Great Health Guide: July/August 2020

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July/August 2020

Loneliness: the

Greatest

Health

HAZZARD

Supporting Your Child to

Learn

with HEARING LOSS • DOMESTIC VIOLENCE • YOUR LOVE COMFORT ZONE • ATRIAL FIBRILLATION


ontents 07

ATRIAL FIBRILLATION Dr Warrick Bishop

GREAT HEALTH

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ATRIAL FIBRILLATION

AF is increasing quickly & is predicted to be the next cardiac epidemic. Dr Warrick Bishop

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HEARING LOSS

Hearing loss can occur at any age with serious consequences.

Dr David McIntosh

NUTRITIONÂ

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DIETARY TIPS BEFORE FREEZING HEALTHY EGGS

Optimize weight, reduce internal fat & eat low GI foods.

Melanie McGrice

FITNESS

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EXERCISES TO AVOID IN EARLY POST-BIRTH

Postpartum women must take precautions & avoid some exercises early post-birth.

Magdalena Hawley

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THE POWER OF POSITIVE THINKING Dr Suzanne Henwood

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MUSCULOSKELETAL PROBLEMS & EXERCISE

Exercise is effective to treat & manage musculoskeletal problems. Margarita Gurevich

MINDSET

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WHY LONELINESS IS OUR GREATEST HEALTH HAZARD Some excellent tips to learn how to beat loneliness. Dr Jenny Brockis

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THE POWER OF POSITIVE THINKING

Visualization & language are major components in positive thinking. Dr Suzanne Henwood

DISCLAIMER

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COOPERATING WITH OTHERS

We all have hearts; we want to be loved & to love.

Terry Sidford

RELATIONSHIPS

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MEN ALSO EXPERIENCE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

KIDS MATTERS

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SUPPORTING YOUR CHILD TO LEARN

Children observe & model their behaviours on adults. Dr Janine Cooper

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HEALTHY SCHOOL LUNCH BOXES

Men do not deserve to be mistreated either; abuse is abuse.

School lunchbox ideas that will definitely be enjoyed.

Leanne Allen

Regina Tilyard

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YOUR LOVE COMFORT ZONE

Some helpful strategies about how to open your heart to love.

Dr Matthew Anderson

ELITE JUNIOR ATHLETES: PART 1

Three most important aspects of training are load management, training & strength.

Jane Kilkenny

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Team

GHG

FOUNDER + EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Kathryn Dodd

DEPUTY EDITORS Dr Helen J. Dodd Dr William A. Dodd LEAD DESIGNER Oleksandra Zuieva DESIGNERS Olha Blagodir, Belinda Nelson CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Leanne Allen, Dr Matthew Anderson, Dr Warrick Bishop, Dr Jenny Brockis, Dr Janine Cooper, Margarita Gurevich, Magdalena Hawley, Dr Suzanne Henwood, Jane Kilkenny, Melanie McGrice, Dr David McIntosh, Terry Sidford, Regina Tilyard CONNECT WITH US:

SUBSCRIBE: W: www.GreatHealthGuide.com.au P: +61 (0)7 3394 8263 E: CustomerCare@ GreatHealthGuide.com.au

Dear Friends In this edition of Great Health GuideTM, we offer a collection of articles that bring into our lives ways in which we can choose to be part of a caring and loving society. This issue is particularly important as Covid-19 has impacted the globe. Looking out for our each other has never been more important. Negative thinking can create stress and lead to poor health. But how many of us know just how much of a difference it makes to change our thinking, and what impacts that it will have on health and wellbeing? The Power of Positive Thinking shows how to put a stop to circumstances, such as other people controlling our thinking. Cooperating with Others, provokes us to ask why this is so essential. As human beings living on the same planet, we are all in this together. We rely upon each other for our survival and to help each other learn, grow and interact. Why Loneliness is Our Greatest Health Hazard, is a most important article. It seeks to answer the question of how people are feeling a greater disconnect, despite living at a time when we can instantly connect with anyone, anywhere around the world. This is particularly important as many people are required to self-isolate due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Make every effort to connect to others via online communications and the good old phone. In the article Your Love Comfort Zone, the author invites us to walk to the edge of that comfortable, tolerable and possibly love-impoverished space, and take a brave step to open our hearts to Love.

“…Faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:13)

I believe that society can be changed by our positive interaction, with one person at a time. Be the change today.

Kathryn x

© Antalya Developments Pty Ltd 2020 Any information made available in the Great Health Guide Magazine (electronic or hard copy formats), or from Antalya Developments Pty Limited or Kathryn Dodd, including by way of third party authored articles or discussions, is made available for readers’ interest only. The purpose of making the information available is to stimulate research, public discussion and debate. Readers are encouraged to undertake their own research and consult with professional advisors to form their own independent views about the topic/s discussed. The information made available in the Great Health Guide Magazine (electronic or hard copy formats) is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Readers should seek the advice of a qualified health provider with any questions regarding a potential or actual medical condition or the proposed use or decision not to use any particular product. Readers should not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it at any time, including because of the content of any information made available in the Great Health Guide Magazine (electronic or hard copy formats). Each of Antalya Developments Pty Ltd and Kathryn Dodd do not warrant, guarantee or make any representation regarding the accuracy, veracity, adequacy, reliability, completeness or timeliness of any information available on, or arising in relation to, the Great Health Guide Magazine (electronic or hard copy formats). Neither Antalya Developments Pty Limited nor Kathryn Dodd endorses the views of any contributing authors to the Great Health Guide Magazine (electronic or hard copy formats).

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A rial Fibrilla ion Dr Warrick Bishop

AN

ageing population and our western lifestyle are ensuring that the prevalence of a common heart problem, atrial fibrillation, is increasing so quickly that it is predicted to be the next cardiac epidemic.

Atrial fibrillation, commonly known as AF, kills three times as many people as car accidents each year in the western world. It is a very large topic and is best explained in this book Atrial Fibrillation Explained. To understand what I believe is the next cardiac epidemic, I explain:

What is Atrial Fibrillation?

• what the condition is

It is an irregular heartbeat, often called an arrhythmia, that occurs in the upper chambers of the heart. It is frightening when it happens and often results in an ambulance trip to the hospital. It occurs in 1% of the population and in 15% of people aged 80 and over. So possibly your parents or grandparents have had this condition. It can lead to blood clots, stroke, heart failure and other heartrelated complications.

• how we diagnose it

1. What is the best management approach? DISCLAIMER

• how we manage it and • how that impacts on the patient. Several drugs are used in its management and other approaches to treatment. AF is discussed in a way that allows patients to understand the best way to look after the condition and live with it in personal sets of circumstances. I encourage the involvement of the family in any management plan. Currently there is no medical cure for AF, GREAT HEALTH GUIDE | 7


Great Health thus prevention is the only way to lessen the impact of AF. Please view the short video on AF here.

situations? What if we are dealing with a patient who?

