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Be Well, Be Well Informed
Kids are growing up immersed in technology. While technology offers great ways to learn and stay connected, excessive and inappropriate use can cause problems, particularly for children and teens. Studies show too much media time can lead to attention problems, lower academic performance, family dysfunction, sleep and eating disorders, and obesity. Also, privacy dangers can lurk online. Read More about Six Tips to Keep Kids Safe Online
Many teens live with “toxic stress” – a buildup of stress from social pressure, competition at school, anxiety about fitting in – that too often can lead to depression, substance abuse or even physical pain.
Mindfulness is a tool they can use.
“Mindfulness can be especially helpful for teens with anxiety,” Kimberly Erlich, CPNP, nurse practitioner and coordinator of the Adolescent Behavioral Health Project at Mills-Peninsula and the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, says.
Cell phones, tablets, laptops, smart TVs – it’s hard to imagine life without digital media. Most adults spend 11 hours a day using electronic media, including their computer at work. By 2015, some estimates predict the number will rise to 15 hours a day.
Like us, our kids are growing up immersed in technology. Is there a downside?
“The infiltration of technology in our lives is often so subtle we don’t notice it,” Eric Perez, M.D., a Mills-Peninsula and Palo Alto Medical Foundation pediatrician, says. “Parents might let a child play on an iPad during dinner to keep him occupied and at the table. They themselves may frequently consult a cell phone during a meal. Soon technology becomes a constant guest at the dinner table, and eventually, no one talks to each other.”
While technology offers great ways to learn and stay connected, excessive use can cause problems, particularly for children and teens. Studies show too much media time can lead to attention problems, lower academic performance, family dysfunction, sleep and eating disorders, and obesity.
Here’s how to make the most of technology without letting it rule your family’s life.
Set Limits and Follow Them
Children spend an average of seven hours per day on “entertainment media” – including texting, watching TV, surfing the Internet and playing video games – reports the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). That’s more time than most kids spend in school! Read More about The Digital Generation
Are you ever aware – fully aware – of your thoughts, your feelings, the sensations on your body? Most of us aren’t. Yet if we could focus our attention on the moment, without judging or analyzing our thoughts, research shows we could use this mindfulness to boost our health in many ways.
“Mindfulness is portable. You can do it anywhere. You don’t need any physical tools, and it doesn’t cost any money,” says Kimberly Erlich, CPNP, nurse practitioner and coordinator of the Adolescent Behavioral Health Project at Mills-Peninsula and the Palo Alto Medical Foundation. “Mindfulness-based stress reduction is a skill you have to learn, just like riding a bike. But it has great longevity and benefits.”
Instead of taking supplements, look to healthy foods to boost your vitamin intake. Start with these four simple tips from Debbie Kurzrock, a registered dietitian at Mills-Peninsula’s Dorothy E. Schneider Cancer Center in San Mateo. Read More about Get a Vitamin Boost Through Food
Half of all Americans take vitamin supplements, according to a recent Gallup poll. But are vitamins in pill form really good for you?
“Most adults with a balanced diet don’t need to take supplements,” Tarini Anand, M.D., a Mills-Peninsula internal medicine doctor, says. “In fact, a variety of natural foods, rather than supplements, is the best source for getting all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients you need to stay healthy.” Read More about Vitamin Supplements: Yes or No?
One of the best ways to boost your vitamin intake to stay healthy is by eating a variety of natural foods. Try this recipe loaded with natural vitamins from The Longevity Kitchen, by Rebecca Katz, M.S., a book Debbie Kurzrock, a registered dietitian at Mills-Peninsula’s Dorothy E. Schneider Cancer Center in San Mateo, recommends regularly to her patients.
CARROT APPLE SLAW WITH CRANBERRIES Read More about Natural Vitamin Recipe: Carrot Apple Slaw with Cranberries