Do you want to win?

What if I could  promise you that you could improve your quality of sleep, reduce  anxiety and blood pressure, improve your brain health, reduce your risk of eight types of cancer, reduce your risk for fall-related injuries if your a little older, AND reduce your risk of excessive weight gain. AND improve your insulin sensitivity?

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Wait… thats not all… you can also manage It can decrease pain for those with osteoarthritis, reduce disease progression for hypertension and type 2 diabetes, reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, and improve cognition for those with dementia, multiple sclerosis, ADHD, and Parkinson’s disease.

This is almost like winning the ‘life lottery’!!

What if I told you that all you have to do is MOVE  for 150 minutes a week!! That is only 21.428 minutes a day!!! Lets just round it off to 22 minutes a day.

On November 12, 2018, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services released  a second edition of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions meeting.  

Apparently the United States has low levels of adherence to the previous guidelines which stated that only 10-minute bouts of physical activity counted toward meeting the guidelines!

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Only 26 percent of men, 19 percent of women, and 20 percent of adolescents meet the recommendations. So because of America’s lack of physical activity  there are health and economic consequences for the nation.  Nearly $117 billion dollars in annual healthcare costs and 10 percent of all premature mortality attribute to ‘the failure to meet levels of aerobic physical activity in the recommended in the guidelines.’

The new recommendation states that Adults need 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous aerobic activity each week, with muscle strengthening activities on two days during the week to stay healthy. Youth ages 6 through 17 need 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity each day.

Take a pick – Walk. Run. Dance. Play.

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Physical activity can make daily life better. So get more active — Why would’t you want to:

  • Boost your mood

  • Sharpen your focus

  • Reduce your stress

  • Improve your sleep

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How to get kids to learn healthy habits.

I am the mom of 6 kids – the youngest is 19. I always had the hardest time trying to get them to eat healthy. I will admit that sometimes – IT WAS A BATTLE!! I would bribe, threaten, and beg them to eat their food.

Research clearly shows that the eating and exercise habits we build as children oftentimes follow us into adulthood.

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The most recent data on childhood obesity rates in the United States show that it is still high.  The causes of childhood obesity are complex and explanations range from genetics to mom gaining too much weight during pregnancy to environmental factors that we can’t control and lifestyle choices that we can. The “factor” that is often considered to be the most influential on a child’s weight status is their home food environment AND their parents.

Its  important  for us to be examples to  our children. We cant expect them to learn a healthy lifestyle if we don’t practice what we preach. If you want healthy little people- it is important to be healthy ourselves. Like most things in life, our children tend to mimic the things they see us do. Why would your daughter try the asparagus if you aren’t eating it yourself? Why would your son choose to do something active after dinner if you sit down at the TV as soon as the dishes are done? We have the power to not only tell our children about healthy habits BUT most importantly we can SHOW them. They are ALWAYS watching.

We need to take the lead on determining what foods will be served because we are not inherently born with a desire to  like or reach for “healthy” food options. We have to develop those preferences over time. If you let your kids plan the weekly menu, Im sure you would be  be eating pancakes every morning for breakfast, mac and cheese for lunch, pizza for dinner and chocolate ice cream for dessert….with some chocolate milk and cookies thrown in for snacks.

As children age, they should get more and more involved with determining the what by helping with things like

  • Making selections between having broccoli or cauliflower for dinner
  • Choosing the apples from the bins at the store
  • Helping with washing and preparing lettuce for salads

As they grow older they can gradually take more and more responsibility for the what as they transition into young adulthood.

  • The when food is served refers to the responsibility of  parents to make sure that regular meals and snacks are available.

Remember – If you let your child have the option to drink juice all day and snack on crackers, they will pick that!!!!

They  will chose that over waiting to eat the “healthier” meals.

Jessica

Where we eat our meals ties into a strong line of research that shows that children in families who eat meals at the dinner table together have healthier diets.

Make a rule that all eating of food must occur at the kitchen table. That will help limit snacking all day AND will encourage more mindful enjoyment of food with others.

If all adults continue to eat like infants (eat when hungry, stop when full), we would no longer have an obesity epidemic. BUT our society and overall eating environment does not encourage us to eat in that way. By the time a child is 5 or 6, they eat in response to external cues more often than listening to their own bodies. So, as parents, it’s important that we respect a child’s word when they say they aren’t hungry or that they really are full after only a few bites of food to encourage them to respond to internal cues for as long as possible!

So if you want to have healthy eaters, be the example and eat your fruit and veggies!!!

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Parents also need to recognize that sometimes it just takes a few introductions (some research suggest a minimum of 10-12 exposures) to a new food for a child to accept it. So, keep putting those veggies on their plates and eventually as they keep seeing how much you love em, they will come around to trying and loving them as well. Being creative with exposures can help too! Counting raspberries on your fingers or playing with raw veggies and blocks all count as exposures to that food as well so get creative and have fun with food!

