Tag Archives: success

Healthy Kids Make a Healthy America

“People who hand off health to the next generation are the ones who change the world.”                     -Tom Hopkins

10 HEALTHY EATING TIPS FOR KIDS

Following these ten tips will help kids stay fit and healthy

1. Food is Fun… Enjoy your food

Eating is a good thing.  It gives you fuel like putting gas in a car.  Cars, buses and trains cannot run without fuel. Food gives you the fuel and energy to go!  If you don’t eat your mind and body can’t go fast like it was intended to.

2. Breakfast is a very important meal

Our bodies always need energy, and after a night’s sleep, energy levels are low. So, when you are off to school, if you don’t eat your body will stay sleepy and tired.  Start the day with breakfast. Plenty of carbohydrates is just the ticket: try cereal with skimmed milk, oatmeal, fruit or yogurt, toast or bread, perhaps with lean meats.

3. Eat lots of different kinds of foods every day, not just candy and sweets.

You need over 40 different kinds of vitamins and minerals every day for good health. Since there is no single food that contains them all, it is important to balance your daily choices.  You do not need to miss out on the foods you enjoy. The best way to make sure you get the right balance is to eat a wide variety of foods each day.

4. Don’t forget your daily  vitamins

Vitamins are important if our body is to be healthy and strong. They are absolutely necessary for our growth.  Make sure to take a daily vitamin in the morning with your breakfast.

5. Eat fruits and vegetables with your meals and as tasty snacks!

Fruits and vegetables are among the most important foods for giving us enough vitamins, minerals and fiber. We should all try to eat 5 servings a day. For example, a glass of fruit juice at breakfast, perhaps an apple and banana as snacks and two vegetables at meal times then you have already reached your total.

6. Fat facts. Too much fat is not good for your health

Eating too many of those tasty, fatty foods (such as butter, spreads, fried meats and sausages, pies and pastries) might not always be so good for your body. Although we need some fats to get all the nutrients we need, it is better for our health if we don’t eat too much of these foods and get knocked off balance.

7. Snack Smart! Eat regularly and choose healthy snacks

Snacks can fill the gap, but should not be eaten in place of meals, only as an extra. There are lots of different snacks available. Your choice may be fresh or dried fruits, yogurt, or sticks of vegetables like carrots and celery. Whichever snack you enjoy, remember it is always good to include a variety of different types to keep things in balance.

8. Quench your thirst. Drink plenty of water.

Did you know that more than 70% of your weight is just water? So as well as giving your body all the food it needs each day to keep healthy, you need at least 5 glasses of liquids a day.  Clean tap water, filtered water, bottled water, fruit juices, Crystal Light, tea, and milk are all acceptable.

9. Care for those teeth! Brush your teeth at least twice a day

Brush your teeth at least twice a day. Eating foods high in sugar or starches too often during the day can play a part in tooth decay. So don’t nibble foods and sip drinks all day long! However, the best way to keep a nice smile is to brush your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste. Also, after brushing your teeth at bedtime, don’t eat any food, or drink anything but water!

10. Get moving! Be active every day

Just like a bike may become rusty if it is not used for some time, our muscles and bones need to be kept moving too.        Activity is needed to keep your heart healthy and your bones strong. It can also be good fun. Try to include some form of activity every day: it may be just playing outside, walking around the neighborhood and running up the stairs. Outdoor games like  kickball, football at break times are good for giving the body a workout. Swimming is a great sport for keeping you healthy.

Parents, make sure to limit TV, video game and computer time. These habits lead to a sedentary lifestyle which increases risks for obesity and cardiovascular disease.  Encourage physical activities that children really enjoy. They’ll stick with it longer if they love it. Focus on the positive instead of the negative. Everyone likes to be praised for a job well done. Celebrate successes and help children and teens develop a good self-image.

Help them set specific goals and limits, such as one hour of physical activity a day or two desserts per week. It’s true that when goals are too vague the chance for success decreases.  Rewarding children with candy and unhealthy snacks encourage bad habits. Find other ways to celebrate good behavior.

Let’s get busy and make a difference in the lives of our kids. You have an opportunity to help kids form healthy habits.  They could be your kids, grand kids, nieces or nephews or neighborhood kids.

Teaching tomorrow’s generation to live a healthy life is the key to helping change our world.

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Excuses are for Slackers

If we think hard enough each of us can come up with excuses for not being as healthy as we should be.

Excuses are weak.  They merely hamper our ability to overcome the obstacles before us.  They point the finger to other people or circumstances and keep us from taking the vital steps to change our lives for the better.  At times all of us can throw the pity party and play the excuse game.  Last time I threw a pity party nobody showed up but me!

It’s time to make a decision once and for all to take care of our body.  It deserves the best of our care all of the time, not just when we feel like it.  It’s a good thing we don’t just show up to work when we feel like it, or pay bills when we feel like it.

