IL Council on Health & Physical Fitness

IL Council on Health & Physical Fitness In 2012, Governor Pat Quinn created the Governor’s Council on Health and Physical Fitness to promote health and wellness in the State of Illinois.

Happy holidays from the Governor's Council on Health and Physical Fitness!

Happy holidays from the Governor's Council on Health and Physical Fitness!

This is a free event! Join and share with educators and parents across your communities!

This is a free event! Join and share with educators and parents across your communities!

SKY Schools

#BREATHEWITHME "Caring for myself is not self-indulgence; it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare." Audre Lorde *** Safe Space, Self-Care & Community of Practice. Healing Conversations and Courses led by Black SKY Stress Management Specialists, for the Black Community.

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(We offer a parrallel session for Allies to connect, learn and find support in their work to dismantle racism at

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Hello, everyone! As we prepare for the Thanksgiving weekend, many of us are already salivating over the plethora of dishes that we are about to indulge in, as we follow it up with watching loads of TV, and, our only activity over the weekend being holiday shopping, better known as "Black Friday". However, the holiday season is when the most pounds are packed on during the entire year, with weight gain between now and New Year's Day being anywhere from five to ten pounds. The holiday season is also the time of the year where the least amount of physical activity takes place, due to the change in weather, which leads to people being less motivated to work out.

Instead of tackling all the holidays at once, I'm going to help you get through this week (Thanksgiving) by providing you some tips that will help make your Thanksgiving weekend healthy, and, I promise you won't feel guilty!

1. EAT BREAKFAST!! Many of us grew up starving ourselves throughout the day, so that we can "make room" for as many "plates" as we can consume. Eating a simple breakfast of some eggs wheat toast, and orange juice, or a bowl of oatmeal or whole grain cereal, will provide you with the protein and fiber you need, along with curbing your appetite by making you more conscious about your food and beverages choices during the "main meal". This allows you to have more control over your appetite, instead of "eating with your eyes" later on.

2. Increase your workout routine leading into the holidays. If you know that you plan on indulging in the holiday food, increase your workout routine by adding an additional 20-30 minutes of cardio/aerobic activity to your normal regimen. Whether that's on the elliptical machine, treadmill, or a 30-minute jog on a trail, burning the extra calories will help you feel less guilty while you are eating on Thursday (and Friday, Saturday, and Sunday). You can even make it a family event by taking a family walk, or if you have an XBox Kinect, burn some extra calories as a family playing Dance Central or The Michael Jackson Experience. For every 20 minutes of game time, you are burning 250 calories, and providing a great family bonding moment.

3. Cut down on the consumption of carbonated beverages/alcoholic beverages. Our brain doesn't process "liquid calories" the same that we do "food calories", and, as a result, we gain more calories than we expect when we are taking in multiple cups/bottles of pop and/or alcohol with our meals. One 20-ounce bottle/cup of pop can contain up to an additional 400 calories to our already loaded Thanksgiving plate. Adding alcohol into the mix can increase it another couple hundred calories. Going with a less-sugar, calorie filled option would be better, such as tea or even a glass of red wine. Also, in-between these pop/alcohol drinks, have a glass of water.

Here are some additional meal tips:

* Light meat over dark meat will give you 30 calories less, but dark meat is okay. Dark meat provides you with more vitamins and minerals.

*Regardless of the color of meat you choose, lose the skin! just one ounce of skin contains 80 calories, along with 2 grams of fat.

*Go easy on the gravy. For every dish you choose to cover with this topping favorite, you are adding an additional 20 calories per ounce. Don't smother the pounds on!

*Go easy on the side dishes. Between mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, candied yams, sweet potato casserole, and, my personal favorite, mac and cheese, you are potentially loading your arteries with a concoction of butter, cheese, cream, salt, and brown sugar that will have your internal organs calling for 911! Fix your meal on a smaller plate to control your portions.

*Steamed vegetables are much better choices, for they will keep your body slender and trim. Just don't "snow cap" them with cheese and butter.

*Sweet potato and pumpkin pies are much safer dessert options than cakes and pies, because they are both veggie-based to eliminate the extra calories. Just keep in mind, when you dollop a spoonful of whip cream on top of a slice of either pies, you now just added 80 calories to a healthier option of dessert.

I promise you that if you follow these tips, you will still enjoy the holiday season, and, be thankful that you left them staying fit and trim!

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Martinus Evans, the self-proclaimed "fat runner," has competed in multiple marathons and amassed a big social media following, thanks to his body-positive message.

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Chicago, IL


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