A Day Gone to the Dogs- National Dog Day

Gunther

August 26th – A day that has gone to the dogs! It is National Dog Day! This is a special day for dogs and dog lovers that is celebrated annually in the United States. I am an animal lover and especially love dogs. Gunther, my dog who should have his own reality show, has provided me with so much happiness.

He also causes me a little stress. He likes to get into the trash, ignores me when I say ‘Gunther come!’, eats whatever he can get is grubby little paws on, and the list goes on and on. He also will only eat his dog food if it is mixed with cottage cheese. I don’t blame him, because I do love cottage cheese plus it’s high in protein and calcium. (But he doesn’t know that- he is just being difficult.)

This little brown 30 pound ball of fur is a handful. This is one of the many reasons why I have an immense respect for dairy farmers. Not only does the average Indiana dairy farmer take care of  100 + cows that weigh about 1400 pounds a piece, they help produce a wholesome product for the Hoosier state! A dairy cow helps feed the world. Gunther eats my shoes.

What he does provide is great companionship and happens to be a great motivator to go for a run or walk. After all, dogs are man’s best friend, right? If you need a couple more reasons to have a dog let me rattle off some for you:

  • If you drop food on the floor- they will clean it right up!
  • They are always happy to see you.
  • They listen and provide unconditional love.
  • They help teach responsibility.

If you have always wanted to adopt a dog but just never found the right time to do so – today is the day!

FUTP60: The New Year Begins!

Wil Hampton from the Colts interviews Mt. Healthy Elementary’s Nathan Fairchild, FUTP60 School Ambassador

Back to school time also means a fresh start to Fuel Up to Play 60! So what’s new? Here are a few things that Program Advisors AND students can use:

For Program Advisors: The Competition Stadium

  • New! Kick off Fuel Up to Play 60 with a friendly competition in your school! Visit your Dashboard at FuelUpToPlay60.com and enter “The Stadium” for great ideas and guidance on how to start a Fuel Up to Play 60 competition in your school.
  • Want to get your students excited about the new school year and about Fuel Up to Play 60? Start a competition in your school! Challenge another grade or classroom to see who tracks more days or to see how many badges are earned over a time period you control! It’s all at your fingers tips in The Stadium, available on all Program Advisor Dashboards at FuelUpToPlay60.com

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Annual National Exercise With Your Child Week

By Diane Ruyack

Children need to be active to be healthy!  August 5 – 11, 2012 marks the 2nd Annual National Exercise With Your Child Week™. This week encourages parents and guardians to exercise with their children as part of a healthier lifestyle.  Coming to the Indiana State Fair is a great way to help children learn about nutrition and activity.  In the Riley Fun Park, the Fuel Up to Play 60 tent will allow children to run through an agility ladder, build muscles, jog and find out what fuels their body the best!  Engaging in physical activity as a family can be a fun way to get everyone moving. Studies show that kids who believe they are competent and have the skills to be physically active are more likely to be active.   And those who feel supported by friends and families to become active, or surrounded by others interested in physical activity, are more likely to participate.  Children need 60 minutes of play with moderate to vigorous activity every day.  It doesn’t have to occur at once because it all adds up!  Here are a few activities and steps that you and your family can consider to get started on a path to a healthier lifestyle: Continue reading

May is National Bike Month!

By Mary Nicholson

Remember when you first learned to ride a bike – without training wheels?  I still can recall the feelings of excitement, independence and great accomplishment.  My brothers were even happy for me, because now they no longer needed to hold me up or push from behind.  I could actually ride with them! (or so I thought).  They were 6 and 8 years older than me, so they could go places I wasn’t allowed to go.  And that’s just as well.  It took me quite a bit of practice to be able to steer where I wanted to go (around the trees, not into them) and stop how (again, those trees) and when I needed to.

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Spring Is Here! Time to Garden!

By Diane Ruyack

Spring is here and the last frost date is around the corner. Lose that winter weight and get gardening! You may not be aware of how beneficial gardening is for your health. You’re actually doing a decent amount of exercise while you’re preparing a garden or while you’re  turning a compost pile. Continue reading

Summer Activities for Families

By Mary Nicholson

When the blog sign-up sheet went around the office, it was one of those summer-like days in March.  Shorts and sandals weather.  And I was thinking “outdoor fun” would be a cinch!  Today, it’s a little gray, cold and windy.  We had to cover up plants outside last night due to frost.  This does not make it easy to think “fun in the sun”!  Hopefully if you’re reading this, we’re back to warmer weather.  And if not, let’s just pretend.

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Food & Nutrition for Athletes

Food has to be one of life’s great pleasures. For an athlete, it becomes vital to consume healthy foods for optimal performance. Here are some ‘food’ tips for athletes:

Eat breakfast.
Of all the nutritional mistakes you could make, skipping breakfast is the biggest.  Muscle glycogen (main way the body stores glucose for later use) levels are typically lower when you wake up in the morning, so you need to replenish by consuming food. Any breakfast is better than no breakfast and a nutritious, high-carb breakfast is best for athletes.

Simple carbohydrates before, during, and after exercise.
Complex carbohydrates (breads, pastas, starches) are great, but don’t forget that value of consuming simple carbohydrates during exercise or competition.

Simple Carbohydrates: found in fruit (bananas, grapes, watermelon, cantaloupe), beverages (sports drinks like Gatorade), or snacks (granola bars) can give you energy quickly because they are more readily available to be absorbed by the body. Since these carbohydrates are to be used for energy right away, it’s best to consume them before, during, or immediately after you exercise. 

Eat every two to three hours throughout the day.
It’s a good idea to eat a combination of simple and complex carbohydrates throughout the day. Even if just small snacks, eating and drinking throughout the day can help prevent your performance from suffering due to dehydration, severe electrolyte losses, and loss of energy do to muscle glycogen (storage of glucose for later use) depletion. Combine your carbohydrate with protein. For example cheese and crackers or apple and peanut butter.

Drink plenty of water.
Water can definitely be the most important factor effecting sports performance. Not only is it a good idea to drink throughout the day, but also drink a few days or throughout the week before a race or big competition to acclimate your body. On the flip side, make sure you are also consuming nutrient rich foods that are packed with vitamins and minerals, like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and low fat dairy (milk, cheese and yogurt). You might be surprised to know your fluid (water) needs. Take you weight (in pounds) and divide by two and that is about how many ounces of fluid you need. If you are getting strenuous exercise, you will need even more!

Post exercise nutrition drink, snack, or meal.
After intense exercise it is important to eat to help your body recover for your next workout. It’s a good time to consume carbohydrates and protein within at least 30 minutes post exercise. One of my favorite recovery foods is low fat chocolate milk. Low-fat chocolate milk naturally has many of the nutrients most commercial recovery drinks have to add in the lab – including high-quality protein and key electrolytes like calcium, potassium, sodium and magnesium.