paralympics

The Paralympic Games… Just As Enjoyable

 

Have you been watching any of the Paralympics ? I have been watching a bit. New Zealand is doing very well, currently sixth overall for medals and first per capita .

Recently there was a discussion about whether the Paralympics get as much coverage , attention than the Olympics. NO, it certainly doesn’t, which is disappointing . It was suggested that it may be a good idea to have the Paralympics first. By the time the Olympics is over, many would be sick of sport. I guess that’s a possibility.

Many say that Brazil is pretty much broke with regards to the Olympics, which is understandable.

New Zealand swimmer Sophie Pascoe just won her 15th medal. This is her 3rd Paralympics.  15 medals, that’s pretty impressive. Many of the swimmers do very well, considering I have seen ones without hands, without arms.

Another Kiwi ( New Zealander ) that is doing well is Blade Runner Liam Malone. He has won gold medals in the 200 & 400 m and a silver in the 100m. In the process of this he has broken world records set by Oscar Pistorius. I would think Oscar Pistorius sports days are over….

Watching these people should be pretty inspiring for many. To see them do what they do, with the issues they have is amazing. I do believe that we should encourage our kids to win. But, if they don’t win it isn’t an issue. Competing is great on it’s own. Some of these people at the Paralympics would know that it’s most likely they don’t have a chance when it comes to winning, but they are still giving it a go. It would be very exciting to be representing your country.

So, lets hope the medals keep coming for New Zealand. I think they have about 17-18 as I write this . I think our record for these games is 24, which was in 1984.

So, lets hope the medals keep coming !!

 

 

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Positive Attitudes About Aging

It’s kinda funny that everyone wants to live a long life but the idea of getting old doesn’t really appeal to anyone. It’s a bit contradictory don’t you think ?

Maybe we could say that life is like wine, it becomes better with age. But there are good things about all stages of life. I now think about my teenage years and think how sweet it really was. Back then it was stressful with things like school work and popularity. Some of these things I now realize are so silly.

I guess we can’t do much about aging. I do find it hard to believe that 40 isn’t that far away for myself ( I’m 35 ). It’s a bit scary, because it seems like I just left school. The last 15 years have really flown by. I used to think how I was only a third of the way through my years, but I guess I’m a bit further down the track now.

It’s up to each of us with some aspects of aging. There are some out there that look much older than they are. How do you feel about aging ? I read in a magazine that people that have a bad attitude towards aging have a slower walking speed and worse cognitive abilities than ones positive about aging. DO YOU BELIEVE THAT ?

walking

I do look forward to the years to come though. I love my children but I do think about them getting older. I’m not saying I wish they were turning 18 tomorrow. As they get older they come more independent. As I have said in recent posts, our youngest will be at school next year. I’m exciting for her and myself.

It’s often said that people don’t reach their best until their later years. That’s true in some instances. Think of the histories most successful people. I look forward to that myself. We also have the ones in their early twenties, maybe even late teens that have reached unbelievable success.

In today’s society, T.V , magazines and social media have altered the way we look at getting older. Well, social media is where it’s at because of young ones. Technology is what the world is all about. I recently watched on 60 minutes how dangerous technology is. That’s true. It’s exciting but also frightening. If we aren’t careful, many will end up unemployed. During the discussion of this on 60 minutes, they talked of a McDonald’s restaurant been run by robots. FREAKY !!

So, try to keep a positive attitude and look forward to what is yet to come !!

