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Supporting Local School Activities: How to Find Out What’s Going On

on Tuesday, 04 August 2020. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

To say it’s been a school year unlike any other would be a massive understatement. Of course, it’s been challenging for you, but it’s been equally challenging for your kids. To get them back into some semblance of a routine, you may be looking for some of the usual school activities they used to engage in— band, football practice, what have you. 

To get back to normal, you first need to know what’s going on. Information is your best friend. The first and best way is to go online. Check your school’s website for updates so you can get a sense of what’s been canceled, what’s still on schedule and what’s still up in the air. Don’t just stop there, however. Check the websites of other schools in your district. Events may have been moved or rescheduled. 

Your child’s teachers are another great resource. You probably already have a good idea of which teachers handles what activities. You know who the art director is, the head of the school drama department or the football coach. If you can’t find satisfactory information on the school’s website, don’t hesitate to reach out to these teachers. If anyone will know, it’s them. 

The coronavirus pandemic has caused a lot of changes, so don’t just stop with the usual education suspects. Reach out to your county’s parks and rec. department as well. Maybe your school isn’t hosting band camp this year, but instead has ‘farmed’ it out to the county to administer. You won’t know unless you ask. 

Finally, check with other parents. If they don’t know, maybe they can at least point you in the right direction. Even though it may feel like the world has turned upside down, there are plenty of activities going on. You may have to do a little digging to find your new normal, but it’s out there if you look.

Summer Gardening

on Tuesday, 28 July 2020. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

The grass is green, the sun is shining, and you want to get outside. After all, you’ve been told for years that sunshine is good for you. You want to eat healthy too, since you’ve been told that’s good for you as well. The great news is that there’s a way to combine both of these passions into one activity. That’s right… gardening! 

If you haven’t done a lot of gardening before, your first thoughts may be that you have a proverbial ‘brown thumb’ and that you don’t have the space. Not to worry. One of the beauties of gardening is that it’s easier than a lot of people think and with a little creative thinking it can be perfectly scaled to the amount of space you have. To help you think about what you’ll need to start your own garden, here is a helpful guide

Space is another big consideration. It’s great if you have some space in your backyard that you’re not using, but what if you live in an apartment or condo? Not a problem. Take advantage of a deck or patio or a sunny nook by the window. In some neighborhoods even a rooftop will work nicely. Here are some surprisingly cheap ideas to get you started. 

Some vegetables and fruits are easier to grow than others, of course. You may not win a blue ribbon at the county fair your first time out, but you’ll be outside getting some sunshine and exercise. Looking at it from that perspective, you really can’t lose. 

Stay Smart, Stay Safe When Traveling

on Tuesday, 21 July 2020. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

If you’ve been following the news on the coronavirus, you’re probably aware that many parts of the country are in the process of opening back up. Americans are doing their best to get life back to normal. Unfortunately, it doesn’t mean the new virus has been successfully beaten back. If you’ve decided to dust off your travel plans, then there are still some important guidelines to follow.

The first one is to bring a mask with you. You never know when you might need it. While many establishments are open now, some of them may still require a mask if you want to enter. A mask helps protect you and others.

The next thing you’ll want to have handy is a set of wipes. You don’t need to lug around a big tub of them, but a travel-sized pack that can easily fit into a purse or backpack may prove invaluable. The reasoning is simple. If you sit in a chair or booth or table, you have no idea who was there before you and you can’t always count on the owners of whatever place you’re in to have had the chance to properly sterilize all the surfaces. Better safe than sorry. 

You also need to do some research ahead of time. Check out the places you’d like to visit and see whether they’re operating and if so, what restrictions they might be operating under. Don’t assume that just because restrictions in your area have been lifted that there won’t be limitations in other parts of the country. It’s also a good idea to plan alternatives in case a particular venue isn’t yet open to the public. 

With the country opening back up, you still have the chance to travel and do and see some amazing things this summer if you choose. Just travel smart and travel safe to make your trip the best it can possibly be.

