Autism and Martial Arts

Martial Arts Proven Beneficial for Individuals with Autism.

I came across this article and wanted to share it with you.   April is Autism Awareness month.

A recent and growing trend that has provided many benefits for children on the autism spectrum involves their engagement in karate and other martial arts.

A 2010 research project conducted by the University of Wisconsin physical therapy department confirmed what parents were already reporting – in the course of learning martial arts, children with autism essentially came out of their shells and grew more socially assertive and cooperative. They exhibited better balance and motor coordination, eye contact improved and play skills were further developed. Greater self-esteem was also reported, with the added bonus of these kids being able to defend themselves, if need be.

Karate and martial arts assist kids on the autism spectrum with the ability to concentrate and focus their attention in a consistent and highly structured environment. Additionally, parents find that new skills carry over into home and at school. The release of energy in a safe and ritualized environment can bring a child to a new sense of calm. Friendships are formed around a shared activity and that sense of belonging can be the greatest reward of all.

If contemplating martial arts for your child, it’s always good to consult with his or her doctor prior to beginning any physical training. Observe the class before committing your child to it. It should be small and solely for children with autism, at least initially. Higher functioning children may be able to integrate into regular classes immediately. Confer with the instructor about your child’s needs and make sure you feel you can successfully partner with them.

Once your child is underway, have them practice at home in a no pressure environment and offer encouragement and reinforcement for the moves they have already learned. A demonstration for siblings or other relatives will also go a long way in building confidence and self-esteem.

Martial arts offers therapeutic rewards and parents will enjoy the fact that their child can participate in activities that other kids take for granted. And with summer fast approaching, it just may be the perfect activity to consider.

 

Self Defense Tips For Woman

Self Defense begins with Awareness
author – The Well Armed Woman

There are some basic defensive tips every women should know and make part of their daily lives.

BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS

Self defense begins before you even know you need it. Always and in all situations, from going to the grocery store to finding your car in a dark parking lot – scan and be aware of what and who is around you and know where you are. Observe and think “what if?”.

What if someone jumped out at you from behind that car? What would you do?
Part of what makes a women vulnerable to attack is the appearance of not paying attention, or appearing uncomfortable. Projecting a confident attentive presence can be a powerful deterrent. We are creatures of habit. It is far too easy to be lax in familiar surroundings and we lose the edge of really checking our surroundings and looking for anything unusual – especially in and around our own neighborhoods, homes, workplaces and cars. Many women are stalked and their habits watched over a period of time to take advantage of when their guard is likely down.

LISTEN TO YOUR GUT

We as women, have powerful instincts – trust them and use them to your advantage. If something or someone does not “feel” safe – you are probably right and should take steps to avoid them. Do not concern yourself with what other’s will think that it is a silly, paranoid thought. Listen to your gut and act accordingly.

DON’T DAWDLE

Have your keys out and ready before starting for the parking lot or your front door. Don’t wait until you get in your car to begin the typically long search for your keys in your purse. Don’t organize your purchases or review your receipts in the car or do anything that keeps you from locking the doors, starting the engine and leaving immediately. Review your receipts before leaving the store and place your bags in the car quickly. Lock your doors and make sure your car windows are up immediately upon entering the car. Once you enter your home, shut the door and lock it immediately, even if it means making multiple trips to the car to unload your purchases. Take the time to lock the doors each trip. Know where you are going and be ready with keys or whatever you may need before you get there.

BE PREPARED FOR FLIGHT OR FIGHT

Being in the mindset that you will fight to protect yourself and knowing how you will do that ahead of time not only gives you greater confidence but increases your chance of successfully defending yourself. Escape is always the best option. Being aware and thinking defensively will help you to see “the possibilities” of flight or fight before anything happens. I would suggest that if you choose to carry a firearm, that you take an armed personal defense course and if you do not carry a firearm, a basic self defense course is highly recommended. These self-defense programs should include simulated assaults with a fully padded instructor in realistic rape and attack scenarios, to allow you to practice what you’ve learned.

