Month: January 2017

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What Are the Health Benefits of Baseball?

More than 150 years after the game of baseball was invented, ¡°America¡¯s pastime¡± continues to be a popular sport for both spectators and participants. Whether you¡¯re a preadolescent Little League player or a middle-aged armchair athlete, baseball can offer a variety of health benefits for players at all skill levels.
The demands of professional baseball require Major League Baseball players to be highly fit athletes. According to the Sports Fitness Advisor website, a professional baseball player tends to be lean, with a body fat percentage of between 8 and 9, and able to run 60 yards in less than seven seconds. For the average non-athlete, however, baseball can be an enjoyable recreational activity that requires a low level of physical conditioning, as the game usually consists of long periods of standing and waiting punctuated by the occasional burst of activity. Still, baseball can provide health benefits.
One of the key skills involved in baseball is the ability to throw the ball a significant distance. Repeatedly throwing the ball will result in muscular development of the bicep, deltoid and other muscles in the throwing arm. This is especially true of pitchers. Running, either as a batter rounding bases or a fielder running to catch a ball, can contribute to building leg muscles. Running practice drills that simulate various situations that can occur in an actual game also serves to condition muscles and improve your cardiovascular fitness. However, exercising and conditioning your muscles in a gym won’t necessarily make you a better baseball player. Former Boston Red Sox pitcher Dick Mills on his website cites a study indicating that low-velocity exercise such as weight training won’t improve a high-velocity activity such as pitching.
According to a book co-authored by Jordan D. Metzl, medical director of the Sports Medicine Institute for Young Athletes at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, sports such as baseball can provide a host of physical benefits for children and teenagers. The book, “The Young Athlete: A Sports Doctor’s Complete Guide for Parents,” notes that benefits of sports include developing overall fitness in a fun manner, laying the groundwork for lifelong physical fitness, relieving stress and releasing muscle tension, and preventing drug and alcohol abuse by providing young baseball players with a healthy respect for their bodies and physical abilities.
Although excessive exposure to sunlight without the protection of sunscreen can increase the risk of skin cancer, sunlight offers benefits as well. As baseball typically is played outdoors and rarely during a period of rain, it leads to players being outside, exposed to sunlight for the duration of the game. According to a June 2004 article on the Medical News Today website, sunlight is the primary source for your body to take in vitamin D, which is crucial for your body to be able to absorb and metabolize calcium and phosphorus.


Response of the Respiratory System to Exercise

Consisting of a series of body parts including the lungs, diaphragm and nasal cavity, the respiratory system is responsible for transporting oxygen and carbon dioxide to and from muscles and tissues. During exercise, the respiratory system increases to meet the demands of the working muscles. The respiratory system also uses the cardiovascular system — heart, blood and blood vessels — to transport oxygen and carbon dioxide.
During exercise, your adrenal gland increases production of adrenaline and noradrenaline that directly affect the heart and the ability to transport oxygen and carbon dioxide throughout the body. The hormones then directly influence the sympathetic nerves to stimulate the heart to beat stronger for increased stroke volume and faster for increased heart rate and an overall increase in cardiac output.
To meet the increasing oxygen demands from the working muscles, additional oxygen must be transported through the blood vessels. During exercise, the sympathetic nerve stimulates the veins to constrict to return more blood to the heart. This blood is carrying carbon dioxide from the muscles and can increase the total stroke volume of the heart by 30 to 40 percent.
With an increased amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide transport, your respiratory rate — rate of breathing — also increases. This increase is also influenced by the sympathetic nerves stimulating the respiratory muscles to increase the rate of breathing. At rest, your respiratory rate is about 14 per minute but can increase to 32 per minute during exercise. The increased respiration rate allows more oxygen to reach the lungs and blood to be delivered to the muscles.
A long-term respiratory system response to exercise involves several physiological adaptations. These adaptations ultimately result in an increase in overall efficiency of the respiratory system to gather, transport and deliver oxygen to the working muscles. The long-term respiratory function is commonly measured with a VO2 max test that calculates your body¡¯s ability for oxygen consumption during maximal exercise. Through exercise and training, the effectiveness of the respiratory system and VO2 max improve.