Junk Food

Tackling Obesity

Junk Food

 

The number of overweight youngsters has increased dramatically over the last thirty years. Obesity has currently surpassed smoking as a pathological state. If action is not taken,Obesity is probably going to continue throughout lives. We do not want our kids to be having shorter lives than ourselves. After we scrutinize technology, it’s as if it’ll be the opposite. Ones on the improve , and the other is going down hill.
Obesity will bring several issues like Diabetes and Cancer.
So, what steps ought to be taken ? Is Education the solution ?
Parents have to take a look and see that everything we eat has an impact.
Education is a component of the solution, however alot more can be done. A part of the answer for Smoking has been the adding of a tax, which means  higher costs. This could be a deterrent from purchasing some food . Some countries have goals of been smoke-free by an exact date. Sound Optimistic ?  New Zealand goal is to be smoke free by 2025. It seems like a big ask, but smoking continues to decline. We all know that setting goals is the best way to reach targets. More information needs to be in place within the food market and on food packaging. This can lead to better decisions.
At times it looks as if Government is bringing up children, not parents. Parents need to be responsible when feeding their children.  Parents are of course the biggest influence in a  child’s early years. Habits can last a life time.
Children are not as active as they were in the past. Technology has modified the way many spend their time. How much time do your youngsters spend on the computer or with a tablet. Look at activities 30 years ago. Everyone was taking part in a lot more sport and generally just more active. Sport could be made more accessible, fees could be brought down.

Sport

Tackling Obesity may begin as early as in the womb.

At what level is the mother-to-be weight at ?
How much weight should she gain throughout gestation ?
Should she be eating additional food for her baby ?
How long should breast feeding last ?

Everyone needs to be eating their fruit and vegetables. How often do you have takeaway’s ?

Advertising is part of the problem. Adverts need to be limited  and also at the right times. In some countries, Alcohol has been taken  away from the television screen. Maybe the same action could be taken for some foods. EG : McDonald’s.

When you see that McDonald’s advert, do you desire a Big-Mac ?

It’s up to individuals to make the right decisions. Are you making the best ones ?

 

Top 13 Essential Vitamins and their Functions

Balanced and Healthy Diet

The main aspects to consider when selecting a healthy diet are portion control and balance. There is a saying “to eat the rainbow”. This comes from the fact that the more colourful fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins. So should the diet consist of a wide variety of colourful veg and dark leafy green then almost all vitamins are supplied.

5

When selecting portions, a handy guide is to use amounts you are familiar with. Such as a an amount of meat the same as the palm of your hand, 2 fistfuls of vegetables and a thumb sized piece of fat. This will ensure that you are getting enough food at each sitting to both satisfy your appetite and meet your nutritional requirements.

Most people can get enough vitamins by following that simple advice. However, old age, lifestyle habits such as smoking, and conditions such as pregnancy may require additional intake amounts. Therefore, it may be important to include the recommended supplements for health and vitality. Otherwise, following a diet plan is the only way to ensure that you are getting sufficient amounts of these essential vitamins.

Different Types of Essential Vitamins

There are 13 different types of essential vitamins required for normal body function. They are classified into two categories namely: Water-soluble and Fat-soluble vitamins.

  • Water-soluble- They include vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, C, Biotin, and Folate. They are not stored in huge amounts in the body and the excess is lost in urine. Aim to get a reasonable amount of these on a daily basis.
  • Fat-soluble- Fat-soluble vitamins include vitamins A, D, E, and K. They are stored in the body and, therefore, should be consumed in little amounts since extremes could cause health problems.

Functions, and Food Sources of Essential Vitamins

Vitamin A (Retinol)

Vitamin A has antioxidant properties which help improve immune health by maintaining healthy mucus membranes and fighting diseases. It helps build strong teeth and bones, prevents Alzheimer’s disease, heart diseases, arthritis, and age-related muscular degeneration problems. It also reduces wrinkles and fine lines associated with aging by rejuvenating the cells.

The dietary sources of Vitamin A include milk and dairy products such as yogurt, cheese, butter, eggs, fish liver oils, beef, kidney, chicken, leafy vegetables, pumpkins, carrots, sweet potatoes, and fruits like mangoes, peaches, winter squash, apricots, and cantaloupe.

RDA: Men: 900mcg Women: 700mcg

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)

Vitamin B1 helps convert food into energy. It’s essential for healthy skin, hair, brain, heart, and for normal nerve functioning.

