Are You Really Getting Enough Exercise?

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An interesting topic from this past May courtesy of PRWeb, please share your comments below…..

BikingWorkouts that promise fitness with as little as four to seven minutes of high-intensity exercise a day are alluring. But can you really stay fit with such a small time commitment? “No,” says Dr. Howard Knuttgen, research associate in physical medicine and rehabilitation at Harvard-affiliated Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, in the May 2015 Harvard Women’s Health Watch.

Dr. Knuttgen has a file of articles and ads dating back to the 1960s promoting exercise regimens that offer to keep you fit with little investment of either time or effort. “This is exercise quackery. If a program sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” he says.

Exercise is any activity that uses muscles to generate force. The more force exerted, the more exercise. In general, aerobic workouts (also called cardiovascular workouts) call for moving the body by walking, running, cycling, rowing, swimming, or another activity. Strength-building workouts involve moving an object like a weight or working against resistance.

It doesn’t work to skimp on either intensity or amount of exercise. So how much aerobic activity is enough? Current guidelines suggest 150 minutes a week of “moderate aerobic exercise.” But a brisk clip for some people can be a snail’s pace for others. Using the talk test can help identify moderate activity: Not being able to carry on a conversation during the activity means it is strenuous. Being able to sing easily means it is too easy, and warrants stepping up the pace.

Strength training two to three times a week is also helpful. Always rest a day in between strength-training sessions.

Read the full-length article: “Are you getting enough exercise?”

Also in the May 2015 Harvard Women’s Health Watch:

* New options for treating menopause symptoms

* Easier colonoscopy preps

* 6 ways to use the mind to control pain

* How to get personalized healthcare

The Harvard Women’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/newsletters/womens or by calling 877-649-9457 (toll-free).

Getting A Nursing Degree Will Change Your Life And Maybe the World

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Submitted By Katherine Smith

nurseIf you’re thinking of a career change, getting a nursing degree can transform your life. What’s more, it doesn’t have to take as long as would think. As a career, nursing is a rewarding option, pays really well and is a profession where demand far exceeds supply.

Rewarding Career

Economic philosophers like Tai Lopez say that there are three levels of business. Level one businesses make the human race worse. Level two businesses are neutral, neither helping nor hindering our species. Level three businesses benefit humanity. The work of the medical practitioners falls into level three work because the world is far better off with more caring people.

Nursing provides an invaluable service to humanity, and, as a nurse, you will feel good about your contribution to human welfare. Essentially, your job is to ease the suffering of people in distress and help to restore their well-being.

Compensation and Demand

According to Nursejournal.org, the average salary for a nurse ranges from $60,934 to $96,582. Numerous factors determine pay, like level of education, years of experience, and the state you live and work in. However, even those just starting out get paid much more than beginners in other careers. In addition, profit sharing bonuses can be about $19,866 a year.

Considering all these factors, it will actually be quite realistic for you to be making six figures a year within a relatively short time. Moreover, with older nurses retiring, there may be even more opportunity for higher compensation due to a potentially huge shortage of nurses in the future.

What’s more, from a career perspective, things get even better. Nursejournal.org shares some startling facts and statistics about career opportunities for nurses:

“The job outlook for family nurse practitioners is very good. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the projected growth in demand for FNPs [Family Nurse Practitioners] is 19% by 2020, which is well above the national average. Furthermore, salary growth over that same period of time is believed to be 22%, again above the national average. This is mainly due to the fact that the world of primary health care is changing due to a significant shortage in physicians. In addition, the shortage becomes more acute because of the aging population.”

Accelerated Programs

The fastest route to become a registered nurse (RN) is to enroll in an accelerated nursing program. If you have already completed either a bachelor’s or master’s degree in another discipline, then you will have to take the accelerated baccalaureate in nursing. This can take as little as 11 to 18 months to complete, which includes taking prerequisites. If you’re already a nurse and want to advance in your career, you may want to take the fast-track master’s degree program, which will take an average of 3 years.

