What A Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease Means For Family Members

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This article is courtesy of PRWeb and Harvard Health Publication….please share your thoughts below…..

seniorcitizenAn individual with a close relative with Alzheimer’s is at slightly higher risk for the disease. Genetic testing for Alzheimer’s risk genes is not generally helpful.

Alzheimer’s disease represents a personal health crisis, but it’s also a family concern. When someone is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, what does that mean in terms of the risk his or her children and siblings might face?

“People think that if their dad or aunt or uncle had Alzheimer’s disease, they are doomed, but that’s not true,” says Dr. Gad Marshall, assistant professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School. “Even though family history adds to the overall risk, age still usually trumps it quite a bit.”

Close relatives of someone who’s been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s have about a 30% higher chance of developing the disease themselves, according to the January 2016 issue of the Harvard Men’s Health Watch. But it’s important to ask: “30% higher than what?”

A 65-year-old American’s annual chance of being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s is about 2%. Having a relative with dementia raises that chance by around 30% — to 2.6%. “It means your risk is higher, but it’s not that much higher, if you consider the absolute numbers,” Dr. Marshall says.

Family members often wonder if they should be tested for the “Alzheimer’s gene,” called apolipoprotein E (also known as APOE4). The short answer is no. “Being tested for APOE4 is not going to be helpful, since it won’t tell you whether you will develop the disease,” Dr. Marshall says. “It will only tell you if you are at a greater or lower risk.”

Read the full-length article: “Alzheimer’s in the family”

Also in the January 2016 issue of the Harvard Men’s Health Watch:

* How much meat in your diet is healthy?

* Four steps to prevent colon cancer

* Vitamins and vision

* What to do about knee pain

The Harvard Men’s Health Watch is available from Harvard Health Publications, the publishing division of Harvard Medical School, for $20 per year. Subscribe at http://www.health.harvard.edu/mens or by calling 877-649-9457 (toll-free).

Family Decisions: Your Parent Is Declining

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By Ryan McEniff

seniormanIt eventually happens, you and your siblings notice that your mom or dad is not acting the way they once did, maybe memory impairment has increased, or someone is still mentally sharp, but they are not stable when walking and standing. When the family is together as a whole, it provides a great time to starting talking about what the options are.

So what are the options when it’s clear that someone is steadily declining and needs help?

Your Senior Care Options

This article will go through the options most families have when looking for senior care. It will provide the pros and cons of each service and the monetary costs associated with each type of care.

Family Members

Family members are great to be able to help someone who needs a small amount of assistance. Maybe your parent can’t drive anymore but just needs to get out twice a week. Or if the family is large enough, different people can help out for a few hours per week, and all share the responsibilities of helping out.

Cost: Low/Free
Time: Medium/High
Cons: Loss of time. Often one person becomes the main caregiver sacrificing more and more of their own time than other families do and can become burnt out.

Adult Day Services

Adult day services can be an alternative to having private caregivers come in. It allows seniors, especially those with dementia, to be stimulated through physical and mental activities while a family member has time to go to work or get important errands and tasks done.

Cost: Nation average $70 per day
Time: Low
Cons: Adult day patients can often suffer from dementia, so depending on your location, it might not be a right fit for non-dementia seniors who are looking for activities a few times a week. Additionally, care is provided from 9 am to 3 pm M-F, so there needs to be someone available to drop off and pick up. So it might not be ideal for families working full time or those who work on the weekends.

Private Home Care

Private home care services can provide peace of mind knowing that there is a dedicated caregiver that is there only for your loved one. Caregivers assist with ADLs (activities of daily living) and are flexible with their hours to cater to your schedule.

Cost: $20-30 per hour all private pay (no insurance coverage available)
Time: None/Low
Cons: It is expensive. Many families cannot afford the services. Additionally, families and seniors can be very nervous letting caregivers into their home.

Assisted Living Facilities (ALF)

Assisted living facilities provide an active social environment for senior who wish to interact with people their age. The services provide a private or shared room, meal services and transportation services. Additionally, many assisted living facilities have included a dementia unit, which, as the name implies, is for residents who have developed dementia and needs to be in a secure unit with dedicated and trained staff.

seniorwoman2Cost: $3,300 per month depending on location (no insurance coverage available)
Time: Low
Cons: Expensive. What you are paying for are room, food, and transportation. The personal care hours included are minimal, usually 2-5 hours per week. So if your family member ends up needing more care than that, it will be required to get additional attention, usually from a private home care company that will be an out of pocket expense. Finally, assisted living facilities are private pay, and once the money runs out, then you will be asked to leave.