How many times have you thought about skipping a workout because you were “too tired” to exercise, but when you have gone despite your fatigue, you have felt much more awake and energized afterward?  Whether we feel like exercising or not, when we go ahead and do it we always reap the benefits.

It is a proven fact that people who exercise regularly have more energy, a sharper mind, as well as strength and endurance to get through their day.  When your body is working at peak efficiency, your energy levels soar!  So let’s get rid of those excuses and take care of our bodies like we should.

Next time you are tempted to go down the road of excuses just remember that they are for slackers.  And that’s not you!

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Anyone Under Pressure?

“In minds crammed with thoughts, organs clogged with toxins, and bodies stiffened with neglect, there is just no space for anything else.”    Alison Rose Levy

Sometimes our bodies bear the brunt of our busy, crazy pace that we keep.

One out of every four Americans has high blood pressure.  That’s about 60 million of us. This causes a lot of force on the arteries, taking a serious toll on them.

Think of a water balloon that is being pumped completely full.  Too much pressure causes calamity.  Likewise, when our blood pressure is too high it poses a serious health risk of heart attack, stroke, and kidney disease.

To lower your blood pressure:

  • Eat Healthy

Eating a diet that is rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products and skimps on saturated fat and cholesterol can lower your blood pressure

  • Reduce Salt in your diet

Even a small reduction in the salt, (sodium) in your diet can reduce blood pressure significantly. Most healthy adults need only between 1,500 and 2,400 milligrams (mg) of sodium a day. But if you have high blood pressure, aim for less than 1,500 mg of sodium a day.

To decrease sodium in your diet, consider the following:

Track how much salt is in your diet. Keep a food diary to estimate how much sodium is in what you eat and drink each day.

Read food labels. If possible, choose low-sodium alternatives of the foods and beverages you normally buy.

Eat fewer processed foods. Potato chips, frozen dinners, bacon and processed lunch meats are high in sodium.

Don’t add salt. Just 1 level teaspoon of salt has 2,300 mg of sodium. Use herbs or spices, rather than salt, to add more flavor to your foods.

Ease into it. If you don’t feel like you can drastically reduce the sodium in your diet suddenly, cut back gradually. Your palate will adjust over time.

  • Lose Some Weight

Lose extra pounds and watch your waistline.  Blood pressure often increases as weight increases. Losing just 10 pounds can help reduce your blood pressure. In general, the more weight you lose, the lower your blood pressure. Losing weight also makes any blood pressure medications you’re taking more effective. You and your doctor can determine your target weight and the best way to achieve it.

Besides shedding pounds, you should also keep an eye on your waistline. Carrying too much weight around your waist can put you at greater risk of high blood pressure.

  • Exercise More

Regular physical activity — at least 30 minutes most days of the week — can lower your blood pressure more than any other way. And it doesn’t take long to see a difference. If you haven’t been active, increasing your exercise level can lower your blood pressure within just a few weeks.

As you keep your blood pressure in check, you are on your way to living a healthier, and happier life.  You  can do it!

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“The real secret of success is Enthusiasm.” -Walter Chrysler

Wow! What a difference enthusiasm makes. Don’t you just love being around people with that kind of positive energy?  By its definition, enthusiasm signifies a whole-hearted devotion to a cause, and an all out excitement to carry it out.

Enthusiasm is one of the greatest assets in the world. It is more important than money and power and influence.

“Enthusiasm is one of the most powerful engines of success. When you do a thing, do it with all your might. Put your whole soul into it. Stamp it with your own personality. Be active, be energetic, be enthusiastic and faithful, and you will accomplish your object.”    -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Think about yourself for a moment.  Are you someone who people would describe as enthusiastic?

If so, then continue on your path to success.  If not, then take inventory on how you can be more active, energetic, positive and faithful to your cause.

Remember that nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm!

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The Healthy Drug

 

“The longer I live the less confidence I have in drugs and greater is my confidence in the regulation and administration of diet and regimen.”                   -John Redman Coxe  (written in 1800)

I can’t think of a more true statement that fits our 21st century than what Mr. Coxe penned over 200 years ago. He’s not saying that prescription medications are not necessary at times.  He’s merely reminding us that prescription drugs are reactive – designed to treat sickness after the body is in an unhealthy state.

On the other hand, making a decision to live a healthy lifestyle by eating right and exercising is PROactive and will keep us well. This will help prevent sickness, enhance wellness, youthfulness, and bolster the immune system.  Who wouldn’t want to get strong, lose body fat, boost confidence and reduce the risk of injuries?

Keep in mind we will never find health in the form of a pill.  However, getting proper sleep, adequate exercise, and eating a balance of proteins, fruits and veggies is the “healthy drug” that we need.  Here’s to being well, living well, and staying well!

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Do You Sleep Much?

Millions of people across the world suffer from lack of sleep, never knowing how it affects their health on a daily basis. Most people have no idea how important sleep is to healthy living.

