Friday, September 28, 2012

Has your family tried Kale chips?

Health Benefits from Kale

101 Ways to Encourage

 Way to Go
 You're Special
Well Done
I knew you could do it
I'm proud of you
Super star
Nice Work
Looking Good
You're on 'top of it
Your're catching on
Now You've got it
How smart
Good Job
That's incredible
Hot dog
Remarkable job
You're beautiful
You're a winner
You make me happy
Hip hip hooray
You're important
You're on target
You're on your way
How nice
You're spectacular
You're darling
Super job
Beautiful work
Good for you
Nothing can stop you
You're fantastic
Great Discovery
You are responsible
You are exciting
You are fun
You're a real trooper
You're perfect
You're growing up
You're important
You tried very hard
You figured it out
What a good listener
You're a treasure
You mean a lot to me
You're a great friend
That's correct
A big hug
What an imagination
You learned it right
You're incredible
Now you're flying
I like you
I really respect you
You're sensational
A+ Job
Hooray for you
You're unique
You care
Creative job
You belong
You brighten my day
Super work
That's the best
You just made my day
Say I love you
Beautiful sharing
You mean the world to me
Outstanding performance
You've got a friend
You're a joy
You make me laugh
You're A-OK my friend
I trust you
You're wonderful
A big kiss for you
Exceptional performance
You've discovered the secret
I can count on you
You're right on the money
You're the BEST

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Urgent need for Physical Activity

The chief cause of obesity is physical inactivity, which is rapidly spreading from North America to the rest of the world. About 31% of the world’s adults, or about 1.5 billion people, are almost completely sedentary, meaning that they do not meet the minimum recommendation of 150 minutes of walking or other moderate activity per week, or about 20 minutes a day.

Teenagers are faring even worse. More than 80 percent of young people ages 13 to 15 worldwide are not getting the hour a day of vigorous exercise recommended for their age group.

Unsurprisingly, North America leads the world in not exercising, with 43.3 percent of Americans not reaching the low recommended threshold. But the world is catching up or, rather, joining us in sitting down. More than 34 percent of Europeans are inactive, 30 percent of Russians, ditto in the Middle East, and about 27 percent of Africans are sedentary.

Those of us that want to exercise regularly must realize that we are working against cultural forces. Stay focused on the best way to live for yourself.

Did you think about your breakfast today?

40 Facts about Fitness | Health and Fitness |

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

How balanced is your life?

 No one expects you to be perfect other than yourself. As often heard we are our own worse critic. However when you reflect on your family think about the wellness wheel. If you were to assess your family how much do you give to each of these domains. For many their wheel isn't round as they devote more time and energy to certain areas such as work, then tend to neglect things like the physical and emotional health. How balanced is your wheel?

Does your family devote time to physical exercise? Do you address the emotional components? A great time to do this is at a family meal. Discuss the struggles, the challenges incurred during the day.

 "Wellness is first and foremost a choice to assume responsibility for the quality of your life. It begins with a conscious decision to shape a healthy lifestyle. Wellness is a mindset, a predisposition to adopt a series of key principles in varied life areas that lead to high levels of well-being and life satisfaction.
A consequence of this focus is that a wellness mindset will protect you against temptations to blame someone else, make excuses, shirk accountability, or collapse in the face of adversity.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Have you eaten a rainbow today?

Pinned Image

Pushing Yourself and Family

The principle is called Overload

To improve fitness one has to push beyond the normal activity in order to improve Vigorous activity even in small amounts improves overall health. Now for  sedentary people some doing anything will be of benefit, becomes something is better than nothing. For others who are active to improve physical fitness you have to push to the edge of the comfort zone. Important the no pain no gain rule does not apply! 

 Here are a few tips from the CDC on how to measure intensity. 

How do I know if my child's aerobic activity is moderate- or vigorous-intensity?

Here are two ways to think about moderate- and vigorous-intensity:
  1. As a rule of thumb, on a scale of 0 to 10, where sitting is a 0 and the highest level of activity is a 10, moderate-intensity activity is a 5 or 6. When your son does moderate-intensity activity, his heart will beat faster than normal and he will breathe harder than normal. Vigorous-intensity activity is a level 7 or 8. When your son does vigorous-intensity activity, his heart will beat much faster than normal and he will breathe much harder than normal.
  2. Another way to judge intensity is to think about the activity your child is doing and compare it to the average child. What amount of intensity would the average child use? For example, when your daughter walks to school with friends each morning, she's probably doing moderate-intensity aerobic activity. But while she is at school, when she runs, or chases others by playing tag during recess, she's probably doing vigorous-intensity activity. 

