Let’s be honest. The holidays can take a serious toll on our health. From extra stress and lack of sleep to indulging in sweets, our waistlines can begin to expand and out goals can start to fall by the wayside.
But, it doesn’t have to be that way.
Like anything else in life, having a plan helps. If you’ve already done some holiday damage, it’s time to get back on track! Check out our 7 ways to stay healthy during the holidays and you’ll enter the New Year feeling energized and motivated to reach new goals.
1. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
Drinking water may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s an easy thing to let slip. In between shopping trips or while you’re grazing the snack table at holiday parties — take a moment to hydrate. Keeping out bellies full with H20 (and not candy) can go a long way in terms of reaching our goals and keeping holiday weight gain at bay!
2. Keep your long-term goals in mind
What’s your “why” for staying healthy? Is it to improve your fitness? To reach a new level of stamina? Or, to stay healthy for your kids? Whatever your long-term goal is, keep it in mind when you feel like reaching for that second (or third) serving. Our goals are what motivate us and keep us on track.
3. Keep an eye on portions
One cookie won’t hurt you. Ten cookies? That can do some damage. Keep your portions in check during the holidays — making sure you only indulge a little. Think about all the hard work you’ve done up until this point. It would be a shame to let your progress unravel over a few weeks.
4. Schedule your workout plan in advance
This is the time of year when planning is paramount. If you’re worried about getting off your workout schedule, then take time to put it on your calendar every day. Or, better yet, find an accountability buddy who will call or text — making sure that you get to the gym.
5. Set realistic goals
It’s important to realize that we might get off track (a little) during the holidays. But, it’s also important not to set lofty goals and totally deprive ourselves of little pleasures. This kind of thinking has the potential to set us up for failure if we miss the mark. Set realistic goals this season, and allow yourself to partake in the merriment!
6. Take time to rest
Sleep is your friend during this season. When we sleep, we recover from the day before and reset our internal batteries for the next. Just like any other time of the year, getting a full 8 hours of sleep is important to staying healthy and reaching our health and fitness goals.
7. Get your cardio in while shopping!
Don’t have time to workout because you have to get gifts for family and friends? No worries. Park a little farther away from the store, take the stairs and get your heart rate up while you shop! You’d be surprised how many calories you can burn by taking a few extra steps every day.
Kids and weights — do they go together? Unless those weights are book bags, the most common answer is “no.” New studies, however, are pointing to a different answer.
By participating in resistance training, children can essentially get a leg-up on muscular fitness early in life. And, even though most parents know this, plenty of myths are still out there. We all agree that physical activity is good for our kids, but once weights come into the picture, hesitation sets in.
Aside from improving muscular strength, resistance training affords children the opportunity to practice movement skills and establish long-term physical development.
If you’re still on the fence about youth resistance training, let us dispel some rumors for you. Here are 5 myths you might have heard:
1. Resistance training can stunt child growth
Why it’s false: There’s no scientific evidence to support that resistance training stunts growth. If well-designed and supervised, resistance training can actually improve bone growth and development.
2. It’s unsafe
Why it’s false: Like any other intense physical activity, resistance training is only unsafe if it’s unsupervised. You wouldn’t let your child practice resistance training without an experienced coach just like you wouldn’t let your child play contact football without a helmet. Although accidents can happen, the key is in providing qualified instruction.
3. Youth need to be at least 12 years old to lift weight
Why it’s false: The only true requirement for youth resistance training is the ability to listen and follow instruction. When children are ready for organized sports — which usually happens at around age 7 or 8 — then they are ready to to be exposed to resistance training in a safe environment.
4. It makes girls bulky
Why it’s false: The only true effect of resistance training in young females is getting stronger — and that’s a good thing. While girls and boys react differently to this type of training, there is little evidence that resistance training will make girls bulky. Especially if the training is light and done daily, the outcome will be ideal.
5. Resistance training is only for young athletes
Why it’s false: Regular practice in resistance training can benefit any child — even those who are not on an athletic team. Resistance training builds strength for healthier body composition and improved physical skills. In fact, because the benefits are so many, resistance training is an encouraged behavior for children.