What It’s Like

Accelerated programs work as fast as they do because they are designed for older adults rather than young adults. Consequently, you can get credit for prior undergraduate education or work experience.

However, these are not leisurely courses and are only designed for those prepared to commit fully toward their career goal. Classes are often long and intense, sometimes with few or no breaks between sessions. This rapid pace is necessary because the same amount of clinical hours is packed into a shorter time frame, and students learn as much as those in slower-paced traditional, entry level nursing schools.

Since the work requires academic rigor, admission standards are naturally high. Students must have a minimum 3.0 GPA to get through the strict pre-screening process. Administrators only select those students they believe will be able to do well in a fast-paced academic environment. While there is no restriction on working while studying, this is not really encouraged because it will take a tremendous amount of focus and discipline to graduate.

Employment after Graduation

Usually, students who go through an accelerated program tend to be older in years, more mature in attitude, and much more motivated than traditional college students fresh out of high school. These students also tend to have higher academic expectations of themselves than students in a traditional, entry-level nursing program. Consequently, they not only tend to excel in class but appear more eager to get clinical experience.

Employers recognize these attributes and accelerated program graduates are highly prized in the workplace. Past experience with graduates has shown that they are more responsible, possess a higher level of clinical skill, and are quick studies during job training.

Conclusion

Many employers are so impressed by the quality of nurses that come out of accelerated programs that many hospitals may offer tuition repayment to graduates as a strategy to recruit tap-caliber nurses. In addition, state and federal legislators are seeking ways to increase grants and scholarships to candidates willing to enroll in an accelerated nursing program because of the perceived shortage of nurses in the coming decade.

Getting A Grip On Anxiety

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By Dr. Denee Jordan, PSY.D

celebrateEnter the New Year without anything holding you back; the process may not be easy, but it is simple.

When it comes to really changing the behaviors, thoughts, and feelings we have been rehearsing for years, the work required can be significant. After all, chances are, if you have an anxiety disorder, you are pretty good at feeling nervous and afraid. Think of all the energy you have used up suffering from your fear. What would happen if you put as much energy into practicing new behaviors? Anxiety disorders are very persistent and can produce tremendous suffering. Anxiety is natural; debilitating anxiety is not. In fact, basic anxiety is necessary. It is our chemical preparation for potential danger. The more anxious we feel, the more we lose our ability to use our human intellect and the more prepared we become to protect ourselves from life-threatening danger; much like a wild animal. I like to think of it as awareness moving from the ‘front’ of the brain (location of rational, reasonable thinking), to the ‘back’ of the brain (location of basic survival).

When we lived in the wild, a rapid shift from intellect to ‘fight, flee, or freeze’, was absolutely necessary; however in modern society, it can create a myriad of problems. We are seldom in truly life-threatening situations. The interesting thing is that panic is a reaction to help prevent us from dying, but it is so uncomfortable it feels like we are dying. In fact, a panic attack itself can be much more uncomfortable than the supposed danger, and eventually the panic attack itself becomes the danger. Because panic is at the end of the Survival Spectrum, the part of the brain that can discern the difference between a life-threatening situation and one that isn’t, has already been disengaged. This is why logic can seem so useless when trying to manage a panic attack. It is supposed to be like this so we are in the optimal defensive state. In many ways, it can be compared to going into shock when the body is badly injured.

