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Archive for the ‘Informational’ Category

New Year’s Resolutions

Posted by Gym-Nest on Jan-1-2015

Top New Year’s Resolutions and How to Achieve Them

Happy New Year! Each January, roughly one in three Americans resolve to better themselves. A much smaller percentage of people actually stick to those resolutions. We compiled a small list of top resolutions and easy ways to achieve them.
This year, pick one of the following worthy resolutions, and stick with it.
Here’s to your health!

1. Eat Healthier: This doesn’t mean you have to diet! Simply add more fruits and vegetables to your meals, cut back on sugar and drink more water. You can still have your pizza, just add some veggies on top! Check out Eating Well’s article about how to sneak in veggies into your children’s meals: http://www.eatingwell.com/healthy_cooking/kids_cooking/going_stealth

2. Exercise more: No need to sign up for that marathon! Start a small goal and stick with it. “Just a few extra steps each day is a simple and easy way to take an active role in maintaining a significantly healthier life,” says Timothy Gardner, MD, past president of the American Heart Association. All you need is about 20 minutes of walking 3 times per week to start. Regular brisk walking can help you maintain a healthy weight, strengthen your bones, lift your mood and prevent various health conditions.

3. Stress Less: Easier said than done, we know! But a few simple tasks can relieve your stress. Make sure you are eating healthy, sleeping (full 8 hours), exercising and start with an easy daily breathing exercise. It’s simple and can significantly reduce your stress level. Learn how to here: http://www.webmd.com/balance/stress-management/stress-management-breathing-exercises-for-relaxation

4. Volunteer: We tend to think our own happiness relies on bettering ourselves, but our happiness also increases when we help others, says Peter Kanaris, PhD, coordinator of public education for the New York State Psychological Association. Check out http://www.volunteermatch.org/ and find a local place in need of your help!

Children can also learn a lot about self-discipline and the value of making goals. Check out “Making New Year’s Resolutions with Your Child” from PBS Kids online (http://www.pbs.org/parents/holidays/making-new-years-resolutions-child/).

“Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other”. ~Abraham Lincoln

Happy New Year from all of us at Gym-Nest!

Regular physical activity prevents or delays the development of many chronic diseases, diminishes anxiety and depression, promotes better sleep and gives children greater self-esteem and better self-image. With temperatures dropping, it gets harder to keep kids moving when everyone is stuck inside! We have some ideas to keep heart rates up!

• Yoga and pilates are two indoor activities that are great for strengthening muscles, improving flexibility and lowering stress. Plus it’s perfect for parents and children of any age! They’re also easy and inexpensive activities that you can do just about anywhere in your house. For some Yoga moves and benefits, check out Yoga Journal. Kids will love the “Downward Dog” pose!

• Clean! Believe it or not cleaning can burn up to 150 calories per hour! Grab the mop and get your heart rates up. The little ones will love helping out and you will love the extra help!

• Break out that old game of Twister! Twister game challenges players to bend, stretch and balance. It is an effective way to burn extra calories indoors!

• Exercise DVD’s are another great way to get exercise indoors, we are big fans of Once Upon a Mat – for Children Ages 2.5+! There are many DVD’s for kids such as Zumba, hip hop and jazz. Check out Amazon for more fun kids DVD’s!

• Dance your way to better health! Dancing is a great and fun way to get your heart rate up. Find some upbeat music that you and your child like and dance away, act silly, laugh and have fun!

• Challenge One Another! Compete with the little ones with push-ups, sit-ups, jumping jacks, and other simple exercises. Use a stopwatch and try timing each of your kids to help them reach toward their personal best.

• Although we are not huge fans of video games, playing video games can actually be a good way to exercise and get the heart rate up. Playing a high-intensity game such as a dance game while using a step pad can be a great way to get exercise.

Of course, you are always welcomed at Gym-Nest where you can burn tons of calories indoors this winter. Visit our event page for upcoming events and more! Wishing you and your family a very Happy Holiday!

