Resolution success: from a holistic point of view, one that understands your mind/body/spirit are interconnected and regulated by innate intelligence, you can pick any place to start changing your life for the better at any moment and that action will impact your whole being. You don’t have to wait for the new year or a milestone to start transforming your lifestyle with baby steps toward healthier living.
Here at 1st Step Family Wellness in St. Louis, Missouri, we are here to help you successfully accomplish your resolutions and healthy lifestyle goals from a holistic point of view one step at a time.
Your ultimate resolution or goal is probably improved wellness. Wellness is a true expression of health in every area of your life: mental, physical and emotional. Consider these five simple steps to wellness the first step toward a better, healthier you.
Water makes up about 60% of the human body.
We NEED water to function properly. I think that people undervalue the necessity of water for their bodies, because as Americans we take our constant access to clean water for granted, and most people don’t truly understand that their bodies rely on water to survive. If I were to ask someone if they wanted their body to be able to regulate their body temperature, digest food, and carry oxygen to their cells, I guarantee the answer would be yes! These are all important and necessary functions of the human body for survival.
Did you also know, that the human body can go weeks without food, but can’t go for more than three days without water? Crazy, right?!
That is how vital water is to our health and well-being, and to our resolution success.
In my practice in St. Louis, I often find that people do not drink enough water. When I tell them the amount that they should be drinking daily, I get a jaw dropping response from most people. It is actually really rare for me to find that someone consumes the recommended daily amount of water needed. The amount of water needed is a simple calculation. Drink half your bodyweight in ounces. As an example, a person that weighs 150 lbs should be drinking 75 ounces of pure water daily.
Signs that your body needs more water:
Many of our patients, that follow the above recommendations for water, come back into our St. Louis office, and report that they have more energy, less pain, better looking skin, and better digestion.
Baby steps. Track how much water you are drinking normally and slowing increase it daily. Get yourself a stainless steel or glass water bottle to make it easier to track your ounces.
It is not too late to join our January Water Challenge! Just follow us on our Facebook page for daily inspiration and accountability to increase your water intake!
Research has shown that eight hours of sleep is vital to your mental, physical and emotional wellness. This can be affected by not going to bed early enough, insomnia, or not getting restful sleep once you’re in bed. The first step to making a change in this area will be to determine which of these problems you face.
Going to bed earlier is just a matter of telling yourself that you’re going to make the change; if you’re staying up until 11 then start going to bed at 10:45, and a few weeks later go to bed at 10:30, and so on. Insomnia can have several possible causes such as drinking caffeine or eating too close to bedtime, as well as stress. If you do not sleep restfully consider your mattress, diet or physical activity.
One of the biggest enemies of our refreshing sleep is screen time–tv, computers and our phones. The average person spends 4 hours a day looking at a screen. In our busy lives with the demands of family and work it is easier to check-out to a screen, but screen time is actually stealing our valuable peace and our rest.
The problem with busy lifestyles is that we don’t allow ourselves any time to shut down or decompress, and watching television or playing on the computer doesn’t count. Down time is several minutes spent letting go of the stresses of the day, and the best time to implement this is right before bed.
Baby steps. Put the screens away and begin with just five minutes of being quiet before bed.
If you meditate or pray then do so, but even just sitting and trying to empty your mind of racing thoughts will help to calm you before bed. A quiet stroll up and down your street or standing in your backyard contemplating the stars can be equally peaceful. The goal is to let go of the stresses of the day and allow your mind and body to shut down and fully rest. Proper rest will help you ensure resolution success.
Anything sitting on those shelves in your pantry is most likely filled with chemicals and preservatives. They definitely are not serving your wellness goals. That goes for those “health foods” as well.
In his book, The Plant Paradox, Steven Gundry, M.D. discusses the hidden dangers of “healthy foods” that cause disease and weight gain. Clearly, sugar is a hidden danger and he addresses this in his book. Providing six alternatives to sugar, he suggests stevia extract, monk fruit, yacón syrup, chicory root, erythritol and fructo- oligosaccharides. For those struggling with their health, dietary options and overall eating related health issues, this book is highly recommended. Having adequate knowledge and planning is an integral part of resolution success.
