All posts by Blog Ambassador Tameka Evans

Blog Ambassador Tameka Evans

About Blog Ambassador Tameka Evans

My name is Tameka Evans. I am a graduate of Bell Multicultural High School in Washington, DC. One of my biggest aspirations is to one day become either a news anchor or journalist. Currently, working as a student ambassador at MECKids which is pushing me closer towards my goal everyday. Next fall I would like to attend Allegany Community College, majoring in Communications/Broadcast Journalism. I believe that if I continue to work hard and take advantage of the resources constantly given to me I will be able to achieve my goal and maintain success.

What Do The People Think About Metabolism

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Many people hear the word metabolism used in common health conversations such as, “I have a very high metabolism.” or “I have a very low metabolism.”  Even though we often use this word almost everyday do we really know what it means and its relation to both weight loss and weight gain?

Metabolism is the energy used for your body to function , including burning calories and breaking down food.  A calorie is the amount of energy a food or drink provides when you eat it.  Your body’s metabolism is constantly burning a continuous amount of calories to provide energy needed.  Healthy foods help your metabolism regularly perform its function and fatty, greasy foods slows it down, this may cause people to become overweight and obese.  This explains the common beliefs about fast and slow metabolisms.  Metabolism is based on body composition, the greater percentage of muscle, the higher the metabolism.

Children have a higher metabolism than adult because children are more physically active than adults and their bodies burn calories faster.  Their metabolic system can be easily shaped since they are young and it can also be affected by growth hormones and puberty.

In conducting interviews with people and their thoughts on metabolism I learned that people really don’t have an understanding of what metabolism really is.  “Hmm, I guess I can say that metabolism is what fuels the body,” said James Mickens, security guard for Martin Luther King Jr. Library.  He added there should be more recreational center activities for the kids and more programs to get them moving.  “It is a regulatory device used to burn fuel,”  said librarian Liane Rosenblatt.  Each of these interviewees agreed that children of this generation are less likely to have a high metabolism because they aren’t as active as they used to be when they were children.  “Look at the kids today, sitting around with all this social media; they need to get outside,” Rosenblatt added.

In my opinion, its all about knowledge and awareness.  The more adults and teenagers that are aware of health issues and what can be done to prevent them, the more children will want to participate and be more healthy.  Also, children should encourage each other to be more physically active so that they can have high metabolisms and healthy diets.  Since it is summer time children can take group trips to the pool and play team sports that everyone is familiar with.  Making their own healthy snacks like apple slices, and carrot sticks with peanut butter is an alternative instead of spending money on junk food.  Older kids can encourage younger children to use technology in a positive way such as looking for resources to get kids engaged in other activities than watching t.v.and playing video games.

Student Ambassador: Tameka Evans

What People Think About Childhood Obesity In America

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obesity_epidemic_america
Even though childhood obesity is an epidemic, many people aren’t aware of it.  I found a couple of people today that were willing to let me interview them on the topic at hand and they gave me some really great feedback.  A librarian, when asked about her feelings on the childhood obesity epidemic said, “I think it is sad that the world has come to this, and it is all because of lack of parental involvement.  They just let their kids stay in the house.”  She also added that obese kids not only suffer from being overweight but also because of the teasing and bullying that comes with it.  “Fat kids get teased all the time.” She remarks.  Russell a second librarian had strong feelings toward the epidemic and the tools that can be used to stop it.  He argues that America is obese because “Affordable food is unhealthy and healthy food is expensive.”  When asked why minorities are the largest of the obesity percentile of America he says there is lack of knowledge and inequalities amongst people and neighborhoods.  He mentioned a couple of great programs that reach out to communities in the quest to healthy eating such as Eat Local, Farmers Markets and even Michelle Obama’s Lets Move campaign.  There is a lot of help out there but if people don’t know about them how will the world be a healthier place?  I asked the librarians what could they do to contribute to slimming down America and they both agreed on promotion, education and encouragement.  “Schools should plant gardens and let the children eat the fruits and veggies from them.” And “Kids should get outside and encourage their friends to come out to play.” These are a couple of helpful tips the librarians gave.  I think with the use of the programs available and parents pushing their kids off the couch we can put a stop to childhood obesity.

 

Student Ambassador: Tameka Evans

Kid Friendly Fitness

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Joseph H. Cole Recreational Center is a place for kids of all ages to enjoy themselves all year around.  It is fully equipped with a basketball court, gymnasium, computer room, playground equipment, a wide grassy park area for team sports and a small water park area for kids to cool off in on hot days.  “We provide a summer camp for the kids between the ages of 6 to 13, we have small trips planned for the kids to explore their neighborhood and encourage them to engage physical fitness activities as well,” said the rec center manager Zenobia Moton.  I asked her about her take on the childhood obesity epidemic and she said she really didn’t know what to think about it because, “The kids that come here aren’t obese, I haven’t really come in contact with any obese kids.”  She added, “In order to stop childhood obesity however, I think kids should become more involved with what the community has to offer.  Sometimes I think its hard though for kids to just be outside because parents become concerned about if their kids are safe and if they are hanging out on the streets, but to solve that problem parents can get their kids involved in the summer camp or recreation center activities so they will know their kids are in a safe, healthy environment.”

