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Help! My Kids are Overweight!
By: Diana Keuilian

Identify the Problem and Find a Solution to your Child’s Weight Gain.

If you have recently found yourself fretting over your child’s waistline, you are not alone. The youth of today are fatter than ever before, and parents are starting to panic. Why are our kids so big, and what should we do about it?

Childhood obesity has been described as an epidemic. It puts our children’s health at risk, making them more susceptible to problems involving their cardiovascular systems, endocrine systems, and even their mental health. Type 2 diabetes mellitus, depression, and low self-esteem are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the problems looming over the heads of our overweight children.

It is ironic that both the problem and the solution to this heavy problem boil down to one simple equation. Energy In vs. Energy Out. When more energy is consumed than is utilized, the result is fat storage. In short, our kids eat too much and do too little.

Energy In

The Problem: Parents today are busier than ever before, navigating through hectic schedules with convenient fast food restaurants lurking on every corner. Our kids are eating more fried, processed, and sugary foods than we did as children due mainly to the convenience factor. These foods are laden with excessive calories that result in weight gain.

The Solution: Take time to evaluate your children’s diet. Do they eat three balanced meals a day? Do they eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day? Are they limited in their servings of fried, processed, and sugary foods? Avoid buying sugar-filled snacks while grocery shopping, fill your cart with fresh, healthy snacks instead. Make time to plan family meals so that you don’t find yourself in another drive thru.

Energy Out

The Problem: Computers, video games, and satellite T.V. are our children’s latest and greatest toys. Who has time to play outside when you are about to beat the hardest level, or your favorite show is about to start? Our kids participate in less physical activity and are more sedentary than any generation before.

The Solution: Limit the time your children spend on sedentary activities, such as T.V and video games. Sign your kids up on a local sports team so that they can run and be active with other kids. Take the whole family to the park on a weekend instead of gathering in front of the T.V.

As a parent, it is your unique responsibility to teach your children the healthy habits that lead to good health. Children who are obese have a greater chance of remaining obese into adulthood, thus greatly increasing the likelihood of serious health problems. Talk to your children about their eating habits, and activity levels, informing them of good choices versus bad choices. Make it a family effort to start eating healthier and increase physical activities, and you will be pleasantly surprised with the results!

About the Author

Diana Keuilian, author, ACE certified Personal Trainer, and co-founder of HitechPersonalFitness.com offers online personal training and nutrition programs that fit your budget and schedule. Whether your goal is to lose weight, firm and tone, or to build muscle, HitechPersonalFitness.com will build a custom designed program just for you.
Visit: http://www.hitechpersonalfitness.com/ and begin meeting your fitness goals today!


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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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