4 Parenting Tips To Help Kids Make Healthy Choices

Brad Krause at selfcaring.info shared with Healthy Lombard that parents want what’s best for their children and will always strive to make healthy choices on their child’s behalf. A parent can’t oversee their child every moment of every day though h, so it’s important to help kids make healthy choices for themselves. When a child feels that they have agency in maintaining their well-being, they are more likely to develop a productive sense of responsibility for their own future. Courtesy of Healthy Lombard, you can use the following helpful tips to inspire your children to start making healthier choices every day.

Encourage Healthy Eating

The most obvious area where your children can learn healthy habits is in their choice of foods. There are a few methods of improving eating patterns that you can try out. As the adult in your child’s life, you can set a good example by eating a variety of nutritional foods or by encouraging a family snack time that includes the child’s favorite fruits and vegetables. Children may also be discouraged from unhealthy eating if you require them to use their own limited spending allowance if they want to indulge in junk food or caffeinated drinks.

 

Get Involved in Physical Activities

Being a good role model can also motivate your kids to get some necessary exercise. Experts recommend that children get 60 minutes of physical activity every day, and you can help with that by joining your child in some outdoor activities. This can be as simple as walking or biking to school together. If you have your own exercise routines, invite your child to join you, and it may spark a new interest in them. Consider getting in touch with other parents and encouraging your child to become involved in the same activities as their friends.

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Create a Family Self-Care Plan

Action for Healthy Kids shared that self-care is for everyone. Simply put, self-care is the practice of taking actions to improve health… both physically and emotionally. Kids and adults need time to refresh, recharge and unwind from work, school, and current events. While it is important to focus on self-care individually, it’s also important to prioritize as a family to support healthy communication and a better understanding of how to support our loved ones.

Take Action

A few simple steps and a family brainstorm are all it takes to make self-care a priority at home. Get creative and modify as needed over time.

  • Create space for planning. Set time aside on a weekend or after dinner one night during the week to come together as a family and begin planning. It’s important to make sure that everyone can be present so the plan is representative of the family, as self-care can be practiced in many ways.
  • Set goals or clarify purpose. Creating a self-care plan can be simply to integrate mindfulness and other forms of relaxation into busy family schedules, or it can have attached goals. Think about things your family may want to work on together (e.g., decreasing screen time by an hour each day, reducing stress associated with busy schedules, etc.). Identify top stressors and use as a template to build out a plan that helps you achieve goals to decrease and improve on how you manage them.
  • Brainstorm activities. Create a nice balance of 5 or 6 activities. Activities included in a self-care plan should be inclusive of activities that support the mind and body.
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An aspirin a day may not be the best way to avoid heart disease and stroke

Heart-shaped stethoscope. Isolated on white backgroundEdward-Elmhurst Heath shared in its Healthy Driven Blog that for years, physicians have recommended some adults take an aspirin a day in late middle age to reduce their risk of a heart attack or stroke.

Aspirin, a blood thinner, can help prevent heart attack and stroke (also known as cardiovascular disease) by preventing blood clots from forming in blood vessels that carry blood to the heart and brain.

In 2016, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommended a daily aspirin to reduce the risk of a first heart attack or stroke. But new evidence shows a daily aspirin may do more harm than good, especially in people age 60 and older.

The task force recently reversed its recommendation for certain individuals to take a daily aspirin to help prevent cardiovascular disease.

“The most serious potential harm a daily aspirin can cause is bleeding in the stomach, intestines, and brain,” the group said in its statement. “The chance of bleeding increases with age and can be life-threatening.”

The task force does not recommend that people age 60 and older begin taking aspirin to prevent heart attack or stroke and says people age 40 to 59 should talk with their doctor before starting a daily aspirin regimen to assess whether the benefit outweighs the risk.

“The group of patients this applies to are people who don’t have a history of heart attack or stroke,” says John Cahill, M.D., an interventional cardiologist with Midwest Cardiovascular Institute and on the medical staff at Elmhurst Hospital. “People who have already had overt heart disease such as a bypass, heart attack or implantation of a coronary stent clearly benefit from taking an aspirin, and the benefit far outweighs the risk.”

This task force recommendation applies only to those who are at a higher risk for cardiovascular disease, have no history of cardiovascular disease and are not already taking daily aspirin. Read more

Red Light Therapy for Sleep: The Safe and Natural Way to Better Rest

Kerri Flanagan shared that if you suffer from sleep disturbances, you’re certainly not alone. Sleep issues, particularly insomnia, have become quite prevalent in recent decades. In fact, according to the American Sleep Association, approximately 30% of Americans experience acute insomnia, and 10% suffer from chronic insomnia.

Modern treatments for insomnia are often no more than band-aid solutions, with some even bordering on unhealthy and dangerous (Ambien, for instance, has gained quite the reputation for its long list of bizarre side effects). That hasn’t stopped people from spending a significant amount of money seeking the elusive perfect night’s sleep. The global sleep economy, which includes everything from mattresses and pillows to sleeping pills and sleep apps, is valued at almost $500 billion.

The message there is that people want to sleep better, but they’re struggling to make it happen. Enter red light therapy. Researchers have been busy studying the vast (and growing!) list of benefits of red light therapy in the past couple of decades, and one of their discoveries is that it appears to be beneficial for a good night’s sleep. In this article, we’ll look at the importance of sleep, the various factors that can affect it, and how you can improve your sleep with red light therapy, safely and naturally.  Read more

It’s flu season! Learn how you can prevent the flu

Sick african american girl with flu at home, ill young black woman with fever and ice bag on head, resting in bed.The National Institute on Aging shared that each winter, millions of people suffer from seasonal flu. Flu — the short name for influenza — is caused by viruses. Viruses are exceedingly small germs. Some viruses can spread easily from one person to another. They cause illnesses or infections like the flu.

