Last week we talked about how to keep stimulating and challenging YOUR grown up brain, but what about your baby? In this week’s show I share ways you can support your child’s natural development and have some fun doing it!
Dads offer unique perspective to parenting and their own set of skills and nurturing, but many dads I speak with aren’t sure their place in responding to the needs of a newborn, or what specially they can do as a father. Most men I speak with can easily relate to being with their children in the toddler or school age years, but aren’t sure what to do with a baby.
To all the dads out there: Know that you make a difference, that you’re not alone in feeling this way, and consider these 3 tips:
Take the time to do something for YOU
Play a sport, hang out with buddies, just be a guy. I know some of you might be rolling your eyes, when I taught classes I saw them. But truly, this is something I stress for both women and men.
If you don’t make your emotional and mental health a priority life with a newborn, especially the first baby, can become overwhelming. Every parent can give more to their children when they have some time out – even if it’s just an hour a week. Something is better than nothing and you might be surprised by how rejuvenating it can be.
Spend time with the newborn – get involved
Infants need their momma, especially if being breasted, and infants know their momma better. But that doesn’t mean they don’t need their dad. If you’re having trouble connecting, or want to increase your time with the baby, try these simple things:
- Skin to skin contact
- Within the first few weeks of newborn life, men’s hormones start to slightly shift. Testosterone drops a little, and oxytocin increases. In women it is important for childbirth, bonding and breastfeeding. In men it helps develop fatherly nurturing behaviour. Oxytocin is the ‘love and nurturing hormone’ and it plays huge role in social bonding. The good news is your body has everything it needs inside! Hormones are amazing and purposeful. You can expand your confidence as a dad, by being with your baby. The more you hang out with your baby the more oxytocin will be produced and the more like ‘dad’ you will feel.
- Ask your partner how you can get involved! Ask them for guidance in tasks.
Move your body
Make sure to engage in activities that help you feel strong, relaxed and whole. New parents tend to be sedentary – they’re tired and spent – but your body needs to move! You don’t need a gym membership, a trainer or even any weights. You can use your own body as weight and try HIIT training in your home. It’s quick and effective and you can find workouts everywhere! Just do a quick search for an app or on YouTube.
There are so many benefits of exercise that can help combat the challenges of new dad life, lowering your stress, building up your immune system, and improved overall health.
Your brain is the most amazing and important muscle in your body and has the same requirements as other muscles to stay strong and healthy – to keep building it you need to challenge it! In this week’s show I discuss ways you can easily and consistently strengthen your brain, and have fun doing it!
During one of my recent travels, when my flight was changed, then cancelled, and I pulled an all-nighter at the airport, I thought about how important it is to stay flexible. Ha! Yes, as a Chiropractor I mean that in more ways than one!
Being adaptable, going with the flow, taking life as it comes is not just for the spiritually aware or those with some metaphysical practice. Learning to handle stress with more ease is a good practice for all of us! For my tips on living with a happy heart and dealing with stress read these blog posts.
What I want to remind you of in THIS post is this simple fact: YOUR body is always adapting.
Our bodies are amazing machines, with an incredible innate wisdom inside that helps us constantly adapt to the changing demands placed on us.
- When you eat, your body adapts by extracting nutrients and using them, and getting rid of the ones that are not necessary by creating waste. If you eat something poisonous to your body, you also adapts and your body gets rid of it as quickly as possible!
- When you exercise, your body adapts by increasing the blood flow to your heart, and by increasing your breathing rate to bring more oxygen to your lungs.
- When you cut yourself, your body adapts by forming a clot and then growing new tissue.
- When you are exposed to bacteria and viruses, your body adapts by mounting an immune response. You sneeze, cough, have a runny noses, vomit, or perspire to get the toxins out, and a fever develops to raise your core temperature so that the bacteria cannot survive.
Where does chiropractic fit it? It helps your body adapt better! A body that is mechanically balanced with joints that are moving properly will better adapt to the physical demands of sports, hobbies, household chores or work responsibilities. A body with a strong, straight spine will adapt to the forces of slips, falls, motor vehicle collisions or repetitive strains with greater ease, resulting in less injury. A body that is neurologically balanced (with a spinal cord free of irritation) will adapt better to stress, be calmer and happier, digest easier, sleep well, have balanced hormones, breathe easier, and exhibit a stronger immune response.
It’s for theses reasons so many people choose regular Chiropractic care, because they know their bodies are stronger in every possible way! Life is not static, and neither is your body. Change is constant, how are you adapting?
When cold showers were first mentioned to me as a supportive health practice, my first reaction was “NO WAY!”. Maybe you’re feeling the same way just hearing the suggestion of it! Now I’m converted, and in addition to jumping in Georgian Bay whenever I can, cold showers have become a healthy habit I regularly practice. In this week’s show I discuss 4 reasons to give this a try, and why it might just be easier than you think.
