By: Ashley Hillman
Community Collaborations Director
Change often scares me. I’m quite fond of my routines and my structure and of the way I’ve always done things. (It works, right?! Why change it?) Stepping outside of that comfort zone sometimes makes me anxious. I often forget that it’s not until I DO step out of my comfort zone that life becomes more full, more meaningful and rich—very rich.
My husband and I took a trip to Guatemala a couple of years ago to do some volunteer work, and neither of us speaks Spanish very well. Not very well at all, actually. As the plane was landing in Guatemala City, I remember thinking, “Have we made a mistake?” While it most definitely wasn’t the most relaxing trip, it was by far the most eye-opening, humbling trip I have ever taken. The experiences that I hold near to me from that trip have helped shape my worldview and have enriched my life in a way that staying at home never would have.
UWSL has embarked on a transformation that is opening new doors for more meaningful and aligned collaboration within our community—providing fertile ground for growth and change. This is different from the way UWSL has done business in the past, and with most new ventures, it can be a bit uncomfortable. I don’t think challenging the status quo has EVER been easy. But then I think about what our lives would be like if the status quo had never been challenged, and that scares me even more.
Just as trying falafel for the first time or maybe training for a triathlon or even learning a new language can be frightening or daunting, pushing that comfort zone has amazing impact on an individual. UWSL’s transformation to commit wholeheartedly to a collective impact strategy—to not only help a child beat the odds but to improve the odds for ALL children—can have an amazing impact on entire communities. It’s a step into something that may be a bit unfamiliar and perhaps even a little uncomfortable, but the results might just blow our minds! I’m ready to take a deep breath and to see just where this particular venture and challenging of the status quo might take us…I think it could be life-changing.
Unplug & Play is not a week intended to snub TV, computers, or our phones. There are many great ways that technology can help us stay active… love that Wii bowling! Unplug & Play week is more about making lifestyle changes to encourage healthy habits that lead towards a better life for all. We want individuals, families, and children have the tools they need to succeed in school and life. Eating right, drinking more water, spending time outside playing, and limiting TV time are pretty simple steps to start on the path towards a successful and healthy life.
Parent Tip: Find creative ways each week to keep your family healthy and active. Plan family fun days, take walks after dinner, learn something new together as a family, prepare healthy snacks and meal plan… there are many ways to help your family. Start off small, and get creative!
Kid Tip: Talk to your parents about start a walking school bus or a bike train so you can get exercise on your way to school.
Daily Challenge: Keep going! Healthy habits take time to work into your routine. Every day try to challenge yourself to take one more step towards a healthy lifestyle. Today plan out the steps you will take next week. Make a goal and with a little effort you will reach it!
Cheers to you, and a happy healthy future!
DID YOU KNOW … “Snacking while watching TV can lead to overeating.”
Many people do not realize what they are eating while sitting in front of the TV. People are more likely to eat unhealthy when in front of the TV because they just are not paying attention. If you are going to eat in front of the television you need to make sure that you have healthy options and regulate portion sizes before your show or movie begins so that you are aware of what you are consuming.
Parent Tip: Parents and caregivers play an important role in teaching kids healthy behaviors. It is suggested that parents separate snack time and TV time. Overeating can easily happen when kids are camped out in front of the TV.
Kid Tip: Did you know water, fruits, and veggies have super powers? Its true! Water, fruits and veggies help your body and mind to be strong and healthy. They act much like a super hero… zooming around inside protecting your immune system, eliminating danger, and giving you the fuel you need to be great! Drink lots of water today and try a new fruit or veggie.
Daily Challenge: Today try to eat only healthy snacks. If you start by preparing healthy snacks at the beginning of your day you will be all set. A snack size bag of popcorn, some veggies and humus, fruit, or even a small piece of dark chocolate are good choices for when you feel the need for a snack but want to be more healthy.
*Statistics found here
DID YOU KNOW …
“In a study of preschools (ages 1-4), a child’s risk of being overweight increased by 6% for every hour of television watched per day. If a child had a TV in his or her bedroom, the odds of being overweight jumped an additional 31% for every hour watched”
The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that parents limit their child’s TV time to 1-2 hours daily. Spending excessive amounts of time in front of the television leads to a sedentary lifestyle, which is harmful not only physically but mentally as well. Kids like to spend time watching TV because the shows are fun. Help your kids find joy and fun in other activities that are good for their physical well being.
Parent Tip: Set healthy boundaries for your kids. Start by charting your family’s current TV intake. Talk as a family about the amount of time you spend in front of the TV and set a TV budget. Involve your kids in the conversation and make a family goal.
Kid Tip: Use commercials as a time to move! See how many times you can walk up and down the stairs, jog in place, do jumping jacks, or challenge your siblings and/or parent to a sit-up or push-up contest.
Daily Challenge: If you don’t have time for 30-60 minutes at the gym try 10 minutes of activity throughout your day. You can walk the stairs in your office, stretch, wall sits, or push-ups or sit-ups using your office chair. It is just important that you are active for 10 minutes.
*Statistics found here