Choosing a summer camp for kids can be challenging. Camp offerings are as varied as children. Many camps include swimming, boating, nature hikes, crafts, music, sports, and theatre. Parents often look for camps that can provide new ventures for their children to experience — but what about video games as a camp activity? A recent article addressed the pros and cons of video game camps. Some feel sedentary video games contribute to childhood obesity, but camp directors say video games promote strategic problem-solving and social skills using the dominant platforms in today’s youth culture. Here’s a checklist for you and your child to use when considering the best camp option regarding video games:
• Is a sufficient variety of activities offered?
• Is there sufficient supervision in a safe environment?
• Is there a good mix of passive and active activities offered?
• Are there health-related video games (“video games for health”)?
• Is there a good mix of educational games offered?
• Are the games age-appropriate?
• Are there classes in video and/or smartphone game design?
Conversations about making wise video game choices have benefits long after your kids have returned home from camp and the school year begins. You may want to get in the game, too! The nutrition games on Playnormous.com are a terrific place to start!
The International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, better known as ISBNPA, is one of the most highly regarded nutrition societies in the world. Their vision and mission is to stimulate, promote and advocate innovative research and policy in the area of behavioral nutrition and physical activity toward the betterment of human health worldwide.
Their website is small, but they do have a resource list which is pretty amazing. If you want to credible resources on physical activity and nutrition, this is the place to go. Here are just a few of the resources you will find:
Enjoy all those amazing resources!
One of our very own Playnormous teachers, Ann King, has been awarded a grant from the National Football League’s program Play 60 for her amazing health efforts at Spring Branch Westchester Academy for International Studies.
Play 60 is a national effort to promote healthy eating and 60 minutes of physical activity to K-12 children. The program has been endorsed by the First Lady Michelle Obama and her wellness program “Let’s Move.”
This past month, Houston Texans linebacker DeMeco Ryans visited the Westchester Academy campus to see Ann King’s Play 60 program and work with her health fitness students and “student ambassadors.” Ann’s program has been recognized at the district, state and national level. Ann is now teaching classes about how to implement her program Amazing!!
Congratulations to Ann and her students for a job well done!!
Our friend Day Barlow at Radio Disney Houston notified us that Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign has teamed up with Disney to get kids movin’ and groovin’ to healthy living. What an amazing job they’ve done! They were really able to round up all the kid celebs and make some great videos for Disney Magic of Healthy Living.
One thing in particular that they seem to be focusing on is where fruits and vegetables come from and the idea that gardening can be a great physical activity. That’s when our office manager, Renate, and I came up with a great idea: let’s build a Monster Garden right here at the office!
The weather is finally beautiful here in Houston so Renate and I could not have picked a better time to come up with a brilliant outdoor idea. We’ve already picked our spot and have decided on some things we want to plant. Oh it’s going to be so amazing I can hardly wait!
Now just to let you know, I have a black thumb. Not a brown one, not a yellow one, a black one. Melanie + plants = death. In short, I really can’t grow much (do you think I should warn Renate?). Either way, this is going to be a major learning experience for me. So don’t worry if you’ve never gardened before. Neither have I!! We are going to learn together.
The first thing you need to do when planting a garden is to pick a great spot to start. What do you want to grow and where do you want to grow it? We have a lovely fenced-in courtyard at our office which is going to be just perfect. Depending on what you decide to plant, make sure the area you pick has:
We’re going to try to plant a variety of fruits and vegetables so for our garden we’re thinking:
Now these are just pie in the sky ideas. We’re probably biting off more than we can chew here. Always start out small folks, otherwise you’ll get discouraged and give up! Next time we’ll let you know what we really decide to plant. You can get some great ideas by playing our fruit and veggie game Lunch Crunch. Until then, keep enjoying that sunshine and happy monster gardening!
Around this time last year we dispelled the health myth that to get any health benefit from a workout, you must feel the pain. Today’s myth is along those lines but slightly messier. Yes, we’re talking about workout sweat. That salty, wet, smelly stuff that often drips into your eyes after you run a marathon (or go up a few flights of stairs). Today’s health myth: the amount you sweat is a good indicator of workout intensity.
Today’s myth seems relatively logical. If you “work up a sweat,” odds are you’re getting a good workout. A marathon runner is much more likely to be dripping with sweat after an hour of activity versus someone who takes a merry stroll in the park and may return home with a glisten.
To get to the bottom of this myth, we must first answer one question: What is the purpose of sweating? Sweat or perspiration is a salty fluid secreted by the sweat glands. It’s purpose? To cool the body down.
It’s like having your own personal AC system!
So it makes sense that if a person works his or her muscles, core body temperature is going to rise and cause the individual to sweat. But is sweat a good measure of physical exertion? Actually…no! Dripping sweat is only an indicator that your body is having difficulty cooling itself. It’s producing sweat faster than it can be evaporated. This is not a direct indicator of how hard a person is working out.
There are many other factors that can explain why one person sweats more than another. Genetics, age, gender, fitness level and environment are just a few.
According to the CDC, a better way to measure your level of exertion during physical activity is to use the Borg scale. This helps individuals measure more accurately how hard their body is working. The Borg scale takes into account a person’s muscle fatigue, breathing, heart rate AND sweating. Visit the CDC Physical Activity website to find out additional details.
Sweat and workout quality…busted!