Posted on 2 Comments

How To Be A Good Father: 5 Expert Examples

Good father The Short Advice

What Does it Take to be a Good Father?

We’ve studied some expert opinions and views on fatherhood from some of Australia’s favourite dads. Being awarded ‘Father of the Year’ would be no easy feat, and so these exceptional fathers must have done a few things right. There is no one answer, but rather insightful pieces of ‘dadvice’ from these five experts. So, in celebration of Father’s Day in Australia this weekend, let’s have a look at what it takes to be a good father from some of the best in the country…

Paul Roos

Father of two boys (now adults) and AFL coaching legend, Paul Roos, was awarded the Father of the Year Award in 2008. Leading young men at home and again in professional sport, Roos believes that dads have an “enormous amount” of responsibility to act as role models for their sons. Where some people would react with violence, fathers should demonstrate how to properly react. He also notes that too many parents are afraid to say ‘no’ nowadays. Allowing kids to do whatever they please is no way to raise balanced young individuals.

Steve Biddulph

“Fathers show boys how to be good men” says Father of the Year 2000 and parenting activist Steve Biddulph. He also notes the important role that a good father plays for young women, “Girls who are close to their dads get involved with boys later, and show better judgement when choosing partners”. The underlying message of Biddulph’s ‘dadvice’ is to take an active fatherhood role. Spend more time, pay more attention and make your child feel valued. He encourages fathers to be “warm-hearted” and “involved with day-to-day care”.

Ron Delezio

His ability to “rise above the challenges” made Ron Delezio more than just a good father. He was awarded Father of the Year in 2006. After his daughter’s life-threatening injuries, he worked to raise funds for other burns victims, and had an important message to share about family… Don’t take your family for granted. Delezio also noted how the “love and dedication” he observed from other parents with hospitalised children helped to save their lives. He responded to adversity with resilience, dedication and love, and undoubtedly empowered his family to do the same.

Ben Roberts-Smith

2013 Father of the Year Ben Roberts-Smith, has played a fatherly role to his entire country, as well as twin girls. A Victoria Cross recipient for bravery, Roberts-Smith made a special note of the “sacrifice” of fathers who have served. Described also as a ‘normal dad who is devoted to his children’ the VC recipient’s message of sacrifice translates to non-military fathers too… A good father prioritises the needs of his children above the needs of himself. The sacrifices that good parents make everyday should not be overlooked. It’s an important way to show children that they are valued.

Ken Done

Australian artist and optimist, Ken Done won Father of the Year in 1989. Reflecting on the wisdom imparted to him by his male role models, Done recalls the saying “look to this day“. Sound advice from a known optimist and fantastic role model. He also speaks very highly of the women in his life. He notes that a very important part of being a man is to understand both masculinity and femininity. Both men and women have the ability to be strong and sensitive. So, perhaps the big message for fathers out of this is not to suppress their sensitive side, as tradition would have us believe.

Final Note

Raising a family can be difficult, and being a good father means something different to everyone. But, perhaps the strongest message that all of the aforementioned super-dads had to share, was about being a good role model. Children will learn how to behave by watching their parents. So, before acting, consider if this is how you would want your children to behave. But even with the best intentions, we’re not always going to get it right. We’re faced with tough decisions everyday, no matter what our role. The important point to remember is that it is okay to make mistakes. Like anything, fatherhood should be a continual process of learning. Be open-minded and adapt when you have to. Recognise your mistakes, and make sure you employ better systems to avoid them next time.

As always, thanks for reading, and we’d love to hear why your father is so fantastic in the comments section below!

Posted on Leave a comment

6 Fantastic Tips To Successfully Complete Your First Fun Run

CSC Fun Run Blog

About the Author

Not only is Dr. Nicholas Tripodi a fun run enthusiast, he is also a Co-director and Osteopath at the Competitive Sports Clinic located in the Essendon District. Nicholas has particular interests in sports injuries, exercise rehabilitation and running and cycling analysis. He regularly competes in triathlon events, and is a keen runner and cyclist. If you’d like to know more you can visit the CSC website here, or if you’re in the Melbourne area you can visit them at their practice on Keilor Rd, Essendon.

Completing Your First Fun Run

Getting into running can be quite daunting for some people, and it may not come naturally. As an osteopath, I regularly work with people who are preparing for their first fun run. And, having also completed a few myself, I’ve compiled a list of important points to consider in order to get through your first fun run successfully, and  injury-free (hopefully). So, here are my easy-to-follow steps to get you off the couch and onto the track as smooth as possible!

1. Set Your Goal

It seems obvious, but is often an oversight for too many people. The first thing you should do is set out the goals you want to achieve. Set both short-term and long-term goals. For instance, your short-term goal may be to run 3 times in a given week, and your long-term goal may be to complete a 5k run in less than 30 minutes. You may also like to share your goals, whether it be with friends, work colleagues or, dare I say, on social media. This can help you be accountable to your plans and stay on track.

