Maintain Proper Hydration During Your Marathon

Preparing for a marathon involves more than constant training so that you can push your physical endurance to the limits. You also need to learn how your body responds to the heat and stress of a marathon. That means finding out how much water or other liquids you should drink during your run.

Dehydration is a Major Problem for Marathon Runners

You don’t need a medical degree to know that most runners worry about dehydration. Unfortunately, they might worry about it enough. Runners collapse from dehydration at just about every major race in the country. Clearly, they haven’t consumed enough liquids.

Try mixing one part Gatorade or some other sports drink with one part water. Anyone who has taken online college courses in health can tell you that the salt in sports drinks allows the hydration to stay in your body instead of letting you sweat it out immediately. The calories can also help fuel your race.

Too Much Hydration?

In your quest to stay hydrated, don’t forget that you can have too much of a good thing. When a runner consumes so much water that her sodium levels fall, it results in a condition called hyponatremia.

Lest you think that you don’t need to worry about hyponatremia, remember that a woman died from the condition during the 2002 Boston Marathon. It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen.

Test your hydration limits by looking for signs of dehydration. Confusion, headaches, thirst, and dizziness can indicate the beginning of dehydration. Severe dehydration is marked by rapid heartbeat and breathing, lack of sweat and a very dry mouth. If you experience these symptoms, stop all physical activity and hydrate to keep yourself healthy.

 

  • Share/Bookmark

When to Invest in a Personal Trainer

Personal trainer showing a client how to exerc...

Image via Wikipedia

Sports require dedication and a certain level of fitness in order to achieve your goals. Through training and drills, you learn the skills needed for your particular sport. However, training alone does not condition your body for the necessary endurance and strength needed to play sports.

As per conducted surveys (through online survey software), there are three primary areas of fitness: muscle strengthening, core training, and aerobics. No matter what type of sport you play, whether it be gymnastics, track, or football, all three areas are essential to keeping your body in shape. Aerobics help build your overall activity endurance and help strengthen the heart and lungs. Muscle strengthening exercises help build muscle mass and stretch the body to increase flexibility. Core exercises encompass the strengthening of your back, hips, and stomach. A strong core is imperative for proper posture in sports and helps prevent sports-related injuries.

Taking these factors into consideration, it may seem daunting at first to know exactly what to do and how far you can reasonably push yourself while reaching your fitness goals. The key to increasing your fitness level is to gradually push your limits without over doing it. If you are not comfortable doing this on your own, or desire ways to maximize your fitness sessions in little time, you might consider hiring a personal trainer. You can find a local personal trainer by visiting http://www.411.ca.

Personal trainers can also help you customize your exercises based on the type of sports you play. For example, if you are a runner, you will need strong legs to help push you through to the next level. A trainer also keeps you accountable for all workouts. When you exercise alone, it is easy to skip out on a few minutes of exercise or reps. More importantly, a trainer will teach you proper techniques to avoid injuries. If you feel that a trainer can help assist you in meeting your sports and overall fitness goals, it is worth the investment.

  • Share/Bookmark

Strength Training and Sports

One crucial element in sports training is strength training. Strength training provides so many benefits for an athlete who’s in training, including conditioning your body, improving endurance, improving performance, and maximizing strength. These days we’re having online degree programs, for strength and sports training, one can join then if you have no time to go to a special trainer. There are several elements that you need to include in your strength training routine.

Hypertrophy is the increase in muscle bulk and size, and is an element that should be included in your program if you’re training for contact sports that require you to withstand aggressive body impact, such as football and wrestling. Other athletes could actually find this a hindrance, and will not want to focus a lot of their strength training on this element. One thing you should consider when working on hypertrophy is that a large muscle is not necessarily a strong muscle.

Maximal strength is the highest level of force that you can generate. Its importance also varies among sports. However, the decision is not whether it should be included in your routine or not, but rather how long you concentrate on it during your training period. It can improve your endurance performance, but does not lead to an increase in muscle hypertrophy.

Explosive power is a singular maximal effort you can put behind an action, such as lifting a certain amount of weight. Again, this is not so important in all sports, but can lay the foundation to increase your potential in power development.

Strength endurance is the amount of strength your muscles can hold, and again is less likely to be an important factor in most sports. By including some brief strength endurance exercises into your routine, you can, however, help improve the amount of strength you can maintain over a long period of time.

Periodization is the concept of dividing your overall training plan into brief phases or periods, each of which is supposed to have a specific outcome. It allows your sport-specific strength to peak at its proper time, while minimizing your risk of over-training.

