Month: February 2017

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Qualifications Needed to Become a Fitness Instructor

Getting in shape can be difficult to do on your own. Fitness instructors can help you learn the right things to do to lose weight, tone your muscles and develop better health. However, special training and certifications are required for fitness instructors. Training and certification give the instructor more credibility, which may attract more clients.
The job outlook for fitness workers is expected to be stronger than average, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number of fitness positions is expected to increase by 29 percent by 2018. The obesity epidemic and an aging population both contribute to continued demand for fitness instructor services. Many fitness instructors work part-time in health clubs or hospitals and supplement their income by coaching private clients. In May 2008, the median salary of a fitness instructor was $29,210.
Many fitness centers require instructors to have a college education in exercise, nutrition or wellness, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. College majors may include exercise science, physical education or kinesiology, which is the study of human motion. Fitness instructors should also have training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR, either in college or through the Red Cross.
Many fitness instructors pursue certification from various agencies, which may depend on the exercise programs they choose to teach. Clients feel more confident if their trainers are certified. As an example, Balanced Body University offers certification programs for Pilates trainers. Certification programs also exist for aerobics instructors through organizations such as the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America. American Fitness Professionals and Associates also offers several certification programs, including specialization in sports nutrition, children’s fitness and prenatal exercise.
Fitness instructors must have motivational skills to effectively lead clients. Motivation is most often a personality trait rather than a skill that can be learned in school, but positive attitudes can be cultivated. Instructors should be confident, enthusiastic and able to motivate clients to maintain an exercise routine–important for the client as well as for business. Many fitness centers require instructors to audition before being approved to teach classes.
Personal trainers and fitness instructors should be at a healthy weight and able to engage in the same exercises they ask of their clients. People are less likely to be motivated by fitness instructors who do not appear to follow their own advice. Instructors should be in good shape so that they can be positive role models. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also reports that clients expect more emphasis on overall wellness from instructors in addition to exercise training.


How to Diagnose a Big Toe Sprain

You can sprain your big toe while playing sports, dancing or simply stubbing it. Known as ¡°turf toe¡± among professional athletes who play on artificial turf, such a sprain can occur on all types of surfaces and in a wide variety of situations. The joint capsule at the base of your big toe, medically known as the first metatarsophalangeal joint, includes nine ligaments, four bones and three muscles with their tendons. Any or all of these can be damaged by trauma or repetitive injuries. Sprain is the term used for an injury to the joint capsule or ligaments, the tough bands of tissue that tie your bones together. It’s caused by bending or jamming the big toe too far in any direction. Not surprisingly, active young people are at greatest risk for such injuries, but prolonged stress on these ligaments can eventually lead to similar problems. Although the signs and symptoms of a big toe sprain are fairly straightforward, the same changes can occur with muscle strains and bone fractures. Home treatment of mild sprains can be tried initially, but significant pain or bruising deserves medical evaluation for definitive diagnosis and to rule out a more serious injury.
Consider whether you might have suffered a recent injury to explain big toe pain or a sprain. A direct injury such as jamming your big toe while running or jumping, stubbing it or having it forcefully bent up or down too far should be pretty memorable. You might even have heard a popping noise at the time. Dancing, gymnastics or similar activities involving prolonged standing on your toes can also lead to a minor sprain.
Look for physical changes of your foot, especially in the big toe area. Pain when putting weight on the ball of your foot, pain over the joint or ligaments of the big toe, swelling, bruising, discoloration, stiffness or limited ability to move the toe are all indications of a possible sprain. The more obvious the changes, the more severe the injury is likely to be.
If you can remember the injury that caused your symptoms and the symptoms are relatively mild, you might consider trying watchful waiting and at-home treatment. Follow the general recommendations of the RICE approach to minor injuries: rest, ice, compression and elevation of the injured foot and toe. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or aspirin can help with pain and swelling if appropriate for you. If after two to three days, you don¡¯t see any improvement, or the symptoms have worsened, it¡¯s time to contact your health care provider.
Your health care provider will take a detailed history, including questions about possible injuries, recent changes in your activities and perhaps even the footwear you use. He will examine your foot and big toe for physical changes such as bruising and swelling, determine the areas of greatest pain and check flexibility and mobility of the joints. He’ll also look for evidence of fracture or other possible causes of your pain.
X-rays of the injured toe are not always required to diagnose a sprain but can be used to help exclude a broken bone or other disease process. MRI or CT scans might rarely be performed if there are unusual findings or joint instability, since they show soft tissues, ligaments and joint capsules better than regular X-rays.
Sprains are classified, or graded, on a three-point scale of increasing severity. Grade I sprains involve only stretching or microscopic tearing of the ligaments and tenderness of the ball of the foot and usually resolve within two to three weeks. Grade II sprains have partial tearing of the ligaments, accompanying swelling and bruising in the area of the toe, and some decrease in joint motion. Severely or completely torn ligaments with significant joint damage, greater pain and bruising make up grade III sprains. Grade II and III sprains take longer to heal and in some cases may need casting or even surgery for proper healing.


