Sunday, January 30, 2011

High School Competition Squad of the Week

Edwardsville High School Competition Squad 2008

This week I decided to choose a squad and their practice video. I like actual competition videos better, however I could not find one for this squad. None the less, this is an amazing squad. I love their opening stunt sequence, where there are five stunt groups in a diagonal. During that stunt sequence groups three and five have one base step out and do a standing tuck, which means that only two people were holding their flyer in the air as apposed to the normal three or four. I also really enjoy their pyramid during their cheer, it has non-stop movement and really flows well. However, I do not like the length of their cheer; I am not a fan of extremely long cheers. I like that this is a video of this squad at practice; it shows what a typical competition practice is like. Once you learn the routine, every practice consists of just running the routine full-out.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Turn Down the Heat to Up Your Weight Loss

"Americans like to crank up the heat in the winter and some scientists think it’s making us fat. Turn down the thermostat, they say, and you might lose a few pounds. The link between ambient temperature and weight is not completely far-fetched. When we’re exposed to extreme cold, we shiver, an involuntary reaction that makes our skeletal muscles contract to generate heat, burning extra calories in the process. And even in mildly cold conditions, like in a chilly room with the thermostat turned down to the lower 60s, people generate extra heat without shivering. The process, called non-shivering thermogenesis, may involve a substance called brown fat that adults carry in certain areas, like the upper back and side of the neck. Unlike regular fat, which stores excess energy and calories, brown fat acts like an internal furnace that consumes lots of calories, but it has to be activated first and cold temperatures do that. (Central Heating May Be Making Us Fat)"

This makes perfect sense if you really think about it. Our body like a furnace, uses more energy to heat up then to keep something cool. Therefore, it makes sense that if you are in a colder environment, your body would burn more calories to keep your body temperature at ninety-eight degrees, which your body needs to do to stay alive. I've noticed this effect in with myself in the past few years. My parents like to keep our house chilly in the winter to cut the cost of heating, and I'm not the kind of person that likes to wear layers when I'm in my home. For the past few years my weight has gone down ten pounds in the winter as opposed to my weight in the summer; and I give the credit to the chilly environment I live in. So if you're looking for a way to drop a few pounds easily, turn down the thermostat.

Television Specials for the Science Geek at Heart

PBS is a television station much like the discovery channel. They air children's cartoons that have an educational side to them, teaching children about science and math. Also they have special programs like NOVA and NOVA Science Now. You can watch the NOVA Science Now Specials online at the PBS Video area. I recently watched a NOVA Science Now special titled Can We Live Forever?  The special deals with different ways to increase the human life span and increase the quality of living as the life span becomes longer. The special talked about topics such as generating whole organs out of single cells, finding a gene (Foxo) that keeps the quality of living better for humans as they age, and using a new technique like freezing to save someones life after they've had a heart attack. So for all you science geeks out there like myself, here is a great new station filled with many specials about stuff you'll love.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Cheerleader's Diet and Exercise Plan

As a cheerleader I need to stay in shape. Endurance and strength are the main areas I have to work on, on a daily basis. As a top girl, I need to watch what I eat and keep my weight down; so eating healthy has become a habit. However, you do not need to be a cheerleader to eat this diet or use this exercise plan; anyone can take these few easy steps to becoming a healthier person.

  • Lots of high-fiber foods; such as fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains. These foods are nutritious, filling, and relatively low in calories.
  •  Limit the amount of sugary and salty foods; they are high in fat and calories.  
  • Choose lean meats; such as skinless chicken, lean cuts of beef, and fish.
  •  Keep portions small, and eat slowly, the faster you eat the more you'll eat. If you eat slowly, you'll feel when your stomach is full.
  • Try to get your vitamins and minerals from foods, not from supplements.
  • Snack Ideas - whole fruit (not canned or in snack packed), celery and peanut butter, carrots and light Italian dressing (stay away from ranch), whole wheat bread with peanut butter or Nutella, granola, nuts, dried fruit, and dry cereal

