Author Archives: Mimin

How to Select Sporting Goods

Basketball, baseball, football, soccer – no matter your passion there seems that there is always something new available to enhance the sport. And, even if it is not a new product, then it is not unusual to need to replace the equipment you have because it has seen its last kick, pitch, or shot. After all, when one loves to play any type of ball, it is inevitable that purchasing new sporting goods from time to time is a must.

Just a quick perusal through any sporting goods store and one will quickly find that the number of choices- regardless of the sport – can be overwhelming. So how is that one can determine what sporting goods should be purchased, and how can one get the items they need without having to take a second mortgage?  If this sounds familiar, then take a few minutes to consider the following tips for purchasing sporting goods.

  • Know the sport, or bring someone along who does, so that you know exactly what type of equipment is needed.
  • Look for internationally recognized safety certifications on equipment such as helmets, shin guards, and body pads. Be sure that when purchasing balls, that these meet international standards, as well.
  • If possible, hold the item – especially bats, gloves, and racquets – in your hand to establish if they are comfortable and allow the needed range of movement.
  • If buying a used net or goal, take the time to unroll and check for any holes, weak loops, fraying or unravelling. These issues can often be repaired, but be sure that the asking/paid price reflects the need to repair the item.
  • Remember, different footwear is needed for different sports. Be sure to get the right for shoe for the sport!
  • Keep in mind that sporting equipment sold in a super store is rarely as high a quality as that sold in a sporting goods store. Yes, the super store item might be less, but you will need to replace it more often. Buying quality first will save you money in the long run.
  • Consider buying equipment off-season to save a bit on the cost. Season-end clearance sales are a great way to quality items without high prices.
  • Check out sports consignment shops, social media, eBay, or Amazon. You can often get gently used sporting goods, which are perfect when your child is showing an interest in a new sport, but you don’t want to make a huge investment.

Selecting sporting goods does not have to be an all day long process. With a few guidelines and some patience, you can be ready to get out there and play ball in no time at all.

Recovering After a Long Run or Walk

Running the marathon or doing the multiple day charity walk is only half the battle. Recovering is just as important.

Whether it’s your first marathon, half marathon, or multiple day charity walk – or your fiftieth – you must know how to recover when it’s over. If you don’t recover properly, you may find yourself with an injury you didn’t expect, which could keep you off the track for a long time to come. You may also find yourself so sore that you don’t know how to even get out of bed in the morning after the event. Don’t worry, though. With proper recovery, you’ll be back to your old self, and running or walking again, before you know it.

Don’t Underestimate Rest
Many people want to get right back on the treadmill or hit the pavement immediately after their event. If you are someone who cannot miss a workout, you should make yourself rest, at least for a day. Rest is extremely important as it gives your muscles time to rebuild themselves after lots of physical activity. Even in normal workouts, it is important to rest for a day or two in between workouts. Resting will actually make you stronger and help you build more muscle. Therefore, do not be afraid to rest after your event. Taking a day off will not hurt you, in fact, just the opposite. On your rest day, take the time to do some things that you have been putting off because of your intense training schedule. Clean the house, watch a movie, read a book, or work in the garden. Do something that is not strenuous to occupy your time.

Move a Little
Although you should rest, it is important not to lie in bed all day. It might be tempting, especially if you are sore, but not moving will only make you more sore and could cause an injury. When your muscles start to heal, they will tighten up and become difficult to move. If you lie around all day without getting up or walking a little bit, your muscles will tighten and, when you use them again, it’s possible to pull or even tear one. Instead of lying around, take a leisurely stroll around the block a few times a day, go for an easy hike, or walk the dog. You can even do some cleaning or work outside if you want to. It is just important that you do not remain still all day. Strike a balance between working your sore muscles too much and not working enough.

Visit a Doctor if Necessary
If you are experiencing pain or something else that doesn’t feel right, go see your doctor immediately. Many problems only get worse with time, and the longer you wait before seeking treatment, the worse it could get. Many people experience extreme pain or other seemingly unrelated problems – like shortness of breath or exhaustion – after completing an athletic event. Don’t think that these problems will go away on their own. Only your doctor can know for sure. It’s not a bad idea to have a doctor’s appointment set up for a day or two after the event in case you need it. You can always cancel it if everything seems fine.

