Employee wellness

Quick tips: Staying active in cold weather, part II
Last week we showed you some tips for staying active indoors this winter -- now check out these tips for moving outdoors this winter in part II of our series:

  • Rake leaves or do other yard work. If you are raking up leaves, change the movement and direction to make full use of your muscles. Rake in front of your body to target your shoulders. Rake both right to left and left to right to work both arms evenly. This way, you'll also help prevent blisters by avoiding repetitive motions.
  • Bundle up, and take the dog for a walk. This can help you make walks part of your daily routine.
  • Shovel snow. This can be great winter exercise.
  • Try a new winter activity like skating, cross-country skiing, or snowshoeing. 

To stay safe:

  • If you have heart problems or other health concerns, be sure to ask your doctor before beginning any new exercise routine.
  • When you do outdoor activities in less populated areas, be sure to plan ahead. Let people know where you will be, and take the right gear for the conditions.
  • Try to do your walking and other activities when it's light out. If it's dark out, walk with a partner.
  • Be careful not to slip on wet or icy ground. You can buy "grippers" for your shoes to help keep you from slipping.
  • Avoid outdoor activity in extreme cold, and take the windchill into account.

SPPS Staff learn healthy cooking techniques thanks to HealthPartners
Look no further than Assistant Superintendent Theresa Battle's Thanksgiving table this Thursday to find some healthy side dishes.

You'll certainly find at least these three:

  • Roasted root vegetables with pecan gremolata
  • Chilled cranberry relish
  • Green beans with fennel and gruyere

That's because those were the three featured items on the free holiday cooking class menu held for SPPS staff and families November 19-21—prepared and taught by Mike Shannon, the Director of Culinary Experience for Cooks of Crocus Hill in Saint Paul.

The hour-long class dove into not just these recipes, but several basic food preparation techniques as well some general nutrition tips.

Nutrition was perhaps the biggest motive behind the class, said Karly Farrell, SPPS Health and Wellness Program Manager. "We wanted to do something different and offer a healthy twist on some classic holiday dishes," she said.

The class marked the first time the district brought in Cooks of Crocus Hill, and turnout was strong enough (more than 70 attended) that the district will likely partner with Cooks again for future classes—so stay tuned!

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Jayne Meza and Karly Farrel