6 Healthy Reasons To Include More Oats In Your Diet

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By Monica Mendoza

oatsSimple they may be, but oats have a lot to offer beyond just being an easy-to-cook breakfast staple. In fact, there are many ways to incorporate more oats into your daily meals, like pancakes, salads, smoothies, muffins, and no-bake cookies and biscuits. You can even use oats to replace rice in various recipes, like congee or pilaf. If you have limited culinary skills or don’t have much time to cook, then there’s also ready-to-drink, delicious milked oats.

With the question of availability and variety out of the way, here now are several healthy reasons why you should start eating (and drinking) more oats.

Oats Have a Great Balance of Nutrients

Oats are among the healthiest, if not the healthiest, whole grain foods you can eat. They are a good source of healthy carbohydrates and contain about 17 grams of protein per 100-gram serving, which is higher than most kinds of grains. Dry oats also contain a variety of vitamins including vitamins E, B1, B5, folate, and minerals like manganese, magnesium, copper, iron, and zinc.

One cup of oats also contains just 4 grams of fat and about 300 calories per cup. This makes it a good choice for weight loss since it can make you feel full even with a small serving.

Oats are Rich in Soluble Fiber

Oats contain about 11 grams of soluble fiber per 100 grams. This includes beta-glucan, a powerful fiber which reduces both LDL or “bad” cholesterol and blood sugar levels. It also contributes to the growth of good bacteria in the stomach and intestines, thus promoting better digestion and bowel movement.

Beta glucan and other fibers in oats also help make you feel fuller quickly and for longer, since it slows down your digestion. What’s more, beta-glucan has also been found to increase the production of cholecystokinin, a kind of hunger-fighting hormone. Both of these actions may help in the process of losing weight and decreasing the risk of obesity.

Oats are Rich in Antioxidants

In particular, whole oats have a high concentration of the polyphenol called avenanthramide, which helps lower blood pressure by increasing the body’s production of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is a gas molecule that dilates the blood vessels, which in turn results in better blood flow. Avenanthramide has also been proven to have anti-inflammatory properties.

Oats also contain vitamin E, which is scientifically proven to help strengthen the immune system. Vitamin E also helps keep the skin healthy, balancing its pH and at the same time keeping it soft and moisturized.

Oats are Gluten-Free

Those with celiac disease will be happy to know that oats are naturally gluten-free, so they can enjoy the nutritional benefits of these whole grains without worrying about aggravating their medical condition. To be on the safe side, check the labels to make sure that the oats you are buying aren’t made or processed using the same equipment as other non-gluten-free grains like wheat and barley.

Oats Reduce Risk Factors for CVD

Researchers have yet to arrive at conclusive evidence that oats and other whole grains can directly reduce the risk of heart disease and other cardiovascular disorders. However, oats have already been proven to reduce risk factors for heart disease like high cholesterol levels, hypertension, and diabetes.

Oats can Help Boost Your Energy in a Healthy Way

Do you feel lazy during the mornings? Eating oats for breakfast might just be the ticket to feeling more energized. Oats are a good source of both good, slow-digesting carbohydrates and proteins, which helps energize your body and make you feel more alert. And because the natural sugars in oats are processed much slower compared to other kinds of sugar, your energy levels are more or less consistent until they are fully digested.

It’s a common enough food that we sometimes take it for granted. But with all of these health benefits, and possibly more that have yet to be discovered, it’s about time that we pay more attention to the humble oat!

Eye Cancer On The Rise: Reasons Prevention Is The Key To Saving Your Vision

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By Matthew Lynch

eyeMelanoma of the eye is one of the more common types of eye cancers and develops in melanocytes (the cells that produce melanin, which produces our skin colour). Whilst it is more common in skin, it can develop in the eye leading to eye cancer (sometimes referred to as choroidal or uveal melanoma).

In most cases, this type of cancer will develop in a part of the eye that isn’t visible from the outside, making it difficult to notice. It can start in the eyeball, the conjunctiva or the eyelid, but the most common starting point is the eyeball, or more specifically, the choroid, which creates the middle layer (the uvea) of your eye.

Treatments are available for these melanomas and depending on the case and the severity of the growth, vision may be unaffected. However, some larger melanomas can cause some vision loss.

The Symptoms of an Eye Melanoma

As mentioned previously, this type of cancer can go undetected due to the location of the melanomas and may only be noticed when someone has an eye test or undergoes laser eye surgery. It is not uncommon for companies to identify more underlying issues in their patients who come in for simple corrective surgery. Early warning signs include loss of peripheral vision, blurry or poor vision in one of your eyes, specks of dust (floaters) in your vision, a change in the shape of your pupil, flashing lights or a dark spot on your iris.

