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Health & Wellness | Who's Your Daddy? | giggle Blogs

Archive: Health & Wellness

June 3, 2010

Green Spring Cleaning – Still Time!

Yes, it is still spring and yes you still have time to do that spring cleaning you’ve been putting off since March 20 (the date spring officially started). Junk in your garage, crumbs under your refrigerator and dust bunnies everywhere else. As a parent, we want to give our children everything and that should include a clean and safe environment, both in their home and the planet we stick them with.

So take the opportunity to get ready for summer (which in New York feels like it’s already here) and get your home cleaned up. I recommend the giggle Better Basics line of natural, plant-based cleaning products (that I can honestly say I use everyone one of in my house) that are safe, nontoxic, biodegradable, and wonderfully effective you’ll be ready for a clean and healthy summer.

May 13, 2010

The Fitbit Experiment Day 0 (Kids In Constant Motion)

Have you ever been around small children and thought to yourself, “that kid never stops moving, I wish I had their energy!”  Of course you have, everyone has.  As parents, we recognize kids’ boundless energy as a universal truth like gravity or stinky French cheese. 

Let me take you back to November 2009 when I read an article in the Wall Street Journal (Fitbit Sees How You Run, Walk and Sleep) that was about a new gadget (Fitbit) that tracks both your activity level throughout the day and your sleep at night.  A bit like a pedometer, but better because it can track and calculate much more than just your number of steps and distance traveled.  I was intrigued, so I ordered two, one for me and one for Who’s Your Mommy.

Fast forward to today and a few weeks after getting our Fitbits (they had a serious backorder).  It’s been an interesting exercise to see how far we walk each day and how much (or little) we sleep each night.  And we’ve joked, wouldn’t it be funny to put one on the Little Man and track his boundless energy?  Is measuring that kind of energy even possible or is it like cold fusion, a scientific myth?  Would this be like crossing the streams in Ghostbusters and result in “total protonic reversal”?  I say, let’s find out!

So consider this the first entry in a not so scientific experiment to measure the boundless energy of a seven year old and compare it to the not-so-boundless energy of a forty year old dad.  We’ll be using Who’s Your Mommy’s Fitbit and run the risk of loss or destruction of that Fitbit in the name of science.  I’ll track the following data:

Daily Activity
Number of Steps Taken Per Day
Fitbit Activity Score (see here for explanation)

Sleep Activity
Hours In Bed
Times Awake

So check back later this week for my first report!

April 14, 2010

Get Out! (Outside That Is)

Last week I was talking about sunscreen and warm weather morning routines (read it here).  You can tell by the theme of my posts that is that time of year where those of us living in cold weather states start to emerge from our houses and apartments rubbing our eyes like a grizzly coming out of its cave after a long winter of hibernation.  It is so great to feel the sun on our faces (with sunscreen on of course).  My love of spring intersected with an article I read in the Wall Street Journal this morning about Pushing Kids to Play Outside

 The article sounded a bit like Who’s Your Daddy in lamenting how kids just don’t play outside like they used to in the “old days.”  Parents are of course battling safety concerns that our parents were confronted with.  Add to that video games, cell phones, tv, internet, iPods and the list goes on.  There are so many distractions inside it’s hard to get this iGeneration outside. 

 As parents, we need to make sure our kids don’t miss out on the adventures that wait out the back door.  I have such fond memories of exploring my own backyard and even as I got a bit older, exploring trails around our house.  I sure hope I can convey this sense of love and wonderment with the outdoors to the Little Man.  Some suggestions (some from Pushing Kids to Play Outside):

  • If both parents work, encourage your babysitter/nanny to get the kids outside
  • To help alleviate safety concerns, share supervision of kids outside with neighbors
  • Choose day care that makes outdoor play a priority
  • Occasionally skip the gym in favor of a walk with your kids
  • Encourage kids to help with outdoor projects and yard work
  • Make up games or challenges for outside like counting animals in your yard

It’s a bit ironic to think that we expect our kids to be green and save the planet from behind a computer screen.  Get them outside for everyone’s sake, but mostly theirs.

April 8, 2010

Sunscreen Or Else!

 Now that the warm weather has arrived in New York, I’d have thought our morning “get ready for school routine” would be much simplified.  No more getting on coats, hats mittens, boots and trudging through snow and freezing rain to get to school.  Sounds logical, but I’m wrong again!

