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If you’re like me, the idea of working out seemed unnecessary. I’d say, “I’m a pretty active farmer and my work has me moving every day so why bother working out?” And how about those of you in your prime (unlike me!) you might think you have plenty time to start, no need to worry about it now right? Well let me tell you there is no time to waste and here’s why:

We’ll start with the usual info, the stuff we’ve all heard I’m sure. A good workout improves your health, and strengthens your heart, arteries and lungs. Think in terms of being healthier in the future, the workout you do today allows you to live your best life as you age. And of course exercise helps control weight, and reduces the risk of diseases like certain cancers and type 2 diabetes.

Now, let’s talk about how it fits into our lifestyle. I recently watched an episode of my favorite local TV show that showcases the farming lifestyle here in California. This particular episode interviewed a long-time homesteader that manages her 2 acre property at the age of 80. 80! And to what did she credit as the reason for her incredible endurance? It was her pure love for animals, gardening and, her exercise routine. Her workouts improved her breathing (think about chasing a chicken), balance (tip toeing through the veggie patch), and flexibility (really, we all need this one).

For these reasons, you need to get a workout routine. Agreed? Start with one or more of the following basic exercises. I like to think of this trio as the foundation, add more over time to build your perfect routine. These are outstanding for core, glutes/leg and upper body strength and toning.

A good start would be to do this twice a week. Do 3 sets of 5-10 reps each.

Crunches For A Solid Core

Lie on your back with your knees bent and slightly apart. With your hands behind your head and your elbows out to the sides, curl forward lifting your head and shoulders off the floor. (Do not use your hands to lift, use your abs and curl up.) Exhale on the way up, inhale as you go back down. Repeat.

Tip: Do crunches slowly and with control.

Tip: Keep a little bit of space between your chin and chest.

Tip: Remember to keep your stomach pulled inward because it actually helps protect your lower back.

Leg Lifts On Hands And Knees

To do this you need to be on your hands and knees. Put your hands forward and lined up with your shoulders, and knees lined up with your hips. With a straight back, exhale as you lift one leg up until your thigh is parallel to the floor. Keep your foot flexed and inhale on the way down. Switch legs and repeat.

Tip: As mentioned above, keeping your abs pulled in really helps your lower back.

Tip: As you progress, bend the knee as you raise your leg to where your foot is more parallel to the ceiling.

Simple Push Ups For More Girl Power

To begin, lay down (on your stomach) with your hands flat on the floor next to (but slightly under) your shoulders. Lift/push your body up off the floor, straightening your arms and keeping your knees on the floor. Flex your feet so that your toes are touching the floor. Your body should be straight, and your abs tucked in. Bend your arms and lower your body back down very close to the floor but without actually touching it. Repeat.

Tip: Make sure your elbows are close to your body as you lower yourself downward.

Tip: Advance to a slight pause – in the downward position, hold the position for half a second longer.

Tip: Advance to lifting your feet up – with knees still on the ground, cross your feet, raise them up behind your butt and keep them there until finished with the reps.

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Oh, we are all about…




Why Every Kid Should Have a Pet

If your son or daughter has been hinting or just plain begging for a pet, you might want to consider it. There are benefits to them having a dog, cat, rabbit, bird or another type of pet to care for. It may seem like it will add to your own workload, but the rewards for your child will far outweigh the costs or inconvenience to you.

Pets Inspire Physical and Mental Health

One of the first benefits of getting your child a pet is the possibility of improving their physical health. More exercise can help them fight childhood obesity. Having the responsibility of walking their dog every day or running around the house with a frisky cat can increase their activity level. Active kids are healthier kids.

Higher activity levels when young can help lower the risk of heart attack and high blood pressure as your child reaches adulthood. Pets are also known to help lower stress and blood pressure levels. Studies have shown that young children who are exposed to pets early won’t have near as many allergy and asthma problems relating to pet dander or hair as kids who aren’t allowed to have pets.

Improved mental health is also an added benefit to having a pet – for kids and adults alike. It is widely known that pets help reduce stress and feelings of loneliness or anxiety. Children may turn to their pets when they can’t express their feelings to adults or other kids. Having a supportive friend who listens, doesn’t judge, and loves them unconditionally can help them cope with difficult situations or the stresses of daily life.

Boosted Confidence and Self-Esteem

The boosts to a child’s confidence and self-esteem can be substantial when they have the love and care of a pet. This animal is their friend, they depend on them, and they will love them no matter what a child says or does. When they come home from school, that pet is there excitedly waiting for them. They are happy to see them.

Your child’s confidence will continue to grow due to the fact that there is someone who is always so excited to see them. Their pet just wants to be with them. Younger children will especially see improvement in their confidence as they take on more responsibility in caring for their pet.

Pets Teach Responsibility

Don’t forget that pets can also help teach kids responsibility. Having this animal depending upon them for their well-being makes your child accountable. Your child must do what it takes to keep their animal healthy and happy. Encourage them to learn everything they can about their new pet. Aid them in becoming an expert in the care and welfare of their chosen animal.

The regular chores of changing litter boxes, feeding and watering, and exercise start your child on the road to becoming a responsible adult. Even the smaller pets such as fish in a tank or a hamster in a cage have needs that must be attended to. Your child will learn when the tank or cage should be cleaned and what feeds are needed for their pet.

There are very few drawbacks to getting a pet for your child and your family. Growing up with a pet can mean less stress, less loneliness, more confidence, and better health overall for your child. Do a little research and find out what pet might be a perfect fit for your child.

What kind of pets did you have growing up? Do your kids have animals now?


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