Could Healthtainment Be a Key to Your Health Success?

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Gone are the days of going to the library to learn more about a health condition. Most of us can quickly do an online search to learn the basics about what we are experiencing BEFORE we contact a doctor. The new MyPlate guidelines are outlined on the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) website with detailed guidelines for healthy eating. Before that, people could easily find similar information outlined about the Food Pyramid. There are many online sites to provide guidelines and information for healthy living. However, despite the abounding information readily available to help people live healthier lives, Americans are as unhealthy as ever before.

Communication professionals have known for a long time that there is an entertainment factor that can be used to engage an audience. Teachers began experiencing it when those of us in the Sesame Street Generation entered the classroom forcing changes in teaching methods to hold our attention in school. Now, a new survey demonstrates how popular TV shows influence viewer's health behaviors. Whether learning topical health information through Grey's Anatomy, being inspired to learn how to dance through Dancing with the Stars or coming to terms with the need for weight loss by watching the struggles of contestants on The Biggest Loser, television brings the relevance of health into our homes. We at have known that health and wellness don't have to be boring. That's why we invented the word healthtainment®.

Healthtainment® describes the motivational and positive experience people enjoy while using fun and interesting tools and features to integrate healthy habits into their daily life. When was the last time you played games and had fun learning at the same time? Children and youth do it all the time but adults may be missing out. Here are some fun and games that might motivate you toward your healthy living goals today.

Trivia - Sharpen your mind and learn more about healthy living in a few minutes.
Quizzes - The fun way to test your smarts and learn more about yourself!
Polls - Compare your thoughts and habits with those of other people.
Slideshows – Learn tips to healthier eating one frame at a time.
Cooking Videos – Let a Master Chef help you learn basic cooking techniques to create healthy recipes.
Perfect Produce Finder – Learn how to select the best fruits or how to prepare fall vegetables.
Healthy Meal Planner – Use an interactive tool to make family meal planning fun and games.
Mix and Match Meals – If you are only planning meals for yourself use this fun mix and match approach to create healthful, tasty, and portion-controlled meals.
Fitness maps – Fun interactive tools allow you to determine how far you have walked, biked, or run or to create a fun new route for your next workout.
Exercise Demos - Find out how to target every major muscle group and try them at the same time while viewing easy exercise demos.  
Health information is at your fingertips and learning new things doesn't have to be boring. Whether you're working on fitness, nutrition, goal setting or anything else, there are many ways to enjoy the health adventure. We believe that healthtainment ® can engage people into living a healthy lifestyle more than any other wellness initiative on the planet. If you believe getting healthy and having fun go hand in hand, maybe you want to Refer-a-Friend and let them begin having fun too!
What do you think of healthtainment? Does it make a difference to long term commitment to goals and success?

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I wholeheartedly agree that to reap the most benefits out of anything, whether it's studying at school, a project for work, or personal goals such as health & fitness, you need to be actively engaged on all levels of your mind, body & soul. You can have all the drive & will in the world to complete something, but if you aren't actively utilizing everything or absorbing as much as you can about that, you will never be able to fully attain that goal. All of these things SP does helps because it keeps you engaged & focused... and it's fun! Report
I knew there was a good reason I am doing all this and now I know -- healthtainment. Great word -- great activity!! Report
I don't watch TV at home. but when i am at the gym i sometimes watch
cathy lee and Hoodie and a little bit of the news. But i don't watch dancing with the stars or the biggest loser. Report
YES! It's great Report
Yes, absolutely! Engaging material is absolutely key to keep people coming back and sticking with a health and wellness plan. SparkPeople has done a great job building a website and program full of healthtainment.

I would add that interactive fitness games, a la the Wii or the XBox, also count as healthtainment and also do a great job of keeping people entertained in a way that keeps 'em coming back for more workouts.

Ah, modern life... Report
I love the SP whole person approach. Educating (or reeducating in my case) and encouraging us to take on healthy habits. Getting us to commit to ourselves by starting where we are and moving forward. Giving us insight, challenging us to try something new. There is no judgement and a lot of support. If things do not work out, you can give it another go.
Healthtainment does make a difference as it helps us to change our thinking, actions and habits toward a healthy lifestyle. Report
Communication in the 21st century is about influence. Consider how many times those who work or purchase goods in the retail sector are exposed to ads. Those ads imply convenience, variety, innovation have no adverse effects — not true. Why not healthtainment?

We have the right to more accurate and complete info on the claims of those who influence the consumer / purchasers. If it comes through these "new" media, then that's how it is. It is fine to assume that we are immune to these influences because "play is free". I would suggest that every aspect of how we interact in North American life is controlled by media influences of some type, whether we like it or not. Report
Making anything fun encourages you to learn and engage in the subject and that's just what SP has done. Getting trim and healthy is a pleasure not a chore on SP and I'm more committed than ever to staying fit...well into my dotage.
I found SP purely by accident, looking for an inexpensive weight loss site in 2007 and I'm still enjoying it's many facets and joys. SPARKPEOPLE ROCKS! Report
I'm commited to my health and fitness for myself. Steven Jobs, the founder of Apple Computer died from cancer, and it makes me realize that "HEALTH IS WEALTH." RIP, Steven. Report
The fun aspect and variety of activities and perspectives is a huge draw for me. It's part of what makes SP such a positive experience and sets it apart from other programs. Report
I think SP is genius for tapping in to all the possible ways getting healthy can be fun. I have been really working the site in the last few months and found everything I need here.
The concept is really brilliant and one of the best things to retain that sense of play is that it is free.
This means I don't have to 'make it worth the money I spent, I can do Spark because
I want to. No obligation, no shoulda, just, yup, I'll do that because I want to. And the odd
Nah, I don't want to do that. Funnily enough, I do end up doing things I didn't want to do, because
there is no pressure. Which is the thing about play, you do it because it is fun.
Spark people rocks! Report