Sports are a great way to incorporate strength training and cardiovascular activity. They are also a great way to spend time with friends or meet new people.
Strength, power, flexibility, balance, core stability, body awareness, even endurance are all physical traits that every consistent golfer must possess. Here are a few tips on getting started with golf and improving your game!
- Golf clubs are the tools we use to strike the golf ball. A golf club has three components, head, shaft, and grip. A standard set of golf clubs consists of three woods (the 1-driver, 3, and 5), eight irons (3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and pitching wedge), and a putter, twelve clubs in total. The rules of golf allow you to carry fourteen clubs in your bag, so many golfers add another iron or specialty wood.
- Woods are used to hit long shots. If a golf hole is 450 yards from tee to green, most golfers use a wood to hit off the tee. A wood is a hollow-bodied large headed golf club. Use your woods when you are 175 yards or more away from the green. The driver (also called the 1 wood) has the lowest loft of any golf club. Loft is the angle of the club face that controls trajectory and affects distance. A driver has a loft between 7 and 12 degrees. Experienced golfers have traditionally favored lower lofted drivers (less than 10 degrees of loft), which require much more skill to hit than higher lofted drivers.
- Most golfers also carry 3 and 5 woods in their bag. A 3 wood has a loft between 15 and 18 degrees, and a 5 wood has a loft between 20 and 22 degrees. The higher the golf club number, the higher the loft. In addition, the higher the golf club number, the shorter the club. A 3 wood is generally 1/2″ shorter than a Driver and so on with each successive club.Irons
- Irons are generally used when you are less than 200 yards away from the green. The closer you are to the green, the higher the iron you will use. A standard set of irons consists of 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 irons and the pitching wedge. The 3 and 4 irons are harder to hit than the higher number irons. Many golfers, especially ladies, seniors and higher handicap golfers, are changing to a modified standard golf set that replaces the 3 and 4 iron with higher lofted woods like the 7 and 9 woods. We think this is a sensible trend and one that a beginning golfer should consider. Higher lofted woods, like the 7 and 9 wood are easier to hit than a 3 or 4 iron and result in comparable distances.
- Wedges are basically specialty irons. The first wedge is the pitching wedge, which is usually about 48 degrees in loft. Wedges generally increase in 4 degree loft amounts. So wedges commonly come in 48, 52, 56, 60 and 64 degree lofts. Wedges are extremely useful to your game and most golfers have a few of them.
- A putter is a golf club with a special purpose, getting the ball into the hole. The putter is used on the green and there are many styles of putters including short, belly, long, bent, center-hosel, heel-toe, mallet, and so on.
Now that you know about the different pieces of golf equipment that you will need, it’s time to start practicing before you call the nearest golf course for some tee time. Your goal in golf is to strike the ball and get it into the hole with the least number of strokes. But for someone who has never even attempted to touch a golf club and hit a golf ball, it is best to set your goal to simply being able to strike the ball and get it into the hole in the end. Forget about the number of strikes, you can aim for a birdie later.
The first thing that you need to know is how to hold your golf club or the grip. There are different types of grip and the type that you use usually depends on the size of your hands. After being able to hold your club, you will start setting up. It is important to stand properly to maintain balance when you do the final movement; that is swinging and finally striking the ball. Each of these golf techniques are interrelated.
A good grip is when you feel comfortable, and when you are able to take full control of your club and give full power to your golf swing. There are three kinds of grip. The ten-finger grip when your right hand rests next to the side of the index finger of your left hand. The overlap grip when the pinkie of your right hand rests on the groove between your index and middle finger of your left hand. The interlock grip when the pinkie of your right hand is intertwined with the index finger of your left hand.
Next you will need to know the basic golf stance. The perfect stance is when your weight is balanced in the center and slightly forward over the toes.
Here are a few tips:
- Your feet should be shoulder width apart.
- Your knees should be slightly bent but keep your back straight.
- Your golf club should rest flatly on the ground.
- Your weight should rest lightly on the balls of your feet.
- Your arms should be stretched, forming a V-like shape.
- The clubface should be square to the target.
The club you will be using also plays a part. For the short irons, your ball needs to be positioned in the middle of your feet. Using long irons and the five-wood will require you to put your ball just in front of the center of your feet. For long woods – including the driver, the ball is positioned just inside your front foot (the left heel).
The third and the most important golf technique is the swing. The golf swing is a three-step process involving the backswing, downswing, and follow-through. In the backswing, you take your golf club away from your ball. It is important that the clubface and the back of your left hand remain facing front throughout the backswing. Then you make the downswing, wherein you move your club towards the ball until you hit it towards your target. In the Downswing, the angle of your club shaft and left forearm should remain unchanged as your club and hands moves towards the toe line. You should be able to hit the ball just because it happens to be in the path of the club and not because you aim for the ball throughout the downswing. The last step in the golf swing is the follow-through. The follow-through comes after you hit the ball. This is done to finish your golf swing. The power of your swing will vary depending on the type of golf shot you need to take. Hitting from the tee-box requires more force than putting.
Putting requires less force since you do not need to strike your ball to fly for about a hundred yards. For putting, you follow a swing path similar to the pendulum of a grandfather clock. You move your club for only about 10 inches away from the ball as the backswing and then move it towards the ball for the downswing. Then Swing it for about 10 inches more for the follow-through.
Golf etiquette can be broken down into 5
- Dress Code
- Basic Rules
- Respect for the Golf Course
- Pace of Play
- Respect for the Other Golfers
Golf Etiquette Tip #1: Dress Code
All golf courses have different standards of dress code. Remember, it is your responsibility to inquire before your starting time what the expectations of dress code are for that golf course. If you are unable to acquire this information in advance, it is always better to err on the side of caution. Collared shirts and trousers, not jeans, are always a safe bet for men. Collared shirts and knee length skirts or shorts are generally accepted for women.