The message from the body and the brain is that there is imminent, life-threatening danger. Eventually, the brain automatically associates this feeling of terror with a ‘trigger’, or cause, in order to avoid this danger in the future. We believe the cause of our panic attack is this trigger; when, in fact, the cause of our panic attack is our lack of ability to recognize and regulate our feelings or fear responses. Panic attacks do not come out of nowhere. They are at the end of a progressive survival continuum. There can also be many contributing factors, besides the trigger, that can intensify the anxiety such as fatigue, hunger, illness, etc.; all of which need to be taken into consideration as well.

stressWhen looking at anxiety disorders it is very important to see how the stimulus-reaction cycle becomes progressively worse. The reason being is that the more anxious we become, the more we lose our ability to rationally manage our feelings and the less faith we have in our ability to do so. A person becomes afraid of fear itself and begins to live at a progressively more intensive, baseline state of anxiety which, in turn, makes them more susceptible to a full-blown panic attack. Without intentionally breaking the cycle, it frequently happens again and the baseline anxiety goes up even further.

Eventually a person completely loses faith in his/her ability to respond in healthy, manageable ways to general stress and/or the trigger. S/he naturally tries to control the perceived danger (going outside, germs, becoming homosexual, eating certain foods, being dirty and so forth) and this leads to avoidant behavior, obsessive thinking, withdrawal and shame. It becomes a progressively vicious cycle.

People with Anxiety Disorders can often trace a history of ‘original anxiety’. In other words, there is frequently a significant level of anxiety s/he learned to have in their early years that they have carried with them. Remember, anxiety is a natural response to perceived danger, and perceived danger as a child can be significantly more intense than that of an adult. Children by nature lack the skill to adequately manage significant stress and anxiety and internalize it. Nearly every person I have worked with who has OCD or other anxiety disorders has a history of baseline nervousness. Again, recognition of baseline anxiety levels becomes an important part of recovery.

I ask my clients to use a rating scale for their anxiety levels 1 through 5:

1- Without bothersome anxiety

2- Noticeable anxiety- Able to function in usual activities

3- Anxiety is prevalent- Interfering in ability to engage in usual activities

4- Anxiety is extremely uncomfortable – Not able to function in usual activities. Conscious fear of having a Panic Attack

5- Panic Attack- Physical symptoms (rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, sweaty palms, lightheadedness, terror, and so forth)

The use of a scale helps to contain the anxiety and helps a person to view his/her feelings more objectively. The scale is used as a reference point multiple times a day. The person begins to recognize more subtle fluctuations in feelings and practices prescribed skills to regulate them. The person then begins to build back self-trust and sees s/he is capable of experiencing different levels of day-to-day anxiety, recognizing it and regulating it. It is essential that the person sees that it is a loss of faith in their own ability to respond accordingly to people, places and situations that is the problem. They are afraid of their responses, not of the actual trigger. We wire the two things together in the brain when they are actually separate. The good news is that recovery is possible with compassion, courage, patience and commitment.

Recovery is very simple, but usually not easy. It involves a series of individualized physical and mental exercises to re-teach the brain how to respond to different levels of anxiety. These exercises are done daily and monitored and supported daily. The basic idea is that ‘Practice makes Progress’. The more a person practices his/her recovery, the more progress will be made. The goal is to restore a person’s ability to recognize and regulate his/her feelings in an effective, loving way. This recognition and regulation is done consistently whether or not there is an uncomfortable level of anxiety. Human beings function better when we remain in (or return to) the ‘front’ of our brains where we are able to calmly, rationally, deal with our lives. We are amazing creatures with amazing brains. We have anxiety attacks as a perfectly natural reaction to our perception of intense danger and our drive to survive. We can learn to respond differently as a natural part of our need to trust ourselves, feel safe, and evolve.

womanarmupAnxiety can be crippling, but it is actually nature’s way of trying to protect us. With compassion and commitment, it is entirely possible to regain the ability to regulate a very natural response to life. It’s simply a matter of realizing that you had the key to recovery within you all along and trusting that you will always have the strength to overcome.

