Tuesday, October 25, 2011

7 Simple ways to stay on track!

1. Lots and lots of water! Skip the sugary drinks that are loaded with empty calories. They just make you bloated and waste your calories anyways. Calories are much more fun and fulfilling to eat then to drink anyways! Plus it is important to stay hydrated especially when participating in a work out program!

2. Keep a food diary! You the famous saying, “if you bite it, then you write it!” follow this saying and it will keep you honest! It is truly amazing how much more conscious you are about what you eat when you have to write it all down!

3. Count your steps! Use a pedometer and keep a journal of the amount of steps you take each day and try to beat your number everyday! (Keeping journals like these are a fun way to track your improvements and keep you motivated!)

4. Do what you love! Find an exercise program that works for you, whether it is taking zumba classes a few times a week, going for long walks, swimming laps, playing tennis, racquetball, or any other sport. Not only will it help keep you in shape but you get to have fun and enjoy yourself while doing it!

5. Work out with a buddy! This will also keep you honest. If you have someone depending on you or waiting around for you to go to the gym you are not going to want to disappoint them and you can both motivate each other. Maybe there is a day when you don’t feel like going to the gym but your gym buddy does then they will probably get you butt there, and on the other hand there might be those days when your friend isn’t feeling the whole exercise thing, and you can motivate them and keep them going. It will end up benefitting both of you in the long run!

6. Make little adjustments in your Dailey routine! Do you need to go to the store and its only a few blocks away? Walk or ride your bike there! Have an extra 20 minutes? Take the dog for a walk, go jogging, ride your bike do anything that gets your body moving for a little while. ALWAYS take the stairs! It will get in some extra cardio exercise and then on those days (very rare days!) that you just cannot fit exercise into your schedule, you won’t feel as bad because you did a little extra everyday to make up for it. Just making little changes in your daily routine can really help with your overall health

7. Find different ways to stay motivated! I know it might sound silly but if you workout with music try to find new music each week that you like to work out too. I know that when I download new music to my iPod that I cannot wait to go for a run or go to the gym, so that I can listen to all my new songs! Music is also a great motivator itself, I love when I am running and one of my favorite songs comes on my iPod. Not only do I want to keep going but a lot of the time if find myself pushing myself more then I would have if I did not have my music going!

Don’t drink enough water? Go out and get a new water bottle, just like downloading new music, having a new water bottle to use will remind you to drink more water! Join a team or exercise group! They are going to depend on you being there and if someone is depending on you it is going to be hard to disappoint them! You can also try something new!
Have you never run a 5K before? Well go out and give it a go! Not only are 5K’s and other races inexpensive to sign up for, they are usually to benefit a good cause (and you get a t-shirt for participating!) therefore not only will you feel good about yourself because you ran a 5K but you also are helping out with a great cause!

Why are people “Afraid” of the gym?

I believe that a lack of exercise can come from a lack of knowledge.
I also believe that a fear of exercise comes from a lack of knowledge.
All in all it comes from being physically uneducated.

I honestly believe that the gym is a judgment free zone. If you are afraid of going to the gym because you might look stupid or other people at the gym will think you are “fat” well I think you are wrong. At least you are at the gym putting in the effort to improve your health. Maybe you are overweight, maybe you don’t know what you are doing, but hey your still doing better than the millions of people who let those fears hold them back from even going to the gym. At least you are one step ahead because you are giving it a try. I for one give you credit just for fighting those fears and stepping up to the plate and going to the gym.

So you don’t know what you are doing? Well that’s why the gym hires staff to help you out. Everyone has to start somewhere; us regular gym goers did not just wake up one day and know everything there is to know about exercise. We still learn new things everyday just like you are going to.

When I went into the schools over my winter break last year for my 256 observations, my host teacher at the high school was beginning to teach a weight training unit with her ninth grade girls class, which I thought was awesome, because I wish I could have taken a unit on weight training when I was in high school, I would have loved it. Back to my point of this storey, I was amazed at some of the questions that the students were asking my host teacher. One question that stands out the most in my mind, was when one of the students asked that is she lifted weights, was she going to end up looking like a body builder? She said she had never lifted weights before because this was a fear of hers.

