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National Children’s Health Month Continued!

Looking for more ways to celebrate National Children’s Health Month? Here are a few tips on getting outside and staying active!

kids-being-active

Get Moving:

Many traditional brick and mortar schools have adopted the First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! Campaign. This encourages children to participate in at least 60 minutes of physical activity a day, and promotes a healthy active lifestyle. Across Pennsylvania, cyber school students are allowed to participate in sports at their local home district if they wish.

YMCAand FAMILYIf traditional team sports aren’t your thing try something a little out of the ordinary. Many community centers and YMCA’s in Pennsylvania offer the latest in dance based fitness if you aren’t feeling like the outdoor type – from traditional yoga, to Zumba or kickboxing, there are different but undeniable benefits from any of these practices.

Exploring some of PA’s parks or recreational options is a great way to exercise and learn about your community at the same time. Depending on your location, parks in your area may offer guided trails, or water based activities. If all else fails, even mowing the lawn or walking the dog counts as physical activity!

Learn the risks:

If you have a nature loving child make sure they can know and identify some of the risks that come with their explorative nature. Teaching children to identify and avoid poison plants like ivy, oak or sumac can save lots of pain (and itching) in the long run. After adventures of any length in wooded areas, children and pets can sometime come in contact with ticks, which aren’t always turned off by bug sprays like other critters are. Reducing the amount of exposed skin on long hikes and thoroughly checking children and pets before they come inside will help stop the spread of Lyme Disease.

Be Sun Smart:

Children can get sunburnt even on overcast days. Make sure to always have a mid-range SPF (recommended 15) and extra hats in a bag or in the car for unexpected weekend pickup games, or outside adventures. To prepare for prolonged time in the sun, up the SPF depending on how long and how fair your skin tone is. Be careful not to go overboard – there’s no need to be scared and hide from the sun! Frequent, moderate sun exposure gives our bodies a natural healthy dose of Vitamin D – which helps develop strong bones, boosts your immune system and makes us happy. Children need breaks between their online classes, why not step outside for a few minutes safe sun?

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Posted on: October 30, 2015 by M. Dubbs in

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October is National Children’s Health Month!

We are going to offer a few tips for keeping your children healthy this October and year round! Today’s theme is…teach your children how to go green!

Carbon Footprint

Calculate your Carbon Footprint

Using this nifty tool from the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) you can figure what your household carbon footprint is, and adjust different options in your routine to see how it changes during different seasons or what would happen if you changed certain habits. Cyber school students are on their computers all day – which might impact your homes energy bill. Combat a possible increase by turning off lights when you leave the room, minimizing TV usage, and unplugging or powering down devices that aren’t in constant use.

Be smart about your H20

For large families, a little water saving goes a long way. An extra 5 minutes in the shower or leaving the water on while the entire family brushes their teeth adds up quick! Teach younger children to turn the water off while brushing their teeth, and take shorter showers instead of turning your bathroom into a sauna. Replacing plastic bottles with reusable tumbler glasses or thermoses is a great way to cut back on the amount of waste produced by plastic bottles. Reusable plastic water bottles usually come with tons of lid options that lock and seal tightly – perfect for a spill free zone near your computer or school supplies. Can’t give up store bought water completely? Make sure to recycle!

choosemyplate_pavirtualIncrease your fruits and veggies!

We know – technically – not all fruits and veggies are green, but there are tons of benefits for adding a rainbow of color to your meals in the form of fruits and veggies. The food pyramid parents grew up with has been replaced with “MyPlate” which visualizes what portion of your plate should be covered by each food group. According to the professionals who helped develop “Choose My Plate,” fruits and vegetables should account for roughly 50% of a child’s diet. A simple way to increase the amount of fruits and vegetables consumed in your house – grow them yourself! Tomatoes and cucumbers can grow almost anywhere in the summer, and don’t require much space. If you have a fruit loving family, stick with berries – strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries can be grown in small containers, or large backyards. If you are interested in learning more, PA Virtual offers an elective Nutrition and Wellness for our high school students.

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Posted on: October 29, 2015 by M. Dubbs in

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