All Posts By

Scott Huntington

How to Work out Safely in the Cold

By | Fitness | No Comments

If you have an exercise routine which takes you outside, you’re not going to pause it for three to four months out of the year. You have to find ways to acclimate to the cold. Of course, this isn’t as simple as it sounds, and it’s far more involved than wearing a heavy coat, hat and gloves and hoping for the best.

Depending on your regimen, you’ll have to take a strategic approach to wintertime fitness. Otherwise, you could place yourself at risk of injury or illness. With this in mind, what should you do to ensure you’re safe while exercising in the cold, and how can you preempt problems associated with winter weather?

We’ll walk you through five tips to keep you warm and comfortable in any conditions. Just follow the suggestions below.

1. Keep the Wind at Your Back

It isn’t always possible, but you should try to complete the second half of your workout with the wind at your back. You’ll have worked up a sweat by the time you enter the last stretch of your routine, and you’ll avoid a chill if you manage to keep the wind behind you. It’s a small, but no less important, detail.

On the subject of wind and inclement weather, you should pay attention to the forecast. If the wind chill is too much or the forecast is calling for freezing rain, you might want to reschedule your session. Alternatively, you could move your workout indoors where you won’t have to consider the cold.

2. Protect Vulnerable Areas

Most of your blood flow concentrates in your core as you exercise, which makes your hands, feet and ears susceptible to the cold. Make sure to protect these vulnerable areas with thin gloves and hats — nothing bulky, but enough to keep you comfortable as you move through your regimen.

If you have a little extra money to spare, you might also want to invest in a pair of shoes that are a size too big. It’ll enable you to wear thicker socks. As for the rest of your outfit, dress in layers, but prepare to take them off and put them back on, depending on how much you exert yourself.

3. Choose Clear Running Paths

When you run on sidewalks with packed snow and ice, you’re risking an accident. The foot and ankle areas are under high stress in the wintertime, which often results in stress fractures. They’re a highly common foot injury during this particular season, and you have to take special care as you jog.

You’ll avoid these winter injuries if you familiarize yourself with safe running paths. When you search for frequented and cleared trails other people traverse regularly, you can trust they’re free of any obstacles or obstructions which could cause issues. Set aside time to do a little research.

4. Know the Signs of Frostbite

Frostbite is most common on your ears, nose and cheeks, but it can also harm your hands and feet. The early signs of frostbite include a loss of feeling, numbness and a stinging sensation. If you notice any of these signs during your workout, move indoors as soon as possible.

Once you’re out of the cold, warm the affected the areas, but don’t rub them, as it could cause additional damage. You should go to the emergency room if the numbness doesn’t go away, but that’s a worst-case scenario. As long as you follow standard advice for winter safety, you’ll prevent any problems.

5. Remember Basic Protocol

It’s all too easy to forget the basics when you’re exercising in an environment you’re not accustomed to. The same rules still apply, and you have to hydrate before, during and after your workout. Drinking water is critical, as it’s more difficult to notice the effects of dehydration in colder weather.

Sunscreen is also essential, and you should choose a product which blocks both UVA and UVB rays. Lip balm with protective properties is also a smart idea. Though you’re working out in low temperatures with snow and ice, it’s best to take the same precautions as you would in spring or summer.

Start Your Regimen With Confidence

The next time you step outside to start your exercise routine, make sure you’re safe and secure. Wear the right clothing, choose clear paths others have used and keep the wind at your back during the second half of your workout. Remember basic protocol and remain aware of the signs of frostbite.

When you follow the five suggestions above, you can feel confident throughout your wintertime regimen.

The History of Little League Baseball

By | Baseball, Major Sports | No Comments

Few feelings come close to the satisfaction of hitting a home run. With the weighty crack of the bat and the cheer of excited parents and fans, it’s easy to understand why baseball is “America’s Pastime” for adults and children alike. It earned that title in the 1800s, around the same time that Little League was getting its start.

