Can Choosing the Wrong Bicycle Effect Your Health?

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The human body needs regular physical activity to remain in top shape. Finding time to set aside for exercise can be a tricky task for most people due to their busy work schedules. An easy way to include some exercise without having to go out of the way to tweak one’s routine is to cycle to and from work.

Once people get into the habit of cycling regularly, they often get hooked and even tend to go on cycling trips for their weekend getaways. Cycling is a form of physical exercise that has many benefits. These long-term advantages include:

  • Increased cardiovascular efficiency
  • Improved overall muscle strength
  • Increased stamina

But despite the many physical advantages and the accompanying improved mental health that cycling brings about, it unfortunately still has its downsides. These negative effects can be further exacerbated due to people unknowingly choosing the wrong type of bicycle.

While the negative effects of biking are far outweighed by the positive ones, it is still better to not simply ignore them. One way to prevent them is by choosing the right kind of bike. This can go a long way in ensuring that unnecessary health risks are mitigated before they can manifest into long term debilitating issues.

If you are a newbie considering taking up cycling as a hobby, then you must acquaint yourself with the health risks that may stem from using the wrong type of equipment. So, in this post we will discuss at length the few ways in which choosing the wrong bicycle can affect your health and the various kinds of bicycles including hybrid bike to opt for to mitigate that.

1. Bad posture leading to chronic back pain

Cycling for long periods of time or even moderate duration too often results in you having to stay seated in a stooped position for a while. This may cause you to develop an unnatural forward bend in your posture. Bad postures are the most common root of chronic back pain that often lead to a lifetime’s worth of discomfort.

There are many new types of bicycles currently available in physical as well as online stores that are designed to ensure that your stance remains upright throughout your ride. They have the perfect proportions in terms of the distance of the seat from the handles and the pedals to generate the right balanced stance in the rider.

2. Erectile dysfunction in men

Sitting on bikes for long periods of time and traveling through rocky terrains and bumpy trails can inflict a considerable amount of force and damage to the delicate male genitalia. In some severe cases, this may even cause erectile dysfunction and sterility. This is obviously a pretty severe problem and though not very common, preventive steps are still a must.

One way to mitigate this problem is to choose a bike that comes with comfort-giving padded seats and suspension posts to better support the seats. This ensures that the seats are able to absorb most of the shock from bumps while riding on uneven roads. Thus, the right bicycle can to a great extent, help prevent this injurious outcome.

3. Overuse of knee joints can lead to injury

Professional and even amateur cyclists can often get hooked to the adrenaline rush that biking can produce. While there are many natural supplements that people can try out to better stimulate and extend their biking experience, cycling can often lead to bikers suffering injuries.

Over working any part of the body is physically harmful. Biking consists of a lot of repetitive motions of the legs. This leads to overuse of the knee joints as well as the leg muscles causing injuries and painful cramps. To prevent this issue, choose a bike that comes with suspension posts supporting the seats that absorbs jarring shocks to the knees.

Thus, it is evident that while cycling is very beneficial to a person’s physical as well as mental well being, it also comes with its fair share of negative effects. If left unchecked and allowed to continue unmitigated, these may develop into chronic issues with the potential to cause long-term detriment to the biker’s overall health. But as discussed in the previous paragraphs, these problems can also all be easily fixed by just choosing the right bicycle. So follow our tips a happy biking experience!

Call yourself a tennis fan? 5 freaky tennis facts you didn’t know

We all know that a game of tennis provides a terrific cross-training cardio workout, improves flexibility, co-ordination and bone health, along with burning calories and fat. If you’ve never played and want to give tennis a go, perhaps inspired by watching the great and good play at Wimbledon, there are many local clubs that specialise in tennis coaching, such as this one.

But did you know that it is also responsible for generating some fascinating facts since it was invented centuries ago?

Fact 1: No rackets required

When tennis was first played in the 11th or 12th century there were no rackets involved at all. Players hit the ball – which was originally white – with the palms of their hands, earning it the name jeu de paume (game of the palm) and its proponents very sore hands. This is often referred to as real tennis or royal tennis.

Rackets were not used until the 16th century, when it became known as tennis – possibly from the French word tenez, meaning ‘take, hold or receive’.

Fact 2: Tennis the monarch murderer

Tennis has been directly or indirectly responsible for the deaths of at least three kings in Scotland and France.

One of the most famous ‘death by tennis’ stories involves the 1437 assassination of King James I of Scotland, an early tennis enthusiast. Fed up with losing balls down a drain next to the tennis court at Blackfriars Monastery, where his royal apartments were, the king ordered it be blocked up. Soon after, assassins broke into the monastery and James attempted to escape under the bedroom floorboards and into the sewage system but because the drain had been sealed he was trapped and murdered.

Two French kings also died from playing tennis: Louis X succumbed after a nasty chill, caught after playing jeu de paume at the Chateau de Vincennes while a 28-year-old Charles VIII died after hitting his head on a doorframe leading to his tennis court while rushing to watch a game!

Fact 3: Wimbledon world records

The Wimbledon Championships are famous for some impressive tennis statistics and world records.

