How To Start Running And Avoid Injuries

How To Start Running

Running is an activity that humans have been doing since the beginning of time. In the past, it was a means of survival similar to animals out running predator’s. Today, running is considered as a means to get healthy and stay active. Regardless to why you do it, knowing how to start running is so important. 

Many of us in our increasingly sedentary lifestyles, have forgotten how to run. Something that we used to do for fun on the school playground, and that our ancestors did daily in order to live, now fills us with dread and loathing at the mere thought of it. The phrase “Oh, I can’t run!” is one of the most common responses I hear when I tell someone that I am a runner.

Here’s the thing: Yes, you can run.

Of course you can run! Our bodies were built to do it. Your body has just gotten out of practice. In this article, I am going to coach you through how to start running again. Beginning with proper preparation all the way through to recovery afterwards. So let’s get running!

what muscles does running work

What Muscles Does Running Work?

This is a complex topic, so for now I’ll give you an overview so you know just how amazing it is for your body. 

Muscles Worked When Running

  • Abdominals (Abs)
  • Hip flexors
  • Glutes (aka your butt)
  • Quadriceps (front of the thigh)
  • Hamstrings (back of the thigh)
  • Calf muscles
  • Tibialis anterior (this muscle runs along the front of your shin)
  • Pereoneals (these run down the sides of your shins)
  • The back and shoulder muscles (from swinging your arms)

Not to mention your respiratory and cardiovascular systems, also known as your lungs and heart which also get an incredible workout!  Running, just like all cardio exercise, helps to keep those systems strong and healthy.

5 Running Tips for Beginners 🏃 5 Things I Wish I Knew about Running from the Beginning

How To Start Running Again

I am deliberately using the word again here, because whether you haven’t run since the last time you were forced to in grade nine gym class or you participated in your company 5k two years ago and haven’t tried again since, you used to “know how to run”. I’m just here to remind you. 

First of all, I highly suggest that you run outside as opposed to a treadmill. You will learn to run properly and develop the proper muscles better than on a moving belt that does some of the work for you. What’s more, is that running outside gives you better views and fresh air.

Secondly, check your shoes. You don’t need brand-new, top-of-the-line runners, but you don’t want to be running in sneakers that you’ve had for years, either. When buying new running shoes, your best option is to go to a running store (yes, they exist!) and ask someone who works there. They can assess your stride and recommend a shoe based on your body, your foot, and your running goals.

For more information on how to choose the best running shoes, click here.

how often should I run

How Often Should You Run?

The most important tip when starting to run again: Don’t do too much too soon.

If it has been months or years since the last time you ran, you can overdo it easily and end up injured, most likely shin splints. The easiest way to avoid this is taking things slowly and ensuring adequate rest. My suggestions for this include:

  • Running less than you think you’re capable of, and
  • Not running consecutive days

Running every other day, or three to four non consecutive days per week at the beginning, will allow your body to adjust, particularly your small muscles, ligaments, and tendons. They do a lot of work keeping you stable and take a huge amount of pounding when you are running, so give them the break they deserve. Once you have more experience, you can start adding additional days if you want to.

how many miles should i run a week

How Many Miles Should I Run a Week?

This is highly dependent on the person and what their baseline of fitness is. Some will be able to handle more than others, and that is perfectly okay. This is about you and your personal fitness journey.

That being said, not doing too much too soon is not just about the number of days you run, but also about how far you go each time. This is especially problematic for those who have a decent cardio base from other types of workouts. You may be physically capable of running 5k right off the bat, but it doesn’t mean that you should. As I said, you need to give your body a chance to get used to this new kind of activity.

Try going for time instead of distance, for example going out for a 20-minute run instead of a certain number of kilometers.

Once you have built up your endurance and are running steadily for 30 minutes or more, you can then consider adding more. Much of this magical number of miles is completely dependent on you, your goals, and your body. If you are training to run a 5k you will need to run less than if you are training for a marathon.

If entering races, particularly long ones, is something you aspire to do, then finding a running crew, coach, or online program is recommended to reach your goal.

Run Longer, Build Endurance: 3 Proven Ways to Improve Stamina

How To Build Running Endurance

At the beginning, you will want to take things slowly. The best way to do this is with a walk-run. This looks like this:

  • Week-1: Run for two minutes, walk for four.
  • Week-2: Run for three minutes, walk for three.
  • Week-3: Run for four minutes, walk for two.

For each run, you start and end with five minutes of brisk walking. Walking/running for 30 minutes. You should fit about five rounds in each run, with the idea of getting to 30 minutes of non-stop running in just 10 weeks.

Click here for A 10-week run-walk plan for complete beginners. You know your own fitness level best, so you will know what you are capable of. 

Once you are able to run for 30 minutes without stopping, you then want to increase your mileage by 5% per week, if running longer is your goal. This means you would run 31.5 to 32 minutes the following week. Then 33 minutes the next week, so-on and so forth. This seems conservative, however the goal is to avoid injury that could end up taking you back to square one.

how to run faster and longer

How To Start Running Faster

There is a quote you’ll hear many running veterans say about training to run faster:

“The only way to run fast is to run fast!”

