The Exercise with Your Child Challenge
Physical activity is good for our bodies. There is no question about that. The benefits of a good workout are countless. When we break a good sweat, we reduce our risk of cardiovascular disease. Our bones and muscles get stronger. We gain mental clarity and relieve stress. But I’m curious, how much are we setting an example for our children?
Whether you exercise or not, your children witness your actions daily. This leaves an impression on them that could impact how they live their lives down the road. Seeing you leave for the gym or take to the streets for a good run is great but what happens when you include them?
August 6-12th, we are celebrating “Exercise with Your Child Week” and we want to challenge you to one full week of exercise with your kiddo. Don’t worry if you don’t have a child, you could always reach out to borrow a friend’s, neighbor’s or take someone who needs a break from “the norm.”
Physical activity is awesome. Here’s why:
Combat health issues.
Conditions and diseases are drastically reduced with frequent workouts. Couple that with weight loss or preventing excess gain, and it’s all around a good idea. Starting your child on the right foot can lead to healthy lifelong habits.
You just feel better.
Exercise is a natural mood elevator. It boosts your mood - not only from the happy chemicals that have been stirred up, but the feeling of accomplishment that comes with a good burn. (Bonus: Going for a run or walk also makes an awesome attitude reset. When a child is in a funk, going for a run is a fantastic way to shake it off. And if that doesn’t seem to work, you could always loop the block one more time. That usually inspires a better mood!)
Sleep more soundly.
Right up there with massage, physical activity can be you (and your child’s) ticket to a quality good night’s sleep.
Truthfully, working out together is a bonding experience. It opens the door to curious conversation, heart to heart chats, and the opportunity to grow as an athlete together.
By committing to working out with your child for one week, you are making a commitment to your health and your child’s health. Don’t worry if you haven’t worked out before. When your child sees your ability to try something new, learn, adapt and push through, you become a role model. It doesn’t have to be pretty and you don’t have to have a degree in health or physical education. You just need a desire to learn and want to spend time with a loved one. So go out there and try something new and bring along your child. We hope your new routine sticks for longer than a week.
June is Migraine and Headache Awareness Month and we are going to jump right in and look at some ways to stop the pain before it starts. Are you ready? Let’s go.
If certain foods or scents have triggered headaches in the past, it could be time to make a note of them and avoid them at all costs. Things like caffeine, cigarette smoke, and bright lights can be a big culprit in spurring on pain, but it doesn’t have to be that obvious. Perfumes, loud noises, flowers, and even lunch meat have the power to make you miserable.
Exercising on a regular basis reduces tension and can help prevent headaches. Choose something you enjoy doing - walking, biking, kayaking, hiking, etc. - and follow the proper guidelines for the exercise you’re engaging in. That means stretching and warming up slowly. And don’t forget proper hydration.
Bonus: It is also said that obesity can be a factor in triggering migraines, so exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight or lose excess pounds.
Eat and sleep regularly
Lack of sleep and skipping meals can aggravate symptoms for the migraine sufferer. Make sure you are getting enough fluids and are eating meals at regular times. Lack of sleep (or even getting too much sleep) will also aggravate symptoms, so implement routine and stick to it.
Stress. Stress. Stress. It happens. Sometimes it’s hard to avoid. The only thing we can change is our response to it. Learn techniques to reduce stress levels like breathing, yoga and meditation. You can also combat stress with a massage, a long walk, a hot shower, or whatever you need to do to take the edge off.
According to the Migraine Research Foundation, nearly 36 million Americans suffer from migraine headaches. Acknowledging the triggers and patterns surrounding your migraine episodes will help you figure out what’s causing them and minimize your chances of experiencing headache pain.
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland that sits at the base of our neck. The word “thyroid” comes from the Greek word for “shield,” and this powerful little gland is truly one of our great defenders, as it orchestrates an intricate web essential interactions in the body.
The thyroid produces thyroid hormone, which is a like a master switch of your body. Every single cell in the body has thyroid hormone receptors found on its DNA.
This little gland packs a powerful punch!
Here are 5 things you might not know about the thyroid:
1. The thyroid is the central gear in your body’s metabolism.
Thyroid function intimately impacts the basal metabolic rate, cardiovascular system, bone metabolism, hormone production, glucose metabolism, red blood cell production, protein metabolism, cholesterol metabolism, gastrointestinal function, liver function, gall bladder and brain function. To keep your body in top condition, make sure that your thyroid is working optimally.
