Monday, February 24, 2014

Setting Strong Foundations for Our Young Children in Sports

Written by Julia Sappenfield

Preschool soccer

Many of you probably remember playing sports as children: picking teams, trying new games, the rush of victory, and the (momentary) crush of defeat.  We learned to make friends by capturing the flag, but we also blushed at being chosen last.  We learned that there are winners and losers, and that we always have to compete in order to win.  Having been inundated by the First Lady with statistics about childhood obesity and healthy lifestyles, Americans are very much aware that we should expose our children to sports and athletics at young ages.  But how young?  And in what way?  And should we worry that our children will become too outcome-driven and competitive?

Many of us are trying to figure out when to get the little one onto his first snowboard, or into her first sports class.  There are, within a 20 minute drive of my home, gymnastics, karate, tennis, skiing, football, soccer, and other sports classes for kids as young as 3 or even 2.  Our little ones only have so much time and energy in a week – so how do we choose between these offerings, and even more importantly, WHEN should we choose an activity like this for our kids?

Dr. Richard Ginsburg, Co-Director of the MGH PACES Institute of Sport Psychology and professor at Harvard Medical School, recently co-authored Whose Game Is It, Anyway?  In that book, he and his co-authors consider the benefits and detriments of early exposure to sports and athletics, from various perspectives: medical, psychosocial, and educational.  

Join us on Thursday, March 6th, at North Hill in Needham, for a discussion led by Dr. Ginsburg as he explores the effects of sports participation on young children, and a healthy way to introduce our children to playing sports.

To register, please click here for Eventbrite

photo credit: Keysia~Luvs2TakePics~ via photopin cc

Monday, February 10, 2014

5 tips to stay on track with your New Year's fitness resolutions

Please welcome Jen Dehestani, ACSM Certified Personal Trainer at JFit 360°, who shares some great tips on keeping up with your New Year's fitness resolutions. Look for a special auction item from JFit 360° at the Go Green Party, plus a discount for Parent Talk members.

1) Buddy up 

Odds are you have some friends who have the same New Year’s resolutions as you, becoming more fit and healthy. Buddy up with one, preferably one you really like ;) and workout together.  By working out with a friend, you will chat and laugh, and time will fly by with both of you forgetting how hard you’re working.  The buddy system is a great tool for motivation and accountability; if your friend is meeting you at 6:30am for that run, no way you will leave her hanging (again, you can see why selecting a friend who you really like is key)!

2) Create an inspiration board 

Create an inspiration board that is all YOU to help remind you of your goals.  Every time you look at it you will be reminded of your goals and that a lot of small changes add up to big ones.

 Here are some easy tips for designing yours:
  •  Look through magazines and online for images, quotes and power words that speak to you.
  •  Don’t make your board too wordy and busy, aim to keep it crisp and clean so that each time you look at it the messages are crystal clear and easily identified.
  •  Place your board in a spot where you will see it often without having to go digging it out (i.e., on your refrigerator door, in a frame on your coffee table, over your kitchen sink or in your workout area at home).

Here's the inspiration I created that's on my refrigerator door. 

 Get creative, have fun with it and stay motivated…pretty soon you’ll be adding a photo of yourself looking smoking hot in your bikini onto that inspiration board! 

3) Let technology help

My favorite technology when it comes to fitness and diet is called MyFitnessPal.You can log in from your computer or add it as an app on your smartphone – and it’s FREE.  Want to lose 10lbs? Plug your stats and weight loss goals into the program and away you go. The app logs your daily food intake along with your exercise to keep you on track, providing you with a net calorie amount. Technology never looked so good, and neither have you!

4) Don't let the cold weather get you down

The weather this winter has been brutally cold.  Sometimes the thought of bundling up with 5 layers, boots, hats and gloves, is not as appealing as staying inside your nice n’ toasty house with your slippers on.  This is where you have to dig deep and what’s that Nike tag line??...Oh yeah “Just Do It”!  You will thank yourself come summer when your thighs are less thunder and more lightning.

5) Variety is the spice of life

It's a fact of life; if you get bored of something, the harder it becomes to motivate to continuing doing it.  If you do the same workout day in and day out, the boredom factor will inevitably set in. Keep things interesting and keep the boredom at bay by mixing up your workouts.  Go for a run one day, take some yoga, do a spin class, workout with a trainer (wink wink). The key to being fit is consistency, and variety keeps you moving and burning those calories. 

About the Author
Jen Dehestani, ACSM Certified Personal Trainer at JFit 360° .

Get Fit From Every Angle with JFit 360's in-home personal training! Receive 40% off all training packages as a Parent Talk member! The personal trainers of JFit 360 provide you with highly customized programs brought directly to you in the comfort and convenience of your own home.  One-on-one training as well as small group training is available.  For more information, contact us at or call (508) 333-4887.  Visit us at

Thank you to JFit 360°  for donating an auction item for the Go Green Party. Check them out to learn more about their personal training services and more.

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