Should you find any of the above or you are concerned about your eye health, seek professional advice immediately.

Diagnosis Eye Melanoma

If your doctor is concerned about your eye health they may recommend further tests are carried out to establish whether or not you are suffering from an eye melanoma. They may conduct eye examinations, which involve looking for enlarged blood vessels on the outside of your eye; if these are present, it could indicate that a tumour is growing inside your eye. They will then look at the inside of your eye using specialist equipment that generates a bright light.

Ultrasounds of the eye may also be used to detect any growths. The eye specialist will place a transducer on the front of your eye or closed eyelid and the high-frequency soundwaves will enable them to spot any anomalies.

Angiograms can also be used in these cases, which involve injecting a dye into your bloodstream. This will enhance the blood vessels of the eye and will allow the doctor to take images of these around the affected area.

Available Treatments for Eye Cancer

How your doctor treats your eye melanoma will depend on the size and location of it. If it’s small and isn’t affecting your vision, they may choose to closely monitor it in case it grows. Or, if it is causing complications, surgery to remove the tumour may be considered. In severe cases where the tumour is particularly large, the eye may be removed (enucleation). Radiotherapy and laser treatments may also be offered as an additional precaution.

If you are concerned about your eye health or you’ve noticed some changes in your vision, get in touch with your eye specialist today to arrange an appointment.

– Matthew Lynch has wanted to be an optician ever since he was 15 years old. Now well on his way to his dream career Matt wants to share his passion with more people. He doesn’t feel there is enough awareness of eye health and hopes his articles will help on that front. Visit Laser Eye Surgery Hub if you’re interested in learning more about laser eye surgery options.

Top 7 Reasons Why Rebounding Helps You Losing Weight

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By Sunny Sun

trampolineWeight loss is a big issue in today’s world. Mostly women face it in late 30’s and 40’s. Over weight can cause you severe harm as it can lead you to harmful diseases which harm you in the way that they make your life tasteless and joyless. Diseases like cholesterol, heart problems, back problems and blood pressure are majorly caused due to having more weight that is beyond normal weight according to your age and height.

Do you know you can really control weight without cutting of your favorite food?

Yes you can really do it without joining any gym or fitness classes and giving extra time to your physical activities. Are you curious about how can this miracle happen?

Here is the answer:

You can lose weight dramatically by rebounding and bouncing on a trampoline. Yes of course, you need no extra time for it as you can manage to have trampoline at your place and use it anytime you are free.

Today I am going to tell you the top 7 reasons why rebounding helps you losing weight.

Check below:

1) Improve digestion which has a great part in losing weight
Digestive system is responsible for the digestion of food. If food gets digested fast it helps you to keep your body in shape as much as possible. Digestive problems are likely to be found when obesity and over weight problems are reported.

Rebounding on a trampoline improves your digestion and helps you lose weight. If you are not facing any digestion issues then rebounding would help you prevent such issues in future.

2) Burn extra fats inside your body
Extra fats present in your body are a big reason behind your obesity. Up and down motion helps your body heat up and burns all the fats inside. This would make you feel light and relaxing.

Mostly we have seen double chin people, some have heavy body sagging. All these issues arise due to extra fats being stored in your body. Rebounding exercises help you burn these unnecessary fats and help you lose weight.

3) Release toxins from your body
You may be wondering how we can lose weight by releasing toxins. Right?

The reason behind the fact is that toxins cause certain harmful glands inside your body which do not let fats inside melt easily. Heating up your body and doing several exercises are found to give no benefit to some people. Are you too one of them?

The reason behind your worries is toxins present in your body. Rebounding helps releasing toxins and lets extra layer of fats pass out from your body.

4) Cause your body to sweat which is important for weight loss
Sweating causing methods are found beneficial in losing weight. Some people take steam sessions for losing weight. However, rebounding can easily make you sweat in no time and causes you lose weight dramatically.

5) Provide you an edge over jogging and running
Mostly people go for running and jogging for weight loss and it is really helpful. But if you have no time for it then what can you do?

Rebounding on a trampoline is the best solution for busy scheduled people. You can do rebounding exercises on any time of day at your home without making much time for it. Also rebounding on a trampoline is found to show more beneficial results than jogging running simply.

