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The NC Recre8'er - is the Blog for NC Recreation and Parks Professionals. We will feature posts from NCRPA members and staff about all the latest news, insights and tips in our field and around the state. Topics will include but are not limited to: Health and Wellness, Outdoor Recreation, Athletics, Advocacy, Aquatics, Therapeutic Recreation, Special Events, Marketing, Parks and Greenways, Cultural Resources and more! If you are interested in being a guest blogger please contact Matt at NCRPA Matt@ncrpa.net or 919-832-5868. The opinions of The NC Recre8'er (NCRPA) blog contributors don't necessarily reflect the editorial position of North Carolina Recreation and Park Association as a whole.

 

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Getting to know the NCRPA Summer Interns!

Posted By Matthew Carusona, North Carolina Recreation and Park Association, Thursday, June 9, 2016

This Summer NCRPA is hosting two AWESOME interns!  We asked  Hana and Andrea.a few questions to help our members get to know them. You can contact them at Hana@ncrpa.net or Andrea@ncrpa.net 

1. What has been the best part of your internship so far?

Andrea: The most interesting part of my internship so far has been getting to go and sit in on an NCRPA board meeting! It was a great way for me to see all the moving parts of NCRPA behind the scenes.

Hana: I enjoyed visiting different departments while helping with NCRPA's events. Going to these events gives me the opportunity to meet a diverse group of parks and recreation professionals.

2. What are you most excited about moving forward?

Hana: It would be learning about how different recreation and parks organizations in our state operate and gaining knowledge to help me in my career decisions for the future.

Andrea: I am most excited to help out at the Football Summit that is partnering with USA Football and the Carolina Panthers. 

3. One cool or interesting fact people may not know about you?

Andrea: I've gone waterfall hiking in Honduras for the past two years while on orphanage outreach trips!

Hana: The past year I have been traveling all across the United States on weekends facilitating youth activities as part of an internship with Project YES!

Tags:  Blogs  intern  Local Parks  National Recreation and Park Association  NC State  ncrpa  NCSU  NRPA  Organization  Parks  Programs  Recreation  WCU  Western Carolina  Youth Programs 

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Living Healthy is a Lifestyle

Posted By Colleen Dougherty, NC Recreation & Park Association, Monday, June 6, 2016
Updated: Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Happy Monday!

This is a bittersweet blog to write today! If you have not heard, I have officially completed my graduate assistantship with NCRPA and will be heading to Michigan to work as the Recreation Manager for the Huron Valley Recreation and Community Education Department. It has been an honor and joy working alongside NCRPA the past two years, where I have truly increased my personal knowledge of how to live a healthier and happier lifestyle. With that being said, I would love to discuss one of my favorite lessons learned during my time spent at NCRPA.

I think the best advice I have ever received was to not view living healthy as a chore but as a lifestyle. There is always a way to make eating healthy and working out regularly enjoyable and not a hindrance to your day. It all begins with the right mindset and a smart approach! An article written by HelpGuide.Org addresses three main concepts to break through any mental barriers you may have. First, you absolutely do not need to spend hours upon hours at the gym. A little exercise is better than nothing. Studies have proven even modest amounts of physical activity can positive impact your mental and emotional health. Secondly, be kind to yourself! Research has indicated that a little self-compassion increases the likelihood that you’ll succeed in any given endeavor. Have faith in your ability and learn from any unhealthy mistakes. And lastly, always check your expectations. It is impossible to make changes over night. Instead of obsessing over results, just focus on remaining consistent and in control. There will be improvements that come faster, such as improved mood and energy, but the physical appearance takes time. I believe that overcoming any mental obstacles is the first step in living a fuller and more complete life. So believe in yourself and make those changes.

Thank you to everyone I have had the pleasure of working with during my time in North Carolina. It was a great experience working with supportive and dedicated recreation and park practitioners. Best of luck!

