Saturday, January 21, 2012

Why Include Yogurt and Dates in Your Diet?

Fad diets come and go and promise to help you lose weight rapidly. The dates and yogurt diet is a fad diet that promotes eating nothing but dates and yogurt for fast weight loss. Before starting a diet you need to consult your doctor to determine the benefits and risks of participating in the diet. If you have certain medical conditions, you should avoid fad diets and develop a regular diet plan with a registered dietician.
While dates and yogurt contain various vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, these two foods will not provide a well balanced diet. Dates are a high-fiber food, which can help you feel full longer, and yogurt is a good source of calcium, protein and probiotics. recommends considering the following when considering a fad diet: Does the diet promote safety, good nutrition, enjoyment and practicality? If you answer “no” to any of part of the question, you should avoid participating in the diet long-term. The most effective way to lose weight is to reduce the number of calories and fat you consume and participate in regular exercise, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.
Dates are a high-fiber food, containing 3.3 g of fiber for every 5 dates, according to Colorado State University. Fiber is the indigestible carbohydrate found in plant-based foods that helps add bulk to stool and moves it more quickly through the colon. Some fiber, called soluble fiber, swells in the stomach making you feel full for a longer period of time. While fiber is an important part of a healthy diet, it may cause unwanted digestive side effects, such as gas, bloating, cramping and diarrhea. The fruit is also high in sugars, salts, minerals, proteins and vitamins C, B-1, B-2 and A.
Although yogurt is generally good for weight loss and digestive health, some yogurts can actually make diarrhea worse or encourage weight gain. When dieting, use a yogurt that is made with low-fat milk and does not contain any added sugar. The yogurt should state by the ingredients on the label that the product contains live and active cultures. These cultures, also called probiotics, may help promote digestive health and reduce certain gastrointestinal infections.
The University of Maryland Medical Center states that healthy weight loss is 1 to 2 lbs weekly. Losing any more weight on a weekly basis can increase your chances of re-gaining the weight when you stop the date and yogurt diet.

Things to Know About Cheerleading Prep

A cheerleading prep is a stunt. It is known by many other names, such as extension prep, elevator and half-elevator. A prep is an intermediate-level stunt, which should not be attempted until two other lead-up stunts have been mastered. Never stunt without the supervision of a qualified cheer coach
Step-Up Drill
Before attempting a prep, master a step-up drill. Your base executes a deep side lunge, pointing the toe of her straight right leg to the front and the toe of her bent left leg out to the side. Keep your left knee over your left ankle for stability. Standing behind the base, your top person places her hands on the base's shoulders and her left foot in the pocket formed by the base's left thigh and hip. At this point, the base should slide her left hand under the top person's leg to grab her thigh. Pushing hard off the ground, the top person steps up and locks her left knee, still supporting some of her weight in her hands on the base's shoulders and dangling her right leg behind the base's back. The base remains strong and steady simply holding the top person. To dismount, the top person bends her left leg while lowering her right foot to the ground.
Thigh Stand
The next lead-up stunt to a prep is a thigh stand. Two bases execute side lunges toward each other. One base should put her foot in front with her toe even with the other base's heel. Inside arms dangle behind your bent leg, and outside arms are lifted to take the top person's hand. Centered behind both bases, your top person takes the outside hands of the bases and steps her left foot into the pocket of the left base's leg. Pushing hard off the ground, the top person executes a step-up drill onto the left base, locking her leg and standing steady before moving her right foot toward her right base to stand balanced on both bases. With her legs locked and body tight, the top person lets go of the base's hands and executes the designated arm motion, for example a high V. To dismount, the top person takes the base's hands and lifts her left foot off the left base to initiate a hop down to the ground, landing on both feet.
To start a prep, two side bases stand facing each other with their feet hip-width apart, their knees slightly bent, and their hands at bellybutton level, palms facing up. The top person stands behind the bases with her hands on their back shoulders and her feet together. Behind your top person, your back base stands with her feet hip-width apart and her hands firmly grasping the top person's waist to assist her with building the stunt. Dipping deeply, the top person jumps hard off the ground, supporting her weight in her arms and gently placing her feet in the hands of the bases. As they receive the top person's feet, the side bases squat down without lowering their hands and then straighten their legs, lifting their hands up to eye level before settling the top person at shoulder level. The stunt ends with the top person standing, her feet in the hands of the bases. The back base grabs the top person's calves or thighs to steady the stunt.
To dismount the prep, the bases hold the top person's weight in their back hands, releasing her toe to reach their hands up. The top person bends forward from the waist, grabbing the bases hands. With a count of "1-2-down-up," the bases dip slightly and pop the top person up. The top person brings her feet together to land with her knees slightly bent. The side bases grab her upper arm with their back hands as she heads for the ground. The back base grabs her waist to steady her landing.

