Monthly Archives: February 2017

The Benefits Of Unexpected Exercise

Many people hit the gym or pound the pavement to improve cardiovascular health, build muscle, and of course, get a rockin’ bod, but working out has above-the-neck benefits, too. For the past decade or so, scientists have pondered how exercising can boost brain function. Regardless of age or fitness level (yup, this includes everyone from mall-walkers to marathoners), studies show that making time for exercise provides some serious mental benefits.Get inspired to exercise by reading up on these unexpected ways that working out can benefit mental health, relationships, and lead to a healthier and happier life overall.

1. Reduce stress

Rough day at the office? Take a walk or head to the gym for a quick workout. One of the most common mental benefits of exercise is stress relief. Working up a sweat can help manage physical and mental stress. Exercise also increases concentrations of norepinephrine, a chemical that can moderate the brain’s response to stress. So go ahead and get sweaty — working out can reduce stress and boost the body’s ability to deal with existing mental tension. Win-win!

2. Boost happy chemicals

Slogging through a few miles on the ‘mill can be tough, but it’s worth the effort! Exercise releases endorphins, which create feelings of happiness and euphoria. Studies have shown that exercise can even alleviate symptoms among the clinically depressed . For this reason, docs recommend that people suffering from depression or anxiety (or those who are just feeling blue) pencil in plenty of gym time. In some cases, exercise can be just as effective as antidepressant pills in treating depression. Don’t worry if you’re not exactly the gym rat type — getting a happy buzz from working out for just 30 minutes a few times a week can instantly boost overall mood.

3. Improve self-confidence

Hop on the treadmill to look (and more importantly, feel) like a million bucks. On a very basic level, physical fitness can boost self-esteem and improve positive self-image. Regardless of weight, size, gender, or age, exercise can quickly elevate a person’s perception of his or her attractiveness, that is, self-worth  . How’s that for feeling the (self) love?

4. Enjoy the great outdoors

For an extra boost of self-love, take that workout outside. Exercising in the great outdoors can increase self-esteem even more . Find an outdoor workout that fits your style, whether it’s rock-climbing, hiking, renting a canoe, or just taking a jog in the park. Plus, all that Vitamin D acquired from soaking up the sun (while wearing sunscreen, of course!) can lessen the likelihood of experiencing depressive symptoms. Why book a spa day when a little fresh air and sunshine (and exercise) can work wonders for self-confidence and happiness?

5. Prevent cognitive decline

It’s unpleasant, but it’s true — as we get older, our brains get a little… hazy. As aging and degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s kill off brain cells, the noggin actually shrinks, losing many important brain functions in the process. While exercise and a healthy diet can’t “cure” Alzheimer’s, they can help shore up the brain against cognitive decline that begins after age 45 . Working out, especially between age 25 and 45, boosts the chemicals in the brain that support and prevent degeneration of the hippocampus, an important part of the brain for memory and learning.

6. Alleviate anxiety

Quick Q&A: Which is better at relieving anxiety — a warm bubble bath or a 20-minute jog? You might be surprised at the answer. The warm and fuzzy chemicals that are released during and after exercise can help people with anxiety disorders calm down. Hopping on the track or treadmill for some moderate-to-high intensity aerobic exercise (intervals, anyone?) can reduce anxiety sensitivity  . And we thought intervals were just a good way to burn calories!

7. Boost brainpower

Those buff lab rats might be smarter than we think. Various studies on mice and men have shown that cardiovascular exercise can create new brain cells (aka neurogenesis) and improve overall brain performance  . Ready to apply for a Nobel Prize? Studies suggest that a tough workout increases levels of a brain-derived protein (known as BDNF) in the body, believed to help with decision making, higher thinking, and learning. Smarty (spandex) pants, indeed.

8. Sharpen memory

Get ready to win big at Go Fish. Regular physical activity boosts memory and ability to learn new things. Getting sweaty increases production of cells in hippocampus responsible for memory and learning . For this reason, research has linked children’s brain development with level of physical fitness (take that, recess haters!). But exercise-based brainpower isn’t just for kids. Even if it’s not as fun as a game of Red Rover, working out can boost memory among grown-ups, too. A study showed that running sprints improved vocabulary retention among healthy adults .

