Monthly Archives: August 2016

Benefits of Playing Sports

Playing sports is something most of us love, isn’t it? Undoubtedly, sports are a fun activity but they offer several health benefits too. Playing some sport regularly goes a long way in maintaining your physical and mental well-being. Sports help enhance your personality. They are a good source of both exercise and entertainment.

Advantages of Sports in a Nutshell
Physical Benefits

  • Increased strength and stamina
  • Better body shape and increased agility
  • They help burn calories and shed those extra pounds.
  •  They give the body a good exercise.

Psychological Benefits

  • They encourage you to give your best every time.
  • They help build your planning and analytical skills and increase concentration.
  • Sports boost confidence.
  • They build leadership and team skills.

The Bigger Picture

  • Achieve social integration
  •  Lead to infrastructural developments
  •  Create employment opportunities
  • Boost the tourism industry

How Sports Benefit You
Sports serve as an excellent physical exercise. Those who play sports have a more positive body image than those who do not. Sports often involve physical activities like running, jumping, stretching and moving about which turn out to be a good body workout. Playing sports is energy put to good use. Engaging in sports since an early age strengthens your bones and muscles and tones your body. It helps you increase your stamina and endurance. Sports that involve jumping and stretching help increase height; for example basketball. Games that involve running, kicking or throwing a ball help strengthen the arms and legs; for example soccer and cricket. Swimming provides a full body workout. Thus sports provide the body with complete exercise and engaging in sports directly translates into overall fitness.

Research shows that sports improve Math skills in children. Sports that involve aiming and hitting skills, for example, tennis, badminton, baseball and cricket help them increase focus. They help develop leadership qualities and foster team spirit in kids. They involve competition; they involve winning and losing. This exposes children to both aspects of life, successes and failures. Sports build a competitive spirit in children and teach them to be participative irrespective of whether the result is victory or defeat. Playing sports teaches them to accept both successes and failures with a positive spirit. Sports teach you to think with a cool head. The most important benefit of sports is the sportsman spirit they inculcate. Sports help you become more

sporting, more positive and stronger.
Playing sports is very beneficial for the development of social skills. Sports teach you to interact with people, communicate with them and collaborate as a team. Sports foster collective thinking and harness your planning and delegation skills too. Sports build confidence. Winning a game gives you a sense of accomplishment, which boosts your confidence further.

Playing sports involves directed thinking. It requires you to strategize. You need to devise ways to score goals, runs or earn points, as the case may be. You need to devise strategies to win, you need to decide whether to take an offensive stand or a defensive one. You need to judge your opponent’s strategy and modify yours accordingly. This definitely involves clever thinking, which sports encourage. Studies show that kids who play sports regularly fare well in academics and do well in school.

Sports make you happy. I know anyone would agree with this. Jumping about, running around, racing to get ahead, hitting, throwing, bouncing, kicking (the ball), shouting, clapping, cheering, falling and standing up again… all a part of playing sports. And there is no match to the happiness this brings. They give you the high by increasing the production of endorphins in the brain. In other words, sports are a form of exercise which generates happiness molecules in your body, thus restoring your mental health. Playing sports, you can’t be sad. In fact, they bust the sorrow and the stress. Sports generate a positive energy in you, around you.

When sports are played at the state or national level, they increase the players’ sense of belonging to their community or country. International sports events foster patriotism and a feeling of oneness among the team members of a country. Playing sports at these levels opens many employment avenues for not only sportsmen and women but also people who join tournaments as volunteers, cheerleaders or in the capacity of sports doctors and physical therapists. As developments are undertaken in cities hosting sports events, sports can lead to urbanization of rural areas. Many cities have started becoming hubs for sports tourism. Sports parks are being developed in many tourist destinations. It is the increasing inclination for playing sports which is responsible for such developments.

