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How to Fix Leaks in Sports Balls

While inflatable sports balls are crafted to withstand rough treatment and conditions, damage occasionally occurs that may lead to a leak in the ball or the valve that affects the integrity and usability of the orb. When a leak occurs in your soccer ball, football, basketball or volleyball, there are simple steps to mend it before giving up on the ball completely. Acting quickly to repair a ball leak will lengthen its life and get you right back to the field or court.

Fixing a ball leak is easy and effective.

Locate the Leak

  • Inflate the ball using a ball inflator or pump. Submerge the ball in a bucket filled with water. Look for any bubble streams coming out of the ball to identify leaks and leak locations. Note that bubbles coming from the seams may be coming from the space between the ball’s panel and bladder, and not necessarily a leak. Those bubbles will stop once the trapped air is released. Continuous bubbles signify a leak. Mark the ball where leaks are present.

Valve Leak Repair

  • If bubbles emanate from the center of the valve, the ball has a defective valve. First, attempt to clean the valve with a wet inflating needle inserted a few times to wash away dirt and debris. If the leak persists, replace the valve with a new, compatible valve. Remove the valve according to the ball model’s instructions. Soak a compatible new valve in soapy water. Insert the new valve into the opening of the ball and screw it tightly into place. Inflate the ball and leave it for 24 hours to ensure leaking does not continue and the valve is secure.

Surface Leak Repair

  • If the leak was emanating from the surface of the ball, there is likely a small puncture in the bladder and/or surface causing the leak. To mend this leak, inflate the ball until it is about 75 percent full. Use a ball repair sealant that can be found at your local sporting goods store. Wet the sealant can’s insertion needle with water, then push it all the way into the valve. Spray the repair sealant into the ball for five to six seconds. Inflate the ball fully. Bounce the ball 10 times to allow the sealant to be distributed evenly on the inside of the ball’s bladder, then let the ball sit for an hour with the leak location facing the ground to allow the sealant to settle. Retest for leaks by submerging in water to locate any additional leaks and test the sealant.

Alternative Repair Methods

  • Another option for repairing a surface leak without a sealant is through heat. Heat the blade of a knife or screwdriver by moving it back and forth over a flame. Rub the blade over the leaky area until the vinyl melts. Let the vinyl harden for at least five minutes. Reinflate the ball and test for leaks again. Bicycle tire tube patch kits can also be used to repair a leaking sports ball. These can be purchased at a local bicycle shop or sporting goods store. Follow the instructions provided in the tube patch kit.

How to Get a Fitness Instructor Certification

If you love working out and would like to motivate others to reach their fitness goals, becoming a group fitness instructor may be the perfect way to earn extra money. Fitness instructors work for private gyms and organizations like the YMCA.

As a fitness instructor you can motivate others to get in shape and stay healthy.


  1. Participate in as many group fitness classes as possible to learn different teaching styles and techniques. Doing so will also help you figure out which fitness classes you are most interested in. Examples include aerobics, spinning, cardio kickboxing and body sculpting.
  2. Pursue your CPR certification. Check with your local YMCA, Red Cross or American Heart Association to see if they offer classes.
  3. Pursue fitness instructor training through a nationally recognized fitness association. The two most popular associations are the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA) and the American Council on Exercise (ACE). If you want to teach at a particular gym, talk to the group fitness manager to see which certification she prefers.
  4. Co-teach some fitness classes with a more experienced group fitness instructor, after receiving your certification, to gain experience and confidence.
  5. Once you become more experienced as a certified fitness instructor, you might want to pursue advanced training in the class formats you enjoy most. You may also need to take continuing education courses to keep your fitness certification current.

How to Start Jogging

It takes a good amount of stamina and energy to be a jogger. In the beginning, it is best to start slowly. This will allow you to prepare yourself both mentally and physically to go the distance. By taking the time to really learn proper jogging strategies and techniques, you will reduce your chances of straining muscles.

Jogging is a great form of exercise when done properly.