Late 1800s

In the 1880s, pre-teen children in New York began to form their own baseball leagues, swept up in the popularity of the sport. These smaller, ragtag groups were far from the Little League organizations we’re familiar with today, but they had the same spirit, enthusiasm and passion for the game.

Unfortunately, these leagues never flourished, weakened from an affiliation with adult “club” teams. Children chose to play “pickup” baseball in streets or sandlots instead, using substandard equipment like taped and re-taped bats and balls, unable to find anything in their size.

Early 1900s

The American Legion developed a baseball program for teenage boys in the 1920s, which is a program which still exists today. As this was happening, schools started to form their own baseball programs, but there were still no options for pre-teen boys who wanted to participate in organized games.

This changed in 1938 when Carl Stotz decided to organize a baseball league for boys in his hometown of Williamsport, Pa. Though he had no sons of his own, he wanted to create a program for his nephews, Jimmy and Major Gehron, whom he played baseball with often.

Mid-1900s

The first season in 1939 was a success, but World War II soon entered the picture. Many fathers in the United States joined the military, and priorities shifted away from Little League Baseball. By 1946, only 12 leagues organized around Stotz’s original model existed.

The following year, the original Little League board of directors organized a tournament for all known Little League programs. They called it the National Little League Tournament. Eventually, the tournament was renamed Little League Baseball World Series, as it’s called today.

Little League soon grew to encompass 94 leagues, then grew to 307 leagues in 1949. A feature about Little League Baseball in the Saturday Evening Post spread the story to more than 14 million people, and communities across the country jumped at the opportunity to start their own programs.

Over the next several years, interest in Little League only continued to grow. The first leagues outside the U.S. formed at both ends of the Panama Canal, with the first permanent league organizing in British Columbia. This momentum — and the public spotlight — made Little League a recognizable name.

Today

Countries around the world, from Japan to Uganda, have organized their own Little League programs. What started as a kind gesture on the part of Carl Stotz has transformed into an international sensation, televised on ESPN with incredible viewership.

Though Little League has come a long way since its humble beginnings in the streets and sandlots of New York, that same spirit, enthusiasm and passion still remain. Those ragtag groups of kids who played with second-rate bats and balls would feel proud to see their dream realized.

Today, people who are interested in forming a program in their community have plenty of resources to get started. As long as they approach the task with a commitment to seeing it through, they’ll provide an opportunity for children in their area to enjoy the magic of baseball and everything the sport has to offer.

The Future

Running the bases after smacking a home run while fans roar with excitement is an event that will continue to thrill pre-teens for decades to come. With the support of professional baseball players, interest in Little League is experiencing even more growth, and the sport will no doubt endure to uplift and inspire new generations of young players and adult volunteer organizers alike.

The 5 Best Sports for Kids

By | Major Sports | No Comments

Parenting is one of the most difficult jobs on earth. There are so many tough questions to ask and choices to make. Today’s parents are finding it more difficult to encourage their kids to be active, a problem nobody would have conceived 40 years ago.

It’s sad but true. Video games and other popular technologies have stolen the spotlight from more physical activities that kids need to be healthy. Think about what your child’s interests are and whether they might be attracted to one of the sports on this list. It’s vital for a child to be invested, since 70 percent of kids abandon team sports by the time they turn 13. The psychological lessons that come from working as part of a team and learning to cooperate with others will stay with kids for a lifetime.

These are all great ways to get kids active, encourage social interaction and maybe even learn a few life lessons.

1. Soccer

The sport that the rest of the world knows as football is a great children’s game that teaches coordination, encourages athleticism and strengthen’s teamwork skills. Soccer is played all around the world, and people begin learning the game as early as age 4. In the past, soccer was less popular in the United States. However, the game has seen a resurgence, with team USA becoming competitive in World Cup competition and Major Leauge Soccer seeing top stars from Europe come to the U.S. to play. That means kids have more heroes to look up to than ever before.

