Friday, April 29, 2016

5 Exercises for Olympic Curling

In between network coverage of the Winter Olympics’ figure skating death spins and aerial skiing triple twisting flips, you may have watched some chilled-looking people apparently playing shuffle board on ice. How, some viewers may ask themselves, is having admittedly excellent bocce-ball-type skills considered a sport? While aim isn’t necessarily related to athleticism, curling’s delivery requires a lot of flexibility and a lot of strength to make that flexibility useful. On the other end of the sheet, it takes a fair amount endurance to be able to sweep for the 10 ends that make up a game. Fit to Curl, written by Canadian elite curler and veteran skip, John Morris, is an entire book devoted to the physical conditioning required by the sport, but here is a small sampling of exercises for curling conditioning.

Kneeling Lunge Stretch
Curling’s delivery requires limber hip flexors. To loosen them up, try the kneeling lunge stretch. Start out with one knee on the ground, the other leg in front bent at a 90 degree angle, weight centered. Push your hips forward slightly until you feel the stretch. If that isn’t challenging enough, scoot the front leg forward, maintaining the 90-degree bend. Don’t let yourself sink into your hips too much.

To get in and out of a delivery posture and keep themselves upright in it, Olympic curlers need strong legs. Lunges target the quads and glutes, and help curlers practice keeping their balance in a lunge position. Stand with one foot flat on the ground in front of you and the ball of the other foot on the ground behind you. Keep most of your weight on the front foot and slowly lower yourself to a 90-degree bend. Slowly return to the starting position. Keep your shoulders and hips aligned throughout the lunge. Never lock your knees.

Even though curlers use brooms and gliders to steady themselves during their delivery, they have to be able to do most of the stabilization themselves. Core strength is essential to stability. The plank is a particularly effective static core exercise. Start out with your knees and elbows on the floor, elbows directly below your shoulders. Extend your legs behind you one at a time, and lift your hips so that your shoulders, hips, and ankles form a straight line sloping toward the floor. Pull your navel in toward your spine to keep your hips from dropping. Don’t let your head drop. Keep your spine as straight as a board.

Warrior II
We’ve established that curlers need flexibility, strength, and stability. Yoga is great for developing all three. Warrior II pose builds leg strength while opening up the hips and engaging the abdominals. Start with one straight leg in front and one straight leg in back, toes pointing forward. Turn the toes of your back foot out slightly, aligning the back heel with the front heel. Turn hips and shoulders toward the back leg, lift your arms to shoulder height, and look over your front shoulder. Bend your front leg moving your body laterally forward toward the front foot. Make sure your hips and shoulders are aligned and that your weight is distributed evenly. Don’t bend your front leg past 90 degrees; your knee should never move past your ankle. If you’re wobbly, try thinking about kicking the floor away with your front heel as you hold the position, and remember to keep your core engaged.

Push Ups
So far, we’ve focused on the most evidently athletic aspect of curling, the delivery. But think about the last time you mopped the kitchen floor. Were you slightly sore the next day? Now imagine doing that at triple the speed for about 100 feet for each of the 80 rocks delivered in a game. That takes some serious arm strength and stamina. Push ups are a sweeper’s friend. They target the triceps and back for sweeping and engage the core for maintaining balance on the ice. Hand positions can vary, but keep your hands at shoulder level. For best results, go for the largest range of motion possible. Make sure not to lock your elbows. As in plank position, don’t drop your head or hips.

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5 ESPN 30 for 30 Documentaries to Watch

On October 6th ESPN will be starting their new 30 for 30 documentary series. See, it’s entitled 30 for 30 because it is ESPN’s first good idea in 30 years. I kid! ESPN had some good ideas for the first 10 years. Anyway, starting on October 6th ESPN will be airing 30 different documentaries over the next several months. The ESPN 30 for 30 documentaries are not created by ESPN (thank goodness!) but were all made by actual filmmakers. After looking over some of ESPN’s 30 for 30 documentaries there were a few that stuck out as the most interesting.

5 ESPN 30 for 30 Documentaries to Watch: Without Bias
Without Bias explores the questions that still remain about the tragic death of Boston Celtics player Len Bias. The death of Len Bias was a significant event, and not just because it was one of the signs of the Celtics dynasty ending. After Len Bias died of a cocaine overdose the public’s reaction to the tragedy was so outrageous that it began the realization of how dangerous recreational drugs can be. Without Bias is a ESPN 30 for 30 documentary by Kirk Fraser.

5 ESPN 30 for 30 Documentaries to Watch: The U
The U is about how University of Miami became “the U.” In this ESPN 30 for 30 documentary Billy Corben talks about how in the early 80’s the Hurricanes program completely transformed. Howard Schnellenberger began to recruit black players for ghettos and the Hurricanes new found athleticism and swagger led to several national championships.

5 ESPN 30 for 30 Documentaries to Watch: Winning Time: Reggie Miller vs. the New York Knicks
Reggie Miller’s greatness was never more evident than that classic series against the New York Knicks in 1995. The Knicks lead game one of the Eastern Conference Semifinals 105 – 99. 8.9 seconds left. This game was over. Until Reggie Miller did the impossible scoring 8 points in nine seconds. In this ESPN 30 for 30 documentary Dan Klores tells the story of Reggie Miller and how he became the most hated man in New York City.

