Fun Family Events

In Sacramento, we've all been
there - it's rainy and cold outside,
while the kids are bored...

read more

Pedometer Tips

It sounds so simple - count
your steps and get
healthier...

read more

Curb Your Cravings

With the New Year, many
of us are refocusing on
our diet. While working...

read more

Fun Family Events in Sacramento

We've all been there - it's rainy and cold outside, while the kids are bored and stir-crazy inside. There are some fun opportunities to help your family break out of the winter doldrums. And the best part it is - they are right here in Sacramento! Here's a look at just a few things to do this month...

Sacramento Museum Day

A record 30 Sacramento area museums will offer free or half-priced admission all day on Saturday, February 2 during the 15th Annual Sacramento Museum Day. Twenty-eight of the 30 museums will offer free admission whereas two destinations located in residential areas - the Sacramento Zoo and Fairytale Town - will offer half-priced admission to offset parking control and security costs. Sacramento Museum Day event hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (with the last guests admitted at 4 p.m.).

Sacramento Museum Day, a popular Sacramento cultural tradition, is designed to encourage all members of the community to experience the Capital City's incredible wealth of art, history, science and wildlife - at little or no cost.

For more information and to see a list of the 30 participating museums, visit sacmuseums.org.

Downtown Sacramento Ice Rink

Ongoing through Jan. 21

St. Rose of Lima Park
7th St. & K St.
Sacramento, CA 95814

Sacramento's original outdoor ice rink celebrates its 21st season. The 7,000 sq. ft. rink is open seven days a week. Located in the heart of Downtown Sacramento at St. Rose of Lima Park at 7th & K streets, the rink is a short stroll from light rail, Old Sacramento, the State Capitol and Sacramento Downtown Plaza.

For information about promotional days and pricing, visit downtownsac.org.

Princess Academy at Fairytale Town

3901 Land Park Drive
Sacramento, CA 95822

Jan 19, 2013: 10 am - 12 pm (Saturday)
$25
Register online at fairytaletown.org

Bibbidi-bobbidi-boo! Little princesses-in-training will learn the magical secrets of being a fairytale princess in this one-day workshop for ages 5 to 8. Princesses will play dress up, attend a pink tea party, and decorate delicious treats to enjoy. From princess etiquette and attire to royal manners and social skills, this fairytale-fun workshop has everything a budding princess needs, including a Fairy Godmother.

Register in advance. Limited spots available.

Super H.E.R.O. School at Fairytale Town

3901 Land Park Drive
Sacramento, CA 95822

Jan 20, 2013: 10 am - 12 pm (Sunday)
$25
Register online at fairytaletown.org

Superheroes Assemble! In a one-day workshop for ages 4 to 8, young heroes will learn the importance of bravery, honor and respect while engaging in a dynamic discussion of their favorite superheroes, both real and fictional. The workshop also includes an energizing hero snack and an introduction to super hero stretching techniques and exercises. Heroes then design and create their own secret identity, special powers and costumes. Male and female heroes are welcome.

Register in advance. Limited spots available.

American Chronicles: The Art of Norman Rockwell at Crocker Art Museum

216 O Street Sacramento, CA 95814 916.808.7000

Ongoing through Feb. 3

This exhibition celebrates the full range of Norman Rockwell's artwork, including rarely circulated works from the collection of the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Included in the presentation are original oil paintings of some of his most famous illustrations, drawings, war bond posters, and numerous covers that Rockwell created for The Saturday Evening Post over nearly five decades. In addition to the artworks on view, personal correspondence and archival photographs offer insight into the life of one of the country's most beloved illustrators.

For information on weekly family events, visit crockerartmuseum.org.

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Curb Your Cravings

With the New Year, many of us are refocusing on our diet. While working in more fruits and veggies is typically easy enough, the one area that may be more difficult to address is cravings - specifically, cravings for carbs and sugar.

If this is something you struggle with, here are a few strategies that may help you kick your cravings to the curb!