How to Repair a Treadmill That is Sticking

Treadmill belts can stick if they are damaged, have the incorrect amount of tension, are off-center or require lubricant. A sticking treadmill belt is a major safety concern because it can cause you to fall off the treadmill or suffer a muscle, joint or ligament injury caused by sudden awkward movements while exercising. By performing some basic maintenance on your treadmill belt, you can eliminate sticking and be back on your way to achieving your fitness goals.
Inspect the belt. Activate your treadmill at a low rate of speed and allow the belt to complete several revolutions. If the belt is torn or cracked, you will need to replace it. Refer to your owner¡¯s manual for proper replacement parts and instructions, or have your treadmill serviced by a professional technician.
Turn off your treadmill and unplug it from its power outlet.
Lubricate the belt. Loosen the belt by turning the screws on the front and back portions of your treadmill¡¯s walking deck several turns counterclockwise. Lift the belt and apply lubricant to the deck in accordance with the instructions on the bottle; refer to your owner¡¯s manual for the type of lubricant recommended by the manufacturer. Retighten the screws, turn on your treadmill and allow it to run for five minutes at the low rate of speed.
Clean and lubricate the rollers. Loosen the rollers in accordance with the maintenance instructions in your owner¡¯s manual; this is usually accomplished by loosening the screws or bolts that attach the rollers to the walking deck. Lift the belt, use a cloth to wipe down the rollers and apply the recommended lubricant as directed by your owner¡¯s manual.
Adjust the tension of the belt and center it. Locate the adjustment and centering screws on the front or rear of the walking deck; refer to your owner¡¯s manual for the exact location of these screws on your model. Decrease the tension if the belt appears too tight by turning the adjustment screws counterclockwise; increase tension if the belt is too loose by turning the adjustment screws clockwise. To move the belt to the left, adjust the centering screw on the right of your treadmill; move the belt to the right by adjusting the centering screw on the left.
Test your treadmill at a low speed for several minutes, readjusting the belt if necessary.


When Do Kids Move to Size 5 Soccer Balls?

The standard ball sizes intended for youth soccer players are 3, 4 and 5. Using the proper size allows children to develop their skills with soccer balls of the correct proportion. If necessary, ask the staff of your child¡¯s soccer league or a coach which type of ball is best for your child. Typically, the correct ball size depends on your child¡¯s age.
Children 7 years old and younger should use size 3 soccer balls. Check the printed information on the soccer ball to find a ball¡¯s size. If you can¡¯t find the markings, a size 3 ball should measure 23 to 24 inches in circumference. Use a flexible measuring tape, such as the kind tailors use, to measure the ball.
Size 4 soccer balls are suitable for children from 8 to 12 years old. The circumference of a size 4 ball should be between 25 and 26 inches.
Players over 12 years old should use size 5 soccer balls, which measure 27 to 28 inches in circumference. Size 5 is also the standard size ball for adult and professional players. The International Federation of Association Football, or FIFA, performs tests to ensure the soccer balls it uses meet rigid specifications. Look for ¡°FIFA Inspected¡± or ¡°FIFA Approved¡± markings on the soccer ball. Balls that carry these designations have undergone rigorous testing for circumference, roundness, rebound, weight, water absorption, loss of pressure, and shape and size retention.
Children need to develop ball-handling skills, so using a ball of the correct size and weight allows them to practice their skills without undue difficulty. For example, using a ball that is too heavy and large will make dribbling practice difficult for young children. Also, children must practice with a soccer ball that is the same size as the ball they will use during organized games and team practices. Being familiar with the way the ball will react and bounce makes it easier for children to play well when it counts.


