Thursday, February 25, 2010

She's Got Game!

Excited to share that you can hear Brenda VanLengen every Friday afternoon on her new online radio program “She’s Got Game.”

Brenda is in her 15th season as a game analyst for women’s basketball and can be seen on national broadcasts on ESPN, Fox Sports Net and CBS College Sports. Listen to LIVE on as she covers women’s sports in the Kansas City area and beyond!

Brenda and her friends at PE4life celebrate her new endeavors!
(And, yes, that is a chocolate martini next to Brenda. If you're lucky, some day she might tell you the story that goes with it.)

Follow Brenda!
Facebook: BVonTV etc
Twitter: BrendaVanLengen

Join us in congratulating BV!

**UPDATE!** Beginning March 1st, "She's Got Game" will be live every Monday and Friday at 1:00pm CST!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Treat Yourself!

Thanks to Nicole Christy, PE4life Kansas City Regional Project Manager, for providing this tasty recipe!

I call them Dark Chocolate Haystacks and they are so simple and healthy!

Just two ingredients - dark chocolate chips (lower in sugar and high in antioxidants) and plain Shredded Wheat (nothing but wheat- loads of fiber).

It literally took more time for me to type this recipe than it took to make the treats!

Dark Chocolate Haystacks

- 1 cup of Dark Chocolate Chips
- 2 large Shredded Wheat biscuits

1. Crumble the shredded wheat into a bowl, make sure to get most of the clumps out.

2. Melt the dark chocolate chips in the microwave in a small dish (about 45 seconds then stir, then back in for another 45 seconds tends to do it)

3. Pour the melted chocolate into the shredded wheat bowl with a rubber spatula and mix until all shredded wheat is covered in chocolate.

4. Spoon out onto parchment/wax paper

5. Let cool and solidify at room temp

6. Enjoy!!

Friday, February 19, 2010

New Video!

Check out our new video!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Embrace the Snow!

Featuring Guest Blogger: Tim McCord, PE4life Academy Director, Titusville, PA

With snow falling in epic proportions in 49 of our 50 states this year, isn't it time we take advantage of Mother Nature and get our students outside in the snow?

That’s the norm during the winter months at the PE4life Academy Training Center in Titusville, PA. Every winter, for over 30 years, physical education classes have been held outside in this northwest PA community with 6th grade students experiencing lessons in cross-country skiing. The basics are taught in the gymnasium first with outdoor experiences in fields adjacent to Titusville Middle School. A culminating activity is held at a neighboring park where students spend the morning traversing across open fields and up and down small hills.

Students learn not only to enjoy this activity but also that in terms of cardiovascular benefits, cross-country skiing is a front runner. The program is conducted through a partnership between the Titusville Area School District and the Titusville Leisure Services. Equipment has been in the program for years but with Titusville being awarded 2003 PEP Grant , additional ski equipment was purchased to update the existing equipment.

To supplement the cross-country ski program the Titusville PE4life Academy also has introduced their students to snowshoeing. Snowshoes were purchased through a Highmark Healthy High 5 grant, a Highmark Blue Cross/Blue Shield initiative. Students in 7th and 8th grade participate in snowshoe lessons that include hiking, traversing across snow mounds and even games of “snowshoe whiffle ball.” Snowshoeing is a great low-impact aerobic exercise.

Don’t feel that the winter months mean you have to be confined to the gymnasium for your activities. Follow the lead of the Titusville students and enjoy the snow!



Titusville Area School District in Titusville, Pennsylvania is home of the PE4life Academy Training Center.  To learn more about this program visit their website or contact PE4life to schedule a workshop.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

PE4life Playlist

Get up and get moving with some of the PE4life team's favorite workout tunes!

We asked our team their favorite workout tunes - ya know, the ones that make you want to pick up the pace and get that heart pounding! Some didn't want to 'fess up and claim their faves, so here are the tunes we want played loud and proud. Take a brain break, crank up the volume, and MOVE!

See if you can guess which PE4lifer selected what song (leave your guess in the comment section)!