B1 helps prevent kidney stones, Beriberi, heart diseases, and indigestion. It’s especially crucial for elderly patients who are at a risk of Alzheimer’s.

Sources include pork chops, ham, liver, dried beans, nuts, and seeds.

RDA: Men: 1.2mg Women: 1.1mg

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

This vitamin helps with energy production in the body by enabling conversion of food into energy. It also helps the body use other B vitamins properly. It’s needed for healthy eyes, hair, skin, blood, brain. It improves the body’s metabolic activity, boosts the immune system, and promotes the health of the nervous system.

Vitamin B2 comes from whole grains, dairy products, soybeans, meat and poultry, liver, eggs, and mushrooms.

RDA: Men: 1.3mg Women: 1.1mg

Vitamin B3 (Niacin, nicotinic acid)

This nutrient also helps convert food into energy and is important for the nervous system, digestive system, skin health, hair, and brain. It helps with indigestion, reduction of weakness, heart disorders, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, diabetes, skin disorders, migraines, and diarrhoea.

Niacin occurs naturally in foods and can also be made by the body from the amino acid tryptophan with the help of B6. It’s found in a wide variety of foods including meat, poultry, whole grains, mushrooms, potatoes, and peanut butter.

RDA: Men: 16mg Women: 14mg

Vitamin B7 (Biotin)

Biotin helps convert food into energy and synthesizes glucose. Also, it can help break down some fatty acids. It allows the body to use proteins, fats, and carbohydrates from the food consumed. Its helps improve metabolism and treats skin disorders.

It’s found in whole grains, non-fat milk and yogurt, sweet potatoes, peanuts, almonds, eggs, liver, poultry meat, organic meats, and fortified soy milk.

RDA: Men: 30mcg Women: 30mcg

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)

It helps the body make good use of proteins and glycogen. It also helps form haemoglobin which carries blood in the body. It improves sleep, moods, and appetite. It also boosts the immune system. The only vitamin deficiency known to cause or worsen seizures in infants is a deficiency of vitamin B6. Some doctors may also try vitamin B6 in older children with difficult-to-control seizures, but there is no solid evidence that it will be helpful.

Most people do not get enough of this nutrient. It’s mainly found in foods such as meat, potatoes, bananas, poultry, liver, soybeans, lentils, nuts, bran, oats, chickpeas and sunflower seeds.

RDA: Men: 1.3mg Women: 1.3mg

Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)

B12 helps improve body metabolism, synthesizes red blood cells and keeps the nervous system healthy. Deficiency can cause anaemia. The vitamin is only found in animal food sources such as meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, milk and other dairy products.

RDA: Men: 2.4mcg Women: 2.4mcg

Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid)

It helps convert food into energy and also makes lipids and haemoglobin. Deficiency causes burning feet and neurological problems. It’s commonly found in whole grains, mushrooms, broccoli, tomatoes, avocado, and poultry.

RDA: Men: 5mg Women: 5mg

Folate (folic acid)

It’s vital for new cell creation. It helps prevent birth defects when taken during pregnancy, reduces heart and colon cancer risks and offsets breast cancer risks among women who consume alcohol.

It’s mainly found in asparagus, spinach, okra, broccoli, legumes like chickpeas and black-eyed peas, tomato juice, and orange juice.

RDA: Men: 400mcg Women: 400mcg

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)

It’s generally an antioxidant that promotes healthy teeth and gums, improves the body’s ability to absorb iron, boosts the immune system and maintains healthy tissues. It’s abundant in citrus fruits, broccoli, potatoes, bell peppers, spinach, tomatoes, Brussel sprouts, and strawberries.

RDA: Men: 90mg Women: 75mg: Smokers: An additional 35mg

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is essential for good bone health as it increases the amount of calcium and phosphorus absorbed in the body, making bones and teeth stronger and healthier. It also helps protect against infections by boosting the immune system health. Dietary sources include milk, fish, eggs, organ meats fish liver oils, and rice beverages.

