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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

CentraCare care givers have been working around the clock for more than 20 months to care for you, your families and friends during COVID. We are committed to caring for every Minnesotan who needs us, and nothing will prevent us from doing so – even during these never-seen-before times.

The challenge of providing this level of care is that our hospital beds are often full. ERs in all of our hospitals are packed. And our clinical teams are exhausted. Early in the pandemic, our community stepped up in amazing ways to help us. We ask that you again join us in fighting this pandemic together.

How can you help?

  • Please get your COVID vaccines and booster shots. They are proven safe and effective in reducing COVID illness, keeping people out of the hospital, and preventing death.
  • If your situation is not an emergency, please use other care options, including:
  • If this is a medical emergency, call 9-1-1, or visit the ER.

Together, we can do this. Thank you for your support.

Ken Holmen, MD
President and CEO

Don’t let your kids be couch potatoes

Published in Pediatrics, For the Health of It Author: Janet Handrigan, MD

When I was a child, we played outside until our moms made us come in. We played kick the can, tag, softball and sometimes just ran for the fun of it. Now we are afraid to let our kids outside without direct supervision so they sit inside playing video games. To be healthy, children need at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. 

Active kids have:

  • Stronger muscles and bones
  • Less body fat
  • Less risk of developing type 2 diabetes
  • Lower blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels
  • More restful sleep
  • A more positive outlook on life

Watching kids on the playground provides perfect examples of the three elements of fitness:

  • Endurance — playing tag
  • Strength — crossing the monkey bars
  • Flexibility — bending during hopscotch

Ways to encourage your kids to get active:

  • Yard tournaments. Have a competition with games such as badminton, volleyball, Frisbee or hula hooping. Buy prizes from the dollar store to award the winners. If you don’t have a backyard, go to your local park or playground.
  • Play follow the leader. If you are stuck inside, march up and down the stairs, jump over objects, do a crab walk, skip, etc. When outside, set up an obstacle course, use the swing set, throw a ball in the air, etc.
  • Sidewalk games. Draw hopscotch, four square, your own version of Twister, an obstacle cross or a bike path.
  • Jump rope. Do this individually or use a longer rope to swing between two people.
  • Play ball. Learning eye/hand coordination while running makes baseball, football, kickball, soccer or volleyball all good exercises.

The most important thing is to lead by example. You are your child’s most important role model. So go play and have fun!