Defeating Obesity with These Isometric Exercises

An isometric exercise or workout is a type of training where the muscle length or joint angle doesn’t change. Simply put, the body stays static while it applies force. Some isometric exercise examples can be as simple as pushing your palms together or be as intense as holding a barbell at the peak of a curl. This is why they are so convenient and safe; people can perform them anytime, anywhere with an almost zero chance of injuries.

Shoulder Press 

  • Stand up straight and bend your left elbow by your side, fist up.
  • Place your right palm on top of your left fist. Your right arm should be parallel to the ground with your elbow bent about 90 degrees.
  • Press your right palm into your left fist and hold this for 10 seconds. Repeat on the other side.
  • Do this complete exercise 10 times.

Trunk Rotation

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  • Place your left palm on your right shoulder.
  • Keep your right arm relaxed by your side.
  • Keep your back straight and both hips square. Rotate your torso to the left as you push your left palm into your right shoulder.
  • Hold this for 10 seconds and repeat on the other side.
  • Do this complete exercise 10 times.

Chair Pose 

Chair-Pose.png

This classic yoga pose works your entire body. Combined with isometric holds, it is an effective, efficient way to get in a full-body exercise in just a few minutes.

  • Stand up with your knees and feet touching.
  • Extend both arms in front of you.
  • Slowly squat down as if you’re sitting in a chair.
  • Squeeze your thigh muscles together and contract your abs.
  • Hold this pose for 10 seconds, then return to a standing position.
  • Do this 10 times.

5 Ways to Empower Kids to End Bullying

From the classroom to the internet, bullying can lead to children developing a poor self-image or lead to bullying others. In fact, members of Generation Z believe bullying is the biggest issue facing their generation, according to new data.

A survey of American youth ages 6-17, commissioned by the Boy Scouts of America, the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training, found bullying ranked as the top concern for young people in their own communities, across the country and on a global scale. At the same time, 84% of those surveyed said they want to be a part of the solution.

Consider these ideas to help your kids learn how to overcome, avoid and break down the cycle of bullying:

Promote more time unplugged and outdoors. It is important for parents to promote healthy, face-to-face social interactions. Outdoor activities allow children to work together, solve problems and bond in a way that typically can’t be achieved through a screen. They also give children a break from the cyber-world, where bullying is often prevalent.

Encourage kindness. Ninety-seven percent of Gen Z members surveyed said being kind is important. Encourage kids to act on that feeling and remind them that it doesn’t take any extra energy to be kind. Serve as a role model by making kindness a foundation in your family, just as the Boy Scouts of America have done. The Scout Law lists being kind as one of 12 guiding characteristics.

Educate and equip. Parents should educate their children about why bullying is never OK, equip them with the knowledge they’ll need to recognize it and encourage them to report and safely respond to all forms of bullying they observe.

Use the buddy system. In Scouting, the buddy system pairs kids together to help ensure the well-being of one another. This approach is used for practical and safety reasons that can also be applied to everyday life. A pair or group of kids are less likely to get bullied, and buddies can be supportive by being an upstander.

Explore differences. As a family, look for ways to get involved in activities that include families from different backgrounds and cultures. Introducing kids to ideas and lifestyles different from their own can be an enlightening experience, and that knowledge can help break down some of the barriers that contribute to bullying, such as fear and misunderstanding.

Improving Communities

Creating a better community may be a collaborative goal, but as survey data from the Boy Scouts of America shows, the solutions lie much closer to home and can be inspired by the acts of individuals:

  • 97% of those surveyed said being kind to others is important.
  • 84% said they want to be a part of solving community issues in the future.
  • 79% said improving their community is important.
  • 50% said the reason they focus on some of these issues because their parents are passionate about them.
  • Bullying was a top concern among respondents, with 86% of respondents saying that not being bullied is a daily priority and 30% saying that out of 20-plus societal issues, bullying is the problem they most want solved globally.
  • Other top concerns respondents want to help solve are hunger (28%) and care for elders (27%) at the local level; animal rights (28%) and recycling (28%) at the national level; and poverty (28%) and human rights (26%) at the global level.

