Fitness & Wellness

Give Your Kids A Choice

Give Your Kids A Choice

Most people just go along with the crowd and do whatever is popular at the time, regardless of how it affects their health or well-being. That’s not true with parents who teach children to think for themselves and use common sense to live a healthy lifestyle. You can give your kids a choice, but if you aren’t sure what a healthy lifestyle is or how to achieve healthy eating, you may need to educate yourself before you can help them. It’s one of the reasons we have the Parent’s Fitness Education Workshop. We teach parents the latest in fitness and healthy options for children.

Getting kids to eat healthy isn’t hard when you have help.

Just because a package says no gluten, doesn’t mean it’s good for kids. Some of those kid favorites that lead you to think they’re healthy with the packaging, aren’t really smart choices. Maybe you switch out cola for fresh juice. That’s a good start, but your child would be better off drinking water and eating the fruit whole! There’s a lot to learn when it comes to eating healthy and we can help you get the knowledge you need.

Exercise should be normal for kids, but that’s just a memory from the past.

When your parents and grandparents were kids, their mother’s often opened the door in the morning to let them play outside, only to come back into the house for lunch and dinner. They ran, played tag, dodge ball and kick the can. Today, playtime often means a video screen is in front of your child’s eyes and their bottom never moves off the couch. To make it even worse, there are studies that show too much computer time isn’t healthy for young brains. It’s time to help your child make a change and give them better choices.

Getting your kids active is the first step.

Maybe you don’t have anywhere you can go to shoot hoops, but you might have a great place to walk and enjoy the scenery. Young children love walking trips, especially to local parks or preserves. Our fitness program is one option that helps get children in shape. They often find that they prefer it to video games because it makes them feel better when they finish a session.

  • Helping kids to grow up healthy is a matter of giving them healthy options. Working out and learning to eat healthy is a start, but there are far more ways to continue the path they’ll find once they start feeling fit and strong.
  • You can help your child make good choices by starting your own fitness program and becoming a great role model for them.
  • When you stock the refrigerator with snacks for after school or mid morning, give a lot of options, but make them all healthy ones.
  • You don’t have to go overboard for healthy eating. Having some cake at a birthday party won’t hurt, but eating cake with each meal will.

Motivating Your Kids To Move

Motivating Your Kids To Move

If you want active adults, you have to start with active children. Getting and staying active is learned early in life and can be a habit that keeps people healthier into adulthood. That’s why motivating your kids to move more can be one of the best things you can do for their health. It’s as important as teaching them how to eat healthy, although it takes both of those things and more for a healthier lifestyle.

Moving more is a habit that often comes from mimicking parents.

If you’re constantly sitting and watching television, the chances that your child will become that type of adult are greater. If you want to help your children the most, get active yourself. Kids learn what they live, so the more active you are, the more active they’ll become. Take them for walks, enjoy a more active version of the things you love, like walking through a large museum rather than watching a documentary of it on the television. Walk your children to school if possible, rather than taking the car.

Get the whole family involved in a sport or activity.

While walking more and hiking is one activity everyone will enjoy, there are others. It can be something as simple as hanging a hoop above the garage door and spending a few minutes to an hour with one on one ball or shooting hoops. I know a parent that ran races to a neighbor’s house with their child, which sounds simple, but it really worked. The child always lost until she became about ten, from then on, it was no contest. The child also joined the track team in high school an did quite well.

Make a family fun event an active event.

Bike riding can be a great exercise and it’s even better when it’s a family event. It takes more than just riding together, it takes learning biking safety. Some parents even learn how to work on their bikes to do minor repairs with their children. If there’s no safe place to ride bikes in your area, consider going to some state or local parks where there are biking trails.

  • Join an exercise group. We have special classes for children of all ages and ones for adults. You won’t have to worry about a baby sitter for your five year old when you workout, just get them enrolled in private or group sessions.
  • Get the kids to workout with you if you workout at home. Younger children love the fun of moving with mom or dad and older kids love to challenge and beat you.
  • Get hula hoops and learn together. See how many different moves you each can make. It’s fun and good exercise. Balance balls are also fun.
  • Use a special trip to get everyone in shape. One popular trip, to a large amusement park, requires a lot of endurance. Start getting in shape a few months before you leave. It’s an incentive to strive toward.