Neil Stanley, of the Research Unit at Surrey University says: “We know good sleep is central to good health. It is wrong to perceive sleep as a passive state of unconsciousness.  The body is doing an awful lot while we sleep.”

The circadian rhythm, otherwise known as the “body clock,” coordinates our daily wake/sleep cycle. When your circadian rhythm is disrupted, your body becomes stressed, causing loss of muscle tone and weight gain. Sleep is not “down time,” but rather an active and vital part of your daily life.

There are at least five stages of sleep. Each stage is essential for rest and hormonal releases that help build muscle and strengthen the immune system. The refreshing sleep you need requires a consistent pattern of sleep and wake times. By not maintaining a consistent sleep routine, you are robbing yourself of your body’s natural healing abilities.

Many proudly proclaim that they can exist on five to six hours a night and catch up on sleep later on.  The fact is, not one really ever catches up on sleep that is lost. Sleep that is lost is never regained.

When you don’t get enough sleep it is impossible for your body to perform as it was intended to. Your mind has a tendency to be dull, easily distracted, and struggles to concentrate on task.  While sleep deprived you are less patient, more irritable and less productive.

The good news is, there are a number of things you can do during the day to improve your night’s sleep! Assuming there are no underlying causes like a sleep disorder.  (Man, can I tell you about that…Check out my NS Reds Nocturnal Sleep Related Eating Disorder.)

Here is my top ten list for sleeping better at night:
1. Keep it relatively quiet while you sleep. If you need to drown out noise use a fan or a white noise device that generates calming sounds. These devices help drown out disruptive noises. Phone ringers should be turned off completely until morning.
2. Take a long warm bath or shower.  These can help you de-stress and increase your chances of sleeping well. Relaxed muscles mean relaxing sleep.  Also, many people find that reading for a short time helps them get to sleep.

3. Develop a regular bedtime routine allowing 8 hours of sleep. Maintain your sleep schedule on your working and non-working days. You will feel better if you don’t completely change your sleep times. Alter your sleep and wake time by only a couple of hours on your days off. Your body clock is negatively affected when you change up your sleep patterns.

4. Sleep in a dark room. Darkness tells your body that it is time to sleep. Don’t go to sleep with the television on, as this interrupts deeper sleep cycles. Even dim lights can rob your ability to sleep. In the morning slightly open blinds to let natural light enter the room. This will help signal the body that it is time to wake. Sit in front of a large window for half an hour or so during breakfast. The sunlight signals your circadian cycle into the wake phase, increasing metabolic activity and alertness.

5. Exercise more, as it reduces anxiety and aids in sleep.  A number of recent reports suggest that even moderate exercise can improve insomnia.  Aerobic exercise like walking during the day helps to reduce anxiety and improve sleep quality. Being active helps maintain circadian rhythm and encourages deeper sleep.

6. Don’t eat a big meal right before bed.
Many sleep experts believe that eating a big meal before bed can cause insomnia. Larger meals should be consumed earlier in the day. Ideally, a light snack of less than 150 calories of an evening is best.

7. Cut Caffeine later in the day.
Caffeine intake of an evening can lead to difficulty sleeping. Limit coffee to one to two cups early in the day.  During the evening, instead of caffeinated sodas have a warm, relaxing decaf herbal tea.

8. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. According to James Maas, author of Power Sleep, staying hydrated helps the body heal and recover more quickly. This is yet another reason to drink at least six 8-ounce glasses of water a day. Avoid caffeinated beverages, such as cola, which can not only keep you awake, but dehydrate you at the same time.

9. Try wearing ear plugs. Earplugs block noise from entering your ears, and can allow you to relax your breathing patterns.  Most earplugs are an inexpensive remedy and help a lot of people get to sleep faster.  I swear by them!

10. Don’t rely on sleep aids. While sleep aids could work for a time, they are at best a short term fix.  Insomnia is often a part of a larger lifestyle picture that can be addressed and fixed once and for all.  Experts say that reducing stress and late night calories, and increasing physical activity may be the best long term solutions to restful sleep.

So go ahead and give these a try. You have nothing to lose and much rest to gain! They are proven to give you the rejuvenating sleep your body needs for a healthier and happier you.

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Walk More, Live Longer

“Being healthy allows you to feel that now is the best time of your life.”

-Tom Hopkins

Living more healthy can be as simple as just taking more steps in the course of your day. About every 30 steps you take is one calorie burned.  That is great news, as most of us are looking to burn as many calories as we can on a daily basis.

Think of ways you can take more steps: walk around during phone calls, while you’re reading, take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk to the store, window shop at the mall, leave your desk and visit your co-workers instead of sending them an email, walk as you text your spouse or friends.  The opportunities are there if you will look for them.

The American Counsel of Exercise performed an eight-year study with over 13,000 people who walked 30 minutes daily.  Results showed that they had a significantly reduced chance of premature death compared with those who rarely exercised.

So walk more and live longer, enjoy more energy and feel younger!  Here’s to a healthier YOU!

If you want to know more, check out USA Today.

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