Fresh Ideas for the Fresh Snow Fall!

Posted by Gym-Nest on Feb-12-2014

Getting a little tired of all that white stuff floating to the ground? How about your kids? Snow days are fun because they are a change in the routine, but this winter, snow days have become the routine! Well, you know we love routines here at The Gym-Nest so we thought if snowfalls are keeping your kids from the routine of their gymnastics instruction, then we will offer some fun ways to enjoy the snow and be active!

  • Toys do not have to be seasonal! Hula hoops can be great fun in the snow. Just try to keep them going when all bundled up. What a challenge! Or, lay them flat in the snow and jump from hoop to hoop. Try increasing the distance between hoops and see who can make the longest jump!
  • Inner tubes can be used in the snow too. Have a seat and use your feet to move along and race some friends.
  • Be creative and use snow to sculpt all kinds of different snow critters and use bits of nature as eyes, antennae, etc.
  • Fill some spray bottles with water tinted with different colors of food dye and use the snow as a large canvas for the kids to “paint” on.
  • Tic Tac Toe takes on new excitement when the board is drawn in the snow and sticks are used to make  the “x’s” and pine cones or rocks are used to make the “o’s”.
  • Tinted water can also be frozen into cubes, then hidden in the yard for a scavenger hunt.
  • Fore! Pack down a section of snow and then push small sand buckets or plastic cups down into the snow. Mark the “holes” with sticks and now you have a golf course!

Let’s make the most of the snow! Before we know it, we will be hot and wishing for cooler weather! Do you have some good snow time activities to share? Head over to the Gym-Nest’s facebook page and share!

Help Your Kids Handle Holiday Stress

Posted by Gym-Nest on Dec-19-2013

The picture perfect holiday has everyone smiling, laughing, and enjoying themselves. It is what we look forward to all year long. Along with the happiness, often comes stress and exhaustion. It doesn’t just affect adults, but kids can feel it too. Coming to the Gym-Nest, being physical, and connecting with friends is one way to combat the feelings of stress. Here are some other tips to help keep the kids happy and calm during the holiday season:

  • Most importantly … manage your own stress! Children will pick up on your feelings of stress and become agitated or worried themselves.
  • Make the time to plan ahead, but leave room in schedules to handle slight detours.
  • It may be difficult, but try to stick to routines as much as possible.
  • Rules shouldn’t change just because it is holiday time. Consequences/rewards should be used as usual.
  • Schedule your activities around the children’s usual sleep routines.
  • Watch your child(ren) for signs of nervousness or anxiety. Traveling, having guests stay in your home, or holiday performances are just some examples of things which might make the kids feel on edge.
  • Be sure the kids are getting plenty of healthy food and drinks in addition to all of the holiday treats.
  • Schedule time to relax and enjoy one another away from the hustle and bustle.

Anticipation builds as the school break approaches while activities seem to multiply. There is often a crash after the holiday and the return to the typical routine draws near. Make some plans for the kids to look forward to. It can be as simple as a parent/child date at their favorite park or going out for special ice cream. Ease back into the pace of the school week and of course, get excited to return to the Gym-Nest!

Tell Us Your Family Traditions!

Posted by Gym-Nest on Dec-9-2013

Tis the season to celebrate and one thing we enjoy celebrating here at The Gym-Nest is family and friends! We thought it would be fun to share some special family traditions with you and hope that you will share some of yours back!

Do you know Hermie the Elf? You know, the one that wanted to be a dentist and somehow always managed to mess up the toys he made? Well, send a little one a gift from Hermie! Of course, it shouldn’t be too perfect but it can be original and great. One year a mirror decorated with small pieces of smoothed out glass was given (it was made from pieces of toys that Hermie had broken!)

Slow down the gift opening frenzy and create a scavenger hunt to find the gifts.

Take a picture in the same spot of the house each year. It’s fun to look back and see who joined the family, how people dressed and wore their hair, how much they’ve grown, etc.

Create a holiday food exchange with friends, family, or neighbors. Cookies, cakes, latkes, and more to share!

