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Top Three Ways to Prevent West Nile Virus


Source: Wikimedia Commons

By:  Leslie Ann Dauphin, Ph.D.

Are you planning on spending time outdoors playing Baseball this summer?  For parents across the United States, summer months include planning for family activities, vacations and something else—mosquito dodging.   Since 2003, awareness of West Nile Virus (WNV) infection has increased in the United States.  Last year alone, more than 3000 cases and 100 deaths were reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Why should you be concerned about WNV? 

WNV is a mosquito-borne, disease-causing virus that has established seasonal epidemics in the United States.  Most people that become infected with the virus develop no or mild symptoms.  However, in a small percentage of cases, people develop symptoms that are severe, may cause permanent  neurological damage, and can even be fatal.  For this reason, you should be aware of things that you can do prevent your family members from becoming infected.  Below are what experts agree to be the best ways to prevent WNV.

1.  Resist by using Repellents

One of the best things that you can do to protect yourself and loved ones from West Nile Virus infection is to use insect repellent.  Although the virus may be transmitted to humans in other ways, bites from mosquitoes are the most common mode of transmission to humans.  For this reason, using an effective insect repellent will decrease the chances of becoming infected.

Recent studies suggest that DEET (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide) and Pircardin (KBR 3023) are the most effective repellants. These are chemical repellents that have been shown to have the most repellency and to provide longer-lasting protection. The CDC recommends the use of products that have been registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  They are likely to contain one of these repellents as active ingredients and they have also been tested for safety.

2.  Dress for Defense

Another way to prevent West Nile Virus is to dress for protection from mosquito bites.  This is especially important if you are planning outdoor events that will involve extended periods of time.  Wearing long sleeved shirts and long pants will cover areas that mosquitoes are likely to bite.   Even if the weather conditions are not favorable for this type of clothing, consider wearing lightweight clothing that will provide some protection.

3.  Steer Clear when Mosquitoes are Near

You can also decrease the chances of becoming infected with WNV by avoiding mosquitoes.  For example, the peak biting times for many types of mosquitoes is between the hours of dusk and dawn.  During these times, it may be best to avoid extended outdoor activities.  If you or your family members choose to be outdoors for extended periods of time, be sure to wear an effective insect repellent and dress for protection.

It is known that mosquitoes breed near standing water. Another way to avoid mosquitoes is to stay away from standing water. Remove containers that hold water from areas near your home.

You may also prevent mosquitoes from coming into your home by installing screens for windows and doors.  Also, be sure to repair broken screens, windows doors, or holes that provide access to your home.

WNV is a disease-causing virus that may be spread to humans by mosquitoes.  Since mosquitoes are more prevalent during the summer months, protecting yourself and loved ones from mosquito bites during this time of year is important.   Experts agree that practicing the methods outlined above is the best way to prevent mosquito bites, ultimately decreasing the chances of becoming infected.

Core Strength Benefits For Baseball Players

Swing BatterAll the movements in baseball including running, pitching and hitting require a lot of core power and strength. Therefore, core training is a necessary component of strength training regime for baseball players. Core training benefits for baseball players go beyond just improving their hitting power.

There are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to core training as it has become a buzzword over the past many years. Many people think that core training is nothing but training the abs. However, your course includes your chest, back, hips as well as abdomen.

There are a total of 29 pair of muscles that make up your core. For instance, your obliques and transverse abdominals make up the core in the front whereas the paraspinal muscles support your spine and play an important role in functioning and strength of your core.

Core Strength Benefits for Baseball

Here are some of the most well known core strength benefits for baseball players.

Improved Stability

Virtually all the in movements involved in the game of baseball are unnatural which means that the player needs to have considerable strength in the core muscles to be effective over the long run. Since the muscles in the core are put to work on a regular basis while playing, strength in these muscles allows baseball players to perform at their peak on a consistent basis.

Prevents Injury

All athletes are prone to injury when they do not adequately train their muscles. This is especially true in case of baseball players as they spend most of their time making unnatural muscles movements that put a lot of stress on various muscle groups.

Building core strength allows these muscle groups to absorb the extra stress without getting injured. Keep in mind that injuries have shortened the careers of many baseball players.

Helps with Posture

Strong core muscles prevent your body from slouching. Having good posture is extremely helpful to survive long periods of sitting or standing. Bad posture leads to back pain among other issues and these issues have the potential to shorten your career by making you more prone to injuries.

Enhances Mental Confidence

It won’t be wrong to say that the game is played as much in mind as it is played on the pitch. Strengthening core muscles helps in increasing the overall strength of a player that helps in their enhancing their sprinting speed and athleticism. It gives them greater confidence and having confidence in your ability is half the game.