Confusing, but if you really think about it, true. You can’t train to run a distance faster if you don’t spend time running fast! Many new runners just go out and try to push themselves to run their same neighborhood loop a little bit faster each time. While this will work for a little while, you will eventually plateau, and also get bored.

To run faster you need to do workouts. In the running world, workouts mean things like interval sessions, tempo runs, and fartleks. 

  1. Interval Sessions


    These are similar to a fartlek run, however are typically somewhat more structured and involve standing rest as opposed to active or jogging rest. Often you will see people doing intervals on a track. This could look like five to six times 400m (one lap of a track) with one or two minutes rest between each interval.

  2. Tempo Runs

    A tempo run is a longer, sustained effort at a higher pace. Typically these runs are paced at ten to twenty seconds slower than your goal pace. If you want to run 5km in 30 minutes, then your pace per kilometer would be 6 minutes. This means for your tempo session, your pace would be 6:15-6:20 per kilometer. This could look like a 10 minute jog warm up, 20 minutes of tempo pace, followed by another 10 minutes of cool down jogging for a total of 40 minutes.

  3. Fartlek

    Fartlek is a Swedish word that means “speedplay”. This is when you change up the pace during your run. For example, you start your run at a consistent speed for five or ten minutes, then you run faster for two, slower for one, faster for four, slower for two, and so on. You can make it up beforehand or make it up as you go. Sometimes you can use visual cues as well. This could be sprinting for the length of two telephone poles with one length jog in between, or running fast every other block of your neighborhood. 

Another great type of training to help build power and speed are hill repeats. Just as they sound, they involve sprinting up a hill, jogging back down, and repeating. 

All of these workouts would be part of a standard training plan, which will vary depending on your experience and your goals.

Proper Breathing While Running | How To

How To Breathe While Running

One of things that many people say when they first start trying to run is that they feel like they can’t breathe. It usually takes the first five to 15 minutes for you to regulate your breathing, depending on how fit you are. As you run more and improve your cardio, this will get easier.

In the beginning, remember is to relax: Focus on taking one or two deeper breaths every so often. Relax your shoulders and face. You are running, not dying. Your breathing will regulate after some time, and that will go faster if you aren’t panicking.

Breathing while running is not like breathing while weight lifting or doing yoga – you want to breathe to your full capacity, which may mean breathing in and out through your mouth. If you are trying to breathe in only through your nose, you will likely get a stitch in your rib cage area.

what to eat after a run

What To Eat After A Run

Everyone likes to make nutrition complicated, however just like Michael Pollan says:

  • Eat food
  • Mostly plants
  • Not too much

Food Means Real Food

Think items you would find on the perimeter of the grocery store, or those with less than five ingredients listed.

Mostly Plants

This means just what you think it does – vegetables! Try to eat a variety of colours, especially dark, leafy greens. For more information, click here to read, Are You Eating Enough Colour?

Not Too Much

Do not over-eat. Eat slowly, chew thoroughly, and stop when you are full (not when your plate is empty). If you are hungry again later you can eat more then.

Eat A Balanced Meal

  • A protein source
  • A carbohydrate
  • Vegetables
  • Plenty of water

Whether it’s cold or hot out, you sweat when you run and you need to replace that lost water. The micronutrients in vegetables will help combat the oxidative stress your body is under when exercising. 

The carbohydrates you take in will help to replace the glycogen stores you used while doing longer, sustained cardio. These are important for recovery, so that you can have energy for the rest of your daily activities and your next run.

Protein is important for rebuilding some of the muscle that you worked while running. This can be in the form of lean meats, beans and legumes, eggs, soy, or dairy products.

what to wear running

What To Wear Running

You are probably tired of me saying “it depends” but that’s the honest truth. Especially when it comes to the weather.

How to run in the heat versus what to wear for winter running are two very different things. However, the basics are somewhat the same:

  • Sunscreen (all seasons)
  • A hat with a visor
  • Lightweight, moisture-wicking base layers

From there you can change things up depending on your climate. You can add layers or take them away, as long as they are breathable and easy to run in. Avoid cotton for a base layer, as once it gets wet from your sweat you will get cold quickly in the cooler temperatures.

For the men out there, look for softer materials that won’t chafe your nipples. Also, those of us who want to wear shorts in the summer but deal with thigh chafing, put some vaseline in between your legs before heading out the door. 

Beyond that the main point is that you are comfortable. 

The Bottom Line On How To Start Running

We were all born to run and to move our bodies, you included. If you start slow and maintain a positive attitude, you’ll be amazed at how far your body can take you.

Happy running!

Spring Cleaning For The Mind, Body And Spirit

spring cleaning

Spring is a time for cleaning out the cupboards, drawers, and purging any unneeded items.  Plus, let’s be honest, what else is there to while we all patiently wait for the end of COVID-19?? With that said, it is also a time to take a look at ourselves as our minds, body, and spirit deserve some self ‘spring cleaning‘ as well.

mental health

Spring Cleaning For The Mind

The first step in spring cleaning for the mind is to throw away destructive self-talk. In other words, anything that depletes you of energy and ambition.

Start off by unplugging from negative outlets that bring your energy down. This can include:

  • Social media
  • The nightly news
  • Low energy television shows
  • Movies
  • Toxic relationships

Next, say ‘no’ to activities in your life that feel more like obligations. Don’t do something because you’re afraid to say no.  Instead, attend events that you look forward to going to.

