Monthly Archives: August 2016

Tips Choosing Running Shoes for Flat Feet

You must have noticed, read, or even heard that the soles of our feet touch the ground in various ways. This means, some people, while running or walking, touch their feet from side-to-side; the tilt of our feet is different. Some people notice that the inside, the arch of their feet touches the ground, and for others, it’s a different scenario, the outer edge of their feet touches the ground. This difference depends on the pronation, or in other words, the rotation of the feet while development. Before talking about the shoes, let’s first see what pronation actually means.

What to Look For

As a general idea, keep these points in mind when you are searching for running shoes at your favorite store.

  • The Chosen One ~ These shoes will be specifically marked flat feet. You need to specifically ask for running shoes for flat feet. They mostly come in a different range.
  • Added Support ~ Mostly, these running shoes will be with “added support”. They will clearly state on the packing that they have added support. One needs to keep an eye out for that, as flat feet require more support as compared to others.
  • Single Layer ~ Most running shoes come with several layers of padding for comfort. However, these running shoes will have a single layer of padding and not much curvature. This is to keep the overpronation in consideration, as well.
  • Balancing Act ~ As overpronation leads to improper balance, the running shoes for flat-footed people will help you maintain the right balance. They will provide the right support, so that the ankle also stays in balance. So, when buying, keep an eye out for the balance.

Pronation

Most people with flat feet are considered to be overpronators. So it is required that you understand pronation before you get to the running shoes for flat feet. Overpronation means that while running the feet roll inwards. In fact, they will roll inwards while walking, as well. There are basically 3 types of overpronation:

  • Severe Overpronation ~ In this condition the heel will hit the ground first and the foot will roll inwards. The entire shock is taken by the heel and the ankle cannot balance the foot. There are major chances of accidents and injuries due to excess pressure and stress.
  • Mild Overpronation ~ In this condition, the heel hits the ground first. However, the inward rolling of the foot is relatively less. The ankle cannot balance the foot completely. There are chances of injuries and accidents in this case, as well.
  • Neutral Pronation ~ This condition means that there is perfect pronation. This is a very rare case for flat footed people.

Men’s Shoes

  • Right Weight ~ The running shoes for men need not be lightweight as such, however, it is strongly suggested that you don’t go for heavy running shoes for flat feet. Many brands have heavy weighted shoes. Avoid these shoes as they may put undue pressure on the leg, in general.
  • Pronation Specific ~ As overpronation is more severe for men, the running shoe for flat feet must be appropriate for the feet pronation type. This should help avoid accidents and injuries.
  • Support System ~ As men prefer a more stringent running schedule, running shoes need to provide comfort and support. Again, this will help balance the shock and the pressure.
  • So Sweat! ~ Men tend to sweat more at the feet, especially, if they are runners. So, the running shoes for flat feet need to have breathing space for men. This is required to avoid sweating as far as possible and avoid skin problems that it might cause.

Women’s Shoes

  • Weight Loss ~ The running shoes for women, needs to be as lightweight as possible. This is, simply to make sure that undue pressure is not put on the feet or the leg muscles.
  • Shock Factor ~ There needs to be appropriate shock absorption in the running shoes for flat feet. This is because, due to overpronation, most of the shock is taken by the heel, leading to injury. As such, the shoe should help in absorbing the shock and prevent injuries.
  • Ventilation ~ It is mostly preferable to have some breathing space in the shoes, to avoid suffocation. Women often face skin allergies due to suffocation of the feet. So, these shoes should give some breathing space, so that the skin is saved from allergies.
  • Cushioning ~ Due to overpronation, the feet often feel a lot pressure on the ankle and heel. The running shoes need to have adequate cushioning and added support. This helps to ‘cushion the blow’ and relieve some of the unneeded pressure.

Companies like Nike, Reebok, Puma, Adidas, and FILA have a wide range of shoes that cater specifically to people with flat feet. While running, whether on a treadmill or outdoors, if you don’t have the right shoes on, you are taking a huge risk with your health.

Best Surfing Spots in the World

Surfing is a very popular adventure sport. It needs lots of practice and patience to perfect the art of surfing. There are two types of surfing: short boarding and long boarding. Short boarding is considered to be more difficult, as it needs more effort to maneuver the surfboard.

Surfing originated some three to four thousand years back in Western Polynesia, and has evolved a lot since then. It was first brought to California by George Freeth.

Surfing is a year-round sport and not just a summer activity. If you are one of those who has adrenaline rushing at the thought of riding the waves, then you are at the right place. Here, we have complied a list of the top ten surfing spots in the world. Grab your surfing board, pack your wet-suit, and get ready to hit the shores.

