Archive | Exercise

Your Kids and Yoga

It is very important for children to learn the value of exercise early on in their lives. In this way they will be able to enjoy what life has to offer them without having to worry on ailments affecting their bodies that can be a hindrance for them to achieve their dreams.

One of the best forms of exercise and probably one of the most popular now a day is yoga. This is because of the health benefits that it gives both the body and mind which makes yoga a favorite of most people. But is not just adults who benefits from doing yoga, children too can gain the good effects it gives the health.

The following are some of the health benefits that kids get from doing yoga:

  • Yoga helps instill discipline in children. This virtue is very important for a child especially in his day to day dealings.
  • Yoga helps relieve stress in children. Just like adults, children are also prone to be under too much pressure be it from school or at home. When a child performs yoga, it helps relaxes the mind which is very important in preventing depression in children. If a child is able to handle and cope up with stress, he will show good performance in his endeavors just like in school.
  • Yoga helps children improve their innate attitudes. Those who have a temper are able to control them because of the values and inner balance that yoga professes. Children who practices yoga do not get into fights in school because they know how to control their feelings and avoid violent temper which is very common especially in school aged children.
  • Yoga can also help minimize the symptoms of children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. As the exercise teaches the value of inner balance and flexibility, children with ADHD are able to control their behavior.
  • Yoga helps the child to have a healthier body. Aside from the benefits it gives to the child’s mental health, yoga gives a lot of physical benefits. It helps the child to stick to a healthy weight which is very important in preventing the occurrence of diseases like hypertension and diabetes.

Yoga surely gives a lot of benefits to your child’s body. So next time you get your mat for another yoga routine, tag your child alone. In this way you will not just get the health benefits that yoga, you can have quality bonding moments with your child too.

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Tonsillectomy Scare: Know How It can lead to Overweight Children

Most children under the age of 15 suffer from sleep disorders brought by blockage of the tonsils in the airway. To avoid this condition parents are often advised by doctors to perform a tonsillectomy. It is a procedure wherein the tonsils are removed from the throat. This surgical procedure is often advised for people who constantly suffer from tonsillitis and sleeping disorders, the former posing a danger to develop rheumatic heart disease if there are recurrent infections. Tonsillectomy can either be with or without adenoidectomy. The surgery is done as an outpatient procedure and recovery usually takes two to three weeks. Parents will need to watch out for bleeding and frequent swallowing which can be a sign that there is perfuse bleeding in the throat.

Recent studies shows that there is an accelerated weight gain in children who undergone tonsillectomy. While some doctors will argue tonsillectomy does not directly cause weight gain but it can predispose a child into eating more because of the removal of the blockage that is causing discomfort in eating in the past. Children who often have recurrent tonsillitis suffer from dysphagia or difficulty in swallowing and this leads to poor eating habits. Thus the children are poorly nourished and underweight. After tonsillectomy the discomfort in eating is removed and children are encouraged to eat more and since they are still in their growing years the chances of growth are doubled.

Parent also plays a major role in the increase in caloric intake for children who just had tonsillectomy. Parents will naturally encourage their child to eat more thinking that they would recover faster from the surgical procedure.

Parents and children who had a tonsillectomy should work together to maintain a well balanced diet to avoid the scare of gaining weight after the procedure. Parents should be informed of the proper foods to serve to their children focusing more on vegetables and fruits rather than junk foods and sweets. Parents should also encourage regular physical activity in their children to burn excess calorie intake from food. Children are naturally energetic and playful which is why encouraging them to increase their physical activity will not be difficult.

Overweight and obesity among children is not just a problem resulting from a surgical procedure such as a tonsillectomy but it shows a deeper problem in the society wherein our kids are slowly becoming unhealthy. With increased frequency of food advertisements in tv, media and internet children are exposed to tasty, delicious yet not so nutritious foods. Fast food chains like hamburgers, fries and doughnuts are popular among kids and parents will not always be around to supervise what their children eats. Parents should really focus on teaching their kids about healthy eating at an early age to instill in them the value of nutritious foods. Parents can still prepare healthy foods that are equally tasty and delicious compared to those served in fast food chains without the excess trans fat and calories.

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Kid Fitness Programs

Based on statistics, the rate of obesity in children has gone up, and is continuing to increase up to the present. According to experts, when there are no immediate solutions done regarding this matter, approximately 80% of these children will grow overweight. Aside from suffering from a very low self-esteem, overweight adults are also perfect candidates for serious medical conditions like sleep apnea, high levels of cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes.

