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I AM in Iowa Adolescents Making Choices to Control Their Future Teen:Health, Relationship, Body and Sexuality

Topic: Fitness & Nutrition

Jul 26

Staying Active When You Don’t Play Sports

Posted By iamincontrol | July 26, 2018

I played many sports through middle school and early high school. These included volleyball, soccer, basketball, tennis, volleyball, & softball. As I got older, the schedules overlapped and I needed more weekday time for my school work. I found myself doing less physical activity as a result of no longer being on these teams. I have found new ways to become more active again without playing organized sports. Exercise is crucial for a healthy lifestyle. You should always try to make time to stay active.

  • Check your local pool for open swim times! Swimming is a great, low impact activity. It’s really fun to do, even at your own pace.
  • Ask your gym teacher for ideas for at-home workouts or ways to incorporate exercise into your everyday life outside of class.
  • Join a club team! This is playing a sport, but at a less competitive level. Everyone plays for fun and time commitments aren’t as intense.
  • Play games with friends! Volleyball at a beach, jump rope in front of your house, frisbee in a park, or even dancing in the living room together. These are easy ways to stay active doing things you like with people you love.
Jul 17

Coconut Oil Craze

Posted By iamincontrol | July 17, 2018

Coconut oil seemed to have popped up out of nowhere. It started appearing in grocery stores, in recipes and there’s been countless articles posted about how to use it for your hair and skin. But the question is, is it actually that good for you?

Coconut oil, when eaten raises “bad” cholesterol. It contains a high amount of saturated fat. At the same time, it raises “good” cholesterol since it’s a fat. Cholesterol is found in your blood and helps with body functions. According to experts, coconut oil is not as healthy as other cooking oils so it shouldn’t be your first choice. When cooking, you should try to use olive oil or vegetable oil when needed.

As for its beauty benefits, it might not be as good as some claim. Coconut oil doesn’t absorb very well into skin or hair. It sits as a layer on top. There are oils that are better for your hair or absorbing into the skin. Some examples are olive oil or castor oil. Castor oil also kills harmful bacteria which can help hair grow. Not all oils are equal but some of them can have major health benefits. If you’re looking to use oils for beauty, make sure to do some research on which one would be best. Coconut oil may not be the best choice for cooking or beauty right now, but research is still being done on it. Everybody is different though so remember, what works for one person may not work for another.

For more information of coconut oil and health, check out:

Jul 10

Bicycle Safety

Posted By iamincontrol | July 10, 2018

Biking can be a great summer activity. It’s a great way to get some exercise in and it can also be a fun way to see some new scenery. Check out these tips on bike safety:

  • Helmets help prevent brain injury in the case of a fall. Your helmet should be worn level so it covers your forehead, not tipped. Your helmet straps should be snug to keep it in place. There are measurements on the helmets to help you find the right one. If you’re not sure if your helmet fits, you can ask someone at a bike store.
  • Make sure your bike is in good shape. You can ask a parent or other trusted adult to help you do this. Check your wheels, seat, and handlebars
  • Bikes come in different sizes so check to see if your bike is the right size for you. If you stand with your feet flat, there should be 1 to 3 inches of space between you and the top bar.
  • Check your chain and add oil if it needs it. Give your tires a squeeze and make sure they have enough pressure. If not, use an air pump to fill them to the proper capacity.

When you ride:

  • Wear bright clothes so cars see you.
  • Make sure you check where and how far you can ride by asking your parents.
  • Ride with a buddy, especially on longer trips.
  • Know the road rules and hand signals.
  • If you’re riding at dusk or near dark, make sure your bike has reflectors or a head light.

Check out this website for more tips, road rules, and a guide of the hand signals!

Jul 5

Stay Hydrated to Stay Active

Posted By iamincontrol | July 5, 2018

Have you ever been outside playing for a few hours and started to feel extra slow, dizzy, or like your mouth was so dry? Well you probably experienced dehydration. Dehydration happens when the amount of water in the body is less than what it needs to perform normally. You can actually see the water leaving your body through sweat. To play at your best, make sure you are getting plenty of water before, during, and after your activities.

Tips to combat dehydration:

  • Always keep a water bottle on you and drink from it regularly.
  • Choose water instead of sugar packed sports drinks.
  • Start drinking water before you head outside to play.
  • If you start to feel thirsty you’re already dehydrated so you need to find a spot in the shade to rest and drink fluids.
  • Have fruit as a snack, particularly melons and berries since they have high water content. Check out our blog post on June 7th for great summer time recipes with delicious fruits!

Learn more about dehydration and ways to stay hydrated all summer long at

Jun 26

‘Sup with Supplements?

Posted By iamincontrol | June 26, 2018

A lot of celebrities and social media influencers promote miracle supplements on their accounts, but do they really work? Supplements are not meant to be the main source of nutrients in your diet. It’s best to focus on eating a balanced diet and to use supplements when you need them to fill in the gaps. Here’s what you should know about dietary supplements before you try them:

  • It’s better to get most nutrients from the food you eat than from a supplement.. Talk to your doctor or a doctor that specializes in diets to get the best information for your body.
  • Supplements won’t change your health or appearance more than a nutrient-rich diet will.
  • Some groups of people might need supplements for their diets. Pregnant women, strict vegans and vegetarians, and people with food allergies are some of the people who may need to take supplements. But most people only need a multivitamin.
  • Some supplements are dangerous when taken too much. Iron, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, and some B vitamins can all be dangerous if taken too much.
  • There is no certainty that the product does what it says it’s supposed to do. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not check the claims made by most before the products are sold.