Eat and Sleep
Just like you should never underestimate the power of rest, you should never underestimate sleeping and eating. If you have been walking for several days or running for several hours, your body has used many of its nutrients. If you find yourself craving a certain food, you are probably in need of a nutrient that food carries. Your best bet is to get that food and eat it. Sleep is also extremely healthy, as your body heals itself best during sleep. Take a few naps and you’ll feel as good as new in no time.

Useful Tips for Triathlon Swimming

In simple words, Triathlon is a multi-stage competition. Generally, this competition is divided into three disciplines that are swimming, cycling and running. Since 2000, triathlon has been also added in Olympic.

As swimming is the first section of the triathlon race, so it is considered as the most challenging part of it. It requires a correct technique to swim faster and utilizing less energy during swimming. So, to help you out in triathlon swimming, following are some essential and crucial tips for you.

1) Start with Small Distances:-

If you are a new swimmer, then you have to start your training slowly. This means you should start with short distances and have adequate recovery between distances. Overdoing the swimming practice can increase the risk of injury. Moreover, within a short duration, you will become comfortable in the water and more confident with swimming. For beginners, it is an optimal option to start swimming training in a pool.

2) Slowly Increase the Distance:-

Now, once you become comfortable with water, your next goal is to slowly increase your distance without taking a break. Each and every week, you have to enhance your 10% swimming distance.  This swimming distance is continuously enhanced until you cover the 10% further swimming length of triathlon race in minimum duration.  Therefore, if the swim length in your upcoming triathlon race is 500m, then your target swim distance should be at least 550m in a short time period.

3) Include Various Elements in Swim Session:-

A common mistake that many people make is that the swim session does not include any strength & conditioning work, no technique work and no interval training (speed training with recovery). These are essential elements for becoming a competent and competitive swimmer. Thus, you should ensure that your swim training sessions include strength & conditioning, technique and interval training elements. For this, you can also hire a professional swim coach that can assist you in this.

4) Practice in Open Water:-

It is a crucial tip to perform some swimming practice in open water. This is because open water swimming improves your swim and tumble skills and techniques as entire swim workouts involve swimming up and down the length of the pool at a constant pace.  It also provides you an experience of confidence and motivation. One of the main benefits of performing open water swim training is that you get used to having to navigate your way across the water.

At last, it is essential to practice for hours to become a good swimmer in triathlon race. Moreover, you have to focus on swimming techniques in the early stages of your training.

Important Health Benefits of Dance Lessons

Getting in shape doesn’t have to mean sweating at the gym. There are many fun ways to get fit. One way you can get your body moving and have a little fun doing it is by taking dance lessons. There are many health benefits to finding the beat.

Calorie Burner

With every move you make, you burn calories. As you sway to the music you can burn anywhere from five to 10 calories per minute. The total amount of energy burned, of course, depends on how long and how fast you move. In addition to getting rid of the fat, you are building stamina. This allows you to twirl and groove longer and burn even more fat.

Stronger Bones and Joints

Dance lessons also help strengthen your bones. When you regularly move to the music and get your body active, you are promoting absorption of minerals into the bones. This helps to protect against the damaging effects of osteoporosis. In post-menopausal women, dancing can be used as a treatment to those with early onset of the bone disease by promoting the absorption of calcium, which often stops after estrogen levels drop.

In addition to strengthening your bones, you also are lubricating your joints. Movement of the joints makes them stronger and forces your body to produce the lubricant they need. The use of the knees, hips, and other joints helps to prevent arthritis from settling in.

Balance and Coordination

You may think you have great balance, but until you’ve learned to balance yourself in several different positions, you can’t say that you do. It’s a difficult task to get your body to master the intricate positions, and your body compensates by strengthening the areas that are most needed. Your stabilizer muscles are strengthened in order to protect your core. By protecting the core, you are less prone to injury.

When you start learning to move in specific, choreographed motions, you are training your muscles to coordinate in a methodical way. This helps you build better coordination overall. It also helps to strengthen your reflexes and improve the connection from your mind to the peripheral nervous system.

