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Sports / Exercise

How to Help Your Child Athlete Through a Loss

By Adolescents/Teens, Children, School & Academics, Sports / Exercise No Comments

Kids love playing sports. And parents love that their kids can get all of that excess energy out while learning the benefits of hard work and comradery.

But with the thrill of competition comes the hard reality: that sometimes you lose. Some children are barely affected by a loss. They are truly happy just running around on the field or court with their friends. Other children, however, can be almost devastated by a loss.

There are a few things you can do if your child seems to struggle after losing a game:

Listen

Don’t assume you know exactly what is bothering your child. Before you provide any advice, listen to how and what they are feeling so you know how best to address the issue.

Ask Questions

Some kids, especially very young ones, may have a hard time processing their feelings. They know they feel bad, but they can’t express exactly what it is that is bothering them. Consider asking questions like:

• What part of the game was the most and least fun for you?
• Were you satisfied with your efforts?
• What did you think you did well, and what could you work on for the next game?
• What was something important you learned from today’s game?

Don’t Deny Reality

There is no point in telling your child that it doesn’t matter (when it does to them) or that they did great (if they didn’t). They know the truth and if you’re denying it, they’ll have a hard time believing anything you say in the future.

Instead of denying reality, be open with your child while gently guiding the conversation toward future strategies for positive outcomes.

Don’t Try to Protect Your Child

Many parents try to shield their child from feeling any negative emotions. While you may think you are protecting your child, the fact is, disappointment and loss is a part of life. Losing a game is actually a pretty good life lesson.

Disappointment and sadness feel bad, but you don’t want to teach your child to avoid bad feelings. These feelings play a key role in your child’s emotional, intellectual and social development. It is important for your child to learn to deal with setbacks now so they don’t derail them as adults.

Avoid your instinct to “protect” your child from disappoint. Instead, guide them through their emotions and help them learn to cope.

 

If your child has a particularly hard time dealing with loss and disappointment and you would like to have them talk to someone, please be in touch. I’d be happy to discuss treatment options.

At Home Family Physical Fitness Ideas (during COVID-19 and beyond)

By Sports / Exercise No Comments

As many families continue to shelter in place together, they are finding it challenging to beat the stress and stay in shape. Exercising as a family is one-way families can accomplish both of these goals! And the good news is, there are plenty of ways families can exercise without the need of going to a public gym.

Make Fitness a Game

Take a pack of regular playing cards and turn them into fitness cards. Hearts stand for crunches, clubs push-ups, diamonds for squats, and spades for jumping jacks (or any other exercises you may want to substitute). Have each player take turns selecting a card and doing the activity. So for instance, if someone draws the five of hearts, they need to do 5 crunches.

Go for a Bike Ride

Strap on your helmets, hop on your bikes and take the kids for a nice bike ride around the neighborhood. You can also decide to bike to the library or to the park for a picnic. Just be sure to pick a route that is safe and isn’t too much effort for your child.

Have a Dance Party!

Decorate your living room with a disco ball or other fun string lights, turn on some good tunes, and have a dance party. You can even choose to record yourselves and share your dance party with others on Youtube.

Play Classic Outdoor Games

Chances are over the years your kids have begged you to play certain games like hide-and-seek or kickball. Now is the time to embrace these requests and head outside for some family fun. There is also tag, jump rope, dodgeball, and kick the can.

A Timed Scavenger Hunt

This game will get everyone moving to get some aerobic exercise. Take turns and split the family up into 2 teams. Team A will start by hiding objects around the house or yard. Then team B has 10 minutes to find them all. This means they’ve got to really RUN around looking for all of them. Then swap so Team B hides items and team A has to find them. The team that finds the most items wins and doesn’t have to do the dishes that week.

Go for a Family Walk

Walking is such a great form of exercise and an equally great way for families to connect. Try and build walking into your daily schedule. Maybe after dinner take everyone out for a walk around the neighborhood. If you have dogs, take them, too!

 

These are just a few ideas you can try with your own family. Get creative to come up with some ideas of your own. While Covid has definitely made our lives more stressful and challenging, the silver lining is that it has helped many of us reconnect with our families. Take this time to do the same and stay fit at the same time.

 

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4 Stay-Fit Tips for People Who Hate Exercise

By Nutrition, Sports / Exercise No Comments

Hate exercising? You’re definitely not alone.

It seems that each year, millions of people around the country start off with good intentions, committing to an exercise plan, only to quit completely a few weeks later.

Look, we understand, exercising is not easy. It’s hard work, but it’s hard work that’s really important for your health and overall well-being. And we want to make sure the next time you commit to an exercise plan, you STAY committed.

So, with that in mind, here are 4 tips that will help you stay fit, even when you hate exercise:

Tip #1: Have Fun

No one says you have to go to the gym 5 days a week and do circuit training. If you hate going to the gym, then find something you actually enjoy doing. Do you like swimming? Hiking? Kayaking? Dancing? Playing basketball? There are PLENTY of ways you can get your body moving, condition your heart while building some lean muscle. Find something you love to do and you’ll actually do it more.

Tip #2: Give Yourself Some Time

The science is out and it says that it takes roughly 30 days for a human being to form a new habit. So you can expect that days 1-29 are going to be challenging to ensure you work out. That’s okay. Just be sure to give yourself adequate time to allow this new habit to form. If you do, you’ll find it does indeed get easier to incorporate exercise into your life.

Tip #3: Build Exercise into Your Daily Life

Some people will swear until they are blue in the face that “they just don’t have time for exercising.” Well, you can easily make time if you build exercise into your life. For instance, if you try and spend time with the family each day, why not get the family to go on a family bike ride after dinner?

If you need to spend an hour each day reading through student papers, why not read through them while on the stationary bike? There are ways you can kill 2 birds with one proverbial stone, so look for ways to do it in your own life.

Tip #4: Take Baby Steps

Too many people make HUGE goals that are simply unrealistic. For example, someone may make a goal to lose 40 pounds in 3 months. Well, that’s not only unrealistic, but it’s also not even healthy.

Someone else may have a goal of running a marathon in 3 months. Well, if you’ve never run a day in your life, that’s also not very realistic.

When starting out, set small goals that you can easily achieve. As an example, your first goal may be to consistently swim for half an hour, three days a week for one month. That’s very doable. And when you reach a goal, it gives you confidence in your abilities and energy to keep going and reach even more goals.

If you follow these 4 tips, you will be able to stick to an exercise plan and see positive results from your efforts. Who knows? You may even learn to LIKE exercising.

 

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