Tips on Soccer Training Alone

All great soccer players spent much of their lives training alone, in addition to practicing with a team, even before they ever joined one. To improve at the game of soccer, not only do you need to practice with a team, you also need to focus on developing skills on your own in your backyard or on an empty pitch. A few inexpensive items, a patch of grass and a little discipline will help you get the most out of solo soccer training.
A few soccer balls, a dozen pylons and some kind of real or makeshift goal with a net is all you need to practice foot skills when training by yourself. Because you have no one to retrieve balls for you, having a few balls with you will allow you to take several shots on net without too much disruption to your training. Set up your pylons in a row first and dribble around them and then increase the difficulty of the exercise by arranging them erratically or diagonally.
Replace a passing partner with a brick wall. Kicking a soccer ball against a wall is the only way to practice receiving and trapping passes when training alone. You can also practice one-timing, volleying, heading and saving the ball with a wall. Aim the ball at various spots on the wall with varying control and power to give yourself ricocheting passes and shots at different angles and speeds.
Jogging around the block does not simulate the physical demands of a soccer game. Soccer involves sprinting various lengths, stopping and starting quickly, turning and jumping. To practice all these movements and maneuvers, build a fitness routine for yourself that encompasses everything from long distance running to sprinting to jumping squats. Try completing the regimen before working on your foot skills to accustom your feet and legs to controlling the ball while exhausted, which is how you would likely feel during an actual 90-minute game.
Take advantage of not having to follow the scheduled drills and exercises of a formal practice and focus on the areas where your skills and fitness need improvement. Practice shooting and trapping the ball with your weaker foot. Perform skills you do poorly over and over again until you start to see progress. For example, shoot at corners of the net where you have difficulty scoring on or practice heading the ball. Also, build up your leg strength if you need to or spend more time on wind sprints if you find yourself feeling winded in games.


Foot Pain in the Heel From Playing Soccer

Although soccer can be an entertaining form of exercise, the running and jumping involved can put you at risk for injuries and conditions that cause heel pain. It can vary in severity, ranging from a mild ache to a debilitating pain that keeps you from playing or practicing. Because it can sometimes be a symptom of a serious condition or injury, it is important to understand what can cause soccer-related heel pain and how it can be remedied.
Heel pain can develop in just one or both of the feet. It can occur without warning or after starting a new sport such as soccer. Pain can intensify when you jump, run or squeeze or contract the muscles in the feet. People that develop heel pain can have the tendency to tiptoe when walking. Additional symptoms can include bruising, warmth, redness, inflammation and tenderness. You my also notice loss of mobility or problems with stability.
Heel pain as the result of playing soccer can occur if you overuse the muscles and tendons in the feet with excessive exercise or training. In addition, you can experience pain if you sprain, strain, fracture or dislocate ligaments, muscles, tendons or bones in the heel area. Some painful conditions such as plantar fasciitis, heel pad atrophy, tarsal tunnel syndrome, Sever¡¯s disease and tumors can also develop from excessive or extreme soccer play.
Apply an ice pack to the heel area for about 10 minutes, three times a day. Wrap the injured foot with an elastic bandage to reduce swelling and pain. Elevate your foot to help any fluid drain away from your foot and toward your heart. Take an over-the-counter pain control medication such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Contact a doctor if pain is unbearable or lingers even after home treatment. Serious injuries such as fractures and tumors may require surgery.
Prevent heel pain by wearing a stable arch support in your soccer cleat. Stretch the muscles of the calves and hamstrings, and the tendons located at the backs of the legs prior to exercise. Refrain from running on hard surfaces and always wear shoes with shock-absorbent soles to minimize impact. If you are susceptible to heel pain, stretch out and apply ice to the heel right after you play soccer to prevent it from reoccurring.


