Buddy And Bea August 2016 Winner

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bbCongratulations to Suzy Davies out of Florida for winning the first book giveaway of Buddy and Bea in August 2016…..

Look for more giveaways in the future, but you can still purchase the book on AMAZON.

Teaching Children To Be Healthy With Diet And Exercise

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By Steve Barker

kidseatinghealthyWith all the issues associated with obesity and a sedentary lifestyle, it’s incredibly important to stay healthy yourself and help your children learn how to make wise choices. For most people (without unique circumstances involving chronic health issues), the two biggest contributors to health are nutrition and exercise. It’s tempting to only focus on one of these things, but the fact is that you need both a nutritious diet and an active lifestyle to stay fit and keep your body healthy.

As important as it is for every person to eat well and stay active, it can be even more important to teach children how to make proper choices regarding food and exercise. It can be difficult for children, with all the junk food available and a school schedule that has little time for recess, to eat properly and get enough exercise. However, if you can teach your children how to balance nutrition and exercise into a daily routine, you can give them the tools to live a long and healthy life.

Why Exercise Is Necessary

There are numerous benefits to regular exercise including many physical results from a regular exercise regimen. Your body will burn more calories, which could lead to weight loss or help the body maintain a healthy weight. Increased muscle mass also improves the metabolism and helps every part of the body function properly. Many diseases are far less common to people who exercise and the effects of aging are usually reduced or slowed as well. The body is a complex machine, and regular exercise helps keep all the parts working well individually and together.

Exercise not only helps condition your physical body, it also contributes to a healthy mental and emotional state. Exercise releases endorphins that make you feel happy. Many people who exercise regularly also report a calmer emotional state. Additionally, regular exercise can improve your physical appearance, leading to more self-confidence. Concentrating on your body’s physical state can help you be more aware of your personal goals and find ways to achieve them.

How to Encourage Kids to Exercise

Many children get enough physical exercise when they are young simply by playing actively. However, as children get older, they often spend more time sitting at school and leading a sedentary lifestyle at home. Physical education classes are important, and you can also encourage exercise by enrolling children in sports they enjoy. There are numerous types of exercise, so if your children aren’t interested in weightlifting or soccer, you could encourage them to try yoga, swimming or hiking.

Why Proper Nutrition Is Necessary

Getting the proper nutrition is just as important as maintaining a regular exercise schedule. A balanced diet helps every part of the body function well and is especially important for growing children so they can develop and mature properly. A poor diet can be a major contributing factor to heart disease, diabetes and some kinds of cancer. However, when your body gets the right amount of nutrition, you feel better, have more energy, sleep well and have mental clarity. A proper diet also helps maintain a healthy weight and gives your body the energy to perform all your daily tasks.

Helping Kids Make Good Food Choices

kidsunningtogetherIt can be a challenge to help children develop healthy eating habits, especially when they are picky and dislike many healthy foods. However, it’s worth the work to teach your kids the importance of a nutritious diet and help them understand which foods are healthy. Thankfully, there are more healthy products on the market than ever before. Hampton Creek is one company dedicated to making nutritious, affordable food products in a sustainable way. As more people choose the healthier options at the grocery store, the rest of the food production system will respond and provide more choices.

Personal health involves both exercise and a nutritious diet. It’s extremely important for everyone to make healthy choices in life, and to teach children how to make those choices as well. Kids should learn how important exercise is to physical, mental and emotional health, and why the body requires a nutritious balanced diet. It’s just as vital to then teach children the specific keys to maintaining an active lifestyle and sticking to a healthy diet. Encouraging the next generation to make good choices can lower the rates of disease and help every person live a long and happy life.

Poll – “Grocery Gap” Is A Barrier To Healthy Eating

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This article is courtesy of PRWeb, please share your thoughts below…..

healthycartA majority of those asked in Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota poll say not all Minnesotans have access to healthy food; lack of stores that offer healthy choices is an obstacle for many.

