Episode No. 11: Exercising With Grandchildren for Energy, Strength, and Mental Health (April 22, 2024)

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Host Geri Cole converses with physical therapist, mental performance coach, educator, and public speaker Dr. Laurel Mines, PT, DPT, OCS, who holds a Doctor of Physical Therapy from MGH Institute of Health Professions in Massachusetts and instructs at Stanford University in California, and with two other grandparents, their experiences and suggestions regarding exercise with children by persons in the role of grandparent to promote medical, physical, and mental wellbeing of all, including making an exercise plan considering the different ages, stages of development, and other circumstances of all participants in each activity and the equipment and other resources available, recognizing when to stop an activity, focusing on fun and connection with children and other companions in, and not solely on completion of, the activity, arranging the activity environment for successful interaction among all participants in the activity and training for flexibility and resiliency, attending sports games with children, both professional games and games the children play, and playing board games like chess, reading, and singing with children, telling children a grandparent’s legacy stories of successes and failures of growing up and handling injuries and other setbacks, using online resources about training for and enjoying exercise, and considering whether to consult with a physical therapist or a personal trainer depending upon goals and extent of any pain or dysfunction, taking children to gyms admitting and providing appropriate activities for and supervision of them, and attaining from gym staff instructions for setting up equipment and using it safely, encouraging children to engage in ball slams and other vigorous activities for exercise, fun, anger management, excess energy control, and other mental health improvements and augmentations, testing the limits of all activity participants and tracking progress of increasing weights lifted, miles hiked, walked, run, or bicycled, and other benchmarks, to inspire further progress to physical and mental fitness, and incorporating appreciation of nature and relaxed conversation in exercise activities like walking.

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