Motivate Your Kids!

Posted by Gym-Nest on Feb-23-2014

It can be so tempting to curl up on the couch and snuggle under the blankets when it’s cold and snowy out. That’s fine for the occasional snow storm, but this winter it would mean we never leave the couch! So how do you motivate your kids, and yourself, to get up and get moving? Recently, The Gym-Nest shared some suggestions for fun outdoor activities in the snow. We hope you tried one or all and were rewarded with happy kids! Not only is gymnastics important to us, but we want to be a part of the overall health and happiness of our students.

Motivating kids can be tricky. Material rewards usually work, but how often can you deliver on ice cream sundaes or new video games? Kids need to desire internal rewards, doing something because it makes them feel good not because of the item they will receive. Winter time can be challenging due to cold weather, shorter days, homework and more. The good news is that the days are staying lighter later now and we know spring is not that far away. Spring fever usually brings a jolt of energy along with it which is good as long it doesn’t get in the way of completing tasks.

Motivating your child is not always simply about completing a task. It can be about motivating them to enjoy a certain lifestyle.

  • Be a role model:  What action do you hope to instill in your child? Whatever it is, be sure that you do it yourself. For example, if you would like your child to get up by 9:00 on the weekend, complete chores, then do some physical activity be sure that you do the same. “Because I said so” or “Do as I say, not as I do” do not work nearly as well as “actions speak louder than words”.
  • Do it together: If it’s chores around the house or going for a run, do it as a family. Not only will the kids benefit from family time, but it will reduce the bickering about who has more chores or why one kid has to do an activity while another doesn’t.
  • It’s ok to snuggle on the couch: In fact it’s great when you snuggle together. Use couch time as a reward for jobs well done. Set a time goal so that everyone has their tasks done and can sit and watch a family movie together.

Motivation is best when it comes from within. Show your children how great it feels to do a good job or to do activities even when they are challenging. This will help create the desire to do for themselves, not for you or for a reward.

We are proud of our family environment here at The Gym-Nest and hope it offers your family time and opportunity to enjoy one another. That’s what it comes down to after all. Motivate yourself to complete tasks so you can enjoy relaxation and fun. Motivate yourself to be active, to stay healthy, so you can enjoy relaxation and fun. And of course, relaxing and having fun is always great when done as a family!

Why Warm Up?

Posted by Gym-Nest on Oct-23-2013

As the weather turns colder and our children spend more time sitting in classrooms rather than swimming in the pool, we thought it would be a good time to discuss the benefits of warming up before gymnastics. A warm up prepares both the body and the mind for the workout and training to come. At the Gym-Nest, we encourage our athletes to do their best and the warm up gives them the start they need.

  • Prevent Injury: Studies show that it requires more force to injure a muscle that has gone through a warm up than it does to injure a muscle with no warm up.
  • Enhance Performance: A warm up increases blood flow to the skeletal muscles and opens the capillaries. Increased blood flow results in increased muscle temperature and oxygen. The muscles work more efficiently with increased temperature.
  • Prepare Mentally: Technique, skill, and coordination improve when an athlete has mentally prepared for the activity.

Warm up exercises will vary depending upon the activity and the fitness level of the athlete. Warm ups have many forms. At the Gym-Nest, we sometimes incorporate games and activities before or during warm ups to help get the body ready. The Gym-Nest coaches will guide our athletes through appropriate warm ups so that each can obtain their optimal performance. Please feel free to speak with our coaches if you have any questions or concerns.

Is Your Athlete Getting the Proper Nutrition?

Posted by Gym-Nest on Aug-26-2013

Proper nutrition is important for optimal growth and development in children. Even more so in physically active children. Healthy snacks provide the extra calories and nutrients athletes need. Eating healthy snacks before exercise gives a child added energy while eating a healthy snack after exercise can keep the child from over eating at mealtime.