  1. Develop a good warm up routine. It will help your blood circulate and get more oxygen flowing to your muscles. This will help keep you flexible and prepare your body for the demands of jogging. It will speed up your heart rate, which will minimize the amount of stress on your heart from the jog. Begin by walking slowly for five minutes. Gradually intensify until you are walking at a brisk pace. Stretch for about five minutes before beginning your jog.
  2. Gradually shift from walking to jogging. Do this by alternating between jogging and brisk walking. Continue alternating between the two for 20 minutes. Remember to walk immediately after you finish jogging. This will keep the muscles you used during the jog from feeling worn down and it will improve your endurance, allowing you to jog further.
    Over time, you can gradually increase your running time and decrease your walking.
  3. Check your jogging form. Jogging in the proper form can reduce the amount of stress on your body. Keep your eyes focused straight ahead. Don’t look down at your feet. As you jog, the ball of your foot should land on the ground first, and then your foot should roll forward until your toes touch the ground. This will help prevent strains or injuries to your foot. Keep your fists gently closed near your waist. Tightening your hands can cause strain to your neck and shoulders. Keep your arms bent at a 90-degree angle and let them move from back to front.
  4. Pay attention to your breathing. This will help you determine if you are jogging at a speed that your body can handle. You should be able to participate in a conversation when you jog. If your breathing is labored, you are moving too fast.
  5. Give yourself a cooling off period. Get into the habit of doing a cool down routine at the end of each jogging session to help your body gradually slow down from your jog. Start with a brisk pace and then walk slowly for about five minutes, followed by five minutes of stretches.

About T-Ball

In most parts of the country, T-ball is a sport children play before they progress to coach-pitch baseball. Players learn the basic concepts of the sport of baseball while they play T-ball and get their first baseball experience of being part of a team. T-ball allows children to hit the ball so they can succeed while learning how to play the game.


  • T-ball is a sport that introduces the sport of baseball to young children. It is usually played by children that are between 4 and 6 years of age. It starts to teach them the basic concepts of how to be part of a team and to play with other children in an athletic event. It also introduces the basics of baseball to children as the positions in T-ball are very similar to baseball except for the pitcher and catcher positions.


  • T-ball is a sport that introduces players to hitting a baseball. Instead of having the ball thrown to the hitter by a coach or another child the ball is placed on a stationary tee. The tee can be adjusted in height to the level of each player’s swing on the T-ball team so they can hit the ball effectively. Players can not strike out in T-ball, as they are allowed to swing until the player makes contact with the ball and hits it into fair territory. In T-ball, there are quite often additional defensive players on the field than in baseball, enabling everyone on a team to play in the game.


  • The dimensions of a T-ball field are significantly different than even coach-pitch baseball leagues. The distance between the bases is only 50 feet apart. The pitcher’s mound is only 38 feet from home plate. Both of these distances are about 10 percent shorter than in coach-pitch leagues. In T-ball there is also a line drawn from the first base to third base line that is approximately fifteen feet from the tee the ball is hit off of. The ball is not considered in play until it passes that line. This line does not exist in coach-pitch baseball.


  • T-ball starts to introduce children to the physical fitness benefits that playing the sport of baseball offers. Players learn about running the bases and chasing the ball in the field. T-ball also introduces a child to the basic concepts of baseball in a simpler environment. This allows players to learn the basics of baseball before having to adjust to hitting a pitched ball either by a coach or by one of the players on another team.


  • Safety should be practiced in T-ball and emphasized heavily. Players must wear helmets even though a ball is not thrown for them to hit. Players must also learn that running into a player on another team in not permitted. If a player throws the bat while playing T-ball is should be explained to that player that throwing the bat is not permitted, and repeat offenses result in the batter being called out. This will help children learn the importance of safety while playing T-ball.

How Does a Fish Swim?

How Does a Fish Swim?
Anatomy of a FishWhile watching your pet fish swimming around in their watery home, you may find yourself wondering how they seem to swim so easily. Their skeletons and muscles work together to allow them to swim, along with their fins and something called a swim bladder.

Swimming Goldfish
Using the Skeleton and MusclesThe primary function of the skeleton is to aide movement of other parts. The skull is the only truly fixed part of a fish. It does not move in and of itself but acts as a point of stability for other bones. These other bones act as levers that cause movement of the fish’s body. While the bones provide the movement, the muscles supply the power. A typical fish has hundreds of muscles running in all directions around its body. This is why a fish can turn and twist and change directions quickly.

Fish Skeleton
Using the FinsAs water passes over its body, a fish uses its fins to thrust in the direction it wishes to go. The caudal fins supply most of the thrust. The pelvic, dorsal and pectorals assist in side to side movement and lift the body.

Fish Fin
The Swim BladderA swim bladder in the belly of the fish fills with gas and expands or deflates according to the depth of the surrounding water. This enables the fish to swim without floating upward or sinking unexpectedly. The fish bladder is sort of like the fishing bobber on a fish line.The bobber keeps the fishhook at the desired level without sinking or coming to the surface. The swim bladder does the same thing for the fish. Sometimes the swim bladder malfunctions. If this happens, a fish is not able to swim correctly and may start swimming upside down. If a pet fish does this, contact your veterinarian right away.

