Category Archives: Sports Safety

Beat the Heat and Survive the Summer

Author: Paul Purcellswimming (female)

The “Dog Days” of summer are almost upon us and record temperatures are sweeping the country. Unfortunately we have the highest number of elderly and medically fragile people in history, and an aging infrastructure that is feeling the strain of heavy electrical use as our senior citizens struggle to stay cool.

We’re here to give you tips and tricks to help you beat the heat should you be susceptible to extreme temperatures, or should your power be out. Here’s a short list of suggestions:

woman with water bottle1. Drink plenty of cool water to keep yourself hydrated and reduce your body’s core temperature. (Warm water won’t do this, and cold water might be a shock to sensitive systems.) Drink regularly, every hour, even if you don’t feel thirsty. Avoid soft drinks and alcoholic drinks that are actually diuretic and rob your body of the water it desperately needs.

2. Eat small, light, non-spicy meals. Eating heavy meals cranks your metabolism and can raise your body temperature. Also, digestion robs you of energy. Since the heat is already robbing you of some energy, you don’t need to add to this drain by taxing the digestive system. However, don’t skip meals since it’s food that replenishes the electrolytes you lose through sweating and increased water consumption.

3. Some sources suggest you wear “light colored, loose fitting clothes.” However, that’s only if you’re going outside. If parasolsyou go outside, go with that rule and also wear a loose fitting hat or carry an umbrella for shade. Forget the fashion rules, follow the heat rules. (By the way, royal blue and/or white are the best colors to wear for their heat reflective qualities. Ever wonder why most tarps and boat awnings are blue? This is why.)  For indoors though, forget all those rules and go with the “bare as you dare” notion. The more exposed skin you have the more efficient your cooling-by-sweating process can work. Also, be sure to tie up long hair, and if you have a beard, consider shaving in order to remove all that facial insulation.

4. Though “bare as you dare” is the way to go indoors in limited AC, most of us would prefer to have good air conditioning. If yours is out, or if power sources are uncertain, go someplace that has AC like the mall or other places that don’t mind people coming in and hanging around a while. Also, you can “AC pool” with friends just like you’d car pool. Go to a friend’s house who has a good AC system.

5. Failing to find another source of AC, and considering that the power might be out, here are a couple more tips. First, stand-alone floor unit air conditioners aren’t that expensive and can run off regular household current without the need for the special 220 volt outlets. This means that they can be operated using the smaller gas-powered electric generators. Can’t afford a generator? You can probably afford a power inverter which can sometimes be found for under twenty dollars. They plug into your car’s cigarette lighter and, using an extension cord, can power an appliance like your stand-alone AC, or at least some fans. Speaking of your car, if nothing else, if your car has AC you can ride around during the hottest hours of the day, providing you can afford today’s gas prices. If absolutely nothing else, go to your nearest “dollar store” and see if they have any of those little battery-powered fans.

dog_fan6. Can’t afford a stand-alone AC but you have a generator? Your generator or power inverter can also power your fridge and/or freezer where you should have two-liter plastic bottles full of water filling up every empty space in both the fridge and freezer parts. Having cold water is a great thing. You drink cool water and use cold water to soak towels to wrap around your neck, wrists, and ankles where the veins and arteries are closest to the surface. This is one of the best ways to reduce your body temperature. Also, setting up a few of the frozen two-liter bottles in front of a fan can blow a nice cool breeze your way. (Write us at info@disasterprep101.com and we’ll email you instructions for a homemade AC unit that uses these two-liter plastic bottles.)

7. Now that we’ve talked about keeping you cool in the heat, let’s backtrack a bit and talk about reducing the heat you might experience. Naturally, the first rule is “block the sun.” Do what you can to reduce the sunlight that hits your house or comes in through the windows. Keep the shades drawn, and you might even consider hanging a white sheet or blue tarp as an outside awning on the side(s) of the house that catch the most sun. These tarps are also effective if placed on the roof as they’ll reflect the sun’s rays.