The path to affordable, healthy food is marked by significant barriers, according to a new poll commissioned by the Center for Prevention at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota. A “grocery gap” is felt by many Minnesotans, with nearly half (49 percent) reporting that not having a store nearby that sells healthy food impacts what they eat. Most Minnesotans (73 percent) also say difficulty finding healthy food on-the-go influences their decisions.

While these challenges are widespread, there is a growing recognition that some people face more significant obstacles than others. A majority of those polled (56 percent) don’t believe that all Minnesotans have access to healthy food, regardless of where they live or their socioeconomic background, while 16 percent are unsure.

“Increasingly, Minnesotans acknowledge that not everyone has the same opportunity to make healthy choices, and that our surroundings have a significant impact on our overall health and wellbeing,” said Janelle Waldock, director of the Center for Prevention at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota. “We hear a growing desire for more access to healthy food in Minnesota communities, schools and workplaces, but there are varying perspectives regarding who is responsible for making these positive changes a reality.”

Barriers Are More Pronounced in Some Areas

A marked decline in the number of grocery stores serving smaller communities, especially in Greater Minnesota, appears to be a contributing factor. Fifty-five percent of those who live outside the Twin Cities metropolitan area say their food choices are at least somewhat influenced by a lack of stores nearby that sell healthy food. While this is significantly more than in the metro area, 46 percent of those living within the Twin Cities metropolitan area also report similar challenges.

Minnesotans report shopping for food once a week or more at traditional grocery stores (66 percent), mass merchandisers (47 percent) and corner or convenience stores (19 percent). More than one-third (33 percent) say they must travel at least 10 minutes in order to shop at a full-service grocery store, including a proportionate number of seniors and lower-income households, where reliable transportation may also present a barrier. Longer travel times are also more prevalent in Greater Minnesota, where 40 percent report traveling at least 10 minutes to shop at a grocery store, and in rural areas, where trips of more than 30 minutes are reported.

“There isn’t a single answer for how to increase access,” said Waldock. “It really depends on the community context and all avenues need to be explored. This includes encouraging existing retailers to offer more healthy options, and supporting new businesses that want to open in underserved areas.”

Communities Seen as Part of the Solution

Minnesotans believe their communities should be part of a healthy solution. Nearly all of those surveyed (96 percent) say it is at least somewhat important for communities to increase access to affordable and healthy food, with 42 percent of respondents saying its “important” to increase access to healthy food.

More specifically, a majority of those polled say retailers (77 percent), individuals (73 percent) and schools (62 percent), are at least somewhat responsible for creating a healthier food environment, while others cite government (39 percent), nonprofits and social service agencies (27 percent), and employers (22 percent).

saladsSome efforts are already underway. The Minnesota Food Charter was created in 2014 by a broad-based group of Minnesota organizations, including the Minnesota Department of Health. The charter identified barriers to healthy food access and recommended policy and systems changes to help resolve them. Initiatives like those underway at Lakeshirts Inc. in Detroit Lakes, and the formation of a new food co-op in Milan, Minnesota, demonstrate the type of community-driven solutions the Food Charter encourages.

Based in Eagan, The Open Door provides healthy food through its food shelves and Mobile Pantry sites, as well as its Mobile Lunch Box program, which offers healthy lunches and activities for children and families when school is not in session. The organization’s Garden To Table® program promotes improved access to fresh produce by providing garden plots, vegetable and herb seeds, plants, tools and compost to food shelf clients at no cost.

“Improving the health of our communities – and of all Minnesotans – requires a multi-sector approach. The Minnesota Food Charter and other initiatives are an important part of this solution, but it will continue to require a broad-based effort to ensure that everyone in our state has the opportunity to choose healthy food and to live the healthiest life possible,” Waldock said.

About the Poll

The public-opinion poll was commissioned by The Center for Prevention at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota and conducted online by ORC International’s CARAVAN® Geographic Omnibus in April and May 2015. It consisted of 1,000 respondents in Minnesota, ages 18 and older. The margin of error is +/-3.1 percentage points for the full sample.

