Older_adult_exercise_with_tin_can.

7 Factors That Influence Your Lifespan

We all want to live longer, better lives… here are some smart tips to help you reach that goal. It’s true that some things that affect lifespan are under the influence of genetics and how our mother behaved during pregnancy, still there are other factors that we can control that also have an impact on our chances of enjoying a long, healthy life. Let’s look at both.

Understand that much of the research into aging has been focused on the part played by telomeres, the protective tips at the end of chromosomes. They safeguard the end of the chromosome, preventing the loss of genetic information as cells divide. Every time this happens, the telomeres get shorter and eventually are so short they stop cells from dividing. This is how we age. Research has found that longer telomeres are linked to living longer, and can be inherited by the next generation.

Everyone knows that even before birth a child’s health is impacted by the lifestyle choices (good or bad) made by its mother. There’s much research that’s found if an expectant mother is highly stressed this can impact the baby, so that they are less capable of handling stress in their own lives. Heavy drinking during a pregnancy can bring on foetal alcohol syndrome, which often results in physical issues and lifelong learning disabilities in the child. Smoking also effects a baby’s development, and even the diet a pregnant woman eats can up her unborn child’s risk of obesity by making changes in the baby’s DNA.

What’s more, having a happy childhood may also boost your lifespan. One study found that those who were unhappy in their younger years had a higher risk of heart disease as adults. Getting outside as a child, spending time in natural sunlight, gives every child a key source of vitamin D. Today one in four kids are deficient in this nutrient, needed to build strong bones, by helping the body absorb calcium and phosphorus from the foods we eat.

No one disputes the many benefits of regular exercise to the body and mind. Exercise has a direct impact on how long you live because it ensures you get a healthier heart, while also boosting good mental health and offering an effective stress management technique that works on anxiety and depression too. Another key benefit of regular exercise is that it helps you reach (and keep yourself at) a healthy weight, which cuts the risk of diabetes. Weight bearing exercises are especially good for helping with bone density and offering protection against osteoporosis.

Continues below…


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7 Factors That Influence Your Lifespan Continued…

As we get older, the strong bones of our youth are no more. People start losing bone density in their mid 30s as a normal part of aging. The good news is that you can fight back against natural bone loss/weakening by eating a diet rich in calcium and exercising as often as you can. Exposure to natural sunlight is also crucial as this helps your body produce more vitamin D.

One key to longevity in terms of diet is to limit or avoid certain foods and drinks. You know the ones, those with lots of calories that are loaded with salt, simple carbs (sugars) or fat that taste great but also pack on the weight. Trans fats are particularly bad for you, raising the levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol and raising the risk of atherosclerosis, heart disease and even stroke. If you want to live longer, healthier, avoid these foods. Too much alcohol can also have serious consequences on your health – drinking more than is recommended over the long haul can cause damage to vital internal organs.

Smoking is also a well-known life shortener. Smokers have higher risk of over 50 serious, life altering health problems. Smoking is the cause of almost 90% of lung cancers, does damage to the heart and circulation, makes respiratory conditions worse and even effects fertility. If you want to live longer, stop smoking now.

Beyond eating right and exercising, drinking alcohol in moderation and not smoking, another key area that helps with longevity is to have friendships.

Research on loneliness has found that social isolation is linked to a higher rate of death in older adults. Loneliness may well prove to be the hidden, unacknowledged killer of older people. Research has also found that those who are married live longer than single adults do. The reason may be the improved social support networks
of spouses, which cuts down on the risk of isolation and loneliness.

To your good health,

cotrim / Pixabay

Boost Their Brain With After School Activities

Looks like there’s something to the, now old fashioned, idea of playing outside after school. A new study finds that up to 60 minutes of physical activity each day after school might be enough to improve cognitive functioning, while also keeping our young people in better physical shape. The researchers, led by Charles Hillman, a professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, have published their findings in the journal Pediatrics.

