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2 07, 2018

How To Help Your Children Have A Healthy, Fun, And Happy Summer

2018-07-20T18:40:45+00:00

The long-awaited summer time is finally here. Children are excited to be out of school, but for many parents, summer brings about the stress of trying to figure out a way for your children to have fun and be happy but also stay healthy throughout the summer. We have put together ideas on how to help your children have the healthiest, happiest, and most fun summer they can.

Manage Stress

If you are stressed out as a parent, then your children are going to feel this same stress and won’t be able to enjoy their summer vacation as much as they should be. Summer is a time for families to relax, unwind, and spend time together. When you have a day off and are able to do something with the kids find a way to get out of the house – go to the beach, visit a park or a museum, or go see a movie and get ice cream. The possibilities are just about endless during summer, so find something you can all enjoy together as a family.

Wear Sunscreen

Getting outside is important during the summer as it keeps us active and gives us the benefits of the sun’s healthy vitamin D, but with that sun exposure we are also exposed to the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays. Make sure everyone in the family is wearing sunscreen every day, whether you will be out in the sun for a short period of time or for a longer period of time. If you are going to have an extended day in the sun, then make sure to reapply sunscreen every 2 hours. You should choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen that is a minimum SPF of 30. Applying sunscreen first will save you and your children the hassle of dealing with a painful sun burn and protect against other serious skin damage later on.

Stay Active

One of the most difficult things to do during the summer can be keeping our children active. Many children see summer as the time to relax and lounge around, but we want to continue to promote the healthy lifestyle habits that we promote all year round. Make sure children are getting enough exercise and outdoor play before they are allowed to spend time watching tv, playing video games, or playing on the computer. Try to fill your calendar and plan fun family activities ahead so you will be prepared all summer long and you won’t find yourself hearing the common summer complaint “I’m bored!”

Just because summer is a time for fun doesn’t mean that it has to be a time to break healthy habits. Follow our tips for a healthy lifestyle and you will also find yourself and your children having the best summer ever!

How To Help Your Children Have A Healthy, Fun, And Happy Summer2018-07-20T18:40:45+00:00
25 06, 2018

Ways To Help Your Child Sleep Better

2018-10-04T14:31:19+00:00

We all need sleep. It is essential to our health and well being that we get a good amount of non-disturbed sleep on a regular basis. But for our children regularly getting a good night sleep is even more important than it is for an adult. Most children will spend 40 percent of their childhood asleep. And this sleep is so important for children because it has a direct impact on their physical and mental health and development. Children who sleep well are less likely to have behavior problems or trouble focusing in school and are also less likely to make unhealthy choices.

So, what can we do as parents to help make sure our children are getting the proper amount of sleep, and that they are getting the restful sleep that they need? What does the right amount and kind of sleep look like? As parents, we should be making sure that our children are able to fall asleep easily, stay asleep throughout the night, and wake up refreshed so they have the energy they will need throughout the day.

PREPARE FOR BEDTIME

Enforce A Consistent Bedtime

Children function best when they have a set routine and they know what to expect. Setting a bedtime and enforcing it consistently is always the first step in helping make sure your child gets enough sleep and is set up for getting the right kind of sleep. Teenagers may be able to function well on an adult sleep schedule of 8 hours a night, but younger children could need up to 11 hours of sleep each night. You know what your family’s schedule looks like, so you know how early they need to get to bed in order to get the proper amount of sleep each night. It is also important to keep a consistent routine, even on weekends. If your children follow one sleep schedule during the week but then stay up later and sleep in longer on the weekends, it will only be more difficult for them to return to their earlier bedtime routine during the week.

Have a Positive Pre-Bedtime Routine

As adults we know how difficult it can be to get into bed and simply “turn off” our brains. Children have the same difficulty with “turning off” their brains and getting to sleep if they do not have a positive pre-bedtime routine. Help your children establish a pre-bedtime routine that helps them relax and wind-down so their brains and bodies are prepared for bedtime when it arrives. Common relaxing pre-bedtime routine activities include taking a bath, putting on pajamas, brushing teeth, cuddling up for a bedtime story, listening to soothing music, and goodnight kisses. These pre-bedtime activities are soothing and calming and signal to a child that bedtime is near. Using the same pre-bedtime routine consistently will help your child’s body begin to prepare for sleep at the start of the pre-bedtime routine activities.

