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The importance of being both Mentally and Physically healthy in sports

Being Healthy.

Many people especially Athletes try to eat right along with working out and exercise. Being physically healthy is important but what about your mental health?

Mental health is very important!

As I mentioned in an earlier blog Sports and Mental Health. Sports are good for your mental health but there is much more to being healthy mentally than just learning how to be social, lessen anxiety and calm stress.

In fact being both physically and mentally fit can not only improve your self-being it can improve your game. Your mental health is all about your emotional, social and psychological well-being. It influences your perception, behavior and cognition. It also determines how you handle relationships on a personal and interpersonal level along with how you handle stress and decision-making.

Being Mentally healthy.

Being mentally healthy means you have the ability to cope with everyday stresses of life. You don’t get POed or irritated because you struck out. You may be disappointed but you don’t yell, scream and cures. WHY? BECAUSE YOU CAN UNDERSTAND THAT IT IS OK TO NOT BE PERFECT! You are aware of your abilities and accept that you cannot always get a hit, but you try to that is what matters. And because you know disappointment is different than anger you are able to control your emotions better and this helps you work more productively with others.

Everyone experiences every day stresses such as pressure to preform, shortcomings or issues in a relationship. Good mental health helps us learn how to cope with these.

Good Mental health is about self-control. Knowing our emotions and how to respond. You don’t become overwhelmed by fear, love, anger, guilt, jealousy, stress and anxiety.

You feel good about yourself and your abilities as a player and a team member.

You are capable of having lasting relationships and friendships.

You feel comfortable around other people.

You have respect for yourself and others even if you have a difference in opinion or culture etc.

You can accept disappointment and handle problems when they arise.

You can make well-rounded decisions.

You can adjust to different environments.

These are signs that you have good mental health or are at least working on it.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help!

Do you feel you are not mentally healthy don’t be afraid to talk to someone. A friend, a coach. Emotional problems are not a weakness. In fact being able to ask for help is a sign of strength.

For an Athlete to preform well they must prioritize their mental health as much if not more than their physical health.

With some recent events more awareness of the mental health issue has come to light and is beginning to lose its stigma in sports.

Many athletes have come forward.

In recent years Many Athletes have spoken up about their mental health. Some have opened up on social media, Sought professional help and some have even walked away from their sport.

I know you have heard the saying that your physical health effects your mental health well the same works in reverse. Do you are not mentally healthy you can not be fully physically healthy neither. Physical and mental health work together.

A few ways to work on mental health along with professional help are.

1. Keep active

2. Talk about your feelings with friends or loved ones.

3. Drink sensibly. “Don’t try to wash away your issues with drugs or alcohol”

4. Eat well and stay hydrated.

5. Do something you are good at.

6. Try meditation and listen to Affirmations ” This works for me “

7. Set realistic goals.

Having a positive mental outlook makes life easier. Now I am not saying if you get angry you have a mental issue. We all get angry from time to time it is how we choose to deal with that anger that makes the difference.

How to know when you should seek help.

As I said above we all have days when we feel down, Get angered easily, get anxious or feel lonely. So how do you know when to ask for help. Here are some signs you should talk with someone and/or seek help from a mental health professional.

If your sadness or depressed mood last longer than two weeks or you feel like it is getting worse.

If your mood, anger or anxiety is interfering with your everyday life like job, family or social life.

Or if you are having thoughts of hurting yourself or others or having thoughts of suicide.

There is no shame in seeking help. It just shows that you are aware that something is not right and you want to make it better.

Stay on top of your physical health, stay on top of your mental health and stay on top of your game.

Taking care of yourself both physically and mentally will truly make you feel batter about yourself not only as a person but as an Athlete. This is a subject that hits close to home for me. So please do yourself and your family a favor if you feel you need help please get help.

Below I have included some links and phone numbers.

1-800-273-8255 (National Suicide Prevention Lifeline) If it is an EMERGENCY Call 911

National Suicide Prevention

The National Alliance for Mental Health (NAM) text 741741 or call 1-800-950-6264

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

YouTube Affirmations

YouTube Relaxing sounds

Meditation Guidance

Minor Sports Injuries. How to treat and avoid them

With sport comes injuries. There are two categories of injuries Major and Minor in this post we will be discussing minor injuries.

What is a minor injury? A minor injury is a shallow cut or abrasion, sprains and muscle strains, bruises and skin lesions, broken toes, overuse injuries and some burns covering a small area of skin. Minor injuries can be very painful, but are not life threatening issues, and most are musculoskeletal so almost every part of your body can suffer from a sports’ injury. A concussion was considered a minor injury, but with lots of new research that is being rethought.