Golf Etiquette Tip #2: Basic Rules
Knowledge of the basic rules of golf is a must before you head out onto the golf course. Things like when it is your turn to play, where you may tee your ball, and how to count your score are essential basics that you want to know before you play. If you were unable to obtain this information before your first game, make sure you ask your playing partners what to do if you are not sure. This is far better than doing something wrong and irritating the members of your group.
Golf Etiquette Tip #3: Respect for the Golf Course
If you are a guest at a private golf course, this is an absolute must if you ever want to be invited back. You must be aware of the places on the golf course that require more attention than others. The most important places to be respectful are around the greens and tees. The grass is shortest here and the most vulnerable. Replacing divots and fixing ball marks are probably the most important practice. Raking sand traps and walking carefully on the greens are a close second.
Golf Etiquette Tip #4: Pace of Play
Nothing takes the enjoyment out of golf like slow play. Playing quickly does not mean that you have to rush. Simply being ready to play when it is your turn, marking your scores on the tees and not on the greens, and playing the appropriate tee blocks for your ability level can make a huge difference in how long your round will take to complete. If you are just starting to play golf, you may want to limit yourself to a maximum of ten shots per hole. Once you reach your maximum, pick your ball up and drop it on the green so you can finish out the hole without holding up the other golfers on the golf course.
Etiquette Tip #5: Respect For The Other Golfers
Golf is a game that requires a player’s full concentration. Therefore it is important that you remain quiet and stand still when your playing partners are hitting their shots. Although golf can be a very frustrating game at times, wild displays of rage and disappointment are generally frowned upon. If you are playing early in the morning, or late in the day, you should also be aware of where your shadow is. If it interferes with another player’s shot, it can be very distracting.
Some people think that golfers have their own language! Here are the definitions of a few golfing terms:
Address: The manner in which a golf player positions his or her body right before hitting the ball. Everyone has a unique address.
Alignment: The alignment describes the manner in which you aim the clubface and line up your body at address.
Amateur: Amateurs are golf players that compete but do not play for prize money. In order to earn money from winning golf tournaments, a player must compete as a professional.
Approach Shot: This describes any shot that sends your ball onto the green area.
Away: Away describes when you are the farthest distance from the hole.
Baby Shot: Describes a shot that is much shorter and softer than usual, and from a specific club that is normally used for that shot.
Back Nine: The second half of an 18-hole course (the last 9 holes).
Backspin: A backspin is the reverse spin on the golf ball that has been hit towards a target.
Backswing: The first part of the golf swing, which ends as the club stops moving, right above your head, and before the downswing portion.
Ball Marker: A small-sized, flat object that is used to mark the specific location of your ball when it is on the green.
Ball Mark Repair Tool: This is a forked-shaped tool that is used to fix any marks on the green that are left behind by your ball.
Baseball Grip: A specific grip that is used to hold the club. When used properly, all 10 of your fingers will remain in contact with the club grip.
Best Ball: This term describes a golf game that uses the best score to be counted from a 2-person team.
Birdie: This is when you make the ball in one less stroke than the total par of the specific hole you are playing. For example, if the hole is a par-4, and you sink the ball in only 3 shots, you have yourself a birdie.
Blocked Shot: The blocked shot refers to the ball being hit straight ahead but then sweeps to the right of the intended target (right handed golfers).
Bogey: A bogey describes when a golf player hits the ball into the hole in one additional shot higher than the par. For example, if a player gets the ball into the hole in 4 swings on a par-3, he scored a bogey.
Break: When a putt shot is made on the green and starts to turn, the term break refers to the amount of turn that occurs.
Breaking Down: This term refers to the movement of your wrists as they bend during a putt shot.
Bump & Run: As the name insinuates, the bump and run describes a ball that is hit into the air and flies towards the target, then “bumps” into the ground and rolls the rest of the way.
Bunker:A bunker is a hazard area that is completely filled with sand and is typically near the green or on the fairway.
Caddie:Caddies are men and women who get paid to carry your golf clubs around with you on the course as you play the game. They can also offer advice on how to play the game.
Carry: This term refers to how far a golf ball flies through the air.
Cart: Carts are small vehicles that golf players use to drive around the course. You have the standard motorized cart that can hold two or more players, as well as a small dolly that travels on 2 wheels and is pulled manually (often referred to as the “pull cart”).
Casual Water: Casual water are puddles that have accumulated on the course through rainy weather. These puddles of water are separate from the other standard hazards of the course.
Cavity Back Iron: This is a particular type of iron that has the majority of the club head’s weight distributed around its perimeter. This design helps create a bigger head and a larger “sweet spot” area on the face. The back of the club head is basically just a large cavity. This helps reduce the mass in the center of the head, as well as the back.
Certified PGA Professional: A certified PGA professional golf player is any man or woman who has met or exceeded the golf teaching standards that have been created by the Professional Golfers Association of America.
Check: A check describes the action of the golf ball as it stops rolling because of the amount of backspin on it.
Chip: The chip is a shot that is typically played right from the edge of the green.
Closed Face: A closed face describes a club face that points to the left of the target (right-handed golfers).
Closed Stance:This term refers to a stance where your body alignment is facing the right of your intended target (right handed golfers).
Club Face: The club face is the bottom section of the club that makes contact with the golf ball.
Clubhouse: A clubhouse is usually a large indoor area located on a golf course that maintains services such as restaurants, golf pro shops, bathrooms, and conference rooms.
Collar: Similar to a fringe, the collar describes the strip of grass that runs around the green and is typically longer in length than the grass that grows on the putting surface.
Coming Over The Top: Coming over the top is a phrase that describes the direction of the club as it moves through the downswing and into a right-to-left pathway across the ball (right-handed golfers). Another term for this direction is the out-to-in blow.
Compression: Compression describes the squeezing in of a golf ball as the result of the force put on it during impact with the club head.
Course Rating: Every golf course has a course rating, which refers to the difficultly level of the course itself. The higher the course rating number, the more advanced and difficult the golf course is.
Crossed Over: Crossed over is a term that describes the club shaft as it faces towards the right of the target when it is at the top of the backswing (right handed golfers).
