Kids Vulnerable to Sports Injuries
You may think that children are less likely to become injured than adults, but that's not always the case. Kids' bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments are still growing, and that can make them more vulnerable to injury. And growth plates, the areas where cartilage is developing, can also be weak.
Take a child's injuries seriously. If your child complains about chronic pain, have a physician evaluate the situation. Untreated injuries can cause permanent damage and interfere with physical growth.
Sudden, acute injuries need prompt treatment as well.
Source: American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons - January 2002
The Cold and Your Heart
Cold weather can be a strain on your heart. It can cause hypothermia, a dangerous condition in which the body temperature falls below normal. The body can't produce enough energy to keep the internal temperature warm enough. Most cases of death due to hypothermia are the result of heart failure.
People most at risk for hypothermia include:
- The elderly
- Those with heart disease
Sudden exertion, such as shoveling snow or walking in heavy snow drifts, can also be dangerous.
Source: American Heart Association - January 2002
Don't forget-it's never too late to exercise to improve your heart health. A study in the journal Circulation last fall showed that a six-month endurance training program reversed the decline in heart fitness that occurred as a normal part of aging in middle-aged men.
The study participants walked, jogged or rode bikes for about 4½ hours per week.
Even though it's cold outside, you can still go to your nearest mall and walk. Build it into your day.
Source: Circulation, 18 September 2001
Why Take Yoga?
The word yoga means union. When you do yoga, your breath and your movements are synchronized. You body and mind feel connected, and you experience a feeling of relaxation and calm.
If this sounds too far out, consider the other benefits of yoga: it strengthens your muscles, increases your flexibility, improves lung capacity when performed correctly and basically makes you feel really good.
There are different types of classes you can take. Some are more mellow and involve lots of gentle stretching and breathing. Others give you a workout that leaves little room for doubt that you've been giving it your all.
Source: C. Krucoff, M. Krucoff. Healing Moves. Harmony Books, New York, New York, 2000.
Eating Disorders and Exercise
It's important for kids to get regular exercise. But sometimes an obsession with exercising can be a symptom of an eating disorder. As a parent, you can help your child by focusing on exercise as a way to be healthy and to feel good, not to lose weight or change body shape.
If you notice your child worrying excessively about weight, avoiding food or exercising in a way that seems obsessive, it's important to talk with a doctor about the possibility of an eating disorder.
Remember-people with eating disorders don't always become extremely thin. Your child could be suffering from bulimia, for example, and be a normal weight or even overweight.
Eating disorders have serious health consequences and can sometimes be fatal. Getting treatment early is essential.
Source: National Eating Disorders Association - January 2002