3 Tips to Stay Energized

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By Steve O’Dell

stretchbridgeStaying energized is absolutely critical to living a productive and happy life. That got me wondering… and then researching…

Here are 3 scientifically proven tips I’ve learned over the years that help me stay naturally wired and ready to conquer my day. Carpe Diem!

1 – Exercise – At least a little bit, every day.

You want to feel more energized, well here’s the secret… spend more energy. Seems a little backward, huh. Maybe, but it works and it’s scientifically backed.

Researchers at the University of Georgia studied 36 people that suffered from chronic fatigue by placing them into three research groups. Group 1 completed 20 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise, the equivalent of running uphill, 3 times a week. Group 2 completed 20 minutes of low-intensity aerobic exercise, the equivalent of a leisurely walk, 3 times a week. Group 3 did not exercise. The results? Both groups test experienced increased energy and the control group… well, they didn’t.

2 – Drink Healthy

As we millennials like to say, you are what you eat (or drink). Which means that, when you drink soda all day, you are nothing but an effervescing stew of sugar and artificial flavors. Let’s just forget energy drinks – unless you want to be a pool of chemicals? And what about that angelic brown gasoline that hijacked our mornings? It’s no better, highly caffeinated drinks are like high-interest rate loans on your energy bank account. They provide a short spike, but you need to front the bill eventually.

So what’s the solution? Some high-quality H2O.

We are made of water – literally, 50-60% of our bodies are that polygamous marriage between an Oxygen and two Hydrogens. Stay healthy by following the millennial expression… you are what you drink. In this case, water.

It’s recommended to drink 8, 8-ounce glasses of water each day. Why that amount? Nobody knows. It doesn’t matter, the point – drink water often throughout your day. A funny and practical way to understand your hydration levels – look in the toilet after going to the bathroom. Apple Juice = Dehydrated. Lemon Lime Gatorade = Hydrated.

If you want to get the extra kick without the high-interest rate, try a natural caffeine like matcha green tea. It’s got a light caffeine boost to give you some energy, but instead of the jittery spike, has an amino acid called L-theanine which distributes the caffeine in your blood over 4-6 hours. No more nausea, jitters, or upset-stomach,  just clean and focused energy.

Remember this, Green food and drink = Green Bank Account.

3 – Meditate

yogaposeWant more energy, sit cross-legged in total silence with your eyes shut for at least 10 minutes. This will give you more energy. Surprised? Yeah, me too. The proof is in the science, so let’s take a look.

Researchers at the University of Waterloo found that meditation can increase your energy levels. In the study, there were two groups, a control group that read every day and the experimental group that meditated each day. After each session, the groups followed up with a Profile of Mood State test at 5 and 10 minutes intervals. The experimental group performed better in both follow-up periods. And, in an extra measure of depth, scored higher on executive functioning tests later on as well.

If you’re intrigued, it’s easy to get started… just sit still for 10 minutes without distractions.

In Conclusion

There you have it ladies and gents, by following the tips outlined in this post, you can stay more energized and feel a lot better, too. You’ll be so darn productive that you’ll finally be able to watch that Netflix show your friends have been nagging you about.


7 Ways To Stay Fit Outdoors

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By Sam Jones

familywalk2Do you love the great outdoors? There are plenty of ways to stay active and healthy while getting some fresh air. If you’re like most people with busy schedules, here are seven great ideas you can incorporate into your day to maintain better health.

1.) HIKING – In the technology age, nothing can be as refreshing and satisfying as going out for a hike. With a good pair of hiking shoes you can take yourself anywhere you want to go. Finding the right pair is a match-making process, as it should be. You will be relying on those shoes for the long haul. As mentioned in REI, you should choose wisely, and consider the importance of appropriate socks, aftermarket insoles, and breaking in your boots before planning that first trip.

2.) BIKING – Going for bike rides can be a quick, convenient, and not to mention great way to surround yourself with nature. For rocky terrain, a good mountain bike with spring based suspension is highly recommended. For city workouts, you might consider a single speed bike for getting lower body and aerobic workouts. If you’re looking online for a great custom bike, check out Brooklyn Bicycle Co. They’ve got a great Buy & Ride program that will ship to a local dealer near you.

