Transcript for How kids are mentally and physically impacted by lack of exercise
As kids stay inside across the country, they're missing out on sports and activities. No matter what age level, kids are definitely facing a sports slump and parents worrying about how it will impact not only physically but mentally as well. Two siblings who are living through a sports slump are Josh and Emma szitanko, talented gymnasts who went to 16 hours a week at the gym to just 3 hours a week on zoom. I'm Josh, I'm 15 years old. I'm a freshman in high school and I'm a level 10 gymnast. My name is Emma, I'm 13. I'm a gymnast. I started when I 4 years old. I started when I was 4 years old, too. When I was around 9 or 10 I went to this gym called premier in New Jersey. And my coach, he looked at me and he saw potential in me. He saw that there was something there, I was dedicated. I wanted to try to do my best. My biggest accomplishment in my opinion was when I got second place at nationals on the rings, and that was a superbig milestone in my life. I went six days a week, four hours a day. I went four days a week, four hours a day. Last year, which was the beginning of my competition season, I got hurt so I was out for two months with a dislocated elbow. Hi goal was to get back to where I was and possibly even better. Then this pandemic hit and it just ruined everything. It just crushed me. Recently, we were having regionals and nationals. All of that got cancelled. My last day of gym was late March. Zoom is not the same as being in the gym, being on the equipment is a big thing. My biggest worry is getting back into the swing of things, I'm mostly worried about my mental health and how I'm going to work my brain into working long hours and grinding and working hard again to achieve where I was before this pandemic. I'm worried that I'm going to lose my strength, I'm going to lose some skills, my biggest worry is mentally and physically because I'm definitely going to get out of shape and my mindset could be off and it's definitely hard. How can we help children like Emma and Josh with the emotional and physical sport slump. Former head coach of the seven-time NCAA champion UCLA Bruins gymnastics team and author Valorie Kondos field is here. Miss Val is here to help. Thank you for being with us. Parents everywhere are concerned about their kids and their activities they once participated in. How can parents handle this mental and physical slump for their children? First of all, I think the pressure that we feel, the anxiety, it's like a pressure cooker inside of us and what I found with my team is, the best way to start alleviating that stress is to communicate. First of all, parents sit down and share your feelings, vulnerably, ask them how they're feeling and the most important part when you ask someone a question, is to really quiet your mind and listen to their responses. What Emma and Josh shared was real, how am I going to keep my skills. But I was smiling listening to that, those things they can work on almost as well at home as they did in the gym. Is there anything parents can do to get their kids ready for that return we're all hoping for, back to sports mentally and physically? Well, I think you're blessed if you have a child that's easily motivated or self-motivated. But obviously, we hear from parents who are really struggling, trying to be the mom, the educator, the gym coach, the supporter, and I get back to communicating and asking your children how they're feeling and then, what I found worked really well in coaching is to bring your children into the equation of, how are we going to get through this? Okay, Josh, you're worried about the mental games. So, let's structure your day, because we all need structure in a day. During your time of gym training, cardio, conditioning skills at home, structure in that mental game as well. How can we help our kids stay positive? I think it's really important to honor your feelings as the adult, whomever you are, honor your feelings, honor their feelings, give them a safe space. We all need that safe space to be able to say, I'm really struggling today. I'm really scared. I'm exhausted. I'm sad. Honor your feelings. And then bottle that up with a solution. Thank you so much for joining us today. We appreciate it. Thank you so much. Everybody, have a blessed day.
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