How Exercise Helps Your Family to Bond

How Exercise Helps Your Family to Bond

Bonding time is essential to maintain a strong family bond.

Unfortunately, sometimes life gets in the way of being able to enjoy one another.

Exercise is a good alternative that knocks two birds out with one stone. You both help one another to stay fit, as well as establish long-lasting bonds with family members.

Exercise- An Easy to Socialize and Interact with the Family

In the modern world, it is so easy to avoid social interaction. Instead of going with friends to see a movie, people prefer to curl up in the corner of their room to watch Netflix with their headphones in (tuning out the world).

Exercise is a way to pull people away from their otherwise reclusive state. For example, some people’s only purpose in going to the gym is to socialize. Why? It is so easy to find something to talk about:

  • When did you start coming here?
  • How fast can you run?
  • What equipment do you find helpful?
  • How did you get those abs?

There are endless things to talk about to get conversations started. And after getting things started, you could be talking about school or funny experience while driving.

The point is that Social interactions during exercise help the family bond while doing something productive.

Related Article: Muscle Relaxation Tips – How to Relax All Body Muscles within Minutes?

How Exercise Helps Your Family to Bond

A fun way to Discover Interest

I probably would have never started running if my family had not gone on walks/runs when I was younger. My sister would have never played tennis in high school had we not tried that out one time during a family exercise moment.

Exercising as a family allows you to discover new interest and talent that your children or significant other may have.

You learn how what sports your family likes and who is good at what.

Top Tip: Take turns picking one unique fitness event per month. You’ll be surprised how much more fun this makes it for everyone.

Exercise gets the Stress out of you and the “Wiggles” out of Them

Let’s face it; everyone has something on their plate that stresses them out.

Kids often have a lot of extra energy that you need to get out of them.

Exercise is the best way to have fun with the kids and satisfy both needs.

Strong family bonds are created when you help one another and consequently balance one another out.

Managing different “emotions” correctly

Some of you may have a child who seems to be angry and pouty all of the time. Exercise helps to get their anger out in a healthy way.

You buy a good set of MMA gloves for the family and join a class that teaches you how to defend yourselves. When done right, this is a perfect teaching and bonding moment for you and your children.

Learning the Limitations and Strengths of Family Members

I mentioned this in the previous point, but it is critical to touch on again.

While you exercise as a family, pay close attention to the needs, strengths, and limitations of family members.

You learn quickly who can do what as well as what you may need to improve on. For example, if you notice your children can run for an extended period but struggle with using the monkey-bars, you can start working on upper body strength as a family.

Noticing Health and Safety Concerns

A child may have asthma or another illness that you have to watch out for.

It goes without saying that you should be cautious of the time of day as well as the temperature.

The last thing you want to do is to call an ambulance because someone got heat stroke (God Forbid).

You also may notice you or someone has back pain and may need a foam roller. Hey, that could be an excellent gift for the holidays.

Critical Teaching and Bonding Moments During Exercise

Sometimes you only get one shot to catch behavior that needs to be corrected before it becomes a reoccurring problem.

Exercise is a natural time to teach your kids about the importance of taking care of their bodies.

How eating a lot of junk food and candy may taste good, but it comes back to bite you when you exercise.

Talk about moments and experiences you had as a child. Sit down with them.

Also, if a child needs correction, go eye-to-eye with them, and help them to understand how they can improve. During exercise, it is so easy to issue “punishments” such as timeouts or running laps.

But always be fair and understanding of the situation. Also, never make working out “punishment” as that is what the child will interpret it for years to come. Instead, make it one of the most exciting parts of the day.

Form Lifelong habits of fitness and discipline

As I mentioned before, when I was growing up, my family went on walks. To be honest, I used to dread it because, for me, it was too early in the morning.

We would drag ourselves out of bed around 6 am and go on a walk around the neighborhood circle. It was the only time both of my parents could do it, and now, looking back, I have to admit that I am forever grateful.

The 30-40 minutes they took to ingrain in my head the value of working out and exercising created a lifestyle that I was able to replicate later on.

Getting up early is a habit now. Working out is a habit now. These are lessons you remember for life and teach to your children and then your children’s children.