About the Center for Prevention

The Center for Prevention at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota delivers on Blue Cross’ long-term commitment to improve the health of all Minnesotans by tackling the leading root causes of preventable disease: tobacco use, lack of physical activity and unhealthy eating. Funded through proceeds from Blue Cross’ historic lawsuit against the tobacco industry, they collaborate with organizations statewide to increase health equity, transform communities and create a healthier state. Visit CenterforPreventionMN.com

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota (bluecrossmn.com), with headquarters in the St. Paul suburb of Eagan, was chartered in 1933 as Minnesota’s first health plan and continues to carry out its charter mission today as a health company: to promote a wider, more economical and timely availability of health services for the people of Minnesota. Blue Cross is a not-for-profit, taxable organization. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, headquartered in Chicago.

Traveling Abroad With Kids? It Can Be Done

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By Veselina Dzhingarova

momkidsrunSometimes we hear from parents that, with children, hopes for international travel are an impossibility, or are at least put on hold indefinitely. This doesn’t have to be the case. Kids can travel. In fact, it’s one of the most interesting and helpful things you can offer for their personal education and development. Kids who travel learn; you may not be teaching them a specific curriculum, but you will be pouring a lot of information into their young minds. For parents who want to teach their kids a second language, or who want to give them a hands-on appreciation of history or world culture, travel is the best possible means to the end. But to get it, you’ll have to understand some of the practicalities of this kind of travel, and make sure that your kids can work within those bounds. It’s doable, but it will take some planning.

Find Flights With Child Discounts. Not every airline offers child discounts, but some do. This is a bit of moving target, so it’s important to research current offers and policies, as these tend to change monthly or yearly. Some airlines will let small children sit on your lap for free (second carry-on?). Others won’t. Some will offer discounted seating to older children as a perk to traveling parents, others won’t. In all cases. It’s important to look for deals well in advance of your travel date, as this is the most important factor in locking in airline deals of any kind. If you book your flight well enough in advance, you may not have to worry about child-specific deals at all – you may find savings the old fashioned way.

Prepare For Communication. If your kids are old enough to do their own thing while you’re overseas, you want to make absolutely certain that they have multiple ways of contacting you. NobelCom is a company that makes phone communication easy, within nations all around the world. You’ll be able to phone home or just get in touch with Junior when you haven’t seen him in an hour or so. NobelCom calling cards are a great gift for other travelers, or just something to provide peace of mind when you’re on your excursion.

Make Sure Your Kids Understand Various Things. If you’re traveling abroad, getting around may not be at all like what you’re used to back home. Your kids likely won’t take this for granted, and will need specific direction for the place you are traveling. This could include social and cultural awareness training, safety conversations, behavior requirements for places as diverse as restaurants and airports. Help your kids prepare for their trip with these sorts of helpful rules, and they’ll be a lot more successful when you arrive.

There are tons of ways to make travel with kids possible – even travel overseas. Savings can be had, kids can be well behaved, and communication can make the whole things safe and smooth. Prepare well in advance, and you’ll have this trip well planned, and (mostly) stress free.

Understanding And Coping With Behavioral Changes In Seniors

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This article is courtesy of PRWeb and Dr. Elizabeth Landsverk with ElderConsult…..please share your comments below…..

seniors2One unchangeable fact of life is that people never stop changing, no matter how old they get. Aging brings a cascade of physical and emotional changes, which can lead to a variety of behavioral changes that can baffle or worry an older adult’s loved ones, according to Elizabeth Landsverk, MD, founder of ElderConsult Geriatric Medicine.

As America’s population increasingly grays – the proportion of those 65 and over will account for 20% of U.S. residents within 25 years, according to the American Psychological Association – being aware of normal changes associated with age is even more paramount.

But what behavioral changes are typical and what aren’t? Sometimes it’s difficult to tell the difference, explains Dr. Landsverk, who is board-certified in geriatric medicine, internal medicine and palliative medicine. “Educating yourself enables you to help your parents, or other loved ones to be more happy and healthy as they age” she says. “While it can be challenging to care for a loved one whose behavior has changed from what you’re used to, patience – along with appropriate medical care and attention – often reaps rewards.”