– Dr. Denee Jordan, PSY.D is a licensed Clinical Psychologist and Marriage and Family Therapist. Over her 26 years of practice she has worked with an extraordinarily varied population, including people diagnosed with Schizophrenia, addictions, eating disorders, anxiety and personality disorders. Her clients have included all walks of life; celebrities, the homeless, artists, and people of all ethnicities and socio economic backgrounds. Dr. Jordan is the founder of Already Well, a progressive approach to treatment that works on the premise that no matter your present circumstance, you are already well. Dr. Jordan also created and directed the Adolescent Treatment program at the STEPS Substance Abuse Treatment Center, a premier facility on the CA West Coast and one of the first in the nation. She has served as director of the STEPS Eating Disorder Recovery Program, the Project Recovery Program, the Phoenix of Santa Barbara Program for Schizophrenia, and the La Casa Mental Health Rehabilitation Center. Today she serves as Mental Health Services Director for the Exceptional Children’s Foundation, which is contracted with the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health.

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.

Getting Ready For Summer!

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sunSummer is almost here, which means it’s time to once again take your tank tops, shorts, and swimsuits from their winter hibernation. There’s just enough time to kick your training up a notch and get dialed in for the warmer months ahead.

Bodybuilding.com, the Internet’s most-visited bodybuilding and fitness site and largest online retailer of nutritional supplements, is here to help you shed those unwanted pounds. We’ve assembled the best “Top Pro Tips” for turning your body into a fat-burning machine:

* Clear Out The Kitchen: As the old adage says, “If you hang around the barber shop long enough, sooner or later you’ll get a haircut.” The same goes for food in the kitchen. If there’s junk food is in the house, eventually it will be eaten. Clear out temptations and you will reach your goals.

* Combine Cardio Variations: The debate is never-ending, steady-state verses interval training. Which do you choose? Try both. This will allow you to reap all the benefits in one workout.

* Do At Least One Full-Body Workout Per Week: Full-body workouts jack up your metabolism more than single body part workouts, due to the large amount of muscle groups activated while training.

* Drink Green Tea Daily: Green tea should be your beverage of choice while on a fat-cutting program. This drink will rev up your metabolism, allowing you to burn more calories daily.

* Have Two Higher Carb Days Per Week: Low carb dieting definitely speeds up progress for many people, but going too low for too long will have the opposite effect. The solution? Carb staggering. Have five low days, mixed in with two high days per week.

* Commit To Sleep: If you aren’t sleeping enough, your insulin sensitivity will decrease, which means that your hormones will be less effective at shuttling glucose from your blood into cells, where it belongs. This causes your body to pump out more insulin, which is also a fat-storage hormone.

* Increase Your Protein Intake: Protein rich foods help in a variety of ways — from decreasing hunger pangs, to reducing the chance of muscle mass loss, to revving up your metabolism.

* Drink One Glass Of Water Before Each Meal: This is a sneaky technique to try if you struggle to cut back on your food intake. Drinking water will help keep your metabolism going and fill you up, helping you not eat as many calories during your meal.

* Practice Yoga: Not only will you be able to handle your stress levels better, but you will put yourself in better tune with your body.

* Switch To Single Ingredient Foods: If you use this rule, you’ll immediately cut out all the processed, unhealthy foods that can quickly put a stop to weight loss.

For more information on bodybuilding.com.

Getting To The Heart Of True Freedom

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By Carolyn Gervais

seniorwoman2What does true freedom look and feel like? Would you be free if you had every worldly thing you desire? The relationship you long for, the free rein to go where you want when you want, fame, money, power, that big-shot job…..would having any or all of these make you free?

True freedom isn’t something that can be bought, borrowed, or stolen. True freedom lies in understanding that the material world we have become addicted to is nothing but a construct of the illusion of separation we have bought into and manifested here on Earth- a false truth. So there is no fear in losing our attachment to anything in the material world that does not serve our true Self. Your true Self agreed that if and when the material human aspect imbalanced your real purpose and hindered the breaking of the shell of false truths that you on a soul level would transform your human life in order to bring balance between your body, mind and soul. In doing so, the illusions you created between those aspects would gradually fade into the nothingness from which they came.