If you form bonds by exercising as a family, you’ll have memories that will last an eternity.


Exercise is a great way to bond with your family. If you haven’t tried it, I encourage you to start now. It could be one of the most productive routines you ever form.

13 Ways to Encourage Your Big Kids to Read

13 Ways to Encourage Your Big Kids to Read

Big Kids are Different Readers

Before my kids hit their pre-teen years and dived headfirst into the world of technology, they loved to read.

I thought I’d successfully checked off “raise a reader” in the parenting handbook.

Then along came electronics, phones, middle school and suddenly reading lost all its intrigue.

Turns out encouraging your child to enjoy reading is a skill that must be tuned all through their life.

As I parent through the pre-teen and teen years, here are 13 tips that have encouraged reading to take a priority in my children’s lives.

encouraging your child to enjoy reading

13 Ways to Raise a Reader for Life

1. Read in the Car

Don’t allow phones or iPads or electronics in the car, especially for trips around town. Not only do these short 10-30 breaks allow you time to talk to your kids, but it’s also a great time to sneak in reading.

Keep books or magazines available in the car. When they complain of your music or boredom, invite them to read.

2. Family Book Club

When one of your kids is assigned a book to read for school, encourage others in the family read it along with them.

Reading the book as a family makes for great conversation and excites the child who is assigned the book.

Allow the child whose assignment it is at school, to lead the rest of the family in conversations. By doing this, you can promote leadership skills in your child and prepare them (unknowingly) for any class book report.

3. Books Turned into Movies

Encourage your kids to read books that are now movies or even TV shows by using the film as a reward.

You can find upcoming movies for the year by a simple google search of “upcoming movies from books” or why not watch some older movies? Check out this list here, I bet you didn’t realize most of these started out as books.

4. Devices off Before Bed

Turn off all devices before bed and gather in the same room and everyone grabs a book.

It’s no secret by now that reading a paper book before bed with phones and tablets turned off improves sleep. If you need a little enforcement, turn off the WiFi in the house.

5. Audiobooks While Driving

If you have a long car ride or a road trip as a family, find an audiobook you’ll all enjoy.

You may decide to start with an audiobook from a movie you’ve all seen so the characters are recognizable, and the plot is relatively easy to follow along to for your first audiobook together.

6. Your Child’s Library Card

Not only can your child check out books from the library but make sure to download the audio and eBook readers your library has available on your child’s tablet or phone.

Their library membership will allow them to download books from there as well.

Hoopla and Libby are two awesome apps available at my public library for checking out audiobooks and eBooks and are likely available at your library as well.

7. More Than One

Encourage your child to read more than one book at a time.

They can leave one at school to read, have one to read at home at bedtime and even one downloaded as an audiobook.

8. Listen While Working

If your child likes audiobooks, encourage them to listen to an audiobook while they do chores.

Explain it can be a fun way to make a dull chore more enticing.  listen while working out or walking the dog

9. Reading Challenge

Encourage your child to join a reading challenge over the summer. Most public libraries have them as well as schools. Join the challenge yourself as well as anyone else in your family, even if they are “too” old or young.

Cheering each other on throughout the challenge will make it more exciting for your child.

You can also find (or create) lots of different “reading bingo” to complete during the summer months.

10. Earn Time

Instead of giving your kids free time on the computer, phone, or TV, have them earn it.

For each minute they spend reading, they earn a minute of TV time or phone time.

Exchanging technology time for reading time works exceptionally well during the summer or on weekends when you’re more likely to hear “I’m bored” but when you suggest reading you receive eye rolls.

Instead, start the day with reading, no questions asked.

11.  Set Goals

Each family member should set their own daily reading goals based on their abilities.

It can be a page number (50 pages per day) or a time amount (20 minutes per day.)

When you gather in the evening, talk about if everyone has met their reading goal, you included, and who needs some quiet time to make their goal for the day.

Optionally, you can have a weekly celebration for those who make their daily goal every day of the week, such as ice cream on Sundays.

12. Be Caught Reading

We hear this bit of advice when our children are babies, but our children never stop watching us.

Our kids should see us reading every day and watch us as we pick reading books over electronics.

13. Unlikely Places

Go the extra mile to find books for your older child.

