Let The Kids Play! The Importance of Playing Multiple Sports

For some at least the last decade, pediatricians have become alarmed at the increased amount of injuries they are seeing in young athletes. The doctors are noting that they are seeing athletes at a young age suffer from repetitive stress injuries, i.e. those injuries associated with playing a single sport and the athlete essentially wears out their joints, muscles, and/or bones. Although pediatricians have called out the need for athletes to play multiple sports and thus avoiding multiple injuries, there has been a lack of study on the long-term effects, positive or negative, on playing multiple versus single sports. That lack of information was until just recently.

Researchers from the University of California San Francisco tackled the topic of multiple sports play in a recently published a report titled “The Effects of Playing Multiple High School Sports on National Basketball Association Players’ Propensity for Injury and Athletic Performance” (A title you would only find in a research paper). The researchers studied the health and performance of 237 NBA athletes, noted those who were multisport athletes in high school, and those who played a single sport, and sought to find a statistical difference in health (injuries) and performance (play time and longevity).

The finding show that the athletes who played multiple sports when they were younger suffered fewer major injuries (25% vs 43%), had an increase in the number of games they played, and a significantly longer career.

For you parents with multisport stars, I think the direction is obvious: Let the Kids Play!!

Here are some tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics:

  • Delay sports specialization until at least age 15-16 to minimize risks of overuse injury.
  • Encourage participation in multiple sports.
  • If a young athlete has decided to specialize in a single sport, a pediatrician should discuss the child’s goals to determine whether they are appropriate and realistic.
  • Parents are encouraged to monitor the training and coaching environment of “elite” youth sports programs.
  • Encourage a young athlete to take off at least three months during the year, in increments of one month, from their particular sport. They can still remain active in other activities during this time.
  • Young athletes should take one to two days off per week to decrease chances of injury.


Go Ahead. Have Another Cup of Joe!

Do you love your coffee? If you are like most Americans, your answer is probably a resounding “YES!”. According to 2015 survey by Zagat’s, nearly 90% of Americans drink coffee, and those who drink, consumer approximately 2.1. cups a day. Let’s see; if we do the math on this correctly… 90% of Americans is 283.5M people, multiply by 2.1 cups is…. 595.35M cups a day! (Maybe I should invest in a coffee shop) Multiply that number by 365 days, and … whoa! That is 217 BILLION cups of coffee consumed by Americans each year. (I definitely need to invest in a coffee shop) But, how many of you coffee consumers worry that coffee may have a negative impact on your health?

Worry no more caffeinated brethren, because coffee has some health benefits! According to a study found within the British Medical Journal, coffee was not found to be associate with most of the deadly diseases we associate with our modern society. Those diseases I’m refereeing to are cardiovascular disease, and incidence of cancer, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, cirrhosis, and diabetes. Other studies have shown that coffee is a mood enhancer, and when you extrapolate that mood enhancement to the knowledge that people who in a positive mood are considered to have longer and more positive lives, the consumption of coffee should be celebrated!

Well, as with all things, devil is in the details. Before you double fist your next cup of Joe, you need to consider how much sugar and cream you are adding to your favorite morning brew. The results in the BMJ note the benefits of black coffee. Sugar and cream can add unwanted calories and weight that most of us don’t want, not to mention the future unhealthy results.


Savory Bean and Spinach Soup

SELRES_561b0dd2-23b1-48bd-8390-e4e4d58f2d1fphoto by Mike DeiterSELRES_561b0dd2-23b1-48bd-8390-e4e4d58f2d1f

It is winter, and the weather forecast for this weekend looks like it will be cold everywhere in United States. When I’m cold, I like a warm hearty soup. And what I like about this recipe is that it is 1) healthy for you, i.e. not filled with extra sugar, salt, or fat, and 2) you can put this in a slow cooker (crock pot) and not worry with it. While the soup cooks, you can go to the store, run your errands, hit the gym, or other wise enjoy your day. I also like that you can add other ingredients such as Swiss chard or other greens to replace the kale, or some crushed red pepper flakes to spice up the soup which would add a healthy level capsaicin to your diet and help decrease inflammation throughout your body.

Let us know your results and share other healthy food ideas with us on this blog.

Makes: 6 servings

  • 3 14-ounce cans vegetable broth
  • 1 15-ounce can tomato puree
  • 1 15-ounce can small white beans or Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 8 cups coarsely chopped fresh spinach or kale leaves
  • Finely shredded Parmesan cheese

Nutrition facts per serving: 150 calories, 9g protein, 31g carbohydrate, 3g fat (1g saturated), 8g fiber

To see the directions on how to put this delicious soup together, please click here for the rest of the details. https://www.fitnessmagazine.com/recipes/dinner/seven-easy-slow-cooker-recipes/?page=2