If you would like more information regarding the Wellness Initiative, please email us or submit your ideas on the wellness site here: (matt@ncrpa.net;  http://www.ncrpa.net/?Wellnesssub)

Best,

Colleen

Tags:  NCRPA Wellness  Wellness Initiative 

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Summer is Coming!

Posted By Colleen Dougherty, NC Recreation & Park Association, Tuesday, May 31, 2016
Updated: Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Happy Tuesday!

I hope everyone had an enjoyable Memorial Day weekend! With a new month beginning tomorrow and another step closer to summer, this blog will discuss wellness activities in after school and camp programs.

After school programs and summer camps are some of the largest programs that recreation and park agencies run. Additionally, it is a wonderful place to introduce and teach children about healthy lifestyles. The NCRPA Wellness Toolkit provides some small changes that you can make to your program that could have a big impact on the health of your participants.

First, adding healthy eating! If you do have control over the purchase of food for your agency’s program, consider adding some fresh produce into your snack rotation. Such as cut up apples, blueberries, strawberries or watermelon! The healthy snack guidelines and using local produce in agency programming sections of the Wellness Toolkit can help you choose and find healthy food for your program participants.

Second, adding nutritional education. Afterschool programs or camps are a great way to add a short health lesson. You can establish a weekly theme about healthy lifestyles (water safety, sun protection, eating vegetables and fruit). You can even have a weekly healthy cooking class, creating snacks that are both healthy and delicious!

Lastly, make sure you add in plenty of physical activity. The Centers for Disease Control recommends that children get at least one hour of physical activity each day. You can create a policy that requires at least half an hour or one hour of activity for each day the program is offered. Check out the NCRPA Physical Activity webpage for additional information.

Your youth programs, whether it is summer or during the year, can become stronger by offering more opportunities to engage the youth, as well as providing healthy eating options. If you have youth program or healthy eating ideas, then please email us or submit them on the wellness site here: (matt@ncrpa.net, http://www.ncrpa.net/?Wellnesssub)

Colleen

Tags:  Wellness bulletin 

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National Physical Fitness and Sports Month

Posted By Colleen Dougherty, NC Recreation & Park Association, Monday, May 23, 2016

Happy Monday!

May is a month packed with various health awareness opportunities! Along with it being Global Employee Health & Fitness Month, it is also National Physical Fitness and Sports Month! This month is a great time to spread the word about the benefits of living a more active lifestyle.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services there are multiple benefits associated with physical activity ranging from children to older adults. A few examples of physical activity benefits include improving muscular fitness, bone health and heart health among children. Adults can also benefit from physical activity by lowering the risk of heart disease, type 2 disease, and some types of cancer. I can list plenty of other benefits, however we all know that physical activity can greatly improve anyone’s lifestyle!

So what can your department do? Spread the word about fun ways to get moving! Using social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest, you can encourage families in your community to take a walk in one of your local parks or register for a weekly outdoor program! Add additional information about physical activity to your monthly e-news or newsletters, tweet about benefits of physical activity and post pictures of community members being active during the month of May! There are plenty of ideas to get individuals motivated and exercising more during the summer months. For more information, be sure to check out NCRPA’s Physical Activity Programs webpage to gather more tips and advice. 

Please stay tuned for the next webinar tomorrow, Tuesday, May 24th at 1:00pm. The webinar will be hosted by Rob Smith of Garner Recreation and Cultural Resources. This webinar will discuss how communities and organizations are recognizing the importance of park and recreation professionals when implementing health and wellness programs in their communities. Rob will identify key community partners and look at ways to leverage combined resources to improve the health and well-being of community members. To register, click the following link: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2168615536455054082

Let’s continue to inspire our departments and communities to become active during the month of May.  If you have any ideas regarding National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, we would love to hear from you and your experience! Please email us or submit your ideas on the wellness site here: (colleen@ncrpa.net, http://www.ncrpa.net/?Wellnesssub)

Best,

Colleen

Tags:  Healthy Living  National Physical Fitness and Sports Month 

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National Bike Month

Posted By Colleen Dougherty, NC Recreation & Park Association, Monday, May 16, 2016

Happy Monday!

