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Posts Tagged ‘Fitness’

Save Time and Keep Your Family Healthy with These Quick Tips

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Most moms are aware of the need to keep their children healthy to ensure proper growth and development. However, when the demands of the day limit your time, sometimes being healthy isn’t as convenient. When you’re at work all day, it can be easy to develop poor habits just to ease the stress. Things like preparing healthy meals, making sure the kids stay active, and even keeping up with doctor’s appointments do require a bit of time and effort, but are important. If time prevents you from being able to keep your family healthy, consider these time-saving tips below.

Pick One Day of the Week for Meal Prep

Any mom would agree that when you’re pressed for time, one of the most time-consuming tasks is preparing meals for the family. Bogged down by demands from work, household chores, and perhaps running the kids around to their after-school activities, it’s much easier to order takeout or grab a kids meal from a fast food restaurant and keep moving.

Though a treat every now and again won’t do the kids any harm, often time the quickest meal solutions are the unhealthiest for them. To cut back on time and the number of processed foods and saturated fats your family is consuming, why not pick one day to prep meals? Choose a day where you have the most time and cook all your meals. You can then place them in plastic containers and freeze them for the week.

Schedule Appointments Together

Visiting the doctor periodically – especially during school-age is imperative for children. Annual physicals, vaccines, and shots, as well as other medical services, allow doctors to provide you with the best child development & nutrition resources to ensure your child is developing properly. Doctors can also recommend adjustments in nutrition, supplements, and ways to help your child grow in confidence, like giving your child Healthy Height’s nutritional shakes that promote growth in height. Be that as it may, most working mothers are plagued with minimal time off from work. Not to mention, a scheduled doctor’s appointment tends to last longer than anticipated, which can cause conflict.

If you work in an environment where time isn’t flexible, try to kill a few birds with one stone. Take off one day instead of trying to break it up into hours. Schedule the entire family’s appointments for the same day. While it will mean sitting in waiting rooms all day, it eliminates the need to take off several hours every few months.

Work Out Together

It can be tempting to let the kids sit in front of the television or on the computer all day while you tend to the household chores (or take a break), however, too much screen time is detrimental to your child’s health. It is important for all of you to get active to remain healthy. If time prevents you from being able to get the kids out, consider working out together. This doesn’t mean you have to go to the gym together or sit in front of the television doing exercise video moves either. There are a lot of fun activities you could try indoors or outdoors to get active. Whether you go outside and play basketball or stay in the house and rock out to your favorite dance simulation game, you’re moving, sweating, and working out. Not to mention, you’re creating fun memories with your family.

Unfortunately, time isn’t something we can make more of. All you can do is learn how to make the most of the time you have. If you’ve been trying to prioritize your family’s health, but find time to always get in the way, utilize the above-mentioned tips. They are all convenient solutions that not only save you time but allow you to ensure your family is as healthy as they can be.

 

This article was written by Natalie Bracco from Working Mother and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

7 Things Healthy People Do Every Morning

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Fads like barefoot running and IV drip bars may be fun to read about — and there’s no shame in giving them a whirl — but jumping on these bandwagons won’t necessarily lay the foundation for a healthy lifestyle. Really, simplicity and repetition still reign, which is why it’s good to build healthy habits into your day. Here are a few easy ones to try each morning if you want to start your day on a healthier note.

1. Drink hot water (with or without the lemon)

Instead of going straight for the caffeine, start with a hot cup of water. It may not taste like much, but doing so can improve blood flow, aid in digestion (perfect after a Sunday brunch) and even cleanse the body of toxins. Plus, it helps you meet your water quota. Speaking of which, make sure you have a water quota.

2. Balance your breakfast

Try to get an equal amount of protein, fiber and produce at breakfast. Of course, eggs are a go-to protein. And if you’re not one to make breakfast every morning, hard-boil a batch to eat throughout the week. Just make sure you buy high-quality eggs from vegetarian-fed hens, such as Eggland’s Best. Its eggs have twice as much vitamin B12 and omega-3s, six times the amount of vitamin D and 25 percent less saturated fat than ordinary eggs. Try them in a huevos rancheros-inspired chopped salad for breakfast and be on your way for the day.

3. Meditate

Don’t diss meditation until you try it, and don’t feel like you have to be floating on a cloud, om-ing or burning incense while you do it. All meditation requires is to sit still in a comfortable position and tune into your body. You can try these five-minute techniques or download an app that guides you (try Simply Being).