Hillman and his team used 221 children (7-9 years old), half of whom were randomly assigned to an exercise program (called FITKids) while the other half were put on a waiting list, and thus acted as control subjects. FITKids called for the participants to take part in a minimum of 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity each day after school. The intervention was designed for the way kids like to move. Short bouts of exercise with periods of rest that lasted a total of two hours. The kids wore heart monitors and pedometers during the activity periods, and both the exercise and control group took part in brain imaging and cognitive testing at the start and end of the 9-month study period.

The researchers found that children who participated in at last an hour of exercise after school showed improvements in attention, as well as being better able to avoid (block out) distractions and make the switch (cognitive flexibility) from one cognitive task to another when compared to children who didn’t take part in the program. The exercising children showed significant improvements in terms of accuracy on cognitive tasks as well as having widespread changes in brain function as well. Their fitness level, not surprisingly showed a significant increase too.

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Boost Their Brain With After School Activities Continued…

Professor Hillman notes that some of the improvement in cognitive functions could be due to the social interaction that these programs involve. Kids are social beings, and take part in physical activity in a social environment. This is a reason why children like to take part in structured sports after school; they find this type of exercise fun and a place to make new friends. The research intervention did this as well.

Today the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services suggests that children and teens (6-17 years old) get at least an hour of activity a day. Sadly a survey of high school students from last year found only 29% had met this goal within the last week. With the numbers of obese children and teens rising, we can see plainly the affects of not being active on a regular basis, and the need for this to change.

Experts recognize that regular activity in both childhood and the teen years has many benefits for the health of the body. It can help build healthy muscles and bones, improve cholesterol levels and blood pressure, and of course, help with controlling weight. An increasing tide of research is showing that there are positive effects of physical activity on the brain function of our children. Now we parents need to get them up and get them moving – while we do the very same ourselves.

To your good health,

Up-Free / Pixabay

How A Spouse Can Influence Your Career

You’ve heard the saying, “Behind every great man there’s a great woman.” Today the reverse is also true. In 2011 Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg made headlines when she pointed out that who you choose to marry is one of the most important career decisions a you will ever make. Some recent research has confirmed this remarkable idea, the work appearing in Psychological Science finding that the personality of your spouse has a great deal to do with how fast, and far, you climb, on the corporate ladder.

Study author Joshua Jackson, who is an assistant professor of psychology at Washington University in St. Louse likens this to a “lean on” movement – leaning on a spouse to help advance your career. We all agree that home life has a big impact on work, a phenomenon known as the “crossover effect”. The thing is, the work/home connection has only been studied in the short term, this team wanted to take a broader look at the link between work and home. More specifically, how does your spouse’s personality impact your success in the workplace.

To find out, the researchers tracked the career progress of 4,544 married subjects over 5 years and examined the couples’ division of household chores, how they spent free time together and their levels of satisfaction in the relationship. The subjects also took a personality test to assess what psycho9logists call the “big 5″ traits – openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism. It’s these five constructs that are thought to define most of human differences in terms of personality.

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How A Spouse Can Influence Your Career Continued…

What was intriguing was that only one spouse personality trait could be said to be a significant predictor of career success – conscientiousness. People who work hard, follow the rules, are organized, responsible and reliable, who are able to control impulses and delay gratification. These types are less prone to procrastination as a result. In the study, those employees who had a conscientious partner tended to be better paid and got more promotions – regardless of employment status.

Being married to a reliable person gave the spouse’s career a boost. The other spouse didn’t have to stay home, and gender was not a factor. Both men and women saw a benefit from a conscientious spouse. It may well be that reliability wears off on the other spouse – psychologists agree that married couples tend to take on each other’s traits, especially the good ones. After years of living with someone who is conscientious, you may become that as well, and this leads to more success at work.

Another theory is that career success in one spouse may be the result of having someone reliable in your life who allows you to focus more on work, assured the rest is under control. This leaves you with more mental energy, more time, while also making it more likely you get the rest you need to tackle work the next day. You may even be able to take work home, because your spouse is handling the at home duties, and this allows for even harder work, more chance to get ahead.

Remember that even working spouses can make this happen. You can still share tasks like managing finances, juggling appointments, hiring help – any number of things that can help ease the home stress so that both of you can focus more at work. Try dividing responsibilities based on strengths instead of the traditional roles – this helps you feel as though you’re doing a specialty, not a tedious chore. The key is to make a joint effort at tackling the tasks that must get done.

