Family Fitness

When kids are really young, it’s not that hard to squeeze in a workout. When they’re napping, follow an exercise video to break a sweat. If you like to run, conduct a few jogging stroller reviews to find the best model that allows your little one to comfortably sit back and enjoy the ride while you run. Heck, just following an 8-year-old around the playground is an aerobic exercise. But as children—and parents—grow older, finding time to do family fitness becomes more of a challenge. To see more information on jogging strollers see,

Children exercising in the yard

That said, the benefits of parents and children exercising together remain the same. According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, children with at least one obese parent have a 50% chance of also becoming obese. Conversely, when kids see mom and dad staying fit, then they are more likely to emulate that behavior. Even better, if everyone in the family participates, then exercise becomes a fun family activity.

The key to enticing older kids to be involved—willingly—is to find things everyone likes to do. Here are a few ideas to get you and your family moving.

Learn an extreme sport
If you overhear your son or daughter talking about wanting to rock climb, snowboard, parkour or whatever physical activity that’s currently interesting him or her, then find opportunities to do it. Learn together. You may not be as into it as your kid, but he/she will take on the challenge with a bit more confidence knowing you’re there to encourage.

Train for an event
These days there are all kinds of competitions—5K, marathon, mud runs, etc. Enter as a family and train as a family, holding each other accountable. It’s okay—actually, it’s great—if your child has to remind you to make time for a practice. Return the favor by prompting everyone to run a little farther with each session.

Make a family wager
Does your teen think he can out pushup you? Accept the challenge, and put a family-friendly wager on it, such as winner doesn’t have to take out the trash for two weeks. Take the competition to the gym to (safely) test weight limits and keep a progress chart. At some point, the competitive nature will change from beating each other to beating personal bests, which is an effective long-term motivator.

Get involved in your child’s sport
No, you don’t have to try out for the high school football team at age 40-something, but don’t just drop him off at practice and leave or sit around answering emails on your smartphone. While she’s working up a sweat on the soccer field, you could be dribbling a ball on an empty field. If he’s perfecting his hurdling form, you could be running bleachers. You don’t have to do the exact same training, but your child will appreciate the effort you’re putting in under the same tough environmental conditions.

It’s not necessarily the workout details your kids will remember, but rather the time you all spend together.

Guide for Facial Sunscreen

For many sunscreen is the worst part of going to the beach, or any summertime activity. Many skimp out of sunscreen, which can lead to deadly skin diseases like melanoma. Even among those who wear sunscreen, many forget to wear sunscreen on their face, which can lead to burns quickly. It’s important to remember to wear sunscreen on any exposed skin, especially the face. In this guide we’ll go over a few aspects of face sunscreens, to help you find the best sunscreen for face sunburn prevention.

As opposed to standard sunscreens for your body, it’s always a good idea to look for a gentler option when looking for a face sunscreen. The skin around your face tends to be more sensitive than the rest of your body, so treating it with care will always enable you to get the most out of your sunny day. Therefore, there are a few different features to look for when selecting a face sunscreen. Look for products that are oil free, or water based. Oils clog the pores on your face, which can lead to nasty acne breakouts, which are never fun or attractive. When looking for a sunscreen that won’t cause a breakout, look for labels like “non-comedogenic” or “non-acnegenic”. These products will be specially formulated to not cause acne.

Beyond acne, it’s better to select a sunscreen that will be easy on your skin and not cause rashes. Many sunscreens contain dyes and scents, which can cause allergic reactions with some people. Look for a sunscreen with as few ingredients as possible, which will be less likely to cause a reaction. Organic or natural sunscreens will often contain fewer chemicals, which can cause nasty rashes or reactions with some people. Products of this nature will have the labels on the bottle, so they’re easy to find.

Keep in mind however, that it’s important not to skimp on the protection when buying a face sunscreen. Just because it’s going on your face doesn’t mean it should be any less protecting than a body sunscreen. Make sure the spf is higher, preferably at least 30 spf. Also, look for a product that is “broad-spectrum” or “full-spectrum”. These products protect from both the sun’s UVA and UVB rays, giving you comprehensive coverage from the elements.

