Summer Physical Activities!

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Summer is a time for outdoor activities! So put on your work out gear and get your equipments ready if necessary. Make sure to the take opportunity of the warm weather to enjoy being outdoors and engaging in summer activities. Not sure of what you should do? Listed down below are some recommendations:

  • Walking around your community and neighborhood is a great way for you to discover new restaurants, local stores, and sites you have not seen before.
  • Go running/biking/walking around local trails! It keeps you active while sightseeing and you can control your own pacing.
  • Play a sport! Popular sports in the summer is volleyball, baseball, & swimming! Of course, feel free to participate in any sport activity. Form your own team or play for a local team!
  • Rent a paddle boat, canoe, kayak, and even rent a bike. They are commonly found in areas of Minnesota lakes.

The most important thing is to have fun and be safe! Any physical activities can be harmful when done extensively so remember to let your body rest. But no physical activity is also bad for your body. It’s all about living a balanced lifestyle in different kinds of ways.

Trauma Resources

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With recent violent events, it can impact people in different ways. If you know someone experiencing trauma, try your best to support them and let them know about their available resources. If you or a friend is in need, remember that you can always reach out to or depend on these things:

  • Close family members and friends
  • Professionals – local clinics, hotline, therapist, etc.
  • Online support communities
  • Click here for facts/info about trauma in the state of Minnesota
  • For local helplines in Minnesota click here!

“Anyone can help someone who struggles with trauma—whether they work in the medical or mental health community, or are just a caring individual.

The National Council for Behavioral Health would like to share a few resources about trauma:

  • INFOGRAPHIC: 10 Signs A Person May Be Experiencing Trauma
  • INFOGRAPHIC: 10 Tips to Help Someone Experiencing Trauma
  • TIP SHEET: Trauma in the LGBTQ Community: What Practitioners Should Know in the Wake of the Orlando Shootings.
  • FACT SHEET: LGBTQ Mental Health: How the Orlando Shootings Can Broadly Impact This Community.” – Rightful owner

 

National Park and Recreation Month!

“National Park and Recreation Month is a time to promote the benefits of healthy, vibrant communities.” – http://www.nrpa.org/

National Park & Recreation Month encourages people to go outdoors, connect with local parks/reservations/recreations, and enjoy their time outside. It promotes people to reconnect with nature and to become more aware and supportive of our environment. “Today, the average American spends 93% of their life indoors – 87% in buildings and 6% in vehicles” (NRPA). Fun fact: Americans have celebrated National Park and Recreation Month during July since 1985 (NRPA).

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Here are some ways in which you can participant in this month’s event:

  • Go outside to your local parks!
  • Visit/volunteer a reservation site!
  • Go walking/biking at your local trails!
  • Share the message on your social media and with people around you!
  • Remember to ask other people to join you outdoors!

Are Instant Noodles Bad For Your Health?

“According to the World Instant Noodles Association (WINA), 52 countries consumed 97.7 billion servings last year alone. Among its highest consumers are China and Hong Kong, which together consumed 40.43 billion servings, followed by Indonesia, with 13.20 billion servings consumed. Unsurprisingly, the U.S. is not too far behind with 4 billion instant noodles consumed in 2015.” – http://nextshark.com/

So what are instant noodles? They are noodles that have been deep fried and packaged along with other seasoning packets. With just boiling water, you make a quick meal. It’s delicious of course and very cheap.

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www.healthfitnessrevolution.com/

Instant noodles have the reputation of being convenient, affordable, delicious, and unhealthy. Although it is loved by people throughout the world, it can be bad for your health if consume daily. Here are some reasons why:

  • The amount of sodium in a instant noodle pack is a lot more than what you should consume in a meal. Ingesting too much salt can lead one to experience dehydration, damaging the kidneys, and other parts of your body.
  • Instant noodles does not offer nutritional value to your body. Most of it is carbs, sodium, and saturated fat.

