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Archive for the ‘Exercise’ Category

National Park Service’s Find Your Park resource

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America’s kids are facing an outdoor crisis. A generation ago, kids spent more than 4 hours a day outside – now, it’s less than 40 minutes per week. Being outside has a multitude of health benefits. Help kids escape the indoors and connect with nature during Great Outdoors Month through the free National Park Service’s Find Your Park resource.

11 free places in PA to swim, splash and cool off this summer

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If you’re looking to stay cool without breaking the bank this summer, we’ve got your back. Here is a list of destinations where you can take a dip, make a splash or otherwise relax with some water-based entertainment, all free of charge.

  • Middlesex Township Splash Pad: The Middlesex Splash Pad, 50 Beagle Club Road, Carlisle, has been open since 2009 and operates 10:30 a.m.-7 p.m. every day from Memorial Day through Labor Day. It’s a 30’ x 30’ area with underground water sprinklers, and the surface is a brushed concrete (you should have your kids wear rubber-soled water shoes). If you’re bringing a group of 10 or more, the township asks to you contact the office.
  • Memorial Park, Carlisle: The 2-acre Memorial Park has a spray pool where the kids can cool off. The park, located at 149 Penn St., Carlisle, is adjacent to Hope Station, a community aid organization.
  • Doubling Gap Lake, Colonel Denning State Park: The sand beach at Colonel Denning State Park is open from late May to mid-September, 8 a.m. to sunset. There is no lifeguard available, so it’s swim at your own risk. The park is located at 1599 Doubling Gap Road, Newville.
  • Pine Grove Furnace State Park: The beaches at Fuller and Laurel lakes are open from May 1 to September 30, 8 a.m. to sunset. The park is located at 1100 Pine Grove Road, Gardners. Laurel Beach is swim at your own risk, while Fuller Beach has lifeguards from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily through Labor Day weekend. The parks department advises swimmers to exercise caution because of extreme depths and cold subsurface waters.
  • Gifford Pinchot State Park: The large, ADA-accessible beach in the Quaker Race Day Use Area is open from late May through mid-September, 8 a.m. to sunset. There are no lifeguards on duty. Boat rental, picnic facilities, a snack bar and a children’s play area are located near the swimming beach (which is grass).
  • Veterans Memorial Pool, McClure: This free public swimming pool is located off Route 522 at 34 E Ohio St., McClure, in Snyder County. They’re open 1 to 7 p.m. Sunday through Friday and 1 to 6 p.m. on Saturday. There’s a snack bar, and they accept donations. There’s also a park a few blocks away. For more information, 570-658-8352.
  • Splash Pad at Fairmount Park, Red Lion: The park at 108 Boundary Avenue in Red Lion has a free splash pad, open from 9 a.m.-8 p.m. daily, in addition to changing rooms, rest rooms and pavilion. The activator is found at the center drain, and features are motion-activated. Parking can be found at the Community Building at 190 S. Charles Street, or along South Charles or Fairview streets. For more info, call 717-244-3475.
  • Penn’s Park Splash Pad, York: York City Recreation and Parks Bureau opened the Penn’s Park Splash Pad early this year, and it will be open from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. daily, weather permitting. The park is found at 100 W. College Avenue in downtown York.
  • Seven Tubs Recreation Area, Wilkes-Barre: Seven Tubs in Luzerne County is so named due to the seven “tubs” carved out of the surrounding stone by glacial action, which are filled with water today thanks to the Wheelbarrow Run stream. The stream and the tubs are found on a 500 acre nature area.
  • Locust Lake State Park: The sand beach at Locust Lake, found in Barnesville, Schuylkill County, is open from late-May to mid-September, with hours from 8 a.m. until sunset. Swimming areas are marked with buoys.
  • Yellow Breeches Creek, Mechanicsburg: The Yellow Breeches Creek is a destination for fishing, kayaking and yes, swimming. There are a few places the public can access the creek, including at Messiah College’s campus at the historic covered bridge. Click here for more info on the Yellow Breeches Creek Water Trail.