Another reason why this questions stands out so much to me is because when I am home over beaks I work as a fitness trainer at my local YMCA and I have had plenty of younger, high school and middle school aged girls ask me this very same question. There for it must be a common fear, that many younger girls are afraid of weight training because they believe that it is going to turn them into massive body builders. I believe that this fear come from the lack of knowledge, like I stated earlier. If these girls had been more physically educated my their physical education teachers they could avoid the fear of lifting weights, and have began participating in this activity much sooner.

Another common fear is the fear of looking stupid and out of place at the gym. I think that the people that have this fear have it because of their lack of knowledge when it comes to exercise, thus being physically uneducated. If you know what you are doing then there should not be a fear of looking out of place wherever you may be. Some people are scared to go running in public; because they think that they might look funny doing so. This could be because they were never taught the correct form for running when they were in their physical education class. This can all be easily avoided. As physical education teachers it is our job to physical educate today’s youth, so that they do not grow up to have these, what I would call irrational fears about exercise and physical activity.

Physical Activity Builds Confidence

Confidence is defined as “self assurance or a belief in your ability to succeed.”

Physical activity builds confidence. It is plain and simple. This a major point that we need to make when teaching our students about the importance of physical activity, and the importance of living and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

This confidence comes from feeling good about you. I know that exercise releases endorphins which also make us happy, which does help with the confidence building, don’t get me wrong. But I believe that the better you feel about yourself helps to build confidence in yourself. It also helps with your confidence when you are in better shape and know that you look fit and healthy. Everyone feels better about themselves when they look in the mirror and are proud and satisfied at what they see looking back at them.

I know for a fact that on days when I put in a good workout that I feel so much better about myself then on days when I slack and/ or don’t put in a workout at all.

I also believe it is a confidence booster when you are able to physically accomplish something that you were not able to complete before, and you know that you put in the time and effort to get yourself to that point that you could accomplish what you set out to do. Successfulness brings confidence with it.

Exercise no matter what type you are participating in will help to build confidence in yourself and your abilities in the gym, but it will also carry over into other aspects of your life.

FITT Principle

Here is one more healthy guideline I forgot to add in to my earlier post!

Follow the FITT Principle:

–How often you exercise you should break a sweat at least 3-5 times a week for at least 60 mins.

–How hard or easy you exercise. The higher the intensity of your workout the more calories you burn, the more calories you burn the better results you will see.

– How long do you exercise for. Try to break a sweat for 60 minutes a day.

- What kind of exercise. Try to combine cardio-vascular exercise (anything that increases your rate) & Weight Training.

The FITT Principle is a great guideline to follow when figuring out what you want to do for exercise. As a future physical education teacher the FITT Principle is a smiple formula to teach our students. The FITT Principle explains how to chose and perform the physical activity that they are going to be participating in.

No More Naked Gyms!

No More Naked Gyms!

The school that I am doing my 355 observation hours could quite possibly have the most undecorated sad gym I have even seen in my life. There are no interesting posters for the students to look at, no fun and interesting facts up on the wall, no motivational words to inspire the students. There is no more than the name of the school painted on the gym floor and one of the walls in the gym. I know that physical education should be all about the decorations, but there should be something there that is inviting to the students. Whether is be words to motivate the children, posters of other children being successful in different games and activities, there should be some decorations on the wall that invite students into the gym and get them excited about physical education and physical activity.

Here are some ideas:

-Physical Education students of the week.

-Cues posters for various skills.

-Rewards system for your classes. Sticker charts, graphs on student improvement. Not only will it decorate your gym but it will also keep your students motivated to do their best and to be on their best behavior so they are rewarded at the end of each class!

-Flyers for outside opportunities for students to participate in physical activity.

-Make a bulletin board!

-A lot of companies will give grants for schools that hang things up in their gym so look for those; we could all use the extra money for more equipment for our students.

None of these ideas will cost much, many of them can be made with some poster board and you can always have the students take part in decorating the gym, this will help you out and make them feel more of a part of the physical education community. Plus the students will be more motivated in your gym because they see what they made hanging on the wall.

Guidelines to a Healthy Lifestyle

Guidelines to live by to be healthy:

1. 80-20 Rule is the golden rule for staying in shape. The 80 stands for what you eat and the 20 percent stands for your physical activity. So in other words being fit has to do with 80 percent what you eat and 20 percent the amount you work out. This rule is saying that no matter how much you exercise, you still need to eat the correct foods in order to stay fit. This is an important rule for physical education teachers to stress with their students. Yes we are all about the 20 percent, we want everyone to be as physically active as possible, but we also need to stress the importance of eating the correct foods.

