Healthy Living, Parenting

Should I Get My Children Into Yoga?

Part of growing up means taking a spill every now and then, but as kids develop, they many encounter various issues that require a bit more intervention. There’s nothing wrong with taking the reactive approach to care for your child’s physical health. After all, according to this Atlanta chiropractor, “chiropractic is universally recognized throughout the medical community as one of the safest forms of treatment available for neurological and musculoskeletal conditions.

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Unlike other forms of traditional medicine, chiropractic care prevents you from having to consider invasive surgery, nor does it require you to use prescription medication. Chiropractic adjustments are completely painless and are proven to be effective for providing immediate relief when it comes to chronic pain.” Of course, even with that as a backup, there’s nothing wrong with being proactive either. Getting into yoga early not only helps your children with their development and growth, but has other, less tangible benefits. Take a look.

Physical Yoga Benefits

Many people still associate yoga with its spiritual roots, but you don’t have to take that approach to reap benefits, and the same applies to bringing your children into the fold. In many cases, to avoid any sort of controversy or concern, many modern yoga teachers remove a lot of the religious context. For example, rather than bringing religion into it, they focus on the physical benefits, and change the traditional Hindu names for poses into general ones, like cat, bridge, or table.

Speaking of those physical benefits, yoga is great because it promotes physical strength through flexibility as well as exertion. Even a child who gets regular outdoor playtime generally only uses their muscles in certain ways (running around, climbing on a playground, etc.) Yoga opens them up to a whole new way of using their bodies. Each pose and the position you take allows them to use their bodies in different ways. You may be able to turn this into an educational moment about different parts of the body!

On top of building strength, yoga helps children refine balance and coordination. This is one of the core tenets of yoga, with many poses require standing on one foot. Coordination is not only closely tied to balance, but also to dexterity in general. This is important, especially at younger ages. Many yoga teachers who specialize with working with kids also include finger yoga and similar techniques in order to improve fine and gross motor coordination.

When it comes to the physical side of things, one of the best things about yoga is the fact that it lets you work out a lot of different parts with minimal risk to injury compared to sports or lifting weights. This also means that even kids who are out of shape can get on the path to fitness easily.

Other Yoga Benefits

As any teacher will tell you, getting involved in activities out of school is as important socially as it can be physically. Christina Enneking, the founder of Heart Happy Yoga, explains that “it helps to provide building blocks for the future. It is our responsibility to develop our children’s sense of wonder and to give them a strong sense of self so they know where they belong in this world and can contribute to making their community a better place.” How does this take place? Well, when a child masters a pose, there is a boost of self-esteem. In addition, though this may seem a bit esoteric for some, yoga is about mental calming as well as physical benefits. For children who may be overly active or dealing with other issues, this can help relieve the pressures they go through every day. Studies have shown that yoga can be particularly useful for those with autism and ADHD as well.

For adults, yoga is taken as a chance to center one’s self while getting the physical benefits. For kids, they may not see it the same way, but it is a chance to be active in a whole new way, which is great for those rainy days. In addition, if they plan on pursuing athletics later on, this is a great way to get essential flexibility. Whether you plan on using videos at home or going to a yoga studio, yoga for kids has a low barrier to entry and plenty to offer. Try getting started today!

Healthy Living, Kids, Parenting

Ways to Keep Children Healthy, Safe and Comfortable While Playing Sports

In a day where video games and cellular use is on the rise, it’s important to keep your children active. One of the easiest ways to do this is to sign your children up for sports. Sports teach discipline and promote teamwork. With after-school practice sessions, several days each week and games on the weekend sports also offer a great way to keep your child physically fit. Before sending them onto the field it’s important to make sure they are safe, healthy and comfortable. Luckily, there are several ways to achieve this.

Ways to Keep Children Healthy, Safe and Comfortable While Playing Sports
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Equipment

Just as the pros protect themselves on the field, you, as the parent, must make sure that your children have the proper equipment to offer them the ultimate in protection against injuries. Things like a helmet, arm, knee and elbow pads, where required, are also essential. No matter what sports you select for your child, the shoes and undergarments are just as important for long-lasting traction and sustained comfort. For instance, there are socks for baseball and football that have a built-in stirrup. Worn over the socks they insulate to prevent foot injuries, offer support, while also preventing the undersocks from falling down.

