The Schoolyard Workout – How Kids’ Games Can Inspire a Fun Exercise Session

A schoolyard workout can bring out the kid in you, while giving you the heart-healthy exercise that’s an important part of adult life. If you’ve ever watched a bunch of kids playing in the schoolyard, you’ll see that they are constantly in motion. That means they’re constantly burning calories, strengthening muscle, and building endurance. You can get all these benefits, and have some serious fun, by using your favorite childhood games as inspiration for a playful schoolyard workout. Read on to learn how you can use kid-friendly moves like the hokey pokey as the basis for a fun workout session.

The Hokey Pokey
Warm Up And Cool Down By Shaking It All Around

Doing the hokey pokey isn’t going to give you the buff body of an Olympian, but it makes an ideal warm up for your schoolyard workout. The hokey pokey gently raises your heart rate, and the movements of the dance will get blood flowing to all your extremities. Plus, the hokey pokey will get you in the right mindset. Think back to your own days of afternoon recess: chances are, you weren’t thinking about health or weight loss, you were just having a good time. Starting your schoolyard workout with the hokey pokey will make it easier to throw off the cares and worries of your day so that you can focus on playing and having fun. You can also try the hokey pokey as a cool down routine: finishing your workout with a quick “shake it all about” will lift your mood as you celebrate a job well done.

Tip: Warming up with a few bouts of the hokey pokey before you get into more strenuous activities helps protect your muscles against injury or strain.

A Lighthearted Session Of Serious Cardio

Hopscotch is one of the most lighthearted games that you can incorporate into your schoolyard workout. Grab your chalk and head for a sidewalk where you can draw yourself a hopscotch board. Stick with the classic layout, or get creative and make up your own wild shapes to jump around. Try interspersing a round of hopscotch with a minute or two of jogging; after a couple of cycles you’ll find yourself huffing, puffing, and grinning. For maximum cardiovascular benefit, play and run in your target heart range for twenty minutes or more before cooling down.

Tip: It’s always important to stretch before and after a workout, but it’s an especially great idea if your workout will focus primarily on one muscle region- in this case, your lower body. Once you’re warmed up, try a few lunges to keep your leg muscles happy. Do a few more while your heart rate is slowing after your schoolyard work out.

Hula Hoop
Twisting Your Way To A Shapely, Trimmed Waist

One of the most inexpensive and iconic toys of childhood is the hula hoop. Who would have thought that this simple toy could be a great workout tool? When you incorporate a hula hoop into your schoolyard workout, you’re doing your torso a big favor. The wiggling you’ll do to keep the hoop in motion works several muscle groups, including your obliques. Obliques are the muscles on the sides of your torso, which are responsible for twisting and turning. They’re also responsible for defining your waist, so hula hooping will bring you that much closer to a shapely midsection.

Tip: Remember to change the direction of your rotations every few minutes so that you work both sides of your body evenly.

Vision and Eyesight Health Tips

Are you getting frustrated at having to get stronger and stronger prescription glasses every time you visit your optometrist? Recent surveys have indicated that the loss of eyesight is the biggest fear among Americans; it ranks even higher than cancer or diabetes. Everyone would like to have perfect vision without the use of glasses. Is this something that can be a reality? The use of glasses is a systematic treatment, and actually prevention is the key to maintaining eyesight is much easier than trying to treat it using glasses.

Looking at repairing eyesight without glasses, you need to understand how bad eyesight gets developed in the first place. About 25% of all Americans require glasses. And if you start to look into the academic circles of people the chances of requiring glass wearing is even higher. This is due to the fact that using a computer and reading increases the chance of acquiring nearsightedness. These things such as using the computer and reading are very unnatural for your eyes and cause your eyes to be strained and stressed… The fact you are trying to remain focused at close range for a long period of time causes undue strain on your eyes.

How can you avoid the damage to eyesight when using a computer or reading? First off proper lighting is the most important thing you can do. Read from a distance, don’t read up close. Take off your glasses step back and read from a distance. Here are some helpful tips.

Step one. Lighting, it is very important have the right amount of light. It is much easier for your eyes to focus on text and images in areas that are well lit and is better for your eyes to work with. Be sure to get plenty of light in the background, what that means is some type of light from behind your head.