Baby steps. Purge that pantry and start adding in more living, whole foods.
Seems logical, right? A living seed placed in the soil has all of the nutrients and life force to grow generations of plants for years to come. But take that same seed and slather it in pesticides and herbicides, jam some foreign animal DNA into its gene make-up, irradiate it, ship it an average of 1500 miles to the grocery store where it will sit on a shelf before being shoved in a nutrient killing microwave… well, you get the idea. Most of our food supply, while “edible” and filling to our stomachs, is dead on arrival.
What are living, whole foods? Food that is in its natural state, preferably organic, local, and seasonal. Most of these foods are found around the perimeter of your grocery store.
“Many people feel that if they can’t eat their favorite junk foods, they are being deprived. In reality, the sooner you switch your eating habits, the sooner you’ll enjoy increased energy, normalized weight, a better mood and improved health overall. Knowing this, many initially succeed at implementing an improved diet, but then fall back into old habits… and therefore, the ‘old’ body,” says Joseph Mercola, M.D. “To avoid this, I recommend you make the changes to your diet gradually, starting with making one meal a day raw, then increasing
Food is the body’s fuel.
The body can burn two types of fuel, carbohydrates or fat. Our ancestors used fat as a primary fuel source but today’s Western diet leans more heavily on carbohydrates (sugar). Because of this fact, fatigue may be related to post-meal hypoglycemia.
The obvious “cure” for post-meal fatigue is to train the body to burn fat instead of sugar, which should eliminate such drops in energy level.
Baby steps. Reduce the simple carbohydrates included in our meals and add more foods rich in proteins and vegetables.
Carbohydrates are often broken down into two categories–simple and complex carbs, or bad and good carbs. How our bodies digest the food carbohydrate is how it is categorized.
Simple carbs (often considered bad carbs) are digested faster and turned into sugar; which gives our body a quick burst of energy, but not sustainable energy. Simple Carbs include:
Complex carbohydrates take a longer time for the body to digest and use as fuel, however they are still sugar and should be eaten in moderation. Complex Carbs include:
Other benefits to reducing simple carbs include but are not limited to:
The Paleo Lifestyle or a Mediterranean Diet are eating plans that will be easy to follow with the least amount of sugar and simple carb consumption. Nutrition is vital to succeeding with your wellness New Year’s resolutions. There are websites that will help explain these healthier dietary choices and encouragement available through online forums. We love Danielle Walker’s Against All Grain cookbooks and website.
The tagline that describes society’s pandemic of inactivity was introduced in early 2013 when the Harvard Business Review published “Sitting is the Smoking of Our Generation,” by Nilofer Merchant.
The parallel between sitting and smoking isn’t metaphoric – it’s real. According to a November 2012 Lancet study, “On the basis of a meta-analysis of published studies, derive an estimate of 5.3 million deaths worldwide attributable to physical inactivity, and contrast this estimate with the 4.8 million deaths attributable to smoking in 2000.”
A sedentary lifestyle is one of the leading causes of preventable deaths worldwide. This is defined as a lack of regular, routine physical activity for a sustained minimum of 20 minutes more than 3 days a week. It’s not just being physically active that is required, but being in continuous physical activity for a minimum of 20 minutes.
Baby steps. Pick two days a week and walk out for ten minutes, then walk home.
If you miss one day then go the next day, but don’t give up on your resolution. After two weeks add a day and begin walking three times a week. Then on the sixth week walk out for fifteen minutes, then walk home (30 minutes total). The ultimate goal is to be walking 45 minutes at a time four or five days a week.
American lifestyle – of working at a desk all day – is mostly to blame for Americans finding themselves lethally sedentary. But so is the American past time of television watching. In 2012, an Australian study found that for each additional hour of television a person sat and watched per day, the risk of dying rose by 11 percent, according to The New York Times.
