11 Surprising Causes of Insomnia

Jessica Migala wrote for  AARP that sleep is as elusive as leprechaun gold and twice as valuable. The number of health conditions linked to poor or inadequate sleep is almost endless, with obesity, diabetes and heart disease topping the list. But sleep ought to be something we can control — just get to bed early and sleep the night away, right?

So, how come you’re still so tired? The answer may surprise you. If you are not able to fall asleep, are waking up during the night or are just plain not feeling refreshed in the morning, see if one of these factors is souring your sweet dreams.

1. Blue-light insomnia

You’ve heard time and time again to turn off electronics an hour or so before bed because these devices emit a blue light that suppresses melatonin, a sleep-inducing hormone. However, glaring blue light even three or four hours earlier — like watching TV during or shortly after dinner — is enough to delay melatonin production, says Karl Doghramji, M.D., director of the Jefferson Sleep Disorders Center in Philadelphia. You don’t have to turn off the tube, though.

He recommends wearing a pair of glasses that blocks blue light (available from a variety of online retailers) until you tuck in (and when you wake up at night, too). That way, you have no problems winding down with the TV on.

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Real Life Benefits of Exercise and Physical Activity

Go For Life from the National Institute on Aging shared that exercise and physical activity aren’t just good for your mind and body, it can help you stay active and mobile as you age! Regularly including all 4 types of exercise will give you a wide range of real-life benefits.

Endurance activities help you:

  • Keep up with your grandchildren during a trip to the park.
  • Dance to your favorite songs at the next family wedding.
  • Rake the yard and bag up the leaves.

Strength training will make it easier to:

  • Lift your carry-on bag into the overhead bin of the airplane.
  • Carry groceries in from the car.
  • Pick up bags of mulch.

Balance exercises help you:

  • Turn around quickly when you’re on a walk and hear a bicycle bell behind you.
  • Walk along a cobblestone path without losing your balance.
  • Stand on tiptoe to reach something on a top shelf.

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Join Us at Time for Tots!

Take Time for Tots Day will be held Saturday, April 06 from 10 am-noon at the Sunset Knoll Recreation Center (820 S Finley Rd.) and sponsored by Gianorio’s Pizza and Pasta, State Farm Agent Bob Goldin Sr, and Culver’s of Lombard.

Healthy Lombard will be providing 200 FREE “Go Fly A Kite” Activity where every child will receive a FREE kite kit and have assistance assembling their kites after they decorate them with stickers and markers.

This is a fun event that we did last year and we are looking forward to repeating it this year.

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Fitness Supplements

Milan Krstovic,  Media Relations Associate, dataforstories.com, shared that the business of vitamins and supplements is booming. Recent research suggests that most Americans take at least one such product from the more than 90,000 options on the market. But within this massive industry – worth $37 billion by some estimates – consumer enthusiasm is dampened by uncertainty.
In the absence of strict regulation, many manufacturers peddle wares with few real benefits. Worse still, dangerous outcomes are increasingly common. The American Association of Poison Control Centers reports a troubling rise in incidents resulting from supplement consumption.
So, which vitamins and supplements are really worth taking, and which might not give you much support as you work toward your fitness goals?

singlecare has put together a great resource that can be found at https://www.singlecare.com/blog/fitness-supplements

Check it out!

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The Benefits of Boxing for Kids

Daniel Earle who runs the fitnessfighters.co.uk website.shared with Healthy Lombard that boxing is becoming an increasingly popular way to keep fit amongst adults, however, it is slower to grow in popularity for children. Here are a few reasons why it should be growing faster among our youth.

Keeping Active
Whilst this is possibly the most obvious advantage of boxing for kids, it is also one of the most important benefits. In today’s age of technology and video games, it is becoming increasingly difficult for our young people to maintain a healthy level of activity as, according to CDC Healthy Schools, only 21.6% of 6 to 19-year-olds in the United States are getting 60 or more minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity on at least 5 days per week. Boxing provides an activity for kids to take part in which will give them a few hours of activity in their week and therefore will provide them with health benefits.

These health benefits of this physical activity include building strong bones and muscles, which is particularly important for young people to aid them in growing and providing a good foundation for the rest of their life. It also provides young people with hand-eye coordination, an important skill which many struggles with and is very difficult to develop later in life. Having good coordination will allow young people to have an advantage in other sports as well as improve their ability to carry our everyday tasks. Boxing at a young age also reduces the chances of becoming overweight in the future as this is a battle that many now face. Avoiding becoming overweight will help children to avoid many cardiovascular diseases that affect the overweight such as heart disease, strokes and type II diabetes.

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Getting fit after pregnancy can be complicated

Amanda Loudin shared in the Daily Herald Newspaper as a Special to the Washington Post that when she returned to her Cross Fit gym two months after an unplanned Caesarean section, she knew she would have an uphill climb to get back to her pre-pregnancy fitness level. What the 36-year-old Maryland mom of two didn’t know, however, was that her challenges would include pelvic floor dysfunction and a severe separation of the abdominal muscles, or diastasis recti, during the pregnancy that failed to heal on its own.

Clark’s coaches at the gym, she says, “were a couple of young guys with no experience helping postpartum women.” The regimen left Clark feeling frustrated. She also received no guidance from her physician when it came to postpartum fitness.

Her story is not unusual. In an ongoing, small study of postpartum physical and mental health, Jaime DeLuca, associate professor and chairman of the department of kinesiology at Towson University, found that 90 percent of the participants in her study reported receiving no guidance from their physicians beyond “take it slow.” The internet, they responded, serves as their main source of information in this regard. The study, which has enrolled 33 participants so far, began in October 2017.