Step two. Keep a proper distance from what you’re trying to read. Give it least arms length away from anything that you are reading. The closer you get to more stress a cause your eyes to try and read. This will lead to nearsightedness. Step back as far as possible and that is convenient for you to continue to do the work you’re trying to do without stretching another part of your body.

Step three. Be sure to take enough breaks. Staring at the white bright light of the computer screen is an obvious strain on your eyes. Take breaks every few minutes to allow your eyes a chance to get away from the glare. You can do this easily by focusing on something in the distance in changing your line of perception to something in the distance every so often.

Step four. Don’t use your farsighted glasses when reading up close. Reading with your distance classes is counterproductive and actually is detrimental to your eyesight. If you can do without your distance glasses then you should do without it always. All you will be doing is increasing your chances of needing a newer prescription sooner because it will cause your eyesight to get worse as you accommodate for the short distance on top of your distance classes. And last but not least ignore the fact that carrots make your eyes better it is just a myth,


How Important is Healthy Diet

As a child, nothing in the world was as repulsive and loathsome to me as the thought of having to eat vegetables. But insistent as my parents were, I did not have much choice other than just swallow my portion of the veggies, being painfully aware of the fact that I wouldn’t be allowed to leave the table without doing so. Although my parents did try to make it easier for me, all their efforts at making vegetables attractive to me ended up in vain.

But now that I am older, vegetables constitute a major portion of my diet simply because now I am able to appreciate them and as a result, I have even grown to love them. I am even more thankful to my parents for the insistence with which they instilled in me the importance of a healthy diet.

Importance of a healthy diet. Avoiding fruits and vegetables is a common problem not only amongst children but adults as well. However, a taste for fruits and vegetables can be cultivated during the early years gradually and persistently so that on growing up, children actually crave for them and prefer eating them above all other types of food.

Children should be taught to try new types of food and enjoy the different and contrasting flavours offered by the various food types. After all, a balanced and nutritional diet is of paramount importance for children in order to acquire holistic healing and a feeling of overall wellness.

How to encourage kids to eat vegetables

Young age is the best age. It is a proven fact that children who are taught to accept fruits and vegetables at a young age, say between two and four, are more likely to enjoy them. New and healthy foods should be introduced at an early age and in an attractive manner, for example, fruits and vegetables of different colors and shapes, rather than wait till the children are older, say from four to eight years, as children are more receptive and learn more willingly at a younger age.

Set an example. Children are good observers, especially when it comes to their parents. So it is the responsibility of elders in the house to set a good example by eating fruits, vegetables and trying out new and different foodstuffs. Children tend to emulate their parents in every possible way including their eating habits, hence their reaction towards healthy food is largely influenced by their parents behaviour towards such types of food.

Persistence. It is a natural human tendency to resist anything new and this applies to ones food habits as well. Therefore, in order to get children to accept new vegetables or fruits, persistent servings on part of the parent play an important role for the child to be persuaded to try the new food and eventually accept it.

Use your authority. Ultimately it depends upon the parents to decide on the degree of firmness they are willing to exert in order to improve their child’s eating habits. The trick lies in encouraging your children to experiment with new and different foodstuffs and not allowing them to settle down with a fixed diet.

Be Creative. Parents should try and be as creative as possible especially when introducing their children to new vegetables as presentation and taste play a very important part in enhancing its appeal. What better way to discourage a child from eating vegetables than to prepare it bland and serve it ordinarily. Instead, a dish prepared appetizingly full of flavor and interesting ingredients will not only be received with curiosity but stands more chances of being accepted as well.

Benefits of Detoxifying for Fitness and Health

Detoxing your body cleans and rids it of the toxins you have ingested. When your body has toxins in it, it is affected in many different ways. Sometimes your body becomes dependent on these toxins so when you are cleaning your system out you might feel more sluggish than usual, an increasing amount of aces and pains that you otherwise might not have noticed. These pains are usually bothersome but well worth it in the long run when you are trying to make your body healthy.

In every body we have certain organs that are for cell waste management purposes. These particular organs play an active and important role in the detoxification process and help the body to become fit and healthy once again.

1) The liver is a recycling organ. Meaning it recycles the unwanted chemicals within the body and sorts out the toxins and “sets them aside” for the organ to process and eliminate through circulation.

