Fitness activity ideas

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National Nutrition Month®
"Food & Fitness: Health for a Lifetime" is the theme for the first National Nutrition Month® (NNM) of the new millennium.  ADA says this should serve as a call to action that challenges Americans to take responsibility for their food, nutrition, and physical activity habits. Here are ideas for you to present this call to action.
1) Bumper sticker wisdom
Add a health message to your office door or as a signature in your email messages:
Use the NNM theme, or other short slogan such as:
•  Give peas a chance
•  Got spinach?
•  Good nutrition is our ambition
2) NNM greetings.
Postcards are inexpensive greetings and online cards are free. Take a look at our new free electronic greeting cards at Send one of our delicious recipe or nutrition greeting cards to your clients and colleagues. This is a great way to promote yourself and show that you care.
3) Stairwell Descent to Good Health
Everyone knows that it is healthier to take the stairs instead of the elevator yet most buildings have empty stairwells and crowds waiting for the elevator. Make taking the stairs fun.
Post signs next to the elevator telling people that if they took the stairs from here down to the first floor how far they can go and what an accomplishment that would be. Compare your stairway to the 354 steps to the crown of the Statue of Liberty. Somehow it is more impressive to walk  1/2 the length of the Statue of Liberty than it is to walk from the 10th floor.
4) Race to the copier
Make an office building or campus grounds rally. Decorate the hallways or sidewalks from building to building like a road race. The desk to fax machine to mail room slalom can show how simple acts such walking add to fitness. Have a marked trail and some fitness stops offering low calorie drinks, bottled water and fruits and veggies to participants. If you live in a cold weather climate make that drink hot apple cider or citrus tea. Show them the value of eating a variety of foods by serving new and unusual veggies like jicima and a dip or slices of star fruit.
5) Start with just one step...
A 50 foot walk from the lot to the main entrance can be announced with a poster stating "Congratulations. Walking to and from your car to work  is the equivalent of walking  almost 5 miles each year." Let's do the math:
Multiply 2 trips per day, times 5 trips per week, and 50 work weeks a year equals 500 trips per year. The 500 trips per year x 50 feet walked gives you 25,000 feet per year which divided by 5280 feet in a mile means just car to office is walking 4.7 miles per year! This is more fun if you can personalize it. " In her 15 years of service, Jane Doe has walked 71 miles just going to her car and back. Congratulations Jane!"
6) Activity Gallery
ADA says, "Food and physical activity choices are personal." Why not create a fitness gallery? Have a photo contest and ask people to demonstrate their favorite activity. Image a display of bowling teams, aerobics classes and even the company picnic volley ball game.  For children this can be a coloring contest. The computer savvy can ask for entries in a jpeg format and post them on a website.
7) Surf the web
Point your browser to for a listing of food related websites. On the sites from this link you will find pictures, recipes and all the information you need to demonstrate how healthy food enhances health. Did you know that one blood orange has 3 grams fiber and 120% of the USRDA for vitamin C? That info is on in the Frieda website at The Produce for Better Health Foundation site at has great fruits and veggie info too.
8) Easy Ideas
Use empty food packages to make a bulletin board or display that shows your clients easy meals. Here are a few ideas:
• Stir Fry - Use a frozen stir fry veggie bag and box of instant brown rice. For seasonings, use light soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger (dried or root) and garlic (powder or cloves).
• One Pot Chili - use canned beans, instant brown rice, canned no-salt tomatoes and frozen corn packages. Add some seasonings: oregano, garlic powder, chili powder and cumin.
• Veggie Burgers - Use empty boxes of veggie burgers, photos of veggies and whole grain buns or pitas.
• Pasta Primavera - Use pasta packages, pasta sauce and empty frozen veggie packages.
• Take out - use local menus and circle healthy choices or give healthy ordering instructions.
• Salads - use empty “ready” packs of lettuce and vegetables to show how easy these can be.
By Carol Coughlin, RD

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