Monthly Archives: February 2017

  1. A Beginner's Guide to Road Cycling: The Perfect Spring Activity

    27th February 2017.When was the last time you went bike riding? For many, the answer probably lies some time in the distant past. Even if you have a bike out in the garage, it might not see much use at all. Why not, though? Cycling can be a very fun and rewarding fitness activity for individuals of all ages. With the chilly days of winter fading away and the warmth of spring breaking out, there's no better time to saddle up and go cycling. If you've never thought about taking road cycling seriously, though, taking those first steps can seem daunting and difficult. It doesn't have to be that way, though. Despite the different handlebars, riding a road bike should feel comfortable and familiar to almost anyone. With the right preparations, a thoughtful approach, and a can-do attitude for having fun, you can come to love cycling in the spring. It may even be something you choose to stick with through the remainder of the year. Where should you start, though? Let's take a quick look at how you can prepare, what you should know, and how you can begin to transform this basic activity into part of an active lifestyle focused on fitness.

    Gather up all the types of equipment you'll need

    You can't go road cycling without the right tools and it takes more than just a bicycle, too. However, that's where we should begin. Road cycles are slightly different than touring cycles, the types of bike one Beginner's Guide to Road Cycling Rubyuses to ride around the neighbourhood casually. They often have a different style of handlebar, and they more frequently come equipped with multi-gear derailleur systems. Don't worry ? riding it is just like any other bike. You'll simply have more control over your pedalling cadence and effort

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  2. Spring is Here! Time to Head Outside and Go Running

    23rd February 2017.The first morning you awake and find that the temperature is finally back at a level where it's comfortable to go outside, it's no surprise if you feel excited! When a long winter finally comes to an end, the chance to spend more time outdoors without feeling cold and frozen is a welcome change. Of course, spring also brings with it another opportunity, the chance to start or return to exercising. Whether you've made a New Year's resolution you want to stick to or not, the spring is the perfect time to leave the stuffy indoors and get back to running. Did you spend any time in the winter exercising? With the abundant holidays and frequent travel, your answer could be "not really" and that's okay. While sticking to a routine through the winter is preferable, it's not easy, and not everyone has the time or access to a gym. The spring is an excellent time to make up lost ground, though! How should you approach your new spring fitness activity? There are plenty of helpful strategies you can employ to start running and stick to it while you enjoy the pleasant spring weather. What's the first step you should take?

    Shake out the cobwebs: start slow and acclimate

    Though it might not seem like it, taking a break from exercise over the winter can make it difficult to start once more. It's not just a matter of mental willpower, either,  your body quickly sheds some of the gains you made when you aren't training regularly. If you spent some time on treadmills inside gyms during the chilly months, then you're at an advantage. For those who didn't, however, a slow start is the best choice. Not only does beginning slow perhaps with just three or four days of jogging a week ? keep you from burning out, it also gives your body time to adjust. This way, when you begin to increase the intensity level of your runs a month into spring, you don't feel completely outclassed. Sit down with

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  3. Tips for Choosing the Perfect Pair of Swim Goggles

    20th February 2017. In every fitness activity and athletic pursuit, there's a need for the right equipment. Even an exercise as straightforward and basic as running requires footwear that supports your body as you run. After all, there aren't many surfaces left that allow for running barefoot ? nor is it the best way to improve your fitness. Choosing the right equipment, balancing comfort and function, and putting that equipment to good use is an integral part of exercise success. For swimmers, the equivalent to a good pair of running shoes is an item that rests on an entirely different part of your body. We're talking about goggles, of course. Though humans have a natural ability to see underwater, it's all but impossible to see where you're going when you're slicing through the pool at high speed. To see through the waves and walls of bubbles, you need a good pair of swim goggles. Choosing your goggles can be a challenging task, though it might not initially seem that way. You must find a pair that not only feels comfortable to wear, but also yields the level of visibility you need. You can't easily choose a pair just by looking at them, either. Instead, you'll want to evaluate your options based on several criteria. Let's break down what you should be looking for and how you'll know when you've found the right goggles for your time in the pool.