Younger You

When you take dance lessons, you slow your body’s aging process. The cardiovascular system strengthens, and your lung capacity grows. Someone who practices regularly will also be able to control their blood sugar better, which is great for diabetics. Those with cholesterol problems can see higher HDL levels and lower LDL levels.

Not only does this activity slow the aging process of the body, but also the mind. This exercise makes new memory pathways in your brain for the steps, routines, and patterns you are learning. It increases the mental exercise as you access those new memories to perform them. The increase of mental activity helps make your mind more open and alert.

Dance lessons are a great way to get in shape and learn how to make your body move. Not only is it fun, it is also a social activity that will help you build lasting friendships.

Cycling Tips for Overweight or Obese

Physical activity is very important in order to be fit and healthy. Regular physical activities could help protect from diseases or disorders such as heart disease, mental illness, cancer, arthritis, diabetes and even obesity. Cycling regularly is one of the best physical activities you can do to greatly reduce the risk of health problems. It is healthy, low-impact form of exercise that could be enjoyed by people of all ages. Also, it’s less expensive and environment friendly.

 

Bicycling is a great way to get some exercise for heavy people. It is easy on the joints. But if you’d like to take on longer bicycle rides, the discomforts experienced by all cyclists will be doubled or even tripled. But do not be discouraged. The point is, if you start feeling pain, simply stop. Do not push yourself until your bottom is sore or your hands are numb. Rest and then start again when all your ailments are healed.

As a heavy rider, you’ll be putting more strain on your knees, rear, and wrists. Also, planning your rides to be easy and fun is important so you’d want to ride more and more. Here are some great cycling tips for overweight and obese riders:

Hills & Wind

Cycling on hills require more effort on ascending compared to average weight riders but you go downhill with greater speed. It is highly suggested to plan rides with infrequent or gentle hills. Also, it is advisable for you to check your map before you cycle and be familiar with your terrain. Also, check the weather forecast for wind prior to your ride.

Saddle Sores

Saddle sores are blisters in the saddle that are painful and can be deep under the skin. They’re a result of chafing, ingrown hairs, and clogged pores. Saddle sore can be prevented. Professional cyclists also get saddle sores.

To prevent saddle sores, wear appropriate cycling shorts, use anti-chafing product. Wash your cycling shorts after each ride with hot water and detergent or soap. Scrub your saddle area with warm water and soap, but not hard enough to chafe or scratch your skin. A hot bath is also helpful.

Larger Clothing

It seems like most companies assume that people over a particular size require only 100% cotton exercise clothing, which will get heavy, get soaked in sweat, making the skin wet and chafed, and do not cool effectively. Women tend to have a more difficult time to get bigger-sized exercise clothing compared to men, because some bulky types of body are considered athletic in men.

Overheating

Riding without a helmet could be very tempting, because the helmet tend to make you feel hot. Choose a helmet with lots of hole on top to help you feel a bit cooler.

Cycling can mean many various things to different people. It is a less expensive and eco-friendly transportation mode, a good way to explore the city, a very relaxing pastime, a competitive sport, and a great physical workout. Whatever the reason for riding, this activity can offer a wide range benefits to one’s health and being an outdoor activity provides way more advantages than going to the gym, attending a fitness class, or playing an indoor sport. Here are other health benefits of cycling:

Low Impact: Cycling causes less pressure and injuries compared to other forms of exercise like walking, running, or jogging.

Good Workout for Muscle: As you pedal, you make use of all of your major muscle groups.

Easy: Unlike other sports, biking doesn’t require you to have high levels of physical skills. Most people know how to ride a bicycle, and once you learn how to cycle, you never forget.

Good for Stamina & Strength: Biking increases strength, stamina, as well as aerobic fitness.

Flexible: It can be done at a very low intensity to start with, if you’re recovering from an illness or injury, but you can build it up to an intense physical workout.

Fun: The thrill and adventure you get from being outdoors, breathing fresh air, getting some sunlight, and coasting down hills means you’re more likely to continue to bike regularly, compared to other activities that keep you indoors or require special places, times, or equipment.

Time-Efficient: As a form of transportation, biking replaces sedentary time spent driving automobiles or using buses, cabs, or trains with healthy exercise.

