10 Minutes of Moving for Your Muscles

Physical activity for just 10 minutes can have benefits for the body! Try to incorporate these short duration activities into the day to get moving. There are many fun and new ways to be active for just a few minutes that can make exercising interesting and convenient. Walking

  • Walking is a great go-to exercise for short durations. Walking the dog, pushing a stroller, enjoying the leaves changing color in the fall or walking from school or to the bus stop are all really convenient ways to get moving.
  • Turn chores into exciting exercise. Helping out in the yard or garden, washing the car, cleaning the house, or doing the dishes can be great ways to be more active doing activities that are already a part of your lifestyle.
  • Stretching in your chair will pay off. Most of us sit for the majority of our days, whether we are in school or at work. Taking some time to stretch the muscles and increase blood flow throughout the body is a great method for moving where you already are.

Click here for more tips and tricks for increasing activity throughout the day!


3 Powerful Holistic Ways to Fight Flu and Cold Season

Taking proactive steps for your health now, will benefit you later when the weather gets colder and the common threat of the cold and flu gets hotter. Boosting your immune system means being able to fight off these pesky infections whether you are a student in school or working on the job. 

  • Power up! Regular moderate exercise builds a strong immune and respiratory system in the body. Physical activity can actually help flush toxins out of the body through sweating or through the lungs. Be careful not to overdo it and overwork the body by exercising too much. High levels of stress actually weaken the immune system and make you more likely to catch infection or colds. 
  • Rest up! Overworking the body weakens the immune system. Sleep promotes healing because many restorative processes take place when the body is in sleep modeimmunepic. Listen to your body’s cues and if you are feeling overworked and tired, set aside some time to rest. Resting when you are sick is beneficial, but resting before you even get sick can help stop it from lingering around in the body. 
  • Load up on vitamins and minerals! Proper nutrition boosts the immune system in amazing ways. The nutrients found in healthy foods promote strength, healing and increase your resistance to infection. Vitamin C helps manage the common cold by keeping invaders out of our systems and minimizing the effects of annoying symptoms like a runny nose or sore throat. Find Vitamin C in citrus fruits like lemons, limes and oranges, in kiwi or in green vegetables like kale, broccoli and Brussel sprouts. Peppers also contain Vitamin C and the hotter the pepper the more it has!

By Healthy Living Program Coordinator, Breanna B.

Preparing our Nation’s Kids to be Active and Healthy – Guest Article by Health.gov

Today, only 21% of children are physically active for 60 minutes per day or more and only 21% of adults meet the recommended physical activity guidelines!  It is possible that the current generation of youth may have a lower life expectancy than their parents for the first time ever!  How can we address this issue? 083017_HHS_50MS-Logo_SHAPE-America

Read this article on Health.gov written by a Physical Education teacher in D.C. to find out more!

Article submitted by 4-H Grant Manager, Karen

Friday Fitness Flow!

As the summer vibes fade away, along with the heat and the fireflies, remember to incorporate strength and flexibility training into your regular fitness routine or just take a few minutes out of your day to move! These three easy postures help to increase joint mobility, muscle strength and raise your energy and confidence levels, giving you that extra boost you need as vacation time comes to its close.


Chest Opens

Healthy Living Ambassador Jy’Naiah


  • Warrior: Step the feet apart and keeping the back leg straight, angle back foot about 45 degrees away from you. The front toes should be facing forward, with the front leg bent so that the knee is directly over the ankle. Raise arms straight to shoulder height and parallel to the floor with the palms facing down.  Press with the feet into the mat and lengthen through the top of the head towards to sky.



Nutrition Assistant Michelle


  • Waterfall: Standing up with feet about two fists distance apart. Slowly begin to reach the arms straight above you reaching for the sky as high as you can. Begin to slowly and just slightly reach behind you, pulling the shoulder blades back and down towards the back of your ribcage. Keep the head in line with upper back and be sure not to tilt the neck too far back. Focus on a deep inhale and exhale as you release the arms back down.



Healthy Living Ambassador Jenna


  • Tree: Begin by standing up tall, and lifting the bottom of one foot to the inside of the other thigh. If more balance is needed, you may rest the foot with the toes on the ground, or place the foot on the inside of the calf. Lift the arms straight above you and keep the belly button tucked in towards the spine. Hold for 30 seconds, focusing on the breath and repeat with the other leg. 