2. Get a Program

If you’re doing your first fun run, you probably don’t have an extensive history of running. Therefore, you probably don’t know how to best structure your training. This is where a good running coach or therapist can tailor a running program for you. They will take into account your goals, sporting and exercise history and current level of fitness, amongst other things, to work out a program that is perfect for your needs. They will also typically oversee and assess the effectiveness of the program and adjust certain elements as required. If you are not keen on guidance from a coach, check out Couch to 5K (link: http:// www.c25k.com/) or most fun run websites will have a basic program for you to follow too.

3. Track Your Progress

This is now super easy to do with modern smart watches. Most come with an in-house or 3rd party app where you can upload all of your training data to see how you are progressing. The problem is that smart watches are so good at giving data it can be confusing to work out what you should actually pay attention to! Some key points you should be looking at are: distance, time, speed and heart rate. If you are getting fitter your heart rate should start to become lower when you’re training at the same speed and terrain. Just don’t get into the trap of trying to beat your time every session – this is unsustainable and can lead to injury. Save your best effort for race day!

4. Do Some Cross-Training

If you’re new to running it can be very unwise to run every day. You should only be running 3 or 4 times a week to avoid injury and burnout. To build up some extra cardiovascular fitness and muscular strength try some alternative exercise to running. Some great options include swimming, cycling, rowing and resistance training. There are a range of strength training resources online, and programs to follow along with on Youtube.

5. Aches and Stiffness is Normal, Pain is Not

The body is amazing in its ability to adapt and change to the stresses placed on it, and running adaptations are no different. Some minor aches and stiffness is your body’s way of adapting to increased load – this for the most part is OK, as long as it only lasts a day or two and doesn’t get progressively worse. If some general aches and stiffness start becoming persistently painful it’s a sign that you’re over-doing it. It’s at this point you should probably see a therapist for some information and guidance.

6. Congratulate Yourself

Once you reach your goal make sure you take stock and enjoy your achievement. Reflect on where you started from, how you got there and what you want to do next. If you didn’t achieve your goal, think about why that was case and what you will do differently next time. The road to success is a long one, it may take more than one fun run to achieve your goals.

Final Note

There you go! Six tips to help get you to, and through, your first fun run. If you plan it out, take it slow, track your progress and celebrate your achievements, you can’t go wrong. But first, make sure you see a certified health professional before commencing any training program. Happy running!

Posted on 2 Comments

The Winter Blues: 5 Ways To Beat Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal Affective Disorder

What is Seasonal Affective Disorder?

Simply put, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a mood disorder brought on by the changing of seasons. In the colder months, it’s commonly referred to as the Winter Blues. Whatever you call it, both terms refer to feelings of depression and a lack of energy. So, is this really a disorder? Or are we again trying to diagnose ordinary life? You be the judge. Regardless of your stance, it can be agreed that what we are talking about are patterns of behaviour, and emotional states which are affected by our environment. Fortunately, there are a number of natural remedies to help counter these feelings. Below, we’ve listed our 5 strategies to beat Seasonal Affective Disorder for good!

1. Exercise Goals

Should we hibernate throughout the Winter, like big brown bears? It seems to be how many people choose to deal with the cold… However, it doesn’t seem to be contributing to our health and happiness a great deal. So instead, try setting yourself an exercise goal to improve your wellbeing. This study suggests that goals relating to personal development and improvement can create sustainable happiness. Set a specific exercise goal, give yourself a time-frame to reach it, put the required systems in place to achieve it, and get SMART.

2. Sunshine

If seasonal affective disorder in the Winter can be attributed to a lack of sunshine, then it only makes sense to seek it out when you can! Get outside during your lunch break and soak up some rays whenever the opportunity presents. According to studies, it’s all about our body’s ability to produce serotonin, the ‘happy‘ chemical. It seems our brain can produce more serotonin on bright, sunny days. So don’t hide indoors all Winter, get outside and give yourself the best chance at producing mood-lifting serotonin by seeking out the sunshine!

3. Find Your Winter Activity

Winter isn’t all bad everybody! There are lots of great Winter activities that you can find to keep you motivated. Like snow sports – so much fun! Or winter hiking, considerably less-expensive. There’s also nothing wrong with enjoying the sound of rain pouring outside while you stay in and watch movies all night long. You could even take up a new hobby, like woodworking! Point is, whatever you’re into, try to look at the positive aspects of Winter, even if you consider yourself more of a Summer person. You’ll find it far easier to enjoy yourself during the colder months if you choose to make it work.

4. Can the Comfort Food

Don’t over do it this Winter. It’s pretty easy to throw a few chocolate blocks back while you’re indoors doing a whole lot of nothing. So, make a conscious effort to maintain a sustainable, healthy diet all year round. You don’t have to be so unbelievably strict that the chocolate in your pantry turns a bit cloudy. Just be a little more in tune with your food choices. It really depends on your health and fitness goals of course. So perhaps consider these next time you’re tasked with a recon mission to the fridge on movie night.