In my opinion, there are many kid friendly fitness opportunities for kids to be engaged in but they don’t know about them.  The recreational centers are the best places for kids to exert energy into becoming healthy and fit.  Swimming pools and community centers that have boxing classes and football teams are all essential to helping kids become healthier and more active.  I think there needs to be more promotion from not only adults but kids themselves to fill the centers and get kids moving.

Student Ambassador: Tameka Evans

Kids Workout Gear

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What’s more fun than watching kids exercise?  Watching kids exercise in cute exercise clothes!  Often parents aren’t aware that you can buy activewear for kids and hassle them to keep their clothes clean when they go out to play.  Jill, the founder and daily blogger of The Rockin’ Bodies Club spoke about C9; an activewear line by Champion for men, women and children.  Jill said, “ I had never even thought of buying activewear for my boys. Besides their baseball uniforms, I have never had clothing set aside for them to wear when they play sports and outside. In fact, I didn’t even know they made work out clothes for kids. (1)”  She acknowledges the fact that the clothes are not only comfortable, cute and stylish for the kids but also very affordable for the parents.  “They are more than reasonably priced, like tennis shoes for under $25 and shirt and pants around $10. With prices like these, you can get many pieces to mix and match (1).”  C9 apparel for kids can be found at Target.  They have everything from athletic shorts, tank tops, hoodies and tennis shoes for boys and girls.  The breathable fabric and vibrant colors of these clothes will make kids want to get out, run around and have fun without worrying about getting their everyday clothes worn out and smelly.

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(1) “Activewear Your Boys Will Love.” Rockin Boys Club. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 July 2013. .

Student Ambassador: Tameka Evans

Fun At The Fall Fitness Mix

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On Thursday September 12, 2013; MECKids proudly hosted our first Fall Fitness VIP event of the year. It was a rainy and gloomy day but MECKids did not allow that to put a damper on our festivities. Our professional partners, sponsors and friends joined us for an evening of great fun and entertainment in paying attribute to MECKids and our hallmarks in health, fitness, education and technology. The Fitness Mix featured an exclusive Heart & Soul Magazine Media Suite, Sport Zone’s VP for Sales and Marketing John Mastrianni, performances by Chi Chi Monet and many more.
As a blossoming blog ambassador for MECKids, I was touched and inspired by the testimonials and stories told by those who reach out and support us one hundred and ten percent.
Heart & Soul has been a publication for twelve years but Patrick H. Detry and Clarence I. Brown have been the proud owners for two years. Detry stated, “We have this mantra called mind, body and soul and like MECKids we want to motivate young people; we want to move them forward because there is not a lot of positive images for young people.” Brown announced, “It was so important for us to partner with folks like MECKids because you have to get information out to people to teach them how to be healthy and live healthy lifestyles. It feels good to not only own a business; but to own a business that helps our community, its like a give back.”
Sports Zone’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing John Mastrianni said, “What I really want to do is get out there and partner with great people and MECKids is great. It’s extremely important that we get our kids eating right and exercising and that’s exactly what their goal is.”
In addition to such great sponsors, there was Chi Chi Monet who is a 9 year old singer and rapper that inspires kids to make healthy choices. Her inspiration was a song she came up with in first grade called Like to Learn, “I thought the kids would like it because its positive so I kept giving them what they like,” recalls Chi Chi when asked about her inspiration for rapping about positive things. Furthermore, when asked how it feels to be such an inspiration to kids in teaching them to eat healthy and exercise she replied, “It feels amazing! I like doing it and I never ever quit.”
Overall this event was a success. It was an utter delight for me to be a part of such a stunning event surrounded by so many influential people in not only my life but in the life of todays community as well. As I stated earlier this was MECKids’ first VIP Event, I hope to see many more. Thank you to those who came out to speak and support MECKids, and remember:
YOU GOTTA MOVE!!

