Posts Tagged ‘ fitness ’

Kids Getting “Fit,” a New Healthy Lifestyle Site from WebMD and Sanford Health

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

You all know WebMD as the trusted site for all health-related issues.  Now, WebMD and Sanford Health (the largest, rural, not-for-profit health care system in the U.S.) have partnered to create fit, a colorful and dynamic new website just for kids that will motivate them to be aware of their fitness, health, and nutrition.

According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey conducted by the CDC, 12.5 million (17%) children and teens between ages 2-18 are obese and suffering from related health issues such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.  To help parents, health professionals, and educators become more aware of the increasing obesity issue, the fit website is tailored to three age groups.  fit Junior is for ages 2-7, fit Kids is for ages 8-12, and fit Teens is for ages 13-19.  Each site focuses on four categories of living a healthy lifestyle: food, move, mood, and recharge. 

By playing games and activities, taking quizzes, and watching videos aimed for each age group, kids will learn how to increase nutritional, physical, emotional, and restorative fitness.  Kids will be taught why a healthy life is important and how to achieve overall well-being.  Eating the right foods, making sure to exercise, and getting enough sleep will go a long way in decreasing obesity and increasing energy.

For parents, the site Raising Fit Kids will also offer more information on help kids remain fit and happy.

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Monday, September 26th, 2011

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

How Did Your Childhood Affect Your Sexuality?
Dr. Aline Zoldbrod examines how childhood shapes one’s adult sexual life, and she divides home environments into the seven following types based on how sexual topics are handled.

Thousands of Students Entering Schools Without Vaccines
Last year’s California kindergartners had a record high percentage of parents who used a personal belief exemption to avoid immunization requirements.

Less Play Time Equals More Troubled Kids, Experts Say
Researchers find that children in the United States have far less time to play than kids 50 years ago, a trend that may have consequences for their development and mental health.

Do Hospitals’ Formula Freebies Undermine Breastfeeding?
Hospitals sending newborns home with formula may undermine a woman’s determination to breastfeed.

D.C. Parents Raise Concerns About Middle Schools
Middle schools are the latest hot spot in D.C. Public education. With preschool and elementary enrollment ticking up for the first time in decades, parents and policymakers are scrutinizing the lack of attractive middle-grade options with increasing urgency.

A New Law On School Fitness Data Faces Obstacles
Under the new law, researchers can access unidentified individual student data, which they say will help bolster aggregate analyses that already show correlations between physical fitness and academic performance, gang activity and absenteeism.

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Smart Workout Help

Monday, February 14th, 2011

Hats off to Betty Wong and our friends at FITNESS Magazine for publishing a truly helpful new book, Fast Track to a Better Body. Even when I’m motivated to exercise, I’ve always had a hard time figuring out which strength and toning moves to do—my mind goes blank. The experts at FITNESS have compiled a never-get-bored series of 15-minute workouts that you can do at home or at the gym that focus on your arms, abs, butt, legs, or your whole body. The book also includes enlightening chapters on maximizing fat burning in less time. Even though I have been covering health and fitness issues for years, I learned new things:

1. Women who maintain a healthy weight do weekly exercise equal to 21.5 METs (metabolic equivalents). The book includes the METs of different aerobic activities.

2. You don’t actually need to stay in the so-called “fat burning zone” to shed pounds (even you burn a higher percentage of fat calories when you’re walking than when you’re running, you burn a lot more total calories when you’re running, so higher intensity is more effective).

3. Interval training is indeed the best way to kick-start your metabolism, but it’s stressful on your body so you should do a lighter workout the next day.

You can buy the book here.

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12 Weeks to a Healthier Family

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

family-hopscotchAt Parents, we’re excited to share the launch of our 12 Weeks to a Healthier Family initiative.  With the help of doctors from the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), we developed a 12-week program to help your family get fitter, healthier, and happier.

By following four simple steps (fitness, nutrition, health, and happiness) each week, you and your family will develop smart habits in just three months.  In addition to reading the goals in our magazine (the March, April, and May issues), you can track the ones you have accomplished in our new online tool.  We created an easy-to-use  goal tracker that allows you to read each week’s tips and record the ones you are working on. 

Simply go to www.parents.com/12weeks and click “Get Started!” to register for the goal tracker.  You can sign up for our new 12 Weeks to a Healthier Family newsletter to receive weekly goal reminders and healthy recipes. Plus, you can enter to win a family vacation for four to Maui worth more than $8,000!

Once you’re in the goal tracker, you can click on the “Tried It?” buttons located next to each goal so the goals will be  recorded.  To see all the goals you have tried or not tried, click on the “All Goals” tab.  You can also visit your Parents.com community profile to see your goals recorded in the “Mom’s Notebook” tab.  Just look for the “My Healthier Family Goals” section on that tab.

Remember to come back every week to see the latest week’s goals!  So inspire your family to start having fun and getting fit!

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Training Toddlers to Be the Next Big Sports Star

Friday, December 10th, 2010

p_101144114Parents aren’t just worried about improving their children’s reading prowess, they’re also worried about improving their children’s athletic prowess.  A recent NYTimes.com article revealed parents are involving their babies and toddlers (from 6 months to 2 1/2) in exercises that develop their coordination, motor skills, agility, core strength, health, and fitness.

Companies are now competing to offer exercise and sports DVDs aimed at young children that show jumping, kicking, and sports movements.  Children-oriented gyms are also offering sports classes, particularly soccer, to improve children’s physical development.  These sports DVDs and classes not only help kids combat childhood obesity at an early age, they can also give kids an advantage later when they play sports in schools.   

