The Wellness Word

March 2017

Activity Breaks for Desk Dwellers

Physical activity breaks aren't just for kids! Breaking up your meetings and computer time with some physical activity is a great way to recharge. Mini physical activity breaks of 3-5 minutes every hour or two can improve mood, metabolism, and cognition, while lowering the risk for diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.

1. Take a walk. Take a walk around your office or school and visit with some coworkers. Just the change of scenery and a hundred extra steps can do wonders!

2. Instant workouts. Try out a quick office circuit to get your blood pumping! The internet is full of exercises to do right at your desk. Jogging in place, lunges, tricep dips on your chair, and calf raises are all great options! Google "office workouts" for pictures and video instructions.

3. Strike a pose. Do you ever notice yourself hunched over at the computer, or while driving? Sitting for too long can have long term effects on posture and flexibility. Try out some yoga poses after work, or during the day. Namastacey has a YouTube video called "Yoga Anywhere! Combat The Effects of Sitting". Her videos feature lots of beginner yoga poses for people who work at a desk. You can view her other videos at

February's Spotlight is Erica Musselwhite at EJHS!

"“How did you even get into that?” That is usually the first question I get asked when I tell people I am a surrogate. I have always been a fairly healthy person. I work out six days a week and have for over 20 years. I was a year round athlete in high school and a college swimmer and never got out of the habit of being active and eating well most of the time. My health is not something that I take for granted and being able to bring this kind of joy, making another parent’s dreams come true on what has often been a long and painful road, has been beyond rewarding and not something I have ever taken lightly.

I never wanted kids, until I did. My very first pregnancy ended in an early miscarriage and it was so hard to accept that my body had failed me. After that, my next two pregnancies were easy and uncomplicated. Once I had my own children I couldn’t imagine life without them. And it is heartbreaking to realize that parents want families so badly, and for many reasons, can’t have them. So I decided to become to surrogate and currently am carrying twins for an amazing couple. Watching them through this process are feelings that I cannot put into words. I teach because I love kids, and I especially love Junior High students. I thank parents every day for being willing to share their students with me. I teach tolerance, kindness, balance and respect within my curriculum and to my own children. And I try to embody this as well. This decision was one that was right for me and my family and the support has been overwhelming.."

Thanks for sharing, Erica!

Wellness Tip

Greek yogurt tends to have twice the amount of protein and half the carbohydrates and sugar compared to a regular yogurt. To really monitor your sugar intake, purchase plain greek yogurt, and add your own fresh fruit!

Why Parents Shouldn't Use Food as Reward or Punishment

"It's common for parents to offer a "special"—and often unhealthy—food as a reward for good behavior or a job well done. They may also withhold those special treats as a means of punishment. A mother might refuse to serve dessert, for example, if her children have talked back or neglected to clean their room.

Using food as a reward or as a punishment, however, can undermine the healthy eating habits that you're trying to teach your children. Giving sweets, chips, or soda as a reward often leads to children overeating foods that are high in sugar, fat, and empty calories. Worse, it interferes with kids' natural ability to regulate their eating. It also encourages them to eat when they're not hungry to reward themselves.

Offering otherwise off-limits food as a reward or special treat is also confusing. Children hear that they're supposed to enjoy foods that are good for them and avoid foods with little nutritional value. Being told that they can indulge in foods that are bad for them as a reward for doing something good sends a mixed message. They may also start associating unhealthy foods with certain moods—when you feel good about yourself, for instance, it's OK to reach for a sweet.

More drawbacks to disciplining with food

Offering treats as rewards can also lead to cavities and weight gain. When sweets or chips are given as a reward, they may become more appealing. This leads children to develop a preference for them instead of healthier foods with nutritional value.

The practice of forcing children to "clean their plates" as a punishment for bad behavior can encourage them to develop bad eating habits, such as eating when they're not hungry. It can also lead to a distaste for those nutritious foods they're being forced to eat.

Alternative rewards and punishments

Parents can offer a number of other rewards, not related to food, to reinforce good behavior. Consider these creative alternatives:

  • Trip to the library, zoo, or other favorite outing

  • New art supplies or coloring books

  • Pencils, stickers, or other supplies that can be taken to school

  • Special bath toy

  • Listening to their favorite music as a family

  • Extra reading time before bed

  • Play date or sleepover with a friend

  • Playing a favorite game with a parent

Establish healthy habits

Getting young children to eat nutritiously can be a challenge. Try not to force them to eat when they're not hungry or if they don't like a certain food (try offering the same item again at other meals, perhaps cooked a different way). Overall, serve a wide variety of nutrient-rich, kid-friendly foods. Don't show concern or get upset if your child turns down a food. For young children, keep servings small. And, for all family members, use portion control and healthy serving sizes.

Finally, make mealtime pleasant. Refrain from quarreling, talking about problems, or disciplining children at the table. Family meals should be relaxed, happy occasions where you can talk about your children's day and share experiences."