8. Next in cooling the house come ventilation and insulation. If you have an attic, and the power is on, you should have a vent fan that keeps air flowing through the attic. Along with that, we suggest you have roof vent turbines, or a ridge vent (your home supply store can tell you all about these). In extremely hot weather, you might set a garden sprinkler on your roof and let it run for the hottest couple of hours of the day provided your area is not on water restriction. As for “insulation” one way to insulate parts of the house is to close off seldom-used rooms (especially those on the sunny side of the house), and close off their AC vents if any. This blocks heat and also reduces the area that your limited AC has to cool.

While we’re here, we’d be remiss in our duties if we failed to give you the symptoms of sunstroke and heat exhaustion, both of which require medical attention:

Heat Exhaustion: Symptoms include heavy sweating, and skin may be pale, cool, or flushed. The victim will also exhibit a weak pulse, with fainting, dizziness, nausea, or vomiting.

Sun Stroke (sometimes called heat stroke): Symptoms are high body temperature, hot, dry, red, skin (usually with no sweating), rapid shallow breathing, and a weak pulse. Sun stroke is the more dangerous of the two.

The most immediate first aid for either of these is to get the victim into a cool spot, and reduce their body temperature with ice-cold wet towels around the neck, wrist, and ankles. You can also put them in a bathtub of cool water. Don’t use cold water in the tub as that will shock the system. Regardless of your first aid measures, you should seek immediate medical assistance.

Remember, hot weather is nothing to ignore, even if you’re not among the elderly or medically fragile. Heat can affect everyone. Play it safe, stay cool, avoid exertion, and stay healthy. Also, when considering heat safety, don’t forget your pets.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/advice-articles/beat-the-heat-and-survive-the-summer-46638.html

About the Author:  Paul Purcell is an Atlanta-based security analyst and preparedness consultant and is the author of “Disaster Prep 101″ (http://www.disasterprep101.com.) Copyright 2006 Paul Purcell. He’s also a partner / advisor to 1800prepare, LLC.  Permission is granted to reprint this article provided all portions stay intact.

Terrorism and Disaster Management: Preparing Healthcare Leaders for the New Reality


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This policy is valid from 12 November 2009.  I am C. Small, the administrator for this blog.  For questions about this blog, please contact cvsmall.small@gmail.com. This blog does not accept any form of cash advertising, sponsorship, or paid topic insertions.  However, since I am an Affiliate of the advertisers in this blog, if you buy something I will get paid, not much but I’m retired and need whatever I can get. The compensation received may influence the advertising content, topics or post made in this blog. That content, advertising space or post may not always be identified as paid or sponsored content.  Even though I receive compensation for the advertisements, I always give my honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences on those products.  The views and opinions expressed on this blog may not be my own, but I agree with them.  Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question.  This blog does contain content which might present a conflict of interest. This content may not always be identified.

28 Tips For Cycling Safety

Author: Cycling Bikeswoman cycling

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 784 bicyclists were killed in 2005 while riding their bikes. In 2004, there were 725 deaths, and for the four years previous, annual bicycling deaths ranted from 629 to 732 people each year.

Statistics for bicycling injuries are not readily available, since most do not get reported.

Use the Proper Equipment

1. Be sure your bike fits you properly and is adjusted for your size.

2. Equip your bike with safety equipment: a white headlight (preferably one you can set to a flashing mode for use during the daytime to make yourself more visible), reflectors and/or reflective tape or markings, a flashing red rear light (essential for riding at night), a horn or a bell (to give audible signals to let drivers know where you are—or that you’re there at all), and mirrors on your handlebars.

3. Each time, before you ride, check to see that tires are properly inflated, that the brakes work, and that nothing is loose on your bike.

Dress For Cycling

4. Always wear a properly fitted bike helmet to protect you in case of a fall or crash. (Consider putting a mirror on your helmet, too.)

5. Wear bright, neon colors and/or reflective clothing—even during the day.

6. At night, wear a reflective jacket or vest or a safety triangle.

Plan Ahead

7. Know the rules of the road and any specific bicycling rules for your area

8. Plan to travel in slow or residential areas when possible to avoid fast-moving downtown traffic.

9. Avoid narrow roads and opt for wide roads where there is more room for bicycles and cars to maneuver if you can.

10. Always stay alert. Don’t ride with headphones or an ipod. And NEVER use your cell phone while biking!

11. Never be in a hurry. When you’re in a hurry, you can get careless or take unnecessary chances. It also makes it more likely that you could be darting in and out quickly and automobile drivers might not even see you.

