If health and fitness are new to you it may seem overwhelming to hear all of the information available here. Many beginners become overwhelmed not only with the volume of information but also by trying to know what’s truth and what’s a lie. Personal knowledge or experience of fitness outcomes is the typical beginning of many fitness books. What your goals are weigh heavily on the approach you choose when it comes to working out. It is more than likely that you will find information that seems conflicting even though it may not be completely false. Be extra careful that you are analyzing everything.It is amazing to us to hear that if you use an ab machine or device and do crunches you will get rid of the fat in your midsection. Plus, we have seen the late night infomercials that do seem to imply you can lose the belly fat with some whiz-bang ab blaster-dissolver-vaporizer thing. Belly fat equals body fat. You will see your ab muscles, such as they are, once you lose enough fat so your abs become visible. The saying that great abs are made in the kitchen is really so true, so know that it is diet that will get you to this goal.When it comes to stress and exercising, the latter can help relieve you of the feelings of the former. How does one consider that exercising and working out are stressful? Your body produces a relaxation response, which you may not feel is you are running or sweating all over the place. The relaxation your body produces helps you body and mind to become distracted from any stress you may be feeling. Endorphins released create a natural feeling of euphoria.In addition to all this, regular quality exercise helps improve your physical and mental performance. Greater strength and stamina will help improve your physical performance. Your mental performance will benefit from the greater degree of clarity that is a benefit of regular exercise. Also, it is true that people who have regular exercise naturally tend to carry those positive habits into other areas of their life such as diet and nutrition. You will no doubt uncover facts and fictions about all areas of fitness and health. Physical exertion often has specific fallacies attached to it while other areas may have general statements too. Before engaging in physical activity such as this you need the details, so do your due diligence.
“Yeah, But It’s Too Radical”In this culture, it’s fascinating what we perceive as too radical.We think it’s too radical to eat fruits and vegetables. We think it’s too radical to eat a fresh, green-leafy salad every day. We think it’s too radical to eliminate meat, cheese, white sugar, white flour, white salt, processed foods, and extra oils from our diets. We think it’s too radical to exercise daily for one hour.If eating fruits and vegetables is too radical, then what would we call cutting off a breast or a testicle because of cancer? What would we call getting burned by radiation or poisoned by chemotherapy? What would we call getting totally paralyzed on one side by a stroke? What would we call getting a limb cut off because of diabetic-induced gangrene?And what would we call getting our chests buzzed open by a saw and getting our rib cages ripped apart to patch up some artery in our hearts?What would we call being confined to a nursing home because we have aged way too soon from neglecting to take care of ourselves by eating health- and life-giving foods and exercising every day?And we think that eating fruits and vegetables is too radical?Perhaps it’s time to rethink what’s radical and what’s just plain common sense, completely doable and enjoyable, once we put our minds to it.Perhaps it’s time to discover and rise above the big “yeah, but,” or “yeah, buts,” that sabotage health and fitness and could rob us of the opportunity for a long life filled with energy, hope, mobility, activity, purpose, and inner joy.Perhaps it’s time to reach for optimum health on every level–physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual–and love every moment of the precious and fleeting gift called life.
Art education for children had all but disappeared from most American schools. There are many reasons for this phenomenon, some well-intentioned (albeit misguided) and others simply unfortunate. Despite the waning exposure kids have to the arts at school, science continues to demonstrate the many benefits of arts-based learning beginning at a young age. If the future of education continues to deprive children of exposure to the arts, it is up to parents and caregivers to advocate for arts education while finding alternative ways to provide it.The Changing Face of American EducationSeveral key developments in American education have nearly stripped art-related education out of schools. The most common reason cited is funding. A focus on standards has also been instrumental in reducing educational focus on the arts due to schools competing for high marks on testing. As the economy slowly recovers from the economic turmoil of the last decade, schools in many states have begun to rebound from a funding perspective. However, rather than restore arts programs, states and school districts are placed an emphasis on beefing up STEM programs, rather than art-related learning initiatives.Types of Art Education and Their BenefitsCreativity and innovation, both traits highly valued by employers, are developed through arts-related learning. Creativity gives rise to critical thinking, engagement and problem-solving. At every stage of a child’s life, from early childhood through college, art-related exposure and learning has been shown to greatly improve physical, cognitive, social and emotional development. In addition to these proven benefits, arts-related education increases confidence in children as well as focus, perseverance and non-verbal communication. Children learn to better handle constructive feedback and to collaborate with others. Finally, the arts improve a child’s dedication, self-discipline and accountability. Each of these skill sets directly influences a child’s academic success as well. The research reflects a strong correlation between arts education and academic achievement.The Push to Keep Children BalancedEducational experts provide clear recommendations for an educational approach that incorporates the arts. The research leaves little doubt that kids need arts education as a part of a comprehensive and well-rounded education, and to guarantee their future success in life. Parents, caregivers and other family members can help by advocating for more art education programs in your school district. Meanwhile, experts advise not waiting for school programs to expose your kids to the arts. Dance, music, theater and the visual arts are all of equal importance and kids should be introduced to all four in early childhood.Private teachers can provide beneficial learning opportunities however the research is clear that kids derive significantly greater benefit from group classes, lessons and programs. If your community has a children’s arts academy, enroll your kids as early as possible. There is no fear of starting them too early and professional arts educators can tailor classes specifically to a particular age group. Students with that level of involvement were four times more likely to participate in a science or math fair, win an award for writing an essay, or be recognized for academic achievement. Parents are always on the lookout for ways to help their children get ahead. Nothing is more influential and fun than arts-related education.