Tracy is a Program Coordinator at the MA Department of Public Health
Are you a mom like me? Have you ever been so tired during the bedtime routine of reading a goodnight story, that you mispronounced something from the book? Just last night I started to read about the “pater-cillar & the polliwog”. My son shot up with excitement at the thought of hearing about this new and strange animal. I meant “caterpillar”. He laughed at my mistake, which resulted in him not falling asleep any quicker. What is my point? I know that getting more exercise will give me more energy (…and perhaps improve my pronunciation?). And it is that time of year to rededicate myself to healthy choices for my family in 2013.
There is a wealth of information telling us that a more active lifestyle usually means better health. But putting that into practice is challenging. I know. So,…I need some tools to help me, to hook me, and lure me in…since I am continually searching for simple and easy ways to take good care of the family. Rather than anything drastic or expensive, I decided to remind myself about a few great resources.
Here are some ideas to empower you and your family to “tackle” your health and wellness resolutions.
ChopChop Cooking Magazine & Free Newsletter
Need recipe ideas? This free newsletter features a monthly food and recipe the family can make together. You can also purchase a quarterly subscription to the family fun cooking magazine (for ages 5-12) was named “best practice in Childhood Obesity Prevention” by the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners. Find the free monthly newsletter posted on the Mass in Motion website at www.mass.gov/massinmotion/chopchop.
MyPlate Blast off Game
My four-year old son played CDC’s kid-friendly “MyPlate Blast Off Game” and learned ab out picking smart food choices for his meals and selecting favorite activities to get in his 60 minutes of movement per day. Two fabulous things about this site? Once he made all the correct “smart food” choices and achieved 60 minutes of physical activity, we printed out his Junior Astronaut certificate! And for me, the best part of this was the personalized food and activity report which I will use for fresh ideas for his lunches and play dates.
Workplace Wellness Programs
You may not be alone! Does your employer have a wellness program? If so, participate in the lunch and learns and any activities or research online communities for supports. They provide resources to re-energize your efforts. I looked at my wellness site today and read a great article about getting motivated for the New Year. If your employer doesn’t offer a program, find more information here.
Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR)
Time to lace up and get inside! Or put on boots and get outside! DCR hosts many winter activities: ice skating, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, sledding, and beautiful walks and scenic hikes. Take the family on a winter stroll or spin around the rink. Plus, friends and family members with disabilities are not forgotten. Please include them in your day. DCR’s Universal Access Program sponsors a range of accessible cold-weather recreation opportunities throughout Massachusetts. Find an event, park, or rink near your home at www.mass.gov/dcr/index.htm, and have some fun with the little ones. For some reason, my husband prefers hikes over walks. I finally asked him, why? “Because a hike just sounds more adventurous.”
Have resources that you’re planning to tap into this winter? Share them here!