When Bicycling

12. Use your headlight—even during the day—so drivers have a better chance of seeing you.

13. Use your mirrors so you know what is going on around you at all times.

14. Ride on the street with other traffic, not on the sidewalk, traveling in the same direction as motor vehicle traffic, not against it.

15. Know—and use—hand signals. Be sure to give plenty of notice in advance of when you are going to make a turn. Then be sure to look over your shoulder to be sure your path is clear before making the actual turn.

16. Be consistent and predictable so motorists know what you are going to do. Drive in a straight line. Don’t swerve, weave in and out of traffic or parked cars, or make any erratic or sudden moves.

17. Obey traffic signs, signals, and road markings and yield to pedestrians – just like any other vehicle on the roadway.

18. Use your horn or bell if you will be crossing in front of another vehicle so you give an audible signal—it’s more likely to get the other motorists attention.

19. Make eye contact with motorists if possible, so you know that they see you.

Drive Defensively

20. Watch for hazards such as pot holes, puddles, loose gravel, spare car parts, drain grates, rocks, litter or garbage, parked cars opening their doors, pets running loose, and other vehicles.

21. Ride to the left of the parking lane to avoid hitting a car door that opens unexpectedly in front of you.

22. At a red light, stop behind another car. Do not pull up next to the first car at the light where you will be in the blind spot and risk getting hit if the car makes a right turn and the driver doesn’t know you’re there.

23. When you follow a vehicle that is moving slow, be patient. It may be getting ready to make a turn. Don’t try to rush past it or get up beside it in the driver’s blind spot.

24. Always look behind you (over your shoulder) before making a turn—for other vehicles, for other bicycles, and for pedestrians.

25. Always look behind you (over your shoulder) before you change your position in the lane of traffic, as a vehicle could be getting ready to come alongside you or pass you.

26. Never swerve in and out of traffic or in and out of the parking lane. Maintain steady placement in your lane.

27. Double check everything! Even if you have the right of way, a car or other vehicle is much larger than a bicycle and for your own safety, you have to be prepared to yield at all times.

28. Always drive, ride, and act as if other drivers can’t see you! Put your safety first.

How to Exercise With Type 1 and 2 Diabetes

Author: Donald Mckenzie Jrman-ex-ball

A very easy tip for diabetics to remember is exercise will cause your body to process glucose a lot faster and automatically lower blood sugar. The more intense the exercise, the faster your body will use glucose. It is always important to understand the differences in exercising with diabetes. It is also important for the individual who has diabetes to check with a physician before beginning an exercise program.

When training with a diabetic person, you must always take into consideration the dangers of injecting insulin before working out. An individual with type I diabetes who is injecting their normal amount of insulin before exercise, can pose the risk of hypoglycemia or insulin shock.

General exercise rules for type I diabetics are the following:

1)  Allow adequate rest during exercise to prevent high blood pressure.

2)   Use low impact exercises and avoid heavy weight lifting.

3)  Always have food with a lot of carbohydrates ready.

If blood sugar levels get too low, the individual may feel shaky, disoriented, hungry, and become highly irritable. Consuming a carbohydrate snack or beverage will terminate these symptoms in a short period of time.

Before using an exercise plan, it is important for blood sugar levels to be tested. Make sure that they are between 100 and 250 milligrams. Glucose levels should also be tested before, during, and after exercise. During their recovery period, it is important for diabetics to consume high carbohydrates in order to prevent hypoglycemia.

Exercise will greatly benefit an individual specifically with type 2 diabetes. This is due to the positive effects on insulin sensitivity. Proper exercise and nutrition are by far the best forms of prevention for type 2 diabetics. To prevent hypoglycemia, continuously work up to more active exercises.

