Wearing a Body Protector for Horse Riding

Sport Horse RidingWhy should I wear a body protector?

Body protectors are foam filled vests that reduce the impact to the back and chest should you fall off a horse, or get kicked or trodden on by a horse. Although wearing one will not prevent injury, it can significantly cushion an impact and reduce its severity. They can be worn over clothing and under a jacket, and these days tend to be flexible and lightweight. They are obligatory for some competitions, but are increasingly seen for everyday riding, especially for hacking and jumping.

There are three levels of body protector, set out by the BETA standards to which all body protectors must adhere, and are colour coded by label:

Level 1 (Black label) – This offers the lowest level of protection and is only appropriate for licensed jockeys while racing.

Level 2 (Brown label) – This offers a lower than normal level of protection and is therefore only considered suitable for low risk situations. It is not suitable for jumping or riding on roads.

Level 3 (Purple label) – This is considered appropriate for general horse riding and competitions.

You can also buy additional shoulder protection which reduces the risk of breaking your collarbone should you fall on your shoulder.

How should it be fitted?

A good fit is vital for both comfort and safety. A body protector should fit securely and snugly over light clothing, and should not move while riding. Over time, it will mould itself to the rider’s body shape and become increasingly comfortable.

There are four measurements required to achieve the correct fit: the chest, waist, waist to waist measurement over the shoulder and the back length. The size can then be selected on the chest and waist measurements, and the length on back and over the shoulder length.

When trying it on, the protector should cover the whole circumference of the torso and reach at least 2.5cm below the rib cage without preventing bending into a riding position. There are several fasteners to adjust the fit. If coloured tabs are showing when the fasteners are closed, the fit is not quite right and another size is required.

How should I look after my body protector?

Body protectors should be changed every three to four years to ensure they’re still effective as over time the impact absorption properties of the foam may start to diminish. Should you fall or get kicked, make sure you check it all over fully to ensure it’s not damaged. Foam should expand back to its shape within about thirty minutes. If it doesn’t, the foam is damaged and the body protector should be replaced. Some damage may be unseen, and for this reason it is unwise to get a second hand one that you don’t know the history of.

Look after your body protector by not leaving it hanging around to get trodden on or too hot or damp. When you’re not using it, hang it on a hanger with all fastenings closed to ensure it keeps its shape.

Basketball – Vertical Jump Training

Sport Vertical JumoWhy would you want to jump higher? Well if you play a sport like basketball or volleyball, it can turn you from an average player to the best player on the team. Basketball players tend to look just at the surface of this, and that’s dunking. What you need to understand is that there is much more that comes with this ability. Yes you get the dunking, but it also gives you an incredible amount of confidence on the court. Even if you don’t get the dunk, you’ll still be able to rise over the competition to score! Maybe if you’re more of a shooter, you’ll be able to get the shot off without getting blocked. If you’re not freakishly tall like most basketball players, you can still do the things they get to do by jumping higher.

The common question is “how can I increase my vertical leap?” and the expected answer is “Oh easy, just do ____”

Unfortunately, it isn’t that easy. It’s still simple, but there’s no quick solution. With the proper exercise and nutrition, anyone can jump higher. But what exercises do you do, how often do you do them, and what do you eat? Here’s a starters plan

First day

(sets by reps)

Pistol squats (3x 10)

Depth jumps (3 x 15)

Rim Jumps (4 x 10)

Second day

Bulgarian split squats (3 x 10)

Chair rockets (4 x 15)

Lunge jumps (3 x 15)

(You should alternate day 1 and day 2 every two to three days, depending on what your body is telling you i.e. soreness)

This would a good place to start. Just make sure you’re eating the proper diet afterwards! If you don’t know what to eat, you should look into muscle building nutrition, it’s very basic stuff, but I’ll explain the surface.

Muscle building involves tearing down micro fibres in order to rebuild them stronger than before. So to rebuild them, you need protein. Not only that, there are many other foods you should be eating to speed the process up, and many other foods you should be avoiding that could be hindering your success. Some of these foods are sugar, saturated fats, and according to some individuals, gluten. Stay away from these and eat foods like salmon, broccoli and bananas and you should be good to go. Other than that, stay away from soda drinks and replenish your body with water before and after your workouts.

If you do these exercises and eat the right things, you should start seeing results and begin jumping higher than you ever expected soon.

Now you’re a master! Well, almost. This will help you gain inches to your vertical jump, but you can visit: How To Jump Higher on more, and really reach your potential.

Muscle Strength Training

Nowadays, it is widely accepted that muscle strength training is the most important factor for building solid muscle, lose fat, increase endurance and in general promote good health.

Before we start, let us define strength training. It is the exercise method in which we increase or maximize our physical strength. It is divided in two subcategories:

a) Strength Training and Muscle Build

b) Strength Training without Body-weight Increase

Lets us start from the second category. Strength training without body-weight increase is referred to athletes who use strength to accomplish their goals. They increase their strength through their sport activity without adding a remarkable amount of weight to their bodies. For example, bikers, swimmers hikers, footballers etch are exercising to increase their strength, but only as a mean to achieve their goals.

