Girls enjoying the pool.

8 Reasons Why Losing Weight is Fun and NOT Impossible

It’s hard to force yourself to exercise and eat healthy when you are only focused on the end result. I want to lose weight, so bad! You might tell yourself. When you don’t see results immediately it can be hard to stay motivated.

Here are 8 kid-friendly reasons why losing weight can be a fun, exciting challenge. You will look back on this experience with pride when you are on the other side, I promise.

 

  1. Track your progress. Focusing on results can be discouraging, but if you keep a log of how much you exercise and what you weigh each week you will slowly be able to see some real results. Remember, drinking lots of water and eating low-sodium foods helps keep water weight down.
  2. Have a workout buddy. Having a friend for the gym, for a jog, or a Zumba class can help you motivate each other. It’s hard to say no when your friend texts you to go on a jog.
  3. Start a new hobby. Zumba classes, Yoga classes, running, Soccer, Football, and dance. There are so many awesome ways to get your heart pumping. Learn new soccer tricks on YouTube, practice Yoga at home, or join a team at school.
  4. It Feels Great. Ever heard of dopamine? It’s the chemical released in your brain when you laugh, smile, or receive a text from a friend. Imagine feeling like that all the time. Exercising regularly releases dopamine that makes you feel great – and boosts your confidence.
  5. Make new friends. Joining a team gives you the opportunity to make a lot of new friends. Teammates hang out with each other all the time. If you don’t like being super competitive there are others like you! Join an intramural team at school or in your community.
  6. Learn how to cook. At our weight loss camp we teach everyone how to make healthy, delicious meals. But it doesn’t have to stop there! YouTube has a lot of easy recipes you can learn how to make. There are also some great recipes you can check out on our blog. Cooking can be fun and they’re lots of chances to be creative.
  7. Go shopping. Walking around the mall can be a fun way to lose weight without even realizing it.  Studies show that walking for 45 minutes every day is important for losing weight, so make sure to check out all your favorite stores (and take the stairs!).
  8. Give your music some life. I love to run to music. Timing a stomp to the drop is exhilarating and there’s no better rush. Running, or walking to the beat makes you feel like you are composing the piece with every step you take.

 

If you try one or more of these tips losing weight shouldn’t feel like such a scary, daunting task. It can be fun. Just be consistent, drink lots of water, and eat healthy and you’ll start noticing weight loss is like a game and those lost pounds become points in your pocket.

12 Easy and Healthy Resolutions

The first step to achieving any resolution is to be realistic. Choosing attainable goals with small benchmarks help keep things realistic. Achieving intermediate benchmarks gives a sense of success and inspiration, and helps to curb getting overwhelmed. Start small with two or three goals. Pick the most important ones that will inspire you to stay on track.

A resolution form the heart is always more likely to succeed than one that others set for you. Rely on your friends and family to help support you on your way to your healthy resolutions, and vice verse. Emotional support and encouragement is a great source of motivation.

Below is a list of resolutions to help you on your way to your overall wellness goals. To make your resolutions stick choose goals that are important to your life and the life you want to create for yourself.

  1. Control portions – Make a fist, this is the average serving size. Portion control keeps your metabolism active and prevents overeating.
  2. Be active – Get out and take a walk or play in the park for 30 minutes a day. Moving around gets your heart rate up and can improve your overall health.
  3. Cut back on sodium – to decrease blood pressure and bloating.
  4. Increase consumption of antioxidants – to defend your body against free radicals. Free radicals have been proven to cause abnormalities in cells, and by consuming antioxidants you can increase your ability to fight off the bad things.
  5. Wear sunscreen – Wearing sunscreen protects your skin from premature wrinkles, sunburn and skin cancer. Most skin cancer comes from overexposure to the sun during childhood, so lather up and protect your lovely skin.
  6. Strength train – Adding strength training to your workout or daily healthy lifestyle increases your metabolism and helps build strong bones for the future.
  7. Unplug daily – In a world where we are always connected to our phones, computers, & tablets it is good to take a break and connect with those around you. Try to take at least 30-60 minutes a day to disconnect from all electronic devices.
  8. Hand write a note – Hand write a note to a friend or family member. In the world of digital this small gesture can make their day and yours.
  9. Get enough sleep – Give your body time to reset and recharge. Getting 8-9 hours of sleep per day can help you stay focused and feel more energized throughout the day.
  10. Take time to create or learn – carve out a portion of your day to focus on things that you enjoy and find stimulating and challenging. Use this time to do crafts that you enjoy, read or start a new hobby.

Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes

Often, Thanksgiving can lead to overindulging from grease base gravy to seconds of pumpkin pie. However, it doesn’t need to be that way! Break the cycle this year and serve wonderful, healthy dishes that don’t skimp on taste. Read on and use these healthy updates to traditional dishes for a new take on classic table staples.

Lemon-Garlic Roast Turkey & White-Wine Gravy – Use an organic or natural turkey to avoid the additives of a conventional supermarket turkey. This recipe uses fresh herbs and spices to minimize the need for fat saturated ingredients like butter, cream and salt.

The specs:

  • Makes: 12 servings, 3 ounces turkey & 2-3 tablespoons gravy each, plus leftovers
  • Active Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours 40 minutes (plus 24 hours brining time)

The Ingredients:

  • 10 cloves garlic, divided
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1 12-pound natural or organic turkey, (see Shopping Tip)
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh oregano leaves
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine, or dry vermouth
  • 1 14-ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth

Preparation:

  1. Crush 6 cloves of garlic and add to a very large stockpot. Stir in lemon juice, Worcestershire, salt and 4 quarts of cold water.
  2. Remove giblets from turkey and trim away any excess skin. Submerge the turkey in the brine and refrigerate for 24 hours. If the turkey is not fully submerged, turn it every 8 hours.
  3. Remove the turkey from the brine, rinse well and pat dry. Discard the brine.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  5. Place the remaining 4 cloves garlic, lemon zest, oregano, oil, pepper and 2 tablespoons of water in a food processor and pulse until it becomes a paste. (Alternatively, chop garlic, lemon zest and oregano on a cutting board until finely minced, then place in a small bowl and stir in oil, pepper and water.) Loosen the skin over the breast and thigh meat. Rub the paste all over the turkey, under the skin onto the breast meat and leg meat and a little inside the cavity. Tuck the wing tips under the turkey. Tie the legs together with kitchen string. Place the turkey breast-side down in a roasting rack set in a large roasting pan.
  6. Roast the turkey for 1 hour. Turn it breast-side up on the rack, add 1 cup water to the pan, and continue roasting 1 hour more. Baste the turkey with pan drippings, tent with foil and continue roasting, basting every 15 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer (inserted into the thickest part of the thigh without touching bone) registers 165°F, then roast 30 to 45 minutes more.
  7. Transfer the turkey to a large cutting board and let rest for 20 minutes before removing the string and carving.
  8. Pour any pan juices and fat into a large glass measuring cup and place in the freezer until the fat rises to the top, about 10 minutes. (Alternatively, pour the pan juices and fat into a fat separator then pour the defatted juices into a large measuring cup.) Whisk flour with 1/4 cup water in a small bowl.
  9. Set the roasting pan over two burners on medium heat. Add wine (or vermouth); bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits. Continue cooking until reduced, about 3 minutes.
  10. Remove the pan juices from the freezer, skim off the fat with a spoon and discard. Add the defatted juices and broth to the roasting pan; return to a simmer, whisking often. Cook for 1 minute, then whisk in the flour mixture and simmer until thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Pour the gravy through a fine-mesh sieve and serve with the turkey.

Maple-Roasted Sweet Potatoes – Roasting sweet potatoes is a tasty alternative to boiling and mashing them. As an added benefit, it is also easier!