6) Up down motion heats up your body which helps clearing fats inside
Up and down motion caused by rebounding helps your body to heat up and this helps melting away extra fats residing inside your body. This may make you sweat and as a result, your body releases away extra layers of fats. That’s why trampoline exercises are found to be beneficial over all other ways of losing weight.

7) Increase metabolic rate which lowers likelihood of obesity
Metabolism is a number of activities taking place in your body at a time. Some people have a slow metabolic rate while gymnasts and sport persons have a high metabolic rate as they are physically fit and carry out various physical exercises daily.

Metabolism when increased increases the activities in your body which produce heat. This heating effect of metabolic activities help giving off all fats from your body along with dangerous glands and toxins being produced.

We come to conclude most important reasons that how we can lose weight while rebounding on a trampoline and how rebounding is different from other popular physical exercises like jogging and jumping. Rebounding on a trampoline is far much better than making up other physical exercises.

About the author
Sunny is the product manager of Domijump , a leading trampoline factory in China .He has ten years’ experience in the production of trampolines and trampoline parts, any questions about trampoline, you can find an answer from him .

From the editor: As always, when participating on a trampoline, it is important to make sure you are creating a safe environment, as well as getting proper medical clearance from you doctor. Proper supervision is also important. Any questions regarding this article or product, please reach out directly to the author.

Many Reasons For “Ouch, My Aching Back”

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This article is provided by PRWeb, please share your thoughts below…..

newsDr. Kaixuan Liu, spine specialist with Atlantic Spine Center, offers tips for understanding the 8 most common causes of lower back pain.

If you’re like 80% of American adults, you’ll suffer from lower back pain at some point in your lifetime. Depressing thought? Only if you consider yourself helpless to prevent the problem – which isn’t necessarily true. According to Kaixuan Liu, MD, PhD, founder and president of Atlantic Spine Center, the most common causes of lower back pain include both avoidable lifestyle choices and some other factors that aren’t as easy to dodge.

Much lower back pain is caused by so-called “mechanical injury” such as a strain or sprain resulting from injured muscles or tendons, Dr. Liu says, or damage to the tissue where the spine’s bony vertebrae connects to joints.

“Although lower back pain can result from the normal aging process, our lifestyle can sometimes trigger it or make it worse,” explains Dr. Liu, who is fellowship-trained in minimally invasive spine surgery. “Many everyday activities we do without thinking can make a huge difference to our lower spine health.”

What factors contribute to lower back pain?
Since we can’t control factors such age or family history – which can significantly impact spine health – Dr. Liu focuses on the top 8 modifiable causes of lower back pain. They include:

You don’t exercise: Couch potatoes beware: leaving your muscles untested and unstrengthened does no favors for your lower back. “In addition, if your lower back is already acting up, staying sedentary may prolong or worsen pain,” Dr. Liu says. “This falls under the ‘use it or lose it’ phenomenon.”

You exercise too much: On the other hand, overuse injuries are a highly common reason for lower back pain or stiffness, Dr. Liu says. That may mean you’re simply doing too many repetitions while exercising that tax your back, such as while lifting weights or doing squats. “Exercise is definitely a good thing, but be aware when your body is crying out for a break,” he says.

You sit too much: Sitting all day – as many people do in an office – places more pressure on spinal discs and vertebrae than standing or walking, Dr. Liu explains. “Also, sitting in uncomfortable chairs can force our spine out of alignment, creating a ripple effect that can result in lower back pain,” he says.

You light up: Smoking is an all-around health threat, not just to our hearts and lungs. “Nicotine cuts down on healthy blood flow all around our body, and that includes to our vertebrae and spinal discs, which can cause them to break down,” he says. “It also hinders our ability to use calcium to keep our bones strong.”

You ignore your core: Developing strong core muscles in the hips, back, abdomen and pelvis all help to support the spine, keep it straight and prevent strains and sprains, Dr. Liu says. “Exercises such as lunges, planks and squats and regimens such as yoga and Pilates can help strengthen several core muscle groups simultaneously,” he adds.

You injure another body part: Back injuries aren’t the only type that can cause lower back pain, Dr. Liu says. “Even a hip or pelvis injury – like a muscle bruise or broken bone – can cause so-called referred pain to the lower back, pain that radiates from one area and feels like it’s happening in another,” he says.

You weigh too much: The lumbar or sacral areas of the spine that comprise the lower back bear the largest share of the body’s load, so extra pounds only add to the strain. “As few as 10 extra pounds of weight in your abdomen can pull your spine out of alignment, leading to lower back pain,” Dr. Liu says.

