While it is true that rest and relaxation are important to overall health and well being; exercise may be just as important. Exercise provides many of the same benefits as rest and relaxation, such as lower blood pressure, better mood and stress reduction. Exercise has the added bonus of building muscle, and improved energy and stamina.

Cardio exercise is the best choice for anyone who wants to improve overall health and vitality. It is the least expensive form of exercise available; and it requires no special equipment. The boost that comes from cardio exercise, lasts beyond the time of the workout. According to a Mayo Clinic article on exercise,”Regular aerobic (or cardio) exercise can help you live longer. Aerobic exercise can reduce health risks, prevent excess weight gain, strengthen your heart and boost your mood.”

Cardio or aerobic exercise is any activity that increases your heart rate. The more intense the exercise, the greater the heart rate. Do not exercise beyond your level of comfort, a little challenge is fine, but do not go to the point of distress. During moderate exercise, you will notice that you are breathing a bit faster and possibly a bit harder, but you are not out of breath. After a few minutes of moderate exercise, you will develop a light sweat. During moderate exercise you can still carry on a conversation.

The Mayo Clinic recommends that healthy adults get an average of 30 minutes of moderate exercise daily. The bonus is that it can be broken up into 10 or 15 minute blocks. There is no best time of day to exercise, however, some experts recommend that you do not exercise too late at night because it may interfere with your sleep.

Some of the best forms of cardio exercise are; walking, running, bicycling, jumping rope, and as I have discovered, dancing to the grand children’s TV character songs. My granddaughter likes the movie “Sing” (Universal, Pictures 2016) and for a few weeks during the summer, we watched it 3 times a day. The movie is full of several generations of get your feet moving happy music. The kind of music that you just can’t help dancing to. On the first day, I could not dance through a whole song. But by the end of that time, I could dance to the entire 15 minute ending credits music. I also found some extra stamina for housework, and for the first time in months, I could actually make a round trip to the basement and back up without being tired. I was not trying to accomplish anything at all; I achieved that by being silly with the kids.

The youth in your world could benefit from some moderate exercise with the old folks. We are reminded daily, that obesity is a health concern for our youth. So grab a young person, turn on some music and get moving. It is alright if they laugh at you a little.

This article is intended to be an encouragement for self care and better overall fitness and well being. No information in this post is intended to be medical advice. If you have health concerns, consult a physician before taking on any new activity.


Excerise https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/basics/aerobic-exercise/hlv-20049447

Intensity https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/exercise-intensity/art-20046887


Stress and Relaxation

Now that the busy season is over, do not forget to rest and relax. While I was at an appointment; just before Christmas, the office clerk mentioned that she was feeling totally overwhelmed about the holidays. She said that she was hosting a Christmas Eve Brunch and attending a Christmas day dinner, along with shopping for gifts, getting the home ready for guests, and the every day expectations and responsibilities.

We chatted about a few supplements that help your body recover from stress, but I also told her that the most important part of stress recovery is to be still. We both had a laugh at the notion of being still during the holiday season. But seriously, stress recovery is vitally important to our health and well being.

Chronic stress can lead to health effects such as increased risk of stroke or heart attack. Muscle aches, stomach pain and digestive issues as well as depression and much more. The remedy for stress is rest and relaxation.

Rest and relaxation do not occur simultaneously. Each must be accomplished individually.  Rest first and then relax. Dedicate at least 10 minutes to rest; once you have fully rested, relaxation will follow. Note that in the beginning a conscious effort must be made, in order to truly relax. Do not get stressed out trying to achieve the perfect form of relaxation. Just be still and be quiet, dismiss thoughts of what happened an hour ago as well as thoughts of what must be done an hour from now.

Rest means that you stop doing something,which allows you to recover your strength. However, relaxation has a further purpose. Relaxation allows us to clear our minds and refresh our spirits. It allows deeper metabolic functions to perform their specific tasks, which in turn is good for our health.

Some of the benefits of really relaxing are reduced muscle tension, improved breathing patterns, slower heart rate and lower blood pressure. Relaxation also improves cognition, memory, learning as well as our daily coping and communication abilities. According to a mayo clinic article on stress, Practicing relaxation techniques 2 to 3 times a week can have many benefits, including:

Slowing heart rate
Lowering blood pressure
Slowing your breathing rate
Improving digestion
Maintaining normal blood sugar levels
Reducing activity of stress hormones
Increasing blood flow to major muscles
Reducing muscle tension and chronic pain
Improving concentration and mood
Improving sleep quality
Lowering fatigue
Reducing anger and frustration
Boosts confidence to handle problems

Everyone should include relaxation in their lifestyle. In the beginning relaxation may be a challenge. After all, we have to “learn” how to relax. However as noted the benefits are worth the effort. It could literally save your life.

Start with simple stress reduction activities, try 3 to 5 minutes of quiet, clear your mind and just be still. If you are not accustomed to absolute quiet, then use soothing background music.

