Monday, May 6, 2013

Keep Adding it up for Health!

Thank you for participating in the 90-day challenge, 95210: Adding it up for Health! We hope that this program has been informative, inspirational, and one that has raised your family's awareness of health habits and their importance to your future. Thank you for joining us!

The 95210 program does not end here. Continue to refer to the Family Wellness Resources Page for information about how you can instill the 95210 tenets into your daily life.

And of course, keep logging in to and track your numbers!

We would love to hear your feedback about this program; please leave a comment below or email us at

Thank you!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Exercise for Kids: How Much and How to Keep It Safe
The 95210 tenants advise one hour of physical activity for everyone, but how can you tell whether the stuff your kids do counts as exercise? The Center for Disease Control has a great resource to help you determine your physical activity needs, and the safe ranges for exercise. You can get the scoop here. 

Exercise doesn't have to mean organized sports. Just being outside goofing around, playing on a playground, or taking a family walk or bike ride can be a workout! When you do head out, heed these tips from to make sure you stay safe. 
Play Hard! 
  • Focus on activities that encourage large muscle group movement, like running and jumping, and building bone strength, like resistance training. A light-hearted soccer game following by climbing some ladders on the playground is a great combination!
  • Encourage kids to cross- train, or play a variety of sports. They'll lower their chances of over- use injuries and burnout, and get a more well-rounded workout. 
  • For kids that shy away from competitive games or sports, emphasize having fun and teamwork more then winning or achieving benchmarks. It's more important that a child enjoys being active than than they excel at any particular activity.
Play Safe! 
  • If you kids play organized sports, make sure their coaches are properly trained and if coaching at an advanced level, certified for the sport they are coaching. An experienced trainer will be able to detect injuries early and ensure that you children are staying safe and functional during practices, and should be certified in CPR by the American Red Cross.
  • If your child gets hurt and you suspect a muscle or tendon injury, remember "RICE": rest, ice, compression, and elevation. If discomfort doesn't subside, see your child's doctor to rule out broken bones or more serious injuries. 
  • Hydrate, hydrate hydrate! It may not be blazing hot yet, but kids still lose water when they play hard! Water and a piece of fruit is more than adequate for replenishing lost fluids and electrolytes, so skip the sports drinks and added sugar they bring. Kids should take about 10 gulps before playing and chugging some more water every 15 to 20 minutes. Afterwards, drink another glass of water and eat some fruit. 
  • Check and stick your first- aid kid. As a minimum, it should include triple antibiotic ointment, gauze, bandages, and pain medication. 
For Every Active, Growing Kid
  • Offer your kids with calcium-rich foods and drinks, such as low-fat milk and cheese, plain yogurt with fruit, and green vegetables. These foods help bones harden and strengthen, which is critical for children. Bone mass typically peaks between the ages of 16 to 25 years, and remains relatively constant before a gradual decline throughout adulthood.
  • Get a physical and become aware of any health conditions that could hurt your child's athletic performance. Discuss the sports your child plays with his or her doctor and follow their recommendations for ensuring proper nutrition and safety. 
  • Get plenty of shut-eye. Kids need between 9-11 hours of sleep each night to perform at school and in sports. Turn off lights early enough to ensure a proper night's sleep before the next day begins. 
For more children, sports and outdoor play means just being a kid. But when emergencies occur, it's worth it to have considered these safety precautions in advance. Here's to a Spring that is full of fun, smiles, and a good sweat...safely!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

FCAT Stress? Pint-size your yoga!

Students across Leon County are buckling down for FCAT testing this week, which can bring stress and anxiety into their busy school day. A good night of sleep and a healthy breakfast, lunch, and snacks go a long way towards helping them take these important days in stride. But, for those students who need a little deliberate down time, yoga may be just the thing!
Yoga has been found to help children reduce stress, calm down in stressful environments, improve self-esteem, develop body awareness and positive body image, foster cooperation, and build compassion for others. It can also enhance flexibility, strength, and coordination. Yoga allows children to slow down and get to know themselves, and develop a longer attention span. Who isn't on board for that?

Kid-friendly yoga classes should be taught by someone who understands the challenge of holding a child’s attention long enough for them to learn about stillness, balance, focus, health, and well-being. When you are looking for age-appropriate yoga, look for classes that are full of movement and open to interpretation; the idea is to foster a love for physical activity, not focus on doing everything correctly.

