More Fitness From Head To Toe

Information and activities are from the "Fitness Head To Toe" tab from the NIE Institute.


Your Mouth                                                                                                     Your mouth gets a lot of exercise every day. When you eat breakfast, chomp gum, and talk on the phone, you give the old jaw muscles a good workout. Maybe that’s why the strongest muscle in a human’s body is the one that connects the jawbone to the skull. Besides showing off its muscles, though, the mouth plays a more important role in fitness and health. It’s the front door for a lot of fitness factors. Open it for an apple and you’re ahead of the game.

Water World
Water might seem dull, but it can really float your fitness boat. Not only is water used to digest food and carry waste out of the body, you also need water to help your cells function and to keep you at a comfortable temperature. If you get stuck on an island, you can live for many days without food, but you won’t last long without water.

In fact, it’s difficult to make it through the day without water. If you don’t drink enough water (six to eight glasses a day), your body will start pulling water from your body’s cells and even from your blood. The lack of water, or dehydration, that results can cause headaches, heart problems, and heartburn.  Makes you kind of thirsty, doesn’t it? The next time you’re tempted to open your mouth for food that’s less than healthy, take a big old drink of water instead. Drink it bottled, on ice, or from a water fountain. Fit more water into your life!


Bite into Water
Besides being vital for bodily functions, water can also make you feel full. People who are worried about overeating can eat less by choosing foods that have a high water content. Here are good “wet food” choices:
1. Yogurt
2. Low-fat milk
3. Tuna (canned in water)
4. Ham (extra lean)
5. Soft pretzel
6. Three-bean chili                                                                                                        7. Chicken chow mein
8. Salsa
9. Fat-free mayonnaise
10. Ketchup and mustard
11. Frozen fudge bar

Not Enough Input
Putting too much junk food in your mouth is unhealthy, but it’s also unhealthy to not eat anything. People who become so concerned about their weight that they stop eating have an eating disorder called anorexia. Those who throw up what they eat suffer from bulimia. These disorders can cause serious health and appearance problems and should be treated by a doctor.

ACTIVITIES                                                                                                           In small groups, make two posters. On one, draw a wide-open mouth and fill it with newspaper words or pictures of things that should go in your mouth. On the other, draw a closed mouth and around it, attach words and pictures of unhealthy things.