Biking is primarily an aerobic form of exercise, meaning, your lungs, blood vessels, and heart get a workout. You’ll be able to perspire, breathe deeper, and experience increase in body temperature, which in turn will enhance your general level of fitness.

Aiming to achieve a healthier and fitter you? Get into cycling and enjoy your ride as you exercise and eventually achieve your goal!

Benefits of Cycling

Nowadays, life can be very stressful for us as we cope with the demands of work, attending to our household responsibilities, and keeping a social life. Such stress often cause health problems that include heart disease and obesity. Medical experts say that stress can increase cortisol, a hormone that allows fat storage in the abdomen. We can combat stress and its complications with proper diet and exercise. One exercise that we can do is cycling. Check out the many benefits of cycling:

Low impact exercise: Most exercise routines such as running and weight training puts too much pressure on our joints and bones. This may cause health problems such as arthritis or injuries to the ankle, knee, or back. With cycling, we can ride on our bikes for as long as we can without damaging our ankles or knees.

Cardiovascular health: Cycling is a cardiovascular exercise and therefore can help keep our heart and lungs in perfect condition. With regular cycling, we can avoid cardiovascular diseases such as high blood pressure, stroke and heart attack. In fact, research shows that cycling strengthens the heart muscles, improves blood circulation and reduces blood fat levels.

Improves strength and coordination: Numerous studies have shown that cycling regularly improves our coordination reducing the risk of injuries such as fracture due to falling. Also, cycling not only tones the muscles but strengthens them as well. Research also shows that the stronger our muscles are, the more fat we burn as we have a stronger exertion of power thus burning more calories than what is achieved in jogging.

Weight loss: When combined with a proper meal plan, cycling can be a good way for us to reduce weight and maintain it. Cycling can help improve our metabolism which aids in reduction of fat build up. As a cardiovascular workout, cycling burns calories even long after we finished our ride.

Relieves stress: Cycling has been proven to relieve stress. This is one of the great benefits of cycling. Exercising can help our body produce feel good hormones. The sense of fulfillment after our ride can give us a feeling of wellbeing.

Means of transport: Riding our bike can get us to places where we want to go. Well, at least for short distances. We can ride our bikes to school, work, or the grocery. For those who are able though, they can have long rides for miles. This means of transport does not only keep us fit but saves us up on gas, and is friendly to the environment as well.

More and more people are considering this for recreation, transport, and/or health and purposes because of the many benefits of cycling.

Importance of Nutrition

Eating nutritious food is essential for attaining proper growth and maintaining our health in a sound state. The aim of this article is to explain the importance of nutrition obtained from a healthy diet.
If the doctors of today do not become the nutritionists of tomorrow, then the nutritionists of today will become the doctors of tomorrow.”
― Rockefeller Institute of Medicine research
In our day to day life we all are given many lessons on the importance of nutrition in our schools and at home when we are young. Elders who suffer from different kinds of diseases are asked to consume quality food. The truth is that nutrition is an essential part of every person’s life – be it children, teenagers, adults or aged people. Doctors and nutritionists suggest that only a balanced diet can provide us with the essential nutrients and minerals necessary for growth and repair of wear and tear of our body. For athletes, it is especially important to consume nutritious food. The intake of healthy foods can help them achieve high levels of endurance and stamina.

Significance
A diet can be called nutritious if we obtain essential macro nutrients, such as proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, as well as micro nutrients, like vitamins and minerals from it.

Essential Nutrients
The function of macro nutrients is to provide energy and strength to the body. Micro nutrients play an important role in the smooth functioning of cells of our body. An adequate and proportionate intake of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats is essential from the point of keeping infections, cardiovascular diseases and contagious diseases at bay.

Proteins
Proteins perform the function of building tissues of muscles and maintaining and repairing them. By consuming protein-rich foods, one can meet the amino acid requirement of the body. Amino acids are necessary for proper functioning of our body. It is possible to meet protein requirement of our body through milk, milk products, legumes, nuts, etc.

Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are useful from the point of meeting energy needs of the body. However, we should not consume them in excess because by doing so, the fat content in our body can rise to dangerous levels. The accumulation of fats in the body takes place if carbohydrates are left unused. Carbohydrates are of two types: simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates are useful from the point of meeting immediate energy requirements of the body; this is because they provide the body with quick energy. Complex carbohydrates, on the other hand, provide the body with energy that requires a comparatively longer time for assimilation.

