What I've Been Thinking About...
I have a great group of parents that come into the gym to train and we discuss all kinds of topics. At one point during the week, they were explaining to me the registration fees for youth sports and shared a few stories about some parents struggling to pay their dues. Imagine this for a moment...
You are a single parent (roughly 15% of households, or 1 out of 7) and you have three kids that all love sports. Football in the fall, basketball in the winter, and baseball in the spring. Registration for each sport has fees associated with them along with snack stand responsibilities and fundraising. You also have to factor in getting everyone to and from practice which, most likely, occurs on different days at different times. A $75-$150 fee to play a sport may not be much on the surface, but when you combine that with the other commitments it gets costly. Add in the fees for the other sport seasons and that family is paying well over $1000 each year for athletics. Keep in mind that this is at a time where, according to the Federal Reserve, 32% of Americans could not afford a $400 emergency if faced with one. That is one out of three families.
In previous emails I wrote about the decrease in youth sport participation and how those numbers are dropping fast. The oft-cited reasons are things like obesity rates, the role of social media, and sedentary behavior (TV and video games) becoming more entertaining/addicting. This week took me down a different path as I began looking into income levels and the role it plays. It is here that I found something interesting: Youth sport participation is rising among richer families and among the poorest households, it’s trending down. Wealth disparity seems to be a factor in who participates in sport and who does not. Call me naive but I did not expect that this would be a factor especially at the local level. I guess it is pay to play at all levels afterall!
Earlier in the week Marisa and I were discussing work and what brings us joy. I spoke to her about having a sense of purpose when there is a good turnout for a program or when the gym is busy. The hustle and bustle adds a little pep into my step and I believe it takes my coaching up another level. I think, and this is speculation, that this was why I always enjoyed coaching sports. You would have anywhere between 20-40 kids showing up and we were all, coaches and kids alike, working on self improvement in one way or another. It was fun, it was energetic, and it is something I am working to replicate at the farm.
I am slowly, but surely adding more gym offerings for the adult population and wanted to give all you faithful readers an opportunity to stop out for a workout or atleast to say hello. If interested in the offer, click the following link: Weekly Word Special Offer: One Week Free Trial.
In addition, if you have a child that may be interested, that free trial is valid for them as well. Here is a list of our upcoming programs your child can use it for...
Fitness Tip of the Week
For years I have been listening to the benefits of sauna use but always talked myself out of buying one or finding a gym that has one. All of that has changed as the YMCA in Quakertown has a great facility with a sauna and it is right down the road from our daughters pre-school. So, a few times per week, I get in there and get a good sweat rolling.
The research on sauna use is quite impressive. It makes me think that regular sauna use can help mediate many of the problems most individuals face over the course of their life with minimal physical effort. If you sauna 2-3 times per week, you are 27% less likely to die from cardiovascular disease (CVD) then men who don't sauna. Men who used it twice as often, 4-7 times per week, were 50% less likely to die from CVD and 40% less likely to die from all causes of premature death. I really like the sound of this!
So here is what I recommend: 175 degrees or more for atleast 20 minutes seems to do the trick. It might take some time to get to this but it is important that you do so. The research indicates that if you do not exceed 11 minutes, you get little to no result. Once you exceed that 19 minute mark, change begins to occur. For me, 30 minutes seems to be the sweet spot. I end up getting a great sweat in, my muscles feel good afterwards and my mood is always improved. I am really enjoying it so far.
Side note: I am looking forward to see how I feel in the winter time. Like others, the cold days and early sunsets puts a damper on the mood and I am hoping sauna use can combat this. I don't classify myself as one who has seasonal depression but still intrigued at the potential benefit not only for myself, but for all!
What I've Been Reading...
12 Rules for Life by Jordan Peterson
Earlier in the week I had a member of the gym ask, "Do you ever listen to Jordan Peterson?" If Marisa heard that question she would have rolled her eyes because for the last 4+ years, I have been sharing his stories and thoughts on the regular. Agree with him or not, this guy makes me think and I have learned more on things like religion and the nature of humanity from him than I ever did in school or church.
So, with all that being said, I am going to finish reading his books this year. Months ago I read his first book Maps of Meaning and now, I am diving into 12 Rules for Life. Once complete, I will read his third and then wait in anticipation for the next one. Marisa, if you are reading this, you have been warned!
Quote of the Week
“The pleasures arising from thinking and learning will make us think and learn all the more" -- Aristotle
I hope you all have an awesome week!