Category: General

Stay Healthy This Holiday Season

Tallahassee Adults,

There are 3 common healthy habits most adults drop during the holiday season which results in weight gain and often illness.

Most likely you can guess the three… Poor eating habits, not enough sleep and lack of exercise. Read the entire blog, we promise it will be simple to follow these steps.

POOR HOLIDAY EATING HABITS: This one gets us all. Most holiday food is either full of sugar or other rich ingredients making your taste buds jump for joy and your brain light up like a Christmas Tree.

The ideal solution is chew your food, just don’t swallow it, however that will probably not go well around the family.

Here are some simple ideas to help:

  • Drink water during meals. If you are going to drink other substances socially, make sure to drink water with your meals.
  • Put smaller portions on your plate. People have a tendency of eating what they take.
  • Eat slowly. It has been said that it takes your brain 20 minutes to tell your stomach you are full. People who eat TOO fast tend to eat TOO much!
  • Try to eat healthier as the day gets later. Traditionally, your metabolism slows down as the day gets later making it harder to burn calories.

EXERCISE DURING THE HOLIDAYS: It is not a surprise how easily people get off their exercise routine during the holidays. You either have too much to do, or you have family come in town are just a few excuses people let get in their way.

  • Get up before everyone and do some basic calisthenics each day. It does not take as much work as people think to maintain their fitness levels. Do a little in the morning to keep the metabolism fast and maintain your fitness during the busy times.
  • WALK: If you have family in town, go for a walk and visit instead of sitting on the couch. Tallahassee doesn’t usually get very cold around the holidays most of the time, so it is ideal to take a stroll.
  • VISIT THE PARK: If you have family in town including kids, go to the park or play outside. Kids go crazy indoors for long periods of time and if you have family visiting they will enjoy the new scenery.

GET 7-8 HOURS OF SLEEP: One of the many reasons people get sick during the holidays is they get run down and don’t get adequate sleep. When your body sleeps, it gives all your organs a chance to rest, process food and reset. You burn fat when you sleep, your muscles grow and recover from exercise and your brain processes your day and resets for tomorrow. Not enough sleep will weaken your immune system and make it hard to focus and stay organized.

  • Go to bed early, get up early. Whether you are an early riser or not. You brain works best earlier in the day. You will get more done in shorter periods than staying up late.
  • POWER NAPS! Laying on the couch or in a comfortable chair, close your eyes for 30-45 minutes is a great way to recharge if you didn’t sleep well or couldn’t go to bed at a decent hour.
  • Stay away from caffeine after 5 pm or high amounts of sugar. Caffeine is a stimulant and can ruin sleep patterns. Consuming large amounts of sugar really puts a strain on your body causing you to need more sleep to feel rested. It also makes it harder to recover from everyday stressors and exercise.

Follow these basic steps and it should alleviate any guilt you might have once the holidays pass and keep you illness free!

Filed under: General

ADHD Can Lead To Depression In Kids

Tallahassee Parents with ADHD Kids,

Did you know that kids diagnosed with ADHD can also suffer from depression too?

The ADHD mind often resorts back to negative thoughts causing depression and rumination. One minute your child is doing well, feeling good about a new activity or personal success…and then something triggers them back into negative feelings dropping their self-esteem.

HOW DO YOU GET OUT OF THIS SELF-DESTRUCTING PATTERN?

SUCCESS JOURNAL: It is important to remind them of past successes where they achieved great results although they felt the same way. A journal is one popular way of helping kids snap out of the negative thoughts. Let them journal any success by cutting out pictures, drawing or just writing down successes they achieve and feel good about. It is important they make entires when success is fresh in their mind.

PROPER REST: It is important for your kids to get proper rest, especially coming up to the event. We know kids need rest, however kids with ADHD really respond poorly to outside stressors when they are not properly rested. It has a tendency to make their symptoms more intense.

WHAT DOES SUCCESS MEAN TO THEM: Ask your child what would success look like to them. What grade or experience would make them feel successful? Often kids with ADHD are worried about letting their parents down and have their own high expectations in their head. Find out what success looks like to them and let them know you are happy if they are happy with their results.