(note, some of these selections/lyrics may not be kid-friendly, so please use your discretion before playing them in a classroom.)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Health bug bites PE4life team!

It seems inevitable that after awhile of working at PE4life and making it your mission to improve the health and wellbeing of others, it’s only a matter of time before the health bug bites you. And that’s exactly what’s happened around here. Maybe it’s the New Year - new resolutions concept or maybe we’ve all gotten to a point where we’ve allowed ourselves to step back and re-evaluate our priorities. Either way, a health and wellness epidemic has hit the office and it doesn’t look like it’s leaving anytime soon. The majority of our team has taken up a daily fitness routine and although we’re still sneaking the occasional cookie cake (hey, it was Carrie’s birthday!), several staff members, including myself, are re-evaluating what they eat. One team member has even gone vegan!

On any given day at the PE4life office, you’ll find various members of the team bouncing on stability balls at their desks, taking their reading materials to the treadmill, even blistering the freezing cold Missouri air for a quick walk around the block. Yes, we’re practicing what we preach and getting fit! And although I can’t speak for the rest of the team, I can say that it’s positively affecting my life – I have better focus, I’m more confident, and I just FEEL better.

Carrie Gibson, PE4life Event Manager, swap
s out her comfy office chair for a bounce on the stability ball. (Note, this isn’t staged at all... she just happened to be visiting the new PE4life website. Really. )

Melanie Sheppard, Marketing Assistant

Monday, February 1, 2010

PE4life Academy Training Center highlighted in NPR story

Check out an excerpt from this great NPR story highlighting Woodland Elementary School, a PE4life Academy Training Center.

How Revving Up Your Heart Rate, Even A Bit, Pays Off
NPR 2/1/2010

Benefits Beyond The Heart
Nowadays, much of the focus on fitness is about how to exercise to prevent obesity. One school started measuring target heart rate zones as part of an in-school exercise program. And they found it helped more than just the students' physical health.

"[Exercise] should be fun," says principal Craig Rupert of Woodland Elementary School in Kansas, Mo., as he shows off his school's gym, which has been converted into an exercise arcade.

With the help of the national nonprofit group PE4Life, he's pushing to expand physical education. Rupert says by sixth grade, the majority of students do not participate in organized, competitive athletics; their level of activity starts to drop off. The PE4Life model encourages exercise as a form of play.

"It's really about getting the kids to exercise every day," Rupert says.

On a rainy, cold Wednesday afternoon, Rupert shows how his eighth-graders are getting their heart rates up. Student Juan Reynoso cycles through a video racing game called Off-Road.

"The bike is connected to a remote control," Juan explains. "And when I pedal, it makes the car go."

As physical education instructor Bernie Fitzpatrick makes the rounds, she takes a look at Juan's heart rate monitor. Juan and his classmate Kevin Thompson have hit their target zones at about 140 beats per minute. "Keep it up," she says.

"I feel great," says Kevin, as he moves from cycling to a dance game. "And energetic."

Fitzpatrick says the point of wearing the heart-rate monitors is to teach the kids what it feels like to be exercising at the proper pace — about 60 percent of their maximum.

"If you're in the target heart rate zone, you're burning more of the fat you have stored." When people exercise beyond 80 percent of max, the body starts to burn more sugar. "So by keeping them in that, we get them to be more lean and to use up some of that body fat rather than just the candy bar they ate a little while ago."

And, Fitzpatrick says, at Woodland, the students exercise far more frequently than the 50 minutes a week of physical education typical at many schools.

No one has tested the kids at Woodland Elementary to see if the daily exercise has led to specific improvements in academic success, but PE4Life has begun to document academic gains.

The big surprise for administrators at Woodland Elementary: They've noted a significant decrease in aggressive behavior. In-school suspensions have gone down about 60 percent since the program began.

"I've seen that go down quite a bit, because they can expend that energy on the exercise equipment," says Mark Dickerson, who oversees discipline referrals.

"I've always exercised to blow off steam," Dickerson says. But the transformation at the school has surprised him. "I didn't make the connection ... that it can happen to kids, as well."

Read or listen to story in its entirety.