3.) INLINE SKATING – Also known as ‘rollerblading’ and popular in the 1980s and 1990s, grab a pair of skates and get moving! As noted by LiveStrong, going rollerblading promotes muscular endurance and can burn 913 calories in a single hour for an average 160 pound individual. It’s further noted to be a low impact exercise on the cardiovascular system because the activity itself promotes a gentle circulatory workout while burning fat.

4.) ROWING – Why use an indoor rowing machine at the gym when you can get out on the lake? At least for when the weather permits, as the movement of rowing exercises the entire body for a great cardio workout. In fact, HarpersBazaar notes that rowing is one of the most efficient exercises for working out all of the muscle groups.

2.) ROCK CLIMBING – Great for isometric and upper body workouts. It’s recommended to search for experienced climbing instructors first before you attempt more expert rock climbing locations. That way you can plan a few rock climbing sessions in advance, learn about the proper safety equipment, and hone your technique. You can find a list of world rock climbing gyms over at Indoorclimbing.com if you’re interested in scheduling regular sessions.

6.) SWIMMING – If you like the water and don’t mind getting wet, swimming is the perfect way to round your outdoor workouts. The cardiovascular benefits, on top of getting a full body workout, is worth adding to a daily or weekly routine. You could do a search for your nearest YMCA or search local Facebook groups if you don’t have a pool at home, or access to a local community lake association.

7.) YOGA – Saving one of the greatest fitness activities for last, since most people might not associate yoga with outdoor fitness. Indeed, this is the case! It is preferable to be outdoors, breathing fresh air, and connecting with nature in its natural environment. Yoga postures help both with isometrics and circulating Qi throughout the body.

It’s often easy to get caught up in the hectic work week. By making sure to keep outdoor fitness as part of your daily or weekly routine, your body will thank you for it!

Make Your New Year’s Resolutions Stay With Two Apples A Day

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Article courtesy of PRWeb, please share your comments in the section below…..

applevectorResearch Reveals Simple Solution to “Get Healthy” Pledges: Eat More Apples.

Sticking to your health-related New Year’s resolutions is hard, but eating more apples a day can make it easier, according to mounting research on the health benefits people realize when eating at least two apples a day. For example:

* Resolving to lose weight in 2015? Studies have found overweight women who ate three apples a day lost more weight than those who didn’t.

* Committing to cutting your cholesterol count this year? A Florida State University study reports eating two apples a day for six months can reduce artery-blocking LDL by 23 percent.

“We all know the adage, ‘An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away,’ but why stop at one when studies show eating multiple apples daily can help you be even fitter?” said Wendy Brannen, Director of Consumer Health & Public Relations for USApple. “As we set our New Year’s resolutions for a healthier 2015, we suggest ‘Eating Two Apples a Day’ be at the top of your list as the easiest, tastiest way to reach and maintain your New Year’s goals.”

“Plus, unlike the often-expensive fitness gadgets, diet books and club memberships we purchase to keep fit in the New Year, apples are always affordable, portable, easy to find and fun to mix into any nutritious meal,” Brannen added.

Looking for more inspiration to eat more apples in 2015? USApple offers more reasons eating apples can help you meet your New Year’s Goals:

* Resolving to keep muscles healthy? Studies find ursolic acid found in apple skin may prevent muscle wasting.

* Wanting to get that beach body by springtime? People who eat apples have trimmer waistlines (and lower blood pressure).

* Building a better immune system? Research from University of Illinois suggests soluble fiber, like pectin from apples, may strengthen the immune system.

* Working toward better bone health? A study from American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests older women who eat plenty of fruits (including apples) may have a lower chance of bone fractures.

* Keeping the cardiologist away? Ohio State University reports eating one apple a day for four weeks lowered blood levels of oxidized LDL, the “bad” cholesterol, by 40 percent.

Want to keep up with the latest on apples’ health and taste benefits throughout the year? Follow http://www.facebook.com/USApples for the latest.

About USApple

U.S. Apple Association is the national trade association representing all segments of the apple industry. Members include 40 state and regional associations representing the 7,500 apple growers throughout the country, as well as more than 400 individual firms involved in the apple business. More information on the organization is available at USApple.org.

25 Ways To Stay Upbeat When Surrounded By Negativity

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By Mary Jo Rapini, MEd, LPC

womantwistingHave you ever wondered where the good times have gone? Do you find yourself in the grocery store line listening to customers lament on the world’s problems? Do you run in to pick up your dry cleaning in time to hear the latest update about a virus you’ve never heard of? Do you cook a fabulous dinner and sit down to enjoy family time around the table, but instead hear about your spouse’s demanding boss or your child’s teacher who will be out the rest of the year due to breast cancer? How much bad news can you take? How can you possibly remain upbeat when everyone around you is full of gloom, doom and negativity?