Other notes: Most children, if given the opportunity to choose their reward, will choose a privilege, rather than a food. They want to feel important, so giving a student a "Free Homework Pass", extra recess time, or line leader for the day, is exciting for them! The reward lasts longer than the couple of seconds it takes to eat a snack. Rewarding kids with food is dangerous, because you are associating their self worth and value with receiving food. Food is necessary for survival, and should not be something that students need to compete for. These links give a list of rewards based on school year and

Black bean dip & raw vegetables

This is a great game day recipe to try! It's high in protein and fiber, and low in fat. This makes about 6 cups of dip and will last for a few weeks in the refrigerator. It's a delicious healthy snack to try!


  1. 3 1/2 cups black beans (2 cans)
  2. 3/4 cups salsa (chipotle salsa is great!)
  3. 1/3 cup lime juice (juice of 4 limes or use lime concentrate)
  4. 4 green onions, cleaned and trimmed
  5. 1 tsp. cumin
  6. 1/2 tsp. black pepper


  1. Drain and rinse black beans
  2. Combine the beans, salsa, lime juice, onions, and seasonings in a food processor or blender and puree until smooth
  3. Serve with fresh vegetables, such as carrots and celery, or choice of baked tortilla chips

Nutrition Information per 1/2 cup serving:

140 calories, 29g carbohydrate, 7g protein, 1g fat, 7g dietary fiber, 365mg sodium

Self-Managing Back and Neck Pain

Wednesday, March 15th, 6-7pm

2209 John R Wooden Drive

Martinsville, IN

Neck and back pain can interfere with daily responsibilities and social and sporting activities. The degree of interference varies between individuals but is a typical occurrence. Education and knowledge in strategies for managing reoccurring neck and back pain allows patients independence from medical intervention and control over their problem. Start the healing process by learning how to help yourself. Learn how to self-manage.

Room: CBAC Conference Room

Location Notes: The hospital is just off State Road 37, where State Road 252 intersects.

Public Transportation: Yes

Handicapped Access: Yes

Parking Notes: There is free parking onsite.

Instructor: Paul Viterisi, Physical Therapist

Class/Event Fee: Free

Visit for more information!

Children's Expo

Saturday, March 25th, 1-4pm

302 South College Avenue

Bloomington, IN

For an afternoon of active games and take-home crafts, look no further than the Children's Expo! Parents with elementary- and preschool-age children have plenty of options to take part in a huge variety of interactive games and activities. While at the Children's Expo, take time to stroll through the Camp Fair and find the perfect summertime adventure for your child! The annual Children's Expo also includes free wellness assessments and exhibits by businesses and organizations with products and services just for children and families. Don't miss this year's Children's Expo!

Hoosier Half Marathon and FTK 5K

Saturday, April 8th, 8am

1000 East 17th Street

Bloomington, IN

April 8th, 2017 will be the 12th running of the Greene & Schultz Hoosier Half Marathon and FTK 5K. Indiana University and the City of Bloomington play host to a challenging race where participants will find 13.1 miles of rolling hills, and are rewarded with amazing views of campus, downtown, and countless Spring blooms. Challenging, beautiful, and rewarding!

Hoosier Half Marathon
5/1/16 - 12/31/16** $50.00
1/1/17 - 3/15/17** $60.00
**includes your name on the race bib
3/16/17 - 4/1/17 $65.00
After 4/1/17 $75.00

"For the Kids" FTK 5K Run
5/1/16 - 3/15/17** $25.00
**includes your name on the race bib
After 3/15/17 $30.00

"For the Kids" FTK 5K Walk - not a timed event
5/1/16 - 3/15/17** $20.00
**includes your name on the race bib
After 3/15/17 $25.00

Online registration ends at noon Monday, April 3, 2017. Visit for more information.

Tobacco Cessation Programs

Tuesday, March 7th, 5:30pm

Monroe County, IN, United States

IN provides information on local tobacco cessation classes in Monroe County.

The City of Bloomington's Community Health Programs and Outreach division of the Community and Family Resources Department is a partner in the Monroe Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Coalition. Formed in 2001, this group has been working to prevent and reduce the use of all tobacco products in Monroe County. The Coalition advocates for Smoke Free Air Policoes designed to protect the public health and welfare of the community from health hazards induced by breathing secondhand smoke. With proven links to lung cancer, heart disease, and respiratory infections, secondhand smoke exposure is the third leading cause of preventable death in the U.S. killing thousands of nonsmokers every year.

Beat Tobacco program offerings: No registration required. Free of charge.

  • Tuesday, 5:30-6:30 pm, YMCA, 1111 W. State Highway 46, Spencer
  • Tuesday, 6:00-7:00 pm, 333 E. Miller Dr, Bloomington
  • Wednesday, 5:30-6:30 pm, Arby's, 3601 W. State Road 46, Ellettsville
  • Friday, 12:00-1:00 pm, Volunteers in Medicine Clinic, 811 W. 2nd St, Bloomington
  • Daily, 8:00 am-Midnight, Telephone-based helpline, Indiana Tobacco Quitline. 800.QUIT.NOW
  • Individual counseling by appointment. 812.353.5811

For more information, please contact Community Health Programs Manager Nancy Woolery at or 812-349-3851.

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