Healthy Kids Running Series

Healthy Lombard was proud to partner with Healthy Kids Running Series, a national, community-based non-profit that provides a fun, inclusive, five-week running series for ages 2-14 designed for kids to get active, experience accomplishment, and lay the foundation for a healthy lifestyle.

We look forward to working with them again next year.

They have another activity that kids can participate in right now!

They are hosting a Facebook Sharing Contest running through November 5th!  Anyone who enters will have the chance to win a brand new pair of New Balance 860v9 sneakers in their respective size and gender!

In order to enter, head over to Facebook, like the Healthy Kids Running Series page, and share the video pinned at the top of our page to your own timeline or page!!

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Flexibility matters

Marlene Cimons wrote for The Washington Post that from the 1960s to the late 1990s, fitness professionals firmly believed that static stretching was a useful adjunct before exercise, warming up the muscles and, in doing so, preventing injury.

Later, however, research suggested the opposite was true — that it caused muscle fatigue and slower sprinting times in elite athletes.

This prompted many of them to abandon it for “dynamic” stretching, which looks more like real exercise.

Today, many experts think a combination of both before a vigorous workout or competition is the best approach.

At the cellular level

To understand the controversy, it’s important to know what happens at the muscles’ cellular level during static stretching.

“Our muscles are made of thousands of muscle spindles — like hairs in a ponytail — that give the muscle cell the ability to stretch and contract by sliding past each other in a coordinated fashion,” said Michael Jonesco, an assistant clinical professor of sports medicine and internal medicine at Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center. “Static stretching pulls on the cell to the max, and can cause some stretch injury that takes time to recover, and can, therefore, cause a temporary drop in performance.” Read more

Sneak More Movement Into Your Workday

Our Healthy Lombard Partner, DuPage Healthcare, LTD suggests that if you drive to work and park yourself in your office chair for hours, fitting exercise into your daily routine may seem daunting. But it doesn’t have to be.

Here are some easy ways to get moving:

Talk and walk. Whether you’re on a conference call or engaging in a brainstorming session, walk during the conversation.

Take the stairs. By choosing the stairs, you can add some significant steps to your day, depending on what floor you work on.

Just dance. If you have a standing desk, dance while you work. Put your headphones on and crank up your tunes. This approach, however, may be best for those working from home. Read more

How to Treat Jet Lag with Light

New clues to the “obesity paradox”

Those studies used body mass index (BMI), which depends only on a person’s weight and height, as a proxy for body fat. The new study estimated the body fat and lean mass (mostly muscle) of 38,000 men using weight, height, waist size, age, and race.

Over 21 years, those with the least body fat had the lowest risk of dying. As body fat rose, so did the risk of dying—most often of cardiovascular disease or cancer.

In contrast, men with the least muscle mass had a higher risk of dying (especially of respiratory illness) than those with an intermediate level of lean mass. Why? Low muscle mass could be a sign of undiagnosed illness or frailty, even in people with a “healthy” BMI.

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What is metabolic syndrome?

Neha Shah, M.D., who specializes in bariatric & obesity medicine and internal medicine at Edwards-Elmhurst Health share that if you carry a lot of weight around your waist, you’re boosting your risk for heart disease.

If you have high blood pressure or diabetes you are also at a higher risk.

When you have all three, you have what we call metabolic syndrome.

A metabolic syndrome is a group of risk factors that increase your chance of developing certain conditions. It’s not a disease in itself but describes the condition of having symptoms that could spur serious disease—such as heart attacks and stroke—down the road.

There are some things that put you at risk for metabolic syndrome (and, thus, a higher risk for future heart disease, diabetes or stroke). The more of these you have, the higher your risk: Read more

Ways to overcome slumping, text neck and more

Northwest Community Healthcare wrote that two physical therapists — Julie Schauble, and Shivangi Potdar, — who help patients at Northwest Community Healthcare, provide some answers, addressing the effects of poor posture and ways to combat it.

Q: Why do we tend to slump?

Schauble: An upright, lengthened, tall, decompressed posture requires active muscle control. We have to activate our core/postural muscles. When we slump, we sink into gravity as it pulls us downward. Though slumping takes less active muscle activation and energy, it causes increased compression on joints and surrounding soft tissue, which ultimately causes more pain.

Q: Why are more people turning to physical therapy to correct things like poor posture?

Potdar: What we’re finding out is that a lot of the first line of defense for musculoskeletal problems is physical therapy. It’s noninvasive, less cost to the insurance than expensive tests and surgeries, and it’s much more convenient for patients.

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Why pediatricians are prescribing play time for kids

CBS News shared that when 4-year-old Britton Taunton-Rigby recently got her yearly checkup, her pediatrician wrote a prescription for something he says is important. It reads, “Play Every Day.”

New guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends all pediatricians do the same. The organization says playing with parents and peers is a critical part of a child’s healthy development, fundamental for learning life skills and reducing stress.

“Play is not frivolous: it enhances brain structure and function and promotes executive function,” the report, published this week, states.

The AAP and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend children get one hour of physical activity per day, as well as one hour of simple, creative play.

Lead author of the report, Dr. Michael Yogman, says play often gets a bad rap as being a waste of time, which he says is highly inaccurate.

“Play is really brain building because it has all kinds of effects on brain structure and function,” he told CBS News. “Executive function skills, learning to persist on a task, learning to solve problems, learning to be flexible about how they are learning things. It’s how we learn, not what we learn.” Read more

The Exercise That Helps Mental Health Most

Sumathi Reddy shared in the Wall Street Journal that we assume exercise improves our mental health. But what kind of exercise works best?

Researchers looking at the link between physical activity and mental health found that team sports fared best, followed by cycling, either on the road or a stationary bike.

The study, published in the journal Lancet Psychiatry this month, is among the first of its kind, and the largest, analyzing the effect of different types of exercise.

It found that physical activity typically performed in groups, such as team sports and gym classes, provided greater benefits than running or walking.

Researchers rated mental health based on a survey. It asked respondents how many days in the previous month their mental health was “not good” due to stress, depression or problems with emotions.

People who played team sports like soccer and basketball reported 22.3% fewer poor mental-health days than those who didn’t exercise. Those who ran or jogged fared 19% better, while those who did household chores 11.8% better.

In a secondary analysis, the researchers found that yoga and tai chi—grouped into a category called recreational sports in the original analysis—had a 22.9% reduction in poor mental-health days. (Recreational sports included everything from yoga to golf to horseback riding.)

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4 Actions Families Can Take to Keep Youth Physically Active

Portrait of a clever young boy typing message on mobile phone isolated over orange background

The YMCA of Metro Chicago shared that proper physical activity is critical for every child’s health and well-being, and according to Dr. Dan Cooper, it’s even associated with improved academic performance. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that children and adolescents should get at least 60 minutes of daily exercise that includes aerobic activities, muscle-strengthening activities, and bone-strengthening activities.

While most parents know the importance of keeping youth active, it may sometimes be challenging to make exercise appealing to children. Try to adopt new habits that will improve the health of both you and your children, while also strengthening your family’s bond.

Here are a few ways to that you can empower your family to be more physically active together:

1. Lead an active life yourself. Children are heavily influenced by what they observe from their parents or guardian. They will learn the value of physical fitness if they see exercise incorporated in your own daily life. Read more