STRANGER DANGER

Just as we teach our children to stay away from strangers, we need to practice what we teach. Keep your distance when walking past strangers and be observant and mentally prepared. If a car pulls up and needs assistance, keep a very safe distance if you choose to offer help – or simply keep moving. With the internet becoming one of the most common ways we meet new people, extreme caution should be used when giving out any personal information or addresses. Everyone and anyone can look and seem “safe” online. Trust no one.

PROTECTING YOURSELF AT HOME

Home invasion crimes are on the rise. The best way to prevent a home invasion is to always keep your doors and windows locked with effective locks and to simply never, ever open your door unless you either are certain you know who’s on the other side or you can verify that they have a legitimate reason for being there. Many criminals will dress up as a repair man or even a police officer. You can call the company or the police station to verify before opening your door. In the event that an intruder breaks in while you’re home, you should have a safe room in your house to which you can retreat. Such a room should be equipped with a strong door, deadbolt lock, phone (preferably cell phone), and a can of pepper spray, fire extinguisher or safely stored firearm.

WHY I NEVER LET MY KIDS QUIT…ANYTHING

WHY I NEVER LET MY KIDS QUIT…ANYTHING

I quitFrom Grown and Flown – parenting never ends.

Quitting. We quit jobs, we quit marriages, we walk out on friendships and sometimes we let people down when the going gets tough. Sometimes it is necessary, even the right thing to do. Our kids quit teams and music lessons, art classes and after school programs.

Sometimes it’s necessary, but sometimes they are bored or don’t like the coach or would just rather play video games at home. Deciding when to let your kids quit something, be it Gymboree, Little League or SAT prep, is a question that never goes away.

My kids have tried it all. I have driven them to sports, found drum teachers, glassblowing lessons, painting and ceramics classes. They have tried their hands at their school newspapers, student government, ESL tutoring and computer programming camp, though why that qualifies as camp, I am sure that I will never know. In the end, they did not commit to most of these activities, but at the same time, I never let them quit a single activity.

Our rule is simple: Try any activity that we have the resources to make possible. Go once, go even twice but if you commit, I told my kids, there will be no quitting. At the risk of overgeneralizing, I think our children have so many choices of ways to enrich their lives that sometimes kids quit an activity as an easy response to frustration or boredom.

I regret many of the things in life that I quit, not because I was enjoying them when I left, but because if I had stuck it out and reached any sort of competency, I might have found that elusive enjoyment. In reality, this meant that my kids had to stick with the team until the season ended or an art class until the sessions ended. There was no walking out on computer camp because it was dumb or quitting drums because we recognized a dearth of musical talent. Every activity was to be seen through to completion.

Why was I so tough on them? Why draw what might seem like an arbitrary line in the sand?

Constancy, commitment and loyalty are all values I hoped to instill in my sons. Learning to endure something even when it became boring or unpleasant, when the coach or teacher didn’t like my kid, or vice versa, seemed a lesson truly worth teaching. I thought that the first time I let them walk away from something just because at that moment it didn’t suit them was the last time I had any credibility about endurance or resilience because the refrain henceforth would have been, “but you let me quit….”

Over time, my kids learned they were never going to be allowed to quit things so they should be careful about what they committed themselves to, because the word commit was going to be taken literally. The result? Good things and bad. Perhaps they didn’t try things they might have, although we usually made clear upfront that you could try something (say by going once or twice) but after they signed up we were done with discussions.

But we had bad days, really frustrating end-of-my-rope days. There were tantrums and miserable practices and screaming scenes where I reminded them that this was something they had said they wanted to do. The upside? They had long, enduring relationships with instructors, coaches and teammates who changed and enriched their lives. One high school son has been on the same soccer team for nine years. It is the stuff that childhood memories are made of.

I sound so confident now, but on a weekly and sometimes daily basis I was wracked by self-doubt and misgivings and even now am not sure if what I did was right. The one thing that I have observed is this: My college-age sons have true passions, things they study in school and activities they are involved in outside of the classroom.

Passions are not like dreams for most of us, we don’t wake up one morning and find they have miraculously come to us in the night. Parents often talk about helping kids find their passions. But passions do not always reveal themselves unbidden, as often they are a result of hard work and dedication, the joy that comes of doing something well.