In order for your child to stay healthy, you should encourage him to undergo certain fitness programs which will help him lose weight, or maintain the normal weight for his age. This entails encouraging him to develop habits that are healthy for his body, including physical activities which are available at home, the community, or in school.

Determining if Your Child is Fit

The first step to determining whether your child is fit or not is to ask yourself one simple question: is your kid getting enough exercise? Aside from this, you also have to determine what your child does for most of his or her free time. In order to make sure that you child is getting enough exercise, he or she should at least spend 30 minutes to one hour participating in various physical activities at home, the community or in school. But if your child spends most of his or her free time surfing the web, playing video games, or watching TV, then you should be alarmed because he or she is a perfect candidate for getting overweight.

Exercise Safety Precautions

Before your child could begin any exercise program, he or she should warm up to prevent certain injuries like sprains and dislocations. Some of the warm up exercises that will surely make your child feel prepared for some exercises are stretching, walking, jumping jacks, and the like. These pre-exercise activities are important aside from preventing injuries because they also help prepare the entire body for a heavier type of exercise. It also regulates the heart beat and the flow of blood in their system.

Exercise for Children

Keeping your child fit and healthy does not mean he or she has to hit the gym with you. There are a lot of activities which can be considered as exercise even if they are technically activities which can be done by your child everyday. Some of the known activities which could keep your child healthy and fit include walking, jogging, swimming, running, cycling, and dancing. Your child can also participate in different team sports like basketball, volleyball, baseball, and soccer.

Aside from these exercises, your child can also choose alternatives to different daily activities which could benefit his or her overall fitness. Some of these activities include walking the dog every afternoon instead of riding a car, choosing the stairs instead of elevators or escalators, and doing different household chores that would make them exert a little more effort like yard work.

It has to be remembered by every parent that after their child has engaged in these activities, they should also be given the time to rest. This is also important like warm ups in preventing certain injuries.      

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Strengthen Your Child’s Immune System

Children like the elderly are susceptible to catch infection and diseases. The children’s immune system is still developing that is why even a simple change of weather can give your child cough and colds. Because their  immune system is weaker, this explains why there are a lot of children who get sick than adults do. All of us need to have a healthy immune system because it serves as our shield that protects us from harmful viruses and bacteria that are the culprit of diseases.

In any conditions, prevention is far better than cure. Even if children are prone for infections, it does not mean that it cannot be prevented. There are a lot of ways on how we parents can help our children become healthy and free from diseases. Here are some of the ways on how you can strengthen your child’s immune system:

  • Give your child good nutrition. A good health starts with having enough nutrients to keep the body functioning well. Meals should also be balanced with enough protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals. Fruits and vegetables should be part of your everyday staple and see to it that your child eats these foods well.
  • Make sure that your child has enough sleep. Children need to have 12 hours of uninterrupted sleep to allow the body to heal itself. Sleep is not only good in helping the immune system to function at its best; it is also needed by the children for proper brain development and the release of growth hormones.
  • Give your child foods that are rich in probiotics or good bacteria like yoghurt and other drinks. They fight bad bacteria in the body especially in the digestive tract needed to prevent the occurrence of gastro-intestinal disorders.
  • Engage your child to sports and encourage him to be active. The more active he is the lesser chances that he will catch lifestyle related conditions like diabetes and hypertension later on. Active children maintain a normal weight which prevents them from being obese. Obesity is linked to many conditions like those diseases mentioned above.
  • Give multivitamins to your child daily. Sometimes food is not enough to give the body the needed vitamins and minerals so children need other sources. Vitamin C, D, and zinc are specifically good for the immune system.
  • Let your child be free from stress. Stress can lead to a lot of conditions like certain cancers. Stress can also lead to depression which can greatly affect the child’s immune system. When your child is in too much pressure from school and from peers, help your child manage it well. Do things that your child loves like going to parks and watching movies. This will help relax their young bodies from things that may be bothering them.

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Teens Who Want to Get Muscles

It is not uncommon for teenagers to have issues with their bodies. Some girls wish to have the bodies that super models have. They try their hardest to achieve the tiniest waist line possible. What they consider as beautiful is someone who is tall, lean and skinny. Most of these girls aim to wear clothes that do not go beyond size 0, dieting as much as they can to achieve this kind of measurement. For boys, most of them want to have strong and muscular physiques similar to what body builders have. To them the perfect body is something that resembles their favorite sports athlete. Getting the body that is well toned and muscular is not impossible.

