Friday, February 15, 2013

Discover YOU

Healthy living comes to life at Discover You in Mt. Holly, NC (about 25 minutes from Charlotte).

Discover You is an interactive museum that encourages kids, teens and adults to learn about their bodies, and all the daily influences that can help or hinder a healthy lifestyle.

Upon arrival a personalized ticket is created with your age, weight (no one else sees it) and name. You can use this ticket at different activities to calculate how many calories you've burned. Information can also be sent to you via email for things like smoking cessation, sleep specialists and mind-body-spirit options. They also give a hand out of 'healthy' numbers for your age, like heart beat for you to track as you explore.

The giant active heart was my favorite display, when you put your hands on the bar it picks up your heartbeat and echos it through the speakers. S learned that if she jumped up and down while holding the bar the beat went faster. It was a cool way to show how her heart worked and explain why it's so important to keep it healthy.

The one display that stuck out for me was the junk food in a display case, there was a McDonald's burger and fries, and Oreo, a Hostess cupcake and margarine from Harris Teeter. All the items had been in the case for nearly 6 months and there was no sign of mold or decay at all - which really got me thinking - if mold can't survive on the nutrients from these items then my family sure can't either, and wow talk about preservatives - not cool! It made me think more about the small changes I could make for my family to achieve a healthier lifestyle.

S enjoyed trying the Tai Chi on the large monitor where she could see her "energy" waves as she moved along with the instructor. We also tried the stress game where two people sit with bands on their heads and determine who is more stressed, and then learn about stress reducing options. Then we went for a bike ride through the park with the help of surround screens and a stationary bike - I burned a small number of calories as we sped through.

They had a very inspiring display about local folks who had done amazing things after the age of 80, like one woman who published two books in her 90's. It was a reminder that each generation is living longer, and that the quality of our life when we are older will be dependent upon taking care of our bodies when we are young. 

S (age 4) was a little young for some of the bigger health concepts, but came away understanding more about junk foods and why they are bad for you, the basics to how her heart works and that mommy was more stressed than any of the employees at Discover You. The best age for this museum is 6 years - adult. There were some great reminders for me about portion control and how many calories are really in that number three combo.

I was surprised how visiting the museum made such an impact on me - and since our visit I've made a pact that I won't get any drive-thru food for the next 30 days and I've joined the Y and have taken several zumba and yoga classes to help with my fitness and mommy-stress.

Caromount's Discover You! is open M-F 10:00 - 2:30 and Saturday 1:00 - 7:00. Cost is $5 for Adults, $3 for 5-18 and $4 for seniors 60+. Kids under 5 are free.


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