  • Share/Bookmark

Proper Attire for Athletes

A pair of ASICS running shoes, model GEL-Kinsei

Image via Wikipedia

Sports equipment is not the only items needed by an athlete for training or performing. They also need to have the proper attire.  Much like anything from wearing the right work attire to having the best jewelry you purchased from JRDunn.com for a formal dinner event with the President, attire for athletes is also important.  However, for them it is much more of a performance issue.  In order to move properly, help keep their body temperature at the proper level, and to keep their muscles warm; what athletes wear during training and events is just as important with how well trained they are for the event.

If athletes’ muscles don’t stay warm enough, they’ll be tenser and have a lower blood supply than an athlete whose muscles are warmed well enough. They will also be more prone to injury. Athletes’ clothing should also let air through, and allow proper breathing so that heat can’t accumulate. Because heat is set free during exercise, it must be removed. At the same time, the clothing must absorb activated perspiration to regulate body heat.

While keeping the muscles warm enough and letting heat and perspiration exit, the athletes’ attire must also provide proper movement. This means finding a well-balanced uniform of light and comfortable, as well as warm or cool enough. Track suites are a good combination of both, and can even be worn while working out at home. If a track suite is not available, a pair of trousers and a sweater or a simple pair of sweats will work. Layering clothes, such as wearing light cotton shorts and a t-shirt under sweats, will help make transitioning from sitting on the bench to going out to the field and performing easier.

Once the proper attire is acquired, adding the proper accessories is the next important step. The proper foot attire is just as important as the proper clothing. There are different athletic shoes for different types of sports, and athletes should check with their trainers or footwear experts to find a pair that’s right for them. Once the right type is selected, athletes need to make sure the shoes fit properly. They shouldn’t be too loose or too tight.

  • Share/Bookmark

Equipment Requirements: Which Team Sport is the Most Expensive to Play?

Football shoulder pads.

Image via Wikipedia

Major team sports, including hockey, basketball, soccer, football, and baseball all require different equipment from clothing to gear. If you are new to a sport, the basics can seem astronomical in cost. It is not wise to base your choice of sport on cost.  But like it is good to hire a tax services company to be informed about how much you will have to pay for taxes, it is always good to know the facts on costs in case you wish to play multiple sports.

Football is the most expensive of team sports to play. For your safety, you are required to wear protective gear such as helmets and shoulder pads. You also need a uniform on top of that as well as gloves and cleats. Do not be surprised if even the most basic non-fancy football equipment runs $400 or more.

Hockey is similar in cost to football, as the protective gear is similar. Hockey skates are another expense. Although the skates themselves do not have to be replaced as often as shoes do, you will have to frequently have the blades sharpened to avoid accidents on the ice. Hockey sticks are usually provided by the team.

Baseball is not as expensive as the aforementioned team sports, because the only protective gear you really wear are helmets. Plus, you are not likely required to wear one throughout the entire game. Little leaguers may rotate helmets between batters to save costs. However, you will likely need to invest into your own fitted mitt and bat if you have a certain preference.

Basketball and soccer are generally the least expensive of team sports. Aside form uniforms, you need shoes for basketball and cleats for soccer. The type of footwear you can choose from ranges in price. For example, there are basketball shoes available for hundreds of dollars, but they are not necessarily as effective as an $80 pair.

Also keep in mind that the more you advance in a particular sport, the more you travel with your team. Depending on what level you are at, you may have to front the costs yourself.

  • Share/Bookmark

Skechers Shape Ups: Can Walking Shoes Improve Your Strength?

Skechers

Image via Wikipedia

“Shape-Ups” are a type of walking shoes made by Sketchers. Although there are other similar products available on the market, Shape-Ups are the most predominant type of walking shoe on the market as of 2010, due to the widely known brand Sketchers. Sketchers, like a popular piece of designer jewelry worn by Hollywood starlets,  is also a trendy brand, with its target market focused on teens and young adults.

The benefit of Shape-Ups lies in the sole. The rest of the shoe looks like a normal shoe, but the sole is thick and contoured to fit multiple walking areas, from a sidewalk to a dirt road. The sole is a type of wedge that contains shock absorbers that are designed for long-term walking without joint straining.

At first the shoe can make walkers feel off balance, due to the thickness of the wedge. Your walks will be more challenging than a regular shoe, but maybe not quite as dangerous as walking in six-inch heels. The more you walk in them you will increase your overall balance. This also helps you build core muscles to a certain degree. The shoes are also designed to tone your calves, glutes, and quadriceps.

Walkers should get used to these shoes before wearing them over long periods of time. Failure to do so can cause knee pain and muscle strains. Also make sure that you stretch before and after use. Avoid heavy use if you are new to the shoe.

Although this walking shoe may have its benefits, it is not designed for trained athletes, but more for individuals who are newer to exercise and want to get a kick-start. If you do decide to try out the shoes, do not wear them for long distances to start. You may need to break them in, just like any other shoes. Discontinue wearing if you feel strain in the knees or experience extreme muscle aches.

  • Share/Bookmark