Proper Nutrition and Hydration

Maintaining a healthy weight is key to success in any sport. Proper nutrition created with a healthy diet rich in carbs, protein, vitamins, and minerals and low in fat helps to fuel and thus energize the body. Luckily, this is easy to achieve. Eating foods such as lean meats, fish, green vegetables, whole grains, fruits, and nuts will keep your child at a healthy weight and build and repair muscles. It’s also essential that your child remain hydrated. While water is the beverage of choice before and during practice sessions and games, afterward, a sports drink will help to replenish lost carbs and electrolytes.

CPR

While it’s not likely that young children will have a heart attack while training or playing the game on the field, it can happen. Sudden Cardiac Death, SCD, rarely happens. However, the fact that it can happen is quite scary for any parent, especially a parent without the skills to possibly save their child. CPR training is important not just for parents with kids involved in sports, but for all parents. Anything can happen, like a toddler getting a small toy logged in their throat or a player on the field losing consciousness with a small window of survival in front of you. The good news is that a CPR course takes just a few hours to complete, giving you peace of mind.

Getting Enough Rest

All children need a lot of sleep. However, for a child involved in sports, getting enough sleep helps to improve their mental focus, maintain a positive attitude and keeps their body healthy against sickness. Luckily, in most cases, children who partake in sports fall asleep pretty easily. They have a hectic schedule that consists of attending school, doing homework and practice and games.

Sports provide a wonderful way for children to stay physically active, make long-lasting friendships, and learn discipline and teamwork. These are the fundamentals of life that your child can take away from the game and use for the rest of their lives. Just make sure that your child continues to enjoy the sport, train hard and has fun. Sometimes parents lose sight of the small details like what’s in the best interest of their kid. Even if your child possesses natural athletic abilities, if they don’t enjoy it, they will resent doing it later on.

Healthy Living

Oral Cancer Awareness: 13 Facts About Oral Cancer

I have partnered with Great Expressions Dental Centers for this feature

April is Oral Cancer Awareness month and I am honoring this topic with Great Expressions Dental Centers. In 2018, an estimated 51,540 people will contract oral cancer and an estimated 10,030 people will die as a result, says the American Cancer Society. Is that eye opening for you? It was for me!

If you have a Great Expressions Dental Center near you did you know that they will be giving all patients in April complimentary oral ID screenings, a two-minute exam that aids in catching oral cancer at early stages?

Enjoy these Oral Cancer Fast Facts below!

Oral Cancer Awareness: 15 Facts About Oral Cancer

Do you still smoke/chew tobacco?

10,000! It’s time to become aware!

I had no idea!

Beauty, Healthy Living

Simple Skin Care Products from Theraplex – Review

I have partnered with Theraplex for this feature

Simple Skin Care Products from Theraplex - Review

As winter ends, how is your skin? It is fairly dry, isn’t it? Mine is and I need more than just hand lotion to get deeper into my skin to nourish it and moisturize right now. I am using 3 Theraplex products at once right now to rehydrate my skin.

Theraplex products have finally made hydrating your skin simple. When I buy lotions they are either greasy or I have to reapply so often throughout the day. Theraplex moisturizers have uncomplicated formulas which are noncomedogenic, hypoallergenic, fragrance free and non-irritating to sensitive skin.

I keep these 2 in the shower. The Theraplex® Clean ‘N Treat Cleanser is a combination of glycolic, lactic and salicylic acids to gently exfoliate and slough away dead skin cells leaving pores clean and free of oil and cellular debris. It works great for sensitve skin It cleans oils, dirt and debris from your face without drying out the skin.

The Theraplex® ClearLotion Moisturizer is an oil mositurizer spritz on after my shower and before towel drying. It works with the water on your skin to seal in moisture and while the water and soap tries to wash away natural oils, this will protect that from happening when you dry off. And natural jojoba oil helps to provide added protection against moisture loss and prevent dryness without irritation.

Once I am dried off I follow up with Theraplex® HydroLotion Daily Skin Moisturizer. I really rub into my hands and elbows most and it is light enough to use on the face too! It is also an ideal moisturizer for individuals with acne-prone or sensitive skin; it is also perfect for use under make-up.

These are just 3 of sevral products your skin can benefit from at any time of year. Visit Theraplex skin products to learn more.

Healthy Living

Work and the Flu – What Should You Do?

After weeks of widespread activity, it looks like we’re finally seeing a light at the end of the influenza tunnel. The CDC now says the flu season has peaked for the year. But it’s still not time to sound the all clear. Flu activity remains high in 21 states, with 15 states reporting moderate levels of the flu.

