Month: August 2017

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Cheerleading Moves & Cheers for Beginners

When you are just beginning in cheerleading, there are many things to learn. You must master motions, cheers, jumps, tumbling, formations and stunts. It is a good idea to start slowly, mastering a small handful of items in each category before learning more. Practice your motions and cheers in front of a mirror to perfect them.
Beginners should master these top five easy motions, working hard to perfect placement and execution of just a handful of motions prior to learning any more. Touchdown involves raising both hands straight above your head. Keep your arms slightly forward, with your biceps close to your ears. Next work on T motion. Extend your arms straight out to the side at shoulder level. Master both High and Low V by making a V shape with your arms overhead for High V, or pointing down for Low V. The final basic motion you should master is Clasp. In a Clasp, you clasp your hands in front of you with your fists just below your chin.
If you are a beginner, the cheers you use should be simple with few words and few motions. Make sure you have no more than one motion per word. Use Clasps to keep time during your cheers and to simplify more difficult cheers that have many motions. Focus on clearly projecting the words of the cheer, getting your volume from your diaphragm instead of your throat.
Even as a beginning cheerleader, your cheer library should include many types of cheers. You need chants for when your team is on offense — “2, 2, we want 2!” — and on defense — “Steal that ball!” You also need all-purpose chants like, “Go! Fight! Win!” Chants typically are repeated three or more times. Crowd-involvement cheers are those that have a special part the crowd is supposed to cheer back to you. For example, you cheer: “We say Go, you say Fight — Go!” and the crowd should yell back, “Fight!” Finally, you need longer cheers that can be performed out on the floor during halftime or between quarters. These cheers are typically only repeated once.
Here is a beginner offense chant you can learn: “S-C-O-R-E” “Score Team Score!” Start with Clasps for “S, C, O.” Quickly add “R” in between Clasps, and then Clasp again on “E.” Hit a Low V motion on “Score.” Come back to a Clasp on “Team.” You can substitute the name of your team’s mascot here instead of “Team.” End the cheer with a High V on the “Score!” Since this is a chant, come back down to a Clasp, saying nothing. Then repeat the chant two more times.


Difference Between Turbo Jam & Turbo Fire

At-home workout DVDs are one of the best low-cost methods for getting fit. Yet for the beginner, the choices are staggering. Among them are the “Turbo” series from Chalene Johnson. Turbo Fire, which debuted in 2010, follows on the heels of her earlier DVD series, Turbo Jam. It¡¯s helpful for the person new to either working out or to at-home programs to ascertain whether Turbo Jam or Turbo Fire is the best starting point. Always check with your doctor to determine if you’re ready to start a new workout routine.
Turbo Jam and Turbo Fire were both created by and feature fitness trainer Chalene Johnson. Each series features a combination of kickboxing and hip-hop moves, with plenty of music to keep things lively. As their names suggest, both series rely on Johnson¡¯s “turbo” concept, which mixes intense cardio intervals with periods of more sustained cardio moves, as well as stretching and strength training. Both programs are produced by Beachbody, the fitness corporation behind popular DVD and video sets such as the P9OX and Insanity series. Johnson describes both Turbo Jam and Turbo Fire as natural outgrowths of her original Turbo Kick, which originated in the late 1990s.
Although Turbo Fire has a “new to class” option, Turbo Jam is the better choice for beginners. Johnson describes the program¡¯s inception as a “ramp” to her original kickboxing and hip-hop classes. Turbo Fire is geared to people with some experience in high-intensity interval training, although it (like Turbo Jam) includes low-intensity versions of each workout. Johnson notes that the core of Turbo Fire is a series of short duration intervals that “kill you.” Obviously, this concept is a bit daunting for the beginner, making Turbo Jam more user-friendly to people new to the high interval workouts. According to Johnson, Turbo Fire is intended to fill the gap for more experienced fitness buffs who plateau if high interval isn¡¯t interspaced with regular cardio and strength training.
Turbo Jam comes with a guidebook, flashcards to reinforce the program¡¯s signature moves and a link to online support. Its main components are two DVDs with a total of five workouts — an introduction to the core eleven moves used in Turbo Jam, a 40-minute muscle-sculpting workout, a 20-minute full-body workout, a 45-minute dance cardio workout and a 20-minute workout focusing on standing abdominal moves. A “bonus package” available on the Beachbody website includes weighted workout gloves, a related kickboxing DVD and a meal-planning tool. Beachbody sells Turbo Jam for about $60.
Along with its larger group of DVDs, Turbo Fire comes with a fitness band, a suggested workout schedule and a related guidebook. The 10 DVDs include an introduction to the high-intensity interval training and traditional cardio concepts of the workouts. The workouts themselves range from high interval/stretch, cardio/stretch and sculpt/tone routines, each lasting between 25 to 60 minutes. The “bonus package” includes nutrition guides, online support, an additional sculpting band and a DVD focusing on abs. Turbo Fire sells for about $120.