You’re stressed out: Scientists have long known that psychological stress has definite effects on our body, Dr. Liu says, and our backs can end up on the losing end of that equation. “Research has shown that people with major depression are much more likely than others to develop disabling lower back pain,” he says. “Stress can cause enormous muscle tension in the lower back.”

Unresolved lower back pain deserves professional attention. Most lower back pain resolves within a few weeks using at-home remedies such as over-the-counter analgesics and rest, Dr. Liu notes. But anyone with lingering lower back pain should see a doctor for further evaluation, especially if pain awakens you at night or is accompanied by tingling or numbness in the legs or feet.

“We can’t always identify the specific reason for lower back pain,” says Dr. Liu, “but advanced techniques to diagnose the cause – such as x-rays, MRI or CAT scans or other tests – give us a leg up toward getting our patients back to pain-free living. The first step should always be to obtain a diagnosis.”

Atlantic Spine Center is a nationally recognized leader for endoscopic spine surgery with four locations; West Orange, Edison, North Bergen and NYC. http://www.atlanticspinecenter.com

Kaixuan Liu, MD, PhD. is a board-certified physician who is fellowship-trained in minimally invasive spine surgery at Atlantic Spine Center.

Top 5 Healthy Reasons To Take An Active Travel Vacation

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Thank you to PRWeb for supplying this article, please share your thoughts in the comments section below…..

momdaugtherbikeStudies Show That Active Travel is No Longer a Luxury, but a Necessity for a Healthy Mind, Body and Spirit.

As the leader in active travel, VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations has successfully operated bicycling and walking tours throughout the world for over 44 years, creating culturally immersive experiences for American travelers. With numerous studies showcasing the health benefits of an active vacation, VBT President Gregg Marston, an avid cyclist, walker and traveler, has compiled a list of the top five healthy reasons to book a trip that will benefit your mind, body and spirit.

1. Social Health – According to the Global Coalition on Aging, group travel builds social ties, which studies have suggested helps nurture interest in life-long learning. With a small-group design, VBT tours deliver authentic personal interactions. Whether it’s enjoying a picnic lunch at the home of a Spanish family on the way to Cordoba or the warm encounters with local families during home-hosted lunches and dinners, group travelers share wonderful memories that will linger long after returning home.

2. Brain Health – According to Dr. Paul Nussbaum, Ph.D., ABPP, travel promotes brain health and builds brain resilience. Preventive Medicine found that people who cycled frequently benefitted from improved mental well-being. While traveling with VBT, learning experiences are endless from a private cooking class at one of Hoi An’s most popular restaurants to guided tours with local experts in Cesky Krumlov and Pompeii, wine tastings in Bordeaux, and demonstrations with artisans on the Croatian island of Brač.

3. Lowering Health Risks – Active travel is proven to lower many health risks such as diabetes, metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure, heart disease, colon cancer, breast cancer, depression levels and more, according to the Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee. Furthermore, staying active and traveling throughout life has physical, cognitive and social benefits that lead to a healthier aging process according to the US Travel Association. Offering an easy-to-moderate pace, each VBT traveler can create their own activity level with the flexibility to stop along the way to enjoy a glass of wine against a backdrop of rolling hills of Tuscany or the swaying Cypress trees in Provence.

4. Spirituality – Beyond the excitement of new discoveries, travel offers the opportunity to enrich and transform one’s perspective. A stroll along verdant gardens in Capri, a peek into the historic chapels in Bellano or a bike ride along Lake Champlain opens the mind, exhilarates the senses and refreshes the spirit immeasurably.

5. Necessity over Luxury – Nearly half of Americans agree that travel is not a luxury, but a necessity according to TravelEffect.com. Plus, surveys from the Global Coalition on Aging show that after being on a vacation for a day or two, 89 percent of people are able to leave the stressors of work behind and relax. That’s a major reason why 98.6 percent of VBT’s guests plan to travel again with VBT due to the fulfilling experiences they enjoyed during their active vacation.

In addition to numerous health benefits, VBT travelers will be fully immersed in their destination. All VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations are led by local Trip Leaders who provide insight into the region’s customs and traditions, as well as help facilitate authentic cultural experiences. Continually recognized as the best value in active travel, VBT’s tour prices include all accommodations, use of custom bicycles or walking poles, many meals, two expert local trip leaders, unique sightseeing and cultural activities, and on-tour vehicle support.