Signs that that imbalance and transformation is at hand- both globally and personally- are evident everywhere. The strain of living in the world, especially at this pivotal time in history when everything is going through a metamorphosis of sorts, is peaking. Many people are feeling the heaviness of that in their lives. Some people feel trapped by their society, government, or culture. Others are facing more personal challenges and constraints. This is all a part of the process that is bringing a deeper spiritual need to the human consciousness. Weak economies and war are symptoms of untruths mankind has bought into. Those symptoms are bringing challenges that are forcing people out of their comfort zones. With each challenge come previously unknown fears and obstacles to be faced rather than denied.

No matter our circumstances- what culture we live in, what family we were born into- we have to choose from the opportunities that human existence brings our way. It is our birthright to experience and use the opportunities we choose in order to find our heart’s inner most freedom. Not all opportunities, however, come packaged with a bow. In fact, the challenges we face in life are actually our greatest opportunities and our greatest gifts because they force us to face our fears.

Can fear stop you from finding personal freedom? If you choose to deny it, it can. But it’s only a matter of further life experience before you will eventually come to the place in consciousness where most fears, which are false truths, can be overcome. The less you know yourself inwardly, the stronger your denial is, until the need to push through what is ignored becomes so strong it can no longer be denied, contained, or put off. Let’s say the fear of surviving becomes so emotionally painful that the mind feels it will go insane if it doesn’t let go of the fear completely. You come to a place where you are willing to accept whatever you must to survive. In that moment of surrender, a sense of peacefulness and inner strength frees you from the ego, shame, and guilt that have hampered your inner guidance. What you now feel is a sense of empowerment. You accept that whatever the outcome of this experience, you now have the powerful energy of acceptance, surrender and inner guidance to push you through the fear and the unknown to a more aware you that awaits you as you move through your learning experience. When the need to overcome your fear overpowers the fear itself, real inward and outward changes take place. This is true freedom.

seniormanMany of you have had to give up homes, jobs, and/or relationships and live more modestly than before. There is no shame in that. In fact, these seeming sacrifices are a gift. These are the kind of challenges that are helping humanity to break through the shell of fear, separateness and self-denial to new experiences, jobs and relationships that will continue to enhance who you have become and will continue to become as you move into an ever expanding awareness of self and the purpose of life.

It is difficult for humans to lose or seemingly give up what they have worked so hard to acquire, to be, to do and accomplish in a world of duality. But those human aspects of life that have been inwardly outgrown have now become stumbling blocks to true inner freedom. Isn’t it time to let them go? You who are reading this have asked, consciously or unconsciously, to understand the purpose of your life and, possibly, human existence. The material world is addicting, but there comes a point where it can prevent the true freedom of self-knowing and soul growth.

Balancing body, mind and soul means living in the light of your inner being through the purification of the heart. True freedom doesn’t come with closed minds and hearts or over used misunderstood beliefs and teachings. True freedom doesn’t know greed, selfishness, fear, hate or separation from each other. It takes deep searching and challenging inner work to see through and beyond the false beliefs this duality has given power, but with that comes true freedom.

– Carolyn Gervais is the author of I Dreamed I Was Human: Awakening from the Illusion, an eloquent explanation of complex metaphysical concepts that describe how human life connects with soul and spirit. She is an ordained spiritual psychologist, certified hypnotherapist, has a Masters in holistic nutrition, and has been a professional singer for more than 20 years.

10 Steps To Getting Your Child To Stay In His Own Bed

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cutekidsFamilies who are transitioning away from co-sleeping or even those who are new to dealing with a child who won’t stay in his own bed after moving to a toddler bed that’s easy to escape are no stranger to the challenge that is mastering the full night’s sleep. There are as many reasons why kids won’t stay in their beds as there are kids themselves, and as many motivations for coming to find a parent after waking abruptly as there are sleepless nights. Finding a method that works for your family may require a bit of trial and error, but with a bit of dedication, you’ll find your child sleeping the night away in his own bed before you know it.

