Monthly Archives: July 2016

Skateboarding for Beginners

You have seen your friends riding their skateboards and doing tricks so easily. Even you want to join them. But unfortunately, not only do you not have the right gear, but you also do not know how and where to start. Don’t be disheartened. Given below are some simple steps to help you out. Go through them and you will be a champ in no time.

Essential Gear

Before you step onto that skateboard, there are certain things you need to have in order to protect yourself from getting hurt when you fall down, which is bound to happen. While learning to skate, or even when you are an expert in this sport, you need to wear protective gear for your own safety. The first thing that you need is a good pair of skate shoes. If you want, you can also skate wearing your regular shoes, but they will be a lot harder and may sometimes prove dangerous. So, it’s best that you get the best skating shoes available. They have a large, flat bottom, which grips the skateboard better.

Never forget to wear your helmet. Do not think that people who wear helmets are delicate. Not at all. The helmet protects your head from major injuries when you fall down. So, it’s mandatory that you wear your helmet whenever you are skating.

The other thing that you need is protective pads. But that depends on what you are doing. If you are skateboarding on a driveway, then you need elbow pads. But if you are doing tricks on the ramp, then you need knee pads. They protect your elbows and knees if and when you fall down.

Of course, the final thing you need is a good skateboard. It’s better that you buy a cheap one first when you are just learning, because the expensive ones are good, but they are too fast, so it will be difficult to learn to skateboard. Also, sometime later, if you do not feel like skateboarding, then it might be just lying around, thus a waste of money.

Useful Tips

Now that you have all the gear in place, let us see how to use the skateboard.

Regular or Goofy
You now have to decide what your skateboard stances are; regular or goofy footed. By goofy we mean that you skate with your right foot forward, and by regular we mean that you skate with your left foot forward. Most right-handed people are regular footed, while it’s the opposite for left-handed people. But there are various ways to find out whether you are regular or goofy. Kick a ball, note the leg with which you kicked it. That foot is your back foot, i.e., it goes to the back while you are skating. With the other, you balance yourself on the board. Another trick to know your stance is to go climb a flight of stairs. The first foot that you put out while climbing up is your back foot.

Balancing
The first thing that you need to know is to stand on the skateboard. You have to get comfortable with the skateboard before you perform any tricks on it. Place the board on the grass or on the carpeted floor, and try and stand on it. Try balancing only on the front or back wheels. Move your feet in different positions, in order to get used to the size of the board.

First Ride
Once you have decided on the stance, take the board to a more concrete area and set it down. Make sure there are no cars or people you might bump into. Put your front foot (whichever foot it is) on the front truck, or just a little behind it. Now, with your back foot, push off, so that your skateboard moves. Once you start moving, put your back foot back on the board. If you feel that you are slowing down, use the back foot again to push off. If you want to turn while you are on the board, just lean in the direction you want to turn. But this will only turn you slowly. The best way to turn is, just for a few seconds balance on the back wheels and then swing your front wheels in the direction you want to turn to. Sounds difficult, but with practice, you will learn how to skateboard well. Keep doing this quite frequently. Do not try any tricks until and unless you are absolutely comfortable on the board, and the risk of falling down or hitting others reduces.

Stop It!
You now know how to start a skateboard, well and good. But how do you stop a moving skateboard? Well, there are several ways in which you can do this, the first one being foot breaking. This is the easiest way to stop a skateboard. Just take your back foot off the board and drag it on the ground. It needs some practice and focus. The second step is heel drag, where you put the heel of your back foot out, in such a way that it sticks out of the back of the board. Now lean back in a way so that the front of the board goes up in the air, but your front foot should remain on the board, and then step down on your heel. Drag it for a short distance and then stop. This step will need some practice, and it’s usually recommended that beginners do not try this till they are totally comfortable with the board. Bail is the next way to stop when all the other steps fails. Keep your knees bent while riding, then it will be easier for you to jump. Try and jump forward, then your skateboard stops automatically. Try all your steps on a cheap skateboard.

Try, Try and Try Again
Another important tip is that never give up. No one can be an expert with just one try. If you give up the moment you fall down, thinking that you cannot do it, then you are wrong. You fell down, get up and try again; if you fall down again, get up again. Only then will you learn how to skateboard. Never give up. But first learn the basics, tricks and techniques will follow later.

Tips Running for Women

Cardiovascular exercises such as running and jogging have immense health benefits on the human body. As women age, they require a good exercise routine to keep fit, and to prevent several health problems that they are prone to. As such, some running tips have been presented in this article, which can contribute to overall fitness and a healthy lifestyle.

Why Running is Important
Before you begin running, take a look at why it is so important for you.