An Overview Of Kickboxing Workouts

Author: MIKE SELVONkickboxing-aerobics

Are you looking for an immensely popular way to get yourself into great shape and have some fun along the way? If so, kickboxing is an activity that is very fun and that is sometimes overlooked.

As in boxing, it boasts many health benefits such as greater stamina, improved flexibility and enhancing core strength — all while working out to your favorite music.

The real roots of kickboxing actually go all the way back about 2,000 years to Asian cultures. But, the modern version of this competitive sport was introduced in the 1970s in the United States when karate authorities made arrangements for exhibition demonstrations that allowed for full-contact punches and kicks which were previously banned from karate competitions.

Due to safety concerns, protective clothing and padding was introduced and strict safety rules were instituted for the new sport and eventually various forms of competitive kickboxing evolved into the forms that are now practiced in the United States.

In the competitive area there are a few different styles of kickboxing that can be observed. The main differences in these styles are simply the variations in some of the techniques and also the amount of body contact that is allowed under different rules.

But, the form of this sport that is bringing fun and excellent results to the fitness world is called cardiovascular (cardio) or aerobic kickboxing.

This form of the sport brings in elements of traditional boxing and aerobics in a major way. This, teamed with martial arts, creates a workout that provides great toning and overall conditioning.

However, unlike the competitive version of this sport, the cardio one does not include physical contact between participants and is not at all competitive. It has simply been designed to be an aerobic activity that is done to gain the many physical benefits of the actions.

A common way to enjoy the cardio one is to participate in a class. Classes usually start out with a warm-up period of 10 to 15 minutes and often includes gentle stretching as well as incorporating some standard exercises, such as push-ups and jumping jacks.

The warm-up is then followed by a 30 to 40 minute workout session that integrates kicks, punches, knee-strikes and other beneficial moves.

Some classes even include the use of traditional boxing equipment such as jump ropes and punching bags. After the workout, the class wraps up with five to ten minutes of cool down activities which is often followed by 10 minutes of stretching and muscle toning.

The stretching is an important component of the overall workout and should not be skipped, even if you are tempted to do so, especially if you are a beginner.

A common problem for beginners is pulling or straining their muscles. However, by doing proper stretching that is slow and gentle, this can help prevent injury and help the muscles to relax. This will assure that beginners don’t give up before they start to enjoy the benefits.

Even though kickboxing is a very fun activity, it needs to be recognized that it is also quite a high-impact sport. If you are not used to such high-intensity workouts, then you should begin with a more moderate aerobic activity to prepare.

Top 10 Gym Mistakes

Author: Nitin Chhodaspotter

For someone who just started exercising, the right guidance is critical. If you are a newcomer, the first thing you want to do is exercise in a safe and effective fashion. Many individuals avoid the gym due to the fear of making a mistake in public. For the weight room rookie, there is nothing more demoralizing than the disheartening smirks of veteran trainees. Mistakes start to happen, and these prevent you from getting optimal results. In fact, it increases the chances of injury!

If you are considering joining a gym / are a gym rookie, then you must avoid the most common mistakes. Try these tips – before you know it, you could be teaching a thing or two to uncompromising ‘experts’ in your local gym or fitness center.

Presenting the most common mistakes made by rookie trainees.

1. Incorrect technique.(dumbbell or barbell).
Always speak to a gym instructor / experienced weight trainee to guide you and demonstrate the correct manner to perform exercises. If you have difficulty in lifting a particular weight, then don’t. Just practice with a light weight for the first 1-2 weeks.

2. Exercising on an empty stomach.
When exercising to shape muscles, it is a bad idea to enter the gym in a fasting state. The body needs energy to lift weights and this energy comes from food, specifically the food you eat prior to the training session. Some light carbohydrates (rice, bread, fruits) is a good idea prior to the training session.

3. Insufficient gear.
Always carry a bag containing a spare set of clothes, a towel, bathroom accessories and a water bottle for an effective workout.

4. Lifting weights too quickly.
When in the gym, the best way to lift weights is in a slow and controlled fashion. Avoid fast, jerky movements since they can cause injuries.

5. Holding your breath.
The breathing pattern for lifting is to exhale on the positive phase (pushing or pulling the weight) and inhale on the negative (lowering the weight). Holding your breath can raise your blood pressure and, if you hold it long enough, cause fainting.