Good Workout Routines for 13-Year-Old Boys

Exercise is vital for 13-year-old boys for both physical and mental development. It is important to encourage physical activity at this age because it can turn into a habit that will last a lifetime. Sports can be a great way for a 13-year-old boy to get enough physical exercise each day, as they are interactive, fun and social. Weight training is another possibility for teens, but certain restrictions must be taken into consideration so that it is safe for growing bodies.
A 60-minute period of walking, jogging or running — three days per week — should to start with a warm-up session of walking for five to 10 minutes before slowly increasing speed to a jog or running pace. This can continue for 45 minutes, with short breaks if needed, and be followed by a cool-down with a five- to 10-minute walk. This can also be done in a sports setting, such as soccer practice, or can be broken up into shorter segments throughout the day.
Bike riding is an activity that most teenagers enjoy, and it provides an excellent aerobic workout in addition to being a fun and recreational. After stretching of legs, arms and back muscles for five minutes, a slow ride for five to 10-minutes serves as a warm-up of muscles and to build the heart rate. After that, a moderate to vigorous pace for 30 to 45 minutes should be followed by a cool-down period of five to 10 minutes of slow biking or walking.
Teens should warm-up for plyometric exercises by jogging for five to 10 minutes. Thirteen-year-olds should begin doing plyometrics for a short time period and gradually work their way to a longer routine. This should be done on two non-consecutive days per week. A good beginner’s routine would involve an upper-body exercise, such as chest passes or overhead passes with a medicine ball. That might be followed by a lower-body exercise, such as double-leg jumps or box jumps. The routine may include six to 10 repetitions of one to three sets of each exercise per session. This should be followed by a five-minute cool-down walk or jog.
Yoga is a good exercise for 13-year-old boys because it helps them stay flexible, increases muscle and bone strength, and often raises levels of mindfulness in day-to-day life. An example of a simple yoga routine begins with a Mountain pose, moves to the Tabletop pose, then on to Downward-Facing Dog. Child’s pose helps the boys rest for a moment before moving into Warrior Two pose. From there, they may move into Tree, Bridge and — finally — Corpse pose to relax for a few minutes before ending the session. Teens should be reminded to breathe during the poses.
Thirteen-year-old boys who have gone through puberty can safely engage in a strength-training routine utilizing their own body weight for resistance. This should be done three times per week for approximately 30 minutes per session. Teens should begin with a five to 10-minute warm-up consisting of walking, jogging or another cardio activity at an easy pace. Exercises in the strength-training session should include push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, bicycle crunches, step-ups, tricep dips, back extensions, lunges and squats. Boys should start by doing one set of 15 repetitions of each exercise and work their way to three sets of eight to 16 repetitions of each exercise. An experienced fitness professional should supervise the exercises to ensure proper form until no longer necessary.


Do Pushups Burn Chest Fat?

Burning fat in one particular spot is not possible. However, you can do wide-set pushups to build muscle in the chest area. If you get in a pushup position and position your hands fairly close together (shoulder width) you will build more strength in your hands, arms and shoulders. However, if you widen your stance and move each arm 4-to-6 inches to the outside, you will build more strength in your chest. If you build muscle in that area, you will be getting rid of fat.
The pushup is an ideal exercise for building strength, getting rid of fat and increasing your metabolism. However, this is not going to happen in an efficient manner if you simply do these exercises. To burn fat efficiently, you must eat correctly and drink plenty of water. Make changes in your diet so you are not eating more than one 6 ounce portion of red meat per week. Substitute white meat chicken and fish for the red meat and make sure you have at least two portions of fresh vegetables and one portion of fresh fruit per day. Drink at least 6 bottles of water per day.
Pushups can be your base for getting stronger. If you are truly interested in building strength in that area, do at least 10 sets of 20 pushups every day. That will also boost your metabolism. To burn fat, you need to do cardio exercises. Interval training works well for burning maximum fat. Go to your local high school or college track. Do four sprints in succession of descending amounts. Start with 80 yards, then go to 70 yards. Immediately, follow it with 60 and 50 yards. Take a two-minute break and then repeat the set. If you do two complete sets every time you go to the track, do pushups and eat correctly, you will get rid of your chest fat and build muscle.