One of the most common minor injuries in sports’ is a sprain. A sprain is a stretch or tear of a ligament near a joint like an ankle, knee or wrist. And usually happen with a fall or fast twisting motion. Sprains can be mild or severe. Some feel like a break. Another common one is a pulled or torn muscle. Minor injuries usually heal within a couple of weeks whereas major injuries take much longer, require therapy and sometimes never heal or cause long-lasting effects.

Even with a minor injury you should always seek medical treatment to check the severity of the injury. Most minor injuries can be treated at an ER or acute clinic and require no surgeries or long term care.

There are several ways to try to treat a minor injury such as rest. Pain is actually your bodies way of telling you that you need to rest the injured area, Ice packs are another way to relieve pain and swelling, or compression also good for swelling as well.                                                                                                ‘You can find compression bandages that work really great and are made for every part of your body that a sprain can accrue’, Also keeping an injury raised relieves swelling and pressure.                                                                                                                                                                                                             Along with these methods you may also want to use medication or an ointment for swelling and pain. There are some cautions to use with these medications or ointments especially if it is something you have never used before.                                                                                                                                    Many medications have side effects or allergic reactions always ask your Dr. or the Pharmacist before using anything new and make sure they are aware of any allergies you may have to medications. Some medicated topical creams use Trolamine salicylate which is closely related to aspirin. if you, have an allergy to aspirin DO NOT use any product with this in it. if you, have a painful cut you DO NOT want to take aspirin.                                                                                                                                              Aspirin can cause or prolong bleeding. Take a Tylenol or Ibuprofen. Use caution with these also they can cause allergic reactions as well. So be careful unless you have taken these products before and known how your body reacts to them. Even then always take all medications only as directed.                                                                                                                                                                                                  Always make sure also that the medication being used is okay to use on the area intended. Not all creams are made to be use just anywhere. Some creams are meant to be used only for certain areas and have not been tested on others. Many people have a misconception that if it is sold over the counter then they are okay. Not even every medication a Dr. proscribes is okay. But at least when a Dr. proscribes it he will be aware of any allergies to other medications and will known not to proscribe it or known to have you take precautions when using it.

I have had many sports and non sports related minor injuries. I have sprained my knee, my ankle, my wrist and my back. I have also had several torn muscles. I have use different creams and other medications, but I always talk to my Dr. or the Pharmacists first to make sure I am able to use it and that it is the medication for my injury.

There will always be injuries associated with sports’ there is no way around it. I have never met a person who plays or has played sports’ that has never suffered some kind of injury.

To reduce the risk of sports’ related injuries. Strengthen muscles, take time of if needed, wear the proper gear, increase flexibility, take breaks, use proper techniques, and most important if you feel pain do not try to continue playing.

Please note I am not a medical Professional and this post is only opinion NOT MEDICAL ADVICE. In an Emergency always seek Professional medical advice.

Great Way To Stay In Shape

Sports and Mental Health.

20 to 30 minutes of exercise every day will help you feel calmer. That’s right sports are good for more than just your physical health, they are also good for your mental health.

When, you exercise it causes your body to release a chemical known as endorphins. Endorphins are the chemicals in your brain that relieve stress and pain. The calmness you feel after exercise can last for hours. Exercising or playing a sport helps you calm down because your mind is cleared and you are concentrating on your game or your routine not the big test next week. Or the big board meeting. Sports strengthens your muscles and your mind improving your well-being.

Exercise and sports also help you sleep better, and when you get better sleep it improves your mood.

Playing sports can build your confidence and self-esteem. As you build your skills and strengths your confidence in your ability and in yourself grows. When, you play on a team you have to socialize this also builds your self-esteem and gives you a confidence boost. Discussing plays with your team or congratulating someone on a job well done at a practice or a game gives you good social skills. When, you fell confident to be social your self-esteem gets stronger.

In fact, you can learn many life lessons from sports which in turn help your mental well-being. Sports can teach you how to stay positive, how to work as a group or alone, how to be resilient. They teach respect for yourself and others, compassion and discipline. They build character.

Through sports a person learns to be strong in body and in mind. They learn they can push their body and mind beyond what they ever thought was possible and learn to overcome adversity. With this they know that no matter the circumstance they can overcome it if they push to do so.

Sports give us the sense of recognizing that everyone is different but if we respect those differences and work together we can achieve great things.