Increasing numbers of women are active throughout pregnancy, but it’s not always clear what’s the best and safest way to get fit once the baby is born.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has provided some loose guidelines for pregnant and postpartum women.

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Commitment to Connect 10 Million Children to Benefits of Gardening

The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company today announced the launch of Gro More Good, a national initiative that will bring the life-enhancing benefits of gardens and green spaces to 10 million children over the next five years.

From food deserts and poor nutrition to childhood obesity and nature deficit, the lack of access to gardens and greenspaces is impacting today’s children. To help find a solution to this issue, The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company is partnering with leading not-for-profit organizations and other partners across the United States as part of its Gro More Good initiative to combat pressing challenges facing today’s youth, improving children’s access to fresh food and increasing their time spent outdoors connected to nature.

Gro More Good is an enterprise-wide commitment for The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company being largely implemented by The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation. Funding for the Foundation comes through the sale of ScottsMiracle-Gro’s leading branded products, including Scotts®, Miracle-Gro®, and Ortho®. The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company and The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation will work simultaneously to elevate the critical need to connect more children to gardening and outdoor play.

“It’s important we provide as many opportunities as possible for children to connect with the natural world around them,” said Jim Hagedorn, chairman, and CEO, ScottsMiracle-Gro. “As more and more children spend less time outside and have less understanding of where their food comes from, we have an obligation to help reconnect children to gardening and the outdoors for their positive growth and well-being.”

Supporting more youth garden and green space development comes at a critical time when challenges facing today’s youngest generation are significant, and problems with children’s physical, mental and social health are on the rise. However, ScottsMiracle-Gro’s work with communities over the past decade, as well as NGO and academic research, confirms that gardening and outdoor play provides a wide range of health benefits for children. These benefits include increased emotional well-being, increased consumption of fruits and vegetables, more physical activity, improved relationships, and better academic performance. Read more

Make fitness “me time” during pregnancy

Mary BielawskiACE certified personal trainer shared in the Edwards Elmhurst Healthy Driven Blog that when you’re pregnant, your body is constantly working hard growing another little human being. It’s very important to take excellent care of your ever-changing body during this special time.  As long as your doctor, midwife or nurse practitioner gives you the OK to exercise, you should carve out time to exercise and stay active throughout your pregnancy.

Here are some helpful tips to stay active, keep moving, and create a healthy physical routine:

  • Walking. This is such an easy, inexpensive way to stay active!  Try to walk at least once a day or as many days per week as you can (I know some days are harder than others. Thank you, pregnancy symptoms!). Walking outside not only helps your circulation, but you also get that added bonus of breathing fresh air, which is especially refreshing if you’ve been feeling queasy. Too hot or too cold out for you? Take your walks indoors to your gym or to a mall.
  • Stretching. With your muscles, tendons and ligaments stretching and pulling in every direction to support your growing baby, adding some light-to-moderate stretches could ease that discomfort. You can also use this time while you stretch to quiet the mind. Create a comfortable space somewhere in your home (mine is in my bedroom) with a yoga mat, blankets, pillows, etc. Sometimes you might feel like binging on a Netflix show. In that case, perform a few stretches while watching TV. Start with a few different stretches, repeat each stretch 2-3 times. Once you get in a routine, add more stretches.

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The 12 Best Apps for Tracking Your Health in 2019

The Bestow Team, a life insurance company using big data and technology to bring simple and affordable coverage to everyone shared with Healthy Lombard that the New Year is seen as a time of new beginnings and resolutions. It’s the perfect opportunity to make positive changes in our lives, which is why so many Americans make living a happier, healthier lifestyle a top priority. For many of us, that means exercising more, eating better foods, or losing weight.

Sticking to our fitness goals can be quite a challenge, though. According to a recent study, of the two-thirds of adults in America that set fitness goals as a resolution, 73%gave up before meeting their goal. What’s more, only 23% of Americans are meeting the 150 minutes of recommended exercise per week. That’s not good for your health or your wallet.

The good news is that you don’t need a personal trainer or a gym membership to meet your fitness goals and feel your very best. All you need is a smartphone or activity tracker and, in some cases, a WiFi connection.

With all the technology available today, fitness apps are the best way to mix a healthy lifestyle into your busy schedule so you can live your best life.

To help you improve your fitness, we’ve picked 12 of the best apps to help you track your health in 2019.

Your physical fitness becomes more important as you grow older, but many Americans simply don’t have the motivation to stick to a regular fitness schedule. Read more

Exercise safely in cold weather

Go4Life shared that exercise has benefits all year, even during winter. But before you brave the cold, take a few extra steps to stay safe. Exposure to cold can cause health problems such as hypothermia, a dangerous drop in body temperature.

If you want to walk, ski, ice skate, shovel snow, or do other outdoor activities when it’s cold outside:

  • Check the weather forecast. If it’s very windy or cold, exercise inside with Go4Life videos on YouTube, and go out another time.
  • Also, watch out for snow and icy sidewalks.
  • Warm up your muscles first. Try walking or light arm pumping before you go out.
  • Wear several layers of loose clothing. The layers will trap warm air between them.
  • Avoid tight clothing, which can keep your blood from flowing freely and lead to loss of body heat.
  • Wear a waterproof coat or jacket if it’s snowy or rainy.
  • Wear a hat, scarf, and gloves.

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