Fats
The main function of fats is to protect delicate organs of our body. Fats are the insulators of human body, and hence, consuming them in sufficient amounts is necessary.

Other Nutrients
Minerals and calcium assist in proper contraction of muscles and clotting of blood – these are amongst the important processes of human body. Calcium and phosphorus assist in the growth of bones and teeth whereas iron supplies oxygen to lungs; these nutrients help in the smooth functioning of human bodily systems. Intake of sodium in right quantities is essential for the overall development of the body.

Weight loss diet-are you at a healthy weight zone?

I am sure you are very well aware of the fact that weight loss diet more and more people are facing the problem of obesity and a lot of them are resorting to weight loss supplements. While some people have benefited from these supplements, however there are still a lot of people who are really clueless on what type to buy.

At the end, they are left frustrated without losing a single pound. However worry no more; here are some proven tips to help out weight loser’s wannabes when buying diet pills in the market. For the starter before buying diet supplement, consult a doctor.

There are weight loss supplements that are available only by prescription. Do not forget to tell the doctor about your personal allergies to certain medication and health history. For over the counter supplements always decide what kind to buy.

There are numerous types available in the market today. Some are appetite suppressants while some help the body to absorb fat. Also, do not forget to check the ingredients and carefully read the labels to avoid serious side effects like high blood pressure and heart valve lesions.

Please make sure it will not react negatively on any other medications that are currently being taken. It would also help to have it checked by the doctor before taking it. Please keep in mind that all weight loss supplements, even those that are prescribed by doctors carry risk.

It is for this reason that all instructions must be followed carefully and religiously. Stop taking the supplements if unusual symptoms are being noticed. Always choose diet pills that are approved by the food and drug administration agency of FDA. These products are monitored and carry minimum risks.

Beware of the over the counter diet pills that contain ma huang. This is basically a strong stimulant that has been associated with death especially among professional athletes. When purchasing online, make sure that all the weight loss supplements are sealed. Please do not accept bottles that were tampered with.

Please remember that dietary products that promise quick weight loss usually do not have the approval of FDA. Most of these products have severe side effects that lead to drastic weight loss. Always research the internet for diet pills that are proven to have side effects.

Now for example a Brazilian diet pill was recently sold in USA that contains drugs and chemicals like antidepressants, tranquilizers and amphetamines. This pill was advertized as all natural but was proven dangerous to health.

Again never buy ephedrine based supplements as they are deeply associated with strokes and death. So look for supplements that contain essential nutrients like omega fatty acids, B12, calcium and liver oils which are really very important especially to women.

Always buy weight loss diet products that are endorsed or recommended by health professionals or body builders. Make sure that you do not depend on weight loss supplements alone. Eat healthy and exercise. Try working out in the gym for at least 3 times a week and get incredible results.

10 Important Life Skills I Learned From Swimming

“You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else. ” – Albert Einstein.

After some time pondering this quote from Einstein, I realized that Einstein was not just referring to a game of sports, but also life and work experiences. My lifestyle choice as a swimmer started when I was around 12 years old. I grew up on a farm in the middle of nowhere and swimming, just meant cooling off in the river on our farm. The farm was too far from town in order for us to be High school day students. Going to High school meant boarding school.

In my first year of High school, I did gymnastics, but hurt my ankle and I felt doomed as I really would have liked to take gymnastics further. Physical Training back in the seventies meant just that – all kids in the school regardless of ability had to run around the field, play rugby, do athletics, swim, gymnastics, hockey and whatever other sport was available. (I believe nowadays it is optional in schools to play sports).

The school’s swimming pool did not have heaters, which resulted in swimming being a summer-only activity as the winters were quite cold. There was also no swim team 1978 and in general, most of the female students looked for a way out of swimming. It was not the case for me – I was in heaven as soon as my body hit the water.

