Tuesday, July 29

RECESS is coming to the JCC

by JCC staff

Have you noticed that kids get more wiggly and less fit as the school day gets longer and the study load gets more intense? 

The demands of curriculum and performance standards create challenges in terms of what can fit into a typical student day. Unfortunately, it often means less recess and physical education when cuts need to be made in the schedule

But our new partnership with General Mills and Kroger is aimed at maintaining health and wellness for families throughout the school year by offering monthly exercise, nutrition and cooking classes. 

We're calling the program R.E.C.E.S.S., which stands for Recreation, Education, Culture, Exercise, Skills, Success.

The best part is that it's FREE to JCC Indy members, and program classes register new participants each month.

Here are more details on the program offerings: 

Family R.E.C.E.S.S
This is an opportunity for parents and kids to play active games together. Exercising together is a powerful tool for promoting a lifelong love of movement and establishing the habit of regular exercise as parents model exercising for their kids. Children must be eight years old upon registration.

Thursdays 5:30-6:30 PM, November-May

Kids Only R.E.C.E.S.S  
Keeping exercise fun is the key to getting kids to stick with it. This program will focus on letting kids play diverse, fun games that encourage movement, team building and cooperative play based on the CATCH curriculum developed at the University of Texas. These classes focus on children working together to solve a problem or reach a goal while being physically challenged and keeping all kids moving as opposed to traditional games that often eliminate players. 

Limited to the first 15 kids, ages 8-11 years old
Tuesdays 4:30-5:30 PM, August-May

Healthy cooking and nutrition for families 
Parents and children cook quick and tasty recipes together. Parents are empowered to model healthy eating in a non-confrontational setting. Kids will pick up cooking skills to pique their culinary curiosity and learn recipes they can create with parent support. Families can plan to eat the healthy, balanced meals they have just created. Children must be eight years of age on the registration date and must be accompanied by at least one parent.

Limited to the first 5 families 
Thursdays 5:30-6:30 PM, August-May

Healthy cooking and nutrition for kids only
Cooking with kids aims to improve food literacy and acceptance of a greater variety of foods among youth through hands on curriculum involving cooking, tasting and peer-influence. The curriculum and menus will focus on exposure to fruits, vegetables and whole grains with an emphasis on tools and techniques that create the foundation for independent food preparation and culinary exploration. Take away materials will provide at home tips for parents to employ follow up lessons.

Limited to the first 10 kids, ages 8-12 years old
Mondays 5:00-6:00 PM, August-May

R.E.C.E.S.S. participants will be asked to confidentially complete brief questionnaires at the beginning, middle and end of each month to assess program success for knowledge retention and adoption of healthy habits.

Instructors include: Andre Grimes, BS Kinesiology MBA, CPT, Health and Wellness Coordinator at the JCC; Erin Dietrich RD, JCC Dietitian; Megan Daugherty, RD, JCC Dietitian; Katherine Matutes, Ph.D., CPT, RYT 200,  Director of Health and Wellness at the JCC. 

For more details, contact Katherine Matutes at 317-251-9467. 

Wednesday, July 23

Get more ZZZZZZZZ's if you're gaining weight

by JCC Association
Although research is still unfolding about the effects of sleep deprivation, it’s clearly linked to an increase in Body Mass Index (BMI). There are several theories to explain this connection, to name a few:

Ghrelin and Leptin: These opposing hormones play an active role in appetite and can get seriously imbalanced in a sleep-deprived body. When sleep slips away, Ghrelin (hunger stimulant) production increases while Leptin (appetite suppressant) decreases, leading to an increased appetite.

Cortisol: The secretion of this appetite regulator is compromised when sleep is lost, leaving the body on its own to determine whether it’s truly hungry. Most often, the body fails with this task and a person is left with a perpetual feeling of hunger. If the hunger is pacified with food, overeating and weight gain are generally the result.

Sleep Apnea
Sleep Apnea (periodic and brief closing of air passages) causes interrupted sleeping. This could translate to eight hours of shut-eye, but only four hours of actual sleep. Researchers theorize that this interrupted schedule produces a resistance to our degree-of-fullness signal where the stomach sends a message to the brain that it’s full, but the brain isn’t “taking messages” and results in overeating.