Adults rarely know what is going through a child’s thoughts. Kids often have perceptions that aren’t accurate which cause them extra stress. The more questions parents ask like “What would make you happy or satisfied” the better equipped you will be to help your child.

Filed under: General

Teach Your Kids To Be Givers Not Receivers

Tallahassee Parents,

The holidays are a special time, however, are we teaching our kids to be givers or receivers?

Regardless of what religion affiliation your family practices, it is common for friends, teachers and other people in your child’s life to ask, “What do you want for X holiday or for your birthday?”

Does a question like this send the wrong message?

Can we teach kids to be givers without raining on anyone’s parade?”

Many years ago we started a tradition of asking our young martial students what they were giving their parents or siblings for the holidays instead of they were hoping to receive. Sometimes we even make the questions more open, “What and who are you giving for the holidays?”

The response does not change year to year. We receive a lot of puzzled looks and blank stares.

This is one of the reasons we became a Toys for Tots drop off site, but that is not enough.

Parents and Educators we need your help.

WHY IS IMPORTANT TO TEACH KIDS TO BE GIVERS?

The holidays are not happy for everyone. Not all families have the resources to grant kids’ wishes. Although there is always a lot we should be thankful for, not everyone sees it that way.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

If you are familiar with addiction and some of their treatments; one of them is to give back to your community and volunteer for organizations who serve people less fortunate than yourself. Serve or deliver a meal to a homeless person or someone who is severely handicapped and suddenly your whole outlook on life changes.

One amazing characteristic about a lot of these people, is there up beat attitude and appreciation for your service. It gives you a feeling hard to describe, but a sense of appreciation that lasts much longer than a material object.

As a parent, I understand there are some things we want to shield our kids from and make sure they do not have to go through the same struggles. However, experiences, good and bad, shape personalities more than things.

This holiday season we encourage you to have your child donate a gift or service to a charitable organization and teach them to have just as much fun giving as receiving!

Do not forget, Tiger Rock Martial Arts is a Toys for Tots drop off location.

Filed under: General

Coaches Coach, Parents Parent

Tallahassee Parents,

You see it everywhere, on the baseball field, bowling alley, soccer field or any other location kids play sports. The over bearing parent or the parent that is just a little too enthusiastic when it comes to their child playing sports.

If you are a parent reading this, you might be saying I am not that way, but in actuality you probably are.

In the spirit of keeping this blog post reasonable short, we won’t get into what makes someone overbearing or in a more positive note over enthusiastic parent.

WHY CAN’T PARENTS COACH THEIR KIDS?

Parents most often are not the ideal coach for their kids. It is not that your kids do not respect you, the relationship you share is just different. That is not to say that you can never coach your children. Remember, as your kids age, the relationship they have with you will most likely change many times.

Elementary age you might be on a pedestal, middle school age you could butt heads and mix like oil and water. High school age you might not exist and college age you are a shoulder to lean on and a source for life advice.

The combinations are endless and different for every family.

WHAT IS YOUR ROLE AS A PARENT WHEN IT COMES TO COMPETITION AND ACTIVITIES?

I would sum it up in two words, SUPPORT and ENCOURAGEMENT. Recently, I was talking with David Ross, two time World Series champion catcher and manager of the Chicago Cubs. I asked him if his son was playing baseball and he said yes. He also told me his son won’t listen to him when it comes to baseball advice, so he just encourages and cheers him on. “The coach does all the coaching,” he stated. My response,”That is because you are Dad!”

Besides, what does David Ross know about baseball anyway?

In my opinion and based on a lot of research, parents need to be the nonjudgmental support system your child can always depend on. During the good, bad and ugly times, you are always there.

Kids judge themselves enough on their own and so do their peers. Many parents forget how hard it is to be a child, especially in todays world.

Teaching martial arts to predominately kids for over 24 years, we have seen a lot of great kids never make it to Black Belt because they did not receive the right support from their parents. We have seen them be too hard on their kids due to lower performance, or give up on their training because their kids motivation was slipping.

If professional athletes and coaches quit because of a “slump”, we would probably have a shortage…but the team owners would save a lot of money!

Be their support system, encourage them when they are down, pick them up when they make a mistake and cheer them on when they have the smallest of wins.

That is why we say “Let the coaches coach and parents parent.”

