12. Before and After

Even though I have only been doing this project for about a month, I feel like I have had a transformation. Because of the changes I have made to my lifestyle, I feel healthier, happier, and more motivated. I used to find it hard to get up in the morning and get everything done that I needed in the day, but now I feel like I can get things done more efficiently. I have enjoyed trying making healthy meals with foods that I would have never expected I would have enjoyed. I also think that all of the physical activity I have been getting has made me have a more positive attitude towards things, because I am not sitting around being lazy all of the time.

Healthy living is something I truly believe that could make a difference in a student’s life. If they see how healthy living has made me more positive and has made me feel more positive about myself, maybe that will encourage them to be the same. I know that kids struggle with obesity and self esteem issues. By providing a healthy lifestyle environment in the classroom, it could help to reduce these problems which could truly benefit the children.

I have enjoyed this project a lot. It is unlike any project I have ever done, and I have been lucky enough to learn a lot through people at the YMCA, friends and family, and the internet. From here, I plan on continuing this healthy living. I plan on continuing to get physical activity everyday (even if it is only a walk to and from work). I want to try more of the courses that the YMCA has to offer, like body blast. I want to continue finding recipes to try and testing out what new meals are like. Lastly, I want to look for more resources that provide healthy kid programs in the curriculum. I want ideas about how I can promote a healthy environment.

I have created a timeline that shows my progress through this project. Thank you for reading and following my journey through this healthy living project, and I hope it inspires you to give it a try!

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10. Healthy Recipes

A part of my project was to start eating healthier. I have always enjoyed eating fruits and vegetables, but I am someone who also enjoys snacking throughout the day. I started cutting back on my snacking, and have been eating three major meals a day, and a snack at night. It makes me feel better because I do not crave junk food like I would before. However, just eating fruits and vegetables was not enough for me. I decided that I wanted to look up different healthy recipes and make meals from them. I found 3 great blogs with lists of recipes for different meals and desserts:

1. Peanut Butter Fingers

2. The Meals

3. Fitnessista

These blogs have great ideas, and so far most of the recipes I have tried are delicious. My favourite recipe has been one for vegan chocolate raspberry cookies. Whenever I heard the word “vegan” being used when talking about food, I honestly thought it sounded gross. However, after making these cookies and trying them, they are my new favourite treat! Who knew something healthy could be so good!

Why are these recipes useful for me being a future educator? I know that on countless occasions my teachers would bring in treats for us to class. Cake, ice cream, cookies, you name it. I think that if I could bring in healthy snacks that are still tasty, it would encourage healthy eating for my students and improve their lifestyles!

8. Zumba

I went to my first zumba class at the YMCA, and it was a ton of fun! I almost forgot that I was working out. The instructor played music and stood in front of us all and we danced and followed along to the music. A lot of people think that there is no way dancing could be a workout (as I have heard people say to me about zumba class), but I was sweating the entire class. Not only was this class fun, but it also taught me something. It taught me that physical activity does not have to be a “chore”. It can be an enjoyable part of everyday. I think that it is important to teach students this so that they know that it can be fun to get physical activity, and that it does not always have to be revolved around running somewhere or lifting weights.

Here is a short clip of what a zumba class looks like, in case you do not know:

Zumba Class 

7. Be a Fit Kid

A lot of debates happen about whether or not health/ physical education should be part of the curriculum. I personally think that it should. I think that students need to be educated on how living a healthy lifestyle can improve their quality of life. I do agree when it is said that physical education should not only focus on doing activities like dodge ball or main stream sports like football and baseball, but I think that ensuring that students are offered the chance to participate in some sort of physical activity is important. Some students are not given the opportunity to participate in sports and activities outside of school, so giving the opportunity in school can make a great difference.

An article I found called Be a Fit Kid: Nutrition and Physical Activity for the Fourth Grade talks about how a fitness and nutrition program has been placed in the fourth grade curriculum in certain schools in the states. Since the program was successful, it has also been adapted and expanded for grades one to five, and they are currently trying to create one for universities. The goal of the program is to help students have exposure to a combination of nutrition education, physical activity, and heart-healthy cafeteria meals. By educating the students in these areas, it has a potential of reducing obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other lifestyle-related diseases.

I think that by implementing a program like this into all grade levels, it would provide students the opportunity to learn about topics that they may not have ever had the chance to be educated on, which can help them to live healthier lives. Parents can also be a part of the program so that it can be something that the whole family can take part in. The Kid’s Health website gives information on simple at home health tips that can be done to make a lifestyle healthier.

As a future educator, looking into having a curriculum based program is something I would like to do. Promoting a healthy lifestyle for my students and their family can be a simple, and rewarding thing.

6. Spin Class

My first spin class was tough, but a great time. I went for an hour and I was definitely sore the next day. Mike, the instructor, was amazing. He played up beat music that helped me to keep peddling to the beat, and had a fantastic plan set up for the entire class. He would tell us what to do during the class, and biked at the front so we could watch. I was able to adapt the class to fit my fitness level by changing the gears on my bike to make it less or more difficult. I plan on continuing to go to spin class every Tuesday. It is a great way to start off my day, and a great work out too.

I added this photo because I thought it was a funny joke! Kind of fit how I felt after the first day.

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