The Specs:

  • Makes: 12 servings, about 1/2 cup each
  • Active Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

The Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces (about 8 cups)
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Arrange sweet potatoes in an even layer in a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish. Combine maple syrup, butter, lemon juice, salt and pepper in small bowl. Pour the mixture over the sweet potatoes and toss to coat.
  3. Cover and bake the sweet potatoes for 15 minutes. Uncover, stir and cook, stirring every 15 minutes, until tender and starting to brown, 45 to 50 minutes more.

Cranberry, Cherry & Walnut Marmalade – Go for fresh cranberries instead of canned as this limits preservatives and adds a nice crunch.

The Specs:

  • Makes: 4 cups
  • Active Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours (including cooling time)

The Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup port, or other sweet red wine
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup dried tart cherries
  • 1 12-ounce package fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 2/3 cup chopped walnuts, toasted (see Tip)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest

Preparation:

  1. Combine sugar, water, port (or wine), cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium nonreactive saucepan (stainless steel, enamel-coated or glass); bring to a boil. Add cherries and cook for 1 minute. Stir in cranberries and return to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until about half the cranberries pop, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  2. Stir in walnuts and orange zest. Let cool completely. (The marmalade will thicken as it cools.) Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Wild Mushroom Stuffing – Wild mushrooms make a great, rich tasting, base for a hearty and healthy take to traditional stuffing.

The Specs:

  • Makes: 10 servings, about 1 cup each
  • Active Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 3/4 hours

The Ingredients:

  • 10 cups day-old bread, crusts removed, cubed
  • 3 cups low-fat milk
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 shallots, finely diced
  • 2 cups finely chopped onions
  • 2 pounds chanterelle mushrooms or mixed wild mushrooms, stemmed, cleaned and coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Place bread in a large bowl and toss with milk. Let stand, tossing or stirring occasionally, until saturated.
  3. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a Dutch oven or large straight-sided skillet over medium heat. Add liver and cook, stirring once or twice, until browned, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.
  4. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and butter to the pan and heat over medium heat. Add garlic and shallots and cook, stirring often, until softened and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add onions and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until the mushroom have softened and the liquid released has evaporated, 8 to 12 minutes. Add to the bowl with the liver.
  5. Drain and squeeze the bread and add to the bowl with the mushroom mixture (discard any remaining milk). Add parsley, thyme, salt and pepper; stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. Stir in eggs. Transfer the stuffing to the prepared baking dish.
  6. Bake until heated through and golden on top, about 45 minutes.

Brussels Sprouts with Chestnuts & Sage – Perfect for freeing up valuable oven space as this dish can be done on the stove.

The Specs:

  • Makes: 12 servings, about 1/2 cup each
  • Active Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes

The Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped chestnuts, (about 4 ounces; see Tip)
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste

Preparation:

  1. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add Brussels sprouts and cook until bright green and just tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain well.
  2. Melt butter with oil and broth in a large skillet over medium heat. Add Brussels sprouts, chestnuts and sage and cook, stirring often, until heated through, 2 to 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Pumpkin Coconut Tart – Cut back on the carbs by making a pumpkin tart instead of a pie. This tasty creation pairs perfectly with a cup of chai and a warm fire.

The Specs:

  • Makes: 10 servings
  • Active Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 1/4 hours

The Ingredients:

CRUST

  • 1 1/4 cups white whole-wheat flour, (see Ingredient Note)
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted (see Tip)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 4 tablespoons cold reduced-fat cream cheese, (Neufchâtel)

FILLING

  • 1 1/2 cups canned unseasoned pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons dark rum
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup “lite” coconut milk

GARNISH

  • 1/3 cup unsweetened coconut chips, (see Ingredient Note) or flaked coconut, toasted (optional)

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat an 11-inch round or 8-by-12-inch rectangular removable-bottom tart pan with cooking spray.
  2. To prepare crust: Combine flour, almonds, 1 tablespoon sugar and salt in a food processor; process until the almonds are finely ground. Add butter one piece at a time, and then cream cheese by the tablespoonful, pulsing once or twice after each addition, until incorporated. Turn the dough out into the prepared pan (it will be crumbly), spread evenly and press firmly into the bottom and all the way up the sides to form a crust.
  3. Bake the crust until set but not browned, about 15 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.
  4. To prepare filling: Beat pumpkin, 3/4 cup sugar, rum, cinnamon, ginger and cloves in a large bowl with an electric mixer on low speed until blended. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until combined. Beat in coconut milk. Place the tart pan on a baking sheet and pour in the filling.
  5. Bake the tart until the filling is just set (the center may still appear soft, but will become more solid as it cools), 45 to 50 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool to room temperature. Serve room temperature or refrigerate until chilled. Remove the pan sides before slicing. Garnish with coconut, if desired.