And it’s not just the adults. There is no bigger distraction for today’s youth than the screen–whether it is a video, TV, tablet, computer or cell phone it’s a challenge much larger than you or I faced in our youth. Screen time is not only stealing our peace and sleep, but it is stealing our physical endurance and quality time with our families.
Baby steps. Unplug! Choose one day a week where you and your family eliminate screen time and replace it with family time outside or during the winter months find an activity you can all enjoy together inside.
Here are a few ideas to get you moving more with your family:
So let’s recap. Baby steps to a better you wholisticaly in 2019, or any time of year:
The doctors and staff at 1st Step Family Wellness in St.Louis are here to support you–physically, emotionally and mentally–along your wellness journey. Feel free to reach out to us!
Happy New Year!
As Phillip Day of Food Matters once said, “What we need to be able to do is to persuade the public that you are what you eat, food can change your mood, and the choices you make directly affect the outcome of your life.”
In other words, you may not be able to control everything in your life, but you can control everything that you consume. Having a natural health mindset can ensure that you not only achieve physical wellness, but that you are also unconsciously happy and content with the life you lead.
While achieving a consistent, positive set of emotions may seem difficult to achieve to some, the reality is that once you understand why you are more prone to a negative mindset and how to avoid those reasons, the easier it will be to make better nutritional choices each day that will have a direct impact on your mood. (more…)
Do you think about your skin when choosing products from the store? Do you read the labels to see what added chemicals are getting up close and personal with your skin? Do you pay attention to how the products you choose are affecting your skin’s appearance and touch?
If your answer is “No” to these questions, it’s time you start getting to know your skin a bit better and treating it with more love. Why, you ask? Because your skin is more complex and important than you may think… (more…)
Ladies, we all have this one friend that we both love and hate. She’s always cranky, slow and almost unbearable at times, but you continue to make the best of all the pain she may cause from month to month with chocolate and ice cream, heartfelt romance movies while snuggled in odd positions on the couch, and long hot bubble baths. You know exactly which frenemy I’m talking about – the saboteur of your baby box – your Aunt Flow, queen of the crimson wave.
Well, despite the awkwardness you might be feeling right now, there is something you might not know. Something very important, that could change your whole relationship with your period. (more…)
Ah, spring is in the air! Well, maybe not this past week, but it has been and will be back shortly. It’s beautiful and refreshing. Birds are chirping in the morning, trees and flowers are budding and even blooming, but oye…those allergies. Since we had a mild winter we can anticipate spring allergies to be even worse. We’ve already heard people complaining of allergy symptoms, and if you’ve been into an M.D. lately they’ve probably advised you to “get ahead” of your symptoms with your handy Claritin and Mucinex. But should you?
You see, like many other facets to your health, allergies can invade your world due to more than one cause. The cause is what we should be interested in, not the symptoms. Sure we need to rid our body of the symptoms because they can make a beautiful day unproductive and miserable. Finding the source, or cause, of those symptoms and eliminating that is the long-term solution though; eliminating the source will eliminate the symptoms. (more…)
For most households, the turkey has been carved and served, and it’s time to plan for the next holiday. Be it planning for a party, searching for that perfect gift or prepping for the next family meal, the holidays tend to put pressure on a person. The stress we feel during this time of year can stem from a couple of different places. One example is when we try to meet or exceed our own or others’ expectations. Those expectations can be created from what we see on TV and social media, from warm memories of a previous holiday, or from our faith community. A poll by the American Psychological Association has shown that during the holiday season, 69% of people are stressed by lack of time and money. The other 51% are stressed from the pressure of giving and getting gifts. For a time that is supposed to be “Merry”, there is a lot of stress associated with it.
Stress symptoms may be affecting your health, even though you might not realize it. You may think illness is to blame for that nagging headache, or that neck and back pain you just can’t rid yourself of. But stress may actually be the culprit. Stress can negatively affect your spine, it causes the muscles in the back and neck to tense, which can cause the vertebrae in the spine to shift. This shift can potentially cause subluxation or nerve interference. The symptoms are those of common illnesses, such as a stuffed up or runny nose, or difficulties with digestion.
