Sports & Exercise for Preschoolers
It comes as no surprise to hear that we need to encourage our children to be more active — with over 17% of children and adolescents considered obese, it’s apparent that something needs to change. Guidelines recommend that children and adolescents engage in over one hour of physical activity per day — involving both a mix of aerobic, muscle-strengthening, and bone-strengthening exercises, as well as a mix of structure and unstructured physical activity. This doesn’t seem like an impossible goal when you realize that it includes walking to and from school, playing during recess or gym class, and participating in after-school sports and play.
But especially when it comes to younger children between the ages of 3 and 5, it’s not always clear what the best way to get your child moving is. For example, you wouldn’t want your 5-year old on a treadmill or your preschooler dropping a dumbbell, and maybe your toddler isn’t quite ready to sign up for the local tee-ball league. So the question is, how can you get your little one excited about physical activity when he or she may seem to be glued to the TV?
Healthy habits that last a lifetime often begin in early childhood, and regular exercise is a habit that boosts a child’s self-esteem, improves social skills, and helps to maintain a healthy weight. That’s why it’s important even early on to demonstrate the importance of physical activity for your child. Here are some fun ideas on how to get your preschooler excited about health and exercise!
Make it a Game for the Family
Turning exercise into a game is a great way to add some fun to a structured physical activity — and getting the whole family involved shows your child how important being active is. Games can be simple, or they can have rules that you can teach to your child. As long as the game is age appropriate, is fun, and encourages movement, you can’t go wrong!
- Duck Duck Goose
- Set up “limbo” to practice flexibility and balance
- Play “follow the leader” or “tag.”
Nothing beats running around and playing outside in the fresh air. Many preschools and day care centers have outdoor areas for children to play during the day. For example, Creative World School in Blue Springs, MO schedules two periods of outdoor play for their preschoolers, for 30 minutes at a time — simply to explore, learn about nature, and most importantly, to learn the importance of physical activity. If your home has a nice backyard, playing outside is an easy opportunity to get moving (without the risk of breaking anything fragile indoors). On a nice day, try out these fun activities with your little one to help improve muscle strength, coordination, and other important motions.
- Running through the sprinkler on a hot day.
- Help with washing the car — practicing circular motions, and squatting to clean tires.
- Kicking a ball for foot-eye coordination. (Set up a goal to add some challenge for 5-year olds)
- Practice catching and throwing a bean bag to improve hand-eye coordination. (Add some challenge by setting a hula hoop on the ground for the child to aim for)
Although nothing can beat playing outdoors, sometimes bad weather can keep a child playing indoors. If you and your child are stuck indoors, there are still plenty of ways to be physically active in a way that’s safe for your child, and safe for your fragile belongings as well.
- Treasure Hunt — create a simple map for your little one to find a “treasure” hidden somewhere in your house.
- Hide and Go Seek
- Indoor obstacle course — set up “obstacles” around the house for your child to crawl under, over, and around, and finish line at the end!
- The Floor is Lava — pretend that the floor of your house is lava – don’t step in it! Cross the room by only stepping on tables, couches, and chairs (just make sure that nothing is wobbly beforehand).
Whether it’s a beautiful day outside, or if rainy, stormy weather is keeping you and your little one inside, “sitting time” should be limited. Children these days love watching television for hours, but with the increasing rate of obesity in the country, it’s important to instill a sense of positive health and wellness for our children. If your young child spends the majority of the day at his or her day care or preschool, speak with their teacher to make sure that they’re getting adequate physical activity during the day. Whatever you do — just get moving!
My Baseball Recovery Miracle
I remember it like it was yesterday. It was the bottom of the ninth inning and we were only one run away from taking home the win. Bobby Fletch had just scored us a run to give us a tie and now I was up to bat. I took my time and made sure I was ready before I came up to the plate. I stared down the pitcher as he wound up and his first throw was a fastball that went straight down the center. One strike down, then on to the next pitch. The next throw was a curve ball that head just outside the plate. I still had time and then another fastball came right down the center again except this one hit me right where it counts. That 90 mile an hour pitch sent me right to the ground, breaking my cup in two. I couldn’t move and I was in extreme pain. The medics brought out the stretcher and I was carried to the ambulance. I think I even passed out on the way to the hospital.
When I arrived at the hospital, I was given some pain medication then taken to get some x-rays done. When they were done, the doctor came in with a very concerning face. He pulled up the x-rays and explained to me that there was internal damage and possible nerve damage. He said only time would tell us the long term effects resulting from this injury.