Fish with early sign of swim bladder illness
Fish ScalesThe last thing that helps a fish swim through the water is an oily discharge that covers the body and scales. Fish skin is made of tiny overlapping scales. The oil on the scales causes the water to glide easily over the fish.

Fish Scale
Types of SwimmersThere are two kinds of swimmers in the fish world. A cruiser swims constantly, looking for food. A burst fish tends to swim in small bursts and hide in between bursts. Both kinds of swimmers use the process described here to swim.

A burst swimmer

How to Jog to Lose Weight

Exercise is important for health and wellness as well as for losing weight. Running or jogging is one of the simplest and most effective workouts for weight loss, as it involves the whole body, with particular focus on the large muscles of the legs. When you’re jogging to lose weight, a little bit of effort goes a long way, and you can easily build up to a steady exercise regimen.

Jogging regularly is an effective way to lose weight.


  1. Evaluate your physical condition and determine whether you’d be better off walking at first. Beginners, particularly those who are extremely overweight, should use caution when starting an exercise regimen. If you’re only slightly overweight and in good shape otherwise, jogging to lose weight may work well for you.
  2. Set a weight-loss goal. To lose 1 lb. per week, you need to burn 500 more calories each day than you consume. You can do this through exercise alone or through diet and exercise. Try reducing your caloric intake by 250 calories a day and burning at least 250 through exercise.
  3. Learn how many calories you burn per minute of exercise. Joggers who weigh 127 to 137 lbs. burn 9.2 calories a minute, and 160- to 170-lb. joggers burn 11.5 calories a minute. If you weigh in between 180 and 200 lbs. you’ll burn 12.7 calories a minute when jogging. Using 150 lbs. and 10 calories per minute as an average, simply add a zero to the number of minutes spent jogging and you’ll have an estimate of calories burned; 250 for 25 minutes, 300 for 30 minutes.
  4. Create a jogging schedule to follow throughout the week, varying your exercise routine for best results. Try jogging 15 minutes at a higher speed one day and 35 minutes at a slower pace the next. A few moderate 30-minute jog days in the mix will round out your schedule.
  5. Buy good running shoes and hit the road. Map out a few routes, and start slowly if you need to, working up to a faster pace.

Inground Pool Leak Detection

Nothing is more maddening to an in-ground swimming pool owner than to watch her pool’s water level drop daily through some unseen leak. In-ground swimming pool basins develop leaks through various means, including tears in pool liners. Swimming pools, though, can also develop leaks elsewhere, including their hydrostatic valves and filter systems. Other likely sources of in-ground pool leaks include around fittings and skimmers. Finding a leak in an in-ground swimming pool takes a bit of detective work but it can be done.

In-ground swimming pools can develop leaks in several places and it can take a bit of effort to find them.

Leak Detection

  • The first place to check when it comes to a leak in a swimming pool is within its basin. Also, pool fittings and skimmer faceplates can develop leaks. A leak in a pool’s basin is detected through use of simple dye test to track colored water making its way to the leak. If you suspect you have a leak coming from your pool’s filter fittings or the skimmer perform a visual inspection for moisture or drips around such equipment.

Dye Test

  • Find underwater leaks in any type of in-ground swimming pool basin by using special dyes and syringes sold in pool supply stores. You can also make up a swimming pool leak detection kit by using dark food coloring and a turkey baster. Get as close to the site of a suspected pool basin leak as possible and then squirt dye, watching to see where it goes. If a pool basin has a leak, dye introduced near it will quickly exit through that leak.

Hydrostatic Valve

  • An in-ground concrete or fiberglass swimming pool is typically fitted with a hydrostatic valve. Check under the pool’s main drain cover for the hydrostatic valve and apply dye near the main drain to see where it goes. A hydrostatic valve helps equalize pressure between the water in a pool basin and the groundwater beneath it. Old, worn out hydrostatic valves are often the culprits when it comes to an in-ground swimming pool leak. Have your pool’s hydrostatic valve replaced about every five years.


  • In-ground swimming pools have underground plumbing systems that are inaccessible to visual inspection or use of dyes to detect leaks. Consult a swimming pool leak professional if you suspect leaks in its underground plumbing. Also, if air bubbles are coming from your pool’s water return ports there’s a leak in your pool’s return lines at some location along those lines. Lastly, other areas in a swimming pool that tend to leak are sharp corners or along any seams.