Finally, spring is the perfect time of year to start a new project or activity that will bring joy and excitement to your life.

let's get physical

Let’s Get Physical

The warmer weather finally allows us to get outside and enjoy some much needed fresh air and Vitamin D.

Spring is the perfect time to focus on shedding excess weight that is slowing you down and putting strain on your joints. Visit the local farmers markets and enjoy the fresh produce that we will soon have access to and make refreshing smoothies, salads, and green juices.

By increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables, you will naturally encourage your body to eliminate toxins and weight.

Click here to read, Are You Eating Enough Colour?

benefits of dry brushing

Dry Brushing For Detox

Have you ever heard of the technique of dry skin brushing? If not you are not alone however it’s an effective way of stimulating the lymph system to detoxify the body.

How To Dry Brush

Starting at your feet, VERY gently brush your skin in upward or circular motions with a very soft bristle brush. Then, slowly begin to bring your movements up your body, along all surfaces of your skin toward your heart. Next, start at your hands and work up to your shoulders and upper back. Lastly do your chest all the way to your heart.

It feels fantastic and is a great thing to do first thing in the morning to energize your body by getting your blood flowing.

How to Dry Brush | goop

Hydration

Remember to stay well hydrated with spring water and naturally caffeine free teas.  Homemade teas can easily be made by utilizing fresh ingredients including:

Click here to read more about the health benefits of tea.

how to free your mind

Rejuvenating And Renewing Your Spirit

When we aren’t living our true purpose in life, it can be very draining on our spirit. This spring, take some time to meditate on what your true calling is and make movements to align with your calling.

Find forgiveness in your heart for people and situations that have offended you. Focus on feeling gratitude for the little things in your life. Engage in acts of kindness, whether that be for people or animals in your life. Explore new opportunities and experiences, travel, and find new ways to feed your spirit.

Regardless of what type of spring cleaning you are doing, enjoy the longer days and the warmer sun. Be fascinated with all of the miracles of new life that spring gives us.

EMF Radiation And The Potential Dangers To Your Health

EMF Radiation

Is EMF radiation affecting your health and the well-being of your family?? It’s no secret that technology is on the rise, and for many reasons that can be considered a good thing.  However, there is a strong debate surrounding the potential dangers of electromagnetic radiation.  As technology becomes more advanced, in many ways, our lives become easier. But with that, there are potential health risks associated with the increase in electromagnetic fields (EMFs).

Many people are surprised to learn how devices that are meant to make their lives easier can negatively affect them. Many appliances in your home release their own EMF’s that can vary in frequency and intensity of electricity including your:

  • Cell phone
  • Computer
  • Microwave oven
  • Wi-Fi devices
  • TV

Their level of danger is dependent on both the regularity and duration of your exposure to them.

What Is EMF Radiation?

EMF radiation are streams of energy waves that are also produced by some natural sources such as the sun. However, what’s worrying is the fact that EMF radiation from artificial sources, mainly the gadgets in your home, is stronger than the radiation from these natural sources.

Artificial sources of EMF’s alters the body’s own electrical system. As such, this may lead to health issues including heart problems and an increased risk of cancer and leukemia.

what are emf's

What Are The Main Types Of EMF Exposure?

There are two main categories of EMF exposure:
  • Low-level radiation
  • High-level radiation

Low-level radiation also referred to as non-ionizing radiation, comes from devices such as:

  • Power lines
  • Cell phones
  • MRI’s
  • Wi-Fi routers
  • Microwave ovens

High-level radiation, or ionizing radiation, comes from devices such as medical imaging machines, in the form of X-rays. Also the sun since is produces ionizing radiation in the form of ultraviolet rays. It’s important to note that the intensity of EMF exposure increases the closer you are to the EMF source.

Click here to read, What The Neck? Are You Short-Circuiting?

what causes emf radiation

What Are Health Effects Of EMF Radiation?

There has been much debate surrounding the health effects of EMF radiation. At this point, there are a lack of conclusive long-term studies. However, the IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer) claims that EMFs may be carcinogenic to humans. But research thus far has been unable to provide concrete support of this claim.

However, a recent small scale study showed that there may be an increased risk of leukemia in adults after being continuously exposed to high levels of EMF.

What is certain is that more research is needed to determine the safety of EMF radiation and the potential long term effect it can have on people. Therefore, in the meantime, it is necessary to be as safe as possible and stick to recommended safety guidelines.

what is emf radiation

Wireless Routers

Although great for the convenience, wireless routers can be responsible for doing more than you think. Yes, they allow your home electronics to communicate while eliminating the need for any wiring.  But, in doing so they emit huge amounts of radiation into your home.  Unlike a computer, cell phone and television that frequently get turned off, wireless routers are constantly running.  This means EMFs are flooding your home every minute of every day. Even if you can pick up a wireless signal from a neighbor or local business, know that their EMFs are also seeping into your home.

protection against emf's

How To Stay Safe From EMF Exposure

There are a number of things you can do to increase your protection against EMF exposure including:

  • Limit the number of electronic devices in your home as much as possible
  • Turn off and unplug computers, phones, televisions, microwave and other devices when you are not using them
  • Avoid sleeping with your phone
  • Use earbuds or the speaker function when answering calls
  • Avoid using TVs with Wi-Fi functionality
  • Don’t use your TV for extended periods
  • Avoid staying too close to your TV when it’s operating
  • Reduce the number of times that you have to use your microwave oven
  • Stay far from your microwave when it’s operating
  • Ensure that your microwave is serviced annually to maintain a strong seal
  • Avoid resting your PC on your lap
  • Get a computer pad to block EMF radiation
  • Use a non-wireless router in place of the wireless if possible
  • Unplug your wireless router while you sleep and whenever possible

You’re one step closer!