6. Being too proud to ask for assistance.
Work with a friend / ask for assistance when using heavy weights. In gym parlance, this individual is called a ‘spotter’. Gym trainees are always more than willing, and it’s much better to ask quietly for a spot than to scream loudly for help once you’re in trouble.

7. Trying to ‘spot reduce’ certain muscles, such as the abdominals.
The best gadgets and hundreds of crunches won’t transform your legendary flab into equally fabulous abs. For best results, incorporate aerobics exercises and sensible nutrition into your daily plan.

8. Overdoing it.

Resist the temptation to lift as much as you can or overdo the treadmill the first few times in the gym. Gradually work your way up.

9. Not drinking enough water.
Drink at least 20 ounces of water for every hour of working out, and sip water continuously, before you’re thirsty. By the time you’re conscious of thirst; the body is already partially dehydrated. This can adversely affect stamina and concentration.

10. Relying on the ‘best looking’ people for advice.
Just because someone is fit does not mean that they have used the best methods, but it does mean that have been exercising the longest. Consult a professional personal trainer for best results.

Flexibility and Stretching

Author: Clinton Walkerflexibility stretches

Flexibility is the ability of the muscles and tendons to relax and stretch easily. It determines the amount of movement your bones can make in any direction around joints such as shoulders, elbows, hips and knees. Stretching improves your posture and helps to prevent low back pain. Stretching your hamstrings, quadriceps, hip flexors and low back muscles regularly, promotes relaxation in the tissues reducing the strain on your back. Today, 80% of adults will suffered from lower back pains. Warm-up stretching exercises loosen tendons, increase blood circulation, and help prevent injuries during your workouts or any activity. Cool-down stretching helps relieve muscle soreness and tightness.

THREE TYPES OF FLEXIBILITY

1. Dynamic flexibility — this is your ability to perform dynamic movements within the full range of motion in the joint. An example is twisting side to side, swinging your arms around in circles, or kicking an imaginary football. You may perform dynamic stretches in sets of 8-12 repetitions. Perform as many sets as is required to gain your full range of motion. You should stop when you muscles become tired. Your muscles produce diminished returns during dynamic stretching exercises.

2. Static Active flexibility — this refers to your ability to stretch an antagonist muscle using only the tension in the agonist muscle. An example is holding one leg out in front of you as high as possible. The hamstring (antagonist) is being stretched while the quadriceps and hip flexors (agonists) are holding your leg up. You can also stand on one leg; hold your other leg out in front of you as high as possible. Each static active stretch should be held for 10-15 seconds and 1-2 stretches per muscle group is sufficient.

3. Static Passive flexibility — this is your ability to hold a stretch using your body weight or some other external force. Imagine holding your leg out in front of you and resting it on a chair. Whereas static active stretching requires the tension of opposing muscles to hold the stretch, static passive stretching uses some other object for support. Static passive stretching helps relax your muscle groups. It should be part of your cool down. Static passive stretches should be held for about 10 seconds and 2-3 stretches per muscle group is enough.

TEN BASIC STRETCHING EXERCISES

For stretching exercises to be effective, raise your body temperature first. A pre-exercise warm up should consist of 5-10 minutes of light aerobic exercise followed by stretching exercises for all major muscle groups.

1. Shoulder Stretch

Interlock your fingers and reach above your head. Your lower back should be flat or slightly arched inwards. This exercise can be performed in a seated or standing position.

2. Triceps Stretch

Place your left hand behind your head and reach as far down your back as possible. With your right hand, grasp your left elbow and gently pull it behind the back of your head. This exercise can be performed in a seated or standing position.

Switch arms and repeat.

3. Chest stretch

Clasp your hands behind your back. Gently straighten your elbows and raise your arms as high as comfortably possible. This exercise can be performed in a seated or standing position.

4. Lower back Stretch

While lying flat on your back, place the sole of your right foot on your left thigh. Grasp your right knee with your left hand and gently roll it to the left. Try to position your knee as close to the floor as possible without your right shoulder leaving the floor.