How to Make an Aromatherapy Eye Pillow

An aromatherapy eye pillow is perfect for blocking out sunlight and adding a gentle weight to the eyes during relaxation. The pressure of the pillow can work in relaxing both the face and eye muscles, which can reduce headaches and tension. Adding an aromatherapy scent to the eye pillow can increase relaxation and rejuvenation. Easy to make, these pillows are a great gift idea; allow the recipient to relax in her home as she would in a spa.

Aromatherapy Eye Pillow


  1. Choose a soft cotton fabric, or soft faux fur to make your aromatherapy eye pillow.
  2. Cut the fabric into a 12 inch wide rectangle, with the width being at least 3 inches. You can either make the eye pillow a simple rectangle, or you can cut 2 half-circles into one side of the length for room over the nose. Next, place the outside of the fabric so that it is facing each other, with the wrong side facing towards you. Sew a 1/2 inch seam around the two lengths and one width, so that there is one remaining width side open.
  3. Mix the flax seed or split peas with the dried lavender or sage. You can add about 3 drops of your favorite essential oil into the mixture, if desired.
  4. Fill the pillow with the mixture, and hand sew the last side to close.
  5. Squeeze the eye pillow once it has been sealed so that the scent can be distributed evenly. Then, place over the eyes and relax.

How to Open Your Heart Chakra With Yoga

The nexus linking your material and spiritual energies, the Heart chakra lies in the center of the body, and the midpoint of the seven chakras or Kundalini energy centers. When the Heart chakra is blocked or closed, you are out of harmony, unbalanced. Shallow breathing, slow metabolism, depressed energy, increased tension and a tendency to withdraw from social contact are all signs that the chakra needs work, according to noted chakra therapist Anodea Judith. Yoga can help to unblock a closed heart.

Camel pose stretches the front torso and opens the Heart chakra.

Breathe Your Chest Open

  • Anahata, or the Heart chakra, is intimately linked to the breath — its energy color is the green of fresh beginnings and its element is air. Practicing yoga Cleansing Breath or Kapalabhati relaxes tense chest muscles and releases the diaphragm, opening the entire chest. In a comfortable seated posture, focus on your heart area as you breathe strongly and quickly in and out. Inhale through your nostrils, a deep full breath that expands your abdomen and lungs. Then tighten your lower abdomen, pulling your navel sharply toward your spine, as you exhale explosively and immediately inhale to continue the flow. Repeat the inhalation-exhalation eight to 10 times for each round of Kapalabhati you perform. The asana involves very dynamic breathing and may not be appropriate for anyone with high blood pressure or heart disease, or who is pregnant.

Camel Arch Chest Opener

  • Ustrasana, or Camel pose, specifically targets the Heart chakra with a kneeling backbend that powerfully opens the chest. Kneel on your mat, knees slightly apart and toes curled under. Reach back with your left hand and grasp your left ankle. With the right hand, grasp the right ankle. Push your hips forward to line up with your knees. On the inhalation, arch back, lifting your hips and bringing your head back, chin to the ceiling, as you stretch and open your throat. Hold the stretch, breathing evenly, for about 30 seconds. Move your hands to support your lower back to gently come out of the pose. If you have high or low blood pressure, insomnia or a neck injury, check with your certified yoga instructor before attempting Camel pose.

Uncoiling a Snake

  • Cobra pose, Bhujangasana, makes your back bendy and expands your chest, opening the Heart chakra. Lie face down on your mat with your arms crossed under your forehead. Move your arms down along your sides and raise your head, looking up and bending your lower back. Place your hands palms down next to your chest and push up, increasing the arch in your spine and bearing most of the weight on your arms and hands. Push your chest forward and tilt your head back, increasing the stretch with every breath and keeping your buttocks and thighs relaxed, elbows close to the body and tops of feet flat on the floor. Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds and then release downward on an exhalation. Skip Cobra pose if you have carpel tunnel injury, a headache or back problems.

Supported Bound Angle Pose

  • The hip and groin opener Supta Badha Konasana, or Bound Angle pose, relaxes your whole body and, with carefully arranged props, opens the chest and Heart chakra. Sit on the floor or on a folded blanket, bend your knees and bring the soles of your feet together. Pull your heels as close as you can to your pelvis. You might use a yoga strap around your lower hips and joined feet to hold your feet together as you lie back with a bolster lengthwise under your spine, a block under each knee, a folded blanket under your neck and head and another folded blanket under each extended arm. The bolster under your back opens your chest as the full-body stretch releases stress. Breathe slowly and deeply and stay in the restorative pose for five to 20 minutes. If you have knee or lower back injuries, avoid Bound Angle pose.