9. Help control addiction

The brain releases dopamine, the “reward chemical” in response to any form of pleasure, be that exercise, sex, drugs, alcohol, or food. Unfortunately, some people become addicted to dopamine and dependent on the substances that produce it, like drugs or alcohol (and more rarely, food and sex). On the bright side, exercise can help in addiction recovery . Short exercise sessions can also effectively distract drug or alcohol addicts, making them de-prioritize cravings (at least in the short term)  . Working out when on the wagon has other benefits, too. Alcohol abuse disrupts many body processes, including circadian rhythms. As a result, alcoholics find they can’t fall asleep (or stay asleep) without drinking. Exercise can help reboot the body clock, helping people hit the hay at the right time.

10. Increase relaxation

Ever hit the hay after a long run or weight session at the gym? For some, a moderate workout can be the equivalent of a sleeping pill, even for people with insomnia . Moving around five to six hours before bedtime raises the body’s core temperature. When the body temp drops back to normal a few hours later, it signals the body that it’s time to sleep .

11. Get more done

Feeling uninspired in the cubicle? The solution might be just a short walk or jog away. Research shows that workers who take time for exercise on a regular basis are more productive and have more energy than their more sedentary peers  . While busy schedules can make it tough to squeeze in a gym session in the middle of the day, some experts believe that midday is the ideal time for a workout due to the body’s circadian rhythms.

12. Tap into creativity

Most people end a tough workout with a hot shower, but maybe we should be breaking out the colored pencils instead. A heart-pumping gym session can boost creativity for up to two hours afterwards . Supercharge post-workout inspiration by exercising outdoors and interacting with nature (see benefit #4) . Next time you need a burst of creative thinking, hit the trails for a long walk or run to refresh the body and the brain at the same time.

13. Inspire others

Whether it’s a pick-up game of soccer, a group class at the gym, or just a run with a friend, exercise rarely happens in a bubble. And that’s good news for all of us. Studies show that most people perform better on aerobic tests when paired up with a workout buddy . Pin it to inspiration or good old-fashioned competition, nobody wants to let the other person down. In fact, being part of a team is so powerful that it can actually raise athletes’ tolerances for pain . Even fitness beginners can inspire each other to push harder during a sweat session, so find a workout buddy and get moving! 

Working out can have positive effects far beyond the gym (and beach season). Gaining self-confidence, getting out of a funk, and even thinking smarter are some of the motivations to take time for exercise on a regular basis.

Terms of Vollyball

For volleyball players, this list of terms can come in handy, as it can teach them the basic terms used in the game. This knowledge is very important, no matter how good the player is or at what level he plays.

This guide will give you an elemental run down of the most commonly used and basic terms and definitions in volleyball. Any individual who wants to learn the sport or regularly watches it must be aware of these terms. The knowledge of these terms and rules will aid the person in understanding the game better and enjoying it at a higher level. Not knowing the meanings to these basic terms and definitions can confuse a person entirely, and it can utterly ruin the activity of watching a game of volleyball. This knowledge takes up even more importance for a person who is actually playing the game.

Guide of Basic Volleyball Terms

This is an alphabetical list, and it covers the basic terms that will come in handy at some point or the other during a volleyball match.

ACE: A serve that no player of the opposition team touches before it hits the ground. It results in a point for the server.

ASSIST: Setting the ball up for a teammate who attacks the ball and then scores a point. An assist is counted only if the very next shot results in a point.

ATTACK: The act of actually approaching the volleyball and hitting it, in order to gain a point.

ATTACKER: The person who attacks the ball. Also known as the HITTER or the SPIKER.

ATTACK LINE: Also known as the ’10 foot line’, it is 3 meters away from the net and is present on both sides of the court.

BACK ROW ATTACK: A move where a player behind the attack line hits the ball. At the moment when he jumps to hit the ball he must be behind the attack line.

BLOCK: An action where a spiker’s move is deflected back into his court by blocking the ball.

BALL HANDLING ERROR: The referee may call this error, if he notices that there has been a double hit, or a ball is thrown or lifted.