For children being muscular is something that they should not be worried about, just yet. Children who haven’t undergone puberty cannot develop muscles, the way grownups and adults can. The bodies of children are not yet fully developed making it difficult for them to have extremely large muscles. Not being able to have large muscles doesn’t mean not being able to have strong ones. Children can still perform exercises and various physical activities that can help make strengthen their muscles. Playing, which all children love to do, is an activity that improves muscle strength. Jumping, running and riding a bike can make the leg and arm muscles stronger. When doing these activities the muscles in the legs and arms are used, if done frequently, these muscles expand and relax, making them well toned and at the same time improving their strength.

Teens who wish to have big muscles can also benefit from doing certain exercises and physical activities. Teens can either enroll themselves in gyms or they can do body building exercises at home. Home based workouts are fun to do and they do not cost as much as gyms or fitness centers. When working out at home, you do not need to have the fanciest equipments. Home furniture, water bottles, towels, pillows and even books can be used as an alternative. To build muscles on the arms, teens can use weights and dumb bells, the load of these instruments must be appropriate for the height and weight of the person using them. For beginners, they can use 2 to 4 pound weights, the load increases as the body building program progresses. The weights can be moved up and down, sideways and at the back for 8 to 15 counts or repetitions (reps) within 3 to 5 sets or intervals. At home, water bottles filled with water can be used as a dumb bell replacement. For the upper body, back and abdomen, sit backs and sit ups are the most effective forms of exercise. Aside from running and brisk walking, doing chair squats can improve the size and strength of leg muscle. It is very important for teens to consult their physician before starting any body building program. Doctors would know what exercise routine fits and what doesn’t. Body building is most effective when done safely.

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How to Manage Ankle Sprains?

One of the most common injuries in children and teens is a sprained ankle. Individuals who play sports and those who don’t are prone to ankle sprains.  The cause of ankle sprains is the over stretching or tearing of the ligaments found in the ankles. These ligaments support the ankle and allow it to move freely. Incidents like slipping; stepping on a low surface, loosing balance and improper foot placement can all cause ankle sprains. Walking clumsily on a flat surface or wearing high heeled shoes can also sprain the ankles. Usually, ankle sprains are not serious and they heal on their own even with minimal medical interventions. In some cases though, the injury can become a concern. Ankle sprains are classified into 3 different grades depending on the degree and extent of ligament damage. Grade 1 ankle sprains are considered mild. This type of injury causes minimal swelling and soreness. The ligaments are slightly stretched causing a bit of pain and discomfort. Grade 2 ankle sprain is the moderate kind. With this type of sprain, the ligaments are slightly torn, loosening the ankle joints. Pain is tolerable but worsens when weight is applied on the affected foot. Swelling is more prominent and it can last for a few hours. Grade 3 ankle sprain is the severe kind, with this type of injury the ligament is completely torn and the ankle joint is very painful. Walking or even standing up is very difficult with grade 3 ankle sprain.

Ankle sprains are easy to determine since the symptoms manifest right after the incident. For example if a child accidentally twisted his ankle and he feels pain and observes a bit of swelling on the site, then that’s a sprain. When pain is unbearable and the ankle can’t be moved, it is best to go to the nearest medical facility to have it checked. X-rays and scans will be able to determine if the damage is only in the ligaments or if it extended to the bones. Ankle sprains like accidents cannot be eradicated but they are definitely preventable. Being extra careful and cautious when walking and running helps a lot. There are also exercises that can strengthen the ankles making the joints more elastic and flexible. Before doing strenuous and rigorous physical activities, make sure to do warm up exercises, doing this helps prepare the ankles. Wearing the right kind of footwear the fits snugly also helps in preventing ankle sprains.

How are ankle sprains managed? The best way to relieve a sprained ankle is doing RICE. RICE as an acronym means rest, ice and compress and elevate. Rest means avoiding weight on the affected area by not walking. Ice application relieves pain and swelling, it also localizes the inflammation. Compress application or splint application maybe required if the area needs to be immobilized. Elevating the foot minimizes swelling and helps with blood circulation and venous return. Taking over the counter anti-inflammatory drugs can help relieve pain and reduce swelling and inflammation.

