BUILDING HEALTHY HABITS FOR THE KIDDOS
1) Start their day with a healthy breakfast, please no sugary cereals for our babies! A healthy breakfast such as fruit and whole grain cereal or oatmeal will help them be alert in school.
2) Pack their lunch bag with water, fruits, vegetables, yogurt, whole grain bread, healthy cheese and if you must pack juice, use ONLY 100% Juice.
3) Walk to school if possible, take this time to bond and get exercise at the same time for you and your child/children.
4) After school, turn of the TV, put the video games aside or at least limit them. TV watching and playing video games usually means sitting on the couch and snacking. Take them outside instead and dribble the basketball with them or jump rope with them, anything to keep them physically active, make sure you make it FUN!
5) Prepare a tray of healthy snacks and put on the table. Cut up some celery, broccoli, carrots, cucumbers, strawberries and place on tray with, humus, almond butter etc. As they go about their day, they can munch on these instead of grabbing the chips and cookies in the pantry, speaking of which, if you don't buy them, they won't eat them.
6) See to it they get enough rest and sleep. A growing child needs 10-12 hours of sleep. Lack of sleep can cause irritability, bad tempers, difficulty paying attention, delayed response, decreased short term memory and inconsistent performance in school. Say a prayer with your little one(s) and kiss them good night!
Walking is one of the easiest and most convenient way to exercise, you can pretty much find places where you can enjoy a walk safely. Walking can help trim your waistline, manage your weight, improve your mood, lower LDL (bad cholesterol), increase HDL (good cholesterol), lower blood pressure, reduce your risk of diabetes when done "briskly". Brisk walking is what I call "walking with passion".
Just like any exercise, you must challenge yourself in order to reap the benefits. Whether you are a treadmill walker or a nature walker, here are ways to put some 'pep' in your step:
1) Pump your elbows when you walk, this little addition will help pump your heart a little bit more therefore challenging it and making it stronger. Threadmill walkers, let go of the bar!
2) Walk tall, engage your core and walk proudly. Shoulders back, Chest up and Belly in helps better your posture as you walk and make you look thinner in an instant too!
3) Burn more calories with Interval training and be done in half the time. After your initial warm up, challenge your walk by increasing intensity for 3 minutes followed by a recovery walk for 2 minutes, repeat a few times.
There are other ways to increase intensity when walking and your body will tell you when its time for a new challenge. You may consider carrying a pair of light dumbbells, walking up hill, or shorten recovery walks between intervals.
As any diet or exercise, always, always consult your doctor before starting a program or increasing intensity. Remember to warm up before you increase intensity and cool down and stretch after your walk. Happy Walking!!!
, KAT Johnson, CPT, FNE