2. Questions and Concerns

• has need of a stent in a narrow artery?

Understandably, there are a lot of practical questions associated with AF. Some are: • do I need a pacemaker?

• is elderly, frail and liable to fall? • has cardiac failure? • has severe renal failure? • has other serious complications?

• can I be screened for AF?

3. Current Guidelines

• do I need to store AF drugs in a particular way?

In Atrial Fibrillation Explained, these questions are answered in detail. The information is based on current guidelines and is presented using simple language. The book offers precise yet understandable detail with numerous patient histories to help explain this complex and frequently encountered condition.

• how often do I need testing or see my cardiologist? • what effect does caffeine have in relation to AF? • can I exercise safely? • what if I need to have surgery? • can I stop the medications if I feel well?

4. Personalised Management

And of course, there is always the question of how do we deal with complicated

Despite it being so common, AF does not allow a one-treatment-for-all approach.

Doctor Warrick Bishop

for

Enabling Women’s Greatness

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Great Health I have had elderly patients who remain active and are not frail. Within the setting of routinely looking to anticoagulate patients to reduce the risk of a blood clot forming in the heart and leading to a stroke, anticoagulation (thinning the blood) is a really important component of management. I had one patient who regularly went into the bush where he used a chainsaw. He had been a logger throughout his life and that was not going to change. So, we considered when deciding on his care: • the man being 80+ years of age • in the bush using a chainsaw and other sharp pieces of equipment, and

Dr Warrick Bishop is a cardiologist with special interest in cardiovascular disease prevention incorporating imaging, lipids and lifestyle. He is author of the book ‘Have You Planned Your Heart Attack?’, written for patients and doctors about how to live intentionally to reduce cardiovascular risk and save lives! Dr Bishop can be contacted via his website.

Editor ,s Choice ATRIAL FIBRILLATION EXPLAINED

By Dr Warrick Bishop, experienced cardiologist, explains the next cardiac epidemic.

• a long, long way from help. • He still went on anticoagulation treatment, but not before a detailed discussion which led him to understand the pros and cons of his situation.

This easy to understand book describes: •

What is Atrial Fibrillation? – Irregular, rapid heartbeat

What are the symptoms? – blackout, chest pain, stroke

What are the treatments for Atrial Fibrillation?

• be informed so that they could have their best chance of a healthy life

Who is at risk? – those with heart disease, obesity, sedentary lifestyle, high BP, diabetes

• be ahead of the game by reducing their risks, and

Find out what is the best possible care for people suffering from this disease.

5. Summary Every day, I see the suffering associated with heart disease. My deep desire in writing the book was to provide information that would help people:

• if already AF sufferers, be well informed about giving attention to good management that can considerably improve symptoms and quality of daily living.

DISCLAIMER

Published 8th May 2019

Now $9.95 (eBook) $34.95 (Paperback) AVAILABLE DIRECT FROM WEBSITE

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Great Health

Hearing oss Dr David McIntosh

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H

earing loss can be a blessing in certain cases but in the mainstay, it is a curse. Hearing is a vital special sense that many people take for granted, but for those that have had it and then start to lose it, the consequences can be quite significant.

system is the ‘sensorineural component’.

Explaining hearing loss:

• This is where there is a problem with either catching the sound, because the outer ear is absent which could be from birth, trauma, or surgical removal because of cancer.

1. The conducting system of pressure wave on three bones: It is important to understand how the hearing works. So, hearing commences with a noise, which is a pressure wave. This wave of pressure is caught by our external ear and it funnels the energy down the ear canal. At the end of that canal is the ear drum, which vibrates when the sound hits it. The bone connected on the inside of the ear drum moves as the sound hits the ear drum. This movement in turn leads to the bone moving another bone which then moves a third bone which amplifies the signal. The third bone has a small base that comfortably sits inside a small oval shaped window of the inner ear. The movement from sound from the outside to the small oval shaped window is called the ‘conducting system’. 2. The sensorineural component electrical current to the brain: At the inner ear level, there is an amazing piece of biological engineering that transforms the movement of the third ear bone back into a pressure wave and then into an electrical current. This electrical current sends a message from the inner ear to the brain. The inner ear is where the actual sense of hearing is facilitated, and the nerves then carry this sensation to the brain. So, this part of the hearing DISCLAIMER

By understanding these two divisions of the hearing mechanism, we can understand the causes of hearing loss. 3. Five causes of conductive hearing loss:

• There may be an issue with the ear canal, such as being too narrow, or being blocked by wax or a foreign body of some sort. • There could be a hole in the eardrum, so instead of the sound pressure wave meeting the intact drum, it just passes straight through the hole in the ear drum and the ear drum does not move. • There could be fluid behind the ear drum, from an ear infection, and if this is the case, the sound waves hitting the ear drum are not able to make the ear drum move. • The bones of hearing may have been dislocated or fractured or eroded by certain diseases and hence no longer form a connection as a chain, or one of these bones is stuck and cannot move properly. 4. Six reasons for sensorineural hearing loss: • There could be a developmental problem in the inner ear, where the intricate system of engineering is defective from birth. GREAT HEALTH GUIDE | 11


Great Health • There can be a problem with the nerve or the brain itself. This could be a tumour, or trauma that damages the nerve, or the whole range of brain problems such as a stroke or multiple sclerosis, to name two examples.

• Alternatively, it would be worn out over time simply from the aging process. • More commonly, excessive noise damages this fragile system. • Other things that can cause damage are viral infections and toxic chemicals from middle ear infections seeping into the inner ear. The fluid within the inner ear can leak out and this is like a leaking battery – it no longer works. • The fluid in the inner ear causes the pressure level can go too high and this then damages the delicate structures within.

The three bones in the ear are the smallest bones in the body.

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With all these potential scenarios, it is important to first identify the type of hearing loss and to investigate the different causes for such loss. This will commonly involve having a hearing test in a sound-proof booth, and potentially seeing an ENT Specialist who will then decide on further tests such as scans or blood tests. Treatments vary as to the cause and can include watchful waiting, medication and surgery, all dependant on the underlying issue. Hearing loss can occur in any age group with serious effects. • In children, it may affect speech and language development. • In adults, hearing loss has been associated with increasing the risk of dementia. Regardless of the cause, a final word of advice is not to ignore hearing loss.

