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Being physically active has many benefits such as controlling risk factors for heart disease, managing stress and generally improving our quality of life. In recent years, childhood obesity, a key predictor of obesity in adulthood continues to increase. This health issue has garnered a significant amount of attention from the Canadian government and health care officials and the attention is not unwarranted. In 2011, the BMI of youth ages 12-17 indicated that 24% of boys and 17% of girls were overweight or obese.

Childhood obesity can lead to:

The Canadian Food Guide is a campaign to educate parents and children on how to eat properly and the Canadian Physical Activity Guide includes strategies to assist Canadians in getting more active. Following these guides is a great way to seek out a healthy lifestyle in the fight against childhood obesity.

Although these guides are great examples, there is also plenty of research to broaden the picture. One such study released in the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics investigated the activity levels of mothers and their preschool children. The study tracked the physical activity of 554 mothers and their 4-year-olds. They concluded that children in the study were moderately or vigorously active when their mother followed an active lifestyle. However, it was not clear whether the mother influenced the child or if the child’s playfulness influenced the mother.

Getting a mother and child involved in promoting physical health can lead to better overall health. Parental and sibling support has also been shown to have an influence on the physical activity behavior of children and can encourage the whole family to get active.

References from the SIRC Collection:

1. Greendorfer S, Lewko J. Role of family members in sport socialization of children. Research Quarterly. May 1978;49(2):146-152.

2. Kusy K, Osinski W. Relationship between children’s exercise and the perceived influences of significant others. Acta Kinesiologiae Universitatis Tartuensis. 2001;6(Suppl):140-143.

3. Lewko J, Greendorfer S. Family influences in sport socialization of children and adolescents. 1988;

Mothers Today Less Physically Active Than 1960s Moms. Physical Therapy. March 2, 2014;:10.

4. Olvera N, Smith D, Kellam S, et al. Comparing High and Low Acculturated Mothers and Physical Activity in Hispanic Children. Journal Of Physical Activity & Health. September 2, 2011;8:S206-S213.

5. Pahkala K, Heinonen O, Lagström H, Hakala P, Sillanmäki L, Simell O. Leisure-time physical activity of 13-year-old adolescents. Scandinavian Journal Of Medicine & Science In Sports. August 2007;17(4):324-330.

July 23, 2014 marks the official opening of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland. The Commonwealth Games are a tradition that started in in Hamilton, Ontario in 1930 where 11 countries had 400 athletes take part in 6 sports and 59 events. Since its inception, the Games have been held every four years (except in 1942 and 1946 because of WWII), and has grown into the third largest multi-sport event in the world.

The Commonwealth Games stands out for its relaxed atmosphere, the unique characteristic of having one common language, English and is frequently referred to as ‘the Friendly Games’. This year the event will host 70 different nations and include 17 sports with 261 medal events as well as offering a record 22 para-sport medal events.

The Queen’s Baton Relay is a tradition that was introduced in 1958 and invites everyone to get involved in the excitement leading up to the event. For the Glasgow games, the Relay will include 4,000 torchbearers and will cover 190,000 km.

While the athletes are at their physical peak, the closer the Games get, the more important mental skills become as participants get ready to compete at an elite level. With so many talented people in one place sometimes winning and losing can come down to whether or not an athlete can keep it together under pressure. With over 6,000 athletes and officials participating and over 1 million visitors to the city, there is no doubt that this Games will be an exciting one to watch.

Is your short game in golf hindering your ability to close out games? Are your competitors dropping you on hills during races?  In any competition, an athlete wants to go in well prepared in order to be able to accomplish his or her goals. However, some of us neglect to identify and correct our weaknesses and during competition, they can factor into the outcome you are trying to attain.

If you want to achieve your goals, you need to identify your weaknesses to be able to succeed. Ignoring these gaps can leave you exposed, especially in a tight competition or when your opponent decides to exploit them.

How do you identify areas of improvement?

Working on the weakest aspects of your game allows for better consistency. You want to be able to maintain the same level of intensity throughout the competition rather than simply relying on your strength. Your weaknesses not only effect your game but can also make enjoying it harder and improving these gaps allows you to be more efficient and improve your game.

References Available from the SIRC Collection:

  1. Chard C, MacLean J, Faught B. Managing Athletic Department Touch Points: A Case Study of One Institution Using Importance-Performance Analysis. Journal Of Intercollegiate Sport. December 2013;6(2):196-212.
  2. Doron J, Gaudreau P. A Point-by-Point Analysis of Performance in a Fencing Match: Psychological Processes Associated With Winning and Losing Streaks. Journal Of Sport & Exercise Psychology. February 2014;36(1):3-13.
  3.  Kostis P, Mackin T. Identify your weakness. Golf Magazine. October 2012;54(10):27.
  4. Qing W. Structure and characteristics of effective coaching practice. Coaching Psychologist. June 2013;9(1):7-17.
  5. Rutkowska K, Gierczuk D. Emotional intelligence and the sense of efficiency of coaching and instructing in wrestling: Emotional intelligence in wrestling. Polish Journal Of Sport & Tourism. March 2012;19(1):46-51.
  6. Silviu Ş, Doina M. The efficiency of aquatic activities and swimming kinetic prophylaxis patterns and procedures. Gymnasium: Scientific Journal Of Education, Sports & Health. December 2012;13(2):113-127.