4. Move

You can rise early for an intense HIIT class, or you can simply take a walk down your block. The point is to get moving. In one study published by the American Medical Association, simply increasing walking pace reduced the risk of developing type 2 diabetes in study participants. Furthermore, a 2008 study published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise concluded that if more people walked more often, it could help reduce the prevalence of chronic disease.

5. Slip yourself a superfood

Here’s the super-unofficial definition of a superfood: a food that’s more nutrient-rich than other nutrient-rich foods. We’ve got a handy superfood list you can take to the grocery store, but for breakfast, think blueberries, strawberries, almonds, apples and avocados — for extra nutrients, try these baked eggs and avocados.

Your mission: No matter what you eat for breakfast, pick one superfood side. Just think about how that adds up over time.

6. Slow down

Instead of rolling out of bed, getting ready and jamming out the door to make it to work, take a beat. Allowing yourself time in the morning to just be can help you handle the stress that may come with the rest of your day. Enjoy your hot beverage of choice, read a book or stretch as you reflect on yesterday. This is that “me time” you’ve been craving. Sure, sometimes kids, unexpected situations and life in general can get in the way, but does that mean you shouldn’t try?

7. Set intentions in the shower

If you think about it, that time spent in the shower could really be maximized. While you shampoo, set some intentions for your day. They don’t have to be about exercising or eating healthy at all. It can be as simple as this: What do you want to accomplish today? What will make you feel fulfilled at the end of the day? Reflect on how you’re feeling. Self-care reduces stress, and less stress makes you healthier.

So, while it’s pretty hard to drill “healthy” down to one definition (it’s not exactly a one-size-fits-all situation), it’s also hard to deny that committing to a handful of simple habits can make a difference. They’re tried and true and completely good for you.

This post is sponsored by Eggland’s Best.

 

This article was written by Catherine Conelly from SheKnows and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

Four Ways to Encourage Physical Activity

Physical activity and exercise are essential to your child’s development. Dr. Kyle Pruett, clinical professor of child psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine and member of The Goddard School Educational Advisory Board, offers four tips on how to twenty20_12c2b596-6dd8-40ba-b07e-cd5e2aef92fbencourage physical activity.

  1. Start with yourself. Set an example by being physically active, personally and with your child, and talking about how it helps you feel and think better.
  2. Encourage your child to pick activities that she finds fun, and then suggest activities that add something to it. For example, if your child enjoys running, ask her whether she’d like to kick a soccer or tennis ball while she runs. This can help children see how a supplemental activity adds to the fun as well as the ‘burn.’
  3. Whenever possible walk or ride (a bike or scooter, while wearing a helmet, of course) when you need to get somewhere nearby. Also, leave extra time to stop and smell the roses with your child. These simple times together end all too soon.
  4. Give children the space, tools and time to be physically active themselves and figure out what’s fun to master on their own. “I want to do it myself” is the battle cry of autonomy in these years and should be respected.

Sufficient Hydration is Necessary for a Healthy Lifestyle

20120920_goddard_TN_0207Most of us are concerned that our children have good eating habits to ensure proper growth; however, not many of us put as much thought into the amount of water our little ones consume. What is the proper amount of water for children?

Water is not a one size fits all commodity. The amount of water children need depends on their age, weight and gender. Although there is not an exact number, we all could use a little more H2O to keep us on the go.

Here are some tips to increase your child’s water consumption.

  • The most efficient and effective way to boost your child’s water intake is to always have it available. Whether she is at home, at school or playing outdoors, make sure your child is always within reach of water.
  • Encourage your child to drink water by simply placing it in front of her without any alternative options. If she does not have soda or other sugary beverages around her, she will be more likely to drink the water without a fuss.
  • Increase your child’s consumption of fruits and vegetables that contain large volumes of water, such as strawberries, oranges, watermelon and cucumbers.
  • Be a good example; increase your water intake as well. This will not only keep you on track with how much water you consume, but watching you drink water will ensure that your child will want to drink it too.

Staying hydrated helps children focus better in school, brightens their mood and improves their performance in day to day activities.

Grab a glass of water for you and your little one, and start increasing your intake today.

Stay Active

As parents, our main goal is to keep our children happy and healthy. One challenge, especially with enticing gadgets, is getting our children to keep active and understand the importance of exercise. Creating good habits early helps
9children maintain and form positive habits later. We want to teach our children to turn off the TV, put down the electronic devices and go outside to use their energy and imagination.

