Do research now to find a summer camp that will meet your child's preferences

Fitness Q & A

April 06, 2003|By Gailor Large | Gailor Large,Special to the Sun

Our son is 12 and has been begging to go to a sleep-away camp this summer.

We'd like to find a camp where he can improve his swimming and get some exposure to the arts.

How do we go about finding a good one?

Summer is around the corner, so act fast. The more popular camps generally fill up by early spring.

First, make a checklist of what your son wants in a camp. Then do some research online. Two of the best Web sites are the American Camping Association site ( and Tips on Trips and Camps (www.tipsontripsandcamps. com).

The first site has an excellent search engine that allows you to narrow your findings based on a variety of choices (day or overnight, single sex or coed, preferred activities, number of weeks, state of choice, cost). The second site is a free referral agency that puts you in touch with a consultant who can recommend camps based on your child's interests.

After you have a short list of top choices, ask around. Friends and classmates are often the best resources for separating the passable from the unforgettable.

My partner and I live a healthy lifestyle. We have both gained weight in the past three years, but we haven't significantly altered our eating or workout habits. We're frustrated. What can we do?

Metabolism slows with age, but this alone shouldn't create a noticeable difference in your weight over a three-year period. Your weight gain is most likely the result of subtle changes in your lifestyle and eating habits.

Maybe you have hired someone to walk the dog when you used to do it yourself, or work has gotten so hectic that you find yourself eating dinner at 9 p.m. Minor changes like these can add up.

The solution? Shake up your exercise routine and watch what and when you eat.

When a workout becomes routine, your body does not have to work as hard to get through it. If you are used to jogging at a steady pace, mix in some sprints. Now that the weather is warmer, go hiking outside or go for a long bike ride. Also, be sure to incorporate some weight lifting into your weekly schedule. This will keep you toned and your muscles burning calories more efficiently.

When it comes to meals, continue eating a balanced diet. Don't deprive yourself in the hopes of losing weight. If you do, says April Culbertson, of the Health Concern in Towson, over time your metabolism will slow to compensate. Chances are you will end up overeating later if you let yourself get too hungry.

Culbertson recommends exercising in the morning and eating at least three hours before bed. If you must eat later, she says, take an evening walk afterward.

And do sweat the little things. Replace your daily caffe mocha with a caffe latte. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. These changes alone may make those unwanted pounds melt away.

Do you have a fitness question? Write to Fitness, The Baltimore Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21278. You can also fax questions to 410-783-2519 or e-mail fitness@

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