Attitude Of Gratitude Linked To Achieving True Happiness

Attitude of Gratitude

As the late Dr. Wayne Dyer would say; “it is this attitude of gratitude that is the answer to all unhappiness in life. Focus on the things that are going well in your life, or the things that make you happy in your life, and have immense gratitude for them.”

It’s in the smallest pleasures that you can find the most to be grateful for. Spring is the perfect time of year to develop this overwhelming sense of gratitude for the beauty that begins to surround us. Take some time over this beautiful Easter weekend to focus on the people, things and special things within yourself that you are grateful for.

key to happiness

The Key To Happiness

Maybe it’s colourful sunrise or sunset. Or possibly a budding flower and the sound of birds singing. It could even be the availability of fresh produce or the warmth of the sun’s rays. The list of things to be grateful could go on and on and is going to be different for every individual. 

We are all guilty of having self doubt from time to time. However, in order to achieve true happiness, we must toss aside self doubt and focus on being your own biggest cheerleader. Don’t see an obstacle as a problem, but rather an opportunity to learn and grow.

This is a mindset that anyone can achieve, but it takes dedication to self growth and development. Talking about having an attitude of gratitude is an easy statement or piece of advice to give, but how does someone develop this attitude?

The Science Of Gratitude

How To Develop An Attitude Of Gratitude

Here is a simple action plan to work on developing an attitude of gratitude today!

  1. Dedicate 5-10 minutes every single day to sit quietly and focus on your breath. If you are a person that enjoys to meditate, this time could be spent meditating. However, you find that meditating isn’t for you, just sit quietly while focusing on your breath. Then, list 5 things that you are grateful for in your life.
  2. Start a gratitude journal to write down the things that you are thankful daily. This is often best done right before bed as a means of quieting your mind and focusing on the positives that you experienced in your day. All too often we get trapped by the negative events going on around us. However, it is more beneficial to your health if the last moments before falling asleep are focused on positive things.
  3. Review your gratitude journal regularly. Note what items tend to get repeated in your journal as this can be a good indication of what you value most in life. Then, you can focus on manifesting ways to have more experiences or interactions that you are grateful for.
  4. Detach from the outcome you expect in life. In other words, have faith that the universe is conspiring to make your dreams come true. 
  5. Spread the attitude of gratitude. Share your gratitude with the world by simply allowing the interactions you have with people to be guided by your new sense of gratitude. Also, teach your children how to keep a gratitude journal. Make a habit of talking about what you are thankful for every night before bed.

Click here to read, Gratitude – An Attitude For Success for additional information on how gratitude links to living a happy life.

The Foot Pain Identifier

foot pain

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1. Is it original writing? Does the article contain significant portions of plagiarized materials?

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3. Are the articles central tenets backed by adequate evidence?

4. Are there any gaps or inconsistencies?

5. Is the writing clear and easy to understand?

6. Does it advance knowledge?

This foot pain identifier information is important.  People rarely acknowledge how important their feet are to their everyday life. Well, that is until they experience foot pain themselves!  Just think about it, you use your feet to:

  • Stand
  • Pivot
  • Jump
  • Turn
  • Step
  • Dance
  • Walk
  • Run

Even just to keep your balance.  But when you experience foot pain, these seemingly simple functions can become quite challenging.

Plantar fasciitis is the most common type of foot pain.  The plantar fascia is a layer of connective tissue on the bottom or sole of the foot. It provides support to the foot’s arch and plays a major role in the function and mechanics of walking or running.

Foot Pain Identifier – Feel The Burn!

Foot pain can have quite a few causes.  However, the most common (as detailed at medicinenet.com) for foot pain are:

Plantar fasciitis is also the most common cases we see at the clinic. When plantar fascia is relaxed, the toes are pointed down and the foot is in the “plantar flexed” position.

Conversely, the plantar fascia is tight and undergoes tension when the toes and foot are pointed upwards, “dorsi flexed.”  When this tension persists, the plantar fascia can become irritated and develop “burning-like” symptoms at the bottom of the foot.

The most specific problem area tends to be close to the heel.  The heel bone or calcaneus provides the foundation at the rear of the foot. This is also the origin point of the plantar fascia.

heal pain

Pain In The Heel

A cardinal symptom of plantar fasciitis is a sharp pain in the heel which is usually experienced when you take your first steps in the morning.  Remember, your foot is typically in a restful state (plantar flexion) throughout the night while you sleep.  Therefore, when you arise, there is a sudden jolt of tension shot into the plantar fascia as it is quickly stretched.  As such, it can make for a very painful start to the day.