    Determine what kind of features you need most

    Your goggle shopping efforts will feel like diving into the deep end if you don't answer some basic questions for yourself at the beginning. With so many different styles and options out there, knowing what specific features you want can help narrow down the field and make finding the perfect pair easier. To begin with, will you be swimming indoors, outdoors, or both? Outdoor goggles often feature

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  4. Lost Your Motivation for Fitness? Try These Tips to Get Back on Track

    16th February 2017. There is one feeling common to everyone who exercises or makes fitness a priority in their lives: burnout. Even for the most dedicated athletes, losing the motivation to keep working out is a real problem. It often starts innocently enough, too. You wake up one morning and just feel "too tired," or the weather is just "too bad" to head out and exercise. What's the harm in taking one day off from your routine? Of course, one day can quickly turn into two, which spirals into three ? and before you know it, all that motivation to exercise has vanished. How can you get it back? Consistency in exercise is among the most important factors in developing better health and improving your body. When it feels like a huge mental struggle just to get back in the habit, though, even one day of exercise can be a worthy goal. If you're experiencing burnout or a loss of motivation, don't worry ? there are solutions out there. We'll discuss a few of the best ways you can try to recapture that spark that kept you going. With some willpower and perseverance, you'll be able to fall back into the habit and return to enjoying the benefits of exercise.

    Set a small series of goals to work towards

    When you've lost your desire to work out, feeling overwhelmed is a major stumbling block to returning to form. It may seem like you have to immediately return to the full slate of activities you were engaged in before you stopped. Of course, it would feel overwhelming to go from not exercising straight back to full intensity ? it would be difficult for anyone. So how do you mitigate that feeling? Set some small milestones you can work towards over a short period. You may even want to plan some rewards (like going to see a movie) for reaching one of these milestones. An important factor in these goals should be your

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  5. Preparing for Your Cycling Tour: Planning and Packing

    13th February 2017.There's no greater test of your cycling prowess nor any better way to experience freedom on two wheels than to undertake a cycling tour. Preparing for a tour takes a lot of work, and quite a lot of heavy training, too! When you finally lock your front door, saddle up on your bike, and pedal off towards the horizon, though, you'll know that all that hard work was worth your time. If you feel like you're finally in the right shape to handle a multi-day cycling tour, it's time to lay the groundwork for your departure. You can't just jump on your bike and head off because you feel physically fit enough. Instead, you'll want to make sure you have a well-developed plan in place and ready. From planning the path you'll cycle to figuring out what to bring along in your saddlebags, there's plenty to do before you leave. In this article, we'll cover the basics of choosing a route, packing, and planning for a successful trip on your bicycle. Try keeping some paper handy so you can make notes about ideas you have or things you know you'll want to bring along for the ride. So, let's start by making a choice about where this tour will take us!

    How to plan your cycling tour route

    When looking at potential routes, there are three main criteria your path should meet: it needs to be safe, it needs to be fun, and it needs to be doable. In other words, you don't want to be overly ambitious and plan a route that you won't be able to handle. Gauge where you're at in your readiness and base your route on the distance training you've already been doing. Your first step should involve checking cycling guidebooks or tour overviews for your area. With some luck, others have already done the hard work of staking out a route you can follow. There may even be official cycling trails that you can incorporate into your ride. Checking these guides first is smart because you know that the routes are safe

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  6. Basketball Training for Improved Fitness and Ability