Travelers looking to reach healthy goals on vacation can save up to $300 on select departures by using the code VBT1505 when booking now until February 6. To request a catalog or reserve a VBT active vacation, visit http://www.vbt.com or call 877-395-5290.

About VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations

VBT offers 49 deluxe, small-group bicycling and walking tours in 25 different countries, including destinations throughout Europe, Costa Rica, New Zealand, Vietnam, Peru, South Africa, and the United States. Each trip includes all accommodations, many meals, two expert local Trip Leaders, unique sightseeing and cultural activities and on-tour vehicle support. Unlike other companies, VBT also includes roundtrip international airfare from over 30 U.S. cities and select Canadian cities for all overseas vacations. In 2014, VBT was rated by the readers of Travel + Leisure among the “World’s Best Tour Operators” for the fifth consecutive year. http://www.vbt.com.

The Top 9 Reasons To Get A Personal Trainer

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malepushupFind Your Trainer reveals the top 9 reasons getting a personal trainer is the best way to reach fitness and weight loss goals faster.

Exercise is great in any form. The only “bad” workouts are the ones that don’t happen. But for people with little free time to spare, specific goals to reach or not knowing where to start, working out with a personal trainer is ideal.

Here are 9 ways personal trainers reign supreme when it comes to getting the best results fastest:

1. No B.S.
Everyone seems to have an opinion about fitness. Whether it’s when to stretch, where to train or why a specific technique is best, opinions about exercise are endless and often contradictory. Personal trainers are able to cut through the noise and act as a voice of reason. Speaking based on education and experience, rather than emotion and fads, personal trainers can offer unrivaled and unbiased guidance on how to reach your fitness goals.

2. Maximize Your ROI
Time is money, right? Personal trainers aren’t free, and neither is your time. Maximizing the return on your time and money is essential. Personal trainers are the ultimate time-saver. Because they know how to maximize every workout, you’ll get better results faster. While it’s possible to meet fitness goals on your own, working with a personal trainer can definitely reduce the time it takes to achieve certain results.

3. You’ll Stay Safe & Injury Free
With comprehensive knowledge, experience and expertise in fitness, personal trainers teach you the best techniques and the safest way to do them. Proper form is everything when working out. When training on your own, it can be very easy to lose track of your form, which is the quickest way to injury. Personal trainers help ensure proper form and execution every time so that you get the most out of each workout and stay injury-free.

4. You Are What You Eat (and Drink)
Nutrition is one of the most important factors in how you feel and in determining your body’s response to exercise. Eating better means something different for each person based on your body, as well as your weight loss (or weight gain) goals. Personal trainers can provide extremely valuable diet and nutrition guidance that will make a world of difference in how you look and feel.

5. You’ll Get a Personalized Training Experience – Every Time
There’s no such thing as an “one-size-fits-all” ideal workout regimen — different techniques and training styles work better for different people. Personal trainers tailor exercise programs to meet your individual needs and circumstances. Working out alongside a trainer gives you someone to communicate openly with and provide real-time feedback to so that your exercise program is constantly evolving.

6. You’ll Stay on Track and Accountable
When you decide to work with a personal trainer, you suddenly have another person to keep yourself accountable and make sure you keep training. While it’s easy to come up with excuses to skip a trip to the gym, it’s much harder to come up with valid reasons to actually cancel an appointment with a personal trainer.

exerciseball7. [Insert Cliche Motivational Saying Here]
Seriously though – we all need some external motivation. Knowing when and how to provide it is critical. When working out just doesn’t seem worth it, a personal trainer will be there to remind you that it is and why. When you’re tired and want to quit, a personal trainer will be there to support you so that you stay the course and get the results you want. That expert encouragement can make all the difference between reaching your goals and giving up.

8. You’ll Be Supported
The path to reaching your fitness goals will inevitably be lined with bumps along the way. When confronted with transforming your body, a host of anxieties can run rampant, whether you feel overwhelmed, unconfident, intimidated, confused or all of the above. By supporting you every step of the way, a personal trainer can alleviate such anxieties. Consider them therapists for the body and mind!

9. What Plateaus?
Following a regular workout routine isn’t easy, but even those who manage to do it aren’t set for life. Oftentimes, people with an established exercise regimen find that after a while they don’t reap the same benefits that they used to and their progress plateaus. A personal trainer is the perfect person to help you take your body to the next level. Your trainer will amp up or modify your program to keep getting you the results you want.