As Kenneth Wright of the University of Colorado’s Sleep and Chronobiology Laboratory stated, “… when people get insufficient sleep, it leads them to eat more than they actually need.” 
In fact, our carbohydrate craving increases by as much as 45%! It’s no wonder that when we fall below our individual sleep requirements, our chances of gaining weight can increase as much as 50%–70% depending on how much and how long we’ve been deprived. To exacerbate this problem, sleep loss may interfere with our body’s ability to metabolize carbohydrates, leading to heightened levels of blood sugar, excess insulin, and increased fat storage.
So, if you’re looking for the magic “pill” for weight loss, look no further than your “pill”ow and catch some ZzZzZzz’s!

Sources: WebMD, Huffington Post

Tuesday, July 15

Tips to shake up your diet routine

by Jane McIntosh, MA, CNS

Whether it's your workout routine or your diet, shaking things up a bit can be a good thing. 

When it comes to your diet, freshening things up can mean everything from expensive detoxifying diets to liquid fasting. 

And while it can be a good thing to change it up, some nutrition experts believe that many chosen methods may be unnecessary. 

To Pay…
In addition to detoxifying your system, paying for one of these diets can also wipe everything from your bank account. Although a “detox” may be alluring, these types of diets are not scientifically proven. Any time a person changes their dietary habits from poor to better choices, it’s natural to feel better and for the functions of the body to improve.

Or, Not To Pay? The Au Naturale Way
The body has an amazing detoxification system of its own that relies on your organs, cells, tissues and lymphatic system. The liver and kidneys filter impurities from the body as part of their normal functionality. Take care of these systems and enjoy the benefits of a natural body detox!

Tips for Enhancing your Body’s Natural Detox Function:

  • Choosing foods that are in their most natural state will give you the most benefits. This gives the body and organs a break from having to process and filter artificial ingredients and added sugars. 
  • Upon waking in the morning, squeeze a lemon in a glass of warm water and enjoy on an empty stomach. Lemon adds taste and Vitamin C.
  • Drinking water helps to flush impurities through your system. Speaking of water, fruits and vegetables have naturally high water content. 
Instead of ”detoxifying,”  try instead to think in terms of clean eating more often. Stock your fridge with lemon to add to water that you’re drinking, and while you’re at it, give the not-so-clean items the spring cleaning treatment!

Tate DF, Turner-McGrievy G, Lyons E, Replacing Caloric Beverages with Water or Diet Beverages for Weight Loss in Adults: Main Results of the Choose Healthy Options Consciously Everyday (CHOICE) Randomized Clinical Trial. Am J Clin Nutr; Mar. 2012; 95(3): 555-63.

Tuesday, July 8

Why Not Tweet to Your Health

by JCC Association

With today’s handy mobile devices and social media networks, connecting with others is becoming easier to do and enhancing our well-being. 

Translated, this means we’re feeling good about ourselves and the world around us – aka, enjoying life!

When we connect with others in a positive way, reactions take place between our minds and bodies. Our physiology reacts to what our eyes are seeing, our ears are hearing, and our heart is feeling, prompting our minds to produce positive thoughts and feelings based on these positive bodily experiences.

This is also works in the reverse direction: when the mind thinks positive thoughts, our physiology responds with less tension, lower heart rate and blood pressure, and “feel-good” hormones.

The benefits of connecting with others include:
·       A heightened sense of well-being
·       A high level of bodily functioning
·       Increased feelings of happiness, security, confidence
·       Increased emotional health through sharing with others
·       Increased sense of self-worth and purpose

Ways to connect:
·       Take time to give time: Take five minutes or fifty- depending on your schedule- and give your full attention to someone you care about. It’s a meaningful (and free) gift you can give. 
·       Quality time: Arrange to spend time sharing experiences with people you care about. You’ll create memories in the process!
·       Turn it off: Switch off the digital displays and play a game with the children, or just catch up with one another.
·       Make someone’s day: Smile or wave at someone whether you know them or not. It may just be what they need and it costs you nothing except a little courage!
·       Reach out and touch someone: Visit a friend or family member who needs support or company.
·       Lend a helping hand: Volunteer in your community or participate in local events. You’ll help those around you and expand your connections.

Social networks are not just about the influence others have on us, but also about the effects we have on others. Get connected today!

Sources:  National Health Services (http://www.nhs.uk), Abstract: Pleasure and Emotion: An investigation of Physiological Responses Emerged by Pleasant Stimuli, International Association of Societies of Design Research, 2009.