Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Motivating Your Little Couch Potatoes

During the winter months we find ourselves less active and our children spending more time in front of their computer and television. As a result, more children are less fit or weigh more than they used to. Exercise helps children control their weight, strengthen bones and reduce their heart risks later in life.

Here are a few suggestions that may motivate your children to be more active:
  • Limit television to two hours a day and take evening walks or bike rides as a family.
  • Encourage your children to walk their pet, do yard work and other chores around the home.
  • Buy toys that keep your children active.
  • If the weather is keeping you inside do an exerices video together.
  • Instead of driving your children to the neighbors home, have them ride their bike or walk.
  • Plan an activity to go swim, bowl, play volleyball or visit a local gym.
  • Organize a play group with your friends.
  • Encourage your children to participate in team sports or learn a new skill.

Helping your children find their strengths and encouraging them to develope them to their full potential, will bring life long benefits to their well-being. Set those goals together!

Happy New Year!


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Finding Calm in the Chaos

It is the season of service as you work to display love for the people in your life. With the hectic pace of the holiday season, you may have forgotten to make time for your own self-care. The holiday season can also bring memories of a painful past or emphasize the loneliness you may be feeling. Don't let another day pass without nurturing yourself.

It may be the perfect time to try meditation and find the inner peace that you long for. Studies have found long term health benefits from individuals that practice meditation regularly.
  • A Heathly Heart: Meditation has been found to lower your blood pressure, blood sugar and insulin.
  • Increased Alertness: Individuals who meditate for 40 minutes daily surpassed others in mental alertness testing who had taken a nap for 40 minutes.
  • Better Sleep: The brain waves of people who meditate are similar to those sleeping.
  • More Brainpower: Meditators have a increased thickness in their brain in the areas of attention and processing sensory input.
  • Less Bingeing: Obese women who practiced mindfulness meditation had an average of four fewer binge eating episodes per week than before practicing meditation.
  • Happiness: The prefrontal cortexes in the brain that are responsible for happiness and pleasure lit up even when individuals were not meditating.

So think about finding a quiet moment to still your mind and let peace enter your soul for the holiday.

Best wishes


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Tis the Season to Volunteer

During this time of year the needs of other people are highly publicized on the news. It lets the general public know that there are many families in our community that need our assistance to survive the winter and holiday season. Volunteering your family through your church or school is a wonderful way to have your family look outside of themselves. It also allows you to count your blessings as you work to serve others.

Studies report that children who volunteer do better in school, feel more positive about themselves, and avoid risky behaviors like drugs and alcohol. Children that have participated in service activities are more likely to vote, have a positive work ethic, and live a socially responsible life. Learning to make a difference in your community can make a lifelong impression on your children and family as you work together to serve the less fortunate.

Have a blessed season.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Tis the Season for Shoplifting to Occur

Parents the holiday season will bring out the "wants" in your children. This is an opportune time to teach your children the difference between "wants and needs" by doing a service for others. It helps children identify how fortunate they are to have their needs met in a loving environment.

If you have teenagers they are going to want to venture to the mall with friends to do a little shopping. One role of the parent is to prepare children for the new environments that they will encounter. Going to the mall alone or with a friend will be a new experience for you child. Prepare you child by discussing safety, store security systems, and the legal consequences of stealing.

Some teens will steal because it is a statement of rebellion, thrill seeking or their parents just won't let them buy the item. Try and teach your children the concept of working for items they want and to resist the notion of instant gratification.

If your child has been caught shoplifting, studies report there are approximately 23 million shoplifters and about one-quarter of them are teenagers. Most businesses will press charges against shoplifters. If this happen, support your child but have your child take responsibility for their choices. If the business gives your child a warning, decide on a community service project your child can do to pay restitution for their behavior. If shoplifting becomes a persistent problem with your child you will need to seek professional help.

Best wishes.