About Find Your Trainer

Based in New York City, Find Your Trainer is an online marketplace that helps consumers achieve their fitness goals faster by connecting them with personally vetted trainers at leading health club and studios. Users are able to research, book and pay for personal training sessions anytime for their phones, tablets or computers. Because of Find Your Trainer’s unique partnerships, users are able to train at the largest selection of gyms in New York without a gym membership, buying a package or paying a guest fee. Users can also book a trainer to come to their home or building gym. To learn more, visit findyourtrainer.com.

– Courtesy of PRWeb

Seven Reasons Why We Fail To Achieve Our Life Goals

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By Larry F. Waldman Ph.D., ABPP

theroadupDespite our dreams many of us fail to achieve our life ambitions. Many of my clients talk about starting a business, becoming financially independent, writing a novel, traveling, furthering their education, getting physically fit, or becoming a nurse, teacher, or lawyer. Most of the time their objectives go unfulfilled. Oliver Wendell Holmes said: “Most people go to their graves with their music still within them.” Why?

1) The need for immediate gratification

A primary reason why people get “stuck in their rut” and fail to achieve their goals is that they “want it now.” They cannot delay their reward. Individuals who become financially successful invest their money, rather than immediately spend it, and reap a larger long-term reward. They use much of their time to study to learn their craft, rather than to play or loaf. They often choose exercise over lounging. They frequently make healthy food choices rather than succumb to the lures of comfort food.

2) Fear

Fear of change blocks many people from their goals. While being “stuck” is unsatisfying, at least it is familiar. Thus: “If we always do what we always did, we will always get what we already got.”

Fear of failure also prevents people from succeeding. Fear of failure often trumps the desire to achieve. To reach new goals the risks of change and failure must be confronted. Psychologists teach the best way to combat fear is to face it, not avoid it.

3) Our negative financial blueprint

The values we learned about money as children—our financial blueprint—like the blueprint for a house, determines the dimensions of our financial success. If we grow up regularly hearing, “Only the rich get richer,” “It takes money to make money,” “All rich people are snobs,” People are “filthy rich” or “dirt poor,”–thus money is unclean–it is unlikely we will become wealthy. Unless you “were born with a silver spoon in your mouth,” achieving financial independence requires that you revise your financial blueprint.

4) We don’t deserve it

We all know “life isn’t fair.” We don’t get what we deserve; we get what we believe we deserve. Many people fail to achieve their dreams because they believe they aren’t capable of or deserve such a dream. Reaching your goal requires that you truly believe you are worthy of doing so.

5) Don’t know what to do

seniormanMany folks have dreams but they don’t know how to accomplish them. Thus, they quit or don’t even try. Individuals who reach their objectives ask questions, read, study, get educated, experiment, even fail at times, but they don’t stop.

6) Not enough time

Many of us are “too busy just earning a living to make our fortune.” We invest all our time and energy doing what we don’t want which leaves us no time, energy, or money to do what we do want. To be successful we must stop “spinning our wheels” and make time to do what moves us forward.

7) Not enough money

Again, many of us continue to spend our limited funds on things that do not help us grow. To evade this rut we must save some money, or even take on a part-time job, to glean the necessary income to invest in our future.

– Larry F. Waldman, Ph.D., ABPP is a licensed psychologist who has practiced in the Paradise Valley area of Phoenix for over 35 years. He works with children, adolescents, parents, adults, and couples. He also provides forensic consultations in the areas of family law, personal injury, and estate planning. He speaks professionally to laypersons, educators, corporations, and fellow mental health professionals. He teaches graduate courses for the Educational Psychology Department for Northern Arizona University. He is the author of “Who’s Raising Whom? A Parent’s Guide to Effective Child Discipline;” “Coping with Your Adolescent;” “How Come I Love Him But Can’t Live with Him? Making Your Marriage Work Better;” “The Graduate Course You Never Had: How to Develop, Manage, Market a Flourishing Private Practice—With and Without Managed Care;” and “Too Busy Earning a Living to Make Your Fortune? Discover the Psychology of Achieving Your Life Goals.” His contact information is: 602-996-8619; 11020 N. Tatum Blvd., Bldg. E, Suite 100, Phoenix, AZ 85028; email: LarryWaldmanPhD@cox.net; website: TopPhoenixPsychologist.com.