New Fun Fitness Trends

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Jumping Jacks, Jogging and Sit – Ups are all exercises we have been familiar with for years.  In order to maintain a healthy lifestyle you must remain active, however the same old exercises we have practiced since childhood does not often make the cut.  A recent finding in an article by the Daily News reviews a few new fun fitness trends for not only adults but kids of all ages.  Tabata, Parkour and TRX for Kids are a couple of group fitness trends on the rise.
According to New York Daily News, Tabata is one of the hottest fitness trends that involves high intensity interval training. Tabata provides similar health benefits to that of cardio workouts while adding a little more pizazz With Tabata, you work at maximum effort on one particular cardio exercise for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds and repeat.

parkour kid

Parkour is a bit similar to the high intensity work Tabata offers.  Parkour is also known as free running.  Participants can leap, dive, and backflip with the safety of foam pits and padded mats in the newest trend of Indoor Parkour.  According to New York Daily News, IDEA World Fitness will host classes on how to successfully get the workout and results you want from Parkour; their classes involve movement training and how to balance your climbs and jumps.

 TRX for Kids is a hardcore suspension training that adapts to kids workout ability and draws the focus on fun, motivation and fitness. There is also a Rip Power course for adults that ramps up the energy level that focuses on “pulsing movement and power moves.” What kids need is a fun way to remain healthy and fit, that’s exactly what TRX does. In my opinion, these are all fun and exciting ways to lose weight and be happy.  Even though these are high intense movement workouts they are still fun for the whole family to stay happy and healthy.

 

Tameka Evans

 

Do You Want Fries With That?

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The Happy Meal; specifically targeted for children is a quick and easy meal that puts a smile on every kids face and a hush to the mid-day tummy growls.  The Happy Meal has been sold at McDonalds since 1979 and continues to sell at a whopping one million per day in the United States alone. Happy Meals, depending on the combination of food and drink can be about 400-600 calories per meal.  “As a result, childhood obesity rates in America have tripled since 1980 — today, 16 percent of children between the ages of 6 and 19 are overweight or obese. An additional 15 percent of kids are at risk of becoming overweight or obese” reports NBC News.  At this rate parents and kids should start finding other alternatives for a quick and easy meal.

Its not only Happy Meals that have America’s kids becoming obese by the second, sweetened cereals such as Cap’n Crunch and Cinnamon Toast Crunch contain empty calories and food colorings that have been linked to irritability and behavioral problems in children.  Sunny D and Hawaiian Punch only contain 5% juice, one cup is the equivalent of eating a dozen Chips Ahoy cookies; might as well grab an ice cold cup of sugar.  Last but not most definitely not least are Hot Pockets; the pepperoni stuffed frozen sandwiches.  One serving yields 735 calories and a heart stopping 1,352 milligrams of sodium.  The only pros of these food and drinks are the cheap market value and easy preparation however, the easy route isn’t always the best route to take.

As a solution to settling for unhealthy foods, explore new options.  Instead of unnatural, preservative filled breakfast foods try fresh fruit and a lightly sweetened whole grain cereal with a glass of orange juice or 2% milk, and for a midday snack grab some frozen yogurt or pita chips with hummus.  Dinner Time should be a joyful occasion to sit down and enjoy a satisfying meal with family and friends.  Have everyones input in the kitchen for healthy choices.  Make a rainbow colored salad and slice some lemons for a baked salmon and wild rice dish.  Instead of ordering a pizza decorate and bake your own.  Healthy eating should not be a choice, it should be a lifestyle that you follow everyday.  A lifestyle that you feel good about and that can put you on the pathway to a better you.  Now for what its worth, do you really want fries with that?

 

  • “Happy Meal.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 09 May 2013. Web. 09 Sept. 2013.

  • “How Many Happy Meals Are Sold Each Day in the United States?” Questions & Answers. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Sept. 2013.

  • “The 20 Worst Kids’ Foods in America.” Msnbc.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Sept. 2013.

  • “Calorie Counter.” Calories in Hot Pockets Hot Pockets Pepperoni Pizza Stuffed Sandwich Frozen. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Sept. 2013.

 

Student Ambassador: Tameka Evans

 

MECKids at the Biggest Loser Run/Walk

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The Biggest Loser  Run/Walk

Biggest loser event 

The Biggest Loser is a hit television show started in 2004.  The show features obese people competing to win a cash prize by losing the highest percentage of weight in comparison to their initial weight.  On Sunday July 14th; Dan and Jackie Evans, mother and son duo from season five of The Biggest Loser hosted the 5, 10, 15k run walk event at Stadium Armory in Washington D.C.  There was also a 1 mile race for younger kids that were interested in joining in on the action.  The Biggest Loser Run Walk was a race that challenged America to get fit.  MECKids was given the opportunity to volunteer at the event to motivate runners, pass out medals and get some cool information from the adults and kids on their experience at this event.

            People came from all over the United States to participate in the run walk.  “We came all the way from New Jersey to be in this race and become healthy strong Americans,” said Sal, volunteer and runner for the event.  Jen and Benita, longtime fans of The Biggest Loser came to run with their kids, “We are beginning runners and the kids love staying healthy and fit.  My son was actually allowed to run with me in the 10k.  It’s a really great family opportunity.”  Bridgette from Maryland said, “This was my second 5k, I ran a 5k a couple years back when I worked with a school for kids with autism.  I think being healthy is the greatest thing you can ever give to yourself.” Even though the sun was beaming down, the runners looked accomplished as they crossed the finish line and received their medals.

