News Room

Summer’s almost here, and that means active kids. I love to see kids swimming and diving at the Aquatic Center here in Fort Atkinson, boating down the Rock River, smacking tennis balls and riding bikes. Those growing bodies need lots of exercise to stay fit – and they also need plenty of cool, refreshing drinks to keep going in the heat.  

These days, it’s difficult to walk into a convenience store without confronting a big display of sports drinks and energy drinks. Marketing aimed at children and teens has become so intense that the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) in a May 29, 2011 report encourages physicians to discuss the use of these drinks with their patients during annual physicals.

Are the drinks a good idea? Probably not. First, let’s look at energy drinks. These are marketed under names such as Monster, Red Bull and 5 Hour Energy. They are full of stimulants and do not belong in the diets of children or adolescents.

Sports drinks are a somewhat different story. These beverages (Gatorade is one example) may contain carbohydrates, minerals and electrolytes, and are intended to replenish what’s lost during exercise. These drinks can be beneficial for young athletes during and after a tough workout, but are unnecessary for the average child engaged in routine physical activity. The bottom line is that sports drinks can add significant calories and contribute to weight problems in children.

The very best choice and the one I offer my own children? A tall, cold glass of ice water.

Tags: , , ,

When you’re planning your next vacation, you’re thinking about where to stay, what to eat and what to do. You’re probably not thinking about when to run, where to walk or what gyms are available.

It’s hard to make time for exercise in our daily lives and even more so when you’re on vacation. However, if you do take a 2-3 day break (sometimes even more!) it can feel impossible to get back into the swing of things.

 Fitness experts believe that taking no more than 1-2 days off in a row will keep you in the fitness mode. But when planning a vacation, you can’t take a Zumba class with you and your treadmill will not fit in the overhead compartment, so find out what is available where you are going. 

Are you a member of a gym? Do they affiliate with other clubs around the area you are visiting?  Many places have away programs such as the YMCA, Curves and Snap Fitness – just to name a few. 

Are you going to a hotel?  Most hotels have a fitness center and some resorts even offer fitness classes for their guests. You never know who maybe in downward dog on the yoga mat next to you or where they will be from; you could make some interesting new friends!  If your hotel doesn’t have a fitness center, they may contract with a local gym to offer free guest passes.

If you’re in a beach area, take a walk or run along the beach. Camping? Go for a hike! On a long road trip? Make pit stops at places like a zoo where you can get some walking in. Too much time on a plane? While you’re waiting at the terminal, take a few laps through the gates. Grab your carry-on luggage for added resistance!

If all else fails, take your workout shoes and go for a walk through the area you are visiting. Always be aware of your surroundings. Take a cell phone, don’t go alone and make sure someone knows where you are and when you’ll be back. A long walk through a local neighborhood will give you a different flavor of the city you are visiting.  Also, don’t focus on the “workout” but instead just on being active. That way, you won’t have to feel guilty about that Crème Brule you ordered last night at dinner!

Tags: , , , ,