5. Respect the Balance

Unfortunately, the universe is not here to serve you. And the weather doesn’t particularly care how you feel about it either. It’s going to turn whether you like it or not. So, respect the balance. There is no happy without sad, no light without dark, no Summer without Winter. Each positive’s seemingly negative counter-part presents opportunities to build and earn your own little piece of sustainable happiness. This is also the birth place of resilience and mental toughness. Don’t drop your head, embrace the changes and turn them into positives by implementing the strategies mentioned above. The good times are just around the corner…

Final Note

Don’t let seasonal affective disorder wreak havoc on your mental and physical wellbeing this Winter. Take an active role to ensure the sustainability of your happiness year-round, and combat these environmental factors by putting a plan in place. Don’t hit the pause button on your life just because the Winter Blues are knocking at your door. Get outside, get active, eat properly, find something fun to do, and respect the opportunities you’ve been given! A simple and drug-free method is never a bad place to start… As always, thanks for reading, and we’d love to hear what Winter activity you partake in to combat the Winter Blues! Let us know in the comments section below. Good luck!

Posted on Leave a comment

5 Great Songs You’ve Never Heard With Powerful Words

Powerful Words Guitars The Short Advice

Powerful Words in Music

If you listen carefully, some of your favourite tunes might also have important messages to share with you. Music can teach us about life, history, society, philosophy etc… But unfortunately, being a fantastic song with powerful words is not the prerequisite for mainstream radio-play. So, below we’ve listed 5 songs of vastly different genres (and eras) that you’ve probably never heard before. Each song has some brilliant life-advice to take-away, which we’ve broken down for you in some detail. We’ve also included links to each song in our headings, so be sure to listen with an open mind…

End of the Movie by CAKE

Powerful Words: “… But you still don’t like to leave before the end of the movie.”

CAKE lyrics are often quite cryptic, and include wacky metaphors that can sometimes make it difficult to understand the underlying meaning. Which is always a lot of fun! But this track however, gives it to you pretty straight… The song is about a person who never gives up. Someone that is resilient and mentally tough. Regardless of how bad the circumstances, they are always willing to see things through to the end, no matter how bitter it may be. If you haven’t already done so, check out the linked video on YouTube and read some of the comments… This song may have genuinely helped save a life.

Man of the World by Fleetwood Mac

Powerful Words: “… And how I wish I was in love.”

The story of fame and fortune. The life of a travelling rockstar that so many long for. And yet still, the individual described in this song is lacking… In this case, the love of a good woman is what he truly desires. Perhaps the pressure of finding a relationship has begun to mount. It’s a classic case of ‘the grass is always greener’. The lesson? Value your relationships with the people you care about. They are more important, and more rewarding than any level of fame and fortune could ever be. Appreciate what you have, instead of wishing for what you don’t have.

What it’s Like by Everlast

Powerful Words: “… God forbid you ever have to walk a mile in his shoes, ’cause then you really might know what it’s like to sing the blues.”

This track has some very powerful and confronting lyrics. It explores some quite extreme hardships, in order to make the listener consider how they might feel if they had to face those difficult situations. The moral of the story here, is to not condemn another person until you’ve walked in their shoes. A valuable lesson that should be remembered every single day. You might pass judgement, and make assumptions based on the information you have, and the things that you see. But the reason behind it all is something you’ll never know unless you’ve been there.

Tremendous Damage by Big Boi

Powerful Words: “… But like the Wright brothers, you gotta crash and burn before you take flight…”

Big Boi gives us an insight into his life, and the trials and tribulations he’s faced. Through it all, he’s come out the other end strong and confident. The lyrics encourage the development of resilience and mental toughness, reinforced with the line “I suffered tremendous damage, got me tougher than a (use your imagination)”. The powerful words listed below the track title above encourage the listener not to fear failure, but rather view it as a necessary step towards success. Great advice Big Boi.

Who’s Gonna Save My Soul by Gnarls Barkley

Powerful Words: “This is a shame that someone else’s song, was totally and completely depended on.”

A brilliant look into the mind of the heartbroken. This track demonstrates how somebody who is extremely emotional can be so overwhelmed that they have an inability to consider feelings other than their own. The sort of emotional whirlwind in which we’ve all been caught before. It encourages the listener to reflect on their own emotional experiences, and consider how their emotions affected their ability to rationalise a situation. The other powerful message in this track, is ‘don’t rely solely on others for your happiness‘. A relationship should be a source of happiness, not the source of happiness. ***Definitely checkout the film clip WARNING: Graphic Content.

Final Note

Music can help us to understand and interpret our emotions and thoughts. Artists share their experiences with listeners, so that they might relate. Even the darkest of songs can be a source of motivation, just knowing that someone else has felt the way you’ve felt. That negative emotions are normal, and that they can be overcome. We hope the above list of songs will help you to find the powerful words hidden in your favourite tracks, so that they may motivate you to continue earning happiness. As always, thanks very much for reading, and we’d love to hear about some of your favourite lyrics in the comments section below.