Back To School Means Back To Healthy

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After a Summer filled with barbecues, festivals, parties, and vacations, your kids are finally back to school. If all that summer fun has wreaked havoc on your daily health regime, fear not! Follow these easy 5 tips to get your life, and health, back on track.

1) Watch Your Wording

When laying out your lifestyle goals and objectives (for yourself AND your family), be careful not to express too vaguely. Rather than saying, for instance, “I will be more organized,” try, “I’ll spend 15 minutes of each day de-cluttering part of one room.” Likewise, in lieu of “I want to lose weight,” shoot for “I plan to drop 1 pound a week by cutting out late-night snacking.” Hoping to eat in more often? Commit to whipping up a home-cooked meal just three nights a week.

2) Build Your Case

To help clarify your goals and pump up your motivation, make a list of pros and cons. So if you’re aiming to exercise more, for example, pros would include as many reasons as possible to support that (e.g., you’ll lose weight, sleep better, boost your immunity, and lower stress). The cons would identify anything that might stand in the way of your success – say, a packed schedule or money issues. Don’t even attempt to tackle that resolution until the driving factors dramatically outweigh the obstacles.

3) Set Up Incentives

The urge to return to your old ways is going to be pretty powerful at times, which is why it’s critical to regularly galvanize and even reward yourself. Brought lunch from home for the entire work week? Treat yourself to a lipstick or some new songs for your iPod. For high-tech encouragement, turn to websites like habitforge.com and stick.com. They’ll send you emails with inspirational messages and even let you wager on your accomplishment: You can arrange for your hard-earned cash to be given away to a friend if you don’t meet your goals. How’s that for motivation?

4) Rally Support

Research proves that people who make healthy changes together are more likely to succeed. The more similar your objectives are, the better you’ll all do-so if your spouse isn’t up for the brand of self-improvement, keep looking. Check out sparkpeople.com to find a compatible diet comrade, ask someone in your HR department about getting a Weight Watchers at Work program going, or locate a running team in your area through the Road Runners Club of America (rrca.org).

5) Plan Ahead For Slip-Ups

Setbacks are inevitable. But you can improve your chances of a quick recovery by visualizing the fallout in advance. Imagine yourself reaching for a cigarette or biting into that forbidden piece of devil’s food cake. What will you do to avoid smoking the whole pack or scarfing down every sweet in sight for the rest of the day? Sometimes it’s as simple as reminding yourself that a small misstep is just that-a pause in your progress rather than an excuse to throw in the towel-and that you can pick up right where you left off. Enlisting a “backsliding buddy” (a person you call whenever your resolution mojo is faltering) also helps. The only difference between people who reach their goals and those who don’t is that those who succeed didn’t give up.

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Five Bonding Tips for Daddy and Baby

For nine months, pregnant mommies carry a precious, tiny human. Baby is a part of her and she is a part of them. They eat together, sleep together, and grow together. It is often effortless for moms to bond with their babies, as they have shared a life for many months, but what about Dad? It is just as important for Dads to bond with their baby, but it can be a little intimidating trying to measure up to the intimacy felt between mother and child. Although this may be the case, there are plenty of ways for a father to bond with his baby and become just as close to his little one as his female counterpart. Here are five activities to get you started!

1. Although Moms do most of the feeding in a child’s early stages of life, Dads can be a huge help in regards to midnight feedings. After a feeding, Dads can help out enormously by letting Moms go back to sleep while rocking, comforting, and calming Baby. This a great way to allow Mom some extra rest, while Dads get a little one-on-one time with their child. If it is not too difficult or inconvenient, Moms can even pump enough breast milk for an extra bottle or two, so Dad can contribute to the feeding process as well.   

2. Based on studies, moms and dads hold babies differently. Moms tend to be more gentle and close, while dads hold babies in a more firm or playful manner. This absolutely does not suggest being rough with your child, but it is important for him or her to be held in different ways by different people, leading to greater comfort in various situations with a variety of people. Dads should have plenty of physical contact with their baby, allowing the two of them to bond in their own special way. Babies love to be worn close to mom or dad in a sling, satchel, or strapped into a harness. There are many types of baby gear for you to choose from and there is something perfect for every family.

3. Talking to your baby is an incredibly healthy and helpful activity. Even reading the sports page of the newspaper or an article in a car magazine. This will not only allow for fathers to be vocal while his child learns, but it is a great way to spend time together while Dad is reading about the things that interest him, allowing for baby to be a part of Dad’s enjoyable, daily activities.

4. Be a part of your baby’s routine. Young children respond to consistency, in terms of a daily or nightly schedule. Dads should play a role in their child’s routine, helping the baby find comfort in structure while enjoying time with Dad.

5. Lastly, it is so important for Dads to be able to understand and support the needs and wishes of Moms. By paying attention to subtle clues, hints, or gestures, Dads can learn to be present for their families, which will create a stronger, healthier relationship. Parents that come together, help each other, and recognize how special and unique their child is will lead to a cohesive, powerful, fulfilling bond that is one of the most rewarding parts of parenting.

Although these may seem like simple solutions for Dads and their babies to bond, they are great tips to establish a solid foundation to raise happy, healthy individuals.

 

Story Sources:

Picoult, Jodi (n.d.). Top tips for dads on bonding with your baby. Retrieved July, 2013 from http://www.babycenter.com/0_top-tips-for-dads-on-bonding-with-your-baby_3692.bc?page=2

Zawilinski, Kaelin (n.d.). 12 Ways for Dad to Bond with Baby. Retrieved July 2013 from http://www.parents.com/baby/new-parent/fatherhood/bond-with-dad/#page=12

 

Blog written by Rebecca Eisenberg. View more of Rebecca’s work here.