Sunday, November 22, 2015

What is an Exercise Physiologist?

Being six months away from graduating with my master’s degree, I often get asked “What’s your major?” or “What are you going to do now that you are done with school?” Exercise physiology is a small field that many people don’t know about but plays a vital role in helping keep the population healthy. So here is to all my friends, family, and others who want to know what I will be doing when I graduate.
Exercise physiology is a sub discipline of kinesiology that focuses on 1.) the short term biological responses to stress of physical activity and 2.) how the body adapts to repeated bouts of physical activity over time.1 Also, exercise physiologist oversee the analysis, improvement and maintenance of health and fitness; rehabilitation of heart disease and other chronic diseases and disabilities; and the professional guidance and counsel  of athletes and others interested in sports training.2 Often exercise physiologist have the responsibility of conditioning a person to a higher level of fitness or health while being aware of safety issues associated with that session of exercise.1 Exercise physiologist can work with world class athletes who wish to improve their performance or with patients who suffer from a chronic illness who wish to improve their quality of life.1
A certified exercise physiologist is trained to:
·      Administer exercise stress tests in healthy and unhealthy populations2
·      Evaluate a persons overall health, with special attention to cardiovascular function and metabolism2
·   Develop individualized exercise prescriptions to increase physical fitness, strength, endurance and      flexibility2
·      Design a custom exercise program to meet health care needs and athletic performance goals2
Exercise physiologist can be found in health care and athletic training settings such as universities, athletic programs, fitness facilities, corporate wellness programs, military training centers, rehabilitation clinics and hospitals.2 The patients I will work with will be referred from a doctor and I will be responsible for evaluating the patient's medical and fitness needs and design a customized exercise program that promotes individual goals.2 The exercise physiologist field is continuing to grow as society learns of the value of exercise as an important health care treatment.2
1Davis, P. (n.d.). Exercise Physiology. Retrieved November 15, 2015, from
2Exercise Physiologist. (n.d.). Retrieved November 15, 2015, from

Dance The Pounds Away!

When most think of exercising or the common term “working out” what usually comes to mind are treadmills, weight rooms, and ellipticals.  For some that may seem boring or even a bit intimidating.  A great way to get some exercise that is FUN is to get dancing! The great thing about dance is there are many options to choose from. Here are some of the great choices that can help you get those calories burning and pounds gone:

  • Hip Hop
Hip hop is a high energy, super fun, in-your-face dance with a fun attitude and an awesome dance style to help you lose weight.1
Hip hop involves large movements of the entire body, which places it high on the expenditure scale. It also often involves freestyling, meaning that muscle groups are kept guessing and are less likely to stop responding to the exercise or hit a plateau. In 60 minutes, hip hop will use between 370 (for people of lighter bodyweights) to 610 (for those weighing 180 and up) calories.2
  • Ballet
This is a great way to improve your flexibility and it also strengthens the back, abs, hips, and thigh.1
It is estimated that there are 380 to 450 calories burned per hour during ballet. As an added bonus,  Ballet is known for building that long and lean look that women so often strive for, but make no mistake; ballet requires a great deal of strength. For example, pro football players have
been known to use ballet training to improve their performances.2
  • Belly Dancing
Belly dancing is among the more popular kinds of dance that help you lose weight. Although it isn’t as energetic as other dance forms, belly dancing nonetheless has its virtues. For those that are interested in less vigorous movements and prefer a gentler approach to their dance, belly dancing is an interesting, not to mention beautiful alternative.1
Roughly 270-320 for less intense versions, and between 290 and 360 for faster & higher intensity styles.2
  • Salsa
Salsa is yet another exciting dance form – one that requires you to have a partner, though. You could invite your friend over for the classes or head there with your boyfriend or husband. If having fun while losing weight is your main goal, you cannot go wrong with salsa.1
Salsa burns roughly around 405 calories per 60 minutes for someone weighing 140, or around 480 for a 180 lb person.2

Dancing is a great way to get your heart rate up, get rid of extra body fat, and build lean muscle. Because people enjoy doing it the likelihood of adherence is high.2 It is important to find a dance style that fits your activity/fitness level best.


  1. P.R., Mishka. 8 Kinds of Dance That Help You Lose Weight. Retrieved on November 22, 2015 from
  2. Fitness Blender. Calories Burned By Type - How Many Calories Does Dancing Burn? Retrieved on November 22, 2015 from

Working Out At Home

Before becoming a mom I thought the only way to see results were to make it happen in the gym. I would get upset about the gym not being open during the holidays or closing because of bad weather but now that it takes more time and effort to go actually go to the gym(with twins running around) I have found many ways to staying fit or losing weight at home. Here are some reasons why working out at home beats the gym!

1. The Germs Are Your Own
With flu season in full swing, it’s an absolute blessing that you don’t have to worry whether the super-sweaty guy in the bro tank wiped down the treadmill. Instead, you get to swim in your own sweat and worry about cleaning it up later.1
2. You Don’t Have to Care How You Look
Rocking polka dot leggings with a striped sports bra? Haven’t brushed your hair? Does it matter? Nope. (Unless you’re going to take an Instagram selfie later…then you might wanna do a booger check.)1
3. You'll be forced to educate yourself about fitness.
Working out with limited equipment means you have to get creative, and for that you have to get educated. Spending time getting educated means you are even more invested in your workout time. Scope out the best websites for your fitness routines!2
4. You can workout in shifts.
Working out at home lets you break up the day if you need to.
If you have small children, thirty minutes of uninterrupted time may be a luxury you never have.
But three, 10-minute segments broken up during your morning is achievable when you work out at home.2

Whichever you feel works best for you be sure to stick with it and praise yourself for being good to your body! Just know that it is not the end of the world if the gym is closed, take advantage and try something new!

  1. Meixner, Amanda. (2015, Feb. 3) 9 Reasons Why Working Out at Home is Better Than The Gym. Retrieved on November 22, 2015 from
  2. Hafner, Dawn. (2014, Sept. 23). 10 Reasons To Skip The Gym & Workout at Home. Retrieved on Novemeber 22, 2015 from

Monday, November 16, 2015

Factors for Recreational Attendance

When it comes to recreational attendance, location, socioeconomic status, fads, and desired personal health levels are amongst several influential factors that contribute to recreational facility attendance. Let’s take a look at a few researched factors that relate to recreational attendance.

The first factor that seems to be a main detriment to a facility's attendance numbers is the distance needing to be traveled to participate in physical activity. One Australian study of a population determined that 53% use a formal recreation facility on a daily basis.1 Upon completion of this study, it is suggested that people are more likely to engage in physical activity when the distance to travel to a facility or park isn’t as far. In result, adding a physical activity center in a central location might result in increased attendance of the facility.

Customer satisfaction is a staple amongst any organization in the world. Customer satisfaction also has an effect on a facility’s attendance as well. A 2006 study found that when high levels of service quality perceptions and satisfaction were present, patrons were likely to re-use and recommend the facility.2 These results suggest that management personnel of recreational centers should focus on improving quality of service, which will in turn, increase satisfaction levels of recreational center users.

Overall, both facility location in a community and customer satisfaction of the facility are vital in maximizing attendance numbers. Pre construction should plan a purchase the correct central or even multiple locations to maximize facility memberships and retention. A facility’s administrative staff should make certain that employees are greeting people like it’s CiCi’s pizza, where they enthusiastically greet you when you walk in, and tell you goodbye upon leaving their facility.

1McCormack, G. R., Giles-Corti, B., Bulsara, M., & Pikora, T. J. (2006). Correlates of
distances traveled to use recreational facilities for physical activity behaviors. International Journal Of Behavioral Nutrition & Physical Activity, 318(10)

2Osman, R. W., Cole, S. T., & Vessell, C. R. (2006). Examining the role of perceived        service quality in predicting user satisfaction and behavioral intentions in a campus recreation setting. Recreational Sports Journal, 30(1)

Sunday, November 15, 2015


For all athletes and individual people, being able to keep motivation at its peak is the biggest key to performing at your best. Having the drive and the determination to reach a goal, or become the best you can possibly be at your respected task is a feeling that nearly all people have at some point in time. “Motivation is the foundation all athletic effort and accomplishment. Without your desire and determination to improve your sports performances, all of the other mental factors, confidence, intensity, focus, and emotions, are meaningless. To become the best athlete you can be, you must be motivated to do what it takes to maximize your ability and achieve your goals.”1.