Dr David McIntosh is a Paediatric ENT Specialist with a particular interest in airway obstruction, facial and dental development and its relationship to ENT airway problems and middle ear disease. He also specialises in sinus disease and provides opinions on the benefit of revision of previous sinus operations. Dr McIntosh can be contacted via this website. SUBSCRIBE


Nutrition

DISCLAIMER

GREAT HEALTH GUIDE | 13


Dietary Tips Before Freezing

Heal hy Eg s Melanie McGrice

T

he rates of egg freezing are skyrocketing now that many of us are leaving it until later in life to have a family. Egg freezing protects the health of our eggs so that they aren’t impacted by pollution and aging, until we are ready for them‌ hopefully increasing our prospects of having a heathy baby later in life. But, if

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Nutrition

you’re going to go to the cost and effort of freezing your eggs, you want them to be as healthy as can be. Here are three dietary changes to make before you freeze your eggs. 1. Ensure that your diet is rich in good fats and LOW in bad fats. Good fats include foods like extra virgin olive oil, fish, nuts and avocado, and I’m sure that you know what your bad fats are…chocolate, ice cream, potato chips, biscuits, that is all of those foods that we know we should be avoiding but don’t. Research suggests that good fats not only improve our general health, but also improve the health of our eggs. Bad fats increase oxidative stress which can influence egg maturation. 2. Optimize your weight. Research indicates that being overweight, means that we carry extra fat around organs like our heart and liver, but being overweight also increases fat in the fluid surrounding the eggs, which in turn, impacts the health of the eggs. Furthermore, the DNA, or genetic code, of women who are overweight, has been found to be more ‘disorganized’. These two factors mean that when we are overweight, our eggs aren’t as healthy, and we’re less likely to conceive when we want to. Vice versa, for women who are underweight. Achieving a healthy weight isn’t easy, but most women can optimize their weight when they put their mind to it, but then struggle to STAY within a healthy weight range. This is usually due to a combination of lifestyle and hormones that cause a return to the earlier higher DISCLAIMER

weight. So, if you’re planning to freeze your eggs, NOW is the time to optimize your weight to the best of your ability, even if it is for the short term – just do it in a healthy way. 3. Focus on foods which have a low GI. GI stands for glycemic index and describes the rate at which carbohydrate foods are broken down in the gut. A low GI diet has been found to optimize egg health, so swap foods which break down quickly, i.e. a high GI, for those which contain more fiber and/or protein that break down more slowly. Examples include swapping apple juice with a whole apple, which still has the skin on for extra fiber; swapping white bread for a higher fiber, wholegrain bread or adding chickpeas to a risotto to boost the amount of protein in the meal. To help you put it all into practice, I’ve put together a free fertility meal plan. Ideally, I’d love to see you following all these recommendations for at least three months before your egg collection. For more fertility nutrition tips contact me on social media.

Melanie McGrice is an Advanced Accredited Practicing Dietitian and is the director of Nutrition Plus, a dietetic practice based in Melbourne, Australia. Melanie is a highly respected nutrition blogger, journalist and media personality, and is regularly invited to consult to the media on a range of nutrition & dietary topics. Melanie is the author of ‘The Pregnancy Weight Plan’ and may be contacted via her website. GREAT HEALTH GUIDE | 15


Fitness

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Exercises to Avoid in Early

Post-Birth ––– Magdalena

DISCLAIMER

Hawley –––

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Fitness

M

any mums are eager to become active again postbirth and return to exercise as soon as possible, thus postnatal exercise has many benefits. It can help you speed up your recovery, make you stronger and improve your mood. However, postnatal exercise doesn’t look the same as exercise before the baby. Postpartum women need to take some special precautions and avoid some of the exercises early post-birth. Two issues that are common among postpartum women are ‘diastasis recti’, known as abdominal separation, and pelvic floor dysfunction. Thus, some exercises can put significant pressure on the pelvic floor and the abdominal wall. If these muscles are not strong enough, this can lead to long-term issues like incontinence or even pelvic organ prolapse. 1. Exercises you should avoid. • sit-ups and crunches - are not necessarily bad exercises, but they don’t consider your whole core. These exercises focus on your superficial six-pack muscles, and you need to reconnect and regain strength from the inside and focus on your pelvic floor and your transverse abdominis muscles first, before you move to the more superficial muscles. • planks - put lots of pressure on your pelvic floor and abdominal wall, and in most cases, the early postnatal body is not ready to withstand that pressure. • push-ups - again, to perform this exercise you are in a very similar position

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to the plank, plus you add movement against gravity. That will cause lots of intra-abdominal pressure and requires a strong core and pelvic floor. To make this exercise more appropriate for postnatal women, you can do it on an incline (hands on a bench or a table) or even start with your hands on the wall. • jumping/running or anything highimpact - these exercises not only put lots of pressure on your pelvic floor, but also, due to the hormone relaxin that is still present in your body, you are more prone to injuries, so highimpact exercises are not advisable. • heavy lifting - also puts pressure on your pelvic floor and abdominal wall, plus you are also more likely to hold your breath during these exercises, which will increase that pressure even more and cause issues. 2. How long do you need to avoid these exercises for? Well, this is very individual. I would recommend seeing a women’s health physiotherapist so they can assess your pelvic floor and your abdominal muscles. They will be able to give you the answer based on your individual assessment. If for whatever reason you can’t see a women’s health physio, there are some problem signs you should be looking out for: • doming - If your tummy is doming during any of the exercises, that means that you are not ready for that exercise. • weeing - If any of the exercises cause incontinence, that’s a red flag. SUBSCRIBE


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• heaviness or pain in your pelvic area - These can be symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse. • Remember, check with your General Practitioner if you have any concerns. Exercise post-birth is not only about losing weight and getting rid of your ‘mummy-tummy’ but about restoring your physiological functions.

DISCLAIMER

Magdalena Hawley is a Qualified Personal Trainer and Food & Wellness Coach. She is a founder and head trainer of Mums Going Strong Fitness group and personal training company specialising in postnatal fitness with a focus on core and pelvic floor recovery. Creator of Busy Fit Mums online program.

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Musculoskeletal

Problems & Exercise ––– Margarita

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Gurevich –––

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fitness

IS

physical exercise effective when it comes to the treatment and management of musculoskeletal problems? The answer is very straightforward – most definitely. As physiotherapists we see patients with a wide range of musculoskeletal problems, such as: • back, neck and joint pain • cervicogenic headaches (headaches that occur as a result of neck problems) • scoliosis • arthritis • fibromyalgia • sports injuries • other related injuries. How, though, does exercise help? Is it always safe to exercise? Are there other treatment options which might sometimes be required besides or instead of exercise? We will consider the answers to these questions in this article. QUESTION #1 Why is exercise so effective when it comes to musculoskeletal conditions? The main reason is that exercise helps to strengthen the relevant muscles which are required to improve the particular condition. For instance: • Strong core and postural muscles are very important for scoliosis • Strong buttock and hip muscles are required for hip osteoarthritis Overall having strong muscles helps to speed up the recovery and reduce the likelihood of future flare ups.