Bustle Fitness Tips Article with Olo Onuma - Contribution

Bustle Fitness Tips Article with Olo Onuma – Contribution

An effective workout isn’t only determined by the type of exercise you’re doing or for how long. According to experts, what you do before you workout is just as important as what you do during and after. In order to make the most out of your efforts, there are a few key things you should never do before you exercise. READ MORE…

Best Healthy Snacks For Children

Best Healthy Snacks For Children

Serving healthy snacks for children, helps make changes in their eating habits and what they consider good food. While you probably won’t get most toddlers to beg for another Brussels sprout, they won’t be begging for junk food either. In fact, serving healthy snacks sets the stage for healthy eating, since most kids think that snacks are “the good stuff.” It trains their palate for less sugary treats that are often addictive, such as candy or pastries, while providing a great time to boost nutritional intake.

Keeping it simple and easy is important.

Having easy to make snacks takes some hassle out of the day. A healthy snack can be as simple as air popped popcorn sprinkled with some Parmesan cheese and a few drizzles of butter. Individual containers of plain live culture yogurt with added fresh fruit can be a delicious healthy treat. Homemade trail mix with mixed nuts and dried fruit (think raisins to save money) can be divided into individual serving plastic bags.

Have snacks ready in the refrigerator for snacks.

As kids get older, they don’t need you to set out snacks for them. They help themselves. That’s why having cut up fruit and vegetables ready in containers can be a huge benefit. As soon as possible after grocery shopping, cut up fruit, such as melons to bite size pieces. Wash berries, cherries and grapes and put them in a bowl. Cut up veggies, such as celery, carrots, colorful peppers, cauliflower, broccoli and cucumbers. Have healthy veggie dips available and you’ll see those veggies go fast. Any left over at the end of the week can be added to soup or as a supper side.

Get creative and have some homemade treats ready.

One favorite recipe is for what we called balls. They’re made by combining a little honey, peanut butter and wheat germ, then rolled in wheat germ and put in the refrigerator until eaten. Another is also balls that boost energy. They’re made with freshly ground flaxseed or whole chia seeds, nut butter of your choice, honey, oats, dried fruit and a bit of vanilla for flavor. Roll the ingredients in balls and coat with wheat germ, then store in the refrigerator.

  • Homemade kale chips or homemade sweet potato chips are oven baked and slightly salted. These are an excellent alternative to store bought chips.
  • Ants on a log are a long time favorite for kids. Stuff a celery stick with nut butter (normally peanut butter) and top with ants—which are really raisins.
  • Slice an apple in wedges and either peanut butter on each piece or make a dip by mixing some plain yogurt with crunchy peanut butter until it’s dip consistency.
  • A sliced apple or celery stick goes great with thin slices of cheese. You can cut cheese to fit into the channel on the celery.

Ways To Exercise With Your Kids

Ways To Exercise With Your Kids

Many of my clients in Raleigh, NC are devoted parents who want the best for their children, including helping them develop healthy habits. That’s one reason they find ways to keep the kids active. You can do the same by making a few changes to your lifestyle that allow you to exercise with your kids, making both of you healthier by doing so. It can be traditional workouts or just an active lifestyle. It all starts by limiting time in front of computer and TV screens and using that time to get everyone moving, including parents.

Younger children can actually be part of the workout.

There are a number of exercises you can do with preschoolers that are fun for them and fun for you. It’s never too early to get children moving. Take time to show your young child how to do each move in your exercise routine. If they don’t do it exactly right, don’t worry. You can also include smaller children as part of the routine by carrying them during the workout or making your workout their game. Doing a crunch where you keep your toddler on your tummy and kiss or tickle them when you lift up your head or creating a plank tunnel they can crawl through are just two ways to modify your workout.

Make family outings active outings.

While you can have a lot of fun going to a show, you’ll have just as much fun going on a hike and having a picnic, plus you’ll get more exercise. That’s good for both you and your children. Going to the zoo or even amusement parks provide a lot of walking. If you’re planning a trip to one of the amusement park destinations, it’s the perfect time to encourage your kids to get into shape by taking nightly walks or going to exercise classes before you leave. The trip is the incentive and the preparation to get into shape can make everyone less crabby at the end of the day.

Make gifts include the gift of family time.