Measuring Physical Activity Intensity

Here are some ways to understand and measure the intensity of aerobic activity: relative intensity and absolute intensity.

Relative Intensity

The level of effort required by a person to do an activity. When using relative intensity, people pay attention to how physical activity affects their heart rate and breathing.

The talk test is a simple way to measure relative intensity. As a rule of thumb, if you're doing moderate-intensity activity you can talk, but not sing, during the activity. If you're doing vigorous-intensity activity, you will not be able to say more than a few words without pausing for a breath.

Absolute Intensity

The amount of energy used by the body per minute of activity. The table below lists examples of activities classified as moderate-intensity or vigorous-intensity based upon the amount of energy used by the body while doing the activity.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

A Transparency 
I found this today while on web. It is interesting. I certainly hope that we can add more local fresh fruits and vegetables into our lunches. I also question why a starch with the example of pizza, one wouldn't need another serving of a starch, especially if the vegetable was a starchy vegetable. Why can't we offer choices between milk and/or water? Of course not bottled water use a paper cup and pitcher or cooler and have it self serve.
This infographic by GOOD shows the difference between a prison lunch and a school lunch. Both are roughly the same cost (just over $2.60) and contain about the same amount of calories (around 1400). But surprisingly, prisoners get more items to eat and healthier options, with 1/2 cup of vegetables and one serving of fruit or dessert, compared to the school children’s 1/2 cup of vegetables or fruit.

via PSFK:

Friday, September 21, 2012

Commit to be fit as a family!

Creative Sweet Treats: Healthy Snack Ideas

Kids come home from school and they are starving, they are looking for food. My middle schooler eat's his lunch at 10:45. They want something fast. If you suggest fruit, it gets boring, and doesn't appeal after they have been watching their friend eat prepackaged unhealthy snacks delivered in the classroom or packed in lunches. So mix it up on occasion try making one of these. You are still getting healthy food, plus that little extra so the family feels they are getting something special.

frozen banana bites Frozen Banana Bites
chocolate kiwi popsicles Chocolate Kiwi Popsicle
Blueberries covered in honey greek yogurt and frozen. Great healthy snack to have around when craving sweets. Blueberries covered in honey greek yogurt and frozen. Great healthy snack to have around when craving sweets.
yogurt bites!Yogurt Bites

I have found Pintrest to be very helpful and encourage the family to pick the snacks they would like to have for the week. It was my compromise after hearing for months "Why can't I have Lunchables?"

Here's the link these pics came from, they are all easy, quick to prepare ahead of time, and go over well with the family.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

How does your family strength train?

What does your family do to Strength Train?

Many don't incorporate strength training into their fitness routine. Children may be physical with playing soccer, basketball etc.but may not get strength training. By building muscle strength you improve the metabolism, making you less likely to gain excess weight, strengthens the bones, makes you less prone to injury.

When children are very young working with heavy weights in the past was discouraged. The thought on this is that is could hurt the growth plates of the bones, and stunt growth therefore working with heavy weights was discouraged.Research however has disproved this, and it is now recommended everyone participate in some form of strength training.

Most people think of strength training as working with weights.

In fact, the ideal weight-training program for many children need not involve weights at all. “The body doesn’t know the difference between a weight machine, a medicine ball, an elastic band and your own body weight,”   Tree climbing is a favorite in our home, as is a great arm workout. 

 Plank, lunges, push ups, chair arm dips, yoga poses such as powerful pose, boat pose, are ways of building strength without weights. If you do choose weights, start light get 3,5,7,10 lb. weights. Focus on learning technique and endurance, then gradually increase the load.

Don't confuse strength training with weightlifting, bodybuilding or powerlifting. These activities are largely driven by competition, with participants vying to lift heavier weights or build bigger muscles than those of other athletes. This can put too much strain on young muscles, tendons and areas of cartilage that haven't yet turned to bone (growth plates) — especially when proper technique is sacrificed in favor of lifting larger amounts of weight.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

How much sodium should my family have?