5. Groin Stretch

Stand with your feet about 2 meters apart with your toes pointing forward. Gradually shift all your weight to your right leg by bending your right knee. Your left leg should stay straight. Place both your hands on your right knee for support. To achieve a greater stretch, increase the starting distance between your feet.

6. Groin Stretch 2

Sit down and place the soles of your feet together. Clasp your ankles with your hands so that your elbows rest on your knees. Gently push your knees down with your elbows until your feel a stretch.

7. Quadriceps Stretch

While standing upright, hold onto a support with one hand (i.e. a chair) for balance. With your other hand clasp take your ankle and pull your heel into your butt. Repeat the same steps for the other leg.

8. Hamstring Stretch

Sitting down; stretch your legs out in front of you while keeping your back flat and upright. Bend your left leg, keeping your left foot flat on the floor. Slowly reach forward and try to touch your right toe with both hands. Bend from your waist keeping your lower back flat and your head up. Repeat these steps for the other leg.

9. Calf Stretch

Stand arms length away from a wall and with feet shoulder width apart. Place your right foot about 2 feet in front of your left. While keeping both heels flat on the ground, lean towards the wall by bending your right knee. Your left leg should stay straight. You may push gently against the wall for a deeper stretch. Repeat these steps for the left leg.

10. Achilles Stretch

This exercise is exactly the same procedure as above except as you lean towards the wall let both knees bend. Rather than leaning forward you should feel like you are lowering yourself straight down. Remember to keep both heels flat on the floor. Repeat these steps for the other leg.

Classical Pilates Technique with consideration of the NECK & BACK


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FINE PRINT
This policy is valid from 12 November 2009.  I am C. Small, the administrator for this blog.  For questions about this blog, please contact cvsmall.small@gmail.com. This blog does not accept any form of cash advertising, sponsorship, or paid topic insertions.  However, since I am an Affiliate of the advertisers in this blog, if you buy something I will get paid, not much but I’m retired and need whatever I can get. The compensation received may influence the advertising content, topics or post made in this blog. That content, advertising space or post may not always be identified as paid or sponsored content.  Even though I receive compensation for the advertisements, I always give my honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences on those products.  The views and opinions expressed on this blog may not be my own, but I agree with them.  Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question.  This blog does contain content which might present a conflict of interest. This content may not always be identified.

How To Improve Your Running Form

Author: Thomas Fiebercorrect running form

In my previous article on  remedial training , I discussed some of the aspects of proper running technique, and how leaders can evaluate their Soldiers to ensure they are running with correct form to prevent injury, and increase speed and performance.  Since we will be working in additional volume and speed work later on, it is important beginners are taught proper techniques early.  Here are five of the fundamental aspects of proper running form:

1. Upright body position.  Your body position should be relatively upright with a slight forward lean from the ankles to initiate the push off the ground, and a slight forward lean from the waist to lean into the run.  Both of these “leans” are used to facilitate forward motion, and should not be overly exaggerated.  If you look at most of the best runners in the world, you will notice that their body position seems to be straight up and down, with their head above their hips.  Breathing should be as natural and rhythmic as possible.  Breathe in through your nose, and out through your mouth.

2. Natural stride.  Your stride should be natural, and not overly long in an effort to run faster.  You should try to land on the mid-foot, as opposed to landing on the heel and then rolling forward to pushing off the toe.  Running speed is the end product of stride length and stride rate.  Your stride length is going to be largely determined by your genetics, and an attempt to artificially lengthen your stride could result in a disruption of your body’s natural running motion, which will ultimately lead to quicker exhaustion, and slower run times.  Increasing your stride rate, or stride frequency is a much “easier” and much better method of improving your speed.  The main idea here is the less time your feet spend in contact with the ground, the more time they spend moving forward, and the more steps you can take in a minute.  Elite runners generally average around 180 steps per minute.  By landing mid-foot, you will minimize the amount of time your foot is in contact with the ground, and you will maximize your turnover?resulting in a higher stride rate.  I will address this in more detail in a future article.

