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health-kids-zoo-family-activity

Today's parents are role models for their children.

How they eat, move and live impact their family and friends to help build strong, healthy families. A new ongoing Kind Parents, Kind Kids program, is a great event for parents and kids to come together to make a difference by heading to participating zoos for a day of kindness, learning and movement.  

Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo hosts one of the first events, Saturday May 16th. KIND will be hosting kindness safaris at zoos across the country in order to teach kids how easy and fun doing kind acts every day can be.  

These kindness safaris will include a scavenger hunt booklet which features interactive kindness activities inspired by animals – all of which families can complete throughout their time at the zoo. In addition, attendees will receive flowers upon leaving to pass on to someone else as well as a take-home kindness kit.

Other participating zoos include: The Austin Zoo, The Maryland Zoo, The Bronx Zoo, The Houston Zoo, The Detroit Zoo, The Boston Zoo, The Los Angeles Zoo, the San Francisco Zoo, the Tampas Lowry Park Zoo, and more.

Check out zulily.com/kind for more sites, times and information. 

fast food weight loss

When you think of fast food, a golden arch or drive-thru window might be your initial idea, but the solution to losing weight is developing a new mindset when it comes to fast food.

Faster animals are the key. Lean proteins are typically from faster moving animals. Cows will have a hard time outrunning a chicken and shrimp can surely beat mussels in a race for speed. The point is that leaner animal proteins deliver leaner protein for your body and protein is key to weight loss. So when hitting up a fast food joint, go for the chicken sandwich over the burger. 

Higher protein diets, (up to 40 percent protein) have shown greater results than the lower protein diets. A combination of lean proteins coupled with large servings of fruits and vegetables is key to a healthy weight. When dieting, be certain to have protein with every meal and at least 2 to 3 servings of fruits and vegetables.

A recent study conducted by the Journal of the American Heart Association found that a moderate-fat diet was more successful in lowering cholesterol levels than a low-fat diet. The moderate-fat diet had participants consume avocado (considered a healthy fat) as part of a 34 percent fat intake of total calories. The participants had equal amounts of calories daily, but something in the avocado helped reduce cholesterol better than the low-fat diet. The BOLD diet recently also debunked the myth that red meat daily cannot be part of a healthy diet. In this study, participants followed the DASH diet but also included 4 ounces of lean beef protein daily.

Keep in mind, that fruits and vegetables are not only low in calories, they are also high in fiber and water content. They are an important part of your diet. Research shows us that eating 7-9 servings of these anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant packed foods can reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease by 50 percent according to a recent study.  Keep in mind that the darker the colors typically the higher the concentration of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

 

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Photo Credit: Instagram | Vine

DISCLAIMER: Video and photo of lips after challenge are within article. Media may be upsetting to some. 

A recent WomensForum story about what is being called #TheKylieJennerChallenge lit up social media as parents became aware of this new teen behavior.

In an attempt to imitate the youngest member of the mega-famous Kardashians, teens are attempting to pucker up by sucking up - literally sucking the air out of glasses, bottles and any container they can get their hands on to plump up their lips.

While #TheKylieJennerChallenge skips injections, plumpers or even going overboard with lip-liner, the makeshift at-home cupping procedure teens are trying on their own can have some serious health consequences. 

Teens are sharing videos across social media of themselves and friends forcing their lips into bottles and shot glasses and sucking the air out, many times leaving their mouths purple and bruised. 

But doctors warn doing this over and over can lead to more than a painful looking pout. Breaking blood vessels and damaging underlying facial muscles can create permanent problems like scar tissue and damage to the structure of the lips.

parent-warning-a-dangerous-teen-trend-lipsPhoto Credit: Instagram

Because the cup technique teens are trying uses glass, the containers can break or shatter causing severe damage to the face.

Ironically, doctors say this new trend can actually damage the collagen that naturally plumps up the lips.

bone-up

Sticks and stones may break my bones... and that will hurt! Charles T. Price, MD, a medical director for the Institute of Better Bone Health, shared with us some fun facts about your bones.

