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5 Tips To Staying Healthy And Active With Your Kids This Summer

5 Tips To Staying Healthy And Active With Your Kids This Summer

With the fourth of July now behind us, the weather is getting warmer and the sun continues to shine. Raising young children can be exhausting. With so many daily responsibilities it can be easy to plop the kids in front of the TV while you take care of the dishes. Take a moment to think back on your own childhood summers. Is it the days you spent indoors that stand out? No! It’s all of the exciting times you had with your family. Here are 5 quick tips to help you take a break from the day to day monotony of life and get outside to play!

1. Be Nourished and Hydrated

We all know the importance of nutrition as an adult. For a baby, nutrition and health are even more critical. Before you adventure into the great outdoors, make sure your children are properly fed and hydrated to help their developing bodies deal with high temperatures and humidity. For children old enough to be on solid food, make sure you pack a snack which includes a “rainbow diet”. This means foods like Kale, Berries, Apples and other colorful vegetables that provide a complete source of nutrition.

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2. Splash Around

Just because it’s hot out doesn’t mean you have to stay indoors! Whether you are living in an urban environment or out in the country, there is sure to be a pool, waterpark or lake around. Studies have shown that water play is actually instrumental in the development of children. Even if your children are too young to swim on their own, simply pouring water back and forth between two cups or splashing around in a wading pool can be enough. Water play helps children grasp concepts such as physics (motion, flow) and biology (plant life).

3. Go Camping

If you can manage a weekend off, camping with your children can be a fantastic bonding and developmental experience. Even if you have very young children, you do not have to give up your affection for the great outdoors. Babies as young as 1 month old can benefit from a weekend at a local campground. This experience can provide your children with a respect for nature, and help them gain knowledge of the relationship between humans and our environment by providing them with a new and exciting world to explore.

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4. Take Their Friends to the Park

Not only will your fellow parents love you for giving them a break to catch up with their daily obligations, but socialization is an important developmental experience for children of all ages. The significance of doing this in an outdoor, active environment is that physical activity releases endorphins that improve children’s social skills. Activities such as playing on a playground or participating in make-believe games help fine-tune skills that will later be necessary for success in a team environment – something that is vital for success in educational and career pursuits.

5. Register for a Summer Camp

Need some alone time this summer? Whether you want to undertake that home renovation you’ve been putting off or simply take a personal vacation, summer camp is an important experience that all children should have the pleasure of taking part in. Summer camp helps children learn independence in an environment that is safe and accommodating. Additionally, most camps provide the opportunity for children to learn additional skills such as music, science or sporting activities.

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With the kids out of school, summers can be a very busy time for families. Be sure to make the most of your time together by taking advantage of the many activities available to you. It’s easy to look back in September and wonder where the summer went, but the season is still young enough that you can still share experiences with your children that they will never forget.

Featured photo credit: Office of Public Affairs via flickr.com

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Josh MacDonald

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Last Updated on December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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