Playing sports reduces several health risks. As sports serve as an excellent form of exercise, it won’t come as a surprise that they offer health benefits like lowering blood pressure, maintaining blood sugar and cholesterol levels and reducing other health risks. Yes, if you are playing a sport regularly, you are at a lesser risk of developing diabetes or heart diseases. Playing sports reduces the risk of hypertension and several other stress-related disorders. Research shows that people who play sports regularly can deal with stresses and strains in a better way. Those who engage in sports activities are less prone to depression, anxiety and other psychological disorders.

Regular exercise that is achieved through sports leads to an improvement in the overall health thus improving the quality of life. Sports are a good combination of recreation and exercise. They improve your physical and psychological health; physical because sports involve exercise and psychological because playing is something you enjoy, it’s something that relaxes your mind. Something so advantageous is worth investing time in. So go hit the ground today.

Slackening Tricks for Beginners

slackeningSlacklining has become an increasingly popular sport which – as mentioned above – involves walking across a highly-tensioned and bouncy webbing. Although people have been performing balancing activities from ages, slacklining has become a trend in the last three decades. Unlike a tightrope, a slackline is not held that rigidly, instead it is stretchy and dynamic. The slackline is normally 1 or 2 inches broad and flat. With all these features, the slackline becomes highly versatile, which makes this sport more enjoyable.

The art of slacklining will help you improve balancing ability, increase concentration levels, condition core muscles, and have a lot of fun. Slacklining is not only limited to balancing or walking on the line, you can even jump and bounce, or use the line for static poses, fitness, and yoga, in addition to performing a lot of tricks.

If walking the tightrope has been on your mind for a while now, but you lack the courage to do something about it, then maybe you should look at slacklining as an option. With the line in slacklining being, well, slacker than tightrope walking, it is easier to balance while slacklining. Balancing on a line which is a few feet above the ground may seem to be scary task, but most of us have an inner equilibrium which helps us balance. Once you learn the techniques and get some regular practice, you will start to enjoy slacklining.

Materials Needed
For slacklining, you will need two anchor points (mostly two trees), a slackline and a pulley, carabiners, ratcheting mechanism or some other means of getting the slackline tight.
Steps to Follow

  • Find two trees as anchor points that are at least 15 – 25 feet apart and set the line a little above your upper thigh or hip level. Starting with a short slackline will keep the line stable and will make it easier for you.
  • This is not a tightrope, so you will have to set up the tension between the two anchors. The line should sag at least 6 – 12 inches when slacklining.
  • Mental preparation is the most important thing before you step on the line. So like you see in the movies, shake yourself a bit, then your shoulders, legs, arms, and relax before you start. Trust me, it works!
  • While slacklining for the first time, it is advised to have two spotters on both sides of the line, to increase your confidence. You can start with holding their hands or shoulders, and work on balancing.
  • When you keep your feet on the webbing, make sure you do not watch them. Keep your focus on the end of the line and let your balance tell you where to put your next step. Focus at least 15 – 18 feet in front of you.
  • Keep your arms in the Titanic position and do not lock your knees; keep them a bit bent. You also need to keep your head up. While taking steps on the line, lean your torso forward as well.
  • While mounting the webbing, place one foot on it with very little weight, and keep your other leg against the line and support it using your thigh. After that, hop with the leg on the ground so that the balance is maintained.
  • Once you get the knack of mounting, you can start focusing on your balancing skills on the line while taking baby steps. Start with short distances; you can increase it later with more practice.
  • If you are going barefoot, you can use the ‘forward foot position’ in which you have to place the line in the soft area between your big toe and the 2nd toe, with the line continuing under your heel.
  • If you prefer slacklining with shoes on, then the ‘sideways foot position’ will be a comfortable option. In this you will have to place the line diagonally in the arch, where the line should rest outside the big toe.
    Some Tips and Tricks for Beginners
  • In the initial stages, keep the sessions short and try to get the hang of it. Don’t try too hard to learn quickly and get frustrated, instead follow the steps, keep trying, and try to have fun.
  • Select a proper set of footwear for slacklining. If you choose not to go barefoot, then prefer tight-fitting shoes, laced properly. Shoes will help you spin easily, while going barefoot will give you better grip and feedback.
  • To start with stepping on the line, you can try and sink straight down on the line and avoid jumping at any angle. It may sound a bit difficult, but with practice you will be able to mount smoothly.
  • To accelerate your learning sessions, it is better to find a partner who can guide you and help you reduce your mistakes. Moreover, this also increases dedication and helps enjoy the sport together.
  • If you are helping your kids with slacklining, then ask someone to sit on one end to lower the line, before asking your kids to mount. When they reach midway, you can ask the person to slowly get up.
    Precautions
  •  Do not use any kind of sticks to prop you as it does not help, and you may end up injuring yourself. The best way is to step on the line without any support.
  • Baggy pants may suit you elsewhere, but while slacklining it’s a big no-no! If the pant cuffs come under your feet while walking on the line, you may lose traction and not be able to feel the line.
  •  Do not mount the slackline from any point, it is safer to mount in the middle, as if you lose your balance and fall, you will be far from most obstacles.
  • Do not get disheartened if you fall the first few times. It is quite obvious for a new leaner to fall a few times in the initial stages, but make sure you know how to control yourself while falling and land on your feet.
  • Do not rig the line over rocky terrain or where there are many obstacles. Even if the slackline is only a few feet above the ground, if you fall from it you can end up with serious injuries depending on what is below the line. Starting on a lawn or using mattresses under the line to break your fall is recommended for beginners.