Learn more about ways Generation Z and its supporters can help put an end to bullying at Scouting.org.

SOURCE:
Boy Scouts of America

Steps to Better Sleep for Peak Sports Performance

For fans and athletes alike, fall means gearing up for a new season of sports activities. While plenty of attention goes into developing skills and talent, other important components that affect an athlete’s performance can be overlooked. Especially considering the demands of an athlete’s training and game schedule, getting adequate sleep is often an afterthought.

However, a lack of sleep can significantly affect athletes’ performance both on and off the field.

Sleep quality, efficiency and duration all may decrease just before competition, limiting opportunities for athletes to get the optimal quality and quantity of sleep their bodies need due to intense practice and game schedules, according to research published in “Sports Medicine.”

The same research found sleep can affect several aspects of an athlete’s performance. Skills that require endurance tend to be more affected by sleep deprivation than short-term, high-power activities. Running speed and free throw accuracy improve with more sleep, for example. There is also evidence that getting inadequate sleep increases the risk of injury as sleep deprivation can cause low energy and problems with focus during the game. It may also negatively affect split-second decision-making.

Less sleep also means fewer opportunities for natural secretion of the growth hormones that occur in deep sleep and aide restoration, physical performance and a healthy metabolism.

Athletes can maximize their performance, recovery and overall health with these tips from Mattress Firm’s sleep health expert, Dr. Sujay Kansagra:

  • Ensure you are getting between 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Athletes may need additional sleep due to strenuous daytime activity.
  • Keep your wake time and bedtime similar, regardless of your training schedule. Don’t wake up early to practice one day and sleep in the next. Try to keep it consistent.
  • If you have trouble falling asleep, avoid workouts late in the evening just before bed.
  • For competitive sports teams that travel across time zones, it’s important to try to adjust your circadian rhythm based on the time you will be playing in the new time zone. The goal is to time the game to when circadian rhythm and alertness are at their peaks, in the late morning and late afternoon or evening.
  • As the body works to repair itself during sleep, creating muscle tissue and releasing important hormones, sleeping on the proper mattress can provide support that aids in reducing aches and pains. If you need help selecting the right mattress, the experts at a retailer like Mattress Firm have a variety of sizes, options and accessories available that won’t break the bank.

Find more advice to ensure a better night’s sleep at MattressFirm.com. (Family Features)

SOURCE:
Mattress Firm

8 Tips to Eliminate Overwhelm From Your Life

Whether you are a busy professional, a student or a stay at home mom, overwhelm is something that most people face. If not properly dealt with, it can lead to stress, anxiety and a host of both mental and physical problems. So, what are some great ways to deal with overwhelm?

Overwhelm 2

Dr. Alok Trivedi is a psychological performance expert who is founder of the Aligned Performance Institute and author of the book ‘Chasing Success.’ He offers these eight tips to deal with overwhelm: 