Nursing Home

Nursing homes help people who need more complicated care that they cannot get at an assisted living or through private home care services. Many are new, provide outstanding care, good food, and activities. Nursing homes have a stigma attached to them of places you go to die or once there, no one visits you, but for many places, it is just not true.

Cost: $6,500-7,000 per month depending on location.
Time: Low
Cons: Expensive & Spend downs. Stigmas are a problem. Quality can range drastically, and some nursing homes will try and only accept spend down patients first.

Pro-tip: Nursing homes are not automatically paid for by Medicare or Medicaid, spending down is required (which is when the patients assets are “spent down” with a seven-year look back before Medicaid pays for the services). So if mom or dad is a resident at an assisted living or using private home care, my suggestion is to start looking for at nursing homes when you have over $50,000 left. Reason being, higher end nursing homes will be more accommodating to private pay customers than those that have no money and will be coming to them on Medicaid.

– The author of this guest post is Ryan McEniff, owner of Minute Women Home Care, in Lexington, Massachusetts.

Family Fun And Fitness: Finding The Best Backyard Playset

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By Jereme Thomas

groupkidswbgFinding something that promises to deliver hours of family fun and helps to keep kids fit and active is not always that easy, but a backyard playset can often satisfy all of these requirements.

Children naturally enjoy playing outside and are always keen to have some fun through climbing, sliding and swinging, which are things you can do when you install a backyard playset for them.

Plenty of reasons

If you need a reason to buy a playset for your kids, there are plenty of them, and when you add them all together it makes the idea of investing in one for your backyard seem like a bit of a no-brainer.

Fresh air and exercise

In a digital age, it is great to see the kids enjoy some fresh air and exercise and soon forget about the iPad when they are having so much fun.

Outdoor play equipment offers the opportunity for physical exercise whilst they are playing. Climbing to the top of a slide before enjoying that quick descent helps children to develop their upper and lower body strength and also improves their cardiovascular health with all that running around.

Good for their health

There are definite benefits attached to being outside that go beyond the obvious advantage of keeping kids fit and healthy through the exercise that a playset offers.

Simply being outside and soaking up some sunlight will help boost their vitamin D intake and some studies also show that regular exposure to mud and dirt, which is part of the fun as far as they are concerned, actually boosts their immune system, which is obviously a positive aspect to consider.

Choosing the right equipment

Kid’s playsets offer a wide variety of different options, so you can have a slide, monkey bars and different combinations of ladders and other equipment to allow them to climb safely.

Although a good playset will have been manufactured with safety as an important consideration, you do have to ensure that you choose the right equipment that is appropriate to the age of your child.

Children develop quite quickly and you will certainly want to buy a playset that offers your kid’s the chance to enjoy at least several years of enjoyment, but it is always advisable to remember that equipment that is fun and safe for a 10-year old, will not be suitable for a toddler.

Look for a playset model that allows you to modify the equipment at a later date but if you are unsure, take advice from the supplier as to what combination of equipment is safe and appropriate for your child to use right now.

twokidsunSuitable and safe

If you have children who are under two, the tower railing needs to be as open as possible with slats in place rather than solid walls, so that they can learn to climb more easily.

A tower for a child of this age should ideally not be any more than five feet off the ground, but a six foot tower might be acceptable in order to keep the playset just as exciting as they grow a bit bigger. A two-child back-to-back glider is worth considering, as it children tend to get the hang of these more quickly than a traditional swing, and it encourages them to use their arm muscles which will help them get fitter as well.

A glider is suitable for ages two and up and you should get plenty of use out of it, as older kids also tend to enjoy riding them too.

Equipment options

Older kids will love using a rock-climbing wall and if you get one with colored grips or rocks, they can play games following the color patterns as they climb up and down. Tire swings are quite popular with kids, but they are quite heavy and can easily knock a child over if they get too close while someone else is on it, so it wouldn’t be advisable to get one fitted if you have kids aged under four.

