How Green Schoolyards Can Help Make Schools Safer This Fall

In this special feature article for Finding Nature News, author Jay Walljasper paints a picture of what Back-to-School 2020 could like all across America—with green schoolyards offering a safer, more equitable middle ground in the wrenching decisions over in-person vs. online instruction.

In inner-city Chicago, an English class spends reading time under newly planted shade trees on the schoolyard, while younger kids tend a garden plot, exclaiming “we’re growing a salad.”

In Grand Rapids, 5th graders at a lower-income school scramble across bridges, scoot through tunnels, and climb a lookout made from logs and stumps—which they helped design in art class. Middle-schoolers nearby study math at a new outdoor classroom built into a hillside.

In rural Plumas County, California, students at 18 schools now attend some classes in forests, meadows, or banks of the Feather River within a ten-minute walk from their homerooms. Read more

Take A Hike Challenge

Hiking can be good for your health. Time in nature has been proven to decrease stress and anxiety, which is essential as we deal with the challenges of the pandemic. You will reap the health rewards of movement — including being stronger and happier and reducing your risk of illness. Hiking is also relationship-building, as families can enjoy spending time together while getting healthier.

Keeping that in mind, this fall, Edward-Elmhurst Health invites you to join the Healthy Driven Take a Hike! Challenge. For the next eight weeks, from Sept. 14 to Nov. 9, rediscover the healthy benefits of being active and spending time in nature. It’s a great opportunity for all ages — from kids to seniors.

They created fun weekly challenges to help you explore the outdoors and get the most out of your hikes. Some of the challenges may not be for everyone, but we encourage you to give them a try!

Share your success with them on Instagram or Facebook, and you’ll be entered into a weekly drawing for prizes.  So. grab your family members, parent, partner, or bestie and “Take a Hike!”.

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A Guide to Sleep and Meditation

Beautiful woman is lying on the bed.Sleepopolis shared with Healthy Lombard that oftentimes, anxiety makes its way into our daily lives. It could be the result of work stress, difficult relationships, a sudden move, or a tragedy. And although this anxiety manifests in different ways, one common result is insomnia.

While there are varying medications and traditional therapies available to treat this disorder, a natural remedy worth trying is meditation. Scientific studies have confirmed that the right meditation practices can be effective treatments for stress-induced insomnia (1). In this guide, we cover a few options.

Note: The content on Sleepopolis is meant to be informative in nature, but it shouldn’t take the place of medical advice and supervision from your healthcare provider. If you feel you may be suffering from any sleep disorder or medical condition, please see a trained professional immediately.

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5 Reasons Why Martial Arts are Great for Children’s Health

Karate Training. Kids Karate clubs.Asen from FighterCulture shared with Healthy Lombard that nothing is more important than our children’s health.  Today, he is going to talk about why martial arts are great for the physical and mental health of the kids. Continue reading to learn more about the benefits.

#1 They’ll Be More Active

Doing any kind of sport is extremely important for every kid. We are living in times where obesity is a worldwide problem, especially in richer countries like the USA.

The problem is extra worrisome when we are talking about kids. However, today’s youth has so many options for easy fun like playing on the phone or computer. For children, they need to like what they are doing or else they’ll just stop doing it.

This is why martial arts are a great sport to try. The workouts are interesting, intense, and far from monotone. Getting your children to practice on a kids punching bag is also a great way to start their interest in martial arts.

#2 Increased Self-confidence

We can all agree that confidence is an extremely important life skill. Yes, that is right, confidence is a skill and it can be trained.

Combat sports are great for increasing confidence not only for kids. Enduring the tough workouts and learning self-defense will have a tremendous impact on self-confidence.

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5 facts about your heart that may surprise you

Edward-Elmhurst Health shared in their Healthy Driven blog that pumping more than 100,000 times a day, your heart is the hardest working muscle you have.

Though not the largest — it’s the size of your two fists clasped together — it is a workhorse, pumping about 1.5 gallons of blood each minute. With each beat, your heart sends oxygen-rich blood throughout your body.

Heart disease, however, remains a leading cause of death. On average, cardiovascular disease claims one life every 37 seconds in the United States.

That’s why it’s important to know how your heart works and what you can do to keep it healthy.

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Dan from Non-Athlete Fitness, where we provide simple and easy health & fitness tips for the unathletically inclined shared with Healthy Lombard that when he hit a plateau in his weight loss goals, he needed a workout to push me through.

A HIIT workout, also known as High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workout, helped him break through his fitness plateau and also reaffirmed his commitment to exercise and staying healthy.

Plus, he can perform a HIIT workout with or without equipment, so it’s a super convenient way for Dan to get a quick workout in.


HIIT is a workout training technique that alternates intervals of rest or low intensity with intervals of high-intensity exercises. HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training. The intensity level corresponds to how difficult the exercise feels.