  • It is a universally known fact that running plays a very important and effective role in weight loss. Not only that, it helps build up stamina, and increases the basic metabolic rate of the body.
  • Running on a regular basis can help strengthen the body joints, which tend to degenerate in the process of aging. Running keeps them moving and strong. If you think that running is a cause of knee problems, it is so only because your knees are already weak. In order to keep them going, and prevent the onset of problems such as osteoarthritis, running regularly is a good solution.
  • Runners swear by the stress-busting powers of running and jogging. It loosens the tension accumulated all over the body, and enhances clarity of thought. Notice the ‘high’ you feel after a good run. It has also been used as part of treatment for clinical depression and drug rehabilitation.
  • The risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and cancer can be reduced by running. It also controls blood pressure, and enhances the body’s immunity to various diseases. All this means you’re definitely going to live longer and better.

Do you still need more reasons to get into those shoes and head out for a run?

Tips for Women Runners
Take a look at these tips to be able to make running a part of your daily routine.

  • Before you begin running, ensure that you warm up. A warm up is very essential, as it prevents the sudden shock that the body might receive on being subjected to sudden vigorous exercise. Moreover, beginning suddenly will also make you prone to an injury of the knees. Warming up elevates the heart rate and prepares the body for further exercise. Warm up with a brisk walk or by jogging.
  • Wear appropriate gear for running. That means comfortable clothes, a well-fitting sports bra, and more importantly, comfortable shoes. Wearing the wrong shoes can definitely give you a good excuse to stop running. Have your shoe size checked, buy the right pair, and wear them with thick cotton socks.
  • Don’t try to run a long distance immediately. Initially, run only as much as your body allows you to. Slowly increase the time and the distance. This is an effective way of building up your resistance and stamina. Don’t overwork your body, as it will demoralize you if you are unable to meet your own high expectations.
  • Run on an even surface, such as grass or a specific running track. An uneven track is not only going to hurt your feet, but can also result in injury of the joints, mainly the knees.
  • An interesting way to spice up your running program is to do it with a partner, or with some music. Running to beats is a great way to attain a good rhythm and speed. Listen to fast music to get you into the groove. We all know the benefits of group workouts. The results are better when you have someone to motivate you all the time.
  • Ensure that you perform a good stretching routine or practice some yoga later on to loosen those tight muscles, and tone the body.
  • It is also important that you give your body adequate nutrition and rest. The human body is very sensitive to these factors, which we generally tend to ignore. However, it is only when you pay attention to these ‘little’ factors that will you be able to notice the overall difference it is making in your lifestyle. As such, a combination of a healthy diet, adequate rest, and good exercise is the key to a healthy life.

Tips When Buying Walking Shoes For Men

Best walking shoes for men have all the features that can be seen in running shoes, light hikers or train-running shoes. The only thing that sets walking shoes apart from other types of shoes is that they are casual shoes. If you are going to buy walking shoes for the first time, below are a few things you should keep in mind.

Walking style

You have a lot of options at your disposal if you want to go for a pair of shoes for casual wear. Ideally, you should buy one that will meet your needs. For instance, if you often walk on pavement, casual or multisport shoes will be an ideal choice. For dirt roads, on the other hand, you may want to buy a light hiker.

Flexibility and support

How can you gauge the flexibility and support of the shoes you want to buy? You just need to run two tests:

  • Bend the toe of a shoe upward and spot the point where it bends. Ideally, the shoe will be flexible enough if it bends just under the ball of your foot.
  • Next, hold the shoe in your hand and twist its sole from the toe to heel. What does the sole of the shoe feel like? You should feel that the shoe resists to your twisting. While walking, the shoe should slightly resist under your feet.

Waterproofing

If you are looking for a waterproof pair of shoes, trail running shoes may be a good option, as they feature waterproof uppers, ample support and sturdy soles.

Cushioning

Walking exerts less stress on your feet than running. So, the heel of the walking shoes should not have as much cushioning as running shoes. However, walking shoes have cushioning under the balls of your feet.

Shoe Fit    

Shoes that don’t fit properly may cause blisters on your heel or bruises on your toenails. As a matter of fact, fit is much more important than all other factors. You won’t be able to walk properly if the shoes don’t fit you. So, try out a few shoes and then go for the one that fits you perfectly. Do not compromise on this factor or you won’t be able to wear your shoes for more than a few days. Walking will become a pain for you.

Shoe weight

If you are trying to improve your fitness level, go for a pair of shoes that is low weight and provides as much support as running shoes. While running shoes are good for linear motion, you can’t use them for activities requiring sudden side-to-side motion.

Price

Good walking shoes may cost you a bit more, but make sure you go for a popular brand. Quality shoes often stand the test of time saving you a good deal of money in the long run.

So, these are a few consideration if you are going to buy a new pair of walking shoes. Keep these tips in mind and you will be able to buy the best shoes.

Tips Play Tennis for Beginners

For those of you who do not know much about tennis or are just beginning to learn the basics, we’ll cover everything from the equipment to the playing part. First though, we will only mention the obvious points, like you do need a tennis court (or somewhere similar to play), a person to play with, a tennis racket, and a ball. Initially, a net is optional if you are just learning to hit the ball to the other person, but for any real game, it would be a necessity, and these items are all available at any local sports store, or for rent at a recreation area for a minor fee.

