End of Summer

Posted 08/16/2013 | By HealthCorps

This summer, HealthCorps coordinator Tenaj Ferguson is blogging about her experience at Camp Pennbrook. You can read her first post here, the second post here, third post here, fourth post here and fifth post here.

This is her final post of the summer. Thanks Tenaj for your hard work!

The last official HealthCorps lesson for the summer at Camp Pennbrook ended on a really active note. We have already learned a lot about nutrition — everything from MyPlate, recommendations, reading a nutrition label, learning appropriate serving sizes, choosing healthy beverages and planning meals. We came full circle and talked about the four factors of fitness and working out weekly. This lesson came right on time, the girls now have relevant questions about their fitness. Many of the girls want to continue to work out and stay active throughout the year at their respective homes.

After our ladies have worked so hard for weeks at camp, we are all invested in supporting their progress at home. Each girl has accomplished personal best physical feats because of the supportive, active and uplifting environment of our camp and program. The girls’ concerns of returning home and having to work out alone or without the group motivation are valid, so I wanted to educate them and provide tips for them to keep their fitness momentum going strong all year long.

The girls participated in the exercise card game. This game was a classroom highlight and many of the girls raved about wanting to play this game at home and wanting to share the game with friends. The exercise card game requires no equipment and incorporates the four factors of fitness.

  • Cardiovascular Exercise—type of exercise that increases your heart rate
  • Stamina Training—type of cardiovascular workout that is intense. It gets your heart rate up and is an endurance exercise.
  • Strength Training/Weight Resistance—type of exercise that builds muscle and burns calories, then fat.
  • Flexibility—part of exercising and maintaining the body.

How to play:

Use all four card suits (hearts, diamonds, spades, clubs)

Separate all card numbers 2-7 from pack

Shuffle cards and place facedown in the center of circle

Pick a card and add 10 to the number – ex 2 of hearts, this represents 12 seconds or repetitions of cardio. 

Select an exercise that matches the symbol and compete for designated amount of time.

Continue to allow each player to select cards and perform exercises as a group.

Heart – Cardio
Diamond – Stamina
Spade – Strength
Clover – Flexibility

The exercise card game is a tool that can help the girls to find it easier to workout weekly. Today’s young people as many of them will agree have jam-packed schedules that they wrestle to coordinate with their parents’ similarly jam-packed schedules. Exercises and activities that they can do at home or in open space are ideal to provide easy opportunities for them to stay active. Other great ways to workout weekly include participating in team sports or activities in and out of school, such as dance classes, basketball, soccer, volleyball, tennis, and softball. Some of our students can only participate in physical activities outside of a gym because of widespread age restrictions at recreation centers. Other great ways to workout weekly include virtual fitness games and sticking with old classics such as jump rope.

The girls were provided with a blank weekly schedule and were encouraged to organize a realistic weekly workout schedule that they can implement when they go home. I was excited to see how many girls took this activity seriously and sought advice and confirmation about weather their schedule seemed right for their fitness goals and to maintain health and fitness.

Now the girls are equipped with the pivotal nutrition knowledge and fitness basics to return home feeling more confident and empowered to engage in healthy behaviors and to work towards exercising healthy practices daily.

A word from Program Manager Sara Halper:

This was the first opportunity HealthCorps University had to work with an organization such as Camp Pennbrook. Through what Tenaj did and HCU’s mission, young women gained knowledge and support on how to achieve and sustain their wellness goals. While HCU Camp Pennbrook has closed for 2013, over the next year HCU is launching two great projects – Rosemont High School, in Sacramento, CA, will be launching a health and wellness academy with the HCU curriculum as a cornerstone of their programming, and the Drug Abuse Community Coordinating Office in Tampa, Florida, will be utilizing the HCU curriculum to further meet the needs of in-home and school counseling sessions.

There’s more on the horizon, so please stay tuned to the HealthCorps social media and website to see what’s next for HCU!

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