10 Reasons Outdoor Play Is Crucial To Healthy Child Development

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twokidsunThe iconic image of the idyllic American childhood was, not so long ago, based around the idea of spending long summer days playing outside and exploring the neighborhood until the streetlights were illuminated. Today’s fear-driven culture might make it difficult to send your kids outside for the entirety of a day in good conscience without supervision, but that doesn’t mean that they have to be relegated to a lifetime of staring blankly at a television screen, playing video games or cooped up in a community center to stay safe. When safe, sane practices are adhered to, time spent playing outside is not only fun, but also essential to your child’s healthy development and growth. These are ten of the reasons why you might want to think twice before discouraging outdoor play, and how spending time outside is actually good for your kids.

Honing Motor Skills – Kids need to run, jump, swing and tumble in order to hone their basic motor skills, something that just isn’t as easy to do in the restrictive confines of structured, indoor play. Even if your child isn’t able to safely roam the neighborhood with a group of his friends, he still needs plenty of outdoor time to push himself physically so that he’s able to refine those skills.

Vitamin D Absorption – While it’s imperative that kids are properly protected from the sun’s burning and potentially cancer-causing rays, it’s also important that they get 10 to 15 minutes of sun exposure in order to fight off vitamin D deficiency. Unlike vitamin D in supplement form, it’s impossible for a child to naturally produce too much vitamin D in response to sunlight, so letting your child play outside for even a few minutes is typically the best course of action when it comes to combating deficiency.

Encouraging Imaginative Play – Playing with the same set of toys in the same room every day doesn’t give your child much room for imaginative, creative play, which is essential to both cognitive and social development. The great outdoors, however, offers an almost endless array of inspiration for invented games and make-believe scenarios.

kidsunningtogetherAcquiring an Appreciation for Nature – Kids who rarely spend time outdoors grow into adults who generally don’t spend much time outdoors, causing them to effectively miss out on all that nature has to offer. Encouraging play that takes place outdoors allows your child to become accustomed to and gain an appreciation for nature, and no television show or Internet video can replicate that.

Learning the Importance of Environmental Stewardship – The children of today are the stewards of tomorrow’s environment, and they need to learn the importance of caring for the planet from an early age. Get your kids outside and talk about the environment and all the ways that it needs to be protected while enjoying the great outdoors. Before you know it, you’ll have an active, eco-conscious youngster in the making.

Expending Energy – Shouting, climbing, jumping and running aren’t encouraged indoors. In fact, these activities that are so necessary when it comes to expending energy and blowing off steam are usually downright forbidden inside the house. Letting your child burn off some of that energy outside has benefits for both of you, as well as any fragile belongings in your home.

Exploring and Investigating – Kids need to encounter new and interesting things to keep the spark of natural curiosity burning, because that curiosity is an essential part of both creative thinking and a thirst for learning. There’s not much to explore between the couch and the refrigerator, but your own back yard can be a veritable goldmine of activity and wonder.

Pushing Boundaries and Taking Safe Risks – No parent wants their child to engage in risky behavior, but safe risks are an essential part of learning and confidence building. Kids who push their own boundaries by testing their abilities are more confident, more active and less likely to suffer from the low self-esteem that plagues so many of today’s youth.

Reducing Exposure to Germs – There’s a reason why colds and flus seem so abundant in the winter time. When stifled in rooms with little fresh air and relegated to close quarters with others, germs spread from host to host with ease. Outside, airborne bacteria can be swept away on a light breeze, rather than finding a new home in your child’s body.

Fulfilling Kids’ Need for Freedom – As a parent, your first instinct is to keep your child as close and as safe as possible. While it is your job to ensure that no harm comes to them, it’s also important that you allow them enough freedom to explore and assert a bit of independence. Letting your kids roam the lawn, even if it’s fenced in and you’re standing on the porch, or play on the playground while you’re sitting on a nearby bench, can fulfill a bit of that need for freedom that’s so important to their growth and development.

– Submitted by Molly Cunningham of Live In Nanny.

Top Five Reasons To Become A Medical Assistant

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By Kat Myers

scrubs1) You Get to Help People —

One of the best parts about pursuing a career in medicine is that it provides you with opportunities to help other people. Medical assistants interact with patients on a daily basis. They develop personal relationships with the people they help. For many people, this is the most rewarding part of the job.

2) Financial Stability —

The current economic recession has put many people in a position of financial instability. Medical assistant school is a fantastic option for anyone worried about the future of the economy. The demand for medical assistants isn’t going to decrease anytime soon—after all, there will always be hospitals to work at and people who need help.