Wimbledon holds the distinction of hosting the longest professional tennis match on record. In 2010, American tennis player John Isner faced Frenchman Nicolas Mahut over a 3-day, 5-set match at the All England Club. The match lasted 11 hours and five minutes, after two stoppages for darkness. The first-round match finally wrapped up after Isner won by 70 to 68 games in the 5th set.

Wimbledon is the oldest tennis tournament in the world, first taking place in 1877 when the men’s singles was the only event held. It’s also the only major tennis tournament still played on grass.

Women’s singles did not begin until 11 years later in 1888, when a field of 13 women vied to win a silver flower basket worth 20 guineas. Foreshadowing Venus and Serena Wiliiams’ later rivalry, two sisters, Maud and Lilian Watson (the daughters of a Warwickshire vicar), faced each other in the final. Maud scooped the basket and won the title again the next year.

What’s more, Wimbledon is the largest catered annual sports event in Europe, with 2,200 staff and vast quantities of food and drink consumed including about 330,000 cups of tea and coffee, 320,000 glasses of Pimms, 17,000 portions of Fish & Chips, 34,000kg of strawberries and 10,000 litres of cream.

Fact 4: Margaret Court still making headlines 50 years on

Australian tennis player Margaret Court holds the world record for winning the most Grand Slam singles titles, winning 24 titles between 1960 and 1975. She is also the only woman in tennis history to compete a multiple grand slam set twice, winning the singles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles.

Court has attracted another kind of notoriety more recently for her opposition to LGBTI rights and for her vocal stance against Australian same-sex marriage reforms. She famously wrote a letter in 2017 to The West Australian newspaper criticising Qantas airlines for being a corporate supporter of same-sex marriage and vowing to boycott the airline. Court, now a Christian minister in Perth, Western Australia, said that same-sex marriage would destroy freedom of speech. Calls to rename the Margaret Court Arena in Melbourne have so far been rebuffed by politicians.

Fact 5: Paralympic tennis begins

Paralympic tennis was first introduced into the Olympic Games in Barcelona in 1992. The sport was invented in the USA in 1976 after Brad Parks, who was recovering from a skiing accident, hit a tennis ball from a wheelchair and realised the sport’s potential.

The game follows the same rules as able-bodied tennis with only one exception: the ball is allowed to bounce twice and only the initial bounce must be within the court boundaries. No changes to racket, balls or court size are needed.

The first ever Paralympic-only venue to be built at a Games was the wheelchair tennis venue Eton Manor, which was purpose built for the London 2012 Paralympic Games. It has nine competition courts and four practice courts, with a capacity of 10,500 spectators.

How Swimmers Can Benefit from Personalized Swim Instruction

Now that summer is here, many outdoor activities get into full swing for active participants. Some activities, like swimming, can take place both outdoors (outdoor swimming pools, lakes, ponds, etc.) as well as indoors (indoor swimming pools, aquatic centers, and so on). No matter the individuals skill level, there is always the potential to learn and refine new moves and procedures. Whether the swimmer is just a beginner, or has moved up to master, competitive swimmer, or triathlete, swimmers at all levels can benefit from more comprehensive and personalized instruction to refine their skills and help them achieve optimal results.

Superior swim programs will provide the highest-quality swim camps and private sessions year-round. If swimmers cannot attend one of these camps or personal instruction sessions, leading swim programs offer extraordinary swim instruction and services online. They have multi-tiered programs of learning, with instruction and services to benefit any swimmer at any level. Whether swimmers want to learn more about proper techniques in freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke, butterfly techniques, how to do a flip turn, and much more, swimmers can gain valuable insight and instruction from joining an accredited and highly-respected swim club through participant organizations.

One premier company in the field was founded by former U.S. Olympian swimmers, and has went on to provide instruction to many Olympic athletes who went on to win medals at different Olympic games. Interested participants can choose their level of participation from four different tiers if they sign up in a specific program.

Their base level, which is free to join, helps swimmers learn their basic Club swimming techniques. Participants at this level receive a weekly Promo Video, Aquanote, and Newsletter. More and more is offered as the levels go up, up to Level 4, where swimmers can get the most comprehensive coaching possible, along with a terrific array of videos, conferences, and many other features every month.

Swimmers that are able to attend a camp truly get the finest instruction possible, with the opportunity to take advantage of enhanced services between sessions. So anyone of any age or skill level that’s interested in improving their swimming would really benefit from looking into programs, either in camp or online, run by outstanding swimming staff. These are valuable skills learned that will last a lifetime.

How to Boost Your Sports Performance

For millions of people across the US, competitive sport is not so much something consumed from the couch as something that they perform on a weekly basis, whether it be in a football or basketball team, a running squad, or individually in swimming, cycling or rowing. As well as being a wonderful way to make friends and keep fit, athletes enjoy finding that performance edge that will make them tough and hard-to-beat competitors, helping them to victory whether in a team or as a lone competitor. Here are some tips to help boost sports performance, giving you a ruthless cutting edge.

