Exercise and Children

We all know that physical exercise is important to keep adults healthy…BUT…did you know that it is JUST as important for CHILDREN?

The CDC (2018) recommends 150 minutes of moderate exercise for ADULTS each week, including 2 days a week of strength training.

The recommendations for CHILDREN (ages 6-17 years) is at least 60 minutes of moderate exercise each day, including aerobic exercise, muscle strengthening, and bone strengthening activities       (CDC, 2018).

Exercise helps to improve PHYSICAL HEALTH by building      healthier HEARTS and LUNGS, stronger MUSCLES and BONES,     and DECREASING the risk of DISEASES… 
…But it improves BRAIN healtH as well!

Exercise FEEDS the brain, IMPROVES memory, and REDUCES stress.

The 2018 ParticipACTION Report Card on Physical Activity for Children found that children who met the exercise recommendations showed better cognition, brain function, and mental health.

They also showed improved   attention, focus, and  concentration

Exercise releases “feel good chemicals” called ENDORPHINS into the brain, decreasing pain and creating an overall sense of well-being.

Children who exercise also demonstrated

  • better school performance
  • greater creative thinking and problem solving
  • improved mental health
  • less depression, stress, and anxiety
  • better resiliency, especially in teen years
  • higher self esteem, better self concept, and greater self worth

But wait...there's MORE...

Regular physical exercise also often leads to other healthy habits such as improved sleep patterns, better diet, a decreased risk for being overweight, and less screen time, leading to an overall healthier lifestyle, and improved quality of life.

Another interesting perspective…exercise can help us to learn to become more comfortable with being uncomfortable.  Athletes know that feeling uncomfortable during competitions is part of the process, but they learn to cope with it instead of trying to escape it.  This could carry over into other aspects of our lives as well!  

Any way you look at it, exercise for anyone, but especially for children, is beneficial.  The rewards stretch way beyond managing weight or keeping the body healthy.  The impact that exercise has on mental and emotional well-being, and the positive effects on brain functions and learning, are invaluable!


U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2018). Physical               Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2nd edition. Washington,                 DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.   https://health.gov/our-work/nutrition-physical-activity/physical-activity-guidelines/current-guidelines


The Risks Of Consuming Too Much Sugar Overtime

According to Dr.Kumar, an Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism specialist from NewYork-Presbyterian says that 17 teaspoons of added sugars a day can turn into 57 pounds of added sugar in a year. But what is added sugar, and how can people consume enough to gain so much? There are natural sugars that we consume from fruits and milk, but added sugar is added into foods we consume that are processed without realizing it. These can be harder for our bodies to process and overtime it can take a toll on our bodies. 

What can get affected?

There are many ways consuming too much sugar can affect us, from heart issues to gaining weight, the list is endless. Dr.Hu mentioned from the Harvard Publishing Group (2022) that the liver processes sugars the same way it processes alcohol which is how it can be so damaging. Added sugar in large amounts overtime can cause people to have a fatty liver, and gain an excess amount of weight as well. According to WebMD (2022) Teeth can rot with so much exposure from sugar that it creates bacteria that breaks down our teeth. Surprisingly enough people can also age faster since  excess add-on sugar can create AGEs which are harmful molecules that take place in the bloodstream. Lastly, a very serious medical condition someone can contract would be diabetes, and that would require much attention and lifestyle change from that diagnosis. Dr.Kumar from NewYork-Presbyterian mentions that his research shows that people who consume too much added sugar, especially high fructose corn syrup can lead to insulin resistance that can lead to type 2 diabetes. Not only that, but the body can also experience inflammation which can be painful, especially towards the joints. 

What can we do ? 

The easiest way to prevent ourselves from getting consumed from the excess of added sugars would be to track, and be aware of where of all foods we eat that contain processed sugars. The American Heart Association (2022) suggests that “women consume no more than 100 calories and men no more than 150 calories”. With that being said, it is easy to see how fast someone could over consume sugar without even realizing it. The infographic below shows just how much and what common things people eat on the daily basis that have add-on sugars.