DISCLAIMER

Also exercise helps to release the ‘feel good’ hormones – endorphins and opiates which boost the mood. This, in turn, also helps to speed up the recovery as the patient is more likely to stick to the treatment plan and be an active participant in their recovery process.

Exercise helps to release the ‘feel good’ hormones that reduce pain. QUESTION #2 Is it always safe to exercise and are there instances when other treatments are more effective at certain stages of the recovery? While the prescribed treatment varies depending on which kind of problem the patient presents with, one thing remains unchanged; exercise is the only long-term solution for most pathologies. Why is this so? Simply put, most treatments which we do as physiotherapists have a short-term effect and their main purpose is to reduce the intensity of the presenting symptoms so that the person can begin to exercise without exacerbating their condition. GREAT HEALTH GUIDE | 21


fitness For example, when a patient has had a flare up of his/her knee osteoarthritis and now has significant pain and inflammation in the knee. As a result, the patient cannot bend/straighten their knee without aggravating the pain. We know that it’s important for the patient to strengthen the muscles which support and stabilize the knees. Squats would be very effective at this. Would it be wise, however, to encourage the patient to start doing this exercise? Not at the moment. The first step would be to reduce the pain and inflammation. Several physiotherapy treatment methods, such as electrotherapy, ultrasound, SCENAR therapy and others could be highly effective during this stage. Once the symptoms are under control the focus should shift away from these hands-on treatments towards exercises done either independently at home or under the supervision of physiotherapists, such as hydrotherapy and Clinical Pilates. Another important consideration is that while it might not be safe to do some exercises, this does not mean that you shouldn’t do any exercise. Going back to the above example, while it wouldn’t be appropriate do perform squats as this would exacerbate the condition, it would still be important to do exercises to strengthen the muscles of the legs and specifically the knees. The same is true for other musculoskeletal conditions. Your physiotherapist would be able to give you the appropriate exercises following a thorough assessment. This would ensure that you will be doing exercises which will not aggravate your 22 | GREAT HEALTH GUIDE

condition, and which will help to speed up the recovery as well as reduce the likelihood of future flare ups.

Margarita Gurevich is Senior Physiotherapist and uses Clinical Pilates, SCENAR Therapy & other evidence-based techniques, including Real Time Ultrasound and McKenzie Treatment. Margarita specialises in sports injuries, women’s health (including incontinence) and gastrointestinal issues. Margarita may be contacted via her website. SUBSCRIBE


DISCLAIMER

GREAT HEALTH GUIDE | 23


Loneliness Why

Greatest Health Hazard

is our

Dr Jenny Brockis

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Mindset We all seek to be heard and understood. Loneliness is defined as a feeling of being socially isolated, that our relationships are not meaningful, and others do not understand us. Loneliness is now considered a public health hazard. It’s been shown by research from Brigham Young University to be as bad for your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, cutting 15 years off your lifespan. Not only that, it’s a problem that’s growing. Studies report that one in four Australians are affected with 50% reporting feeling lonely for at least one day a week and over 25% reporting feeling lonely for three to four days a week.

How to avoid loneliness: our greatest health hazard.

The seriousness of the situation has been called out by Michelle Lim, Scientific Chair of the Australian Coalition to End Loneliness and lead author of the 2018 Australian Loneliness Report, saying there is an urgent need to find effective ways to combat the epidemic. 1. The paradox of increasing disconnection in a super-connected world. How is it, at a time when we can connect with virtually anyone anywhere around the planet in an instant, we’re feeling a greater disconnect? DISCLAIMER

There isn’t a single cause, but some of the contributing factors include: • A growing number of people living alone either through choice or circumstance. • More people are working remotely or from home, with less opportunity for social interaction. • More people report having fewer close friends. • More people are dealing with depression, which is commonly associated with a desire to withdraw from social contact. • Fewer people ‘know’ their neighbours or are involved in community events. • Work is often so busy that there’s no time to scratch yourself, let alone get to know your colleagues. Everyone is busy too, so getting help when you need it is nearly impossible. You then feel overstretched, overwhelmed or exhausted. • Spending an increasing amount of time online or engaged with a screen, cuts down the opportunity for realtime conversation. • Working or living in a toxic environment where trust is missing. However, by lying low and trying not to attract attention to yourself, creates an atmosphere of fear, anxiety and isolation. 2. Being alone is different. Maybe you crave that time when you could get five minutes of peace and quiet just for you. Or, if you’re an introvert, you GREAT HEALTH GUIDE | 25


Mindset often and engage in real-time face to face conversation. It’s been shown how the presence of your smartphone on the table diminishes the strength and meaning of your conversation. 3. Make the time to be social. Schedule in 20-30 minutes every day to connect. Catch up with a friend for coffee, arrange a movie date or call someone you haven’t spoken to for a while. seek time away from others to restore and replenish your energy levels. Alone time is manageable but being lonely makes you feel bad, because it’s a state of emotional suffering. 3. Disconnection causes social pain. While no one likes the thought of being bullied, being ignored can feel worse. Studies have shown how feeling snubbed or overlooked creates a massive threat response in the brain, triggering social pain. Social pain is real. It’s a danger signal, and the brain processes social and physical pain in a similar way. That’s why we crave belonging – to feel safe.

4.  Get enough sleep. Yes, sleep deprivation plays havoc with your social life. Perhaps you’ve noticed, it’s harder to feel like going out with your friends when all you want to do is crawl into bed and get some sleep. 5. Show your appreciation. No one likes to be taken for granted. It’s those small tokens of kindness and gratitude that show you care, that strengthen relationships the best. Connection matters. Taking the time to build a strong social network, will keep you safe from the perils of loneliness and help you to stay happy, healthy and mentally well.