Importance of Soccer

Soccer players at a quarter-billion strong, joined by soccer fans in the additional hundreds of millions, create a community of enormous solidarity worldwide. A Fiorentina shirt worn by an American tourist in Tuscany, much like a Reggae Boyz jersey sported in Jamaica or a Kaizer Chiefs shirt worn in South Africa, creates instant conversation and bonding with local residents. The reach of soccer can be seen on rattletrap buses in Honduras that pick sides: stickers for either Real Madrid or Barcelona, teams half a world away, peek from the back window. Soccer¡¯s importance eclipses that of any other sport given the exceptional scale of its popularity.
Soccer fans are more than willing to spend on their favorite sport. In the 2009-10 season, for example, Manchester United¡¯s revenues reached $428 million, notes, while Barcelona pulled in $488 million. Man U profits from league wealth-sharing, team-specific media contracts and loyal fans who help it to be the most valuable franchise worldwide in any sport. Man U has an estimated 333 million supporters globally and 9.5 million Facebook fans. World Cups also are big money spinners, with FIFA, the international governing body of soccer, generating an estimated $3 billion from the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, according to economist Dennis Coates of the University of Maryland Baltimore County.
The bond of soccer has been a means to defuse hostilities since its late 19th century spread around the world. For example, in World War I, a famed truce on Christmas Day resulted in a number of soccer ¡°kickabouts¡± between German and British soldiers on the front lines. At one impromptu game, British soldiers produced a soccer ball from the trenches, a German soldier recorded in his diary, and the German team won 3-2. And at the 1998 World Cup in France, Iran¡¯s team brought white flowers as a symbol of peace to the captains¡¯ exchange of gifts before Iran¡¯s match with the U.S.
Cheering on Iran¡¯s 1998 team bought pride to the nation, and women joined as unequal fans. Not allowed inside Iran¡¯s stadiums, women express their support by enthusiastically following local league games from nearby rooftops. Elsewhere, soccer has acted in profound ways to create change. A 1960s-era soccer league in South Africa¡¯s prison on Robben Island for political prisoners opposed to apartheid taught organizational skills to black South Africans, including future colleagues of Nelson Mandela. The evident intelligence of the black athletes also moderated the white guards¡¯ views of black Africans as inferior. In the current era, FIFA, the international governing body of soccer, works to develop soccer programs in poorer nations as a means of promoting girls¡¯ athletics and improved nutrition as well as love of the game.
Teams from the U.S., Germany, Sweden, Canada, Australia, Nigeria, Ghana and Japan dominate international women¡¯s play and inspire pride in the athletes themselves and young players who view them as role models, as well as interest from viewers, male and female alike. The U.S. television audience for women¡¯s soccer is 66 percent male, writes Ronald B. Woods in ¡°Social Issues in Sport.¡± He notes the huge effect players like Mia Hamm, Brandi Chastain, Kristine Lilly and Michele Akers have had on interest in soccer in the U.S. Men¡¯s soccer might be more popular worldwide, Woods writes, but ¡°in the United States no soccer team has ever captured the attention of the nation as these women did.¡±