Also remember that the only line of defense between you and the sun is the sunscreen on your face. Waterproof sunscreens are preferred for this reason. Even if you are not swimming, breaking a sweat while wearing sunscreen can wear the sunscreen off quickly. A waterproof sunscreen will rectify this problem, but only temporarily. Even the most hardy sunscreen needs to be reapplied often, or else you’ll be exposed. And remember, at the end of the day exposing as little of yourself to the sun as possible is the safest route. Wear a wide brimmed hat when outside, to protect your face and neck from the elements. Wear glasses to protect both your eyes and the skin around them. And finally, stay in the shade whenever possible!

Healthy Eating Tips For Firefighters

Firefighters need to learn diet and exercise tooBeing a firefighter is a physically and mentally demanding job which can involve long and odd hours and this makes eating healthy a bit trickier. Some studies have said 73% of career firefighters are classed as being overweight and this can lead to a greater chance of hypertensions, cardiorespiratory problems and less muscle strength. So what can be done to help level out the balance?

Starting Off Right

For some people it might be the case that they read up on the best running shoes for men, grab a pair and hit the park. But jogging doesn’t suit everyone and sometimes can use too much energy when you have a job that uses a massive amount in the first place.

The first easy tip for meal times is to look at the content of what is in the food and aim to reduce a few key areas; for example aim for a meal that has less than 30% calories that come from fats or less than 7% of the fat coming from saturated fats.

Instead of eating one large meal, try having smaller meals more often, maybe every 2-3 hours if possible, so that you get a constant release of energy from the food. Keep a few healthy snacks to hand, even if you are traveling around the city to try to manage this.

Balance of food

Try to incorporate more heart-healthy sources of fat in your diet. These are thing such as avocado, olive oil, peanut oil, coconut and salmon. These including mono- and polyunsaturated fats as well as omega-3 fats that are the good fats.

This can also apply to the method of cooking; swap whole milk to skimmed milk or try using oil instead of fat. When picking your meat, aim for the leaner cuts where possible such as sirloin, flank steak and game meats if you can. If you are a pork fan, head for the boneless pork loin and take off the extra fat before you cook the meat.

Fruit and Vegetables

We all hear about five a day or similar ideas but the basics behind it is solid: incorporating more fruit and vegetables into the diet helps your health. The US Dept. of Agriculture recommended 2 cups of fruit and 2.5 cups of vegetables every day as they are low in calories and have lots of vitamins and minerals in them. Swap them around and eat different ones to get the maximum benefit.

All the really tasty stuff, like cookies and pies, all have a high amount of sugar in them so avoid eating them regularly. Sugar isn’t the best source of calories so try to aim for no more than 10% of daily calories coming from added sugar.


It can be hard to fit into the schedule but it is recommended that 150 minutes of moderate to high-intensity exercise should be undertaken each week. This is in addition to the exercise you get at work naturally. It can be hard to fit in, but in the long run, could make all the difference to your long-term health.

Firefighters Get Pimples and Baggy Eyes, Too…

Listen, we’re firefighters, okay? It’s no secret that we’re a bunch of knuckleheads. We like to think of ourselves as really capable men. We take care of business. And, when we’re at the firehouse, it’s easy to feel like you’re in a frat house. It’s just that kind of atmosphere. We joke around. We play pranks on each other. We walk around in our undies. It can get pretty ridiculous. But it’s also no secret that we take care of business when business needs to be taken care of.

In short, we’re manly men. Even the women among us are a bit stubborn about how tough we are (not that women aren’t tough; really, the women are some of the toughest firefighters we’ve got). But it’s just that kind of culture.

So, you wouldn’t expect us to freak out over a pimple. And really, when you picture a firefighter in your head, you probably don’t picture him or her walking around with a zit on his forehead. But believe me, we get them! I mean, we’re wearing big sweaty masks in the field; it’s bound to happen sooner or later.

Also, some of us are old. Especially the chief. He’s a geezer! So, while the young guys worry about their pimples, the old guys and girls are busy worrying about the bags under their eyes.

But, here at the fire house, we do everything as a team, and that includes skin care. Now, I don’t mean that we sit around with cucumber masks painting our nails, but we definitely do share little secrets between ourselves and do a few things around the station to help everyone out. Here’s what we do.