The Bottom Line 

Taking the time now to look into and read the labels of all the foods you consume can make all the difference. Having cheat days and having fun eating is great, but when people are eating without knowing there is sugar in that food that is the problem. Like the Infograph shows above, store bought salad dressing, white bread, even granola can contain more sugar than one might think. If you add that up that is 15 grams of sugar which is more than half of the total amount a women should consume in a day and a little less than half for men. With the average amount of grams a person can consume daily sitting at 82 grams which turns into that 66 pounds mentioned earlier from NorthWestern Medicine. 



Harvard Publishing Group. Heart Health: The sweet danger of sugar. Harvard Medical School.    . 2022



Northwestern Medicine. More Sugar, More Problems [Infographic]. 



Hughes, Locke. How Does Too Much Sugar Affect Your Body. WebMD, 2022



Kumar, Rekha B. Sugar: How Much Is Too Much? NewYork-Presbyterian


YouTube. (2018). Natural Sugar vs Added Sugar – What’s The Difference? YouTube. Retrieved August 31, 2022, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TrvNvujKKW8.


What is Diabetes and How to Manage It

  • What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is the body’s inability to regulate blood sugar levels, which can lead to many other health complications if left untreated. This means that the liver is unable to fulfill homeostasis in the body due to an improper regulation of glycogen into glucose. Glycogen is a stored form of glucose that later breaks down into glucose. Without this synthesis there is essentially no maintenance of glucose homeostasis resulting in an imbalance of blood sugar, which is what we call diabetes. 

  • How to Monitor Blood Sugar. 

Blood sugar should be monitored using an at home glucometer meter. There are many different glucometers to use and typically your doctor will recommend which one is best suited for you. How many times you should check your blood sugar is also dependent on the individual’s needs. Those who are insulin dependent typically check their blood sugar four times a day which is before meals and at bedtime. Those who are not insulin dependent will be directed by their doctor when it is necessary. 

Here is a list of supplies you will need…

  • Glucometer
  • Test Strips
  • Lancets
  • Log book

And here is how you will use your at home glucometer…

  • Wash your hands
  • Load test strips into glucometer
  • Collect blood sample from finger using lancets
  • Apply blood sample to test strips
  • Wait a few seconds for results


What are Some Complications Associated with Diabetes

  • Nephropathy – Kidney dysfunction 
  • Neuropathy – Nerve dysfunction that results in tingling and burning of an affected area
  • Retinopathy – Damage to the back of the eye
  • Cardiomyopathy – Disease of the heart muscle 

  • Some General Health Management for Those with Diabetes 

There are obviously many other things to manage when dealing with diabetes besides blood sugar levels. Every individual is different and talking to your doctor on a regular basis will help each individual to know what exactly should be monitored on a regular basis. For most of the general public some things that should be regularly monitored for diabetes include cholesterol, hemoglobin A1c, and blood pressure. 



  1. American Diabetes Association. (2002). Self-monitoring of Blood Glucose. Clinical Diabetes, 20(1), 48–48. https://doi.org/10.2337/diaclin.20.1.48 
  2. Kaul, K., Tarr, J. M., Ahmad, S. I., Kohner, E. M., & Chibber, R. (2012). Introduction to diabetes mellitus. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology, 771:1–11. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-5441-0_1 
  3. Papatheodorou, K., Papanas, N., Banach, M., Papazoglou, D., & Edmonds, M. (2016). Complications of Diabetes. Journal of Diabetes Research, 1–3. https://doi.org/10.1155/2016/6989453 
  4. Gretchen, B. (2010). The Role of Disease Management in Diabetes Care. Diabetes Spectrum, 23 (2): 116–118. https://doi.org/10.2337/diaspect.23.2.116

Type 2 Diabetes: What does is mean for you?

What is Diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes, also known as adult-onset diabetes, is when your pancreas can no longer process insulin. Insulin helps breakdown the sugar in your cells and without it to too much sugar can end up staying in your blood stream. Although there is no cure for the disease, proper diet and exercise can help decrease the effects it has on your daily life. Without proper treatment, it can lead to medical complications in the future. Although it is scary, type 2 diabetes is the most common form. Over 37 million American has diabetes and 90-95% of them have type 2 diabetes (CDC, 2021).

How did I get it?

There are many risk factors when it comes to type 2 diabetes. The most common risk factors are weight, family history, and race/ethnicity. Other common risk factors can be your age, being older than 45 years old. Lastly having gestational diabetes, or developing diabetes while pregnant, can be a big risk factor (Mayo Clinic, 2021).