There you have it! Some great twists on traditional dishes that will keep your guests on their toes and their taste buds tickled. For more guidance and recipe ideas see our Healthy Holidays Recipes.

All of these recipes came from eatingwell.com and more tips and tricks to making these delicious dishes can be found here and here.

Healthy Holiday Recipes

Setting a Healthy Holiday Table

It’s that time of year again to start planning your holiday meals. Whether you are hosting or heading to a friend or family member’s house with tasty dishes in tow, you are probably starting to think about what dish (or dishes) you are going to serve.  Here are some recommendations to serve up festive fare that is both light and delicious! No matter your traditions, these adored and time honored dishes can be made with less fat, fewer calories and a reduced amount of sugar. The best part is that these recipes skimp on fat, but not on taste!

Although there are plenty of holiday foods that are actually healthy and full of nutritional benefits, the problem is that we go about preparing them the wrong way. Adding cholesterol, fat and sugar to healthy foods is counterintuitive but common around the holiday season. If you prepare these holiday table staples in a healthy way and watch your portion size, you and yours will gain numerous nutritional benefits!

Turkey – Is an excellent, healthy source of protein. That is of course, if you prepare it properly and don’t take the deep fried and covered in gravy approach! A 3 to 4 ounce healthy serving of turkey is a great source of folic acid, vitamin B, zinc and potassium. These nutrients have been proven to help keep cholesterol down and protect against heart disease or cancer while providing a boost to the immune system. If you are watching your weight, stick to the white meat and skip the skin as this will save you hundreds of calories. The best news is that turkey will fill you up without all the calories. It is one of the best lean proteins and should be a staple of your holiday diet if weight loss and fitness are a goal. Recipe idea

Sweet potatoes – Are arguably some of the healthiest veggies around. However, most holiday recipes don’t exactly translate the healthy nature of this yummy vegetable. This holiday season, try roasting your sweet potatoes as it keeps the flavor without adding the fat. Sweet potatoes are full of fiber, vitamin A, potassium and phytochemicals and all help promote a health body while staving off arthritis and aging. These spuds are also very filling, saving the need for an overloaded plate or seconds! Recipe idea

Cranberries – Cranberry sauce is a go to garnish for many Americans during the holidays. However, most of us don’t realize that our antioxidant packed berries are pumped with sugar because of their less than sweet nature. Cranberries are naturally low in sugar, which has many recipes calling for large doses of added sweetener to combat bitterness. Avoid all that sugar by sticking to a healthier option like Stevia or maple syrup. Recipe idea

Stuffing – This starch rich side is often regarded as one of the holiday’s most fattening and filling dishes. However, at its heart it is satisfying side that just needs a makeover. With a few minor changes, stuffing can be made into a healthy holiday staple. Consider packing it with nuts, carrots, celery, and dried fruit to add a range of vitamins and a dose of fiber. In addition, substitute low sodium chicken broth or oil (coconut or olive) instead or butter. Recipe idea

Gravy – The quintessential Thanksgiving staple. Sadly, a single serving of homemade gravy can added 200 to 300 calories to your holiday meal. Rather than cutting the gravy altogether, instead opt for substituting ingredients. Using coconut oil instead of butter and almond milk instead of cow’s milk while eliminating the meat drippings altogether will help shave calories from your holiday gravy. Upgrade your gravy with these substitutes or cut half the fat with this recipe. Recipe idea