Flu is a mild illness for some people. For older people, especially those who have health problems like diabetes or heart disease, the flu can be serious, even life-threatening.

How serious is the flu?

Most people who get the flu feel much better in a week or two. But some people can get extremely sick. For example, because your body is busy fighting off the flu, you might pick up a second infection. Older people are at elevated risk of these secondary infections, such as pneumonia.

How does the flu spread?

The flu is contagious — that means it spreads from person to person, often through the air. You can pass on the infection before you feel sick. You are contagious for several days after you get sick. Likewise, you can catch the flu when someone near you coughs or sneezes. Or, if you touch something the virus is on, like Ellen and Jack’s phone or doorknob, and then touch your nose or mouth, you could catch the flu. The flu virus can live on a surface like a book or a doorknob for several hours. Remember to wash your hands often when you are around someone who is sick. Make a point of washing them before eating or touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. If you can, stay away from sick people. That will help stop the flu from spreading. Read more

50 Shocking Drunk Driving Statistics

Drunk driving concept image with a hand holding some car keys and a glass of beer isolated over a white background.Reviews.com shared that with an increasing focus on the problem of drunk driving, alcohol-impaired driving fatalities have been decreasing steadily. However, 28 people are still killed every day in the U.S. due to drinking and driving. We still lose 10,000 of our fellow citizens every year from drunk driving.

A drunk driving incident impacts many people in very serious ways. Of course, the worst-case scenario leaves families devastated by the death or severe injury of a loved one. These consequences are irreversible. Other people are also impacted, especially if a family member is sentenced to jail time, and the incident inevitably adds to financial stresses.

Even if the situation does not result in severe injury, a drunk driving conviction can be costly as fines and attorneys’ fees escalate. Long term, the cost of insurance increases dramatically, and even the best carriers will impose higher premiums and other restrictions on coverage.

50 shocking drunk driving statistics

Accidents and arrests

  1. In 2016, more than one million drivers were arrested for drunk driving or driving under the influence of narcotics. (CDC)
  1. In 2019, 31% of drivers involved in single-vehicle crashes with fatalities were alcohol-impaired. (NHTSA)
  1. 13% of drivers involved in multiple-vehicle fatal crashes in 2019 were intoxicated. (NHTSA)
  1. Alcohol involvement in fatal accidents is most prominent after dark. In 2019, 49% of fatally injured drivers had blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent or above between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m., while 18% of fatally injured drivers had a similar BAC during the daytime. (IIHS)

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Green Tea; The Super Plant

College of DuPage Nursing Student Daszawn Burgess wrote for Healthy Lombard that Green tea has been a viable herb for many years. In fact, green tea has been consumed by many cultures since 2737 BC. Green tea was first adopted by Chinese Emperors, used not only for its unique taste, but was thought to be a medical plant of the gods. With that being said, green tea has many health benefits; anti-inflammatory properties, aids in weight loss, and prevention of cardiovascular disease.

According to Pahwa et al. (2021), over 60 million people are affected by inflammation due to biological, chemical, and physical factors that are affiliated with various forms of cancer, whereas anti-inflammatory therapies aid in the prevention and treatment of cancer. According to the finding of Rueter et al. (2019), green tea may help to prevent breast cancer; one of the most common cancers in women.  Rueter et al. (2019) found women who drank the greenest tea experienced a 20–30% decreased risk of breast cancer. Green tea is thought to be one of the main chemicals in helping to prevent inflammation by preventing its progression throughout the body.

Green tea is also beneficial in maintaining weight and reducing body fat in individuals of all ages. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (2021), more than 650 million people in the United States are currently considered obese. In a 12-week randomized controlled study of 240 people with obesity, however, green tea extract was found to reduce body fat and prevent cardiovascular risk by boosting metabolic rate in the short term, thereby reducing body fat, especially abdominal fat (Nagao et al., 2021). The study findings also demonstrated in those who consumed green tea that a significant decrease occurred in overall weight, body fat, and waist circumference, compared to controls.

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Bullet Journaling, Fruit for The Soul

College of DuPage Nursing Student Sofie Langan shared that on the surface, bullet journaling appears to be a trend straight out of Pinterest. With a simple Google search, thousands of photos of pastel-colored tapes, rainbow highlighters, and pens designed especially for the thin paper of a journal, appear. Endless blog posts, books, and tutorial videos are available to teach bullet journaling. It almost feels intimidating to try. However, diving a little deeper into the topic can be truly eye-opening. Journaling is a beautiful and creative process that gives one’s imagination no limits. Everything can be designed, drawn, colored, and decorated, to meet the ideals of a creator. The benefit of this practice is the mindfulness and reflection it encourages. When done constructively, bullet journaling can be extremely effective in maintaining good mental health.

Stress Reduction  – Journaling can decrease stress by providing an outlet to reflect and think. For example, many people feel stressed in a state of chaos or disorganization. A day-to-day spread, or journaling a to-do list, can help manage time and organize events. For those that struggle with stress affiliated with negative thoughts, gratitude or a prompt-based journal can promote positive thinking and general optimism. The truly amazing aspect of bullet journaling is that whatever is causing stress can be used as inspiration for creation. Everything can be specifically designed for the purposes of the individual and their personal growth goals.

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