Kids ages K5-6th grade are invited to the Birmingham Basketball Academy& BlackWatch Sports Holiday Hoops Clinic from 9-11 am on Thursday and Friday, Dec. 21st-22nd. The cost if $50 per camper and $30 per each additional family member. Registration can be found at www.bhambba.com.
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.
First Ever Braveheart Challenge
On October 28th, 2017, BlackWatch hosted the first ever Braveheart Challenge Obstacle Race at Oak Mountain State Park. This 6-mile trail run was no easy feat!
Starting near the South Trailhead on Terrace Drive, the course wound up past the Alabama Wildlife Center and continued up the mountain. Along the trail, racers encountered tire pulls, walls to scale, monkey bars, rings, sandbag carries, and more. If the elevation and obstacles weren’t hard enough, the rain and the 40 degree day made the race very challenging. In addition to the adult race, NextLevl (Birmingham’s newest trampoline and obstacle fun park) hosted a 1-mile kids obstacle run through the woods by the lake for racers between the ages of 6-13. Despite the chill and daunting race courses, over 358 racers signed up to race! Scroll down to see more event photos!
Adult Race Results
Adults racers signed up for the earlier Competitive (timed) race heats or the later Open (untimed) race heats. The top 3 male and female race finishers were awarded with prizes following the race. The first-place finishers received full-size Scottish swords, second-place finishers received goblet trophies, and third-place finishers received glass trophies.
Top 3 Males
1 – Shawn O’Brien (Pelham, AL), 56:26
2 – Justin McDonald (Birmingham, AL), 01:08:19
3 – Paul Lawrence (Birmingham, AL), 01:10:16
Top 3 Females
1 – Claire Sherling (Marion Military Academy)
2 – Kaci Hamilton (Birmingham, AL), 01:29:49
3 – Stephanie Smith (Birmingham, AL), 01:29:49
We could not have had a successful race without our wonderful sponsors! Click on the links below to learn more about each company who supported this great event.
Shades of Green Landscaping, & 21st Century Signs
The 2018 BlackWatch Braveheart Challenge is scheduled for OCTOBER 27TH, 2018.
Go “like” the Braveheart Challenge Facebook page by clicking here to follow race updates and be the first to see race registration when posted!
To see more race photos, click here!
Are you ready to get better, faster, and stronger? Between now and December 31st, sign up for your first month of membership at BlackWatch Sports Performance, and get the second month free! BlackWatch offers performance and fitness training for athletes of all ages and skill levels! Learn more about our programs below.
Elementary Performance (ages 7-10) – Unlimited 30-minute sessions that cover the basics of speed, agility, and strength in a safe and fun atmosphere
Youth Performance (middle school) – Unlimited 60-minute small group training sessions (4-6 athletes/trainer) that go through upper and lower body strength, speed, agility, core strength, and power
Competitive Performance (high school) – Unlimited 60 to 90 minute small-group training sessions (3-6 athletes/trainer) that address strength, speed, agility, core, and power while all being geared toward the individual athlete’s goal(s) and sport(s)
Elite Performance (college and professional) – Unlimited 90-minute semi-private training sessions (1-2 athletes/trainer) that are designed to help each athlete achieve his/her athletic goals and include strength, speed, power, agility, and endurance
Fit for Life (adults) – Unlimited 60-minute small group training classes centered on cardio and strength and designed to help each client reach his/her fitness goals
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)
Tuesday, April 18th, 2017 – Thank you to the Hoover Department of Education’s Wellness Committee for inviting BlackWatch founder and CEO, Randy Beckham, to speak at their meeting today. Beckham spoke to the committee about his background, why he started BWS, where the company is today, and his vision for it in the future.
This meeting was also a great chance for BlackWatch team members to meet leaders in the Hoover City School system and learn about their efforts to encourage healthy lifestyles for both students and staff. The BWS team looks forward to working with Hoover students and staff in the future and helping encourage healthy lifestyles throughout the whole Birmingham metropolitan area.
— Hoover CNP (@HooverCNP) April 19, 2017
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.
BlackWatch has some pretty cool news! Cryotherapy powered by Driven Fitness Lab has now arrived at our facility in Birmingham, AL. This recovery method is growing in popularity throughout the country, and there are some good reasons why!
What is cryotherapy?
“Cryo-” means “extreme cold”, and “-therapy” means “a treatment intended to relieve or heal a disorder”. Cryotherapy involves exposing the body, from the neck down, to temperatures averaging -220°F for three minutes to facilitate recovery and healing following a workout.
When the body is exposed to extreme temperatures, skin sensors signal the brain to send blood to the body’s core. As blood rushes to the core, toxins are eliminated, and the blood is enriched with oxygen and necessary enzymes and nutrients. After leaving the cryotherapy chamber, blood rushes back through the body, accelerating the recovery process. This results in the release of endorphins and an acceleration of metabolic rate and collagen production. Because of this, recovery time is shortened, and endorphins help the body handle inflammation and pain. Cryotherapy can also help the body burn more calories, and accelerated collagen production improves skin smoothness and elasticity.
Is cryotherapy safe?
At BlackWatch, all cryotherapy sessions are administered by a trained technician. During the treatment, the client’s head remains outside of the chamber, and insulated gloves and booties cover the hands and feet to reduce the risk of frostbite to the extremities. Sessions last no longer than three minutes, which allows the client to see benefits but protects the body from reaching dangerous temperatures.
Who uses it?
People all across the United States are using it as a recovery tool – professional athletes, college athletic programs, celebrities, and more! Watch the video below to see why the Denver Broncos regularly use cryotherapy:
How can I sign up?
Call BlackWatch today to schedule your sessions – 205-518-6591!
Non-members: $30/session or $250 for 10 sessions
“BlackWatch takes a holistic approach to combining health and wellness with sports performance, offering a comprehensive range of services beneficial to all ages, collegiate and non-collegiate, professional, and non-professional athletes alike.”
In the News: Shelby County Reporter
Article: ‘One-stop shop:’ BlackWatch Sports Performance takes training on 280 to the next level
Published: 4:10 pm Thursday August 18, 2016
By Staff Writter: Emily Sparacino
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!