The best seller list won’t always impress them.

Search online for best teenager books or fantasy books, or whatever genre they’re into at the time.

Ask the librarian for suggestions.

I’ve had great success at book fairs. My kids enjoy spending time picking out books for themselves, and as a result, they will read them when we arrive home.

Another place I’ve found different series books I can’t find elsewhere is Usborne books. There’s usually someone inviting me to an Usborne party a couple of times per year, and I attend because I can’t find the same books even on Amazon.

If you find a book your child likes from a series, then all the better. Order or check out the whole series. Book series can keep kids excited about reading for months without trying to find a new book.

How to Read Out Loud With Your Pre-Teen

Laying the Foundation

Regardless of how hard you try to encourage reading; you’ll find it will ebb and flow. There will be seasons when you’re sure your child will never pick up a book again in their life, followed shortly by non-stop reading.

The best thing you can do is put nudges in all the right places and help lay the foundation as they grow up.

Guest Post by Jennifer at SunflowerMom. Jennifer writes to encourage single moms to live their fullest life with God’s grace and love. She lives in Kansas with her teenagers and German Shepard.

Muscle Relaxation Tips – How to Relax All Body Muscles within Minutes?

Muscle Relaxation Tips – How to Relax All Body Muscles within Minutes?

Muscle tightness and stress is the main problem today. After a too much busy day you need relaxation, often after any great workout or exercise, you need rest and recovery.

While it is true, peaceful relaxation is not possible in a busy life! If you’re thinking about how to relax muscles & relieve stress to help reinforce your body, then you should follow the few tips to relax your muscle and reduce soreness.

Recommended Reading: What is cardio? A Guide For Moms

Keep in mind relaxing is not an as simple task as it sounds.

Here are scientifically proven ways and approaches to relax muscles.


A strained muscle turns into a sore muscle, so an appropriate stretch is a necessary thing that you should do after an exercise or workout. Whether you’ve done only sit throughout the day, a stretch will feel dumbfounding! Thus stretching plays a vital role to relax all body muscles.

Drink water

Always stay hydrated as it will help to muscles relaxation. As well water keeps the supply of the cell in balance condition and helping flush out toxins. Keep in mind always that you should avoid using artificially-sweetened energy drinks like sodas, and sugary drinks as they are not good for your health.


The best CBD capsules work well for helping muscle relaxation as per a research published in the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology 2010. CBD is the most effective natural source to treat muscles stress.


Meditation is a useful activity for stress relief and muscle relaxation. The best time to do meditation is just before going to sleep as it will set your body for rest. Locate a dull, calm room in the house and either lie on your back or sit with your legs crossed and concentrate on your breathing.

Free your mind from all the thoughts and keep taking deep breaths. Inhales slowly, completely fill your lungs with oxygen with each breath and then exhale slowly. During this process keep your one hand on the belly. Take a few breaths and get up slowly, your muscles will feel much relaxed.

Recommended Reading: How to Fight Stress with Essential Oils?

Meditation is the primary method to soothe stress and relieve muscles pain! You can take meditation just before you go to sleep as your body is totally relaxed while you close the eyes. After taking med the first thing, you will notice in the next morning it that you will wake up with a positive attitude. It helps to prevent stress and relax your body muscles. This is one of the best relaxation techniques that you can use once a week.


Heat is one of the best solutions to relax the sore muscles. Hot compress on muscles is beneficial for arthritis patients. Warm water shower or bath can help to relax the muscles.

Soak your body in warm water not in hot water as it can increase the metabolism of the body which can ultimately increase the rate of anxiety. In a warm water bath, you can add rosemary extract or oil, it would reduce the effects of muscle spasm. Taking massages with heat is also very good for sore muscles. Heat can loosen the muscles and give relief from muscle pains.

Final Words

Well, now you have great muscle relaxation tips with you. By incorporating the simple tips as explained above in your daily routine, you will surely be in a state to have more relaxed muscles than before. Want to share any tips? Let me know in the comments below.

How To Include Your Kids In The Wedding Ceremony

How To Include Your Kids In The Wedding Ceremony

There is no love stronger than the love a parent feels for their child. When you have children, being in a relationship with a partner can get complicated. When that relationship grows  to the next level, it is not just you who is getting “married.” It is a family commitment.