Here are some ideas of what you and your child can do together to stay active:

  • Go for a walk in the park or in your neighborhood and have a scavenger hunt (look for a pine cone, a red bird, etc.);
  • Use sidewalk chalk to create a hopscotch court and teach your child to play the game;
  • Find a new park or playground to explore;
  • Walk your dog or play fetch with your dog as a family;
  • Plant flowers together in a garden;
  • Visit a local zoo or museum;
  • Go outside and play with a bouncy ball;
  • Teach your child to ride a tricycle;
  • Have a family room dance party;
  • Set up a small inflatable pool in your backyard;
  • Play Simon Says, and make sure Simon includes plenty of jumping and other active movements.

Celebrate Playful, Healthy Learning with Five Helpful Tips

The Goddard School believes that the basis for healthy learning is providing all children with active, playful lifestyles enriched with good nutrition. From Monday, September 19th through Saturday, September 24th, 2011, Goddard Schools nationwide will host The Goddard School Block Party event in an effort to spread the word to families in their community. Children and their families will engage in a variety of exciting fitness, nutrition and playful learning activities based on the core curriculum and enrichment programs that are an integral part of the FLEXLearning Program offered at The Goddard School.

For the second year in a row, Goddard Systems, Inc. (GSI), franchisor of The Goddard School, is the exclusive preschool sponsor of Play for Tomorrow’s Ultimate Block Party: The Arts and Sciences of Play, a powerful global movement designed to recognize and celebrate the power of play for learning. In addition to The Goddard School Block Party event taking place in our Schools, GSI will participate in the Ultimate Block Party (UBP) on Sunday, October 2nd, at Rash Field in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor in downtown Baltimore, MD. The UBP will feature an amazing day of play for families and children, designed to bring playful learning back to the forefront. At the event, GSI and the Baltimore-area Goddard Schools will host the Let’s Play Café. Children will enjoy manipulating play dough, shopping at a pretend farmer’s market and participating in a series of engaging pretend restaurant activities while learning about nutrition, counting, sorting and other important lessons through play.

To gear up for the big celebrations, Sue Adair, Director of Education at GSI, offers five tips for parents to help their children develop healthy learning habits:

  • Encourage play. Playing alone and with others not only builds brain development, it also helps children develop social skills and a sense of ethics. The most effective play is free of evaluation and correction (after all, throwing a ball shouldn’t be “right” or “wrong”), while promoting autonomy.
  • Play together. In addition to their ABCs and 123s, preschool children are learning and developing life skills that will shape who they grow into as adults.  One of these building blocks is learning to play well with others and accepting one another’s differences.
  • Get adequate sleep and proper nutrition. Your child will do their best if they get to sleep early and eat a healthy breakfast each day before school. A daily diet of junk food is not compatible with learning. It can cause listlessness and hyperactivity, which can impair a child’s ability to learn. Skipping breakfast, especially, is a detriment to a child’s education.
  • Continue year-long education. Routine provides structure, which is often lacking during the summer months when children all too quickly become detached from the lessons they learned throughout the school year.  Maintaining a schedule throughout the summer supports an environment that is less of a contrast to the classroom and provides a healthy balance between building skills, play and rest.
  • Turn off the screens. The American Academy of Pediatrics urges parents to avoid television and other electronic media for children two years of age and younger. Time spent in front of a computer, TV, video game or other similar devices can interfere with schoolwork, physical activity, curious exploration, social interaction and play.

“Play is the natural way to learn. It helps children learn to solve problems, promotes flexibility and motivation, teaches regulation of emotions and builds resilience and confidence,” says Adair. “It is also essential to the development of the child’s brain, forming the basis of healthy cognitive function and mastery of the child’s physical world.”

To learn more about The Goddard School Block Party and The Goddard School, parents are encouraged to visit www.goddardschool.com/blockparty or call 1-800-GODDARD.

Get Out and Play!

Don’t let the chill in the air keep your children indoors and inactive this winter. Bundle up appropriately and get out and play!

  • Check local Web sites and activity guides for places you can hike, ski, sled, ice skate or snowshoe.
  • Romp in the snow and enjoy an exciting snowball fight.
  • If it’s too cold to be outdoors, consider indoor activities such as swimming, karate and dance.
  • Limit TV, video game and computer time to encourage your children to get active.
  • Set a good example. If you’re telling your children to get out and play, make sure you do, too!