Trapezes are also best avoided for younger children, as the young ones find them difficult to get the hang of and this can present a dislocation hazard. Monkey bars are another item that are more suited to older children, as they need a reasonable amount of upper body strength and can become dangerous if a young child manages to climb to the top, but can’t then get down safely.

A playset in your backyard offers a great chance to enjoy some family fun and improve fitness, just take the time to choose the right combination of equipment so that they can play as safely as possible.

– Jereme Thomas is the owner and founder of Totally Swing Sets, an online swing set store that specializes in quality wooden swing sets and outdoor accessories. His wife, Nikki, assists in running Totally Swing Sets as the Director of Sales and Service.

How Marriage Counseling Can Save A Family

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By Cassandra Johanssen

familyfunEveryone has problems and issues in life, a lot of this we learn from and correct for later life, let’s face it, nothing is ever totally broken, though stressful, everything can be fixed. This is also true for relationships, in my own personal opinion I think a relationship with arguments and disagreements is a healthy one. No two people in the world will agree on every single thing, there will always be differences of opinions and choices.

Though many of these issues can be worked through alone, quite often there can be a buildup of tension over a long period of time, this tension creates many problems all at once so it can be tough to talk them through together and you will both end up disagreeing about everything.

Take the plunge

If you have both reached that point where there is a lot more arguing going on and you cannot seem to sort through anything, you might want to look into marriage counseling. This is nothing to be ashamed of at all, in 2010 there was a study undertaken with 134 chronically and seriously distressed couples, after 26 weekly therapy sessions 48% showed significant improvement, 27% separated and divorced and the remainder was unchanged.

Sometimes we cannot always work through our problems alone or as a couple, at times we need a neutral person in the room to liaison between each other, someone to help talk through the problems and underlying issues.

Here is the perfect success story of a couple who fell in love again.

Forget divorce and try salvage

Marriage is actually on the decline and many couples who were once in love and no longer see eye to eye will instantly bring up divorce as the accepted process to “fix” things. We as a human race are suborn and are built to take the easiest route with things, sometimes it is better to take the long road, especially if you have already settled and have a family to think about and not just yourselves. Here I have listed a few reasons as to why you will need one:

● Communication breakdown – Once communication has deteriorated, it is hard to get that back on the right track leaving only negative communication which leaves both parties depressed, insecure, anxious and more. Sometimes it is not what you say, it is how it is said. This is also where tit for tat goes on back and forth.

● An affair has taken place – This is one of the main reasons people use marriage therapy, so long as you are both truthful and committed to the therapy, it should work out, though there is no magical, fast track to take.

● Are you my roommate? – When it feels like you are just “living with someone” rather than feeling like being a couple, then counseling might be just the ticket. This does not mean spending every living second together in the house, what it means is the intimacy and communication has completely disappeared.

● For the children – Many couples actually stay together for the children, when involving a third party to sort things out and talk through the issues may make everything better for all involved. Children should never be the deciding factor here.

familyrunChildren can pick up on this, I remember reading an article online from a therapist. A teenagers grades were declining in school and when the therapist in the school asked why the child said “I know my parents hate each other, they are staying together for my benefit” The therapist asked “How would you know that?” and she replied “Well they talk nicely to each other, but they don’t laugh like my friends parents”.

Children can pick up on a lot more than you think!

To help save my own marriage I went to a counselor in Broomfield, Colorado and it was not as bad as I first thought. Involving the third party really calmed things down and we were actually able to talk throughout problems and issues. We are still working on it but each day and therapy session is one step closer to a happy future.

– Cassandra Johanssen is a marketing consultant living in Boulder, Colorado. Her hobbies include dream analysis and making dream weavers. Cassandra is also currently training for her 3rd marathon.

Keeping Your Children And Family Health High And Costs Low

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By James Helliwell

familytvFast food restaurants, burgers, and video games are taking precedence over home cooked meals, vegetables, and outdoor play time for kids of all ages. Instead of playing cricket and chasing after runaway footballs, kids are glued to video games and munching on junk food. With a rise in obesity comes a rise in children’s diabetes as well as other health issues. This also has a financial impact with freedom and free charge activities of playing out, playing sport in the park and building rope swings being replaced by the expensive screens and great value healthy lunches being replaced with the local expensive fast food joint. Our little children are experiencing an epidemic that never should have occurred. So, in what ways can we encourage our children to keep active and eat the leafy greens and engage in the activities that they need to grow strong and healthy?