Best Surfing Beaches in the World

Gold Coast, Australia

Best Time to Surf
January – April

Level
All Levels
This is one of the most amazing surfing destinations around, and is often referred to as ‘surfer’s paradise’. Gold Coast has a stretch of 35 kilometers of area to choose from, and has something for surfers of all skill levels.

North Shore, Oahu, Hawaii

Best Time to Surf
November – February

Level
Expert
Regarded as the Mecca of surfing, this is the go-to destination for pros. North Shore provides the most challenging surf, so if you have to prove yourself, it is the place you should head to. If you are a beginner, schedule your trip for the summer months when the waves are gentler and smaller, and if you are looking to catch some giant waves, head there during the winter.

Uluwatu, Bali, Indonesia

Best Time to Surf
April – October

Level
All Levels
One of the most exotic surfing destinations in Indonesia, Uluwatu can get very busy and crowded in the peak season. There are four different sections to surf on, and it offers something to surfers of all skill levels.

Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain

Best Time to Surf
November – February

Level
All Levels
It is the closest thing to Hawaii on this side of the globe. For a beginner, the best time to go is April to August when the swells are not that huge – ideal to learn the tricks of surfing.

Teahupo’o, Tahiti

Best Time to Surf
April – October

Level
Expert
Known for the surf break, heavy and glassy waves, Teahupo’o is known for some of the heaviest waves in the world. Only those surfers in their physical best should attempt to ride the waves here.

Mentawai Islands, Indonesia

Best Time to Surf
April – October

Level
All Levels
Mentawai Islands in Indonesia is another dream destination for surfing enthusiasts. The bay around the 70 islands that comprises Mentawai Islands faces the constant fury of the Indian ocean. There is a constant surge of waves, which makes this a surfer’s paradise.

Mentawai Islands, Indonesia

Best Time to Surf
April – October

Level
All Levels
Mentawai Islands in Indonesia is another dream destination for surfing enthusiasts. The bay around the 70 islands that comprises Mentawai Islands faces the constant fury of the Indian ocean. There is a constant surge of waves, which makes this a surfer’s paradise.

Hossegor, France

Best Time to Surf
September – October

Level
All Levels
Dubbed as the surfing capital of Europe, Hossegor attracts surfers from all around the world. The giant Atlantic waves constantly pound this French shore, making it an ideal and favorite spot for surfing. And yes, beginners and experts, both will enjoy here.

These were some of the most popular and famous surfing spots around the world. Which one is your favorite? Do let us know. Enjoy surfing!

Tips and Techniques Ice Skating for Beginners

Ice skating enthusiasts use skates with steel blades to slide on the ice. The first ice skates were made in 3000 BC. Honed animal bone was used in making these skates, and it was attached to the shoes with leather straps. In fact, the origin of the word ‘skates’ is Dutch. They used to call it ‘schaats’, which means ‘leg bone’. Iron blades were first made and used in Holland, in 1250 AD. It garnered popularity as a winter sport among the Europeans in the 17th century. The International Skating Union is the authoritative body governing the sport, and oversees all the international ice skating competitions.

Tips For Beginners
Ice skating looks graceful and easy, but is a very strenuous sport. Beginners may suffer from sore muscles after the first couple of skating sessions. However, this is a normal phenomenon, and after a few practice sessions, the muscles will get stronger and the pain will recede. It is also important to relax and avoid locking your knees. Remember that ice skating is a graceful sport! The knees should be bent to avoid falling or tripping backwards

The Beginner’s Guide to Ice Skating
Always get an expert coach to assist you with the basics. A good coach helps minimize the risks involved, and also ensures you learn the correct way of skating. It is important to understand that ice skating doesn’t come naturally to everyone. A beginner has to learn it by getting used to the ice rink. It is a safe option to rent the skates initially, and get acquainted with this sport. If you remain interested in the sport, it is best to buy your own pair with a proper fit.
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Patience and determined efforts are necessary to master this sport. Initially, many people find it difficult to find their balance on the skates. The time taken to get used to using them is different for each individual. Learning the first moves can always be crude, but never get discouraged. Regular practice will ensure gradual, graceful, and deft movement.

Marching on the ice surface before gliding is a good way to learn balance and to gain familiarity with the skating surface. Start gliding after familiarizing with the conditions by mastering the two-foot glider first. Stand away from the edges of the rink or obstacles in order to avoid getting hit, and also try to learn without support. Once you balance yourself on your knees, move your right foot forward and keep your left foot at an angle of 45 degrees with respect to the right one. Slowly, begin to move forward by slightly bending in the knees, and moving the left shoulder ahead, followed by the right, and so on. Once two-foot gliding is learned, start with stroking, by starting with short and quick gliding sessions.