For the young folks

Like I said, our young folks mostly struggle with pimples. So, we do a couple of things to help each other out. First, we eat well. No junk food in the fire house. We eat whole, clean, healthy foods, and that has a huge impact on how your skin looks (which is something I did not know).

Second, we spent a long time doing research to find the best dark spot corrector we could find. It’s just a little bottle of cream, but it helps get rid of post-breakout blemishes, which can stick around for a really long time.

Lastly, we wash all our pillow cases regularly. We’re a big fan of naps here at the station, and dirty pillow cases can cause breakouts faster than just about anything.

For the geezers

For our resident geezer, the chief, we wanted to find something to help with those baggy eyes, even though we love him just the way he is. We did a lot of research for this, too, and one of the things we found (the only thing we found that worked, really) was the Dermawand. This is an awesome little gadget that pumps radio waves into your face to tighten your skin. And it actually works. Really. After looking at a bunch of Dermawand reviews, we all chipped in and got it for his 50th birthday. He’s not pretty yet, but we’ve definitely seen some improvement.

Anyway, the point is: skin health is important, and at the fire house, we like to keep each other healthy, and we also like to help keep our community healthy. So we hope these

How the Ball Diamond Made Us a More Effective Team

As a firefighter, you are always working as part of a team. Failing to work as a team can have drastic consequences and can result in either a crew member or victim becoming severely injured or worse. For this reason, learning to work as a team is something Fire crews put a lot of resources into teamwork because all the training in the world becomes obsolete if you’re not working as a single unit.

Creating a Culture

When new recruits get hired on to a department, they undergo a training process to get them familiar with the procedures of the particular hall and department. However, creating a culture of teamwork can be more difficult and getting the crew outside of the fire hall is proven way to create this culture.

baseballBeyond the mandatory volunteer commitments outside of the hall, some departments will participate in recreational sporting leagues. This could be soccer, ice hockey, football or as my department chose softball. Softball however is a game that is individualized. When a batter is at the plate, he is by himself, there is nobody else who can swing the bat for him, or help him get on base. He is alone. However, it takes 9 guys to put up runs, and it takes 9 guys to get 3 outs every inning. And regardless of how individualized this can be, the best teams always know how to work as a team.

My Experience

I re-call my first game with the department like it was yesterday. I was up to bat and my newly appointed captain was on 2nd base. I was still getting used to the team bat but I had in my hand what was supposed to be the best softball bat available, the new DeMarini J3.  I hit the ball into left centre field and the captain rounded 3rd scoring easily. When the inning was over, all my teammates who are also my colleagues gave me a high five and I felt instantly like I was part of the team. This continued for the remainder of my first year with the department and I saw how our comradery on the field transferred into the hall as it provided us a separate theatre to get to know one another. When you are working, there is a different atmosphere and people tend to be more reserved making it difficult to truly get to know one another. On the ball diamond it’s a completely different story. Colleagues are able to bond over long home runs, quick double plays and diving catches. I am sure that our department would not be as close to each other at the fire hall if it wasn’t for the ball diamond.

Join a League

Softball leagues exists all across North America and more information about where these leagues exist can be found on the ASA website or the USSSA website.

The Esselstyn Diet: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know

Are you looking for a new way to maintain a healthy lifestyle or drop a few pounds. Whether you’re looking to shed a few holiday pounds or create a new healthy lifestyle as part of a New Year’s resolution, it can be challenging to choose a diet such as the gm diet that will work for your needs. One reason for this is that there are so many diets out there, designed to manage everything from carbs to fats.

However, one diet you can consider trying is the Esselstyn diet. Also known as the Engine 2 diet, it was created by a Texas firefighter who was looking to maintain a healthier lifestyle for better job performance. It also integrates exercise for better fitness. Let’s take a closer look at the Esselstyn diet and how it can benefit your health.Esselstyn diet

 The Esselstyn Diet: What’s Required

As far as diets go, this one is pretty extreme. It requires a massive dietary overhaul to focus on plant-based foods, completely cutting out animal fats like dairy, eggs, meat, and fish. Therefore, it is somewhat akin to the vegan diet, which also eliminates all animal products.