Consider Yoga, not the twisted like a pretzel yoga that takes years of mastery, but simple yoga stretches, they are wonderful. Yoga stretches improve posture and include all of the relaxation benefits.

Aren’t you worth 5 minutes to yourself. I promise you that the world will not fall apart in that space of time. Try to Increase your quiet time to 15 to 30 minutes at least twice a week. Outside of the listed benefits; in total, these effects can improve your overall well being, improve your appearance and possibly increase longevity.

Our young people can benefit from learning to relax early in life, grab a niece, nephew, neighbor or child and encourage them to sit quietly with you for 5 minutes.

It Takes A Village To Raise A Child, This is My Village Project
Take Care of Your Village,
The Village Mother



The Charles M. Schultz character “Charlie Brown” seems to be the quintessential under achiever. As Lucy says; a “Blockhead.” But Charlie Brown might be the victim of unreasonable expectations.

He fell for Lucy’s football trick more times than we can count, but he gave it his best shot… time and time again. He knew that she would trick him; but despite their history, he always tried. He hoped that this time would be different. His effort reflects his faith in humanity and hope in his friends. It also shows great perseverance.

In the holiday special, “Happy Thanksgiving Charlie Brown”, Peppermint Patty invites the whole gang to Chuck’s house, but he has other plans. When they arrive, Charlie Brown accommodates them the best he can under the circumstances. He serves a dinner of toast, pretzels, popcorn, and jelly beans When Peppermint Patty voices her disappointment, about the dinner, Ol’ Chuck feels bad that he let down his friends. Which shows compassion. Being courteous, he calls his grandma to explain that he will be late for dinner, because he still has friends over. She invited them all over and the day was saved.

In the Christmas special “A Charlie Brown Christmas”, Lucy the therapist, asks Charlie Brown to be the director of their holiday play. After a round of non cooperation from his cast mates, Charlie Brown decides that the set needs a Christmas tree. When he returns with a branch on a base, he was ridiculed by the gang. Charlie Brown takes the little tree home to decorate it. While Charlie Brown is inside, the gang shows up to his house and decide to fix it. So the spirit of cooperation was restored when the kids work together to fix the tree.

So While the average Eight year old  will only see the blockhead in Charlie Brown, the wisdom of life lets us know that Charlie Brown will make it. After all, haven’t we all had our own Charlie Brown moments?  Is Charlie Brown the victim of unreasonable expectations? At the least, he is taken for granted and disrespected.

Please take a moment to discuss some of these character qualities with the youth in your world. Perseverance, Kindness, and Hope are just a few of them.


It takes a village to raise a child
take care of your village,
The Village Mother


Fun Times With Dad

my dad

I just finished a term paper, for a class that I am taking.

The topic was, How a fathers care and attention impacts a child’s life. It was based on a research article about a Fathers’ Warm Care giving.

It stated all of the obvious data, and a few new things to consider. A child fares better when there are two parents in the home. A child in a single parent situation is more likely to face poverty and the troubles associated with poverty.

A child who does not have a father in the home is more likely to become a teenage parent and more likely to indulge in drugs, alcohol, and cigarette smoking. A child without a father in the home is more likely to engage in delinquent behavior. You get it.

That is not to say that, because, a child is in a single parent home, the world is going to come crashing down on him or her. There are many fatherless families with children who turn out to be just fine, and in some cases spectacular.

This is the result of powerful parenting on the part of the mother or single father.

Sometimes there is support from friends family and the larger community.

Every now and then things turn out great because they were wonderful children anyway.

Warm parenting is described as nurturing, responsive, positive, interactions by the father.

You know, the kind of stuff you see on TV. The report studied how a father’s warm interactions with his child, between the ages of birth and age 3 affected the child in later life.

The children who had the warm interactions, whether the father was in the home or not, did better on every measure. The did better in preschool, 2 grade, 5th grade and on into adolescence and early adulthood.

This got me to thinking about how it was growing up in my nearly perfect two parent home with a stay at home mom and a kind dad who made good money and did not run the streets.

It was great. We had simple fun, if my dad mowed the lawn, I was walking in his footsteps. If my dad fixed the TV, I was hanging over his shoulder and requesting that he take out all of the scarey stuff.

When my dad put up a picket fence, I was right there, of course, the picket that I cut was totally backwards. It was so backwards that you couldn’t flip it over. So my dad used that as the interest piece on the gate.

Friday was ice cream day, it didn’t matter how many kids were on the sidewalk, we all piled in and rode to the local diary queen or we made these fantastic grape soda ice cream floats in the kitchen.

Our fun came from long rides exploring the country side. The challenge was to see how many fox you could spot. We would drive over to Drayton Plains and Watch the parachute jumpers. And we would spend long days at the state park.

It was all so simple, but so much fun. Dads, whether you are in the home or not, make it a point to spend warm, quality, simple time with your children. You can’t underestimate the impact of that.

My dad is still alive today, I am 55 he is 84.

Thanks Dad for a Wonderful Life.

It Takes A Village To Raise A Child, This Is My Village Project.

Take Care Of Your Village,

The Village Mother