Mississippi BodyWalk Blog

being smart from the inside out

Heart Health February 17, 2014

Filed under: Body Walk,Health — mississippibodywalk @ 4:04 PM
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Hello Body Walkers,

I need something to call you, and since this is the Body Walk Blog, and you are (hopefully) a fan, it seemed natural that you would be a Body Walk-er. Welcome to the expanded blog, where I will be sharing more with you than just recaps of the program, and where the exhibit has traveled.

Body Walk presents many wonderful health lessons. The hope is the listener, after hearing the lessons, the learner will internalize the messages and make better health choices. So, another way to internalize health lessons is to read (or write) about topics that expand on these health lessons. With that in mind, this first post focuses on heart health. February is the month of Love, with a capital L. We think of February as the time to think about all the love in our life; Love of romantic partners, love of friends and love of family. However, do we think enough about self-love? Do we think about our main love organ, the heart? How can we feel all the love we are capable of if our heart is not healthy? If our heart is clogged, or tired, or struggling because of how we take care of it, then we cannot love others to our full potential.

How can you have a healthy heart?

There are TWO main things you can do. Exercise and Food. Exercise will work more than your heart of course, but getting your heart rate up will strengthen this dynamic wonderful muscle sitting in the middle of your chest. A later blog will focus on fun and interesting exercises you can do. Today, the focus is food. What foods can you eat to keep your Love organ healthy? Fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats are going to be a great place to start.

If you are not used to eating with the idea of keeping your heart healthy in mind, then making a plan might be a great way to keep you on track. Below is a simple menu of foods you can eat over the course of one day to fuel your body and show love to your heart. This menu is meant to be a starting place, an idea-sparker for you. When you sit down to make your own plan, first make a list of all the fruits and vegetables you like. Plan your meals around the healthy food you already enjoy. As you make good choices, and see that healthy food is tasty food, branch out. Try a new fruit, or a new vegetable. Try making an old favorite in a new way.

Fruits and Vegetables are cute and delicious

Fruits and Vegetables are cute and delicious

As an example, I already like strawberries, but I had never had them sliced up on a salad. I saw a friend of mine do this, and I had to try it. It was WONDERFUL. Now I have a new way to enjoy one of my favorite fruits, and I have a new way to add interest to salads. Do you hate strawberries? Substitute a berry you do like.

Hot Oatmeal with fresh or frozen berries. Orange juice or Coffee with Skim Milk to drink

Grilled Salmon
Medium side salad topped with mandarin oranges slices, sliced strawberries, cucumber, walnuts, and a splash of dressing
Water or Unsweet tea to drink

Grilled chicken breast
Brown rice with cooked veggies stirred in, such as broccoli, carrots, or spinach
Water or Unsweet tea to drink
Sliced cantaloupe for dessert

See how easy that was? Now you have a beginning, a framework to make your own plan. What will you eat tomorrow to show your heart how much you like and appreciate it?

A Healthy Heart is a Happy Heart-Full of LOVE

A Healthy Heart is a Happy Heart-Full of LOVE


Body Walk in Itawamba County February 11, 2011

Body Walk recently set up at the Itawamba Attendance Center. We saw the third grade from five schools, IAC, Dorsey Attendance Center, Fairview Attendance Center, Mantachie Attendance Center, and Tremont Elementary.

Set up went very well. The football players from Itawamba Community College came and helped put the exhibit together. Despite some challenges-a breaker tripped, causing the lights to go out and requiring we do some assembly in the dark-they listened closely and did a great job.


The ICC Football team


The next day our volunteers were from the ICC Nursing program. They not only worked in the rooms as presenters, they also entertained the kids waiting to start the tour with physical activity. Their stamina, dancing the cha-cha for three hours straight, was impressive.


ICC Nursing Students, aka great volunteers


One student went all out, making her own props to supplement what is already supplied by Body Walk. She was in the muscle station. In addition to her great drawings of the Organwise Guys, she drew faces with different expressions to show how muscles allow people to express their emotions on their face.


Awesome prop


Of course the Body Walk would not be possible without the hard work of the Extension agents who book the program and work hard to make it a success. Romona Edge-County Director, Amy Riley-FNP Educator, and Marie Rogers-4-H agent, all did a fantastic job.  They were very organized. They made sure all the children completed their quiz when they finished the tour. One goal of Body Walk is to teach children they can make healthy choices and they can have a healthy childhood.

Next stop, Oktibbeha county.


Marshall County October 8, 2009

Filed under: Body Walk,Health — mississippibodywalk @ 4:37 PM
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Rolling right along, Body Walk went to Marshall County. We were greeted by Lemon Phelps and Nancy Green. The facility was a multipurpose building which was well suited for the Body Walk exhibit.  Everyone did a great job and we were happy to bring Body Walk north. Here as in many other counties, each station was manned by high school students. They did a wonderful job and the younger students learned many ways to be healthy.

Lemon Phelps and Nancy Green

Lemon Phelps and Nancy Green

One room that the kids like is the heart room. In this room, or station, they learn about their arteries, their heart (big as their two fists), how low fat food is good for you, and that exercise helps keep your heart healthy. In this room, they get to do ten jumping jacks and then feel their pulse to see how their heart rate went up. Everyone outside the exhibit knows exactly when the jumping jacks part of the script is reached. The enthusiasm is obvious.

The organ wise guys are the ‘guides’ in each room, and Hardy Heart is the spokesperson in the heart station. The kids actually get to see Hardy Heart twice. He greets the students when they come in the door, and then he is larger than life on the wall of the heart room.

Hardy Heart welcomes you with a huge smile.

Hardy Heart welcomes you with a huge smile.

Hardy Heart shows that exercise keeps your heart healthy.

Hardy Heart shows that exercise keeps your heart healthy.

In the Heart room, Hardy is exercising, showing the children that exercise keeps him healthy, and it can keep their heart healthy too.  In addition to Heady Heart, this room has a prop that shows a clear artery and a clogged artery. Often, when quizzed at the end, students say they will eat more low fat foods because they want to keep their arteries clean, not clogged.

Music to our ears.