Being lonely makes you feel bad because it’s a state of emotional suffering. Five top tips to boost your connection. 1. The eyes have it. We should seek to engage with eye contact (when culturally appropriate) a warm smile and say something, even if it’s ‘good morning’ or ‘hello.’ Acknowledging the other person shows, ‘I see you’ and automatically sets the scene to connect. 2. Switch off your phone, the weapon of mass disconnection! Turn it to silent more 26 | GREAT HEALTH GUIDE

Dr Jenny Brockis is a Medical Practitioner and Board-Certified Lifestyle Physician specialising in brain health and mental performance. Jenny’s approach to overcoming life’s challenges is based on practical neuroscience which enables people to understand their thoughts and actions leading to effective behavioural change. Jenny is the author of Smarter, Sharper Thinking (Wiley) and may be contacted via her website. SUBSCRIBE


Positive Thinking The

Power of

Dr Suzanne Henwood

DISCLAIMER

GREAT HEALTH GUIDE | 27


Mindset

I

read a meme on Facebook today that said, “Strange isn’t it? You know yourself better than anyone else, yet you crumble at the words of someone who hasn’t even lived a second of your life. Focus on your own voice. It’s the only one that matters”. We all know that negative thinking can create stress and lead to poor health. But how many of us have read the research to show just how much of a difference it makes to change your thinking and what impacts that it will have on health and wellbeing? How many of us are actively working, in a disciplined way, to change the way we think? To put a stop to circumstances, or other people, controlling our thinking. Before I offer some suggestions, let me share some research to show this is not just some whimsical desire to get you thinking of rainbows and unicorns! One study showed that visualising positive images helped to reduce anxiety. Another study linked optimism and positive outlook to levels of happiness. The US Army put psychological fitness on par with physical fitness including focusing on positivity and another study showed the link to living longer. Interestingly, a positive approach to life has also been shown to hugely mitigate against negative health indicators in coronary heart disease. So, what are we talking about, with the power of positive thinking? 1. Visualisation This is how we see things in our heads, from the past, present or future and those 28 | GREAT HEALTH GUIDE

images can be positive (i.e. resourceful) or not resourceful. When you think about that interview, dental appointment or a difficult meeting, what image do you see? When you take a drive, or plan a holiday, do you visualise clear roads, or traffic jams? A smooth flight or long delays and cramped seating? While we may not consciously create those images, we do have a choice about how to visualise things. We can choose to see our boss with a smile, or a frown. We can choose to worry over traffic delays or go with the flow. We can go with the first image or we can change it.

One study showed that visualising positive images helped to reduce anxiety

2. Language

The use of language is another major component in positive thinking. As with visualisation, we can choose the words we use to describe what we are seeing in our heads. The words we choose create the meaning around the context. What would happen if you took a moment, paused and told the story in a different way? Research suggests that it will change the meaning SUBSCRIBE


Mindset and representation of the context. Fields of neurolinguistics, psycholinguistics and cognitive linguistics have shown that the words which we choose, do change the structure of our brains and cells. Some simple examples include changing words to explore if this changes our reality: • from a ‘stressful’ to ‘challenging’ event • from an ‘absolute disaster’ to a ‘problem’ • from ‘there is no hope’ to ‘I haven’t found my way out of this yet’. Just read those phrases, one by one and feel what happens in your body as you do. Notice for yourself the enormous impact that words have on your mind and body. 3. Negatively wired As humans we are negatively wired neurologically. It is a protective mechanism, to keep us safe. It is essential that we identify real threats and pay

attention to risk. If we ignored subtle signs, it could well be a sabre tooth tiger about to pounce and not a friendly kitten in the grass. We would not want to turn off this skill completely. However, with the rising rates of stress, burnout and mental health issues, taking time to revisit our thinking habits can be beneficial, in assisting us to rewire that default negative wiring. As a starting point – if I were to ask you whether you are a positive, optimistic thinker, or a negative, pessimistic thinker, on a scale – where would you place yourself generally? 4. Does this way of thinking serve you well? If it does, you may not want to change. But if it weighs you down on life’s scales, which leads to unhelpful rumination and catastrophising, try these simple steps to make a shift into more positive thinking. 5. Change your thinking Be Aware – set an internal alert in your head to flag any unresourceful thinking/ visualisation as it’s happening. It’s likely to become habitual. Pause – check ‘does it have a positive intention’ (e.g. safety) and is the intention well founded or is there an actual risk to yourself? • if yes, take appropriate action • if no, smile and thank your brain for looking out for you. Breathe evenly for a series of breaths, while smiling. Thank your creative head, ask it now to come up with a different image, or

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Mindset different words, that still let you know what is happening, but change the focus to being positive. This might include: • humour •

gratitude

• stern talking compassion).

to

yourself

(with

Ask yourself, how has this changed the situation. This simple tool can literally rewire your brain over time, moving you into a more positive general thinking state. Try this out for 21 days and then revisit the scale and see how far you have moved. This quick self-help guide offers some simple advice for creating more positive

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thinking. Remember, if you are concerned about your health and wellbeing, seek professional support and advice. Positive thinking affects your body. It is far more than just ‘feeling good’ in the moment, but on every day. Thus, it requires deliberate, repeated action to generate results. When will you start to rewire your brain to harness the power of positive thinking?

Dr Suzanne Henwood is the Director and Lead Coach and Trainer of mBraining4Success. She is also the CEO of The Healthy Workplace and a Master Trainer and Master Coach of mBIT (Multiple Brain Integration Techniques) and can be contacted via her website.

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Mindset

Individually we are one drop, ееtogether we are an ocean. Ryunosuke Satoro

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Cooperating with

Others

Terry Sidford

W

hy is it essential to cooperate with others? It might seem obvious, but there is more to it. As human beings on the same planet, we are all in this together. We need each other for survival and to help each other learn, grow and interact.

others, this is of great benefit to us, but it could also change another person.

Sometimes it appears we have nothing in common with others. We all have different personalities, cultures and upbringings. However, what we do have in common is human existence and the need to be seen, heard, felt and loved. We are all trying to figure out what our purpose is and why we are here.

We all have hearts & want to love & be loved.

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As a life coach, speaker and author, I have witnessed that most people, when asked what is important to them, ALL want to make a difference in other people’s lives or in the world. People are basically good and lead with their hearts.

Regardless of our differences, we all have hearts and want to be loved, to love, be understood and have a purpose on this earth. What if you looked at every person as a child that was just born? We all came into this world the same way, vulnerable and in need of care from our parents or a loving human being. SUBSCRIBE


Mindset Think about the elderly and how much they need to be cared for by others as they become vulnerable and unable to take care of themselves. Infants, children and the elderly, allow us to cooperate and connect and make a difference. We can do that every day with people in our lives. Who can you work with and make both your lives better? Look around you and take a moment to make someone’s day and our world a better place.

We all have hearts & want to love & be loved.

to listen and understand before you make a judgment. Your small act of kindness could literally change a person’s life. There are several ways that you can promote cooperation: • Start by respecting one another. • Respect each other’s space, belongings and beliefs. • Listen and communicate well. • Communicate, especially now, when our world is so conflicted. • Look for what we have in common first. • Understand before you make a judgment. We all need to take personal responsibility by cooperating with others to improve our world.

