Tips for a Safe and Healthy Fall
Pack light and pack it right
If your child totes a full load of books, homework and sports equipment, a backpack assessment may be in order. To avoid back injury, your child should carry no more than 10 percent of his or her body weight, according to a study in the Journal of School Health—that’s 10 pounds for a 100-pound child. Make sure your child carries only what's needed for that day; put heavier items in the center of the pack; use padded shoulder straps; and always use both straps.
Stand tall this fall
Have you checked your posture recently? Bad posture is responsible for more than 80 percent of neck and back problems—including muscle spasms, compressed nerves, pain and headaches. To check your posture, try this test: Stand with the back of your head and your buttocks touching a wall and your heels six inches from the baseboard. Check the distance between your lower back and the wall, and your neck and the wall. You should have an inch or two at the lower back and two inches at the neck.
Breakfast: It fills your tank
If you want be sharp in the a.m., eat breakfast. For some quick ways to a healthy, productive and energetic morning, grab a low-fat and low-sugar cereal; blitz a smoothie with fruit, yogurt, skim milk and juice; or go the un-breakfast route: leftover pizza, a chicken breast, or cheese and crackers. As long as you eat a balanced, healthy diet throughout the day, it doesn’t matter what you eat in the morning. The point is to get your brain thinking and your body working.
Check off your fall to-do list
As summer fades into fall, it’s a swift reminder of items on your to-do list – from taking care of your health to planning for holidays:
Take advantage of the fall weather by heading outdoors.
Change the batteries in your smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detectors.
Ask your physician if the flu shot is right for you.
Avoid seasonal allergies by knowing your triggers and taking preventive medications.
Avoid holiday stress by gift shopping early and making plans now.