BUMP PASS: The action of clasping one’s fingers together and using the forearms to hit pass the ball to a teammate or over the net.

CENTER LINE: The line under the net that divides the entire court into 2 equal parts.

DECOY: A move in which the actual spiker of the ball is disguised. This takes the opposing team by surprise.

DIG: The act of reaching a ball spiked by the opponents and passing it to a teammate.

DOUBLE HIT: An illegal move that implies that the same player has touched the ball twice in succession.

FLOATER: A serve that has often been mis-hit and its direction cannot be predicted as there is no spin or rotation on the ball.

FOUL: Any illegal violation of the rules.

HIT: Act of jumping up and forcefully ‘spiking’ or hitting the ball to the opposing court.

JUMP SERVE: A method of service where the ball is flung in the air and the server jumps to strike it.

KILL: A move or a strike that results in the gaining of a point.

MINTONETTE: This is what volleyball was officially known as earlier. The name was created by William Morgan.

READY POSITION: The position and stance that any player takes just before hitting the ball.

RED CARD: A disqualification by the referee. This implies that either a player must leave the game, the team forfeits a point, or a team forfeits a serve.

ROTATION: After a server has made his serve, all the players rotate in a clockwise movement.

SERVE: The game starts when one player serves the ball from the end line of his side of the court, into the opposing teams half.

SERVICE ERROR: A wrong service. This occurs when the service hits the net, or does not cross the net, or the ball falls out-of-bounds or the server’s foot crosses the line while serving.

SETTER: The person who has the crucial second touch of the ball. The third touch will be by a spiker, and the setter must set up the ball in a nice way for the spiker. He is one of the most important offensive players in a volleyball team.

SIDE OUT: A situation where the receiving team wins the right to serve. This occurs either because they have won a point, or because the serving team committed an error.

YELLOW CARD: A warning issued to any player. This does not accompany a loss

This guide is applicable for the game of volleyball played at any level. Knowing these terms can be a major help to any individual, who is a beginner in the game, and also any person who has been playing the sport for many many years.

Foods That Can Maximize Your Exercise

It’s easy to envy the chiseled, uber-lean physiques of professional athletes and assume they subsist on protein powders, energy bars or other supplements to maintain their competition-ready shapes. But as a sports nutritionist who’s worked with numerous elite-level athletes including cyclists, swimmers, triathletes and CrossFit competitors, I know they achieve optimal results from consistently eating nutritious, real foods, like these 10 powerhouses:

 Salmon

To help your muscles recover faster after exercise, athletes pay attention to high-quality protein and anti-inflammatory compounds. It’s no surprise, then, that many athletes eat a lot of salmon, which is one of the best source of inflammation-reducing omega-3s. Three ounces of salmon provides more than 1,000 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids and 17 grams of protein for just 175 calories.

 Eggs

With 6 grams of protein in one large egg and all nine muscle-building essential amino acids, eggs are considered the gold-standard for quality protein. They’re one of the few food sources to provide leucine, considered the most essential amino acid for muscle protein synthesis. Research indicates that eating 20 to 30 grams of leucine-rich foods like eggs promotes muscle recovery and growth post-exercise. Eggs also provide 13 other essential nutrients, all for 70 calories per large egg.

Eat to win: An egg-based breakfast is a great option to keep your hunger in check well into your day. Post-workout, enjoy an egg salad sandwich or egg and potato scramble for the perfect combo of quality protein and carbs.

   Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is strained to make it thicker and more concentrated so it provides more protein per ounce than regular yogurt. A serving has about 20 to 25 grams of protein – equivalent to 4 ounces of lean beef – making it a post-workout must-have.

   Mangoes

If you’re most sore a day or two after workouts, eating more anti-inflammatory foods after exercise may help reduce pain, improve mobility and accelerate recovery. Mangoes contain several anti-inflammatory compounds, including vitamin C, beta carotene, gallic acid and gallotannins. A cup of mango packs in 100 percent of your daily vitamin C and 35 percent of your vitamin A for just 100 calories.

Eat to win: Enjoy mango salsa with meat, seafood or poultry to boost the absorption of iron. For breakfast, add sliced mango to your oatmeal or make this performance-enhancing chia-mango pudding.