If you did not it know already, May is National Bike Month! National Bike Month is sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists and is recognized by communities across the country. Since 1956, the month of May has been dedicated to encouraging people to give biking a try.

However, biking is more than just learning how to ride. Biking is a great opportunity to preserve the environment, as well as your personal health. According to the League of American Bicyclists, the top reasons people decide to bike include: turning their commute into a workout, riding to help create a healthier community, riding to avoid traffic, and riding to enjoy a lifelong sport. All of these are great reasons and benefits that also lead to a more active lifestyle. 

So how can your department get involved during the last half of May? Beginning today, Monday, May 16th to Friday, May 20th, is National Bike to Work Week! Encourage team members to ride their bikes to work, or create a riding group for after work hours. A riding group is the same concept as a run group. Decide on a day, time, location and go ride. Another way is to create a challenge among your staff.  See how many miles your department can add-up during the next couple weeks. Gear up for Friday, May 20th, this day is the official bike to work day! Round-up the troops and ride to work.

Please stay tuned for the next webinar, Tuesday, May 24th at 1:00pm. The webinar will be hosted by Rob Smith of Garner Recreation and Cultural Resources. This webinar will discuss how communities and organizations are recognizing the importance of park and recreation professionals when implementing health and wellness programs in their communities. Rob will identify key community partners and look at ways to leverage combined resources to improve the health and well-being of community members. To register, click the following link: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2168615536455054082

We hope you will work with us continue to find innovative ways to inspire your communities to become more active. Create fun and engaging challenges to encourage your town to enjoy the warm weather by riding their bikes. If you have any ideas or programs involving Bike Month, then please email us or submit them on the wellness site here: (colleen@ncrpa.nethttp://www.ncrpa.net/?Wellnesssub)

Colleen

Tags:  Bike to Work  League of American Bicyclists  National Bike Month 

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Wellness Webinars in Review

Posted By Colleen Dougherty, NC Recreation & Park Association, Monday, May 9, 2016

May 9, 2016

Happy Monday!

The summer weather is right around the corner. This time of the year is a great opportunity to discuss some of the previous webinars the Wellness Initiative has hosted during the course of 2016. There is plenty of valuable information and ideas that could potentially kick start a new program within your department! The NCRPA Vimeo page has all past webinars recorded for your convenience.

The first webinar of the year in early January featured Greg Walker, Fletcher Parks and Recreation, and Mark Scott, owner of Fleet Feet Sports in Asheville. Greg and Mark discussed key items when planning a 5k run/walk race and ways to make the event successful and enjoyable for the whole community. Some of their topics discussed: race location, setup, volunteers, race day timeline, race planning resources, sponsorships and corporate partners. For more information, click the following Vimeo link to listen to their webinar presentation: https://vimeo.com/151556291 .

Our February webinar featured Jill Edwards, Black Mountain Recreation and Parks. Black Mountain’s Eat Smart program includes three community gardens, two youth gardens, a demonstration garden and their largest garden, the Dr. John Wilson Community Garden. Between all these various gardens in the Black Mountain community, the estimated annual produce is roughly 13,000 pounds! The Eat Smart Black Mountain program works to promote healthy eating and active living through hands-on gardening and nutritious programs. If you missed out on this informative webinar, click the following Vimeo link to watch: https://vimeo.com/154759752.

The March webinar featured Jennie Sumrell, Director of Education at PlayCore. She discussed ways to attract more children and families to local community trails and parks. The webinar was designed to explore best practices for intentionally infusing play into outdoor environments in an effort to promote family fun, encourage healthy physically activity, and reconnect people of all ages to nature. For more information, click the following Vimeo link: https://vimeo.com/164303884

During our most recent webinar, Larry Cassella, Employee Wellness Coordinator for Town of Cary, discussed wellness programs, and why evaluating and understanding how to define ‘value’ is critical in fully defending worksite health promotion efforts. He also discussed how this can connect back to park and recreation departments. For more information, click the following Vimeo link to watch the webinar presentation: https://vimeo.com/164306023