2. 8 or more cups of water a day! It is important to keep yourself hydrated!

3. 8 hours of sleep a night! (At least). The better rested your body is the better it will function for you. Seems easy right? A lot of times for students who are in classes all day and play a sport that involves them practicing after school, and then going home to get their homework done, and do it all over again the next day rarely are able to squeeze in those 8 hours!
-Remember to make a date with your pillow each night for at least 8 hours so that your body can function to the best of its abilities.

4. Try to break a sweat for at least 30 minutes a day! Whether you decide to walk instead of drive, go for a run, hit the weights, or any other type of exercise the will elevate your heart rate, try your best to get in at least 30 minutes a day!

5. You are what you eat.” There is truth to this good old saying. For example, if you decide to choose fatty unhealthy foods then you are almost guaranteed to live that same fatty unhealthy lifestyle. On the other hand if you choose heather foods like vegetables and fruits with lean meats then you are more likely to be healthier and live the healthier life style.

6. Make the switch! Walk instead of drive, take the stairs instead of the elevator, if you work behind a desk all day then trade that chair for an exercise ball. If your school has money left in their budgets see if you can get exercise balls for students to sit on all day instead of those desk chairs. Skip the caffeine and go for water always! Did you know that an apple has as much caffeine as one cup of coffee? Trade in your morning pot of coffee each day, for an apple.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Need some Inspiration?

Here are some of my favorites!

You miss 100% of the shots you never take.

Failure isn’t falling down, it’s falling down & not getting back up.

To fall means you've climbed high.

A champion is someone who stands up even when they can’t.

Strength does not come from winning.
Your struggles develop your strengths.
When you go through hardships and decide
not to surrender, that is strength.

Your greatest challenge isn't someone else. It's the aching in your lungs and the burning in your legs and the voice inside you that yells "no you can't!" But you don't listen. You push harder and hear the voice that whispers "yes you can". And you realize thats the one you really are.

I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career.
I've lost almost 300 games.26 times,
I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed.
I've failed over and over and over again
in my life. And that is why I succeed.
-Michael Jordan

The first step towards getting somewhere
is to decide that you are not
going to stay where you are...

You want to know what living life to the fullest actually is? It's waking up on a Monday morning with no complaints. It's knowing you always deserve to laugh. It's doing what feels right no matter what. It's doing what you want to, no matter how stupid you look. It's about always being yourself, because no one can tell you you're doing it wrong.

It's all in our heads!

Whether you think you can or whether you think you can't, you're right

I love this quote. If you could not tell by my earlier posts, I bet you can tell by now that I love finding good quotes that I can relate to.

This one I feel almost all teachers and even students can relate to. I know that as a college student, when I feel that I cannot do something most of the time actually ninety-nine percent of the time it is true. It is true because I go into it with the mindset that I cannot do it and it is almost like I am setting myself up for failure. For example, when I go into a test and I have not prepared myself for the material that is going to be covered then I believe that I cannot do well on that test, and that usually matches my outcome on that test.

On the other hand when I go into a new game or activity and I feel that is will be easy, nine times out of ten it will be easy for me. Also if I go into a competition and I feel that I can be successful, I believe that most of the time I am very successful, because I believe in myself.

As a future teacher I feel that knowing if students are going into an activity with the mindset that they cannot do it then you can predict that they are going to fail. By knowing this we can try to prevent students from having this mindset. We can do our best with having an influence on setting our students up for success before they even begin a certain skill, activity, or game.

Moral of the story, believe in yourself, make your students believe in themselves and success will come your way.

You are only as good as your weakest player

“You are only as good as your weakest player”

In other words this quote is saying you can only be as good as the person with the least amount of skills that is playing on your team.
This quote can be related to sports or more importantly I believe this quote can be related to real life. In life you should only keep people in your life who help you be successful and bring the best out in you. No one wants to be around someone who always drags them down.

As for my future as a teacher I can rely highly on this quote. When trying to be successful as a teacher I am going to need some support, and I am going to need to keep people around me who will bring out the best in my teaching, management strategies, ideas, lesson planning and much more.

Moral of the story: make sure that you are never the weakest player. Bring out the best in everyone and then in return hopefully they bring out the best in you.