To your good health,

succo / Pixabay

The Best Plant For Your Intake In Potassium

As the main ingredient in an American favorite, French fries, the white potato has something to boast about – beating out the banana in terms of potassium. A study released at the Experimental Biology 2013 annual meeting finds that consumption of white potatoes is tied to higher intake of potassium. For each added kilocalorie of these potatoes eaten there was a 1.6 mg increase in potassium for adults over 19 years old, a 1.7 mg increase for children and teens aged 2 to 18 years old. Gender, age, education and race/ethnicity were highly predictive of potassium intake, while income and body mass index were not.

A small white potato, with the skin, gives you 738 mg of potassium and 128 calories. By contrast, a large banana, a well-known potassium powerhouse has the same number of calories but only 487 mg of potassium. Surprise! Even with the skin off, the inside of the white potato is a fantastic source of potassium. One cup provides 477 mg of the nutrient.

Potassium is an electrolyte mineral, a key nutrient that most of us, an estimated 97% of Americans, don’t get enough of in our diets. It helps control blood pressure, key to keeping the heart healthy. Since the vast majority of adults will get high blood pressure sometime during their lifetime, getting enough potassium is vital to counter this. It’s also essential for a healthy skeletal system and regulating the actions of muscles and nerves too.

A diet that doesn’t have enough potassium brings plenty of problems to the body. When potassium is low, the body holds onto extra sodium, too much sodium brings up blood pressure. When you get enough potassium in the foods you eat, the body gets more efficient at getting rid of that extra sodium.

The 2010 Dietary Guidelines advisors agree that there is much evidence that higher intakes of potassium are linked to lower blood pressure in adults. Foods that have lots of potassium and are low in sodium may cut the risk of silent but dangerous high blood pressure and devastating stroke. White potatoes fit the bill; they have lots of potassium and are naturally low in salt, free of fat, saturated fats and cholesterol.

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Unfortunately, the most recent data from the well regarded National Health and
Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 2009-2010 examined by the team included
the nutrient intakes of children and adults. The authors found that intakes of
potassium, dietary fiber, calcium and vitamin D for these groups were all below
the recommended daily allowance or even the adequate intake levels called for
by the Institute of Medicine. This is a real world warning that kids, teens and
adults are not meeting dietary recommendations for important nutrients even in
a nation of abundance.

Some of the symptoms of potassium deficiency include confusion, irritability, muscle weakness, fatigue and heart disturbances. You might tire more easily during exercise. Too much potassium can be toxic and may bring on an irregular heartbeat or even heart attack. So long as you stick to dietary sources of this substance, your body will keep the balance of potassium within a tight, effective range.

The recommended daily allowance for potassium is 4,700 mg for adult men and women. Some other natural food sources of potassium, besides white potatoes and bananas, include sweet potatoes, orange juice, beet greens, white beans, dates, yogurt, tomatoes, raisins and clams.

To your good health,

geralt / Pixabay

Does Genes Control Your Health?

Just because an illness runs in your family does not mean you are doomed to be a patient yourself. Genes don’t control your destiny. Lifestyle choices can make a big impact on keeping your body healthy according to the experts. While there’s no doubt that some genes lead to disease, for most of us a healthy lifestyle will beat out any risk you inherit says cardiologist Donald Lloyd-Jones, MD who is chair of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

Here’s how lifestyle changes can bring down your risk of disease…

For colon cancer, almost 25% of colon cancers happen in those who have some family history of disease, but in the rest of those who get the disease (the majority at 75%), genetics don’t appear to matter but lifestyle more likely plays a role. Doctors will advise you that you can dramatically lower colon cancer risk by eating little red/processed meat, exercising, keeping your weight in the healthy range, and drinking alcohol in moderation or not at all.

Beyond colon cancer, there are other forms of disease that are also influenced by the lifestyle choices we make each day. One good example is lung cancer where 80% to 90% of such cancers are brought on by smoking. Men who smoke are 23 times more likely to have lung cancer than nonsmoking men; women are 13 times more likely to be diagnosed with lung cancer than nonsmoking women. The longer you smoke and the more you smoke matter in terms of risk.