  • Become more fulfilled: Contrary to what you might believe, feeling overwhelmed isn’t usually a result of having too much on your plate. Overwhelm comes from not being fulfilled in the activities you are taking part in. If you know someone who is always on the go and never has time to stop, yet seems so happy and satisfied, it’s because they are doing things they truly enjoy. When you align yourself with your life’s purpose, overwhelm quickly disappears.
  • Stop multitasking: We’ve been sold this great big lie that multitasking is the solution to gaining more time. It’s not. Multitasking overwhelms us even more and detracts from quality. The best solution is to take one task at a time. Take on something, give it your best, and when it’s finished move on to the next item on your list. Your stress and anxiety will also quickly disappear.
  • Make time for you: As busy as you are, you always have to make time for yourself each and every day. Even as little as 30 minutes to seek out some solitude or engage in an activity that you find pleasurable is important to how you feel and your overall well-being. Even the most successful people in any field carve out a little time for themselves and they never miss a day.
  • Get in the moment: People who tend to feel overwhelmed are usually reliving painful experiences in their past or worrying about what is coming up in the future. Instead, ground yourself in the present moment and what is taking place around you right now. If you have trouble with this, ask yourself questions like: What do I see? Who am I with? What do I smell? What am I doing?
  • Stop chasing perfect: People who struggle with overwhelm tend to always be chasing perfection. Even when they complete a task that turns out exceptionally well, they still strive to make it better. The secret is to always give your best, and let it stop after that. Perfection is a delusion that will lead to too much stress, anxiety and overwhelm, and can even make you physically sick.
  • Stop beating yourself up: People who have a hard time with feeling overwhelmed usually are very hard on themselves. They are the type that look back on a completed task or project and start questioning why they did what they did, and why they didn’t say this or approach it some other way. You have to be your best friend and number-one cheerleader. If not, you’re setting yourself up for failure, misery and a lifetime of being overwhelmed with the results of everything you do.
  • Clear up the confusion: Another reason people experience overwhelm is because they are confused. It could be a situation where you have to choose between two similar things, or where multiple people in your inner-circle are giving you different versions of a story. To decrease the overwhelm, don’t let the problem fester for too long. Sort out the facts and get to the bottom of it as soon as possible.

  • Take a break: If you feel like you’ve hit your breaking point, just stop and walk away. Put it all down, take a break and go do something else. Once you hit the point of mental overload, you’re not thinking clearly or performing at your best. The best way to break free from the emotional load of overwhelm is to get away and rest. In fact, it’s for this reason that many top performers take regular breaks throughout the day.

Easy Ways to Improve Your Home’s Health

Maintaining a healthy home is a goal most Americans share, but not all are confident they’re doing the best job they can to protect their home’s health.

According to a survey conducted by Second Nature, the nation’s largest home wellness subscription service, 62% of respondents admitted they could do a better job of attaining a healthy home, with clean air ranked as the most critical factor in achieving home wellness.

Gain more confidence in the health and cleanliness of your home with these tips:

  • Remove your shoes when you enter the house. Add entryway seating to encourage guests to take off their shoes. The bottom of a pair of shoes can contain anything from fecal matter to E. coli and pesticides. Leaving shoes at an entryway is one of the easiest ways to combat home pollution and promote a healthy home.
  • Replace air filters regularly. The air filter in your home dictates the air you breathe and ensures that it is healthy enough for ingestion. More often than not, air filters are not top of mind when thinking about home wellness, but they are crucial to every home. That’s why it’s important to replace air filters on schedule – every three months as recommended by the National Institutes of Health.

If you’re like many homeowners who struggle to remember when it’s time to change your filter, or never have a filter handy when you do remember, you may benefit from a service like Second Nature, which provides a home delivery subscription that ensures your air filters are replaced on time. The company’s high-quality air filters help reduce the risk of contracting allergies, sickness and infection while also ultimately lowering costs associated with energy bills, repairs and health-related expenses.

  • Change out your light bulbs. Choose the right color temperature for a calmer home and use energy-efficient bulbs. The selection for light bulbs is massive, and with smart home technologies that allow you to change the color of your bulb with the swipe of a finger, you can also easily control your mood. Warm lighting typically has an overall positive effect on everyone in the home. One of the keys to home wellness is ensuring you are truly happy in your home, and lighting can play a pivotal role in cultivating this emotion.
  • Open windows on good weather days. Most Americans (61%) believe the air inside their homes is cleaner than it is outside, according to the survey. However, the Environmental Protection Agency estimates indoor air is 2-5 times more polluted than the air outside. This is in part because Americans tend to enclose themselves indoors, where the same air is recycled over an extended time. The smell of the meal you cooked for dinner, the trash in the garbage can and the candle you light on your nightstand all have an impact on the air quality in your home. Opening windows allows for polluted air to release itself from the home and, in turn, allows for cleaner air to circulate the space.
  • Filter your water. Water is essential to any healthy lifestyle, and drinking clean water is a luxury that is often overlooked. However, what is also overlooked is how many chemicals and toxins that can affect your health are in the tap water you drink on a daily basis. Filtering your water is one simple step that can benefit not only your own health, but the health of everyone in the home.

