Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day everybody! Now you may be asking yourself, what exactly is earth day? Back in the 1970's during the hippie and flower-child era, Americans were slurping leaded gas through massive V8 sedans. Industry was releasing smoke and sludge into the air without a second thought about the consequences of their actions. Environment was not a word you saw very often on the evening news but the problem was already being brought to people's attention due to the publication of Rachel Carson's New York Times bestseller Silent Spring in 1962. This book raised public awareness and concern for living organisms, the environment and pubic health.

So, the idea of Earth Day came to founder Gaylord Nelson, a former U.S. Wisconsin Senator, after witnessing the ravages of the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. He was inspired by the student anti-war movement, he came to realize that if he could use that energy to show the public about air and water pollution, it would then force environmental protection onto the national political agenda. Senator Nelson announced the idea for a "National Teach-In On The Environment" to the national media and as a result on the 22nd of April, 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies. The first Earth Day led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts.

Since that time Earth Day as grown and helped create over 5,000 environmental groups in over 184 countries. But how can you relate this to physical education?

Click here to see one lesson plan from PE Central on how you can celebrate Earth Day with your own class. It's important for us as educators to not only teach the physical but also teach through the physical! We as educators want to mold well rounded individuals that are competent and proficient in physical skills but also relate our work to other subjects they learn and teach them about things they may not know about. We need to look at our students as a whole and not just where they are physically!

So today go out of your way and be a little eco friendly to do your part this Earth Day! Maybe not go on your computer tonight or go for a walk instead of driving your car... it's little things like this that when we all do our part, make a big difference!

For more information on Earth Day, click here.

To see animals that are currently on the endangered species list and see animals that are discovered every year, click here.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Under Armour's New Innovative Technology

Technology has certainly come a long way and as days turn to months and months to years the technology only gets more and more advanced. I happened to stumble across a friends Facebook page and found an article about a new innovative technology from Under Armour. This new technology is the first of it's kind! 

It's called the E-39 and is the world's most innovative athletic evaluation and improvement tool that measures accuracy and precision. It's an electronic compression base layer that tracks your heart and breathing rate, G-Force and horsepower gauge as well as body positioning. The data stored in the heart of the shirt transmits to a computer or handheld. It's a great way for anyone to look at the data and use it to create your next work out. The E-39 will not be released until sometime in 2012 but the E-39 has already made an appearance at this past years NFL combine. 

I feel like this will be a great asset to any athlete because as an athlete who wouldn't want to see how they're performing? Also who wouldn't want to get better? The information athletes and coaches can see from this little device can help direct which way to take training and practices. The only thing I am worried about is how much this product will cost. Under Armour typically usually runs around $50 before tax. In addition to that you need to bring a computer outside which how many places to you know of that has Wi-Fi outside? Also the program will no doubt cost some sort of money, so I'm interested to see how much this will cost the average consumer. What about the rain? Is this product water proof? I would love to be a test subject for this product and I'm super excited to see the possibilities for sport performance and enhancing sport performance from this product. 

For more information and receive updates on Under Armour's E-39 click here.

To see the E-39 at work, watch the video below

To see a look inside the technology, watch the video below

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

New York Health Officials Refuse To "Legislate Fun"

Today, New York State health officials backed down from a proposed plan that would place new regulations on classic children's games such as tag, Wiffle Ball, Dodgeball, etc. at day camps within the state. Lawmakers stated that such activities "pose a significant risk of injury". The department said it would continue to gather information until May 16th, and would formulate new safety regulations that are much broader.

The New York State Department of Health created a list of risky recreational activities in response to a state law that passed in 2009. The law was supposed to close a loophole that legislators said "allowed too many indoor camp programs to operate with oversight". Under the new regulations, any program that offers two or more organized recreational activities (with at least one of them being on the risky list) is deemed a summer camp and subjected to state regulations. 

The List of Games/Activities on the "Warning" List:
- Capture the Flag
- Crab Soccer
- Dodgeball
- Flag Tag 
- Flag Football
- Ga Ga
- Kickball
- Nuk- em
- Red Rover
- Steal the Bacon
- Tag Game of all varieties

The games are not banned at camps, but do they do pose a "player be warned" attitude. Camps that want campers to play the games will be required to pay a $200 registration fee and have medical staff on hand. There are about 2.300 regulated summer camps in New York that are required to be under permit and be inspected twice a year by the state's Department of Health. The state claims that this has resulted in markedly low levels of serious incidents. State statistics also claim that of more than 640,000 children who attend camps, less than two-tenths of one percent are injured in any manner. 