And while there are examples of patients who never smoked getting lung cancer, and a fortunate few who smoke and never get this disease, these are exceptions and not the rule. Odds are smoking will bring lung cancer into your life and the lives of your family and friends.

When it comes to heart disease, there are over 100 different genes that might play a small part in your risk according to researcher Lloyd-Jones, but the biggest factor is how you live and the choices you make. Based on his analysis of data from the Framingham Heart Study, that followed three generations of families, he found that…

” Family history accounted for 17% of heart disease risk

” Poor lifestyle choices, such as no exercise, account for 83% of heart disease risk

Clearly a heart healthy lifestyle can keep your heart going strong. What’s more, those who carry a gene strongly linked to heart disease can cut their risk down to normal by eating a diet that’s loaded with fruits and veggies according to research. If you have the gene but eat poorly, you’ll have double the normal risk of having a dangerous heart attack.

In terms of diabetes, the disease is impacted by a combination of lifestyle and genetics, with from 30% to as much as 70% of risk shaped by the genes you inherit. With the U.S. in the grips of an obesity epidemic that’s fueled by too much high calorie food and an inactive lifestyle, type 2 diabetes is on the rise.

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Does Genes Control Your Health? Continued…

What’s more, exercise and controlling your weight can bring down your risk of diabetes. In an ongoing trial, researchers are looking at an intensive lifestyle intervention program that encompasses exercise, low calorie, nutritious food choices and loosing weight. The participants in the program have seen big improvements in their A1C levels. Blood pressure and cholesterol numbers also improved dramatically.

The good news is that the earlier you start making good lifestyle choices, the better. Researcher Lloyd-Jones and his team just finished a study on heart disease that examined lifestyle factors in those who were 25 years old. Checking in with the subjects 20 years later, the team saw that those who stuck with a healthy lifestyle into middle age were far less likely to have risk factors like high cholesterol or poor blood sugar control.

It’s never too late to start living healthy. Even in your 60s and 70s, making lifestyle changes brings dramatic reductions in risks of disease. Exercising and sticking to a healthy diet helps older people bring down their risk of heart disease and bone less. If you have heart disease, following these smart lifestyle choices can bring down the risk of future heart attacks by as much as 45%. These choices also cut the risk of cancer nearly in half.

To your good health,

stux / Pixabay

Good Level Of Vitamin D in Mushrooms

If you take supplements for vitamin D, you’ll want to read this. A team from Boston University School of Medicine has found that eating mushrooms with vitamin D2 is just as effective at raising (and maintaining) vitamin D levels as taking a supplement of vitamin D2 or D3. The findings were presented at the 2013 annual meeting of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and published earlier in 2013 in the open access journal Dermato-Endocrinology.

Normally, most of us get our vitamin D from sunscreen free exposure to natural sunlight. About 20 to 25 minutes a day is good. If you’re worried about skin cancer, get out before the heat of the day (10:00 am) or after (2:00 pm) it has passed. Trouble is, this natural process is not as effective for those living at higher latitudes, in the winter or if you’re dark skinned or a bit older. If this is the case, supplements are often a good choice.

In the randomized study, 30 healthy adult subjects took capsules with 2,000 IUs of vitamin D2, 2,000 IUs of vitamin D3 or 2,000 IUs of mushroom powder once a day for 12 weeks, during the winter, the time of year when it’s naturally harder to get out in the sun to make vitamin D. All the subjects had baseline serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D measured, and levels weren’t all that different between the study groups.

At the end of the 12-week study, the levels of vitamin D for the three groups were not statistically different from those who took the mushroom powder capsules. This finding suggests that enjoying mushrooms that have been exposed to ultraviolet light so they have vitamin D2 brings you a natural source of vitamin D that can improve the levels of this nutrient in healthy adults. So taking the mushroom powder was just as effective as taking a supplement.

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Good Level Of Vitamin D in Mushrooms Continued…

You’ve heard that vitamin D is critical for healthy bones and strong muscles. Having enough of this nutrient helps the body keep bones dense and thus reducing the chance of fractures, osteoarthritis and osteoporosis. Vitamin D also plays a big part in moderating the immune system and is thought to help reduce the risks of diseases like cancer, heart disease diabetes, and perhaps even mood issues like depression.