Impact of Movement

Another reason I chose to go into the physical education was because of the impact that physical activity has had on my life. As a child, my mother could not convince me to go to school unless she promised me that I had PE class that day. If she made the mistake of telling me that it was one of the days of the week that I did not have PE class then boy did she have her hands full trying to get me on that bus to get my butt to school that day.

Needless to say I was not one of those kids who could sit at a desk all day long without going crazy, and usually recess just wasn’t enough. I wanted to go to PE class.

In elementary school my PE teacher was amazing. She always had a big smile on her face, and had from what I could remember the most fun games in the whole world. What I would give to have some of her lesson plans for my future reference.

With that said, another reason I chose to be a physical education teacher was because of the impact that physical activity has had on my life. I can honestly say that there is nothing I enjoy more than the successful out of breath feeling that I achieve only when I am playing one of my favorite sports. I want to share this passion of mine with others and I feel that being a physical education teacher is my best chance at doing this; much like my elementary physical education teacher shared her passion for physical activity and movement with me.

I want to be that teacher that all the students cannot wait to get to my class because it is the high light of their day like it was for me as a child.


Last semester for my biomechanics class I had to go and sit through four presentations by graduates of the exercise science program for extra credit. Types of music on motivation and exercise intensity while running on a treadmill, this is the research that interested me the most out of the four presentations. This presentation was done by Megan. The purpose of her study was to test and find out whether or not music had an influence on peoples motivations and their psychological demands during exercise, more specifically while running on a treadmill.

The test was done over a three week period, where the participants in this study ran on a treadmill in the lab for fifteen minutes, for four different sessions. The participants consisted of active healthy college males and females. During each session that the participant ran on the treadmill, different music was played to see if the different types of music changed the participant’s motivation while running. The different types of music that were played were rock, hip-hop, pop and no music. To test the students demands and motivation, their heart rate was monitored, as well as the RPE. In addition the heart rate and RPE at the end of each running session a motivational questionnaire, and an IMI (intrinsic motivations invitatory), were given to each participant.

What Megan’s study found was that the participants were more motivated listening to any type of music then listening to no music at all. Furthermore, she found no significant difference in the motivation levels between the different types of music.

I find her results to be very interesting. In my opinion I know that I put in a much better workout at the gym, when I have my iPod then when I forget my iPod at home. Furthermore I know that when a country music song comes on my iPod when I am running, I am less motivated to run then when one of my hip hop or R&B song comes on. I feel that if her research could have gone on longer then she might have seen better results.

Making everyone feel included in PE

Making everyone feel included in PE

I went to this session at the Mini Conference and had some mixed feelings about this presentation. Lauren had an incredible idea and a great way of presenting her ideas on how to make everyone feel included in physical education, she kept everyone who was attending her presentation involved, and I really enjoyed it.

Here is a little background on the presentation for everyone who is reading this that did not attend this session at the mini conference. There were cards set up around the gym and you had to walk around and find the card that you could relate to most too. All of the cards had to do with different things that people may have had to go though in their lives. For example, some of the cards were related to losing a loved one, going through a disease, being the first in your family to go to college, and many more. We all chose out card and then sat in a circle and talked about the card they we chose and why we chose it. The point of this exercise I believe was to bring everyone closer because we know knew more about this person and where they were coming from. Furthermore, we all had a better understanding of one another, after hearing each other stories.

With all of that said, like I mentioned before I did have mixed feelings about using this program in a school setting, especially in a high school. On one hand I think that this program could go exactly the way that Lauren would have wanted it to go, where all the students feel more included in not only their PE class but also in the school community as a whole. My fear is the other hand. What I mean by that is the other outcome that I believe this program could have. Sometime, not all the time, children are mean. Bullying is a big issue is schools these days and I would be afraid that with children sharing such personal issues that is could just be giving other students ammo to use against that student.

I do not want to knock this program at all I feel that it could really have some great benefits, I just wanted to mention some of my fears with using this program in a high school setting.

A Question to Think About

Why are professional athletes paid more than Physical Education teachers?
This is a question that I have thought about often. Why is it that professional athletes are paid more than Physical Education teachers? Physical Education teachers are the people who teach the basic movement skills to their student’s right? All professional athletes had to start somewhere. So why is it that the TEACHERS who taught these athletes the basics that they built off of for the sport that they are playing at the professional level are not being paid as much as the STUDENTS (professional athletes) that they taught?
Think about it…..