  • Your workout should always start off with 15 minutes of cardio. Boosting your heart rate will increase the successfulness of your strength training later.
  • Cardio Ideas - My favorite way to increase my heartbeat is to dance; I made a 15 minute long playlist of some of my favorite fast-tempoed songs and just dance to them until the 15 minutes is up. I also enjoy going to the gym and running on the Elliptical. You could also go to Zumba classes, most churches and YMCA's offer them throughout the week for a small fee of $5.00; the class involves dancing but with an instructor to follow. And of course there's always the option of just going on a jog.
  • After finishing your cardio, it's time for strength training. All you really need for this is 5 pound weights.
  • For a cheerleader the most important part of his or her body is their lower half. Exercises like squats and leg lifts will help you tone up your legs; remember that your cardio workout will also help with this. Then comes the most important part of a cheerleaders body, his or her abs. A cheerleader's abs help him or her jump, stunt, and tumble. As for ab workouts different styles of crunches will do the trick, just make sure you are doing them properly; you should really feel the strain in your abs not you neck.
  • As for arms, you still want to work them but you do not want to create bulk; that is why I suggest only using 5 pound weights. Push-ups are also a great upper body exercise.
  • If you are working out at a gym, you may also use machines that work these areas of the body.

check out it's been awhile for more diet and exercise tips!!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Extreme Chicken Pox

"The herpes zoster vaccine, which has already proved effective for preventing shingles in a large clinical trial, may be even more effective in broad clinical practice. Researchers studied 75,761 vaccinated men and women 60 and older and 227,283 unvaccinated people matched for age. All were participants in a Southern California health plan that covered the cost of the shots. The study, published Jan. 12 in The Journal of the American Medical Association, found a 55 percent reduction in incidence of the painful condition, consistent with the 51 percent found in the clinical trial. But it also found that the vaccine was effective across all ages, while the trial had found it less effective in its oldest subjects.
The vaccine worked equally well in both sexes, across all racial groups, and in those with chronic diseases like diabetes or kidney, lung and liver conditions. (Herpes Zoster Vaccine )"

The shingles are like an extreme case of the chicken pox and usually occurs in adults. However, my best friend had them at the age of fourteen. I can remember her not being allowed to leave her house because of the possibility of spreading them. One good thing about getting them at a young age, she does not have any scarring from where the spots were. My best friend was lucky, however, my grandmother also had the shingles right before she passed away and they caused her a great amount of pain. So any vaccine that could potentially keep people from getting this is a great advancement for the medical world.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

High School Competition Squad of the Week

Trion High School Competition Squad 2010

Trion won the 2010 State Cheerleading Championship with this routine. However, I not only picked this video for the amazing routine but for the ending. At the end it shows the squads reaction as the are named the State Champs and has an interview from their coach as well. Also, I would like to point out the flyers on this squad, their flexibility is astonishing. But, you can not forget about the extremely strong bases that are holding these girls up in the air.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Take More Tests To Increase Scores

"Taking a test is not just a passive mechanism for assessing how much people know, according to new research. It actually helps people learn, and it works better than a number of other studying techniques. The research, published online Thursday in the journal Science, found that students who read a passage, then took a test asking them to recall what they had read, retained about 50 percent more of the information a week later than students who used two other methods.(Test-Taking Cements Knowledge)"

I agree with this 100%. I am in AP Calculus and I find that when it comes time for a test even though I've studied and feel I know the material, I still can't remember as much as I should. I found that after taking a test I finally understand the chapter. Now even though this is a good thing because I am understanding the material, I usually do not do as good on the test as I should, but I feel I am getting more and more prepared for the AP Exam after I take each test. And the AP Exam is what matters in the long run because it will give me college credit. So while this method may not be the most practical, I definitely agree with the statement that taking a test helps you learn material.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Friday Marks The Half-Way Point

This Friday is the last day of the second marking period, meaning that my senior year is half way over. So far this year, I've done numerous projects for DIA (Democracy In Action) and will admit that I actually have learned something about our economy and government. Also, as the mid-point of this year approaches I'm finally understanding AP Calculus and hope to improve my grades this next half. After half a year of AP Chemistry, I think I have decided to either double major or minor in Chemistry when I go to college. I have applied to four colleges and been accepted to one so far, I hope to hear from the other three soon. As for cheerleading, I am currently sitting out from the athletic part and hope to return by next month. However, I may never be allowed to tumble again. But as for my cheerleading year before this all happened, I was named a captain, nominated to become a UCA Camp Instructor, nominated and made the Big 33 cheerleading Squad, and my competition squad has competed in five competitions finishing first or second in all of them. Hopefully once I get my medical issues worked out, I will get to return to my squad and flying spot and help my squad win more first place trophies. As this half of the year becomes the past, I am now looking forward to the Senior Dinner Dance and Prom.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Calories Posted Right On The Menu