This is where my love for water and swimming started. At first, it was just swimming for the hour odd during PT. Our routine in Boarding school included afternoon rest, study hall, an hour of sport, showering, dinner, late study and lights out – of course for each activity a bell rang. As a water addict, the hour of swimming in PT was just not enough for me. I wanted more, so when all the athletes went to the athletic field, I went back to the pool on my own to get some more training. There were no Coach, no program, just the pool and endless laps which I swam.

Soon the two sessions a day were also not enough and I started staying after school for the rest break before study hall. 45-minute training session, rush off to make study hall just in time. The Western Province in South Africa is a very hot and dry place in summer. We did not have the luxury of air conditioners in study hall, just those huge roof fans that go “Whoop, whoop” all the time and barely cool anybody down. Swimming for 45 minutes before study hall was great – while everybody else was sweating, I felt refreshed and could concentrate on studying in the heat.

One day during one of my training sessions, a teacher arrived at the school’s swimming pool with her two boys, aged around 7 and 5. I felt a sinking feeling in my stomach (the type you get when you are in a lift) when the teacher arrived and I thought she was going to report me to the Boarding school’s Principal. To my surprise, we started talking and she said that she completed a coaching course, so if I want to, I could train with her two boys. That was music to my ears. The rest became history.

That was 37 years ago. The only times that I did not swim in these 37 years, were when I had injuries, broke fingers, a broken leg and expected my baby. Oh, not to forget the times I left at 2 am for work and got home only at 21:00 pm that night as a representative. Needless to say, I took to the pool at every opportunity I could regardless of the circumstances, depending on pool availability of course.

Reflecting on this lifetime of swimming, professional life and now the job title of Swim Mom, I realize that swimming brings more to the table than just being active, feeling good due to exercise and, of course, controlling weight. Swimming success leads to other success in life. You just need to love the sport and in my opinion, it will contribute to your lifestyle, career and everything else in the following ways:

  1. Set goals and objectives and work towards achieving it.
  2. Plan your life and live your plan.
  3. Do not procrastinate.
  4. Keep records and interpret results.
  5. Adjust your plan if and when needed.
  6. Swim faster and you have more time for rest – work smart and you will have spare time for personal pursuits.
  7. Do it properly, then it is easy – whichever task you undertake, normally, if you work smart and work correctly it makes the job easier. If you execute strokes correctly, it will make the distances you have to train easier.
  8. Keep your routine.
  9. Do what you love.
  10. Enjoy whatever you do and the results will speak for itself.

How Does Swimming Help Your Fitness?

How does swimming help your fitness level?

Do you recall the feeling of looking for something that is lost? Maybe you feel victimized or plagued with the responsibility you may have shirked. It is not fun admitting you made a mistake of misplacing the item. Perhaps you feel embarrassed or in jeopardy with accordance to your loss. This can be similar to no knowing if swimming can help your fitness. You may hope it will work, but are uncertain and that can leave you feeling crazy.

Your hope can be realized through learning about swimming. When watching swimmers swim, it looks so easy and effortless. It seems like you wouldn’t gain a great workout. But, the opposite is true. Swimming has turned other athletes into a more dynamic and overall fit person. It has been known to increase their abilities in other areas. Swimming uses different muscles than the muscles you use on land. This enables the body to become a fearless force to be reckoned with.

My first attempts at swimming were pretty pathetic. I didn’t even want to put my face in the water. After struggling along, I finally got the hang of if it. But, that wasn’t the end. Swimming laps takes a tremendous amount of energy. It is easy to burn many calories. Practicing weekly, helped me to improve my form and thus made it easier to glide through the water.

How Does Swimming Help Your Fitness?

  • Swimming uses your lungs to their biggest capacity. This helps you to increase your cardio which is good for burning fat calories.
  • Your heart rate will increase as you add laps. This will build up a stronger and healthier heart.
  • You use muscles that you don’t normally use when on land. This working of the muscles, tones and builds them in a lean way. The bulkiest muscles you may encounter would be the shoulders and the trapezius muscles that connect the neck to the shoulders.
  • There is always room for improvement. As you get better, you can increase the laps and your speed. This means that there is no cap on your fitness. You can keep increasing and keep going further and faster.
  • To have correct form and glide through the water efficiently, you need to use the large muscles. Your core is what moves you forward. The legs help to propel you and your arms are for guidance. Your core muscles will develop rapidly as you use them the most.