Holiday Health Tips from FLVS Students

holiday healthAs our students, parents, educators, and staff prepare for Winter Break, we are excited to feature two articles from our student newspaper, News in a Click, about staying healthy over the holidays.

Thank you to student writers Meera Radhakrishnan and Cristi McKee for sharing these exercise tips and winter superfood suggestions! 

How Much Exercise Do We Need?

With the holidays coming up, we all want to look and feel our best to enjoy our time with friends and family, look great in holiday pictures, and eat delicious holiday food. In addition to getting good nutrition and sleep, exercising effectively will keep you in shape for the holiday season, and grant you many long-term health benefits as well.

Although exercise needs might vary from person to person, there are a couple of standard guidelines for exercise that will keep your health on track. For children, federal guidelines recommend that you get at least an hour of physical activity every day. During this time, you should be including various types of exercise, including vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise (at least three days per week), strength training exercises (at least three days per week), and bone-strengthening exercises (also at least three days per week).

Guidelines for adults ask for a smaller time commitment, but of course only advise the bare minimum. Adults are recommended to get about two and a half hours of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week, as well as muscle-strengthening activities at least two days each week. However, greater amounts of exercise can bring greater health benefits.

There is a wide variety of exercises you can do to fulfill your weekly exercise requirements, and there’s always something you can find to fit your interests. These include walking, biking, swimming, jogging, hiking, jumping rope, aerobics classes, and any other activities that require physical movement. You can even squeeze in 10-minute bouts of exercise throughout the day to reach your requirement.

Five Winter Superfoods to Try

With all of the pumpkin-flavored coffee and maple-flavored cookies and cakes everywhere, it’s hard to eat healthy snacks instead of indulging in all of that wintery goodness. But don’t worry, you don’t have to stop eating maple/bacon flavored sugar cookies; you can just supplement with some superfoods!

Squash – Squash comes in all sorts of varieties you can try, such as spaghetti squash, butternut squash, Hubbard squash, and acorn squash. Squash is especially good for you because it contains a lot of Vitamin A.

Apples – Whether you eaten straight from the fridge or baked into a tart or pie, apples, which are full antioxidants, are extremely good for you.

Cranberries – You can eat cranberries fresh or dried; both are delicious! Adding them to muffins or cookies is a fun way to get the Vitamin C, E, and fiber cranberries provide.

Pumpkin – Pumpkins are not only for jack-o’-lanterns! In these holiday months, you can find pumpkins almost anywhere. It’s a good thing pumpkins contain B vitamins and are a great source of potassium!

Sweet potatoes – Used in sweet potato pie for the holidays, sweet potatoes are a great source of iron and Vitamin A. You can eat sweet potatoes in many forms: fries, pies, and just as they are!

Make sure to try at least one of these fall superfoods this year. Who knows, you might end up having a penchant for sweet potato fries that you never knew about!

“How Much Exercise Do We Need” by Meera Radhakrishnan, Grade 12

“Five Winter Superfoods to Try” by Cristi McKee, Grade 9

References:
http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20307323_2,00.html
http://www.shape.com/healthy-eating/diet-tips/12-fall-superfoods-you-can-t-miss



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