Storm Fitness Newsletter – Family Fitness – July 2010
A health and fitness newsletter on how to stay looking and feeling your best at any age
We hope that your summer is off to a great start! It’s HOT out there so just a reminder to be extra diligent about staying hydrated and playing it safe while exercising outdoors. It is best to get your exercise done in the early morning hours before the sun and humidity comes out to great us for the day!
Some exciting news to share, last week Storm Fitness changed locations. We are still based out of Reston and moved 2 miles down the street. Our main specialty of course is still our in-home training and nutrition programs that we offer. Our Nutritionist Christine also has a new location. She now has offices based out of McLean and Ashburn. If you are looking for a customized meal plan or if you just want to make sure you are getting all the proper nutrients in your diet, Christine is the one to see!
This quarter I thought I would put a different spin on the newsletter and start featuring some articles written by the Storm Fitness trainers. My girls are the best around and I can’t say enough good things about them – neither can their clients!! You can check out the testimonials on our website at: http://stormfitness.com/test.html
This quarters articles have the theme of Family, Food, Exercise and Children – you will see that they blend nicely together at a great time of year when you get to spend extra time with your children thanks to school being out. Now is the time you can really make an important impact on their lives. Remember, you are their best role model when it comes to exercise and eating right!
As usual, please feel free to call me with any questions at all – I am always happy to answer them and set you on the right path with your health and wellness.
Yours in Health and Fitness,
Jessica Storm & the Storm Fitness Team
Food for Thought
By Melissa Eck
ACSM Health Fitness Specialist
Would any mom consider allowing her child to ride in a car without a seat belt just because her child thought it would be fun? How about allowing your precious baby to experiment with cigarettes because he/she thinks it looks neat? For clear and well-known safety and health reasons the obvious answer to either question is an unyielding NO! Why then, would any new parent bring equally well-known and obviously unhealthy food choices into their home just because they have a new baby or toddler?
I continue to be shocked at how many of my “health conscious” friends seem to completely lose their senses when they start feeding their new toddler. I’ve seen men and women who have completely rid their homes of indulgent and trigger foods, do a 180 when it comes to stocking up for their child. We all know the health hazards associated with not wearing seatbelts or with smoking. Don’t we also know that hot-dogs, Oreo’s, and chocolate milk are not recommended as staples in our diets?
I can’t understand why we don’t follow the same logic here in teaching our children healthy eating habits. I’m not saying to never eat an occasional hot-dog at a neighborhood barbeque, nor to have a life void of Oreos or chocolate milk. Such food items are treats and should be consumed with that thought in mind. My frustration, however, has been with the introduction of these items as first foods for a young toddler, and even with the adoption of these as staple items in a precious young-one’s menu.
I’ve wrestled with this strange phenomenon for years and have settled on the following theory. Many well-meaning parents don’t see any reason for their little one to worry about weight like we adults do. They reason, “Why make my child suffer through low-fat, healthy eating choices while she is so young and has no reason to be concerned about her figure? She’s got the rest of her adult-life to worry about that!” After all, you’re only young once, right?
Well, I was young once too. I was a skinny child, a “bean pole” in fact. I was a very late bloomer too and ate whatever I laid my eyes on for most of my childhood. My memories of after-school snacks are of a bag of Ruffles dipped in cream cheese, or Doritos with soda. My parents too saw no reason why I should take any caution in my food choices. I had no extra meat on my bones to give cause for concern.
That worked just fine too UNTIL I finally hit puberty. Suddenly I had lumps and rolls in places I never knew. Like many adolescents I became very self-conscious of this imperfection and was without a clue how to resolve this dilemma. My idea of a “diet” was to pack only one Little Debbie in my lunch, with peanut butter-fluff sandwiches and cool aid.
After years of misleading concepts and attempts to gain control over my changing body, I finally landed on good, old-fashioned, sound nutrition and moderation. By the grace of God I didn’t do any permanent damage to my body (or mind) during that long stage of change. I still recall that time as one of the hardest transitions in my life. Not just small changes here and there, but I had to totally revamp my menu choices and types of socializing (learning how closely tied together food and social life can be!). Looking back now I compare this to how a smoker may feel trying to quit. It was extremely tough to make these changes!
I have been a professional in the fitness field for over 15 years now and can testify that most adults I’ve come to know and work with have also had to face this most-difficult challenge at some point in their wellness-endeavors. Sadly, many of us had to adopt new eating habits because our original menus were not designed to sustain healthy, adult bodies. Why then, would any of us knowingly set up our children to have to make the same difficult lifestyle change later in life?
Isn’t the healthy food we’ve learned to love (or tolerate in some cases!), just as good for their growing and active bodies now as it will be later? Couldn’t we do them a great service by teaching them from the start to make healthy eating choices? In fact, we have the precious opportunity to help them acquire the palette for healthy foods. Wow! What an amazing gift! From their very first bites of solids, we can introduce delicious and nutritious foods that our little angels will grow to love! Healthy choices can become life-as-they-know-it and they may never have to face that staggering change in eating habits that we did.
