Monthly Archives: March 2016

  1. The Pros and Cons of Joining a Running Club

    If you want to get started with a regular running routine, but don't want to run on your own all the time, then a running club might be right up your alley. Running clubs are merely collectives or organizations that get together to run on a regular basis. The basic idea behind clubs of this ilk is that, by running with other people, you will be able to keep your motivation alive better than you would be on your own.

    Running clubs act both as communities and support systems, adding both a social element and a facet of collaboration to the running process. While running is a solo sport, running clubs are built on the idea that it can be communal when enjoyed with other people. As with any other organization, there can be both pros and cons to joining a running club. We've compiled a list of both sides of the argument below, to help you decide whether or not a running club is the right choice for you! 

    Positive Effects of Joining a Running Club

    • You get to train in a group setting
    • You will get tips and advice from other runners
    • It’s a great way to meet people
    • You'll establish and chase new goals for fitness and running
    • You will feel encouraged to adopt healthier habits in other parts of your life

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    Track teams and cross country teams aren't successful only because of the talent of their individual runners, but also because of the familial atmosphere that forms when you work as a team. Training with a group of other runners helps break down the lonesome solitude that often comes with running by giving you other people to train with. Running with other people, in turn, can keep you motivated to get out for a run on days when you'd rather sit around the house. In short, being beholden to a running club instead of just t

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  2. Teaching Kids How to Swim: Why It Matters and How to Get Started

    There are so many different reasons to teach your child how to swim that they cannot all possibly be cataloged in a single blog post. From safety to self-esteem, all the way to simple leisure and fun, swimming is a skill that will benefit your child time and time again?especially if you live near a body of water.

    Swimming as a Survival Skill

    First, let's start by looking at the safety reasons for learning to swim. While swimming is often fun, it can also be looked at as a simple safety or survival skill. Most animals are born with an innate ability to swim, which aids in everything from hunting to escaping predators. Humans don't have the same luxury, and while we don't have to hunt or look out for higher-on-the-food-chain animals like most creatures do, learning to swim can still help us survive in a number of ways.

    It is a simple inevitability that, at some point in life, your child will find himself or herself near water. Trips to the beach or the pool with friends or school groups; cruise vacations with family; outings on a sailboat or a speedboat and all the fun that entails, from fishing to tubing or water skiing. While none of these scenarios necessarily require swimming, it's unrealistic to expect your child to go through his or her whole life without ever going into the water.

    When the time does come to dive in, it is important that your son or daughter know how to swim. Otherwise, a fun, leisurely outing can quickly turn into a major scare or a horrible tragedy. Teaching your child to become a strong lifelong swimmer could even help to prevent such a tragedy from striking someone else. Just because your son or daughter knows how to swim well doesn't necessarily mean others their age will be able to do so. There could well come a time in your child's life where he or she has an occasion to save someone else from drowning,even if that occasion is probably years and years off in the future.

    Swimming

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  3. A Beginner's Guide to Cycle Signaling

    Bicycling is more than just a great way to fulfill your daily exercise regimen. On the contrary, cycling is also a great way to explore unfamiliar places, enjoy the marvels of the outdoors, and get around without relying on fossil fuels. However, it is important to remember when you start cycling on busy roads (or even partially busy roads) that as a cyclist, you are expected to behave more like a car than a pedestrian. You need to travel with the flow of traffic, you need to obey all stop signs and traffic lights, and you need to respect other drivers and the rules of the road at all times. These requirements are not meant to impair the enjoyment of your cycling experience, but rather to ensure your personal safety.

    Why Signaling Is Important

    One major component of obeying the rules of the road is using signaling. When you drive a car, you are expected to use turn signals before turning down a new street or into a driveway. Of course, your car handles some of your signals for you,such as brake lights, but the basic purpose is still the same. As a driver, you use signals to let other drivers know what you are doing on the road. This non-verbal communication helps to maintain order and balance, even in busy traffic, and drastically cuts down on the number and severity of accidents.

    Similarly, as a cyclist, you must use signals to communicate with other drivers. Usually, as a cyclist, you won't be occupying as much of the street as a motorist or even a motorcyclist would be. The small size and relatively slow speed of bicycles mean that they are often pushed to the shoulder of the road or into bike lanes to make way for other traffic. In heavy traffic, though, it is sometimes safer to join the flow of traffic than remain on the outskirts of it. Such a maneuver helps other drivers see you and recognize your intentions.

    Still, even if you are riding on the shoulder of the road or using a dedicated bike lane, you should absolutely use hand

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  4. Have Fun with the Whole Family: Fly a Kite

     

    When was the last time you took the family outside on a blustery day and flew a kite? In the era of smartphone games and social media, the old-fashioned charms of kite flying have, for many, been lost. However, disconnecting from the digital world for an afternoon and going out to fly a kite can be a great opportunity for family bonding, and a lot of fun to boot!

    What's so fun about flying a kite?

    During medium-wind days, it's easy to hold on to a kite and make it dance patterns and twirls across the sky. Whether you are trading one kite back and forth between family members or flying multiple kites all together, there's a simple childlike innocence to flying a kite that you can't really get from anyone else. And since kites are fairly inexpensive, you can easily have everyone in the family out at the same time, keeping a different color kite soaring around in circles. To add an extra layer of fun for young kids, opt for kite decorating kits and allow each child to customize his or her own.

    Tips for Successful Kite Flying and Overall Safety

    • Find an Open Area to Fly
    • Have a Strong Grip
    • Take into Account the Weather 
    • Avoid Potential Collisions

    Find an Open Area to Fly

    Once you have your kites ready to go, head to a clear, wide-open area. If there is an open field near your house, a schoolyard football field that isn't in use, for instance, that's a great place to go. Beaches and parks are also ideal. Your goal should be to find a place with lots of room to run and few or no obstructions. You'll also have more fun if you can locate a spot that you and your family can enjoy just to yourselves. Since the image of a kite stuck in a tree is so common, you probably already know to avoid spots with many trees. Also steer clear of power lines, fences, and buildings, and pick a space far away from streets or railroads. When we say "wide-open area," we mean it!

