How Can Martial Arts Help with Childhood Obesity, Mental Health, and Habits?

Robert from wayofmartialarts.com shared with Healthy Lombard that millions of things make martial arts an excellent option for everybody to start practicing regardless of age, gender, or physical condition. They will boost your strength, stamina, flexibility, confidence, and mental toughness while reducing stress levels.

Apart from all those general benefits, there are also more specific ways that martial arts can help you lead a much more healthy and fulfilled life. Children with obesity problems, attention deficit disorders, or people with mental health issues can all have huge benefits from practicing martial arts.

We’ve developed a list of concrete examples of how martial arts can help with childhood obesity, mental health, and habits.

Martial Arts Help Fight Children Obesity

Nowadays, more and more children suffer from obesity from the youngest age, especially in the western cultural circle. That has a lot to do with our modern way of life: spending more time sitting in front of screens than ever before, which means less exercise and movement whatsoever.

Plus, often we don’t have the time to cook, so we settle for fast food and junk that has no nutritional value and only makes us fat. Children spend less time outdoors doing any physical activity, and when you combine that with a poor diet, they become obese.

That’s where martial arts can play a crucial role in the child’s development and fight obesity, even when dealing with extreme cases. The body has a much higher ability to change and adapt; hence physical exercise will have a more significant effect.

Every martial art is unique in one way or another, but they all have in common that they are all great full-body workouts, regardless of what techniques they are using: striking, grappling, or both.

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Remote Learning During Covid-19 Is Causing Children to Gain Weight, Doctors Warn

White protective mask on young patientKate King in the WSJ reported that pediatricians are warning that the coronavirus pandemic’s protracted disruption of in-person schooling, sports, and other activities is leading to weight gain that could have long-lasting impacts on children’s health.

Students are snacking more and exercising less, and nutritionists and doctors who study obesity worry the pandemic is putting children at greater risk for type-two diabetes and asthma, among other health concerns.

“We’re seeing a lot of elementary school-aged kids who are gaining 20 to 30 pounds in a year,” said Hai Cao, a pediatrician, and owner of South Slope Pediatrics in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Brittany Wilson, a physician assistant with Island Kids Pediatrics on Staten Island, N.Y., said the pandemic seems to have accelerated weight gain among patients who were already overweight. Children 6 to 12 years old seem to be gaining the most.

“Even kids in grammar school are getting depressed,” Ms. Wilson said. “They miss their friends. A lot of them aren’t doing as well academically. With depression also comes weight gain. They’re bored, and I think they’re comfort-eating.”

Studies have shown that being in the classroom helps keep students’ weights in check, especially children who live in low-income neighborhoods. The Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 resulted in new federal nutrition standards for school meals, including serving more fruits and vegetables.

Students who attend schools offering more-nutritious foods have healthier weights, according to research by Michael Yedidia of Rutgers University and Punam Ohri-Vachaspati of Arizona State University, who have been tracking the heights and weights of tens of thousands of New Jersey children who live in low-income communities since 2008.

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Don’t let the cold temps slow you down

Edward-Elmhurst Healthy Driven Blog shared that cold days can make you want to stay in bed, snuggled up under warm blankets. But heading outdoors to get in some exercise can be just what the doctor ordered.

Colder temperatures shouldn’t discourage you from outdoor activity. In fact, heading outside for exercise during the winter can have some benefits:

  • There’s no heat or humidity to deal with. Taking a walk in the chilly weather might help invigorate you.
  • You might be able to work out longer outside than you would indoors or in summer weather, and a longer workout means more calories burned.
  • You can take in small doses of sunlight and get a bit of vitamin D during your outdoor workout. The sunlight and vitamin D can help boost your mood and keep the winter blues at bay.
  • Exercising can help boost your immunity during cold and flu season.

Be sure to check the forecast and protect yourself from the elements before heading outside.

The risk of frostbite is less than 5 percent when the air temperature is 5 degrees or more, but when the wind chill drops to -18 degrees or less, frostbite can set in within 30 minutes or less. Read more

Keys to living independently as we age

AARP shared that many people worry about not being able to move around as well when they get older. They fear they won’t be able to continue their favorite activities, visit their favorite places, or even keep up with everyday tasks.

Mobility — The ability to move or walk freely and easily — is critical for functioning well and living independently. As we age, we may experience changes in our mobility. There are many reasons for these changes, including changes in gait (how we walk), balance, and physical strength.

All of these can increase the number and severity of falls and make it harder for older adults to go out and visit with friends and family and continue doing their activities independently. Older adults who lose their mobility are less likely to remain living at home; have higher rates of disease, disability, hospitalization, and death; and have a poorer quality of life.