Work and the Flu – What Should You Do?
Germs at work (image)

So, even though it looks like the worst is over, it’s not time to let your guard down, especially for the nation’s businesses. Sick employees remain a major concern this time of year.

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the flu can be a significant burden for businesses. In a typical year, in between employee sick days and lost productivity, the estimated cost of the flu is a staggering $7 billion.

Maintaining a healthier workforce can lower direct costs such as insurance premiums and worker’s compensation claims. It will also positively impact many indirect costs such as absenteeism and worker productivity.

You can also take precautions to avoid getting infected as you make your way to the office. For starters, don’t be a contagious commuter. If you use public transportation, frequently-touched surfaces can harbor the flu virus, like handrails, grab handles and straps.  After touching these areas, avoid touching your face, eyes, or nose to prevent infection. For car commuters, the gas station is laden with risks. The buttons on the ATM machine and gas pump handles are particularly germy. So play it safe and wash your hands or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer after you touch any contaminated objects.

Once you’ve dodged the influenza virus on the way to the office, make sure to keep up the good work at the workplace. Personal steps you can take include disinfecting commonly shared areas –for example, if you share a desk, a tablet or a phone, wipe them down with sanitizer.  If you shake hands with someone, wash your hands immediately afterwards. And if a co-worker in your office is coughing or sneezing, steer clear!  Better yet, encourage your fellow employee to take a sick day to prevent spreading the illness to others.

Employers can also do their part to foster a healthy workplace by providing employees with hand sanitizer and tissues, and having the cleaning crews regularly wipe down commonly shared surfaces.

BUT – as mentioned in Part 1 and Part 2 of this series — do your office a favor this flu season – if you think you’re getting sick, stay at home!

Of course, the best way to be a team player this flu season is to get the flu shot – it’s the single, most effective way to avoid getting sick.  Families Fighting Flu wants to remind the public that the flu is a serious illness, and if the sobering news headlines spotlighting the extent of influenza-related deaths this season were not enough to make you take precautions, you’ll want to check out the video below for more reasons on why it’s critical to get vaccinated, even this late in the season.

A few fast flu facts….

Did you know that influenza virus can remain on surfaces for up to 48 hours? And did you know that people can remain infectious for 5 to 7 days after getting sick? In fact, you can spread the flu virus 1 day before you even start to feel sick.

So, if you do get the flu, take one for the team and do the right thing by staying home until at least 24-hours after your fever ends. To learn more about flu and how to protect yourself and your co-workers, visit www.familiesfightingflu.org.

Healthy Living

Serious Questions To Ask Yourself When Your Life Is Stuck In A Rut

Is this you today? (image)

No matter how busy our lives, we can all get stuck in a rut sometimes. You probably know the feeling yourself. For example, have you ever…

– Thought back to how life used to be, with all your hopes and dreams. And then realized your life hasn’t quite shaped up the way you wanted it to.

– Realized today was the same as yesterday, which was the same as the day before, and so on and so on. It’s like Groundhog Day but without the comedy.

– Done something that doesn’t particularly interest you, but hey, anything is better than spending the day doing the exact same thing you did yesterday.

– Lived on autopilot… you wake up, brush your teeth, get the kids to school, do the chores, watch tv, make dinner… ad infinitum… and then realized you just can’t take this anymore. Surely life has to be more exciting than this?

– Stared out of the window, decided your neighbours have a far more exciting life than yourself – look, there goes Mrs. Jones again after another weekend jet-setting – and wished you could have a piece of what they are having!

– Looked at your weekly planner and realised there is absolutely nothing on it at all that makes you feel excited or passionate. And the same goes for the next week, and the next…meh!

If you have ever been through any of those feelings, then yes, your life is probably stuck in a rut. That’s nothing to feel guilty about, however. You are living a life that many of us lead; unlike Mrs Jones and her jet setting lifestyle, which, let’s be honest, is out of the realms of possibility for most of us. Life trundles along, but it doesn’t mean we are unhappy. We get to that point of ‘this is where we are supposed to be,’ or ‘this is how my life has ended up.’ You feel stuck, but you almost resign yourself to that fact. Such is life.

Of course, if you aren’t happy, or you are sure there must be something else out there for you, then there are ways to get out of the hole you have fallen into. If you are tired of being stuck in a rut and are unsure what to do, ask yourself the following questions. They may just help you find your passion again.