* Find the Root of the Problem – The first step to getting your child to successfully spend the night in his own bed is to find out why he’s having trouble doing so in the first place. Some kids will get out of bed at night because they’re afraid of imaginary monsters, other because they’re simply awakened by something and aren’t able to self-soothe until they fall asleep again. To solve this particular problem, you’re going to need to uncover the root of it and work around what you discover.

* Start a New Routine – Allowing a bit of wiggle room in your child’s bedroom routine can have a major impact on the success or failure of your ability to keep him in his bed at night, especially if he’s getting up because he’s having bad dreams or is afraid. Make room for a “monster check,” take the time to work a bedtime story into the routine, or allow him to wind down a bit by starting the routine earlier and working towards the goal of getting in bed with less pressure.

* Encourage Self-Soothing – If part of your child’s established routine includes you spending time in his bed or in his room until he falls asleep, it may be time to rethink your strategy. After all, a child who’s dependent upon you in order to get to sleep will naturally come searching for you when he wakes up and can’t accomplish the task on his own. Start working on helping your child to fall asleep on his own and you may find that the bulk of your problem is already solved.

* Keep Your Language Positive and Optimistic – When you talk to your child about staying in his bed, make sure that your language is upbeat and positive, rather than stern or overly authoritarian. Make spending a night in his bed sound like the major milestone it is, not something he must do because he’s afraid he’ll be punished or you’ll be disappointed.

kids* Work Gradually Towards Your Goal – You may not be sleeping in a child free bed the night you start working towards that goal. You may not even be there a week from starting your routine. It’s important to keep the end game in mind, though, rather than focusing on immediate results. After all, you want a lasting solution, not one that’s temporary.

* Get Kids Involved in the Process – Giving your child a bit of ownership over the situation by letting him pick out new sheets, select a special animal to sleep with or even have a bit of say in his bed time can go a long way when you’re trying to reach an understanding about sleep. Let your child know that you want him to be excited about this new chapter in his “big boy” life, and give him some control to reflect that status.

* Make a Game of The Situation – If you set up a system of rewards for every successful night in bed or make each night seem like a fun, new challenge, you may find that you’re having better results than if you’re just trying to lay down the proverbial law to your struggling child.

* Maintain Consistency – When little feet come padding into your room in the wee hours of the morning, it can be easier to just let it slide than to get out of bed and meet the challenge. Consistency is key, though, because you don’t want to send mixed messages to your child. Just get up, lead him back to his bed and avoid engaging with him along the way. With consistent repetition, your child will learn that coming to your room is not a means of getting the results he had in mind.

* Be Patient – It’s not easy to keep your cool when you’re sleep deprived and frustrated, but losing your patience and lashing out is a surefire way to inspire a setback. Make a concerted effort to be patient and understanding, rather than exasperated and angry.

* Reward Successes, Don’t Punish Setbacks – Instead of shaming your child or punishing him when he’s struggling, make a point of rewarding his successful efforts. Understand that your child wants you to be proud of him, and wants to earn your approval, even though the change you’re asking him to make is a big and sometimes scary one.

– Submitted by Ethel Wooten of houstonnanny.com

Getting Kids To Eat Right: The Do’s And Don’ts

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By Jared Pennington

kidseatinghealthyProper nutrition is vitally important for children. It keeps them healthy, provides their growing bodies sustenance, and allows their minds to fully engage in their education. A study of children eating habits also suggests that the foods that parents feed them when they are young directly affect the foods they will crave and choose to eat when they are older. There are a few rare cases where children pave their own way to healthy diets, but many more children continue to unconsciously seek out food that their childhood has taught them to crave. Below I will provide some guidelines that will promote a lifetime of healthy eating.