What’s normal, what’s not, and how to respond

Dr. Landsverk offers these top examples of behavioral changes common in older adults and also elaborates on what might signal a problem and how to react:

#1: Memory lapses or forgetfulness

What’s normal/not: Forgetting where you put your keys or the name of a movie star is common when you get older. So is occasionally having trouble finding the right word or forgetting why you walked into a room. But the specter of dementia is huge, with about 10% of all those over 65 and up to half of those 85 and older developing dementia. Symptoms might include varying degrees of memory loss, language difficulty, poor judgment, problems concentrating and impaired visual perception. Loss that affects daily functioning should be evaluated right away.

“It’s wise for seniors and their families to be alert to warning signs, but there’s no need to be unnerved by every memory lapse,” Dr. Landsverk says. “The warning signs of dementia typically include not just problems remembering, but problems communicating and reasoning.”

What to do: If more signs of dementia become apparent, or there is concern that changes could affect one’s ability to handle finances; it’s important to see a primary care physician or geriatrician to rule out other causes that might be easily treatable. Diagnostic tools typically start with a complete physical and neurological exam, brain imaging, and cognitive assessment. The MOCA or the Montreal Cognitive Assessment tool is more sensitive to early changes in reasoning than the MMSE or Mini Mental Status Exam. However, that may not be sensitive enough. A normal screen may not mean “no decline in cognitive function” and neuropsychological testing may be needed for concerns with changes of judgement that put elders at risk of financial elder abuse.

#2: Low mood after experiencing loss

What’s normal/not: It’s often said that aging is largely about loss, as seniors often experience the deaths of a spouse, friends, siblings or other contemporaries. It’s understandable to suffer low periods following these losses, Dr. Landsverk says. But watch out for depression and anxiety, which are often overlooked and untreated in older Americans because they can coincide with other late-life problems, according to the American Psychological Association. Up to 20% of older adults in the U.S. have experienced depression, a persistent feeling of sadness that can include changes in sleep, appetite, energy level and other areas. Mood changes, apathy or anger may also signal early dementia.

What to do: If you’re concerned, get your loved one evaluated by their physician. Many psychological interventions, including counseling and medication, are highly effective at treating depression, Dr. Landsverk says. “It’s important not to let someone’s low mood continue indefinitely without intervening,” she adds. “If you suspect there’s a problem, you’re often right.” Medications may not be the answer. First, is to include elders in daily activity; bring them to church or other religious services, keep them active and engaged. Avoid sleeping pills and “anti-anxiety pills such as Xanax and Ativan which can lead to more depression, falls and disinhibition. Withdrawal can look like worsening dementia, with confusion, agitation.

seniorwoman2#3: Discouragement or anger as health declines

What’s normal/not: Retirement and moving out of the family home are major life events that don’t just signal increasing freedom – they often stem from declining health, as minor, chronic conditions add up or major health problems get even worse. For some older adults, the development of a disabling illness can bring about a depressive episode, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Also, anger or aggression – which can show up as emotional or verbal abuse lashed out at loved ones – can be particularly difficult to handle, Dr. Landsverk says.

What to do: “Talk about the normal feelings a senior might be having in response to their declining health – don’t sweep them under the rug,” she suggests. “Say, ‘It must be painful for you to have to adjust to this.’ Empathy goes a long way.” Consider seeing a doctor with the senior to evaluate troubling behavioral symptoms and consider a day program, or a daytime caregiver to give both the senior and their caregiver a break from the normal dynamic.

#4: Takes longer to learn new things

What’s normal/not: On top of a normal decline in short-term memory in older adults, it’s also common to see a lengthening of “response time” – meaning they learn more slowly and retain new information less effectively. Many seniors who “age well” make a conscious effort to maintain mental alertness by reading widely, learning new skills, taking classes and/or maintaining social contacts with people from a variety of age groups, Dr. Landsverk says. “It is very important to have your loved one in the environment where they can succeed. It is also important to be honest about what they can do now, not what they had done in the past. That said, don’t sell the elder short and not give them the opportunity to stretch and grow; be observant and flexible.”

