[Guest Blog] The Joys of Running Part 3: Dealing With Adversity

May 12, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Chris Hagen PhotoChris Hagen PharmD, RPh, is the current pharmacy Manager of CentraCare Health – Long Prairie, a critical access hospital serving the residents in and around Todd County.

Trained in the craft of clinical pharmacology at North Dakota State University, Dr. Hagen received his Doctorate of Pharmacy degree in spring of 2000. True to his upbringing and the desire to live a simple relaxed life in rural Minnesota, he began his career as a home infusion pharmacist in Bemidji and later worked in Little Falls and Alexandria.

In his spare time, Dr. Hagen enjoys spending time with his wife, Jennifer, and two children, Aidan and Ashley. With nature close at hand in rural Minnesota, hunting, fishing, camping, and wood work also are common activities to pass the time after work and on the weekends. Training for marathons, triathlons and the occasional Iron Man, help prepare him for a day of work.

As a runner there is no truer opponent than time. The stopwatch is an impartial measurement of how hard you choose to work, and what physical and psychological barriers you choose to break. It allows for a novice runner to set and achieve a goal the same way an Olympic athlete does.

A new runner setting a goal for a 5K race can develop and commit to a workout program that starts with walking the entire distance initially, but over time training their mind and body to believe that they can run that distance. As one goal is met a new one can be set and the young athlete can continue to improve incrementally as they achieve these goals.

For a child to achieve a goal by being compliant to their plan builds confidence and self esteem plus reinforces the psychology of working hard in whatever task your child takes on. Failure to achieve a goal has its own advantages as well. If your child falls short of a goal it also teaches them adversity and how to deal with failure, two things that they are likely to encounter at some point in their lifetime. Self reflection into how their actions and commitment to the goal ultimately affected the final outcome can teach them about resilience and being accountable.

I always tell my children that you learn much more from failure than you will ever learn from success. It also provides a great teaching moment for you as a parent to discuss the goal that was set, was it a realistic goal? Discuss the compliance your child had compared to their plan? Did they skip workouts? What could they have done differently to improve their chance of succeeding? Encouraging your child and working with them to be successful in the future builds a bridge between you and them that overall improves their development.

Now that I have children of my own, I see the many benefits I have had over my lifetime from running (socially, physically, professionally, mentally) and hope that they will experience these as well. As a 40-year-old male in a relatively sedentary job with moderate stress levels, a daily run with friends every morning prior to work helps wake me up (no caffeine needed), keeps my weight in check, strengthens my bones and heart, helped secure me steady employment, has allowed me to travel the globe and build friendshipsm and all of this blossomed as a result of a simple shoe change back in 1990.

Do your kids a favor, buy them some good running shoes, a solid stop watch, turn off the television and get them out running. It might just be the greatest gift you can give them.

Ready Part 1 and Part 2 of this series for more information on the joys of running.

Check Out The Wells Fargo Ride, Roll and Run Event!

May 11, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

anna findsenThis is a guest blog by Anna Findsen

Anna is the Associate Health and Wellness Director at the St. Cloud Area Family YMCA.  Her passion for the Y started after spending a summer at the YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park, CO where the mission of “Putting Christian principals into practice through programs that build a healthy spirit, mind and body for ALL” really resonated with her.  Anna’s hobbies include hiking, cooking, taking road trips, and coaching soccer at North Junior High.  She is looking forward to providing the community with a variety of fitness opportunities and the construction of the brand new St. Cloud YMCA Community and Aquatics Center!

May is National Bike Month!  Why is biking so important that we have a whole month to celebrate it? Biking is a great lower body exercise that works your quads, hamstrings, hip flexors, and calf muscles.  It also engages your abdominal and back muscles by keeping yourself upright while you are riding.  Not only is it good exercise but it is also a clean and green form of transportation. Have you ever ridden your bike to work, your friend’s house, or the store?  Give it a try sometime!  You may find that you really enjoy the fresh air and physical activity.

Another way to celebrate National Bike Month is by riding with your whole family.  The Wells Fargo Ride, Roll and Run event is a safe and fun way to ride your bikes with people of all ages.  This race will be held on Saturday May 14th at the Sauk Rapids Municipal Park at 8:30 AM.  There will be a 2 mile and 5 mile route that you and your family can either bike, roller blade, walk or run.  After you cross the finish line you can enjoy snacks and beverages provided by Coborn’s and Bernick’s.  We will also have Project BrainSafe there demonstrating how to properly fit a helmet.

ride, roll, or run

ride, roll, or run 2

This event is a part of the Bernick’s Family Fitness Series and is presented by the YMCA in conjunction with 104.7 KCLD and Times Media.  This series has a family friendly event for every season of the year!

For more information and to register check out the St. Cloud YMCA website!

In Health,

Anna

[Guest Blog] The Joys of Running Part 2: Social and Emotional

May 5, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Chris Hagen PhotoChris Hagen PharmD, RPh, is the current pharmacy Manager of CentraCare Health – Long Prairie, a critical access hospital serving the residents in and around Todd County.

Trained in the craft of clinical pharmacology at North Dakota State University, Dr. Hagen received his Doctorate of Pharmacy degree in spring of 2000. True to his upbringing and the desire to live a simple relaxed life in rural Minnesota, he began his career as a home infusion pharmacist in Bemidji and later worked in Little Falls and Alexandria.

