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Saving Your Back and Your Pocketbook: Golf Ball Retrievers are a Golfer’s Best Friend 0

Posted on October 30, 2017 by Katherine Taylor
Back injuries have derailed the once great career of Tiger Woods.

Back injuries have derailed the once great career of Tiger Woods.

Out of all the sports known to man, golf is the least aggressive and the least violent. Yet, every year professional golfers suffer serious injuries, some that threaten to remove them from the game forever. In 2014, Tiger Woods, formerly the world’s top golfer, had surgery to repair a pinched nerve in his back. In 2015, he underwent a second microdiscectomy surgery with a follow-up procedure on his back. And this year, he had fusion surgery on his back as well.

After these, and other procedures, the golfer told reporters that he is unsure if he will ever play competitive golf again.

Back Pain: The Cost of Golf

According to Spine-Health, golfers can be afflicted by three different forms of back injury. First is muscles strains which “typically occur with rough or forceful golf swings or a sudden shift during the downswing.” Second, is muscle and tendon attachment which “generally occur due to excessive use, accidents, or swing abnormalities while playing golf.” Third, is disc injuries which also “occur from swinging abnormalities.” Additionally, low back pain and back injuries occur frequently because of repetitive bending over to pick up golf balls and line up shots.

Getting back injuries treated can be an extremely costly procedure. Spinal fusion surgery, such as what Tiger Woods had to undergo, can cost from $100,000 to $115,000. While Woods, who has 79 PGA Tour wins and has been one of the highest-paid athletes in the world for years, can easily handle such a cost, the everyday golf enthusiast or the occasional leisure golfer who can’t hire a personal caddy (or who doesn’t have an enthusiastic grandchild who loves chasing balls) won’t be able to. So what can be done?

Golf Ball Retrievers Help Eliminate Back Pain

Well, there is a tool that eliminates the constant need to bend over while playing — the golf ball retriever. The best golf ball retrievers allow you to only have to exert your arm and your hand to pick up golf balls — not your back. They typically run in the $15 range and can easily be ordered online or at many golf shops. Golf ball retrievers are usually extendable — they can extend from six feet to up to fifteen feet, ensuring that a stray golf ball is never outside your reach. They are conveniently foldable and easy to carry. Getting golf balls out of water holes or sand traps is a lot easier with a retriever. Read the rest of this entry →

3 Must-Have Tech Devices for Today’s Fitness Professionals 0

Posted on September 22, 2017 by John Harris

Fitness-ProfessionalsFor many fitness professionals, offering the best possible experience to your clients is a top high priority. This often means guaranteeing clear and quick results, providing an enjoyable and unique workout regimen, and offering great customer service. So how can you gain that competitive edge?

These days, technology is able to create greater efficiencies and effective processes, including in the health and fitness sector. In fact, in a 2017 study, the Fitness Industry Technology Council argued it’s vital for fitness professionals to adopt and embrace technology in their offerings and services.

Looking to better harness technology at your gym? Here’s a look at some devices you can offer your clients to achieve a better overall health and fitness experience.

1. Body Composition Analyzers

As you may be intimately aware, tracking your clients’ weight on a traditional scale doesn’t always provide an accurate reading to promote better health. That’s because it can be difficult to determine whether your clients’ weight and mass is made up primarily of muscle or fat.

But body composition analyzers like the InBody 570 can provide you and your clients with a variety of measurements, including body mass and fat readings as well as hydration and muscle mass levels, through a few simple steps.

Having this technology literally at your fingertips not only provides better transparency to your clients, but also provides more credibility to your work as a fitness professional, as you can make adjustments based on client readings and show a clear return on their investment. Read the rest of this entry →

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 →

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  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Bob Cousy: Houdini of the Hardwood
      February 4, 2018 | 8:31 am
      Bob Cousy

      Bob Cousy

      The Boston Celtics traded prior to the 2017-2018 season for All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving, but the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was the first in a long line of superstars to play for the Boston Celtics.

      Before there was Bill Russell and Larry Bird, the Boston Celtics were powered by a 6-foot-1 inch guard from Holy Cross. Bob Cousy was the on-the-court leader for the Celtics in the era during which they emerged as a basketball juggernaut.

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