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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 2, 2018

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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Review Your Past Flow

Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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