2) Lymph glands also play a vital role in completely eliminating the toxins within the body. Tubing takes out the extra waste of the cells and finally sending them to the organs for a complete elimination. Among these organs are the appendix, thymus, tonsils and spleen.

3) Kidneys are used as water management in the body. They get rid of acid waste and hold onto the good blood alkaline. To assist your kidneys you can drink a lot of water, although it is best if you drink juices with higher alkaline levels and purified water. It is safe to drink about ½ a fluid ounce of alkaline per day to notice results in your bodies weight.

4) In order for the blood air to become purified the lungs a essential. The lungs let the oxygen go straight to the bloodstream, and they are responsible for removing gases within the air that can be harmful to the human body. These harmful toxins are found in all of your cells throughout the body.

5) Having a colon that is essentially free from waste is very important when discussing the benefits of a persons health. A persons colon is the solid waste remover organ. Medical professionals have reported on several occasions that many people have about 80 pounds of mucus and a rubbery substance within their colon. It is not easy to cleanse your colon, nor is it comfortable to do. But it is important to do.

5 Foods Containing Heart Healthy Fats

Many people go on diets that completely eliminate fat from their meals. Do these diets work? Yes. Are these diets healthy? NO! You body needs fat. When you completely cut fat from your diet, your hair will begin to fall out and that’s just one of the side effects. The key is to cut bad fats from your diet. Not all fats are unhealthy. Many people have no idea, but there are heart healthy fats. Foods that contain monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are actually good for you. The fats you want to stay away from are saturated and trans-fats. These fats will actually clog your arteries and raise your cholesterol, while good fats will lower your bad cholesterol level. The following foods contain heart healthy fats.

Foods Containing Heart Healthy Fats #1: Avocados

Avocados contain monounsaturated fats. Monounsaturated fats are heart healthy, because they lower bad levels of cholesterol while increasing the good levels. This means that they clear your arteries and keep them from clogging at the same time. Avocados are easy to incorporate into your diet. They are tasty in wraps, salads, dips, and even by themselves. The next time you visit the store, pick up a few of these heart healthy fruits.

Foods Containing Heart Healthy Fats #2: Olive Oil

Olive oil is a dieter’s best friend. Olive oil also contains monounsaturated fats, making it a heart healthy fat. Olive oil is an oil that should always be in your kitchen. This heart healthy oil can be used to sauté chicken, make healthy salad dressings, and even bake a cake. When using olive oil in baked goods, stay away from the extra virgin olive oil, because of its overwhelming flavor.

Foods Containing Heart Healthy Fats #3: Nuts

“Don’t eat those nuts, they’re full of fat.” How many times have you heard this? Next time, give that person a wink and shove a handful in your mouth. Don’t be surprised if they pass out, especially if they’re on a strict diet. Many people are misled to believe that nuts are full of bad fat. This is wrong. Nuts contain monounsaturated fats and some even contain Omega-3 fatty acids which are also heart healthy. Nuts also contain several other vitamins and minerals making them a very heart healthy food. Add nuts to some dried fruit and seeds for the perfect midday snack.

Foods Containing Heart Healthy Fats #4: Salmon

Salmon contains polyunsaturated fat which also lowers bad cholesterol while raising good cholesterol. Salmon also contains Omega-3 fatty acids. For the perfect heart healthy dinner, cook a filet of salmon in olive oil and add some steamed broccoli with a whole wheat roll.

Foods Containing Heart Healthy Fats #5: Peanut Oil

Too bad you can’t fry food anymore, but wait…….what about peanut oil? Peanut oil contains monounsaturated fats, making it the perfect oil to fry in. Peanut oil adds a ton of flavor and if you fry foods properly, only a small amount of oil is absorbed into your food. What are you waiting for? Go make some French fries, you know you want to.

How to Choose Healthy Organic Food

Organic foods are not necessarily healthy (contrary to popular belief). Organic simply means pesticide free. Just because a food doesn’t have pesticides in it, doesn’t necessarily make it healthy. So, How does someone choose organic foods which are healthy? Here are some commonly asked questions to help you choose what organic foods to buy.

Why Buy Organic?