What to Know About Cheerleading Round Offs?

A round-off is a tumbling skill frequently used in cheerleading. While it is a beginner-level skill, it is used in intermediate, advanced and even elite tumbling passes. Mastering a round-off is important for all cheerleaders. Learn and practice your round-off only under the supervision of a qualified cheerleading coach or gymnastics instructor.
At the base of a good-round off is a strong handstand. Practicing your handstand position will help you master a cartwheel, round-off and even a back handspring. Drill your form by performing a handstand against a wall for support. Step forward with one foot, kicking your other leg up into a handstand balanced by the wall. Check your form. Adjust your hands so they are directly under your shoulders. Pull your abdominal muscles in toward your spine. Keep your legs straight and together, and point your toes.
The first part of a round-off is a cartwheel, so perfecting it will help you achieve a round-off more quickly. Start in a lunge and lean forward, executing a quarter turn to place both hands on the ground, one in front of the other. As your legs leave the ground, hit a handstand position with your legs straddled before executing another quarter turn to place one foot on the ground at a time.
A round-off typically is performed as a part of a running pass. Take a few quick steps before lunging into a cartwheel, performing your quarter turn and placing your hands on the ground one in front of the other in a straight line. As your body hits the handstand portion of your cartwheel, your legs should come together in preparation for your final quarter turn. Use your core muscles to powerfully snap your legs down, landing with your feet together. Rebound into the air with the power from your round-off.
Tumbling Passes
The key component in many tumbling passes is a round-off. Beginners can make a tumbling pass out of a simple round-off followed by a cheerleading jump, such as a tuck or a toe touch. More advanced tumblers can pair a round-off with a back handspring or even a back handspring and back tuck. Finally, elite tumblers will use a round-off and back handspring before executing a full-twisting layout. From beginner to elite, all cheerleaders rely on a good, strong round-off for their tumbling passes.

What to Know About Cheerleading Stunters?

Stunting is when cheerleaders lift or toss another cheerleader into the air. There are four positions for stunters to fill, each with an important and specific role. To be more versatile, you should aim to master as many positions as you can within each stunt. Simply learning the roles can help you perform your main position better.
Main Base
The main bases are the ones who hold up a stunt. You must remain in direct contact with the ground at all times. Your strength for basing starts at the bottom of your body and travels up. It emanates from your thigh and butt muscles. After initiating the power for your stunt with them, use strong core muscles as the stunt ascends. Finally, incorporate the muscles of your shoulders and arms last to lift the stunt into its final position and hold it steady.
Back Base
Sometimes referred to as a spotter, the back base is responsible for protecting and assisting the top person in a stunt. Stand behind the top person, and as the stunt is building, assist the top person with her load in. As it is ascending, lift her up toward the final position. Once the stunt is in place, support the top person, steadying her and helping her balance in the final stunting position. One of your most important jobs occurs during the dismount portion of a stunt. Whenever a cradle dismount is done, catch the top person by the shoulders and protect her head and neck from injury.
Top Person
The top person in a stunt typically is the one who gets the glory of being the focus of the stunt, but your job is no less difficult than the others. You must be an active participant in stunting, using your legs to jump off the ground, supporting your own weight in your arms as you load in, and tightening your core muscles as you ascend to the top of a stunt. Once in the position of glory, balance and execute feats of extreme flexibility as you are perched many feet off the ground. The path out of a stunt is just as difficult as getting into it. Control your body for a straight cradle dismount. Increase the excitement of your dismount by adding twisting to your cradle.
Spotters are not directly involved in the stunting process, but instead surround a building stunt and stand at the watch in case the stunt goes wrong. Your primary goal is to prevent injury, mostly by protecting the top person. From the moment a stunt group sets in a ready position until the time the dismount is complete, keep your arms up and your full attention on the stunt in process. When a stunt starts to fall, grab the top person with one arm around her waist and one arm around her thighs. Tuck your head into the top person's lower back. Stay aware as you also might be called upon to steady a falling base who has lost her balance.