In truth, we all get down sometimes, but if you are surrounded by negative friends and family, you are exposing yourself to a contagious attitude. Negativity, like the common cold, is spread by word of mouth and actions. Like the common cold, the best way not to catch it is to use precaution and prevent being susceptible.

Here are my 25 favorite ways to stay upbeat and positive:

* Get involved with people or projects that give you meaning.

* Schedule time in your day to have five minutes of total quiet alone.

* Meditate by focusing on your breathing in and out slowly.

* Pray.

* Don’t take other’s negativity personally.

* Limit your time with negative people and make your life a no venting or complaining zone.

* Play: yoga, running and/or walking are good examples of adult playtime.

* Go to a movie with a friend or by yourself.

* Listen to music that makes you feel positive.

* Write down three things you’ve always wanted to do or were interested in and begin learning one of them.

* Have Friday or Sunday night potluck night. Everyone can come, but everyone brings something to the table.

* Have a suggestion box set up in your home so kids, as well as other family members, can write suggestions for innovative new family outings or rituals.

* Go to church: according to research church goers are happier, healthier and find more meaning in life than non-church goers.

* Play with your kids even when they’re grown.

* Hug family and friends as much as you can.

* When worries take over, step back and focus on today…now.

* Be grateful and say thank you each opportunity you get. The more you give thanks, the more you have to be thankful for as time goes on.

* Volunteer.

* Plant a garden or at least a few plants.

* Get a pet or spend time watching animals on TV.

* Watch funny movies or movies that encourage good rather than evil.

* When faced with a challenge instead of getting discouraged think of it as an opportunity to learn and grow your business, relationship, or wherever the challenge is.

* Give away whatever you aren’t using.

* Pay it forward every chance you get.

* Read autobiographies and biographies. They help you understand that everyone goes through really bad times and how you handle it defines your character.

friendsLife gets rough for everyone sometimes, but life stays rough for those who allow the bad times to taint the joyful times as well. I have met people who live horrific lives of chronic pain, yet their attitude is so positive they infect others, which feeds back and revitalizes them with positivity. No one has you sign a negative contract, however. Surrounding and staying in negative relationships locks you into their contract. Break free! Find and encourage positive interactions and relationships for yourself and those who are open to being infected with good energy.

– Mary Jo Rapini, MEd, LPC, is a licensed psychotherapist and co-author with Janine J. Sherman, of Start Talking: A Girl’s Guide for You and Your Mom About Health, Sex or Whatever. Read more about the book at StartTalkingBook.com and more about Rapini at maryjorapini.com.

Obesity – A Global Pandemic – Stay Vigilant With Your Lifestyles!

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By Madhavi Dandu

Lifestyles have undergone dynamic changes over the decades and the people of today’s society are leading a more sedentary life that is bracketed in coziness and escorted by machine comforts. However, there have also emerged arrays of lifestyle disorders that are unwarranted and have potentially harmful implications for our health. The sturdy man of the yester centuries has transformed into a weak and vulnerable person! Most of the developing and developed societies around the world are suffering from conditions like obesity, diabetes, hypertension, stress and many more diseases. Of all the diseases stated, obesity has emerged almost as a pandemic around the world. The excess body weight that finds discrepancy with the BMI indices has been described as the condition of obesity and is significantly different from healthy body dimensions.

Why so much of concern?

The condition of obesity is not a disease in itself but, a frontrunner for an array of real diseases which carry life threatening implications. Obesity is not incurable or hard to control and rather requires only lifestyle changes through incorporation of positives.

While it is easy to assume that lifestyle changes will rid us of the problem. One must keep in mind that doing so has become increasingly difficult because of unhealthy habits we have developed. We have developed an obsession to eat junk and easy foods, and chose to laze around in our cozy homes making it even more difficult for our bodies. It is for this reason that obesity has surfaced up as a pandemic that stands to threaten the health of global societies. Fitness experts are therefore, not shying away from labeling it as a disease.

Obesity implications –

Obesity is characterized by the deposition of excess fats in our body thus, increasing our weight. When we eat more than our body requires, excess energies are produced. This extra energy is stored in the form of adipose fat tissues. The process of fat deposition is very slow but consistent.

