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3200 Smithfield Church Road
Charlotte, NC 28210
Courier #: 534
P: 980-343-6550  |  F: 980-343-6555 
Principal: Allison Plunkett
LC: Southwest
Bell Schedule: 7:45 AM - 2:45 PM
Grades: K-5
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Healthy Living

Do the Brain Benefits of Exercise Last?

Seven Changes to save your life

This year, more t​han 1 million Americans are expected to be diagnosed with cancer, a disease commonly believed to be mostly preventable. In fact, the proportion of genetic factors and environmental factors towards cancer risk is surprising. Cancers have a paltry 5–10% genetic heritability. Environmental factors contribute a massive 90–95%. Let's look at seven contributing factors.

1. Eat more of the foods packed with anti-oxidants. This is the group of super foods to choose from that reduces or repairs damage from free radicals. Choose any foods from these groups. If you dislike five of them, eat the ones you do like. To get any value at all, eat something from this group 4-5 days a week. Eating these once a month or once a week is a joke; you're kidding yourself if you think your body will change from a 3 oz. per month exposure.

Here's the list: sweet potatoes, watermelon, colored berries (like blueberries -frozen is OK), cold water fatty fish like salmon, colorful vegetables (such as peppers, cauliflower (OK... it's not very colorful), broccoli, kale, etc.), green tea, olive oil, dark chocolate (60–65% is best), plain Greek yogurt, mangos and papayas. If you like fish, great! If you like pork or red meat, eat more from the healthier range fed animals.

2. Put fewer toxic products into your body. Please start reading the labels of what you put into your body. The products that absolutely MUST be safe for your body are the ones that you either ingest or put on your skin regularly. This means PAY attention to the ingredients that interact with your body, especially shampoo, conditioner, hair coloring products, deodorant, face cleaning products, soaps and makeup products. One time usage does not put you at risk. But using a dangerous underarm deodorant 3 inches from your breasts, or a risky shampoo for forty years is a higher-risk behavior.

For example, avoid the "Parabens." They're a family of chemicals used in various personal-care products and have long been linked to cancer. They disrupt estrogen function. Almost half of the 500 most popular sunscreen products may actually increase the speed at which malignant cells develop and spread skin cancer. Consumer Reports say that only 39 of the 500 products they examined were considered safe and effective to use. Read the label: avoid personal care products with retinyl palmitate and oxybenzone. Stay away from products with hormonal disrupters like bisphenol-A found in hard plastic bottles. Think healthy, read labels, and make small but lasting changes. You've just started to lower your risks!

3. Eat less of the "slow risk" foods. You won't die from these this week, but over the long haul, they're not good. Three of the worst offenders are sugar, white rice, and white bread (all are "high glycemic index" foods). They boost your blood sugar levels TOO high, then you produce extra insulin in the pancreas. Any product you buy that has more than five ingredients is suspect. Any product that has ingredients that you can't pronounce is suspect. I always get asked, "Don't you ever eat junk food, like chips?" Sure, some are pretty decent. I like Fritos Corn Chips, and a few other brands of chips are also healthy. Do you think healthier foods are expensive? How much does it cost you to miss a day of your life being sick? Stick with the healthier foods.

4. Reduce exposure to risk detection devices. This caution includes mammograms (take every 2-4 years to reduce risk), prostrate screening (once every 5-7 years), dental X-ray screening (take once every 2-3 years) and airport X-rays (less is better). All of these tests are typically defended by those who profit from them, but the science is NOT entirely clear on the safety when used often. That’s why I reduce the amount of radiation in my own body as much as possible. When traveling though airports, if I’ve got an extra few moments, they can pat me down. Better to be safe than sorry.

5. Move your body. If it’s 1-3 floors at a hotel, take the stairs down to the lobby. If the escalator is packed, take the stairs. If you have to park an extra 30 ft. from the store entrance, embrace the walk. At home I swim or surf 6 days a week. I get out in the yard to do gardening, as does my wife. If you are a member of a gym, work out 3-6 days a week. If you are not a member, find something you love to do and do it daily. These activity requests are meant to nag you. They are listed because your body was designed to move!

6. Talk back to the voice in your head. Learn to manage your self-talk. If the voice in your head is replaying stressful conversations, redirect it to another more productive conversation. There are many reasons why people become depressed. Just one of them is their inner conversations that get them worked up into a stressed state. Most people think of depression as a medical condition or disease. Another point of view is that it’s a symptom that something’s “off” or “wrong” in your life.

