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October 4th Is Walk And Bike To School Day

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Times Do Change

As a parent have you ever heard your grandmother or grandfather say to you, “Why when I was a kid, I walked to school every day, all year, in the rain, blizzards, and hot sun and it did not kill me?”

Walking or biking to school is excellent exercise and good for the kids to do at least once in a while.

This October 4th is not a new idea. This idea formed over 20 years ago with the sole purpose of celebrating health and the benefits of walking or biking to and from school for individual students. Instead of using a vehicle to and from school, students are given a chance to participate in active transportation to and from school on this day anually.

At any rate, October 4, 2017, is now set aside internationally, yes internationally, as a day where children are encouraged to walk or bike to school. This event is recognized globally by over 40 countries including the United States and Canada. Check with your school to see what events and surprises your school planned for October 4th.

So parents, if you do not trust the world we live in, and with good reason, maybe you can fulfill this day by walking or biking along with your child to school. If your school has individual plans, you will not want to miss the excitement with your family in attendance.

After all, this event is set in place for some reasons, such as,

  • Good exercise
  • Parents get outside with their children and teach children about pedestrian and bicycle safety
  • Reduces the amount of cars on the road and at schools
  • Helps to bond families, children, the community, and the school together
  • Preserves the environment
  • Enhances healthy lifestyles

It is a proven fact that children who walk or ride a bike to school and are physically active before the bell rings for classes are better prepared for class, they perform better in class, behaviors improve, and attention is improved.

Jump On Board and Enjoy This Special Day

Some schools plan to have students register for this event and inform parents, students, and the community through banners, flyers, information sent home, and in local newspapers.

There are many different things various schools do such as planning photo shoots with students, parents, and school staff.
Some dedicate the whole day to fitness and wellness. Schools may host bar-b-ques, picnics, or potlucks promoting nutritious food choices.

Some schools designate the whole month of October with weekly activities set aside

Thousands of school districts report that every year, there is an ever-growing interest and participation on October 4th by parents and children from a 20-year-old idea, made possible by school principals, physical education instructors, and teachers gladly promoting this event every year.

How do Communities Participate?

  • Children travel to and from school in groups or with parents
  • Choosing safe routes to and from school
  • Walking or biking on designated crosswalks
  • Utilizing crossing guards
  • Walking or biking on streets where speeds set lower
  • Walking or biking on sidewalks where there is less busy traffic
  • Instituting frequent information to the community so people who are diving can be made aware of the importance of October 4th and be ever-mindful of more children walking or riding bikes on that day

Set October 4th aside on your calendar to get outside with your child and get some fantastic exercise in the crisp and lovely fall colors. October 4th is the day you leave your car at home and walk or bike to school with a family.

 

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National Physical Fitness and Sports Month

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Image is from Luvo

Every month is a good month to expound on the benefits of physical fitness and sports. However, May is set aside as the one month, out of 12 where the focus is high in the areas of physical fitness and sports. Start getting physically fit in May.

What is Physical Fitness?

Physical fitness is good for everyone from babies to seniors. All ages realize that physical activity is great for the body. To be physically active means adding years to your life. May is the best time to spread the good news about the benefits of physical fitness and the sports arena. You must be physically fit to play sports. If your activity level is at an all-time low, May is the month to make some changes.

  • Listed are a few of examples of how physical activity can impact your life.
  • Be creative and find fun interests to help you become more active.
  • If you are a child or teenager, increase your physical activity because this improves your bone, muscle, and heart health.
  • If you are an adult becoming more physical means that you are going to lower your risk for heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
  • If you are a senior becoming more active means you reduce your risk for falls, you improve your cognition, improve your judgment and reactions

Ways to Become More Physically Active

  • Take a walk
  • Go for a bicycle ride
  • Go for a run
  • Play a round of golf
  • Play a game of tennis
  • Follow a favorite exercise video
  • Join an exercise class
  • Jump on the treadmill

How do you Maintain Physical Well-being?

Accomplish peak health and wellness by getting sufficient rest at night, by eating healthy, well-balanced meals and snacks every day, exercise, good hygiene, annual checkups, avoid smoking, drug, and alcohol abuse.

Arrive at the Peak of Physical Fitness starting in May

Physical fitness means you eat well-balanced proper nutrition. You participate in physical exercise according to your abilities, and you realize adequate restful sleep every night. You may only need six hours of restful sleep.

Physical fitness is also your ability in many different areas such as, tasks that do not create undue fatigue, your heart and circulatory endurance, your muscle strength and endurance, your body’s flexibility.

Benefits of Physical Fitness

If you are physically fit in all areas you increase your body’s ability to live a longer and fuller life. Your physical and mental capabilities are excellent and you have less risk for disease processes to set into your body.