Overall, core strength benefits for baseball players include increased hitting power, increase in mental confidence, better control over body, better balance, prevention of injuries, increase in overall strength, increase in velocity of pitching and reduction in stress on the throwing arm among others.  To learn more about the benefits of a strong core check out Ab Workouts.  It is a great website with a bunch of information about the core muscles.

Exercises for Building Course Core Strength for Baseball Players

Here are some of the most popular and well-known exercises for building core strength for baseball players.

Dead lifts

These are extremely important for building core strength. When done in the correct manner, these help in increasing strength in hamstrings, glutes as well as lower back.

Russian Twists

This exercise is great for strengthening the transverse abdominal muscles. To perform this exercise, you need to sit on the ground with your legs and feet around 2 to 5 inches off the ground. The upper body should lean back slightly.

You can easily increase the degree of difficulty by flattening your body. To perform this exercise, you just rotate one way, complete the rotation and touch the ground. The movements need to be slow and controlled to properly engage your core.


Lay on your back with arms extended over the head. Your legs need to be flat on the ground. Move your legs and arms simultaneously where the hands should cross the outer part of your legs.

Front PlankFront Planks

These help in building stability as well as overall strength of your core. A number of modifications can be made to this simple exercise to increase difficulty levels.

For instance, you may add a plate on the back to increase difficulty level. Similarly, you can increase the difficulty level by stabilizing your body and feet on different equipment.


Squats are one of the more popular workouts for building leg strength and it is also great for building your core. It helps in increasing strength in the entire core including your abs, hips as well as lower back.

Rotational Throws with Medicine Ball

This exercise helps in strengthening your oblique. These muscles are essential for swinging a baseball bat. To perform this exercise, you need to take a medicine ball in both hands and stand with your feet wide apart (shoulder width). Now raise your arms to shoulder level and keep them parallel to the ground.

Rotate upper body to the right with feet firmly planted on the ground. Now turn to left and throw the ball to a waiting training partner. While throwing the ball, make sure to use your abs instead of using your arms. Keep repeating the exercise in this manner. You may also throw the ball against a wall in case you do not have a training partner.

Overall, the core muscles are responsible for balance and overall movement. Whether it is landing on one foot or running for a deep fly ball, strength of core muscles makes a huge difference in the success of players. Start working on your core with oblique workouts, transverse abdominal workouts, and lower ab workouts for women and men today. Strong core muscles enable infielders, pictures, outfielders as well as catchers to make their mark on the game.

Strength Training Benefits For Baseball

Batters UpThere is no denying that Baseball is one of the most popular sports in US. While some of the kids play baseball just for fun, there are others who take baseball seriously. These athletes want to excel at baseball and want to play the game at college level or even professionally.

Among other things, physical strength plays an important role in the game of baseball.

The game of baseball naturally leads to muscle imbalances as players always swing the bat from one side and run around the bases in one direction. Similarly, same foot is planted over and over while throwing.

Strength training is needed to take care of these muscle imbalances in shoulders, chest and various other important muscle groups. There are a number of strength training benefits for baseball.

Strength Training Benefits for Baseball

Here is a list of some of the reasons to invest in a good strength training program to succeed at baseball.

Size As Well As Strength Is Crucial to Baseball Success

You need skill and practice to succeed in any sport but you also need strength to succeed at baseball. Strength in baseball does not mean that you need to become the next Mr. Universe but you need to build strength to improve your performance level.

Certain muscle groups such as shoulders, chest, arms, hamstrings, back and quads are used a lot in baseball. If these muscle groups are not strong, these will keep getting injured and hamper your success in the game.

A number of research studies have also confirmed the role of particular muscle groups in key areas. For instance, one research study reported that the posterior shoulder muscles play an important role in throwing and a player can improve the shoulder function by following baseball specific strengthening programs.

Another research study where researchers studied athletes over a period of six decades reported that size matters a lot when it comes to offensive leaders in the game of baseball. Strength training can help in adding mass to your body and increase your chances of success at baseball.

Injury Prevention

Many experts agree that throwing a baseball is an unnatural motion and it is detrimental to the overall health of shoulder. In other words, the chances of a shoulder injury are much higher for players throwing the ball.

However, the chances of injury can be significantly reduced by developing stronger lower body. A number of exercises such as Romanian dead lifts are very helpful in strengthening the lower body.

The Foundation for Building Other Skills

A successful baseball player requires power, explosiveness, flexibility, agility, mobility and speed. These athletic skills cannot be developed without first building physical strength.

However, you cannot enhance speed and power without a solid foundation. In simple terms, stronger players are always more successful than the players that rely solely on skills.