Stress symptoms can affect your body, your thoughts and feelings, and your behavior. Being able to recognize common stress symptoms can give you a jump on managing them. Stress that’s left unchecked can contribute to many health problems, such as high cortisol levels leading to weight gain, sleep interference, metabolic disorders, gastrointestinal distress, heart disease, and many more. With the average person having a modest amount of stress on any other day of the year, try not to add to it this holiday season.
Most people these days use Facebook, take advantage of the “Events” option on Facebook. You can easily create your holiday event and invite those who are on Facebook, this will limit the time needed to reach out to everyone individually. Using a Facebook Event, you will be able to see all who has accepted your invitation and not frantically scrounging around looking for the random names you have wrote down throughout the house trying to get an accurate head count.
Using your smartphone or other forms of technology, create a shopping list. 51% of people are stressed from giving and getting gifts, ease your stress by first creating your budget. Figure out what you can afford and what you want to spend this holiday season and stick with it. Then find an app that you like the best and create your shopping list. There are many apps out there such as: Santa’s Bag, Gift List, Gift Plan, and more found at iTunes. Available for Androids are Gift List Manager, Christmas Gift List, and more. Check out which one is best for you and start your holiday season off with as little stress as possible.
The shadow side of this period of light and hope, is darkness and despair. Many people fall into darkness at this time of year. Adam Anderson, Ph. D., associate professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, has hypothesized, the effect media has taken on those during the holiday season. With the joy and cheer flaunted throughout the commercials and shows, this can trigger those who are lonely throughout the season. A Canadian study of patients that had received emergency psychiatric care during the holidays, found that the most common stressor was the feeling of being alone or not having family. The feeling of melancholy during this time is not uncommon. Below are a few causes of holiday depression.
Family-Related Issues: Some people rarely see their families outside of the holidays, which may make this particular season a little more difficult to deal with than others. Spending time with parents, siblings and other relatives can cause tension in some families, and the anxiety of these get-togethers can also be a trigger for depression.
Loneliness: While some are experiencing family issues, other people have trouble during the holidays for the opposite reason. Not being able to spend time with loved ones due to financial constraints, distance, or other reasons can cause severe loneliness during the holidays. Also, those who have family members or friends who have passed away may miss them even more during special times like the holidays.
Unrealistic Expectations: Some people get overly excited about the holidays, but when the reality of the events set in, they may find themselves disappointed with the actual outcome. Whether it’s holiday parties not being as much fun as hoped for, loved ones not getting as excited about their gifts as you’d hoped or other bad experiences, the sadness of a holiday season sometimes doesn’t match up with an individual’s idea of what a picture-perfect holiday season should be like.
Think of a pressure cooker when thinking about stress. Your feelings are building up with the pressure of the holiday and you need to release steam before the whole thing blows up. The best step to de-stressing is to recognize when you need to take a breather and step away for a moment.
Posture. It’s something our mothers ragged on us about from the time we were small children. How many of your moms told you, “If you don’t stop slouching you’ll grow up to be a hunchback”? Being told continuously we need sit up straight, or to stop hunching our shoulders, seems to almost be a right of passage from childhood to adulthood.
So is there really something to this whole posture thing? Is it really that bad for you? Or is somewhat of an old wives’ tale?
Posture is defined as: the position of the body or the position of several parts of the body with respect to each other for a particular purpose. Posture is not, regardless of what we have been led to believe, simply a matter of sitting or standing up straight. Instead, it is the actual and proper alignment of the parts of the body in relation to the spine, and the proper use of the body at all times.
This age group starts to endure more injuries, even if minor, due to their activities. If your child is active in sports it is anticipated these injuries, or minor traumas to the spine will occur. Accidentally colliding into another soccer player while running full gusto is not only going to sting a bit, but it is also going to cause some misalignments without a doubt!
Although I mentioned above that slouching isn’t the main cause of poor posture, it certainly doesn’t help. This age group tends to have more than their fair share of screen time too. Inevitably, we naturally sit or lie in positions that aren’t conducive to posture. Children also tend to lie on their stomachs when using electronics as well; which can be bad for your spine.
