This entry was posted in Fitness on March 22, 2016
A strong chest can make everyday movements like pushing a shopping cart or tossing a basketball to your kid easier. Chest training should be a part of every full-body workout, and 10-20 quick push-ups aren’t enough.
The chest is often neglected during beginner workouts focused primarily on cardio, but chest training can help everyone reach their optimum level of fitness, from fitness novices to pros. Here are a few fantastic exercises to make your chest – and you – stronger. Note: these exercises are best performed on a bench.
The chest press. Lie on your back with your knees bent in front of you. Holding two dumbbells in your hands, with the front of your thumbs facing your head, keep your arms at ninety-degree angles, with your elbows by your sides. Slowly (with control) lift your arms up until they are only slightly bent. Hold for 1 second and then carefully come back down with control. Do not let your arms lower without resistance – coming down is just as important as going up. Repeat 10-15 times. If you’re up for it, pause for 30-40 seconds, and then do another set.
The chest fly. Lie on your back again with your knees bent in front of you. Hold two dumbbells up with your arms at a ninety-degree angle again. This time your elbows should be raised just slightly above your chest. Slowly push your arms out to the side, aiming to make a cross with your body. Hold for 1 second and then move your elbows back in so your weights touch. Repeat 10-15 times, with the option to take a 30-40 second break, and then do another set.
Around the world. Lie on your back, knees bent in front of you, with a dumbbell in each hand. Your palms should be facing the ceiling. Keeping your arms parallel to the floor, move your arms in a semicircle until the weights are above your head. Hold for 1 second, and then bring the weights back down to your original position through another semicircle. Repeat 10-15 times. If you can, pause for 30-40 seconds, and then do another set.
The push-up. It shouldn’t be the “be all, end all” to your chest routine, but it should certainly be included. For the classic push-up, your hands should be placed firmly on the ground directly under your shoulders. Tighten your abs and keep your back flat. Slowly lower your body until your chest almost touches the floor. Make sure your butt doesn’t stick out. Slowly push yourself back up with control. How many push-ups you do depends on your fitness level. Beginners should aim for 15-20.
You should be working your chest around two to three times a week. Remember to always keep form in mind to prevent injury and achieve the best results you can. Working your chest is a mandatory part of having a healthy, strong, and capable body.
This entry was posted in Toys on March 15, 2016
“Play” and “purpose” don’t get strung together in sentences often, but they should. Active play can nourish social skills, improve focus, and help kids learn how to manage stress from an early age. These aren’t benefits we should take lightly.
Not all play and not all toys are created equal. Play should be fun, but there are ways to make it beneficial to your child as well. Here are a few of our favorite toys that can help your child develop strength, skills, mental health, and happiness - gifts we’d all love to bestow on our child.
Rody Horse. This crazy fun toy (that comes in lots of different colors and styles) by Gymnic can help your child develop coordination, balance, and strength. It can also help with the transition between crawling and walking by serving as a pal your kid can lean on while they’re getting comfortable standing and moving on their own.
Tricycles. Kids love the feeling of independence. Tricycles give them just that – but without the risks! Tricycles, unlike bikes, are very unlikely to tip over and injure your child. Other benefits that come from riding a tricycle? Strength, balance, and coordination – especially in the lower body.
Balance bikes. Balance bikes help kids develop the confidence they’ll need to eventually ride a bike. Your kid won’t have to worry about falling or balancing – these bikes help them naturally develop skills and strength that will help them in their fitness later down the road. Balance bikes can prep your child for the transition into learning how to ride a bike.
A different kind of chair. Teach your child the importance of incorporating health and fitness into their everyday life with this alternative chair (also by Gymnic) that encourages concentration, balance, and proper posture. Your child will love sitting in this active chair when drawing, practicing writing, and doing homework.
Pedal vehicles. Pedal vehicles can help your child develop strong motor skills and independence all while exploring and having a blast outside. Encourage and nourish your little one’s sense of adventure!
Play with purpose is the best kind of play. By kicking back, getting silly, and trying new things, your child can play in a way that will help them grow into the kind of happy, healthy, and active adult you want them to be. These are crucial years for developing healthy habits and creativity. The kinds of toys you choose for your child can have a significant impact on their skills, coordination, strength, and overall wellness.
This entry was posted in Fitness on March 14, 2016
Spring and summer are quickly approaching with outdoor walks, flowers, pool parties and lemonade stands in store. April-August is the time of year everyone looks forward to – when only a light cardigan is needed, when spur of the moment leisurely walks down the block are practical, and when popsicles and frozen yogurt cups become our go to after dinner treats.
Warmer temperatures also mean it’s time to take our workouts outdoors where our bodies can stretch, strengthen, and explore the lovely landscapes the way they were meant to, no longer covered in snow.
Here are a few of the vast health benefits that come from exercising outside (as long as you’re wearing sunscreen that is!)