When you are physically fit you realize an ideal body weight range, which is important for longevity. Did you know that if you are over 30 pounds your ideal body weight range you are considered obese? One pound over these 30 pounds and you become morbidly obese.

If you are physically fit you move your body easier and realize better agility, you have quicker responses and reflexes, you realize better coordination, your balance improves, you run your race faster, enjoy life more, and live longer.

Muscle strength, respiratory fitness, and overall endurance equal a physically fit body that is ready for living life to the fullest.

Spread the Word in May

The National Physical Fitness and Sports Month say to encourage those around you to be more active. Speak to your children’s teachers to initiate physical activity every day in your child’s class.

You can help spread the word by initiating a newsletter to the community about physical fitness. Research family fitness activities and encourage your family, friends, and neighbors join in on the fun.

 

 

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Understanding sleep deprivation


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Infographic from visual.ly

Chronic Sleep Deprivation: More Harmful Than You Might Think

Not only can sleep deprivation can cause serious damage to your body over the long-term, but it can cause you to lose your mind too.

You probably have noticed that, when you don’t get enough sleep, your thoughts are not as clear as normal and you feel grumpy. Although you might think that not getting enough sleep is no big deal, in the long run, you actually pay quite a price when you are sleep deprived. Chronic sleep deprivation significantly affects your mental functioning, performance and health.

Why Do We Need to Sleep?

Although sleep is as important to your physical and emotional health as is eating and drinking, researchers still do not quite understand why people need to sleep. In fact, the question of why humans sleep is one of the biggest mysteries in biology. Researchers theorize that the brain may need sleep to store the day’s memories or that sleep regulates the body’s hormones.

How Harmful Is Sleep Deprivation, Really?

Even though the question of why humans sleep is not completely understood, there is no question that sleep deprivation is extremely harmful both physically and mentally. Research shows that losing sleep can cause psychosis, long-term memory problems and can impair cognitive functioning. Other studies have found that sleep deprivation can lead to physical ailments, such as high blood pressure, weight gain and impaired immune system functioning.

What Causes Sleep Deprivation?

There is not one specific cause of sleep deprivation. Actually, many things can cause you to not get enough sleep. You might have too many daily stresses. Health issues, such as sleep apnea, diabetes and heartburn can all cause you to not be able to sleep well. Mental health problems, such as bipolar disorder, depression and anxiety can all interfere with sleep. Taking care of an infant, working in shifts or the need to finish work or school projects may also lead to a lack of shut-eye.

What Can I Do If I Cannot Sleep Well?

The cure for sleep difficulties can often be found in your lifestyle choices and daily routines. Try the following tips to help improve your sleep and leave you feeling emotionally and physically balanced.

Regular Sleep Schedule

One of the most important strategies for improving your sleep is to get on a regular sleep schedule. The reason this is important is because your body has a natural 24-hour clock, called a circadian rhythm. Your circadian rhythm tells your body when to sleep, wake and eat. This clock is linked to the 24-hour cycle of the sun. Typically, your circadian rhythm will cause you to wake in the morning after 8 hours of sleep and feel tired after about 16 hours of being awake. Sometimes, your circadian rhythm can become disrupted, causing your sleep patterns to become abnormal. Therefore, getting back on track with your body’s natural clock is vital for overcoming insomnia. Going to bed at the same time each night and waking up at the same time every morning can help your body’s natural clock become more regular.

Exercise

Regular exercisers tend to spend more time in the deeper, more restorative stages of sleep, according to the latest research. Exercise also helps you feel less sleepy during the day and feel better overall. Just make sure that you exercise at least several hours before bedtime as vigorous exercise can interfere with sleep hormones. It can take months of regular exercise before you notice the full effects on your sleep, so be patient and stick with it.

 

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Importance on sleep

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Infographic from visual.ly

Lack Of Sleep Has Serious Side Effects

Refrain from sleeping for twenty-four hours. How do you feel? Your eyes are droopy, the world has a strange appearance, you see things out of the corner of your eye. At times there is a strange giddiness that borders on madness; then it’s left by snappy anger. There are many types of fatigue; that which accompanies a deliberate effort to transcend sleep is usually a pleasant kind of weariness, one which knows real sleep is soon on the horizon. But sustaining this pattern of activity can cause brain damage. In fact, sleep is integral to a number of components which pertain to good health, including:

  • Bodily Health
  • Healthy Weight
  • Clearheaded
  • Proper Adolescent Development
  • Muscular Reconstruction
  • Sickness Rehabilitation
  • Cerebral Development

A Natural “High”

Sleep deprivation has effects on the body and mind which bear a striking similarity to alcohol abuse or marijuana ingestion. When you drink too much or get too high, your mental reasoning faculties diminish. You become impaired. A continual pattern of diminished rest leads to mental damage in the same way continuously binge drinking or marijuana smoking does. As a matter of fact, many people in America today combine all three of these conditions, and the ultimate damage is substantial. Unfortunately, sometimes working environments force the lifestyle on individuals without their realizing it.