Builds Endurance

Baseball is played in the summer months and an athlete’s body needs to be able to perform at its best in those hot temperatures. Needless to say, an athlete with a great body is going to perform far better than those with body in poor physical condition.

Players who lack physical and mental endurance tend to let games get out of their hands. Building physical strength also helps in building mental endurance.

Helps with Discipline

Strength training on a regular basis helps with discipline as it challenges the body in a variety of ways. Discipline is the key to success in any sport and an athlete requires the same discipline to overcome the strength training challenges.

These are some of the strength training benefits for baseball. You need to be strong and have good endurance if you want to be a successful baseball player.

Strength TrainingHow to Choose the Right Strength Training Program

There are a number of strength training programs available today but all are not created equal. There are a number of factors you need to keep in mind to choose the right one for your unique needs.

Group Training with Personal Focus

While personalized training is definitely better than group training, the fact remains that personalized coaching is costly and everybody cannot afford that. However, the best approach is to combine group training that also offers personal focus.

A big part of almost all the strength training programs is similar for most of the younger athletes and therefore, group training can be one of the best ways to get strength training in an affordable manner.

However, one should also get training with some elements of personalization as no single program is best for all the athletes.

Flexible Training Program

Most of the training programs will require you to work around 3 to 4 times a week which means that you will need to balance your training program with studies, friends and family and other things. It’s difficult to manage all the things together.

Therefore, you need a program with scheduling flexibility that can work around your schedule. Missing practices is not fun.

Continuous Support

Ongoing support is necessary for complete development of an athlete. A good training program should offer complete access to the training staff at all times. So, you should to choose a program that offers support on an ongoing basis including updated training programs, nutritional support, training support as well as ongoing testing.

Cardio Training Benefits for Baseball

SprinterBaseball is a very physically demanding sport. It’s a lot of fun, but it requires the body to push itself to new limits all of the time. Cardiovascular exercise is exactly what you need to stretch beyond your old limits and set new ones. They can provide you with the explosive power that you need to be a successful baseball player.

Plenty of people think cardio workouts are meant for women who are trying to lose weight. Yes, anyone who wants to lose weight should create a strict cardio routine, but that’s not all it is good for. Ask any professional baseball player how important anaerobic exercises are and they will agree.

What Are Anaerobic Exercises?

Typically, when cardiovascular exercises are discussed, aerobic exercises are the main topic of discussion. This is possibly because these are the easiest to perform. Most aerobic workouts can be completed with minimal energy wasted in the process.

So what exactly is the difference between an anaerobic and an aerobic workout routine? It’s all about the oxygen and how it works in the body. Aerobic exercises are effective because they can be maintained for long periods. The body is constantly able to transport adequate amounts of oxygen through the body and where it needs to go.

Anaerobic exercise can be thought of as taking those same exercises to the next level. The idea here is to starve the body of the necessary oxygen so that it begins fueling itself with the glucose and fat stored in the body. This causes steady weight loss. It also works all the fast twitch muscle fibers required for explosive power.

An exercise is considered to reach the anaerobic level when it pushes the body beyond 84 percent of its normal heart rate. Exercises are usually performed at high-intensity, but short intervals. After a couple of hours the exercises reach a sort of “cap” and stop improving the body.

Now you’re wondering, what are the cardio training benefits for baseball? Below is a look at some baseball-specific anaerobic exercises and how they can improve your on-field game.

The Sprint:

Few cardio exercises are as simple and effective as the sprint. It requires no extra gear, equipment, or location. Anyone can sprint just about anywhere at any time. Although, it’s always recommended that you be outdoors with plenty of space to move.

Every professional baseball player has a sprint training regimen because sprint cardio training benefits baseball tremendously. One of the main cardio training benefits for baseball of sprint training is the added “explosive” power needed to make sudden movements, like rushing off one base and to the other. During that run the player must push their body as fast as humanly possible. To improve their speed they must have a sprint training routine.

Not only do sprints make you a faster runner, but they improve your overall physique tremendously. All cardio workouts have the added benefit of burning fat. Sprints burn fat while also building lean muscle mass in the core and quads.

There are also many variations on the standard sprint. You don’t have to worry about getting bored with the same old routine.

baseball bat, ball and gloveBody-weight Workouts:

The sprint is a great exercise for baseball players, but its focus is on improving speed. Other cardiovascular exercises have different goals and major benefits for the ballplayer. Body-weight anaerobic workouts are another

A body-weight workout is just what the name implies. It works your own body weight against you causing your muscles to respond at full potential. It is yet another effective workout routine that doesn’t require any special equipment or tools.