SET THE LIGHT RIGHT

Dim The Lights After Sunset

It used to be that our sleeping and waking patterns were determined by the rising and setting of the sun. But with the availability of artificial light also came a rise in difficulty with our sleep patterns. Artificial light used in our homes at night can cause our bodies internal clocks to be thrown off, which will affect how easily we are able to fall asleep and stay asleep. Simply dimming the lights at night can make it easier for our bodies to recognize that it is time to sleep and rest.

Limit Screen Time Before Bed

Too much screen time is bad for us in many ways, but especially when it comes to preparing ourselves for bedtime. Our bodies rely on our brain’s natural increase in production of melatonin at night to alert our bodies that it is time to begin winding down and getting ready for bed. But the blue light that emits from electronic devices such as television, laptops, computers, phones, and tablets can confuse our brain and stop or slow the production of melatonin. Even just a half hour of screen time can slow the process and keep children up for an additional 2 hours – so limiting screen time to at least an hour before bedtime is best. Create a restful environment by keeping televisions and video games out of the bedroom and have a charging station setup outside of the bedroom like in a living room where devices won’t disrupt sleep throughout the night.

MAKE THE ENVIRONMENT COMFORTABLE

Cool, Dark, And Quiet?

Children will find it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep if their bedroom environment is not comfortable. An optimal sleeping environment is typically cool, dark, and quiet. But it is best to figure out what works for your child and keep it consistent. Most children are not going to want to go to bed in pitch black, so a small night light is ok, but remember to make sure that the light is dim, so it will not interfere with their melatonin production. Your child may also want a favorite stuffed animal to keep them “safe” at night, but keep in mind that too many toys can become a distraction. You can also try giving your child “monster spray” to help keep scary monsters away. If your child likes there to be some noise when they go to sleep, try calming music or soothing white-noise to help them fall asleep without becoming too overstimulating.

Clean

Making sure your child keeps their bedroom clean can also help them sleep easier and better at night. A messy environment can often create feelings of stress and provide many distractions. However, a clean environment will be soothing and will help promote good sleep. In making sure your child’s room is clean it is also important to do your part and make sure that the room is allergen free, so your child’s sleep is not disrupted with itchy, pesky allergens throughout the night.

Bedtime can be a crazy and hectic time in any household. But following the guidelines discussed in this article can help make your family’s bedtime routine less stressful and more soothing and successful – leading to an overall healthier and happier family!

 

Ways To Help Your Child Sleep Better2018-10-04T14:31:19+00:00
28 05, 2018

How An Active Social Life Benefits Your Overall Health

2018-10-04T14:31:19+00:00

Did you know that truly taking good care of ourselves requires a lot more than simply exercising and eating right? There are many things that play a part in our overall health – and one of the best ways you can promote overall health is keeping an active social life!

Unfortunately, we often neglect our closest and strongest relationships with family and friends. Nurturing those relationships does take time and effort, but it can pay off largely in many aspects of our health and well-being. Maintaining an active social life provides benefits to promoting the health of our mind, body, and soul! Here are some benefits you can expect to receive by putting in the effort to nurture your relationships and not let them fall by the wayside.

REDUCED RISK OF DEPRESSION

Spending quality time socializing with family and friends naturally boosts our feelings of confidence and happiness, which also leads to a reduced risk of developing depression. Maintaining an active social life will help combat feelings of isolation and loneliness that often lead to depression.

If you are already suffering from depression, getting out and socializing with family and friends is often the last thing you want to do, but it is the one thing that can make the biggest impact on your mood and fight off the depression immediately.

While any form of socialization is better than none, research shows that in-person social interactions have a stronger impact on our well-being than technological interactions such as through e-mails and phone calls. So, make sure you are surrounding yourself with positive relationships that you have personal interaction with regularly!

INCREASED COGNITIVE FUNCTION

When it comes to our mental health, strong social activity not only helps reduce our risk of depression, but it also helps increase our brain’s overall functioning. Strong social interactions help us remain mentally engaged, and the more active our brains are, the stronger they are. Research has consistently shown that people who have stronger and deeper social connections perform better on tests involving memory and other cognitive skills, and there is now even evidence linking an active social life to a decreased risk of developing Alzheimer’s and dementia.