One of the major health hazards that are prospectively associated with obesity is diabetes. High fat deposition and obesity reduces the capacity of the body to respond to elevated blood sugar levels through proper insulin production. The fat tissue has its own hormone production profile and it interferes with the healthy mechanism of the body!

This is how the body develops insulin resistance which results in high blood glucose levels. This further deteriorates the body processes and organs like the eyes and kidneys.

Other major ailments that are caused by obesity are –

Coronary heart diseases: The excess fat that travels in the blood deposits as arterial plaque and makes the arteries rigid and also narrower. This is one of the major causes of cardiac arrest.

Joints pain: Pain is experienced in the knee joints due to increased weight. In severe cases, proper joint therapies are considered. Some cases may also require joint replacement.

Catalyzes stress: Obese persons are generally found to be lacking initiative and vigor towards life and have greater tendency to slip into stress and depression. A toned up body is always full of self confidence and potential!

How to take care?

A few lifestyle tips can change all this easily and constitute the common social talk. These are –

1. Eat healthy! – Avoid junk food and eat home cooked healthy meals.

2. Lives an active life – Make the time to do light exercises.

3. Remain vigilant – Keep a track of your body dynamics and weight.

4. Never skip meals – Have a well regulated diet as fasting irresponsibly increases the chance of putting on weight.

So never let your life passions take a negative hold on you. Reduce the chances of health threats that could otherwise be waiting for you as you move forward with irresponsible lifestyles.

Take care!

– Madhavi Dandu is a senior editor at UrbanWired with deep love and passion for all things health, wellness, fitness and fashion. Given how uninformed people were about personal health, fitness, she saw the need to educate average joe and jane about healthy living through her writing.

3 Ways To Stay Healthy – Anytime, Anywhere

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By Kac Young PhD, ND, DCH

saladplateAsk 10 people you meet on the street what the main components of staying healthy are and chances are high they will answer: “diet and exercise.” And they are 2/3 right.

Certainly proper nutrition is key to good and sustainable health. We achieve that by eating fruits, vegetables, only a light touch of meat and we seek our proteins and carbohydrates from sources that are low in saturated fats, salt and sugar. If we use color as a guide and make sure our plate is filled with wildly colorful fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes, we are already on the path to solid nutrition and a wholesome diet for our bodies.

Exercise is an equally important component. The body is made up of organs and muscles. To be in prime working condition those parts must be exercised and challenged. If you don’t use it, you may lose it, especially where the heart muscle is concerned. But that doesn’t mean you have to run long distances or work out for hours in the gym. You can easily incorporate a program of Tai Chi into your life which provides the stretching, extension, discipline and the aerobic components you need for physical health and bodily strength.

stressedwomanThe last component to staying healthy is, believe it or not, relaxation. When you relax and get away from the stressors of your life, you foster good mental health. Take the time to breathe. Maybe incorporating a few yoga poses, or just sitting by yourself for an hour will do wonders for your mind. Use a few minutes of your time to focus on the good things in your life. Those areas that are working and that you are grateful for. If you find relaxation hard, try an acupuncture session or get a Shiatsu massage to relieve those knotted pressure points.

If you start today to incorporate good nutrition, proper exercise and relaxation you will find that your life improves and doesn’t feel so bad after all.

Kac Young , a former television director and producer, has earned a Ph.D. in Natural Health and is a Doctor of both Clinical Hypnotherapy and Naturopathy. She is the author of 10 books. Heart Easy is a system of nutritionally sound, delicious meals that promote heart health, long life and taste great. Traditional recipes are turned into heart healthy meals that anyone can make. The health results are outstanding.

How Do The Fit Stay Fit?

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It’s the million-dollar question: How do the fit stay fit?

womanpushupAt Bodybuilding.com, we’re uniquely qualified to know the constellation of factors, which separate the successful from the unsuccessful when it comes to fitness. That’s because we have BodySpace, with 8.2 million registered members, it’s the largest social media site in the world. It’s also a vast data pool that amounts to the world’s largest fitness study, a research effort that we refer to as the Strength in Numbers Study.

Our Strength in Numbers findings are based on BodySpace members who actively make progress toward their stated goal, whether it’s weight gain or loss. If you move toward your goal on BodySpace, we consider that fitness success.

