Why Kids Should Have Their Own Kids Water Bottle

Dehydration for adults is bad enough, but for kids is can be downright dangerous. Part of the reason is that kids absorb more heat than adults, but they sweat less. They also have less fluid and therefore can easily go from mild dehydration to severe dehydration more quickly. They don’t know how dangerous it is for them not to drink water. As a parent you have to encourage kids to drink more water. If kids have their own kids water bottle they are more likely to drink more water. There are some other tricks you can use to get kids to drink more water.

  • Make drinking water fun – If you can make drinking water fun for kids they are more likely to see it as something they want to do instead of something adults are forcing them to do. Kids should have their own kids water bottle in their favorite style and color. If they look at it more as a fun toy than a necessity they will use it more often. They also like to feel like they are “cool” around their friends.
  • Make water accessible – Kids should have an accessible kids water bottle and also have access to good, clean water without having to ask an adult to get it for them. Since small kids may not be able to reach the sink, make sure they have water in the refrigerator or the refrigerator door. If kids have their own water bottle they can easily fill them up with water that’s within their reach. Kids like to imitate what adults do, but they also like their independence. If kids have their own kids water bottle and don’t have to ask for permission from adults they feel more empowered.
  • Make water tasty – Adults and kids alike are more likely to drink more water if it tastes good. Studies have shown that kids will only drink about 50% of the water they actually need if it’s plain and about 90% if it’s flavored. There are plenty of ways to do that even without added sugar. Simply adding some fruit like lemons, limes or oranges helps add flavor to the water without adding sugar or calories. It’s a healthy alternative to sugary drinks and drink mixes.

These methods may not make a lot of sense to adults, but the point is to get kids to drink more water. If kids have their own kids water bottle and easy access to some flavored water, they will drink more water and you can rest easier knowing that they are safe from dangerous dehydration.

Runners Need to Hydrate in the Winter

When the temperature starts to dip and snow covers the street, even the most hard core runners may have a hard time getting up the enthusiasm to layer up and go for a run. And staying hydrated might be the last thing on your mind. Sure, it’s easier to remember to drink enough water and carry enough water when it’s eighty degrees out. But in the winter your body can be tricked into thinking you don’t really need to drink that much. The cool air and snow can mask our sense of exactly how much fluid we’re really losing. And that can lead to dangerous dehydration. So runners need to hydrate in the winter.

It’s not unheard of that up to 8% of total body mass has been lost through the loss of fluid in runners in the winter. This is made worse by the fact that most runners wear multiple layers of clothes on a winter run. You are still sweating, and that fluid needs to be replaced. Dehydration puts stress on your cardiovascular system.The kidneys will begin to produce more urine, which can  lead to more dehydration. Also, your lungs have to work harder to moisten the cold winter air as you exhale. So water is being exhaled every time you breathe.

An extra problem with running in cold weather is that dehydration can lead to frostbite. Your body will try to compensate for the cold by attempting to keep more warm blood in your core as opposed to your extremities. This is why shivering is one thing the body does to generate heat.

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends drinking up to sixteen ounces of water prior to exercise and several sips every few minutes during exercise. If you’ll be running in the cold, you can make some of that fluid intake a hot drink such as tea or hot chocolate to help warm up your core before heading out. And make sure you wear enough layers to protect you from the elements, but not too many.

 

 

Running While Pregnant

You often hear “check in with your doctor before beginning an exercise program”. This is especially true if you’re pregnant. If you’ve always been a runner, you’re probably okay to continue running while pregnant. But it’s still best to check in with your doctor just to make sure. Everyone is different. Now is the most important time to listen to your body and your doctor.

According to Julie Tupler, founder of Maternal Fitness, pregnancy isn’t the time to start a running routine. When the baby’s major organs are forming in the first trimester, overheating can become a real problem. Instead, she recommends strengthening your abdominal muscles for labor.

Drinking lots of water before, during and after a run is important even if you’re not pregnant. But much more important if you are. If you become dehydrated it can decrease blood flow to the uterus and bring on premature contractions. Yes, it does mean more frequent restroom stops, but it’s much better than becoming dehydrated.

Run on flat surfaces to avoid losing your balance. Make sure you’re not out running in an isolated area just in case you have an emergency. Carry a cell phone with you just in case there are any unexpected emergencies. Let someone know where you’re going and how long you plan to be gone. Even better, try to run with a partner. This is the safest way in case you run into any trouble.

The best thing is to make sure you listen to what your body tells you. Anyone who has been a competitive athlete before may try to push beyond their limits. Now isn’t the time. Don’t push beyond exhaustion. Running while pregnant will be harder. Just expect it. Speed walking is just as good for exercise and may be a safer way, especially the further along you get in your pregnancy.