Cross Handed: Cross handed is a specific putting grip where the left hand is below the right hand (right handed golfers).
Cup: The cup is simply the hole itself which is at the end of each playing hole and is the intended final target of the golf ball.
Cupped Lead Wrist: A cupped lead wrist describes the backward bend of your lead hand when striking the ball. The lead hand is the one that is closest to the hole after you set up for your swing. For right handed golfers, the lead hand is the left hand.
Cut: A cut is another reference to a shot that bends towards the right (right handed golfers).
Deloft: To deloft is to decrease the amount of loft on the club face by simply tilting your club shaft in the direction of your intended target.
Dimple: Dimples are those hundreds of small holes that every golf ball is designed with.
Divot: A divot is a small chunk of grass and dirt that is removed from the golf course after the ball is hit. These divots should be repaired as basic golf course etiquette prescribes.
Dogleg: A dogleg is in reference to the curved pathway from the tee to the cup turns either left or right.
Double Bogey: When you complete a hole with 2 additional shots over the par of that hole, you have yourself a double bogey. For example, if the hole is a par 3, a double bogey would be sinking the ball in 5 shots.
Double Eagle: The double eagle describes the completion of a par-5 hole in 3 shots less than that par.
Downhill Lie: A downhill lie describes your stance in which the front foot is below your back foot at address.
Draw: A draw refers to a shot that bends to the left (right handed golfers).
Drive: The drive is the initial shot taken from the tee.
Driver: The driver is considered the longest club in your bag, which sends the ball flying farther than any other golf club.
Driving Range: A driving range is a facility that is built specifically for golf players to practice their swings. Each driving range has separate areas where you can knock a bucket of balls as long and as far as you want. Some driving ranges also have areas where you can practice your short game.
Drop: A drop is when You place a golf ball back into the game after it was considered unplayable.
Duff: To duff is to totally mess up or miss a shot, such as to “screw up” or “ruin” the shot.
You don’t have to step into the ring to get a great workout. Boxing classes are becoming the norm in many health clubs and fitness centers across the country. Participants are learning what boxing enthusiasts have known for years, that boxers are highly conditioned athletes, and that if you follow some simple procedures, you can build stamina, tone your muscles and burn calories.
A proper stance allows you to throw harder punches and get a better workout. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and knees slightly bent. Balance on the balls of your feet and take a natural step forward with your left foot (step forward with your right foot if you’re left-handed). Bring your hands up to cheekbone level, keep elbows tucked and your chin down. Remember to keep your abs tight, as if you were doing a sit-up. Stay light on your feet as you move around, and lightly bounce, shifting your weight back and forth. Keep your knees soft throughout the workout. When throwing a basic punch, never lock your elbow because that can cause serious joint injuries.
The jab is a quick punch with a snap to it and is most often used to set up other punches. Push off the ball of your back foot, take a small step forward with your front foot and explode your left fist out. From the left-handed stance, you’ll jab with your right fist. Rotate your shoulders, palm facing down, and extend your punch. Don’t lock your elbow. Snap your fist back into position quickly as you step back into your original stance.
The uppercut is a punch that lands with your palm facing your body and your fist pointed up toward the ceiling. Bend your knees and tuck the elbow of your punching arm into your hip. Thrust with your hips and drive your punch upward, keeping your elbow bent at a 90-degree angle or greater.
Rock climbing is a sport in which you climb up or across natural rock formations or man-made rock walls with the goal of reaching the summit of a formation. Rock climbing is a physically and mentally demanding sport, one that often tests a climber’s strength, endurance, agility, and balance along with his or her mental control. It can be a dangerous sport and knowledge of proper climbing techniques and usage of specialized climbing equipment is crucial for the safe completion of routes. The wide variety of rock formations around the world has led rock climbing to separate into several different styles and sub-disciplines. Check out your local gym or YMCA to learn more about rock climbing.
Fishing is the activity of catching fish. Fishing techniques include netting, trapping, angling and hand gathering. In addition to providing food through harvesting fish, modern fishing is both a recreational and professional sport. Recreational and sport fishing is fishing for pleasure or competition. Recreational fishing has conventions, rules, licensing restrictions and laws that limit the way in which fish may be caught; typically, these prohibit the use of nets and the catching of fish with hooks not in the mouth. The most common form of recreational fishing is done with a rod, reel, line, hooks and any one of a wide range of baits. The practice of catching or attempting to catch fish with a hook is known as angling. In angling, it is sometimes expected or required that fish be returned to the water (catch and release).
Bowling is an activity in which the object is to knock over pins placed upright at the end of an alley with a ball. Bowling can be fun and relaxing for people of all ages and fitness levels, and can be done individually or through league/team play. Skill is the major requirement to be a good bowler. If you want to become a good bowler, you should consider taking lessons from a qualified bowling instructor.
If you are just beginning to play this sport, it can seem a little daunting. There is a lot to remember as you walk up to that bowling lane. However, all the experts agree that the secret to bowling is to bowl, bowl, and bowl! Check out your local bowling alley. You will most likely be able to rent your shoes and ball.
Strike: A strike is what you are going for. A strike is when you hit all of the ten pins down on the very first ball. For a strike, a player gets 10 points, plus a bonus. Of course, the bonus depends on what that person scores with the next two balls (so, if the next two balls were gutter balls, no bonus).
Double: What it is called when a bowler gets two strikes in a row.
Turkey: Three consecutive strikes.
Four-bagger: Four consecutive strikes.
Spare – A player gets a spare when at the end of the second ball, all of the ten pins have been knocked down. A spare gives a bowler ten points plus a bonus of the points scored with the next ball.
Pinsetter – The machine that sets the pins up in their perfect triangular formation. Before this machine, there was a human pinsetter.
Residential gardening takes place near the home, in a space referred to as the garden. Although a garden typically is located on the land near a residence, it may also be located on a roof, in an atrium, on a balcony, in a window box, or on a patio or vivarium. Gardening also takes place in non-residential green areas, such as parks, public or semi-public gardens (botanical gardens or zoological gardens), amusement and theme parks, along transportation corridors, and around tourist attractions and garden hotels.
