Pulse Oximeters

I first heard about the pulse oximeter when I was younger. You know when you’re watching ER (I’m dating myself — everyone watches Grey’s Anatomy now) and you hear a flurry of medical speech? “Heart rate dropping! BP 140/60, pulse-ox 90…” That last bit is a pulse oximeter reading. But these machines aren’t just for hospitals any more. Pulse oximeters are becoming popular with athletes and small medical practices too, as a quick, pain-free way to find out how oxygenated the blood is.

When you exercise, oxygen is carried to your muscles via the bloodstream. This is why you breathe heavily; more activity from the muscles means more oxygen is required to keep your body moving. This is an essential performance issue, so you can see why a pulse oximeter is a helpful device. Athletes can monitor their blood-oxygen levels in real-time as they train simply by clipping the small device onto their finger. It also shows the heartrate, which is another essential training statistic.

Now that these devices have moved out of the ER and into small, cell-phone-sized devices that cost less than $100, there’s no excuse for athletes not to own one and take care of their bodies as they train.

Wii Fit – A Major League Fitness Tool?

San Diego Padres reliever Heath Bell went through something this offseason that tons of armchair managers have also experienced. He stepped on the Wii Fit board and the game labelled him “obese” (which, in turn, makes your character look like David Wells).

And, like many of the Wii Fit’s biggest – and less famous – fans, he did something about it. Bell lost 25lbs this offseason in a workout regimen that included playing games on the Wii Fit. It’s now being reported that he looks “svelte” and better than ever, with his coaches even asking him not to lose more weight in order to keep his velocity up.

Heath Bell may be the first athlete to unofficially endorse the Wii Fit. How about the rest of us? Have you lost weight using the Wii Fit, or did you throw the balance board back into the box when the game called you fat?

Add “live blogging” to the “I don’t get it” list

This blog post is as “live” as you’ll ever get on Modern Cheek. I’m typing it, and then I’ll post it, and you’ll read it and that’ll be it. Simply put, I don’t “get” live blogging.

Take the Super Bowl, for instance. Several popular blogs are live blogging the Super Bowl and its commercials. The theory is to have people follow the blog for 4+ hours during the game, reloading the page and, presumably, seeing as many ads as possible. Live blogging is also popular during events like the Academy Awards and last year’s U.S. presidential debates.

Sorry, but I don’t see the allure of live blogging for the audience. While it seems to be popular, you must remember it’s happening on sites that are pretty popular to begin with; your average Joe Blog is live blogging to a zero audience. So it takes popularity, and I think that ought to be enough. Live blogging might make some readers feel in touch with what’s going on, but so does actually watching the game or attending a Super Bowl party. But instead, live blog readers are commenting on people commenting on an event, and spending countless hours giving up watching the actual event in exchange for someone else’s opinion.

For people who actually care about the Super Bowl, wouldn’t you rather see a nice catch than read, “Fitzgerald takes it to the house! Cardinals lead!”? I know I would.

Paintball’s popularity surge – Are you game?

Spring is on it’s way and we can’t wait. The days are getting longer and warmer and we’re excited to get back outside and active again. It’s time to put away the XBox and get spring started off right. What’s your sport of choice?

Aside from traditional sports, paintball is a rapidly emerging activity for all ages, played by over 10 million people in the United States every year. There are paintball centres and leagues for every skill level.

But whether you’re just getting started or have been competing for years, you’ll need to get the right gear to keep yourself safe and in top form.

Ultimate Paintball is an online retailer offering the best prices on paintball gear, with FREE shipping. They stock all the major paintball brands – Tippman, Spyder, Smart Parts, Draxxus and many more – at a fraction of the price you’d find in regular shops. Even some of the most popular guns, such as the Smart Parts Ion, are available at huge discounts. Continue reading

The new Tampa Bay Rays logo – hit or miss?

The Boston Celtics and Green Bay Packers are proving this year that you can win with green. So why are the new Tampa Bay Rays logos and uniforms stepping back towards generic?

The Tampa Bay Rays (nee “Devil Rays”) unveiled a new logo this week. In addition to now formally being known as the Rays (as in “ray of sunshine” instead of “manta ray fish”), the Rays have adopted a dramatically different color scheme. When the team entered the league in 1998, they sported white jerseys with a gradient of blue-green-yellow in the lettering; later, these uniforms changed to a more subdued dark green, which was a step in a nice direction.

Now, the Rays have dumped that color scheme too, in favor of new Tampa Bay Rays uniforms – blue with light blue accents and a “touch of gold”. Continue reading