Happy Healthy Kids for Life

Small group of happy children outdoor

We all want our kids to be happy and healthy. But how do we do that? What should be on our priority list and where should we draw the line?

The truth is, those are questions I can’t answer for you. Every parent has to make the decision about what is best for their kids. However, there are some general tips that we all should take into consideration. After all, our child’s health should be our main priority.

Healthy Child Eating

  1. Careful of the “Food Trap”

Our society has several “health” foods that they try to sell us for our kids, making us think we are feeding kids good food. But that is not true. So many of those “health” foods have fillers and preservatives hidden in the ingredients… and have next to nothing in the way of nutrients.

Feed your kids plenty of organic protein (found in eggs, raw dairy, and grass fed beef), fruits and vegetables are a must, good fats are a positive, as well (avocados, salmon, coconut oil). Stay away from processed foods, sugar and artificially flavored and colored snacks.

watching TV with sweet teddy bear

2. Limit Screen Time

Today kid’s spend the majority of their day sitting in front of the TV or the computer, or on their cell phones. And it’s starting at younger and younger¬†ages. It is not only taking away their childhood, but it’s causing some serious health damages. Too much screen time has been linked to sleep disorders, childhood obesity, less positive brain function and behavior problems. It’s time to detox screen time and get those kids moving…

Which brings me to number three…

Mother with children Having Fun in the field. Foces on eyes.

3. Dirty is the New Clean

It may seem weird and a little contradictory but this is one of the best ways to raise healthy kids. Let them be kids. Let them get dirty, it won’t hurt them. In fact, it’s good for them. Don’t be overly sterile. Fresh air and nature – a child’s best friend… and a parent’s.

So kick them outside and let them explore and move. Kids have a natural energy that we have been discouraging by keeping them inside and giving them all these devices that keep them glued to a couch. The body was made to move – and that is especially important in young children. And, hey, join them in outdoor activities as well. You could use the exercise, too ūüôā

Enjoy the time with your kids. They will love it and you will treasure it.

Remember, if you start your kids out with good healthy habits they will stick as they grow older.

 

 

 

Activity Trackers: Pros and Cons

Source: Phillips Communications

There is a big¬†buzz about¬†activity trackers right now, and I have to admit that I¬†get the hype. It is so interesting to see a¬†day’s worth of activities narrowed down to¬†data points and plotted on a graph. Data for every step. In a society that seems to be taking less and less care of itself, a device that elicits this sort of close¬†attention seems like a great idea. However, some of the steep price tags and limitations of the devices may be quite unappealing.¬†If you are thinking about joining the masses with activity trackers, consider these pros and cons and then decide if they are right for you!

Con:¬†Facing Reality – I’m serious here–once you get an activity tracker, you are going to be faced with just how little you really walk. Honestly. I spend a lot of time working behind a desk and even though I find an excuse to get up and move a few times an hour, I still make very little progress toward my step goal. This initial discovery may be a little disheartening, but hopefully this accountability will push you in the right direction rather than bum you out.

Pro: Accountability – Especially for the fitness trackers like Fitbit that sync your progress up with your friends, your laziness will be on full display. Let your desire for fitness rise to combat the possibility of your sedentary lifestyle being exposed.

Pro:¬†Range of Investment¬†– I have seen activity trackers for as low as $14 dollars, and as high as a couple hundred dollars.¬†There is a huge difference in what these devices track, though. The more affordable ones may only act as a pedometer while the higher end ones can track things like sleep, heart rate, speed, calories burned, and more. I consider this a pro because you won’t be forced to pay extra for features that you aren’t interested in or won’t use. If you look hard enough, chances are you can find¬†exactly what you are looking for in an activity tracker. The best value for your buck–what’s better than that?

Con: Accuracy (or lack thereof) РFitness trackers are not entirely accurate. Third party testing has shown time and again that there can be a relatively wide margin of error. This might not be a deal breaker for you, but who knows how advanced these things could get within the next couple of years. It may be worth it to wait on the sidelines while the bugs are worked out. Or, you can look for other sources of monitoring your fitness. If you are only interested in counting steps, find a pedometer app that you like (Argus is a good choice for iPhones and Androids). Studies have shown smartphones are more accurate pedometers than activity trackers anyway.

