Healthy Air | Wellness |

Fun Indoor Exercises for Your Family

2 minute read

It’s all fun in the sun until the temperatures reach an unbearable high or the air quality index value is at an unhealthy level. But you don’t have to let the heat or air quality keep you from getting in your daily exercise. Being active indoors can sometimes feel like a chore, especially for kids, (the same kids who could run around for hours outside without getting tired.) The key to making sure they burn off that same amount of energy when they’re stuck inside is finding fun indoor exercises.

Here are some lists of exercise games and indoor activities to keep your family active and off the couch.

Indoor exercises with little to no equipment:

  • Jumping Rope: Jumping rope for ten minutes straight is equivalent to thirty minutes of running.
  • Planking: Start off by holding a plank for as long as you can. Try to add a few more seconds each day until you reach your goal.
  • Cleaning: Two birds, one stone. Make “power cleaning” a family activity and you’ll end up with some calories burned and a cleaner house.
  • Lunges: Lunge from one room to the next or up and down a hallway in your house for a great lower body burn. Adding weights or water bottles can add some difficulty once you’ve become a seasoned lunger.
  • YouTube It: You can find a workout for any ability level, any duration, any target area you can dream of online. Once you find one you like, add it to a playlist so you can revisit it the next time you’re stuck inside.

Pieces of equipment to start with:

  • Adjustable dumbbells
  • Yoga mat
  • Resistance bands
  • Weighted jump rope
  • Soft medicine ball
  • Adjustable kettle bell
  • Foam roller

Air Flow

Working out inside is a great alternative when the weather outside is inhospitable. But when you can’t crack the window, all that sweating and breathing can affect the quality of air in your home.

A dehumidifier is a must for any room designated for working out. With the humidity added from your breathing and sweating, the risk for mold growth increases and the room can get hotter and hotter. A single room or whole-home dehumidifier can relieve some of the workload from your air conditioner.

And because you want your family breathing quality air, it can be helpful to install an air purifier in your workout area. It can help with odors, too.

For more information on keeping the air in your home healthy and free of odors, visit our Healthy Home page. From ventilation to allergy reduction, we’ve got tips and strategies to solve the air issues in your home.

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How to keep your pets cool in summer

3 minute read

A guide to keeping your pets cool and safe this summer

The hottest time of the year has arrived in our part of the world. Don’t mind us, we’ll just be in front of this air conditioner all day. Known as the “dog days of summer”, this stretch can bring scorching weather and high humidity that makes it difficult to step foot outside. And the same goes for your pets. Because if it’s hot for you, it’s likely even more uncomfortable for your dogs, cats, and other pets. Let’s see some ways you can keep your pets cool, safe, and healthy all summer long.

While we love the idea of giving your pet a fun haircut for the summer (more on that below), there are plenty of other important things you should keep in mind.

Sun Protection

Shade can be an animal’s best friend. Your pet will cool themselves by finding a shady spot. And if there isn’t shade available from a tree or building, try to create some with a tarp or sheet.

There’s also pet sunscreen! Who knew? Check out this article to find the best sunscreen for your pets.

Body Temperature

Everyone loves a cold treat to help beat the heat. Try making one of these frozen dog treats to keep your pets cool.

These cooling collars are also great for extra hot days. If you don’t want to spend the extra money, just wet and freeze any bandana to tie around their neck. This will help keep your pets cool during those longer walks.

Give your pets a nice place to cool off in the house or basement after they’ve been in the sun. These cooling mats for dogs and cats can be used indoors or outdoors for added comfort.

Awareness has spread for this in recent years, but it bears repeating: Don’t leave your pet in a car even with the window cracked. If you need to run errands, leave your pets at home.