My kids’ passions are the result of endless hours spent learning a subject or mastering a skill. In each case, it is something that in childhood they begged and pleaded with me to quit and in late adolescence they have told me how much they enjoy. I made them stick things out because mastery, even at a child’s level takes time and repetition.
Competence breeds confidence but success and accomplishment breed self-esteem and social well-being. One of my college kids, by his choice, still plays on a soccer team. Yet in a particular parenting low point, I pushed his 12-year-old self out of the car to make him play when the practices had ramped up and become far more difficult.

Martial Arts helps kids learn to stick with things and have fun along the way. Through a series of goal setting and learning new skills kids are constantly motivated, inspired and gain competence. I have personally trained 100 or more black belts kids. They all have gained skills like self esteem, confidence, courage, tenacity and perseverance says 10th degree black belt Greg Silva. Parents tell me “Of course the kids have highs and lows in training. Many have wanted to quit along the way. But that’s okay. It’s okay to want to quit. The real important things is to team up with the parents, child and instructor to make sure the child doesn’t quit when that feeling come along.

Why Self-Esteem Matters

martial arts and self esteemWhy Self-Esteem Matters

According to KidsHealth.org when children feel good about themselves, it sets them up for success — in everything from school to friendships. Positive feelings like self-acceptance or self-confidence help kids try new challenges, cope with mistakes, and try again. Taking pride in their abilities and accomplishments helps kids do their best.

By contrast, kids with low self-esteem might feel unsure of themselves. If they think others won’t accept them, they may not participate as often. They may allow themselves to be treated poorly and have a hard time standing up for themselves. Kids who don’t expect to do well may avoid challenges, give up easily, or be unable to bounce back from mistakes.

Having low self-esteem can block success. It can leave kids distracted by the stress of how to deal with everyday challenges.

 

How Self-Esteem Develops

 

Contrary to what some might think, self-esteem does not come telling kids they’re wonderful, special, and great (even though they are!). Giving every child a trophy doesn’t help kids’ self-esteem. Indeed, it’s possible for kids to feel good about themselves even when they fail.

When children compete — win or lose — they see that their own hard work and practice can make a difference. Earning a prize contributes to self-esteem only when a kid knows he or she earned it.

Self-esteem is the result of experiences that help a child feel capable, effective, and accepted.

How Martial Arts Training Can Help

When kids learn to do things for themselves and feel proud of what they can do, they feel capable.  Martial Arts is fun to learn and performing moves with a class build competence and then confidence.

Children feel effective when they see that good things come from efforts like trying hard, getting close to a goal, or making progress. Earning belts in martial arts is all about goal setting and teaches kids that hard work and effort pays off.

When kids feel accepted and understood by a parent or someone close, they are likely to accept themselves, too. Their good feelings about themselves multiply as their sensei or teacher praise good behaviors, help when needed, and give encouragement and support.  Students in martial arts support and encourage each other. Events like graduations,  social events and being part of a team of other positive kids is all part of Martial Arts.

When Do Most People Want to Start an Exercise Program?

time for fitness and martial arts
What time of day do most people want to exercise?
 
If you answered Tomorrow and Later you are probably right.

All kidding aside NOW is a best time to start.

 

Design your fitness program –

It’s easy to say that you’ll exercise every day. But you’ll need a plan. As you design your fitness program, keep these points in mind:

1. Consider your fitness goals. Are you starting a fitness program to help lose weight? Or do you have another motivation, such as preparing for a class reunion?  Having clear goals can help you gauge your progress and stay motivated.  Remember you can’t just tone a single part of your body so think of a program that improves cardio, flexibility and strength.

2. Create a balanced routine. The Department of Health and Human Services recommends getting at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week, or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity. For example, try to get about 30 minutes of aerobic exercise on most days of the week.  You may also want to train with a purpose.  In other words get your exercise but develop a skill also.  Running a race, learn self defense or kick boxing.

3. Start low and progress slowly.  According to the Mayo Clinic If you’re just beginning to exercise, start cautiously and progress slowly. If you have an injury or a medical condition, consult your doctor or an exercise therapist for help designing a fitness program that gradually improves your range of motion, strength and endurance. A trained fitness coach, martial arts instructor or personal training will “scale” your exercises at first to reduce the chance of over doing it.