Rather than giving the latest computer game, why not do everyone a favor when it comes to giving a gift, make it an active gift. Get yourself a set of roller blades and one for your child or children for a family activity you can all do together. Putting up a hoop above the garage and giving a basketball for hoop time together creates memories and bonding. Bikes for the whole family doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, pawn shops are a great place to get a bike for a low cost. Whether taking bike hikes in the park or learning how to do bicycle repairs together, it can get you and your kids moving.

  • It might not seem like fun, but household tasks can be fun, especially when you do them with speed and lots of elbow grease. Make it a game where speed counts. It turns work into fun and healthy exercise.
  • Have a special song and dance together. One of my fondest memories was dancing fast with my parents. It was always the same song and we even had a routine that got your heart pumping.
  • Teens can go to the gym with you and join classes geared specifically for those thirteen to nineteen. For children between five and twelve, we have youth fitness training that can be group, individual or virtual.
  • It takes more than just working out to be healthy. Make sure your children also learn how to eat healthier, too.

Boosting Your Body's Stem Cells

Boosting Your Body’s Stem Cells

You’ll protect your health and improve your appearance by boosting your body’s stem cells. There’s been a lot of talk about stem cells, some of it positive, some negative. However, most people equate stem cells with fetuses and embryonic stem cells. They shouldn’t. Many of the recent studies deal with adult stem cells. Stem cells have the ability to become a multitude of different cells. They’re like the raw material for cells that are used to repair damaged cells and divide to increase the number of cells. Each person has stem cells in their body.

There are medical techniques to use your own stem cells.

For quite a while, doctors have used bone marrow stem cells for transplants in the treatment of specific types of cancer. More recently, doctors are using the body’s stem cells as therapy for degenerative diseases and conditions, such as osteoarthritis. The doctors collect the stem cells from bone marrow and adipose fat, put them in an centrifuge to create a concentrate and inject them back at the site of the damage. It helps joint related issues and helps repair the damage, lower or eliminate pain and boost healing.

Exercise is one way to boost your own stem cells.

The more active you are, the more stem cells your body creates. Which is why doctors who use stem cell therapy to repair joints often recommend increasing activity to boost the production of the cells. Nothing just chance when it comes to how the body functions. The more active you are, the more you need stem cells to repair the damage or replace the older cells lost in exercise. Increasing your activity is just one of the ways to boost your stem cells and probably part of the reason that exercise can help relieve the pain of arthritis.

Consider changing your eating habits.

That doesn’t just mean eating healthy foods, it means changing how and when you eat. Although eating healthy can promote stem cell growth. There are studies that show calorie restriction and fasting can boost stem cells. Even intermittent fasting, the act of eating during an eight hour window and fasting the other sixteen hours, can boost the number of stem cells. One study showed that fasting for a few days boosted stem cell production. It makes sense that when fasting mice were compared to those that ate normally, fasting mice looked and acted years younger than their counterparts who ate on demand.

  • A study of people taking Tai Chi showed that it boosted their stem cell production by several fold.
  • Your body repairs itself when you sleep, so getting adequate sleep can boost stem cell production. Studies show that it’s true. Burning the candle at both ends could mean you age faster.
  • Radiation can damage stem cells. Whether you have dental x-rays, chest x-rays or just go out in the sun, take precautions to prevent stem cell damage. Make sure that shield covering your body at the dentist covers adequately.
  • Ironically, the sun’s radiation can damage stem cells, but the vitamin D3 the body makes from the sun’s rays boosts stem cell production. Practice safe sunning.

How To Get Your Kids To Exercise

How To Get Your Kids To Exercise

If you’re working on making yourself healthier with exercise and diet, you probably want to help your children get into healthy habits, too. One way to get your kids to exercise is to give them a good example. It doesn’t mean you have to workout together, although that actually can be fun. It can mean providing opportunities for more active play. Prying children away from video games can be a task. It may be well worth it for their future mental health.

Recent studies now show that too much computer, tablet or cell phone time may actually be unhealthy.

The first thing I suggest to parents is that they change their child’s phone from one that has all the bells and whistles, including games, to one that just phones and texts. They cost about ten dollars and based on recent studies, may be the healthiest thing you can do for your child. There’s more and more growing concern over screen time spent and the effects on children. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics suggest less than an hour or two a day of any type electronic screen media. Part of the concern is the sedentary lifestyle it develops. There’s also evidence it affects the child’s sleep and potentially could lead to increasing the risk of depression.