How Has the Game Rugby Changed Over the Years?

The story goes that a schoolboy named William Webb Ellis played a soccer match at Rugby School in England in 1823. During the game Webb Ellis picked up the football and ran — giving birth to an entirely new sport. Though the story may be exaggerated, rugby has developed into one of the world’s most popular sports. Many of the rules are the same today as they were more than 100 years ago.
The earliest recorded laws of rugby, written by Rugby School pupils in 1845, are similar to today’s rules. The notion of offside, the banning of forward passes and the idea of running a ball out of “touch” all are featured in the early codes. Paintings of early rugby games show dozens of players, instead of the 15 per team today. The rules also controversially promoted “hacking” — the kicking and tripping of an opponent’s legs. This was soon banned and replaced with the shoulder tackles seen in the modern game. Rugby in the 1800s also was far more focused on kicking, rather than the modern aim of try scoring.
In 1871, the Rugby Football Union was established. The Union aimed to create a code of rules for clubs in England and across the world. Former Rugby school pupils wrote the new laws, according to archives collected at Kings College London. Soon after in 1871 Scotland and England played the first international match. The International Rugby Board was founded in 1886 to govern the laws of rugby for all participating nations.
The biggest change in the structure of rugby came in 1895. An argument about paying players resulted in 12 teams from northern England splitting from the Rugby Union to create their own league. The new format allowed player payment and allowed only 13 players per team. Today, the format is still known as Rugby League. Another form of rugby grew from Rugby Union. Rugby Sevens allowed only seven players per team, creating a more open game that suited faster, slighter players.
Until 1995 all Rugby Union players were classified as amateurs; they often had day jobs and played rugby when possible. However, as TV and sponsorship revenues increased, players argued for professional status. In 1995 the International Rugby Board agreed and permitted payment to Union players. Rugby League players had been paid for their sport for almost 100 years prior.
Rugby, both League and Union, has developed several hotly contested competitions since the 1800s. Matches between old rivals often have traditional names, such as the Calcutta Cup between England and Scotland. International games are often played as visiting “test” tours. The annual Six Nations Trophy includes French, Italian, English, Scottish, Irish and Welsh teams. In 1987, Australia and New Zealand hosted the first Rugby World Cup, with New Zealand taking the inaugural Webb Ellis Cup.


The New Badminton Rules

In August 2006, the Badminton World Federation, or BWF, changed the laws of badminton in order to add extra excitement to the game. The rule changes were designed to regulate the duration of each match and make the sport more appealing for television audiences. All court measurements and equipment laws have remained unchanged, as have the basic playing methods. The main changes have been to the scoring system.
As with the former rules of badminton, you have to win two out of three games to win a match. However, the traditional 15 points format has now been replaced with a 21 points format. Before the rule changes, each game would be won by the first player to score 15 points, or 11 points for women. The new rules state that the first player to score 21 points will win each game. This rule applies for both men and women.
The new scoring system has not lengthened the duration of each match. Due to the new points system, the game now flows more rapidly. Points used to be won only on the serve, meaning that the receiving player had to break his opponent¡¯s serve in order to win the right to serve and therefore score points. The new rules have introduced what is known as a ¡°rally scoring system.¡± A player or team can now win a point in any rally, regardless of who served.
The 21 point format has also brought in new laws for tied games. According to the official Badminton World Federation Laws of Badminton, ¡°If the score becomes 20-all, the side which gains a two point lead first, shall win that game.¡± If the score becomes 29-all, the player or team to score the 30th point will win the game.
Due to changes in the points scoring system, players now receive a 60-second break when one side reaches 11 points. All players get a two-minute break between each game.
All of the new rules also apply to doubles matches. An additional change has been introduced into the doubles serving system. As stated by the BBC Sport website, ¡°A team now has only one serve in doubles, rather than two under the old rules.¡±
The new badminton rules have reduced the playing time needed to complete a full match. According to the Badminton Information website, it was not uncommon for an old format match to last for two hours. The new rules have reduced the average match time to about an hour. The rally scoring system has also changed the tactical nature of the game. As the Badminton Information website states, ¡°Avoiding making unforced errors is crucial here because every rally counts.¡±


