It’s no secret that Arianna Huffington is a more-driven woman than most of us. However, after collapsing due to exhaustion years ago, she began a crusade to explore the benefits of sleep, and teach that to others. Her TED talk and book “The Sleep Revolution” provide a wake-up call (pun intended) to women - and men - everywhere about the value of a good night’s sleep. Her #1 key to a healthier life? “Adjust your sleep around your day.” An adult woman should be getting 7-9 hours of sleep each night. If you have difficulty getting to bed at night, think of it as an appointment. You schedule the time to have coffee, visit the dentist, or attend a business meeting, right? Do the same for yourself with bedtime!
Advertisers are all over probiotics these days. Probiotics are the live bacteria and yeasts that live in our body and help keep our guts healthy and our digestive systems working well. But you may be somewhat surprised to learn that that it’s also important for our kids to have a balanced belly. Microbiologist and mom Erica Sonnenburg, Ph.D. offers five science-based strategies in her book The Good Gut: Taking Control of Your Weight, Your Mood, and Your Long-Term Health. Among them: try not to over-sanitize (which decreases our kids’ exposure to bacteria), avoid unnecessary antibiotics, and play in the garden and snuggle with your pets (perfect March activities!).
Taking a walk in the park was exactly what turned Lisa Graves, running advocate from Valdosta, Georgia into an avid runner. Feeling bored with her then-current playlist, she added some other tunes that were a little too fast to walk to. So..”I ran to the first light pole, and then the next and then the next and…” the rest, as they say is history. Yes, running is good for our physical health, but did you know that exercising together boosts your relationships, too? Running with your spouse can improve your marriage, running with your kids can be lots of fun, too, while at the same time setting them up for a lifetime of activity. Exercising helps to build cardio and stamina for runners, but even if you don’t run, they provide a great routine to increase activity and get us off the couch.
Balancing work and home life isn’t exactly a walk in the part, but it IS possible! It’s long been accepted that working moms shoulder most of the load at home, but on a more encouraging note, there are positive ways to balance work and family. Letting go of guilt is crucial, as well as seeking out and developing a network of friends and family who are willing and able to help you out in a pinch, and preparing for the coming day the night before. If you totally want to drop the 9 to 5 but still need the paycheck, look into companies like Flexjobs, who works with large corporations to recruit employees who can work from home. Sometimes balancing your work-home life will require some teamwork, and a fair amount of creativity. But at the end of the day, it’s all worth it.
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