To adjust to these habits, the body will typically begin to adapt to the improper alignment and cause postural deviations that you can see. These can include a tilting of the head, which may reflect a misalignment in the neck. A shoulder tilt might indicate a mid-back issue, and a tilted hip can mean a misalignment of the hip, sacrum or lower back. If a child’s foot is turned out or in, this can indicate a problem in the pelvic area.
The scary part of this, is that often times these misalignments that form, do not cause pain. Not that we want them to be in pain, but because there is no pain it typically leads to problems compounding before any detection without regular chiropractic care.
The same issues that occur with your older children also occur in this age group. Except now, they have been continuing with bad habits and injuries for a few years, and now the compounding effects can become visible to the eye. They may even cause pain at this point.
Often times, their backpacks have become the demise of their spine as well. Aside from the actual weight, they tend to wear their backpacks improperly; which only multiplies the harm being caused to their spines.
Be sure to listen to your pre-teens and teens closely about discomfort and know they could be developing a problem that will only become worse and cause more problems over time. Pain may appear in the form of headaches, shoulder tension, or menstruation issues in girls.
Don’t Forget About You!
You think childhood issues have ventured into real-time problems for your teen? Just think about the compounding effect on you since childhood! Chances are you do feel at least occasional discomfort and shrug it off. However, your future (senior) self will thank you in multitude for correcting any deviations now. You don’t want to be the next, “Help I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” commercial, do you?!
Surprisingly, if you’re looking for the right clues, it is fairly evident. Here’s two easy tests to check out your status:
Test One-Four Steps to Performing a Postural Exam
Step one – look at bottom of ears; if one is higher than the other, this is head tilt and a sign of a possible neck misalignment.
Step two – look at the shoulders; they should be level, if they are not, shoulder tilt is a sign of a possible mid-back issue.
Step three – place your hands on the wing bones or scapula; if one is moved toward you more than the other, this could be the sign of mid back issue.
Step four – place your hands on your child’s hips; if one hand is higher than the other, this is hip tilt and can be an indicator of a misalignment of the hip, sacrum or lower back.
Test Two-Side View Analysis
When looking at a side view there are two signs of possible postural deviations or spinal misalignments. The first sign is the earlobes; are they directly over the shoulder or slightly forward? The second sign of a potential problem are shoulders hunched or rolled forward. If you see either of these signs it is wise to contact your current chiropractor, or 1st Step Family Wellness for an appointment.
Concerns about your kiddos or teens? We specialize in pediatric chiropractic!
The fall hump. You know that time in between not reaching your summer weight loss goals, and still wanting to shed the pounds before your winter hibernation mode kicks in. You know what you need? No, the answer is not some “metabolism booster” from a big box supplement store. A detox. That’s what you need. It doesn’t have to be spring or summer to take control of your health. In fact, utilizing a detox that focuses on a lifestyle change, and not just a quick weight loss fix, is strongly recommended anytime of the year.
21 Day Detox
Today I want to share with you the success my wife (Dr. Jeanne) and I had with our 21 day detox. I want to enlighten you on how our bodies detox normally, and how they detox abnormally; most people’s bodies are detoxing abnormally. I’ll also cover why you should detox, the detox process, and a couple tips and tricks for doing a 21 Day Detox. You won’t believe what food can do for your body!
You definitely need to understand WHY you need to detox in the first place. So let me ask you a few questions:
Do you have trouble losing weight?
Do you get headaches?
How about digestive issues?
Do you eat fast food?
I could continue on to ask you more questions, but these are four quick ones that would lead you to answer yes to needing to detox. We need to detox in order to remove the toxins that end up stored in our bodies.
I often explain toxins in the body, by comparing it to being drunk. When we consume more alcohol than our bodies can process in that specific amount of time, alcohol goes into our bloodstream because it cannot be processed at that time. This is how that blood-alcohol level creeps up on you, making you unable to drive a vehicle!
You’re like a machine.