It’s important to reiterate that I’m not suggesting a life void of birthday cakes and Halloween candy. What I am suggesting is that “what’s good for the goose is good for the gander”! The foods we know we should be eating are the same ones we should be introducing our young ones too. When we have an occasional treat, they too should enjoy such little indulgences, in moderation, just like us!
Our children watch everything we do, from wearing seat belts, to not smoking, to eating. We have an incredible influence over them and thus an amazing opportunity to mold their habits for a lifetime. Even if you’ve not considered this before, it’s not too late. Start buckling up, stop smoking and/or get rid of the junk food and bring in the wholesome foods today! The sooner each of you adopts these healthy habits, the longer you have to enjoy a lifetime of their benefits!
Family Fitness – Fun for Your Family
By Sabrina Toatley
ACSM Certified Personal Trainer
According to the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, children and adolescents (aged 6-17) should get at least 1 hour or more of physical activity every day and adults should get at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week. Staying active can be a challenge, but summer presents numerous opportunities for you to vary your exercise routine and for your family to stay active together. Making your workouts a family affair can provide extra motivation for you and also set a great fitness example for your kids.
Growing up in Alaska, my dad and I went cross-country skiing together almost every weekend. The experience not only provided us great exercise, but allowed us to bond as a family and create great memories. Now, here in Northern Virginia we don’t normally have enough snow to go skiing every weekend—with the exception of this past winter—but there is an abundance of activities families can do together to stay fit and have fun at the same time.
Here are some ideas that may work for your family:
Take a walk after dinner, do a lap around your neighborhood or find a walking trail near your home.
Play a game such as frisbee, croquet, red rover, hop scotch, capture the flag or dodge ball. Remember how much fun you had playing these as a kid?
Sign up to walk/run a 5K. If your family had a cause or charity that is important to you, find a 5K that supports it as a bonus.
Take a bike ride or have a jump rope or hula hoop contest.
Get your kids involved in organized sports – while they are at practice, you can walk or jog close to the practice field and cheer them on.
Set up an obstacle course in your back yard. There are numerous activities you could do – somersaults, karate kicks, agility ladder or cones, cartwheels, bean bag toss, running through the sprinkler or sliding on a Slip ‘N Slide. Get creative!
Go swimming, or play a game of pool basketball or volleyball.
Have a dance party or go to a local concert and dance there.
Hit the playground; your kids aren’t the only ones that benefit by swinging across the monkey bars.
Go hiking – there are many nature trails and parks around the area that provide scenic surroundings and great exercise.
If you have kid that likes to run, they may enjoy challenging you to a 100 yard dash or more at the track…
Set up a balance beam or trampoline in your back yard.
Get moving and stay active – find any activity that you love to do with your family!
Fitness fun with the family can bring everyone closer together and create great childhood memories, as well as set an example of healthy habits that will carry over into adulthood. While my father still lives in Alaska and I now live in Virginia, we continue our fitness tradition by taking ski vacations together. Start fitness fun with your family—you never know which activity may turn into a long standing tradition.
Children are a Great Reason to GET MOVING…
By Jessica Storm
IDEA Master Trainer and Nutritionist
Children are often used as an excuse to be “too busy” to exercise. As a busy Mom myself, I make my child my #1 reason to get moving. After all, I want to make sure I am in peak condition to chase after him & be around for a very long time. The type of exercise you do with your child will change as they grow. Just like everything they do, you will have to consistently adapt your routine. But look at this as a good thing – your body likes change & that will keep it seeing results.
When they are babies you can do an exercise video while they sleep – try renting one from your local library. Go for a long stroller walk or jog. Don’t forget to use your baby as a weight. You can do walking lunges, holding her out in front of you gently raising her up & down as you walk along.
As your children begin to get older, it’s a great time to start explaining the benefits of exercise. If they see Mom & Dad exercising as part of their daily routine they are more likely to stay in shape & maintain a healthy weight. Think about putting a fun outdoor circuit together that involves jump rope, pushups & shuttle runs. Keep it fun & the kids are sure to ask to do it again.
Get creative with older kids to keep their attention. Try the “deck of cards” game by assigning each suit a different exercise. For example, the spades as a jump squat, the hearts as jumping jacks & so on. Each number on the card is performed for that many repetitions. So, if you pulled a 10 of hearts they would do 10 jumping jacks. Complete the entire deck of cards & record your time.
Remember the most important thing you can do to pass on good health to your children is to make yourself the #1 priority & make exercise a daily part of your routine. They are watching everything you do & taking notes so be a strong & healthy example.
“Are you bored with life? Then throw yourself into some work you believe in with all your heart, live for it, die for it, and you will find happiness that you had thought could never be yours.”
We hope you enjoyed this edition of the Storm Fitness Newsletter. Thank you again for coming along for the journey with us and we wish you a wonderful Summer Season with all of your health and fitness goals! Again, if you need anything at all we are always here to answer any questions you have.
Yours in Health and Fitness,
Jessica Storm & the Storm Fitness Team