"Posting calories on menus has little effect on what customers buy, according to a recent study. Customers at TacoTime (a western Washington chain)  who read how many calories are in their chimichangas, burritos and tacos on the restaurant's menu were just as likely to order them as people who don’t have that information. For 13 months, researchers recorded food purchases at seven suburban TacoTimes and seven inside Seattle, Washington. Contrary to their hypothesis, “We found no difference,” said lead author Eric Finkelstein.  “We looked at the variables – the transactions, total calories per transaction, food, dessert, entrees. We weren’t able to find any effect whatsoever.” The findings suggest that having calorie information did not change public health behavior. Regardless, nationwide changes are coming. The health care reform bill, passed last year,  requires fast food chains to post their nutritional information on menus.(Customers Pay Little Heed To Calories On Menus)"

This bill that will come into effect soon should not just be for fast food restaurants but for all restaurants. When I go out to eat I want to know how many calories I will be consuming and also I would like to know all the ingredients in my dinner. Now many Americans might not care about this but I do. My parents raised me to eat healthy food and they buy organic food when they can, and honestly I like organic and healthier food better than something from a fast food chain. But regardless if having the calorie information on the menu affects sales or not, it should still be printed for us people who would like to know.

Genetically Linked To Our Friends?!

"There's a lot of focus these days on tailoring treatments for diseases to individuals based on their genes, but friends' genes might be just as relevant, scientists argue. It turns out that there are genetic correlations among people in the same social group. “It’s possible that part of the story is that our fitness as individuals depends not just on our own genes, but on the genes of other people," Fowler said. It's true that people who drink a lot might naturally gravitate toward each other anyway at a bar, for example. But the result that opposites attract for the other marker may reveal a deeper connection: You also choose friends who would not necessarily find themselves in the same venues that you would, indicating that there could be something going on at the genetic level, too, Fowler said. (What Friends' Genes Say About You)"

If this article would not have talked about exact genes, I would not have believed that we are attracted to our friends on a genetic level. I would have thought it to be something dealing more with something psychological such as we pick friends who like things that we like because they are like ourselves or we like friends who are opposite us because from an evolutionary stand-point we want to cover our "weaknesses" by finding friends who have our "weaknesses" as "strengths" so we can fill what we don't have. But I guess our genes decide our "weaknesses and strengths" so they would have a part in that aspect of friend choosing. However, even though this article is listing specific genes I still am not sure if I believe this or not, maybe if I had a better understanding of the topic I could better put together in my mind what they are trying to say. But with my understanding of the topic, I still think this is more of a psychological matter than genetic.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

High School Competition Sqauds of the Week

Johns Creek 2009-2010 Competition Squad

Their uniforms are very unique and a bit strange for my taste but there is no doubt about it, this squad is amazing. They do not just perform difficult stunts but they execute them flawlessly. And tumbling, every single girl has a standing tuck and it seems like half of the girls have full-twisting layouts. As for dancing, their motions are tight and they change formations often, making their dance entertaining to watch. Now, they do not have a cheer, which may be confusing to many since the sport is called cheerleading. However, cheerleading competition squad routines are getting away from the cheering aspect and going more towards the athletic parts such as stunting, tumbling, and jumping. However, this squad did not receive first at this competition...

Columbus 2009-2010 Competition Squad

This squad received first. They were the defending state champions and pulled out another first place state finish. It's one thing to have an amazing squad one year, but this squad seems to have an amazing squad every year. This squad was more creative in their stunts and kept with the more traditional cheerleading look and cheer incorporation, even though it was a voice-over cheer that played while the music kept going. Those factors are what gave Columbus the edge over Johns Creek to win the title of State Champions.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

First Practice Sitting Out, Ever!

Last night I had to sit out of my first cheerleading practice ever. Why? I had been having difficulty breathing after competing at competitions, so I went to get some testing done on Tuesday. I had an EKG done and it showed that I have abnormal heart rhythms, so now I'm stuck on the sidelines watching until my doctor can figure out what's wrong. Last night my squad had to change their whole routine, including putting a new flyer in my position. Everyone was in a bad mood and was questioning why we were even going to compete today. However, even after all the changes and putting a new flyer in; my squad came out of the competition today with a second place trophy. Not bad, if I say so myself. Even more impressive, every stunt hit and the squad that got first in our division also won grand champs. I never have experienced something so frustrating, last night at practice all I wanted to do was jump in there and fill my position. Maybe if I felt like something was wrong this wouldn't be so hard to deal with, but I feel completely fine. I'll admit that there are times when I complain about going to cheerleading practice or competitions because I'd rather be with my friends but sitting out for just one practice made me realize how much I will honestly miss it if I can't come back. I've been cheering for twelve years now and not being able to finish out my senior year would be devastating. For now I'm just trying to stay positive and hoping for the best.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Look at a High School Competition Score Sheet