4. Get out of your house and be accountable. Finding time to exercise can be a challenge. To make it easier, schedule time to exercise as you would any other appointment. I am not a fan of reading or watching a screen while exercising.   This should be “YOU” time when you are lost in the fun of training and improving your health.  You want a positive, motivating environment and you want to be around people that will inspire you.

5. Plan to include different activities. Different activities (cross-training) can keep exercise boredom at bay. Cross-training using low-impact forms of activity, such as biking or walking combined with  kickboxing, martial arts, tennis lessons or inline skating, also reduces your chances of injuring or overusing one specific muscle or joint.

6. Allow time for recovery. Many people start exercising with frenzied zeal — working out too long or too intensely — and give up when their muscles and joints become sore or injured. Plan time between sessions for your body to rest and recover.

7. Put it on paper. A written plan may encourage you to stay on track.

Goals and Getting Them

martial arts getting into shapeHere’s how goals are met

Do you have unmet goals?

You aren’t alone. In fact, most of us live with unfulfilled aspirations, which is why the self-help industry is booming.

Unfortunately, many widely used self-help techniques fail to deliver results.

Case in point: You’ve probably heard of the “Yale Goal Study” where researchers were said to have interviewed the graduating Yale seniors in 1953, asking whether or not the students had written down specific goals that they wanted to achieve. Then twenty years down the road the researchers looked up each student and discovered that the 3% of the class who had written down their goals had accumulated more personal wealth than the other 97% combined.

Very compelling story, but complete fiction.

The “Yale Goal Study” never happened, though motivational speakers and self-help books have quoted it for years.

Best selling author and psychologist Richard Wiseman went on a mission to craft a no-nonsense response to the bogus self-help techniques. Using a diverse range of scientific data he uncovered a proven approach to achieve any goal.

The following 5 successful techniques (Do This) and 5 unsuccessful techniques (Not That) are from Wiseman’s book, 59 Seconds Change Your Life in Under a Minute.

Do This: Make a Step-by-Step Plan.

If you are serious about achieving your goal, then you need to create a step-by-step plan on how to do it.

Successful goal-achievers break down their overall goal into sub-goals. Each sub-goal needs to be concrete, measurable and time-based.

Not That: Motivate yourself by focusing on someone that you admire.

Studies show that focusing on someone you admire is not a strong enough motivator to see you through your goal.

Do This: Tell Other People About Your Goal.

How badly do you want to achieve your goal? If you want it bad enough, you’ll tell your friends and family.

This technique works on two levels. First, you’ve put yourself on the spot by letting the world in on your goal, so it’s all-eyes-on-you. Failure would be public. Second, your friends and family are there to offer support and encouragement. Don’t underestimate the psychological power of having someone in your corner.

Not That: Think about the bad things.

When you focus on the negative it becomes your reality.

Do This: Focus on the Good Things When Achieving Your Goal.

Remind yourself of the benefits associated with achieving your goal.

Make a checklist of how life will be better once you have achieved your aim. This gets your focus on a positive future, one that’s worth the effort.

Not That: Try to suppress unhelpful thoughts.

Rather than trying to erase that image of chocolate cake from your mind, learn to deal with the reality of temptation head-on.

Do This: Reward Your Progress.

Studies show that attaching rewards to each of your sub-goals encourages success.

Your rewards should never conflict with your major goal. When aiming to lose weight, never use food as a reward.

Not That: Rely on willpower.

Willpower alone rarely gets anyone to their goal.

Do This: Record Your Progress.

Make your plans, progress, benefits and rewards concrete by expressing them in writing.

Use a hand-written journal, your computer or a bulletin board to chart your progress. This process is priceless for maintaining motivation.

Not That: Fantasize about life after achieving your goal.

Daydreaming is fun, but simply fantasizing about your new life will not make it a reality.

Are you ready to achieve your fitness and weight loss goal once and for all? Call or email me now to get started on the process that will put an end to your yo-yo dieting and your fat jeans.

Now is your time to get into the best shape of your life.

Do You Procrastinate?

procrastinatingThe first two minutes!

Are you a chronic procrastinator? Do you put off training or working out?

Research shows that by spending ‘just a few minutes’ doing the dreaded task you’ll feel an urge to see it through completion.