If you fear your pet is overheated, take them inside right away. Heatstroke requires immediate treatment by a veterinarian and it’s important to know and recognize the symptoms:

  • Exaggerated panting and rapid breathing
  • Raised temperature (normal is 101.5°)
  • Fatigue or anxious expression
  • Staggered walking


Pets need reliable access to fresh water. Putting ice in their outdoor bowls can help keep the water chilled. Playing “fetch” with ice cubes in place of their favorite ball and frequent drinks from the hose or kiddy pool are also fun ways to keep them hydrated, cool, and having a good time.

If you’re taking your dog out, try carrying one of these collapsible travel bowls so you can get them water whenever they need it.


Take it easy! Make sure you’re working out your pets in the coolest parts of the day, either first thing in the morning or in the evening after the sun has gone down. Test the pavement before you start by putting your hand on it; if it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your pets’ feet. Try walking them on grass or get them some protective booties. You can even make them some homemade paw wax to protect their sensitive pads.


Before you shave all your pet’s hair, make sure you do your research. A lack of insulation and decreased sun protection from UV rays are some of the drawbacks from cutting your pet’s hair too short.

However, removing loose hair with regular trimming and brushing are important for keeping them cool. Taking them to a groomer is the surest way to get a safe, stylish trim.

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Back To Reality: Easy Meal Prep for Healthy School Lunches

2 minute read

Meal Prep for Healthy School Lunches

With the start of the school year right around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about your kid’s school lunches. You don’t want to send them off with a lunchbox full of pretzels or rely on whatever the school serves. No, you want to be the parent that packs a healthy, fun lunch that will keep your kid satisfied.

So here’s your playbook for successfully planning, prepping, and packing healthy school lunches.

Meal Planning

  • Make sure to check any food guidelines provided by your kid’s school. They’ll clue you in on any allergy concerns and foods you need to avoid.
  • Healthy School Lunches by Eating Well gives fun and healthy ideas from food and nutrition experts for keeping your kids’ lunches fresh, even classics like PB&J
  • com gives a whole Month’s Worth of School Lunch Ideas that are simple and guaranteed crowd pleasers
  • We shared some no-heat-need options that are relevant all year round, and easy to prep ahead of time
  • Non-sandwich options are great for switching things up a bit
  • And here are some diet-specific options:

Meal Prep

Once you’ve planned your menu for the week, (or even for the month, if you’re ambitious), it’s time for the prep work.

Prep work:

  • Wash, slice, and pack fruits and veggies in individual-sized containers on Sunday night so they’re ready to go throughout the week
  • Freeze, freeze, freeze. Check out this mom’s ideas for preparing school lunches in the freezer
  • Organize with sectioned lunch boxes or ziplock containers, cupcake liners, reusable baggies, whatever fits your style and budget
  • Invest in a thermos or something similar so your child doesn’t have to eat cold lunch everyday

What about picky eaters?

If you find your kid coming home with a barely-touched lunchbox, you may have a picky eater on your hands. One way to counteract this is to let your kids help with the prepping and packing of their lunches. They’re the ones who will be eating it after all, so it’s helpful to know ahead of time that what you’re taking the time to prepare and pack isn’t going to waste.

Avoid introducing something brand new to them in their lunch. Keep it familiar, yet fun with new shapes for fruits and veggies, sandwich picks in their favorite color, or a note or picture to get them excited for lunch.

If your child will only eat the same three things and you’re desperate for them to branch out, consider a reward system to get them to try something different. That way you can combine their favorites with one newer item for them to try and consider adding to the normal rotation. This is a great way to create balanced, healthy school lunches.

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Keep Cool at the Pool with a Hawaiian Luau and Sponge Leis

2 minute read

Searching for a way to keep your kids cool while spending time in the hot summer sunshine? With the season in full swing and the temperatures outside sweltering, there’s no better time to have a summer pool party to cool down! Make things even more fun by giving your party a tropical theme and host your own miniature Hawaiian luau as you head to the pool.

Since no luau is complete without leis, try this project for Hawaiian Sponge Leis that will help you stay comfortable in the heat! The sponges will drip cool water from the pool onto your skin as the sun beats down on you.