Plan ahead so your child has quick and easy access to healthy snacks. Get a variety of nutrients throughout the day by choosing snacks from all food groups. Here are some examples:

  • Apple slices and peanut butter
  • Bananas and peanut butter
  • Nuts
  • Dried fruit
  • Whole grain crackers and cheese
  • Cottage cheese with fruit
  • Yogurt with fruit
  • Carrot and celery sticks with dressing
  • hummus and pita slices

Keep single snack sized portions readily available for your child to choose. Keep a small cooler packed with water bottles and any snack items that need to be kept cool. With healthy snacks ready to grab and go, there will be no need for those fast trips through the drive through!

Share your healthy snack tips with other parents at the Gym-Nest and ask them to share theirs with you!

Summer Safety Tips!

Posted by Gym-Nest on Jun-19-2013

It’s almost here! No more teachers! No more books! Every parent can feel their child(ren) willing the summer vacation to begin! For those who join us at the Gym-Nest, it is a well deserved vacation and change of pace.

Here at the Gym-Nest, we care about your children and encourage them to be well rounded. Hopefully, we will see them here at the gym over the summer. With plenty of free time, we hope they will also enjoy some wonderful summer activities. With this in mind, we would like to share some summer safety tips presented by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

  • Your child needs to wear a helmet on every bike ride, no matter how short or how close to home. Many injuries happen in driveways, on sidewalks, and on bike paths, not just on streets. Children learn best by observing you. Set the example: Whenever you ride, put on your helmet.
  • When purchasing a helmet, look for a label or sticker that says the helmet meets the CPSC safety standard.
  • A helmet should be worn so that it is level on the head and covers the forehead, not tipped forward or backwards. The strap should be securely fastened with about 2 fingers able to fit between chin and strap. The helmet should be snug on the head, but not overly tight. Skin should move with the helmet when moved side to side. If needed, the helmet’s sizing pads can help improve the fit.
  • Never attach—or allow children to attach—ropes, jump ropes, leashes, or similar items to playground equipment; children can strangle on these.  If you see something tied to the playground, remove it or call the playground operator to remove it.
  • Do not allow children to play barefoot on the playground.
    Combination sunscreen/insect repellent products should be avoided because sunscreen needs to be reapplied every two hours, but the insect repellent should not be reapplied.

  • Use insect repellants containing DEET when needed to prevent insect-related dieseases. Ticks can transmit Lyme Disease, and mosquitoes can transmit West Nile Virus and other viruses.
  • The concentration of DEET varies significantly from product to product, so read the label of any product you purchase. Children should wash off repellents when they return indoors.
  • Fireworks that are often thought to be safe, such as sparklers, can reach temperatures above 1000 degrees Fahrenheit, and can burn users and bystanders.

Keep your kids (and yourself) safe this summer! We have much more fun to share in the months ahead!

Be A Good Sport!

Posted by Gym-Nest on May-10-2013

Competitive sports are wonderful tools to build character and confidence in children. Used correctly, children can develop positive self-esteem, a strong work ethic, the ability to work well as part of a team and so much more. Sometimes, though, the natural competitive nature of the athletes become a road block.

Gymnastics is a competitive sport and the athletes have a strong desire to be the best. One moment an athlete may be competing as part of a team and the next moment may be competing individually against the same teammates. It can be difficult for children to find the balance between supportive teammate and fierce competitor. As coaches at the Gym-Nest, we believe character building is an essential part of the athletes training and we do all that we can to help. Here are some thoughts on how coaches and parents can help instill good sportsmanship in child athletes.

Children can be poor sports when they find themselves struggling. Maybe they didn’t do as well as they felt they could have at a meet or they are struggling to learn a move during practice. Negative feelings about themselves may be projected onto athletes who are performing well and achieving their goals. If your child is being a poor sport, have a private talk about their performance. Learn how your child feels about his/her performance, what he/she feels went wrong (and right!), and what steps he/she can take to improve. Most importantly, ask your child if being hurtful towards another helped make them feel better. Help your child decide if an apology is necessary and if so, how to apologize.