Isn't it our job to teach children not only skills to use throughout their lifetime but teach them games they can use outside the classroom so they can socialize and have fun? I believe "play" is a crucial part of children's development and if they're taking away time in phys. ed and there's no phys. ed during the summer... where are these kids going to learn about being active and learn new games to play? I remember going away to summer camps and wanting to teach my friends all the cool new games I learned while I was away... children can't learn when supervisors and camp counselors can't teach them games just because they could potentially hurt them. Children can get hurt running down the block! In addition to that, children are really going to get hurt because the obesity rate is just going to get higher and higher. Play is something that is a necessity for children... who are legislators to put a price tag in play? 

For more information on this, please click here

Sunday, April 10, 2011

April Is National Youth Sports Safety Month

The month of April has been proclaimed as National Youth Sports Safety Month! The national health event was initiated by the National Youth Sports Safety Foundation, Inc. in 1993 to help promote safety in sports organizations. It is a non-profit, educational organization dedicated to reducing the number and severity of injuries youth sustain in sports and fitness activities. This foundation is the only organization in the country solely dedicated to this objective!

The foundation's mission is to promote the healthy development of youth and to keep them physically active in sports for life!

This organization is just one of the ways to bring about the importance of keeping children active but also keeping them safe! Now you may be thinking to yourself... what can I do as an educator to help promote youth sport safety? Here is a small list of things you can do to help educate your students as well as others.

- Celebrate National Youth Sports Safety Month in your classes

- Create a list of your community's sport fields and playgrounds. Check them for hazards and let someone know of these dangers.

- Write letters in support of youth sports safety to school boards, athletic directors and administrators of youth sport programs. Encourage them to have an emergency plan and an immediate first responder in case of an injury.

- Hold a sports safety event for your community!

- Offer to speak at PTA meetings, schools, health clubs, recreation centers and youth sports groups about sport safety.

- Invite local professional athletes to talk with students regarding conditioning, training and sports safety.

This is just a small list of things we as educators can do to showcase the importance of youth sports safety! It's our job to inform students of issues regarding safety, so let them know about Youth Sports Safety! For more information please visit the National Youth Sports Safety website by clicking here.

Monday, April 4, 2011

UCONN Wins Dog Fight!

NCAA basketball came to an end tonight with UCONN winning 53-41 against Butler before 70,376 to secure UCONN's third national title in 13 years. For a recap of the game click here.

Surf's Up Dude!

With temperatures in the 80's, we decided to take a trip to the beach for the day! We slept in, had breakfast and made our way to the Ferry. We just missed the first ferry and had to wait an hour for the next one. During our waiting time we walked around the Naval Park and were able to see the sights! After seeing the  sights we finally got onto the ferry and walked to Coronado Beach! The beach was beautiful! There weren't a lot of people which was great! The sun was shining bright and the water had gold flakes in it! It felt so good to be with friends in the sun! We played a big game of Ultimate Frisbee and then decided to try surfing! I've always wanted to learn to surf ever since I was in middle school and today I got that chance! It was tough to get up because the board was made of foam but I got up on the board once which was a huge accomplishment! It was an awesome feeling riding the waves! The salt water didn't taste so great when I fell into the water but it didn't stop me from trying! After a long day of surfing, frisbee and laying out on the beach we walked back to the ferry and took a shuttle back to the hotel. After a long day in the sun, we all took a nap to recharge to get ready for the rest of the night! I'll never forget my first experience on a surf board and I can't wait to get back to the beach and try again!

More of the National AAHPERD Conference!

Day 2 of the National AAHPERD Conference was an all day experience! I woke up extra early to get down to the Convention Center early enough to catch a session on how to get unmotivated students motivated. I was a little disappointed because this session was more of a sales pitch but the idea discussed I believe has some real potential. The product was called a Zamzee.

visit for more information
The Zamzee is an online rewards program for teens that helps promote physical activity. You wear the "Zamzee" which is like a high tech pedometer and it records how much you've moved around. You can walk your dog, jump, run, dance because it all can be recorded. Next you connect your Zamzee to your computer where you can track your activity, which powers your online account. You can convert your activityto currency that you can spend online at the Zamzee store. I feel this has great potential to get teens active but I still would need to more information and do more research on the product.