Archive for August, 2011

Making the Most of Your Summer: Get your Outdoor Exercises in Before Fall Rolls Around


It seems like not too long ago we were breaking out the shorts and t-shirts, swim suits and flip flops, and heading outdoors to make the most of the beautiful summer days. But with the start of school and with autumn just around the corner, there is still time to get outdoors and take advantage of the weather, all the while getting your work outs in outdoors.

Running, hiking, swimming, and playing outdoor sports are all great ways to get your daily amount of exercise, but why not try something new in these last few weeks of summer? Mix up your routine by trying one or more of the following and enjoy the weather while it lasts.

• Rock climbing: Although this sport requires the assistance of a professional, most people do not realize the amount of physical strength it takes to participate in rock climbing. Find an experienced rock climber in your area, and give it a shot. Before you know it, you’ll get the “hang” of it and will wonder why it took you this long to try it out.

• Kayaking/Canoeing:
Kayaking and canoeing are not just fun water sports, but they are also very physically challenging sports. Experts suggest that you take your time learning how to kayak or canoe and enjoy the area in which you decide to try out your new sport. Row for awhile, but then take a break and take in the beautiful scenery around you.

• Water skiing: While water skiing is a sport that you may need to work up to, there is no time like the present to give it a try. Water skiing is a fun water sport, where you use a wide variety of muscles to participate in it and therefore it is a great summertime sport for someone looking for something new to try out.

• Snorkeling: If you are heading to the beach or if you live at the beach, pick up a mask and snorkel and get ready for a good time and a great exercise. Not only will you see some pretty amazing things below the water’s surface, but you will also be getting a great aerobic workout without even realizing it.

• Yoga and Pilates: Not all summertime sports have to be extreme summertime sports. Instead, buy a book or take a class on yoga and/or pilates and get started on your own path to holistic healing and exercise. Yoga and pilates can be done in the comforts of your home or your gym, but it can also be done outdoors where nature itself will serve as your calming background.

• Yard sports:
Not all outdoor exercises or sports have to be organized. Shooting hoops with your family, friends or neighbors is a great way to get your exercise outdoors. Play a game of wiffleball or baseball with the neighborhood. Pick up a tennis racket and hit the local courts. Any outdoor sport that keeps your heart rate up and keeps you moving, is a great way to get your work out in.

So, whether you decide to take up a new hobby like water skiing or rock climbing, or if you and the local neighborhood kids have a pick-up game of wiffleball or kick ball, there are plenty of ways to get your exercise in and still enjoy the final days of summer.

Remember to drink lots of water and keep hydrated in whatever outdoor exercise you take part in and have a good time outdoors!

Back to School and Back to Sleep: Get Your Child Back on a School Sleeping Schedule


As parents and their children enjoy their last month of summer, school is looming right around the corner. Now is the time to get back into a school sleeping schedule, after having such a lax sleeping schedule over the summer months.

According to the Federal Citizen Information Center, children between the ages of 6 and 9 require at least 10 hours of sleep per night and older children require at least 9 hours.

To get your child in the school sleeping schedule:

• Create a regular bed time and make sure you and your child stick to it.

• Make sure your child avoids eating a heavy meal before their bed time.

• Make sure your child avoids caffeine at least 6 hours before their bed time.

• Allow for play and relaxation time before their bed time.

• Create a bed time routine that is relaxing for your child, instead of stressful.

All of these pieces of advice will help to make the transition to a school sleeping schedule a smooth one for you and your child.

Tips to Keep Your Children Healthy When They Head Back to School


It’s already that time of year again when your children will be heading back to school. While it may be a time of relief for parents, it can also be a time of stress when you are dealing with all of the illnesses and germs that children are susceptible to at school.

So, how can you help keep your child healthy throughout the school year? Follow these tips to keep your child in school and out of the doctor’s office:

• Remind your child of the importance of washing their hands, not only before lunch and after using the rest room, but also when they get home from school.

• Remind your child to keep their fingers and hands out of their mouth. So many germs are spread this way and infections could ensue.

• Give your child a daily vitamin. This will help them to build their immune systems and fight infections better.

• Remind your child not to drink from other children’s cups or use their utensils.

• Make sure your child gets a physical before the school year starts. This will help to target any health problems prior to the start of the school year.

• Make sure that your child gets 8 to 10 hours of sleep each night. Getting the right amount of sleep is important to keeping your child healthy.

• Make sure to feed your child a nutritious and balanced diet each day. Getting the appropriate vitamins and minerals in their diet will also aid in building their immune systems and will lead to an overall healthier child.

Spruce Up Your Exercise Routine: What to Ditch to Make a Switch


Anytime is the perfect time to change up some of those old worn out items and routines that you’ve been hanging on to when it comes to your exercise lifestyle. Switching out even the most basic of equipment can reinvigorate and offer a fresh perspective when it comes to your workout regimen.

This is a handy list of “what to ditch” to make the exercise switch:

Get rid of that cheap pedometer. Instead buy a good $20 one that counts accurate steps, most cheap pedometers are highly inaccurate.

Ditch the old running shoes. Instead opt for a new pair and keep track of how much “mileage” you get out of them. Typically, if you run/walk 10 miles per week then shoes can last for 12 months (15 miles – 8 months, 20 miles – 6 months, 30 miles – 4 months).

Throw out the old cotton workout t-shirt. Instead invest in some shirts that are made of wicking fabrics. Wicking fabrics (like synthetics) do a better job of keeping you drier and cooler when you are exercising.

Toss the lightweight dumbbells. Instead try heavier dumbbells that are more challenging in your workout.

Quick Exercise: Five Minute Health Fixes


Are you tired of feeling like the path to health and wellness is a long, drawn out path? Then start small! Use these quick five minute fixes to boost your health and to reach your goals one step at a time!

• Wear a pedometer to determine the distance you walk each day. Shoot for 10,000 steps per day. If you aren’t reaching that goal, add an extra mile to your routine or take the steps instead of the escalator whenever possible.

• Add jumping to your exercise routine – also known as plyometric moves – to build muscle and improve your bone density. Try jump squats or scissor lunges in your next routine.

• Spend the extra money to purchase good work out necessities – clothing, shoes, bras, supports, etc. Purchasing the better brands versus going the cheaper route will ensure that you use them and that they are the best for your workout.

• Don’t spread germs. Always wipe down gym equipment before and after using them to protect yourself and others from germs and bacteria that can be passed from unclean gym equipment.

• Don’t be a creature of habit. Switch up your routines, walking routes, gym machines and even what days you do specific workouts. Change is good when it comes to exercise and fitness.

• Consider the other ways that you can lose weight without really trying – clean the house and burn 200 calories or work in the garden and burn 272 calories.

• Even if you have to travel or spend all day in a car or on a plane, still try to fit in physical activity. Take advantage of bathroom breaks by stretching and doing some light exercise. Walk briskly through the airport in between flights if traveling by plane.

• Build better bones and as much bone density as you can by doing weight-bearing activities like running or jumping as much as you can in your twenties and thirties.

• Yoga has many healthy benefits for your body and your mind. Even if you are a novice, take a class and try something different.

• Work out with your significant other or a friend or family member. This allows you to be a spotting partner for one another or just spend some quality time together working out.