Month: November 2016

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Exercises to Help Venous Insufficiency

As you walk around and move throughout the day, the muscles in your legs contract, forcing blood up the veins of your legs. Valves in the veins keep the blood from flowing back down. When these valves weaken, they can’t hold back the blood, and it pools in your lower legs. The condition, known as venous insufficiency, can be due to age, obesity or inactivity, according to Penn State’s Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. Exercise can help overcome these problems.
Extending your legs and flexing your feet back and forth can help your circulation. Milton S. Hershey Medical Center recommends you flex your legs, feet and ankles 10 times every 30 minutes whenever you have to sit for long periods, such as on a long car or plane trip.
Weakened calf muscles can contribute to chronic venous insufficiency, according to Dr. Frank T.Padberg, Jr. of New Jersey Medical School. Dr. Padberg, along with Mark Johnston and Sue Ann Sisto, studied 31 patients with chronic venous insuffiency. The 2003 study, published in the “Journal of Vascular Surgery” concluded that six months of exercises to strengthen the patients’ calf muscles resulted in an improved ability of calf muscles to pump blood back up the body. One simple way to strengthen calves is to stand flat footed, then slowly raise up on your toes. Hold for a few seconds, then lower the heels to the ground. You can steady yourself by holding onto a table or chair. Do this daily, as many repetitions as you can. As you become proficient, you can add weight in a backpack, or stand on one leg and raise up on one leg at a time.
Walking is a low-impact exercise that causes the muscles in the legs to contract, helping to force the blood back up. Walking regularly can also help you maintain a healthy weight, which can help lessen symptoms of venous insufficiency. If you have not walked a lot before, check with your doctor to see if walking is a good exercise with you. Wear supportive walking shoes. Start slowly and gradually build up the distance you can walk.
Bicycling is another good activity that increases circulation in your legs, according to the University of Michigan Health System. Cycling is another good way to maintain your weight, also. You can ride a bicycle around your neighborhood, or work out on a stationary bicycle at home or at a gym.
If your legs hurt too much for walking or cycling, swimming offers a non-weight bearing alternative. Even if you don’t swim, you can use a kickboard in the pool to exercise your legs.


Requirements for a Strong Safety in Football

Playing defense in football requires exceptional athletic ability. The strong safety must be among the most athletic and instinctive players on the field. He must be able to do a solid job against the run, cover receivers who try to go deep and use his instincts to force turnovers and make plays on the ball.
A strong safety has is to keep the opponent from making any long plays running the ball. Defensive linemen try to keep the offensive line from opening major holes for the backs to exploit. Linebackers make most of the tackles. But the strong safety must be there to make sure the running back does not get more than 5 yards past the line of scrimmage. The strong safety can take a running start and get to the running back unblocked. As a result, he can hit him with a very hard tackle. In addition to putting the back on the ground, the strong safety may try to separate the back from the ball because of the force of the hit.
The strong safety often has the primary coverage responsibilities on the tight end, who is often used on third downs to keep drives alive; stopping him is a very important aspect of playing defense. The strong safety also has the responsibility of stopping the deep pass. While he usually won’t have one-on-one coverage responsibilities on a wide receiver, he will have to provide zone coverage, with the primary responsibility of keeping the opponent from catching anything deep. If the strong safety can track the ball, he can make a play on it and knock it away or intercept it.
The best strong safeties do more than just take care of their primary responsibilities. Good strong safeties read the formation of the offense, the body language of the backs and receivers and the eyes of the quarterback. Through film study, a smart strong safety knows the opponent’s tendencies. As a result, the strong safety may attack the opposing backfield and blitz the quarterback. This is a high-risk, high-reward play that could result in a sack, a deflected pass or a turnover at a key moment.
A strong safety must also be a coach on the field, directing teammates where to go on certain plays and advising them who the most dangerous receivers and running backs are on a particular play. Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott played strong safety, free safety and cornerback in his 14-year career with the 49ers, Raiders and Jets. “It’s not enough to be out on the field and make tackles and defense passes,” Lott said. “I always felt that my job was to make a big play when we needed it. Whether it’s force a fumble, make an interception or come on a blitz, I took it as my responsibility as a strong safety to make something happen.”