   Oats

Many top athletes fuel up in the a.m. with a hearty bowl of oatmeal, muesli or overnight oats. Oats provide slow-to-digest complex carbohydrates and have a carb-to-protein ratio of 4 to 1 to help provide sustained energy. A cup has 150 calories, 27 carbs, 6 grams of protein and no added sugar. The combo of wholesome carbs and protein keeps athletes fuller, longer.

Eat to win: To start your day, enjoy oats with berries and Greek yogurt or nut butter. Overnight oats can be packed in your gym bag for a wholesome recovery meal. To up the protein for recovery, add in a dollop of nut butter or Greek yogurt.

   Pasta

Carbs are the body’s go-to fuel source for working muscles, and reams of research prove that getting an adequate amount of quality carbs in your diet can be a performance-enhancer. One study of marathon runners reported that those who ate more than 3 grams of carbohydrate per pound of body weight ran, on average, 13.4 percent faster than runners who ate fewer carbs. Pasta is favorite for professional athletes because it’s a nutrient-rich complex carb that provides steady energy, thanks to its low glycemic index. A cup of cooked pasta has 200 calories, 42 grams of complex carbs and 7 grams of protein.

   Pomegranates

More than 1,000 research articles document the benefits of pomegranates and its juice. Not only is it rich in vitamin C and potassium, preliminary research reveals that the antioxidants in the fruit are good for your muscles too. Results from two recent studies, for example, show that active people who drank pomegranate juice daily had improved muscle strength post-exercise.

Eat to win: Use pomegranate juice with fresh or frozen fruit, leafy greens and protein powder (or Greek yogurt) for a superfood recovery smoothie.

   Nut Butters

Nut butters provide long-lasting energy and have fueled many athletes on to win world championships and Olympic gold medals. The stick-to-the-ribs sandwich staples provide mostly unsaturated fat, but also have protein and B-vitamins, which help convert food into energy.

Eat to win: Use your favorite nut butter on toast, on top of oatmeal, blended into recovery smoothies or smeared on top of your favorite fruit.

Bananas

There are plenty of good reasons why most athletes love bananas. One study reported that eating half a banana every 15 minutes during a cycling time trial test was as effective as drinking a sports drink with the same carbohydrate content every 15 minutes. If you’re active, bananas are a great option to fuel your muscles while providing antioxidants and other nutrients that sports drinks lack – without any added sugars.

Eat to win: Enjoy bananas on their own or slice and eat them with toast, oatmeal or cereal before exercise or blend them into a recovery smoothie after your workout.

  Raspberries

Recent studies reveal that raspberries contain compounds that may boost the production of nitric oxide, which increases oxygen delivery to muscles. In addition to being fiber-rich, raspberries are also a top source of powerful antioxidants, including vitamin C, as well as anthocyanins and ellagitannins. Mounting evidence suggests they may increase your body’s antioxidant defense system. After strenuous endurance, strength training or high-intensity interval training like CrossFit, antioxidants may help repair muscle tissue damage and temper inflammation.

Eat to win: Whiz up an antioxidant-packed recovery smoothie made with affordable frozen raspberries (which are nutritionally on par with fresh), pomegranate juice, Greek yogurt or protein powder and baby greens.

Various Unusual Sports in the World

You have too much watched, played and heard about Football, Tennis, Basketball, Baseball,Rugby and Cricket. These mainstream sports attracts the most. However, there is more to sports than just hitting a ball. There are many unusual sports in the world that you might not have heard about or discovered. Here is our list of top 10 Unusual Sports. You probably don’t agree, but we choose this list with many unusual sports. Hope you will like it. How many of you have heard or played such kind of sports? Have a read and tell us in comments.

   Poohsticks

Poohsticks is a sport first mentioned in The House at Pooh Corner, a Winnie-the-Pooh book by A. A. Milne. It is a simple sport which may be played on any bridge over running water. Each player drops a stick on the upstream side of a bridge and the one whose stick first appears on the downstream side is the winner. The annual World Poohsticks Championships have been held at Day’s Lock on the River Thames in the UK, since 1984.