Fitness Motivation for Firemen  

Sports marketing can be accomplished through many different techniques and tactics. A few of my favorite marketing techniques are apparel and video commercials. Nothing gets me more fired up than a television commercial that has awesome music playing in the background and an athlete running, lifting, pouring sweat, and working hard to achieve his goal. There is something about that intense workout visual that makes me want to head to the gym.
As a future firefighter, I know that my success in the field depends upon an elite level of physical fitness. Yet, many firemen, especially volunteer firemen, are often out of shape and overweight. By utilizing a sports marketing tactic, I believe I could influence those firemen who lack the motivation to workout. For example, imagine a video of a firefighter lifting weights in the gym and running outside with the sunrise in the distance, then quickly cut to a video of the same firefighter in full uniform as he runs into a building engulfed in flames, lifts up a rafter that fell on a young child, and carry’s the child to safety on his shoulders. This image of a strong, fit firefighter could stimulate the feeling of wanting to become more fit.
Consider taking a page from the sports marketing playbook if your program needs to improve its image or performance. Creating videos to market strength, fitness, and ‘saving the day” are cheap, effective methods for improving firefighting performance!

Understanding Your Blood Pressure

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 67 million Americans have high blood pressure. That’s one in every three people. If you are one of these 67 million, do you understand what your high blood pressure score means? If not, know that you aren’t alone. Lab tests and numbers can be confusing and difficult to make sense of. If you’re struggling to understand what your blood pressure score means, there are several websites and online apps that can help.

Blood Pressure Numbers
Your blood pressure score has two numbers, a systolic (top number) and diastolic (bottom number). You may see your blood pressure score written as 120/80 mmHg or you may hear your doctor say it as, �one hundred twenty over eighty.�

Your systolic (top) blood pressure measures how much force is being put on your arteries when your heart pumps blood out to the rest of your body. Your diastolic (bottom) blood pressure measures the force felt in your arteries when the blood is returning back to your heart.

When you measure your blood pressure, it’s important to note that your score fluctuates over time. Typically, your blood pressure will lower when you are asleep and then rise again when you wake up. Exercising can raise your blood pressure, along with feeling stressed, nervous, anxious, or excited. It’s normal for your blood pressure score to increase from time to time. However, when your blood pressure level consistently measures above normal, you could be at risk for developing several health problems. �Prehypertension� is the phrase health care providers use to let their patients know that steps must be taken to avoid developing high blood pressure.

One of the best ways to tell if you are at risk for hypertension is to measure your blood pressure levels over time. There are some apps where you can enter and then track your blood pressure scores with an easy-to-read table and graph .If you have measured your blood pressure on your own and notice that it has been consistently higher than normal, it is recommended that you make an appointment with your doctor to have your blood pressure checked. In general, it is more important for your systolic (top) number to be in a healthy range.

The reason doctors prioritize high blood pressure treatment is because this condition puts you at greater risk for more severe heart or cardiovascular problems. These include heart attack, stroke, aneurysm, and heart failure.

High blood pressure can affect other parts of your body as well. The extra stress put on your arteries can cause damaged blood vessels in your eyes and kidneys, resulting in serious damage to both. Hypertension can also cause problems with memory. It can prevent you from processing new information and from learning properly.

Treatment for high blood pressure typically comes in two forms: medication and lifestyle changes. If your doctor determines you have high blood pressure, he or she may place you on a medication to help lower your blood pressure. According to physicians at WebMD, medications are most commonly used on people younger than age 60 who have blood pressure scores above 140/90 and on people older than 60 whose blood pressure consistently measures more than 150/90.

There are several types of medications doctors use to treat hypertension. Drugs called diuretics are usually the first kind doctors will prescribe for people with high blood pressure. Those who suffer from certain medical conditions may benefit from a different kind of drug such as ACE inhibitors. These medications are especially effective in people who have diabetes. Pill reminder apps, can be very helpful when it comes to taking and refilling a regular blood pressure medication. Don’t be alarmed if your doctor suggests experimenting with a variety of drugs to find out which one works best for you. Your doctor will probably schedule follow-up visits to make sure the medications are working properly and not affecting any other part of your body.