These initial few minutes of activity create an open loop that refuses to close until the job is done.

Instead of looking at everything you are going to do while training just focus on the first two or three minutes.  Don’t let your mind get too far ahead of what you are doing at this moment.  Once you start you will halfway to your goal.  It really is that easy.

5 Reasons You Don’t Lose Weight

You want to be fit. You know how much you should weigh. You know your ideal pant size. You can even picture how great those skinny jeans will look.

So why aren’t you living life in your ideal body?

5 reason you don't lose weightThere are many complex reasons that make weight loss a challenge, reasons that go deeper than simply calories-in versus calories-out.

I’m talking about the life issues that get in the way of your success.

Read the following 5 obstacles and the solutions to unlock your best body ever.

1. You don’t want to be bothered.

It’s in your DNA to avoid pain and seek out pleasure. Unfortunately this works against you when trying to get fit. In your mind, it’s painful (or at least uncomfortable) to deny yourself the tasty food that you crave and to exert yourself with exercise.

There’s a simple way to work around this obstacle: Find something painful about being out of shape to motivate yourself towards healthy eating and exercise. Focus on the negative impact your current weight has on your health, self-esteem and lifestyle. Convince yourself that the pain of being out of shape is much greater than the discomfort of losing weight.

2. You don’t want to wait for the good stuff.

Just as you wish to avoid pain, you are also an expert in seeking out pleasure—namely food. This served the cavemen well, but these days it ends up as extra pounds around your waist and thighs.

There’s good news: extra calories are not your only option to stimulate the pleasure center of your brain. Find an activity or two that make you smile and indulge in those regularly.

  • A walk outside
  • A good book
  • A night out to the movies or theater
  • A spa day

You can also retrain your brain to crave the pleasure of exercise-induced endorphins. Talk about weight gain kryptonite!

3. You are crazy busy.

Let’s face it, you work too much, commit yourself to too much and don’t even get enough sleep most of the time. The fast-paced way you live leaves you exhausted, stressed and hungry for comfort food. You even begin to feel too busy to take care of your health.

It’s time to reprioritize. Let go of your perfectionist standards and remove a few commitments from your schedule so that you are able to cook healthy meals, exercise and get a good night’s sleep. Remind yourself that taking care of your health is not a luxury—it’s a necessity.

4. You don’t deserve it.

I don’t agree with it, but you sure act like you don’t deserve to live the good life in the body of your dreams. Take a moment to think back on all the times you have self-sabotaged your weight loss efforts. If you don’t believe deep down that you are worthy then you’ll never give yourself a chance at a fit body.

I believe that you deserve to have a healthy body—and I urge you to dig deep down to uncover why you don’t. Once you conquer your feelings of unworthiness, getting on an exercise and healthy eating plan will be easy.

Take the time to take care of yourself. You DO deserve it.

5. You are afraid.

You’re afraid to start because you just might fail, and wouldn’t that be embarrassing? You’re also afraid to start because you just might succeed, and change makes you uncomfortable – even if it’s change in the right direction.

When you decide to get fit you will need to go through a bushel of changes:

  • New diet
  • New exercise routine
  • New friends
  • New clothes
  • New self-image

Focus on all of the ways that losing weight will make your life better. Envision that better life everyday so that it goes from being new and scary to familiar and comfortable.

I want to personally help overcome every obstacle standing between you and your ideal body. Call or email today to get started on a program that will change your life and body forever…in a good way 🙂

How High Can You Jump

Your Attitude Determines Your Altitude

learning to fly at the academy of kempo martial artsYou train fleas by putting them in a jar with a top on it. Fleas jump, so they will jump up and hit the top over and over again. As you watch them jump and hit the top, you will notice something interesting.

The fleas continue to jump, but they are no longer jumping high enough to hit the top.

Then, and it’s a matter of record, you can take the top off and though the fleas continue to jump, they won’t jump out of the jar.

I repeat, they won’t jump out because they can’t.

The reason is simple. They have conditioned themselves to jump just so high.

Once they have conditioned themselves to jump just so high, that’s all they can do.
Many times, people do the same thing.

They restrict themselves and never reach their potential. Just like the fleas, they fail to jump higher, thinking they are doing all they can do.