Stretches for Collapsed Arches

The arches of your foot are helpful in acting as shock absorbers. Because the entire foot does not hit the ground, you experience less strain on the joints and less pull on the ankles. As you age, the arch in your foot can drop or collapse, making your feet more flat. This can cause pain and discomfort when walking or exercising. In addition to wearing more supportive shoes, you also can perform exercises that strengthen the muscles that pull on the arches, known as the tibialis posterior.
The toe raise with eversion exercise helps to stretch and strengthen the tibialis posterior muscles and can be performed throughout the day. Start by standing with your feet hip width apart. Focus your weight on the outside edges of your feet, feeling your arches lift slightly. Slowly rise on the balls of your feet, trying to concentrate most of your weight on your outer toes and feel the arch lifting. Pull your knees in slightly with your weight still focused on your outer toes. Hold this position for 10 seconds, then lower the feet to the ground.
If you have access to a sandy beach, walking on the beach one to two times per week can help to stretch and strengthen collapsed arches. You do not have to walk quickly for the exercise to be effective. Instead, focus on spreading your toes as you walk and feeling a stretch in the back of your foot. Keep your feet in line with your knees, taking steady careful steps.
The towel scrunch exercise helps to stretch and strengthen your arches. To perform, stand with one foot in the center of a hand towel. Scrunch your toes in and straighten them out to bunch the towel as much as possible. When you have scrunched the towel, use your feet to stretch the towel back out. Repeat on the opposite foot.
The stork stretch involves standing with one foot on the floor and lifting the other foot up to increase pressure on your foot on the floor. Start by standing on one foot near a wall or other supportive furniture. Imagine someone is lifting your foot at your arches as you lift the foot to put the tops of your toes on the floor and increase the pressure on your heels. Hold this position for 10 seconds as you feel the muscles in your foot strengthening. Release the stretch and repeat on the opposite foot.


Expected Progress of Physical Therapy After Shoulder Surgery

Shoulder surgery can be a complex procedure, and recovery can vary widely, depending on the extent of the surgery and the severity of the damage. Physical therapy should begin immediately following surgery and can last weeks to months. You must progress through each stage of physical therapy before moving on to the next. Your rate of progression largely depends on the outcome of the surgery, as well as how consistent you are with performing your therapeutic tasks.
The first stage begins almost immediately after surgery. In this stage, your shoulder may be temporarily immobilized; however, your doctor may have you begin to move your arm and shoulder as early as the first or second day. You will also need to ice your shoulder. Ice will help control swelling and provide temporary pain relief. Ice often throughout the day for about 20 minutes at a time. The first stage may last a week or longer, depending on the type of surgery.
As your shoulder begins to heal, light massage may be necessary to help maximize the mobility of your shoulder joint and to reduce lingering swelling. You will also begin range of motion exercises. There are two kinds of range of motion exercises: passive and active. In passive range of motion, you lie still while a physical therapist moves your shoulder through its range of motion. In active range of motion, you move your shoulder by yourself. This stage can begin as soon as you are able and can last several weeks.
Once your shoulder has healed to the point where you can effectively complete a variety of active range of motion exercises, you can begin performing exercises to strengthen the muscles that support your shoulder joint. After surgery, the affected muscles may atrophy, or lose size and strength. To reverse this effect, a physical therapist will direct you through a series of exercises that are designed to rebuild muscle tissue that was lost or damaged during and after surgery. As your muscles strengthen, the exercises will become more advanced. This stage may last weeks to months following surgery.
When you have regained normal strength and flexibility in your shoulder, you can return to normal activity. Even though you may be fully recovered from your injury and subsequent recovery, your physical therapist may still recommend that you continue to perform the flexibility exercises given to you in the second stage and the strengthening exercises from the third stage. This will help ensure that the muscles and ligaments that support your shoulder joint remain strong and flexible, reducing the chance of reinjuring your shoulder.


