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PowerUp Fitness keeping students in virtual learning fit during COVID-19 pandemic

PowerUp Fitness is usually in schools, teaching students about shapes, colors and even geometry. But COVID-19 meant they’d have to pivot to online teaching.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Evelyn Price is four years old and serious about two things: drawing pictures of dogs and staying active while learning from home. 

Price’s family is one of more than 2,000 participating in PowerUp Fitness, a school-based physical learning program across hundreds of schools in East Tennessee and throughout the U.S. 

A global pandemic forced what would typically happen in the school gym online.

Evelyn and her mom Alicia use virtual fitness learning videos from Power Up,
a local program helping students learn while being active in school.

“All of our programs are academic, whether it’s ABC’s or geometry,” founder Stacy Baugues said. 

The COVID-19 pandemic means educators need to take different approaches towards keeping kids active. Instead of typical activities, on-demand virtual videos to keep virtual students like Evelyn up and moving.

“Families can pick videos based on age or academic integration,” Baugues said. 

She said that is important to combat learning loss, but it’s also important to keep kids moving in a time when many are learning from home. Experts said that she is not wrong. 

Since the pandemic began, studies everywhere from the University of California to the National Library of Medicine show kids are less active right now and Baugues said there are ways communities can change that.

“They can have lots of fun and get moving and get learning together,” she said.

That is something that is important for Evelyn’s mom, Alicia, too.

“While the pandemic is a very stressful time this helps bring some light to it quite frankly,” she said. 

Power Up Fitness is currently offered in several East Tennessee schools like Oak Ridge and Lenoir City. Families can also find it at the YMCA and Centro Hispano.

RELATED: Students leap into learning at Lenoir City Elementary with PowerUp Fitness

RELATED: Keeping Kids Connected: Top 5 helpful study apps and websites for students

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Be Fit? An ETF for Health & Fitness

The Global X Health & Wellness Thematic ETF (BFIT) seeks to harness the effects of changing consumer lifestyles by investing in companies geared toward promoting physical activity and well-being, asserts Jim Woods, editor of The Deep Woods.

The fund aims to provide investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of the Indxx Global Health & Wellness Thematic Index.

BFIT enables investors to access high-growth potential through companies at the leading edge of a long-term, health and wellness trend affecting multiple sectors of the global economy.

Composition of the ETF transcends classic sector, industry and geographic classifications by tracking an emerging theme. In a single trade, BFIT delivers access to dozens of companies with high exposure to the health and wellness sector.

Only 41% of the fund’s portfolio is invested in U.S. companies. BFIT’s other holdings are in foreign emerging markets. This strategy reflects that many industry powerhouses are based elsewhere.

For example, Puma SE and Adidas AG are headquartered in Germany; Shimano and Asics Corp. are in Japan and Fila Holdings Corp. is in South Korea. 

This exchange-traded fund provides diversification domestically and across the globe. Better yet, no individual stock represents more than 4% of the portfolio. The fund has $19.6 million in assets under management, a 0.35% average spread and 58 holdings.

BFIT currently trades around $23 and has a 0.55% dividend yield. The fund has been growing steadily since its inception in May 2016. It is up more than 50% since then, and with an increasing interest in healthy living and general wellness, the fund looks poised to continue growing higher.

The health and wellness ETF tracks an index of equities from companies that promote physical well-being. Its universe of holdings includes small-, mid- and large-cap public companies from developed countries that earn the majority of their revenue from the market niche or whose stated business objective relates to good physical health.

Health and wellness crosses the sector boundaries found in traditional classification systems to include nutrition and weight loss, nutritional supplements, fitness equipment and apparel, among others.

BFIT has a high expense ratio (0.75%) in comparison to other exchange-traded funds and, as a health and wellness fund, has a very different investment strategy than others in this segment.

I urge interested investors to exercise their own due diligence in deciding whether this fund fits personal portfolio goals and risk tolerance.

Subscribe to The Deep Woods here…

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‘I want to share my midlife fitness revelation’: how getting fit in your 40s can help you thrive | The last taboo

Amanda Thebe.






Amanda Thebe

I can still remember the utter relief that flooded through me on the day my doctor told me I was perimenopausal. It was 2013 and for two years my health, my relationships and my ability to function had been blighted by migraines, fatigue, mood swings, nausea, memory loss and chronic depression.

I’d seen all kinds of doctors but every test had come back negative. It was only when I broke down during a routine appointment with my gynaecologist that he said I was most likely in the grip of the perimenopause, when a women’s oestrogen level drops as she approaches menopause.

I was shocked. I didn’t even know what the word meant. At 43, I was still having periods and it hadn’t crossed my mind that fluctuating hormones could be behind how awful I was feeling. It was so reassuring to know that I wasn’t going crazy and, since then, it’s become my mission to peel back the layers of the perimenopause and help women navigate it.

I don’t want others to suffer as I did and I believe that the right combination of exercise, nutrition and self-care can even help women to thrive at this time – that’s what drove me to write my book Menopocalypse: How I Learned to Thrive During Menopause and How You Can Too.

Quote from Amanda Thebe: 'I'm keen to spread the message that lots can be done to deal with little leaks'


I’d discovered strength training in my 30s, and I’m now passionate about getting midlife and older women to try it because I really believe it’s the form of exercise that will help you most as you get older. People often assume it’s like bodybuilding but it’s simply about developing your strength and power. Some women worry it’s going to make them bulk up (it doesn’t), others doubt that they can do it (they can) but my job is to show there’s a starting point for everyone.

One of the best things about strength training is the way it expands women’s confidence – there’s something about it that makes you become bigger and bolder in the outside world. It replaces self-doubt with self-belief.

For generations, women have put up with all kinds of physical issues and that makes me angry. Take bladder weakness. I remember wetting myself for the first time while I was out running in 2014. I was with my family and I was mortified. I’d had two kids, I’d been able to bounce on a trampoline with no problems – then all of a sudden, I was soaked!

Now I’m keen to spread the message that there’s lots that can be done to improve it, from visiting a pelvic floor physiotherapist to using oestrogen cream. And most importantly, it’s nothing to be ashamed of – the women in my Facebook group are constantly chatting about it and that makes me happy.

If women in midlife understand what our bodies are going through, we give ourselves the best chance of staying mentally fit and physically strong. Simply pulling back from your busy life and asking “what can I

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