Researchers are working on this issue because it’s not only a matter of physical health but also the social and emotional well-being of older adults.

NIA-supported researchers are identifying risk factors for physical disability and developing and testing ways to prevent or reverse the loss of mobility to help older adults maintain independence. For example, long-running observational studies, such as the Women’s Health and Aging Study II and the Health, Aging, and Body Composition Study, examine functional decline and how it differs by race and sex. Read more

How to develop the right mindset for fitness results

young woman practicing fitness and working out in a gymEric Bishop, a fitness supervisor at Edward-Elmhurst Health & Fitness in Woodridge, shared in the Healthy Driven Bog that in a time when social media, technology, and marketing strategies for fitness can be seen everywhere people look — in grocery stores, on television, in ads across the internet — it can create a false reality of expectation for one’s fitness goals and body image.

The fitness industry has blown up to become something so much more than health and wellness, with flashy apparel, fancy new exercises, niche workouts and franchises, dietary supplements, and again, that both men and women have to be incredibly over-muscled, sporting unrealistic body images.

Over the 16 years, I have been in the industry, and watched my own mind and body change and take form over time, I have acquired my own philosophy of how people can develop the right mindset about themselves:

“We are on the road to success, however, we all start out on different points in that road.  Sometimes we will have to follow others, and other times we have to lead, but at the end of the day it is our own story, and the best results come from staying true to your course through to the end.”

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Guide for a Better Night’s Sleep

Rocio from Porch.com shared that according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in three adults in the U.S. isn’t getting enough sleep, and for some of those people, an old mattress may be the culprit.

Poor sleeping habits affect your health, your mood, and your overall enjoyment of life. Healthy adults should get around seven hours of sleep each night, and good sleep hygiene — including going to bed at the same time every night, waking at the same time each morning, and avoiding caffeine and alcohol — can help you get the sleep you need.

But what if you’re doing everything right but still having trouble falling asleep, or you sleep poorly and wake up feeling not rested? The issue may be your mattress. A mattress that is lumpy, saggy, or otherwise uncomfortable may be the cause of your poor sleep.

Is it time to replace your mattress? Here’s what you need to know. Read more

The Ultimate Guide to Aging Well

Dr Nicole Panethere is a naturopathic doctor practicing in Whitby Ontario with a clinical focus on digestive health, chronic pain management and inflammatory conditions.   She shared with Help and Wellness that aging is the great inevitably that comes to all of us. But it doesn’t have to be something to dread. In fact, growing older should be seen as a gift and something that allows us to spend even more time experiencing everything this wonderful planet has to offer.

It is important to take care of ourselves as we age though, especially if we want to make the most of the time that’s been afforded to us.

Exercise, diet, and a healthy state of mind are the trifecta that need special attention as we make our way through our older years. Neglecting these can lead to an early decline, and that’s just not something we’re willing to let happen!

This article is the cheat sheet you need to live a healthy, fulfilled life and fight against whatever the inexorable passage of time might try and throw at you. We’ll focus on diet, exercise, and mental health, and give you all the tips and information you need to keep yourself in peak condition as you begin to reach your senior years. Read more

Ways to Stay Active During the Pandemic

Freelance writer Sierra Powell shared with Healthy Lombard that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought life to a halt for many people around the world, and you may have had trouble staying active because of the lockdown orders and other restrictions on everyday life. If you’re unable to get to the gym or engage in some of your other normal activities, there are still ways that you can stay active until the pandemic subsides. These five ideas can help you stay active during the pandemic so that you can maintain optimal physical and mental health.

 

Plan Home Workout Routines

Just because you can’t make it to the gym or a recreation center in your area doesn’t mean that you have to give up exercising. Many home workouts can be performed with hand weights, resistance bands, and other simple equipment. As Healthline.com explains, you can also try doing calisthenics by using your own body weight instead of equipment, and some examples of these exercises include push-ups, bench dips, and crunches. Another option is to set out a yoga mat so that you can try doing yoga poses that are designed to help improve breathing, stamina, and flexibility.

Explore the Great Outdoors

A lot of businesses and entertainment centers in your area might be closed, but you can still get out and take part in a variety of exciting activities by visiting some of the best outdoor spots. A large park in your area that allows for safe social distancing can be a great place to go jogging or cycling and can help clear your mind as you breathe in the fresh outdoor air. Hiking through a forest or along a mountain trail can also help you fulfill your wanderlust. If you want to stay overnight in a wilderness area, you can go camping in California and pitch a tent or rent a private cabin. Read more