Do not get discouraged if you are taking time to learn slacklining, keep in mind it’s a sport and you have to enjoy it. Take a deep breath, relax, and keep trying.

Tips Skateboarding for Beginners

Skateboarding, in simpler words, is the activity of riding a skateboard. A skateboard is basically a rectangular plywood piece (deck), which is fitted with four small-sized wheels on the underside. Nowadays, new versions are available with many other optional components. It is viewed by many as a recreational activity or a type of extreme sport. Rarely, it is used as a means of transportation. A person participating in this activity is called a skater/skateboarder.

This sport is and has been a favorite with extreme sports enthusiasts. It has fascinated several youngsters over the last few decades. According to a survey conducted, majority of the skateboarders are males under 18 years of age. The growing popularity of this sport does not mean that there is no risk involved. If you are a first timer, then you should follow certain safety measures.

Tips

  •  first step is selecting the right board and proper gear. As a beginner, you should choose a thick and heavy deck with less curvature. With such a board, you are less likely to slip off, and it is easier for you to keep control. As you become better, you can switch to a thin and concave deck.
  • It is always advisable to check the trucks of the board. If they are very tight, loosen them by unscrewing the kingpins. After doing so, make sure the kingpins are fitted properly. A well-fitted truck will help you to turn easily, thus minimizing the risk of falling. Speaking about protection gear, you should purchase good quality skating shoes, helmet, wrist brace, and elbow and knee pads.
  • The next step is to make yourself comfortable with the skateboard. You can place it on a non-slippery surface (grass or carpet), and try to stand or jump on it. Be comfortable with the shape and size of the deck and learn some basics such as placing your feet in varied positions and balancing on front and rear wheels.
  • Once you are comfortable with that, you can decide your stance or skating style. In general, there are three stances, viz., regular (skate with the left foot forward), goofy (skate with the right foot forward, and mongo foot (push with the back foot, instead of the front one). Always stand in your most convenient style and try to push forward. If possible, do not follow the mongo style, as it takes a longer time to learn.
  • In the initial days, practice by pushing off on an even surface or at the most, a shallow hill. You may fall from the board while pushing off, but try to relax and imagine that pushing off is like taking a normal step. Maintain balance and push your foot as you do while walking. Another trick is to start pushing off as powerfully as you can. You can ride until the skateboard stops naturally.
  • The next tip is to push yourself carefully while riding, before you run out of speed. You can learn to turn left and right by putting more of your weight into the heels. As you practice regularly, you will be able to take sharper turns. Last, but not the least, you will need to learn how to stop the skateboard. The easiest and safest way of stopping it is footbraking. Footbraking involves taking off the back foot and grinding it onto the ground. There are other stopping methods such as heel drag, bail, boneless, and powerslide.