Find more tips and advice for creating a healthier home environment at SecondNature.com. (Family Features)

SOURCE:
Second Nature

Make Your Child’s Vision Health a Priority this School Year

Children’s vision is paramount to their performance in school and life.

One in four children deals with a vision impairment that impacts his or her ability to learn, according to eye health and safety organization Prevent Blindness. Many of these cases are undiagnosed, and failing to identify and treat poor vision health early can lead to difficulties in the classroom, on the playing field and beyond.

One of the most prevalent vision issues in children is myopia, or nearsightedness. The condition causes close-up objects to appear clear, but everything becomes blurry and out of focus at a distance.

“Parents have invested billions this year to prepare their children for school, but without the ability to see their best, children will be at a disadvantage in the classroom,” said Dr. Millicent Knight, senior vice president of Essilor’s Customer Development Group.

Although some schools perform yearly vision screenings, those evaluations aren’t always enough to identify vision issues. Parents can take a proactive role in their child’s vision health with these tips from the experts at Essilor.

Watch for the Symptoms of Myopia

Many kids believe blurry vision is normal because they’ve never known anything different. As a parent, being able to spot the signs is key to managing symptoms and potentially slowing progression, if caught early enough. Keep an eye out for these symptoms:

  • Squinting to see distant objects, like the board in the classroom
  • Sitting too close to the TV
  • Holding books close when reading
  • Experiencing eyestrain or headaches

Schedule a Comprehensive Eye Exam

One of the most effective ways to keep your child’s eyes healthy is to schedule an annual comprehensive eye exam with an eyecare professional. Not only will a doctor check for vision problems that could interfere with school performance and potentially affect safety, he or she can offer advanced lens technology that keeps pace with the changing needs of children’s eye health. Just like annual doctor visits, eye exams should be scheduled once a year as part of your child’s health routine.

“We’ve seen a huge change in children who couldn’t see and when they are given glasses they light up because the world is clearer,” said Dr. Ryan Parker, O.D., director of professional development at Essilor of America.

Avoid Overexposure

“Today, children’s eyes are exposed to harmful blue light, ultraviolet light (UV) and digital eyestrain like never before,” Parker said.

While technology is crucial for learning in today’s digital world, research suggests too much screen time may put kids at risk of developing myopia as well as digital eyestrain, resulting in tired eyes, headaches, itchy eyes, blurred vision and increased sensitivity to light. To help reduce eyestrain, have children take periodic breaks from their devices and head outdoors.

Know Where to Go for Help

“Parents also need to know that where you go matters as much as when you go,” Knight said.

Choosing eyecare professionals, like the network of local, independent Essilor Experts, who prioritize the most advanced lens technologies and are dedicated to their patients’ individual needs, can make a difference in the vision outcomes for your children.

Find more information and schedule a professional comprehensive eye exam at essilorusa.com/your-vision. (Family Features)

SOURCE:
Essilor of America

Mandy Moore’s Mindful Tips for a Well-Balanced, Lively Summer

With plans of trips and relaxation on the horizon, it can be easy to give your wellness routine a vacation, too. Before you jet set off on your next adventure, take a moment to be consciously aware of how your mind and body may react to an overly active and jam-packed summer schedule.

“As someone with a busy lifestyle, having an intentional, balanced wellness routine helps me be my best self for my job, my friends and my family,” said actress and wellness advocate Mandy Moore.

Partnering with Nature’s Way to celebrate its 50th birthday, Moore shares a passion for paving a better way to wellness. While no single trick or technique guarantees well-rounded health, it’s about establishing habits that work best for you and your lifestyle. Your routine may often change daily depending where you are on your wellness journey, but Moore shares thoughtful considerations to always keep in mind which you may read in our multi-award winning July / August edition.