This easy craft is also the perfect DIY project for a trip to the beach or a day spent playing in the sprinklers. You and your kids will stay cool even after getting out of the water.

Materials Needed

Fresh, colorful sponges


Bamboo skewer


Large threading needle


Step One: With your scissors, cut the sponges into various shapes; three sponges can be used to make two necklaces. Unleash your inner designer and get creative with the shapes you cut!

Step Two: Using the bamboo skewer, poke a hole through both ends of each sponge piece.

Step Three: Thread a large needle with 25 inches of yarn. To assemble the lei, run the needle and yarn through the holes you made in the sponges. Then tie off the yarn to finish the lei.

Step Four: Throw on your lei and jump in the pool or dunk your lei in water. The wet sponges will keep your kids’ skin cool as they play in the summer sunshine!

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Back To Reality: How To Get Kids Ready For Back-to-School

3 minute read

Going back to school is a huge transition for kids of any age. So the best way to prepare them for the first day back to school (and to lower your own stress levels), is to plan ahead!

We’ve got some helpful tips for staying positive and calm as summer comes to a close and those back-to-school tasks start to pile up.

Do your research

Find out ahead of time if your child will have a specific dress code and check school websites for orientation dates or “meet the teacher” nights. Familiarizing your child with his or her teacher and school is a great way to get them feeling comfortable around them. Here are some easy steps you can take: 1. Print out the teacher’s picture and keep it next to other school planning materials your child will see each day. 2. Talk to your child about all the fun activities their teacher will have planned for them. 3. Take your child to the school they’ll be attending to show them where you’ll drop them off each day.

Be prepared

Shopping for your children’s school supply list early lessens anxiety for both child and parents. Tax free weekend (check to see if your state has one) is the perfect time to stock up. Let your children help with shopping so there’s more excitement when it comes to all the fun learning tools they will be using during the upcoming year. Have them pack their backpacks and pick their outfits the night before so everything will be ready to go in the morning. This is a great system to implement the whole year to teach your child independence and responsibility.

It’s also a great idea to sit down with your child—especially younger children—the night before they go back to school and walk them through what that first day will look like so they can be as mentally prepared as possible.

Practice routines

Summer can create some pretty bad habits when it comes to sleeping and eating for the whole family.

At least one week before your child heads back school, make sure your they are going to bed earlier and waking up at the same time they will need to wake up for school. This will help them and you get back into a solid sleep routine so that everyone is guaranteed a good night’s sleep.

It can also be helpful to start eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the same time they will be eating those meals once they go back to school. This will help transition their bodies back to three regular meals as opposed to all day grazing that can become the norm over the summer months.

Another great practice is to let kids help with packing their lunches for the next day after dinner every night. Bentgo has great options for making kids’ lunches fun and organized. You could start this a couple days before the start of school and enjoy some picnic lunches at the park to celebrate the last few days of summer.

Focus their minds

It’s common for kids to forget some of the things they learned the previous year over the course of summer vacation. (Known as “summer learning loss.”)

To help with this, you don’t need to play school with them at home and practice flash cards, give spelling tests, or assign homework. But a simple yet impactful step you can take is to read with them or to them. Reading to your child or giving them the set time to read quietly every day can make a huge difference. If that is something your family already does, try and switch it up with some trips to the library so the kids are presented with new book options. It also gives them a chance to practice inside voices and good body basics that tend to go out the window during the craziness of summer vacation.

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Swimming the best activity for kids

2 minute read

Swimming in the summer is a no-brainer. What better way to keep cool on those long, hot days than going to the pool, the beach, or the lake?

Beyond the dog days of summer, swimming has benefits that last a lifetime. Check out some of the ways swimming can contribute to your kid’s well-being.


Safety is always important with water activities, and you should ensure your child knows how to swim and how to react in emergency situations. Year-round swimming lessons will teach them everything from the fundamentals like floating to advanced skills like helping someone in danger.