3. Shoulders DOWN!  Your shoulders should remain as relaxed as possible, not hunched up under your ears.  Keeping your hands loosely closed, and next to your HIPS will help keep your shoulders down.  Many beginners have a tendency to bend their elbows and hold their hands up by their chests?especially when they get tired.  This is usually accompanied by an arm swing initiated from the elbow, as opposed to the shoulder.  Both these tendencies lead to the shoulders hunching up under the ears while running.  Coaches (leaders) should ensure that the runner’s hands and arms are as relaxed as possible, that the hands are near the hips (not the chest), and that the arm swing is initiated from the shoulder (not the elbow).

4. Forward motion.  Piggy-backing on the previous step, coaches should ensure the runner’s arm swing is in a front-back motion, and not across the body.  Running with arms crossing the body will lead to unnecessary twisting in the upper body, which will in turn throw your entire body off balance.  In short, any movement that is not forward slows you down.  Cut it out!

5. Relax your face.  Your jaw should be relaxed, and your cheeks should appear “bouncy”.  Again, if you look at elite runners’ faces, you will notice that they appear extremely relaxed, even though they are running quite fast.  This is the hardest technique flaw to fix, and will require quite a bit of conscious effort on the runners part.  The best way to practice this is to just focus on your cheeks during your long runs.  Pay attention to what your cheeks are doing?you should be able to feel them flop around.  If you cannot, make a conscious decision to relax them.  Relax your entire face.  If your cheeks are tense, you are most likely also clenching your teeth.  Stop it.  Relax.  Try to employ this technique during your sprint days as well.  Sprinting is where this technique is most crucial.  This will allow you to move as quickly as possible, while remaining relatively relaxed.  This, in turn, will allow you to move at greater speed for a longer period of time (speed endurance) and will show itself through faster race times.  Your eyes should be looking ahead of you, not down at the ground.  Looking down causes you to drop your head, and this throws your body out of alignment.  See the above comment about anything that isn’t forward slowing you down.  Pick a spot about 20 meters in front of you and focus on reaching that spot.  This will keep your head in alignment, and will break up your race into manageable 20 meter chunks.

Improving your running form takes some work, since you are basically retraining your body to perform differently than it has in the past however many years, but it is well worth the effort.  By running with proper technique, in addition to being less injury prone, you will notice almost immediate improvements in your speed endurance.  You will also establish a solid foundation on which to build your future endurance and speed workouts.

Selecting Running Shoes

Author: The Running Advisorad7 running shoe

It won’t take long for a runner to realize the overwhelming importance of shoes.  Poorly chosen footwear can cause injury under the wrong circumstances.  So, what constitutes a good choice in footwear?  Read on to discover the RIGHT way to select running shoes.

First, the proper fit.  Too tight or loose can cause rubbing or otherwise cause pain.  It isn’t sufficient just to put the shoe on, if possible move the foot through a range of motion and as much of a running gait as is practical.  It is entirely possible to find shoes with subtle imperfections in the fit that aren’t immediately apparent.

Second, we should worry about your running technique.  A proper motion for the foot rolls from heel to toe, and has a slight inward rotation as the ball of the foot touches the ground.  There are shoes to compensate for a greater tendency to wear the inside, outside or other parts of the shoe tread.  As well, there are shoes to compensate for greater or lesser than normal amounts of this standard foot motion, called pronation.  The simplest way to determine this is to examine an old pair of running shoes and check the wear pattern.  Excessive wear on the inside of the front part of the shoe indicates over pronation, such wear on the outside of the front of the shoe indicates supination.

Third is the priority of the shoe.  Shoe designers tend to create shoes to emphasize stability, cushioning or motion control.  If you don’t know which of these you actually need, stability is probably the place to start. However, cushioning should be a given.  Each time your foot hits the ground, you are dealing with an impact of around three times your body weight, and you’ll do this fifteen hundred times a mile.

Brand is not unimportant, but there are so many and they change rapidly enough that it makes little sense to cover in an article this of this size.  Instead, you should simply keep in mind brands you like and try their products first.  There are many ways to achieve cushioning and stability, and you simply might be well suited to the one a given brand uses.  Appearance matters not one bit, when considering a running shoe.  If your priority is a given look, spending the money for a running shoe is a waste of funds, possibly much funds.