  1. What makes you happy?

Look at areas of your life right now. Which things make you feel the happiest? Chances are, you will come up with answers familiar to many of us – family, work, faith, friendships, your home – but list the items that take priority for you. Be thankful for those things, even if elements of them have become routine. Sometimes being stuck in a rut is a state of mind, and when we

practice gratitude for what we do hold dear in life, we may not feel so bad after all.

  1. What were your childhood dreams?
Dreaming of a life outside the fence (image)

Life may not be how you imagined it to be, so go back to your childhood dreams. Where did you see your life heading? What could you imagine yourself doing? Chances are, some of these will be a tad fantastical – your dreams of flying to Mars or owning a mansion may be a little out of the realms of possibility – but there may be ideas you had that could actually be within your grasp. Think about them, and consider how you could make some of those dreams come true.

  1. What skills do you possess?

We all have skills, yet many of them go unfulfilled because we don’t get the chance to use them. On the other hand, some of those skills will get used, but they may not be in the things we enjoy doing. So consider what you are good at and look at where you could use them in a pursuit that you will enjoy. Perhaps you could follow a new passion – Good at writing? Start that novel you have always been meaning to write. Enjoy baking? Perhaps start your own business. There are many avenues where your skills could be used, so list them and think about the possibilities.

  1. What is holding you back in life?

You may have ideas, but your life may be full of things that are keeping you stuck in that rut. Some of these things will be inevitable, and you may have to wait awhile before you can spread your wings a little more. For example, if you have a young family, you will have to prioritise some of your time. You might also have a full-time job that you need to keep going to bring the money in. Still, they don’t have to restrict your entire life. Get a childminder once in a while and find time in the week to do things that don’t always revolve around your children. Look for other work if your current job is taking you nowhere. Study at home with an online course in something that can improve your future; an msw degree for example. You may have commitments in your day-to-day life, but they shouldn’t restrict your entire life.

  1. Are you holding yourself back?

Sometimes, we are our own worst enemy. “Oh, I couldn’t possibly do that, I’m not good enough,” you might say, or “I would do that but I have this to do and that to do and blah blah blah.” Often, we formulate excuses in our head that are limiting our life. When stuck in a rut, we can become too comfortable in that position, even though we hate it. The idea of doing something else causes us feelings of doubt and fear. We may have become lazy within our routine and trying to improve matters may be more effort than we are willing to put in. You might want to follow your dreams, but other people may have put negative thoughts in your head that have caused you to stop fighting for what you really want. You could do something else, but your unhelpful thinking tells you otherwise. So sort your head out, ask for help if you need confidence, don’t listen to the negative patter of others, know that you are better than you think, and move forwards.

  1. Where do you want to be in the next five years?
Think outside of the box (image)

We could have asked you where you want to be tomorrow, but if it involves making life-changing decisions, you should probably think about the longer term. So figure out what you want your life to look like in several years time. Do you want to feel the way you do now? If not, what can be changed? Write down your hopes for the future, and include those things that are realistic to achieve. Perhaps you want a change in your career. You may want a bigger friendship group. Maybe you want to move out of your home. Then include things that seem unrealistic, but you wish could happen anyway. In both cases, work out what you could do to make those things happen. If you have a faith, pray that your hopes come true. Talk to others and see if they can help you achieve what you want. If you really don’t want to be in the same place five years from now, take those steps to better your life chances.

  1. How many days/weeks/months/years are you off from old age?

It’s time for a dose of reality. When we say old age, it is subjective, but for the sake of argument, let’s say 90 years old. Life is short, and you will be old before you know it. When you get to that age, will you look back on your life and feel proud and content? Will you have achieved all that you set out to do? Have you left a legacy for others to follow? Or will you, at the age of 90, still be in exactly the same place you are today, except with a few more wrinkle lines. Old age is a hard pill to swallow (and you will probably be swallowing a few hard pills when you get to old age), and you don’t want to look back with any regrets. “I could have done this” or “I should have tried harder” are some of the things you may say to yourself. So consider your life, and make every effort not to waste another moment, whatever that means for you.

Final word

If you are happy with where you are, then that’s completely fine. Don’t fix what isn’t broken. On the other hand, if any of what we said has resonated with you, and you are stuck in a rut you want to get out of, now is the time to start thinking about a change. There are people out there to help you, from counselling professionals to your friends and family, so seek advice and assistance where you need it. In short, what we are saying is this. Start thinking about your life today to give you a brighter tomorrow. You only have one life, and it would be a shame if you didn’t grasp a few of the possibilities that are available to you. We wish you every success.