REDUCED STRESS

One of the most difficult parts of maintaining our health can often be reducing the amount of stress in our lives. In today’s fast paced world, stress seems to be a natural factor, but it doesn’t have to be. Research shows that people who feel they have a stronger social network of people they can turn to are much less likely to feel stressed and overwhelmed. This is one area in which whether the social interaction is face-to-face or over a computer doesn’t seem to matter, the only thing that matters seems to be that the person feels they are receiving the proper support for their needs, and when this is happening it successfully reduces one’s stress and the negative health impacts stress causes.

CREATION OF HEALTHIER HABITS

Have you ever realized that many of your personal habits are similar to the habits of your closest family and friends? This is not a coincidence. Research shows that your closest relationships will affect the decisions that you make regarding your health and nutrition. By surrounding yourself around friends and family with healthy habits, they will also encourage you to develop healthier habits for yourself, which will lead to increased overall well-being.

DECREASES RISK FOR DISEASE

An active social life will also help you maintain your physical health and well-being. People with stronger social interactions and connections tend to also have stronger immune systems, which means they are better able to fight off disease as simple as colds and flus to as severe as chronic illness and cancer. Having a more active social life will also help you get out of the house and up and going more often and staying physically active like this also helps keep our bodies strong and reduce the risk of developing disease. Additionally, those who have stronger social interactions and connections tend to heal from injury and illness that does occur faster.

PROMOTES LONGEVITY

Maintaining an active social life and also help you increase your life span overall. In fact, studies show that men and women with deeper social interactions and connections live 50% longer than men and women who are more socially isolated. This means the risk of death is double for those who are socially isolated as compared to those who are socially connected! These facts have been shown to remain consistent even when other factors such as socioeconomic status are taken into consideration. So, if you want to live a long and healthy life, make sure you are keeping up with your closest social relationships.

HELPS YOU SLEEP BETTER

We all know that getting a good night’s sleep is essential to our overall health and well-being, but this can often be difficult to do. However, research shows that people who are lonelier and more socially isolated have more difficulty falling asleep, experience more restlessness, and more disruptions in sleep throughout the night than those who are socially well connected.

Now that you know the many health benefits that come with maintaining your strongest and closest social relationships with family and friends, make sure you are doing your part to stay connected with these people. It will not only help keep you healthier overall but will also help keep your loved ones healthier as their social life will increase with being more deeply connected to you!

 

How An Active Social Life Benefits Your Overall Health2018-10-04T14:31:19+00:00
16 05, 2018

Could Your Neck Pain Be The Result Of Poor Head Posture?

2018-10-04T14:31:19+00:00

When we think of our posture, most of us think of our back and shoulders. But did you know that you can also have poor head posture – and that this can lead to chronic neck pain and chronic headaches?

What Does Proper Posture Look Like?

You can tell if your head posture is correct by looking in a mirror and determining whether your ears, shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles are all aligned in the same vertical line. Your head should sit directly above your neck and shoulders – not leaning slightly forward, backward, or to the side.

What Is Forward Head Carriage?

Forward head carriage, also known as anterior head carriage, is simplest terms is the “bad” head posture. Forward head carriage occurs when we carry our head slightly forward, appearing like we are slouching or leaning forward. When you do not have proper head posture, your ears will align more with your chest than they will with your shoulders and your head will rest forward and ahead of your shoulders rather than directly above your neck and shoulders.

Why Does Poor Head Posture Cause Neck Pain and Headaches?

Because your head and shoulders are connected, when your head is carried forward your shoulders will also roll forward adding unnecessary weight. For every inch that your head is carried forward it adds 10 lbs. of weight that is exerted onto your neck, joints, muscles, and ligaments. This extra weight on our necks forces our muscles to have to work harder in order to continue to hold our head up. The more stress we place on our neck, joints, muscles, and ligaments, the more neck pain and headaches we will begin to experience.