RDA: Men: 10mcg Women: 10mcg

Vitamin E

It helps maintain a healthy immune system and other body processes. It also acts as an antioxidant and protects cells from damage. It’s found in vegetable oils, leafy green vegetables, avocados, some nuts, sunflower seeds, peanut butter, and wheat germ.

RDA: Men: 15mg Women: 15mg

Vitamin K

This nutrient activates proteins and calcium essential for blood clotting and also helps prevent hip fractures. It can be found in liver, broccoli, spinach, sprouts, kale, eggs, collard, and other leafy green vegetables.

RDA: Men: 120mcg Women: 90mcg

Author Bio:

Alex Morgan – Currently studying in Dublin, Alex is a career writer, by choice! Versed in a number of subjects he mainly specialises in tech, education, health and fitness and gaming; of the video variety. He posts on a number of blogs and websites and harbours desires to begin a great novel, but struggles creating character names – Look for the epic fantasy “Tom the Barbarian” on shelves soon.

He can often be found on twitter under the handle @Al_Exical. He finds it comforting to talk about himself in the third person.

Breast Cancer

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast Cancer

The National Breast Cancer Foundation reports that each year an estimated 220,000 women in the U.S. are diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 40,000 die. While the number of breast cancer related deaths have decreased in the past 20 years, the number of women diagnosed remains high. One in eight will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime and it continues to be the second leading cause of death among women. While there is still no cure for cancer, awareness and early detection prove to be helpful in increasing the likelihood of extending life and even survival.

Educate, Inform, & Inspire

October marks Breast Cancer Awareness Month and all women, young and old, should know how to perform self exams, a helpful tool in early detection. Additionally, women can help by educating other women in their lives, such as family, friends, and co-workers, on the benefits of early breast cancer detection. While self exams should be performed regularly and year round, take the time this October to inspire and educate those around you.

Who is Most at Risk?

Unfortunately, breast cancer is not preventable and some women are prone to developing it over others. However, there are lifestyle habits (or changes) that can help you reduce the risk of developing breast cancer. Remember, whether you are in your 20’s or in your 70’s, it’s never too late to change your lifestyle. According to the Mayo Health Clinic, here are some ways to reduce your risk of breast cancer:

  • Limit alcohol consumption and don’t smoke tobacco
  • Lose weight, maintain a healthy weight, and stay physically active
  • Breast feed your infants
  • Limit your duration of hormone therapy
  • Avoid environmental pollution and radiation

While lifestyle habits can greatly affect your chances of developing breast cancer, your chance may be linked to your genes. Risk factors may vary from woman to woman, but self-exams and mammograms can be integral detection tools.

Breast Self-Exam

Breast self-exams are a self-checkup that women do in the comfort of their own homes. Although it’s not completely accurate, it is free and can help to save a woman’s life. Many women struggle with being comfortable performing a self-exam, but with regularity women should be able to notice changes and report them to her doctor. A breast self-exam is easy to do, but should not be compared to anyone else’s as all breasts are different. One woman may have normal “lumpy” breast tissue while another may have none. If you are hesitant to “get to know your breasts” talk with your doctor or with a friend; it’s time to take charge of your health.

Mammogram

Self-exams are also important because your breasts could change a lot between annual checkups and the time your reach the age of mammograms. Many older women talk about the “dreaded” mammogram, but it’s an important tool in detecting any changes within the breast that could indicate breast cancer. Mammograms are scheduled for women who are over the age of 40.

Another great way to monitor your breast health and reduce your risk of dying from breast cancer is have a honest and open discussion with your doctor.

Matt Rhoney is an avid reader on trending topics and a writer in his spare time. On the beautiful coast of North Carolina you will usually find him catching up on the latest news with locals or on the beach surfing, kayaking or paddle boarding. He loves to write pieces on health, fitness, and wellness, but often writes about families and safety.

Mount Everest

My Everest Walk !!