Baking Soda & Foot Odor

Foot odor can be extremely embarrassing, and for some, it¡¯s a serious health problem. With more than a quarter-million sweat glands in the feet alone, it’s all too easy for all that moisture to create the conditions that lead to soles that smell. Practice prevention and try simple home remedies to minimize moisture and banish bacteria for sweeter-smelling feet.
Foot odor is caused by sweat; the moist environment allows the rapid growth of bacteria, which is what actually causes the unusual smell we recognize as foot odor. The feet have more sweat glands than any other part of the body–more than 250,000 glands–which produce as much as a cup of sweat each day, according to Foot Care Direct. Because feet are also trapped inside shoes most of the day, this creates an ideal environment for bacteria to run rampant, resulting in foot odor. Additionally, anxiety or stress, certain drugs, and body hormone shifts can also cause a spike in foot odor, according to ePodiatry.
Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, may balance the pH balance of the feet, reducing the odor forming from bacteria, says podiatrist Suzanne M. Levine, D.P.M., on the website Mother Nature. She recommends dissolving one tablespoon baking soda in one quart of water and soaking feet twice a week for approximately 15 minutes. Although a soak can be effective, many people simply sprinkle a little baking soda right into their shoe, allowing it to soak up any bacteria-causing moisture. You can put also put a pinch of powder inside your socks as well. Try soaking your feet in tea. Tea contains tannic acid that can help dry your feet out and reduce the amount of sweat, thereby lessening the chance for bacteria and odor to form. Brew up a few bags and soak your feet for about 30 minutes a day for one week.
Prevent bacteria and severe foot odor by following a few simple steps. Practice good hygiene, washing feet thoroughly, scrubbing with a gentle brush to remove dead skin and drying carefully, particularly between the toes. Wear cotton socks, which are better than synthetic materials at allowing air to circulate around the foot. Wearing open sandals when it¡¯s warm will also allow your feet to breathe and prevent foot odor. Give your shoes a chance to dry for at least 24 hours after use by switching pairs every day. If you have a problem with foot odor, make sure not to skip the socks, as socks absorb sweat, cutting down on foot odor problems. Finally, make sure you are getting enough zinc. A zinc deficiency has been associated with foot odor problems, according to Health 911.
If baking soda, powders and other remedies are ineffective, you might have to see a podiatrist to take further steps. A doctor might prescribe aluminum chloride or antibiotics, or use mild electrode therapy, using an electric current to inhibit sweat glands. In extreme cases, according to ePodiatry, a surgeon can sever the nerve in the foot that causes excessive sweating.


Volleyball Rules for High School Girls

Knowing and understanding the rules of volleyball is essential for all players, coaches and officials to be successful in the game. High school volleyball is played similarly to collegiate volleyball in that the scoring is based on a rally system allowing the opposing team to gain a point if your team fails to follow a rule. Rules range from basic fundamentals to player substitutions. Rules continually change so it is vital to keep up to date.
Some of the most fundamental rules of volleyball include stipulations that a team is only allowed three touches of the ball, no player is allowed two consecutive touches of the ball, a team must have at least six players on the court and all plays on or within boundary lines are considered playable.
Rally scoring gives any team the ability to score a point regardless of who serves the ball. For example, if your team serves the ball and the opposing team returns the serve, that team will earn a point if your team fails to return the ball. Games go to 25 points with a two-point difference between the winning and losing team.
If a team violates the official rules, it will result in a point for the opposing team. Some common violations include stepping on or over the service line while serving, failing to serve the ball over the net, making contact with the net or players switching positions before the ball is in play. Line judges and the head referee monitor violations.
Substitutions are limited in each set and must be recorded by the score keeper. Substitutions must occur before the ball is in play. The exception to this rule is the libero, a specialized defensive player. The libero can substitute in for any back-row player at any time but must substitute out for the original player she substituted in for. The libero must wear a contrasting jersey and cannot attack any balls above net height.


Why Is Football the Most Popular Sport in America?

Baseball may be as American as apple pie, but it’s football that Americans list as their favorite sport. A 2010 poll by Harris Interactive showed that 35 percent of people who follow sports choose football as their favorite. Baseball is a distant second, with 16 percent listing it as their favorite sport. Football’s popularity has many reasons, including the ease of watching it on television, which brings it to more people each week.
People love football because the teams are valued more equally than in baseball, reports columnist Michael Fitzgerald at “Bleacher Report.” No one team has “bought” a powerhouse lineup, so all teams have about the same chance of rising to the top based on skill. This makes the games more balanced and the teams easy to root for. This salary parity is extended to advertising revenue and sports paraphernalia sales, meaning that no NFL team has all the money. This creates healthy competition.
Some people enjoy football because it’s easy to gamble on the games. They are played on a regular basis, and an abundance of information about the match-ups is available. Pundits make predictions and the point spreads are easy to follow. Magazines such as “Gaming Today” offer information so fans can make considered choices.
Fantasy Football Leagues give fans the opportunity to create their own dream teams of players. This keeps fans interested in games beyond those their favorite teams play, as fantasy teams are created from among the teams in the NFL.
Football is exciting to watch. It moves quickly and requires the hard-hitting contact of the defensive line plus the precision skills and speed of the quarterback and running backs. Football combines what people like about other sports — the hitting of boxing, precision passing of basketball, camaraderie of baseball — into one game that moves quickly. This excitement has led to the tradition of football parties, where people watch the games with groups of friends.


