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Staying Active as a Nanny: Finding the Sport for You

December 19, 2013

After hours of chasing after toddlers, it’s sometimes difficult to muster up the energy to have a social life, much less engage in an athletic workout. However, incorporating athletic activities into your routine may help improve your social, mental and physical well-being, thus giving you the energy and positive outlook you need to provide the best care for the children in your care. The key, though, is to find the sport that fits your personality and brings you a sense of accomplishment and fulfillmentsumo suits for sale.

Consider Your Preferences

Finding a sport that fits your style begins with an assessment of your likes and dislikes. Do you like the openness of an outdoor game or the comfort of an indoor court? Are you competitive by nature or do you enjoy a playful game for the experience? Assess your physical needs and mental strengths, too. Do you prefer to sweat from the start of a physical game to the end or prefer the breaks between slower-paced activities?

According to Shawn Simpson, certified running coach in Oklahoma, the key is to think of sports like a buffet. Sample a few before fully committing to make sure it is an activity you enjoy.

Simpson recommends asking yourself the following questions:

  • When working on a project for home, work or school, do you prefer to work on teams or do you prefer to do most of the work yourself?
  • If you like to work on teams, do you prefer teams where there is a clear leader who controls much of the project or do you like equal distribution of the work?
  • Do you prefer for there to be a leader, do you find yourself wanting to be the leader?
  • How do you like to be rewarded for your work? Do you prefer small incentives that give instant gratification or do you prefer to hold out for a larger prize at the end?

“Those questions help me determine what kind of sports a person might like,” says Simpson. “Those who prefer to work individually will be best suited for sports such as walking, running, tennis, racquetball, golf and swimming. These sports don’t rely on the participation of other teams.”

On the other hand, according to Simpson, if a person prefers a group setting where an individual is a clear leader, he or she will likely prefer to be in sports such as baseball, softball or football. “These sports have certain positions who control more of the game than others, allowing those individuals who like to lead to be a greater part of the action, and those who prefer to follow to take a secondary role,” she says.

For those who like a more equal distribution of tasks, Simpson recommends sports such as soccer, water polo, rowing and basketball, since all players have an equal opportunity to contribute to the success of the team.

Overcome the Excuses and Jump In

Too many times, when caught up in caregiving and personal obstacles, the temptation to lounge on the couch versus walking a mile can seem comforting.

According to Amy Cotta, author of Six Weeks to Skinny Jeans, the echo of the inner voice pleading “try something new” or “be adventurous” is drowned out by the stronger voice whining “you can’t” or “you’re out of shape.”

Cotta suggests finding your “why” to jump into swimming, walking, running or dribbling a ball down the court. “Your why is the antidote for the excuses of why you can’t or won’t step outside of your comfort zone and do something daring,” she says. “I can tell you from personal experience once you define your why and you move for something or something else, your life will change forever. All of a sudden, no task is too large, nothing is impossible and fear no longer rules your life.”

One of the best ways to free your mind and boost your energy is to just jump in and get active in a sport of your choice. If you need extra motivation, ask a friend to join you in your commitment to compete on a team or reach a milestone in an individual sport, such as walking, cycling or running.

According to Carrie Karkoska, certified health and wellness coach at Auburn WellBeing, sports can be the social, mental or physical boost you need to renew your self-confidence, meet new people and get in shape. “Sports are a great way to get out and meet people or to take some alone time for yourself,” she says.”


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