Like any other junk and fast food, you should consume instant noodles in moderation. You can always add more water to the broth and other veggies to make it a more balance meal. But don’t try to replace your diet with instant noodles and remember to cook your own meals as much as possible.

This Month in Japan | June

June is the start of the rainy season for most parts of Japan. The summer weather is often divided between the rainy season following by the high levels of humidity. Despite the weather conditions, people can still enjoy their time in Japan. It is a good month for travelers to visit Japan because travel prices and the amount of tourists are low. Of course, be prepared for the rainy and humid weather; bring an umbrella and maybe some rain boots.

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http://china.org.cn/

Looking for activities to do during the month of June? Here are some events that are occurring in June around Japan!

  1. Sanno Festival is held in central Tokyo from June 7, 2017 to June 17, 2016. Located in Chiyoda-ku and hosted by Hie Jinja, it includes parades, people in dressed in traditional clothes, festival foods, and more! It one of the three major festivals along with Kanda Matsuri and Fukagawa Matsuri. “The Sanno Matsuri is famous as a festival permitted by the Shogun to enter the grounds of Edo Castle during the Edo Period (1603-1867), along with the Kanda Matsuri.” – http://www.jnto.go.jp/
  2. Hokkaido Shrine Festival is located at Maruyama Park in Hokkaido, Japan. It occurs from June 14 to June 16 and about 1 million people attend the summer festival each year. A highlight would be people wearing the summer kimono, yukata, and the endless amount of festival foods.
  3. Other tips for travelers in Japan during June are:
    1. If you want to visit beaches, resorts, or/and amusements, book your tickets and go before July when school children are done with school!
    2. Make sure to check out tours that can give you special deals! Here is a quick link!
    3. For any hot countries: Bring clothes that you could layer with! Also, having a good pair of shoes to walk in all day would help you best when discovering Japan on foot.

Study Abroad Opportunities! | For High School & College

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Study abroad is a great opportunity for students to learn while living in a different society and experiencing a whole new culture. It allows students to gain important knowledge and become more confident through the struggles of adjusting to a different environment and lifestyle. Of course it is expensive and requires you to work harder, but in the end it will be worth it! It is not impossible to study abroad if you know how to use your resources and is able to utilize your skills! Here are some tips on how to afford study abroad:

  1. Choose where you want to study abroad! (The earlier you can decide, the better!) You can study abroad almost anywhere in the world with different programs. It is usually divided into academic and employment programs. As a high school student, your options are more limited but remember to research about your options. As a college student, you will have lots of option to where you can study abroad.
    • Note that some locations are more expensive than others.
  2. It’s important to plan early! You want to measure out the length of your program and the time before you are going there. It will give you a timeline of how much you can save up for your total trip and how much you pay spend over there. So get ready to work & save like a pro!
    • Always transfer the amount you need to save when you are paid!
    • Exclude miscellaneous spending if possible; like on small things such as buying a cup of coffee, limiting the amount of money you spend when you go out, etc.
  3. Work on your essay writing skills! If you want scholarships, most of them will require you to write some sort of essay whether it is a personal, academic, or question essay. The point is to answer the prompt while letting them know you more personally and your goals for study abroad. Never forget to check the basics:
    • Is there a word count limit or required minimum of words?
    • Have you check your grammar?
    • Do you understand the words you are using? It’s better to use words that you know than to use big words that you don’t understand.
    • Did you answer the question(s)?
    • Ask someone else to proofread your essay if you are unsure
  4. Does it require references/recommendation letters? You may need references or recommend letters from teachers/co-workers depending on the type of program/scholarship you are applying for. So make sure you double check the deadline and try to obtain them ahead of time.
  5. Research for local & national scholarships! There are tons of scholarships available out there, but they won’t come to you unless you find them and apply for it! Some will require more or less work depending on the amount of aid it offers. Expect that there will be competition for scholarships since you are not the only student who wants to study abroad. Try to apply to as many scholarships that you qualify for. Overall, it is better to apply than not apply at all!
    • Check scholarships that are offered through your school, state, and within the U.S.
    • Use online scholarship database to  help you find scholarships!
  6. Look out for your deadlines! This applies to your scholarships and program dates. It is important to turn in things on time, especially if you want to secure your place! If you are unable to meet deadlines, than you would lessen your chance of obtaining a place in a study abroad program or possibly getting a scholarship.
  7. Here are some linked web & resources you can use:
    • The two most well known study abroad company are, CIEE & IES; they offer a variety of study abroad programs for high school and college students. It is not limited to these two as there are other options as well and it depends on what you are looking for (internship, volunteer, & employment). Others include AIFSCEA, & more!
    • Go to “goabroad” to search their database on study abroad for high school & college!
    • You can always try to find reviews on the program that you’re interested in to help determine which program may work with you.

