85% Sports

Baseball Is My Passion


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.

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.