Adidas Facts

Adidas is known for being one of the most famous shoe and apparel producing brands in the world. The company’s history is rife with anecdotes of success and of strife, from its origins in the washroom of its founder’s mother, to its support of the German Army during World War II, to its successful partnerships with world-famous athletes.
Adidas’ history as a company begins in 1948. Before the company came to acquire its world famous brand, it was known as Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory. Adi Dassler was the original founder of the company in 1920, with a vision of making superior quality athletic training shoes. In 1924, Dassler recruited his brother Rudolf, a traveling salesman, and formed the Dassler Brothers company. The Dasslers became famous for developing track and field shoes with spikes for additional grip, as well as being the first to produce spikes for football boots.
The Dassler brothers continued to succeed into the 1930s in large part to their successful introduction of their footwear to Olympic athletes. In the 1932 Olympics, Arthur Jonath wore Dassler Brothers shoes during his bronze medal win in the 100-meter sprint. In 1936, Jesse Owens went on to win four gold medals and set five world records also while wearing Dassler shoes. These Olympic wins garnered the Dassler brothers unprecedented publicity and increased demand and popularity for their footwear. Adi Dassler went on to successfully endorse and equip Olympic athletes throughout the century, with more than 6,000 athletes wearing Adidas apparel in the 1996 Olympics, winning 70 gold medals.
After World War II, the Dassler brothers would separate and each form their own company. Rudolf created his own shoe making company, Puma. Adi Dassler re-branded his company “Adidas” and introduced the three stripes as a now famous brand logo. The Adidas name originated from a combination of Adi’s first and last name.
Adidas’ history is studded with innovation and firsts. Adi Dassler created sports promotion and created a weave of sports and commercial products now prolific in the 21st century. Dassler invented track spikes for runners in 1925. Adidas also became renown for diversifying its products and dominating its markets, chiefly by 30 types of footwear for 11 sports, including track and field, football, tennis, golf, cricket, basketball, lacrosse, rugby and gymnastics. Despite this success, Adidas’ innovation and talent had its limits. During World War II, Germany tasked Dassler with switching production of footwear to German army bazookas. The normally shoe-producing factories proved to be extremely ill-suited to the task, and Adidas switched back to shoe production after a year.


Are there medical reasons to get a tattoo?

People generally get tattoos for decorative or ritualistic reasons. In fact, according to a 2010 study, 23 percent of Americans reported having at least one tattoo [source: Pew Research Center]. Some get tattoos to mark watershed events in their lives, some get ink simply to decorate their bodies and some get tattoos to honor people close to them. Are there other reasons someone might choose to get permanent ink? Yes, and the reason is practical.
Typically, people with medical conditions use medical bracelets to alert emergency personnel if they are unconscious or unable to communicate. These bracelets may list issues such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s or severe allergies. However, around 2012, medical tattoos became popular among people who had trouble losing their bracelets and wanted something more permanent.
Ben Roberts, a diabetic, told USA Today he lost more than $1,000 worth of bracelets since age 6 before finally deciding to get a medical tattoo [source: Chason]. Ed Friedlander, a pathologist, got “No CPR” tattooed on his chest to express his wish that he receive no life-saving measures should his heart stop [source: CBS News].
However, paramedics and many medical professionals urge caution before making the switch.
Because the American Medical Association has no guidelines regarding medical tattoos, paramedics or hospitals have no legal obligation to follow their instructions. If the tattoos aren’t on the wrist or are enhanced with a design, medical professionals may not even be able to locate them, rendering them useless. Also, the permanency of tattoos becomes problematic when medical information changes. On the other hand, in an emergency situation, paramedics look for any information that can help them aid a patient, and a tattoo certainly can assist them.
There is a medically-accepted tattoo, though: a radiation tattoo. When a patient receives radiation therapy, the radiologist needs to pinpoint the exact area for treatment. A tattoo the size of a freckle is applied to the skin for precise targeting.
A popular health-related but cosmetic tattoo is sometimes chosen after a mastectomy. New Jersey-based tattoo artist Kristen Bonafide elaborates, “I’ve done areola ‘reconstruction’ after a client experienced a double mastectomy.” Areola tattoos add pigmentation to the chest to simulate areolas.
And finally, as a nod to the animal kingdom, Bonafide mentions that female dogs sometimes receive a small line tattoo to indicate they were spayed.