We hope this helped dispel some of the myths about youth resistance training. If you have any more questions, reach out to us and we will be more than happy to tell you about our programs and how they can improve your child’s physical strength.
(Content curated from this article)
Many of us have taken a Pilates class or know what it entails – slow, controlled movements that leave your abs sore for days and improve core strength. Most people, however, have never heard of Pilates Reformer. This is a form of Pilates that uses a large apparatus to further challenge the body. One look at the Reformer apparatus scares many away, but this tool has been proven to improve strength and flexibility. This apparatus used springs, straps, and a sliding carriage to create resistance against common Pilates movements.
View the video from Empower Physical Therapy in Pennsylvania to get an idea of how the apparatus works –
History of Pilates Reformer
The Pilates system was created by German-born Joseph Pilates in the 20th century. Born in 1880, Pilates had a sickly childhood and used his teen years to test different exercise methods to become stronger and healthier. In 1912, he moved to England and became a professional boxer. During World War I, Pilates resided in a German internment camp where he served as a nurse. To help soldiers rehabilitate, he attached springs to hospital beds. These springs served as resistance devices that patients could use to exercise and improve muscle strength. This modified bed was the earliest form of the Reformer apparatus.
In 1923, Pilates moved to the U.S. where he opened his first exercise studio. This studio became a training home for many dancers where Pilates taught his exercise methods, referred to as “Contrology”. Ever since, this method has grown and is now referred to by his surname. Pilates instructors around the world teach this exercise method to people of all ages and skill levels. The slow, controlled movements challenge the muscles of the body, increase overall strength, and improve posture, flexibility, body awareness, and coordination.
Try it Out
BlackWatch offers Pilates Reformer classes with flexible scheduling. Led by an experienced instructor, classes will be tailored to each participant’s skill and comfort level with the Pilates system and apparatus. Our Pilates studio has space for two participants at a time, so sign up with a friend. To register for a class or to learn more, email us or give us a call today! Pricing can be found here.
First Things First
The best way to determine whether your athlete is ready to tackle a new sport is to invest in a pre-season physical. An experienced medical professional will be most capable of examining your young athlete for pre-existing conditions. They will be able to distinguish minor aches and soreness from serious problems. Thus, this first step is incredibly important.
Don’t let your young athlete push through pain. Talk to them to ensure that they are not just being tough, but that they are actually pain-free. If your child does seem to have soreness, an injury, or minor aches and pains frequently, consult a doctor before allowing them to enlist in a sport. Many times, children and teenagers can experience problems like scoliosis without realizing it. These types of conditions should be treated before they worsen from activity.
Staying Hydrated & Healthy is Key
Dehydration is the root of many illnesses, especially for athletes. On those hot summer days or cold winter nights, it is important that your young athlete drinks enough water before, during, and after the game. Fatigue and nausea are common signs of dehydration. If you start to see signs of weakness, pull your athlete out immediately and tend to them with an adequate amount of water before letting them get back in the game.
Hydration is only the start to preventing injury. Overall nutrition is important as well. You want to be sure that your athlete is eating a well-balanced diet everyday. Foods like meat and vegetables (which have protein), nuts (which have fiber), and milk (which has calcium and vitamins) help keep your kids healthy and stronger against injury. Make sure they are eating enough and that they are eating foods with nutritional value. It is also good to try to maintain a healthy eating schedule. If possible, feed your kids meals around the same times every day.
Cross Training Can Help
When your kids play one sport year round, they are putting strain and stress on the same muscles repeatedly. To make sure that different muscles are being used, see if they might be interested in playing more than one sport. Not only will they diversify their skills and make new friends, they will mix up their routine and ensure that certain muscles are not overused.
Stay Ahead of the Game with Blackwatch Sports
Blackwatch Sports is comprised of a dedicated, passionate staff that has competed at the highest levels of athletic performance. Our coaches, instructors, and medical advisory board are here to provide years of nutritional, medical, performance, strength, and conditioning experience to your young athlete and help prevent injury. Learn more from our experts. Contact us today!