2. Baseball

Baseball is a great way to teach coordination in a more detail-oriented environment. Kids can start their baseball career early playing tee-ball and advance through a well-developed system of Little League, as well as more competitive organizations like American Legion Baseball. Baseball has been called America’s pastime and is a sport steeped in history and tradition. Watching the ball and learning to catch and throw will help develop important hand-eye coordination skills.

3. Basketball

Basketball is an excellent way for kids to learn body control and quick decision-making. It’s a team game that involves a lot of substitution. This can pose a challenge at first, but it’s a great tool for kids to learn the importance of sharing time on the court with their teammates.

4. Cycling

You might be surprised to see something that’s not considered a team sport on this list. Although there are teams in competitive cycling, what’s more important for children is to learn balance, coordination and a mode of transport. For many kids, riding a bike is the best way to get from point A to point B long before driving is allowed. The cycling community is huge and allows children to develop their interest in a number of different directions, including road cycling, mountain biking and BMX. Plus, they’ll quit bothering you for rides all the time.

5. Martial Arts

Some parents might balk at the idea of their child doing a combat sport. However, if you find the right dojo or gym, there are a multitude of benefits. A good karate or other martial arts school teaches children how important it is to never use what they learn out of malice. Rather than encourage conflict, this sport can teach children how to avoid it, along with the important values of confidence, self-discipline, respect and mental toughness. If there ever is cause for them to defend themselves, they can put what they learned into action. That’s actually something parents can take comfort in.

Make Time for Sports

Being present in your child’s development is something every parent wants, and sports create great opportunities for that. Imagine how good your child will feel putting the skills you’ve helped them learn into action with you watching on the sidelines. Sports are a good metaphor for life in that regard. Kids who integrate sports into their lives have a richer social experience and develop essential life skills. They’re also more likely to be healthy because of the benefits of the physical activity.

Help your child choose a sport they enjoy playing, and encourage them every step of the way. They will reap the benefits for a lifetime.

How to Get Into Professional Bowling

By | Bowling, Other Sports | No Comments

Bowling strike after strike, weekend after weekend, you might start thinking to yourself, “I’m pretty good at this. Maybe I should go pro.” And, while it’s tough to become a professional in any sport, you might have what it takes to pursue a bowling career. Here’s how to get started.

Check That You Qualify

Different countries and regions have their own professional bowling leagues — for instance, there is an Asian Bowling Federation, as well as the European Bowling Tour of the European Tenpin Bowling Federation. In the United States, professional bowlers and those who aspire to join their ranks answer to the Professional Bowlers Association, also known as the PBA.

To become a member of the PBA, you must ensure you meet one of the following requirements:

Although the first two requirements read quite clearly, the third option might need a bit of explaining. The PBA holds its professional tour events around the country, but it also organizes regional tournaments on a much smaller scale. You can sign up for one of the PBA’s non-professional events and, if you place near the top of the leaderboard, then you can parlay your success into PBA membership.

Of course, membership is just the beginning of your journey — even if you qualify, there’s still a ways to go to becoming a professional bowler.

Sign up for the Qualifiers

Once you’ve earned your spot in the PBA, you’re ready to sign up for your first Tour Qualifying Round (TQR). At any PBA tournament, the exempt — read: top — bowlers can choose whether or not to participate. They sign up for spots at will, and any remaining spots go to the winners of the TQR.

So, to make it to the big tournament, you first have to win the qualifying round. This means you’ll be bowling quite a bit, and it can be tiring to reach the finals, let alone win or play well in them. That’s why the goal of many pro bowlers is to earn an exemption. Here’s how you can make it happen:

  • Top all non-exempt members – those who bowl in TQRs – on the World Point Ranking list
  • Win a standard PBA tour title
  • Earn a spot on the World Point Ranking list, although only 42 qualify this way
  • Place 7th or higher in the previous year’s PBA Regional Players Invitational
  • Pick up an exemption that you deferred or paused due to medical needs or hardship
  • Earn the Golden Parachute, an exemption awarded to a single non-exempt player by the PBA’s leadership team
  • Win a major championship, such as the U.S. Open or the Tournament of Champions. This one comes with a multi-year exemption, so aim high!