 The last few days of blissful sunshine have reminded me of the warm weather morning scramble.  Now I’m trying to drag the Little Man into the bathroom to not only brush those teeth (most of which still need to fall out – go figure), but we need to get sunscreen applied and find an agreeable hat.  Sounds easy enough, right?  Wrong. 

"We're going to need more sunscreen!"

 Anyone who has ever applied sunscreen to a child knows that you’d have an easier time wrestling alligators than trying to get a kid properly lathered up.  It’s like the perfect storm of parenting.  You’ve got no gold at the end of the rainbow like the beach, water park or pool to justify the sunscreen, you’ve got a tighter timeframe to get to school than Jack Bauer trying to save humanity and you’ve got a unwilling participant who’d rather be playing Lego Star Wars with those precious morning minutes. Tick tock.

Parents, please remember to take the time to get that sunscreen on your kids.  They’ll thank you in thirty years when the dermatologist isn’t explaining what carcinoma is to them.   Fortunately for me, the Little Man has come to accept that there is no escaping dad with a Supergoop Quickstick.  Jack Bauer has nothing on me…

January 13, 2010

Move Your Butt

Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal featured an article by Ron Winslow entitled Time Watching TV Linked to Higher Risk of Death that discusses an Australian study that links watching TV to higher death rate.  I encourage you to read the article  One of the most surprising aspects was that participants in the study were generally active people (getting 30-45 minutes of exercise per day).

The study revealed that, even for people who exercise, sitting on the couch watching TV or playing video games (guilty as charged) is the metabolic equivalent of sleeping and therefore has a fundamental impact on how your body processes fats, sugars and other nutrients.  “Researchers reported that the risk of death from any cause increased by 11% for each hour a day of reported TV watching; for death from cardiovascular disease, the risk increased 18%…”  Is it me, or are those scary numbers?


 Before reading this would have told you that watching a few hours of TV is fine so long as you eat healthy and get your exercise.  Apparently not true.  Even if we are going to indulge in the guilty pleasure of a few hours of mindless amusement, we need to get up and move around a bit during that time.  Probably not helped by the super convenient DVR that allows us to fast forward through commercials and therefore eliminate the need for time-killing wandering around the house during those annoying insurance and car ads.  Maybe the networks should promote the health benefits of commercials!  But, I digress.

 So to my nine readers, please keep this in mind.  Even if you are going to watch for a few hours, get up and move around.  Just as important, if your kids are going to get their fix of Looney Tunes (I know, I’m showing my age), encourage them to move around a bit while they are watching – probably not a stretch for most kids.  Take our the trash, fold some laundry, change the channel on the TV and not the remote (wait, can you do that?) but just find a way to move your butt!

January 5, 2010

Old Bones

After now having coached the Little Man for two full seasons of outdoor soccer and well into a season of indoor soccer, I’ve been itching to get out and play myself.  I shudder to think that it has been close to two decades since I’ve played in a regular organized soccer league. 

So, with a bit of trepidation I went ahead and signed up for an adult indoor soccer league (at Chelsea Piers for any of you New Yorkers).  Now I should note that I use the term “adult” a bit loosely because at our first game last night, as I was signing the roster for my newly assigned team, I came across the dreaded “age” column.  As I scanned down my team seeing nothing but ages in the early 20s a bit of a shiver (or could that have been the arthritis) went down my spine.  Now I was wondering if my decision to bring the Little Man along to witness his dad’s soccer prowess was such a good decision. 

As the game got going and I began running (or something like it) around the field, I realized that it might be time for some regular exercise beyond walking to the subway and chasing the Little Man around the playground.  For the first time I can remember, I experienced the sensation of knowing what I wanted my body to do, but not having it happen, a few times tripping over my own feet.

After getting the old bones warmed up, I managed to avoid any major embarrassment and actually score two of my team’s three goals.  The highlight was a midgame pep talk from the Little Man that consisted of him telling me to “run faster, fall less and score more.” 

Moral of the story is to get your old bones out there.  Despite a few falls, it was great to be off the bench and actually playing.  Maybe I’ll even get in good enough shape that I don’t trip over my own feet.  We all need dreams.

Update: So we just found out the schedule for next week’s game and it is at 11:00 p.m.  At first I thought it was a typo, but then I realized I’ll need a cappuccino at 9:00 p.m to stay up for that one.  Now I really feel old.