Please stay tuned for the next webinar, Tuesday, May 24th at 1:00pm. Rob Smith, Garner Recreation and Cultural Resources, will be hosting. Parks and recreation professionals have always known the important role we play in the health and wellness of our communities. Now others are recognizing our capabilities. In this webinar, we will identify community partners and look at ways to leverage our combined resources to improve the health and well-being of our citizens. To register, click the following link: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2168615536455054082

If you would like to host a webinar or have a question regarding future webinars, then please email us or submit them on the wellness site here: (colleen@ncrpa.net,http://www.ncrpa.net/?Wellnesssub)

Colleen

Tags:  Health  healthy living  Wellness Initiative  Wellness Webinars 

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Spring Cleaning Health Benefits

Posted By Colleen Dougherty, NC Recreation & Park Association, Monday, May 2, 2016

Happy Monday,

We are officially into the month of May. It is that time of year to do a bit of spring cleaning, whether if that’s at your office or in your home. However, what you may not know is that there are multiple health benefits to doing even a little bit of cleaning.

The following provides some healthy benefits to get you motivated to clean, or as they say: “out with the old and in with the new!” According to the Health & Wellness blog by Pierce Group benefits, there are great health benefits for your mind and body when it comes to cleaning. Cleaning the house or office is a great way to clear the dust, mold, and pollen. Open up the windows and let the fresh air in as well! Cleaning your home or office is also a great stress reducer. A clean, clutter free home or office will allow you to focus your energy on other important tasks that need to be accomplished. You will ultimately be more productive. Lastly, cleaning is great exercise! The energy you exert doing common cleaning, such as dusting, vacuuming, or wiping down counters, can burn off more calories than you expect. As well as help you achieve getting those 10,000 daily steps! For example, according to the Huffington Post, mopping can burn up to 153 calories, vacuuming can burn up to 199 calories, and sweeping can burn off 136 calories! To read more information about common cleaning activities, read the Huffpost Healthy Living article. Cleaning may not be the most exciting activity, but hey, at least there are multiple health benefits while you’re at it!

Please note, this week begins Global Employee Health & Fitness Month (GEHFM). Remember to find ways to engage your department and community in finding ways to be active and healthy. The main priority is to promote the benefits of a healthy lifestyle through health promotion activities and environments. NCRPA’s Wellness Initiative invites your department to participate in Global Employee Health & Fitness Month. If your department needs ideas then please check our Employee Wellness Programs webpage, containing valuable information discussing examples of employee wellness programs in North Carolina.

Let’s continue to inspire our departments and communities to become active during the month of May.  If you have any ideas regarding Global Employee Health & Fitness Month, we would love to hear from you and your experience! Please email us or submit your ideas on the wellness site here: (colleen@ncrpa.net, http://www.ncrpa.net/?Wellnesssub)

Colleen

Tags:  healthy living  Spring cleaning  wellness 

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Global Employee Health & Fitness Month

Posted By Colleen Dougherty, NC Recreation & Park Association, Monday, April 25, 2016

Happy Monday, 

Next week we enter into the month of May! It is important to keep finding ways to engage your department and community in an active and healthy lifestyle.  The month of May is another perfect opportunity to do so, as it is dedicated to Global Employee Health & Fitness Month (GEHFM).  So what is Global Employee Health & Fitness Month? It is an international and national observance of health and fitness in the workplace. The main priority is to promote the benefits of a healthy lifestyle through health promotion activities and environments. Organizations are invited to participate in this month long event by challenging their teams to create healthy moments, healthy groups, and developing healthy initiative projects. More information can be found by clicking the following link: http://www.healthandfitnessmonth.com/about

NCRPA’s Wellness Initiative invites your department to participate in Global Employee Health & Fitness Month. Participants can log activities on the GEHFM website during the course of the month, which will allow organizations to track, share, and promote their individual and group activities. Some examples include: challenging employees to create healthy moments, forming health awareness groups, or developing a culminating health project in your community. If your department needs ideas then please check our Employee Wellness Programs webpage, containing valuable information discussing examples of employee wellness programs in North Carolina.