What to do: If your loved one consistently seems unable to retain new information or place it in context with what they already knew, it could be normal aging or it could be a sign of oncoming dementia. A primary care physician may understand or a geriatrician can evaluate them with special tests of mental performance and suggest ways to increase alertness and cognitive engagement, she says.

Elizabeth Landsverk, MD, is founder of ElderConsult Geriatric Medicine, a house calls practice in the San Francisco Bay Area that addresses the challenging medical and behavioral issues often facing older patients and their families. Dr. Landsverk is board-certified in internal medicine, geriatric medicine and palliative care and is an adjunct clinical professor at Stanford University Medical School.

Five Best Fruit Juices For Kids

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By Mauricio Prinzlau

fruitswhiteIt is certainly no child’s play persuading your children to finish their food, especially when it looks dull and unappealing. And as a parent you must be well aware of the trials and tribulations involved in getting your kid to eat his fruits and veggies. Fresh fruits are full of nutrients necessary for your child’s growth, and a smart way to persuade your kids to consume it is by juicing them! Yes a glass of organic fruit juice that looks vibrant enough to tempt the child but is high on nutrition as well. Mentioned below are some healthy and scrumptious juicing recipes for kids:

How are fruit juices beneficial?

A pretty convenient and quick breakfast fix, fruit juices keep your child energised all day long. It contains all the vitamins and minerals to fulfil the nutritional need of their developing bodies. But before we move on to the recipes, let’s take a look at the dos and don’ts of juicing.

• Babies should solely depend on the other’s milk for nutrition. Avoid giving them fruit juices

• For children aged 2 to 12 years, it is recommended that you dilute the juice (with water) and give it to them in limited quantities

• Start out slow and then gradually increase their nutrient intake, don’t worry though, fruits juices are absolutely safe

• It is best that you get a Juicer and prepare the juice yourself rather than get store bough juice boxes laden with artificial colours and preservatives,

• Incorporate green veggies such as spinach, kale, beets into the juice but in very small proportions. Such strong juices are better suited for adults

• Don’t stick to just one particular fruit introduce your child to a variety of fruit juices.

The recipes

Juicing is a great way to get your child to eat his fruits and veggies. Given below are some juicing recipes especially designed for kids and approved by kids.

Apple and orange juice

When it comes to kids, apples and oranges are among the traditional favourites. The naturally sweet tastes of the apples combined with the slightly tangy oranges are a hit among children! Apples are rich in antioxidants that flush out the toxic wastes, while oranges are replete with vitamin C that boosts immunity and strengthens the body. You would need:

• 2 apples (or carrots)

• 2 oranges

Juice the apples in an electric juicer then mix some hand squeezed orange juice with it. You can even add 2 carrots in place of the apples to add a little variety.

Carrot pear and orange juice

Naturally vibrant and slightly sweet, carrots are among the best loved vegetables among kids. And the fact that it is packed with nutrients makes it a hit among parents as well! Rich in vitamin A and other minerals, carrots are good for the eyes and immunity. Also pears and oranges contain many minerals necessary for growth. You would need:

• 2 carrots

• 1 pear

• 1 orange

Juice the carrots and pear in an electric juicer and orange in a hand one, as most conventional juicers don’t support citrus fruits. Mix the two and serve it fresh.