In this case, specific stretches can be performed each morning before getting out of bed to help alleviate these symptoms.

Click here to read What You Should NOT Do if You Suffer From Numbness and Tingling.

foot pain identifier

Factors Of Plantar Fasciitis

The name of the diagnosis is kind of a misnomer as any diagnosis that ends with the word “itis” usually indicates the condition involves significant inflammation.  However, in actuality, there is research to both support and negate the relationship that inflammation actually has with this condition.

Poor foot position or posture is really the most common factor of this condition.  In most cases it is due to being flat footed or over pronation of their foot when walking.  Flat footed people are overusing their muscle at the bottom of the plantar fascia. Usually until it becomes irritated, causing plantar fasciitis.  Keep in mind, this is something that can happen at any age and is very common.

Plantar fasciitis doesn’t tend to discriminate and is usually associated with poor postural habits and lifestyle.  This condition is also common with increased activity and repetitive strain.  Transitioning to new footwear can also trigger plantar fasciitis resulting in the soft tissue breaking down.  Also, accumulative effects of gravity over time, along with weight gain can also precipitate plantar fasciitis.

Conservative care might include:

  • Frequent icing
  • Wearing a supportive slipper around the house
  • Night brace
  • Taping
foot scan

Prevention For Foot Pain

Prevention is best achieved through properly functioning feet.  So, supportive footwear is critical. Therefore, I strongly recommend getting a foot scan and examination by an appropriate healthcare provider to determine if custom orthotics are necessary.

Click here to read, How To Choose The Best Running Shoes – Part 1.

Because this condition has become such a buzzword, many people are misdiagnosed by their healthcare providers as other conditions, which cause similar symptoms need to be excluded. These include:

  • A stress fracture
  • Bursitis
  • Neuritis
  • Contusion of the calcaneus
  • Nerve entrapment

The most important thing here is to find the right healthcare practitioner who will conduct a thorough consultation and examination in order to achieve an accurate diagnosis.

Here’s to you putting your best foot forward.

You’re one step closer!

For additional information and at home stretches click here to read CORRECTIVE EXERCISES FOR RELIEVING FOOT PAIN.

References:
  1. Plantar Fasciitis – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1788446/
  2. Plantar Warts – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3951039/
  3. Ingrown Toenails – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/22565427/

Asthma In Kids Can Be Decreased By Just Doing This!

Asthma In Kids

Every parent wants to do what is best for their children. But, is having a family dog, a good idea, especially when it comes to asthma in kids? Well, I strongly woof you to appreciate that Fido has served your children well and has actually reduced their chances of developing childhood asthma!

What Is Asthma?

Asthma is a sporadic inflammatory disease that affects the airways and the lungs and is one of the leading chronic inflammatory diseases in children worldwide. Often, it presents as tightness in the chest, shortness of breath and wheezing sounds.  It can be very scary to experience!

kids health

What Causes Asthma?

Asthma is often triggered by airborne environmental and genetic factors that include:

Asthma cannot be cured completely; but with a proper lifestyle, it can be well managed and controlled. However, what if we could drastically reduce the risk of developing it in the first place?

How dogs can reduce the risk of childhood asthma

Asthma Study

Research confirms that having a family dog could have several health benefits, including decreasing your child’s risk of developing asthma. According to a research carried out by Dr. Tove Fall, a professor of epidemiology at the Uppsala University, children from the time of birth, raised with dogs, had an estimated 15% decreased asthma cases than children who were not raised with dogs.

This Swedish nation-wide study tracked 650,000 babies and found that babies who live on farms or have frequent exposure to farm animals within the first year of life, can reduce their risk of asthma by 52%. The results were robust and independent of parental asthma or whether the child was first-born.

Furthermore, kids who grow up with family dogs have a 15% lower risk of developing asthmacompared to kids who did not grow up with a dog.

Later, a 2018 follow up study was done to determine if the sex of dog or number of dogs would have an impact on results and here’s what it showed.

  • Children exposed to female dogs had lower risk of asthma compared to those exposed to male dogs.
  • Children with two dogs or more had lower risk of asthma than those with one dog only! 
best dogs for kids

In Conclusion

What we have learned from these studies is that pregnant women and young children can safely play and share time with farm animals and dogs knowing that it may indeed be serving them well. Especially when it comes to asthma in kids! The idea is that animals provide the body exposure to germs and microbes which improve immune function

However, if your children are older and have allergy induced asthma from dogs, adding a family dog to the equation is not the answer!  Research showed that exposure within the first year of life reduced the risks of asthma. This doesn’t necessarily mean your family can’t have a dog. There are some low to non-shedding breeds that some allergy and asthma sufferers are not sensitive to. These breeds include but are not limited to:

It is important to meet and share time with a possible future fur-family member to test allergy sensitivity before making the commitment. If you are thinking of planning a family in the future, maybe having Fido join the team first would be a strategic health move! 

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Activities For Toddlers In Quarantine

Activities For Toddlers

Looking for activities for toddlers to do during quarantine, keeping them occupied, engaged AND learning? Check out these top tips and resources!

