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Activity + Poor Food Choices = Non Healthy Lifestyle
By: Sue DeFiore

One of the biggest misconceptions people have today is what constitutes a healthy lifestyle. Just because you exercise does not mean you are healthy. I hear much too often, oh, I can eat this because then I will work 30 or 40 minutes on the treadmill, jogging, walking, (fill in the blank with the exercise of choice). NO, NO, NO! Once in a while transgressions are one things, however, if you want to be healthy you need to eat healthy and exercise, the two go hand in hand.

Now, think about this, if you think this way as an adult, what are you teaching your children. Yep, that is it OK to eat junk food as long as you are active. Not only that, so many parents, say well my kids eat all this stuff but donít gain any weight, so it is OK. NO IT IS NOT! While on the surface, you think it is, it is doing major damage to both yours and your childís body. Think high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Remember folks the old adage ďyou are what you eatĒ applies here. We all carry over what we learn in our childhood into our lives as adults. You are setting the foundation here for a lifetime of bad eating for your child. Do you really want to do that? No, I donít think so. So you need to set an example and start eating healthier and continue to be active. Right now the majority of children that are active are doing so through after school or organized sports activities that interest them. However, what happens when they get older, when these activities are no longer a part of his/her life. You got it, sedentary behavior because you didnít provide the role model they needed for a healthy lifestyle. You need to provide them with other choices besides just sporting activities: walking, jogging, riding, jumping rope, aerobics to name a few.

It is one of your responsibilities as a parent to teach your children about healthy eating and the importance of activity not only as a child but as they grow into adulthood. So you need to be a good role model. We have discussed in other articles, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, and walking from the far end of the parking lot. Joining a gym or having exercise equipment (bikes, trampolines, DVDs) in your home. One of the cutest things is for a young child to watch their mom or dad watching a video or working out on a piece of exercise equipment and trying to emulate them. What a perfect opportunity for you to show them how to dance, jog, jump rope so they can do something right along with you.

Next be sure you let them be active in the planning and preparation of meals. Let them give their input. Take the time to talk to them about the foods you are making and they are eating. And please donít tell me you donít have the time, make the time or in all honesty why did you have children!

Yes, we want our children to be active and involved. However, one big caveat here is to limit the number of activities your children get involved with. Too many children today join everything to please their parents and they are exhausted! So be realistic with their time just as you would be with yours. Be sure to emphasize to your child that they donít have to be involved in everything. Emphasis that if they do too much they are going to make compromises in one or more activities and that isnít fair to that particular group. Talk to them about down time. Be sure they know it is OK to relax. We need balance in our life and the only way to be sure we do is to do everything in moderation and get that down time for ourselves. Relaxing restores our balance which is so very important for healthy living.

So letís start today to show our children that Healthy Eating + Activity = Healthy Lifestyle!

Copyright 2005, DeFiore Enterprises

About the Author

Introducing Keep Kids Fit: A How To Guide For Setting Up And Running Your Own Business In One Year Or Less! Solutions for parents who want healthy children in body and mind! Visit our web blog at: http://hbsblogs.typepad.com/keepkidsfit/ and visit our website today at: http://www.keepkidsfit.com


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The Power of Stretching    - Dave Snape

 

Your muscles ache from a good stretch. This is quite
normal and is part of the process. Stretching has
seemingly been with us and particularly with athletes
since the beginning of time.

A very key point to good stretching is to hold the
stretch for at least seventeen seconds. This is a
pearl of wisdom gleaned from a ballet teacher a few
years back. She said that any stretch under 17
seconds was just not effective.

The 17 second rule is exceeded in the high intensity
Bikram's yoga where stretches are held for about 30
seconds. Don't forget the high level of heat that is
used in Bikram's to extract that last little bit of
stretch out of your muscles. An interesting twist that
is not necessary to gain benefits from stretching. But,
it can't hurt, right?

So what kind of benefits can you expect from
stretching? That's an easy one. Have you ever seen the
movie, Blood Sport? Did you know that Frank Dux could
truly stretch his body to the extreme. The actor that
played him was quite elastic as well.


Great elasticity is also something you might see in
well trained Spetsnaz (Russian) agents. They often work
out with Russian kettlebells too. They are for superior
strength gains and the ability to withstand ballistic
shocks.

Why are stretching and flexibility considered important
to these people? Stretching gives one the ability to
have explosive power available at one's fingertips
without the need to warm up. Of course most of us are
not martial artists or agents. But, you'll be happy to
know there are plenty of other benefits.

Let me give you an example. After learning to sit in
the full lotus position for long periods of time, my
ankles became very flexible. One day I was walking
along and my left foot fell into a pothole. This mishap
pushed my ankle sideways to about 90 degrees from it's
normal position.

Amazingly, this didn't even hurt, not one bit. If my
ankle hadn't been so flexible, I may have suffered a
sprained ankle. At the very least, it would have hurt
for days.

Key point: stretching helps you to avoid injuries.
Not only that but if you do have a muscle, tendon or
ligament injury it should heal faster, theoretically
speaking.

Stretching actually grows the ligaments, tendons and
muscles being stretched. They really grow longer over
time.

Check with your physician before undertaking any type
of exercise, including stretching.

Here is some good instructional material on stretching:
http://tinyurl.com/6c6kq
 

Dave Snape

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