Some foods have higher pesticides than others. The FDA runs tests on the fruits and vegetables to determine what foods have more pesticide residue even after washing than other foods. These are the foods that are recommended people buy organic even on a tight budget. This will not only provide health for your family, but you will also be contributing towards protecting the environment your family lives in. Your children will breathe in less pesticides (because farmers will be encouraged to grow organic) and your future children will too. Pesticides are a known cause of cancer. So, Buying organic is good for us all.

What to Buy Organic

The dirty baker’s dozen list is a list of fruits and vegetables it is recommended to buy organic. The dirty dozen list is the following: apples, cherries, grapes, peaches, nectarines, pears, lettuce, strawberries, bell peppers, celery, bell peppers, potatoes and spinach. Other lists may vary slightly to include the following: Raspberries, Beef, Poultry or Dairy.

Here are the ratings the FDA gave the following fruits and vegetables after WASHING them.

  • Peaches are the worst culprit on the dirty dozen list. They received a 100 out of 100 (100%!) rating for harmful chemical residue from the FDA.
  • Apples were given a rating of 89. Plus, over 50% of the apples contained neurotoxins.
  • Bell Peppers had a rating of 86.
  • Celery had a rating of 85. It contained a combination of pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers and other chemicals.
  • Nectarines received a rating of 84.
  • Strawberries were given a rating of 82.
  • Imported Grapes received a rating of 65 whereas domestic grapes only received a rating of 43 and where not bad enough to make the list. Another reason to buy in the United States.
  • Pears received a rating of 65.
  • Spinach was 60.
  • Lettuce received a rating of 59.
  • Potatoes received a rating of 58.

Low Pesticides

According to MSNBC, there is also a list of fruits and vegetables that is not necessary to buy organic because they do not generally include pesticide residue. My guess this is after washing, because I know Broccoli is sprayed with low amounts of pesticides when it is not grown organic. Here is the fruit list:Bananas, Kiwi, Mangos, and Pineapple. Here is the vegetable list: Asparagus, Avacado, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Onions and Pea.

Other Items to Buy Organic, Non-GMO

GMO stands for genetically modified. This means that growers have literally changed the DNA of what we eat. Therefore the Corn, Soybeans, Papaya and Sugar Beets you eat today are NOT the same Corn, Soybeans, Papaya and Sugar beets your grandparents ate. Organic standards include a standard that says growers MAY NOT grow genetically modified crops. Therefore, you can ensure that you are not eating genetically modified foods by buying organic for the following items: Corn, Soybeans, Papaya and Sugar Beets. Also according to Wikipedia, maybe rice.

This means I buy only organic corn. Also, remember to buy organic popcorn. I buy organic soymilk made by Silk. For awhile some of the Silk soymilk was not labeled organic, therefore, I check everytime I buy soymilk to make sure the packaging is labeled organic. If Silk ever stops making their soymilk organic, I dont want to buy it. I also don’t tend to buy papaya so this is not a problem. I also buy Pure Cane Sugar instead of Sugar made from Sugar Beets. You can buy organic sugar beet sugar, but this is not necessary. Simply pick up the sugar that is made from pure cane sugar instead of sugar beets. You will be ensuring the sugar is not genetically modified and it is the least expensive way to go.

I also do my best to avoid high fructose corn syrup in products. This is because the corn is genetically modified. Many sweet foods including Hershey’s syrup have this ingredient at the top of the list. I try to buy items with sugar instead of corn syrup whenever possible because there is less likelihood the product is made with genetically modified foods. I have written articles about Non-GMO foods, you can find them in my article archive if you would like more information.

And don’t forget about your skincare products and cosmetics, ladies! You can eat organic until the day you die, but if you’re using non organic skincare products, you are introducing harmful chemicals and pesticides to your body far quicker than simple ingesting. To avoid this, I get all of my cosmetics, skincare products, lotions, soaps, etc from Allergy Free Me.

No One Has Tested GMO foods before selling them to consumers

There have been no tests on genetically modified foods which is the main reason that the practice of selling them to the public is so troublesome. This is not only a problem for our health but what will genetically altered foods do to our environment. No one knows for sure.