Types of Padding in Football Helmets

An increased popularity — at all levels — in football caused an increase in player injuries, including fatalities. To address player safety, the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment. known as NOCSAE, began in 1969. Part of the NOSCSAE¡¯s focus was on testing and regulating helmet padding. This resulted in padding placement inside football helmets and on the type of padding used at each location.
Your helmet is a combination of components designed to work together in protecting you while playing football. Although it might not seem like padding, a helmet¡¯s hard, polycarbonate shell is the external padding that provides immediate protection against any hard objects you might encounter on the field. Attached to the shell is stiff expanded foam that cushions the entirety of your head. Throughout the expanded foam is additional padding of different stiffness. All this protection hides under a comfortable foam liner. Other components include a face mask, and in some helmets, an inner air liner.
The largest section of helmet padding is stiff polypropylene foam that nearly covers the entire internal surface of the helmet. Its main role is to absorb impacts and provide general protection. Throughout this protective layer sits additional protection strategically placed at points shown to receive harder impacts. To ensure this additional padding remains in place, the polypropylene layer is removed to provide a socket for the additional padding to sit without interfering with your comfort.
Because most tackles and blocks result in a head-down position, extra protection is require at the top of the helmet. In this location, the extremely stiff vinyl nitryl foam is placed to increase your protection against the impact of your head colliding with another football player. Its increased density gives you the greatest protection of head-on impacts.
Along your forehead and lower jaws sits softer foam that provides protection without the stiffness associated with vinyl nitryl and polypropylene foams. Because this area of the helmet receives less impact, it does not require the strength of the other two foam types. Remember, this foam does not protect you from hits that twist your head from side to side.
Certain types of football helmets have an adjustable air bladder designed to provide an additional layer of padding while increasing your comfort and the fit of the helmet to your head. An inflation port — located at the back of the helmet — always you to add or remove air from the bladder. This allows you to tailor the fit of your helmet.


Personal Injury Settlement & Child Support

Most states obligate a parent who owes past due child support to pay that support out of a personal injury settlement if they receive one. A lot of this legislation has been the result of an increase in litigation creating new case law since the 1990s. Courts have had to intervene when a ¡°deadbeat¡± mom or dad received substantial compensation due to pain, suffering and misfortune, and the receiving parent made a claim for all or part of it, according to the website SupportGuidelines. Unfortunately, no federal laws govern this eventuality and the provisions of state laws vary somewhat from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.
Most states treat personal injury settlement proceeds as income when calculating child support. In 1997, in the case of Harbison v. Harbison, Alabama determined that a settlement paid out at the rate of $1,000 a month for 10 years was part of that parent¡¯s monthly income. Pennsylvania and New York have come to the same conclusion, according to the website SupportGuidelines.
Some states count settlement proceeds as income but hold them safe from garnishment. SupportGuidelines reports that in 1992, Michigan agreed that a parent¡¯s settlement money was income but it was not subject to wage withholding in the case of Tulloch v. Flickinger. Illinois ruled in 1997 that settlements paid out in installments were income, but lump sum payments were not because they are the result of extraordinary circumstances. Even with periodic installments, only the portion of a settlement representing lost wages is income in Illinois, not the part that is compensation for pain and suffering.
New Jersey and Pennsylvania have passed legislation that obligates personal injury attorneys to pay past due child support amounts, if any, out of awards they recover for their clients, according to the legal website Avvo. New Jersey will place a lien against the proceeds if you owe child support and that lien has to be satisfied before the remainder of the settlement is paid out to you.
In New Jersey, if your personal injury proceeds are less than what you owe in child support, it will all go to satisfy your child support arrears, according to Avvo. Other states consider this unfair. The MacElree Harvey Law Firm in West Chester, Pennsylvania, indicates that after deducting the costs of litigation from your proceeds in that state, you get the next $5,000 and then the balance goes to pay off your child support arrears.
Enforcement measures only come into play if you are not current with your child support obligation. If you are, the state won¡¯t interfere unless your child¡¯s other parent files a lawsuit asking to have your proceeds counted as income so your child support can be recalculated, most likely resulting in a higher child support obligation.