Planning on a trip? | Health Awareness Regarding Your Travel Destination

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http://www.vacationgetawayinternational.com/

Are you planning to go on a trip soon? It’s always good to keep in mind of where are you going and the current situation of the location. So make sure to do your research of what you may need to bring along with in terms of medicines, clothes, electronics, and possibly even getting vaccinated before flying to another country. Listed down below are some places that you may need time to prepare for if you plan on visiting there:

MERS

  • MERS stands for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and is a viral respiratory illness. Cases of MERS has been reported in the Middle East and spread to, but decreased in South Korea. Click here for more in depth info.

Polio

  • There has been an increased in reported cases of polio among in Guinea, Madagascar, and Nigeria. It is highly recommended that travelers get the polio vaccine before entering the country and for people to get vaccinated again if already done so in the past. Be aware that polio can be spread through contaminated water and direct contact with an infected person.
  • Reported cases of polio has also came from Ukraine (Europe).

Zika Virus

  • The local transmission of the Zika virus has been reported in various parts of the world, Cape Verde (Africa), Laos, Burma (Myanmar), American Samoa, Bolivia, Cuba, and other countries in Central America, South America, Caribbean, and Pacific islands. Make sure to do your research!
  • “Travelers can protect themselves by preventing mosquito bites. Women who are pregnant(in any trimester) should not travel to areas with Zika. Men who have traveled to an area of active Zika virus transmission who have a pregnant partner should abstain from sexual activity or consistently and correctly use condoms during sex for the duration of the pregnancy. Women and their partners who are thinking about pregnancy after possible exposure to Zika should talk with their doctor or healthcare provider.” – “Global Travel Pinet
  • Be aware and protect yourself for those who plan on attending:
    • the 2016 Summer Olympics scheduled to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from August 5 to August 21, 2016
    • the Paralympic Games that is scheduled for September 7 to September 18, 2016

Get Active in March

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March is here and so is the warmer season! It is a great time to go outside for fun activities, exercises, and sports. If you’ve been working out at home or at the gym, maybe it’s time to change things up! Need some ideas on what you can do in Minnesota? Listed down are some tips:

  • Go biking in Minneapolis! Did you know that Minneapolis is one of the top bicycle friendly cities in the U.S.? There are more than 118 miles of on-street bicycling and a whole trail that goes around the state called the Grand Rounds Scenic. If you don’t want to invest in bike, there are rental bikes available throughout the city. Nice Ride Minnesota is another affordable and convenient option for bicyclists and there are Nice Ride stations throughout the city for whenever you want to rent/return a bike.