The next Wellness Webinar will be Tuesday, April 26 at 1:00pm. Larry Cassella, Employee Wellness Coordinator for the Town of Cary, will be presenting. His topic will focus on wellness programs, and evaluating and understanding how to define ‘value’ is critical in fully defending worksite health promotion efforts. Click the following link to register for the webinar: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1195821523648113412

Let’s continue to inspire our departments and communities to become active during the month of May.  If you have any ideas regarding Global Employee Health & Fitness Month, we would love to hear from you and your experience! Please email us or submit your ideas on the wellness site here: (colleen@ncrpa.net, http://www.ncrpa.net/?Wellnesssub)

Best,

Colleen

Tags:  Employee Wellness  Fitness  GEHFM 

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Global Employee Health & Fitness Month

Posted By Colleen Dougherty, NC Recreation & Park Association, Monday, April 25, 2016

Happy Monday, 

Next week we enter into the month of May! It is important to keep finding ways to engage your department and community in an active and healthy lifestyle.  The month of May is another perfect opportunity to do so, as it is dedicated to Global Employee Health & Fitness Month (GEHFM).  So what is Global Employee Health & Fitness Month? It is an international and national observance of health and fitness in the workplace. The main priority is to promote the benefits of a healthy lifestyle through health promotion activities and environments. Organizations are invited to participate in this month long event by challenging their teams to create healthy moments, healthy groups, and developing healthy initiative projects. More information can be found by clicking the following link: http://www.healthandfitnessmonth.com/about

NCRPA’s Wellness Initiative invites your department to participate in Global Employee Health & Fitness Month. Participants can log activities on the GEHFM website during the course of the month, which will allow organizations to track, share, and promote their individual and group activities. Some examples include: challenging employees to create healthy moments, forming health awareness groups, or developing a culminating health project in your community. If your department needs ideas then please check our Employee Wellness Programs webpage, containing valuable information discussing examples of employee wellness programs in North Carolina.

The next Wellness Webinar will be Tuesday, April 26 at 1:00pm. Larry Cassella, Employee Wellness Coordinator for the Town of Cary, will be presenting. His topic will focus on wellness programs, and evaluating and understanding how to define ‘value’ is critical in fully defending worksite health promotion efforts. Click the following link to register for the webinar: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1195821523648113412

Let’s continue to inspire our departments and communities to become active during the month of May.  If you have any ideas regarding Global Employee Health & Fitness Month, we would love to hear from you and your experience! Please email us or submit your ideas on the wellness site here: (colleen@ncrpa.net, http://www.ncrpa.net/?Wellnesssub)

Best,

Colleen

Tags:  Employee  Fitness Month  GEHFM 

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NC Recre8 5k Success!

Posted By Colleen Dougherty, NC Recreation & Park Association, Monday, April 18, 2016

Happy Monday,

I hope everyone enjoyed this beautiful weekend! It looks like the spring weather is here to stay. It was indeed a successful weekend for NCRPA and 10 recreation and park departments located across the state of North Carolina.

This past Saturday, 9:30am exactly, 9 locations took part in the first every NC Recre8 5k run/walk! Both veteran and rookie runners collaborated together at various locations, including: Fletcher, Graham/Burlington, High Point, Jacksonville, Vale, New Bern, Roxboro, Boone, and Wake Forest. Every host location did their share in making it an enjoyable and healthy experience for all their participants.

With roughly 275 total participants, adults and children joined together for a common mission, and that was to promote parks and recreation on a statewide level! The funds raised from the race will be dedicated towards the advancement of recreation in our state. A special thank you to the host sites and sponsors, without your support and dedication, the NC Recre8 5k would not have been as successful as it was! We would love to continue the Recre8 5k as an annual event, and to bring in more contributing departments next year. Please let us know if you are interested, have suggestions or would like more information regarding the Recre8 5k event.