   Bed Racing

The sport of Bed Racing has been embraced by the people of the North Yorkshire Town of Knaresborough. The first race in 1965 was only open to Army, Navy and American Marines, but now the competition is open to anyone.The competitors race in teams of five, plus one on the bed. Each team must provide their own bed, decorated in the theme for the year. The bed runs on four wheels, but also need to be able to float. The 3km run race begins and ends at Conyngham Hall. About halfway through the run, the teams face the one-in-five gradient climb to Castle Top before it’s back down the hill and toward the final challenge – crossing a river.

   Zorbing

Zorbing is the recreation or sport of rolling downhill inside an orb, generally made of transparent plastic. Zorbing is generally performed on a gentle slope, but can also be done on a level surface, permitting more rider control. Though much of the publicity about this activity describe it as an extreme sport. I am not sure. It is quite extreme, but there is no competition about it, unless you compete with your friend about whether you will do it or not.

   Oil wrestling

Oil wrestling is held around the world, though one of the oldest competitions is in Kirkpinar, Edirne Turkey, held in June each year. The wrestling is part of a festival, dating back to 1357 celebrating an Ottoman victory. The contest, known as pehlivan covered in olive oil trying to wrestle the other to the ground – maybe not everyone’s idea of fun. Oil wrestling festivals also take place in northern Greece in the Eastern Macedonia and West Thrace. In recent years, this style of wrestling has also become popular in other countries, particularly the Netherlands and Japan.

   Extreme Ironing

Extreme Ironing is an extreme sport and a performance art. People who play this unusual sport go to a remote location and iron clothes! They call themselves ‘ironists’, and get a thrill from taking their ironing board, unplugged iron and some of their wrinkly clothes to some extreme places and photograph themselves doing it. Such places that they have reached include extreme altitude, underwater, hanging from cliffs, and on top of vehicles. According to the official website, extreme ironing is “the latest danger sport that combines the thrills of an extreme outdoor activity with the satisfaction of a well-pressed shirt.”

   Sports with no cloths

There is a lot of interest in people playing sport with no clothes on. Taking off your clothes to play some sports is not recommended, and watching it being played by some people may not be a good idea either. It is a social custom in most parts of the world for athletes to wear some clothing. Today, the main exception is in naturist-organised events, and some other events, such as the World Naked Bike Ride, in which people take part without cloths. There are also some cultures in the tropics today in which sports are played in the nude or partially nude. Some of most popular events in naked sport are the “international Alps Adria Meeting”, “International Nudist Swimming Gala” , “International Naturist Sports Week” , “Roskilde Festival” etc.

   Wife Carrying Competition

Wife carrying is a sport in which male competitors race while each carrying a female teammate. It is held annually in Finland in early July, and requires a man to negotiate a 253.5 m course while carrying their wife on their back. The course includes various surfaces and getting through dry land and water based obstacles. The prize to the winner is a mobile phone, and more importantly they also win their wife’s weight in beer.

   World Gurning Contest

A competition where the ugliest face wins. Gurning is apparently a word for pulling a face, and you probably are not surprised to know that there is a World Gurning Contest. Gurning competitions are originated in 1297 at the Egremont Crab Fair, in the UK. It makes sense then that as part of ‘Crab Fair’ in this part of the world they hold face pulling competitions to see who can make the ugliest face.

   Chess boxing

Chess boxing is a hybrid sport that combines chess with boxing in alternating rounds. The sport was invented by French artist and filmmaker Enki Bilal in his comic book Froid Équateur in 1992. The first real event of chess-boxing was organized by Dutch artist Iepe Rubingh in 2003. Chess boxing is a fast growing sport. The sport alternates between games of boxing and chess after each round – waiting for a checkmate or knockout to decide the match. A Chess Boxing match between two individuals lasts up to eleven rounds, starting with a four minute chess round and followed by two minutes of boxing.

   Bossaball

Bossaball is spectacular new and unusual sport invented in Spain by Filip Eyckmans who developed the concept 2004. It is similar to volleyball, but also includes elements of football, gymnastics and capoeira. The game played on a specially designed inflatable court with a circular trampoline on each side of a net. It is a ball game between two teams, each consisting of 3 to 5 players.