Exercising After Pericarditis

If you¡¯re one of the thousands of people diagnosed with pericarditis each year, you might have felt like you were having a heart attack because the symptoms are similar. Pericarditis can even affect healthy young athletes and children due to a viral infection, autoimmune disease or trauma. Although the condition might keep you from exercising and training until it¡¯s cleared up, you should eventually be able to return to normal activity.
The pericardium is a thin, double-layered sac on the surface of your heart filled with fluid. It serves an important function — shielding the heart from infection or from overexpanding, but it can become inflamed and swollen, leading to a buildup of excess fluid. Symptoms include a sharp stabbing pain that might radiate into your back, neck or left shoulder; difficulty breathing when lying down; a dry cough; and anxiety or fatigue. Most cases are found in men ages 20 to 50, although it can also affect women. Treatment includes various medications that should clear up the condition, although it often recurs.
An article from the Saint Louis University School of Medicine, published in ¡°Current Sports Medicine Reports¡± in April 2006, recommends that athletes with pericarditis refrain from all physical exercise until tests show there¡¯s no evidence of active disease. After that time, they should be able to return to play. Dr. David Stewart, medical director at the Heart and Vascular Institute of Providence Everett Medical Center, adds that pericarditis typically takes one to three weeks to heal, although trying to exercise too soon afterward can cause a recurrence. If your pericarditis is accompanied by myocarditis, an infection of the heart muscle, it might be four to six weeks before you can begin exercising again.
Exercise won¡¯t prevent or cure pericarditis, but it can improve your strength and endurance. Stronger muscles will help your heart use oxygen more efficiently, and the heart won¡¯t have to work as hard to pump blood. The reduced blood pressure will increase your overall health and fitness level, as well as help boost your disease-fighting immune system.
After treatment ends, start exercising slowly at first and work with your doctor or physical therapist to create a personalized exercise routine. Slow walking is a good way to ease back into activity, while your therapist monitors your blood pressure, heart rate and cardiac rhythm. As your endurance increases, you can start adding brisk walking, running, cycling or swimming. If you experience any shortness of breath or rapid heartbeat, or if you cough up blood or have unexplained weight loss, consult your doctor.


What Is the Importance of Sports in Our Lives?

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported that sports participation records in the United States had reached record levels. During the 2010 to 2011 academic year, 55 percent of all high school students participated in sports. Sports can positively impact both children and adults, providing opportunities to get exercise and spend time with peers in a healthy environment.
Playing sports can make you stronger and healthier, contributing to lower obesity rates, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Athletes tend to have lower body mass indexes, but non-athlete participants will still benefit from developing muscles and burning calories. Active people tend to have lower rates of diabetes and high blood pressure. Exercising regularly through sports programs could contribute to better heart and lung function. Learning to play sports as a child might carry over into being a more active adult, according to Sports and Psych Central states that some sports tend to have a more lasting impact from childhood into adulthood: soccer, baseball and hockey, for example. In sports such as gymnastics or diving, athletes tend to peak while still young and not participate as adults.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports children who play sports are less likely to use drugs and smoke. Female athletes might also be less likely to become pregnant in high school. For children, playing sports can help develop friendships centered on healthy, safe and enjoyable activities. Adults who play sports also have the opportunity to develop friendships centered around an active lifestyle. Team practice and competitions provide socializing options that are healthier and more active compared with regular sessions of other more sedentary activities. Sports can particularly benefit low-income individuals, who might not have the money or resources to socialize outside of playing sports, according to Child Fund International.
People who play sports tend to perform better at school, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports. Student athletes earn higher grades and earn higher test scores on standardized tests. They also have lower dropout rates and a better chance of getting into college.
Sports also play the important role of imparting character values, according to Sport and Playing sports can help teach honesty, teamwork and fair play. Learning to follow rules and respecting teammates and opponents can also be useful. Experiencing the role of a graceful winner and loser teaches people about being humble, and competition in general can teach individuals about self-respect, confidence and managing stress. Taking on leading roles within your team can also teach leadership, according to the Palo Alto Medical Foundation.