While drugs have been proven to help reduce hypertension, one of the most important steps you can take to lower your blood pressure is to begin several lifestyle changes with a focus on heart-healthy habits. If you are overweight or obese, your doctor may recommend losing weight through a specific diet and exercise routine.

It is often encouraged that people with high blood pressure adopt the DASH diet, which stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. Recommended by physicians, this diet promotes eating more fruits, vegetables, and low-fat diary foods, while cutting back on items that are high in saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol. For protein, doctors recommend eating foods rich in heart-healthy fats, or Omega-3 fatty acids. This means replacing red meat with options such as fresh fish and nuts.

Your doctor may also recommend that you adopt the DASH Sodium diet as well. Eating too much salt has been shown to increase your risk for developing hypertension. The DASH Sodium diet calls for reducing your sodium intake to 1,500 mg per day, or about 2/3 teaspoon of salt.

In addition to eating healthier, your doctor may prescribe an exercise regimen to help you lose weight and lower your blood pressure. Aerobic exercise is any kind of movement that gets your heart pumping and blood flowing through your body. Most doctors recommend adults over 18 get at least 2-1/2 to 3 hours of cardiovascular exercise each week. This averages out to 30 minutes of activity 5 days a week. These exercises can include walking briskly, swimming, bicycling, dancing, or even daily activities such as cleaning and taking the stairs.

High blood pressure is a disease that results mainly from environmental factors, and your risk of developing it increases with age. It has also been proven that hypertension runs in families. If your blood pressure score is steadily creeping upward, or if your family members have had experience with hypertension, there are several steps you can take to help prevent high blood pressure in your future. By maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding smoking, exercising regularly, watching your salt intake, and reducing your stress levels, you can significantly cut your chances of developing high blood pressure. In addition, recent studies have shown that eating select nutrients, including potassium, calcium, magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids, and garlic, can all help reduce your chances of developing high blood pressure.

Whether you have been diagnosed with hypertension or are looking to stay within the healthy blood pressure range, just a few small steps can make a dramatic difference in your overall heart health.

How to Deflate a Sports Ball

Improperly inflated sports balls can prevent the ball from acting normally during a game. Over-inflation causes basketballs to bounce too much, making dribbling and shooting more difficult. Over-inflated footballs become lopsided which, in turn, changes the ball’s normal trajectory when thrown. The potential of the ball bursting during play also increases. Fortunately, you can remedy over-inflation of any sports ball with a hand-held air pump needle. Remove as much or as little air as necessary for your purposes.

Over-inflated sports balls become lopsided and can potentially burst.


  1. Remove the needle from a hand-held air pump. Unscrew the needle by twisting to the left. Grab the needle by the base during the removal process. The needle is fragile and likely to break under moderate pressure.
  2. Apply grease or an oil-based lubricant to the needle. This allows the needle to slide into the sports ball with minimal effort. This also reduces the chance of the needle breaking inside the sports ball.
  3. Slowly insert the needle into the sports ball. Stop when you hear a hissing sound, which indicates the release of air. Squeeze the ball to aid the deflation process.
  4. Remove the needle when when the proper air pressure is reached. It may take a few minutes for the sports ball, depending on size and inflation, to completely deflate.

Physical Fitness Plans for Children

Just like adults, kids need physical activity to stay healthy. At a time when childhood obesity is on the rise — affecting more than 12 million kids in the U.S. alone, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — staying active is more important than ever to combat this growing problem. Developing a fitness plan for children is a bit different than creating one for adults, however. To keep kids engaged and wanting to come back for more, they need a routine that is diverse, fun and age-appropriate, giving them just the right amount of challenge.

Encourage your kids by being active with them.

Aerobic Activity

  • According to, kids 6 and older need about an hour of physical activity each day, with most of this in the form of aerobic, or cardio, activity. This type of exercise can benefit children’s heart health, help them maintain a healthy weight and lessen their risk for diabetes and other illnesses. While organized aerobic activities, like a class or DVD, offer sufficient exercise, these may not hold their interest as much as other types of cardio. Activities like brisk walking, hiking, bicycling, swimming, roller skating or playing sports like soccer or basketball are all considered aerobic in nature, and most children enjoy doing these things. Finding exercises that your child enjoys is key, and you can develop their fitness plan around these.