Three months passed and I felt like I had a full recovery. Another year went by and I didn’t have any problems at all, or so I thought. My wife and I had recently begun trying to conceive another little one but after 6 months of trying we both became concerned. This is when we decided to visit a fertility treatment clinic. We were very nervous and read up a lot before going into the infertility treatment center. We knew that the testicular impact could have been one reason that we weren’t having any success, but we needed to hear it from a professional fertility specialist.
After some preliminary tests and x-rays, the doctor came down and sat with us to explain what was going wrong. He told us that I was experiencing Hypogonadism from the testicular trauma that I had experienced from my baseball accident. I was not getting the proper hormones and hence I have become infertile. To fix this problem, I was going to need testosterone replacement therapy. It was a pituitary problem so this procedure was to stimulate sperm production so I can be back to the fertile man I once was. I decided to administer this type of therapy via injection so I was going to need my wife to help me out with this one.
We did everything we were supposed to do and a few months later we were blessed with the realization that we were going to have a baby. My wife was pregnant and it was all with the help of the fertility doctors at the infertility treatment center.
Sports Medicine for Seniors
A couple months ago, I was out walking my dog and my knee suddenly gave out. I was so surprised; nothing like that had ever happened to me before. I thought it must have just been an odd fluke. And when I started having trouble climbing up the stairs and getting up off the couch, I honestly just thought I was getting old. My knees ached so bad just walking through the grocery store, and sometimes even when I was just sitting down watching TV. I told my friend Cynthia what was going on, and she suggested that I go see her orthopedic doctor at Ortho VA. Apparently the knee pain that I’d been experiencing could be a sign of arthritis or even osteoporosis.
Dr. Dalton took an X-ray of my knee, and immediately discovered what the problem was. He diagnosed me with osteoporosis and told me that this disease was causing me to lose strength in my bones. And consequently, it was causing joint damage in my knee. His recommendation was that I have surgery on my knee. Luckily, Dr. Dalton told me he specializes in knee replacement in Hanover, and that his use of advanced technology would mean I’d spend less time in recovery. I knew I’d be in good hands.
After my knee replacement surgery, it took a few weeks to recover. Thankfully, friends and family came by to help me out around the house. We had to make some minor adjustments to the house, like installing a handrail in the shower so I wouldn’t slip and fall if my knee gave out. But after some time in physical therapy and performing routine knee-strengthening exercises, along with plenty of rest, my knee is almost back to normal. I can get up the stairs again, and get off the couch more easily than I could before. Thanks to my new knee, I can even enjoy walking my dog around the neighborhood again!
Top three struggles of being a sports fan
I’m a big sports fan, and I’m proud of it. There’s nothing more exciting than waking up on a Sunday morning and getting ready to watch an NFL game. I’m just as excited to watch a baseball game, basketball game, and almost any sport for that matter. Just knowing that there is a game tonight or over the weekend that I’ve really wants to watch, it gets me through the workday. In short, being able to watch sports makes my life a lot more enjoyable. But being a sports fanatic does have its drawbacks. If you’re a sports guy or gal I’m sure you will sympathize with me.
1. Buying enough food for my friends who want to come over and watch the game. While I love being a host and having a large living room with a big TV or all my friends can gather around and watch a sports game with me there are drawbacks to being a host. Even though they try, I always end up having to provide the lion’s share of the food and beverages for them all to eat and drink while they watch the game. Seriously, my fellow sports fan friends are eating me out of house and home. If this wasn’t bad enough, I always end up having to clean up the mess.
2. When you don’t get the right channel your game is on. This is by far the biggest frustration I have. The worst time of year is in the fall when lots of sports are going on at the same time. More than a few times a week, I sit down to watch my favorite NFL team play, or college football team and often even college basketball but to no avail. It turns out I don’t have the station that the game is on. But thankfully for this, at least I have found a solution in first row sports football, a web site that lets me watch almost any sports game I want right on my computer. Then all I have to do, it hook my laptop up to my television, and voila I’m back in action.
3. End of the season blues. Unless your favorite team wins the championship, you get those end of season blues when your team gets knocked out of the playoffs or when they don’t even make the playoffs and you have to say to yourself maybe next year. For a big sports guy like me, this is always a hard pill to swallow because you’re always thinking “what if”. What if they had taken a different strategy, made that close shot, or caught that touchdown pass. The this is one of the reasons I recommend getting involved and multiple sports because you always have something to cheer for.