As you already know by now, the Coronavirus outbreak has already affected most parts of the world. This has resulted in special measures being put into place in an attempt to ‘plank‘ the spread of the virus such as the closing of schools and daycares. With no clear date in sight of reopening school doors, parents are now being challenged to come up with new and creative ways to keep their children occupied, engaged and learning from the comforts of their home.

As a parent of a toddler (and young baby) myself, I understand and certainly sympathise with other parents facing this same situation. It can be really difficult to know where to start and to find the appropriate tools while still obeying proper quarantine / social distancing guidelines. Especially when it comes to activities for toddlers. As such, I have put together a list of tips and resources that have been working for my family.

kids schedule

Create A Daily Schedule

If your child attended any sort of daycare/preschool/school, then following a daily schedule should be a familiar task.  Therefore creating structure and rules, like a set schedule to follow at home, is the perfect place to start.  In fact,  According to Kathy Eugster, MA, RCC, CPT-S, BCRPT-S (Pacific Spirit Play Therapy Resources);

“When parents provide structure, it means they are asserting and establishing their parental authority and control in a responsible manner in order to encourage healthy growth and development of their children.” –Providing Structure for Your Child: How to Assert Your Parental Authority

Start by breaking the day into blocks including tasks such as:

Depending on your child’s age you can also incorporate a ‘recess’. Perhaps this is a 15 minute break between activities to have a healthy snack, run around or let loose before moving on to the next item on the schedule.

One schedule that has been floating around and seems to tick off all the right boxes is this COVID-19 Daily Schedule.

covid-19 daily schedule

I particularly like this schedule because it incorporates all the topics I listed and gives examples on how to achieve each of them.

Another benefit to following a schedule like this is it allows the kids to still have some say.  Allowing your child to make their own choices within a given category will help keep them interested. Plus they can change up activities throughout the week depending on how they’re feeling and still get the benefits of learning. Also, when you include your children in the decision making, they are more likely to follow willingly in addition to learning a life skill.

Decision making is one of the most important skills your children need to develop to become healthy and mature adults. Decision making is crucial because the decisions your children make dictate the path that their lives take.” – Jim Taylor Ph.D.

how to play with your kids

Play And Activities To Do Together

According to Kenneth R. Ginsburg and the Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health

“Play is essential to development because it contributes to the cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well-being of children and youth.”

They go on to discuss the importance of play in promoting healthy child development and maintaining strong parent-child bonds.

So, what are some of the activities you can do with your child? Well, here are some of my favorite links I use to get ideas and keep things fun!

importance of reading to your children

Storytelling

There are incredible benefits of reading to your child which can start at a very young age. In fact, according to a study by Ohio State University;

“Young children whose parents read them five books a day enter kindergarten having heard about 1.4 million more words than kids who were never read to. This ‘million word gap’ could be one key in explaining differences in vocabulary and reading development.” 

There are several statistics and benefits which demonstrate the importance of parents reading to their children. Click here for a list of tops tips on how to read to your child in order to get the most out their literary experience.

Why do we need creativity?

Engage In Creative Tasks

Toddlers are curious and active by nature. So, you can’t simply expect your child to stay calm in the house for the whole day without any sort of proper engagement. Some great examples of activities that can keep your toddler interested and occupied include:

With such activities, you can enhance their imagination and creativity. Besides, such tasks can even help your kid discover their passion. Click here for a fantastic list of 20 ACTIVITIES FOR TODDLERS among additional tips and resources.

quality time with kids

Spend Quality Time With Them

Negative things always have some positivity in them. Before the self-isolation period, you may not have had enough time to be with your kids. However, you now have all the time to sit and listen to your kids. You can let your kid lead you to do what they love.

By taking such an approach, your kid will feel appreciated and in control. This can go a long way towards ensuring that your child does not get bored even when they have to spend most of their time indoors. Click here for some fun ways you can encourage quality time with your family.

Final Thoughts

You now know that even though your child has to stay in the house to meet the social distancing goal, there are still several activities for toddlers and older children you can do to keep them:

  • Active
  • Engaged
  • Stimulated
  • Learning

For another great resource for an ‘all in one’ learning experience at any age, click here to obtain Scolastic Learn At Home – day-by-day projects to keep kids reading, thinking and growing.

Other articles you might be interested in:

Are Chiropractors Safe?

is chiropractic safe

Are Chiropractors safe? Furthermore, what do they do??

Chiropractors perform spinal manipulation or chiropractic adjustments by applying a gentle and specific impulse with their hands to the spine and other joints in the body. The adjustment corrects and aligns the spine removing stress from spinal nerves. By correcting spinal alignment and removing nerve interference the body is better able to function and heal properly.

Chiropractic adjustments are effective in restoring mobility and relieving pain. Especially to injuries caused by traumatic events such as slips and falls or due to repetitive strain.  