    It is advisable not to try any tricks or fast-paced skating, before getting a command over the basics. Once you are confident about the twists and turns, you can practice other tricks such as ollie, kickflip, magic flip, etc. Have patience and keep trying again and again.

Nike the running shoe market

Introduction

In order to continue the article series about four greatest running shoe brands in the world running shoe market, in this article, I will introduce to you one of the best sport brands in all over the world, which is Nike (the direct competitor of Adidas, which was mentioned in the previous article). I hope that this article would help you to have a comparison between Adidas and Nike. From that, you could choose the suitable brand for yourself.

The company history

The forerunner of Nike is the Blue Ribbon Sport Company (BRS), which was created by Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman in 1964 at Eugene, Oregon, US. At that time, BRS was just a distributor of a Japanese sport shoe brand – Onitsuka Tiger, which later became Asics. After that, in 1971, this company changed the name to become Nike Inc. It is true that this name was based on the name of a goddess who personified victory, also known as the Winged Goddess of Victory in Greek mythology. Nowadays, Nike is a top brand in the field of production of sport shoes, clothes and accessories in the world.

The typical technologies of Nike

Nike Air

Nike Air is operated on the principle of compressed air and putted air in a bag, which is made of flexible rubber at the heel or foot memories (or even both). In fact, this will help reduce collision pressure during exercise and then will return to its original state. Besides, this also allows the foot to land a quieter way, the skeletal muscles; ligaments would be less impact than the maximum. Thus, it helps to protect feet, limiting the injury during training process.

Nike Free

Nike Free technology is rooted from the idea wants to make a normal running shoe, which use to run on road to become a running shoe uses to run on the air or on the grass, just increase the flexibility of the foot, while providing qualified protection necessary to protect the legs when needed. To make this idea to become true, Nike Free has created a buffer layer is extremely flexible; helping hugging the base from the toes to the heel. Therefore, Nike Free technology is just only applied into running shoe line.

Hyperfuse 

Hyperfuse technology is made from a combination of three special layers, which are bound together with high temperatures. The first layer is a synthetic leather inner support base layer. The second layer is an ultra-lightweight mesh and ventilation and the final layer is TPU film are pressed at the junction temperature increases maximum durability. As a result, this combination created a Hyperfuse structure to help increase performance and exhaust a formidable. Thereby, your feet always feel cool and comfortable when you run.

Nike Flywire

Nike Flywire technology is applied on almost current Nike sports shoes, such as soccer, tennis, basketball or running shoes and so on. In reality, this technology is the arranging the wires are two sides of the shoes to help reduce the level effect and increase support to athletes. Hence, the shoe body always tight on your feet and keep your legs as being dishevelled air movement. Indeed, the function of this small rope like a suspension bridge cables, supporting the foot, heel while running to reduce the impact and cause injuries to the legs, increased motor performance at maximum.

Conclusion

In conclusion, with the facts mentioned above, Nike deserves with the number one position in the world running shoe market. On the contrary, in fact, Nike does not get high appreciations from professional runners. In my opinion, the three main reasons for this are firstly, the price of Nike running shoe is quite high. Secondly, the durability of the shoes is not good (comparison with Adidas). Finally, it is matter of the fact that Nike is one of the greatest corporations about manufacturing sport shoes, but the strongest shoe type of Nike is training shoe, not running shoe. However, the design of Nike shoe in general is really beautiful and fashion. Because of this, if you are people, who like running shoes could be used for training as well as stroll or even going to work, surely, Nike is the best choice for you.