One of the biggest keys of motivation is that it is usually really high when the season just begins, or a person just starts out training. Eventually though motivation starts to decrease and individuals will gradually stop working out, or performance for some athletes may start to decline. “In training and competitions, you arrive at a point at which it is no longer fun. I call this the Grind, which starts when it gets tiring, painful, and tedious. the Grind is also the point at which it really counts. The Grind is what separates successful athletes from those who don’t achieve their goals. Many athletes when they reach this point either ease up or give up because it’s just too darned hard. But truly motivated athletes reach the Grind and keep on going.”2.

Being able to stay motivated through “the grind” can be a very difficult task. One way I was able to reach my first short term goal in weight lifting was to keep a calendar in my room on the wall. As soon as I walk into my room it is right in front of me to remind me that I need to workout today. Everyday after I workout I would mark a day off. Visually seeing how many days I have missed and how many days I have continued to work out throughout a month was great motivation for me. Also changing up the routine of your workouts or practices can be a great motivator. Doing to same old thing every day can get tiresome. Mix it up a bit and make things more interesting for yourself or your team.

1.Sports: What Motivates Athletes?
Published on the website by Jim Taylor Ph.D.
2.Sports: Motivation To Succeed
Published on the website by Dr. Jim Taylor

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

When should children start playing tackle football?

Many towns and cities around the united states have leagues for pee wee football, that includes tackle football for elementary and middle school age children. Due to the love of football around the country, approximately 2.8 million children are active in theses pee wee leagues participate in the sport after school and on the weekends.2  As in any sport or physical activity there are injuries but are there other factors that parent should consider other than the possibility of some bumps, scrapes, bruises and broken bones?  Also, is there an age that is too young for children to be playing football?  If so what age should parents start considering the sport for their child?

Image from
A study published in the medical journal Neurology by the Boston University School of Medicine looked at the relationship between exposure to head impacts through tackle football prior to the age of twelve.1  The study took forty-two former National Football League players and divided them based on the age they were first exposed to tackle football.  They then ran a battery of test to evaluate their cognitive abilities.  The results of the test concluded that the group that was exposed to tackle football prior to age twelve showed greater cognitive impairment.1

From reading this study, I question what age children should be exposed to tackle football.   However, I also question if the results of this study stand up to a larger pool of individuals and individuals that did not go on to be professional football players?

Regardless, if you think children under twelve should play tackle football or not; we can all agree that the safety and well-being of our children is the utmost importance to parents and others in the community.  We should always strive to do what is right for them and promote studies that will help us become more educated on issues such as this.


1Stamm, J. BS, Bourlas, P.  MA, Baugh, C. MPH, Fritts, N. BA, Daneshvar, D. MA, Martin, B. MS, McClean, M.ScD, Tripodis, Y. PhD, Stern, R. PhD (2015). Age of first exposure to football and later-life cognitive impairment in former NFL players.Neurology March 17, 2015 vol. 84. Retrieved from

Youth football participation drops. (2013). ESPN. Retrieved September 27,  2015, from

Image from

Monday, November 9, 2015

Take Advantage of Equipment

Athletes for years have made huge advancements every year. In 1954 Sir Roger Bannister was the first man to ever run the mile under 4 minutes. Nowadays college athletes can perform that feat quit often, and even high school athletes might be able to achieve it every once in awhile. Currently over 1000 men have ran the mile in under 4 minutes. Is this because the human body has evolved and advanced to an athletic level beyond what was possible in 1954? While I do believe that human bodies have become slightly more athletic, I believe that it is the equipment that is used to train and perform for the athletes that have made this improvement. Sir Roger Bannister had to run his mile on soft cinders (the ash from burnt wood) which absorbed much more energy from his legs than current athletes today. Imagine if Bannister and his fellow athletes had the surface to run upon and the shoes that current athletes have today. With a much less soft surface that gives away to help propel the athletes down the track instead of the soft surface that once was, many more athletes might have been able to achieve what once was such a difficult feat. An example of how equipment has changed sports is: “At the beginning of the twentieth century, most swimsuits were made of heavy, woolen knitted materials, which pulled and slowed swimmers down almost as soon as they entered the water. Swimsuits are now made out of polyurethane, which decreases the amount of friction between the swimmer’s body and the water, so much so that in 2009 when these suits were first unveiled, 168 world records were broken.”1.