The most important aspect of mastering this sport, is learning how to fall. In fact, it is sort of a ‘requirement’ when getting used to it. There are certain ways in which you can minimize chances of an injury while falling. Preferably, use the best quality equipment or protective gear, which consists of a helmet and pads for the wrists, knees, elbows, hips, and tailbone.
When falling forward, keep your chin up; and when falling backward, press your chin into your chest. Relax your body as much as possible, because a stiff body is more likely to get injured than a limp one.
Try not to let your knees, elbows, or wrists hit the ice surface first. Try to land on your bottom, and tuck your arms in while falling, to avoid getting run over by the other skaters.
If you are using an outdoor surface, make sure it’s hard enough to avoid falling through the ice, especially on frozen lakes or ponds. Professional guidance is a must.
Another important area to master for a novice, is how to stop. A simple snowplow stop involves skating forward, pushing the legs apart away from each other. This should be done by bending in your knees and leaning back slightly. The shoulders should be straight, facing forward, and the arms outstretched.

The swizzle involves propelling forward without lifting your feet. The toes point outwards and heels are together. Slide the feet apart, and then bring the toes in together. The motion should replicate the design of an hourglass.

Tips Playing Ice Hockey For Kids

The game of ice hockey is played on ice rinks, mostly in cold countries of the northern hemisphere. To play this game, ice-cover is the basic necessity. However, with the availability of artificial ice rinks, one can play this game the whole year. Ice hockey is a fast-paced game characterized by aggressive moves. Kids can play this game to become flexible, attain a perfect body balance and also to strengthen muscles.

Kids Ice Hockey

Children can start learning ice hockey at the age of 4 years. Before that, they should learn to skate properly. Three-year old kids can begin with the practice of skating. Initially, kids ice hockey should be played with double-bladed skates; it helps in maintaining the balance properly. The first-impression of parents about ice-hockey is that of a slam-bang sport with high chances of getting injured. However, children can enjoy the game and develop their skills if it is played in a safe manner. Ice hockey for kids requires children to have the following, important qualities: being energetic and a willingness to become a team player.

Ice Hockey Rules for Kids
The standard rink used for ice hockey has the dimensions 200 feet x 85 feet. The playing area is divided into two halves with a red line. Two blue colored lines further divide these halves. The game is played with 6 members in each team. Shooting the puck (vulcanized rubber disc) in opponent’s goal (to score) is the main objective in this game. The ice hockey terms explained below should help in understanding the game in a better manner.
Icing: It is a rule which prevents the defending team from just hitting the puck towards the red line. It generally happens that defending teams, in order to escape the pressure of an imposing attack just hit the puck randomly and towards the opponent’s area.
Penalties: Players are punished with a penalty if any of the rules are violated. Checking other players when they are facing the boards is punished with a penalty called boarding. Obstructing the movements of other players with the hockey stick leads to a penalty called hooking. ‘Holding’ is name of the penalty being called when a particular player grabs the other player or his stick.
Offside: In the game of ice hockey, offside is called when an offensive player enters the attack zone before the entry of puck.

In the United States of America, kids (from different age groups different age groups) playing the game of ice hockey are classified into levels. Categories in which boys are categorized include the following.
Mite: 8 yr. and under 8.
Squirt: 10 yr. and under 10.
Peewee: 12 yr. and under 12.
Bantam: 14 yr. and under 14.
Midget Minor: 16 yr. and under 16.
Midget Major: 18 yr. and under 18.

Ice Hockey Equipment for Kids
The main equipment used in playing ice hockey include the puck and a hockey stick (with long handle and having a blade). Protective gear used by players include the following: helmet, neck guard, hockey gloves, elbow pads, shoulder pads, garter belt, jockstrap, hockey pants, ice skates, mouth guard and shin guard. The equipment used by goalies has few additional features; most important functionality of the equipment is to protect the goalie against frontal impacts. Chances of stopping pucks are increased if extra protection is provided to the goalie. Stick used by the goalie has a wider shaft and larger blade (and curved in shape).

The cost of equipment and coaching fees can at times become difficult for parents to bear. In such cases, one should go for resale items; it is also possible that one needs to swap a particular equipment. Such deals may often turn out to be profitable. The annual fees (team/league fees) for kids hockey could be in the range of $600-$3000.