Health & Wellbeing Tips

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Staying Fit in the Worlds Fattest Industrialized Country

67% of the United States population is obese. The World Health Organization completed the study from 2000 – 2008 and the only countries ranked higher than the U.S. is a small island nation, Kiribati, and an American territory, American Samoa. Personally, I think the W.H.O. did us a favor in the rankings by considering a small island and a territory a country. So for arguments sake America is the fattest industrialized country. Why? Well the study came to a conclusion and culprit to how a small island and a territory could become so obese in such a short period time – processed food. True America is the kingdom of processes food, but we like to spread the fat by exporting our cheap canned food alternatives like Spam and anything else in a can or box to other countries. Why not? There’s plenty of this stuff to go around because it lasts forever and it’s cheap to make. So how does one survive past the age of thirty without becoming pre-hypertension in the U.S.?

Stop eating food with ingredients like high fructose, corn sweetener, corn syrup, corn syrup solids; partially hydrogenated, fractionated, or hydrogenated fat; refined grains; salt. Whoa, no salt you say! Hey I like and use salt too, but I add salt on my own. If you eat canned or boxed food chances are you salt intake is off the charts; and you have developed a taste for extremely salty foods. Have you ever had a home cooked meal from scratch and instantly grabbed the salt shaker, if you have then your use to over salted foods. The easiest thing to do is stop purchasing foods with additives and preservatives. Look for labels like no additives or preservatives or USDA Organic certified. Eating non processed foods doesn’t always necessarily mean you’ll live longer, but you’ll definitely live a better quality of life - and quality always trumps quantity.

How do I look after my own health?


Are you feeling stressed out, tired, sick or can't seem to stop yourself from constantly physically and / or mentally rushing? One method to re-balance yourself and enhance your health and focus is to meditate on a regular basis. To start off, try doing a meditation course where you can learn the basics and understand how to stop your mind from racing all of the time. After you learn the basics, you can meditate anywhere at anytime that you feel you need to stop and switch off for a moment. Meditation does not mean wasting time and being unproductive. If done properly, it will refresh and re-focus you and lead you to be more productive the rest of the time.

Can the kids play in the garage / garden shed?

Keep dangerous items locked up

Keep dangerous items locked up. Tool cabinets and garden sheds are a very enticing play area to children. Garden sprays, paints, fertilisers and electric, sharp or heavy tools, can be deadly in kids hands and the potential dangers are often completely unknown to them. Children just see these things as invitingly mysterious or as items that make wonderful toys. It's up to you to be proactive in protecting your kids in these areas. Don't leave it until it is too late.

How do I deal with others´ illnesses?

Seeing people in hospital

If you are visiting a sick friend or relative in hospital, here are a few things to keep in mind. First rule - don't stay too long unless he asks you to. He will probably be tired and may not ask you to leave if he wants to rest. Stay no more then 15 to 20 minutes. It is the fact that you visited that is important rather then how long you stay. Keep your talk positive and don't fill the discussion about his operation unless, again, he wants to talk about it. Let him know what you are doing and how others that he may know are also doing. The aim is to not disturb his rest and recuperation and also to keep his mind on positive things to help him emotionally recover. It may even help to tell him a humorous story about something that has happened to you recently. Don't make light of his illness but try to keep his spirits high.

Can alarm sirens injure baby´s hearing?

Fire alarms and baby's hearing

Babies have extremely sensitive hearing and can be easily upset or injured by loud or piercing noises. If you have a burglar alarm in your home, be especially careful to avoid it going off with baby nearby. Alarm sirens are designed to be extremely piercing and can damage a baby's hearing.

How do I look after my own health?

Alternative therapies

If you are finding yourself getting tired, sick or stressed out often, you may find some alternative therapies a more effective treatment then traditional drugs. For instance, for relieving stress and enhancing focus and clarity, regular acupuncture is an effective treatment. Iridologists and other alternative health consultants can often diagnose illnesses before the symptoms are obvious and all you might be feeling is a general tiredness or sickness. Be careful who you consult with and try to get recommendations from others on which therapists are effective and safe in their treatments.

How do I look after my own health?

Break up your week

To remove stress and enhance your health and wellbeing, find an activity to break up each week. This should be something that is totally different to the rest of your normal routine - something totally "left field". For instance, if you are stuck in an office at work, play an outdoor sport once a week. Or, if you keep to yourself most of the time, go and do a public speaking course. Another idea is to pick a pursuit that is completely different to you. e.g. try fencing, croquet or bush walking.

How do I look after my own health?