Consider this scenario: a young man comes from an impoverished family and manages to obtain a G.E.D., but before he can go to college his single mom takes ill, and he becomes responsible for winning the house’s bread. But he’s an honest man and won’t stoop to dealing drugs or anything illegal. Unfortunately, the recessive economy has pushed him into a selection of jobs that don’t pay more than ten dollars an hour. Still, he can get forty hours a week–that’s $1600 a month! But that won’t quite cut it, as there’s a mortgage on the house, and food, and regular maintenance items, and gasoline. He really needs about $3200 a month. Well, that can be done sustainably for a year or so, if the young man just works double-time. And so this is precisely what he does. He works a thirteen hour shift six days a week, which comes to 78 hours weekly, ballooning to 82 depending on how long he has to stay after his shift. He’s been getting four hours of sleep a night for the last six months now, because Working Johnny has taken to the drink as well. It’s all he’s got.

Getting The Proper Rest

Many Americans have stumbled into similar situations. There are solutions, however. One of the best ones is to go through your daily schedule and see what activities can be cut, and replaced with sleep. If none can, and your situation really is so desperate that a half hour nap here or there isn’t possible, then you need to look at transcending your working situation. It may seem like there is only one job available for you right now, but as a matter of fact, there are quite a few in today’s market.

Healthy Brain Development

You may have to sacrifice your sleep for your children, though; their rest is more integral to healthy cerebral development. The brain grows during sleep. REM, or Rapid Eye Movement, represents a kind of “mental download” time wherein the mind processes the events of your day. Part of this explains where dreams come from; though there are other, deeper aspects involved in dreaming. In any event, the mental activity of sleep is ultimately integral to health for anyone; so get your rest!

 

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How Does Sleep Deprivation relates to Heart health

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When it comes to sleep deprivation, you have to be careful. On the one hand there are constantly more and more people who stress the ideas of productivity, efficiency, and even accomplishment to suggest sleep is not important. However, when you think about the actual facts and figures surrounding sleep and sleep deprivation then you can see how important it actually is to get a full night of rest. Consider the following few items and how important sleep can be for you to be at your fullest, especially if you have any sort of heart issues in your family or with you personally.

General Recovery

When people are asleep at night, then their body is doing less. You are obviously still alive and your entire system is still capable of doing things, but when your body goes into sleep mode at night then you get to rest because your body isn’t doing as much and doesn’t have to support as much. Your heart rate will slow, your major systems will relax, and you can spend a period of many hours just laying there while the rest of your body heals and repairs itself as you prepare for the next day. However, without having the chance to rest fully and be able to recover, then you could wind up injured and even the minor bumps and bruises won’t be able to fully heal. The worst part of this overall equation however, is that if you can’t sleep your heart will not ever get the chance to rest overnight. It will keep working overtime and can start to burn itself out from overuse.

General Body Shape And Weight Loss

One of the major side effects of having any sort of schedule is you can keep your body and eating habits in a normal and constant cycle. This usually means you will be more fit and more active, generally speaking. However, when someone is not on a normal scale then they can run into multiple problems as their body tries to adjust to the lack of sleep. When you don’t get as many winks overnight as you are ideally supposed to, you can wind up having a decreased and inefficient metabolism. This will lead you to carrying extra weight and looking down upon exercise as you simply don’t have the energy to participate.

Sleep Means Peace

One of the biggest things that people forget about is general irritability. When you start to consider someone with high blood pressure and general stress issues, you are thinking about someone who simply does not get enough rest in a given day. That is why if you are trying to find a way to keep blood pressure low, then you should consider getting rest and relaxation. The best form of which is sleep. The converse and not getting enough sleep would lead to higher irritability, less patience, and someone being more likely to blow up and become enraged. That would definitely not be good for heart and blood pressure regulation.

Whatever the specific reason you are looking for, the fact of the matter is you must sleep. And, because human beings can seriously run into some major problems if they aren’t able to sleep, you shouldn’t really be playing around with your system in that regard anyways. But, if you are going to cut back on sleep for one reason or another, then you need to be aware of the potential negative side effects and how not getting enough sleep could lead to some major problems within your cardiovascular system and within your heart overall as well.

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