Warning Signs your Child May be a Target of Bullies

bully prevention at school

• Your child comes home missing things or his property has been damaged.
• Has injuries he can’t or doesn’t want to explain.
• Has not interaction with other kids after school.
• Seems nervous taking a school bus or walking to school.
• Finds or makes up excuses as to why they can’t go to school
• Takes alternate routes home
• School grades are slipping
• Appears lonely or sad.
• Complains frequently of headaches, stomachaches or other physical ailments
• Loss of appetite
• Has lost self confidence.

Note: Children with disabilities may be at a higher risk of being bullied than other children.

Noticing signs like these are your cue to talk to your child and his teacher or counselor.

When talking to your child be sure to connect first.

Example –  I’ve been seeing a lot of news reports about bullying.   It scares me.  Is this type of behavior happening at your school?    Are you or your friends having any problem with others picking on you?   Who are some of your friends at school?    Any kids at school you don’t like?  Why don’t you like them?

Follow up with the teacher and ask how your child does socially in school?    Who he is friends with?   Does the teacher think your child could be bullied or teased?

Continue to seek help.  If these signs are not those of being bullied, you will want to find out what is causing them.   If he is being bullied take some action steps to rebuild his confidence self-esteem and possibly his self-defense skills before things get physical.

Fat to Fit – Motivation and Planning

martial arts getting into shapeWe are past our first week into the new year.  How are you doing?

In the new year I know some people are going to be struggling with setting and keeping fitness goals.

Some people will be afraid of the work that is involved in making changes.  Others might not have motivation or know how.

I found myself in a situation at one time.  I got a little out of shape.  Lost some motivation.

The first thing I did was I made a personal commitment that I was going to get back into shape.

Then I started a plan to follow through with my commitment.

I had the know how all I needed was the plan and then I needed to do it.

The results you can see in the photo.  I think it was 38 pounds.

Was there work involved?  Yes.  Was it hard?  Sometimes.  But I made the commitment had a plan and I followed it to success!

I really feel strongly about fitness and health.

So, for the month of January, and adult who wants to get in shape and learn some great martial arts can train for free during this month!  As long as there is space.

All you have to do is go here: Free Fitness Help

Why not come down and prove to yourself that you have everything you need to get fit and stay motivated.  You will be in a great environment with great people that will keep you motivated, inspired and I will help by holding you accountable for your goals and giving you a plan to follow to success.

Let’s make 2017 your best year!

 

Master Jones

Academy of Kempo Martial Arts

Raising Fit Kids

martial arts and fitness for kidsRaising Fit Kids
This is a great article I am sharing from WebMD

If your child is overweight, chances are you want to help him get healthy. But sometimes that means ignoring popular diet advice. Often, what works for adults may not be best for kids.

“Children have their own set of nutritional needs for healthy growth and development,” says Tamara Melton, a dietitian and instructor at Georgia State University.

The best way to help a child lose weight? Work with his pediatrician to make sure that he slims down in a safe way. But you can also think about these simple steps to help your child — and the whole family — live a healthier, fitter lifestyle.

1. Find the right weight goal. Many younger children shouldn’t actually shed pounds. “Since they’re still growing, they may need to maintain their weight or gain at a slower rate,” Melton says. Older teenagers may be able to lose a half a pound to 2 pounds a week. Your child’s doctor can let you know what you should aim for.

2.Say “no” to diets and supplements. Your first impulse may be to put your child on a diet. But unless her pediatrician recommends it, avoid these kinds of major calorie-cutting plans. They may mean she won’t get the nutrients and calories she needs to grow. Plus, many diets may teach your child that certain items are “bad” or off-limits, which can change how she sees food later in life.

Weight loss drugs or supplements aren’t a good idea either (except when the doctor prescribes them). There’s little or no research on how these pills affect children, so they may not be safe.

3. Get the rest of the family on board. Instead of singling out your child, have a conversation with the whole family about how you’d like to make healthy changes for everyone, including yourself.

“Kids learn their habits from their parents,” Melton says. So it’s important to lead by example. One study found that children were much more likely to lose weight when their parents also slimmed down.