Now that we know mushrooms are a good source of vitamin D, experts are also able to explain just how mushrooms make vitamin D2. At a second presentation at the same annual meeting, researchers explained that the process is almost like what happens in human skin after being out in the sun. What’s more, mushrooms can make both vitamin D2 and vitamin D4; confirming the finding of several kinds of vitamin Ds and provitamin Ds in the samples.

With results being presented at a scientific meeting and appearing in a journal, the team feels that people can be assured that mushrooms are a good natural source of vitamin D that can be readily found at the grocery store and easily added to many of the foods you already love.

Michael F. Holick, the principal investigator on the project believes these results confirm what other studies have shown us. There are many ways to increase total circulating vitamin D, taking supplements is just one of them.

To your good health,

PublicDomainPictures / Pixabay

Why Being Nice Makes A Difference

In our self-centered, get ahead world being “nice” isn’t going to get you any place. Haven’t you heard that “Nice guys finish last”? And yet, being humble is a core value of one of the fastest growing businesses of the last 10 years, Zappos.com. Today the company’s annual sales are over a billion dollars, and part of the reason is that they are nice to customers and employees. Could there be something to this being nice idea after all?

Maybe so. Research by Alex Edmans at the Wharton School of Business has found that businesses appearing in Fortune magazine’s 100 Best Companies To Work For in America also have consistently higher stock return than companies of similar size. Zappos is near the top of that list, offering employees $1,500 after the initial two week trainings to quit if they don’t think the job will be one they’ll love. Few take the offer.

Science, being what it is, wants to find out more.

Research ten years ago on oxytocin by Paul J. Zak, a professor at Claremont Graduate University in California and his team showed that in animals, it increased the ability to tolerate burrow-mates. In humans, could that toleration be expressed to compassion, humility, trust? Zak, who is author of The Moral Molecule: The Source of Love and Prosperity and his team knew that oxytocin is not an easy substance to study as the brain has to be coaxed into making it all, and it disappears very rapidly, with a mere three minute half life.

Another challenge came in the form of actually testing virtue. You can’t ask people if they are nice (who’d say “No” to that?) and so temptations to virtue came in the form of money. If subjects trusted a stranger with the cash there was the opportunity for growth, and the chance that the stranger would not share the spoils with you. Using blood samples of participants, Zak and his team were able to show that the more money a subject got a show of trust, the more the brain produced oxytocin. The more oxytocin in the system, the more likely a subject was to reciprocate to the person who’d initially trusted them.

Think about that for a minute. We have a chemical that’s naturally in our brains and is released when someone, even a stranger, treats us nicely, and the chemical motivates us to be nice in return. It’s the nuts-and-bolts biology behind The Golden Rule, which exists as part of every culture on the planet.

Continues below…


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Are Your Genetics Keeping You Fat? (1 tip to change fast)

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Why Being Nice Makes A Difference Continued…

The findings have been confirmed in many experiments, in the lab and out in the field, where Zak has taken samples at church services, at sporting events, even from indigenous people in the rain forest. Across all these peoples and events, it appears that positive social interactions stimulate oxytocin and bring people together as a community. Among the thousands who have taken part in the experiments 95% release oxytocin when treated nicely and respond in kind.

What might inhibit the oxytocin response? Things like high stress, abuse in childhood that was early and severe in nature, some psychiatric disorders and the high testosterone of young men.

This study is one of the first bits of research in a new field known as neuroeconomics. No doubt you’ll be hearing more about it in the future.

To your good health,

geralt / Pixabay

How Zinc Fights Infection

Many of you have probably tried a zinc cold lozenge in hopes of fighting off a cold, and now a new bit of research in the journal Cell Reports may explain how this essential, relatively simple mineral might work. The study, led by Daren Knoell who is a professor of pharmacy and internal medicine at Ohio Statue University uncovered just how zinc works to balance the immune systems response to infection, tapping the brakes (so to speak) to prevent out of control inflammation.