Mango pineapple and kale juice

Mango is one fruit that every kid loves! Rich in glucose and carbohydrates, mango pulp is a great ingredient for smoothies and fruit juices. Also pineapple only enhances the nutritional value and taste of the juice. Balance this sweetness by adding a bit of kale into the mixture. Full of vitamins A, C and K, kale takes care of the health factor. You would need:

• 1 mango

• A cup of fresh chopped pineapple

• A cup of freshly chopped kale leaves (approx. 3 to 4)

Juice the pineapple pieces and chopped kale leaves in a juicer then add mango pulp to it, ensure that you juice the kale first.

fruitcupTomato carrot and apple juice

Once your child is accustomed to juices, gradually start increasing the health quotient of the juice. The trick is to add some vegetables and balance it with the sweetness of the fruit. Tomato and carrot are well loved veggies among kids; add to that some apples and you’ve got yourself a winner! But to keep things healthy, you can also mix a bit of spinach to the mixture. Rich in vitamins and minerals, spinach purifies the blood and strengthens muscles. You would need:

• 2 carrots

• 1 apple

• 1 tomato

• A cup of freshly chopped spinach leaves

Juice all the ingredients, starting with the spinach, mix it all up and serve fresh. Your kid will love it!

Beet apple spinach juice

Easy on the eyes, the vibrant red of the beet combined with the sweetness of the apple and health of spinach gives you a wholesome energy drink. You would need:

• 1 apple

• 1 medium size peeled

• A cup of chopped spinach

Juice all the ingredients, mix it and serve fresh!

Snoring Problem In Kids And Effective Steps To Overcome Them

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By Dan Reid

kidsIs your kid a noisy sleeper? Snoring is a pretty common problem that can happen to anyone- young or old, usually caused by blockages in the nasal passage. But oftentimes the seemingly harmless light snores can lead to some serious medical consequences. So if your child is suffering from any such sleeping disorder, it is time you consult a doctor.

Good food and a good night’s sleep is the secret to a happy and healthy life. And proper rest is all the more necessary for kids to regain their energy after a hectic day full of activity. Persistent snoring in children might be a symptom of sleep apnoea or worse. Mentioned below are some simple remedies you can try at home to curb your child’s snores:

Why do kids snore?

Listed below are some common reasons behind snoring in kids:

• Common cold, allergies and nose blockages

• Swollen tonsils or adenoids

• A crooked septum (i.e. the tissue and cartilage present in between the nostrils)

• Obesity (the throat muscles and tongue close down upon the air passage)

• Down Syndrome (i.e. the slopping chin might result in blockage)

The threats of sleep apnoea:

Occasional light snoring is pretty common among children but if the problem persists then it might be something serious. Some symptoms and threats presented by sleeping disorders are:

• Risk of strokes and heart attacks

• Morning crankiness and lack of concentration

• Swollen puffy eyes, headaches

• Restricted body growth

Snoring solutions:

Constant headaches, dark circles and daytime fatigue are among the most common symptoms of sleeping disorders. If your child shows any such signs such as irritable behaviour, hyperactivity or has trouble concentrating consult his paediatrician. You can even try out these simple solutions to help your child sleep better:

Nasal spray and strips:

A major cause behind those restless nights is troubled breathing, allergies, common cold or other infections often result in mucous accumulation in the inner linings of the nasal passage, leading to blockages. Nasal sprays and vaporizers are among the easiest options to overcome this problem. Available in almost every medical store, nasal sprays contain medicated liquid that clears the mucous linings in the nose. Spraying a cool misty vapour inside the nose opens up the air way helping your child rest better. Also nasal strips that look pretty much like a bandage enhance breathing as the miniscule plastic protruding clears the nose.

Correct sleeping position:

How your child is sleeping also determines the quality of sleep he gets. Sleeping in uncomfortable positions not only results in painful sprains but might also cause a stuffy nose. Sleeping on the back can trigger snoring as the throat muscles close down restricting the air flow. Try rolling your kid gently to his side at night, if that doesn’t work you can even add extra pillows under his head, elevating his head a bit higher assists in breathing. A bit of an inclination opens up the nasal passage thus reducing snoring.

groupkidswbgAir purifiers and dehumidifiers:

Oftentimes allergies are triggered by the invisible dust particles hovering about the house that stick in the air and tickle the nostrils. But no matter how vigorously you clean, these miniscule particles remain. Installing air purifiers in the central air conditioning system is a smart way to overcome this issue. Air purifiers and filters suck out the microscopic bacteria and dust particles leaving the air pure and fresh. Also consider installing dehumidifiers in your house if you are living in a hot and dry climatic zone. It balances the moisture content in the air helping you sleep better at night.

