EEHealth shared that in the past 30 years, childhood obesity in the United States has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents. Today, it affects more than one in five children and adolescents, making it the most common chronic disease of childhood.
It’s no wonder the battle over childhood obesity has gained national attention, with September declared as National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month.
Childhood obesity is caused by various genetic, behavioral, and environmental factors. Exposure to unhealthy foods and eating patterns, increased portion size, physical inactivity, socioeconomic status, medications and other factors contribute to this growing national epidemic.
The consequences of obesity during childhood affect a child’s health and well-being now and later in life. Obese youth have a greater risk of heart disease caused by high blood pressure and high cholesterol, and other serious health issues, including:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Sleep apnea
- Joint problems
- Fatty liver disease, gallstones, and heartburn
- Psychological distress (e.g., depression, low self-esteem)
Lizzie Weakley, a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio, shared with Healthy Lombard that when you have lower back pain, even the simplest of tasks become difficult if not impossible. While you may feel as if the pain will never go away, there are actually several things you can do to manage your lower back pain that will bring you much-needed relief. Rather than continue to be in pain day after day, here are five things you can do that may give you surprisingly effective results.
Loosen Up by Exercising
When you are experiencing lower back pain, various types of exercises can be quite beneficial. One of the best is swimming, which can work your entire body while putting virtually no strain on your back muscles. A relaxing form of exercise can also help reduce your stress levels, which will lessen the chances you have tight muscles.
Hot and Cold Treatments
An inexpensive and effective home treatment, hot and cold therapy can be done first thing in the morning, at night before bedtime, and anywhere in between. Hot and cold packs are available in pharmacies and other stores and can be used in combination with one another if needed.
EEHealth shared in its Healthy Driven Blog that running has many benefits for physical and mental health. It helps in losing weight, blood pressure, blood sugar, building muscle, and keeping a positive mood.
So many good things come from running, but not everybody thinks it’s fun. And if you’re training for your first 5K or half-marathon, you may find the task of training to be daunting.
Here are 4 simple ways to make running fun:
- Find a purpose. Running is always more fun if you are running for something. If you’re training for a race, decide what you want to achieve. Is this your first 5K and your goal is simply to finish? Do you want to beat your friend who is also racing? Do you want to run a personal best? Your goal should be reachable and attainable. Some people decide to race for a loved one to raise money for a cause. This is a great way to motivate runners and keep it fun, because every time you lace up your shoes, you do it for a greater purpose.
- Don’t do it alone. Another way to make running fun is to buddy up. This can come in the form of training with a friend, neighbor, or family member. Many great conversations can take place on training runs. The social nature of running decreases anxiety and makes it more difficult to skip a training run. You may also consider joining a local running club with like-minded runners who meet on certain days and times. Also, get the family involved. Bring the kids on your run—have them ride their bikes while you run.
Michael Greger M.D. FACLM invites readers in his NutritionFacts.org blog to learn about a community-based education program informing physicians and patients alike about the power of nutrition as medicine.
“The best-kept secret in medicine is that given the right milieu”—the right conditions—“the body heals itself, and “[w]hen it comes to cardiovascular disease, there is no substitute for nutritional excellence.” We know about Ornish, Pritikin, Barnard, Esselstyn—all the great names in evidence-based nutrition—but how many have heard about the CHIP program, the Coronary Health Improvement Project, a volunteer-run community-based education program? “More so than any clinical trial, educating physicians and patients alike about the power of nutrition as medicine is the best investment we can make in the fight against heart disease.” More effective, cheaper, and safer. What are the side effects? Improved overall health—and not just physical health, as Dr. Greger discusses in his video CHIP: The Complete Health Improvement Program. Read more
As a parent, you always want the best for your child—that’s a given. Making sure they’re healthy, happy, and safe are your priorities. But what about your well-being?
Your child deserves a parent that’s doing everything in their power to be the best version of themselves. Why? Because your health and happiness affect your child.
