Choosing the Snowboard that is Right for You

Freestyle BoardsSnowboarding is a sport that is enjoyed by an increasing number of people. It should not be surprising to find that there are a number of snowboard options on the market these days. If you need some help in deciding which snowboard option is right for you, here are a few facts about snowboards to help you decide what to buy.

Essentially, there are three types of snowboards. Each different type of board comes in a variety of materials and may be constructed with some differences from one model to another. It is important to remember that different snowboards are geared toward different types of riding techniques.

All Mountain board currently is the most popular type is the. Sometimes referred to as a free ride board, this one is often considered to be the most versatile of any type of snowboard. The All Mountain board is particularly recommended for loose powder surfaces and is great for just about any type of trick you want to perform.

The board itself is meant to be ridden mostly in one direction and as such may not be the best fit if your tricks include a lot of swerving or changing direction. The tail on this type of board is usually narrower than other types and also a little shorter and flat. For beginners, this is a great board to use as you develop your expertise.

Freestyle boards are gaining in popularity, and with good reason. With a little more versatility in direction than the All Mountain types, the freestyle board tends to be a little wider and a little shorter. These qualities are what help the freestyle to be easier to shift directions.

They also are less impacted by bumpy ground underneath the powder, and give the rider a little more control. Freestyle boards lend themselves more easily to tricks that involve terrain parks and half pipes. However, they do not do as well for carving turns or faster one directional moves as does the All Mountain board.

The race board is great for competitions, because it is narrower than either of the other two boards. The construction tends to be stiffer than the freestyle or All Mountain models.

This makes the race board a great choice when you want to combine the best features of the other two boards. With increased speed, a solid ability to turn when needed, and superior edge holding ability when on packed snow, the race board is a great choice for the accomplished snowboarder.

Knowing a little about what you like to do with a snowboard and comparing that to the strengths of the three main types on the market, you can narrow your search for the perfect board down a great deal. Check out the various snowboard options at your local sporting goods store and start having fun with your new snowboard.

Short History of Downhill Skiing

Downhill SkiingThe history of skiing is an interesting one. As the story goes, skiing was preceded by snowshoeing, or so we think. When Sondre Norheim, a Norwegian now heralded as the “father of modern day skiing”, invented the ski binding which give skiers the ability that allow them to make turns while moving downhill, the term of “Slalom” (also known as Telmark skiing) was born!

Skiers used the new movements and skills more as a practical means of moving from one location to another through the snow but, soon, as better and more effective binding was created, allowing more freedom of movement on the skis, the practice began to morph into one of fun, challenge and finally sport.

In fact, just around 80 years ago, only very few people had ever heard the word of skiing (also known as downhill skiing). Skiing was something only a handful of people knew about and it was predominately practiced in the European Alps. Now, downhill skiing is one of the most popular winter sports around the world.

During the evolution of downhill skiing, there was a couple of hotels and overnight lodging accommodations in the Alps that remained open during the winter, but they were few in number and far between. During the winter season they housed a small sprinkling of cold-weather adventurers who came to the Alps to test their newly acquired skiing skills on the snow.

Within a matter of a few decades, however, the Alpine skiing population went from a few hundred to the now ever growing number of forty million! Skiers from all corners of the globe now head to the mountains at the first hint of a good snowfall, especially in winter.

With skis in hand they will travel to any of the major mountain chains rising up in forty countries. Every continent, including Antarctica, is home to at least one good skiing mountain.

Using Daily Routine as Exercise

Daily Routine as ExerciseYou already know that getting at least 30 minutes of exercise each and every day is good for you, but putting that assertion into actual practice is an entirely different matter, right? Contrary to what you might think, making physical activity an everyday habit is not very hard to perform.

There’s no secret code for success waiting to be cracked. In fact, it’s something that can be worked into your usual routine with minimal, sometimes no, interruption or adjustment.