Former Bikini Bodybuilder Bianca Taylor Shares About Eating Disorder Struggles in New Switch4Good Video

In a video from Switch4Good launched August 8, famous former bikini bodybuilder and fitness coach Bianca Taylor reveals that that while competing, she struggled with the eating disorder anorexia athletica, “which is fairly common in female athletes,” she says.

Bianca Taylor

Bianca Taylor

She explains that she became a “very malnourished version of myself.”

Taylor chose to recover on a fully plant-based diet. “I put on muscle, I gained back the thirty pounds that I’d lost, and I did it completely plant-based,” shares the athlete.

“After I stopped drinking dairy, my athletic performance improved so much, mainly because my digestion was so much better that I was able to recover faster,” she says. “I was able to have a lot more energy and just get through my workouts quicker and recover a lot faster.”

Switch4Good is a nonprofit led by Olympic silver medalist cyclist Dotsie Bausch that works to educate the general public and professional athletes about the health and planetary implications of consuming dairy. Bausch is co-host of Switch4Good’s compelling podcast, that addresses eating disorder recovery from a vegan perspective.

Please follow this link to preview Bianca Taylor’s video at https://youtu.be/MEsI5MGn4oc.

How To Stay Hydrated in the Summer

Written by Nicole Glenn, Editor of Teen InFluential

Ethnic - Group of Teens Having Fun

With the summer heat rising, it’s not surprising you may find yourself parched. Not only is it uncomfortable to feel thirsty, it can also be dangerous. If left unattended, by not keeping up your water intake, it can lead to dehydration, heat stroke, and potentially other life-threatening situations.

Dehydration is defined by Hopkins Medicine as a serious heat-related disease that typically occurs if an individual is overexposed to the sun and not drinking enough water. When the body loses water content and essential body salts, such as sodium and potassium, it can no longer maintain its strength. Although symptoms are different in everyone, some common signs to look for are thirst, dry skin, fatigue, light-headedness, dizziness, confusion, less-frequent urination, dry mouth and mucous membranes, increased heart rate and breathing.

Heat stroke is one of the most severe cases of heat-related diseases and may need emergency medical attention. If working or partaking in activities in hot areas, you want to focus on staying hydrated. If a person becomes dehydrated and cannot sweat enough to cool his or her body, their internal temperature may rise to dangerously high levels. Although some symptoms are like dehydration, heat stroke can also lead to disorientation, agitation, sluggishness, seizures, hot, dry skin that is flushed but not sweaty, a high body temperature, loss of consciousness, rapid heartbeat, and even hallucinations.

So how can you and your family avoid a trip to the ER because of dehydration and heat stroke this summer? First and foremost, be aware of the symptoms and be on the lookout. If you or anyone around you begin to show symptoms, have them rest in a shaded area and have them drink water or liquids with electrolytes such as Gatorade. Put cool water on the skin and fan them in order to stimulate sweat. In the case of heat stroke, have them lie on their backs with their feet slightly elevated.

In order to help prevent dehydration and heat stroke make sure to drink plenty of hydrating fluids such as water and sports drinks. Especially on hot and humid days, avoid liquids known to cause dehydration such as sodas and alcohol. Try to avoid being outside during the hottest part of the day and aim for your outdoor activities to be in the morning or late evening when it is cooler. Dress for the heat by wearing lightweight, light colored, loose fitting clothing and by wearing a hat and sunglasses. If you want to spend more time outdoors this summer, you can also build your tolerance by gradually increasing your time outdoors to get your body used to the heat.

Don’t let the heat limit your summer fun.

Drink plenty of water, take a break as needed, and you can stay hydrated all summer long.

Health Care Solutions for Rural Americans

Heart disease, cancer, unintentional injuries, chronic lower respiratory disease and stroke. These top five causes of death in the United States all have a higher incidence of death among rural residents and research points to lack of access to health care as a culprit.