What to Prepare for Junior High Cheerleading Tryouts?

A spot on the junior high cheerleading squad can provide a crucial "in" to the varsity squad as well as opportunities for honing your tumbling, dance and cheer skills. Resist the temptation to waltz into tryouts unprepared. Find out what's expected, practice as much as possible and give it your all. You can be proud of your performance at tryouts by following a few simple tips.
Do the Research
Ask former junior high cheerleaders what the cheerleading coach looks for at tryouts. Ask them how they felt during tryouts and try to get an idea of how each cheerleader is evaluated. Find out what the coach places the most emphasis on; for example, tumbling, attitude or stunts. Ask the coach how many open slots there are and how many girls he expects to add this year. Ask him what he looks for in a good cheerleader and take it to heart.
In the weeks leading up to tryouts, stay focused. Don't start a new diet or a new activity. Stretch daily and practice your tumbling. Get in 30 minutes of cardio every day to help clear your head and build endurance. Practice the tryout routine every day until you know it by heart. Stand in front of a mirror to check your own movements and have a friend or parent give you feedback as well. If you have a friend trying out for the squad too, practice together.
Look the Part
Stay away from too-tight or over-the-top outfits at tryouts. Looking good is important, but so is being comfortable and able to move easily. Stick to age-appropriate stretchy fabrics that showcase your muscles and allow you room to breathe and move. Wear your school colors and tie a ribbon in your hair. Put on light makeup and avoid excessive "glam" like glitter eyeshadow or shimmery lotion. Dress as if you're interviewing to be a cheerleader -- look spirited and enthusiastic, but also focused and serious about the job.
Finish Strong
Banish your fears of failure before your tryout by thinking positive thoughts and visualizing yourself as a new junior high cheerleader. During your tryout, keep a smile on your face and go through the routine calmly. Do not let any nervousness show. Don't try to improvise or think ahead several movements -- you may distract yourself and make an error. If you make a mistake, do not acknowledge it. When you finish, thank the judges individually and wait to be dismissed before leaving.