Types of Gardening
- Impact gardening is a way of using a small space to great effect, keeping plants close together, which blocks weeds and requires very little upkeep once started.
- Indoor gardening is growing houseplants within a residence or building, in a conservatory, or in a greenhouse. Indoor gardens are sometimes incorporated as part of air conditioning or heating systems.
- Water gardening is growing plants adapted to pools and ponds. Bog gardens are also considered a type of water garden. These all require special conditions and considerations. A simple water garden may consist solely of a tub containing the water and plants.
- Container gardening is growing plants in any type of container either indoors or outdoors. Common containers are pots, hanging baskets, and planters. Container gardening is usually used in atriums and on balconies, patios, and roof tops.
- Community gardening is a social activity in which an area of land is gardened by a group of people, providing access to fresh produce and plants as well as access to satisfying labor, neighborhood improvement, sense of community and connection to the environment. Community gardens are typically owned in trust by local governments or nonprofits.
- Vegetable gardening is a garden used to produce food crops, sometimes in separate areas, or sometimes intermixed with the ornamental plants.
Top 10 Gardening Tips
- Mulch, mulch and more mulch. Mulching keeps roots cool, minimizes weeds and looks amazing.
- Choose plants that will thrive in your chosen location or “zone”. If you’re not sure what zone you are in, ask someone in a local nursery.
- Water your plants and soil before planting, then plant and water thoroughly.
- Improve soil by adding organic matter. Use homemade compost, manure, topsoil, and even fallen leaves in autumn.
- Fertilize newly planted plants with a high phosphorous fertilizer also called transplanter, then don’t fertilize again until the second spring.
- Plan before you plant. In the end, you’ll save money, time and energy, and have a more beautiful garden.
- Have fun in your garden. Try new plants and vibrant colors.
- Don’t always rely on flowers for colour; use some foliage plants like coleus and coral bells.
- Conserve as much water as possible; use mulch, rain barrels and lots of compost.
- Don’t forget about your garden in the winter. Use plants with interesting bark, shaped willows, and of course, and interesting evergreens
Horses are trained and ridden for practical working purposes such as in police work or for controlling herd animals on a ranch. They are also used in competitive sports including, but not limited to dressage, endurance riding, eventing, reining, show jumping, tent pegging, vaulting, polo, horse racing, driving, and rodeo. Equestrian events have been included in the Olympics since the 1900s. Working with horses provides your body with many different strength challenges and is a great way to stay fit.
You can paddle your way to fitness with rowing and canoeing. These are lifetime activities that can be enjoyed at any age. Many of the people who take part in these activities think of them as fun, recreational exercises done in nature’s backyard, and it is possible to derive an excellent workout from both.
How to Get Started
Before you go on the water, strengthen your abdominals and shoulders and work on increasing your flexibility. Preparing your body before you start will give you a more enjoyable and beneficial workout.
- Indoors or outdoors, rowing is a demanding but very safe activity. It exercises most of the large muscle groups without stressing the joints.
- Since you’re seated during rowing and recreational canoeing there is no impact on the feet; therefore, the injury rate for both is relatively low. If you experience lower back pain, the repetitive twisting of rowing or spinal flexing and extending of rowing may be too stressful for your back.
- When exercising on water always wear a PFD (personal flotation device, a lifejacket). Many club rowers and paddlers do not wear flotation devices as it impedes movement. However, coach boats go out on the water to supervise water safety when this is the case.
- Pace yourself. Rowing can be a demanding activity. Monitor your heart rate at regular intervals to be sure you are working comfortably within your target heart rate zone.
- Rowing shorts, although not a necessity, offer slight padding for your seat and make a long workout more comfortable.
- Close fitting, waist-length shirts are less likely to get caught on the rowing monorail or to interfere with your arm movements.
- To row safely and competently, you need to fully understand the four key components to the basic rowing stroke: the catch, the drive, the finish and the recovery. If you are a new rower, ask a fitness professional at your facility to teach you the basics or seek advice from a club coach.
- To paddle safely and to propel your canoe in the right direction, learn the basic paddling strokes. They include: the forward bow stroke, the bow back stroke, the bow sweep, the J-stroke, the stern rudder and the stern pry & draw. Community colleges and recreation facilities usually offer courses where you can learn these strokes and more. You can also join a canoeing club.
- Rowing is a total-body exercise. Be sure to emphasize the use of the legs for power production. Beginners often focus on pulling mainly with their upper body. However, when you include leg action you can ensure that you are utilizing your aerobic energy system and deriving all the associated benefits.
- Recreational canoeing is not normally considered an aerobic activity because you don’t use the large muscles in the lower body. But if you belong to a canoe club, the technique you will use for war canoe, C-4, C-2 and C-1 boats require you to kneel. This technique involves your legs and buttocks, making it an aerobic activity. Rowing and canoeing clubs across the country provide non-competitive and competitive programs, so don’t be nervous about joining. Everyone, from youngsters to people over 65, at various fitness levels, enjoy these activities, or you just might like rowing in the comfort of your home in front of your television.
Water skiing is a sport where an individual, or more than one individual is pulled behind a motor boat on a body of water while wearing one or more skis. The surface area of the ski or skis keeps the person skimming on the surface of the water allowing the skier to stand upright while holding the tow rope.
Water skiing usually begins with a deep water start. The skier crouches down in the water (knees bent/arms straight), with the ski tips pointing up and the ski rope between the skis. When the skier is ready, the driver gives the boat the required amount of force to pull the skier out of the water. The key to getting up is patiently staying in the crouched position, letting the boat create enough force against the ski to pull you out of the water. Common mistakes are trying to stand up too early and breaking the chair, straight backed, bent knees position. Getting up out of the water requires strength, skill and balance; staying up also requires strength and balance, but it also requires endurance too. Water skiing is a great way to spend a hot summer day, and you will be having so much fun that it won’t feel like exercise.
