by Martha Blume
The dark, cold days of winter give us a good excuse to stay indoors near our computers, TVs, books, games and other stuff that might exercise our minds but not our bodies. Your heart needs exercise all year round to stay healthy. Its up to you to keep it in shape.
Grab a tennis ball and squeeze it hard. The force needed to squeeze a tennis ball is like the force needed to squeeze blood out of your heart. Try to do that 70 times in one minute. Thats the average heart rate of an adult. Kids hearts actually beat even faster, between 90 and 120 beats per minute.
Now do a stress test:
Sit down and take your pulse for one minute. Record it. Thats your normal resting heart rate.
Next, try these activities. Record your pulse after each one. Give yourself some recovery time in between activities for your heart rate to go back to normal.
- Stand up
- Hop 25 times
- Walk up and down the stairs quickly
- Run in place for five minutes
What happened to your pulse? Your heart has to work harder, pumping blood and oxygen to all of the cells of your body when you move about. If you keep it in good shape, by exercising regularly, itll work more efficiently and so will you.
So be good to your heart. Dont just sit around. Get up and play. Run around outside. Shoot some baskets. Jump rope. Clean your room. Walk your dog. Do something every day for your heart.
Cool Stuff to Do:
Friday, January 18
Stories by the Fire
Relax by the fire and listen to an entertaining story while sipping hot chocolate. Then take a short nature hike and make a nature craft. 10am-noon @ Jug Bay Wetlands, Lothian. $2.50 w/discounts; rsvp: 410/741-9330.
Have You Ever Met A Pig?
Meet the Pig himself from If You Give A Pig A Pancake by Laura Numeroff. Also, piggy stories and activities. 10am @ Barnes & Noble, Annapolis Harbour Center: 410/573-1115.
Need something to do tonight? Grab some friends and boogie down to the sounds of a DJ playing the latest tunes. Bring your school ID card. Grades 8 & 9. 7-10pm @ South County Rec Center, Harwood. $5; rsvp: 410/222-1515.
What Happened To Possums Tail?
Gather around the fireplace to enjoy some warm treats and explore the reasons to why certain animals and plants look the way they do. 7pm @ Flag Ponds Nature Park, Lusby. $3 w/discounts; rsvp: 410/586-1477.
Watch your favorite Aesops fables come to life onstage at the Chesapeake Music Hall. Doors open 10:30am; lunch 11; show 11:30 @ the Hall, Annapolis. $10; rsvp: 410/626-7515.
Saturday, January 19
Bowling for Pennies
Bowl for the grand prizea jar stuffed w/pennies! Noon @ Southern Community Center, Lusby. $2; rsvp:
Decorate and design your own cookies using icing, candy, glitter and imagination. 11am @ Southern Community Center, Lusby. $3; rsvp: 410/586-1101.
Find out what magic happens when theres a golden goose loose on the stage. Doors open 10:30am; lunch 11; show 11:30 @ Chesapeake Music Hall, Annapolis. $10; rsvp: 410/626-7515.
Sunday, January 20
Sip on delicious tea, munch tasty sandwiches and desserts and enjoy entertainment at the historic Marietta House Museums Nutcracker Tea. Ages 4-12. 1 & 4pm @ the Museum, Glenn Dale. $12/adults; $8/kids; rsvp: 301/464-5291.
How do plants and animals survive the cold? Explore woods, ponds and fields w/Ranger Brian looking for signs of life. Dress for weather. 1pm @ Kinder Farm Park, Millersville. Free; rsvp: 410/222-6115.
Tuesday, January 22
Stories of Friendship
Celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr., day w/stories of friendship read by Ms. Terry. 10:30am @ Borders, Bowie: 301/352-5560.
All About Dinosaurs
Have a Dino-mite time reading Dads Dinosaur Day and other prehistoric tales. 10am @ Barnes & Noble, Annapolis Harbour Center: 410/573-1115.
Junk from the Trunk
Empty your closets, toy chests and attic trunks to create works of art from forgotten pieces of junk. Bring boxes, radio parts, pieces from your dads car, whatever you like (at least 3 things). Jan. 22 & 29 4:30-6:30pm @ Anne Arundel Community College, Arnold. $32; rsvp: 410/777-2243.
On a Snowy Day
Come find out what happens on a snowy day in the woods, fields and river. Dress in warm clothing and bring mom or dad and a bag of lunch. Special winter treats, too. Ages 3-5. 10:30am-noon @ Kings Landing Park. $3 w/discounts; rsvp: 410/535-2661.