Today, rural hospitals are closing at a rapid pace, expanding an already vast health care desert (defined as inhabited areas more than 60 minutes away from an acute care hospital) across the country.

According to the University of North Carolina’s Rural Health Research Program, since 2010, more than 105 of America’s 1,700 rural hospitals have closed. Additionally, a Navigant report found that 21% of rural hospitals are at high risk of closing unless their financial situations improve.

Every day, rural Americans find themselves farther from medical care.

Practical challenges facing patients

Fatal injuries and illnesses aside, rural residents face other practical concerns related to the health care in their communities.

  • Doctors are more concentrated in urban areas, while there are shortages in rural communities. A shortage of doctors can mean less availability for appointments, difficulty capturing enough attention from a busy provider, longer distances to reach a physician and limited access to specialists.
  • Statistically, rural residents tend to be older and need more frequent visits to their primary doctors and other specialists.
  • Pregnant women have to travel even farther to deliver a baby, leading to an increased risk of complications at birth. Similarly, pre-natal and post-natal care are harder to access.
  • Rural residents often enjoy more outdoor activities (such as hunting, hiking and riding ATVs) than urban residents and therefore are at a greater risk of injury that requires treatment at a trauma center.

Airborne answer

One solution to fill the gap in rural health care is air medical services, which transport patients to critical care facilities in minutes. With nearly 90% of patients transported living in rural areas, air ambulance services are an essential part of health care access in these communities.

However, just like rural hospitals, air ambulances are threatened as well. Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement rates have remained steady for decades, while operational costs required for air medical services have increased, creating a financially unsustainable situation. Some private insurers also refuse to cover air medical services or pay minimal costs, requiring patients to assume the balance.

How to take action

The challenges facing rural health care access may be significant, but rural residents can take individual actions to make a difference for themselves, their families and even their communities.

  • Express support to elected officials. Rural residents can call or write letters to their senators and representatives and demand they keep local hospitals open and protect access to air medical services. Reaching members of Congress at their local offices may be more effective than contacting their federal offices.
  • Support efforts to secure grants. Some universities have been given grants from the Health Resources & Services Administration, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, to create or expand community health initiatives and facilities in rural areas.
  • Explore alternative sources of care. Many rural areas have community health workers who complete home visits to assist people with chronic diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure. Although their training is limited compared to that of a doctor or nurse, their service increases health care access and they’re able to spend more time with patients.
  • Get educated about your care. One role of community health workers is teaching patients about how to manage their own medical needs. This education helps residents be proactive and preventative in their health care, which can reduce the need for hospitalizations in certain cases, such as learning how to properly manage diabetes.
  • Make an emergency plan. For families who reside in a rural community, it’s a smart idea to have a plan in place for how to respond in the event a medical emergency. The plan should include information about the location of the closest hospital, emergency contact information in the community and other details necessary to gain emergency care.
  • Consider remote access care. Another option for both rural and urban residents alike is telemedicine, which allows patients to connect with a doctor or nurse virtually using technology and without having to travel. The two-way communication can facilitate evaluation and treatment for minor conditions. The service is offered as a cost-saving incentive through some insurance plans, as well as private providers.

Protecting Patients Against the Unexpected

With increasing frequency, insurance companies are not covering the full cost of medical emergencies, leaving families with out-of-pocket expenses they didn’t expect.

If you need medical transport and a physician or first responder determines air evacuation is the best – or only – option to get you to care, you shouldn’t have to worry about the bill you’ll receive afterward. Many emergency service providers have support efforts in place to help you focus on recovery, not finances.

For example, many air medical companies provide patients access to their patient advocates, who work with the patient’s insurance provider to properly cover air medical transport, taking the patient out of the middle. This process can result in significantly lower costs for the patient, often amounting to just the usual copay and deductible.

Visit globalmedicalresponse.com/protect-patients to learn more about these services in your area. (Family Features)

SOURCE:
Global Medical Response