased or increased. In 2009, the Memorial FIT Kids program was expanded to include Bryant Elementary in the Owosso District and St. Paul Catholic School, also in Owosso. Ovid-Elsie’s EE Knight Elementary, Perry Middle School, and Owosso Middle School were added in 2010 and Laingsburg Middle School will join in during the 2011/2012 school year.

The Memorial FIT Kids program has proven itself effective in helping to lower total cholesterol and lipid levels according to results from a longitudinal study with a pilot group of sixth graders from 2008. We are seeing a good trend in lowering LDL cholesterol and raising HDL and a significant trend in lowering resting heart rate. Students are also changing their behaviors in a positive direction.

All of the other area school districts receive two interactive lessons during the school year. The nutrition lesson includes information about food portions and how portion size has changed over the years, how the media affects our food selection decisions, and how kids can be healthier in their daily food choices. The physical activity lesson, presented by the Shiawassee Family YMCA, provides knowledge of the importance of aerobic exercise and alternatives to traditional exercise such as Tai Chi and basic kickboxing with in-class demonstration.

For additional information on the Memorial FIT Kids program, contact Dahlke at (989) 729-4852 or visit online at memorialhealthcare.org. You may also become a fan of the program on Facebook by searching for “Memorial FIT Kids.”
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Disclaimer:
The views expressed in the posts and comments of this blog do not necessarily reflect Memorial Healthcare. They should be understood as the personal opinions of the author.

Comment Policy:
All readers are encouraged to leave comments. While all points of view are welcome on Memorial Healthcare’s blog, only comments that are courteous and on-topic will be posted. All comments will be reviewed and responded to (as needed) within three business days of submission. Participants on this blog are fully responsible for everything that they submit in their comments, and all posted comments are in the public domain.

Linking Policy:
This blog may contain external links to other sites. Memorial Healthcare does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of information on these Web sites. Links to particular items in hypertext are not intended as endorsements of any views expressed, products, or services offered on outside sites, or the organizations sponsoring those sites.

10 Fun Ways To De-Stress After The Holidays

Lori Vacek

by Lori Vacek

I don’t know about you, but most of my life is about taking care of everyone else’s needs. And this Christmas season was especially busy and stressful. I find myself feeling neglected and frazzled. Fun and relaxation are the best ways for me to recharge.

  1. Eat a whole box of Andes Creme De Menthe candies all yourself! Hide them on your dresser and eat them when the kids aren’t looking. Sharing is prohibited! There are 12 in a box, so if you make quick work of it you can do it in 24 hours easily!
  2. Let your 12-year old put feather extensions in your hair! At 48, I feel too old for this fad, but hey, why not! (We put a kit together for Carman for do-it-yourself feather extensions for Christmas.)
  3. Take lots of naps. Take naps in the mid-morning, afternoon, and even before dinner!
  4. Watch an hour or so of Kandee Johnson make up tutorials on YouTube. She is bubbly, upbeat, and delightful to watch. And I have a great time trying her tips!    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fQoEv__ovAk.
  5. Take a long, luxurious bath. Sometimes it’s hard to even find the time to do it, but make time. Use a fantastic smelling body soothing additive. I love one with all natural ingredients. Eucalyptus is known for its excellent de-stressing properties. Use extra hot water and bring a pumice stone, shaver, body brush, extra conditioning hair mask, a scented candle, soft music and an extra soft towel. Then give yourself the full treatment head-to-toe! I did this yesterday and I feel fantastic!
  6. Watch a romantic period movie or PBS series. I love Jane Austen or Bronte sisters movies. And I was delighted with the PBS miniseries, Cranford.
  7. Read a classic novel you have never read before. I buy condensed kid-version novels from the 1970s and have read about 30 of them from Robinson Caruso, to Withering Heights, to Moby Dick. My favorite is 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. I have always wanted to read the classics and this has given me a lot of fulfillment. I also love American Girl mysteries. What I like is I can read these in a day or so and go on with my work. (These short easy-to-read versions give me kind of snippets of time, which is about all I can manage sometimes.)
  8. Girlfriend time! I love talking to my dear gal in North Dakota; hangin’ with Marianne Stuart and enjoying a good micro-brew; Monday nights with good friends; and crying and laughing with my daughters, Megan, Carman, Erica.
  9. Write a blog. One of the ways I de-stress is by writing my blog for Memorial Healthcare.
  10. Spend time with those you love. I love spending leisurely time with my Jim, the dearest husband ever. We love an afternoon of errands, thrift stores or estate sales, lunch then home for a nap till kids get home from school.

Disclaimer

The views expressed in the posts and comments of this blog do not necessarily reflect Memorial Healthcare. They should be understood as the personal opinions of the author.

Comment Policy

All readers are encouraged to leave comments. While all points of view are welcome on Memorial Healthcare’s blog, only comments that are courteous and on-topic will be posted. All comments will be reviewed and responded to (as needed) within three business days of submission. Participants on this blog are fully responsible for everything that they submit in their comments, and all posted comments are in the public domain.

Linking Policy

This blog may contain external links to other sites. Memorial Healthcare does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of information on these Web sites. Links to particular items in hypertext are not intended as endorsements of any views expressed, products or services offered on outside sites, or the organizations sponsoring those sites.