Keeping your Child Healthy

Nutrition and exercise are important to your child’s overall health.  Proper nutrition and participation in physical activities can prevent many medical problems and ensure your child is growing to his/her full potential.

Encourage your child to eat a variety of foods to help them get the nutrients they need from every food group.  By offering your child a variety of foods, they are more likely to try new foods – and to like more foods.  Children learn from their parents, so it is no surprise that they are likely to mimic your food choices and physical activities.  If they see you enjoying fruits, vegetables, whole grains as well as physical activities, your children are more likely enjoy them as well.  Be a good role model for developing good health, physical skills and self-esteem by eating healthy and getting plenty of exercise.

Young Kids, Summer’s End and Exercise

Most parents count on summer itself to promote physical activity and raise-your-pulse exercise. The longer, warmer days beckon us and our kids outside and things just seem to happen. But then it’s back to school, logistics take over and couch potatoes (in both generations) often re-appear. It’s worth thinking about this transition now because now is when it’s happening. Many of us hit upon the idea of the logistical solution – find a class, join a team – if it’s in the schedule, it’s more likely to happen. And as we – and the preschools and kindergartens to which we send our children – all know, regular exercise is a very good idea. The old myths that young children are inherently sufficiently active, or that too much activity can harm the growing body – tales I heard from my grandmother – have been replaced with growing concern about shocking obesity levels in young children due to passive daily lives and unwise nutritional patterns. We know that there are short and long-term physical and mental benefits to regular exercise and that there are no short cuts to those benefits.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the following for preschools:

  • An indoor play space should be available to allow sufficient running
  • Outdoor play should be scheduled twice a day
  • An outdoor play space should offer fixed and portable play equipment and a paved surface for wheeled toys
  • Active play time should never be withheld as punishment.

**Note to parents: are you sending your child off with the right clothing for such activities? This is a surprisingly frequent concern among teachers.

As for those scheduled team and class activities, keep a few things in mind. Preschoolers are not ready for competition. They won’t really understand winning vs. losing, ‘doing your best,’ ‘give the other kid a chance’ until they are in fourth grade. What they need now is for you to support the skills they are developing: running, chasing or hitting a ball, enjoying the water or snow and just beginning to understand that there is something called a ‘game’ or a ‘sport.’

But children learn better from what they see and experience, than from what they are told. So – as a family – keep fitness activity as a year-round habit.

  • Visit your playgrounds regularly and make it fun. Bring along some extra things like large balls, kites, ropes for jumping and (supervised!) tug-of-war. You can enrich the time by making an obstacle course (enjoyed by any child who can walk) through the playground and see who can remember it or finish it fastest.
  • Many families treasure weekly family walks. It generally takes some humoring for the more balky ones, but scavenger items usually work for our children.
  • When weather interferes, get out the large balls, exercise mats and Twister® games, or download some stretching and balancing exercises (to do together) from family fitness websites. Remember; keep your children away from exercise equipment for safety reasons.

Age Appropriate Fitness

Focusing your child’s physical fitness on fun activities will increase your child’s ability to move with confidence and competence.  Exercise increases overall metabolism, builds a healthy heart and lungs, strong bones and muscles, and improves coordination, balance, posture and flexibility.

Infant Gross MotorInfant

Encourage babies to explore activities that allow for reaching, rolling, sitting, crawling, pulling themselves up and walking.  ‘Tummy Time’ is the perfect opportunity for babies to practice lifting their heads and develop strong muscles.  Placing toys just out of reach encourages babies to reach for the toys, assisting in physical development. 

First Steps/Toddler

Support young toddlers mastery of walking by allowing them to be active!  Play with them as they learn to run, hop, dance and throw.  Have them chase bubbles or invent a silly walk – play becomes exercise.  Remember to always provide encouragement to toddlers as they build self-confidence.

Preschool +

Preschoolers need plenty of time and space to run around and play.  Taking your child to a playground or park is a great way to release energy and exercise!  Encourage creative dancing and riding scooters and tricycles.  Play ‘Statues’ by playing up-tempo music.  Have your child move while the music is playing and freeze into a statue when you pause it.  Play outside with your child and teach hand-eye coordination by showing the basics of throwing, catching and kicking a large, soft ball.