  1. Avoid artificial sweeteners: While artificial sweeteners may seem like a better choice, they have NOT been proven to aid in weight loss. In fact, for some people, the constant taste of sweetness only makes them crave more sugar. If you are used to sweetening your beverages or cereal, try to gradually cut back until you do not need any.

  2. Indulge - but set limits: For some people, completely eliminating sugar or carbs from the diet only makes them want it more. If that's you, see if you can set limits. Allow yourself a small cookie or a bite size piece of chocolate. Try to keep your indulgence below 150 calories.

  3. Combine a treat with a healthy food: If you're craving chocolate, try mixing a few chocolate chips in with a handful of almonds. If you like salty and sweet take a tablespoon of peanut butter and dip banana slices in it. This way, you?ll get the benefit of healthy nutrients while still satisfying your craving.

  4. Try chewing gum: If you often eat when you are bored, grab some flavored, sugar-free gum and see if chewing gum will alleviate your craving. Tell yourself to give it five minutes and if you still want food, allow yourself a small portion.

  5. Get creative with fruit: Explore the fruit section in your supermarket and stock your kitchen with a variety of flavorful fruits. Colorful fruit provides nutrients and can also fulfill a craving for sweets. Alternate a fruit snack with a handful of nuts or seeds and you may be able to keep both the salty and the sweet cravings at bay!

  6. Take a hike! When a craving hits, try to walk it off. Take a five minute walk or - if your schedule permits - hit the gym. Chances are, if you are still hungry after activity, you will be more likely to seek out a healthier option than if you cave to the craving prior to exercising.

  7. Always go for quality: Whether it is a sweet treat or a higher calorie entrée, choose quality over quantity. A small amount of something very good will be much more satisfying than a lot of something that is mediocre. Once you?ve enjoyed your small indulgence, if you are still hungry seek out healthy fruits and vegetables until you are satisfied.

  8. Don't wait: Try to eat small meals or snacks regularly, throughout the day. If you do not allow yourself to become ravenously hungry, you will be more likely to keep cravings at bay and make good food choices.

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Making the Most of Your Pedometer

It sounds so simple - count your steps and get healthier... With a pedometer strapped to your waist, it can be that easy. But not all pedometers are created equal and using them is not always as easy as it sounds. So if you found a pedometer in your stocking this Christmas - or if you're thinking about buying one for the New Year - here are some tips to help you make the most of it.

  1. Buy what you need: Some pedometers are very simple and straightforward - they count your steps and nothing more. If that is all you want, then that is the type you should get. However, there are also pedometers on the market that can do much more, including measuring calories, miles and heart rate. If those stats would be helpful to you, a more advanced pedometer might be worth the investment.

  2. Read your instructions: It is important to know whether your pedometer is counting your strides (the distance between one heel striking once and then striking again) or steps (the distance between one heel striking and then the opposite heel striking). One stride would technically be two steps, so if you don't know which your pedometer is counting you could be short-changing or cheating yourself.

  3. Wear it correctly: Because the pedometer is reading the motion of your hip and leg, it is important that you wear it correctly. Place it on your waistband, either at the midline of one thigh directly over the knee or on the midline of your hip. Be sure the pedometer is straight and not at an angle.

  4. Know your baseline: Wear your pedometer for a week without increasing your activity. This will give you a baseline for how many steps you are currently walking. Knowing this number will enable you to set more realistic, and beneficial, goals. The American College of Sports Medicine offers the following guidelines for daily steps:

    • Less than 5,000 steps per day is "sedentary"

    • 5,000 to 7,499 steps is "low activity"

    • 7,500 to 9,999 steps is "somewhat active"

    • 10,000 to 12,500 steps is "active"

    • Greater than 12,500 steps is "highly active"

  5. Try adding 500-1,000 daily steps each week or 10% of your baseline until you reach 10,000 steps a day. If you are having trouble increasing your steps consider parking at the far end of each parking lot; doubling walks whenever possible (like to the mailbox) by walking past your destination and then looping back; and take the stairs whenever possible.

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