What Are the Benefits of Football?

Playing organized football takes discipline, physical strength, a commitment to improve and plenty of hard work in sometimes severe weather conditions. Football can be a dangerous game that can lead to injuries. However, the game also offers many benefits that can lead to immediate and long-term rewards.
Even though teams play only one game weekly, they practice five days a week. That represents a major commitment to attend practice every day and work hard at that practice to improve your skill level and learn the plays. The hard work can begin on a 95-degree day in summer training camp and may continue until there is snow on the ground in November or December. A player quickly learns that if he doesn’t work as hard as he can, he is letting his teammates and coaches down in addition to himself. On the other hand, working hard can bring team and individual honors. Referred to as work ethic, a player can take this with him long after his playing days are over.
Teamwork goes hand in hand with work ethic. In football, nearly every player’s success depends on someone else doing his job. A quarterback may throw for three touchdowns and 300 yards, but he wouldn’t be able to complete one pass if his offensive line didn’t block for him and his receivers didn’t get open or catch the ball. The fastest running back couldn’t run for 50 yards and a touchdown if the offensive line didn’t block the defensive line and the linebackers. The field goal kicker couldn’t kick a game-winning field goal if the center didn’t make a good snap and the holder didn’t catch the ball and place it on the ground for him.
In football, it’s not how you start but how you finish. College and professional games are 60 minutes long. Most high school games run between 32 and 48 minutes, depending on the state. Teams can fall behind by one or two touchdowns early in the game, but if the players remain determined they may find a way to come back. Working hard and finding ways to overcome adversity on the field is a skill players can transfer to other areas of their lives.
Good football teams win games against teams of a similar ability level by devising a better strategy. Game-planning is a key factor in football and in life. “I learned under Bill Walsh how important a game plan is,” said former San Francisco 49er and Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young. “It helped me become a better football player and also helped off the field.”


The Importance of Football Reaction Time

In most sports, the best players must quickly diagnose a play and react decisively. But reaction time is especially important in football, because plays develop quickly, last only a short time and feature massive athletes racing all about the field. Regardless of your position on the team, the quicker you’re able to react to any set of circumstances, the better your chances of making the play.
There’s no position in football in which reaction time is more important than quarterback. In a 2011 study of standout college quarterbacks by ESPN’s Sports Science, the average time it took them to react to an infrared beam of light was two-thirds of a second. Although quarterbacks may have slightly more time to pass the ball in real-game situations, they also must react to oncoming pass-rushers, locate open receivers and make sure no defensive backs are lying in wait before quickly unleashing one accurate throw after another.
There’s a football saying that states that cornerbacks must be able to “play on an island.” Unlike other players who play in the middle of the field, cornerbacks often find there’s no one there to help them. Meanwhile they must maintain stride-for-stride coverage of speedy wide receivers, who have the advantage of knowing which direction they’re headed in. A cornerback must also quickly determine whether the play is a running or passing play and react by either sprinting toward the line to make a tackle, or quickly backpedal and stay in front of the receiver.
Linemen are thought of as the big lugs of a football team, relaying more on raw strength and toughness than cat-like reflexes. But that’s not necessarily the case. Linemen have the disadvantage of starting the play in a three-point stance, hunched at the waist with one hand in the dirt. From there, they must uncoil their often-mammoth bodies and explode into an athletic stance within a millisecond of the ball being snapped. A defensive lineman slow to react to the snap is usually neutralized, whereas a lumbering offensive lineman will be blamed for his man racing past him and chasing down the ball carrier.
Punt returners are often the quickest players on their teams. The reason: While the punt returner stands, eyes trained on the earthbound ball in the sky, the opposing team is racing down the field with the sole objective of knocking his head off. By the time a punt returner catches the ball, there are often several players within a few yards, sprinting toward him with 40 yards worth of momentum at their backs. The punt returner must keep his eye on the ball, catch it and then quickly dart in and out of traffic while diagnosing his best running lanes based on the location of the defenders and his blockers.


