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Sports Then and Now


Archive for the ‘Health & Fitness’


Doping In Sports: Through The Lenses Of Time 1

Posted on August 21, 2017 by Tyrion Smith

doping-sportsWitnessing the whole BALCO fiasco and long trials of Barry Bonds along with Mark McGwire would have made you wonder that these are the first cases of doping in sports, especially in baseball, but that’s farther from the truth. Yes, the baseball doping was highlighted way more than other incidents of steroid use by athletes in the US, partially because of congressional hearings in 2005 and critically acclaimed movie ‘Bigger, Stronger, Faster’.

Initial Phase

The fact is doping history in sports goes all the way back to ancient Rome when chariot racers were used to drink an herbal pre-workout of sorts before races, heightening their focus and endurance. That’s one of the earliest forms (100 AD) of competitive sports known to mankind. Fast forward to 1889, and ironically, a baseball player openly admitted using testosterone, a rather organic form derived from pigs and dog’s testicles. Sure, there were few instances of athletes experimenting with caffeine and liquor here and there, but come on, caffeine and booze can’t be considered doping despite their proclaimed performance enhancing effects.

First Causalities

Soon after the use of testosterone in 1889, the world witnessed the horrors of steroids in 1896 when Ephedrine intake caused death of English cyclist, A.Linton. Then in 1904, Tom Hicks collapsed at St. Louis marathon, and though he won the event, doctors proved use of Strychinine and Cognac.

The Booming Period

After that we saw a boom in the use of drugs that enhance performance of humans to somewhat super human level, across sports and in wars as well. Call it leaked secretive documents or conspiracy theories, soldiers in WW II were given Amphetamines to boost their endurance and focus, both Allied and Axis.

Finally, we see the mid-1900s, when the use of anabolic steroids was rampant and we witnessed highly tuned muscular physiques. It was the era of superiorly muscular bodybuilders like Sergio Oliva, Arnold and later Dorian Yates, Ronnie Coleman and Phil Heath ushered a ground-breaking phenomenon where human limits were pushed to the max. Soon HGH joined the list of anabolic doping agents as the most potent activist. Ironically, the very sport of bodybuilding highlighted the absolute potential of HGH and doping agents, in addition to its side effects. The number of causalities and deaths directly related to abuse of HGH, insulin and anabolic steroids, in bodybuilding is among the highest and the facts are widely documented on social media. However, that happens only when you misuse them. Learn more about HGH here. Read the rest of this entry →

Why You Should Go to a Ninja Warrior Training Facility 1

Posted on August 18, 2017 by Scott Huntington

Gyms are modeling newly offered workouts after the popular TV show “American Ninja Warrior.” The show features contestants giving their best across a variety of obstacles, such as warped walls, spider walk, rolling log and cannonball alley. The test of fitness is fun to watch, though now you have the ability to step beyond the role of a spectator.

In addition to the fun of competing in impressive obstacles, “American Ninja Warrior”-inspired training has a variety of fitness benefits. Plus, the practice can inspire and get you prepared for auditioning on the actual TV show.

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Improved Coordination

When at the gym, many tend to emphasize cardio and weightlifting, while neglecting aspects of coordination. The majority of “American Ninja Warrior” obstacles require considerable coordination. Repeated attempts and practice with these obstacles can improve your coordination significantly, likely more so than any other training equipment in the gym. Read the rest of this entry →

Waiting for the Weekend: Is the NFL Really in Trouble This Time? 3

Posted on July 29, 2017 by Dean Hybl
A recent study of the brains of former NFL players showed almost all had some level of brain trauma.

A recent study of the brains of former NFL players showed almost all had some level of brain trauma.

For the last year or more, it seems every time there is a negative story about the NFL, it prompts the obligatory question of whether that particular issue will be the proverbial “straw that broke the camel’s back” and signal the start of the decline for the financial and popularity juggernaut.

Whether it be declining television ratings, continued off-the-field incidents by players, the perception by many that the game isn’t as physical as in past, the abandonment of long-time NFL cities in St. Louis, San Diego and Oakland, the general unpopularity of Roger Goodell and the New England Patriots or a number of other “negative” stories or events, they all seem to just roll off the back of the NFL as overall revenues continue to increase to levels envied by most governments or for-profit businesses.

However, news that came out this week may over time be the one story that the NFL cannot easily shake.