On the cellular level zinc stops the activity of a protein that plays a key role in our natural immune response to infection. It acts to keep inflammation in check, inflammation that can be damaging, even deadly.

Surprisingly, a deficiency of zinc affects almost 2 billion people the world over, and this figure includes about 40% of the elderly in the United States. The lack of this mineral can have some unpleasant consequences for vulnerable people, or at the time of an infection could be very serious according to the researchers. If you don’t have enough zinc your immune system is amplified, and not in a good way.

After looking at animal studies and human cell cultures of those with sepsis (a dangerous systemic response to infection), Knoell and his team saw that a specific protein draws zinc into key infection fighting cells, first responders in the fight against infection. Here it balances the immune response. This is the first time this pathway has been studied. In earlier work in animals, Knoell found that mice deficient in zinc developed significant inflammation in response to sepsis than did the mice fed a normal diet.

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How Zinc Fights Infection Continued…

This might explain why taking zinc supplements at the beginning of a cold seems to ease your symptoms. In the future, there may be therapeutic benefit to giving zinc supplements to some patients with certain conditions. But no one is saying that if very ill patients in hospital ICS’s, where sepsis can be life threatening, would benefit from supplements of zinc. Not all patients might need them, perhaps only a portion.

The team also believes that the findings are applicable to other diseases and will continue to study this pathway, inflammation and zinc deficiency. Without enough zinc to start with, perhaps people are more likely to pick up an infection.

Most healthy adults should be getting from 8 (for women) to 11 (for men) milligrams of zinc each day. The U.S. National Institutes of Health tells us that natural sources of zinc include red meat and poultry. Other rich sources of zinc include nuts, beans, some shellfish (oysters, crab, lobster), whole grains, dairy products and fortified cereals. It’s also available as an affordable, easy to take dietary supplement.

If you’re looking for ways to help your immune system, living a healthy lifestyle is one of the best. This includes getting regular exercise (20 minutes with your heart rate up, three times a week), eating more natural sources of antioxidants (besides zinc, vitamin C, and E and beta carotene), being sure you’re getting enough sleep as fatigue increases your susceptibility to illness. Rounding out the list, manage your stress levels as cutting stress brings down levels of cortisol and helps you sleep better. Perhaps most fun of all… laugh as this brings down the levels of stress hormones and increases a type of white blood cell that fights infection.

To your good health,

PublicDomainPictures / Pixabay

Everyday Activities As Good As The Gym

Wondering which type of activity is best? There may be more benefit than anyone ever thought from short bursts of activity during the day if the findings of a new study in the American Journal of Health Promotion hold up. The research found that short bursts of activity, taking the stairs, vacuuming or raking leaves, walking the dog, during the day can be just as helpful as that trip to the gym for a more structured exercise regimen. For many of us, that’s good news.

The researchers examined a nationally representative sample of over 6,000 American adults and saw that an unstructured active lifestyle appeared just as effective as structured exercise in providing benefits to overall health, things like preventing high blood pressure, high cholesterol numbers and the cluster of risk factors known as metabolic syndrome that bring a higher risk of coronary artery disease, diabetes and stroke. In fact, the only area where the shorter bursts didn’t equal the benefits of sustained exercise was in body mass index.

As an example, those in the shorter exercise group who managed 30 minutes of activity in total per day had an 89% chance of NOT having metabolic syndrome. For the structured exercisers the risk was 87%.

What’s more, the team also found that a surprising 43% of adults who did short bursts of activity actually met the 30 minutes a day physical activity guidelines given by the federal government. Those one and two minutes of activity added up in terms of health. Study co-author Brad Cardinal who is a professor of exercise and sports science at Oregon State believes the findings of the work defy the laziness myth of American adults because it shows that lots of people achieved the recommended exercise guidelines. This is significantly more than the reported 10% of study subjects who said they exercised in a structured way.

The other author of the study, Paul Loprinzi who was a doctoral student at Oregon State University when he did the research, encourages us all to look for those everyday ways to be active… walk back and forth while on the phone, climb those stairs, walk anytime you can, use a push mower instead of a riding one, rake leaves. You might also try getting up (and not for a snack) during commercials and doing some sit-ups, push-ups or jumping jacks. At your child’s sporting events, use the half time break to walk about, stretch your legs and get your heart pumping.