Many people do not consider cheerleading a sport because in order for an activity to be a sport you have to actually compete against another team. Well this is where competitions come in, but then you get the people who think we are judged on how short our skirt is and how cute we look. Well I'm here to try and get some respect for all the cheerleaders out there like me, who participate in the sport because they love it, not just because they like to wear the uniform. I'm here to stand up for the real athletes that spend all week at practices and games, and then wake up early on Saturday to compete. OK, so if we're not judged on our appearance then what in the world are we judged on? Well here is a high school score sheet to tell you just that. This is only one judge's score sheet, usually there is around three or four judges, so the score at the bottom of each sheet is added up to give each squad their final score. The final scores are then ranked highest to lowest in each division (ex. varsity, junior varsity, junior high... ), the squad with the highest score in their division receives first place and then the squad with the highest score of all divisions receives grand champs. Hopefully this score sheet clears some things up and gives everyone an understanding on what exactly cheerleaders are judged on at competitions.

While this team's execution of their routine is not flawless,
it's very hard to be perfect in the world of cheerleading.

The Country/Pop Princess's New Music Video

I know I usually talk about the newest science/medical discovery, cheerleading, or something pertaining to my senior year but today I would like to talk about Taylor Swift's new music video. Her latest video, Back To December was  premiered on YouTube today. I came home from school and noticed that the video had come out, so I sat down to watch it. Now, I love the song; it really hits close to home for me. I had this boyfriend my freshman and sophomore year, and being young and naive I planned my whole world around him; well we ended up breaking up December of my sophomore year. Even though we had ended things, we kept going back to each other and we could never seem to move on. Things went back and forth for a long time, but after he graduated last year we stopped all communication. Even though we don't talk anymore, I still go back to those December nights and replay all the time we spent together right before things ended. Now, you can see why this song would really speak to me, but here's the things; the music video was so disappointing. I usually love everything Taylor does, her music videos are usually beautifully done and tell such an amazing story, much like her songs. However, this one, while of amazing quality lacked a story. I guess there was one there somewhat, but mostly she's just sitting in a room while it snows in doors and there's this boy out walking around in the snow. I kept waiting for something to happen, like him showing up at her doorstep and making the snow stop or her running into him at the baseball field, but nothing ever happened. The only thing that did happen was him finding a note in his coat pocket that she had written, but that confused me. The song was supposed to be written from her point of view and she left this amazing guy and regretted it, but the video almost makes it seem like it was him who left because he keeps walking around this house which appears to be hers. I guess if the video is staying true to the song, the note he finds could be her break-up letter to him but I'm just not sure. Watch the video and see what you think, maybe someone can help me figure it out or give me their ideas...

Schools To Get Grade A+ Foods

"The U.S. Department of Agriculture released a new proposed rule Thursday designed to strengthen school breakfast and lunch nutrition standards -- part of the Obama administration's attempt to crack down on an epidemic of childhood obesity. The rule would increase the availability of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat milk while cutting the amount of sodium and saturated fat. It would reduce the availability of traditional school lunch staples such as pizza and french fries. Under the rule, federal minimum and maximum calorie intake guidelines would be established for the first time. Younger children would be offered 550 to 650 calories for lunch, while most high school students would be offered 750 to 850 calories. Saturated fat would constitute less than 10 percent of the total calories in school meals for children at all age levels. Trans fat would be banned.(School Nutrition)"

All I can say is, it is about time the government does something to improve the quality of food served in schools. Now, I'm not trying to degrade my schools lunch program; I'm sure if they had the extra money they'd get us healthier and fresher food but the truth of the matter is, fresh food is expensive. I pack my lunch everyday, and honestly have never bought a school lunch because they never looked appealing. I pack a healthy lunch and if they school provided healthier options like salads and fresh fruits everyday, I would gladly buy my lunch at school. It would probably even be cheaper to buy a school lunch than to pack everyday. Also, the calorie restrictions the government will put on lunches will be a start to fighting childhood obesity. Hopefully if the kids are eating healthier in school, they'll eat healthier at home. Since I'm graduating this spring I'll never see these new standards being put into place, but for future generations this will be a good change, whether they want to admit it or not.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

High on Music: Beat the Winter Mood

"You probably have certain music that you love listening to, but you probably didn't realize that the same brain processes that happen when you're rocking out with your MP3 player are the same as those associated with food, psychoactive drugs, and money. WebMD reports on a study in Nature Neuroscience showing that the brain chemical dopamine gets released when listening to music - or even anticipating listening to music - and that contributes to your subsequent feelings of pleasure. (On the Brain: Craving Music)"

Winter's cold weather can put you in a depressed mood, science's solution to this problem: listen to some of your favorite music. Here's a list of my top 15 favorite songs that get me in a good mood...

