Apr 112014

A new study indicates that children who view a simulated forest environment whilst exercising are more likely to experience health enhancing effects after the activity.  A UK university study of children aged 9-10 years, published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health Health, found that after a series of 15 minute moderate intensity cycling activities the children’s post-activity blood pressure was significantly lower than it was without the simulated forest environment, indicating that the nature scenes promoted positive health effects.

Walking can increase life expectancy

Dr Michael Duncan, lead author of the study and associate head of the Department of Applied Sciences and Health at Coventry University, said:

“If there is indeed a correlation between viewing scenes of nature and a lower blood pressure post exercise, as indicated by our data, it could have very positive implications in encouraging public health practitioners to prescribe outdoor exercise to reduce health risk.”

More information:  http://blogs.coventry.ac.uk/researchblog/health-benefits-green-exercise-kids-shown-new-study/

Feb 112014
Eco Inspired Workshops – practical inspired workshops for parents and families

A practical workshop about how to raise children who are creative, imaginative and empowered to find their own freedom, potential and purpose in life. JOIN US at the Mullumbimby Community Gardens – starting 25th February 9.30am – 11.30am In the workshop you will learn about Creating Sacred Spaces – How to create healthy environments for you and your family Power of Art – Fun Arts and Craft Activities for Young Children using natural materials Mind-Body Nutrition – practical simple ideas for your and family meals Transform your Mind – simple strategies to support positive change in you and your family’s read more…

Jun 062013
Power of Art - Can art and music improve your grades?

The BBC’s short clip on the Power of Art transforming education is a wonderful testament to the importance of art and music in schools. Play video from the BBC’s website “Over the last several years the focus of US education has been fixed firmly on the sciences. But research shows that the arts help children do better in all subjects and improve the likelihood that they will stay in school longer. The Obama administration is putting this theory to the test by investing $2m (£1.3m) for arts education in eight of the most poorly performing schools across the country. At read more…

Feb 282012
Helping children reduce stress and anxiety with flowers

  The rose is said to represent purity and perfection and now it has been documented that it can reduce stress.  The Japanese Journal of Pharmacology reported that researchers found that the simple inhalation of patchouli and rose oil reduced sympathetic nervous activity by 40%, with rose oil reducing adrenaline concentrations by 30%. (1) When my son was in kindergarten, he would receive a lavender face wash before leaving for the day.  In the last five years we have introduced using flower essences along with other eco parenting initiatives, into parent education programs in Australia.  Children and parents receive massages read more…

Jan 302012
Fast paced television affects children's attention span

  It confirms many parents instinct regarding television.   A study of sixty 4 year olds were randomly assigned to watch a fast paced television cartoon or an educational cartoon.  The study found that children who watched the fast pace television cartoon performed significantly worse in executive function tasks. The conclusion the researchers drew –‘just 9 minutes of viewing a fast-paced television cartoon had immediate negative effects on 4-year-olds’ executive function. Parents should be aware that fast-paced television shows could at least temporarily impair young children’s executive function.’ from Pediatrics, Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, http://bit.ly/y8YXxV

Dec 142011

Physicians Speak Out on the Importance of Play for Children’s Health Dr. Ken Ginsburg, pediatrician at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and author of Building Resilience in Children and Teens: Giving Kids Roots and Wings, and Dr. Marilyn Benoit, Chief Clinical Officer at Devereux Behavioral Health and former president of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, address critical issues facing children and families today — rising levels of stress and anxiety, obesity-related health problems, dramatically reduced time for free play and play outdoors, hectic and overscheduled family life — and offer solutions to addressing these problems. This video read more…

Nov 272011
Suggestions for Christmas giving

Christmas 2011 – Birth of a New Tradition from Suzanne Staples www.heartandspirit.com.au As the holidays approach, the giant Asian factories are kicking into high gear to provide Australians with monstrous piles of cheaply produced goods — merchandise that has been produced at the expense of Australian labour.??This year will be different. This year Australians will give the gift of genuine concern for other Australians. There is no longer an excuse that, at gift-giving time, nothing can be found that is produced by Australian hands.  Yes there is!??It’s time to think outside the box, people.  Who says a gift needs to read more…

Oct 052011
15 minutes exercise a day can increase life expectancy

15 minutes exercise a day can increase life expectancy Partaking in light exercise,  like walking at a reasonable pace, for just 15 minutes a day can increase life expectancy by three years according to a study published in the Lancet. 416,175 people were invovled in the Taiwanese study conducted from 1996 to 2008. Those who partook in 15 minutes light exercise a day or 90 minutes a week showed a 14% reduced risk of all-cause mortality and had a 3 year longer life expectancy. Every additional 15 min of daily exercise beyond the minimum amount of 15 min a day read more…

Aug 252011
Udon noodles –  how to make your own delicious noodles

Have you ever wondered how Udon Noodles are made.  Toshi Komatsu provided a wonderful demonstration at Sandra Frain’s educational program.  It was great fun – in particular that all the parents and children were able to help flatten the dough using their feet! Toshi had prepared the udon noodle dough from a kilo of wholemeal flour, water and salt.  He kneaded it into a round ball and then the fun began. Toshi took a large sheet of plastic between which the dough was placed.  In Japan a large bamboo mat is used, which is the traditional way to prepare the read more…