However, some pediatricians and fitness experts are skeptical that enrolling toddlers in sports classes can speed up coordination or lead to careers as all-star athletes.  Kids could actually strain muscles or fracture bones at an early age. Plus, other studies have shown that even if kids grow up to play more sports, they may not get enough exercise.  According to Reuters.com, kids on sports teams can spend more time developing skills and strategies than playing the actual sport.  Plus, as more physical education classes and recess are reduced in schools, sports classes are still not enough to provide well-balanced exercise and physical activity.

Still, maybe a little exercise is better than having no exercise at all, and starting at a younge age might develop better health habits.  As a parent, would you enroll your toddler in a sports or gym class?  Would you want your toddler to be the next big sports star? Share your comments below.

More sports features from Parents.com:

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Have a Healthier Holiday

Thursday, December 9th, 2010

If you think having a happy holiday means bumping up a dress size, think again. We talked to registered dietitian Elizabeth Ward about ways to be merry while still being mindful of your health in the upcoming weeks. Here are her tips.

  • Make swaps in recipes to help cut fat and calories. Ward replaces half of the oil her recipes call for with apple sauce, and says that any pureed fruit (even baby food!) can work for that substitution. You can also reduce the amount of sugar in baked goods by a few tablespoons without changing the taste drastically.
  • Never go to a party famished, or you could make bad buffet decisions. Before you head out, eat a snack that contains protein and complex carbs, like a boiled egg and whole wheat crackers or yogurt and a slice of toast.
  • But at the party, don’t drive yourself crazy about what you can and can’t eat. “After all, we don’t have egg nog and gingerbread cookies around all year!” says Ward. Just be conscious of your portion sizes. (Find out what a smart portion size looks like here–it’s a great guide to stick to the fridge.) And just because something is delicious doesn’t mean it’s bad for you. Holiday faves like nuts, cranberries, sweet potatoes, chocolate, even that egg nog all have healthful properties.
  • Another thing not to beat yourself up about? Slacking off on your exercise routine. “The holidays are really hectic, so I don’t get to work out as often or as hard as I usually do,” says Ward. ” But then I notice myself running around like a chicken with its head cut off, and I have to remember that climbing up and down those stairs ten times is activity, and all activity counts.” Wondering how much time you spent moving between power shopping through the mall, taking the kids caroling and helping hoist the tree from the farm to the car to the house? Check out the Activity Snack app from Hershey’s Moderation Nation, which helps you track those small bursts of exercise.

Share your tips for healthy ways to enjoy the holidays!

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Spice Up Your Workout

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

_MG_3547If your same ol’ workout is starting to wear on you, try stealing some time with your kid’s Playstation and pop in Get Fit with Mel B, the new total fitness program from enviably fit former Spice Girl Melanie Brown. The technology puts you on screen next to Mel B for interactive exercises like yoga and kick boxing. She’ll make you sweat, but you’ll have fun doing it! We caught up with the mom of two to chat about making working out work when you’re a parent.

You’re so busy. How do you make exercise fit into your life? My workout is my “me time,” so every or every other day I schedule in an hour of exercise. It’s all about being able to juggle being a mom and work, and exercising makes that possible because it helps clear my mind. But if I’m in a time crunch, I’ll run or do abs. It’s quick and effective.

What exercise advice do you have for busy moms? Take your baby with you when you work out. Put him in a stroller and go for a walk that has some hills. The biggest thing is getting yourself motivated. Getting to the gym is often the hardest part!

Your kids are lucky to have a health-conscious mom as a role model. What sort of live-healthy tips do you try to pass on to them? Everything in moderation. On the weekends we eat what we want. We’ll have a movie night with popcorn and pizza, because you have to be realistic; you’re not going to never have that burger or pizza. But then during the week it’s healthy eating. The kids are in the kitchen helping us cook–whether it’s quinoa or chicken–and they’ll prepare the veggies or put on the herbs and spices, so it makes the meal more exciting for them. And we ‘ll go on hikes together too.

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Wonder Women!

Friday, June 11th, 2010

msb_nyrr_mini_pressluncheon_140[1] Olympic runners Paula Radliffe (left) and Kara Goucher (right) have more in common than their speed. Both ladies are pregnant, and get this–they have the same due dates. They were in NYC this week to run a 10K  on Saturday, so I snagged the opportunity to ask them for their thoughts on keeping fit with a bump. (Their tips are fab, but remember to talk to your doc about what level of fitness is safe for you during pregnancy.)

* You’re bound to feel exhausted during pregnancy, but keep in mind that working out, whether it’s a jog down the street or yoga in your living room, can help snap you out of your sleepy slump. “Both of us found that our runs really helped us with our fatigue,” says Paula, who is already a mom to 3-year-old Isla. “But it’s important to listen to your body. Some days I’d decide to take a nap instead.”
* Although running is a job for these gals, they found that continuing the sport throughout pregnancy has been a huge benefit. “For me, training isn’t about staying fit as much as it is about staying sane,” says Kara. “Running is when I have some of my most intimate thoughts, and I use this time as a chance to talk to the baby.”
* Don’t stop your workout routine after pregnancy! Being an active mom will set a great example for your kid. “I’ve learned not to feel guilty about leaving Isla to go for a run,” says Paula. “I come back feeling better, and I’m a better mom for her because of that.”

How did you stay in shape while pregnant? Share your tips!

Photo courtesy of New York Road Runners.

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