Another way to measure workout intensity is to monitor your exercise heart rate. During the high-intensity intervals, aim to increase your heart rate between 90 and 95 percent of your maximum heart rate, MHR.

Calculate your high-intensity interval heart rate by subtracting your age from 220. Then, multiply the result by 90 percent. For example, 220 minus 40 equals 180. 180 multiplied by .90 equals 162. 162 beats per minute are the high-intensity interval target heart rate goal for a 40-year-old who participates in HIIT.

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How much sleep do kids need?

Most parents would agree that establishing healthy sleep habits is absolutely essential for growing kids. But how much do you really know about sleep? How much sleep do kids really need, and what’s the impact if they miss out on an hour or even half an hour?

Most that establishing healthy sleep habits is absolutely essential for growing kids. But how much do you really know about sleep? How much sleep do kids really need, and what’s the impact if they miss out on an hour or even half an hour?

Kids need different amounts of sleep, depending on how old they are, to support their mental and physical development. Sleep allows our bodies to absorb new information and solidify long-term memories. While we rest at night, our bodies work on muscle development, tissue growth, and organ repair and our brains eliminate disease causing-toxins.

Science shows that kids thrive on a regular bedtime routine. When children get the sleep they need, there are boatloads of benefits, including better memory, better behavior, better school performance, and a healthier immune system. Read more

The Ultimate Guide To Playtime For Kids

Happy children playing with bubbles outdoor, selective focus - kids in motionSandy Harrison from asks, ever heard of  “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”?This single statement conveys great truth on how important play is in the healthy development of a child. In fact, its importance has been hailed as the right of every child by the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights. Not only does it contribute to the cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well-being of children and youth,   it also helps foster a stronger child-parent bond via parental involvement in different types of play!

So Knowing How Important Playtime Is For Our Kids, Why Are They Playing Less And Less?

Recent research by  The American Academy of Pediatrics’ explains that playtime has reduced considerably in schools and at home. This is due to academic pressure at school, leading them to focus more on reading and mathematics. Structured extracurricular activities take up even more time to enable your child to participate in competitions or excel academically.

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Shotokan Karate – An Organic Approach Towards Holistic Youth Development

Pratik Dalal, an instructor at JKA WF Chicago Karate Institute, Inc., shared with Healthy Lombard that are different styles of traditional Karate, ‘Shotokan’ is a very popular style developed from various martial arts by its founder and the father of modern-day Karate, Sensei2 Gichin Funakoshi. For Sensei Funakoshi, the word ‘Karate’ eventually took on a deeper meaning than just martial arts training. He was to modify the Okinawan art by taking inspiration from traditional Japanese budo (kendo, judo, etc) and integrated their philosophical aspects into his training and teaching methods.

This became a total discipline, which represented a synergy of Okinawan and Japanese schools and in 1936 he established the ‘SHOTOKAN’ style of Japanese Karate which was to be greatly influenced by his son Yoshitaka (Gigo) and Masatoshi Nakayama, the first headmaster of the Japan Karate Association. There are no weapons used in Shotokan Karate and literally speaking, it is indeed the way of the empty hand.

Said differently from purely a self-defense perspective, the Karateka3 undergoes rigorous physical and mental training to develop his/her own body and mind into a weapon, thereby increasing one’s chances to better defend against the unforeseen ‘threat’. However, Karate-do is not just about punching and kicking. The Budo4 aspect, i.e. the martial arts way of Karate aims towards perfection of one’s character, and this aspect of Shotokan Karate is what I intend to focus on in this paper.

Some important questions I have pondered over for years during my training of Shotokan Karate: ‘Can a traditional martial art like Shotokan Karate be a potential solution to address some of the grave issues experienced by our youth today? Can it treat such issues at the grass-root level organically? If so, how?’ Read more

Kayak Buying Guide – How to Choose The Best Kayak For You

Edward who runs a blog called Water Sporting Adventure put together guides and resources for people interested in water sports, and the outdoors.  In this article, he shares that there are many ways to use a kayak. You can either take it for a fishing trip, use it for a workout, go on an exploration trip, or just hang out on the water with it. Regardless of what you decide to do, you will need to know how to choose a kayak.

With all the number of things you can do with kayaks, there is a specific one for each of these activities. Each of them slightly different than the other making it more suitable for its purpose.

Before selecting a kayak, make sure you get one that fulfills its purpose. Will you be taking it in a river? lake or sea? Will you be opting for a sit-in or sit-on-top kayak?

Next comes the budget, colors, materials, durability, and weight which are all key factors in deciding on a kayak.

Let’s take it from the start…

The Type of Kayak

The design, purpose, and place to sit are what defines the type of kayak. It is very convenient in deciding its use.

Kayaks are usually categorized into two types:

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