A Jet Ski is a recreational water-craft that the rider sits or stands on, rather than inside of, as in a boat. Models have an inboard engine driving a pump jet that has a screw-shaped impeller to create thrust for propulsion and steering. Jet Skis are widely used for recreation because of their relatively low cost and the freedom they give to owners. Jet Skis are fast and easy to tip, so balance is required!
Skiing and snowboarding are great ways to spend winter days outside. With a combination of balance and strength you will be able to master the slopes!
Snow skiing is a sport utilizing skis as primary equipment. Skis are used in conjunction with boots that connect to the ski with use of a binding. Although snowboarding shares the general characteristics of skiing sports, it evolved from surfing and skateboarding and so is not considered a type of skiing. The posture assumed in snowboarding is a side on action whereas the skiing posture is primarily front facing.
Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Getting to know how to use a ski lift is not easy, so ask a friend or instructor to help you get the hang of it during quiet periods.
- Avoid burning your face around your goggles by using sun block. You may think because you are cold that you are not going to burn, but the sun reflects off the snow and can give you a painful burn.
- Try a lesson or two before you head out. Ski instructors are available at most chalets and they will provide you with the basics that you need to safely maneuver the slopes.
Preparing for the Day
Before you head out to the mountains makes sure that you have your necessities such as:
- Snow jacket and pants
- Neck warmer
We like to pack a few nutritious, high energy snacks like fruit, nuts, sandwiches, water and juice.
One day on the hill and you will feel how much your muscles have worked! Soreness the day after skiing is common, but here are a few strengthening exercises to help lessen the pain:
Hamstring Curl: Adjust the machine so that your ankles are tight against the pads and your knees are just over the edge of the bench. Pull your heels up and towards your buttocks. Slowly return to the start position. Don’t allow your hips to pop up off the bench. Avoid any swinging actions.
Calves Heel Raise: Hang your heels off the edge of a platform. Slowly press up onto your toes and then lower down until your heels are below the platform. Keep your toes pointing straight ahead and your calves tightened throughout.
Lunge: Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Hold dumbbells in each hand. For the more advanced, place a barbell on your shoulders. Take a big step forward, ensuring that your heel strikes the ground first. Keep your head and chest up, abdominals tight. Your front knee should be over the ankle and should not wobble. Your back knee should be bending towards the floor. Squeeze your buttocks and push off with the front foot, to return to the start position. (Variation: Lunging without weights is an excellent workout for beginners.) Also, do not forget to stretch throughout the day and before you head home.
Top Five Tips
Save yourself the hassle of taking off all the layers of thermals and waterproofs once you are on the slopes by going to the toilet before you leave.
- Watch out for dropping your possessions on the chairlifts-you may find it very difficult to find them again.
- Go for waterproof outerwear and lots of layers for when you ski, but remember, you can be more creative when it comes to aprs ski.
- Remember to reapply sunscreen often.
- Bring along a spare pair of gloves and socks just in case yours get wet and cold.
- Check that you have your five vital items before leaving the chalet – gloves, goggles, money, sunblock and the lift pass.
To get started you will need a board, boots, and a helmet. If you do not want to invest in these items you can rent them from most chalets, here are a few things that you will need to know:
Are you Regular or Goofy?
Picture sliding downhill sideways. Which side is facing downhill, your right or your left? Alternatively, you can imagine yourself sliding across the kitchen floor in your socks. Which foot is forward? If you answered left, you’re “regular”. If you answered right, you’re “goofy”. On a snowboard, your feet are not perfectly pointed straight toward the toe edge, they are slightly angled either to the left (regular) or to the right (goofy). The foot that goes down the hill first is called your “leading foot” because it leads you down the hill. For a regular person, this is the left foot, for a goofy person, it’s the right. The board pictured above is a regular board. On a goofy board, the nose is on the right and the tail is on the left.
Nose – the nose is the end that usually points downhill
Tail – the tail is the end that usually points uphill
Toe edge – the side of the board where your toes are
Heel edge – the side of the board where your heels are
Binding – the thing that binds your foot to the board.
You will fall. Not knowing how to fall can mean spending the day in the ER and missing days of snowboarding fun. You don’t want to do anything that will deny you of your snowboarding experience, especially if it can be easily avoided by reading a simple paragraph. So, even though falling down is quite an odd thing to be learning, it makes sense to learn it. When you catch your toe edge, you’ll fall forward. When falling forward, your fingers, wrists, and elbows are at risk. The natural inclination is to extend your hands out in front of you to break your fall. Make sure you RESIST this temptation. Doing it can break your fingers, or worse, your wrists. Instead, make fists (to prevent your fingers from breaking), hold your arms in front of your chest (bent, not extended), and fall on your forearms, not your elbows. The surface of your forearms you should fall on is the one that makes contact with the dinner table when you rest your arms comfortably on it. When you catch your heel edge, you’ll fall backward. When falling backward, your head and tailbone are at risk. If you feel yourself falling backward, tuck your chin toward your chest. This is good advice for beginners on the bunny hill, but before you hit the slopes, get a helmet. When you are going fast, the chin tuck doesn’t afford much protection.
We recommend that you take the time to get a lesson or two from a trained professional. This will make snowboarding a lot more fun, and a little less dangerous!
Curling is a popular winter sport in Canada, and consists of two teams of four playing on a large, rectangular piece of ice. Each end on the ice has a large “bull’s eye” in which each player of the team throws two colored stones at from the opposite end of the ice. Both teams throw from the same side alternating players with each throw. The Skips of each team usually throw their two stones last. There are 10 ends and the winning team has the most points. Points are awarded to the team with the stone or stones closest to the center of the bull’s eye.
Ice hockey, often referred to simply as hockey, is a team sport played on ice. It is a fast paced and physical sport. Ice hockey is played on a hockey rink. During normal play, there are six players, including one goaltender, per side on the ice at any time. The objective of the game is to score goals by shooting a puck, into the opponent’s goal net, which is placed at the opposite end of the rink. The players control the puck using a hockey stick. Players may also redirect the puck with any part of their bodies, subject to certain restrictions. Players can angle their feet so the puck can redirect into the net, but there can be no kicking motion. Players may not intentionally bat the puck into the net with their hands.