How to Practice Baseball by Yourself

Baseball may be a team sport, but that doesn’t mean that you need a whole team to practice. Working on your own to hone individual skills — such as speed sprinting, throwing accuracy and precision hitting — can make you a better performer and athlete when it comes to game time. Using everyday items, you can do some simple activities at home and on your own that can improve your skill as an athlete.
Moving quickly is an integral part of baseball. Getting to the bases, moving to the ball or running for a quick out are all dependent on being able to move short distances as quickly as possible. An easy way to increase your speed is to do at-home sprint workouts. Measure and mark off a distance of 90 feet — the distance between bases on a field — and get moving. Grab a stop watch and time yourself sprinting from one side of the mark to the other. Practice turning in, as you would to proceed to the next base, and running through, as you would for a single.
Another way to practice by yourself is to work on your throwing arm. Being able to hit your target from a variety of distances with pinpoint precision is key to field work, and that skill set only comes from practice. Find a tree, a fence or a piece of plywood that others won’t mind you throwing against and, using any type of visible tape, “X off” a few targets at various heights. Practice picking the ball up from the ground and hitting your marked spots from various distances, consciously correcting errors as you go.
No matter your position on the field, every member of the team needs to be able to be a strong batter. Using the same setup that you designed for throwing practice, try to hit the ball off of a baseball tee and straight at your previously marked targets. Pay attention to how the ball flies depending on where you make contact with the bat and your stance. Then make adjustments to learn to control where the ball goes with your hit.
If getting outside for practice isn’t an option, consider using online resources to learn plays and get performance advice. Websites like MyCoachOnline and offer a full line of how-to’s and drills for players of all ages and skill sets. Additionally, consider watching a professional game to gleam insight into how the pros play, paying attention to stances, plays and teamwork skills.


Party Games for Soccer Kids

Whether planning a birthday party for your soccer player or coordinating a team gathering, include party games to provide entertainment. Soccer party games can differ from the actual game played on the field, shifting the emphasis from winning the game to simply playing for fun. Choose games that incorporate the soccer theme in a silly or unusual manner for the enjoyment of all participants.
Set up empty soda bottles, empty tennis ball cans or plastic bowling pins in the same arrangement as the pins in a traditional game of bowling. Instead of rolling a bowling ball, have players kick a soccer ball in an attempt to knock down the pins. Play and keep score according to the scorekeeping methods of an ordinary bowling game.
Arrange players so that they form a circle. Place one child in the middle of the circle. He is the ¡°soccer blocker.¡± Instruct players to kick the ball around the circle, keeping it away from the soccer blocker. The soccer blocker will attempt to block the ball. If he succeeds and stops the ball, the last player who kicked it becomes the new soccer blocker. This game is best played with 10 or more players.
The object of this game is for players to use their heads to keep their balloons in the air the longest. Provide one inflated balloon per player. Use black and white balloons to complement the soccer theme. When the start of the game is called, players must toss their balloons above their heads. As the balloons descend, players must use only their heads to keep them floating above. Once a balloon hits the ground, that player is out of the game. Play continues until only one player remains. She is the winner.
Add a soccer theme to the game of freeze dance. Assign an adult or one of the players to be the referee. Give the referee a pad of yellow sticky notes. Players dance while the music plays, but must freeze each time the music suddenly stops. The referee must pay close attention to identify which player is the last to freeze. He must then stick one of the yellow sticky papers to that player, indicating that the player has been ¡°yellow-carded¡± — committed a foul in the game of soccer. Once a player has received two yellow cards, he is out of the game. The last remaining freeze dancer wins.
Divide the players into two teams and have them line up at one side of the party area. Place several inflated balloons at the opposite side of the party space. At the start of the relay race, the first players in line for each team must run to the balloons, pick one up and sit on it until it pops. Once a player has popped a balloon, she may race back to her team and tag the second player in line to repeat this process. The first team to pop all of their balloons wins.

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