No parent wants to see their child being the victim of a poor sport, but if you find yourself in this position, use it as a chance to teach your child how to react to poor sportsmanship. Unfortunately, this type of behavior is not isolated to the gym. Your child will undoubtedly face jealousy at school, in the work place, etc. Ask your child why he/she thinks they are being treated badly. Help them see that the person who is being a poor sport most likely feels badly about him/herself and probably could use help and a good friend. Talk about ways to offer help and support to the one who needs it.

Being a good gymnast is more than just learning how to perform, it is learning how to have self-confidence and how to be a good teammate. Let’s work together as coaches and parents and help our athletes become the best person they can be!

It’s All In the Scheduling!

Posted by Gym-Nest on May-10-2013
Springtime is a great time of year. We shrug off heavy layers of clothing, head outdoors and breathe in fresh air!
Along with spring fever, however, comes a bombardment of responsibilities for our children. New York State testing, finals, regents, and course selection for next year are just a few. Then there are social activities such as class trips, spring dances, banquets, and more. The days may feel longer because it stays light later, but it can be a lot for a child to pack into a day.
Here at the Gym-Nest we support the total child and encourage each of our athletes to be well rounded. We offer flexibility in the class schedules so that the students may participate in other activities. Although your child should focus on studies and enjoy the social opportunities provided by their school, it is important to keep up with training. Be sure to speak with the coaches to learn about the class schedules and requirements. With some forethought and good scheduling, your child should be able to fit everything in, be successful, and have fun!

Building Confidence In Gymnasts

Posted by Gym-Nest on Mar-28-2013

One of the best aspects of children’s gymnastics is the confidence it can instill. Coaches, of course, play an integral role in fostering confidence, and here at the Gym-Nest we take our role seriously. We believe in supporting our students in all aspects of their life and helping build all around confidence. But it’s not just the coaches influence that shapes the child, so what other factors are there?

  • Positive support from the child’s parents plays a large part. Let your child know that your love is constant whether they “win” or “lose”. Understand the culture of the gym as well as your child’s responsibilities so that you can help them be successful.
  • Teammates affect confidence too. Encourage your child to be a good and supportive teammate to add to a positive atmosphere for all the gymnasts.
  • Set positive expectations for the gymnast. Children typically will rise, or fall, to the level of expectation placed upon them. Don’t pre-judge a gymnasts abilities, but set realistic goals.

Again, here at the Gym-Nest our coaches help create a positive environment for the children to learn and grow in. We help our students set and achieve gymnastics goals, while also building character and confidence.

Athletics and Academics Go Hand In Hand

Posted by Gym-Nest on Feb-13-2013

Participating in competitive sports requires time and commitment which can be difficult to juggle while attending school full time. Kids may feel that school can take a back seat to academics because if they excel at their sport, they may not need top grades. Here at the Gym-Nest, we feel being well rounded is important so we would like to share some insights as to why academics go hand in hand with athletics.

  • Athletics require brain work too! Sports are not only physical, but require logic and memorization as well. A gymnast must be able to memorize a number of routines and be able to think quickly to recover from mistakes. Exercising the brain for school work will help the athlete be at the top of their game.
  • Focus! Shutting out distractions is a necessary skill for an athlete. Learning how to study, especially in noisy environments will help the athlete learn to focus during competitions.
  • Skills for life! Many skills learned in the classroom can benefit the athlete and many skills learned during athletics can help the student. Childhood is about preparing for adulthood. No child can count on a career as a professional athlete and should develop the academic skills needed to be successful.
  • Smart jocks are cool! People will cheer for anyone who wins the big game or receives a perfect score, but the real beloved athletes are the ones who show their smarts and good nature as well.

As parents and coaches, it is our job to help our kids see the connection between strong academics and strong athletics. Help them understand how doing well in school can help improve their athletic performance and their motivation to do well will increase.