Some of these avenues are more far-fetched than others — there’s only one Golden Parachute per year, after all. In most cases, you have the best shot to earn an exemption by entering as many TQRs as possible to either have enough points to qualify or win the tournament.

Take Care of Your Equipment

As a professional bowler, you’ll want bespoke equipment and gear — no more renting shoes and borrowing balls from the alley. Before you invest in anything, though, check out the PBA’s list of requirements. When it comes to shoes, for example, bowlers can only don footwear from Dexter, 3G, Storm, Hammer or Brunswick at PBA League competitions.

Bowling balls will also be under scrutiny — so be sure you have one that’s approved. Older models manufactured before 1982 are also legal to use, so long as the ball’s manufacturer still has approval in the appropriate category.

Once you invest in the shoes, ball, gloves and other equipment you need, it’s up to you to take expert care of your supplies. This especially applies to your ball, the tool with which you’ll knock down pins and, hopefully, earn enough points to go pro.

image: Twitter

Perhaps the most vital step in the maintenance process is routinely resurfacing your ball. This restores the pores of the ball, which create the hook and grip you need to hit the pins just right. A good rule of thumb is to resurface your ball after every 60 games you play. In between resurfacing, you should re-polish every 10 games and wash your ball with degreasing liquid soap every 30 games. With that, your ball will always be at its best, making you even more likely to win.

Become a PBA Exempt Bowler

Once you’ve followed all of the above steps and earned your exempted spot in the PBA, the journey has just begun. You’ll have to battle each year to retain your status unless, of course, you win a major tournament that comes with a multi-year exemption.

Clearly, it’s not simple to become a professional bowler, but the good news is that it’s possible. All that’s left to do is get started!

Getting Ready for the NHL All-Star Game

By | Hockey, Major Sports | No Comments

Are you reading for the 2019 NHL All-Star Game? If not, start getting excited. The game’s happening on Saturday, January 26th in San Jose. A host of other all-star events are scheduled for that weekend as well.

How Does It Work?

Four teams, one for each of the NHL’s divisions, compete in the all-star game. It’s played in 3-on-3 tournament style. The Metropolitan and Atlantic Division will face off in the first 20-minute game, with a 20-minute match between the Central and Pacific Divisions following. The winner of those two games will then play another 20-minute match to determine the champion. The team that prevails splits a $1 million cash prize.

The NHL’s hockey operations chose the majority of the game’s 44 players using four main criteria — having one player from each team, the top 10 to 15 scorers at selection time, as many marketed stars as possible and multiple players from the host team. Fans got to choose each team’s captain, and for the first time, the “last man in” for each team. Each team has two goalies, three defensemen and six forwards.

Who’s Playing?

In late December, the four captains of the teams were announced. Auston Matthews of Toronto will be the captain of the Atlantic Division team, Nathan Mackinnon of Colorado will be the captain of the Central Division team, and Connor McDavid of Edmonton will be captain of the Pacific Division team. Fans chose Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals as the captain of the Metropolitan Division team. Ovechkin, however, informed the NHL that he plans to skip the game to recuperate before the second half of the season. He’ll face a one-game suspension for skipping the game, and the Metropolitan Division will have to choose a new captain.

The winners of the “last man in” votes were Jeff Skinner of Buffalo, Kris Letang of Pittsburgh, Gabriel Landeskog of Colorado and Leon Draisaitl of Edmonton.

The San Jose Sharks have three players in the game — forward Joe Pavelski and defensemen Erik Karlsson and Brent Burns. Karlsson’s status for the game is questionable, though, as he’s currently out with an injury. The Colorado Avalanche and Tampa Bay Lightning also have three players in the game.

For 13 players, this All-Star Game will be their first. Seven of the league’s top 10 scorers were chosen.

What Else Is Going On?

The game itself certainly isn’t the only all-star event happening the weekend of the 26th. The NHL All-Star Skills Competition will take place the night before the game, also at the SAP Center, the home of the San Jose Sharks. The event will consist of six individual competitions, and the winner of each contest will get $25,000. The competitions include:

  • Bridgestone NHL Fastest Skater™
  • SAP NHL Hardest Shot™
  • Honda NHL Accuracy Shooting™
  • Ticketmaster NHL Save Streak™
  • Enterprise NHL Premier Passer™
  • Gatorade NHL Puck Control™

Fans can also attend the Fan Fair at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center from January 24-27. The headlining event of the fan fair is the fifth annual NHL Mascot Showdown™ in which 29 NHL Mascots™ will form two teams, one representing each of the league’s conferences, and face off in a game. The fair also includes a scavenger hunt, dodgeball game, dance competition and other activities.

GRAMMY-nominated singer and songwriter Bebe Rexha will perform during the All-Star Game’s second intermission.

How Can I Watch?

The game will air on NBC in the U.S. and on TVA Sports, Sportsnet and CBC in Canada. It will also be live-streamed on fuboTV. The game starts at 5 p.m. PT / 8 p.m. ET on January 26th.

The Strongest NFL Players

By | Football, Major Sports | No Comments

The common NFL player not only needs to possess the intelligence to learn a playbook and read the rival’s scheme on the fly, but they must retain the perfect balance of strength and athleticism to out hit, out block and out jump the opponent across from them. They treat their bodies like temples.

However, there is rare breed within the NFL that takes this to a whole new level. From employing personal chefs and acupuncture therapists to spending the wee hours of the morning in the weight room, some players don’t know when to quit. You may think there’s no way they find a way to fit these extra workouts and therapy sessions into their schedule during the actual football season, but they do.

Now, not all players on this list are visually ripped, but the strength remains. They realize their bodies provide for their family and it shows. Not to keep you on your toes for any longer, here are some of the strongest players in the NFL today.

James Harrison

Although the 40-year-old, James Harrison, retired from the NFL earlier this year, you can’t make an NFL’s strongest players list without including him. Harrison owes a lot of his success to the dedication he has to his body and the weight room — his intense workouts speak for themselves. The former undrafted linebacker out of Kent State turned two-time Super Bowl Champion and NFL Defensive Player of the Year played the same amount of snaps for the Steelers at age 28 as he did at age 38. His standards for in-season weight training resemble the lengths other players strive for to keep their bodies in peak shape all season long.

Myles Garrett

On the opposite side of the age spectrum, the 22-year-old Cleveland Browns outside linebacker is an absolute beast. At the NFL combine, two years ago, Garrett galloped his 6’4” – 272 lb. frame 40 yards in a mere 4.64 seconds while also possessing enough explosiveness to obtain a 41” vertical. To put that into perspective, Randy Moss’ vertical jump measured at 39” before being drafted. In regard to the strongest NFL players, Garrett also put up 33 reps during the 225 lb. bench press at the combine. His body outshines what most can do and will terrorize NFL offensive tackles for years to come.

Saquon Barkley

The former Penn State legend, now New York Giant savior, is cut from the same cloth as Myles Garrett. His body can accomplish what most cannot. It’s easy to get lost in the fact he can run a 4.38-second 40-yard dash and jump 41” at 222 pounds, but that would completely look past him breaking seemingly every school weightlifting record in existence while enrolled at PSU. While in Happy Valley reports state he benched 390 pounds, squatted 495 pounds for reps, and power cleaned 405 pounds. There isn’t much more left to be said.

JJ Watt

When looking at JJ Watt it’s sometimes hard to believe he actually plays football and not a star of the World’s Strongest Man Competition on ESPN Classic. When Watt’s not winning NFL Defensive Player of Year awards or helping raise $41.6M for Houston’s Hurricane Relief Fund, he’s in the weight room. While his athleticism doesn’t match up to that of Barkley or Garrett, he certainly outshines them in pure strength.

Watt put up big numbers at the NFL combine with 34 reps on the bench press. While that number is impressive, it’s important to know Watt never skips a leg day. JJ’s warm-up squat is a measly 600 pounds before squatting 700 pounds. That’s what many would call big boy weight, folks.

Strong Is an Understatement

Think you’re up for trying one of their workouts? From breaking records to ridiculous workouts, each of these NFL players pushes their bodies to the max granting them a spot on this list.

photos by USA today

Here’s All the Cussing in Drew Magary’s “Why Your Team Sucks” for the Top/Bottom 4 Teams

By | Football | No Comments

Drew Magary has a “popular” series on Deadspin that lists all the ways that every NFL team sucks. Similar to the past-gone Puck Daddy eulogies, some of these are amazing and some are just ok. But they have one thing in common: @%*(&#@.

I read these from time to time, and often wondered if the teams that are actually good get more cussing than the teams that are actually bad. I figured that the good teams would get more hate, both from people that hate them being good, and fans that hate them for being good but not good enough.

I was mostly right.

I thought about doing this for all 32 teams, but that is a LOT of Drew to read though, and lot of time spent for some pretty useless content. So here are the top and bottom 4.

Eagles Patriots Vikings Jags Browns Giants Colts Texans
Fuck 20 29 46 29 19 29 22 14
Shit 10 27 15 9 12 12 13 9
Ass 11 9 7 3 2 5 4 4
Damn 3 1 6 4 0 1 4 2
Dick 7 3 5 0 1 3 1 0

 

I included all variations of these, so fucking, fucks, shitface, asshole, goddamn, dickhole, and so forth were all counted. Oddly enough, the spiritual-damn was the only version used. Ass was the most difficult to track, since it appeared in words like pass, assistant, and assault. Assault was used so many times I considered looking into which team had more players who liked to commit crimes with their fists.

I started tracking “Sucks” as well but since “sucks” was in most of the titles (What’s new that sucks, what’s always sucked, etc) it wasn’t super relevant. The Browns had the most though, probably because they actually do suck the most.

Here’s the date in a line graph, because why not:

There we go.

 

 

Which MLB Teams Are Having the Most Surprising and Disappointing Seasons?

By | Baseball | No Comments

Every baseball season, some teams surprise their fans — whether that’s in a positive way or not. Some teams unexpectedly become viable contenders for a World Series title, while others with lofty preseason aspirations are disappointing.

Pleasant Surprises

In the 2018 MLB season so far, several teams are doing surprisingly well — here are three of them.

1.      Oakland Athletics

The top three teams in the AL West are all viable postseason contenders. The Houston Astros are unsurprisingly leading and likely locks to win the division, though the Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics have already won 60 or more games. They are competing for the second Wild Card spot, right behind the Yankees.

The degree of success that Oakland and Seattle are having is surprising. Oakland’s offense wasn’t striking on paper before the year, though Jed Lowrie is having the best season of his career, while Matt Chapman and Matt Olson continue to provide power and contact. Blake Treinen has also emerged as one of the league’s best closers. They have done great so far, though questions remain as to whether their rotation is strong enough to hang around.

2.      Seattle Mariners

The other AL West surprise, the Seattle Mariners, was thrown into disarray upon the March news that star 2B Robinson Cano is suspended for 80 games. The Mariners, though, are one of the AL’s best teams, despite Cano’s absence and SP Felix Hernandez not contributing much.

Strong seasons by Mitch Haniger and Jean Segura are helping lead the offense, while SP James Paxton has emerged as one of the league’s most lights-out starters. Closer Edwin Diaz is also very effective, with a chance at the season record for saves. Like the Athletics, there are questions as to whether the Mariners can stick around — though they have certainly shown they are a viable Wild Card contender.

3.     Atlanta Braves

The Braves have the league’s best farm system, so while it’s not exactly surprising that their roster has talent, it is a bit shocking that their star prospects have arrived so soon. Ronald Acuna and Ozzie Albies are already contributing All Star-caliber numbers — so much for getting acclimated to the big leagues.

The success of their younger players is combining with an MVP candidate season from Freddie Freeman, an All-Star campaign from veteran Nick Markakis and a stellar catching duo of Kurt Suzuki and Tyler Flowers.

The Phillies, another relatively surprising success, will be competing with the Braves for a playoff spot deep into the season.

Disappointing Surprises

On the other end of the spectrum, a few teams have been disappointing fans — like these three.

1.      Washington Nationals

The Nationals have some of the best players in the world, like Bryce Harper and Max Scherzer, so their painfully mediocre start is a surprise.

Harper continues to hit for power, though his batting average is very low. Adam Eaton is hurt again, Anthony Rendon has often been injured and Strasburg is on and off the DL. Scherzer remains dominant and Harper will likely do better in the second half, though the Nationals seem to lack depth in general. It wasn’t expected that Harper would struggle so much and no other Nationals player would emerge.

2.      New York Mets

Although no one anticipated an extraordinarily great season from the Mets, a red-hot 11-1 start suggested the Mets may at least compete for a Wild Card. The team’s best start in franchise history, followed by a significantly forgettable season, is disappointing.

For a team that has two bonafide aces in Noah Syndergaard and Noah DeGrom, a capable closer in Jeurys Familia — before his trade to Oakland — and a core of young hitters like Michael Conforto, Yoenis Cespedes and Brandon Nimmo that impress, it’s a disappointing surprise that the Mets are definitely among the worst teams this season. Mediocrity was the expectation, though failure is the rest so far.

3.      Colorado Rockies

The Rockies have a winning record, though there were expectations they would lead their division — or at least come close to it. Offensive stars like Nolan Arenado and Charlie Blackmon, in addition to a friendly home park and consistent rotation, make their start a fairly unexciting one. The team still has ample time to impress extensively, though so far, the results have been lower than expected.

Baseball fans look forward to seeing whether these disappointing teams will turn it around, as well as whether the pleasant surprises will continue their success.

What All Do You Need to Go Skiing?

By | Skiing | No Comments

There’s no greater feeling than spending a day on the slopes and a night with some hot drinks, bad taxidermy and good conversations.

Skiing is an exhilarating sport that is enjoyable all day long — unless you don’t have the right equipment. As you plan and pack for your trip, reference this list to remember the six pieces of gear that will keep you warm, dry and happy.

1. Base Layer

Also known as thermals, a strong foundation for staying warm is a solid base layer. These are the clothes that are closest to your body, so the material needs to be moisture-wicking.

Cotton has no home here — wool or synthetic materials are your friends. This also applies for socks to keep your feet dry. Nothing is worse than foot slushies.

2. Pants

As probably the most essential piece of equipment as far as clothing goes, your pants need to be as waterproof as possible.

Everybody falls, whether it’s a victory slide at the end of your run or a wipeout that no one was expecting. It’s important to make sure your show pants resist wind and water, so you can spend your day on the slopes — not in the lodge.

3. Jacket

Your jacket is the armor outside of the rest of your layers, so it’s important to get something weather-resistant and waterproof. When you try one on, keep in mind that you may have a couple of layers underneath it on cold days — be sure to size it accordingly.

Jackets can also offer things such as pit zips, goggle zippers and phone pockets to make it easy to carry your gear and electronics around on the slopes while also preventing overheating.

4. Helmet

A helmet is a non-negotiable piece of gear, no matter what your skill level is. You can layer a hat underneath if needed, and you can usually rent one if yours breaks or if you don’t want to buy one.

You can’t ski if you’re in the hospital, so protect your noggin.

5. Goggles

Nothing magnifies the intensity of the sun’s brightness quite like snow. If you prefer to be able to see what’s in front of you, goggles will be a huge help.