A scientific study published this week in the medical journal JAMA looked at the brains of 202 deceased former high school, college and professional football players. Amongst those former players, 177, including 110 of the 111 former NFL players, were diagnosed as having CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy).

CTE is a degenerative brain disease most often found in athletes, military veterans, and others with a history of repetitive brain trauma. To create CTE, a protein called Tau forms clumps that slowly spread throughout the brain, killing brain cells. Studies have found CTE in people as young as 17, but symptoms most typically don’t begin appearing until years after the initial head impacts.

Early symptoms of CTE affect a patient’s mood and behavior. Some common changes often include impulse control problems, aggression, depression, and paranoia.

As the disease progresses, it is typical for patients to experience problems with thinking and memory, including memory loss, confusion, impaired judgment, and eventually progressive dementia. Cognitive symptoms tend to appear later than mood and behavioral symptoms, and often first appear when the patient is in their 40s or 50s. Patients may exhibit one or both symptom clusters and the symptoms may often worsen with time (even if the patient suffers no additional head impacts). In other cases, symptoms may be stable for years before worsening. Read the rest of this entry →

Safe Student Sports: 4 Ways School Administrators Can Better Protect Their Athletes 0

Posted on July 20, 2017 by Kara Masterson

Safe Student Sports, 4 Ways School Administrators Can Better Protect Their AthletesSports can be an effective way for a child to learn how to function as part of a team while having fun and staying in shape. However, sports can pose several dangers to children that school administrators should be aware of. While it is impossible to ensure that no child will ever get hurt playing for a school team, there are many steps that can be taken to reduce the likelihood of that happening.

Teach Proper Form

An athlete should be taught to never use his or her head as a means of making contact with a ball or to make contact with an opponent. Furthermore, players should be banned from striking another player in the head for any reason. Before games, players should be required to stretch and otherwise get their muscles ready for several minutes or hours of physical activity. Doing so may reduce strains or sprains.

Protect Players from Threats Made by Adults

While there is little on the line except pride in a middle or high school sporting event, parents or other fans may take the games quite seriously. This could lead to threats of physical violence being made at players. School officials should eject any parent or fan who makes a verbal or physical threat to a player. Officials should also be on the lookout for any threats after a game takes place. Read the rest of this entry →

Taking a Time-Out: 4 Tips for Managing a Sports Injury 2

Posted on July 10, 2017 by Kara Masterson

injuryPlaying a sport can help you stay in shape, stay connected with friends and have fun at the same time. If you have been injured, you may be tempted to play through the pain or come back too soon. These are both bad ideas. What are some good ways to manage your sports injuries?

See Your Doctor

The first thing that you should do is see your doctor and get a proper diagnosis of your injury. After determining the extent of the damage done to your body, he or she can create a timeline to returning to play. If the injury is a minor one, you may just need to rest or limit the amount of time spent on the field for a few days. If the injury is a major one, it may require months of rehab or surgery to correct.

What If Surgery Is Needed?

Seeing an orthopedic surgeon like Western Orthopaedics or someone similar may be necessary if you have a torn tendon or have ripped a muscle from the bone. If you have suffered from chronic pain, getting surgery may help you live a better quality of life both on and off the field. Depending on your age and other health factors, you could recover in a matter of weeks.  Read the rest of this entry →

Why You Need Taekwondo Protection Even When You’re Practicing at Home 2

Posted on July 05, 2017 by Dave Parker

taekwondoWhether you’ve recently started with Taekwondo or you have some experience already, the fact is that you might have noticed that in this sport, protection gear is quite a big deal. When sparring, the chance of getting injured is rather high. That’s why beginners are instructed to get a set consisting of head and chest guards, foot protectors, shin pads, and even groin protectors.

A chest guard is vital because it can protect your most important internal organs. Both headgear and mouthguards are necessary for every sparring session. If you haven’t bought this type of protective gear, you might not know what to look for. The simplest way of going about things is to understand that a good fit can get you out of trouble every time.

That’s why chest protectors have to come with Velcro straps so that you can adjust their fit to a certain extent. Most medium-sized hogu’s are recommended for women, with large and extra-large options being intended mostly for men.

So, why do I need good protective gear even when I kick the bag at home?

It goes without saying that you don’t need all that much protection if you plan to practice on your own. One of the first things you’re going to require is a Taekwondo kicking bag. While some parts of the gear you can do without, there are some essential components that you can’t leave out. Read the rest of this entry →

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