Terry Sidford has been a certified life coach in the United States for the past 15 years and has assisted scores of people in achieving their dreams. More information is available from Terry’s website.

When you come across someone challenging to cooperate with, remember they have the same needs as everyone else. Of course, you don’t want to engage with someone negative, combative, or unwilling to cooperate but look at them with love and care. They are usually acting out because they are insecure, afraid or feel unloved and misunderstood. They are still that little child inside and as human as you and I. Make it your responsibility to cooperate with others & our world. Cooperating with others benefits you and everyone else around you. Make an effort

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Domestic iolence Men

Also Experience

Leanne Allen

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Relationships

A

ccording to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (2017): ‘One in 4 women and 1 in 6 men have experienced emotional abuse by a current or previous cohabiting partner. 1 in 5 women and 1 in 20 men have experienced sexual violence (ABS 2017)’.

Domestic Violence, now known as Intimate Partner Violence (IPV), refers to physical assault, sexual assault, verbal abuse, financial abuse (withholding money), spiritual abuse (using religion to control another person) and emotional abuse.

is physically stronger than his partner and therefore it shouldn’t be happening. However, if a man has been brought up with the belief that he ‘must not hit a woman’ this can also translate to ‘he must not defend himself’.

This article is focused on men, I am in no way dismissing that women face far more abuse than men. However, that does not mean that men who are victims of abuse should be ignored or their experience should be denied.

Of course, defending oneself does not mean hitting back. It can mean restraining so you can’t be attacked, leaving the home, reporting to the police, or telling someone else who can intervene. In fact, abuse should be reported to the police. It is expected that a woman would report, therefore why would we expect any difference for a man to report?

Men do not deserve to be mistreated either. Abuse is abuse.

Many women, and men, may be saying, “well how can a man experience abuse, a woman is not as strong as he is”. The answer is simple. In the same way a man can abuse a woman. Many men do not protect themselves from a raging woman, or they feel so ashamed by what is happening that they do not tell anyone, in the same way a woman keeps it to herself. When a man is abused, he can blame himself because he himself feels like he 36 | GREAT HEALTH GUIDE

Men are usually abused in different ways than women are. Women are more likely to manipulate their partner, rather than physically abuse, although this does happen. Women are also more likely to use children against a man. Sometimes a man will feel he has no power because he feels the legal system is on the woman’s side. This kind of abuse usually occurs after a separation. And of course, we must not forget that IPV also occurs within gay relationships, with the same emotional and physical consequences. What can you do if you are a male victim of abuse? 1. Speak to your GP: A GP can be trusted and knows where to refer you to get help. SUBSCRIBE


Relationships 2. Read about Domestic Violence: If you are uncertain if you are in an abusive relationship do some research. Many men do not realise they are in an abusive relationship. 3. Talk to someone: Being able to talk to someone will allow your situation to be validated and you can get help, it could be a relative, neighbour, colleague, or even Lifeline (13 11 14) or MensLine Australia (1300 78 99 78) 4. Call the police: There are teams especially dedicated to working with IPV. They can help to protect you and sometimes this can lead to the partner being charged or being forced to participate in counselling. It’s best to call your local station directly, or phone 000 if you are in direct danger. 5. Seek professional help: A psychologist who has had training in this area can help empower you to take back control of your life.

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True equality means equality for men and women. Not equality for women at the expense of men. I hear all too often that men feel like they are being treated like the perpetrator and therefore they are not being heard, not taken seriously and left behind. When men and women can stand up for each other, without saying, “what about us”, then we have achieved true equality.

Leanne Allen (BA Psych), Is the Principle Psychologist and Coach at Reconnect Wellness Centre. She works with clients online and in person. She has a passion for working with men, and has recently launched the online course “After the Divorce: A Guide For Men”, to find out more go to https://leanneallen.coach/ where you can also book in a free strategy session.

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Relationships

Your

ComfortZone Love

––– Dr

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Matthew Anderson –––

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Relationships

I once heard of a man who died of thirst while standing under a waterfall. Then I looked into the mirror and he was looking back at me.

T

hink of the waterfall as love and then the image makes sense. Love abounds. We are all awash in it and yet most people stand before its gushing flow with a thimble. I was one of those poor, love impoverished souls. When love arrived, my thimble became absurd. Nothing helps a man or woman recognize how resistant they can be to love, as love itself. It has recently become impossible for me to deny or avoid how much I am loved. It has also been impossible for me to deny my periodic difficulties with that love. Sometimes, I soak it up like a towel dipped into a pond. I allow it to fill every cell of my being and for a few moments I forget my years of stony loneliness. Then without any discernible provocation, I turn my back on that pond. It’s as if I turn and look out into a dry and dusty land of rock and stone where love cannot reach. I have not moved away. I am still within a step of love, but I am blind to her presence. Gone, empty and horribly alone.

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I used to think I was crazy. I used to believe that this sort of thinking was alien and unique to me. But the truth is I am not alone in my thinking and many of us have no relationship with love. The truth is that every single human being who has ever walked this great, green earth is just like me. Love appears and we get wobbly, wacky and weird. We run to it, dance in it and then we trash it and imagine we will never see it again and then we get up and run away once more. I can feel this inside-out, upside-down journey every time I breathe deeply and look into Love’s eyes. All at once, I am intoxicated and terrified and for a fraction of a divine moment, the moth of my soul wants to fly straight and joyfully into that flame. Yes, sometimes Love makes me shamefully aware that I approach her with a thimble, but she also makes me want to drop that absurd love-container and plunge unafraid into her embrace. I want the plunging. I want the soaking. I do not want to remain the man who died of thirst while standing under a waterfall. I want to find the courage to face her love and give her what she gives me. I don’t really care what happens after that. Practical Exercise Most of us have a comfort zone for love. We live within its walls and convince ourselves that we cannot break out into a new and more joyful experience of life and love. Today, I invite you to walk to the edge of that comfortable, tolerable and possibly

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Relationships

The moth of my soul wants to fly straight & joyfully into Love’s flame. love-impoverished space and take a brave step into an unknown territory. Open your heart to Love. Allow it to

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embrace you more passionately, more fiercely, more joyfully than ever before. Now close your eyes and imagine taking that step. What happens???

Dr Matthew Anderson has a Doctor of Ministry specialising in counselling. He has extensive training and experience in Gestalt and Jungian Psychology and has helped many people successfully navigate relationship issues. Dr Anderson has a best-selling book, ‘The Resurrection of Romance’ and he may be contacted via his website.