I know sports helped me a lot. When I was 10 I started playing little league baseball and I was the only girl on the team. My position ‘RIGHT FIELDER’.

At first, I was unaware that was thought of as the worst position. You know where they place the not so good player. I was not great at batting but I was the best damn right fielder there was. I caught every ball that came my way. Soon I earned a reputation and kids tried not to hit the ball to right field. I remember one game we played and this boy came to bat with such confidence. I knew exactly where he was going to hit it. He thought there was no way a girl would catch his ball. “Ball is pitched, Ball is smacked, Ball is caught. Yep right in my glove instant confidence builder. That boy became my step-brother a year later. I wonder if he still remembers that?

I played basketball in Jr. High school. At first, I didn’t want to even though I loved the game but I didn’t have much confidence in my basketball abilities. A friend convinced me to try out so I did thinking I would never make the team because I was too short. Guess what I was put in the position of point guard. I was pretty good at getting that ball away and passing it.

I gave every game I played my all and in return it gave me all. I went from a shy kid to having confidence in not only my abilities as a player but as a person. Playing sports really built my self-esteem. It also taught me all of those fore mentioned life lessons as well. My coach taught us to respect not only our teammates but the other team. To be always a good sport and congratulate the other team win or lose. He taught us we were all human beings before we were basketball players.

Now I know there are some who will say that sports can cause more stress and anxiety because you worry about your performance or mastering what you do. And I do not dispute that yes, sports can cause stress and anxiety. But to that I also say if you are stressed over not being able to preform well then there are a few things that can be the problem.

1. Maybe you are not in the right sport.

2. Maybe your coach pushes too hard. Wants a ‘win’ win at all cost. That is not a good coach. A good coach is one that encourages you to do your best, doesn’t yell at you, and takes the losses right along with the wins. Sure everyone wants to win but that is not

how life or sports work. Some times you win and some times you don’t.

3. You are too hard on yourself to be confident in your own abilities. It is always good to push yourself, but you have to also know when you have reached your limit and just rely on what you know you can do.

Now I am by no means a specialist in sports or psychology. I only know what sports did for me as far as depression, anxiety and lack of confidence. Not to mention helping me in life.

Keeping Cool watching outside sports.

No one wants to sit through Peewee Football, a little league baseball game or youth soccer game in the  blazing sun.

Have you ever sat at a little league game for your child and came home with sunburn?

You want to watch your child play and enjoy it, but some times that is difficult when you have the hot sun blazing down on you.

Soaking up some sun and getting that vitamin D is great, but too much time in the direct sun can also be damaging. Not only can you get over heated and dehydrated with risk of sun stroke but too much sun also damages the skin. UVA rays can cause aging, wrinkles and loss of skins elasticity. Not to mention skin cancers and cataracts.

The suns rays are strongest between 10am and 4pm. And you shouldn’t have more than 30 minutes of direct exposure at any given time. Temperatures feel cooler in shade but it really isn’t the main benefit of shade is to avoid direct sunlight.

Sun screen is great, but most people do not use it properly. They either use too much which prevents vitamin D absorption or they don’t use enough which leaves some skin exposed.

Sitting on the sidelines of a playing field there is no shade. So people use umbrellas or hats but that isn’t always enough.

The best protection and shade is with the use of a canopy. Many canopies are easy to put up, lightweight and fairly inexpensive.  But give you the protection you need.

There are many great Canopies out there I suggest you check them out.

Click her for my canopy review 

 See why it is important to stay cool and Hydrated especially when you are participating in sports.                                                                                                                                                                                          Enjoy your sports in the shade and comfort of a canopy.

Why and How to Stay Hydrated! When playing sports

Why is important to drink water you ask? It is important for everyone to drink enough water every day for some very crucial reasons such as keeping your body temperature regulated, help prevent infections, keep joints lubricated, deliver nutrients to cells and keep organs functioning.

Being well hydrated also improves cognition, mood and sleep quality. Most adults lose between 2.5 and 3 liters of water from their body per day. More when playing sports or exercising or if it is very hot.

Your body loses water through sweating, urinating and even breathing. If you do not have an input to match your output you will become dehydrated.

Why does it matter if your body is Hydrated?                                                                                                Being dehydrated can cause urinary tract infections, kidney stones, and in sever cases’ kidney failure, seizers, swelling of the brain, shock, coma and even death. When you are dehydrated you lose important electrolytes like sodium and potassium that help carry electric signals from cell to cell. Continue reading “Why and How to Stay Hydrated! When playing sports”

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