For those who do not know, Matt Carusona will be departing NCRPA for a wonderful career opportunity. He played a vital role in developing the NC Recre8 5k and making it what it was. Please join me as we thank him for his dedication and time spent at NCRPA, and of course, all his accomplishments so far. We wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors.

The next Wellness Webinar will be Tuesday, April 26 at 1:00pm. Larry Cassella, Employee Wellness Coordinator for Town of Cary, will be hosting. The topic will focus on wellness programs, and how evaluating and understanding how to define ‘value’ is critical in fully defending worksite health promotion efforts. Click the following link to register for the webinar: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1195821523648113412

If you were part of the NC Recre8 5k, then we would love to hear from you and your experience! Please email us or submit your ideas on the wellness site here: (colleen@ncrpa.net, http://www.ncrpa.net/?Wellnesssub)

Best,

Colleen

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Tags:  5k  Get Active  Get Outside  Healthy Living  ncparkrun  ncrpa 

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Every Kid Healthy Week

Posted By Colleen Dougherty, NC Recreation & Park Association, Monday, April 11, 2016

Happy Monday,

I hope everyone is enjoying the spring weather and taking some time to be active and get outside! My blog today is dedicated to children’s health and wellness. For those who do not know, the last full week of April 25th – 29th, is “Every Kid Healthy Week.” Every Kid Healthy Week is an annual observance created to celebrate school health and wellness achievements and recognized on the calendar of National Health Observances. This special event highlights great efforts of both school and community partners who are improving the health and wellness of children, and the link between nutrition, physical activity and healthy education. The Action for Healthy Kids site has plenty of resources and programs to refer to for help and ideas. The site provides ideas for games, volunteering, school grants for heathy kids and understanding local wellness policies!

NCRPA wants to hear from your department! If you have any health awareness programs dedicated to positive youth development, please send us the information for us to share during the last week of April! Help spark ideas and motivate other departments to take part in the Every Kid Healthy Week observance.

This Saturday, April 16th, is the NC Recre8 5k at 10 locations across North Carolina. NCRPA is challenging your department to get actively involved and find a location near you to participate! If you have yet to register, refer to our 5k homepage to find a race: www.ncparkrun.com. If you are waiting to see if the weather is shining (which it will!), then you can register on race day at any of the locations listed. Create a running team within your department and make it a day to remember. Click the following link for more information and select a race location by you: www.ncparkrun.com. Don’t forget to use the code LGFCU and save $5 dollars on your registration!  

The next Wellness Webinar will be Tuesday, April 26 at 1:00pm. Larry Cassella, Employee Wellness Coordinator for Town of Cary, will be hosting. The topic will focus on wellness programs, and how evaluating and understanding how to define ‘value’ is critical in fully defending worksite health promotion efforts. Click the following link to register for the webinar: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1195821523648113412

If you have any ideas or suggestions regarding department’s participating in Every Kid Healthy Week, then please email us or submit your ideas on the wellness site here: (colleen@ncrpa.net, http://www.ncrpa.net/?Wellnesssub)

Colleen

 

Tags:  action for healthy kids  Every Kid Healthy Week  health  ncparkrun  wellness 

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Working Out Around Any Weather

Posted By Colleen Dougherty, NC Recreation & Park Association, Monday, April 4, 2016

April 4, 2016

Happy Monday,

As we enter into April, the rainy weather can damper some spring-eager moods and may even prevent your daily workout! Don’t let the rainy weather interrupt your workout routine. This blog discusses some ways to work around the weather and stay on track with your spring and summer goals.