Some lifestyle changes:

A major cause behind sleeping disorders can be the irregular lifestyle and obesity. As a parent ensure that your kid goes to bed early and lives a routine life. Fixed sleeping hours help mould the body clock accordingly leaving you refreshed the next morning. Also monitor your child’s diet and daily activity. Obesity is a major problem among kids that if ignores can grow into something even serious. Add fresh fruits and veggies to his meals and try limiting the junk food intake. The fat accumulation in the throat restricts the breathing passage and

Comfortable and peaceful surroundings:

Some other small but significant changes that can be made are:

• Paint the kid’s bedroom in light soothing colours
• Keep the windows open at night to allow fresh air
• Ensure that the mattress and pillows are soft and comfortable
• Dust the bedroom regularly
• Regular clinical check-ups and visits to the doctor

The bottom line

Watching your child suffer is perhaps the worst thing you’d have to endure as a parent. Spare your children from the discomfort of restless nights follow these above mentioned tips to curb snoring problems in your kid.

Benefits Of Toys And Brain Development In Toddlers

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By Veselina Dzhingarova

brainBrain development in toddlers is a reflection of how they understand the world around them. A great portion of this understanding is inherently developed during the first year of life where they learn to trust their senses. By the time they reach 18 months, they will already be supplementing their sensory experiences with other activities that are brought about by their interactions with the toys that we give them as well as their social interactions with other people. For the most part, toys have a great influence in their cognitive development. Here are some of the benefits of toys on the brain and cognitive development of toddlers.

1. Stimulates Curiosity

Toddlers are deemed natural explorers. Because of their improved motor skills and renewed confidence, they tend to explore a lot of things which would help them make sense of the world around them. Find toys that stimulate their sense of exploration and allow them to discover new things around them. By the time they reach 3 years old, they will already be bombarding you with a lot of “why” questions. It may be annoying sometimes because there is no end to their questions. But this is exactly how toddlers learn. Toys help them become naturally curious about certain things in their surroundings.

2. Helps Understand Cause-Effect Relationships

By age 18 months old, toddlers will already be able to understand simple causal relationships. They will already have an idea that a particular action will lead to a certain reaction. This can provide the basis for their ability to predict outcomes as well as identify potential consequences of any given action. Toys that help facilitate this understanding are thus, beneficial for brain development in toddlers. This can help them in the development of their creativity and imagination as they now have an idea of what will happen if they create or do something.

3. Develops Ability to Plan

Toddlers by age 2 years will already begin choosing and planning for their own playtime activities. This is because of the continuing maturity of their executive control systems, meaning, they are now able to take full control of their body movements particularly control of their limbs. This allows them to think of how best to use those movements to accomplish a certain task. Make-believe and pretend play toys can help toddlers make rough plans on how they need to carry out the game.

cutekids4. Learns Object Permanence

Young kids have this idea that an object that cannot be seen is an object that is not existent. That is why they love very much playing with peek-a-boo simply because of the magic of the disappearing face. However, by the time they reach 2 years of age, toddlers already begin to understand object permanence. This simply means that toddlers are getting more efficient at playing hide and seek. This also means that they can now play with toys that allow them to search for clues and other objects. Puzzles and sorters will fit this bill perfectly.

5. Improves Concentration and Focus

While the attention span of a toddler is a measly 6 minutes, giving the right kind of toy can drastically improve this by keeping him interested and focused on the toy itself. This is where high quality toys can be differentiated from mediocre ones as the former can sustain a toddler’s interest for prolonged periods of time. This can help improve their focus and concentration which can also help improve their overall cognitive development.

There are other benefits of toys on toddlers’ brain development. Suffice it to say that toys are the instruments upon which a child’s growth and development are formed and enhanced.

ACSM, Walk With A Doc Program Announce Partnership

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familywalk2This article is courtesy of ACSM, please share your comments below…..