Coconut Oil Can Improve Your Health

When I say that the coconut oil is going to be the next big thing I know most of you will disagree, in fact many of you will also laugh, but read on and I will explain to you how coconut oil can dramatically change one’s life. It is no joke that it has become so popular amongst the top celebrities. The main reason for the popularity of coconut oil is that it helps tame the extra weight and helps to maintain your shape. I know that after reading this you are all set to get a bottle of coconut oil for yourself, just hang on and continue. I will enlist the various benefits of using the coconut oil as follows:

Benefit no 1 – Weight Loss amp; Weight Control

The coconut oil is basically composed of medium-chain fatty acids which are beneficial in weight loss. Our body can easily digest it and it also improves the performance of thyroid and enzymes. Higher metabolic rate means burning of more fat, Coconut oil does just that and increase the rate of metabolism of your body and relieves your pancreas of additional stress on it. Bottom-line; coconut oil is an energizer to your body.

Benefit no 2 – Healthier Hairs

All of us spend enormous amounts of funds on having better hair, by purchasing the best shampoos, the best hair creams to the best hair care systems, Let me tell you that coconut oil is the best remedy for all your hair problems and conditions your hairs quite well. All the generic hair problems like dandruff, dry scalp, lice etc are gone when you use coconut oil. Coconut oil is also a great conditioner and helps to re-grow the hairs without any damage.

Benefit no 3 – Better Digestion

Complete digestion of food is essential for good health, as complete digestion takes out maximum energy and nutrients from the food we consume. I recommend that you use coconut oil to cook your food, not only the food will be tastier , it will also contain saturated fats, which are beneficial for health. Coconut oil also helps our bodies to absorb and retain the vital minerals, vitamins and amino acids from the consumed food.

Benefit no 4 – Healthy Skin

If you suffer from the problems f dry skin or if you want a good massage for your body, try coconut oil. It is very soothing and is great to use. I recommend that you do yourself a massage with coconut oil once a day to relieve off all the stresses from day-to-day work. Coconut oil has characteristic similar to mineral oil and it soothes the skin without any side effects.

So, these were the benefits of using coconut oil, as it is now evident after the discussion that coconut oil can do wonders to you. To get the best results I recommend you use 100% pure coconut oil. That’s it folks! I wish you all a great year ahead!

Health Benefits of Eating Bananas

Bananas are probably the first food many of us eat. Peeling away the yellow skin that encases them reveals the white, soft tropical fruit. Babies often start with this fruit because of how easily it is mashed. As we get older, bananas are the perfect addition to a plain bowl of cereal or eaten alone as a quick snack. Like many fruits, there are a number of health benefits of eating bananas.

Before considering the benefits of eating bananas, let’s talk about one of the reasons people don’t eat them. Many people who follow low-carbohydrate diets will not eat bananas. They are led to believe that bananas should be removed from their diets because they contain a lot of sugar. Bananas contain on average 14 grams of sugar per serving and have a glycemic index of approximately 50 percent. However, even people who are watching their sugar intake can consume one small banana a day without causing harm. Besides, the health benefits of eating bananas outweigh this small concern.

First of all, bananas are a perfect low calorie snack, good for anyone trying to maintain or lose weight. A small banana is only 100 calories per serving. At 100 calories, it is less than the calories in a candy bar or even some of those energy bars. They are equivalent to the calories in 100-calorie snacks that are popular today. Unlike the other options people have, bananas are more filling and contain more nutrients than man-made health snacks.

Bananas are good for the cardiovascular and nervous system. High blood pressure is one of the leading markers for heart attacks or strokes. Bananas contain about 400 milligrams of potassium per serving, 10 percent of the daily recommended allowance. Potassium helps maintain good muscle contractions, thus getting more blood pumping through the veins leading to the bodies systems. The low sodium in bananas assists in lowering blood pressure; therefore, it is better than other so-called health snacks that are high in sodium.

The potassium content in bananas also helps the bones and kidney functions. We all know that calcium is good for the body; however, calcium released into the urine causes kidney stones. Consuming enough potassium controls the amount of calcium that gets into the urine, decreasing kidney stone risks. When potassium suppresses calcium, it is helping the body maintain the amount of calcium it needs for strong bones. Consequently, bananas can reduce osteoporosis risks.

Bananas are high in dietary fiber, so they aid the digestive system. This tropical fruit contains approximately 4 grams of fiber, 16 percent of the daily recommendations. The high fiber content works to push waste out of the body, thus reducing constipation. If a person is experiencing constipation, adding a banana or two a day to the diet may actually get the bowls moving normally again without the negative side effects associated with taking laxatives.