Bread – Do we really need more carbs on our holiday plates? Probably not. Between stuffing and potatoes, do we really need rolls that are slathered in butter? Instead, opt for a crisp and flavorful flatbread that doesn’t require a creamy spread. Recipe idea

Potatoes – This simple way to cut carbs will have your guests wanting the recipe! Try this mashed cauliflower dish as a fantastic substitute to traditional spuds. This is a great way to avoid the food coma that can be caused by over indulging in copious amounts of Thanksgiving Day carbs. With a dish so tasty, your guests will be hard pressed to believe they are eating cauliflower instead of potatoes! Recipe idea

Pumpkin – Let’s be honest as nothing says Thanksgiving quite like pumpkin pie. This heart-healthy veggie is packed with vitamin A and rich in fiber. A big plus is that pumpkins are naturally moist, so you don’t need to add a lot of unhealthy ingredients to make this dish tasty. Substitute almond milk for cow’s milk and egg whites whenever possible. Cut back or even eliminate white processed sugar and opt for Stevia instead to provide a healthy twist on a classic Thanksgiving dessert.  Recipe idea

Take some stress out of holiday planning by ensuring that the meals you prepare are healthy and filling while maintaining personal traditions. Remember that by looking at food from a healthy perspective, you will be able to make it through the holidays without wishing you hadn’t had that last piece of pie!

The holidays are a time to indulge, but do it the right way. Indulge in love, laughter, time with friends and family, and perhaps one extra side of your favorite dish.

How To Make Running Fun

Stay the course and get in stride! Continuing a healthy fitness routine doesn’t require a gym membership or fancy gear and over the top classes. All anyone needs is a desire to improve themselves and a great way to keep fitness in your daily routine is running. Running might not be on the top of everyone’s go to fitness routine, but it should be.

Running solo isn’t typically considered the most exciting or motivating way to work out, but there is a solution, or solutions rather. Here is a list of things to do when running to break up, what some think is monotonous.

  1. Make a Race Out of it – For example, when you see a car coming, increase your speed until it passes you. If you aren’t near traffic, compete against yourself by timing the amount of time it takes you to run to and then from a fixed spot. This is a great way to set small goals for yourself by seeing if you can shave some time off your return trip. 
  2. Smile – Seriously, smile while you tread. Putting on a happy face embodies the “fake it til you make it” mentality. This might sound ridiculous, but studies show that through the simple act of smiling you can actually improve your mood (even if smiling is the last thing you feel like doing). Researchers at the University of Kansas asked subjects to submerge their hands in ice water. Half of the test group they asked to smile, the other half remained straight faced. The smiling group showed faster drop in heart rates after the test. Whereas the other, non-smiling, group took longer for their bodies to recover from the stress of the freezing water. The researchers concluded that smiling was a helpful coping mechanism for stressful situations. Running is beneficial in a number of ways, but it is still a source of stress on your body. 
  3. Become an Action Hero – No, you don’t need a bat cave or cool gadgets, all you need is a little imagination. Not many things beat boredom like turning yourself into a comic book hero, enter free running (or Parkour). Free running revolves the most efficient way to move from one place to another, no matter the obstacle. This is a great way to forget about looking cool or normal and is a wonderful way to express yourself without fear of embarrassment. Some key advice is to start small, jump over a puddle or a log. But think big in terms of energy, embody your inner super hero (anyone that looks at you awkwardly is just impressed or fascinated). If you enjoy it, consider taking a class where you will learn safe techniques for advancing your newly found craft. 
  4. Run with your Dog – Research shows that dog owners are more likely to make healthier lifestyle choices than their non-dog owner counterparts. Dog just want to have fun and there are many breeds that make excellent running mates. A dog’s enthusiasm can be contagious, so let it inspire you to take on that challenge of the extra mile! Say you are pup-free, no worries, ask a friend if you can start training with his. Better yet, ask him to join you. A good rule of thumb is that most dogs, like people, need to ease into running longer. 
  5. A Different Method of Running – Skip, hop or jump your way into a fitness routine! Swap out your traditional running intervals with these playful moves. Not only is it fun, these movements help build bone density, improve agility and coordination and increase your cardio intensity. Plus, is it possible to feel badly while skipping? I think not. 
  6. Get your Social on – Run with a group or get involved in a running club. This is a great way to not only learn new routes, but is a great way to meet running buddies that will help you keep accountable for your fitness goals. If there aren’t any running clubs near you, create one with family and/or friends. 
  7. Run to Your Favorite Music – Sometimes it is challenging to push ourselves outside of our fitness comfort zone. When you run to music, it helps you focus on the beat rather than the run itself. For an extra dose of awesome, create your own inspirational running play list. 
  8. Run for a Cause – it is as simple as that. Find a cause that you feel passionate about and run for them, this is a good place to start Crowdrise. Crowdrise allows you to raise money for any cause! Plus, you can get a team together to make it more fun. 
  9. Walk – Remember to cool down after you run. This gives your legs a chance to recover before you come to a complete halt. This is a good practice while on your run as well. Every few minutes take short walking breaks.     