 

 

So, back to School and Kindy for everyone tomorrow. It’s been a very busy couple of weeks, probably the busiest holidays we have ever had. We saw alot of people. We spent a few nights away with my in-laws and parents. While we were away I did part of the Everest Walk !! Puzzled ?

A view out towards Young Nicks Head

Kaiti Hill

 

 

It was called the  Kaiti Hill Challenge. Kaiti Hill is 130m high, so 68 climbs or walks gets you all the way to the top of Mt Everest (8840m).  This distance had to be done between the 13th of September and the 31st of October. I don’t really think you can put it on the same scale, but it’s a great theme for a walk. It got alot of people involved, including my mother-in-law. She is always a keen walker.

It was pretty impressive the number of people walking up the hill. Walking up and down took about 30-40 mins, so we did this twice two days in a row.  When you get to the top of Kaiti Hill, you have a pretty good view. You can see all of Gisborne, plus Young Nicks Head.    This is the spot that 12 year old Nicolas Young first saw in 1769 when aboard Captain Cook’s Endeavour.

The Endeavour
Captain Cook’s Endeavour

A couple of days ago, my mother-in- law sent me a text saying she had completed her Everest Walk. Sounds like she got up to 6 walks one day. That’s a bit of walking, and walking the same track over and over again.

So, holidays are always good holidays, but by the end of things I’m always ready for the end of things. The good thing this time of year is that it’s only one  more school term and we have the end of year. Sorry to sound negative, but I don’t really enjoy thinking about Christmas. I sometimes think it would be nice to go to bed about the 23rd of December, then wake up about the 5th of January.

I’ve just had a funny week when it comes to my Epilepsy. A week ago, I went a bit down the road and joined a fitness group. I told the Instructor about my Epilepsy, then about half an hour in had a turn. I felt it coming on. Things looked different. The Instructor was very helpful. She made sure I was ok to walk home. She even sent a Facebook message that evening. I have had turns the last 3 days as well. They have all had a reason, and all been very short. The reasons have being watching my son spill his cereal. It stressed me out watching him try and carry his place-mat and bowl at the same time. I knew something was going to spill. This led to my turn. The next day my kids were riding their bikes outside and my son called us out because my daughter was having problems on her bike.  Then, yesterday …. After dinner, my son asked if there was any pudding. “No”, I said. He didn’t like the sound of that, so more conversation eventuated. Then a very quick turn arrived.                                                                                                    So, as you can see, just little things that brought a bit of stress. It’s Sunday again, so I’ll be going to the fitness group again. Here’s hoping things will be ok.

All the best,

Bryce 🙂

 

Running

Exercise … Just Do It

Exercise

How do you feel about the word “Exercise” ?

Some people feel excited about the word “Exercise” . But, not everyone feels this way.  There are some that really dislike the word. They may fear it.  The thing is, not all types of Exercise works for everyone. That means there is no correct way to Exercise . This is also a good and bad thing. Maybe you have the thoughts like “Where do I start, what am I going to do.”

Remember what Nike says ? “Just Do It”. So, do anything you like !! Experiment with a few different things and find something you enjoy and think is going to be effective. NikeDo you like running or Walking ? Do you like Cycling ? Do you prefer to be in a Gym ?

You don’t have to do a huge amount of exercise for it to be effective. 5 minutes a day can be enough.   There is nothing better for you than simple movement.

I am often shocked by the short distances people travel via bus. I take the bus a couple of times a month, but this is due to not having a license. When I do use the bus service, it’s a decent distance I travel. Walking gets better and better the more you do it.

The human body is a fantastic machine. I think it’s better than any technology we have created. Your body can adapt to many types of stress is placed upon it.

Exercise & Bus Travel

Fitness & Exercise can lead to one of the best medicines there is, and that is Self-Esteem. There is nothing better than feeling good about yourself. I think that leads to more Motivation. That’s how it has very much been for me in the past and present.