The Physics of Basketball Player Hang Times

One of the most impressive parts of basketball is watching a player¡¯s hang time. Not only do you want to see who can hang in the air the longest, but you also want to know how to get that long hang time. When you understand the science behind hang times, you can figure out how to increase your own.
To understand hang time, you have to understand the importance of jumping. When you jump to take a shot, you can appear suspended in mid air at the high point of the jump. This illusion is a result of projectile motion. Projectile motion simply states that, when thrown into the air, an object, or in this case you, will spend the majority of the time at the top of the throw. The higher you jump, the greater your hang time. Most players can jump a maximum of about 4 feet. Because gravity is a constant force and your vertical leap is not, your vertical leap, combined with the force of gravity, will change if you work at it. You can increase the strength of your vertical leap by going through exercises with your coach or trainer that build strength and speed in your legs. These exercises include jumping straight in the air, jumping onto boxes or steps of various heights, speed work like sprinting, and strength training for your legs.
There is more to your jump than simply the distance you travel vertically. You also have to take into account your takeoff. The takeoff is when you are running forward with the ball and then leap into the air. Because this is all happening so fast and you still are traveling forward through the air, the horizontal and vertical components happen at the same time, even though they represent two components of hang time. The horizontal component, or the distance you travel forward, does not change over time because it is not affected by gravity. If you look at total hang time as an arc, or the top half of a circle, you spend half of your time in the top part of the arc, with the other half split between your takeoff and landing. As you increase the velocity and strength of your takeoff, you will be able to increase your hang time. Remember that your horizontal and vertical components happen at the same time; that is why it is represented by an arc. The shape of the arc changes as your takeoff changes. The more power you have in your takeoff, which represents both your vertical leap and the distance you travel horizontally, the high the arc will be and the longer you will appear to be in the air.
In order to calculate your hang time for basketball, use a combination of the laws of physics and mathematical equations. Newton’s First Law essentially states that an object in motion will remain at motion unless acted upon by an outside force. This concerns you flying through the air. Newton’s Second Law explains how an outside force changes the velocity of an object. Newton was able to put the second law in mathematical terms when the object, in this case you, has a constant mass. This equation is F = m x a, where ¡°F¡± stands for force, ¡°m¡± is mass and ¡°a¡± is acceleration. When you apply both laws to your hang time, it means that you will come down to the floor at the same rate you rose from the floor, assuming you don¡¯t come into contact with anything. The outside force causing you to come back down to the floor is gravity, which is constant. The resulting force from your takeoff is your mass times your acceleration, or the combined speed and strength you used to launch yourself into the air.
Even Michael Jordan could hang in the air for only so long. The same laws of physics apply to you as well. To create the illusion of a longer hang time, try some of Michael Jordan¡¯s moves: Hang on to the ball longer, then place it in the basket on the way down and pull your legs up as the jump progresses. Remember, all of this happens in about one second, and you spend only half of that second at the top of the jump, so make it count.


The Advantages of Playing Learning Games with Kids

A variety of educational games for kids exist, including board games, card games, interactive puzzles and video games. Most kids enjoy the challenge of participating in games, and the process of playing some of educational activities may actually make them smarter and more capable. Games can also bring you and your child closer as you enjoy the activity together.
Particularly for toddlers and kindergartners, board games and other learning games that invite physical interaction play an important part in developing and advancing motor skills. Games such as Twister, which encourage manual dexterity and strengthen balance, help kids coordinate the body with the brain and experiment with how the two entities cooperate. Advanced video- and electronic-game systems also have the advantage of improving hand-eye coordination and visual focus.
According to Dr. Shari Nethersole, a physician at Children¡¯s Hospital in Boston, interactive games have the significant benefit of improving social skills through encouraging diplomatic and organized communication between children. When adults aren¡¯t playing, kids have to negotiate rules, follow a set system of directions and take turns to keep the game running. Learning games inspire cooperation and may even play a role in the development of conflict resolution and mediation skills.
Scholastic Parent & Child magazine points out that many educational games, particularly board games, have the power to improve children¡¯s focus and lengthen their attention spans. Kids who easily get frustrated and might quit other activities without seeing quick results might tend to stick with games for longer periods of time because of the possibility of advancement and rewards. Ultimately, sticking with a game through its course can help kids develop patience and maturity. Board games, concentration games and mathematics activities also require memorization and repetition for success. Kids who play them often learn the advantages of exercising those skills. Many tests and quizzes in every grade have similar formats to those found in board games and quiz games. Kids can better their chances of scoring well by mastering these systems and formats in a playful setting.
Dr. Mark Griffiths, a psychology professor at Nottingham Trent University, notes that many educational video games seem to improve children¡¯s self-esteem and provide a positive feeling of accomplishment. Educational games, whether they consist of solving a puzzle or completing a virtual level, offer rewards for tasks that kids have independently completed and may inspire them to take productive risks in other areas of their lives as well.
Educational games that encourage creative expression, such as Pictionary and Cranium, push kids to think outside the norm and consider atypical methods of explanation. Exploring and expanding creativity through such games can also help with nurturing self-esteem and self-acceptance, and they inspire a greater connection between personality and activity.

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