1. All The Small Things - Blink182  (I love all of Blink's music, but this is one of my favorite and a classic road trip song that my best friend and I are always jamming out to.)
2. Hey, Soul Sister - Train  (This song was a huge hit for Train this summer. The song is so upbeat and cute, you can't help but be in a good mood when you listen to it.)
3. Dynamite - Taio Cruz  (While I'm not a big Hip-Hip fan, my cheerleading squad loves this song and it has grown on me. However, this is definitely a song that gets you up and dancing.)
4. Stuck Like Glue - Sugarland  (This song is extremely catchy and even has some Jamaican rapping in it, perfect to get you in a great mood.)
5. I'm Only Me When I'm With You - Taylor Swift  (I'm a huge Taylor fan and this song was from her first album and still is one of my favorites to listen to while I'm driving in my car with the windows down.)
6. Slide Along Side - Shiffty  (A 90's song, this was one of my favorite as a kid.)
7. The Middle - Jimmy Eat World  (A great motivational song.)
8. I'm Yours - Jason Mraz  (His beautiful vocals are paired with a ukulele for a great paradise island feel.)
9. That Don't Impress Me Much - Shania Twain  (My mom is a huge Shania fan and growing up, she was always playing her CD's and singing along. This is one of my favorite songs of Shania's.)
10. Pocket Full Of Sunshine - Natasha Beningfield  (If the title isn't enough to convince you that this song is a bright and shiny, feel good song, I don't know what is.)
11. My Front Porch Looking In - Lonestar  (I love country music because it tells a story, and this song tells an adorable story of a man who see's his wife and children as the most beautiful view in the world.)
12. She Likes Me For Me - Blessid Union Of Souls  (Another 90's song from my childhood that always takes me back to the simpler days.)
13. The Great Escape - Boys Like Girls  (This was the anthem of Summer 2008 for my friends and I.)
14. Bubbly - Colbie Caillat  (A feel good song about being in love.)
15. The First Single - The Format  (Fast tempo and upbeat, this song's about being yourself.)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Genetic Video Games?!

EteRNA is an RNA folding, computer game. For all you enthusiastic biology lovers, this might be the computer game for you. It teaches you about RNA as you play the game, so biology teachers could also use this game as a teaching tool. Scientists at Carnegie Mellon University and Stanford University developed this game as a way to harness the brainpower of all science enthusiast from around the world. They hope to uncover fundamental principles underlying one of life’s building blocks, and they believe that the free game will also serve as a training ground for a cadre of citizen-experts who will help generate a new storehouse of biological knowledge. EteRNA is basically a two-dimensional puzzle-solving exercise performed in this case with the four bases (adenine, guanine, uracil and cytosine) that make up RNA. Players design structures including knots, lattices and switches. Each week the best designs created by game players and chosen by the gaming community will be synthesized at Stanford; which means they will be using players ideas on folding RNA and trying them out in the real world. They hope that some of these ideas will work and they will be able to synthesize real functioning RNA which they can use to code cells. The only problem I can see arising with this is if the RNA molecules people online created actually turn out to be functioning RNA, they'll want in on the profit and the University has said nothing about this. However, I've played the game and it's very interesting. The tutorial is very self-explanatory and if you're a biology buff, I advise you check it out. (New York Time Article on EteRNA)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Headstart on My Career in Science

Today in the mail, I received a letter from one of the colleges I had applied to offering me a summer internship. I would have to apply for one of the three positions, but if I was accepted I would get to do research with the science department professors and some upperclassmen. I would get paid $250 a week for this summer internship; also room and board would be free. This is a great opportunity for me and I am very interested in pursuing this; however, I have to decide that I want to go to their college before I can apply for this internship. The problem is, I'm not sure that I want to go there yet; I'm still waiting to here from the other two colleges I applied to. This college did promise lots of financial aid, though, and has a great science department so it is definitely in the running.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Bring It On: The Musical

Bring It On, the original cheerleading movie came out in 2000; I've probably watched it hundreds of times and can recite the whole movie word for word. Anyone who's a cheerleader could probably say the same thing, this movie was the first of its kind to show off the true side of cheerleading. Well, now here comes the musical. The director of the musical, Andy Blankenbuehler, was never a cheerleader and had no idea where to start with the choreography, so he teamed up with the UCA staff and planned out the stunts, tumbling, jumps, and dance numbers. The UCA staff helped him by actually performing what he wanted so he could see how it would all fall together. The show starts touring this month, opening up in Atlanta at the Alliance Theater. I really hope it comes to my hometown, because like any other cheerleader, I'm dying to see this. (UCA Article and Bring It On: The Musical)

Cheerleading Squads Going PINK!