Be more than just a role model, be a leader.

When you go to the gym and workout, your children know you’re doing it for your health and fitness, but it doesn’t really make a difference unless you show how that makes you more fun! You can be a leader by planning family activities, like hiking and bicycling. When you’re giving a gift, make it one that promotes an active lifestyle, like roller blades or hoop and basketball. Then, do those things together to create family fun, traditions and memories.

Increase activity by changing habits.

If you drive your kids to school every day, why not walk that distance with them? Lots of times parents take longer driving the few blocks to school and waiting in the drop off line with other parents, wasting gas in the process of that wait. Enjoy a walk in the park with a preschooler or even a walk down your street, identifying birds and flowers along the way. Don’t circle the lot at a grocery. Grab the first parking place and walk a bit. Take the stairs rather than the elevator. Both you and your children will benefit from these changes.

  • Make household tasks a way to boost activity level. Do chores together to music and dance as you dust and sweep. Turn chores into a game of speed. Even outside activities can be more fun. After raking, jump in the leaf pile together.
  • Use trips as motivation. If you’re planning on a trip to Disneyworld or other theme park, it means a lot of walking. Start a month ahead to help your kids get in shape. Enjoying the trip to the maximum is a huge motivation.
  • Make weekend activities active. Walking through a nature preserve, hiking and even sightseeing in a near by city keeps your kids walking and active. Pack a healthy lunch to add to the benefits.
  • Give your child the responsibility of exercising pets. While gold fish and turtles may not need to take a walk or have playtime, it helps protect the health of dogs and cats, while increasing the amount of exercise your kids and your whole family gets.

Boost Your Heart Health

Boost Your Heart Health

Do you want to boost your heart health? A lot of clients in Raleigh, NC come to me want to do that. They want lower blood pressure and more endurance without being tied to a list of prescriptions that cost a fortune and often have side effects. While diet and exercise won’t solve all problems and does need to be cleared by your health care professional, it can help most people to improve their numbers, whether it’s blood pressure or cholesterol levels. Most people who check with their physician find that the health care provider is delighted with the choice.

Benefits of eating healthy for your heart.

The average American’s diet is brutal on health. It’s filled with foods that promote inflammation. Inflammation is good if you have an illness or injury. It sends white blood cells to the area, promotes blood flow to the area, creates new blood vessels and starts the healing process. However, it can go awry. When it’s chronic, it can cause plaque build up in the vessels and create other problems. Eating heart healthy means eating foods that reduce inflammation, plus provide the nutrients the body needs for good health.

Try an anti-inflammatory diet that’s heart healthy.

The Mediterranean diet is one route to improving heart health. It’s an anti-inflammatory diet that includes eating more fresh fruits and vegetables, fish, healthy fats and fish. It cuts down the amount of red meat and often boosts the amount of nuts people normally include in their diet. Some of the reasons this combination helps is that it boosts the omega-3 fats that aid in protecting the body from inflammation damage. It removes some of the inflammatory foods like dairy, hydrogenated oils, trans fats, sugar, refined carbs and red meat.

Exercise helps strengthen all muscles, including the heart.

While you’re building strong biceps, you could also be building a healthy heart. Aerobic workouts improves your circulation, while boosting the strength of your heart so it doesn’t have to work as hard. It also helps control blood sugar levels that can cause inflammation. Strength building exercises changes the body’s composition by reducing the fat. It helps you lose weight. While flexibility training doesn’t directly affect the heart, it helps prevent injury that can put you out of commission for weeks. It helps normalize cholesterol levels and boosts circulation to send blood to all parts of the body.

  • Regular exercise also boosts the length of telomeres that protect cells and increases the amount of stem cells to create new cells. It can slow aging and even reverse some of the damage that occurred throughout the years.
  • A heart healthy diet also reduces the amount of Omega-6 and boosts Omega-3 fatty acids. The healthy ratio of those fats should be 4 parts Omega-6 to one part Omega-3. Instead, the average American diet is more like 20 to one.
  • Exercise is a stress buster. The hormones of stress create changes in the body that affect all parts of the body, including the heart.
  • Exercise lowers blood pressure and helps you shed extra pounds. It also reduces the risk of diabetes that can affect your heart. A healthy diet and regular exercise are two ways to take control and live longer and healthier.