My favourite season is summer! I love the sunshine, relaxed schedule, outdoor living and so many sports and hobbies. Here’s a few ideas to help deal with the parts of summer that can occasionally make it a little less fun…
Sun Safety Natural sunlight is essential for good health, time in the sun is a question of balance. Daily moderate exposure enables the body to produce vitamin D and make melanin (our body’s natural sunscreen). However, overexposure causes damage to the skin, accelerates aging, suppresses the immune system, and can lead to cancers. Children are much more sensitive than adults so taking some precautions is wise. Use hats, and cover the skin with clothing when possible. Seek out the shade and balance time out in the sun with breaks indoors. This also helps prevent heat exhaustion and dehydration. If you are choosing to use sunscreen, be mindful of the toxic chemicals in many sunscreens that can be worse for the body than sun exposure! Check out for a list you can shop with.
Bites and stings Stings from a bee or wasp are not usually dangerous unless you suffer from an allergy, but they should always be treated immediately nonetheless. Apply a paste of baking soda and water to a bee sting to relieve pain; make a compress from a pad of cotton soaked in lemon juice and apply to a wasp sting. *Multiple stings, or stings to the eyes, ears or mouth should be treated in the hospital.*
Mosquitos Avoid bug repellents that contain DEET which is effective for repelling insects but also extremely hazardous to your health. Instead, prevent insect bites by diluting a few drops (or combination of) any of the following essential oils: eucalyptus, citronella, peppermint, rosemary, clove, citronella or lemongrass in half a mug of water, gently apply to exposed areas avoiding the eyes and mouth. Experiment and find a scent that you like, place in a spray bottle and keep on hand for easy access when enjoying the outdoors. Cider vinegar can be used the same way and the smell evaporates as soon as it dries.
Cuts & Bruises So common in childhood, but also with active grown-ups, or random accidents! If there is extensive bleeding, or any other unusual symptoms such as dizziness, shortness of breath, or a head of injury, take your child to the hospital for emergency treatment. Carefully clean the area and than apply a clean cloth soaked in witch hazel or a cold compress and some TLC! Arnica cream is also useful for soreness.
First Aid Remedies: Check out this post to find out what I keep in our summer adventure first aid kit!
With so many ideas about nutrition, and constantly changing information and research, food choices are something that many people struggle with. In this week’s show I share the one nutritional idea that all Doctors and Nutritionists can consistently agree on, and 3 things you can do today to start making healthy food a priority for your family.
I recommend stretching to every person in this practice, it’s a dialogue I have almost daily…but I must confess, I’m guilty of not stretching enough! When I was doing my TV show, Good Living, Good Health, we recorded an episode all about stretching with a great panel of guests including a Trainer, a Physiotherapist, and a Pilates/Yoga Instructor. We had a great conversation!
Here are some of the highlights: Our lifestyle habits and daily stressors will inevitably create tightness, aches and pains, and can even predispose people to spinal subluxations and other joint injuries. Adequate muscle flexibility is just as important as muscle strength for performance in athletics and life in general.
Most people know this! However, many people complain they don’t have time to exercise, let alone improve flexibility. What are some practical strategies?
Think “intermittent and often”. I’ve now started stretching briefly while brushing my teeth! What else to do during those 2 minutes? I’ve also started stretching in the evenings while we are often relaxing and watching a movie or television. I listen to tons of audio training and podcasts, so now rather than just sitting still I find myself moving and doing some simple stretches. You can always find small moments to stretch if you are aware it is something you should do! So consider this a reminder.
Healthy movement involves: (1) proper joint alignment (this is where Chiropractic comes in) and (2) muscles that are capable of expanding and stretching to their full capacity; muscles which are full of oxygen and given the opportunity to move through their full range of motion.
Doing a few simple stretches intermittently and often can make a tremendous difference in your overall mobility as well as help you hold your adjustments and build a healthier spine. Including stretching as part of your healthy lifestyle will improve your sports performance, help with daily lifestyle tasks, and prevent injuries! If you need ideas ask me for a copy of the spinal stretches or borrow one of the many books in the practice.
I recently read an article where the author suggested we eliminate the term “clean eating” and although it was a well written article, I don’t agree with the idea that the term ‘clean eating’ is a bad thing.
To me, using the term ‘clean eating’ is the one unifier with all the different approaches to nutrition.
Whether you prefer paleo or keto, whether you choose to eat animal protein or are vegetarian, the one thing that is consistent with every approach to food I’ve observed, and the majority of health professionals would agree with – eating real food will always be better for you than anything processed or packaged, which contains artificial sugars, colours, preservatives, thickening agents and so much more.
Clean eating is the simple idea of eating whole foods as the primary foods in your diet. With the huge variety of perspectives out there, the diets and even some fads that tell you what and how to eat, this is one principle that everyone can agree on. Whole food, real food, is always going to be better than artificial food that comes out of a box. Whole foods are found in nature, and made of one ingredient. Fruits, vegetables, leafy greens, meat, fish, nuts and seeds are some examples.
To me, ‘clean’ is a reminder that choosing good quality food, (local and organically grown is even better) should always be the goal. It’s also an idea that is more easily adopted by most people, rather than the restrictions of most dietary protocols. To me, it also means that yes you can choose homemade brownies, cookies, cakes, even the occasional fried food when it’s made with real ingredients and by the hands of a human being in a real kitchen.
Check out this post about the basic nutrition recommendations I give people to get started making healthy changes to their diet.