  1. Too much calcium = brittle bones. Bones actually bend a little to absorb shock and decrease impact when walking, running, or falling. Bones that are too stiff become brittle and may break more easily than bones that are slightly flexible. Too much calcium can make bones brittle. Fracture risk actually increases when daily calcium intake is more than 2,000 mg per day. People drinking more than three glasses of milk a day, or those taking 1,200 mg supplements of calcium may be getting too much calcium.
  2. Strong bones = less wrinkles. Skin and bones have the same foundation and it’s a protein called collagen. Collagen is the connective tissue that holds us together and there are several types of collagen. Type 1 Collagen provides the framework for bone and skin because it is tough and flexible. In bone the collagen becomes activated to attract calcium so it hardens, but the underlying protein structure is the same in bone and skin. Dietary silicon supports the production of Type 1 Collagen, and silicon also helps the strands of collagen link together as a stronger material. Women and men who consume more silicon have stronger bones and shallower skin wrinkles.
  3. Soft bones = arthritis.Softer bones increase the risk of arthritis. The bone right underneath the joint surface is spongy and helps prevent damage to the joint surfaces during strenuous activities. When the supporting bone is weak, the joint surfaces deteriorate more rapidly. This can be compared to increased tire wear when the tire doesn’t have enough air in it. Weak bones contribute to joint problems, back pain, athletic injuries, loose teeth and other disabilities in addition to broken bones.
  4. Vitamin D = grows bones. Bones build until age 30, then they start to weaken. You can’t feel your bones getting weaker so many people don’t get serious about bone health until something breaks. A 10 percent increase in bone mass at age 30 delays the onset of osteoporosis by an average of 13 years, so it’s better to start taking care of your bones as early as possible. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends vitamin D supplements beginning at one month of age and continuously after that. This is echoed by The Endocrine Society that recommends supplementation for all adults because it is difficult to get enough vitamin D from food sources alone. 
  5. Moving = stronger bones. Adequate exercise and other nutrients in addition to vitamin D are important for bone health. Start now. Weight bearing exercise helps strengthen by muscles stimulating bone growth.

Keep in mind that bones are important for general health. Bones serve as a storehouse for minerals that are needed for health. Calcium is needed for many vital purposes including regulation of heart beat, muscle activity, and transmission of nerve signals. Bones also take harmful metals like lead out of the blood stream and store them out of harm’s way. Bones also serve as a place for production of blood cells including those that carry oxygen and those that fight infections. Bones contain stem cells that begin the repair process when the body is injured.

Charles T. Price MD, is the Medical Director for the Institute of Better Bone Health (www.BoneHealthNow.com), and is rated as one of America’s top doctors. He is a pediatric orthopedic surgeon and faculty member of the orthopedic residency program at Orlando Health. He is a Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at Florida State University, College of Medicine. Dr. Price has authored or co-authored over 60 scientific research papers. Dr. Price is also a Certified Sports Nutritionist by the American Sports and Fitness Association.

 

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Moms are always looking for ways to get the kids off the couch and away from the video games. But keeping them occupied can be challenging. Ashley Spicer, dance and fitness instructor offers fun ways to get your family moving.

Hula 

Hula Hoops are just a few dollars, but can create hours of fun and can be a lifesaver on rainy days when you’re stuck inside. You can use it just like a jump rope, create a human ring toss game, play hula hoop pass or host a friendly competition to see who can hold the classic spin the longest.

Mini Yoga

Growing can be stressful on the body and mind, and yoga has been proven to improve balance, focus and emotional well-being. Not a yoga expert? Don't worry. The butterfly, tree, bridge and child’s pose are moves any child and parent can do together.

Build A Dance Studio

Move furniture and tables out of the way if need be, and stick to songs that are two to three minutes long. Dancing is not only great for the soul, but just 20 minutes of dancing is great exercise and most importantly fun for the whole family. The best part? You can create your own signature move. Some of my favorite songs to dance to are “Roar” by Katy Perry, “Waka Waka” by Shakira and who doesn’t love the “Cha Cha Slide.”

Unstructured Fun

Pack a healthy picnic basket full of fresh fruit and whole grain sandwiches and head to your local park for some unstructured fun. Help your child use their imagination as they swing, slide and climb to victory while you channel your inner kid and fly through the air on the swing set.

Just Bike It

If you don’t know how to ride a bicycle, make it your mission this summer to learn. Not only is it great exercise, but can be great for family bonding. If you don’t own your own bike, no worries, many towns have affordable bike rentals. Just make sure your family is wearing proper protective head gear and pads for the junior riders. For babies and toddlers, there are seats that attach to your bike.

Ashley Spicer is a leading choreographer and dance instructor who holds a BFA in multicultural dance. With more than a decade of dance experience, Ashley creates innovative curriculums that support fine motor skill development. Keeping a child’s emotional and physical needs top of mind, her programs are customized to ensure babies, toddlers and preschoolers are moving and learning simultaneously.

Taking her passion of movement and mixing in her understanding childhood development, Ashley created FLYAROO Fitness, a program for preschool children to discover their own passion and love for staying active. Her main goal is to empower a new generation of kids to channel their inner dancer and explore how their body moves through targeted movements. www.flyaroofitness.com

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