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Yoga for Kids

Who would have thought that yoga, a form a traditional mental and physical exercise, can now be done by kids? Gone are the days, when yoga was only performed by models, famous celebrities, gym buffs and fitness enthusiasts. Yoga is now for everyone, from adults to old people and even for young children. People who practice yoga have different reasons of doing so. Some people do yoga as a form of relaxation as well as a means for mental and spiritual meditation. Other people use yoga to improve their muscle tone, strength and flexibility. There are those people who find yoga as an effective way of losing weight and keeping in shape. Whatever reason they might have, every person who practices yoga enjoys the benefits of good health and well being.

When we hear the word “yoga”, the first thing that comes to mind is a person who’s twisted like piece of pretzel. For someone who hasn’t tried yoga even once, looking at people with their feet, legs and toes twisted like crazy, and their hands and arms wrapped tightly around their bodies, the sight is definitely not that appealing. This person might even consider yoga as a form of painful torture instead of being a fitness regime or exercise routine. Yoga is not painful at all; this traditional Indian discipline uses breathing and stretching techniques that help calms the body and relaxes the mind. Yoga as an exercise facilitates breathing, helps with blood circulation and improves focus, concentration and memory. Children who do yoga will generally feel better. With this traditional discipline, children will be relieved from the life stressor that’s bothering them. They will feel calmer, more relaxed and happier. If you are a parent and you’re considering yoga for your child, here are some helpful tips.

  • Find a good yoga class – Parents can try the local gyms and fitness centers to see if they offer yoga classes for children. A good yoga class must have the right amount of space with very minimal distractions. Since yoga is about meditation, a clean, well-lit, well ventilated and sound-proof room is ideal. The flooring for the room must also be soft and safe for the child to step on. Usually with yoga wearing of any type of footwear is not done. Some yoga centers even offer classes for both the parent and her child. Enrolling in this class will make yoga a bonding experience.
  • Yoga can help children cope with stress – Yoga is an effective method of relieving stress in children. It improves their mood and allows them to feel stronger and in-control of difficult situations. With yoga, children learn how to meditate and breathe deeply. They are taught how to calm their nerves using the thoughts they create inside their heads. Children cope with stress by means of total mind and body relaxation.
  • Yoga is fun – Children will definitely enjoy yoga. Other than stretching and meditation, yoga also teaches facial and body posing. Children will have fun moving their faces and posing in different ways. With yoga children can smile, laugh and do all sorts of things.

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Incorporating Active Play in your Child’s Routine

Every child loves to play. Children from different parts of the world, from all walks of life know how to play. It is safe to say that play is the universal activity for all children. By the time the child reaches 2 years old, under normal circumstances he has already mastered standing upright and walking. This is also the time when he starts playing. From taking a few simple steps, to running short distances then climbing on high objects as well as hanging on beams and bars the child will gradually learn the art and skill of playing. Playing is not all fun and games, these activities are essential for every child since it helps develop their mental skills, socials skills and motor skills. Parents should slowly introduce children to play. They must encourage them to be active participants in this fun learning activity. Parents are also there to supervise and ensure the child’s safety and security while playing. There are several different active plays parents can incorporate in the child’s daily routine.

1)      For newborn babies up to 7 months – Moms and dads can play with the baby’s tummy. They can creep behind their baby’s back, do gentle strokes and massages and do slight turns, pivots and body rolls. Babies will surely enjoy these activities.

2)     For babies 7 to 12 months old – Parents can have the baby lie down and then they can gently raise him/her up in a sitting position. After the lying down to sitting position, parents can then let their babies try sitting to crawling position. Letting the baby reach objects and making him stand for a few seconds is also a good active play idea.

3)     For children 1 to 2 years old – The focus of active play is now independence. Children at this age can already stand and walk independently. Play that encourages independence includes pushing or pulling or toy carts and climbing on short steps.

4)     For toddlers 2 to 3 years old – Active play will now require a warm up activity as well as a cool down activity. Parents can let the child sing simple nursery rhymes while doing hand gestures as the warm up or cool down activity. Games fit for this age group include balancing, jumping, catching, throwing and kicking.

5)     For Pre-school children 3 to 5 years old – Warm up and cool down activities can now be more active. Play that involves stretching, hopping, galloping, catching, kicking, hitting targets and striking a ball can be slowly introduced. Children at this age group are highly energetic and are more than willing to do active play. During this time, it is very important for parents to ensure the child’s safety, clearing the play ground from hazardous objects and materials.

When children are actively playing they will benefit a lot of skills and learning. Active play can improve social and communication skills. It can also help the child learn patience, perseverance, discipline, generosity, kindness, obedience and team work.

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