Recharge your batteries

To maintain your health, focus, clarity and general good spirits, ensure that you are recharging yourself at least once a week. Make time in your weekly schedule for relaxation, exercise or social time with others where you are slowing down from the speed of the rest of your life. Ensure that you stick to that relaxation time even if you don't feel that you need it. If you make it a habit, then you will better ensure long term health and wellbeing.

How do I look after my own health?

Regular check-ups

To keep on top of your health, ensure that you are getting regular check-ups from your doctor. That way, you can get onto problems earlier and seek treatments or lifestyle changes before the symptoms become too problematic. Managing stress and balancing your life is much easier to do if you maintain good health. Always make your health a priority.

How do I look after my own health?

Diffuse your anger

For your own health and for the health of your relationships with your family, learn to diffuse your anger. Studies have shown that a lot of men carry a great deal of anger around with them and are often releasing it, in different ways, on others. Find ways to unload it elsewhere. For instance, physical effort is a great way to release the emotional pressure - hard work gets a lot of the aggression out. This could be via exercise, chopping wood or mowing lawns, etc. At worst, you can go into your bedroom on your own and thump a pillow for awhile. What ever method you use, make sure it's harmless to others and really lets the pressure out.

What do I need for first aid?

Children's first aid

Buy a good quality, well recommended first aid book and keep it handy at home at all times. If an emergency arises, you may need to respond quickly and not waste a moment trying to find where you've left the book. Ensure that it has a place and is always in that place. Also, carry another one (smaller if possible) in the car or around with you when you are out.

How safe are kids furniture, carseats, etc.?

Check the safety before you buy

Before you buy baby any childrens' items like bassinets, cots, beds, strollers, change tables, car seats, etc., always check the safety standards on these items and whether the particular brand that you are looking at meets these standards. Some cots are death traps for babies and simple things (for instance, does the mattress fit tightly within the cot?) can mean the difference between completely safe and extremely dangerous. Check safety magazines (eg in Australia - "Choice" magazine) for the recommended best brands - but don't rely on these completely - check each item before you buy. The brand may be safe, but that particular item that you are looking at may have a fault in it.

How do I look after my own health?

Separate your weeks

To balance your life and maintain your health, you need to separate each week. What that means is that you don't just keep on working day after day after day without a change of pace and focus. Each week should start and end and be separate from the next week. If you get into the habit of just being on the go all the time, you will risk burning yourself out.

What do I do if the kids are sick in the car?

Be prepared for illness in the car

Keep a sick bag and towel in the trunk of your car. Kids often suddenly get sick when you're travelling about - even just up to the local shops. If you're prepared, you may avoid the unpleasant task of cleaning vomit out of carpet and off seats.

How do I relax with a family commitment?

Lighten the load

Lighten your own load at times to reduce stress and the feelings of restriction that having a full-on family and life can bring. Listen to some comedy tapes in your car, have a drink with an old friend, go for a barefoot walk in the park at lunch time, go for a walk in the rain, or do whatever else you find relaxes you. You can't function effectively or be happy and satisfied if your whole time is spent running at full speed through life.

Should I know first aid?

Do a first aid course

Do a first aid course and refreshers regularly. If possible, do the course before your child is born. Ensure that you are aware of basic first aid. However, don't treat first aid as the cure for everything. In an emergency always call for an ambulance or doctor and only treat where you are totally confident of what you are doing.


Help prevent viruses in the home

It seems every time you turn on the television there is another outbreak of Swine flu in the United States. Give yourself some piece of mind and keep the kids as germ free as possible. Before they eat wash their hands. More important than washing hands regularly is the amount of time we should be washing. Children should wash their hands for approximately twenty seconds; try having them sing twinkle, twinkle, little star. Carry with you or keep in the car some hand sanitizer. Manufacturers make sanitizers small enough to keep in your pocket. When I take the kids grocery shopping, before putting them in the cart, I wipe it down with wipes. Grocery carts are filthy. When going to shopping malls hold you child’s hand in lieu of having them grab onto the escalator handrails.

A best practice with children is to carry hand sanitizer or wipes - kids love to touch. After all, this an entirely new world for them and all of their senses are going wild. Just remember to wash their hands regularly for at least twenty seconds and carry some type of hand sanitizer. Your kids will thank you.

Should we practice fire drills?

Fire drill

Have you ever practiced a fire drill at home? Whilst you may not think it will be too difficult to get yourself out in case of a fire, what about your child / children? If they're young they can't even get out of their cot by themselves. What would happen if there was a fire in the middle of the night and, in the smoke and panicked confusion, you made your way outside before you realised that no-one had grabbed the baby? Draw up a fire drill program, being a list of what to do, who / what to grab, and where to go once you are outside. Practice regularly. In a real fire, the more that is second nature and the less that needs to be thought about - the better off you will be.

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John Valadez