If you’re concerned about getting enough vitamins in your diet, talk to a doctor or nutritionist about whether supplements are a good solution for you. You can also read more about vitamins and minerals here: and supplements for sports here:

Jun 19

How to Stay Cool by the Pool All Summer Long

Posted By iamincontrol | June 19, 2018

Swimming is one of the most popular summer activities, but without proper safety it can be scary. Whether you are heading to a community pool, lake, or water park, here are a few tips to keep you safe all summer long.

  • Always swim with a buddy. If something goes wrong they can get help. Plus, it’s more fun with a friend!
  • Know your limits and your comfort level. Don’t get pressured into a dangerous situation.
  • Take a CPR and first aid class, nothing is cooler than being prepared in case of an emergency.
  • Only swim in designated areas. Follow directions posted on signs or caution ropes to keep everyone safe.
  • Be careful about diving. Diving injuries can be serious so if it says, “No Diving” pay attention!
  • Always wear sunscreen and don’t forget to reapply.
  • While you are splashing around in the water all day, don’t forget to take time to drink some water.

For more tips on water safety check out

Jun 12

Fighting Food Deserts and Food Swamps

Posted By iamincontrol | June 12, 2018

If there is no healthy food near our homes, we may not eat the right things for our body or not eat at all. Not having healthy food within reach is called a food desert. Food deserts are a problem in controlling weight for many people, but recent studies have shown that food swamps are issues too. Food swamps are areas with a lot of low-nutrient and processed foods that are within reach. Try to think of a place in your hometown that is full of fast food restaurants and gas stations with junk food – that’s a food swamp.

These food swamps are common in areas that already struggle with poverty. Some cities have tried banning fast-food restaurants from areas, while other cities have tried to bring in healthy places to eat. There are other things being done, like teaching people how to cook with vegetables or making community gardens, but the answer will need more than just these things. It is important to understand the environment that you and others grow up in and healthy foods.

Go to to learn more about the topic!

Jun 7

Refreshing Summer Snacks

Posted By iamincontrol | June 7, 2018

There are plenty of fruits and vegetables in season during the summer.

You can use these to prepare a healthy snack.

There are some you can take on the go and some you can have in your fridge/freezer to help you cool off after a fun activity!

Some snack ideas include:

May 31

Vitamin Waters and Sports Drinks

Posted By iamincontrol | May 31, 2018

Vitamin waters and sports drinks may not be as good as they seem. Vitamin waters have a lot of added sugar in the form of fructose. Fructose is just a fancy word for sugar. You may think it is worth it because of the vitamins it provides, but many of the vitamins that are in the drink often times already present in your diet. When beverages are sweetened with sugar, it is difficult to realize how many calories you are consuming. Sports drinks are the same way. While it may be beneficial to athletes working out for long periods of time in the heat, it is not healthy for someone who is not as physically active. It provides extra sugar and potassium that is not needed and can lead to weight gain. The sugar can also cause cavities and other tooth problems. There are many other drinks like this so read the ingredient labels and look for the word fructose. If it is one of the first few words listed that probably means it is a key ingredient and could be harmful.

These drinks can be a nice treat but drink them in moderation. Don’t try to use them as your primary intake of vitamins or have them replace water. Keep these things in mind when choosing your drinks:

  • Be on the lookout for fructose on ingredient labels.
  • Drink as much regular water as you can.
  • Eat a balanced, healthy diet to get your vitamins.

Check out these tips on how to drink more water:

May 29

Cross Contamination: Don’t Cross It!

Posted By iamincontrol | May 29, 2018

You probably know someone who has gotten food poisoning. As long as you properly prepare and store food, food poisoning is unlikely to happen. One common way people get food poisoning is through cross contamination. This is when raw meat, poultry, or seafood (or their juices) touches ready to eat food or eating utensils/surfaces. Cooking foods until they reach high temperatures kills most bacteria, which is why properly cooked meats are safe.

Here are some tips to avoid cross contamination.

  1. Do not use the same cutting board to cut anything else after cutting raw meat, poultry, or seafood on it. If you only have one cutting board, make sure to clean it really well with dish soap in between.
  2. Do not use the same knife to cut ready-to-eat food or produce after using it to cut meat, poultry, or seafood. This goes the same for any other utensils that have touched raw meat.
  3. If cleaning up with a towel, do not reuse it. Throw it in the laundry.
  4. If using plates to hold raw meat, poultry, or seafood, do not return the cooked meat back onto the same plate or any other food items.
  5. Always wash your hands with soap and water after touching raw meat, poultry, or seafood before touching anything else.
  6. Store raw meat, poultry, and seafood on the bottom shelf of the fridge in a sealed container or plastic bag to prevent them from dripping onto ready-to-eat food.

For information about cooking at home and food safety, visit: