Month: April 2017

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Recommended Meals for Energy Before a Soccer Game

Proper nutrition before a big soccer match can mean a superior performance. You’ll have the energy to stay strong through both halves, avoid game-altering cramps and you won¡¯t feel flat as you play. What you eat in the hours before playing depends on the time of day, your personal preferences and how long you have before game time. Focus on carbohydrates to boost your energy.
Whether your game is early or late in the day, aim to fuel up about three hours in advance, with a satisfying meal. The meal should contain mostly easily digested carbohydrates, which translate into energy, as well as small amounts of fat, fiber and protein. Fat and protein digest more slowly, so they don’t provide immediate energy. Too much fiber can trigger digestive distress, bloating and gas come game time — symptoms that definitely slow you down.
If you have a morning game, try cereal with milk, toast and orange juice; scrambled eggs with a large waffle and strawberries; or a bagel with peanut butter and banana as breakfast options. If your game falls later in the afternoon, lunch will be your last pre-game meal. Have a turkey sandwich on white bread with juice and pretzels; pasta with tomato sauce with bread; or a generous serving of rice with a small serving of chicken and roasted carrots. Allow your personal preferences to dictate what you choose — don’t choke down a food you hate simply because it’s good for you. You’ll also find, over time, which foods work best for your stomach and your performance. Experiment during training, though, not before a big game. A meal experiment could mean digestive problems or a poor performance during competition.
Consume your large meal of 300 to 500 calories three to five hours before game time. If you have less time before you play and need a meal, choose a 200- to 300-calorie meal that’s easy to digest. Options include fruit salad with a handful of almonds, yogurt with raisins, graham crackers and juice or an energy bar. If you’ve postponed your meal until an hour before start time, a meal of 100 to 200 calories is safest. For this, a cereal bar, a banana or even a bottle of sports drink will have to suffice.
Eating a quality pregame meal won’t make up for poor nutritional choices in the days and weeks leading up to the match. Carbohydrate-rich meals consumed in the days before your game fills the stores of glycogen — a source of energy — in your muscles. You call on these stores during continuous play out on the field. Proper nutrition during training enables you to make the most of each session so you build a strong foundation, from which you can pull during a match.


How to Learn Kung Fu at Home

When it comes to the practice and perfection of a martial art, few things can entirely replace the intensive education of a live instructor. However, thanks to internet videos, martial arts books, and other resources, learning and training kung fu at home has never been easier. Whether you are an aspiring practitioner seeking to learn traditional kung fu on a budget, or simply want to tone your body and increase your knowledge of self-defense, a comprehensive approach to learning kung fu can have you perfecting strikes and forms in no time.
Create a schedule for your weekly practice sessions, allotting at least one hour per training session, at least one day each week. Commit yourself to your practice as much as you can in order to maintain discipline and regular training.
Designate an open space for learning and practicing your kung fu instruction. Connect your computer in a safe area where you have clear visibility of the screen. Place or suspend the punching or kicking bag in an area where you can clearly strike it.
Begin each session by stretching and warming up your body. Create a routine of basic leg, arm and spine stretches followed by sets of push-ups, sit-ups and leg exercises. Spend at least one minute in the horse stance, which is performed by placing your feet three to four feet apart and bending your knees to squat down.
Purchase or download a beginning kung fu instruction video such as David Carradine¡¯s ¡°An Introduction for Beginners to Kung Fu and Tai Chi¡± or the numerous free videos available on YouTube. Accessing the video instruction on your laptop or portable computer will allow you to practice strikes, blocks and stances along with the video instructor–and you can pause or rewind when necessary. Devote at least 30 minutes of your training session to learning new forms from the instructional video; practice new strikes and stances on your punching bag.
Recruit a sparring partner to test your strikes and techniques as you progress. Perhaps the most educational part of home training, sparring will allow you to utilize live combat to make tangible the material you¡¯ve learned in theory. Communicate with your partner and establish safety measures, as well as offensive and defensive targets. Wear appropriate sparring gear, such as gloves and feet-protection, and practice caution when engaging in full-contact sparring.
Establish a routine and stick to it in order to facilitate training. Look into local tournaments in your kung fu ¡°style¡± and practice your techniques in live competition.


Can Your Feet Swell Up From Drinking Beer?

Drinking beer — or any other alcoholic beverage — can cause swelling, or edema. Edema occurs when an abnormal amount of fluid collects in the tissues of your feet, hands or other parts of the body. Edema that occurs after a bout of beer drinking but goes away within a day or two may not be a medical concern. However, if your feet or ankles consistently swell after drinking or stay swollen for several days, it may indicate a problem with your liver, heart or kidneys.
Alcohol affects your kidneys’ filtering ability. As alcohol enters your bloodstream, it suppresses release of antidiuretic hormone, or ADH. The reduced level of ADH along with direct effects of alcohol on your kidneys leads to rapid loss of water — and frequent trips to the bathroom to urinate. This effect is most profound when you start drinking. When you stop drinking and your blood alcohol concentration stabilizes, ADH levels rebound and the kidneys begin retaining water again. Because alcohol also changes your kidneys’ handling of electrolytes — such as sodium and potassium — your total body water is temporarily increased after a bout of drinking. This can manifest as swelling of your feet or hands. If you are otherwise healthy and not a heavy drinker, this swelling usually goes away in about a day.
Chronic, heavy drinking of beer or other forms of alcohol over several years can cause swelling in your feet for a much more serious reason: liver problems. Alcoholic hepatitis describes a condition in which your liver becomes enlarged, inflamed and cannot function normally. Swelling of the feet and hands, and fluid accumulation in the belly are common with this condition, especially if you are malnourished. Heavy drinking over a period of years can also lead to cirrhosis of the liver. With this condition, your liver is heavily scarred and functions poorly. Scarring distorts your liver and partially blocks blood flow through it, leading to increased pressure in the vein that leads to the liver. This condition — portal hypertension — triggers a complex series of events that lead to marked water retention. Persistent swelling of your feet, hands, face and belly results.
Overindulging in beer or another form of alcohol damages your kidneys over time. Because your kidneys control water balance in your body, alcohol-induced kidney damage commonly leads to an increased amount of total body water. Reduced kidney function related to heavy alcohol intake also leads to abnormal levels of electrolytes in your bloodstream, including sodium, potassium and phosphate. The combination of increased body water and abnormal electrolyte levels leads to fluid leakage into the body tissues, with swelling of your feet and hands.
Heavy drinking can have toxic effects on your heart, leading to stretching and weakening of the muscle over time. With this condition, known as alcoholic cardiomyopathy, the weakened heart struggles to pump blood. Heart failure occurs in the advanced stages of alcoholic cardiomyopathy. Fluid from your bloodstream leaks into the lungs and body tissues. Common symptoms include swollen feet and ankles, fatigue and shortness of breath.
If you experience frequent or persistent swelling of your feet or ankles, see your doctor. The problem may or may not be related to your drinking, but it’s important to find out the underlying cause. Also talk with your doctor if you have difficulty controlling your drinking. Frequent, short-term swelling of your feet or hands after drinking might signal your alcohol consumption is getting out of hand.

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