When you’re going down the hill, goggles will also prevent you from having freezing wind in your eyes to the point of tearing up and ugly sobbing during the entire ride.

6. Boots and Gloves

A good pair of boots is useful in pretty much every situation in life, but even more so for the snow lovers. If there’s one piece of equipment you should buy instead of rent, it’s boots.

Make sure you buy a pair of boots that are comfortable and waterproof. They’re going to be in contact with snow all day, so don’t be afraid to get yourself something nice.

Gloves or mittens are also a necessity to keep your fingers warm and avoid things like frostbite. It’s worth investing in a good pair — you can’t hold poles if your fingers can’t bend.

Ski With Snow Worries

Once you pick out the gear that fits your style and will keep you dry, you’ll be ready to spend hours shredding rather than shivering. Enjoy your time outside by staying warm!

How to Train for a Half-Marathon

By | Fitness, Running | No Comments

Want to take your running program to the next level? Training for a half-marathon allows you to truly test the limits of your running ability. You’ll also learn a lot about yourself and your motivations throughout the training process. Distance running not only tests your physical endurance but your ability to remain focused and on task mentally for an extended period as well. You’ll gain a ton of confidence all while learning to overcome adversity and setbacks.

But what if you’re new to training to compete at this distance or even new to running in general? Not to worry. These tips will get you on your way to achieving your half-marathon goals.

Get the Right Shoes And Socks

Nothing will derail your running program more quickly than foot, knee or even back injury caused by wearing improper footwear. During training, your feet will be pounding the pavement for sometimes an hour or more at a time. This can quickly lead to overuse injuries.

Before starting your training regimen, pay a visit to a specialty running shoe store where the associates are trained to measure you for shoes that are the right fit. There is much more to selecting a shoe than merely getting the right the size. For example, runners with high arches may find they need additional arch support, while flat-footed runners may need more padding to absorb impact. Add in some moisture-whisking socks to keep your feet dry during long run days.

Give Yourself Ample Training Time

Training for a race the length of a half-marathon isn’t something you can jump into overnight. It takes time to build up distance and speed, so make sure you give yourself adequate time to train before race day.

If you are a novice runner, select a race that is at least two months out from when you plan to begin training. If you are an advanced runner who already puts in miles daily, you may be able to get away with a slightly shorter time frame. However, don’t underestimate the work it takes to really get ready to run 13.1 miles.

Draw Up A Training Schedule

To meet your goal, you’ll want to outline a manageable training plan that works with your life and your schedule. You’re going to need to commit a good deal of time to your training, so make sure you have a plan for success.

While it’s okay to run on a treadmill when the weather is particularly inclement, for better results, train outside under conditions that are as close to those you’ll encounter on race day. If you live in the race area, drive the race course to get a feel for how hilly it may be. Pay attention to the weather, too. Train in high winds, cold temperatures, high humidity and other conditions you might encounter during the race to ensure that you’re prepared for them.

Fuel Your Body Right

What you eat is just as important as how you train when it comes to half-marathon success. This counts double if you undertook training for a half-marathon to jump-start your weight loss regimen. It can be tempting to restrict calories and rewarding to watch the pounds melt off. But your performance will suffer if you are malnourished when you train.

Consider adding a high-quality protein and vitamin-mineral supplement to your diet. This will help to replace electrolytes lost through heavy duty training as well as provide your body with the building blocks it needs to heal. Adding a protein supplement is particularly vital if you are vegetarian or vegan. Our muscles need the right balance of amino acids to recover after a long run.

Plan Your Celebration Ahead of Time

Finishing a first half-marathon is a huge accomplishment, and it isn’t one that many people have bragging rights for. So plan a nice celebration for yourself after your big race! This could mean a romantic dinner out with your significant other, planning a weekend getaway or just taking a nice, long relaxing bubble bath post-race. Whatever it is you choose to do, be sure to celebrate you! You did it!