The majority of fit individuals don’t spend hours in the gym, live on a diet of cabbage, or nit-pick the optimum amount of holy water to achieve immortality. Instead, fit people share a set of outrageously simple and positivity-reinforcing habits. These are the eight habits of highly successful fit people, according to the first major batch of our Strength in Numbers data:

* Highly successful fit people track their workout – Research says that people who track their workouts are 3.7 times more likely to have success towards their fitness goals.

* Highly successful fit people find a plan and stick to it – Research says that once a person completes week 6 of a 12-week program, they are 47% more likely to finish the trainer than when they’ve only completed up to week 5.

* Highly successful fit people post progress pictures – Research says that people who post progress pictures are 3.2 times more likely to have success towards their fitness goals.

* Highly successful fit people seek and share motivation – Research says that 50% of people who posted to fitBoard have success towards their fitness goals.

* Highly successful fit people make fitness social – Research says BodySpace members with 10 to 30 friend connections find success toward their goals 37% more than members with only 1 to 9 friends.

* Highly successful fit people constantly learn – Research says people who have success toward their fitness goals read an average of 7 Bodybuilding.com articles per month.

* Highly successful fit people regularly visit fitness sites – Research says people who have success toward their fitness goals return to Bodybuilding.com an average of 8 days per month.

* Highly successful fit people take supplements – Research says the most successfully fit people take foundational supplements to keep their bodies at peak condition.

New habits must be formed, changes must be made, and reproducible motivation must roar to life. Everyone walks their own path toward their goals, but simple daily habits that reinforce eating better, exercising regularly, and sleeping more still lay the groundwork for a fit life.

For more information on bodybuilding.com, please visit us on the web.

– Submitted by Allison Kim

Smart Ways For Nannies To Stay Fit

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girlappleIf you’re like most nannies, staying fit while spending your days caring for kids is a hard task. Your hours are long, and heading off to the gym is usually the last thing you want to do when you get home in the evening. Your eating habits probably don’t help either. Meals usually consist of whatever’s close at hand, which typically means prepackaged food that doesn’t fit into your ideal menu. The good news is you can make small lifestyle changes that can make a big difference. Here are some ideas to get you on the right track.

Make a real commitment to yourself. One of the biggest obstacles to staying fit is putting your need to lead a healthy life above the constant pull you feel from other people and their demands on your time and attention. If you let it happen, there will always be something that needs to get done before you work out or take time to prepare a healthy meal. Make a commitment to take care of yourself before you do anything else.

Work out in the morning before you start work. You already get up early just to get to work on time, so waking up even earlier to work out may seem like a stretch. But before you dismiss an early morning workout, do the math. If you leave early to hit a gym or pool close to your employer’s home, chances are you’ll miss the daily commuter traffic. That saved time can offset the time you invest in your workout. Even if you won’t save time by working out in the morning, there are plenty of other benefits to doing so, such as increased energy first thing in the morning and throughout the day. At the end of the day, you can barely make it to your couch. Before the day begins, you’re ready to tackle the gym, track or pool. Plus, exercising first thing in the morning boosts your mood and energy for the rest of the day.

Get your kids involved in the workout. If you care for older kids, think of ways to exercise during the day with them. They’re supposed to engage in at least one hour of physical activity each day, so you have a built-in reason to make exercise a priority. Go for a bike ride on the local trail. Head out for a hike at the community arboretum. Play a game of basketball in the backyard. There are lots of things that you and your charges can do that are fun and will help you get you in great shape.

girljogTake advantage of breaks during the day. If your charge naps or goes to school during the day, take that time to fit in a workout. Work out with a DVD or hop on the elliptical machine for 30 minutes. You’ll still have plenty of time to get your other jobs, like laundry, straightening up and meal prep, done.

Find activities that you enjoy. Working out doesn’t mean you have to be tied to the gym. There are lots of fun things you can do in the evenings and on weekends that will burn calories and build strength and flexibility. If you don’t have a favorite sport, try out different things until you find one you really connect with. You might enjoy bike riding, hiking, kayaking, Zumba, tennis, swimming or a host of other sports. Don’t expect to be good at your new sport right at the beginning. It takes a while to become even somewhat skilled at something new. Just have fun and know your body is getting a workout at the same time.

Make healthy food choices. Often, your personal food choices include things you wouldn’t feed to your charges. Being a nanny means being busy all day, so you go for what’s quick and easy, even when those things work against your goal of staying fit. Instead, take the time to plan out your meals and include foods that are tasty and will fuel your body. By bringing a day’s worth of ready-to-eat healthy meals and snacks with you to work, you won’t be tempted to grab whatever’s close because you’re short on time or energy.