There are many symptoms that we may experience which can indicate we have poor head posture including:

  • Tension headaches or band-like headaches that are dull and located in the temples or forehead
  • The feeling of “knots” or “rocks” in the back of your neck and shoulders
  • Difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep
  • Tightness specifically located in your chest and upper back
  • All-over body aches and tightness
  • The feeling of numbness in your arms
  • A continuous feeling of needing to roll your shoulders or stretch or “crack” your neck

What Causes Poor Head Posture?

Posture, whether good or poor, is something we develop over time. And because it takes a long time to develop our posture habits, it can also take a long time to change those habits. Maintaining good posture often requires a conscious effort to do so. There are many different things we could be doing that could cause us to develop poor head posture including:

  • Using a mobile device such as a tablet or cellphone (this is also known as “text neck”)
  • Looking down while reading a book or working on a computer
  • Prolonged sitting in one position
  • Sitting with your shoulders rounded and your back hunched over
  • Driving with your head more than 5 to 8 cm away from the headrest
  • Carrying a backpack, bag, or purse that is too heavy or is over one shoulder only

What Can Be Done To Correct Poor Head Posture?

First and foremost you should contact an experienced and licensed chiropractor (like us!) to assist with the treatment of your neck pain and headaches. Receiving regular chiropractic adjustments and care has been shown to be effective in reversing the damage of forward head carriage, promote proper head posture, alleviate pain, and prevent further damage of the neck and spine.

Additional steps you can take to help correct poor head posture include:

  • Ask your chiropractor about head and neck exercises you can do to re-balance your posture. Make sure your chiropractor reviews these exercises with you to ensure you are performing them properly.
  • Getting up to stretch every 15-20 minutes if you work primarily sitting at a desk or sitting for prolonged periods of time.
  • Make sure your computer screen is level with your eyes and about two feet away from your face so you don’t have to lean forward to see it.
  • Minimize the amount of time you spend on activities that promote poor head posture – such as watching television, playing video games, and using mobile devices.
  • If you use a backpack, make sure to pack the heaviest items towards the back and lighter items towards the front. Also make sure you are carrying the backpack evenly across both shoulders to properly distribute the weight.
  • Carry a purse across your body to evenly distribute the weight.
  • Consciously focus on your posture – making sure that your sitting and standing up in a straight position with your head in an upright position directly above your neck and shoulders.
  • Use a body pillow to promote proper spinal support and posture while sleeping at night.

 

Could Your Neck Pain Be The Result Of Poor Head Posture?2018-10-04T14:31:19+00:00
14 03, 2018

3 Tips To Pick The Right Pillow

2018-10-04T14:31:19+00:00

Selecting the best pillow for your taste, your sleeping style, and comfort is the best way to get a good night’s sleep. Many people may not realize that an appropriate pillow for your neck is equally as important as your mattress. There are numerous pillow types and materials available, so it may take some time shopping around before you find your best fit.

Sleeping Style

The first thing you should consider when planning to buy a new pillow is your sleeping style. The position you spend most of your time sleeping in is an important part of appropriate pillow selection. Do you lay on your side, back, or your stomach when you sleep? Or do you toss, turn and alter your positions frequently while sleeping? Seeing that pillows are not made equally, different pillows cater for the differing styles of sleeping. Understanding your sleep style will help you pick the best pillow to help you to appreciate restful nights.

Type of Pillow Material

The three most popular pillow materials are down, polyester fill, and a type of pillow material called Memory Foam (this is a foam-like construction which conforms to the contours of your body). Polyester fill pillows are the most commonly found types of pillows while some of the top selling pillows are those made of memory foam. Although memory foam is durable, soft, and able to accommodate your head easily, it might not work for everybody. Down pillows are also a favorite for for those seeking to reduce neck pains. Each material that is used in making pillows has its own set of pros and cons, so do a little digging and read reviews. The best material you can find is the one that provides the correct support for your neck without causing any pains or discomfort when you wake up.

Check Reviews and Research

With so many products in the market, finding the best pillow that is suitable for neck pain could be a daunting task for the uninformed consumer. Check reviews by consumers having similar neck and back issues as yourself and verify claims made by manufactures before purchasing.

3 Tips To Pick The Right Pillow2018-10-04T14:31:19+00:00