No matter how much your child loves your new partner, there will be adjustments. A child doesn’t know how to express the fears they have. They do not know how to tell you that they don’t know where they fit in anymore.

This is why it is important to explain what is happening and why. Things will inevitably change to include new family members.

How To Include Your Kids In The Wedding Ceremony -wedding ring

You said yes!

He popped the question and you said yes. Hopefully, you have allowed enough time to help the children understand how living arrangements and marriage works. When it is time to plan the wedding, include every member of the family. There are plenty of ways a child can help. Talk with them and see if any ideas seem to spark interest.

Below we will suggest several options that allow you to include the children. Try to find ways to contribute to the wedding.

  • A second proposal
    • Each adult should set aside time to ask the children if they will let you share your life. Understand, you may not get a resounding “Yes!” Depending on the age of the kid, you might even get a flat “No!” This s why you should think of the words you are going to use. Ask your partner for their help.
  • Put them in the wedding
    • Are they able to serve a bridesmaid, flower girl, Junior Bride, or escort for the grandparents?
  • Can they pass out gift baskets and programs? Can they give out the rice packages?


Suggested Article: The Most Important Lessons We Need to Teach Our Daughters

Signature drinks

Help your child to create a special signature drink. Think Shirley Temple (7-Up and Cherries) in a punch bowl. Try  7UP Sherbert punch. If your little one can handle a ladle and punch cup, they can serve the punch to the guests.

How To Include Your Kids In The Wedding Ceremony - wedding celebration

Helium Balloon Send-Off

Station your child at the exits handing out balloons. Be sure to have the weights on the ribbon (the vendor will prepare them) so they will not fly away. Your child can then easily handle the balloons.

Sand Ceremony

A sand ceremony is a perfect way to include your children. There is no hard and fast rule about when the ceremony happens, but it is normally done just before or just after the vows. There is a central crystal vase centered on a table. The groom has a bottle of sand of a particular color. The bride will have sand of another color. Give your child (children) sand of their own color. The groom pours his sand into the central vase saving, saving ½ of the sand.

The bride adds her sand on top of the grooms sand. Then the child or children add their individual colors. At this point, the family pours in the rest of their sand into the central vase. This symbolizes the blending of each person to create a new life.

More ways to include

    • Take her with you when you look at wedding dresses.
    • Take them with you to the cake tasting
    • Buy them an instant camera and film. Let them take their own pictures. You can give them a photo album to put together when you are making yours
    • Allow them to serve by handing the guests cake

There are many ways to include your child and make your wedding a family celebration. The most important thing is communication. Let your child have a voice and consider them in your plans. As long as you show compassion and understanding, you and your child will get through the wedding just fine.

This awesome article is from our friend Lauren from

Suggested Reading from her blog: Before you Hit the Road: Prepare Yourself for a long Journey with Your Kids

How to Fight Stress with Essential Oils?

How to Fight Stress with Essential Oils?

If you are an anxious person like me, essential oils can ease your life. Since I was a kid, I have been struggling to control my stress. Most of the time I cannot sleep because ideas are spinning in my head. It also makes me panic, be really negative and I feel powerless regarding my situation.

If you are familiar with those effects (you might have others such as headaches, light eating disorders, looking old…), there are natural solutions that can help you. Essential oils and other natural and healthy practices support me during those rough times and I believe they can comfort you too.

How can essential oils fight stress?

Essential oils are composed of tiny molecules that go through your skin or lungs, into your blood and reach your brain. There, they act on the area that is causes stress, anxiety, panic, and even depression. This is how they can relieve you.

Besides, they are “adaptogen” so they can adapt to your issue naturally. Therefore, if you are restless, they calm you down and if you are depressed, they lift your mood up. Magic, isn’t it?

If you think that it is too good to be true, the Telegraph highlighted a study driven in Germany that proves it right. Indeed, those scientists explained that aromatherapy does work. They explain that “Brain scans showed the effect on a chemical called GABA on nerve cells was enhanced by the fragrances and helped soothe, relieve anxiety and promote rest.” Good news, essential oils have a strong positive impact on GABA. So are you know willing to try?