The U.S. Surgeon General, the American Heart Association and many other reputable health organizations all agree that 30 minutes of moderate-intensity workout is optimal on most, if not all, days of the week. The good news is that they also all concur that this recommended prescription doesn’t have to be taken all in one large dose.

While the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) once called for continuous exercise of 20 minutes’ duration or longer, new guidelines allow for bouts of physical activity (as few as 10 minutes at a time) intermittently spread throughout the day.

When viewed in this manner, 10 minutes of exercise three times a day becomes a much more manageable goal than 30 uninterrupted minutes. Even the busiest executive and the most stressed-out mom can carve out 360 seconds for the sake of improving his or her physical, mental and emotional well-being.

In fact, regular physical activity can even be considered a lifesaving practice. That’s because it’s been proven to extend life by warding off many chronic and deadly conditions like heart attacks, diabetes and strokes.

Now that the logistics are out of the way, the question becomes: What constitutes “moderate-intensity” activity? In concrete terms, the 30-minute recommendation breaks down to two to three miles of walking a day at a rate of 3-4 miles per hour, or to burning 200 calories per day.

This aim coincides with the popular 10,000 Steps program, which can easily be reached with the assistance of a RYP Sports pedometer. Simple things like parking your car farther away from your office or taking the stairs instead of the elevator can quickly add up to that target number.

For those who don’t enjoy walking or running, there are many other activities that constitute moderate-intensity exertion, many of which are necessary and/or fun tasks that fit right in with your normal routine. Gardening, raking leaves, mowing the lawn, mall strolling and dancing all fill the bill. In fact, 30 minutes spent playing tag with your kids in the yard burns the equivalent amount of calories as yoga, horseback riding and walking at a pace of four miles per hour on a level surface.

So, before you use the excuse that you’re too busy to schedule exercise into your daily grind, reconsider. Play Frisbee with the kids, take the dog for a jog around the block, and even get some much-needed cleaning done around the house. In no time flat you’ll have reached your intended exercise goal, often without even realizing it!

The Importance of High School Sports

High School SportsHigh school is a time to make friends, get good grades, participate in activities and prepare for the future. Unfortunately, due to budget cuts, some schools have opted out of high school sports, believing that money would be better spent on academics.

I understand that academics come first, but sacrificing high school sports lessens every child’s high school experience, their ability to perform at optimum academic levels and develop into a well-rounded adult.

The importance of high school sports can be found in elementary school

During a child’s elementary school years, children typically lose their recess privileges as a consequence to poor behavior. This consequence can have the opposite of the desired effect. Recess is the place where kids let out their aggression and release frustration and anger, allowing the children to better cope with the aspects of school they do not enjoy.

High school sports promote bonding and encouragement

What many administrators, teachers and parents fail to realize is that high school sports offer teenagers the same outlet. Participating in high school sports is important for motor skill development, maintaining a healthy exercise program and provides for a release of anger when the academic stressors become overwhelming.

When youth participate in high school sports they release endorphins which helps decrease depression and increases energy. Most high schools, if not all, require at least a C average to participate in these sports, which provides the child with accountability. High school sports increase bonding between children and their parents when parents help with skills and come to games to cheer their child on.

High school sports boost overall morale and support

High school sports offer a release that is needed for every student. High School Sports enables the entire school to come together, whether playing, or observing, to cheer for their school. If your child is having difficulty making friends encourage them to join a high school activity or to go to a game and cheer for their school.

It boosts school morale when students meet to cheer for their team. While offering an enjoyable distraction from the stressors of school, teenager’s negative perception of school as a place akin to a prison is replaced with increased school pride. This increased interest in school generally results in increased enjoyment in academics, resulting in better overall test scores and grades.

Adults look back on high school sports fondly

When adults look back on their time in school many do not remember their teachers, classes or grades but they do remember the high school sports they participated in or observed. They often look back on these memories fondly and look forward to their children having similar experiences.

Encourage your teenager’s high school to keep high school sports around so every teenager can have a better overall high school experience.