A Message for Dad

Dear Dads,

We know the family is where we have our greatest impact. If we want to make a positive change in our communities, it has to start in the home. So the question is, how are we influencing the people in our home? Are we training our children to make good choices? Are we training our children to become independent and critical thinkers? What are we doing to ensure that our children grow into adults that can succeed on their own?

I believe we can use things like physical education and music training to challenge and push our children a little out of their comfort zone. Learning to play an instrument is hard. It takes discipline and practice to get better. I have seen the struggles with my own children as they have learned to play an instrument. As parents, my wife and I are constantly encouraging and making sure our children make time to practice their instrument. Some days are harder than others but our children see the results of their practice.

dad playing soccer with kids

The same principles of discipline and practice are necessary for physical education. It is easy to not make time for exercise. Exercising can be hard. There are times when we do not feel like being active. We know that regular exercise is critical for our physical, mental, and emotional well-being.  We need to model the importance of physical activity to our children. If you are not exercising regularly then you need to make it a priority and start today. You need to show your children that your health is one of the most valuable things you have. If your children see the value in regular exercise they will start to develop healthy habits and have a positive attitude toward exercise. They will become more resilient as they become physically and mentally stronger.

If you do not know where to start, begin with a family walk. If you want something more challenging, check out one of our membership options. We have hundreds of lessons and workouts available to you. Dads, it is time to make regular exercise a valuable part of your family routines. Let’s start today.

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Ten Characteristics of Good Stress Managers

As we get ready to start another school year we are faced with things that can interrupt our lives and cause distress. We are trying to restart routines. Our children are starting music lessons, dance, sports or other activities. All of these things can cause challenges in our lives. People who manage their stress well tend to have similar characteristics. Below are 10 characteristics of a good stress manager. This is not a list of all the characteristics or good stress managers. Good stress managers may not have all of these characteristics but they understand which methods work for them.

Good stress managers:

  • Are physically active- We should all be getting 30-60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity 3 to 5 times per week.
  • Eat a healthy diet- We should be eating as whole and natural as possible.
  • Get adequate rest every day- Adults need 6-8 hours of sleep per day. A short nap can be beneficial as well.
  • Schedule daily time to unwind, relax, and evaluate the day’s activities.
  • Understand their own feelings and accept their limitations.
  • Recognize and regulate stressors within their capabilities.
  • Learn from previous mistakes.
  • Enjoy life despite occasional disappointments and frustrations.
  • Give themselves freely to others.
  • Have a deep meaningful life.

Remember to take some time for yourself everyday. We often get caught up taking care of our families and forget that we better serve our families when we take time for ourselves. The first 3 items on the list are really important. make sure you are being physically active, eating well, and getting enough sleep.

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Start your day with these 4 exercises

Starting your day with movement can get your day off to a great start. For the last four weeks I have been spending 5 to 10 minutes each morning going through 3 or 4 exercises. For me this has made me feel better. These exercises work on mobility and flexibility. They also help to engage my core. The only piece of equipment you will need is a ball but all these exercises can be done without a ball.

Walking Wide with Twists

Hold a ball with both hands and arms extended. Walk 30 steps and move the ball side to side with each step.

Walking Over the Top

Hold the ball with both hands and hold the ball overhead. As you walk, move the ball side to side. Take 30 steps.

Sweeps

Hold the ball with both hands. Squat down and move the ball from right to left then stand back up. Repeat the movement but move the ball from left to right. Complete 20 repetitions. This exercise helps improve hip mobility and also work on leg strength.

 

Ball Chops

Hold the ball both hands. Raise the ball overhead then chop the ball towards your left foot.  Raise the ball back overhead then chop the ball towards your right foot. Repeat 10 times to each side. Ball Chops work your shoulders, back, and hamstrings.

Try to complete each exercise 3 or 4 times. You can increase the number of repetitions and sets as you improve. Making movement a mandatory part of your morning will get your day off to a good start.

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What we do

Recently, we have received many questions about how the Family Time Fitness physical education programs work.

This short video explains our most popular program which is the Core 1 or Beginner Physical Education program. This program was designed for children between the ages of 5 and 13 but can be used by the entire family.

 

The Core 1 Physical Education Curriculum is included in our membership package. Most of our other programs are designed similar to the Core 1. A membership gives you access to the Core 1, Core 2, High School Strength and Conditioning, Beginner to Winner  5K Running program, High School Boot Camp, Family Boot Camp, Beginner Basketball, and much more.

Our mission at Family Time Fitness is to provide a fun fitness program that a family can do together.

 

 

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Are you Living Like a Champion?

Last week I was picking up my nephew from dive camp. There was a swim camp going on at the same time. One of the swim coaches was telling a story from his childhood and how one coach asked him if he wanted to be an Olympic champion. He said he wanted to be a champion. The coach them told him that in order to be a champion he needed to train like a champion, eat like a champion, sleep like a champion, and think like a champion. It was a highly motivating story. It turns out the coach telling the story won three Olympic gold medals.

I have been reflecting on this story and it made me wonder if I am training my children to be champions in life. It does not matter to me if my children are not Olympic champions. What I want is for my children to live life well. What does this look like? We know the importance of physical fitness and healthy eating habits for overall health. We are learning the importance of getting 6-8 hours of sleep each day for emotional, mental and physical wellness. I am learning that how a person thinks plays a major role in overall health.

Here are my questions for you:

Does your family value physical fitness?

Does your family eat healthy?

Does your family value the importance of sleep?

What does your family do to be emotionally well?

What does your family do to be mentally well?

What does your family do to be spiritually well?

I certainly do not have all the answers. It is almost overwhelming to think about these things and how to train our children to live well.