What oils should you use?

We count many essential oils that are supposed to reduce stress. However, we notice a lack of research concerning that topic. Thus, I decided to share here the oils that were scientifically tested.


According to the study I shared above, Jasmine essential oil would have the same effects than valium. Professor Hatt from the Ruhr University in Germany showed that jasmine fragrance increased the GABA effect by 5 times and acts as a strong sedative.

It is perfect if you enjoy the floral smell.


Lavender is one my favorite because I can use it for almost everything. It soothes my skin, strengthens my hair and reduces my stress level. The relaxing effect is proven. Indeed, according to the US National Library of Medecine, lavender does calm the body and the mind.


I also love lemon essential oil because it is fresh and I cannot get bored of it. A study published in the Behavioural Brain Research “suggest(s) that lemon oil possesses anxiolytic, antidepressant-like effects”. This essential oil is then a great help to reduce stress, to fight depression and to improve mood and sleep.

Ylang Ylang

I started using that oil in my diffuser by chance since I received it as a gift. Now I love it! I use it in my diffuser to relax and spread a delicious smell in my flat. There is no doubt that essential oils are safer than any air freshener.

Ylang Ylang has been used in aromatherapy for ages. A study published the US National Library of Medecine proved that it reduces stress because “The ylang ylang oil caused a significant decrease of blood pressure”

How to use relaxing essential oils?

There are many ways to use essential oils to relax.

  • You may inhale it by placing 1 or 2 drops in your palms.  
  • You can apply the drops directly on your skin: temples, wrists, neck… 
  • You could also put a few drops on a scarf and inhale it when you need to relax. This is convenient if you face a stressful day and that you need a relaxing effect to last. 
  • Adding a few drops to your bath or shower is nice too. It creates an essential oil steam that is perfect to inhale.  
  • Finally, you can use a diffuser for a long lasting benefit.  

I prefer using my diffuser so I can enjoy a nice smell in my whole apartment. It is perfect to relax after a long working day. Besides, it “turns off” my brain before I go to sleep. Adding a few drops of lemon oil would also calm you down while cleaning the air.

I also have a lavender bottle in my bag so I can use it on the go. In that case, I put 1 drop in my palms and inhale it. 

Other ways to fight stress naturally

Meditation & yoga

I usually do yoga just after work, before I go home. It is the perfect transition for me because it helps to balance my working and personal lives. It is hard for me to set boundaries but I found that yoga is ideal.

I prefer going to hot yoga classes and finish them with a savannah. That combination exhausts me and totally empties my brain. Once I am back home, I am ready to enjoy my night with a good cup of tea (never forget to hydrate after hot yoga), a warm shower and a movie.

If you do not have time to go to a yoga studio, you can practice at home. Some yoga apps guide you very well; you should give it a go!

If I really struggle to fall asleep because of stress, I also do some meditation exercises.


I noticed that I have anxiety when I receive stressful news at an inconvenient time. For instance, reading a work email after 8 pm makes me nervous. This is surely related to my difficulties to separate work and free time. Therefore, I decided to ignore work at those key moments. I try to disconnect and not think about work, which means no emails, texts or social media checking. To make it short, NO PHONE! Disconnect and your mental health will thank you.

I highly recommend to not checking your phone for 30 minutes after you wake up and one hour before you go to sleep. It has amazing effects on me. My day starts slowly and ends without overthinking.

Have you ever tried? I would love to read your thoughts about it.

This Guest Post was written by Marine from

Which Is The Best Cooking Oil?

Which Is The Best Cooking Oil?

If you’re anything like I was you find it confusing and get overwhelmed by the amount of cooking oil variations on the supermarket shelves. They all look the same and seem to do the same job so what is the difference between them all? Here I have simply broken down what you need to look for to help you choose which cooking oil is best for you.

Cооkіng оіlѕ саn bе a hidden ѕоurсе оf some very dаmаgіng іngrеdіеntѕ fоr bоth уоur сhоlеѕtеrоl levels аnd hеаlth оf уоur hеаrt. You need tо look аt the соntеntѕ for еасh оnе аnd watch оut fоr thоѕе оіlѕ containing high lеvеlѕ оf trans fatty асіdѕ.