Even though there are some drawbacks of being a sports fan, including the strain it puts on the relationship with my girlfriend, it’s all worth it and I’ll never stop being one.
Protect Your Teeth
Sports can be very enjoyable and fun but they can also be very damaging to your teeth. Sports generally involve physical contact or fast moving objects and this could mean disaster for damaging teeth. With modern day medicine and advances in the oral industry can actually help replace knocked out teeth. It is recommended that you try to put the tooth back in the socket and get to a dentist immediately. If you are unable to put the tooth back in the socket then they say to put it in milk until you get into the dentist. If you don’t get to the dentist in time then you may have to go through mouth reconstruction. A lot of dentist offices are not open on the weekends which could make it difficult if you are experiencing an emergency like this. Luckily there are great dentist offices open on weekend like Modern Dentistry and they have very well-known doctors around the area and you can view their website at http://www.moderndentistryrichmond.com.
If you can avoid damaging your teeth during sports then you will get to avoid having to take an emergency trip to the dentist. With the physicality of sports there are many different precautions you can take to prevent permanent damage to your teeth.
Using a mouth guard is very important when playing any type of sport. This is one of the most beneficial ways of protecting your teeth from sports equipment. You can purchase premade mouth guards at any sporting goods store but these will not provide you the best protection. If you want the best protection then you should have a dentist mold your teeth and make a custom mouth guard. The custom mouth guards will conform to your teeth a lot easier than generic ones and provide better safety.
Face cages are also great for protecting your mouth from sporting equipment. More contact sports will generally require that you wear a helmet with a face cage. Even with this equipment you should also incorporate a custom made mouth guard for full protection.
A fantastic way to ensure that your beloved senior stays healthy and full of life is by making sure that are staying constantly active. By staying active it will benefit anyone’s health in a positive manner because the constant exercise that they receive from their daily activities. If you have a loved senior that is finding it difficult to stay active then there are many different ways in which to help them. By helping them you are ultimately increasing their longevity and quality of life.
- One way you can help a loved senior stay active is looking into senior care. Senior care is a great service in which a company will match your beloved family member up with a like age senior and they will spend a certain amount of time together. During this time the senior care provider can help your family member complete daily activities like walking a pet, housekeeping, or even grocery shopping. By having someone there to assist your family member they will be able to achieve just the right amount of activity without hurting themselves.
- Another great way to help your senior stay active is by setting smaller tasks for them to accomplish every day. By having easy tasks for them to accomplish it will give them a goal to achieve and they will use this small amount of activity as a way to stay active. These ideas could be anything from wiping down the kitchen table to taking the family pet for a walk. Make sure to set these goals so that the senior doesn’t over exhort themselves. The worst thing you could do is give them an activity that could lead to them injuring themselves.
By making an effort for your senior to stay active will ensure that that their last years will be healthful and exciting. By just having small tasks to complete each day will motivate them every day and give them a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day.
A lot of runners that end up with joint problems are still looking for ways to compete athletically and stay in physical shape. A great way to for these athletes to stay in shape and still compete in a sport is by participating in water polo. Water polo is a very physically demanding sport and allow for great workout without the stress on your joints. It will also help increase your cardiovascular capacity and increase your core muscles.
The reason why this game is so physically challenging is because during a whole game you are not able to touch the floor or the sides of pool – meaning you are either swimming or treading water the whole game. This is a very difficult task and a great full body workout for those who are still looking for ways to stay in tip top shape. On top of treading water for a long period of time you will also sprint and perform quick movements which allow for break out endurance training.
You can gain swimming endurance from water polo because you are swimming about 3.5 miles per game without resting. Every hour that you are playing water polo it is proven that each player will burn about 600 calories, now that is a fantastic and fun workout!
This sport requires you to use all of your muscles just to keep your body above water and defending or attacking a goal. If you are looking to increase the tone of your body then this sport is for you because with the movements you make during a match increase the potential for increased muscle.
Water polo is also a great sport because there is a very low risk of injury due to the water acting as a cushion for your joints. The water also lowers the strain on your muscles so you are not likely to damage your muscles or bones in any way.
There are many great water polo leagues out there like the one that is my friend is a part of at the Collegiate School Aquatics Center in Richmond, Virginia. He says he is able to play a game at least once a week and he says it is one of the toughest workouts he has done before.