The Do’s

Know how much your child should eat. You know the proper portion size for your child. Children are able to self-regulate their own food intake. Healthy children should be allowed to determine when they are full. Forcing a child to eat more than they can will teach children to ignore their body’s cues. This could lead to years overeating and obesity.

Model good eating habits. Children will feel better about trying new foods and even grow to like a food when they observe their parents eating the food. Healthy or unhealthy, whichever you choose, you are choosing for them as well. Due to the importance of modeling good eating habits, it is paramount that you sit down as a family to eat.

familytvModel good behavior with friends of the child. As the children grow their peers will affect their eating habits a lot more. Eventually they will observe and to like the foods they see their peers enjoying. While you can’t control the eating habits of other children, you could talk to the parent of one of your child’s friends. You can work together to teach healthy eating for both children.

Urge children to try new food multiple times. People tend to dislike foreign foods on the first try. We just can’t get paste the weird flavor, texture, or smell. Children like other adults can learn to like a food. You should urge a child to try a new food at least 10 times before accepting that they do not like the food.

The Don’ts

Bribe children into eating. Let them develop the taste for healthy foods naturally. While bribing a child to eat healthy fruits and vegetables with ice cream or a new videogame might provide the proper nutrients that night, it will not foster healthy eating habits. The problem is that the bribe teaches the children that ice cream is desirable and healthy fruits and vegetables are undesirable. Before the bribe they might have learned to like peas. After the bribe they have had their own belief that peas are bad reinforced. This belief could carry into adulthood.

Use food as a punishment or punish a child because of food. As I said above, you do not want to connect healthy eating with negative emotions or actions. Sending a child to their room because they won’t eat or forcing a child to eat vegetables because they were bad will not teach your child to eat healthy. Instead it will reinforce their belief that the food is bad. It could potentially lead to overeating, binging on unhealthy foods, and childhood and adult obesity.

junkfoodDo not restrict all unhealthy food. Balance is more important than restriction. Restricting food leads to the child preferring the restricted food. Once the child has access to unhealthy food they will overindulge which could lead to obesity. Humans crave fatty, sugary foods. Instead of starving this craving, you can teach children how to determine how much sugary foods they can eat daily and still be healthy.

Whether you like it or not, you are already affecting your children’s relationship to food. It is vitally important to know how your healthy food tactics affect your children. By incorporating these guidelines into your daily life, you and your children will be taking your first step towards a healthy lifestyle.

– Jared Pennington is a health and wellness writer who spent the majority of his youth sitting at a table staring at a plate of peas and dreaming of greasy fast food. He didn’t adopt a healthy lifestyle until a college class discussed the psychology behind eating habits. When he’s not working out or searching for new healthy recipes on the internet, he writes for Just Home Medical, a supplier of home aides such as grab bars to assist the injured and disabled.

Getting A Good Night’s Sleep

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sleepFrom Your Health Journal…..”Most of my regular visitors know I always promote a web site called Medical Xpress. They always have quality reads there, and today’s article review from their site is called How to get a great night’s sleep: Could less mean more?. So many people truly do not get enough sleep each night. Most adults need a good 7-8 hours a night for optimal health, to preform their daily tasks at peak levels. Sleep helps our vital organs to rest, helps strengthen our immune system, keeps our hormones related to appetite stable, improves memory, improves cognitive skills, keeps hormones / chemicals in the body stable, and helps us to look better. It is basically vital for good health. Today’s article is stating that iIf you regularly struggle to fall asleep, it might be better to try and restrict rather than extend the amount of time you spend in bed. This does not apply to everyone, but recent research is suggesting those who have trouble sleeping or falling asleep may need to restrict their sleep. Let’s wait to see more research on this topic, as their are a whole range of reasons why some people may have trouble sleeping, from diet to stress, from amounts of exercise to overall health. I still believe a good night’s rest is imperative for optimal health, so it will be very interesting to read more on this topic in the future. Please visit the Medical Xpress web site to read the complete article.”

From the article…..