Continues below…


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Are Your Genetics Keeping You Fat? (1 tip to change fast)

Ever heard the excuse “I’m overweight because of my genetics”?

Are several members of your family overweight and you just figured, you were stuck that way too? Well, I have great news. Recent studies reveal that being overweight has NOTHING to do with genetics and EVERYTHING to do with your lifestyle.

BUT, if you make the wrong choices… well, you know how that ends.

Click through to find out how Dr Charles can make a difference for you in just 3 to 10 days.

click here to learn the 1 thing that makes a difference…
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Everyday Activities As Good As The Gym Continued…

The findings of the research are important because they address one of the most often cited barriers to getting more active – not having the time – by suggesting that adding activity into your everyday routine can bring you benefits, though probably won’t help with weight. This idea is certainly a more natural, more affordable, more flexible way to exercise.

Making being physically active a way of life is likely a smart strategy in terms of ongoing health. Be aware of the things that might entice you to sit, or be less active and avoid them as much as possible. Rather than focusing on getting that 30 minutes in one sitting… just get yourself moving for a minute or two and you’ll see a benefit to your health.

To your good health,

White77 / Pixabay

Talking Smart Matter,To Prepare Kids For School Success

As our children are now at school, many parents are wondering about how to help their child achieve academic success. To learn
all they can.
To benefit from the tremendous opportunities put before them. Science has long recognized the value of talking to our children during those early days – birth to age 3, as this helps build that foundation for success at school, and the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests reading be part of your daily routine from birth onward.

One simple approach is the 3 T strategies, Tune in, Talk more and
Take turns
. You can use these at meal times, while waiting in offices, traveling by car or during daily routines like dressing for the day or getting ready for bed. Use any opportunity to respond to what your child is saying, build your child’s vocabulary by using descriptive words and be sure to engage your little one in conversation as this encourages curiosity and strengthens social skills.

Every word you say acts to build your child’s brain. Rich, descriptive language exposes your child a larger vocabulary, and helps them become more ready to learn in all areas, because curiosity has been established and rewarded at home. A child who has been exposed to more words will naturally know more words. That’s a solid foundation for school, and this will make understanding the teacher easier. The best thing you can do for your own kids in terms of preparing them to be successful students is talk to them at home – interact together and allow their brains to absorb all the things in their world.

Reading aloud is considered a key piece of the learning success puzzle – you build a parent/child bond while strengthening your child’s language skills. They hear words you don’t use in ordinary conversation, they learn about places and people they’ve never seen. It’s a great way to tune into a child’s interests – and then talk about the book. Get a conversation started.

Continues below…


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Talking Smart Matter,To Prepare Kids For School Success Continued…

The great thing is that this is so easy to do. Anything you do, singing, talking, playing, responding in any way, builds up the brain. In fact, 85% of brain development takes place during those first three years of life. These are the connections a child will rely on to think, to talk and interact for the rest of its life. So the more connections, the easier thinking will be, and thus the better prepared a child will be to enter school.

Research also finds that children who were read to as infants have bigger vocabularies and more math skills when they got to kindergarten. Reading proficiency at third grade is amazingly, the most reliable predictor of graduation from high school and a successful career.

Being read to benefits every kid, even an active kid who has trouble sitting still to hear the story. Try instead to talk about the book, look at photos, tune into what about the book has caught your child’s interest and talk about that. Let young kids hold the book, turn the pages, and don’t get caught up in reading every single word. Go with the flow, if he loses interest, let him. Letting a child lead during story time is actually maximizes what your child gains, while minimizing the frustration and stress for you.

As for technology, the science on how it impacts a child’s learning isn’t clear. Until we know more, keep in mind that technology is not really the issue here, but how parents and children are using it. Devices used as babysitters are not going to offer the same benefit as if the child were working with another person, parent or sibling. After age 2, the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests you limit screen time to two hours a day, and monitor choices carefully.

If you have any concerns about your child’s development, or lack of interest in books, talk with your pediatrician. Early intervention can have remarkable results.

To your good health,

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