What are the treatments for type 2 diabetes?

As mentioned earlier, there is currently no cure for type 2 diabetes but there are ways to manage the disease. Every treatment for type 2 diabetes varies on a case-by-case basis, however, losing weight, eating healthy foods, and exercising are the top ways to manage it. Should those lifestyle changes not be enough, medication or insulin therapy can be an option as well (Mayo Clinic, 2021).

Where can I find more information?

With how common diabetes has become, there are tons of places to find reliable information regarding type 2 diabetes such the American Diabetes Association, Mayo Clinic and the CDC website.



Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021, December 16). Type 2 diabetes. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved September 3, 2022, from https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/basics/type2.html

Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2021, January 20). Type 2 diabetes. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved September 3, 2022, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/type-2-diabetes/symptoms-causes/syc-20351193

Professional Practice Committee: Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes—2020Diabetes Care 1 January 2020; 43 (Supplement_1): S3. https://doi.org/10.2337/dc20-Sppc




A stroke aka massive brain attack occurs when there isn’t enough blood flowing to the brain and this may be due to a blockage in the large blood vessels that lead to the brain or may occur when a blood vessel surrounding the brain tissue bursts, and may last 30 minutes or less. When a stroke lasts 30 minutes or less it is known as a mini-stroke or a transient ischemic attack (TIA) but regardless of how long a stroke lasts, treatment should be started immediately. “Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States. According to the American Heart Association, stroke kills nearly 140,000 people each year, accounts for 1 of every 20 deaths, and is the leading cause of long-term disability. Public awareness of the symptoms of stroke and how to access emergency assistance is essential to increase the likelihood of achieving a favorable outcome” (Patel., et al., 2019).


    • Ischemic Stroke: Occurs when the blood vessel supplying blood to the brain becomes blocked due to an occlusion (clot)
    • Hemorrhagic Stroke: Occurs when a blood vessel surround brain tissue bursts
    • Transient Ischemic Attack (TIAs): Also known as “warning strokes” and usually produce the typical signs and symptoms seen in strokes but last for a shorter period of time (30 minutes or less)


    • Abrupt inability to speak/Trouble understanding speech: Slurred speech, Delayed responses, Expressive Aphasia, Receptive Aphasia, Global Aphasia
    • Expressive Aphasia: People know what they want to say but have a difficult time saying it due to not being able to find the right words
    • Receptive Aphasia: People have trouble understanding what is being said to them
    • Global Aphasia: People with global aphasia may be unable to speak, name objects, repeat phrases or follow commands. They also have a hard time understanding what others are saying (American Heart Association., 2019)
    • Facial droops/Facial numbness/Trouble swallowing
    • Difficulty walking, loss of balance and/or dizziness
    • Abrupt onset of headache/Abrupt onset of confusion
    • Numbness or tingling of an arm, leg or both on one side of the body 

STROKE PREVENTION: 80% of stokes can be prevented through healthy lifestyle choices; Over the years researchers have identified many different ways people can take to lower stroke risk

    • Stop smoking: Studies have shown that for every five cigarettes a person smokes each day, the risk of having a stroke goes up by 12%” (Williamson, et al., 2021)
    • Increase daily physical activity or exercise
    • Maintain a healthy/Eat a healthy diet: Diets such as DASH (Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension) or the Mediterranean diets have been said to help reduces the risk of having a stroke
    • Keep blood pressure under control: High blood pressure or Hypertension is said to be one of the leading causes of strokes in both men and women 


American Stroke Prevention. (2019). Life After a Stroke: Our Guide Forward. Retrieved from https://www.stroke.org/-/media/Stroke-Files/life-after-stroke/Life-After-Stroke-Guide_7819.pdf

Patel, A., Fang, J., Gillespie, C., Odom, E., King, S., Luncheon, C., Ayala, C. (2019). Awareness of Stroke Signs and Symptoms and Calling 9-1-1 Among US Adults: National Health Interview Survey, 2009 and 2014. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieve from http://dx.doi.org/10.5888/pcd16.180564

Williamson, L. (2019). 5 Critical Steps to Help Prevent a Stroke. American Heart Association News. Retrieved from https://www.heart.org/en/news/2021/05/05/5-critical-steps-to-help-prevent-a-stroke