New Year’s Resolution: Drink more water

Soon after the ball drops (or the bologna as we know New Years in Lebanon County), the next thing we usually do is proclaim our New Year’s Resolution.  Swearing off that last holiday cookie and promising to shed those extra five pounds put on over the holidays, we welcome in a new year.  This predictable tradition is the time when we get back on track to healthier eating and exercise.  However, as we realign ourselves, what about our children?  Will they also commit to the same New Year’s resolution?

While sugar consumption in children has increased, the holidays can’t be credited for this.  According to the Centers for Disease Control’s National Center for Health Statistics, 16% of children’s daily calories come from added sugar-this goes well beyond an overindulgence of holiday cookies and candy.  In fact, since the mid 1970’s the average intake of sugar among children has been slowly rising and the primary culprit—sugary beverages (colas, soft drinks and high sugar juices).  Furthermore, as the consumption of sugary beverages has risen the amount of milk and water children consume has decreased—therefore denying much needed nutrients for bone density and growth.

That is why that throughout the past year the staff at Lebanon Family Health has been out teaching about the 5210 concept.  It’s a simple daily diet concept for parents that recommend children get 5 fruits/vegetables a day, less than 2 hours of recreational screen time, get 1 hour of physical activity and 0 sugary beverages each day.

While encouraging a 5 year old to drink water instead of the red drink at the holiday party is a challenge, the staff at LFHS have been teaching children to drink water in a fun and entertaining way.  “Potter the Otter”, a helpful friend that likes to drink water is introduced to kids.  He teaches children and their parents about the sugar content in popular drinks such as soda, juices and chocolate milk.  Lessons on sugar content are also available for parents.  For more information on the “Potter the Otter” and other nutrition education lessons available at Lebanon Family Health, visit our website at

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

By Lebanon Family Health Services

Recently, the American Cancer Society released a hopeful report that stated that death rates from breast cancer have dropped 34% since 1990.  This sharp decrease is a strong testament to the steadfast efforts of health advocates working to promote national and local awareness campaigns about the importance of early detection and increased research for breast cancer.  Each year, this is evident in the month of October as we recognize National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

While we celebrate this progress, the fact remains that breast cancer is still the most common cancer diagnosed among women, only being surpassed by skin cancer.  In fact, breast cancer accounts for 1 in 3 of all cancers diagnosed in women.  According to the Centers for Disease Control, 40,000 women die each year from breast cancer even though it is one of the most preventable forms of cancer.

Therefore, this month we must celebrate and build on the lessons we have learned over the past couple decades.  This means continuing to spread the word about the importance of early detection and supporting efforts that have aided countless women to take control of their personal health.  This starts with knowing the common signs and symptoms of breast cancer, such as:

  • New lumps or a lump in your breast that has changed
  • Change in the size or shape of the breast
  • Pain in the breast or nipple that does not go away
  • Flaky, red, or swollen skin anywhere on the breast
  • A nipple that is very tender or that turns inward
  • Blood or any other type of fluid coming from the nipple (not breast milk)

Along with knowing the common signs, practicing basic health and wellness is essential.  By staying physically active with regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and limiting alcohol consumption a woman can reduce her risk for developing breast cancer.  Furthermore, if you are over the age of 50, you should be getting a routine mammogram.  Finally, carefully discussing with your healthcare professional the costs and risks associated with using Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) at menopause is an essential component in maintaining breast health.

For over 40 years, Lebanon Family Health has been a local resource for women to diagnose breast cancer at its early stages and as a result, has aided them in seeking treatment.  During the month of October, help support our continued efforts to combat breast cancer by participating in our “Pink Drink” campaign.  Throughout the county, various establishments are supporting this initiative by selling their featured “Pink Drink” and collecting $1 donations from their patrons.  A portion of all proceeds will assist us in continuing to bring these lifesaving practices to the women of Lebanon County.

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