Here are a few great ideas for both you and your children to try!

Encourage Outdoor Activities:

The more you’re outside, enjoying the fresh air and drinking in the warm rays of the sun, the better chance both you and your children have at staying healthy. Worldwide we are losing this natural connection to the outdoors and nature Keeping active and staying in motion not only keeps the extra pounds off you and your children’s frames, but it also helps to keep your system running the way it should.

Encourage your children to play at least one to two hours a day outside. If at all possible, go outside with them, throw the ball around, build a fort, or let them help you wash your car. Any outdoor activities done together as a family will not only make it fun, but will keep all of you active.

You could also enroll your children in extracurricular activities, such as sports like hockey, cricket, football, or even golf. There is no shortage in fun and active sports, so finding something your children like and enjoy should be easy.

Healthy Eating is Cost Effective:

Whether or not you realise it, children follow the large footsteps of mum and dad. When you eat healthy, your children eat healthy, so make sure to load their dinner plates, as well as yours, with lots of veggies, good meats like lamb chops or mincemeat, and healthy sides. Make their breakfasts as filling and nutritious as possible, like porridge or granola If you pack your children’s lunches for school, fill their boxes with a healthy sandwich and a piece of fruit. Keeping your children interested on healthy food is a great way to make sure they are getting what they need and help keep your costs lower and healthy home mad food is always much better value.

Visit Your Doctor Regularly:

Make sure your little ones visit their pediatrician regularly to ensure that they’re not only growing properly, but that they receive the help, shots, and nutritional advice they need. An excellent pediatrician will not only help to give you tips and advice on healthy living for your children, but a good doctor and an excellent insurance will help to keep your children as healthy as possible. By covering your children with a high quality health insurance, you can rest easy knowing that your children will and can be seen by the best Doctors around. Finding a quality health insurance will help cover most of your doctor visits and medical expenses. If your child has diabetes, having insurance will help to cover the costs that come with the disease.

Make sure you have the right health insurance:

familywalkIn some countries people have access to medical services that are free (or cheap) at point of access. However, even people going between European Economic Area countries and who hold an EHIC card are only entitled to the service a national of that country gets – so it doesn’t replace insurance. In most countries, such as the US, an adequate level of health insurance in crucial, otherwise you could end up with very large bills or even not be able to be treated. There are even stories of people being turned away from some countries for not being insured.

Travelling abroad to live will usually mean making sure that you have international health insurance to keep you covered for unexpected medical treatment or illness. For an idea of how much costs can vary for the uninsured, this recent infographic shows the often very high costs of operations worldwide. So make sure you are covered as this is a cost you never want to incur it great for your peace of mind to know your family and children are covered.

How My Family Learned How To Eat

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By Melissa Lawrence

kidseatinghealthyLast summer, I embarked on a 10 week long European adventure with my five kids. We planned to visit Spain and France, where we have friends and family, to learn as much as we could about the languages and cultures there. Our trip was filled with adventures and we are having fun telling stories about them still.

But the biggest thing we learned this summer was to how to eat. Of course, we knew how to eat as a practical matter. But we had forgotten how to eat together as a family.

Caught on the busy treadmill of modern family life, we had stopped sitting down together for meals more than once or twice a week. On weekdays, my kids would sit and eat as they came home. First, the younger girls. Then, my older boys, each taking off when finished to launch into his homework. With the kids in bed, I would then eat with my husband Marc – sometimes as late as 9 o’clock.

Although I loved the couples dinners with the hubs, this system didn’t work so well for the kids, nor for me actually. Since breakfast is such a quick enterprise, it meant that there was no time during a given day – or during the entire school week – that we all sat down together. We didn’t talk about their days, nor mine. And the 9 o’clock dinner time was hurting my sleep. I often couldn’t get to sleep until 11 or 12pm, and the following morning I was drained and tired.

I noticed in the French families that we visited that meals are sacred. Weekend lunch is not an individual affair; it’s a collective, shared experience and the cornerstone of the day. Weekday dinners for my European friends are as challenging as they are for American parents of young kids, yet those I witnessed make an effort to make sure meals coexist with togetherness and conversation.