Tennis Equipment

The balls used in tennis can either be yellow, green or white. Though, in almost all official matches, yellow balls are used. The racket used is around 27″ in size. The strings of the racket should have all its stitches attached and unbroken, and cannot have any energy source attached which can affect the play. Neither can the strings have more than one set of stringed patterns on the racket. Shorts and a T-shirt for men, and shorts/skirt and a T-shirt/top for women is the normal dress worn in tennis matches. Generally, tennis outfits are white because they reflect the sun better, and are thus cooler. Although, in the past decade, many famous tennis players have been wearing other colors too. It is best to wear what is comfortable for you while playing, whether it is tight or loose. As far as shoes are concerned, proper tennis shoes should be worn, as jogging and walking shoes are not the best bet for playing this game. As opposed to running shoes, tennis shoes are made to withstand side-to-side movement and not just forward steps. Women, because they generally arch higher than men, should take care to get shoes with more arch support. Socks should be thick and absorbent in order to absorb sweat and thereby prevent infections such as athlete’s foot or other various infections. Shoes may differ according to the kind of surface the game is being played on. Surfaces are usually clay court, grass court, hard court, or even wooden court.

Some other important things about the equipment – The grip must fit right or it will hurt. To measure the correct grip size: hold out the hand that you will be holding the racket with, hold it palm-side up and measure from the crease to the tip of the ring finger, and that is the measurement around the handle. Generally, this is around 4 inches in diameter. Of course it is usually a bit bigger for men and older players than for women and younger players. It is important to maintain the grip, because should it wear out, it could be dangerous.

Tennis Scoring

A tennis match consists of either best of 3 or best of 5 sets. A player needs to win at least 6 games, with a difference of 2, to win a set. In case both players end up winning 6 games each, a tiebreak comes into effect. In a tiebreak, the first player to win 7 points wins the tiebreak. Again, this needs to be won with a difference of 2 points. Among the major tournaments, only Wimbledon does not enforce this tiebreak rule, if it is the deciding set.

For the games, the scoring of points goes like – 1st point: score reads 15, 2nd point: score reads 30, 3rd point: score reads 40, and the 4th points wins you the game. Again, a game can only be won if the point difference is at least 2. For example, if both players are 40:40 (deuce), then they continue playing till one player has won 2 points more than his opponent.

Tennis Court

A standard tennis court is 78 feet long and 27 feet wide. This dimension is used for a singles match. For doubles, the length remains the same, while the width increases to 36 feet. The court is divided equally into two halves by the net, making each side the dimension of 39 feet long and 27 feet wide for singles, and 39 feet long and 36 feet wide for doubles. The net is in the center of the court supported by 2 poles on either side, which cannot be more than 6 inches in diameter. The height of the net is three and a half feet at the sides, while at the center it is three feet. The net needs to start from at least three feet outside the sideline, both for singles and doubles. Since a lot of running and retrieving is involved during play, there should be ample space around the playing court too. A total area of 120 feet in length and 60 feet in width is ideal.

Rules of Tennis for Beginners

Coming to the rules of tennis, first, let us assume that we’re talking about a singles match being played. The winner in the coin toss gets to decide whether he wants to serve or choose the side of play. The first serve needs to be taken from the right half of the court, from behind the baseline, and the ball needs to be tossed in the air for the serve. No part of the foot should touch the baseline until the serve is complete. The receiver has to stand on the diagonal side on his half of the court, though he is allowed to stand behind or inside the baseline too, whichever he chooses fit. The serve should land in the service box, which is the square area just after the net on the opposite side of the court. The serve needs to be retaken if it lands outside the service box or into the net. This is called a fault, and a double-fault results in the loss of a point. After this serve has been returned, players can then hit and return the ball after one bounce in their side of the court, or even directly without letting it bounce. The next serve is taken from the left side of the court, and this sequence continues till the end of the game.

A point is won if the opponent cannot return the ball, the opponent hits the ball into the net on his side, the opponent’s return goes outside the sideline or the baseline on your side of the court, if you hit the ball and the opponent cannot get to it, and even if the opponent touches the net or comes into your side of the court. After this, 20 seconds is the maximum time allowed for the server to start the next point. Balls that land on any part of a sideline or baseline are considered to be in, and play continues.

In a doubles match, all players serve turn-by-turn each game. That means, the same player gets to serve again every fifth game. Just like in singles, the first serve is taken from the right half of the court, and then the left. The two players in the serving team thus switch sides every point, while the players in the receiving team do not, which means that the player receiving each serve changes for every point. Once the serve is taken and returned, players can then go to any part of the court, hit the ball after one or without a bounce, and any player from each team can return the ball, meaning, from then on, no sequence needs to be followed in the course of the point.