These poses will take you just a few minutes to complete and the benefits will last you all day! 


Is There a Rumble In Your Tummy?

Between the rush of our everyday lives and financial restrictions, it is not always easy to pack lunch let alone a healthy one. However, it is very important to have a nutritious lunch in order to keep our mind alert and body going while we are at school and work.

back to school

Here are a few quick tips on how to pack a healthy, easy, and cheap lunch this school year:

  1. Look at ads to see what is on sale.

  2. Choose foods that are safe to keep at room temperature.

  3. Plan out your lunches ahead of time (try to plan a full week).

  4. Pack food from at least three different food groups.

Below is a list of foods that are healthy and safe to keep at room temperature:

  • Fruits (whole): clementine, orange, grapefruit, peach, nectarine, plum, banana, pear, apple, cherries, vacuum sealed fruit cup, dried fruit, 100% fruit juice in a box
  • Vegetables (whole): baby carrots, baby cucumbers, small peppers, grape tomato, celery, broccoli
  • Grains: whole wheat bread, whole wheat crackers, popcorn, whole grain chips, whole grain tortillas, whole grain bagel, whole grain English muffin
  • Protein: peanut butter, sunflower seeds, peanuts, almonds, walnuts, cashews
  • Dairy: string cheese, hard cheeses like cheddar, pudding pack, swiss cheese

By: Michelle Ernst Voegele, EFNEP Nutrition Assistant

The Perfect Picnic

Be a Picnic ProAugust is a great month to head to the park with a few friends and a basket full of fresh goodies. Here are some easy tips and tricks to crafting the best personal outdoor lunch lounge.

  • The venue. Bring a comfortable yet thin blanket to the park or beach incase there are no picnic tables. The thinness allows you to still feel and appreciate the natural earth beneath you but the comfort brings relaxation and a more chill atmosphere to your meal. Our Healthy Living Coordinator says bringing a tapestry with you can add a fun design to the atmosphere and is often a good size for groups because you want to make sure it’s large enough so everyone can fit and feel included! Pick a spot under a tree or umbrella if it’s a really sunny day and bring along a few items from a first aid kit for safety. A trash bag is a good idea to bring to stay environmentally friendly. basket
  • The snacks. Picnics are all about fresh finger foods and delicious snacks. Pack your treats in a basket or tote bag just before leaving so that temperature sensitive foods don’t spoil (2 hours is the magic time before food starts to go bad!). If you pack foods that aren’t going to spoil you can maintain your relaxed attitude by not having to worry about food safety. Remember to bring drinks to stay hydrated and refreshed. Don’t forget your essentials like napkins, plates and silverware. Here are some fun, healthy and safe picnic friendly foods: hard artisan cheeses and crackers, bread rolls, whole fruits and vegetables, dried fruit and dried meat like jerky, jams and jellies, peanut butter and recipes…yum.cucumbersandwiches
      • Tomato, Peach and Red Onion Salad (Serves 4)
        • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
        • 1 ripe peach, diced
        • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
        • 2 tablespoons olive oil
        • juice from half a lemon
        • salt and pepper
        • Combine everything in a large jar or plastic container. Seal the container and shake to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings. Best made the day of.
      • Watermelon and Strawberry Lemonade (Serves 8)
        • 8 cups cubed seeded watermelon
        • 1 cup fresh strawberries, halved
        • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
        • 5 tablespoons honey
        • 2 cups water
        • Combine ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.
      • Cucumber Sandwiches (Serves 2)
        • 9 tablespoons cream cheese (can substitute goat cheese)
        • 5 tablespoons sour cream
        • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
        • 3 tablespoons dried dill weed
        • Lettuce Leaves, romaine or iceberg recommended
        • 1 Cucumber, thinly sliced about 6 inches long
        • 2 thinned whole wheat bread slices
        • Mix together cream cheese, sour cream, and garlic. Spread over slices of bread. Lay lettuce leaf on top of spread.  Lay 3 to 4 cucumber slices onto lettuce. Sprinkle with dried dill. 
  • The entertainment. Plan a few fun outdoor friendly games for the day. Have some activities prepared that can be played in a group either lounging on the blanket or more active games to move around. Games like Heads up!, Apples to Apples or Uno can be fun for the whole family on the blanket or bring a book to relax and read. A volleyball or frisbee is an easy activity to toss around with a group by playing keep it up or just take a walk and enjoy the scenery. marbles.png