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Now that school is underway, it’s essential that we monitor and respond to the assorted stresses that school children may face. These stresses tend to fall into three categories – physical stresses, chemical stresses, and emotional stresses.
Kids often suffer bumps and bruises from falls, sports injuries, and rough play. But they also get to deal with the negative effects of carrying a too-heavy or off-centered backpack and the forward head tilt and hunched shoulders that come along with overusing phones and video game controllers.
Chemical stresses are also widespread, often due to poor eating habits, like excessive sugary, salty or fried foods or drinking too much soda pop and energy drinks. But in addition to the questionable nutritional value of such common dietary choices, most also have toxic substances included in small but significant amounts that act as preservatives, artificial sweeteners, and other additives. These chemicals tend to accumulate in young people’s bodies, stressing them and damaging them over years of unwitting abuse.
Children are not just mini-adults – they have their own requirements to meet, to become healthy grownups. For example, while most adults need seven or eight hours of sleep to keep their brains healthy, kids may need nine or ten hours. In addition, kids need more protein in their diets as they grow, while most adults need less protein than they typically eat.
Kids also need their own type of chiropractic care. For example, some children may have symptoms like neck and back pain, often from staring downward constantly at their phones or devices. They would, of course, need a chiropractic opinion on the best course of action.
But any child can benefit from a checkup. To have a healthy brain, it’s essential to have a healthy spine since spinal movement feeds and stimulates the brain. An unhealthy spine in a kid may or may not hurt, but every one of them needs an exam to ensure nothing is interfering with their optimal brain function.
This time of year, most of us are thinking about personal growth and the New Year’s goals, objectives, and intentions – it’s our nature to think about what we can do to improve our lives.
For some of us, it’s knocking off a few pounds. For others, it’s finally quitting smoking. Still, others choose to exercise to get into better physical condition or pick up yoga, Pilates, or martial arts. Some develop a meditation practice, decide to spend more time communing with nature or just sit quietly to relax.
Have you noticed how many of our New Year’s resolutions revolve around our health? Learning to manage our health and wellness habits can be a heavy lift, but it’s worth it, and what better time to make some decisions than at the start of a new year?
And don’t forget to include your doctor of chiropractic, your most trusted health and wellness advisor – she can help you make better lifestyle decisions, to enhance the quality of your life. Visit Dr. Wendy Lanser, DC, and ask how often you need to stop in to stay at your best.
The holidays are about getting together with loved ones and, of course, enjoying delicious holiday foods. But too often, we find ourselves falling into the trap of poor eating habits, a mistake that is easily corrected with a few good decisions and a little self-control.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (eatright.org) makes these recommendations for better holiday eating.
1. Make realistic goals. For most of us, the holiday season is usually not the best time to increase our stress by trying to lose weight. Plan accordingly.
2. Use smaller plates if possible at your buffet table.
3. Eat a healthy snack, ideally with protein and fiber, before going to a party, so you’re not as hungry.
4. Conversation is calorie-free, but move away from the buffet so you won’t be tempted to eat absent-mindedly while you talk.
5. Scope out the buffet before you step up to make your selections to avoid overloading your plate.
6. Balance what you eat at parties with what you eat during the day.
7. Remember that beverages contain calories as well. Cocktails, beer and wine, homemade punches, and chocolaty drinks tend to have sneaky calories you may not expect. Consume these in moderation!
8. Watch your portion sizes, and take small “tastes” of high-calorie dishes.
This holiday season, put less emphasis on food and more on the relationships with the people you love. If you concentrate on the joy of the season, you’ll be less compelled to overeat. Follow these simple guidelines, and you’ll be eating healthy for the holidays!
A new study shows that how long you sleep plays a role in the health of your brain, including the prevention of dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease.
Sleep scientists agree that it is common for older people to sleep less soundly and for a shorter time than younger people. This often contributes to memory loss and attention span, reduced thinking power, poorer problem-solving, and even less efficient decision-making.
The researchers found that those who reported sleeping less than six hours each night had chemical changes in their brain that could be related to dementia. In addition, those who slept less did worse on cognitive tests than those of similar age who slept over six hours nightly.
They concluded that choosing the right amount of sleep each night is likely to improve your brain function. Conversely, those who didn’t sleep enough were more likely to be overweight and depressed. Interestingly, those who slept too much had similar patterns, so your best chance at a healthy brain revolves around finding your “sweet spot” – the amount of sleep your brain and body prefer.
Scientists have known for years that walking is great exercise. Regular brisk walking can extend your lifespan up to twenty years! But a new study has shown that walking may offset the harmful effects of poor sleep patterns.
It’s no secret to doctors of all kinds that not getting enough quality sleep interferes with not only your daily function but also your longevity. Insufficient sleep may cost you years off your life. So, anything you can do to improve the way your body works could give you back those lost years.
A huge study in Australia and England followed 380,000 people over 11 years and compared their exercise routines with their sleeping habits. They discovered that those who exercised consistently shook off many of the problems associated with bad sleep – in other words, even if they didn’t sleep enough, exercise helped them to live longer and healthier. Moreover, those who both exercised and slept well were even healthier still. But those who slept poorly and did not exercise were 60% more likely to die early, 70% more likely to get heart disease, and had a 45% greater risk of cancer.