Filed under: General

How to Fight Distraction

Tallahassee Families,

We all get distracted. It is inevitable. Whether your plate is overflowing with tasks, you’re not feeling well or someone in your family has challenges you are assisting with.

Sometimes we just have trouble focusing and getting tasks done. It might not be for the reason you think. Yes, there are a whole list of reasons people get distracted:

  • Trying to multitask too many things
  • Social Media
  • Messy workspace
  • ADHD
  • Stress

The list could go on and on, however, there is more research that proposes a deeper hidden meaning why we get distracted.

Research shows your emotions play a big part, even before your addiction to caffeine, sugar or nicotine kicks in. Yes, these things are addictive too, but there are other factors scientist feel are just as responsible for our addictions and/or distractions…EMOTIONS!

For example, you have a big work project coming up or your child has a large project in school. It is not uncommon that people get distracted when they are stressed. They find other things to occupy their time or focus on that change how they feel.

Some examples might be:

  • Taking a smoke break
  • Getting up from their desk to get coffee thinking the caffeine will help them focus although it takes 45 minutes for it to kick in
  • Messing around with Google doing “research” or social media
  • Your kids starting picking up their room instead of working on their project or suddenly ask to take the dog for a walk

Scientist have also learned that your body gives signs before you become distracted from the task at hand. You might start moving around a lot in your chair, have a particular mannerism like scratching your nose, cutting your nails, playing with your hair just to name a few.

WHAT DO YOU DO TO FIGHT DISTRACTION?

  • Ask yourself questions? What is the real reason I am distracted from my task?
  • You might need to ask yourself this question several times until you peel back the layers and really find out why you are distracted
  • Be honest with yourself. Once you think you have the answer ask yourself “How” can I make this better and fix it.
  • When you ask “How” you often clear your mind of negative thoughts and stop your mind from ruminating. Without a clear mind, you will most likely be “running in circles” getting nowhere.
  • If you are trying to help your child, follow the same steps, but you should act like a coach. Ask questions, but don’t judge or use “why” in your inquiries. Help them find the answers and learn as opposed to planting seeds in their head or leading them to what you think the answer is.

Improvements in ourselves involve practice, trial and error and patience. You are basically teaching yourself a new skill which takes time. If you are having trouble fighting distractions, don’t be afraid to trust a friend for help or a professional coach.

Great coaches for kids include people of influence in your community who are used to getting through to kids. Martial Art Instructors, successful sport coaches, and youth group leaders are a few ideas to get you started.

Filed under: General

What Is Piriformis Syndrome?

Most adults are suffering from this and do not even know it? Why are you not aware? Like most physical problems, you do not realize there is a problem until the pain begins.

WHAT IS PIRIFORMIS SYNDROME? To put it in the simplest of terms, it is having very tight hip flexor muscles. This muscle runs diagonally from the lower spine to the upper surface of the femur, with the sciatic nerve running underneath or through the muscle.

Tight hip flexors (piriformis muscles) are mostly a result of sitting in the same position for long periods of time, sitting on bad chairs or on your wallet. It can be caused from long distance walking or running too. Overuse or compression are the main culprits causing Piriformis Syndrome.

Sciatica issues can also result from tight piriformis muscles too. Before you think “I will just get a new chair and make sure I am not sitting on my wallet” for a cure, or just take some Motrin and lower my intensity for a few weeks, there is more to it than that.

WHAT IS THE SOLUTION? Stretching and fitness activities that help stretch these muscles.

Statistically, most people do not stretch for various reasons:

  • They do not know what stretches to use
  • Stretching is boring and usually shows a slow progression of results
  • You really need to stretch after a workout when your muscles are warm making it inconvenient
  • It often takes a lot to motivate people on their own

Here are some recommendations for you to prevent Piriformis Syndrome:

  • Find activities that improve your flexibility
  • Take short breaks when sitting for more than 45 minutes at a time, taking a short walk around the office can make a big difference
  • Learn stretches you can perform easily, some even from your chair
  • Yoga is a possibility
  • Swimming using different strokes
  • Martial Arts is a great solution because you get a great workout, improve flexibility and learn self-defense skills

If you are not experiencing pain or stiffness currently, it does not mean you do not suffer from tight hip flexors. We recommend looking on the internet for flexibility evaluations. Although most people do not take prevention seriously, you do not want to go through sciatica pain, so it is definitely worth it.