However, the Esselstyn diet has one twist. It eliminates all vegetable oils as well, such as olive oil, coconut oil and soybean oil. While some health experts recommend using these oils as part of a balanced diet, the Esselstyn diet argues that these oils are very high in calories, have no nutritional benefits, and can still contribute to cardiovascular disease.

Instead of using oils, the Esselstyn diet requires you to focus on foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as complex carbohydrates. For cooking, you can substitute water or beer for oil, and bananas and prunes in baked goods. You should also get 20-40 minutes of exercise per day at a minimum.

Numerous Health Benefits

Esselstyn diet book The Esselstyn diet argues that the complete elimination of both animal fats and vegetable oils will promote better heart health and prevent such catastrophic diseases as heart attacks, strokes, high blood pressure, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. Even if you have these diseases in your family history, following the Esselstyn diet will help prevent them in a major way. Therefore, in addition to helping you lose weight, you can also try the Esselstyn diet if you have these diseases in your family history.


Other Things to Think About

 Trying any diet is a big commitment, but the Esselstyn diet is one of the more extreme measures you can take. It requires plenty of motivation and you may have to give up your favorite foods, particularly if you are following a standard American diet consisting mostly of unhealthy fats and processed sugars. You may also find difficulty in group events with food, such as group dinners, dinner parties, cocktail parties and meals at restaurants.

Furthermore, while this diet is definitely designed with your health in mind and not for a quick fix for weight loss, you should talk to your doctor before trying any major change to your nutrition. Depending on your health profile, you may need to take vitamin supplements or eat more of certain foods. Your doctor can also recommend a safe exercise regime for you to follow, as well as monitor your condition while you are on the diet.

Quick Clot: The Pros and Cons

If you’re a member of a first-responder team, like a firefighter, an EMT or police officer, you may have heard of QuikClot. QuikClot, also known as quick clot, is an emergency medical product meant to stop bleeding quickly, in time to get the patient to a doctor. Read below to learn more about quick clot and how it can help you do your job better.


 What is QuikClot?

QuikClot is a powder made from a mineral called zeolite. It is found in kaolin clay. In powder form, quick clot will stop severe bleeding and can even prevent a person from bleeding to death. In this way, it is indispensable for saving lives in certain situations.

Quick clot is most commonly used by the military, whose personnel are often in dangerous situations that are far away from medical care. In addition, the kinds of injuries that soldiers commonly face are much more dangerous than the average individual, and for these two reasons, quick clot is most commonly used here.


QuikClot: The ProsQuickClot

However, some civilian emergency personnel may benefit from carrying a few packets of quick clot on assignments, particularly to extremely dire accidents. For example, a really messy car accident in which the victim is going to bleed to death in a matter of minutes may be a time where quick clot would be vital.

The Cons

Yet many medical professionals recommend that quick clot be used only in certain situations. This be because it is a powder and can be very difficult to clean out of a wound, particularly a deep puncture wound. While quick clot will stop the bleeding, it won’t do anything to help the wound heal or disinfect it.

Doctors and nurses in emergency rooms report that quick clot can make the process of cleaning and dressing a wound much more difficult and also take much longer. And this takes away valuable resources from other patients in the ER who may need help.

Therefore, experts recommend only using quick clot in situations where you are really far away from medical help or if you can’t stop the bleeding in a wound with pressure.

The Verdict?

While quick clot can be difficult for emergency room staff to deal with, it can also help save lives. If you are an EMT, firefighter or other first-responder who regularly sees the kinds of gruesome injuries where an individual may bleed to death before getting to the emergency room, then perhaps it would be a good idea to carry a couple of packets of quick clot.

Additionally, you can consider each situation on a case-by-case basis. Try to assess the situation and determine whether you can stop the bleeding with pressure and elevation, as we learned in First Aid class.

You can also use quick clot if the material you’re using for a compress, such as a sanitary pad, becomes saturated very quickly. For example, if several sanitary pads become saturated in a matter of minutes, then it may be necessary to use quick clot.

Quick clot isn’t a perfect product or a cure-all, but can be live-saving in certain circumstances. Just carry a few packets to your assignments and use your judgement to determine whether it is necessary.