The five players other than the goaltender are typically divided into three forwards and two defensemen. The forward positions consist of a center and two wingers: a left wing and a right wing. Forwards often play together as units or lines, with the same three forwards always playing together. The defensemen usually stay together as a pair, but may change less frequently than the forwards. A substitution of an entire unit at once is called a line change. Teams typically employ alternate sets of forward lines and defensive pairings when shorthanded or on a power play. Substitutions are permitted at any time during the course of the game, although during a stoppage of play the home team is permitted the final change. When players are substituted during play, it is called changing on the fly.
The boards surrounding the ice help keep the puck in play and they can also be used as tools to play the puck. The referees, linesmen and the outsides of the goal are “in play” and do not cause a stoppage of the game when the puck or players are influenced (by either bouncing or colliding) into them. Play can be stopped if the goal is knocked out of position. Play often proceeds for minutes without interruption. When play is stopped, it is restarted with a faceoff. Two players “face” each other and an official drops the puck to the ice, where the two players attempt to gain control of the puck.
Since ice hockey is a full contact sport and body checks are allowed, injuries may be a common occurrence. Protective equipment is highly recommended and is enforced in all competitive situations. This usually includes a helmet, shoulder pads, elbow pads, mouth guard, protective gloves, heavily padded shorts, athletic cup/jock, shin pads, chest protector, and a neck guard
Street hockey (also known as road hockey, deck hockey, ground hockey, or ball hockey) is a type of hockey played with or without skates. It is possible to play with either a puck or ball, although a roller hockey puck is required when not on ice. Generally, the game is played with little to no protective equipment, therefore intense physical contact is not very common and is played without body checking but does permit a level of physical contact similar to that allowed in basketball. If a puck is used, for safety the puck usually must not be raised in the air (lifted or roofed). However, rules and playing styles can differ from area to area depending upon the traditions a certain group has set aside. Ball hockey is a great way to spend time outside exercising, and can be done on any local street.
Your hockey player demands a lot from their body. The one to two minutes of sprint-like exercise during a game followed by a four minute rest then back out stresses the heart, lungs and large muscle groups. Improving the hockey player’s fitness is done through various practices, games and aerobic activity. However, nutrition is also a big component. It can often determine if the hockey player’s body can respond in the way they want it to which ultimately decides the level of success on the ice.
The girls have just played their first tournament and here’s something to keep in mind for future practices and games. After their first tournament game they came off the ice hot and sweaty, had a drink then went for lunch. They headed to a restaurant, sat at a table and ordered what they wanted or headed to the food counter at the rink. Many had a burger, fries and a soda, pizza or other high fat choice. They then were expected with all that grease/fat, caffeine and sugar to jump back on the ice, feel good and perform well. Unfortunately, many didn’t have the fuel that would allow their bodies to perform at their best. It’s like putting inferior gas in your car’s gas tank. There’s no doubt that the “younger” the car, the easier it can handle it but the poor fuel will affect performance and in the case of a hockey player, it affects them physically and mentally.
What your hockey player needs is a combination of quick foods that can be digested easily and give them immediate energy as well as a small amount of protein that can be digested slowly for sustained energy and replace some of the protein that their muscles have lost during the game(s).
Protein foods like hot dogs, chicken fingers, burgers or pizza with lots of cheese and greasy toppings like bacon, sausage, and pepperoni are high fat choices and will only slow them down and more than likely make them feel ill, especially if they crank up the speed going for the puck. Protein foods lighter in fat such as nuts, beans, turkey, chicken, eggs are great choices.
Complex carbohydrates like whole wheat bagels/bread, rice, pasta, baked potatoes and oatmeal will release their energy slowly without slowing them down. Fruits and vegetables also provide energy and will help to replace the key vitamins that they’ve used up to make energy. It is difficult to get your hockey player to eat well each day and that’s why a vitamin supplement helps to bridge nutritional gaps caused by vitamins and minerals they don’t get through their food and lose through exercise. Unfortunately, it’s the processing, storing and cooking that can reduce the nutrient content of food as well as pesticides, poor soil conditions and chemical fertilizers.
Also your hockey player needs proper hydration after the practice or game. Water, chocolate milk or a small amount of apple/orange juice are good choices to help in their recovery. They don’t need PowerAde or Gatorade or other sports drinks. These high caloric/sodium drinks were intended for athletes who have done continuance exercise for over an hour. The key is continuance. For example, a runner who’s run for one hour. Hockey does not fall under this category and only hockey players who have burned a lot of calories through intense practice or play need to replenish using these types of sports drinks. Also forgo the sugar and caffeine that comes with soda. This does nothing for them and can actually be detrimental to their next game.
The sugar in soda gets into their bloodstream so quickly that it goes almost immediately to storage if not used. You might have heard of the “Sugar High”. It comes within 15-30 minutes of having concentrated sugars like soda. And what about the “Sugar Low”? The low energy, sluggish feeling comes just when they don’t need it, 30-50 minutes after that sugary beverage, usually in the 3rd period of the game when they really need to push it because of normal fatigue. The sugar ingested earlier is being pushed into storage, which then lowers their sugar level in the bloodstream. Their body then has to work extra hard to bring it back out of storage to be used as energy. Exercise physiologists have determined that drinking a carbohydrate-protein combo like chocolate milk soon after exercise (the sooner the better and before 30 minutes post-exercise) helps speed muscle recovery because it quickly replenishes spent energy stores.
So, the moral of the story is:
•Be prepared. The internet can provide information about restaurants and fast food places close to arenas. Tim Horton’s, Subway, Mr Submarine, Wendy’s (Bake Potatoes), and Extreme Pita are great choices. On the other hand, pack a bag with the appropriate energy foods and drinks and avoid the cost and potential bad choices.