On the other hand, strength in weight lifting and bodybuilding is obtained through mass adding and muscle-building. Strength training in bodybuilding is most of the time a part of an annual periodic schedule.

Another question would be why is strength so important? Here are a few reasons:

1) Increased Endurance

It has been scientifically proven that strength training increases endurance. Better endurance means longer quality workouts, which is what we all aim for.

2) More Muscle

Being stronger means lifting more and lifting more simply means more muscle. Those two factors are closely related. Developing strength inevitably leads to adding more lean muscle.

3) Strength Builds Self-Confidence

When you are physically strong you will also feel mentally strong. Stronger people are much more self-confident and self-discipline and this helps achieving their goals much easier.

4) Losing Fat

I left the best for last. What many people aren’t aware of is that working on your strength is the best way to lose fat! It helps increase your metabolism and therefore lose weight easier.

After pinpointing some of the benefits of muscle strength training, let us see how we can build up our strength:

a) Try Reaching your Limits

Give your strength an extra boost by performing one or two reps more than you normally do.

b) More Reps Less Weight

This is the best training method to increase your strength. Keep your rep range at 10 to 12 and the weight load at 70% of your maximum lift.

c) More Speed

Perform the exercises quicker in order to involve more muscle fibers for the movement. More muscle fibers involvement ultimately leads to strength increase.

Muscle strength training is obligatory for any athlete regardless of the sport activity he is into. It is the basic element for any muscle or physique development.

Keep those muscles pumping!

The Importance of Sportsmanship for Children

For as long as human beings have been alive, there has also been a system for awarding recognition for people who have excelled in their particular field.

One of the premier events in the entire sporting world is the Olympics. The Olympics are every four years; they are seen as the pinnacle of the sporting world. Athletes who can reach the Olympics and win are awarded with gold, silver, or a bronze medal, depending on which place they came in.

The motivation for these kinds of achievements starts very early in school. Children can participate in the different kinds of sports that the school provides. Some of the most common sports that are popular in the country are football, baseball, basketball, ice hockey and soccer. All of these sports are very common and can be played all across the country and every year. Many children begin playing these sports in the hopes of going on to become the next big thing in the sports world.

It is important for schools to encourage their students to participate in sports. School is not just the time for studying. It is the time for children make friends, learn how to deal with victory and loss, and learn the importance of teamwork. Academics alone cannot teach them this; this is what sports can teach children.

Many children miss out on the importance of fair play when they don’t get to participate in sports. Fair play can help to teach them about how important it can be to lose something. This can motivate them to improve themselves. As a result, they can become more mature as a person. If a child is only used to getting what they want, it can be difficult for them to adjust.

The School can also become very stressful to deal with at times. The pressure of studies and keeping up with a syllabus that is constantly progressing can also become very hard for some students. This can cause them to feel dissatisfied with school. With sports, many of them can release this pent up frustration and they can find a healthy outlet.

When a child wins an award, it can give them a sense of pride. Additionally, if a child loses in a game, there are often participation awards. This can be beneficial, as well, because it can encourage the feeling of sportsmanship and participation.

There are many discount medals that different suppliers can provide children’s sports teams with. IT is important for all children to feel as though they are a part of a team, so that they can learn to work with others. When they receive a medal, they can feel that they are a part of something bigger than themselves.

However, there are many different ways that a school’s financial difficulties can be dealt with. For example, a supplier of discount medals can provide the schools with many medals at an affordable price.

Safe and Ready for Mountain Climbing Part II

In our previous article, we talked about four practical tips which you can religiously consider if you want to have a safe and enjoyable experience on mountain climbing.

In the said article, we particularly cited we particularly cited about climbing the highest peak in a country as among the most sought-after destinations when it comes to this kind of outdoor activity. For the second part of the article, we will discuss about six other tips which will help you be prepared even more for that awesome climb that you have been planning about.

So check on the following tips for that great trekking adventure:

1. Let there be light. You can never be sure that when you climb up during day time, your way will be bright enough. With the many trees and boulders, there is a chance that your path will be dark. Also, you will surely still be there even during nighttime. With this situation, you need to bring with you some flashlights or headlamps. These are important trekking gear. Do not forget that.

2. A first aid kit in your things is also a must. When you are outdoors for mountain climbing, there is a risk of getting into accidents and suffer from cuts and bruises. Include in your first aid kit adhesive bandage and tape, antibiotic ointment, pain killers, and a small bottle of hydrogen peroxide or iodine antiseptic.

3. Avoid getting dehydrated, so bring enough water. When you are trekking towards the summit of a mountain, getting thirsty is certainly an inevitable occurrence. Therefore, you need to bring with you plenty of water.