3) Certification is Quick —

Certification to become a medical assistant only takes 2 years. This makes medical assistant school a perfect option for people who want a career in medicine, but aren’t interested in attending a 4-year university. Medical assistant school is also a great option for people who have to juggle school with other commitments, like work or family. If you want to continue your education, but you’re worried that you only have a limited window of time in which to do it, becoming a certified medical assistant could be the perfect solution to your dilemma.

4) You Make Good Money —

Money is obviously going to be a pretty significant factor when it comes to choosing a career. Luckily, medical assistants make good money. According to the American Association of Medical Assistants, the average salary for a medical assistant is just under $30,000 a year. Some medical assistants even make as much as $45,000 a year.

5) You Have a Variety of Responsibilities —

Medical assistants are required to do a number of different jobs and tasks. The duties you’re expected to preform will be contingent on where decide to work. If you work in a hospital, your responsibilities could include everything from taking vital signs to filing insurance claims. If you decide to work in a smaller clinic, you could end up doing anything checking your patients in to office administration. This makes being a medical assistant a perfect option for people who don’t like preforming the same task over and over again.

– Kat Myers is a public relations coordinator for Anthem Education. She enjoys crossword puzzles, jogging, and reading Ayn Rand novels.

10 Reasons Why Parents And Kids Should Exercise Together

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obese childWith childhood obesity rates on the rise and more kids than ever experiencing what were once considered adult health problems, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that the sedentary lifestyle promoted by a glut of video games, television and electronic entertainment that is frequently paired with a fast food-centric diet is taking its toll on even the youngest members of the population. In addition to instilling good dietary habits in kids, however, one of the most important things a parent can do for their children is encourage a healthy level of physical activity. Here are 10 of the reasons why parents and kids should make a point of exercising together, both for fun and for fitness.

* Modeling Healthy Behavior – In order to truly show kids how important exercise is, you must be willing to put in the same amount of effort that you’re expecting. This is one area in which taking a “do as I say, not as I do” approach simply won’t work, so be sure that you’re willing to practice what you’re so eagerly preaching.

* Making Sure That You Get Enough Exercise – Between juggling the demands of work and home, it’s not always easy to fit in a fitness routine. Exercising with your kids not only allows you to spend a bit of quality time with them while doing something you both enjoy, but also helps you to stay on schedule with your workout.

* To Ensure Safe Exercise Habits – Kids haven’t yet developed proper impulse control, and may be less capable of fully understanding the possible outcomes of risky behavior. As a result, it’s not uncommon for kids to attempt daredevil feats of strength or agility during active play. When you’re making a point of exercising together, however, you’ll be there to supervise and prevent some of their riskier impulses.

* Turning Family Fun Time into Family Fit Time – Everyone knows that spending time together as a family strengthens emotional bonds, which is why structured family game nights and family dinners are recommended. Instead of sitting down to a board game, why not try out one of the new group video games that promotes fitness? You’ll all be spending time together and enjoying a bit of activity that gets you out of your seat and onto your feet.

* Cutting the Competition Out of Fitness – When kids’ main source of physical activity is competitive sports participation, it’s not uncommon for them to equate working out with competition. When you exercise together, you can stress the importance of activity for fun and enjoyment, rather than an exclusive end goal of winning.

* Defining “Normal” For Young Children – Making a point of engaging in physically active play with your children from the time they’re very young is a way to effectively define “normal” for them and for your family. When exercising is simply part of the daily routine, kids are more likely to stick to their active habits as they get older.

* Forging Bonds With Older Kids – It’s not always easy to find common ground with a tween or teen, which is where a shared love of a particular sport or activity can come in handy. Spending time with your older child doesn’t have to be a struggle, especially when you’re sweating it out together.

* Building Discipline and Dedication – Kids need to learn the value of dedication and discipline from a young age in order to become successful, independent adults. Setting fitness goals and working together to achieve them helps kids understand the importance of hard work and making a concerted effort to reach the goals they’ve set for themselves.

* Providing Kids With Incentive and Direction to Exercise – While kids do need plenty of unstructured active play, working out as a family can provide kids with a bit of much-needed direction and an incentive to get moving. When you’ve established a routine of exercising together, you’ll also have an incentive to continue along your own path to fitness.

* Achieving Goals as a Family – It’s often said that the family who plays together stays together, but there’s also something to be said for working towards a shared goal and making that goal a reality. Working out with your kids is a great way to not only help them understand the importance of making an effort to achieve your dreams, but also the sweetness of a shared victory.

– Submitted by Emma Roberts of Summer Nanny