Types of Football Face Masks

Football is a tough game that can’t be 100 percent safe. But players enjoy much better protection these days, thanks to a wide array of available face masks. Each mask is designed to protect various parts of the face while providing players the visibility they need to play the game. Typically made of carbon steel with a protective coating, face masks are generally not interchangeable, so certain face masks are only offered by certain helmet manufacturers.
Open-cage face masks have no vertical bar above the nose to obstruct your vision, so they’re the preferred face masks of most players at ballhandling positions, such as quarterback, receiver and running back. The masks usually contain two or three horizontal bars and a few vertical bars, but none of the vertical bars go above the nose inside your normal range of vision. Manufacturers typically use acronyms to describe the areas the face mask best protects. Open-cage face masks are usually labeled as ROPO, or reinforced oral protection only; EGOP, or eyeglass and oral protection; OPO, or oral protection only; EGJOP, or eyeglass, jaw and oral protection; JOP, or jaw and oral protection; and RJOP, or reinforced jaw and oral protection.
If you’re a lineman, a closed-cage face mask will typically be your choice because the mask offers a long vertical bar that runs straight up the middle in front of your face, above the nose, to the top of the mask. They typically have two to four horizontal bars to keep other players’ fingers out of your face and eyes. Closed-cage face masks are usually classified as NOPO, or nose and oral protection only, and NJOP, or nose, jaw and oral protection.
Most face masks are reinforced. This refers to the extra horizontal bar at the top of the mask that adds strength and allows for better spreading of energy throughout the mask.
Some helmets include extra horizontal bars in front of your face. The additional bars add stability and strength and decrease the size of the face mask’s opening to prevent hands, fingers and feet from hitting your face.
You’ll likely encounter single-bar masks in museums or old photos only. Helmets with just a single horizontal bar protecting the face were once common among ballhandling players who depended on better visibility. Single-wire face masks are not used much anymore because they offer you little protection.
Sometimes called a bull ring, the U-bar attaches to the upper part of the face mask. It’s normally used on open-cage masks and is designed to prevent other players from getting their fingers inside your face mask around your eyes and nose.
Facemasks with two small vertical bars on each side — usually in the area of your peripheral vision — help protect your eyes without obscuring your vision the way a closed cage facemask does.


Proper Tackling Drills for Kids Football

Tackling drills teach kids effective ways to take down ball carriers, often in open-field, one-on-one situations. If you¡¯re coaching new players, have them literally walk through the drills before they start moving at faster speeds, so they learn to tackle with good form. Tackling correctly can also help prevent head injuries as kids learn to avoid using the tops of their helmets to make tackles.
To do a simple form tackling drill, hold a tackle dummy upright and have a player take a defensive stance one stride in front of the dummy. On your signal, have the player surge forward and tackle the dummy. Let go of the dummy as the player makes contact. The player must wrap his arms around the dummy, hitting it with his chest and shoulders — not the helmet — and drive it forward.
When your kids are ready to tackle other players, do a three-step progression drill that teaches tackling fundamentals. Have defenders take stances with their knees and hips bent and torsos leaning forward. Place a ball carrier a few yards in front of each defender. On the initial signal, the defenders jog to the ball carriers but stop short of making contact. They should be in good tackling positions when they stop, with their knees bent, arms back, heads up and one shoulder positioned to drive into the ball carrier. On the second command, the tacklers wrap their arms around the ball carriers¡¯ waists. On the final command the tacklers drive their legs to push the ball carriers back.
Failing to wrap the arms around a ball carrier is a common tackling mistake you¡¯ll see at all levels of football. A hug-and-hold drill can help kids grasp a ball carrier with both arms whenever possible. Have a ball carrier take a step toward a tackler and then jump. The tackler grabs the offensive player in the air and tries to hold him up off the ground. The tackler is forced to use both arms prevent the ball carrier from falling to the field.
Many tackling drills involve players facing each other. In an actual game, of course, kids may have to approach ball carriers from a variety of angles. To practice angle tackling, position a ball carrier on one of the field¡¯s lines. Put the defender in front and to one side of the ball carrier so they¡¯re not face to face. Have the ball carrier move forward, straight down the line, forcing the defender to tackle him from the side.

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