Finally, shoes can be optimized for a given type of running.  This can be high performance competition shoes, shoes for running on pavement and shoes for running on broken surfaces or cross country.

How To Pick Running Shoes

Author: The Running Advisor20081118-running2-450

Running is an exercise from which wonderful cardiovascular and aerobic benefits are gained. A popular choice for men and women, it can be done almost anywhere. Just as a carpenter requires the right tools for his trade, the right pair of running shoes is essential for both the casual and the serious runner. There are some things to consider when purchasing a running shoe.

– How far and often will you be running? If you are a casual runner (less than ten miles per week), then a basic running shoe will be fine. If you are training for a marathon, consider making a true investment in your running shoes for optimal performance.

– Consider the arch in your foot. Those with a high arch, need a running shoe with a curved shape. If you have an average arch, a semi-curved shoe might be the best fit. Those with a low arch or flat feet would need a straight shape shoe.

– Where will you be running? Most people run on pavement or sidewalks, so most running shoes are designed with this in mind. However, if you are going to be running on uneven or softer surfaces (such as mountain trails or grass), look at shoes intended for those kinds of surfaces.

– Shop for running shoes late in the afternoon, as feet are at their peak size at this time of day. When trying on the shoe, make sure there is a full thumb width between the end of the longest toe and the end of the shoe. Also, if a running shoe fits properly, the toe box will allow the toes to move freely. The heel should not slip or rub against the shoe and the sole should flex with ease where the foot flexes.

– Go to a store that specializes in running shoes or at least to a sporting goods store. The sales associates will be able to help you make a decision on the best shoe for you.

– If you run often, consider purchasing more than one pair of running shoes. This way, you can rotate them. And, if you run often, your shoes should be replaced ever six months or so.

– Do consider price so your budget isn’t blown, but don’t sacrifice comfort and durability in the process.

Runners have a wide selection of styles, colors and levels of comfort from which to choose when looking at running shoes. Remember, whether you are a casual runner or a serious runner, comfort and excellent support are essential for the best performance!

Creatine Safety – Facts and FAQs On The Safest Bodybuilding Supplement

Author: Robert  William Lockecreatine300

Creatine safety has had a lot of hype in the sports and medical press and there have been inaccurate and misleading reports about its safety. Bodybuilders started using this supplement in the 1990s when they found that this supplement stimulates the uptake of amino acids in proteins thus creating muscle growth. Since then there have been literally hundreds of studies on the creatine effects and there have been no safety alarms at all apart from some minor side effects.

If you ask any bodybuilding expert if they have had any problems with creatine safety I would say that at least 95% will shake their heads and say that they have had no problems at all. I know that some people have had kidney and liver problems but the number is very small and may have been due to overdosage. Also, if there had been any problems, I think they would have surfaced by now. I know some bodybuilders who have been taking them since the 1960s and they are still around but just a bit older!

Other side effects have been recorded but the numbers and severity of these do not merit any alarm. Some people have reported nausea, stomach cramps, muscle cramps, kidney stones and some gastro problems. Sometimes dehydration is a problem but that can easily be resolved by keeping a bottle of water handy during a workout. Actually creatine safety gets a very high score on any scale. It is not only safe but legal as well. Which is more than can be said for some very doubtful substances on the bodybuilding circuit.

Some people say there are creatine safety issues with the purity of the product you buy. This is especially important if you are looking for the best creatine supplement to buy. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) have pronounced on this as this substance is not only used for bodybuilding but also for weight loss and anti-aging treatment. They have said that as long as the purity of the creation is guaranteed, there should be no problems at all with this and provided that the dosage of 3-5 g a day is not exceeded. As creatine is a natural substance produced by our own bodies and derived from foods such as red meat and fish, there are no risks in taking in extra amounts.

When looking for the best creatine supplement to buy, look out for false claims and also keep in mind that there is no FDA regulation of the manufacturing of these products, neither on the claims they make. That means going for a reputable company which has been on the market for some time and which can offer you guarantees on the purity of the product they are selling.