I was able interview Dan and Jackie Evans, the national spokespeople for the biggest loser run walk and they each had very inspirational stories to tell.  Jackie said, “Other than face book and other social sites like that, gatherings like these are probably the largest social things out there and it’s really all about you.”  She commented that this run walk was an opportunity to better each one’s goals and have the feeling of accomplishment.  When asked about her goals, Jackie emphasized, “One, I WILL cross the start and finish line today and two, I WILL be faster than anyone who stayed in bed today instead of coming here.”  She mentioned the struggle to keep the weight off is great because food is used in all occasions, “I eat food when I’m hungry, when I’m down, when I’m celebrating; there’s no getting away from it.

 The thing is knowing your limit and having will power.”  She added that her son Dan is a great partner to work out and share encouragement with, “He was 310 and lost 136 pounds, but he hated the treadmill, he called it ‘Dread Mill.”  Dan said, “Being on The Biggest Loser was so transformational and life changing.  I went from being a couch potato kid to being able to run half marathons.  It’s an incredible feeling to be such an inspiration to so many people and the journey of weight loss is so powerful you know.  You have to respect the journey.”  Dan joked that moving in with his mom again at the age of 21 for the show was kind of weird but it made their bond tighter because they were able to encourage each other.

The kids that ran the 1 mile race seemed so determined to complete the course, smiles and excitement shown on their faces from start to finish.  Six year old Regan said, “I really liked that we got medals and I really liked the race.”  One little boy remarked, “I really liked jumping in the puddles!”  Ari Morton, a 10 year old from Rockville, Maryland won first place in the 10k on his birthday.  “It was my first race, It felt good,” He said.

Overall, I believe this was a successful event.  Everywhere I looked I saw smiles, laughter and encouragement from everybody.  This event made me feel like I could run the next 5k because there were people of all shapes, sizes and ethnicities.  Also the enthusiasm from the kids made me think, if they could do it I’m sure I can do it.  Along with inspiring me to become more fit and healthy, being at this event allowed me to see that even though it may be tough; with the proper mentality and support fitness can be an enjoyable experience.

Student Ambassador: Tameka Evans

All you have to do is try!

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It’s easy to think that losing weight is hard…And it is, but what most don’t realize is that just a few minutes of light weight exercise can go a long way. Even if you feel you don’t have time, you do. You just have to MAKE time to be active! Just because you have to be active, doesn’t mean you have to push yourself to do things that you can’t or do not want to do. Playing sports, dancing, or even going for a 10 minute walk before your meal can help with losing weight. Its a step by step process and takes time to increase your intensity, but that’s okay. As long as you try to be more active and follow your plan you will be well on your way to your goal weight!

Diet Commercials & Pills

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In this blog I am going to focus on diet commercials and diet pills. When I watch TV all I see are commercials about losing weight. I feel like I see commercials about Weight Watchers, Nutra System, Slim Quick, and Green Tea Extract supplements ALL OF THE TIME. Since these commercials are so catchy, I decide to Google more information on these types of programs/pills that can help you loose weight. As I look up information I find that if you are young, all you have to do is eat right and exercise, these programs are not for young people. This can relate to MECKids’ message because their mission is to get children to exercise and eat right. Some kids may think that’s not the easy way, but if you really think about it exercising and eating right is the healthiest way for young people to loose weight and stay in shape. So in the mean time….

Shake    that    Bagel    Don’t    wanna    Be    a    couch    Potato    MOVE    MOVE

Football? Hmmmmm…

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Well football isn’t something that I would sit down and watch for 3 hours , but it’s something I like to play on PS3. My family’s favorite football team are the “Cowboys”and I like the Cowboys. There’s one team I don’t like and that’s the Redskins, they have RG3 now they thought they were going to make it to the super bowl but they didn’t, but I do commend them for going to the playoffs!

My New Year’s Resolution

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My New Year’s resolution is to become more responsible, mature, and wiser because I’m getting older to the stage where those qualities matter the most. I say responsible because as you get older there’s different responsibilities I have then what I had when I was a little girl. I have to finish school, find a career, and finish my career really just to be successful in life. Being successful comes with responsibilities. I say mature because there’s always room for more maturity I’m not saying I’m not mature but my maturity can become better, always room for improvement. To me mature means to act accordingly to your age no younger not to be so childish. And I say wiser because yes I know humans are not perfect but we all make mistakes and I have throughout the year and there are some I do regret. I wish to be wiser about the decisions I make. Becoming more responsible, mature, and wiser is my new year’s resolution.