Chiropractic Adjustment Benefits Your:
  • Bones
  • Muscles
  • Joints
  • Ligaments
  • Tendons
  • Cartilage

Click here to read, Are Chiropractors Doctors?

benefits of chiropractic

Chiropractic Benefits

  1. A Great Way To Relieve PainChiropractic care is one of the best ways of getting rid of aches and pains. It’s effective and helps people avoid taking pain medication. Also, it’s great for relieving neck pain, back pain and headaches.
  2. Corrects The Underlying ProblemPain medications don’t address the source of the problem but the symptoms. Furthermore they can become addicting and cause an opiod addiction. However, Chiropractic focuses on the nervous system, which controls the body’s function from breathing to digestion. The spine protects the spinal cord and nerves. Therefore, spinal health is essential to the overall wellness. Click here to read, A Natural Proven Solution To The Opioid Crisis.
  3. Helps Avoid Medication – Medication can be useful in addressing various health problems but typically they just mask the symptoms. Unlike chiropractic care which can relieve aches and pains by getting to the root cause of the problem. Giving you relief without any drugs or pesky side effects.
  4. Personalized TreatmentNo formula must be followed for chiropractic care. A qualified chiropractor will assess your situation and come up with a care plan to correct the problem. Chiropractors may use different instruments and techniques that best suits that patient’s specific needs.
  5. Complements Other Treatment ProceduresThe great thing about chiropractic care is that it can be used alongside other forms of treatment. Chiropractic patients may also be receiving massage therapy or acupuncture. All of which complement each other.

Click here to read, What The Neck? Are You Short-Circuiting?

Is Chiropractic Safe?

Are Chiropractors Safe?

Chiropractic care is an extremely safe. It’s conservative, yet effective option for correcting spinal problems. Maintaining a healthy spine is crucial to having a healthy nervous system. But must be handled with care. Chiropractic is non-invasive and drug-free, making it a safe option.

Most patients feel instant relief after receiving chiropractic adjustments. Some patients may feel mild side effects such as soreness and aching. The good thing is that it typically doesn’t last and will go away in a few hours.

Always share any concerns you may have with your chiropractor.  Chiropractors are well-trained professionals who understand how to take care of their patients.
To find a chiropractor in your area please click here for our online directory.

You’re one step closer!

What Is Social Distancing?

Social Distancing

You’ve probably heard the advice by now that to slow down the spread of coronavirus (or the Covid19 pandemic); we need to practice social distancing. But what is social distancing? Well, the concept is meant to curb the spread of the virus by avoiding close contact with people in public spaces, where the virus is easily transmitted through viral particles when sneezing or coughing and touching contaminated services.

Click here to read, What Is Coronavirus?

What Is Social Distancing?

It’s disappointing to hear that social gatherings are being cancelled such as:

  • Sports events
  • Festivals
  • Weddings
  • Visits with friends and family
  • Birthdays
  • Playdates

However, there is a significant health benefit to following these measures. These cancellations help to slow or even stop the spread of disease. Thus preventing overcrowding of the health care system and allowing proper care for patients more readily over time.

Canceling social gatherings is just one example of social distancing. Currently, the recommendation is to stay at least 6 feet away from other people in any environment outside your home. Experts agree that this is one of the best ways to reduce your chances of contracting COVID-19.

What is social distancing? This is the clearest explanation you'll hear

Why Is Social Distancing So Important?

The World Health Organization has declared COVID-19 a pandemic as the numbers of new cases continues to grow worldwide. Therefore, it is essential for you to understand how the virus is spread from person-to-person to reduce your risk of getting sick and infecting others. COVID-19 is most likely spread through:

  • Direct contact with a person who has been recently infected; 24 hours before the surfacing of their symptoms.
  • Close contact with a person who’s already confirmed with infection and coughs or sneezes close to you.
  • Touching surfaces or objects (such as door handles or tables) contaminated from a sneeze or cough from an infectious person and then touching your mouth or face.

It’s for this reason that you’re urged to allow more space between you and others in order to make it harder for the virus to spread.

Click here to read, How To Prepare For The Coronavirus.

What To Do When You're Stuck At Home | Activities While Social Distancing

Social Distancing At Home

Here’s what you can do at home to curb the spread of the virus.

  • Stay home if you can
  • Wash your hands with soap or hand sanitizer
  • Practice good hand, sneeze and cough hygiene
  • Disinfect surfaces
  • Increase ventilation in homes or adjust your air conditioning
  • Visit shops sparingly better yet start buying goods and services online

 If a family member is sick, here is how you can care for him/her:

  • If possible, care for the sick person from a single room
  • Keep the number of caregivers to a minimum
  • Close the door to the sick person’s room and open the windows
  • Both the caregiver and the sick person should wear a surgical mask when in the same room
  • Give extra caution and closely monitor vulnerable family members, including people over 65 years and those with chronic illness.

Click here to read, How To Get Tested For The Coronavirus.

work from home

Social Distancing In The Workplace

Here is what can be done at the workplace:

  • Stay at home if you’re sick
  • Keep your distance and avoid handshaking
  • Hold meetings through video conferencing
  • Defer large meetings
  • Hold mandatory meetings in the open air
  • Sneeze and cough into your sleeve rather than your hand
  • Use hand sanitizers throughout the day and regularly disinfect high touch surfaces
  • Adjust AC and improve ventilation
  • Avoid non-essential business travel

 

How Do I Get A Coronavirus Test?

How Is The Coronavirus Tested

Do you find yourself asking, “How is the Coronavirus tested?” Furthermore, “where do I get tested?” Well, here is my first hand experience about how and why I got tested for COVID-19.