So while you’re reading this article, keep in mind that these tips are for more than just your benefit. It’s for your kids too.
Embrace Your Emotions
Despite the ongoing conversations around mental health stigmas, there’s still a trend of men refusing to talk about their emotions. It could be embarrassment or lack of knowledge on how to begin getting in touch with this side of themselves. According to a Mental Health America infographic, about 6 million men are affected by depression yearly. Moreover, men are four times as likely to die by suicide than women.
Start learning healthy ways to process your emotions—that might mean crying when you feel like you need to or writing down your thoughts. Find what method works best for you, and set a good example for your kid by teaching them healthy outlets for their emotions.
It’s no secret sleep is an important factor in living a healthy lifestyle, but not everyone is getting enough shut-eye. Many things can impact a person’s sleep such as their mattress, bedding, and nighttime habits.
At Wake Up Sleepy Head, they wanted to learn more about Americans’ bedtime and sleep routines. They surveyed more than 1,000 people across the country and found many aren’t getting enough sleep, with the majority wishing they slept more. But why aren’t people sleeping well? There are several reasons, including their bedtime routine, stress, and uncomfortable beds.
A good bedtime routine can be essential to sleeping well and for some, the bedtime routine starts in the bathroom. 1 in 10 Americans never brush their teeth before getting shut-eye! Another 10% say they brush 2-4 nights a week, 14% brush 5-6 nights a week, and 63% brush their teeth every night. If some of those numbers were surprising, even fewer Americans are washing their face before hitting the hay. 29% never wash their face before bed, 38% wash it 1-6 nights per week, and 33% wash their face 7 nights a week. Read more
Lizzie Weakley, a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio shared with Healthy Lombard that better fitness has been linked to everything from better sleep to better moods and energy levels. If you’re a beginner, however, you might be a little intimated at the thought of going to a gym and wandering among miles of shiny equipment. Here are just a few newbie-friendly exercises that can be accomplished right at home.
Cardio comes in many forms, including walking, cycling, and spinning. It can be done without any equipment when you’re a complete beginner. However, you can invest in things like treadmills and rowing machines once you’re ready to up the intensity of your workouts. You can also modify many cardio exercises based on your own comfort levels, like doing half-jacks rather than full jumping jacks, which can be helpful if you’re older or less mobile.
Fleur here from Nordic Lifting – a blog about fitness and weightlifting answers the question, “What are fitness goals?” as the objectives you set for yourself in order to be physically healthy.
Fitness goals are training programs or physical tests that you establish for yourself to achieve in a certain amount of time. Setting fitness goals entails determining what you want to achieve or accomplish, and then taking the required measures to achieve them.
Fitness Goals for Beginners
You may find it difficult to determine your overall goals for your health and fitness journey. We are all aware that the beginning is always the hardest part, but in the end, it’s all worth it, right? You can try focusing on those small and specific goals you can achieve to get you started. Remember that great things start from humble beginnings.
What are fitness goals, and why are they so important? It’s a specific training goal or physical test that you set for yourself to achieve in a certain amount of time. Fitness goals are important because they help us remain on track and complete workouts that we might otherwise skip if we were left unmotivated. Read more
The National Institute on Aging shared that some people perform incredible feats of strength and endurance well into their retirement years. The great news is: You don’t have to bench press 300 pounds or run a marathon to show off the benefits of strength training.
NIA-supported researchers have been studying the effects of strength training for more than 40 years and have identified multiple ways it can benefit older adults, including maintaining muscle mass, improving mobility, and increasing the healthy years of life. Learn more below about these findings from NIA-supported researchers, along with their tips for maintaining strength or becoming stronger as we age.
Some people have a hard time gaining muscle no matter how much they lift, while others have a hard time losing weight even when focusing on aerobic activity. This variability from person to person is another area of current research both at NIA and the institutions it supports.
— Eric Shiroma, Sc.D., staff scientist, NIA