Con: Exposure –¬†All activity trackers have to be worn on the body to do their job. Most likely you will be sporting your device 12+ hours daily–even longer if you use yours to track sleep. This means that you will be constantly exposing yourself to potentially harmful signals coming off of your technology. These signals can interrupt and slow your body’s natural rhythm and cause negative effect. There¬†is a way to overcome this, though, through biofield¬†remediation.¬†On my smartphone, I use a chunky sticker that has been said to harmonize the radiation off the phone to be compatible as well as beneficial to the human biofield. ¬†This is simply checked with Muscle Response Testing (MRT) to see if it is good for you. If your fit bit, or whichever device you pick, affects your MRT, we can improve the effect significantly.

 

Do you use an activity tracker? What do you think about it?

Best Apps for Achieving Your Health Goals

Source: CAFNR via Flickr

If you think hard–really hard–you can probably remember the days before technology was so prevalent in our lives. We asked strangers for directions and went to restaurants without reading reviews. We sent snail mail and went¬†to the library when we had a question that needed answering. Without a doubt, technology has simplified our lives. In other ways, though, it has complicated it. Things that we didn’t have access to before are now possible just through a quick download.¬†One of my favorite ways to use technology is to help achieve my health goals. These are some of my favorite picks that you might enjoy as well!

 

MyFitnessPal

Once you input¬†your height, weight, and activity level, MyFitnessPal will calculate the exact amount of calories and nutrients you need to achieve your health goals. This app will help you lose weight, gain weight, or just maintain your regular weight–whatever your goals are, this will help you accomplish it. With the dietary information of over 6,000,000 foods, input is quick, easy, and accurate. At the end of the day I can input all that I ate and check how closely I stuck to my daily recommended intake all within about five minutes! If you are interested in changing your weight or simply seeing the nutrition your body is getting, this is the app for you! –¬†available on Android and iOS

waterlogged

Waterlogged

This may seem like a frivolous app, but for those of us who want to be more careful about how much water they are consuming on a daily basis, this is a perfect fit. Not only can you track water, but other liquids such as sodas and teas. Input¬†is easy–you enter¬†drinks by choosing ‘favorite’ cups, such as water bottles, coffee mugs, or the typical 8oz cup. I love the visual nature of this app. The fact that I can see how much water left I have to go each day keeps me driven to fill up that little virtual bottle. Plus, sodas and other beverages don’t count toward your daily goal, so it keeps you honest. ūüėČ –¬†available on iOS

bowel movement bm

Bowel Movement – BM

The prior apps will make sure that what is going in to your body is good, and this one will make sure what is coming out is agreeable¬†as well. This app tracks what time you poop, what type of poop you have, and how much of it you have. All the data you compile will be plotted on a calendar and averaged across the week so you can find patterns in your poo schedule. See if work stress triggers irregularities, or if drinking more water really does help your digestion.¬†It’s a little odd and no one likes to be the one to say it, so I will: Your poops are important! The ideal bowel movement¬†should be like a smooth brown banana and you should have 2-3 movements¬†every day. If you aren’t, you could potentially have something going wrong, so use this app to make sure you are on track! –¬†available on Android

 

5krunner

5K Runner: 0 to 5k Trainer

If your health goals include better fitness, you’ll love this app. Running is one of the best things you can do for your body and the best thing about it is that it is free! It isn’t always easy to get out there and hit the track, though, so let this app be your personal fitness coach as it takes you from a couch potato to a 5k runner in just eight weeks. Carry your phone with you while you exercise, and it will record your workout, telling you when to run hard and when to walk and allow yourself a break. I’ll admit, I’m not in 5k form yet, but this is inching me ever closer every day! – available on iOS

 

Pacifica

In times of turmoil I know I can often be found distracting myself with the internet. This app turns that habit of distraction into something that can actually be beneficial. Pacifica is an app that helps you manage your mental health. Each day, you track your emotions and choose from a list of activities to help improve that mood, whether that means calming your stress or examining your thoughts. The activities are¬†based on cognitive behavioral therapy combined with relaxation and wellness techniques. These are daily holistic techniques you can use to improve your mental health. Don’t be like so many and let your mental health fall by the wayside. Download this app and give it a shot! –¬†available iOS and Android

 

 

Do you have any favorite health and wellness apps? Share them in the comments below!