I also noticed this summer what kids learn when they eat with their families. They learn how to sit nicely at the table. They learn how to converse. They learn how to contribute by doing small things like passing the bread and serving the plates. They learn that meals aren’t just about food, they are about being together and looking after each other. Plus, they learn that meals can be really, really fun. Through shared meals, kids develop a sense of a shared experience and of family. This wasn’t something I wanted my kids to miss out on.

So we made some changes. Now, on most weekdays, I sit down and eat with all 5 kids at around 5:30. We don’t have a ton of time, sometimes just 30 minutes, but we manage to eat and chat during that time. I sneak a little side platter of salad onto the table for each of them, and we each eat the same meal. I notice the kids eating more and complaining less about the food. Doesn’t always happen, but on a recent day one child even asked me “and how was your day Mom?” Wow. Our family is Catholic, and we sometimes say grace, or we try to each say something we are grateful for, or something we did for someone else that day.

saladheartsmallSo that my husband is not left entirely out of the picture – the poor man was already abandoned for most of the summer while we were away for Pete’s sake – I wait to eat dessert with him, which is usually fruit salad with a few oatmeal cookies. That way, we are sitting too and talking, which is kind of the point anyway. (He’s less affected by the late meals, and doesn’t get home in time to see the kids during the week unfortunately.)

On weekends, I look at the family calendar and try to come up with an exact time when we can sit down together as a family for lunch. Our lunches are nothing fancy: salad, rotisserie chicken and vegetables, or whole wheat bagels, lox and eggs. Fruit salad for dessert is a staple. The meals are not without controversy and who sits next to whom is always an issue. But I invariably look around the table and think: here we all are, we are a family, and we are all together. And my kids look happy.

For weekend dinners, we’ve been going through our list of the people we don’t feel we see enough and inviting them over for dinner with their kids. This has been the most fun of all. And even though I’m embarrassed to be serving the same dishes like lasagna and porc chops with baked potatoes, I’m so happy for my kids to sit down at a big table with the kids of my friends, all feeling very big and important, and all realizing, again, that meals are as much about people as they are about food.

The kids have grown to really enjoy the family meals, and have come to take ownership over things like making the eggs, and serving the bread.

Now if I can only get them to enjoy the dishes!

– A Mom of five children under 10, Melissa Lawrence is the founder of how to video site CloudMom.com. Cloudmom offers a library of informative, practical videos and blog content for parents of babies, toddlers and kids. Come visit!

Get Informed Before Selecting A Health Insurance Plan For Your Family

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familyvectorOpen enrollment tends to happen around this time of year and if you’re one of the fortunate individuals to have insurance options through your employer, you should take advantage of it.

However, when selecting health insurance, it is not to be taken lightly as there is a lot involved in selecting an insurance provider that will equip you with the coverage you need in times of sickness and in health. Rather than just selecting an insurance policy because it’s what your parents used or the most affordable, you should consider necessary factors that include:

· Your Personal Priorities

· Health Insurance Types

· Overall Cost of Coverage

Make a List of Your Personal Priorities

What you need from an insurance provider should be your first consideration. Paying for something that does not compensate all of your needs is a waste of money. Ask yourself questions such as; do you like your current doctors? If so, which insurance plans do they accept? Do you or loved ones get sick often? Do you require a visit to various specialists throughout the year for preexisting medical conditions? This will give you a basis of what to look for as you begin your research on various health insurance providers.

Learn About health Insurance Types

There are three main types of insurance plans that you can choose from: Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO), Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO), or Point of Service Plans (POS).

· HMO – HMOs are often regarded as the most affordable options for health insurance coverage. You are only allowed to see doctors within the network, limiting your flexibility when it comes to choosing healthcare providers and specialists.

· PPO – PPOs are a bit more expensive than an HMO. However, you are allowed to choose doctors and specialists both in and out of network. Out of network medical professionals will cost quite a bit more, and overall out of pocket expenses for PPOs can be costly.

· POS – POSs are said to be a combination of the HMO and the PPO. They allow you to select a primary care physician of your choice; however, you are typically required to receive a referral from this physician to see other specialists. The costs are not as steep as a PPO, but are still not as affordable as most HMOs.

Factoring Your Total Cost of Coverage

Most people assume that the premium is all that needs to be considered when looking at health insurance costs. However, there are some other out of pocket expenses that one needs to consider.

