Get Healthy and Happy Without Even Leaving Your House!

The excitement of winter is coming and though the smell of gingerbread and peppermint, a crackling fire and a mug of hot cocoa can make you warm and cozy, there is no denying that getting outside or trying to find motivation to move around and get active can be a struggle.

Here are 3 reasons why a quick at home workout can help you to get healthy and happy during the cold winter season!

  • Studies have shown that just 15 minutes of fitness at a time, or even as little as one hour per week can minimize your risk for depression or depressive like symptoms. Boosts in mood enhancing hormones after exercise can also promote short term elevated mood levels!
  • The digital age of exercise is upon us and there has never been a more opportune time to utilize technology to enhance your health. Fitness apps, YouTube clips and videos all can be a great way to fit in a guided work out right from your living room!
  • Stretching is a gentle and easy way to warm up the muscles when we may be lacking in energy to be super active. You can even stretch right from your couch or in front of the fireplace or television without even having to take off your pajamas!Winter

 

 

Advertisements

The Power of Parks

Whether you live on a farm in Sussex or an apartment in New Castle, retreating to parks and spending time in nature is a powerful way to relax, refresh and revive. Time spent in green space or natural environments has been proven to have relaxing effects on both the body and the mind. Nature can

Untitled design

  • Decrease blood pressure
  • Boost the immune system
  • Calm the mind 
  • Aid in flushing out toxins

Clean oxygen, fresh scents and natural oils all work effortlessly together to enhance well-being. Spending an afternoon in the park is also a great way to socialize, play, and to be active while hiding away from traffic noise, pollution, and technology. 

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

Through the Grape Vine…

This is Healthy Habits with Kyle Merritt and today’s topic is Grapes. Grapes, also known as “the Queen of fruits”, are a kind of berry. They have a leathery covering and a fleshy inside, similar to blueberries. With more than 8,000 varieties, grapes are the most popular fruit.  Grapes…

  • Strengthen your bonesOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  • Reduce chance of heart disease
  • Help with your digestion system
  • Prevent exhaustion
  • Prevent Diabetes
  • Prevent cavities
  • Improve blood cholesterol
  • Prevent breast cancer
  • Prevent Alzheimer’s disease

Wow! Look at all the benefits of the grape. They are delicious, and healthy, so eat your great grapes!