Studies indicate that yoga leads to increased neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is the scientific study of synapses fired by the nerve cells in the brain and the capacity of alteration of the brain’s potential to create neural pathways.
The brain, like any other muscle, may be strengthened with use or atrophied and weakened from lack of use. The greater the brain engagement, the stronger the fortification of and creation of neural pathways. Continued practice of yoga increases resilience to stressful situations while facilitating change and brain growth.
We incorporate yoga weekly with all of our children, so each child can benefit from the following:
- Managing stress
- Improving emotional regulation
- Boosting self-esteem
- Increasing mindfulness
- Improving concentration and memory
- Developing strength and flexibility
- Reducing impulsivity
Even the youngest toddler can participate in yoga by watching the adults around them. Start out simply by acting out books, pretending to be animals, and breathing in unison.
Stay focused on your role as a guide or partner rather than a teacher or parent. Have fun; breathe deeply!
Summer is here, but applying sunblock isn’t easy…
While applying sunblock to your infant or child isn’t always easy, the American Academy of
Dermatology, Skin Cancer Foundation and the American Academy of Pediatrics all remind us
that it is important to protect your child’s skin from infancy onward.
1. Avoid using any sunblock on infants under the age of 6 months.
2. Infants under 6 months should be kept in shaded areas and dressed in lightweight
3. Infants over the age of 6 months may have sunscreen applied.
1. Look for a high SPF (sun protection factor) of 30 or higher with broad spectrum
2. Choose water resistant sunblock .
3. Many dermatologists prefer mineral based sunscreen with titanium dioxide or zinc oxide.
This allows the sun rays to be deflected.
4. Avoid chemicals which absorb, rather than deflect the sun’s rays.
5. Choose lotions to ensure proper coverage. Sprays are often not applied properly and
evenly and should be held at least 2 centimeters away from skin. If using a “stick”, be
sure to cover the skin at least 4 times to cover skin thoroughly.
6. Choose fragrance-free and dye-free products to lessen chance of reactions.
7. Choose PABA-free (para-aminobenzoic acid)-a chemical found in some skin products.
8. Re-apply sunscreen every 2 hours or after being in water.
As always, children learn by example. Be sure to model sunscreen application-whether it be the
initial application or re-applying the sunscreen. Set the stage now for healthy skin for a lifetime!
Pumpkin is more than a warming fall flavor. In addition to being packed with plenty of carotenoid antioxidants, which support eye health as well as skin, hair and nails, pumpkin may even calm the digestive tract. Other studies suggest that pumpkin extract can have a hypoglycemic effect, benefiting those with or who are at high risk of diabetes, so ingesting it in it’s whole food form can’t hurt!
The health benefits of Honey
Raw honey has a slightly lower glycemic effect when compared to white sugar, so I try to use it in lieu of white sugar for daily sugar needs. That is not in any way to say I avoid refined sugar, as I’m sure it’s added to some packaged foods I buy and also is the reason frosting exists. However, since I know that blood sugar spikes impact my anxiety, I try to choose lower glycemic options when feasible and pair them with protein, fiber and fat if it isn’t before a workout.
Raw honey also contains higher antioxidant levels when compared to honey that has been heated (most honey on store shelves) and has been shown in research to be just as effective as popular sports gels in supporting endurance activity. 1 ingredient win right there!