It can take awhile for kids to get comfortable in the water, so if they’re initially reluctant, don’t be afraid to reintroduce swimming from time to time. Being around the water teaches kids about responsibility and awareness in all situations.

Physical Health and Wellness

Research suggests that regular physical activity can improve focus and help retain memories. Swimming is a great way to get that regular exercise because it works the whole body while putting little to no strain on joints. It also helps to improve cardiovascular function, lung capacity, and stamina. Plus it can increase strength, muscle, and flexibility.

Sometimes we don’t realize how important all those things are until we get older! So do your kids a favor and get them started with low-impact swimming now. It can set them up with a lifetime of benefits and help maintain their quality of life as they age.

 Social and Emotional Health

Swimming lessons provide a fun and non-traditional opportunity for children to interact with their peers. They get to make new friends outside of school, which teaches them invaluable social skills and can provide an increased sense of confidence.

It can also instill a healthy competitive streak. Whether they’re competing against the person in the next swim lane or just trying to beat their personal record, swimming gives kids a chance to expand their skill-set and competitive drive.

And don’t forget the emotional benefits! Due to the natural buoyancy of water, swimming is often far more relaxing than other forms of exercise. Stress relief and mood improvement are huge benefits that can boost overall health in adults and children alike.

Life Skills

Simply put, swimming is an important life skill. It’s a healthy, fun activity for kids, and as they get older it can open up job opportunities like lifeguard, camp counselor, coach, member of the military, athlete, and more. Whether or not your child expresses interest in those career fields, the ability to swim can serve them well in whatever path they choose.

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5 Ways to Spend Family Quality Time

2 minute read

Tips for Summertime Family Fun

We’ve all heard the cliché that parents dread summer vacation just as much as their kids look forward to it. But it doesn’t have to be that way! Managing the kids’ extra free time is all about finding activities that you all enjoy doing. This helps keep everyone occupied and organized, and lets you come together as a family and enjoy good,clean family fun.

Here are just some of the benefits of taking the time to have family fun:

Families develop stronger relationships – Spending one-on-one time with each of your children builds trust and creates lifelong memories.

Children feel loved and important – Feeling valued builds self-esteem and self-worth and can lead to a more fulfilling life.

Parents become role models – Time with your kids means opportunities to model good behavior, habits, and morals that you want to instill.

Children are more comfortable with you – Growing up means going through a lot of changes, and most of them can be confusing for kids. Being in a close-knit environment where they feel comfortable enough to voice their thoughts and feelings can make all the difference.

Parents can help children grow – Helping kids reach their full potential comes from the ability to learn children’s strengths and discover areas for improvement.

And finding that quality time can be simple! Here are five ways to spend have good, clean family fun this summer:

Go Camping

Some families have their own camper and campsite that they frequent in the summer months, but even if that’s not you, camping as a family doesn’t have to go any further than your own backyard. Set up a tent or sleep under the stars right behind your house. OUTDOORSGEEK rents out tents of all kinds and ships nationwide.

Meal Prep

Sit down together and pick out meals that the whole family will enjoy. You can do the planning, shopping, and cooking together as a family a few times a week. This isn’t only fun, but it teaches your kids some new life skills. You can even find an inexpensive menu planner for the fridge.

Pizza and Movie Night

Take a break from meal planning with a scheduled pizza night once a week. Routines like this are fun to look forward to for kids and everyone loves pizza paired with a family-friendly movie.

Book Club

Depending on the age of your kids, you can all read a book together or do read-aloud time for younger kids. The important part is to be reading every day. If you need some tips, read this article: How to Start a Family Book Club.

Get Active

Go for a walk, take a bike ride, go swimming. Pick any activity that the whole family can participate in and have a good time with. Physical activity is good for the body and mind, and it’s a great way to spend the summer.

As important as this family time is, don’t be afraid to take some time for yourself! Get a babysitter and go on a date. The kids will love having someone else around and you’ll get to relax for the night—win-win!