It’s certainly bad timing for anyone getting sick. Especially with symptoms that may represent COVID-19 as fear is in the air! Any cough, sniffle, temperature change or sense of a sore throat has everyone on edge asking, “could this be the Coronavirus?”

Knowing the answers to these questions is important. Particularly if you have had or may have had contact with many others. The time is now and responsibility ours in order to protect our community.

why get tested for cornavirus

Why I Got Tested For COVID-19

Monday March 16th I lost my voice within a couple of hours. However, I was convinced it was because I had inhaled the fumes of disinfectant wipes all day. But the next day I woke up with no voice in addition to a sore throat and coughing. ALL RED FLAGS during these times!

Add to that, my contact with many people and I fall into the category of people who should contact a health practitioner. So, I decided to consult my friend who is a nurse. She informed me that fever is often the last symptom and to get tested regardless of missing this common symptom. But, where do I go? Furthermore, how is the Coronavirus tested?

Click here to read more about, What Is Coronavirus?

Coronavirus Self-Assessment Test

So, How is the coronavirus tested? Better yet, should you be tested? Well, the Ontario Government’s ‘self-assessment’ is the first place I would recommend to those curious to go. 

The questions outlined in the self assessment are the same questions you will be asked if you arrive at a COVID-19 Testing / Assessment center. 

Did you answer yes to the questions asked in the self-assessment? If so, you should seek clinical assessment for COVID-19 over the phone or call your healthcare provider. I tried calling mine only to get an answering machine message redirecting me to this exact assessment. Also suggesting I call Telehealth if the assessment indicates the need for further testing.  

Click here to read, How To Prepare For The Coronavirus.

Key things to know about coronavirus testing

COVID-19 Assessment Centre Protocol

My next move was to call Telehealth Ontario 1-866-797-0000 in hopes of receiving a referral from a nurse to receive an appointment for testing. I preferred an appointment then to wait in a long walk-in line up where I feared to be exposed to the virus.

While I waited on the line for over two hours, I realized the wait may be longer than driving around the city and finding an assessment center. While waiting on the phone, I searched for an assessment center online that would accept patients without an appointment or referral. I found the closest assessment center to me and decided to take a chance that they were accepting walk-ins. 

St. Joseph’s Hospital was the closest COVID-19 assessment center.  When I arrived, I drove around the building slowly looking at all of the temporary signage they had placed up. All to direct people on where to go. At every patient entrance, there was one to two employees at the door dressed in full protective gear.

How Doctors Stay Safe Battling Coronavirus

Protective Gear For Medical Staff Exposed To COVID-19
  • Gowns over their clothes
  • Face masks
  • Hospital hats
  • Gloves
  • Helmets with shields over their faces

Finally we found the entrance off of Sunny Side Drive, close to the Queensway. I decided to leave my spouse in the car to ensure limited contact for her and avoid clogging up the already busy healthcare system.

As I walked in, a hospital employee opened the door for me to avoid contact with the door handle. There was a check-in desk with separation glass around it and two employees on the other side. First, they asked me the same questions found on the Ontario self-assessment.

Once I answered yes to two of the questions they asked me to disinfect my hands and put on a mask. Next, I waited in a line of less than 5 minutes to register. Everyone stood as spaced apart as space would allow. When I was called up to the registration desk, I was asked to hold my health card up to show her.  Decreasing unnecessary contact in order to lower risk to the healthcare providers.

With no voice, check-in at registration was a bit of a struggle.  Once registered, I hung up the phone with Telehealth Ontario. Which, by the way, I was still on hold waiting to speak with someone.

covid-19 test

How Is The Coronavirus Tested

I was asked to wait in the waiting room until a nurse and test room opened up. There were about 20 seats in the room and 5 people waiting.  Only two of us sat down (I had planned to wash my clothes as soon as I got back home)

My name was called within 5 minutes of waiting. I was brought into a room where a nurse asked me more detailed questions about:

  • My symptoms
  • Contact with others
  • Travel history

Next, he checked my blood pressure, heart rate and temperature. When I asked, “how is the Coronavirus tested?” He explained that the swab would be “a different feeling” and wouldn’t be painful but would most likely cause my eyes to water.

I tilted my head back where he proceeded to push the swab to the very top of my nasal cavity. Next, he twisted the swab for an uncomfortable 10 seconds. So much so, my nose and eyes watered for the following 10 minutes. 

Time For The Results Of The Coronavirus Test

The doctor came into the room briefly after testing and explained to me that it’s important to act as if I have the COVID-19 virus. At least until I received my test results which would come in 24-72 hours after testing. The system is backlogged with negative results, so the results may be received in the mail later than 72 hours.

If there are positive results, I was to expect a phone call. I was reminded that even if my test is negative, to not leave my home until my symptoms have resolved. 

I was instructed to disinfect my hands as I left the hospital. Once home, I washed my hands again. Removed my clothes, put them in the wash and showered. Overall, I was impressed with the flow at the hospital.

From the time I walked into and out of St. Joseph’s Hospital COVID-19 Assessment center, I clocked 35 minutes. Their set up, process and procedures were well thought out and working smoothly. Thank you to the front line!

Ready to go to your nearest COVID-19 Assessment Center?  Click here for the list of centers I used in order to find where to go