Gear up! Running, as mentioned earlier, can put some stress on your body, especially your legs. So it is important to have the right kind of gear to keep your body safe. Make sure you have proper shoes, clothing and compression gear. Though compression gear isn’t necessary for a great run, compression socks and leg wear can help support your legs, keeping them strong and healthy.

Remember, start slow. It is awesome to start a new workout plan and to be excited about the next step, but don’t push yourself beyond your limits. Push yourself to beat your goals and continue to set new goals for yourself, but don’t go so hard that you cause yourself injury and setbacks. Happy striding!

Family Weight Loss Camp

Perhaps you would like to get fit with the family. Enrolling in a family weight loss camp provides guidance and inspiration for kids and adults alike. Our camp is a great way to make a healthy lifestyle part of your routine. Our family programs are structured, but there are plentiful options to add customization in order to create a unique family fitness plan. Everyone in your family will be put on a healthy meal plan, as well as participate in nutrition and cooking classes. Along with learning these healthy new recipes, you will have fun in the kitchen with family!

Get the most out of the rest of your summer by cultivating healthy habits in your family. This task might seem overwhelming, but here at Camp Pocono Trails we are there to help establish healthy and attainable goals for you and your family. By creating a supportive environment and making your family’s health a priority you’re instilling values that you all will carry throughout life.

Our Camp Pocono Trails Family Camp includes all the great activities and facilities that are offered through our summer programs. These great facilities and activities include our private lakefront, two heated outdoor pools, zipline, climbing center, sports, arts, drama, weight training and much more. The Family programs are designed to leave room for choice as families are able to sign up for activities throughout the day.

At Camp Pocono Trails, we help families create a backbone for a lifestyle that is both healthy and engaging. It is well known that if something isn’t fun, the odds of engaging in the task are slim. We give families the health and fitness tools to build on; but it is up to the family and the individuals to keep it up after weight loss camp is done. Here are some tips to remaining healthy long after you and your family leaves weight loss camp:

Getting the Family involved after Weight Loss Camp:

  1. Take a Walk: Build walking into your daily schedule.
  2. Have a Dance Night: Make it something that your children will look forward to. For example, create a disco night and invite the neighbors over to share in the fun. The kids can dress up and boogie down all while dancing their way to fitness.
  3. Make Household Chores a Game: This largely depends on the age of your children, but creating a game around simple cleaning tasks is a great opportunity to get them moving while helping out along the way. For instance, have your children save their toys from the lava (floor) by putting them safely into the toy box.
  4. Sneak Workouts into Other Activities: This is probably the easiest way to get small amounts of exercise into every day. For example, take the stairs instead of the escalator, pick up your kids from school by parking a few blocks away and walking to meet them, or park far away from the door at the super market or mall.
  5. Make TV commercials into Fitness Breaks: Invent fun names for basic exercises like princess crunches, or superhero push-ups.  Commercials last about 12 minutes per hour, so try to maximize that time by creating short little routines that will benefit the whole family.
  6. Weekly Activity Night:  The activities that you choose should reflect your children’s age and skill level. Don’t choose an activity that is too challenging or not challenging enough. There is no need for unnecessary frustration. For younger children, consider creating a game where they act out the specific actions of an animal, or a relatively simple obstacle course. For older children, have them participate in an activity that requires more hand eye coordination and dexterity.
  7. Get Fit While Giving Back: Choose (or have your child choose) a cause that resonates with the family. Select from causes that have events in your area and that welcome children. For inspiration, check out some of these charities; Breast Cancer, Metal Illness or Leukemia & Lymphoma.
  8. Have Fun with Yard Work: In the Spring/Summer, have your children help you with planting and watering flowers. As the cooler months move in, have them help with raking the leaves and shoveling snow. Remember to make these activities a game, not a chore. For example, have fun getting messy in the dirt, jump in big piles of leaves and make snow angels. Play outdoors whenever possible.