You’re more likely to stick with a routine. Exercising outside is infinitely more entertaining than logging hours on the treadmill. When you can try new trails every day and stroll through streets with lovely historic houses, fitness becomes less about work and more about fun and sightseeing.
The benefits of exercise will make more of an impact. Being in top-notch shape means less when you’re covered in thick sweaters and scarves than it does when you’re wearing a swimsuit. Warm weather gives you a greater incentive to work out, as we all want to feel confident and attractive around this time of year.
Vitamin D! Vitamin D, which can help prevent heart attacks, cancer, and depression, is difficult to get. One surefire way is to soak up 10-15 minutes of sunshine a day.
Nature can ease stress. Did you know that certain spring scents are proven to significantly reduce the stress of everyday life? Studies show these scents can do everything from decrease depression to prevent insomnia.
Improve creativity and focus. Studies show that exercising outdoors can have positive effects on our brains as well as our bodies. Stuck on a tough problem at work? A quick power walk could be just what you need to relax, strategize, and think outside of the box. Spending time outdoors can put things into perspective and help you see your problems in a new light.
You might think sundresses and beach chairs when you think of warm weather, but one of the greatest benefits that comes from the changing seasons is the opportunity to exercise in the ultimate environment, away from mundane distractions and stress. Celebrate spring and summer this year by heading outdoors for your exercise. Outdoor fitness can emotionally, physically, and mentally regenerate you, while invoking a spirit of carefree adventure.
Remember when you were a kid and spring and summer were the best time of year? Recapture that energy and reap outdoor exercise’s many benefits.
This entry was posted in Toys on March 10, 2016
Early childhood is an essential time for developing the physical skills needed to succeed in the world. Let kids be kids, but don’t forget that the toys you choose for them can have a significant impact on the skills they develop.
Your child's motor skills involve their brain, muscles, and nervous system collaborating to create movement. Small movements like picking things up are fine motor skills. Larger movements like sitting and anything that involves a wider range of motion are called gross motor skills.
Toys can help your kid develop and improve both. Here are five of our favorite toys for helping your child improve his/her fine and gross motor skills and have fun in the process.
Scooter. Moving forward on a scooter requires large motions with your child’s legs. Steering with the handle grips can improve his/her fine motor skills as well. Scooters are a classic for a reason – they’re fun, easy to use, and can give your child a feeling of independence. Plus, you can set up this scooter with zero tools required. That’s a parenting win for sure.
Balance bike. Bikes not only improve your child’s gross motor skills by working the muscles in his/her legs, but they can improve posture, balance, and coordination as well.
Trike. Trikes provide the same benefits as bikes at an easier level for younger kids. This Top Trike Air Starlet can help your kid work on their motor skills at their own pace – and the parent lock on this trike ensures they won’t go off exploring without you!
Hop! Gymnic creates fun fitness tools for improving coordination in kids and adults alike, and Hop is no exception. This gadget, with a soft one piece looped handle for safety, helps your kid work on their balance, strength, and coordination – all while feeling like they’re just playing around.
Gym rings. These colorful toy rings are ideal for helping your kid with their fine motor skills. They can be used for a variety of activities in and outside the pool.
The types of toys your child plays with matter more than you might think. With a little strategic planning on your part, your kid can enjoy fun toys that also serve a purpose in their development, helping them grow up into strong, fit, and coordinated adults. They’ll thank you!
This entry was posted in Toys on March 08, 2016
If your child is eight to twelve months old, chances are you’re concerned with when they will start to walk. The first time your child walks is a momentous moment. Be sure to have your camera ready!
Did you know there are toys and activities you can do with your child (other than merely urging them to walk across the room rather than crawl) that can help smooth and speed up the transition from crawling to walking?
Improving your child’s balance and coordination is key to helping them learn how to walk. Here are a few toys you can incorporate into their play routine to help them reach this milestone with ease.
This high quality 6-in-1 trike lets your child face forward or backwards. Trikes help work your kid’s motor skills, strengthen their legs, and give them confidence.
Pedal cars make children feel self-sufficient, imitating their parents driving them to pre-school or a friend’s house. These toy cars are also great for giving your child the skills he/she needs to transition from crawling to standing up and walking.
The ideal toy for improving strength in the lower body, Rody Horse Max functions as a cozy animal friend as well as a fitness tool. Your boy or girl will build strength in their legs and improve their balance all while playing with their brightly colored horse pal.
The Uber-Zoomer allows your child to stand up and move forward with safety and support until they’re ready to venture out on their own. An extended front wheelbase stops the gadget from tipping over, and wide handgrips and footrest tabs ensure maximum safety and fun while your little one is giving walking a try.
My Activity Ride-On lets your child practice moving in a safe way, helps strengthen their lower body, and even improves their fine motor skills as an added benefit, with fun features to pull and press at the front of the machine.
It can be helpful to incorporate toys and movements that replicate walking into your child’s play routine, but remember not to rush the transition from crawling to walking. Enjoy each life stage as it comes, take lots of photos, and savor this special time you have with your little one – these are the days you’ll miss in a decade.