Enjoy the Season with Summer Fruits and Vegetables

on Tuesday, 14 July 2020. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

Fruits and vegetables are good for you. Among many other benefits, a diet of fruits and vegetables can lower your blood pressure, reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke, and lower your risk of eye and digestive problems. If that weren’t enough, it can even help prevent some types of cancers and keep your appetite in check by positively affecting your blood sugar. 

One of the great things about summer is that you don’t have to settle for shriveled fruits and vegetables on a shelf in some musty grocery store. No, save that for winter. Summer is a great time to take advantage of farmer’s markets, roadside stands and pick-your-own gardens and orchards. Why settle for produce that may have been transported halfway around the world when you can enjoy fresh quality right in your own neighborhood? 

You may have to do some digging to find the best markets and the best deals, especially if you live in the city, but that’s okay. It provides a great reason to get out and about. Explore your neighborhood and see what it has to offer. Take a road trip and get out to the country. You have strawberries and blackberries in May and June, cherries in July and apples in September. If that weren’t enough, you’re helping out local farmers and orchardists, rather than some nameless agribusiness you’ve barely heard of. 

Like anything else, shopping at farmer’s markets takes a little getting used to. Here are some handy tips to make the most of your trip to the market. These markets are a great way to add some quality fresh produce to your diet and maybe see the sights along the way. They’re a great addition to your summer. 

Are You Getting Enough Vitamin D?

on Tuesday, 07 July 2020. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

Vitamin D is somewhat of an oddball in the vitamin family. Thanks to the countless milk commercials many of us have grown up with, we’ve long known that it’s great for overall bone health and can help prevent osteoporosis. However, Vitamin D can also help reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease and autoimmune diseases. What makes D such an oddball is that unlike many other necessary vitamins, it’s a little hard to come by naturally. Most foods don’t have it, and while it’s produced in our bodies with the help of the sun, you can’t always count on a sunny day. That’s why an estimated 40 to 75 percent of people are vitamin D deficient. The question is what to do about it. 

The first and most obvious way is to get outside more. Yes, all that summer activity is not only fun, it’s a great way to get in some quality Vitamin D. Just be careful not to overdo it. Use proper care and make sure to protect your skin. 

You can also eat more fish. Fatty fish such as tuna, mackerel, shrimp and oysters are great sources of Vitamin D, so yes, tuna steaks on the barbeque on the beach (or even your backyard) is a perfect way to put some ‘D’ into your summer. 

If you’re a vegetarian, you’re still in luck. While there aren’t any vegetables that are a natural source of Vitamin D, your garden variety mushroom is. Some, such as wild maitake mushrooms, are better than others. 

The bottom line is that Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that many people around the world don’t get enough of. You can get it eating foods rich in vitamin D like fatty fish and mushrooms or you can get out and enjoy some fun in the sun. Either way, make Vitamin D a part of your summer. 

Celebrating the 4th of July in 2020

on Tuesday, 30 June 2020. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

Well, it isn’t the 4th of July that we all imagined just a year ago. While some states have begun to reopen, many others still have restrictions in place, especially ones involving large gatherings. The moral of the story is that the 4th of July may look a little different this year. If you live in one of the states that’s permitting large crowds, then by all means go out and enjoy. Even so, please practice good habits and stay safe.

For everyone else, a little creativity might be required to make the most of the holiday.

You don’t have to stay indoors. Camp out under the stars. Have a day of fun and games. Sometimes the best games are the ones you make up yourself. Rather than being upset because things are a little different, use the opportunity to see how innovative you can be. Remember fun is where you make it. 

Make it a volunteer day. It’s been a tough time for many people in the community, so why not take the time to do something for others. Knit a blanket, put together care packages for the less fortunate, reach out to your local charities to find out what they need. Find something that’s meaningful and make it a memorable holiday because you did something for others. 

Of course, it wouldn’t be Independence Day without a great barbeque. If you’re unable to go out, that just means you have more money for quality eats. Wondering what to make? Well here are some ideas from Country Living and Good Housekeeping that should satisfy any palette. 

Yes, Independence Day might be different this year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate. Be creative, be resourceful and above all stay safe and healthy.

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