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Phoenix 5Ks This Fall

By |September 20th, 2017|Categories: Physical Activity|Tags: , , , , |Comments Off on Phoenix 5Ks This Fall

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Here at the Halle Heart Children’s Museum, we educate kids on three important practices to keep their hearts healthy:

  • Never smoke
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Get plenty of exercise!

We may mostly be teaching kids about these crucial principles, but they apply to adults, too! Of these three activities that keep up our cardiovascular health, getting daily exercise may be the biggest challenge for us adults. Thirty minutes a day, five days a week is a proven rule of thumb for lowering blood pressure and risk of heart attack or stroke. But unlike kids, who typically have some physical activity built into their day through P.E. and recess, grown-ups have to work a bit harder to make it happen.

With the weather getting ready to cool down, fall is a great time to get outside for some of those 150 minutes per week of moderate activity recommended by the American Heart Association. What about challenging yourself to run a 5k? Even if you’ve never been a runner, there are numerous “couch to 5k” programs available online that offer a clear-cut path from non-runner to race finisher. Scheduling an event to look forward to is a great motivator for working in some cardio on a regular basis.

There’s no shortage of options for 5k races coming up in the Valley this fall! With tons of fun choices–from goofy themed runs to races that benefit a worthy cause–there’s a 5k for everyone. Here are ten upcoming 5ks around town to get you excited about hitting the pavement for your heart.

1. T-Rex Run – September 23rd

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What do you do if a T-rex is chasing you? You RUN! And in this case, you run for a good cause, since the T-Rex Run benefits Team RWB, a veterans’ support group. Check it out September 23rd at Mesa Riverview Park.

2. Run FORE Cancer – September 23rd

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Make a difference for cancer patients at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center and Barrow Neurological Institute by participating in this race at the Scottsdale Silverado Golf Course.

3. Phoenix Children’s Hospital 5k – October 7th

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CityScape in downtown Phoenix is the site of this run that raises funds for some of the neediest among us: the children served by Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

4. Thin Mint Sprint – October 7th

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Got a Girl Scout in your life? Show her your support by registering for the Thin Mint Sprint in Tempe. (Or, for beginners, there’s even a 1-mile Samosa Stroll.)

5. Hip Hop Run – October 8th

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DJs playing upbeat tunes all along the course are a sure thing to get you moving and grooving at this fun race! Join the party at Kiwanis Park.

6. A Race for Maggie’s Place – October 8th

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Maggie’s Place provides housing and assistance to pregnant and parenting moms in need. Give them a hand (or a foot) by signing up for one of the courses in this multi-distance race.

7. Das Frank Kush Foot Race – October 14th

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Why the “das” in “Das Frank Kush Foot Race”? This local classic is a part of Tempe’s annual Oktoberfest. Extra points for running in your lederhosen.

8. Mountain Park Health Center 5k – October 14th

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Head over to Kiwanis Park to raise funds for a new medical clinic in Tempe at the 2nd annual Mountain Park Health Center race. Dog owners will be happy to know that pets are welcome!

9. The Mummy Run – October 30th

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Prepare to get spooky at this family-friendly run at Mesa Riverview Park.

10. Fat Turkey Trail Run – November 25th

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What Thanksgiving Day couldn’t use a little extra activity? Counterbalance holiday indulgence with this race that starts at Tempe Town Lake and winds through Papago Park.

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8 Best Active Video Games for Kids

By |March 23rd, 2017|Categories: Physical Activity|Tags: , , , , , , |Comments Off on 8 Best Active Video Games for Kids

If you could tune in for a moment to a guided tour stopping at The Beat Goes On exhibit at the Halle Heart Children’s Museum, odds are you would hear the Heart Guide talking about one important aspect of heart health: keeping active. Each group of schoolchildren that gathers in this exhibit learns about how getting enough physical activity every day can help maintain healthy weight, boost mood, improve immunity, and—most relevant to the museum’s mission—prevent heart disease. For a generation that increasingly seems to spend more time in front of screens and less time engaged in active play, this is critical education.

One of the American Heart Association’s Guiding Values is “meeting people where they are.” In the case of physical activity for kids, this can sometimes mean meeting them on the playground and meeting them on a screen. To this end, the Beat Goes On exhibit features three XBox Kinect consoles–(who knew you’d get to play video games at a museum?)—where kids get to play a heart-pumping round of Fruit Ninja.

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The research around exercise-based video games is encouraging! A 2016 study published in Global Pediatric Health showed that children who participated regularly in video games that required physical activity were more likely to take up forms of non-gaming exercise. When paired with other activities, there’s no reason why video games can’t play a part in kids’ 60-minutes-a-day exercise requirement.

There are tons of great video games to choose from to get kids up and moving with their whole bodies (not just their thumbs)! Here are 8 of our favorites.

  1. XBox Kinect Fruit Ninja

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This game featured during the Halle Heart Museum’s school tours turns kids into a whirling dervish of fruit destruction, slicing and dicing with their hands, arms, and even legs. Somewhere there’s got to be a giant smoothie made with all that fruit!

  1. Wii Just Dance Kids

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Just Dance Kids tops all the lists of best exercise games. With over 40 dances and plenty of songs, this one is sure to get kids to bust a move and burn some calories!

  1. XBox Kinect Rush Disney/Pixar

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This inventive game immerses kids in the worlds of their favorite Disney/Pixar movies. Guided by the action on the screen, kids use their bodies to help characters swim, jump, climb, or run through familiar movie scenes.

  1. Wii Sports Resort

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When you think of video games as exercise, Wii Sports Resort is the most “traditional” of the bunch, with golf, cycling, archery, bowling, and other options. This version has been upgraded from the original Wii Sports program to include plenty of new and extra sports challenges.

  1. Guitar Hero (available on multiple video game systems)

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For a bit of a lower-intensity workout, check out Guitar Hero. (Or even for a high-intensity workout—after all, kids can take just about any activity and make it a full-body workout!)

  1. XBox Dance Central

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Much like Just Dance Kids, this highly reviewed game teaches dance moves to fun and funky songs. Bonus: at about $9.00, it’s one of the lowest-priced games around.

  1. Wii Nickelodeon Fit

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Nickelodeon Fit was developed in collaboration with an exercise science expert specifically to improve kids’ heart health! Players perform activities with their favorite Nickelodeon characters, like jumping rope with the Backyardigans, biking with Dora the Explorer, and river rafting with Diego.

  1. XBox Kinect Sports

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Soccer, beach volleyball, track and field, and boxing in your living room? It’s all possible when kids play XBox Kinect Sports.

To get your kids active through video games, join us at the Halle Heart Children’s Museum every Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday at 3:00 P.M. for Video Game Olympics (free with admission)! Click here for all upcoming dates.