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Posted on 08-17-2015

It's that time of year again, it's back to school for everyone! Here are some tips to assist in a happy and healthy school year!  There are ways you can make the transition from summer to a fast paced school schedule go more smoothly starting now! 

1. Sleep: Reseting the body clock- It is important to have the proper amount of sleep for your body to have time to rejuvenate and get the organs re-energized. To be able to thrive, we must sleep. If you are not getting enough sleep each night, your body is not recovering and the brain cannot switch off and restore itself. So with our children, to thrive academically, they need sleep – and lots of it. According to the National Sleep Foundation, the average school age child (5-10 years) should be achieving 10-11 hours of sleep per night. Typically, 6-8 hours is a good rule of thumb for most people. Some bodies don't require as much sleep, but most do. Set an alarm for bedtime every night just as you set an alarm to wake up and make sure it is before 11PM. Over-scheduling, non-enforced bedtimes, sharing a bed with a sibling and breathing problems – such as sleep apnea, and snoring – can rob a child their night’s rest. It is also essential to keep televisions, video games, radios, and telephones out of your child’s bedroom during sleeping hours as these only serve as distractions and will disturb their deep sleep.

2. Healthcare: Keeping your body healthy is necessary in life and for a school year of fun! Make sure you get your yearly physical, go to your chiropractor to get your nervous system checked every week or month as recommended, keep your stress levels low and take vitamins to keep charged up so you don't get sick. 

3. Foods: The only real foods out there today are non-GMO, organic fruits and vegetables and free range/pasture raised meats. Stay away from the pre-packaged junk foods and other foods that are lacking the necessary vitamins and mineral that our bodies need. Research shows that excessive sugar consumption weakens the immune system and impairs cognitive function. White’ sugar and flour should be avoided. These give a sudden spike in energy, but what goes up quickly will come down just as quickly and crash and burn. Instead of soda or juices, pack flavored water. Visit your farmers markets, grow your gardens or join a co-op to get fresh farm foods to your family. Skipping breakfast should not ever be an option. If you don’t give the brain/body fuel in the way of good nutrition, especially first thing in the morning, it will not function and be able to retain simple instructions and directions. 

4. T.V. / stimulation: Reduce the amounts of stimulation on our electronic devices. These devices give off EMF's that disturb our bodies. Our bodies need more natural stimulation such as hiking, biking, walking, sitting outside, gardening, dancing, being in nature and in the sunlight! Save the TV for a rainy day or night or limit the watch time to 3 hours/week. This goes for computer and cell phone use as well!

5. Rituals: Having a ritual means to prepare your day or evening for something. Have a morning ritual: (wake up with music, stretch in bed, breath deeply for 10 breaths, have a lemon water to start the digestion, shower, make breakfast... or a night ritual: after dinner go for a walk, meditate for 5 minutes, take a warm bath with sea salts, prepare lunch for AM, read, rub feet with lotions for relaxation, take vitamins, etc..)

6. Water: We all need more water and extra hydration these days with all the drinks that are dehydrating we drink daily. Usually 1/2 your body weight in ounces is what is good to drink daily (ex: 100 lb person needs about 50 ounces of water daily) Add some oxygen drops or mineral drops too for an extra boost! We sell a product called "Rehydration" in the office that works great! A fun way to make sure you are drinking water is to have a fun re-fillable water bottle in every room, in your car, at your office, in your locker, etc...!

7. Exercise: Movement is a very important part of the human frame and spine. It keeps all the discs in our spine hydrated and bones moving. You know how to exercise, but I know it isn't always fun. We were born to move and to use our bodies to build strength and flexibility. Some easy ways to do this without going to a gym would be to park your car far from the entrance of buildings, carry your groceries, walk a golf course instead of renting a cart, do lunges in your room, take the dog for a walk, clean your house, wash your car, buy a trampoline, and don't forget to get a Fit-Bit to track all of it too!

8. Stress Less:  Many of us create more stress than we need these days. Stress is a number one disrupter in healthy habits. When you feel life is too overwhelming; go sit outside, take a few deep breaths in your nose out your mouth and know that you can do this! Daily stress relief strategies will help such as meditation, breath work, yoga, tai chi, cooking, walking, singing, dancing, baths, sauna, hot tub, gym, etc.

9. Fun times: We all need more fun in our lives! Making time for some fun during the week is essential  to have something to look forward to when the school/work week is over. You could plan a mid week movie or yoga with a friend, happy hour, gym time, make dinner with friends, etc. Planning special events help so you don't get too burned out in life! Make a list of things you would love to do this year and start checking them off your list!

10. Family and Friend time: I know when I am feeling blue, I need a good meal with my family or friends. Plan some BBQ's or dinners for support. We all need to feel loved and to give love!

11. Stretching: Make sure you get in a good habit of doing daily stretches especially if you sit all day long or are in school 6 hours a day. Your body needs the opposite of what position you are in most of the day. If you are in flexion (looking down) you need more extension stretches (back bend action) if you are seated and hips are in flexion than you need to stretch your hips in extension. Look on YouTube for many stretches that help with sitting! Learn how to carry your back pack properly as well! (ask your chiropractor for help)

12. Ergonomic Tips:

  • Sit up straight with feet flat on the floor or on a footrest;

  • Keep lower arms level with the table and wrists straight;

  • Sit close enough to the keyboard to eliminate stretching but far enough away to avoid leaning;

  • Tap the keyboard lightly.  Don’t pound away;

  • Place the mouse within easy reach of the dominant hand;

  • Try and hold the mouse loosely.  Don’t squeeze;

  • The monitor should be at eye level,  20-40 inches away from your face;

  • If using a laptop, a docking station should be used with a detachable keyboard, separate mouse (instead of finger pad) and the middle of the screen should be at eye level;

  • Take short breaks every 20 minutes. Get up and move around. Go and get a drink of water;

  • Exercise your eyes frequently. Look away from the monitor and focus on distant objects, which will help your eyes blink

 12. LOVE yourself and find passion in your life. What do you want to do for the rest of your life? Contemplate this daily. Ask for guidance daily. Set goals daily. Know that you have a unique purpose in this world and it is your job to find that so you can love your life to the fullest!  

Love and Light, 

            Dr. Jodi

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