If you are interested in martial arts, we are offering adults a FREE month of training in January. No strings, just a chance to come try something new, get in great shape and improve your flexibility.

To take advantage of the FREE month, go to https://tallytkd.com/registration/ and write “free month” in note section.

Filed under: General

Rock to Improve Focus

Tallahassee Parents with ADHD kids,

It is time to let your kids rock, move, or foot tap to focus. Sounds crazy we know, however most people don’t realize the ADHD brain is wired much differently than your average person’s.

One of the many characteristics that make the ADHD brain different, are the lower dopamine levels. Dopamine is the chemical that mediates pleasure in the brain. It is released during pleasurable situations and stimulates one to seek out the pleasurable activity or occupation. Dopamine is produced when you ingest sugar, experience a new or interesting experience, exercise or even move around.

WHY PEOPLE WITH ADHD NEED TO MOVE: Since the ADHD brain has lower dopamine levels, it is not uncommon for people diagnosed with the disorder to constantly move a leg, tap a foot or execute other involuntary movements. It is their body and mind’s natural way of fixing a dopamine deficit.

This movement not only helps stimulate the brain, but also helps them stay focused. Although it might appear an ADHD person is not listening to you while they are moving, it is quite the opposite. Ask them to stay still or look you in the eye to pay better attention and most likely you will get the opposite effect.

READING CAN BE DIFFICULT WITH ADHD: Reading can be difficult for many people diagnosed with ADHD, especially kids. Having a quiet room when ever random sound catches your attention (interest) or staying still propose challenges. What can help? Reading in a rocking chair, playing classical music quietly in the background or white noise to drown out other noises can help.

ONE SIZE OF ADHD DOES NOT FIT ALL: It is very important to remember that one remedy that helps an ADHD person will not necessarily help another. It takes some trial and error and a little creativity to find what works and what does not.

A journal to take notes and write down successes and other observations can be very useful.

The more you understand how the ADHD brain works and how people diagnosed with ADHD function, the better you can assist them adapting to the outside world.

Filed under: General

How does Martial Arts Keep Your Child in Shape?

Tallahassee Parents,

If you have not looked into martial arts to keep your child healthy…you might be missing a big opportunity.

On average a 160 lb person will burn 752 calories in a TaeKwondo martial art workout. Now most kids don’t weight 160 lbs unless they are older, but if you divide both numbers in half you have an 80 lb child burning 376 calories in a 45 minute workout.

That is amazing!!!

However, it gets better. For example in our Tiger Rock Martial Arts program(predominately Taekwondo based) we incorporate strength training like push-ups, burpees, squats and plyometric jumping exercises.

Not only do these strength type exercises build muscle and burn calories, but they raise your child’s Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR). What this means is they are building muscle and continue to burn more calories throughout the day on a regular basis.

Add the fun challenging drills and the life skills we teach; you have the closest thing to the best overall activity for children in your community.

There is a down side like all exercise programs. What happens if you stop training and do not replace this activity with something similar. You guessed it, weight gain and muscle hypotrophy (lose of muscle).

Parents, bring your child to a Tiger Rock center near you and let them try a few lessons. You will love the structured format and the high energy lessons taught by our certified instructors. We accept kids from 4 years of age through adults.

The first two lessons are on us!

Filed under: General

Experiences vs Stuff: Which is More Valuable?

Tallahassee Parents,

What is more valuable in your child’s life, experiences or stuff?

It is not always what your child thinks is more important, but what is more valuable to their overall development as they mature into adulthood. Knowing that a child’s frontal lobe in their brain does not fully develop until 23-25 years of age should tell you something.

To really understand the overall benefit in comparing these two, you need to understand how each one affects your child.

STUFF: That is how most parents see their child’s toys. More and more toys build up until you run out of space and have to get rid of some. Most parents dispose of toys when their kids aren’t around because they know what would happen. “You can’t throw that out, it is mine, I do play with it sometimes!”