When I hear people tell me about the voice in their head that replays stressful conversations or creates new ones, I ask the question, “And who is directing that voice in your head?” You are! Change the conversation to something more inspiring, optimistic and empowering. You are the driver of your bus. You are not a victim of the “inner voice”. If the voice is counter-productive, don’t feed it, re-direct it.

7. Get your Vitamin D. This is a miracle factor for prevention of problems. It supports your immune system to enhance Cold and Flu Protection. Vitamin D supports normal muscle production and strength, and a lack of the vitamin leads to muscle weakness, a reduced range of motion, and increased physical frailty. One study showed women could slash the risk of breast cancer in half by getting enough Vitamin D. When I’m not traveling, I try to get 10-15 min. a day of sunshine. There’s no risk of skin cancer at that short exposure and a HUGE upside. The Vitamin D factor helps facilitate healing from illnesses and helps metabolize the potassium and calcium needed for strong bones.

 The Nine Hour Rule:  Kids and Sleep

Sleep is like food for the brain. And just like food, sleep gives your child energy. During sleep, their bodies grow and recover from the day’s activities. Sleep is important for everyone—especially kids. It’s not just about feeling grumpy or dozing off in school. Lack of sleep can actually lead to serious health problems.

When kids don’t get enough sleep, they can be moody and perform poorly. They might fall asleep in class and fall behind on their homework. They’ll have less energy for sports and other physical activities. And when they’re tired or low on energy, they’re more likely to choose unhealthy foods or snacks. That means getting the right amount of sleep could actually help your child eat better.

Here are some tips for helping your children get at least nine hours of sleep each night. Help them build a routine—and stick with it. Then, ask them how they feel when they get their rest compared to when they don’t.

  • Step it Up: To help kids get used to earlier bedtimes and more rest, add 15 minutes of sleep time each night until they’re sleeping at least nine hours.
  • Wind Down: Stick to quiet, calm activities before bedtime, and your kids will fall asleep much more easily. Avoid TV, computers and telephones during the hour before bed. Don’t leave homework for the last minute. And don’t eat, drink, or exercise within a few hours of bedtime.
  • Fill In the Naps: If you plan them right, naps can help boost your child’s energy during the day. Naps that are too long or too close to bedtime can interrupt their regular sleep.
  • Dream Makeover: Make your child’s bedroom the perfect places to relax and sleep. Keep the room cool, quiet and dark. You might even want to install window shades or blackout curtains. Let in bright light in the morning to help them wake up.

This information is provided by the American Heart Association

                         Tips for Keeping your Kids Hydrated

Why? You've probably heard about "hydration," or "staying hydrated." The need hydrate" is just another way of saying, "Drink plenty of fluids throughout the day." But not just any fluids -- because the kinds of liquids kids drink are just as important the foods they eat.

Why water? Quite simply, water is the most needed nutrient of all. In fact, most the human body is made of water. If your child weighs 90 pounds, about 63 of pounds are nothing but water! On a regular day, your child's body loses two to three liters of water. Add some physical activity or sweat, and he or she can lose even more. That's why it's important for your kids to take in plenty of fluids.

Why low-fat (1%) or fat -free milk? They help replace fluid in your child's system. It also provides vitamins and helps build strong bones. Plus, it has protein other nutrients; without the saturated fat and high calories of whole milk. Have child aim for 3 cups of low-fat (1%) or fat-free milk each day.

Why 100% juice? 100% fruit juices are naturally sweet and delicious -- without added sugar, preservatives or unhealthy ingredients. Too much added sugar in child's diet can lead to health problems.

What about soda? You might be thinking, "Sodas have water, right?" That's but sodas don't add vitamins or nutrients. Also, consider this: There are about calories in a 20 oz. soda served at a restaurant. With only a few free refills, your might be drinking 1,000 calories!

How to hydrate: Below are some tips for keeping your kids hydrated.

  • Tinkle Test: How can you tell if your kids are getting enough fluids? Ask them to check the color of their urine! If it's clear or light yellow, they're getting enough. The darker it is, the more liquids they need to replace.
  • Keep it Handy: Have your kids carry a water bottle. And keep a pitcher of water in the refrigerator, so it's cold and refreshing.
  • Don't Run Out: If your child is playing, running, jumping and sweating, he or she needs even more water and other fluids.
  • Fill'Er Up: Drinking a glass of water before a meal can help your kids feel full and resist the urge to eat more than they need.
  • Eat Your Water: Remember the rule about eating more fruits and vegetables? Well, it's partly because they're actually good at replacing fluids. Fruits like grapes, watermelon, oranges or cantaloupe are full of water. So are veggies like lettuce, cucumbers and celery. Just be sure to keep the liquids flowing, too.

This information is provided by the American Heart Association

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