•Avoid the “Energy” and soda drinks. They are full of sugar and caffeine and will cause your hockey player to crash and burn by the end of the 2nd period.
•Drink plenty of water before, during and after a practice or game.
•Have chocolate milk on hand for after a practice or game or change in the pocket to get a carton from one of the many vending machines in the arenas.
•Feed your hockey player before and between practices or games with low fat sources of protein and complex carbohydrates. For example a turkey sandwich on whole wheat with lettuce and tomato or a bowl of vegetable soup with crackers. If you have to go to a fast food place, AVOID the fries and resist the temptation for that burger. A bagel with a salad and apples will do more for their next practice or game than the load of grease you’ll get with most of the other food. If you order a chicken sandwich, make it a grilled chicken sandwich and leave off the high fat mayonnaise-based dressing.
•Snack on peanut-free granola bars, protein bars, nuts, pretzels, fruits and veggies.
Eat Well to Play Well
Squash and racquetball are played around the world and enjoyed by people of all ages and both sexes. It seems to be Universally enjoyable to simply hit a ball against a wall or to an opponent with a racquet. There is also an intense pleasure To be had in playing a challenging head-to-head competition.
Many people think of tennis as the perfect game for a lifetime. Young people, beginners and experienced players can continue to improve their game for years with coaching and knowledge.
How to Get Started
- Find a friend of equal skill level or join an organized group or club that has members with varying levels of expertise.
- Always warm up and cool down. Start your warm up with some light locomotors activities to elevate your heart rate and increase the temperature of your muscles. Brisk walking or jogging of your muscles. Brisk walking or jogging to the courts, jogging on the spot and doing jumping jacks are all good locomotors activities. Follow this with some easy practice volleys and serves. Some people also like to do some light 10-second stretches for the Achilles tendon area, legs, and shoulders just before the first game begins.
- When you cool down, perform stretches for the muscle groups mentioned above but hold them for a longer time, up to 20 seconds each (refer to stretches in Cool Down in this section). Equipment
- Purchase a racquet that suits your needs and abilities. Although there are many different shapes and sizes of racquets available, most are variations on the slim-profiled “wide-body” type. Wide-bodies are now accepted as the lightest and strongest frames in the world. They are more maneuverable and stiffer than the old-fashioned wooden style. Wide-bodies are also more powerful and lighter than the slimmer-bodied models.
- Choose brand name balls that are sold in pressurized cans. A can of four balls is enough for playing a practice match. If you’re using a ball machine or doing exercises with a partner you will need a basket full of second-grade balls.
- Wear comfortable, light clothes. Shirts must allow your arms and shoulders freedom to move. Wear socks with cushioned soles and heels. Some facilities may require that you wear all white clothing. Try a headband to keep your hair in place and to stop sweat from running into your eyes. If you tend to perspire heavily, wristbands can keep the perspiration on your arms from rolling onto your hands. When playing outdoors, wear a hat or visor to protect your face from the sun’s rays.
- Protect your feet and improve your footwork by choosing good tennis shoes. They must provide flexibility and stability and give support to your instep, ankles and Achilles tendons. Different court surfaces require different soles: smooth soles for indoors, pimpled for grass and herringbone for general use. Running shoes are not a good substitute for tennis shoes since they do not allow for additional lateral support necessary when moving side to side.
- Gripping the racquet: If you are just starting, try the “eastern forehand” grip by simply shaking hands with your racquet. For backhand shots, hold your index knuckle at the top of the grip. Whether you use one hand or two hands to return balls will depend on your body size and the strength in your arm and wrist. Experiment to find out which is most comfortable for you.
- Ready position: Face the net with your feet shoulder-width apart, knees bent and weight over the balls of your feet. Hold the racquet centrally to prepare yourself to return any type of stroke. Support the racquet head by lightly holding it at the “throat” with your other hand.
- Let the racquet drop down and begin to make a counter-clockwise circle. When the racquet reaches shoulder height, let it collapse down your back. From this position, lift and throw your racquet up and out at the ball, hitting the ball on its bottom side. After contact, continue to swing, letting the racquet fall down across your body, producing a hugging effect and creating some forward movement.
- Since tennis is stop and go by nature it’s not considered a true aerobic activity. To bring it closer to an aerobic activity, keep moving at a steady pace all the time. Bounce on your toes and run to return balls in an easy fashion. Avoid sprinting after balls and temporarily driving your heart rate out of your target heart rate zone. Try working out with a ball machine, ball machines shoot balls to you at 3, 6, or 12-second intervals. Keep moving and bouncing on your toes. You can wear a heart rate monitor to keep track of your heart rate to see if you are in your fat burning zone.
- For more of a challenge, add a spin adapter to the ball machine. Its internal oscillator creates a random pattern of shots in length and width.
- Try to play singles tennis since it’s often more physically demanding than doubles.
- Take lessons from a pro. Group lessons are an excellent and economical way to begin. Receiving good instruction and being patient are key to improvement.
Badminton is a sport that involves hitting a shuttlecock made from cork and feathers back and forth across a net with a badminton racquet. The object is to hit the shuttlecock over the net into the opponent’s court so that he cannot return it before it hits the ground. Once considered a slow, low-intensity activity, badminton is now recognized as a quick-moving, explosive interval sport much like competitive volleyball or squash.
Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five active players each try to score points against one another by propelling a ball through a 10 foot high hoop. Points are scored by shooting the ball through the basket above; the team with more points at the end of the game wins. The ball can be advanced on the court by bouncing it (dribbling) or passing it between teammates.
Playing basketball is a great way to get aerobic activity. It is also a good way to spend time with friends, and have a little healthy competition. Drop by your local high school or outdoor court to see if they have recreational games that you can join.
Games are played in four quarters of 10 or 12 minutes. College games use two 20 minute halves while most high school games use eight minute quarters. Fifteen minutes are allowed for a half-time break, and two minutes are allowed at the other breaks, and overtime periods are five minutes long. Teams exchange baskets for the second half.