In the spirit of keeping this article short here are some pros and cons to collecting stuff:

PROS:

  • Toys bring immediate satisfaction
  • Encourage self-play and independence
  • There are a lot of great educational toys that challenge the brain and the body
  • Having kids with similar toy interests promotes social gatherings or play dates

CONS:

  • Many times toys bring out the “now response” and have a very short term satisfying effect for kids…similar to satisfying a short term “fix”.
  • Kids end up with so many toys, they do not even know what they have and many of them are forgotten. The “Toy Story” syndrome. LOL.
  • Expectations are high based on what kids see on TV when they want a new toy and many times they do not live up to what they see on the commercial.
  • Toys are not always built well and can easily break leaving one disappointed child.

EXPERIENCES: A lot can fit into this category. Exploring nature, learning a new skill, seeing different parts of the world and the list goes on. These “experiences” really stimulate the brain and create memories that last for years to come. More often you will hear a child discuss an experience for days after the actual event and an adult talk about these same memories later in life.

PROS:

  • Really stimulates the senses and the brain
  • Builds memories that can last a lifetime
  • Every person is different and brings back their own set of memories
  • Your only limit is your imagination

CONS:

  • Experiences can be limited by funds, geographical location, age and external factors sometimes too
  • Not all experiences are positive. Sometimes a negative experience can be difficult for a child to dismiss and try again
  • Not all parents discuss new endeavors with their kids missing a great opportunity for learning and growing

When it comes to helping your child grow, there is not one right or wrong answer. Usually a good mixture of “stuff” and experiences is ideal. You will notice experiences will build more lasting memories and come up more often than thinking about toys.

Don’t forget experiences are not just from trips, they are from participating in sports, competitions, winning and losing, dealing with bullies, trying new activities, foods and so much more.

More experiences have a positive impact on a child’s development if you focus on the good and not the bad. Life is challenging and the quicker kids learn to deal with the ups and downs they will be dealt with in life, the better.

Filed under: General

How To Get Your Kids To DO Things NOW!

Tallahassee Parents,

You might be teaching your kids to procrastinate without even knowing it!

Do not feel bad, I was too.

As a parent, I often sit back and reflect on my parental duties and actions, evaluate myself and wonder if I am doing more harm than good. Being a parent is not an easy job. Your kids don’t listen when you want them too, however they observe your actions and form their habits based on what they see. Not fair I know.

Here are some ideas to help your kids stay on task and grow up to be action takers not procrastinators.

THE BEST TIME TO DO THINGS IS NOW: If you hear your child talk about something they want or need to do, ask them when they plan on taking action. Tell them, “NOW sounds like a good time to start.” The hardest part of starting anything is taking action and beginning. You plan on doing the dishes or organizing a corner in your garage only to realize your are vacuuming the house or cleaning out your entire garage. Your child has a school project due in two weeks, great, take 5 minutes and write an outline, you can always modify it later.

STAMP A DATE OR TIME WHEN YOU ARE GOING TO DO IT: This is where you will find failed parenting . I am 100% guilty of this one, but have gotten much better. Your child asks you to do something or get them something for a school project and you say ok, but when are you going to do it? If you aren’t specific with them, they realize it is not important to you. Parent fail, bad habit taught. Put dates or deadlines on everything and expect the same from them. Tell your daughter she needs to clean her room, expect a timeline when it is going to be done, follow-up!

TEACH YOUR KIDS TO TAKE PRIDE IN THEIR WORK: If your son is going to spend the night at a friends house, have them pack their bag. Go over what they need to bring, assist but do not take over the job. Second, make sure your child carries their own bag. These little actions give them pride in themselves and they enjoy the feeling of independence. Parents often get too involved in every little thing because they are concerned their kids will make a mistake, or mess something up. Two things happen, your child doesn’t learn from their mistakes and they just tune out and do not pay attention because they know you will take over.

For example, at Tiger Rock Martial Arts, we are often reminding parents that their children are required to check-in themselves when they come to class. Parents should not do it for them. Green belts and above should be carrying their own sparring bags since it is their gear.

We know teaching your child to be more independant is not always convenient and requires an extra time investment. There are no “get rich quick” investments that really work and the same philosophy applies to teaching independence.

Keep up the hard work parents, you are doing a great job. Just make a few adjustments and everyone will see some big improvements.

Filed under: General