 

 

 

 

 

Improve Your Running Speed

Slow and steady won’t win the race, but is just fine for most recreational runners. However, if you want to improve your running speed, there are some things you can do.

  • Dynamic stretching – This type of stretching is preferred over static stretching for the athlete who wants to run faster. Through dynamic stretching your limbs get continuous movement and range of motion which helps improve blood flow and warms up the muscles. This type of stretching has been shown to improve running speed.
  • Interval training – Interval training involves mixing super fast running with recovery periods. It’s a little like the run/walk method ramped up. This kind of training isn’t for the beginning runner. Your body needs to adjust before you get to that point. But if you’re running and training hard on a regular schedule, but not progressing, it’s time to start thinking about interval training. It’s basically pushing your body to the point of lactic threshold and burning muscles, then taking a short time to recover. An easy way is to start interval training is with a slow run and then do a high intensity sprint for about a minute. Then repeat the process until you can lengthen the sprints.
  • Hill training – Hill training combines cardio and strength training for a great workout. It lessens the impact force of footfall and reduces the risk of injury. Try adding one hill training session each week to mix up your routine and improve your running speed.
  • Cross training – Cross training is great for runners, but make sure you choose exercises that don’t just mimic running for it to be effective. Try cross training with squats, lunges, and vertical jumping exercises. This trains and strengthens your leg muscles in new and different ways. Cross training helps bridge the gap when you can’t get out and run every day.
  • Rest – And last, but not least, make sure you rest one day a week to give your muscles time to rebuild. Overtraining puts too much stress on your joints and they can become sore or inflamed.

Running Innovation

Being an innovation speaker and inventor of a running innovation product, I like to keep up on the latest innovations in all industries, but especially in the ones I’m connected to, like the running industry.

I love the sport of running because it doesn’t involve expensive equipment, you can do it almost anywhere, and you don’t need other people to get started. Just put on your running shoes and run out the door. But just because running is simple, that doesn’t stop running innovators from trying to reinvent the wheel… or the running shoe.

One of the first things inventors do when they want to come up with a new innovation is start asking questions. Think about the problem and ask as many questions as you can come up with to help solve it. What if I could come up with a better system for hydration for runners? What if I could come up with a hands-free hydration system for runners?

What if your running shoes don’t have heels? That’s exactly what physiotherapist Adri Hartvelt asked the day he came up with the concept for his heelless running shoe. Hartvelt’s company Healus Technology came up with the prototype and partnered with Staffordshire University to develop and test the shoe.

The purpose of this new innovative running shoe is to avoid direct impact on the heel and therefore it helps to reduce running injuries and allows runners to run longer. Faster runners tend to strike the ground with the ball of their foot instead of the heel. Joggers tend to strike the ground with the heel, leading to more injuries.

The Healus shoe concept has been around for a couple of years. It makes me wonder what the next trend in running innovation will be.

Check out this interview with the inventor, Adri Hartvelt:

http://youtu.be/KZIfgIPvCG4

 

 

 

 

Do You Remember Your First Bike?

They say you never forget how to ride a bike. But have you forgotten the first time you rode your first bike? How old were you? If it was a typical bike it probably had training wheels to get you used to the bike before they were eventually taken off. I don’t even remember ever having training wheels on my bike, but I do remember falling an awful lot.

 

It’s better if a kid can start out with a balance bike. Manufacturers of balance bikes say that kids learn faster on them than regular bikes with training wheels. A balance bike has to be small enough so that the rider can walk the bike while sitting on it with both feet flat on the ground. The idea is that eventually they will be able to run with the bike and lift their feet off the ground while coasting. This is how they learn to balance.

 

Learning how to pedal and balance is a bit tricky. Training wheels only teach kids how to pedal, not how to balance, which is much harder. Kids who learn on a balance bike learn how to balance first and then learn how to combine it with pedaling. Balance bikes are safer because kids are less likely to fall off and skin their knees if they are already used to balancing on a small bike without pedals.

 

Balance bikes have actually been around since the late 1800s, but the new versions are sleek, lightweight and durable.

 

According to the National Sporting Goods Association, the number of women bike riders is up slightly, while the number of kids riding bikes is down slightly. Maybe that is because more kids are sitting at home playing computer games. But parents should be encouraging their kids to get out and get some exercise and fresh air, hopefully taking rides together.

swiggies, Wrist Water Bottles Named Creative Child Magazine Best Product

Swiggies, wrist water bottles for kids were recently added to another list of top products. Over 1500 entries were submitted to Creative Child magazine for their top products award, and swiggies made the cut once it was narrowed down.