You could also compare it to your body being a piece of machinery. To keep a machine running smoothly, and efficiently, you need clean it, right? If you don’t goop gets caught up in it, it starts to slow down, be less efficient, and over time will start to break down on you and stop working altogether! So much like machinery, sometimes we need to clean ourselves out, and give ourselves a system restart. As toxins become too much for your body to process, they store themselves in fat and nervous system tissue.
Alright, so we covered the “why” you need to detox. Now let’s bring you back to your high school science class, and give you a little pop quiz (ok so not really a quiz because I’m going to give you the answers.)
Q: How does your body detox when it’s functioning normally?
A: Most toxins are eliminated through fecal matter. Gut flora, the good bacteria in your intestines, helps break down toxins for elimination. It’s commonly thought that the liver does most of this work. The liver is important, but is actually the secondary system for removing toxins. The liver helps with overflow of toxins. The liver actually utilizes antioxidant materials to change toxins to water-soluble substances. From there the toxins are transferred in their new form to the kidneys, where they are excreted through urination (now you know why the bathroom stall becomes your new best friend at the bar!).
Q:How does your body detox when it’s functionally abnormally?
A: Well, the short answer is it doesn’t. I mean it puts up a real good fight, and absolutely is smart enough to take measures to protect your health.
With abnormal detoxing our bodies develop “leaky gut”. This is when the lining of the small intestines become permeable (develops small gaps), where toxins can leak out into the bloodstream.
So what happens then…
Then because there are already too many toxins in the body, the liver doesn’t pick them up for processing. So where do they go? At first, they sit in your bloodstream; which obviously isn’t healthy and cannot be a long term solution. No worries though, your body is highly intelligent, and proceeds to move them for storage in your fat and nervous system tissue.
This may sound like your body has it all figured out, and you can keep piling the junk food in, but not so fast. You know those headaches, and inability to lose weight, and digestive issues? Well, you can thank your abnormal detox process for that.
This means it’s a good possibility the reason why you just spent three days a week at the gym for the last month, and only lost a single pound, is due to the fact that there are toxins stored in your fat. Once there are toxins stored in the fat, the body tends to want to hold on to the fat as means of protecting your body from the toxins. This is why you need to detox. I would recommend a cleanse that is a whole body cleanse, and not just liver cleanse. I recommend this because of what I explained above. While our liver is an instrumental component to our detox, it is NOT the primary. So you need a whole body cleanse.
The “1st Step”
Cut out all the crap food! No sugars, no artificial sweeteners, no junk food, and yes, sorry to say you will have ditch the pumpkin spice lattes for now too!
Tips & Tricks
#1 Be prepared-You’re going to need to go all Boy Scout on this. Always be prepared. How are you always prepared when on a detox? You plan ahead. We make all sorts of plans in life: business plans, weekend plans, financial plans, but seem to leave out food plans. You need to strategize your plan of attack (with food).
#2 Meal/snack prep- Yup. More preparation. You may feel like you’ve earned some sort of scout badge by the time your done, but you’ll be happy you did it, and the results will mirror your hard work.
So here’s what we did for our cleanse…
Days 1-7: Ate fruits, veggies, fish, and plant-based protein shakes (avoid whey).
Days 8-10: Removed fruit for 3 days.
Day 11: Added in organic chicken and eggs.
Days 15-21: Added nuts, seeds, and grass fed beef back into diet.
*We consumed at least 80 ounces of purified water each day.
*We also used a few support products (if interested, these can be purchased through our office):
1-Digestive Enzyme (Loomis)
3-Essential Fatty Acids (Biotics)
4-Detox Powder (Metagenics)
5-Detox Capsule (Metagenics)
If you have more questions please feel free to reach out to us!
Participation in sports offers tremendous social, emotional, and physical benefits for children. We know that one of the worst things for kids is being on the sidelines with an injury. As parents and coaches, there are simple things we can do to help reduce preventable injuries – so our kids can continue playing the games they love.