Visualization

It may sound a little bit new-age and abstract, but when you hear that many of the world’s most elite athletes practice goal visualization as a ritual part of their training routine, you may want to consider giving it a go yourself. The practice is essentially about preparing your mind for game-day, visualizing potential situations and the way you will overcome them. It’s a method that both calms the nerves and enhances the ability of the athlete to respond to lightning-fast stimuli when competing, thanks to their already having mentally prepared for such an event.

Robust Training

It goes without saying that practice makes perfect and exercise increases fitness. Going beyond these ubiquitous facts, though, you may find that your training methods are left wanting when compared to your competitors or with elite athletes in your chosen sport. A common error made by enthusiastic amateur competitors, for instance, is to overtrain in such a way as to burn out, causing exhaustion and injury. Off-time and rest days in training are vital across the spectrum of performers. To mitigate against such training errors, research studiously online or acquire an experienced coach to help you reach the next level.

Medical Help

To improve their performance, athletes should see specialists who can help their performance in a variety of different ways. For sports requiring fast reaction times, visit www.charlotteoptometry.com for eyesight tests and assistance. If you’re a high-impact sportsperson, visiting a sports physiotherapist will work out aches and pains, both muscular and skeletal, from your body. Even your family doctor will have advice on diet and supplements to suit your training intensity, so don’t be afraid to make a visit for advice.

Extra Mile

If you’re hovering between amateur and professional levels of sport performance and you’d like to progress further, then the most important boost will likely come from going the extra mile in your approach to training and dedicating your time to becoming a formidable competitor. This covers all areas of your life: you may choose to give up drinking and smoking, to establish a better sleep cycle, to buy better equipment, or to dedicate more time to sensible training. Making plans such as this can only serve to boost your performance in the long-run.

These four tips should be useful for any athlete interested in boosting their performance in order to achieve great things in their chosen discipline.

Surprising Mental Benefits of Doing Extreme Sports

Extreme sports may seem like something people with a death wish would do. Either that or they have an urge to get away from something, perhaps the bleakness of everyday life. But, there is much more to these endeavors than being hooked on danger.  Risk is more of a by-product that has to be managed than a goal in itself. Likewise, temporary buzz and physical sensation are just the tip of the iceberg. Namely, a growing body of evidence suggests that extreme sports can turn your life around and work miracles for your mental health and stability.

Confidence and calmness 

Going to great lengths in order to challenge yourself builds self-directedness and confidence. You face fear and learn to get past it. Moreover, you are in a position to push the worries aside and remain focused, in a present moment. Ultimately, this experience forges you into calmer and steadfast person. Of course, the trick is to find something that really rocks your boat. If you do not know where to start, go through the list of 100 extreme sports and see if anything stands out. Find your relief and source of self-esteem and drive in life.

Mental sturdiness

Another study has found that high-risk athletes have a higher level of mental stability than the average people. They also have more energy than non-athletes and non-risk athletes. Indeed, extreme sport can be a great outlet, but the buzz of the adventure sport is not just a short lived-boost. In the long-term, it helps you restore mental balance and cope with the feeling of being trapped. When faced with great dangers, all other problems in life diminish and become meager. Hence, you get a new perspective and see your position in the whole new light.

Hormonal balance

During extreme feats, your brain releases the feel-good hormones serotonin and dopamine. As you may know, these neurotransmitters manage brain’s reward and pleasure centers. What is more, they regulate physical and emotional responses, as well as psychological and bodily functions. This elevated hormonal activity translates into the improved mood, sex life, sleeping patterns, and social behavior. On the other hand, a disrupted hormonal balance leads to depression, fatigue, (social) anxiety, and other mental problems.

Therapeutic properties

There have been cases of therapists using extreme sports as means of treating mental illnesses and emotional disorders. Many swear by therapeutic benefits of engaging in activities like bungee jumping. They point out to the connection between adrenaline and mental health. Tandem skydiving, for instance, is linked to the increased ability to feel pleasure from normally pleasure-inducing activities. Thus, it holds the power to help emotionally dysfunctional people. There are many other sports that can aid patients and troubled individuals to overcome many obstacles before them.

Regaining control

Taking on high-risk sports requires a great deal of knowledge.  It includes meticulous planning, assessment of various conditions, and confidence in your skills and capabilities. The journey to towering summits and gaping ocean realms starts with self-discovery.  Nothing can be left to chance because any mismanagement or mistake has dire consequences.  This is to say that extreme disciplines teach you how to assume control over your life and pay attention to detail. The effects of this lesson can spill over into other areas and help you make a positive change through daily habits and choices.

Push the boundaries

Sports riddled with dangers are not just for adrenaline junkies or crazy types. They are a fulfilling experience full of great rewards for many different people. Fear that initially overcomes you turns into euphoria and it becomes a sense of empowerment over your life. This is just one indication that there are numerous proofs that physical challenges and activities have a profound effect on one’s mental picture. The greatest risk is not the one that looms over you during extreme exploits, but the one of living a bland life without adventure. So, get out there and pull your socks up.

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