The Active Times shares some great ideas to keep you motivated. First, workout in the rain! Don’t let the wet weather discourage you, go outside and make the most out of it. You’re going to be sweating anyways, especially in the humid weather, so the rain may be even a little refreshing. In fact, according to the Daily Health Post, studies have proven that runners working out in the rain have higher levels of oxygen consumption and overall more calories burned than participants working out in dry conditions. If you go for a walk or run in the rain, then you should consider some rain gear to aid with your workout. A baseball hat will protect your eyes from the rain or even sunglasses. Make sure to wear bright colors for people to spot you while you are out walking or running on the sidewalks. Rain jackets are also a good option, they’re made of breathable material and will also keep you a bit drier. Additionally, the great thing about North Carolina is that there are plenty of hiking or running trails, no matter your location. Hiking or trail running on a rainy day will almost guarantee you will have the trail to yourself. Just be safe and go at your own pace in-case of slick mud or pavement. Another option is to utilize sunrooms, decks or patios that are protected by an overhang or roof. Bodyweight circuits are a great option to train in a smaller space that requires limited equipment! Bodyweight circuits can include squats, lunges, and core workouts, and is easily accessible by looking up circuits online, check-out pinterest! Lastly, schedule your workouts around the weather. If you really want to avoid the rain, check the weekly forecast and prep your workouts for either the morning, mid-afternoon or evening in attempt to get your daily exercise requirements. There are plenty of options and opportunities to plan your workout in rainy weather, so get creative and have some fun!

Remember the Recre8’s 5k registration is up and running (no pun intended)! The race will take place on Saturday, April 16, at 12 locations across North Carolina. NCRPA is challenging your department to get actively involved and find a location near you to participate! Even if your department is not directly hosting, the race is still important for you to be involved in one way or another. The NC Recre8 5k is helping promote parks and recreation on a statewide level, and the funds raised will support the advancement of recreation in our state. So please help increase awareness and become involved simply by participating on April 16th! Create a running team within your department and make it a day to remember. Click the following link for more information and select a race location by you: www.ncparkrun.com

If you have any suggestions regarding working out in the rain, then please email us or submit your ideas on the wellness site here: (colleen@ncrpa.net, http://www.ncrpa.net/?Wellnesssub) Colleen

Colleen

Tags:  Get Outside  Spring Weather  Wellness 

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National Public Health Week

Posted By Colleen Dougherty, NC Recreation & Park Association, Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Happy Tuesday,

Another month is upon us and in honor of the first day of April, my blog is dedicated to National Public Health Week, April 4-10. Every year during the first week of April, the American Public Health Association (APHA) brings together communities across the United States for a common mission. APHA’s goal is to recognize the contributions of public health and to highlight issues that are important to improving our nation. APHA focuses on a variety of topics, such as: building a safe nation, establishing healthy communities, implementing youth education, providing quality health care, and strengthening public health infrastructure.

One of APHA’s topics includes being able to give everyone a choice of healthy food within your community. According to the APHA, there is a direct link between poor nutrition and many of the leading causes of death in American, such as heart disease, some cancers, stroke and diabetes. Additionally, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows most U.S. youth don’t eat enough fruits, vegetables or whole grains, with many exceeding the recommended maximum daily intake of sodium and sugar.

So what can we do? During National Public Health Week and beyond, NCRPA challenges your department to start making changes in your community for the better. Inform your community on how kids and adults can have access to healthier and cleaner food. Listed are three ideas your department can engage in. First, implement a community garden. Refer to NCRPA’s Community Gardens page for ideas on creating and establishing a successful garden within your community. Another idea is to encourage your community to use local produce! Purchasing local food general means that you are receiving a fresher product, as well as supporting your community’s economy. Check-out NCRPA’s Local Produce page for more information. Lastly, provide healthy vending policies in your park and recreation facilities year-round. NCRPA’s Vending page discusses how to develop healthy food guidelines, and locating a vendor that is willing to provide healthier options. There are plenty of vending companies that service North Carolina that include healthy options, some are: Grow Healthy Vending, Smart Fuel/Smart Choice and Be Better Vending. For more ideas, visit NPHW’s Healthy Foods page.

NCRPA is challenging your department to become involved in National Public Health Week in one way or another. Please email us or submit your ideas on the wellness site here: (colleen@ncrpa.net,http://www.ncrpa.net/?Wellnesssub).