Kids can take yoga classes locally at Killearn Lakes TaeKwonDo and Lakulish Yoga, or ask your favorite yoga studio if they allow children. Many do, and welcome them.

Yoga is a journey that takes discipline, practice, and patience. When children are exposed to these elements in a caring, calm, and supportive environment…well, they may just teach us a few things about how to deal with stress! Practice yoga with your kids and embark on a journey together!
Yoga counts as exercise! Log in to today and track all of your numbers. While you're there, check out the new quiz feature and test your knowledge of healthy living.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Tallahassee Helps You Stop Smoking Now

Smoking - we know it's bad, we know it kills, and we know it makes the people around us sick. But, many Tallahassee residents still smoke either because they want to, they feel they are addicted to it, or because they don't know how to quit. Luckily, our community is full of resources to help you smoosh that cigarette into a tiny little speck and say goodbye to it forever.

Did you know FSU will become a smoke-free campus on January 1, 2014?  The Florida State University Quit Smoking NOW program is a 6-session smoking cessation program developed by former smokers to help others quit with the help of a tobacco treatment specialist in a group setting and access to the tools needed to become tobacco-free. QSN also offers access to nicotine replacement therapies (NRT) such as patches, gum and lozenges, to help manage withdrawal symptoms. You can get more information from Chenikka Usher, MSW, CTTS, Tobacco Program Manager at 850-645-9710 or find a Quit Smoking Now group near you by using their interactive calendar: Find a Quit Smoking Now class.

Tobacco Free Leon empowers youth and adults to create a tobacco-free community through youth prevention, cessation activities, promotion of a tobacco-free lifestyle, and reducing the tobacco industry’s influence. By holding meetings at local schools, they encourage students to live healthy by understanding and appreciating the risks of smoking. You can find their next meeting here: Tobacco Free Leon Calendar

For more information about these resources and more, contact Emily Kohler, RDH, TTS, Tobacco Training and Cessation Specialist at the Big Bend Area Health Education Center, Inc.

And, if you're thinking about quitting or know someone who should, Tobacco Free Leon makes it free and easy:

Abstaining from tobacco is one of the 95210 tenants, and also contributes to a healthier Tallahassee. Log your tobacco victories and other health achievements today at!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Portion Control Techniques for Kids (and new features on

The 95210 tenants encourage five servings of fruits and vegetables, but what is a serving? When you log in on, you are able to indicate how much of each fruit or veggie you ate, and what a serving is. You can also look this information up using this great interactive site that breaks it down by age: Nutrition for Everyone

Beyond fruits and veggies, it can sometimes be difficult to tell whether we are feeding our kids appropriate portion sizes. This video from the Healthy Kids blog explains a few ways to measure portions for kids. Try a few of them today! Update now has a new Pedometer Steps tracking page, so now youmay click the top button for "Steps" (when logged in) to track your daily steps count. There is also information related to walking and why it's so good for you, as well as links to various other sites and blogs on walking and ways in which to increase your steps each day.

Members may earn 5 points for every 10,000 steps they walk daily with a maximum of 10 points per day for walking 20,000 steps or more. 

Log in every day to track your 95210 numbers and add it up for health!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Lights Out! Tips for Better Sleep

Of all the 95210 tenets, sleep is the one that gets the most reaction. Nine hours of sleep? Really? It seems almost laughable that anyone would be able to get that much rest. But, while the 9 hours of sleep recommendation is technically aimed at children (with the recommendation for adults being 7 hours), the more sleep we as adults can get, the better we perform.

Sleep not only gives us energy, it also helps regulate serotonin, which affects our mood and ability to focus during the day. Sleep is also a great fat burner. When we stay up too long, our body slows down processes like metabolism in order to conserve energy. A slower metabolism guessed it...fewer calories burned and more calories stored. So, you could consider getting more sleep to be part of your workout goals for the day!

But, turning off the light and pulling up the covers is easier said than done. But it is possible to gradually put some new habits into practice that will inch you towards getting more rest overall. It takes deliberate action, but it can happen! 

These tips and more for how to get more sleep were included in this month's Consumer Reports, along with a review of different mattresses and advice for choosing the one that is best for you.