Strength Training

  • Strength training isn’t all about hitting the weight room and hoisting barbells over your head. With kids, you need to take a different approach when it comes to exercises that build and strengthen their muscles. Exercises that use their own body weight are usually sufficient, and these can be done in the form of pushups, pullups, squats or lunges. Tug-of-war or rowing also builds muscles, and cardio activities like skating or bicycling double as strength training exercises. If you do want to incorporate weights or other equipment into the routine, be sure to use light weights, gradually increasing the weight or resistance as your child becomes stronger. As part of a larger fitness plan, these types of activities should be done two to three times per week.


  • Most children are naturally pretty flexible, but doing activities and exercises to maintain this is an important part of a fitness routine. Being flexible improves range of movement and posture, promotes physical and mental relaxation and can lessen children’s chances of injury in other activities. Kid-friendly flexibility exercises include basic stretches, like touching toes or reaching to the ceiling, but activities like gymnastics, tumbling, dance, martial arts and yoga also count toward flexibility exercises. These types of activities should be done every day, even if it’s just a series of simple stretches at the end of other exercises.

Bone Strengthening

  • The CDC recommends bone-strengthening activities three days a week for children. This type of exercise is typically done through ground impact, which puts force on the bones and stimulates growth and strength. Some activities that will do this are jumping rope, running, tennis or hopscotch; essentially, any movement that results in impact will serve as a bone-strengthening exercise. So challenge your kids to a game of jump rope or hop scotch to strengthen bones and have fun.

5 Tips to Keep Those New Year’s Resolutions  

New Year resolutions are quickly forgotten when the calendar turns to February.  Promises to go to the gym, lose weight and get fit fade as the holiday excitement comes to an end. Why do people give up on their fitness resolutions?   Perhaps it is because the exercise routine has become boring or the results are not seen as quickly as one had hoped.  Whatever the reasons for giving up on those New Year promises, here are 5 Tips for making fitness fun and interesting so that those New Year wishes can come true.
1. Keep it Fresh! Try new exercises, hire a Personal Trainer, or take your training outside for a change of scenery. Changing things up or consulting a Personal Trainer can keep the results coming.
2. Partner Up! Get a friend to join you in your fitness quest. Having a close friend or relative as a workout partner can help keep you on track and hold you accountable.
3. Make it Fun! Don’t be too serious. Take it easy and just try to enjoy your exercising instead of thinking of it as a chore.
4. Set small realistic goals. Setting goals allows you to see your progress. Make your goals small and keep moving forward to the next goal until finally you accomplish your BIG goal.
5. Reward Yourself! If you accomplish smaller goals, it is ok to reward yourself with something you have been wanting.
These 5 tips can help you keep those New Year fitness resolutions. Keep moving forward and you will achieve your goals.

How to Set the Best Fitness Goals for Fat Loss

The most exciting journey you ever take won’t start at an airport and end up in an exotic location. No, it will begin on the day you commit to losing weight and keeping it off through fitness and a healthy lifestyle. A huge part of your success will be determined not only by the effort you put into your workouts, but the goals you set before you even slip on your sneakers.

Ready, Set, GOAL.

Make a Pact

  • Carve them in stone, jot them in a notebook or use a nifty online tool like My Fitness Pal and set your goals down. Think short-term, long-term and everything in between. Commit to a whole year.

    Whether you have 20 or 120 pounds of fat to lose, a year of giving your all to the dream of becoming leaner and healthier is not a lot to ask of yourself. Use the SMART template for goal setting. Choose Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-related goals.

    As your own personal trainer, you are accountable for your progress and your success; and as such, you must be your own greatest cheerleader and motivator as well.

Keep it Real

  • Be realistic when you sit down to figure out and record your fitness goals. Don’t schedule a 5K that’s taking place in two months until you know if you can get through a brisk 30-minute walk without collapsing on your couch afterwards. Fitness is a process.

    To make the process easier, choose activities you think you’ll enjoy; and if you find you don’t, swap them out for something more fun and appealing. Keep in mind the recommended amount of exercise is 30 minutes of cardio five to seven days a week and at least two 20-minute sessions of strength training per week. Mix up your workouts to target different muscle groups and keep things interesting.

Go with the Flow

  • The best fitness goals work with your lifestyle, not against it.

    Look at your weekly schedule on Sunday night. Factor in work, appointments, social commitments and chores. If you have a spouse, you’ll want him or her on board for this whole process. Explain that you’re committed to your goals and ask for support and patience. Be willing to change gears if something comes up or doesn’t feel right. You may relish the thought of waking up super early and getting in a yoga class or a run; but if your internal clock doesn’t roll that way, exercise later in the day when your body may feel stronger.

Room to Improve

  • Once you’re in the thick of it, exercising and committed, start thinking about adding to your goals.