· Premium Costs – The premium cost is often the most obvious expense to calculate. It is the amount that your insurance provider bills you on the monthly basis in order to keep coverage.

· Deductible – The deductible is the amount you will have to pay each year towards medical bills before the insurance company will pay their portion. Not all insurance plans have a deductible but it is worth checking into.

· Coinsurance – Unless your insurance plan includes 100 percent coverage, you are going to have to pay some coinsurance. This is the amount you share in payment of medical bills with your insurance provider.

· Co-pay – Your co-pay is the amount you have to pay every time you make a visit to a healthcare provider.

To factor in all of these costs, utilize online resources, of which there are many. Sites like Health Net are geared toward individuals and employers and allow you to review various insurance plans, make comparisons, and even calculate projected costs. By being fully informed in all of the above mentioned areas, securing an insurance premium for you and your loved ones becomes a lot simpler.

– Submitted by Katherine Smith

Getting Healthy Together: The Best Sports Activities For Family Fitness

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boygirlplayvectorIt is amazing how many sports fans enjoy their favorite pastime from a distance. Their only contact with sports is to watch it on TV from the comfort of a couch or recliner, while eating snacks with no nutritional value. In other words, an activity that requires the epitome of health and fitness is enjoyed by people doing everything to decrease their own health and fitness.

Don’t let this happen to you, or any other member of your family. There are other ways to enjoy your favorite sports:

Together
Actively
Inexpensively

Weekend golfing doesn’t really meet that criteria. It pushes the definition of doing something together. One person swings while everyone else watches. It is also slow and expensive. It is a hobby usually suited to a single person.

Chess is another excellent sport. And yes, it is a sport. Unfortunately, only two can play. It is turn-based, slow, and let’s face it, no one ever lost weight or became more fit playing chess. But don’t worry; there are plenty of sports that are both fun to watch and to do. Here are my top three:

Tennis

The only thing better than watching Wimbledon on Independence Day is getting out there and playing it… and the barbecue. Tennis is a fast-paced game with plenty of built-in breaks for catching one’s breath. It can be played and enjoyed at all skill levels. You need at least two players. But you can have up to four on the court at one time. Because balls have to constantly be retrieved, there is plenty of activity for those not playing at the time.

The only thing you need to get started is a tennis racket for each player, lots of tennis balls, and a tennis court on which to play. There are always tennis courts to be found, usually for free use. You can pay for time on the nicer ones for a small fee. Unlike golf, tennis can be played without cashing out an IRA. If you are an enthusiast wanting to outfit your own backyard with the latest tennis court equipment, check out the latest accessories online. Otherwise, if all you need are some rackets and a cool headband, any department store will do.

Basketball

basketballvectorThere is no category of people who do not enjoy basketball on some level. There is even a National Wheelchair Basketball Association. Yes, there are people who play basketball with no legs. Being shorter than 6’7” is not a barrier to entry. Men, women, girls, and boys of all ages, sizes, and skill level can find some variation of basketball that works for them.

It is usually played at a frenetic pace that challenges even the most fit among us. Even those little ones you can hardly keep up with during the day will be huffing and puffing after a few minutes of round ball. Once you play for a while, you will come to appreciate the mad skills of the ones who make it look easy on TV.

Hiking

If you have had enough of chasing balls on courts, put on the grippy shoes and go for a long walk. Hiking is a legitimate sport, though it doesn’t feature prominently on TV. That is because it is a sport that is only worth doing, not watching. There is no special equipment to buy or maintain. There is no particular place you have to do it. There is no wrong way to do it. The only advice I have to offer is don’t walk through a briar patch in short pants. Otherwise, just go for it. You can fly solo or bring the whole family, even the dog.

The great thing about all of these activities is that they are enjoyable when done together with people you love. They are very active and beneficial for health and fitness. And of course, their cheap. No investments in expensive equipment are required. No matter what sport you choose, it will help you appreciate it all the more when it is time to kick back and watch your favorite athlete.

10 Simple Fun Ideas For Family Fitness – Part 2

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By Stephanie Ingram

Continued from part 1 of this article…..

jogger6. Go Outdoors

Look for ways to stay active with your kids. Kids enjoy moving outdoors. Gear up and go to the nearest park to your place. Plan outdoor activities for kids such as football, basket or baseball as children love team sports. You can also go for swimming and enjoy the sun, sand and beach? These activities certainly contribute to keep you and your kids fit and healthy.