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  5. Badminton Tips for Beginners

    .Badminton is a great sport to become proficient in, not just because it is fun and a terrific form of exercise, but also because it can be played at a backyard party just as easy as it can at the local recreation center. Though Badminton is a racquet sport with rules similar to those in tennis, it is absolutely its own sport. The court is roughly half the size of a tennis court, and when you play badminton and realize how fast the shuttlecock/birdie can move at its top speed, you will understand why. Because of these factors, badminton can be tough to master, even if you are already a skilled tennis player. Consider heeding the tips below to start vanquishing your opponents more quickly!

    1. Learn the terminology
    2. Ask a for advice from other players
    3. Find an indoor court to practice
    4. Know the home position
    5. Force your opponent to move around

    Learn the terminologybadminton tips for beginners shuttlecock

    Save face with fellow badminton players by knowing what you're talking about, at least mostly. The biggest piece of terminology is the feathery projectile used in place of a ball. This?thing is called a "birdie" (in North America) or a "shuttlecock" (most other parts of the world) and is the obvious center of any badminton match. Knowing other terms?like "carry," "wood shot," "home position," and "clear"?won't just help you to discuss badminton with your teammates and opponents, but will also help you to understand the game. The English Club has a pretty helpful glossary of badminton terms to help you get

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  6. American Football: A History

    February 2016 brings the 50thincarnation of the Super Bowl, so it goes without saying that American football is dominating the sporting headlines right now?even outside of the United States. But how did this sport develop, and how is its history tied to association football? Read on for a brief history of the American football tradition.

    Humble Beginnings

    The first "official" association football game was played in December 1863 in England after the Football Association met for the first time and decided on a formal set of rules. Rugby football?which can also be linked to the development of American football?also traces its origins to early to mid-19th century England. Unsurprisingly, American football (also known in some circles as "gridiron football," or commonly as just "football" in the United States) developed as a sort of hybrid between these two games.

    Before they were professional sports, both soccer and rugby developed as games played at public schools and universities. Notably, the "Cambridge Rules"?which were authored at Cambridge University in 1948?were a template on which the FA built their "Laws of the Games." Similarly, American football began as a college exploit, with schools like Princeton, Rutgers, Harvard, and Yale among the first adopters. These college competitions began around 1869, but at the time, there was no official document illustrating the rules of the game. As a result, different colleges were playing slightly different variations of a football-like game. The first recorded intercollegiate match in the United States was a contest between Princeton and Rutgers and saw the two teams playing a game that was, for all intents and purposes, soccer.

     

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  7. Train Like a Professional Footballer: Five Tips

     

    Whether you are a young footballer with dreams of someday signing with a major club, or just someone who wants to get into terrific shape, you might wonder how you can replicate the training programs of the pros. How can these athletes cover 10 to 15 kilometers per game and then be back ready to practice the next day? Read on to learn a bit about how you can train like a professional soccer star on your own time.

    1. Plan a week-long regime
    2. Focus on the legs
    3. Mix up your training
    4. Take the recovery process seriously
    5. Don't forget diet and sleep

    Plan a week-long regime

    In a typical one-game week, football clubs will observe a basic weeklong regime cycle to make sure players are in their best shape when the weekend hits. You might not be able to replicate every bit of this training routine. For instance, if you don't have buddies who are willing to run soccer drills with you every day, you are going to have to adapt the training model to suit what you can However, the basic idea should be to point to your most major workout on Saturday, with some gentle recovery workouts on Sunday and Monday, a couple of more intensive workouts on Tuesday and Wednesday, a rest day on Thursday, and a low-intensity workout on Friday. This basic plan can be applied to any sport?be it football, long distance running, or biking.

     

    Focus on the legs

    A soccer player's legs are his or her greatest asset, so it stands to reason that someone hoping to train like a professional footballer should focus on the legs first and foremost. Biking, running, or spending time on a cross trainer can strengthen the legs while also building cardiovascular fitness,

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  8. Hockey: A Sport for Fitness and Fun!

    Whether you are trying to decide which sport is right for you or your kids, hockey might not be one of the first athletic pursuits to jump to your mind. However, in terms of both fitness and fun, not many sports can rival hockey. Here are a few reasons why you should consider pursuing hockey? Whether to get in better shape or just to enjoy yourself.

    Fitness: Hockey is great cardiovascular exercise.

    The cardio benefits of playing field hockey are enormous. Because of the start-stop nature of the game, you might believe that hockey doesn't have the same cardiovascular benefits of simply going for an extended, non-stop run. However, the fact that hockey players are required to alternate periods of high-intensity running with periods of rest actually delivers better cardiovascular exercise than a non-stop workout. When you repeat alternate intense bursts of exercise with brief moments of rest, you are doing what is called interval training. Long-distance runners do interval work to increase their speed and stamina. On the hockey field, this interval-based exercise results in great cardiovascular exercise with incredible calorie-burning benefits.

     

    Fun: The teamwork facet is terrific.

    Because hockey is so fast-paced, teams need to learn how to communicate and collaborate like one living, breathing organism in order to succeed. The slightest lapse of concentration can result in a turnover and a goal for the other team. While this factor makes hockey a high-pressure sport, it also adds to the rewarding nature of the game. There are few sports where players have to rely on their teammates as much as they do in hockey. This teamwork facet and the elements of both verbal and non-verbal communication help build near-familial bonds of friendship between players and adds to the drive and fun of the

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