If you regularly struggle to fall asleep, it might be better to try and restrict rather than extend the amount of time you spend in bed.

According to the new Good-Night Guide from The Sleep Council, sleep restriction can help people who only manage limited sleep, to fall asleep faster and wake up fewer times.

It’s a new approach to helping problem sleepers, the idea being to build a strong association between your bed and sleep. Anyone, for example, only getting five hours sleep a night but spending seven hours in bed, may benefit from limiting themselves to just five hours in bed at night.

It’s a method that may make you more tired at first, but will ultimately make you fall asleep faster and achieve better quality sleep.

“It’s not suitable if you’re only getting a couple of hours sleep and should be supervised by a qualified Cognitive Behavioural Therapist,” says Jessica Alexander of The Sleep Council.

Commonly prescribed for depression, clinical trials have now shown that CBT is the most effective long-term solution for insomniacs. It helps to identify the negative attitudes and beliefs that hinder sleep and replaces them with positive thoughts.

A typical exercise is to set aside 30 minutes in which to do your day’s worrying. During the worry period you keep a diary of negative thoughts, the very act of writing them down being believed to reduce them. Worrying is banned at any other time of the day and once in bed, with eyes closed, each worry should be pictured floating away in a balloon, leaving the mind free and unencumbered. The technique is just one of a host of ways in which people who struggle to sleep can be helped.

To read the complete article…..Click here

More Children Are Getting Type 2 Diabetes Which Is Preventable

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overweightchildFrom Your Health Journal…..”A great article written by Jean Jadhon of WDBJ-TV entitled More Children are Getting This Disease and It is Preventable. This web site focuses a lot on keeping children (and their families) healthy. We have discussed in length how type 2 diabetes is on the rise in children. Many years ago, it was called ‘adult onset’ diabetes, as it was thought to effect mostly grownups. Sadly, many kids come down with this disease, which in most cases, is environmental. We know there is a direct correlation between obesity and type 2 diabetes, so the question comes up – how can we prevent it. The obvious answer is the eat healthy, size appropriate portions, have the kids get plenty of daily physical activity, adequate sleep, and proper hydration. But, it is deeper than this, as children need to be educated on healthy lifestyle, with role models that keep a close watch on what they do each day to ensure the are taking the proper steps to a healthier life. As the article wisely points out – It’s much easier to prevent Type 2 diabetes than to treat it. Please visit the WDBJ-TV web site (link provided below) to view the complete article.”

From the article…..

Most parents would do anything to protect their children, but many may not be protecting their children from one disease.

An alarming statistic shows more children than ever before are being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. One in three new cases of Type 2 diabetes is now diagnosed in someone under 18.

The reason: overweight children.

Children have long been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, also known as juvenile diabetes, in which the body fails to make enough insulin to process sugar in the blood. But doctors are now seeing a an increase in kids with Type 2 diabetes. That’s where fat cells enlarge with weight gain and thwart the body’s ability to break down sugars.

For the first time ever the American Academy of Pediatrics is issuing guidelines for preventing and managing Type 2 diabetes in children. The biggest reason for the increase in cases in children is obesity.

“It’s ridiculous how many kids are overweight,” said Dr. Robert Gard, a pediatrician with Physicians to Children in Roanoke. Dr. Gard said it all comes down to what kids are eating. Eating too much fast food, too many fatty foods, and foods that are too high in sugar, according to Dr. Gard, is the reason more children are overweight.
The new recommendations call for at least one hour of physical activity every day for children, but Gard says while exercise is great, it’s what children are eating that is the biggest problem.

“The diet choices that are being made and are offered are limited and it’s cheap food that’s high in fat and a lot of carbs (carbhydrates),” said Dr. Gard. It’s those simple sugars that Dr. Gard said the body processes and stores as fat.

Sadly Dr. Gard said so many children are overweight that now many parents think their children are at a healthy weight when they’re not.

To read the complete article…..Click here