Herbron High School in Carrollton, TX  and Lasalle High School in St. Ignace, Michigan decided to go PINK this October, to raise awareness for Breast Cancer. The cheerleaders of Herbron High raised money for the cause and last year, they raised over $5,000 by collecting donations, selling t-shirts, and devoting a pep rally to this cause. This year they raised almost &7,500. The LaSalle cheerleaders team up with their basketball players and dedicate one of their basketball games to Breast Cancer Awareness. At the game, the cheerleading squad and basketball team wear pink uniforms. Also during the game they sell pink poms, donating the proceeds to their local hospital’s oncology department. Most people think that cheerleaders just jump around but they are a group of students that also do community service.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Find the Cancer Wen It iI just One Cell and Eliminate It?!

"Johnson and Johnson will partner with Massachusetts General Hospital to develop and market a blood test that could find a single cancer cell circulating in a person's blood. Researchers hope the test will be used by oncologists as a diagnostic tool aimed at discovering as early as possible if a cancer has spread, as well as by researchers in coming up with new drug therapies. (New test under development could find single cancer cell in blood)"

Just imagine a world where cancer can be found as early on as it's first cell, making it a treatable disease. Well it seems with this new technology, that world may not be too far off. It seems like with each year, science gets more and more advanced and finds the cures or solutions to diseases that were thought to be a death sentence, like polio was back in the 19 and early 20th century. It seems like everyday I get on a news website there is some article about a new medical discovery and that amazes me; at this rate I will live to see the day that we'll have every disease cured and have discovered a way to live till 200 years old.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Slim Down or Just Get Healthier

As a top girl in cheerleading, I am constantly under pressure to keep my weight down. As my new year resolution this year, I like many others have decided to become healthier, in the way I eat and my exercising habits. Here are a few of the 51 Fastest Fat Burners.

1. Catch the running bug. You'll continue to burn fat after your jog: People who run for at least four hours a week melt more calories than non-runners, even when they're not running.
2. Crank it up early. Working out harder during the first half of your workout and taking it easier during the second burns up to 23 percent more fat than doing the opposite.
3. Put on weight (literally). Wearing a weighted vest (about 10 percent of your body weight) while walking can boost your calorie burn by 8 percent.
4. Download Rihanna, not Brahms. Listening to up-tempo songs actually makes you run faster and harder than listening to slower-paced music.
5. Get more protein. Eating a protein-packed breakfast and lunch helps you burn more post-meal fat than if you eat lower-protein meals, according to Australian research.
6. Munch on these. Almonds, cherries, yogurt, grapefruit, whole grains, and spicy foods have all been shown to torch fat.
7. Skip juice. Reaching for an apple instead of apple juice is not only better calorie-wise, but it'll also do a better job of boosting your metabolism.
8. Get C and D. Vitamin C can help you burn more fat, and D may help you lose fat, research notes. Aim for 400 to 500 mg of C and 800 mg of D a day.
9. Jump-start your morning. Wake up your metabolism -- and get fat-burning started -- by doing some sort of exercise within the first few hours of being awake.
10. Get your snooze on. Sleep for a solid 8 hours instead of 5, and you'll lose more fat.


My cheerleading squad goes to a summer camp sponsored by UCA (The Universal Cheerleading Association); and last year I was noticed and nominated to apply to be a staff member this coming summer. I got the application before Christmas Break and have started to fill it out; basically I just have to list how many years I've been cheering, my standing and running tumbling skills, weight and height, and a short essay on why I want to participate in this summer job program. Also I need to get a letter of recommendation from my current cheerleading coach. If my application is reviewed and I get a call back for an interview and tryout, I will have to go to a UCA headquarter and tryout with other teenagers from my region. If I get the job, I will spend my summer traveling anywhere from one to six hours from my home to teach cheers, dances, and stunts to cheerleaders at private or public camps.