Have each family member make a list of their happiest memories from the year that is ending and a list of hopes for the year to come. Share with one another or keep as a private memento.

Make some popcorn, gather the family and watch home movies and look at family pictures.

Create clay handprints of the kids each holiday season and watch their growth. You can even paint them and use as holiday decorations!

We have so many wonderful families with us here at The Gym-Nest we are sure there are many more traditions to share! Please tell us your favorite family traditions in the comments below or on our facebook page!

Giving to Others Makes You Healthy!

Posted by Gym-Nest on Nov-25-2013

‘Tis a busy time of year and it can be overwhelming trying to fit everything into your busy days.  At the Gym-Nest, we always try to support the whole child, not just the athlete in each child. With that in mind, we would like to offer some thoughts to support our athletes and their families in keeping the holiday season joyful.

Did you know that there is scientific proof that giving makes a person healthy? How great is that!  Here are some interesting facts we found on Oprah.com:

1- Just thinking about giving produces positive effects on the body!

2-  Listening to others can reduce a persons risk of having a heart attack. Keep the “I’s”, “Me’s”, and “My’s” out of the conversation and truly listen to others.

3- When suffering from pain, the simple act of helping others in pain may release endorphins which will reduce a person’s pain.

4- Being socially connected results in less colds.

5- Love actually can speed healing!

6- Giving a massage will stop the adrenal gland from producing cortisol which in turn will make the massage GIVER feel better!

Here is scientific proof that it is better to give than to receive! Not only does the Gym-Nest offer ways to become physically healthy through exercise, but we offer many ways to get healthy by giving. Listen to your fellow students and offer help. Take time to be social with one another and if you are nursing an injury, seek out others who may be hurt and offer support. Not only will these acts help you stay feeling great during the hectic holiday season, but they are easy, and fun, to do all year long! Thank you to all who gave to our thanksgiving food drive which sponsored Riverhead foundation for marine research and preservation through atlantis marine world! If you are looking for a place to give, we currently have a Toys for Tots collection set up and we will be starting a Stony Brook Children’s Hospital fundraiser shortly! Thank you for your support and here’s to feeling good!

The Benefits of Using Curriculums at The Gym-Nest

Posted by Gym-Nest on Nov-12-2013

Curriculum is a word most people associate with education. The purpose of a curriculum is to map knowledge and skills which must be mastered in order to move to a higher level. Well, curriculums are not just for academic education. They can be useful tools in gymnastics as well and the Gym-Nest is happy to announce that we are in the process of updating our stellar curriculum for our students!

Just as following a curriculum will help a student proceed from addition and subtraction to multiplication and division,  a curriculum can help a student progress from a hand stand to a hand spring. Gymnastics is a progression sport meaning that one skill must be mastered in order to move on to the next. Here are a few reasons why curriculums have been initiated at the Gym-Nest:

  • A curriculum is designed to allow a child to progress at his/her own pace.
  • A curriculum ensures that a child learns in a safe and effective manner.
  • A child’s progress and development can be successfully tracked using a curriculum.
  • A visual tool, such as a curriculum, is an effective method to show a child his/her progress.
  • A curriculum will help a child learn correct form early in their gymnastics development.
  • When a substitute coach covers a class, a curriculum states exactly what skills the student is working on so there is no interruption.
  • Students can get the most out of make up classes as coaches can pull their curriculum form and know exactly what to work on.

As always, our goal here at the Gym-Nest is to train and develop our students into top notch athletes while ensuring their safety and overall well being. We feel our  curriculums are just one more tool we can utilize to accomplish this goal and look forward to implementing the updated versions in the coming months.

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.

Fast and Easy Healthy Snack Recipes

Posted by Gym-Nest on Sep-24-2013

Kids expend a lot of energy during their school day and need to refuel when they return home. Milk and cookies may taste great, but will not give your child the nutrition they need. Leave the cookies for a random treat and try some of these tasty, and healthy, snacks instead!