Five players from each team (out of a twelve player roster) may be on the court at a time. Substitutions are unlimited but can only be done when play is stopped. Teams also have a coach, who oversees the development and strategies of the team, and other team personnel such as assistant coaches, managers, statisticians, doctors and trainers.
For both men’s and women’s teams, a standard uniform consists of a pair of shorts and a jersey with a clearly visible number, unique within the team, printed on both the front and back. Players wear high-top sneakers that provide extra ankle support.
A limited number of time-outs, clock stoppages requested by a coach for a short meeting with the players, are allowed. They generally last no longer than one minute.
The game is controlled by the officials consisting of the referee, one or two umpires and the table officials. For college, the NBA, and many high schools, there are a total of three referees on the court. The table officials are responsible for keeping track of each team’s scoring, time keeping, individual and team fouls, player substitutions, team possession arrow, and the shot clock.
In volleyball each team consists of six players. To get play started, a team is chosen to serve by coin toss. A player from the serving team serves the ball (attempts to hit the ball so it passes over the net to land in the opposing team’s court). The opposing team must use a combination of no more than three contacts with the volleyball to return the ball to the opponent’s side of the net. These contacts usually consist of:
- The bump or pass so that the ball’s trajectory is aimed towards the player designated as the setter.
- The set, usually an over-hand pass using wrists to push finger-tips at the ball by the setter so that the ball’s trajectory is aimed towards a spot where one of the players designated as an attacker can hit it.
- The attacker spikes, jumping, raising one arm above the head and hitting the ball so it will move quickly down to the ground on the opponent’s court to return the ball over the net. The team with possession of the ball that is trying to attack the ball as described is said to be on offense.
The team on defense attempts to prevent the attacker from directing the ball into their court: players at the net jump and reach above the top of the net in order to block the attacked ball. If the ball is hit around, above, or through the block, the defensive players arranged in the rest of the court attempt to control the ball with a dig, usually a fore-arm pass of a hard-driven ball. After a successful dig, the team transitions to offense. The game continues in this manner, rallying back and forth, until the ball touches the court within the boundaries or until an error is made.
Playing volleyball is a great way to get aerobic activity, improve hand-eye coordination and strengthen your legs and arms. It is also a good way to spend time with friends, and have a little healthy competition. Drop by your local high school or outdoor court to see if they have recreational games that you can join.
Playing football is a great way to get aerobic activity, improve hand-eye coordination and strengthen your legs and arms. It is also a good way to spend time with friends, and have a little healthy competition. Drop by your local field to see if they have recreational games that you can join.
Here are a few Football tips if you are
just learning the game:
Kick Off: Once the decision of who will start on defense and which end zones each team will defend, each game begins with a kick off. The ball is placed on a one-inch plastic tee 30 yards from the defense’s end zone (35 yards in college football). A specialized player known as the “placekicker” makes a short dash to the tee and kicks the ball. The ball is aimed to wherever would be most detrimental to the offense, though who ever catches the ball on that side is designated the kick returner and will try to advance the ball forward by running. If the ball goes out of bounds, the offense can choose to start either where the ball first went out of bounds or 30 yards from the point of the kick. If it happens to be caught in the offense’s own end zone, the offense can choose to either run the ball as far as it can, or simply kneel in the end zone to signal a “touchback”–a sign to stop the play and start the next play 20 yards from the offense’s end zone.
Offensive Play: Most of the time, the first major aspect to be considered in football is whether or not the ball will be advanced by running it or by passing it. Every legal strategy in football takes root from these two fundamental plays. It is then up to the creativity of the team, especially the quarterback and coach, to decide exactly how the play should unfold.
Planning and Execution: As mentioned previously, one of the major responsibilities of the offensive coach is to plan plays to maximize the amount of yardage that the ball is advanced. The defensive coach does the same except his goal is to keep the offense from advancing the ball. Taking into account the abilities of his players and what the other team may do, the defensive coach will start by deciding whether a running or a passing play will occur. Once that is decided, the pre-play arrangement of the players, called the formation, is determined and then how and where each player will move during the execution of the play. Of course, much of the plays are pre-planned, so that during a huddle, when a team gets together to go over a play, the coach has plays to choose from.
Fourth Down and Changing Positions: The offense has only four chances in terms of plays to advance the football either far enough to score a touchdown or advance the ball far enough to gain another four chances. Each chance is called a down and therefore there is a first, second, third, and fourth down. The offenses’ primary mission is to score a touchdown in each play. If that is not possible, the offense may choose to advance the ball ten or more yards from where the ball started during first down in order to retain its position as the offense. If the offense fails to achieve a touchdown or 10+ yards (called a “first-down”), a changing of possession occurs in which the team with the ball now becomes the defense and the defensive becomes the current offense.
Soccer is played on a rectangular grass or artificial turf field, with a goal at each of the short ends. The object of the game is to score by manoeuvring the ball into the opposing goal. In general play, the goalkeepers are the only players allowed to use their hands or arms to propel the ball. The rest of the team usually uses their feet to kick the ball into position, occasionally using their torso or head to intercept a ball in midair. The team that scores the most goals by the end of the match wins. If the score is tied at the end of the game, either a draw is declared or the game goes into extra time and/or a penalty shootout, depending on the format of the competition.
Baseball is a bat-and-ball sport played between two teams of nine players each. The goal of baseball is to score runs by hitting a thrown ball with a bat and touching a series of four markers called bases arranged at the corners of a ninety-foot square, or diamond. Players on one team, the batting team, take turns hitting while the other team, the fielding team, tries to stop them from scoring runs by getting hitters out in any of several ways. A player on the batting team can stop at any of the bases and hope to score on a teammate’s hit. The teams switch between batting and fielding whenever the fielding team gets three outs. One turn at bat for each team constitutes an inning; nine innings make up a professional game. The team with the most runs at the end of the game wins.
Playing baseball is a great way to get aerobic activity, improve hand-eye coordination and strengthen your legs and arms. It is also a good way to spend time with friends, and have a little healthy competition. Drop by your local field to see if they have recreational games that you can join.