While there are amazing benefits to having children participate in sports, it is definitely critical to prepare children properly. The risk of injury can be greatly reduced, by educating ourselves and our children how to treat their bodies when playing sports, and what we need to be on the look for as parents and coaches.
Prior to your kiddos hitting the field, be sure to bring them into their physician for a sports physical. Doing this can help detect any concerns that may cause more serious conditions if proper precautions aren’t taken.
If there are any health conditions that a coach needs to be aware of, such as asthma, be sure the coach is made aware before the first practice or game.
Whether there are health concerns or not, it is a good practice to give the coach your emergency contact information in case any other sports related injuries occur.
This is something many players and coaches skip. Before exerting their bodies, children should do a light warm up, and then stretch out. Doing this can prevent serious injuries due to muscle tension.
It is advisable for coaches to oversee this, and can help to have a set warm up and dynamic stretching routine. This way children develop a habit of warm ups and stretching, and know that it is an essential activity before participating in sports!
While it is important to always stay hydrated, particularly in the Summer months, it is especially important when participating in sports and recreational activities.
Encourage kids to drink water to rehydrate 30 minutes before playing sports. Not only can your body become more easily exhausted if you’re not hydrated, but it increases the chances of muscle injuries.
During games and practices, coaches should incorporate water breaks in order for children to stay hydrated and reduce the risk of sport injuries. Whether it is practices or games, players should be rehydrating every 20 minutes during physical exercise. Be sure they are taking more than just a sip or two. To properly rehydrate an 88 pound child should be drinking 5 ounces every 20 minutes, and an older child around 135 pounds, should be drinking 9 ounces every 20 minutes.
If kids are unsure if they have been drinking enough water, you can teach them that their urine should be either clear, or only slightly yellow (like lemonade).
If at any point a player feels light-headed, dizzy, or nauseous in the heat, they should be moved to a shaded area. Then make sure any unnecessary equipment is removed, and give them cold water. If symptoms do not dissipate, seek medical attention.
Instilling a strong communication triangle between player, parent, and coach is vital to helping maintain a player’s health. It will also help in preventing both mild and serious injuries alike.
Sometimes, in fear of not being able to continue to play in a game, kids will not communicate to parents or coaches if they are not feeling well. This is also true when they believe they may have injured themselves. Make sure to have a conversation with your children with the importance of speaking up when they are not feeling well.
Making sure your child wears proper safety equipment can prevent serious injuries. Just wearing equipment isn’t enough. You need to make sure things such as helmets are also fitted correctly. If you’re playing baseball and a helmet falls off while running it will not do much good in preventing an injury.
A common misunderstanding is that a child will be knocked unconscious if they have suffered a concussion. This is not always the case. It is fairly common for a child to “brush it off” and keep playing because they don’t realize the severity of their injuries.
Coaches and parents should participate in learning CPR and First AId so they can recognize these types of sports injuries. A child should not continue to play if it is believed they may have suffered from a concussion, and should seek medical attention. If it is unclear if the player has suffered a concussion, it is best to not put them back in the game until they are cleared by a medical professional.
A Little R&R Goes a Long Way!
As players get older, it can be hard to make sure they are getting the rest they need. Making sure all their muscles are developing evenly can become a concern as well; particularly if they are playing the same sport year-round.
Players should be getting at least one to two days of rest each week. This gives their bodies the required time to recover before exerting muscles again.
It is also a good idea to have kids participate in different sports during different seasons; rather than playing the same sport all year around. Not only does this ensure well-rounded muscle development, but it also make kids well-rounded athletes!
Of course, whether you are an athlete or not, we always recommend regular chiropractic care. However, it is especially important for our pint size (and larger) athletes to receive regular chiropractic care. A chiropractor can ensure any minor traumas to the spine and body are corrected before they become more serious problems or injuries down the line.
When temperatures rise we tend to want to spend as much time outdoors as possible. High heat indexes can become treacherous though. Particularly, if you live in a warm, humid climate, like St. Louis.
-Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink! If you feel thirsty you have started to become dehydrated.
-Be sure children hydrate prior to outdoor activities, and continue to rehydrate every 20 minutes. Don’t wait for them to ask for a drink.
