Monthly Archives: April 2016

  1. Fitness Accessories for a Home Workout

    If you're like most people, you would prefer to get your daily workout done at the gym,or better yet, outside,than to do it at home. There's something about the fresh air of an outdoor workout or the invigorating atmosphere of the gym that helps to get your blood pumping and keep you motivated. However, there will be days when neither outdoor workouts nor trips to the gym are convenient, appealing, or even possible. Maybe your outdoor run has to be nixed because an un-forecasted torrential downpour hit your area. Perhaps you can't make it to the gym because your meeting ran late at work and you have to get home to watch the kids. Or maybe you're just not in the mood for your usual outdoor workout and the bustling nature of the gym just sounds overwhelming.

    fitness accessories for a home workout gym

    Planning a Home Workout

    Whatever the reason, there will be days where an at-home workout is the best option available to you. When those days roll around, it's always good to have the necessary equipment and accessories to make sure that you can still get plenty of exercise. Of course, major home gym investments are a huge plus. If you have a treadmill, strength machine, or stationary bike just sitting in your basement, then your home workout woes are solved! You can just go downstairs and do some approximation of the workout you would normally get at the gym. Heck, when you have high-quality, heavy-duty exercise equipment at home, you might not even need that gym membership anymore!

    The problem is, not all of us have treadmills, elliptical machines, weight machines, or stationary bikes. Those pieces of equipment are expensive and take up a lot of space. If you are saving up for a different kind of big

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  2. Which Country Is Most Bicycle Friendly? (And What Can Others Do to Improve?)

    In July 2015, Wired published a list of "The 20 Most Bike-Friendly Cities on the Planet," as compiled by the Copenhagenize Design Company. Topping the list was Copenhagen, Denmark. The city was praised for investing heavily in the development of new bicycle-friendly infrastructure?from bicycle bridges to elevated bike paths. According to the Wired piece, the investment in creating bike-friendly infrastructure is an especially large trend in both Denmark and the Netherlands. (For the record, three Dutch cities made the top five, including Eindhoven at five, Utrecht at three, and former top-slot holder Amsterdam slipping to the runner-up position.) Both countries, in addition to building protected bike lanes and bike bridges, have worked to slant their traffic laws so that cyclists aren't so at the mercy of drivers. In particular, the Copenhagenize Design Company says that Denmark and the Netherlands have "design[ed] streets to limit the number and speed of cars in city centers," thereby making high-traffic areas safer for cyclists.

    The Top Biking Country

    If the Copenhagenize Design Company list shows one thing, it's that individual cities tend to develop more of a "bicycle-friendly scene" than countries as a whole. There is a very good reason for this trend. Rural areas aren't always bike-friendly, not necessarily because the streets are unsafe for cyclists, but because there are longer distances between destinations. Cities, by contrast, are much more densely populated and less spread out, making them perfect places to ditch the car and get around by bike?at least theoretically. Cycling offers health benefits, is often faster than cars or public transit in

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  3. The History, Rules, and Legacy of Basketball

    In 2015, the Forbes list of the world's highest-paid athletes saw two boxers (Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao) occupying the top two spots. Third and fourth place were occupied, respectively, by football's biggest stars: Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. Surprisingly, though, the most well-represented sport on the Forbes top 10 list wasn't boxing or football. It wasn't golf, either, though both Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson landed on the list, and it wasn't tennis, though Roger Federer ended up fifth and had the highest endorsement earnings of any athlete. Rather, three of the top 10 slots went to another sport: basketball. United States NBA stars LeBron James (who plays for the Cleveland Cavaliers), Kevin Durant (of the Oklahoma City Thunder), and Kobe Bryant (of the Los Angeles Lakers) ranked in at sixth, seventh, and 10th, respectively. The rankings showed the power of the NBA, which, while less profitable than the National Football League, Major League Baseball, and the English Premier League, remains the fourth most successful sports leagues in the world.

    legacy of basketball create

    The Birth of Basketball

    Needless to say, basketball has come a long way from some fairly humble roots. Like association football, basketball was probably played in some rudimentary form by ancient civilizations. The first game of basketball as we know it today, though, did not take place until the late 19th century?specifically, on January 20th, 1892. While basketball is probably most

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  4. How Can You Get Kids to Swap iPads for Exercise?

    According to the President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition, only one in three kids participates in physical activity every day. In all likelihood, the other two spend most of their time on the couch, playing video games on their Xboxes and PlayStations, fiddling around with apps on their iPads, watching TV, texting on their cell phones, or browsing the web on their computers. Indeed, the President's Council also notes that the average child now spends in excess of seven hours per day in front of a screen. Of course, adults today are using screens more often, and part of the trend is driven by necessity. Screens are necessary to communicate with friends, complete research papers or other assignments for school, listen to music, and so many other things that are important in the lives of kids and teens alike. Unfortunately, it seems like physical activity is the thing that is being elbowed out of the schedule to make room for all of this screen time. The result is a sedentary lifestyle that can increase the risk of childhood obesity, diabetes, and other serious health concerns.


    Tips for Getting the Kids Off the Couch

    The bottom line is this: getting your kids off the couch and encouraging them to "trade the iPad for exercise," as it were, is vital to preparing them for a healthy life. If doesn't matter if your son or daughter takes up a competitive sport or just takes some time each day to get outside and move around. Your goal here should be to decrease screen time and increase physical activity. If you can make this trade-off, the health benefits will be considerable and noticeable.

    Of course, the

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  5. 2016 Trends in Exercise Classes

    The concept of group exercise classes has evolved considerably since the days of classic aerobics classes. First introduced in 1968 by Dr. Kenneth Cooper, aerobics was initially an exercise routine meant to hit all elements of fitness. Instead of just being a cardiovascular workout, just a flexibility booster, or just an exercise for muscular strength, Cooper's idea of aerobic combined cardiovascular exercise, stretching, and strength training, and exercises to hit all three. It was only later that aerobics were paired with colorful dance styles to become something that we now look back on as grounded in 1970s and 1980s culture.

    The Evolution of Aerobics

    For many years, most group exercise classes included enough resemblance to Dr. Cooper's original idea to be referred to as "aerobics." That word was just a blanket term used to describe all group fitness classes. There was some variation, but not a ton. Over the past few decades?and especially the last decade?the word "aerobics" has gradually been phased out as a blanket term. Now, you are more likely to hear exercise courses described generally as "group exercise"?a more apt blanket term that encompasses a huge range of different exercise class types. As traditional aerobics did, all of these classes bring together people with shared drive and shared interests and allow them to exercise alongside one another. However, over the years, the format of the classes, the overall fitness goals of the exercise, and the target audiences have shifted quite a bit.

    Fitness Course in 2016

    That evolution brings us to 2016, where individuals looking for ways to get fit have more options than ever before. If you don't want your fitness to be based on solo running and private yoga sessions, it really doesn't have to be. Exercise courses are available

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