“As a corporate creativity trainer, I know how important creativity is and why it should be instilled in kids from an early age, and that’s what Creative Child Magazine does. The swiggies brand is synonymous with creativity and innovation and supports creativity education for children of all ages.

swiggies was also the winner of the Toyman Award for innovation and quality as voted on by the consumer. HydroSport, the parent company of swiggies, prides itself in creativity and innovation and strives to reach new heights in the innovation of future products.

Swiggies come in 6 bright kids colors and can also be imprinted with a corporate logo as a unique promotional product for a kids fun run or corporate sponsored event.

 

 

Marathons Going Green

Yesterday was the annual L.A. Marathon, which was perfectly timed on festive St. Patrick’s day and the weather was perfect. Approximately 24,000 runners went the 26.2 miles from Dodger Stadium to Santa Monica. It’s one of the largest marathons in the country and brings in runners from all parts of the world. So, on a day synonymous with green, I was surprised to see one of the biggest marathons in the country didn’t seem to be going green.

6,000 volunteers hand out oranges, bananas, and over 70,000 gallons of water to runners as they pass by. Then they kept the streets clean by raking the trash continuously. 1, 220,000 paper cups. I could help but think at least some of that waste could be kept to a minimum if they’d only used swiggies, wrist water bottles, instead. At least a little of the marathon could be greener with eco-friendly wrist water bottles. I would think you could save on time by not having to slow down at the water stations so often. You could just fill them up quickly on the go. And they can also be frozen to lower your body temperature in the heat.

With all the talk of going green, you would think marathons would be more conscious of the enormous amount of paper cups that are being used and find an alternative.

So, race directors, give me a call. swiggies are a great solution to that problem. And they’re BPA-free. Put your logo on them and participants will keep them for a long time, showing off your logo over and over again. And showing that you care about the planet at the same time by going green. It’s the best advertising money can buy.

 

 

 

Don’t Buy Counterfeit Products

A couple of months ago I went to the Trademark Expo in Washington, D.C. at the Patent and Trademark Office. Among the cartoon characters and licensed products there were booths full of seized counterfeit products that could have fooled any buyer.

Most people think of counterfeit goods as the luxury products sold on a street corner, like fake Rolexes and Gucci purses. It seems harmless until you see the counterfeit pharmaceuticals and engine parts. And no one can forget the tainted counterfeit dog food from China. I had a very hard time distinguishing the real toothpaste from the counterfeit. Or the real Jack Daniels from the fake. Just about anything and everything that’s made has been counterfeited and many of those counterfeit products were on display at the expo.

Over 750 billion dollars in counterfeit goods are sold every year worldwide, costing the U.S. hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions taken out of our economy. My patent examiner told me that the government is doing everything they can to stop it, but the problem is overwhelming. The lure of easy money from counterfeiting is great and the jail time too lenient.

So what can you do to avoid buying these products and contributing to the problem? Buy from reputable brick and mortar or online retailers. Especially in a bad economy it can be tempting to want to save money. But make sure you are buying from the source or from a reputable retailer.

I’ve fought hard to stop counterfeiters of my own swiggies brand and monitor all activity at the ports and online. I deal with a well known family factory who manufacturers toys for the largest companies in the world. Their quality is always monitored and tested for safety.

So, the next time you see a deal that looks too good to be true, it probably is. And to help combat this problem, if you spot counterfeit products, please contact The National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center at www.iprcenter.gov.

Marathons Raise Money for Charity This Thanksgiving

As Americans celebrate Thanksgiving with turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie, runners across the country are raising money for those less fortunate so they can enjoy a good Thanksgiving meal. These traditional marathons are often called “turkey trots” and are held on Thanksgiving Day or Thanksgiving weekend.

Sometimes the events are a fundraising marathon for a local food bank or charity, or sometimes they are a fundraiser for a particular person or group of people. The entry fees go to the fundraising cause, and that can really add up. A church marathon team recently raised $500,000 for 2 villages in Zambia so they could have clean water.

If you can’t pay the entry fee for a marathon, or you’re not a runner, volunteer your time. Races always need volunteers to give out water at the water stations or other tasks on race day.

And if you can’t volunteer at the race, at least volunteer your time in other easy this holiday season. Visit a patient in the hospital. Bring something they would appreciate, like books, toys for kids, or special treats. Visit someone in a nursing home.

If you’re a runner, are you going to be entering any marathons that give to charity this year?