    If the most you can do at the start of your year-long weight-loss process is walk around the block at a moderate pace for 20 minutes, that’s okay. Soon you’re going to notice that your stamina has improved. That’s when you kick it up a notch and increase the pace and amount of time you walk. Any exercise you choose will have room for improvement. If you’re lifting 5-pound dumbbells and can perform one set of 12 reps of any chosen upper-body exercise easily, it’s either time to increase the amount of weight you lift or the number of sets and reps. Fitness goals work best when they’re changing for the better.

How to Design a Yoga Room

While it is not essential to have a yoga room in order to practice yoga, you may find that creating a special space in your home provides inspiration, relaxation and tranquility for your yoga sessions. Create a yoga room that suits your needs and style.

How to Design a Yoga Room

Find a space in your home to convert to a yoga room, perhaps a spare bedroom or home office. If an entire room isn’t available, choose a corner in a low-traffic area in your house.

Paint the room a color that will inspire peace and tranquility. Consider light shades of blue, green, lavender or yellow. Install a dimmer switch to the lights. Alternately, use low-wattage or three-way bulbs in your lamps.

Leave enough wall space to practice poses that require wall support, such as restorative yoga poses. Otherwise, decorate the room with calming items like sculptures, artwork, shoji screens and candles. Print out inspirational quotes or order them in vinyl lettering to decorate your walls. Scent the room with incense, candles, essential oils or fresh flowers.

Fill the room with yoga essentials: a yoga mat, ball, blocks, strap, blankets and pillows. Build a library of yoga DVDs, CDs and books to inspire you.

Arrange your yoga mat to face a window. If the scenery outside your window is not calming, consider installing a frosted or stained glass film that lets in natural light.

How to Start a Running Routine

Starting a running routine requires planning and discipline. From the beginning, establish a goal. Choose something realistic that will keep you motivated, such as running a specified distance in a certain amount or time or losing a targeted amount of weight. To ensure longevity, begin your running routine slowly and build on your progress as you go forward. Do not skip ahead in your program, even if you feel you can. Doing so may place excess strain on your body, leading you to burn out well before reaching your stated goal.
Establishing a running routine can help motivate you to get in shape.


  1. Purchase proper running shoes. In order to get the right shoe, you must figure out your foot’s pronation. Pronation is the way the foot rolls from heel to toe on each stride. To determine your level of pronation, grab one of your old sneakers and look at the sole. Your foot overpronates if most of the shoe wear is on the medial (inside) side. Runners who overpronate should buy motion-control running shoes. Your foot underpronates if most of the shoe wear is on the lateral (outside) side. Runners who underpronate should buy cushioned running shoes. You have a neutral stride if the wear on the underside of your sneaker is uniform across the forefoot. Runners with neutral strides should buy stability running shoes.
  2. Complete a five minute warmup walk before beginning each and every exercise.
  3. Alternate 60 seconds of jogging with 90 seconds of walking during Week One. Do this for 20 minutes uninterrupted. According to Runners World, alternating between jogging and walking is a good way to increase heart rate levels while reintroducing your body to the rigors of exercise.
  4. Complete two rounds of the following exercise each day during Week Two: jog 200 yards (or jog for 90 seconds), walk 200 yards (or walk for 90 seconds), jog 400 yards (or jog for three minutes), walk 400 yards (or walk for three minutes). According to Cool Running’s Couch-to-5k Running Plan, it is more important to increase stamina and endurance during the early weeks of your running routine than it is to worry about speed.
  5. Complete one round of the following exercise each day during week three: jog 1/4 mile (or jog for three minutes), walk 1/8 mile (or walk for 90 seconds), jog 1/2 mile (or jog for five minutes), walk 1/4 of a mile (or walk for 150 seconds), jog 1/4 mile (or jog for three minutes), walk for 1/8 mile (or walk for 90 seconds), jog for 1/2 mile (or jog for five minutes).
  6. Complete one round of the following exercise each day during Week Four: jog 1/2 mile (or jog for five minutes), walk 1/4 mile (or walk for three minutes), jog 3/4 mile (or jog for eight minutes), walk 1/4 mile (or walk for three minutes), jog 1/2 mile (or jog for five minutes).
  7. Jog 2.5 miles (or jog for 25 minutes) at a comfortable pace during week five.
  8. After completing week five exercises, continue to add distance or time to your runs if you feel like you can. Increase distance by a maximum of 10 percent each week going forward if you haven’t already reached your initial goal.