Just a few tweaks to your family’s current routine and everyone will be on their way to the healthiest versions of themselves. Remember the health guidelines provided in our Family Camp and make them work for your family. Each family is unique and should structure their fitness activities according to a schedule that works best for them. Get everyone involved and create a schedule that is unique to your family!

Camp Pocono Trails Post Camp for campers from 8/21-8/28

Help your children continue their summer fitness goals with Camp Pocono Trails Post Camp happening August 21st through the 28th. This special addition to our summer program will offer a “flex program” in which campers will have the ability to design their own schedule. Campers are still required to choose two of our exceptional fitness activities as well as participate in our wellness classes. Like any other session at Camp Pocono Trails, this program will further instill the priceless values that help shape the foundation for your child to grow into a healthy adult.

Camp Pocono Trails has a private lake front, swimming pools, tennis courts, soccer fields, an archery range, a climbing wall, an obstacle course, an indoor hockey rink, beach volleyball courts and so much more! There is always something that will speak to each camper and their individual interests. Along with our awesome fitness activities, Camp Pocono Trails also has an arts and crafts studio, miniature golf course, campfire get-togethers, camp newspaper reporting and more!

New Image Camps provides our campers with the tools to maintain a healthy lifestyle, but campers always need support and positive reinforcement to attain their lifelong goal of a healthy weight. It is very easy to slip back into old habits, due to the ease of a lifestyle becoming one of convenience instead of fitness and weight loss. Help your child continue to succeed with their fitness goals by focusing on these seven steps to healthier living.

Great Ways to Keep Healthy After Camp:

  1. Eat Well: Eating a variety of foods gives the body the nutrients it needs to function. It is important to eat mainly fruits and veggies and to limit the amount of meat consumed. When eating meat, stick to organic, wild and grass fed animals.
  2. Drink More Water: Water helps to flush metabolic waste from the body to keep the metabolic system functioning. Sometimes, the body can think that it is hungry when it is actually thirsty. When possible, try to drink purified water. Tap water often contains chemicals like chlorine and fluoride.
  3. Sleep: Depending on age, most school-aged children need 10 to 11 hours of restful sleep a night. To help get restful sleep, eliminate the amount of light in the room or wear an eye mask.
  4. Exercise:  Find the right routine and stick to it. Try to alternate between an aerobic workout and one that improves flexibility (such as yoga or dance).
  5. Listen to Body Clues: When there is pain, stop the activity. When full, stop eating. Be mindful of the clues your body is sending! Remember that nobody knows your body better than you!
  6. Keep your mind Limber: Reading, solving puzzles and playing strategy games help to improve memory and mental acuity.
  7. Limit Screen Time: The more time you spend sitting down, the less time you spend doing fun and active things. Try to limit screen time to 2 hours per day. This doesn’t count computer time used for school related tasks, but it does include time with a tablet, video games, and watching TV.

The steps above provide general recommendations and steps to a lifelong goal of health and weight loss. Whether for yourself, your children, or your family, the tips above contain great advice for a healthy, active lifestyle with the goal of maintaining a normal weight.

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