4. Have your savior at hand – duct tape! It has always been an advise by experts that a roll of duct tape can be your best friend as it helps you save anything that is broken. For instance, if it was an extra windy night and a portion of your tent got torn, just get a duct tape and seal the damaged with it. Viola! Your tent is fixed.

5. Enjoy the climb. Trekking is not all about conquering the peak of a mountain. It is also about enjoying every site and sound that you encounter on your way up. Thus, you need to enjoy the scenery and the flora and fauna that you get to see as you move your feet and butt towards the top.

6. Be a responsible climber. Whatever it is that you bring with you in going up, you need to bring them back to where you came from. This means that everything, including your trash, must not be left up there.

Enjoy your mountain climbing experience!

La Liga Rules in Regards to Transfer, Promotion, Relegation & Non-EU Players

La Liga refers to the first division Spanish League. The top professional football league in Spain is officially called as Liga BBVA for the reason of sponsorship. It is one of the most professional and exciting leagues in Europe, attracting some best football talents from all over the globe.

Just like any other leagues, La Liga is also guided by some strict rules and regulations regarding promotional and relegation of the clubs as well as how many non-EU players can play in the league. Let us take a quick glance over the La Liga rules.

Rules of Promotion-Relegation

Every year, 20 teams take part in the competition. The three teams finishing at the bottom of the league table are relegated to the 2nd division of the Spanish league system, with the top two rankers in the immediately lower division and the winner in a play-off replacing the relegated clubs.

Inclusion of Non-EU Players

There is an upper cap in regards to retaining of non-EU players in this top-most division of Spanish league. In La Liga, every team is allowed to retain a maximum of three offshore players. Even in the second division, each participating clubs can keep hold of only 2 players. If any La Liga club is relegated to the lower division, it is allowed to keep hold of the same number of foreign players until their contracts are expired.

What does it mean by “Non-EU”? The phrase has been repeated many times following several verdicts from the European Court of Justice. According to a decision adopted by the Spanish Federation in this regard, the participating La Liga teams are entitled to make the best use of the rules and bring many foreign players to their squad.

Claim of Citizenship

The foreign players are allowed to apply for Spanish citizenship from the countries where their ancestors descended from. In La Liga, a non-EU player can claim for Spanish Citizenship if he has played in Spain for at least, five years and it may result into triple citizenship. Let us give you an example. Leo Franco was born in Argentina and has Italian ancestry. He is capable of applying for Spain citizenship, having played in the country for more than five years.

The players arriving from the ACP countries including Africa, the Caribbean and Pacific, are not considered against the Non-EU category as per the Kolpak ruling.

Breach of Rules & Conduct

All the La Liga clubs are required to abide by the rules and regulations as clearly specified by the highest authority in the Spanish football league system that, in turn, ensures compatibility with the guidelines made by FIFA, the governing body of football in the world. In recent times, Barcelona have been handed punishment by FIFA for failing to conform to the rules regarding transfer of the players after allegation of transfer of the under-age players (below 18).

The defending La Liga champions are not allowed to play any new player until January of 2016. The club applied against the ban but it was not lifted. However, they have been allowed to sell players during the time of transfer ban.

How to Train for a Marathon?

Today more and more runners are running marathons with different levels of success. What makes an individual successful and another struggle continuously at marathon distance? Training plans are a big part of the equation; it is fundamental that runners establish one and stick to it as much as possible during the period that encompasses the preparation for the race.

Among several marathon training plans that are available on the Web, the runner should be careful before embarking on one of it. How to manage mileage along the different parts of the plan should be treated with a lot of care. Marathon preparation requires the runner go through a lot of kilometers pounding the pavement, but this cannot be a one day to another feat. Ramping up mileage must be a cautious process: increase of weekly mileage from one week to another requires subtle and delicate interpretation of past training history, the state of freshness, years of practice and so on.

Then you should determine what your peak mileage should be; this is the higher mileage you project to attain during the pre-competition phase of the plan (approximately ten weeks before the race). This peak mileage is then useful to define each week mileage individually. Notice a good rule of thumb regarding weekly mileage is to insert a recovery week every three weeks. That means you should do three weeks near peak mileage then go through a week with a fifteen percent reduced volume for example. Then you resume your training near peak mileage for three weeks and so on.

Several periods called mesocycles dedicated to developing specific capabilities compose a sound training plan. Speed, strength and endurance for the base period, lactate threshold and speed endurance during the pre-competition phase, strength endurance, and race-specific pace during competition phase.

Finally, taper phase is the opportunity to sharpen fitness while giving the body ample time to recover from hard work executed during training plan. You should decrease volume and eventually elevate intensity a little. The objective is to “make you hungry”, willing to race at your best both physically and psychologically.

A good marathon training plan is a great way to maintain discipline, momentum and enthusiasm along the hard path leading to the race. It allows to focus on the process and to obtain this sense of accomplishment that, whatever the race result, makes you feel you have done the best you could, committed to the plan, day in, day out.