-NEVER leave children or pets in closed, parked vehicles. It only takes a minute or two for temperatures inside vehicles to elevate to dangerous levels.
-When temps hit the high 90’s be sure to only be out for short amounts of time, before going into an air conditioned space to cool off. If your home isn’t air conditioned go to a public place that is air conditioned for a few hours. Even fans can’t prevent heat related illnesses.
-On high high heat days, try to schedule outdoor activities to morning and evening hours.
It’s super easy when you’re having fun in the sun to forget about protecting yourself from harmful rays. It only takes a small amount time to cause damage to your skin and eyes. This is important to remember, because approximately 3.3 million Americans are diagnosed with some form of skin cancer each year! So protect yourself!
-Be sure to apply sunscreen 30 minutes prior to exposure to the sun.
-Wear an SPF of at least 15
-Reapply sunscreen frequently! Every two hours is a good rule of thumb, but reapply more frequently if swimming, or sweating a lot.
-Remember that you can get a sunburn even if it’s cloudy outside.
Hikes and exploring are another fun filled way to spend your day! However, there are pesky critters, such as ticks, that you need to watch out for. Ticks are responsible for an array of diseases; the most commonly known being Lyme disease. Here are some things to do to avoid those pesky ticks.
-Wear protective clothing (i.e., long sleeves and pants when in wooded areas).
-When on hikes and walks stay on paths, and avoid going off the path into overgrown areas.
-Check for ticks on kiddos, and other family members daily.
One of the best parts of Summer are days at the pool, and weekends at the lake! Taking proper precautions will make it so that everyone can keep enjoying their weekend; without any unforeseen emergencies!
-Practice “touch supervision” (being within an arm’s length) with children who aren’t strong swimmers.
-Remember that given different circumstances, drowning can occur with adults and children alike.
-Get children into professional swimming lessons at a young age! Studies prove that children as young as one year of age are less likely to drown if they have taken swim lessons. Studies do not show evidence that it reduces drowning in infants under one. However, remember that nobody is drown-proof!
-Use life vests opposed to “swimmies”.Water wings provide a false sense of security, and can fall off children, leaving them susceptible to drowning.
Boating can be an awesome family activity in the Summer! Here are some things to consider prior to leaving the boat dock.
-Teach children the difference between swimming in a pool, and swimming in open water. Open water can have uneven surfaces, depth can vary greatly (making diving unsafe), and children need to be aware of possible currents, and undertows.
-Always have children wear a life jacket approved by the US Coast Guard when boating or participating in watersports.
-Check life jackets for proper fit. You can have children raise their arms straight up, into a touchdown position. If it hits their chin or ears, the jacket is either too big, or the straps need to be tightened.
-The US Coast Guard does not recommend to bring babies on boats. This includes kayaks, sailboats, motorboats, and canoes; until he weighs enough to properly fit into a life jacket. Car seats are a bad option for babies, in replacement of life jackets. Car seats are heavy, and will sink instantly if there is an accident.
Whether it’s a weekend at the lake, or the 4th of July, fireworks are an awesome way to end a hot Summer day. Fireworks can go from fun to disaster quickly though. Here a few things to remember.
-Attend firework displays that are being done professionally. It is not recommended to set off large fireworks on your own.
-Supervise children at all times. Even sparklers, which most people consider harmless, can reach up to 1,000 degrees fahrenheit!
-Fireworks can cause severe burns, blindness, and sometimes death.
First Aid Kits
Be sure to have a first aid kit handy, both at home, and in your car. Hopefully, you don’t have to use it, but better to be prepared! Cuts and scrapes are inevitable with little ones running around in the Summer.
The most important thing to remember
The most important thing to remember this Summer is to spend lots of quality time with your family! Enjoy the outdoors. Go swimming, go boating, take hikes, play outside; whatever it is you like to do, do it. It’s easy to get tied up in the day to day activities, and then before you know it, Summer is over. Of course, you should also make it a point to stop in for an adjustment after all that physical activity as well!