Feel free to share what works best for your family.

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Hula Hoops

Hula Hoops are a lot of fun. There are a variety of activities you can do with them.

The Run through the Hoop activity helps to build coordination, mobility, flexibility, and spatial awareness. The kids even had to use some problem solving skills to figure out how to travel through a moving hoop.

We started with the kids running through one stationary hoop. Then we added a second hoop. After a few minutes I started rolling the hoop and had the kids try to move through the rolling hoop. They had to figure out the best way that they could get through the hoop.

 

We we had a great time with this activity. The kids got creative in their thinking and movements.

What

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What is your routine?

As a family, we moved into Summer mode a couple of weeks ago. For me this means a change to my routines. I am able to spend more time at home in the mornings. This has allowed me to exercise with one of my daughters. We have been been doing an exercise routine that involves body weight exercises. We rotate through four exercises. We do one exercise for 30 seconds then move to the next exercise. We do this for the four exercises until we complete one cycle. We started by going through the cycle 4 times. At the end of this week we went through 5 cycles. The entire workout with a short warm-up and cool down can be down in about 20 minutes.

Here is what one of our exercise cycles looks like.

Body Weight Squats. 30 seconds

Push-ups  30 seconds

Lunges Jumps 30 seconds

Mountain Climbers 30 seconds

We are now going through this cycle 5 times. We try to limit our rest between exercises but rest for 30 seconds to 1 minute after each completed cycle. Our cool down after completing the cycles consists of two or three stretches.

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Updated Nutrition Facts Labels-Serving Sizes

Did you know that by law serving sizes must be based on amounts of foods and beverages that people are actually eating? The serving sizes are not based on what people should be eating.

Most people tend to eat or drink more than the current serving sizes on the labels. For example, a 20 ounce soda is currently 2.5 servings. Most people consume the entire soda in one sitting. The updated nutrition facts will label the calories and other nutrients on that 20 ounce soda as one serving because people typically consume it in one sitting.

Look for serving sizes to be bigger. Just because the serving sizes will be bigger does not mean we should be eating the entire package in one sitting. We need to know what we need to consume at one sitting.

One method we can use is based on the size of your hands. Protein intake for one meal should be the size of the palm of your hand. Carbohydrates (starch and fruit) like bread, pasta, cereal, or rice should be the size of your fist. For vegetables, choose as much as you can hold in both hands. Fat consumption should be about the size of your thumb. Be conscious of what you are drinking. Water, tea, and coffee have no calories.

The new labels have to be in use by July 26, 2018. The updated information may make it easier for us to know how many calories we are consuming but it is our responsibility to know how much food we need to eat at one sitting.

 

new label vs old label

old label vs new label

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Changes coming to the Nutrition Facts labels

On May 31, 2016 I challenged myself to go one day without sugar. I made it through the day so I thought I would keep the challenge going one day at a time. Over the last few days I have been much more conscious reading the Nutrition Facts labels to limit my sugar intake. The Nutrition Facts labels certainly help me make a better decision on whether or not I will eat the food item. By taking this challenge, I have certainly cut down on the snacks, desserts, and mindless eating.

A couple of weeks ago the FDA finalized the new Nutrition Facts labels for packaged foods. One of the changes is that the new labels will add a line under the Total Sugars. This line will state how many grams of added sugar there are in one serving of the food item. I think this change is helpful. We should know how much sugar has been added to the food we are eating.

Food manufacturers have until July 26, 2018 to make the changes so it will be a little while before you start seeing the changes on the food you purchase. Look at the new Nutrition Facts label. There are other changes to the Nutrition Facts label that have been made. I will explain these other changes in another post.

 

new nutrition label

Mike Hanik      Family Time Fitness

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5 Health Related Behaviors for Chronic Disease Prevention

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 75% of healthcare spending in the United States is on people with chronic conditions. The CDC has identified five key health related behaviors for chronic disease prevention. These five major health related behaviors were not smoking cigarettes, meeting the physical activity recommendations, consuming no alcohol or only moderate amounts, maintaining a normal body mass index (BMI), and sleeping at least 7 hours in a 24 hour period.

According to the results of the study of adults 21 or older, 81.6% were current non-smokers, 63.9% obtained 7 hours or more of sleep per day, 63.1% reported moderate or no alcohol consumption, 50.4% met the physical activity requirements, and 32.5% had a normal BMI.

Looking at these results it looks like as adults we are doing a good job of not using tobacco. We could make some improvements in sleep and reducing alcohol consumption. My work with college students suggests that the alcohol consumption number may be a little high. Many people do not know the definition of moderate alcohol consumption and accept higher levels of consumption as normal behavior. The definition of moderate alcohol consumption is two or fewer drinks per day for males and one or fewer drinks per day for females.

As a country, we need to get more people engaged in regular physical activity. We also need to look at what we are eating. Body Mass Index is affected by physical activity and diet since BMI is a calculation based on height and weight.  By increasing physical activity and eating healthier foods we can better maintain a healthy body weight.

Teenagers playing basketball game together on the playground during sunny summer day

As parents, we need to make physical activity a part of our daily routines. We should all be trying to get 30-60 minutes of daily physical activity. Our children should be getting at least 60 minutes of daily physical activity.

We also need to look at what we are eating and feeding our children. Successful behavior change is made by making small changes. From a diet standpoint we can start by reducing the amount of sugar we consume. Start by reducing the amount of soda or other sugary beverages consumed.

Only 6.3 % of adults reported engaging on all five of these major health-related behaviors. Let’s share this information with our children and tell them why these behaviors are important for living a healthy life.

 

Mike Hanik  Family Time Fitness

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