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Tiny Little Action Steps: Meditation
Turner Neal

Read Dr. Rizzo's recommendation on meditation!

Tiny Little Action Steps: Meditation

Dr. Jennifer Rizzo

Our minds race all the time, thoughts dancing in our heads, limiting our ability to sleep and often times creating worry and anxiety.  Turning off our brains can sometimes feel impossible. Mindful meditation can help, it is the act of focusing on your breathing to bring yourself into the present moment. How many breaths can you focus on before your mind starts to wander?

When we focus on breathing it brings us to the present moment. Being in the moment is often difficult, thinking about the next meal, the next day, even months from now. Taking time to do mindful meditation brings you into the present, decreases anxiety, lowers stress, creates a better connection to yourself and those around you and improves your focus. At first mindful meditation will seem daunting and like a workout. With practice you will be able to meditate at any time in any place by bringing your thoughts to the present moment. Remember the more you practice meditation the better you will get and the longer you will be able to meditate without the pesky mind racing.

There are many different types of medication, we are going to stick to a basic foundational mindful meditation to get started.

·      Take a seat – sit however is comfortable for you. Sitting crisscross apple sauce is not mandatory to meditate. Sit on the couch if that is comfortable but turn off the TV, hide your phone and don’t fall asleep.

·      Eyes open or closed – you pick what makes you most comfortable and allows you to focus on your breathing.

·      Set a time limit – start with a minute if that’s all your brain will give you, but as you practice make sure to try and stretch beyond a minute.

·      Notice your body – focus on your breathing. Are you breathing out of your nose or mouth? Does your chest or belly rise? According to research there is a best way to breath, but for starters let’s just breath!

·      Notice when your mind has wandered and gently bring it back. Be nice to yourself, you may have never had to catch a racing brain before and remember your brain has more practice at racing than you do at catching it.

·      End with saying something nice to yourself.

It is often easy to forget to meditate, so make it part of your daily routine. Set reminders in your calendar, meditate for a couple minutes before you get out of bed or right before you get into bed. Mindful meditation does not have to be done sitting down, you can bring your focus to the present moment at any time. For example, before you open the front door to leave the house take a couple seconds to find your breath, to get your thoughts in control and then walk out the door. Every time you have mindful meditation even for a couple seconds you get improve at this little tiny action step.  

Tiny Little Action Steps - Sleep
Turner Neal

Tiny Little Action Steps - Sleep

Some advice from Concordia's Athletic Trainer Dr. Rizzo on the importance of sleep.

Tiny Little Action Steps: Sleep

By: Dr Jennifer Rizzo

Sleep is an area of our health and well-being that is easy to neglect and can cause the most harm to all our body systems if neglected. Sleep is the body’s way of resetting for the next day. Allowing the kidneys to remove toxins and the brain to flush out the days waste. Sleep is regulated by hormones and help hormones reset after a long day. The gut takes a well deserved rest at night and prepares for the next day. When sleep is decreased the body reacts systemically and creates injury or illness from head to toe. People with poor sleep habits are more likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease, frequent injuries from falls, obesity and obesity related diseases. Sleep deprived people may suffer from brain fog and mental lapses as a result of extreme fatigue.

How much sleep do you need? This depends on your age, health and physical activity levels. As we get older the amount of time we need to spend sleeping decreases, but that does not mean you have to shorten your hours of sleep. Some people function better on more sleep.

If you struggle getting a good nights sleep these are little tiny action steps you can do to improve your sleep quality

1)     Limit blue light at night – turn off your computer, tv and phone 1.5 hours before bed. If you have to work on your computer change the settings to decrease blue light by turning on night shift or wear blue light limiting glasses.

2)     First thing in the morning be exposed to light – the body changes melatonin levels based on sunlight in the morning. When the body is exposed to sun first thing the melatonin cycle is more consistent when in ramps up at night to help you sleep.

3)     Make your bedroom comfortable

4)     Use the bed only for sleep - don’t watch TV or do work in bed.

5)     Set the temperature of your room – 20°c or 68°f the ideal temperature for a good nights sleep

6)     Go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time daily

7)     Don’t eat late at night

8)     Don’t go to be hungry or stuffed

9)     Limit alcohol intake at night

10)  Exercise regularly, but not close to bed time


APAC Season 3 - Cancelled
Turner Neal

An update on APAC Season 3, which has been cancelled for 2020.

Due to the latest developments in the virus' spread across the world, prolonged closure of schools, travel restrictions, as well as WHO and governmental guidance on health and safety regulations, APAC/JPAC Season 3 tournaments will be cancelled.

We understand that this is disappointing news.  Our students and coaches work hard and look forward to these opportunities to collaborate and compete with their peers in the region. We are exploring options for local competition within Shanghai; however our options will be dependent on government regulations upon our return.

Tiny Little Action Steps - Eating
Turner Neal

Read some tips on how to eat healthy while traveling by Dr. Rizzo. 

Eating healthy while traveling

It is not easy to make healthy nutrition decisions while traveling. Being prepared with healthy meals and snacks decreases the need to purchase expensive food at the airport. Individuals with allergies or sensitivities may find that packing food while traveling also decreases the stress of finding food. Below are some simple ideas you can do to ensure you and your family continues to eat well during long travel days.

1)     Pack small 3.4oz liquid containers of healthy snacks such yogurts, apple sauce, hummus and smoothies.

2)     Instant soup and oatmeal cups are easy to carry on and you can get hot water on the plane. Avoid adding extra sugar to your oatmeal by bringing toppings such as dried fruit, nuts and fresh fruit.

3)     Pack your own munchies such as homemade energy bites, single servings of nuts and dried fruit, beef jerky and protein bars. Olives and dried seaweed pack a healthy nutritional punch to any snack. Peanut butter can also be found in 2oz travel packs and go well with apples and rice cakes.

4)     Hydration is key. Pack reusable water bottles and get water after security. Bring your own tea bags to make herbal teas on the plane instead of the caffeinated black tea options most flights offer.

5)     Bring your own mix ins to give your meals a boost of nutrients. Single serving packs of almond and peanut butter as well as chia seeds add a boost of flavor and nutrients

6)     Pack lunch or dinner such as sandwiches to avoid high prices and extra calories that airport food offers

7)     Lastly while traveling commit to eating veggies at every meal. This will add nutrients and water to every meal.

Safe and healthy travels!
Dr. Rizzo

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Concordia by the Numbers

Concordia athletics had 412 participants during the 2015-16 school year across the fall, winter and spring seasons.

Across the three seasons, 30 teams represent Concordia in 11 sports.

As Concordia's sports programs progress more student athletes have the opportunity to pursue their athletic passions at the collegiate level.

Since joining the APAC conference in 2008 Concordia has won 10 APAC championships.

Concordia athletes have won 55 SISAC titles since the beginning of the athletic program in 2002.

All varsity teams compete in the APAC conference, which embodies 12 international schools from five different countries.