Drills for Football Players to Make Them More Aggressive

Being aggressive in football is a sought-after quality in a player, because it means that the player has what it takes to make contact with another player without fear. It means the player will not hesitate and lose valuable reaction time even if he knows contact is imminent. This is not to be confused with playing with anger or reckless abandon. Aggression must be confined within the rules of the game, or it can cost you severely in late-hit and roughing the passer penalties.
The Oklahoma drill seeks to teach aggressive run blocking for offensive players and aggressive block shedding by defensive players. It also teaches the running back to aggressively cut and make moves to store at the goal line. The drill will pit wide receivers against defensive backs, o-lineman against d-lineman, running backs against linebackers and tight ends against any of the three defensive specialties. Two cones are spaced three to five yards apart forming a horizontal line parallel to the end zone. The distance between those two parallel lines is three yards. The quarterback will hand the ball off to the running back, who will attempt to run between the cones and score a touchdown. The opposing offensive and defensive players will either attempt to open running room for the back, on offense, or shed the block and tackle the back, on defense. The two competing players will battle for leverage and position to make their desired play.
This drill is designed to teach offensive lineman to protect the quarterback at all costs and train the defensive lineman to elude the protection efforts of the offensive player. The offensive center, guard or tackle will line up at their position respective to the ¡°quarterback,¡± which may be either a live quarterback or a tackling dummy, and the defensive lineman will choose his stance based on the offensive player they are competing against and the technique they are working. For example, a defensive lineman may shade left or right of the edge of the lineman to work various hand techniques and swim maneuvers. The quarterback lines up five to seven yards from the center¡¯s typical position. The quarterback will ¡°hike¡± the ball, signaling the offensive and defensive lineman to compete to either protect or tackle the quarterback. If a live quarterback is present, a defensive lineman typically just two-hand touches the quarterback to prevent injury. If a tackling dummy is present, the defender should attempt to tackle the dummy to the ground.
This drill will effectively teach a running back to secure the football when running through defenders on the field. Players form two parallel lines about two to three yards apart with four players in each line. The running back lines up five yards away and in a direct path between the two lines. The quarterback hands the ball off to the running back, who will secure the football and sprint between the two lines. The running back¡¯s shoulder cradles the ball high and tight, with two fingers ¡°clawing¡± the point of the football with the middle of the ball wedged in between his forearm and bicep. The players in the two lines swat at the ball as the running back runs through. Their goal is to knock the ball loose.


The Duties of a Soccer Linesman

In 1891, soccer referees moved from the touchlines onto the field of play. This brought about a new development: the introduction of a linesman, or assistant referee, on each touchline. The linesman¡¯s role has remained fundamentally the same since that time. It is his duty to assist and advise the referee from the touchline, with a particular focus on specific aspects of the game.
The linesman decides when the ball has gone out of play. She is able to look directly along both the touchline and goal line, something that the referee is normally unable to do. When the whole of the ball has left the field, the linesman raises her flag to signal the need for a throw-in, goal kick or corner kick.
When the ball leaves the field of play, the linesman decides which team is entitled to the ensuing throw-in, goal kick or corner kick. As with all other refereeing decisions, the referee himself has the final word and can overturn the linesman¡¯s decision if deemed necessary.
The linesman raises his flag when he spots a player in an offside position. This is one of his most difficult tasks. It often involves a split-second decision in a potentially match-winning situation.
When a manager or coach wants to make a substitution, she will inform the linesman in charge of the touchline closest to the team dugout or technical area. It is then the linesman¡¯s duty to inform the referee of the requested change.
Keeping one eye on 22 players is an impossible task for the referee. The linesman, therefore, acts as a second pair of eyes. It is his duty to indicate when an incident occurs out of the referee¡¯s view. According to the Football Referee website, the referee is expected to act on the linesman¡¯s advice regarding incidents that he did not witness himself.
If the referee believes the linesman had a better view of an incident, she will consult with the linesman to determine the correct course of action.
The linesman has two key duties during penalty kicks, both of which involve looking along the goal line. He must first decide whether the goalkeeper moved off the goal line before the penalty-taker kicked the ball. He must then decide whether the whole ball crossed the goal line.
Linesmen rarely enter the field of play, remaining on the touchline for most of the game. If needed, a linesman can enter the field of play to assist the referee during free kick procedures, specifically to help enforce the 10 yards law. Linesmen also help the referee when scuffles or fights occur. According to the FIFA Laws of the Game, the nearest assistant referee may enter the field of play to assist the referee in situations of mass confrontation.

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