1. Keep a consistent schedule. Sticking to the same bedtime (and waking time) within an hour or so each day, yes even on the weekends, helps shift your internal body clock to one that is more predictable and less taxing on your body.

2. Watch alcohol consumption. The benefits of moderate and safe alcohol consumption are best absorbed well before bedtime, because alcohol metabolizes as a stimulant. In addition, alcohol could make conditions such as sleep apnea and snoring to be worsened. Studies have shown that while one glass of wine has health benefits, that second glass can impair sleep. Be responsible!

3. Don't sleep with a pet. Our cuddly friends may make for warm feet, but the nocturnal habits of animals can interfere with our own ability to get truly restorative sleep. Provide your pets with their own comfortable place to sleep, not on your pillow.

4. Journal. Sometimes, the stress of a busy day weighs on us far into the evening, keeping us awake or preventing us from falling asleep. Sometimes, writing those thoughts in a journal entry or simply a to-do list for the next day can help us free our mind from them and get closure for the day.

5. Reduce your screen time. Computer screens, televisions, and smart phones are great for downtime (within that two-hour limit of course), but they can trick our brains into think it is daytime. Relax by reading a paper-and-ink book, a magazine, or listening to calming music instead.

Sleep is becoming more recognized as a powerful ally in health. While some wear their lack of sleep as a badge of honor, it is actually harmful to our bodies and lives to go without adequate rest. Put some of these ideas into practice tonight and see if you can't get to bed a little earlier!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Easter Candy Overload: Healthy Celebration Tips

A walk down the Easter candy aisle this week offers a host of selections from fifteen types of jelly beans to peanut butter eggs and bunnies the size of our children themselves. A survey conducted by the National Health and Nutrition Examination shows that kids consume an average of 350 calories from added sugar each day – more than triple the recommended amount – and during holidays it can be even more! Why does it matter? Added sugar is a major contributor to childhood obesity, which can lead to heart disease and diabetes down the road. Luckily, managing sugar during holiday weekends is easier than you think. 

These tips are helpful for Easter and any holiday where sugar tends to take center stage.

Follow the 80/20 Rule 
Classroom parties, cookie-toting grandparents, and other obstacles to health are inevitable, but we don’t have to completely let go and give up all hope of managing them. Make sure that the meals you eat at home (and pack for school) are super-nutritious to compensate for those occasions when we eat less-than-healthy fare. That means getting our sweet fix from fresh fruit instead of fruit snacks, ordering out less and cooking at home more, and drinking more water and no sweetened beverages.

Skip the Juice Entirely 
Just toss out the juice. The American Academy of Pediatrics has determined that juice is not necessary in anyone’s diet and even compares it to drinking soda. Juice contains virtually no fiber and is simply liquid calories. Instead, make water fun by adding sliced fruit to it or freezing berries into ice cubes for fun and flavor!

Make Homemade Treats Instead of Candy
Baking cookies is often a time-honored tradition for many families, pulling out Great-Grandma’s recipe and then, of course, eating the fruits of the labor! Update those recipes by substituting whole-wheat flour for white, slashing the sugar, and making only half of the recipe and smaller portions. In many cases, you can reduce the sugar by half and not notice a dramatic change in flavor, and having fewer of them will help decrease the number that get eaten.

Set the Example and the Expectation. 
Children are just like us when it comes to something we can’t have: they just want it more! As they see their friends eating sugary snacks or fall victim to marketing messages created to encourage children to ask for junk food, the grumbling will surely begin.  Be firm in your decision to stock the house with healthy foods, but sit down to learn about food with your children. Educate yourself and your family about food, sugar, what’s good and bad to eat, and why. Give them choices – a dessert tonight or at this weekend’s party but not both – and let them set boundaries for themselves. Then, of course, set the example by modeling healthy habits at home!

There are so many delicious treats surrounding us during special holidays, and it is surely difficult to resist them. But, keeping your eye on the prize - a healthy body and a healthy family – can make it seem less like work and more like a gift. Set limits, make some healthy swaps, and reduce sugar where you can to ensure that the only sweets in your holiday are those happy, healthy kids! 
Click here healthy Easter basket ideas, and be sure to log in to to track your healthy habits all weekend long!