7. Dance Around

Get into the groove by dancing for few minutes, an easiest way to burn calories and stay fit. Turn music on while you do the household chores. For an added kick, go for some rocking or hip hop music that’ll get your heart racing. Dance around with kids, show off your moves, burn calories on each step and stay in shape.

8. Turn Chores Fun

Make chores fun and get into home improvement activities while engaging kids along. Do some cleaning and vacuuming and do your body good. Vacuuming will not only help you clean the house but you’ll also burn calories with the push and pull of the machine.

9. Walk the Dog

Don’t you have a pooch? Look for one now. According to a survey, pup-owners are said to have more fun losing weight and staying fit than non-pup-owners. To make walking more exciting, don’t leave your pet behind, take it too with you. Walk the dog as a family and spend some time playing games with it and the kids. This ensures that the whole family gets a workout.

10. Team Sports

Family gathering is a great idea to play a team sport. How about designating one evening in a week as a family fitness night? Let a family member come up with a fitness activity that you will all do together each week. Whether it is swimming, walking, skating, or a basketball game, everyone will get an opportunity to do something they enjoy, and your workout will never become dull and boring.

I always wonder how great it would be to involve my family in my pursuit to work-out regularly. Working out together will be great fun, isn’t it? Moreover, this will not only result in staying fit but will also develop strong bond among us. So get an idea now!

– Stephanie Ingram is a blogger, writer and an enthusiast to spend her efforts and time in learning, applying and writing fitness articles, health care and green living. She has been passionate about learning and sharing the ways to improve fitness and maintain optimal health in order to live an active life. For more credible information about Health & Fitness visit our website: fitnessrepublic.com

10 Simple Fun Ideas For Family Fitness – Part 1

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By Stephanie Ingram

familywalk2It seems challenging to find enough hours in a day to spend a quality time with your family these days. Busy hours, hectic schedule, hustle bustle along with a strict routine life, it does not ensure that your child stays active neither you are able to make time for your own exercise regimen. So what to do to incorporate workout sessions in your schedule and get the whole family moving?

Check out some really fun yet convenient ideas I have come up with to make it work for everyone. No need to devote thirty minutes of vigorous workout every day. Just get yourself set for the fun.

1. Go for Post Dinner Walks

Incorporating a walking plan into your daily schedule is a great way to spend some family time and stay fit and active. How about a going for a long stroll after dinner? Tag your teen and toddler along too. I am sure these evening walks would surely do good to you and your family too.

2. Go Cycling

Cycling sounds much more exciting than long strolls, isn’t it? A family cycle ride once a week can be a great way to raise the fitness level. Make use of your bikes to go to school, to the grocery store or any other location when and where appropriate.

3. Plant New Bulbs

Gardening probably does not sound like an exercise, but trust me, it does wonders! If you are not up for hiking and running, walk to the back yard and do some gardening. Plant new bulbs and water the lawn. Engage your kids too in gardening. Planting vegetables and fruits may also encourage them to eat these healthy foods thus improving their health in another way.

4. Sneak Workouts in Household Chores

Vacuuming, dusting and cleaning, these chores might seem demanding to you. Why not make them a fun activity? Tune to your favorite track while you do the laundry or clean the house. Get yourself into gardening. Dig up dirt, plant new bulbs, water the lawn and keep yourself moving to stay active throughout the day.

5. Turn TV Advertisements into Fitness Breaks

Our living room is often a center of laziness with a comfy couch, a rack full of DVDs, video games while nothing to encourage fitness. Sprawling on a sofa and watching TV throughout the evening will only make you a couch potato. Why not turn TV commercials into fitness breaks? Just turn your sporty mode on during TV advertisements and do some sit-ups and push-ups to keep yourself flexible.

Stay tuned for part 2 of this article shortly…..

– Stephanie Ingram is a blogger, writer and an enthusiast to spend her efforts and time in learning, applying and writing fitness articles, health care and green living. She has been passionate about learning and sharing the ways to improve fitness and maintain optimal health in order to live an active life. For more credible information about Health & Fitness visit our website: fitnessrepublic.com