When your child is looking for something SWEET:

  • Strawberry smoothie: Add 1 handful of fresh or frozen strawberries, 1 fresh or frozen banana (peeled and broken into chunks), and 1 cup of low-fat yogurt (any flavor you like) to a blender. Blend until smooth.
  • PBO smoothie: Add 1 frozen banana (broken into chunks), 1 handful oats (instant or old-fashioned), and 1 heaping Tablespoon of peanut butter to a blender. Sweeten with honey and add enough soy, rice or dairy milk to reach desired thickness. Blend until smooth. TIP Frozen bananas are the key ingredient, for a milkshake-like consistency.
  • Yogurt Parfait: In a tall glass or sundae cup, spoon alternating layers of low-fat yogurt, granola and sliced fruit of your choice.

When your child is in the mood for something SALTY, give these a try:

  • Nut Butter Dip: Combine 1/4 cup of your favorite nut butter (such as peanut butter, almond butter or cashew butter) with 1/4 cup water. Whip with a fork until smooth. Cut up carrots, celery, cucumbers, apples, bananas or other fresh product into spears and dip into the nut butter.
  • Bean Burritos: Top a whole wheat tortilla with canned fat-free refried beans, salsa and shredded low-fat cheese. Microwave until warm, then add chopped lettuce and plain low-fat yogurt for garnish. Roll up and enjoy! TIP If you don’t have refried beans on hand, open a can of black or pinto beans, rinse, drain and then mash with a fork.

Do you have a favorite healthy snack to share? If so, please share here or on The Gym-Nest facebook page. Let’s work together to keep all the members of our Gym-Nest family healthy!

Family Fun Day 2013!

Posted by Gym-Nest on Aug-29-2013

Woo Hoo! Family Fun Day 2013 at the Gym-Nest was a success! Thank you to all who came out and joined us for the fun!

The Gym-Nest held it’s annual Family Fun Day on Saturday, August 24, 2013 from 12:00 – 2:00. Children were taken on tours of the gym and allowed the opportunity to try out the equipment as well as enjoy a huge inflatable. Outside in the sunshine the kids were treated to a carnival like environment. Rantin & Raven Entertainment provided the music and kept the kids hopping from activity to activity and contest to contest. There were hula hoop contests, sack races, an obstacle course, face painting, tattoos, and games. One of the big draws was the chance to dunk Coach Brian in a dunk tank!

Thank you to all of the Gym-Nest staff who helped make the day a success and to all of the parents who brought their kids and joined in the fun! We are looking forward to the upcoming year and hope you are too!

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!

Is Your Child Ready to Head Back to School?

Posted by Gym-Nest on Aug-7-2013

The month of August brings the “back to school” frenzy felt by many parents. Some kids are excited to buy their new school supplies and happily head out to the stores while others dig in their heels and put it off for as long as possible. Parents mark off the days on the calendar while checking their lists to be sure everything is ready for September. Supplies? Check. Clothing? Check. Physicals? Check. Forms filled out and checks submitted for activities? Check. In all of the hustle, one thing may be forgotten. Is your child emotionally prepared to begin the new school year?

We often talk about supporting the whole child here at the Gym-Nest and encourage our staff to help our students develop a strong emotional foundation in addition to a strong gymnastics foundation. Take some time to ask your children to share their feelings about returning to school. How do they feel about the academics? What about friends or teachers? Will they be starting a new sport or returning to a challenging one? Speaking with them early in August will give you time to address any concerns or issues and build up their confidence.

As parents, we can remember the anxiety a new school year can bring to even the most successful student. Don’t assume everything is wonderful if your child is fortunate enough to get good grades, do well in sports, and have lots of friends. There may be something bothering them that you are unaware of or even something that seems trivial to you but seems huge to them. Keep the conversation going throughout the remainder of the summer and throughout the school year. Keeping the lines of communication open is good for both you and your children. It can help nip problems in the bud and enhance feelings of security in your children.

We are eagerly preparing for our fall programs while enjoying our summer ones. Thank you for being a part of the Gym-Nest!