Sit down to eat. Meal time often means you’re juggling 10 different things all at once. No matter how busy you are, it’s important to slow down and take 15 or 20 minutes to sit down and eat lunch. This allows you to really be conscious of what and how much you’re eating. It also lets your body stay connected to your feelings of hunger and fullness.

Staying fit while working as a nanny is a tough task, but not one that’s impossible. With a real commitment and some smart planning, you can make it happen.

– Submitted by Sonny Giffin of NannyWebsites.com

7 Ways To Stay Motivated When Starting A New Workout Routine With Your Teens

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By Kenny Meyers

teensBecause nearly 16 percent of kids and teens in the U.S. are overweight, it is more important now than ever for parents and kids to develop a healthy living regimen and a strategy to remain motivated to exercise. Staying active can prevent a teen’s chances of developing Type 2 diabetes or from developing cardiovascular problems. If you develop a regimen with your kids, they’re more likely to maintain good habits into their adulthood. Here are some suggestions to keep in mind when you’re looking for ways to stay motivated:

1. Explain the Importance of Health to Your Teens

Kids — like everyone else — aren’t just motivated by force; they need to know why they need to do something. If exercising doesn’t seem worthwhile, parents cannot motivate their teens to exercise simply by telling them to do so. They need to tell them why exercise is beneficial to their bodies.

Working out can help you and your teens look good and feel good, two important things to every young person’s self-esteem. Exercise can also potentially reduce acne, another great way to encourage your teens to go for that run or enroll in strength training.

2. Incorporate Exercise Into Your Daily Life

When you set aside designated times during the day for physical activity, your teens can get their minds prepared to exercise and be ready. Parents can also get other neighborhood kids involved to keep everyone motivated and prepared. This buddy system is more effective than just trying to tough it out on your own. Don’t treat the workout like some foreign or dangerous thing. Make it a normal part of your day, and soon enough it’ll feel natural.

3. Develop a Regimen of Fun Exercises

If exercising is fun, teens are more likely to engage. Think outside the box and look for ways to stay health and active that are also challenging and interesting. Try getting your teens involved in bike riding or karate classes. Walking the dog or going to a water park will also help younger teens exercise. Most families do not recognize how much exercise they can get just by going on regular outings and walking during the day. Walking around amusement parks, zoos, or nature centers can help you forget that you’re exercising while you’re viewing the sites. You could even hike at a local park. Something like ballroom dancing or softball would also be a good way to get the body moving.

4. Enroll Your Teens in Organized Sports

Organized sports are an excellent way to help teens get active without being bored. Anything will do, so talk with your teen about his interests and see what sport appeals to him. Volleyball, basketball, baseball, or football may be fun enough to motivate him to exercise without seeming like a chore. Plus there’s the added benefit of teamwork and camaraderie.

exerciseball5. Reward Teens for Exercising

Obviously, you’d want the reward to be tied to the workout or at least generally healthy — it wouldn’t make a lot of sense to congratulate your teen on her first 5K with a cake — but there are plenty of options available to help you entice your teen to sticking to the workout. For instance, maybe she’s been eyeing a new set of running shoes, or an iPod for exercising, or taking a trip with friends. Keep the reward positive and goal-oriented.

6. Add Some Variety to Your Schedule

To keep the exercises from getting boring, try to alternate your schedule. For instance, on Monday, take your teens to baseball or softball practice. On Wednesday, take them to ballroom dancing classes. On Friday, take them to martial arts classes. If the weather cooperates or you have an indoor pool, you can try to go swimming on the weekend. Variety will keep the kids going.

7. Get Them Out of the House

It’s easier than ever these days for teens to stay inside and glued to screens all day and all night. One way to get them on their feet and back into an active lifestyle is to limit the amount of time your teen can use his computer or tablet. You can also set up basic physical chores in and around the house, or help him find a job. This will give him not only some pocket money, but the opportunity to get out, stay active, and meet new people.

If you want to remain motivated with your new workout routine, it just takes a little planning. With the right motivation, your kids will remain active and healthy throughout their lives. Communicate with your teens and help them develop good habits early. You’ll be pleased with the results.

– Submitted by Jessica Clark, representing KennyMeyers.com

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