The health benefits of eating bananas supersede the negative press they’ve received during the low-carbohydrate craze. Unlike foods that pose as health foods, bananas contain nutrients that benefit practically every system in the body. Combined with a healthy diet, bananas ward off a number of health problems that are often treated with medications, and they are much tastier than a pill and some of those nutrition bars.

How to Teach Your Child About Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables should be a part of our daily eating habit. This habit is also a good one to teach children from the time they are born. Educating our children about the importance of eating fruits and vegetables is essential for their health. I have come up with some fun activities that you can do to teach your child about fruits and vegetables.

Reading to your child is a wonderful way to teach them about fruits and vegetables. Using books you can educate your child about the different types of fruits and vegetables, how they are prepared, what they need in order to grow and places that they do grow. Some good books that I would recommend are The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krass, I Like Vegetables by Sharon Lerner and Fruit is Ripe For Timothy by Alice Rothschild. You can purchase these books at your local library.

Provide your child with fruit and vegetable puzzles. Your child will be able to see what fruits and vegetables look like as they are putting the puzzle together. In addition, you can talk with your child about the different names of the fruits and vegetables.

Each day give your child a different fruit and vegetable to eat. This will give them the chance to taste the various fruits and vegetables. Talk to your child about what it looks like, how it tastes and smells.

Play fruit and vegetable games. Have little cups with different fruits and vegetables cut up in little pieces. Blind fold your child and give them one of the cups to try. After tasting they have to guess what kind of vegetable or fruit it is. You could have the same vegetable cooked and raw form so they could see the difference when they taste it.

Grow a vegetable. You can teach your child how a vegetable grows by planting one. Your child will also learn how to take care of a vegetable. You need to have seeds, soil, pot and water. You can purchase the seeds from your local hardware store.

Cook something with your child using fruits or vegetables. Some suggestions are vegetable dip, applesauce, banana cream pie and a fruit smoothie. You can find simple kid friendly recipes online.

These are some suggestions on how you can teach your child about fruits and vegetables. Through a fun learning experience your child will be able to expand their knowledge about fruits and vegetables, which will contribute to their overall health.

What Constitutes a Medical Crisis?

In medicine, a crisis is a sudden and significant change, either affecting the overall mental state of a person, or in the progress of a particular condition. A crisis may be sudden onset of severe pain or other symptoms; or it may be sudden end turning point of a particular disease, which was commonly the case with pneumonia in the time before antibiotics were available.

Most usually a crisis is a sudden change in an individual’s everyday life which may cause problems. A personal disaster or major stress, for example the sudden loss of a wife or husband, may make a person more susceptible to physical and mental illness, and more susceptible to personal changes. This is often necessary so that a person can continue to develop and adapt to the changes in life.

To assist a person to cope with the initial stages of personal upheaval, specific forms of psychological support, known as crisis intervention is used especially after bereavement.

Crisis intervention

In the last twenty years great advances have been made in the establishment and use of resources related to crises intervention.

As many people now feel more isolated, even in crowd, they very often have no one to turn to for help. The trend in society has been away from extended families; people move home more frequently; and there has been a decline in the usual supportive role of the family doctor, family priest or ‘the close friend’.

For those suffering from stress the main support has come from phone counseling, drop-in centers and various refuges such as those for women and adolescents. Help is also available in the form of general services like the well-known ‘lifeline’ and there is specific assistance for problem drinkers, and for those who abuse their children.

The prime role of crisis intervention is sympathetic listening. However, follow-up to meet practical needs often has also to be undertaken; for instance, to avoid possible child abuse it may be necessary to place the threatened children where they can be safely looked after for some time.

People in crisis often need formal counseling to enable to identify and deal with their difficulties most appropriately. When the crisis is severe, the person affected is more prone to develop psychological or psychiatric problems. In addition to counseling, medical treatment, such as antidepressant medications, may be required. Long-term support and assistance, when needed, can be provided by the local health authorities and other bodies which continue the work done by crisis intervention agencies, many of which are voluntary.


How to Handle a Medical Crisis, Time Magazine, Alice Park, Jul. 11, 2007

Medical Crisis … Take control of your healthcare!, Website 101, Edward B. Toupin