Colleen   

Tags:  APHA  Health  NPHW  Wellness 

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Dependent on Spell Check?

Posted By Michelle Wells, North Carolina Recreation and Park Association, Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Is that mispelled misspelled? 


I am dependent on Spell Check. How about you? I’m old enough to remember when desktop computers, laptops, tablets and hand held devices were not the norm. I remember how great it was, and still is, when spell check became part of our world. When you see that little red squiggly line below a word, you know it needs some work. Then you can click on it and options for correctly spelled words appear. No more looking it up in the dictionary or asking someone else how to spell it.

How great is that? And how dependent on it have we come?

Sometimes too dependent!

What about when you’ve completed that online form for a grant or scholarship and you review it, you don’t see that red squiggly line under any words and click submit. WARNING: Not all online forms have built in editors to catch misspelled words.

Let me share some quick tips I use to help me.

The simplest solution I can recommend is to create your content in Word before submitting then copy and paste it into the form!

Ever see the instruction “Please tell us in 250 words or less…” and wonder how you were going to determine that? Word can help you here also. Create or paste your text into a Word document and on the lower left part of the screen, it tells you how many words are in your document. Need to know about a specific section? Select it and the magic number appears.

Yes, these might be a bit old school but they work. Matt Carusona here in the NCRPA office recently showed me Grammarly. It works to catch spelling and grammar mistakes in documents if you upload your text and when creating online content. Sounds like a great addition to my toolbox!

I hope you will find some of these tips helpful and give them a try the next time you complete an online form and try to remember “What will the person receiving the information see?” and look at it from their standpoint before clicking submit.

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The Positive Benefits of the Great Outdoors

Posted By Colleen Dougherty, NC Recreation & Park Association, Monday, March 21, 2016

Happy Monday,

Spring has officially begun and the warmer weather is here to stay. Sometimes we need a simple reminder of why it is both physically and mentally healthy to spend time outdoors, especially during this time of the year! My blog discusses the positive benefits of taking time to ourselves each day and enjoying the great outdoors

According to the Appalachian Trails blog, getting outside has multiple health benefits that will improve your everyday life. First, more time spent outsides means increased Vitamin D. Those who do not get enough Vitamin D have an increased chance of developing osteoporosis, some cancers and Alzheimer’s disease. Additionally, the positive effects of getting enough daily sunlight can help with the prevention of diabetes, auto immune disorders, and heart disease! Another obvious benefit is exercise! It is hard to get outside without exercising, and exercise can help prevent or improve heart disease, strokes, diabetes, obesity, back pain, osteoporosis and more health disorders. Additionally, exercising outdoors has benefits over indoor gyms; people who run outside exert more energy than those on treadmills or elliptical! Take a small walk during the day or find a local park to explore the nature surroundings, the options are limitless. Time outdoors also has psychological benefits! Spending time outdoors has been linked to improved attention spans and shows increased activity in the parts of the brain responsible for empathy, emotional stability, and love! The benefits of being outside is truly endless. For another source, Health Magazine provides further benefits of being in the outdoors. Make sure to share this information with your department and community to encourage people to lead healthier and less-stressful lives outdoors.  

Remember the Recre8’s 5k registration is up and running (no pun intended)! The race will take place on Saturday, April 16, at 12 locations across North Carolina. NCRPA is challenging your department to get actively involved and find a location near you to participate! Even if you department is not directly hosting, the race is still important for you to be involved in one way or another. The NC Recre8 5k is helping promote parks and recreation on a statewide level, and the funds raised will support the advancement of recreation in our state. So please help increase awareness and become involved simply by participating on April 16th! Create a running team within your department and make it a day to remember. Click the following link for more information and select a race location by you: www.ncparkrun.com

If you would like to share your ideas and suggestions involving spending more time outdoors or the NC Recre8 5k please email us or submit them on the wellness site here: (colleen@ncrpa.net, http://www.ncrpa.net/?Wellnesssub)

Colleen

Tags:  Get Outdoors  Healthy Living  Wellness 

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