    9th February 2017. Of all the sports, basketball can be one of the most physically demanding. Anyone who's played in even a casual "pick up" game knows that after an hour of chasing the ball around the court, you're drenched in sweat and out of breath. With your heart pounding, though, you know you've had a good game. Playing the game regularly requires some serious physical fitness, though. It's necessary not just to keep up with the pace of the game and its demand for sudden movements, but to develop your overall skill, too. While practising on the court and improving your ball handling skills are both necessary steps, they're just one part of an overall approach to training. When you want to develop your body for basketball, what kind of exercises should dominate your routine? It can be tricky to figure out. You need solid arms for making long-distance three-pointers, but your legs need the endurance it takes to shuffle in every direction around the court. At the same time, you'll need a strong core ? just think about all the twisting and bending one does in a game! With some of the ideas we'll discuss below, you can reshape your routine into a better fit for basketball. The important thing is to try and hit all the major areas of your body you'll use in a basketball game. So, where should you start?

    Make the intensity of interval training work for you

    Have you heard of HIIT before? That stands for "high-intensity interval training," and it's something even pro basketball players use in their training. At its most basic form, interval training involves periods of regular effort exercise punctuated by exercise at your maximum level of effort ? but just for a short time. Basketball Training Tempo RunBy alternating
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  7. A Quick Guide to Training for Field Hockey

    6th February 2017. Who says that you need an ice skating rink and cold temperatures to be able to play hockey? With field hockey, the limitations and equipment costs for ice hockey disappear. Whether you're just getting started with enjoying this fast-paced game or you're looking for ways to improve, training for field hockey is imperative. While ice hockey is a very physical game, movement is much easier due to the smooth, slick surface of the ice. In field hockey, it's all about physical endurance, strong cardiovascular fitness, and the ability to keep on sprinting down the field. Naturally, that's quite a lot of strenuous effort! If you want to find success on the field hockey pitch, you'll need to be adequately prepared to face the challenges every game will throw at you. To that end, it's crucial to develop a training regimen that will help you hone the skills you'll want to use on the field. From practising drills that boost your agility and improve your footwork, to endurance exercises for developing energy reserves, there's lots you can do to improve. Let's take a look at some of the most effective ways to train and develop your skills in field hockey.

     

    Develop quickness and endurance with sprints

     

    Sprinting is one of the best ways to develop the types of muscle fibres which give you access to quick bursts of energy and speed. It's about more than just running as fast as you can in a straight line, though. There are many possible approaches to sprints a field hockey player might take. Let's consider a few of the ones you might want to try incorporating into your routine. First, if you're working out alone, try the "T-run." In this setup, lay down four cones so they create the shape of the letter T. They should be spaced out with approximately 5 to 10 yards between each of them. Beginning at the bottom of the "T,"

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  8. Quick Tips for Cycling Up and Down Hills

    2nd February 2017.For cyclists everywhere, the sight of a hill on the horizon often inspires feelings of dread and pre-emptive exhaustion. Maybe you feel a little weakness in your legs just thinking about pumping the pedals harder and harder to get up and over that incline! If you've been going out of your way to avoid hills because of the extra effort they require, it's time to stop. Not only are hills one of the best challenges around for bike riders, but that challenge can help you further hone your physical fitness, too. Whether you want to tackle a hilly race challenge or you just want to stop tailoring your route around avoiding hills, you can improve your ability with practice. If you have a hard time going up and coming back down again on your bike, though, you might not know where to begin. Fortunately, there are many useful strategies to use for training on hills. Once you get the hang of it, you may even start to enjoy the difficulty. When cycling on flat ground again, hill training can even improve your overall speed, endurance, and power when pedalling. So where should you begin when you're trying to tackle the problem of summiting hills successfully?

    Know the right way to position yourself on the bike

    If you've ever tried cycling up a hill before, you know that it can be a big challenge to maintain the same posture throughout the uphill portion. It's not uncommon for even more advanced riders to struggle with maintaining good riding form as you pedal towards the top of the hill. So, what does the right form look like for both comfort and efficiency? For the most part, try to remain on your seat. Unless the hill has a very steep grade, you probably don't need to stand up to generate more powerful pedal strokes; you'll just be wasting energy and tiring yourself out faster. Instead, lean forward in the seat but keep your back

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