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http://www.travisnovitsky.com/

  • Try out new exercises:
    • “Pilates is a form of exercise that is centered on controlled body movements. Because of its focus on core strength, pilates is an excellent way to improve your balance and coordination…Common pilates exercises focus on strengthening the body’s center, which encompasses the abdomen, lower and upper back, hips, buttocks, and inner thighs.” – https://www.presidentschallenge.org/
    • Dancing is a great way to burn off energy in a fun and quick way! Other fun dances to get you moving is tango, zumba, hip pop, and ballroom dancing.
    • Slow exercises not only helps the body, but also the mind. It can range from Tai Chi to different forms of yoga.
  • March is National Nutrition Month and it’s purpose is to encourage everyone on healthy eating and with that, tips on how to live and maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. For more info on this event, go to http://www.eatright.org 

Year of Fire Monkey

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Lunar New Year has come at Feb 8th – the Year of Fire Monkey, many celebrations hosted around the Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese American communities.  BALL Partners like to remind everyone – having fun with families, but not overdoing with holiday food, and continue to exercise during the holidays.

1) Keep the focus on fun, not food.
Indulge in only the most special holiday treats. For example in the Chinese new year eve dinner, the dumpling is the most special dish, and when families prepare the dumplings, they will hind the couple coins in the dumplings, who gets to bite on the coins, who will have the best luck at coming year.  It’s fun to eat the dumplings to find the coins, but keep in mind not overdoing it.
2) Staying physically active during the holidays.
A study conducted by the U.S. government found adults gained, on average, more than a pound of body weight during the winter holidays – and that they were not at all likely to shed that weight the following year.  The good news is that the people who reported the most physical activity through the holiday season showed the least weight gain. Some even managed to lose weight.
3) Toast the new year with just one glass of bubbly.
Alcohol can interfere with your blood sugar by slowing the release of glucose into the bloodstream; it also contain a lot of calories – 89 calories per glass of white wine or champagne, 55 calories in a shot of vodka, and 170 calories in a pint of stout beer. What’s more, alcohol breaks down your inhibitions and judgment, which makes you that much less likely to resist the junk foods that you would otherwise be able to pass by.
4) Continue on with your new year’s resolutions!
Whether it is your goal to become healthier, achieve a career goal, finish your education, or simply training to run a 5K marathon, believe in yourself that you can do it! It is much easier to follow through by planning and taking small steps throughout your entire year. (Suggesting having a planner would be helpful and motivate you to do something everyday!) Don’t try to go cold turkey on anything and try to slowly cut back on certain things or improve on other aspects of your life. Every little effort will count in the long run!
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5) Pack up and go discover the world!
The new year represents new opportunities for everyone. Possibly a trip to a place you always wanted to visit? Plan it, save up, book it, and make sure to have your passport done a few months prior to your departure. (Minnesota now requires all people flying in states and international flights to have a passport so be aware.) Traveling to another place means you’ll get to discover other areas and experience different cultures!

American Heart Month

“February is American Heart Month. Talk to your doctor about #hearthealth” – www.cdc.gov

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Original image belongs to www.storybird.com.

February is dedicated to sharing the awareness of taking care of our hearts. The path to a healthy lifestyle is always a continuous journey so positive choices you make now will benefit you in the long run. If you don’t know where to start, here are some tips on how to:

  • The easiest place to start is to eat healthier foods. Your food intake has a direct impact on your heart, especially on your cholesterol level. Tip: Avoid drinking sugary or fizzy drinks such as juice and pop. Many American’s are obese because of their diet of high fat, sugar, and salt.
  • Balance your meal! Eating healthier is easier than said so what can try first is to substitute unhealthy food for healthier alternatives. For example, if you like sweet snacks like chocolates, gummies, and such, switch it out with ripe fruits! And it is okay to indulge in your cravings once in a while.
  • Exercise regularly, not extensively. If you try to maintain a exercise schedule with healthy eating, you’ll lose weight more effectively and maintain your health/weight. Doing intense work out one or twice a week is better than doing it often because your body needs time to relax, rebuild, and reenergize.
  • Want to know what kind of fruits & veggies are in the winter season:
    • dates, kale, passion fruit, oranges, turnips, leeks
    • For more info on what’s in season, click here!