2. The thyroid gland is vulnerable to toxins.
Many known environmental disrupters such as heavy metals, pesticides and plastic compounds promote goiter activity and can wreak havoc on the thyroid. Think twice before eating foods sprayed with pesticides and using plastics- it might hurt your thyroid.
3. Medications can disrupt thyroid hormone metabolism.
Thyroid physiology is vulnerable to cross-reactions with many medications including anti-inflammatory medications, antibiotics, antidepressants, cholesterol-lowering medications, antacids, pain medications, and diabetes medications. Talk to your doctor about the potential side effects that your prescription medications can have on your thyroid.
4. Thyroid hormones influence the immune system.
Thyroid hormones exhibit influences on cellular messenger systems that affect T and B cell activity, cell death, and many other immune system functions. Think about your thyroid the next time that you are fighting a cold--it’s fighting with you! Make sure that your Vitamin D levels are optimal, as vitamin D is one of the main regulators of a healthy immune system.
5. Many vitamins and minerals are necessary for proper thyroid metabolism.
Vitamin A, selenium, the B vitamins, iodine, and vitamin D, and zincare some of the vitamins and minerals that are necessary to ensure healthy thyroid function. To optimize your thyroid’s health make sure that you eat a balanced diet that includes the vitamins and minerals needed to keep the thyroid in tip-top shape.
By: Dr. Alejandra Carrasco
According to World Health Organization, glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the world. What is this “silent” eye disease? Glaucoma happens when the major nerve of vision, known as the optic nerve is damaged, most commonly by elevated pressure (intraocular pressure) in the eye or poor regulation of blood flow to the optic nerve. It is often progressive, and if left undiagnosed or untreated, can lead to blindness.
Glaucoma is called “the sneak thief of sight,” because it often has no symptoms until there is irreversible vision loss. This makes it the leading cause of blindness worldwide, affecting approximately 65 million people, according to the World Health Organization. Although it can be clinically managed, there is no cure for glaucoma.
Causes and Cures
Many factors can contribute to glaucoma. High levels of stress can reduce oxygen in the blood stream, reducing the eyes’ ability to revolve eye fluids, resulting in increased pressure. Other factors include nutritional deficiencies, digestive disorder, heredity, and extreme nearsightedness or farsightedness.
Unfortunately, there is no cure yet for glaucoma. Medication and surgery can stop further loss of vision, but since glaucoma is a chronic condition, it needs constant monitoring. However, there are some eye exercises that are useful in preventing the gradual degeneration of this eye condition. Most of these exercises focus on reducing tension to the eye muscles and encouraging oxygen supply to relieve pressure
Used to reduce stress around the eyes, the exercise involves using your palm to diffuse stress, relax the muscles around the eyes and induce circulation to the eyes.
Place the palm of your left hand over your left eye, with the hollow of the palm directly over the eye but not touching it. The heel of your palm should be resting on your cheekbone. Do the same for the right palm. Breathe and relax. This gives your eyes the opportunity to relax. Do this for 3 minutes and it can be repeated anytime you feel a stress coming.
Figure of EightsBy tracing an imaginary figure of eight (the horizontal version, like the infinity sign), approximately 10 feet from you, this exercise increases the flexibility of your eyes while relaxing the eye muscles. Trace the figure with your eyes without moving your head, first in one direction, then in another. Remember to breathe, relax, and blink from time to time to help your eyes relax.
Use your fingers to massage crucial points around your eyes to relax eye muscles—not unlike acupuncture philosophy. Simply place thumb below eyebrow and above the inside corners of your eyes and allow your four fingers to rest on your forehead. Using light pressure, press thumb into the point and hold for 4 breaths.
Use thumb and index finger to massage the bridge of your nose. Glide your thumb and finger along your nose, upward motion with some light pressure. Press and squeeze for 4 breaths.
Next, place middle finger on your cheek bone, directly below the middle of your eye. Massage the center part of your cheek for 4 breaths.
You can do these exercises at separate times or you can simply graft them into your daily activities.
But perhaps the best exercise you can do for Glaucoma is an active lifestyle involving some form of physical exercise. In particular, aerobic exercises have shown some success in lowering intraocular pressure in some short-term studies. Logic? Exercises improve blood flow to retina and optic nerve. What kinds of exercises fall into this category? Any exercise that raises pulse rate by 20 to 25% and that includes a variety: a brisk 20 minute walk, swimming laps, shooting balls. Exercise at least 4 times a week.