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ids Ma ers GREAT HEALTH GUIDE | 41


Support –––

Child

Dr Janine Cooper –––

W

atching a child learn new skills and building on existing knowledge is highly rewarding. It is a fast and rapidly changing process. Many theories of development have been proposed to attempt to explain this complex progression in abilities and social skill acquisition. Support is focusing on the combination of biological influences, such as brain development, with environmental factors. Hence, it’s a ‘nature and nurture’ collaboration rather than a ‘nature or nurture’ debate. Learning through observation As any parent, caregiver or educator will know, children are active, adaptive explorers who aim to control their environment. They do this by watching the actions of others and copying them. Caregivers and parents provide the strongest observable behaviour in the first five years of life. However, as children get older, they choose to watch friends and teachers, as well as other people who they consider

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Your

important. The person being observed is called a ‘model’ and most children will have someone that they imitate. Who do children model? It might be a real person such as a caregiver or an older sibling. It can also be a person in the media, sporting environment or even a fictitious character such as a superhero. Young children carefully watch the model’s behaviour and actively learn from what they observe. Research has shown children are more likely to copy behaviour when the potential models: • provide the child with social praise or affection • are similar gender, age and interests • are visibly dominant peers or adults in a dominant role such as a teacher or coach. Therefore, when a child watches a parent use aggression to discipline, they will

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kids matters

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kids matters not show the aggression in their parent’s presence. However, they will often show this behaviour towards others, especially people viewed as less dominant or similar, such as younger peers or siblings. Similarly, as children age, they are more likely to copy friends and siblings. So, it’s crucial to support a child’s learning by observing who their potential models are, including yourself. A child who views a parent using ipads and screens, will want to copy this behaviour, so remember to practice what you preach.

One of the greatest gifts we can give to children is our knowledge, protection & the sense of being loved. Learning as an internal thought process As well as observation, children also learn though creating internal representations or packages of information about their world that psychologists refer to as schemas. Part of a cognitive process, is that children compare, adapt and modify their schemas that act as ‘templates’ which they refer to throughout life. When a child encounters an unpleasant or traumatic event, such as being abandoned, criticised,

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overprotected, emotionally or physically abused, excluded or deprived, then this can often lead to maladaptive representations being made, especially if they are reinforced and/or modelled by parents or caregivers. According to schema theory, schemas can define later behaviours, thoughts, feelings and relationships with others. Effective ways to teach appropriate behaviour An effective way to teach behaviour is through a combination of consistent positive reinforcement, such as parental praise and affection, along with clear explanations and guidance for what is considered as preferred behaviour. It is also essential to provide the same calm clarity to children about what is not acceptable and the consequences of such behaviour. Threatening children does not build trust. However, consistent cause and effect guidance and delivery of the expected outcome is essential for positive learning and adaptive schema production. Type of learning is linked to brain development Neuroimaging research has supported many of the developmental theories that come from observational and experiment work. Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques, research has shown a typical sequential brain development of skills with: • the motor and sensory regions that sub-serve relatively basic functions, maturing the earliest, followed by • the maturing of regions associated with basic language skill and spatial attention, then SUBSCRIBE


kids matters • the areas linked to higher-order cognitive control functions, such as decision making and the theory of mind, subsequently maturing.

protection and a sense of being loved. When combined, they provide the best basis to promote and to support your child to learn.

How to promote learning By viewing a child’s learning as a collaboration between the stage of their brain’s development, how they understand and model the actions and words of those in their lives, adults can maximise their child’s learning potential. Trying to teach a child a skill before their brain has developed the capacity to learn that ability, will only lead to frustration and potential fear of failing for a child. Hence, one of the greatest gifts we can give to children is our knowledge,

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Dr Janine Cooper is a Melbourne based Research Neuropsychologist with a speciality in memory, development and wellbeing. Janine is the founder of Everyday Neuro that uses online courses, podcasts and workshops to enhance understanding about the human brain, its functions and ultimately how this shapes human behaviour. Janine has numerous scientific publications and can be contacted via her website.

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Healthy

Lunch Boxes School

Regina Tilyard

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Kids Matters

D

id you know that children will eat roughly a third of their daily food intake while they are at school? This is a decent portion of their daily nutrients and core food groups. So, even more reason to embrace the new school semester with a few lunchbox tricks up your sleeve. Filling kid’s lunchboxes with nourishing choices will allow for improved concentration and energy at school, while also building valuable skills in food choices and meal composition. To ease some of the lunchbox pressure, aim to pack a balance of foods and snacks from the following core food groups by adding these suggestions to the shopping list.

School lunchbox ideas that will definitely be eaten. Vegetables Despite being one of the most challenging food groups for children, vegetablebased options will provide important nutrients and fibre for general health, immunity and digestive support. Rather than offering bland or plain vegetables, aim to incorporate vegetables as part of food combinations that provide variety and appeal to little tastebuds: • pre-prepare and freeze wholemeal vegetable muffins, slice or frittatas DISCLAIMER

• offer an incentive with any raw vegetables such as hummus or dip • fill sandwiches and wraps with colourful and fresh salad vegetables • experiment with containers of salad mixtures, including pasta salad, coleslaw, or Mexican bean salad • roast chickpeas in bulk for a crunchy snack. Fruit Fortunately, many schools are now providing a ‘fruit break’ or ‘brain snack’ that encourage children to fuel their body with fresh fruit. This provides a great opportunity for vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C and B vitamins that support energy levels and prevent illness. To ensure these fruits don’t end up in the bin, trial a combination of textures: • fresh whole fruit (apples, mandarins with easy to remove skin) • fruit salad or mixed fruit • fruit pieces or chunks (pineapple chunks, grapes, watermelon) • fruit that can be eaten with a spoon (kiwifruit or passionfruit halves). It can also be helpful to involve your children in choosing fruits to enhance their autonomy and independence. Allow your child to choose between two fruit options when packing their lunchbox or browsing the supermarket. Wholegrains, breads and cereals Wholegrains and carbohydrates will fuel our children for the school day and are a source of insoluble fibre for digestive

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Kids Matters health. To keep things more interesting than repeats of the humble sandwich, trial a swap for other wholegrain options such as wraps, pita bread, bread rolls, rice paper rolls, sushi, wholegrain crackers, rice cakes or wholemeal English muffins. On occasions, keep snacks interesting by trying homemade fruit loaf or muffins prepared with wholemeal flour. In fact, involving your children in the kitchen to help prepare these foods will enhance their relationship with nutrition, increase feeding skills and will improve the likelihood that the food gets eaten. Dairy foods It’s worthwhile stocking up on ice bricks and insulated lunchboxes to ensure your children can benefit from the protein, calcium and vitamin D provided by dairy products. Easy pre-packaged options include milk poppers, natural yoghurt and cheese cubes or slices. For other options, try cottage cheese or ricotta on crackers, tzatziki or yoghurt-based dip, or fruit smoothies after school. Meat and protein alternatives Meat and protein foods will support growth and development and provide important minerals such as iron and zinc. Lean deli meats such as ham, chicken or silverside are great sandwich fillers, which may progress to less conventional options that encourage food variety including: • egg based frittatas, quiches or slices • tinned fish, beans or chickpeas • hommous dip • lentil patties, falafel balls or fish patties 48 | GREAT HEALTH GUIDE

• homemade nut bars or nut balls (check with your school’s nut policy first). Let’s start the semester well with a balance of nourishing, appealing lunchbox foods that will fuel little bodies. Trial one new suggestion per week to keep up with food variety and engage your children in eating healthy foods. For any concerns about fussy eaters, difficulty with food groups or balancing important nutrients, work alongside your local paediatric Accredited Practising Dietitian for specific suggestions and strategies.