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) announced a new partnership with the Walk with a Doc program today, forged to promote walking for better health. Walk with a Doc encourages healthy physical activity in people of all ages, because it can reverse the consequences of a sedentary lifestyle and improve the health and well-being of Americans.

ACSM is an international leader in promoting the benefits of exercise. “Walking is a safe, easy and effective way for all people to become healthier through physical activity,” said Jim Whitehead, ACSM’s EVP/CEO. “ACSM brings the expertise of 50,000 clinicians, researchers, educators and exercise professionals to this collaboration to team up with Walk with a Doc’s efforts to promote physical activity through walking.”

With close to 250 communities and thousands of doctors across the United States, Walk with a Doc sees the partnership with ACSM as a way to expand its impact as scores of additional communities stand to benefit from the collaboration. “With a doctor’s approval, walking is low impact and safe for people with orthopedic ailments, heart conditions and those who are more than 20 percent overweight,” said David Sabgir, MD, founder of Walk with a Doc. “Working with ACSM can help us meet our goals to help Americans become more active and meet national guidelines for physical activity.”

Walk with a Doc is following ACSM’s lead to answer the Surgeon General’s Call to Action on Walking and Walkable Communities, released in September 2015. The call to action recognizes the importance of physical activity for people of all ages and abilities and encourages Americans to be more physically active through walking and asks leaders to better support walking and walkability in their communities.

Walk with a Doc will also be supporting ACSM’s signature program, Exercise is Medicine®, by promoting the EIM health care provider’s pledge to encourage patients to participate in regular physical activity to support their health.

How To Get Beach Body Ready For Your Vacation

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By Connor Christopher

BikingGetting beach body ready is important when you’re going on vacation, as you always want to look your best when you’re away. Whether you’re losing weight or you just want to tone up a little bit, getting your body beach-ready is going to be hard work. Whether you need the best workouts, treatments or diet plans, we’ll give you the best tips on how to get beach body ready for your vacation. If you’re heading to America for your vacation, you’re going to be surrounded by stick-thin women and toned-up men when you’re at the beach, and as well as enrolling on the visa waiver program to enter the country, you’re also going to want a beach body.

Diet

Focusing on your diet is extremely important when it comes to getting a beach body. If you can’t train or you don’t have the motivation to hit the gym, looking at your diet is extremely important. Losing body fat and weight is easy if you’re eating the right food. Eating lots of fish for the good natural oils that are perfect for brain food as well as boosting protein levels, and cutting out the sugar is all important. Sauces such as tomato sauce, soy productions, barbecue sauce, honey mustard and more are a huge culprit when it comes to piling on the calories. Adding healthy fruits and vegetables, and packing on the protein are all important to getting beach body ready.

Mentality

Your mentality is exceptionally important to help you get beach body ready. Picturing the end result and how you want to look is a sure fire way to help you when it comes to trying to get beach body ready. If you have old pictures of yourself if you were a shape that you desire to be now, stick them on the fridge as a reminder of what you can be. Alternatively, get a picture in your mind about how you want to look and keep it there. That way, nothing will come between you and your end goal.

Exercise

saladplateLosing weight isn’t the only way to get beach body ready. You also want to get yourself into a training regime in order to effectively tone up, giving you that ideal beach body. If you are trying to be in the best shape possible, you should do cardio every day. Weights for women are also a good way to train your body weight. Exercise is inevitable if you want to get beach body ready, and although it may seem like a chore at first, you will be surprised how quickly you will get into the swing of things, particularly if you really want to reach that beach-body goals.

Keep Training

Even when you’re on vacation, it’s important to try and keep training no matter what. All-inclusive buffets and relaxation can put you off, but if you suddenly stop, you may find that the beach-body you built up will slowly disappear, leaving you without that lovely body throughout the rest of your vacation. Maintaining that with healthy eating while you’re away or having an occasional jog on the beach in the morning is the perfect way to maintain your beach body throughout your vacation, so you don’t quickly fall back into bad habits. Keep training, and you’ll get to where you want to be.