Keeping Kids Active in Winter
Obesity has reached epidemic proportions. There are 4.7 million children (ages six to17) now overweight or obese in America today. Too much time in front of the television and the computer are thought to be key reasons for this increase. One of the best things you can do for your children is to keep them moving.
- Make exercise a family priority, even if the kids grumble about it. Schedule family activity regularly, so that the kids come to expect it.
- Limit time in front of the television and computer.
- Encourage them to play outside with friends (not with computer games!)
Source: Journal of the American Dietetic Association
Should You Exercise with a Cold?
When you have a cold, you don’t want to make things worse by exercising. What should you do?
One way to make your decision is to do a “neck check.” If your symptoms are above the neck—stuffy nose, slight cough, exercise is probably safe.
If your symptoms are below the neck—difficulty breathing, aching muscles—it’s probably a good idea to exercise after those symptoms have disappeared.
Source: American Council on Exercise
Exercise: Beneficial at any Age
It’s never too late to start exercising, and it’s always too early to stop. Even people in their nineties who have not been active can strengthen bones, muscle, heart and lung capacity when they start an exercise program.
Moderate activity that gets your heart pumping a little harder and causes you to break a sweat is what you want to strive for. Walking is an excellent exercise, and so is swimming. A little bit of strength training is also a good idea. You don’t have to exercise every day if that seems like too much. Aim for every other day. Eventually, you want to work out at least 30 minutes each day, but you can work up to that gradually.
As always, talk with your doctor before starting an exercise program. Be sure to warm up before you work out and cool down afterwards. If you experience shortness of breath, dizziness, cold or clammy skin, nausea or chest pains while you are exercising, stop right away and call your doctor.
Source: The Administration on Aging
Safe Baby Walkers
You may think that baby walkers are dangerous, but if you use them correctly, your baby is at low risk for an accident. Follow these guidelines:
- Never leave a baby unattended in a walker. That’s when most accidents happen.
- Make sure the walker meets the height and weight requirements of the baby.
- Make sure the wheelbase is wider than the walker’s frame. This ensures stability.
- Use the walker only on smooth surfaces.
- Remove all throw rugs in the area where the baby is using the walker.
- Block stairways with a gate or enclosure.
- Don’t carry the walker when the baby’s in it.
Source: Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association
Exercise Your Mind
Keeping your body fit is always important, but you need t keep your mind in good shape too. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine has suggested that doing difficult crossword puzzles, reading a book that makes you think and taking part in other similar mental activity may help ward off Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia.
So join a book club. Take a literature class. Learn a new language. Continue these activities throughout your life, and maybe you’ll be able to hang on to your full mental capabilities during your old age.
Source: New England Journal of MedicineSource: The American Dietetic Association: Nutrition, Aging, and the Continuum of Care.