Athletes now have access to high tech film sessions which can break down every single movement they might do wrong, or every single weakness a defense might have. Athletes can now go into a weight room with a master strength coach and have access to multiple weight equipment specifically designed to make them jump higher, or run faster. If an athlete is going to become successful at any level they have to learn how to use every piece of equipment that is provided for them. “Advances in sports equipment have undoubtedly played a role in the achievement of these athletes in their respective fields.”2.


Seemingly superhuman: technology’s impact on sports

Published on the website by Kasi Sewraj in 2014

Have technological advances in sports such as tennis, golf, and track and field supplanted the athletic achievements of the participants in those sports?

Published on the website by Peter Andrews

Recreational Facility Use for Disabled Persons

Recreational facilities, public or university owned, are getting increased attention in communities with the increase in technology making our lives more sedentary and less reliable on our physical self. In fact, a 2014 study found that 90% of students in college admitted campus recreation facilities and programs influenced them in being healthy and continuing to do so upon graduating.2 Public recreational facilities often house the needs of the general community population who are not in college and/or choose not to use other gyms, while campus recreational facilities cater to mainly students, graduate students, faculty and staff, alumni, spouses, retirees, and others at the director’s discretion.

One thing that isn’t often seen at these facilities is the presence of disabled patrons. A disability is often referred to when a person’s movement or senses are impaired. Facilities are in code with the ADA, but lack memberships from the disabled population. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, 56.7 million people (19% of the total population) in the United States admitted to having a disability.1 It would be interesting to see facilities and gyms advertising that they accept members of all abilities. Since the United States population consists of of a 5:1 ratio of non-disabled to disabled, this could end up bringing an extra income in at the end of the fiscal year. For example, of a city with a population of 100,000, 20,000 of the population would have a disability. If a recreation facility was able to lure in just 1% (200 disabled persons) of that disable population at an average of $350 per annual membership, would bring in an extra $70,000 gross.

Although the future research needs to be done to determine the personal and environmental factors that have the strongest association with participation or nonparticipation in physical activity3, it is for certain that all persons, disabled or not, need to have some sort of physical activity in their life.

1"Nearly 1 in 5 People Have a Disability in the U.S., Census Bureau Reports." United States Census Bureau. Robert Bernstein, 25 July 2012. Web. 3 Nov. 2015.

2Forrester, S. (2014). The Benefits of Campus Recreation. Corvallis, OR: NIRSA.

3Rimmer, J. H., Riley, B., Wang, E., Rauworth, A., & Jurkowski, J. (2004). Research article: Physical activity participation among persons with disabilities barriers and facilitators. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 26(5), 419-425.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

What qualifies a student for Adaptive Physical Education?

What qualifies a student for Adaptive Physical Education?

Federal law mandates that physical education be provided to students with disabilities.(1) The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (1990) uses the term disability as a diagnostic category that qualifies students for special services. These categories include:
  • Autism
  • Deaf – Blindness
  • Deafness
  • Hearing impairment
  • Intellectual disability
  • Multiple disabilities
  • Orthopedic impairment
  • Other health impairment
  • Serious emotional disturbance
  • Specific learning disability
  • Speech or language impairment
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Visual impairment including blindness
The services provided by an APE teacher include (adapted from Sherrill, 1998):
  • Planning services
  • Assessment of Individuals /Ecosystems
  • Prescription/Placement: The IEP
  • Teaching/Counseling/Coaching
  • Evaluation of Services
  • Coordination of Resources and Consulting
  • Advocacy
The National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) and the American Association for Physical Activity and Recreation (AAPAR) recommend that students be considered eligible for adapted physical education services if their comprehensive score is 1.5 standard deviations below the mean on a norm-referenced test, or at least two years below age level on criterion-referenced tests or other tests of physical and motor fitness.(2) Those tests include, but are not limited to, fundamental motor skills and patterns, and skills in aquatics, dance, individual games, group games and/or sports.