In his spare time, Dr. Hagen enjoys spending time with his wife, Jennifer, and two children, Aidan and Ashley. With nature close at hand in rural Minnesota, hunting, fishing, camping, and wood work also are common activities to pass the time after work and on the weekends. Training for marathons, triathlons and the occasional Iron Man, help prepare him for a day of work.

Athletics and running have brought me many places, helped me land a number of jobs and built many lifelong friendships along the way.

Running a hometown race is fun; you’ll see friends and neighbors and know many of the athletes you are racing against. Eventually though you might want to test the competition in a neighboring town, or in my case turn your racing schedule into a reason to travel the country.

My family has taken many camping trips or cross country excursions that coincide with a race in that particular area. The race may only takes up a few hours on a Saturday morning, and then we have the rest of the time to enjoy our destination as a family. You can take that time to explore the community, or to hang out by a campfire at night with your children and spouse communicating and interacting rather than sitting at home in front of the television.

Over time you will likely meet friends who like to run. In that case, host a training run in the morning with all your friends and their family. After the run is over plan a healthy breakfast where you can visit and reflect on the run or future social events this group can do.

For employment opportunities, competitive running can be a great ice breaker for a job interview because it sets you apart from most candidates and highlights many desirable personal trait a dedicated runner must possess in order to be effective. Discussing the training and goal setting involved in running these races is a great segue into how you will set goals and accomplish work and projects for that potential employer. These are all skills, interests and traits a child can start to learn by running at an early age.

Speaking of work, who doesn’t experience some form of stress or emotional strain on the job or at school? Running can help your child find a productive yet healthy way to blow off some stress during a hard workout and improve their physical health at the same time. Clinical depression and anxiety are also on the rise in children. Small studies have argued that inactivity, increased screen times, and social isolation may contribute to these mental problems. The Mayo clinic has published literature linking natural endorphins, released when a person runs, to decreased anxiety and depression, so why not help improve your child’s mental well being by encouraging them to run. Learn more.

Read part three of this series on May 19th for more positive reasons to get your children involved in running. Check out part 1 here!

[Time Pressed Tuesday] A Springtime Scavenger Hunt!

March 22, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Isn’t there just something refreshing about the freedom that spring brings when it comes to heading outdoors? Tuck away the boots, stop worrying about ice, and enjoy the opportunity to run around in a yard free of snow and mud. Well, free of snow at least; but some would argue that the mud can be plenty fun, too!

scavenger hunt

A fun activity to get you and your kiddos outdoors on a beautiful spring day can be done with little to no preparation, just a bit of creativity! This doesn’t have to require any purchases or hiding of props, either! Simply put together a list of items you know are in your yard that have likely been hidden by snow throughout the winter, send the kids out with a basket or bag, and get to it! If your children are a bit older, hand them a camera to ‘document’ their finds; stick to items that can be collected for smaller children.

Fun items that you can include in your hunt include:

  1. Two different types of birds (photo)
  2. A dried leaf
  3. Something green, like a blade of grass, a new bud on a tree, or even a new leaf if they have started growing.
  4. A tree seed, such as a pinecone or an acorn, depending on what is in your yard
  5. A piece of trash, which you can remind your children should be thrown away and not in the yard!
  6. Something rough
  7. Something smooth
  8. A small animal such as a squirrel or chipmunk (photo)
  9. A stick
  10. Something you think is beautiful

Feel free to add and modify this list however you would like, the main thing is that your kids get outside and active, and all that is required on your end is a few minutes of creative thinking and some supervision! This is a great activity for after dinner to enjoy the extra daylight, and burn off some energy! So what are you waiting for, make a list, head outside, and enjoy the beautiful spring weather while exploring your own backyard!

time pressed tuesdayTime Pressed Tuesday is a blog series focused on finding new ways to make healthy choices while overcoming the every day struggles and busy schedules of family life. Check back frequently for ideas on how to make healthy choices happen, no matter how busy your day may be!

Stang_Mackensey-5531Mackensey Stang is a program specialist with BLEND.

Her primary roles include managing Safe Routes to School and the Fit Kids Club Series, and collaborating with local schools and communities to further the mission and objectives of BLEND.

 

[Time Pressed Tuesday] Active Story-time

October 13, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Does your little one love story time? Do they have a favorite book that they gravitate towards every evening, asking you to read repeatedly? It is no wonder why children love storybooks so much. Books allow little ones to explore their imagination, make believe, and teaches them new and exciting words that they can start using in their own vocabulary.

storytime 2

If story-time is something that your little ones look forward to, try switching things up and incorporating activity into the nighttime ritual! Most books, especially those geared towards young children, tend to be repetitive. Next time you open up a book, explain that every time a common word is read, everyone must quickly stand up, before sitting back down to resume the story. Your little ones will love the anticipation of waiting to hear the special word, and likely will jump up so quickly you won’t be able to keep up! Other fun ideas to get your kids up and moving would be:

  • taking a 15 second ‘dance party’ before turning every page
  • incorporating stretching, encouraging your children to hold each stretch until you turn to the next page and move onto the next stretch!

The opportunities are endless, just grab a favorite book, think of a fun activity, and get reading and moving!

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