We hear often in the US we consume too much salt. Recommendations on daily intake have changed over the years. On average most adults and children consume approximately 3400 milligrams of sodium each day. This is approximately three times the daily recommended allowance. The guidelines on sodium intake are as follows:

- 1000 mg for children aged 1 to 3
- 1200 mg for children aged 4 to 8
- 1500 mg for people aged 9 to 50
- 1300 mg for adults aged 51 to 70
- 1200 mg for seniors aged 70+

How Food Label Reference Values (DV)
Compare to the
Nutritional Recommendations for Children
Nutrient Recommendations by Age (DRI)*
2 - 3
4 - 8
9 - 13
14 - 18 yr
14 - 18 yr
Protein (grams)
Iron (mg)
Calcium (mg)
Vitamin A (IU)
Vitamin C (mg)
Fiber (g)
14 - 19
19 - 23
23- 28 (girls)
25- 31 (boys)
Sodium (mg)
1000- 1500
1200- 1900
Cholesterol (mg)
<300 for over age 2
Total Fat (g)**
33 - 54

(30 -35% of calories)
39 - 62

(25 - 35% of calories)
62 - 85

(25 - 35% calories)
55 - 78

(25 - 35% calories)
61 - 95

(25 - 35% of calories)
12 - 16
(> age 2 )
(<10% calories)
16 to 18

(<10% calories)

(<10% calories)

(<10% calories)
24 - 27

(<10% calories)
1000 - 1400
(2-3 years)
2200- 2400
*Sodium: The higher number in each age category reflects the Upper Limit (maximum level that is likely to pose no risk of adverse effect) recommended by the Institutes of Medicine. The 2005 Dietary Guidelines recommended Americans consumer less than 2300 mg. (approximately 1 tsp.) of sodium/day and point out that Approximately 75 percent is derived from salt added by manufacturers. The average intake in the United States is between 4,000 and 5,000 milligrams of sodium per day.


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Get more out of your Walk

Engage your arms!
Make a loose fist, consciously swing your arms, bringing your fist up to the approximate level of your breast bone, and then back to the outside of the hip. Pretend you are trying to move your arms against a force to engage the muscles even more when you walk.
Notice the posture of President Bush  - Shoulders back, arms active, stomach in,  head forward. Now compare to the gentleman next to him. Who do you think is getting more from their walk?
 Forward head, not engaging arms or stomach, rounded shoulders.
I show this to make you think about your posture while on a treadmill. Fast walkers on a treadmill who hang on to the bar often have a sway back posture. Slow walkers often lean way forward – I call it the pushing the lawnmower posture. While on the treadmill, try to either not hold on and swing your arms, or hold on with only one arm.  This will help you to have a better posture. When you hold on to the rails the entire time, your upper body is stiff and doesn’t move naturally as it does with your regular walking.
Also don’t look down the whole time this leads to forward head or thoracic kyphosis postures. Try to look 15-20 feet ahead of you. Hold your head high. Try to keep your chin parallel to the floor.  Squeeze those shoulder blades together and down…this is the military posture or the busty look, tall and proud.
Some people are so stiff with walking, add a little wiggle to your walk allow your shoulders and hips to move naturally, this is very good for your spine. Being stiff and rigid isn’t helpful. Often after open heart surgery people are very stiff in the shoulders and neck. Again swinging the arms helps this.
Tighten your stomach muscles. These support your back, they provide you with core strength. If the belly sags forward it places more stress on your lumbar spine. Tuck your pelvis under your torso.
If your have back issues or balance issues I recommend walking with ski poles. They help you to stand taller, force you to engage your arms with the walk, and you burn more calories on your walk.
Compared to regular walking, ski walking  involves applying force to the poles with each stride. Walking with ski poles uses more of their entire body (with greater intensity) and receive fitness building stimulation not present in normal walking for the chest, lats, triceps, biceps, shoulder, abdominals, spinal and other core muscles. This can produce up to a 46% increase in energy consumption compared to walking without poles. It also has been demonstrated to increase upper body muscle endurance by 38% in just twelve weeks.
This extra muscle involvement may lead to enhancements over ordinary walking at equal paces such as:
  • increased overall strength and endurance in the core muscles and the entire upper body
  • significant increases in heart rate at a given pace
  • increasing vascular pathways and oxygen delivery efficiency
  • greater ease in climbing hills
  • burning more calories than in plain walking
  • improved balance and stability with use of the poles
  • significant un-weighting of hip, knee and ankle joints
  • provides density preserving stress to bones
What about walking with weights? 
If you want to walk with weights don’t use more than 1-2 lbs in your hands. Heavier weights tend to stress the neck and spine and are not recommended. Again don’t just hold the weights pump those arms, swing up to breast bone and back to hip. You engage the arms, you burn more calories.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Sugar and school lunches

Whether you pack a lunch or you purchase school lunch consider the amount of sugar you are getting with each serving.  This is a great visual display of sugar content in foods. Also the revamped school lunch program. I want to go back to school to see if it really looks like this. I sure hope so, and I hope it comes from local farms.

Sugar is the number one cause for diabetes and obesity in our youth today.