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Weekly tips and encouragement to help you handle stress, stay fit, and find joy in parenting

Power of Less

I recently began doing coaching for Precision Nutrition which means I left my job as Personal Training Program Manager for Heritage College and my job at Life Time Fitness coaching triathlon. I enjoyed both jobs and so it was a big decision to choose to focus on Precision Nutrition and of course, on Exercising Values and in so doing to choose to do less. When a really busy person slows down it's like the quiet center of a tornado. Part of me couldn't stop spinning. As I'm adjusting to this change, I find that it suits me. My sister says the only time she remembers me not being busy was when both of my arms were broken when I was seven. One turning point for me was a friend saying, "We can't do it all. Well, of course we can. But we can't...

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The Art of Taking Care of Yourself

The weather just turned cold in the midwest and I was driving my car early in the morning when I noticed my gloved hands on the steering wheel. I laughed. In that moment I saw myself on many a cold morning either rushing off to teach an early morning cycle class or bundling up little ones to get their sister or brother to an activity or practice. In those memories, my hands were cold. I didn't take the time, the thirty seconds or less, to put on gloves. I was just too busy to take care of myself in that small way.

How about you? Are you taking care of yourself today? Young moms are notorious for making everyone else the perfect lunch and then skipping the meal themselves or worse eating low quality food on the run. They will send the...

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"Don't Put that in your Mouth" and More Worthwhile Parental Advice

Can you recall the person who offered you valuable advice at a critical junction in your life? Do you remember foundational bits of wisdom that someone taught you at an early age that later  guided you through some difficult decisions? As parents, we have influence over our children and we must take that responsibility very seriously. In many ways your children will be the unique people they were designed to be but in many ways they will also reflect the life you have lived before them. That’s true whether they decide to reject your life choices or emulate them.

The good news about parenting is that you don’t need to be perfect. Your children can learn from your openness about mistakes you have made just as easily if not...

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The Power of Focus as You Start Your Day

Here's a little trick from the world of personal training that may make a difference in your achieving your weight loss and fitness goals. Choose to drink a glass of water and do just five exercises each morning as soon as you get out of bed. This act of commitment will remind you to focus on the goals you have for that day. There are hundreds of exercises in the Exercising Values program that you could use to put together five exercises. As an example, consider combining a one leg squat with a one leg dead lift.  Do just a few and then switch legs. Next hold a plank from straight arms and then from your forearms. Do just one perfect push-up. That's it.

Consistent practice will make you stronger and even this brief exercise will get...

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Parents of Young Children: the Key to your Child's Success

My youngest child was about five years old when my mother died. It comforts me to know that she knew him and his five older brothers and sisters even though just this past week, she missed the birth of a great grand daughter. She has also missed graduations, weddings and scores of games, meets and tournaments.

In spite of not being there for so many important moments, I like the fact that she knew my children.  The reason I feel like she knew my now nineteen year old son is because so much of what makes him him was evident at age five. I hope this gives every parent of young children reading this pause because what you do day to day has so much importance for the rest of your child’s life.

Certainly, they arrive with certain...

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Study Links Childhood Obesity and Sleep Deprivation

Last night, around midnight, it was snowing, an unusual site in Kansas City in April. I went outside to enjoy the site and invited everyone else in the household to join me. It was coming down as fast as rain and my two dogs raced around the back yard as I laughed at their antics. I know the lure of putting off sleep to enjoy time with friends and family or just a good book. I also know that while fine and enjoyable occasionally, doing so very often puts our health at risk.

A study published in Pediatric Obesity caught my eye recently. It reported on a study of 3,398 children and drew a connection between late night use of electronic devices and childhood obesity, shortened sleep duration, poorer quality of diet, and less physical...

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Active Parents Create Active Children

First and foremost in teaching physical education, we want our children to learn to love exercise. Once we have taught them a new skill, exercise or movement, it will take repeating it about 10,000 times before it becomes a habit that they can do with ease. So enjoy the moment and realize that progress will be made over time Keep it all positive. Remember, having fun is a very important part of helping your children choose a healthy lifestyle.

The federal government reviewed the exercise recommendations they had published in 2008 and in March, 2013 they released Physical Activities Guidelines for Americans Midcourse Report Strategies to Increase Physical Activity among Youth. One of their key findings is that active...

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5 Common Sense Tips to Avoid the Flu

It's cold and flu season. It's an important time to take steps to up your immunity. Here are a few ways to slow down and take care of yourself physically. Each of these ideas only take a few minutes but they will help you feel better all day long. It’s easier to be patient and parent well when you are feeling your best.

1. Drink plenty of water

General good health practices keeps your body ready to fend off cold germs and the flu virus and that includes drinking plenty of water. In fact, one study found that staying hydrated may boost a particular immune response to enable your body to better fight viruses.

2. Relaxing to reduce stress

Take a few moments to reduce the tension in your lower back by lying on the floor with...

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Moms, Media, Mayhem, and Future Reward

Today's parents are not the first to grapple with media use but they are the first ones to deal with the massive increase in media availability. It's not just a TV in one room in the house anymore. By age three, one third of children in the U.S. have a television in their room. Videos can be watched in the car, at the grocery store and just about any other time.

Parents are busy and looking for a peaceful few minutes to get something done. It's pretty easy to rely on a machine to entertain and sooth a restless child. To not go this route, you really have to be convinced that it can harm your child.

The American Pediatrics Association has looked at the research and offered their recommendations. From their site as recently as Nov. 30,...

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Parenting: The Great Uniter

Parenting is the great uniter. We share so many of the same hopes, dreams, frustrations and deep satisfactions. It amazes me to think how unifying the concerns of parenthood can be. Recently, I was watching  KCPT where Charlie Rose was doing a couple back to back interviews. The first was David Letterman and the second was the members of Led Zeppelin. In both cases, these famous people explained how parenthood was the most important and satisfying part of their life. In his autobiography, Rob Lowe talks about a conversation he had with President Clinton where they both essentially agreed that parenting exceeded every other accomplishment. Just about any parent you ask will say the same. Our children mean everything to us.

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