Regina Tilyard is a paediatric dietitian specialising in fussy eating and children’s feeding behaviours. She is passionate about helping families develop healthy mealtime habits. Regina is contactable via her website. SUBSCRIBE


Junior A hle es Elite

Part 1

Jane Kilkenny

G

lobal sport has transformed into an entertainment phenomenon and a multi-billion dollar industry in the last few decades. The popularity of sport has increased dramatically, and this has had a flow on effect at the grassroots level of kids’ sport. The professionalization of sport has created high performance programs that are based on science and research. Whilst these systems are necessary at the elite level, we are seeing an increased demand for juniors to compete at a higher level and at a younger age, in many sports. Soccer and tennis are a great example with both sports having academy programs to increase the hours of training. We have seen a major shift to early sport specialization which can be detrimental to long term development and success for young athletes. Whilst talented juniors are eager to progress quickly, simply increasing their training loads will not

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produce the best results. This is a recipe for increased injury risk and burnout. The challenge for parents is trying to manage the demands of the sport coaches, the athletes, schoolteachers and maintaining a balance in the family unit. This is a complex problem. However, with the right support team the potential for success is multiplied. We will discuss load management, training and strength as three of the most important aspects for junior athletes. 1. Load management This is the first major piece in the puzzle. Doing more is not always the key to results. It is important to consider every activity undertaken by junior athletes in their training week. This includes factors such as school sport, social activities and anything else that puts a load on young bodies. As their bodies grow and develop, they progress through a multitude of phases GREAT HEALTH GUIDE | 49


kids matters

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kids matters when their muscles, joints and tissues are at a higher risk of injury. If the training load is increased at this time, the injury risk is multiplied. For example, when a young basketballer is selected in a state squad, there are always additional trainings scheduled which increases loads. Something to consider here would be reducing the training load in domestic or school competitions for the phase of state training. If these modifications are not made adding 1-2 high intensity basketball sessions into an already busy week can lead to significant issues. Talented junior athletes are motivated and often willing to push their bodies. That’s part of their drive to succeed. However, when they are still developing it is essential that they learn to monitor their bodies appropriately and respect the need for recovery and rest.

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2. Training Elite junior athletes should have multiple facets to their training plan. Simply practicing or competing in their chosen sport will not develop strong athleticism and a stable body. It is essential that they continue to focus on fundamental motor skills and strength. The crucial components include conditioning, stability, core, strength, balance and dynamic motion. It is vital that there is specialist input into these aspects of training. Advice from specialists that are not directly related to the sports specific coaching staff is valuable. It provides an aspect of objectivity that focuses on the overall development of the athlete. This is common practice in professional highperformance environments where a team of coaches, strength and conditioning

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kids matters

Simply increasing training loads will not produce the best results. This is a recipe for increased injury risk & burnout

specialists, dieticians, psychologists and medical staff all work together to achieve the maximum performance outcomes for the athletes. For elite junior athletes, it is important to find suitable professionals who can be consulted when required during development. The amount of sports specific skills training must be incorporated with suitable levels of strength, core, balance, recovery and rest. 3. Strength Elite junior athletes should be undertaking strength training if they are playing high level sport. This type of training should only be undertaken with a qualified professional. It is perfectly safe for kids to do strength work that is suitably designed for their individual needs. It must always be supervised and monitored with the 52 | GREAT HEALTH GUIDE

necessary modifications implemented when appropriate. Junior athletes have huge variations in their bodies size and speed of development. In any age group you will find the giraffes and zebras who will have vastly different training needs. The giraffes are tall and lean, and the zebras are more compact with a stockier build. Both groups have their own strengths and weaknesses which must be considered in training. Appropriate strength work will not only maximize performance it will also play an important role in injury prevention. We need to focus on developing athleticism and symmetry in dynamic motion. Often sports will place a greater demand on the dominant side of the body and it’s important to ensure that this is minimized with appropriate training. Elite junior athletes are motivated and driven to succeed. It is therefore vital to monitor the overall loads being placed on their bodies and teach them to have fun with their sport. Ambition is excellent but success in sport should never be achieved at the expense of health, happiness and a balanced lifestyle.

Jane Kilkenny has over 25 years’ experience in health and fitness. She specialises in exercise for kids and teenagers having trained at the Children’s Hospital Institute of Sports Medicine (CHISM) Westmead in 2004. She is also a High-Performance specialist and a Level 4 IAAF athletics coach. Jane can be contacted via her website. SUBSCRIBE


Most great people have attained their greatest success one step beyond their greatest failure

- Napoleon Hill

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© Antalya Developments Pty Ltd 2020 Any information made available in the Great Health Guide Magazine (electronic or hard copy formats), or from Antalya Developments Pty Limited or Kathryn Dodd, including by way of third party authored articles or discussions, is made available for readers’ interest only. The purpose of making the information available is to stimulate research, public discussion and debate. Readers are encouraged to undertake their own research and consult with professional advisors to form their own independent views about the topic/s discussed. The information made available in the Great Health Guide Magazine (electronic or hard copy formats) is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Readers should seek the advice of a qualified health provider with any questions regarding a potential or actual medical condition or the proposed use or decision not to use any particular product. Readers should not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it at any time, including because of the content of any information made available in the Great Health Guide Magazine (electronic or hard copy formats). Each of Antalya Developments Pty Ltd and Kathryn Dodd do not warrant, guarantee or make any representation regarding the accuracy, veracity, adequacy, reliability, completeness or timeliness of any information available on, or arising in relation to, the Great Health Guide Magazine (electronic or hard copy formats). Neither Antalya Developments Pty Limited nor Kathryn Dodd endorses the views of any contributing authors to the Great Health Guide Magazine (electronic or hard copy formats).