Body-weight exercises can be broken down into several categories based on the targeted muscle group. However, most of the exercises still work several different muscle groups. The push up is a well-known body-weight workout that targets the chest and upper body, but it also improves the core and shoulders. Similar body-weight exercises that target the top half include bench dips and pull-ups.

The cardio training benefits for baseball from body weight training are increased endurance and muscular strength. Naturally, the targeted areas will muscular improvement. They aren’t as effective as weight lifting in this regard and tend to lead towards a more lean muscle.

The real benefit for the ball player is the increased endurance. This means they’ll have the strength and energy to continue pushing themselves long after the first inning is over. Baseball games are rarely short endeavors so improving endurance is always beneficial.

Create A Circuit:

There are a lot of different body-weight workouts and sprinting styles that benefit the body. There are also plenty of other cardio exercises not covered above. A circuit is a great way to mix and match various cardio exercises to enjoy benefits of them all and to keep the routine fresh.

A circuit just means moving from one cardio exercise to another (of a different type) according to certain intervals. The exercises are usually arranged in intervals of 30 seconds and 60 seconds. Each exercise should target a different muscle group. A simple cardio circuit can make a big improvement in life on and off the field.

Why Should I join a Baseball Team?

Kids BaseballBaseball is America’s past time. It’s one of the greatest sports in the world, but many people are surprised to learn it’s not reserved for the professionals. There are plenty of chances for the regular Joe to get on the field and enjoy the game with a team.

If you’re thinking “I’m not great at baseball why join a team” then look no further. Here are some of the benefits of playing baseball that don’t require you to be the MVP.

The Team Dynamic:

If you’re wondering about baseball why join a team, one of the major benefits that everyone enjoys is the introduction of the team dynamic. Being a part of a team and understanding your role in the overall game might not sound to entertaining to the outside, but once you’re actually immersed in the environment and mindset it can be really exciting.

Baseball is a sport built around teamwork. While all plays require individual skill and ability, the game cannot be won if everyone doesn’t give it their all. Many people might start out with the typical lone wolf attitude, but once they understand the team dynamic they realize they’re part of something larger.

Even if they aren’t the world’s greatest baseball player, they can still learn a lot about life. Baseball certainly isn’t the only time in life that teamwork is required. After joining the sport you might start to see opportunities for teamwork everywhere in life.

Teamwork teaches you to value your own worth and skill set, but also to recognize the skills of others. There will be times in baseball when you might be confident you can knock it out of the park with a good hit, but the better choice would be to bunt the ball and let the runner on first base make his move.

Finally, there is the added benefit of friendships. Perhaps this benefit deserves a section of its own, but it often comes from practicing teamwork skills with other players. When you’re a good team member, people take notice. You can make new friends that you’ll have for the rest of your life.

You’ll face tough decisions like that all of the time when playing baseball. You’ll also face them in life, whether it’s with parenting or working with a team at work.

Reach A New Physical Level:

Even if you don’t take baseball super seriously, playing the game will still put a toll on the body. This is great because it causes the body to improve and become stronger. It’s basically the perfect workout for any day of the week. It impacts many different muscle groups and can help you lose weight without actually feeling like you’re working out.

Obesity is a huge problem in the country. It affects children as well as adults. Many people struggle to find the motivation for following a strict diet or exercise regimen. Baseball is a fun and entertaining way to get into shape without even realizing you are.

If you’re a little more serious about the sport, then you’ll want to start a regular cardio routine to help improve your efforts on the field. Baseball is a great excuse to start hitting the gym and getting into the shape you’ve always wanted. Between playing the sport and regular anaerobic exercise, you can tone your body in a single season.

Baseball improves the body in more ways than one. Meaning you’ll enjoy other benefits aside from less fat and more muscle. It improves your natural stamina, coordination, and balance. Any level of physical activity is always good when it comes to preventing diabetes, osteoporosis, and other disorders later in life.

baseball at sunsetA Feeling of Accomplishment:

Few things in life feel better than hitting a ball out of the park. The same can be said for the pitcher who throws a perfect game, the 2nd baseman that doesn’t let anyone pass, or the catcher who makes every call correctly.

While baseball is a team sport, the team is built around the individual accomplishments of the players and how they work those together. There is no position in baseball that’s easy to master. Everyone who gets good at the sport gets that way through hard work and practice.

Everyone enjoys feeling accomplished after they’ve done something they know is difficult. Baseball gives players a chance to feel this way several times every day.

This teaches player they can work hard and do something they might have though impossible before. This is another great lesson that can follow you through the rest of your life.

It’s Fun:

The final point to mention is that baseball is a lot of fun. For many people, that’s the only reason they need to join a team and get on the field. Even those who think “I’m no good at baseball why join a team” soon realize how fun it is even if they aren’t good.