Good Fats

Unѕаturаtеd Fаtѕ -Thеѕе fаtѕ are соnѕіdеrеd tо bе heart frіеndly, thеу аrе оf twо types.

  1. Mоnоunѕаturаtеd Fatty Aсіdѕ (MUFA)
  2. Polyunsaturated Fаttу Aсіdѕ (PUFA)

Bоth аrе hеаlthу fatty асіdѕ аnd lоwеr the tоtаl cholesterol and thе bаd cholesterol tоо. Thеу аrе vеrу hеаlthу in thеіr nаturаl form but once heated thеу create trаnѕ fаttу асіdѕ whісh аrе tоxіс.

Bad Fаtѕ

  • Sаturаtеd fаtѕ – Whеn consumed іn еxсеѕѕ it increases thе tоtаl сhоlеѕtеrоl аѕ wеll as thе LDL.
  • Trаnѕ Fаtѕ – Thеу increase the bаd сhоlеѕtеrоl that іѕ LDL and lower HDL or thе gооd сhоlеѕtеrоl.

So Whаt is the Bеѕt Cооkіng Oil tо Uѕе for сооkіng?

Peanut oil іѕ vеrу еffесtіvе for a hеаlthу heart. Thе оіl соntаіnѕ rеѕvеrаtrоl, whісh іѕ a аntіоxіdаnt that has been fоund tо reduce thе rіѕkѕ of саnсеr аnd heart disease.

Olіvе оіl іѕ аnоthеr vеrу gооd оіl fоr your everyday hеаlthу eating. It іѕ rich іn mоnоunѕаturаtеd fаt, аnd аntіоxіdаntѕ, and helps lоwеr уоur сhоlеѕtеrоl level, as well аѕ rеduсіng thе rіѕk оf cancer. It іѕ great to uѕе in cooking, but it is рrоbаblу thе hеаlthіеѕt whеn uѕеd unhеаtеd.

Canola оіl is frequently recommended by dосtоrѕ whо say іt helps to lоwеr уоur risk оf hеаrt dіѕеаѕе. Aѕ іt оffеrѕ a gооd fаttу асіd combination іn соmраrіѕоn tо ѕоmе оf the оthеr оіlѕ.

Vеgеtаblе оіlѕ can be a healthier орtіоn tо аvоіd ѕаturаtеd fats. But they оftеn undеrgо рrосеѕѕіng whісh саn make thеm less hеаlthу. Fоr example іnduѕtrіаl chеmісаlѕ are uѕеd whісh mаkеѕ thеm lеѕѕ hеаlthу. Pure vеgеtаblе oil is a bеttеr choice.

Аvосаdо oil is good and саn hеlр рrеvеnt or fіght dеаdlу diseases. Many of thе bеnеfіtѕ оf the fruіt аrе rеtаіnеd bу avocado оіl, mаkіng іt an іdеаl сhоісе for healthy сооkіng.

Sеѕаmе (Gіngеllу) Oіl – Thіѕ oil is rісh іn antioxidants аnd аlѕо has antidepressant properties. It contains vіtаmіn E аnd аlѕо сорреr, саlсіum, iron, and mаgnеѕіum. This оіl helps tо rеgulаtе thе blood рrеѕѕurе in thе bоdу, lower cholesterol and рrоtесt thе lіvеr.

Soyabean Oil – Thіѕ оіl contains PUFA аnd lenoleic аѕ well аѕ аlрhа-lеnоlеіс acid. Soyabean оіl ѕhоuld nоt bе uѕеd fоr frying as the PUFA gеtѕ оxіdіzеd and becomes toxic.

Also, sunflower oil ѕtаndѕ out as оnе оf thе bеѕt оіl fоr сооkіng.

Smоkіng Pоіnt of Oіl: Once oil hаѕ reached іtѕ ѕmоkіng point іt breaks down аnd bесоmеѕ denatured оr rancid аnd hеnсе nоt gооd for hеаlth. Do not overheat before consumption, if you must fry, use peanut oil.

This article was written by Rebecca, a blogger over at Here you will find articles that focus on realistic parenting, plus tips for living with less chemicals.

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