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Weekly tips and encouragement to help you handle stress, stay fit, and find joy in parenting

Doing the Right Thing

I just finished a bike ride around Colorado and our group often camped at schools. At one of the school cafeterias there was a big sign that said, DO THE RIGHT THING". What a simple message but what a difference it makes to reflect if our thoughts and actions are leading us to do the right thing. This is a short post but hopefully a helpful one. It is every decent parent's desire to teach their children to do the right thing.  Teaching character and teaching the reason why we should do the right thing is our job and we do a lot of it by example.  I don't know about you but I have made many bad choices in life and when I chose the wrong way it never turned out right even though at the time the choice seemed alluring, reasonable,...

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Triathlon for Youth: A Vehicle for Parents to Give Children Athletic Success

I recently expanded my USAT Level 1 certification to include a Youth Specialization and have started two youth teams in my area. At the training they emphasized that nine out of ten cyclists do not wear a properly fitting helmet. I found that to be true of these new triathletes so I wanted to take a moment to remind parents of the importance of their child wearing a helmet and having it secure and fitted. If it slides when you push back on it, it will not offer them the protection you are seeking and may, in fact, do more harm than good.

Every day I hear from parents who want to work out and help their children to be fit but just can't find the time. Fitness for weight control and health does not need to be time-consuming. Consistency is...

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3 Areas to Reflect on after Mother's Day

It is very common for people to reassess their lives around New year's Day. After basking in the love and appreciation shown on Mother's Day, I propose that moms everywhere use it as an opportunity to reflect on their parenting and to identify any special needs their children might have. Parenting is the one job we all want to get right and it deserves our time and attention to see how we might improve. Here are three areas you might want to consider:

1. Does my child show respect for others and an ability to work and play well with family and friends? Much of a child's social skills are molded before school age where they are then tested perhaps for the first time. Parents who role model sharing, politeness, assertiveness and other...

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Childhood Obesity Spreads to Infants and Toddlers

It feels very 21st century to be blogging from an aircraft. I'm returning from Duathlon National which was held in a beautiful venue in Oro Valley, AZ. A highlight was watching an 84 year old gentlemen on the podium and realizing that the overall winner was for the first time 40 years old and he looked about half that. So while the news this weekend was upbeat for the older set the news is a bit grim for our younger citizens.

A study of 16,400 children born in the United States in 2001 was published in the American Journal of Health Promotion (2011;25 {13}. It  showed that 31.9% of nine month old infants and 34.3% of two year olds were obese or at risk for obesity. The sad truth is that obesity at nine months indicates that that...

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5 Strategies Moms Needs to Lose Weight and Stay in Shape

Last night I spoke to a young mom who showed up at my weight loss seminar. She told me that she had been doing the same thing with her diet and exercise program for the past two years. The first year she lost an amazing 40 pounds and she could be proud of that. However, the second year she lost nothing! Ouch! By the end of our talk I had given her several suggestions that I feel sure will jumpstart her progress again. Remember this simple rule:

1. If what you are currently doing isn't working, stop doing that.

Here are 4 more ideas:

2. Have a compelling goal. Think through what you hope will change or improve because of your efforts. Get a clear picture in your mind of how you will both look and feel. Savor this picture of this future,...

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The Rewards of Dedicated Parenting and Other Lofty Goals

Holding my sleeping granddaughter today who is all of four days old was blissful. Many things in life give satisfaction but some moments go beyond that to bliss. Everyday that you invest in the well-being of your children you are putting yourself on the road to bliss. When you give your authentic, best self to those who mean the most to you,you simply can't fail to reap a rich reward. Watching my daughter put that tiny baby in one arm while she went to serve up a snack for her three year old son I knew that in that moment it all seemed routine for her and tiring but I also knew that day upon day of service like that would in the end be richly rewarding to her. I knew that because in that moment I felt so proud of her and so confident in...

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Workouts Parents Can Do with their Children for Fun and Weight Loss

It’s surprisingly simple to make progress on some of the goals young mothers have: losing weight, getting more energy, spending quality time with the kids, eating healthier as a family and fighting signs of aging. It’s getting started that can be such a challenge.

A train that isn’t moving can be held in place with a one inch slice of concrete. Once moving, that same train can blast through a ten foot wall of concrete. Similarly, when you have been sedentary for sometime, the smallest excuse will derail your attempts to become active. But once you make exercise and healthy eating a way of life, almost nothing can halt your progress, at least not for very long. You’ll quickly return to your healthy life style after...

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Three Ways to Assess Your Parenting Skills

It's been said that there are three versions of a person: who they see themselves as, how others see them and who they really are. It can be hard to see ourselves sometimes. Today, I was talking shop with a fellow personal trainer at Heritage College where I teach and he asked me if I was hyper-mobile, a term you might understand better as double jointed. I said no and he quickly asked, "How do you know? Have you ever been tested?"

Seemed to me it was the kind of thing I would have noticed so I was pretty surprised when he ran the tests and I scored an eight out of ten for hypermobility. Two of those points came because I can bend over and put my hands flat on the floor. Although I knew others couldn't do that,  I'd never given it...

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Family Fun on Snow Day Is Good for Everyone

Two words that light up the face of a child and can instill panic in busy parents: SNOW DAY!  All across parts of the U.S., schools are closed due to snowy, icey weather. Remembering the joy that such a surprise can be for children, in our home school we always had the tradition of calling the first snow of the year a snow day; even if it was just a few flakes. The sudden gift of time just to play will always be welcomed by a child.

Parents, on the other hand, may need to  adjust their work schedule and then use their imagination to keep their children occupied and happy. Try to see this turn of events as the blessing it is: a time to build some family memories. Grocery stores always get busy just before a storm and steaming...

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Banish Sibling Rivalry by Appreciating the Differences between Children

Have you drawn a name for a holiday gift giving event this year? I did and the person whose name I drew is someone that I knew would appreciate a homemade gift. Only problem is, I don't really have any skills that would end in a suitable gift. Fortunately, my sister loves to make scarves and blankets so I was able to get a lovely scarf for this event from her.

I was at her house today showing her how to use her new arc trainer. I can spend three hours on an arc trainer getting ready for a triathlon but I couldn't sit still to knit, sew or crochet for even three minutes. Yet, we're sisters, same mom and dad, same house we grew up in, same schools we attended, etc. Happily, I can give personal training advice to my sister and she can...

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