Finally, reduce the pressure you place on your child during meal and snack times. Allow them to say no if they don’t want to try a new food that way they will feel empowered to say YES when they are ready.

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Overtraining can Ruin your Results.

When it comes to exercise and nutrition,  some of us obsessed with “more”. More cardio. More calorie restriction. More squats. More gym time. But if you’re not careful, “more” can lead to overtraining, injury, and you can even get sick.

Here’s how you know what’s TOO MUCH–  when it comes to exercise.

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Training too frequently and intensely — again, without prioritizing recovery — means that stress never subsides.

You don’t get to decide if you need recovery or not…. YOUR BODY DECIDES!!!!

You may experience anyone of these – or even a few…

Blood sugar ups and downs.
Depression, anxiety, and/or racing thoughts.
Trouble sleeping or early wakeups.
Food cravings, maybe even trouble controlling your eating.
Lower metabolism due to decreased thyroid hormone output.
Disrupted sex hormones (which means less mojo overall, and in women, irregular or missing menstrual cycles).

The more extreme your overtraining is, the more you’ll “pay” via illness, injury, or exhaustion. The more severe the payback, the more “time off” you’ll need from exercise.

That’s a bummer. Now your bummed, sad and depressed!!!! Your body has stalled, or worse — gone backwards. Argh.

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 Some people depend on intense exercise to feel good about themselves.

They might tell themselves it’s “for their health” or “to get the perfect body”

Strenuous exercise releases chemicals that kill pain and make us happy… temporarily.

These chemicals are the same ones our bodies released when it thinks you’re in big trouble and about to die…. Like being chased by a lion… or something.

The job of these chemicals (an evolutionary job) is to help us float away in a happy painless haze as the saber-toothed tiger is eating our arm off. So in a sense, they’re stress-related chemicals.

For some people, these chemicals become a “hit”.

Pushing their bodies to the limit and working hard becomes their drug.

Intense exercise  may give you a sense of control over your body and life.

It’s drilled into people’s heads via popular media: If you want control over how your body looks, hit the gym (and then hit it again and again!!!)

Exercise should make us feel, look, perform and live better… not crush us.

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Movement should help us function freely… not incapacitate us.

The problem may be that you are not ‘recovering’ properly, or long enough!Your body can actually handle a tremendous amount of work… if you recover properly and fully from that work.

Your stress-recovery and workout should look like rolling hills: For every up (training or life stress) there’s a down (recovery).

For every intense workout, there’s an equally intense focus on activities that help your body repair and rebuild.

This doesn’t mean you need to retreat to your TV and whatever you want to eat,  and get massages every day… although that does sound awesome.

Here are some ways to find balance.

An effective physical activity routine incorporates:

  1. Resistance training
  2. Intervals
  3. Active recovery
  4. Fun

You can do that!!!

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Lets include real-life functional movement, for an ‘active recovery’!

Biking or walking to work
Walking to the grocery store and carrying your groceries home
Washing the car
Giving the walls a fresh coat of paint
Teaching your kids how to fly a kite
Shoveling snow, raking leaves, planting a garden, or mowing the lawn

download-3.jpg Do a little self-assessment.

Maybe, skip a workout! If this is hard – to skip a workout and it makes you feel anxious or uneasy,  (Doing less can make you feel uneasy.)

Ask yourself these questions…

What am I doing this for? What are my goals, and why do I have them?
How do I feel? Am I constantly in pain, tired but wired, hungry, etc.?
How is what I’m doing working for me? What kind of results am I seeing?

If you’re beating yourself up and not getting anywhere, maybe it’s time to take a different approach.

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Trust your body — and listen to it.

Do a mind-body scan: Lie quietly for a few minutes and bring your focus slowly from your feet to your head. Be mindful of your body –  What do you feel?

What is your body telling you?? Be aware of what your feeling, and why. Body awareness is important! Remember, if your feeling

achy and creaky
run-down and blah
un-motivated
anxious or depressed
fatigued or annoyingly sleepless…

Change something – take  couple days off – go for a hike or long walk.

Make time for recovery – IT  won’t happen by accident! Plan it!

Here are some ideas:

Go for a walk, preferably in a natural, outdoor setting.
Put away your phone.
Observe what’s around you.
Meditate. It’s easier than you might think.
Do yoga. Remember: it doesn’t have to be ‘hot yoga’ or ‘power yoga’ to count.
Go for a swim. Finish it off with a relaxing sauna.
Chill out in the park. Lie back on the grass and stare at the clouds.
Get a massage. Give the body a little help de-stressing.

Achieve balance… and most important-

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HAVE FUN!!!!

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