3 Most Easy Cheerleading Stunts

Cheerleaders need to master moves in the areas of motions, jumps, tumbling and stunting. Starting with the easiest moves in each of these areas is a smart strategy that will help you build a strong base of cheerleading skills. Perfect these easy skills before attempting to learn any more difficult moves. Practice only under the supervision of a qualified cheer coach.
Three easy motions you should master right away are the clasp, T and touchdown. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and legs straight. Execute a clasp by clapping your hands together forcefully in front of your chest. In a clasp, you grasp your hands as if you are holding your own hand. Your clasp should be just under your chin, with your elbows close to your body. Next, execute a T motion by snapping your arms straight out from your shoulders. They should be parallel to the ground and slightly in front of your body. Finally, learn a touchdown. Extend your arms above your head, parallel to each other. Your arms should be slightly forward near your temples.
Tuck Jump
The easiest jump to master is a tuck jump. Start with your arms above your head in a V motion and your feet together. Rise up on your toes. Swing your arms down, crossing them in front of you as you bend your knees deeply. Arc your arms up into a high V motion as you explode off the ground, lifting your knees into a tuck position. Your knees should lift up toward your chest. Do not kick your rear end with your heels. Keep your chest tall as you jump. Land with your feet together and knees slightly bent. Your hands should be in fists and against the sides of your calves. Hold this position before popping your feet apart and placing your hands on your hips.
Forward Roll
Tumbling is an important component of cheerleading. Work to master at least a few basic skills. The easiest is a forward roll. Stand with your feet together and hands at your sides. Bend your knees, placing your hands on the ground just in front of you. Tuck your head to place the back of your head, neck and then upper back on the ground. Keep your body in a tuck position as you roll forward. Use your core muscles to pull yourself up onto your feet without pushing off the ground with your hands. Stand up with your hands extended above your head. Keep your legs together, but not crossed, through your entire forward roll.
Thigh Stand
One of the most basic stunts you can attempt is the thigh stand. Until you master the stunt, do it with four people. Once it is mastered, you can do it without the back base. Two bases lung deeply toward each other. The back base should stand behind the top person and grab her waist through the entire stunt. As the top person, stand behind the main bases and grab their outside hands. Place your left foot in the pocket formed by your left base's thigh and hip. Step up onto your left base, locking your left leg and balancing in this position for a split second. Gently place your right foot into your right base's pocket. When you are steady, let go of your bases' hands and hit a high V motion above your head. To dismount, grab your bases' hands again and lift your left foot off your left base. Taking a step forward, jump to land in front of your bases with both feet together.

Full Down Cheerleading Techniques

A full down, also known as a twist cradle or a full-twist cradle, is an advanced cheerleading dismount in which the top person is popped out of a stunt and executes a 360-degree spin prior to landing safely in the arms of her bases. You can use a full down to dismount from a shoulder-level stunt or an extended stunt, in which the top person's feet are extended above the heads of the bases. As always, stunt only under the supervision of a qualified cheerleading coach.
Straight Cradle
The first trick to mastering a full down is perfecting your straight cradle technique. Start in a half-elevator with two bases holding your feet at shoulder level. Safety regulations require a back base for all cradles. As the bases pop you out of the stunt, ride the cradle as high as you can. Keep your arms glued to your sides and your legs squeezed together. Shrug your shoulders up and lift your belly button toward the ceiling. After you reach the peak of your ascent and begin falling, allow your rear end to fall slightly faster than your feet so your body naturally pikes as you hit the bases' arms. While you still are above the bases' heads, open your arms to catch yourself around their shoulders.
Learning to Twist
Learn how to twist by twisting into a thick crash mat. Place a chair in front of the mat and stand on it with your back toward the mat. Have someone brace the chair by holding the back of the chair to keep if from tipping. Start with your arms in a high V motion above your head and pick a place on the wall in front of you to focus on. Jump off the chair as you forcefully swing your arms down to your sides and look over your right shoulder, initiating your twist. Spin quickly, keeping your eyes open. When you see the same place on the wall, pike your hips, landing on your back on the mat. Keep your body straight as you twist at a slight angle to the ground. Do not twist in a vertical or horizontal position.
Twist Cradle
Master a twist cradle from a half-elevator. Start with your arms in a high V. As your bases pop you out of the stunt, bring your arms down to your sides as you ride the bounce from their pop. At the top of your ascent, forcefully look over your right shoulder to start twisting. Keep your body tilted back at a slight angle. You should hold your body straight with your abs pulled in tight to keep a hollow shape to your body. After you complete your rotation, open your arms as you start to descend into the arms of your bases. Catch yourself around the shoulders of your bases and pike as your body lands in their arms.
Common Errors
Avoid the common pitfalls of a full-down dismount. Bases, make sure to pop the top person straight up. Do not push her feet forward or try to help her twist by tossing her feet in the direction of her twist. Top person, ride the bounce from the pop your bases give you. Avoid the temptation to twist as soon as you leave the bases' hands. Do not anticipate the twist. Wait to reach the top of your ascent. Finally, hold your body tight as you twist. Keep your abs pulled in tight, your feet together and your arms on your thighs. A loose, flailing body will not twist as quickly as a tight body.

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