4. Start small. Don’t try to overhaul your family’s diet all at once. Instead, try making a few changes at a time. Small, manageable tweaks are more likely to last for a lifetime, Melton says.

Try not to eat at restaurants or fast food joints more than once a week.
Buy more fruits, vegetables, and other healthy snacks and fewer chips, cookies, and candy. If these high-calorie foods aren’t around, your kids can’t eat them. And while you shouldn’t declare any treats “off-limits,” help your kids learn to have them in moderation.
Keep an eye on portion sizes. Large plates and glasses encourage eating more, so you may want to downsize your tableware.

5. Eat meals together. When you sit down as a family (and not in front of the television), you’ll encourage healthier habits. One study showed that children who shared three or more family meals a week were 20% less likely to eat unhealthy foods and 12% less likely to be overweight.

At the start of each week, schedule a few family breakfasts, lunches, or dinners. If you can, get everyone involved in planning and cooking the meals.

6. Fill kids up on fruits and veggies. Produce is generally low in calories and high in nutrients. Children need 1 to 3 cups of vegetables and 1 to 2 cups of fruit each day. Sneak in servings with these strategies:

Have your child pick out their favorite produce in the grocery store.

Blend together a fresh fruit smoothie for breakfast or a snack.

Serve a fruit or veggie at each meal or snack: Top cereal with berries, pair a sandwich with a side salad, and serve veggies with hummus between meals.

Use veggies instead of meat in child-friendly dishes, such as chili, lasagna, and spaghetti.

7. Get moving. Experts say kids need 60 minutes of physical activity every day. If your child isn’t active already, you can help them work up to that goal:
Make exercise a family outing. Go on walks, hikes, or bike rides together.
Help your child find an activity she enjoys, whether that’s soccer, swimming, dancing, or simply running around the playground.

Encourage her to spend time outside instead of in front of the TV or computer.

2017 Don’t Waste it Make this Your Best Year

In 2017 do you want to lose weight, look better, have more energy, be healthier and improve your memory?
Join the “Clear Nation”.
martial arts water and fitnessHave a drink of water. You don’t necessarily have to follow the “eight glasses a day” rule, but you do want to drink enough water to keep your body well hydrated. You can tell you’re well hydrated when you don’t feel thirsty and your urine is light-colored.  You are drinking enough once your “pee is clear.”  Start the day with a glass of water and then get to the fridge or water cooler for a refill every couple hours.
Here are ten of the major benefits you’ll reap if you stay well-hydrated…
1. Weight Loss
Drinking water instead of soda or sugary juices will quench your thirst—minus the excess calories and plus all the benefits of helping your body flush out the byproducts of the fat and other toxins
2. Skin Elasticity
Drinking water keeps your skin moist, supple, and elastic—thus lessening your risk of developing dry issues like dermatitis, aging skin, and infection.
3. Muscle Efficiency
Being hydrated is essential for keeping those muscles strong, lubricated, and energized. Why? Because H20 aids the transport oxygen to your muscles so they are prepared when exerted.
4. Balancing Mood
Because water aids in body regulation and brain function, it’s also closely related to balancing mood and emotions
5. Temperature Control
When you overheat; you sweat. And the evaporation of sweat on your skin is the way the body cools itself down and maintains a healthy temperature. Understandably, drinking enough fluids is essential for sweating and replenishing your water supply.
6. Memory Function
Proper hydration will improve the blood flow and oxygen flow to your brain, strengthening cognitive function and memory.
7. Joint Lubrication
Your joints, spinal cord, eyes, and brain are surrounded and protected by water. Remaining hydrated is vital to their well being.
8. Healthy Bowel Function
Water aids the elimination of waste material, making bowel movements and urination possible and comfortable, and excreting waste products that would otherwise poisoned the body and cause disease.
9. Aids Digestion
Water provides the ability for your body to eat and digest food—via the water is in your saliva and within your digestive tract.
10. Better Immune Health
Think of drinking water as your secret weapon to fighting off illnesses, improving lymph fluid within the immune system and preventing headaches, joint pain, muscle weakness, fatigue, and lightheadedness.
Training in the Martial Arts is a life style.  Health, happiness, safety, balance and strength are some of the many benefits.   Maintaining a well conditioned body starts with good hydration.
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