5 ESPN 30 for 30 Documentaries to Watch: No Crossover: The Trial of Allen Iverson
It seems like a cop out at times. Someone explains away an athlete’s bad behavior by saying they had a tough life growing up but for Allen Iverson it was true. In this ESPN 30 for 30 documentary Steve James, the director of Hoop Dreams, examines an incident between Iverson, his friends and another group of friends that led to Allen Iverson going to court, and eventually jail, as a teenager.

5 ESPN 30 for 30 Documentaries to Watch: Into the Wind
Phoenix Suns’ point guard Steve Nash makes his directing debut in Into the Wind, an ESPN 30 for 30 documentary about Terry Fox. Terry Fox was diagnosed with bone cancer and had one leg amputated but decided it would not stop him from running across Canada. Every day Terry Fox woke up and ran the distance of one marathon with the entire country of Canada watching on, including a six year old by the name of Steve Nash. Terry Fox ran for 143 days and made it across two-thirds of Canada before new tumors were discovered and Fox was forced to stop.

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5 Facial Hair Solutions for Guys and Gals

There are a multitude of facial hair removal options out there on the market for both men and women, and each of them has varying results. But let’s be honest with ourselves. Some men aren’t comfortable with some methods of hair removal, and the ones guys like may make a woman cringe. We’re going to be looking at 5 popular hair removal options and weigh their pros and cons for guys and gals.

The good old fashioned razor is tried and true. You can use it anywhere and anytime. Technology for shaving has advanced since your grandfather picked up a 1 ton piece of metal and slid it across his face. Many are lightning fast and can deliver stand alone results. The price is good and blades last a fairly long time and can be easily replaced.

Guys: Most guys are going to want to stick with this, when it comes to facial hair removal. It’s tried and true and the results are fabulous. Gillette, one of the leading companies for razors, is always innovating the shaving world and giving men better results for their money. Most new razors barely leave cuts.

Gals: For facial hair, gals ought to give this a pass, for one reason and one reason alone: The hairs will become coarser over time. There is a reason some older women are walking around with Grouchos. Don’t cut corners now and you’ll retain the beauty you’re looking for in the future.

Some of you may have heard of hair removal creams, both natural and synthetic. The first thing you need to know that some of them work; Not all of them do, but the ones that do, do it very well. They key to finding the ones that do is very simple. Look in health and beauty forums online, talk to people with similar skin types of your own and see what works.

Guy: Most guys might want to give this a pass. Although it can give better results than the traditional razor, it’s a bit messy and can be time consuming. Most guys don’t fit in a lot of time for a shaving routine, so this is out for them.

Gals: Personally, for women, I would put this method above all others in terms of results. Most women want to remove all the facial hair, and these can do it for you. However, time still needs to be considered, and women don’t have any more then men, maybe less.

Another option, which is hardly innovative and not exactly new, is the tweezers. The tweezers has the same mobility as a razor, but is much slowed in getting the job done, and some may find the experience to be a little more irritating than they are willing to put up with.

Guy: This is another very time consuming method, and there are more hairs on your face than there are stars in the sky. You may want this for the stray ones, but this is not the method for you.

Gals: You don’t want hair on your face, because there’s hardly any hair on your face to begin with. A hair here and there is an anomaly for you, so keep these tweezers handy to catch anything the morning routine didn’t. Tweezers are hardly stand alone, but they can be good for touch ups.

Another choice out there is a waxing kit. These things can deliver some good results or patchy messes and really, it has to do with experience. First time users may give it a try and be turned off by strands missed here and there. Waxing is an art and should be taken as such. It takes time and practice to do it right.

Guys: Some guys go for this, but like many other methods, I would give it a pass for guys. It’s a little too much for what guys are willing to put into their shaving routine.

Gals: I would have to pass on this one for gals too. It’s just too much precision work involved to get those stubborn hairs off of your face. You’d be better off leaving it on than making a patch work mess across your face.

Another form of hair removal you may want to consider is electrolysis. If you have the time and the money this is the way to go in terms of long lasting results. Electrolysis uses low grade shocks to kill hair follicles neutralize growth for very long periods. This is something either a guy or a gal could go for, and the only thing holding either back would be the price tag.

” guide for guys to grooming facial hair. “

” Guide for gals. “

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5 Essentials to Pack in Your Vintage Beetle for Winter Driving

Now that the snow has fallen, I’ve been driving my Classic VW Beetle out on the roads instead of my pickup truck. While a vintage Beetle may seem like a poor choice of car for winter driving, I’ve discovered that the lower frame and rear engine placement makes this car a lot less likely to slip and slide on snowy roads.

Driving a vintage VW Beetle in the winter does take a little advance planning. Here are 5 things I pack into my VW Beetle before taking it out on the road.

Credit card. These cars are unique in that the windows don’t just ice up on the outside in freezing weather but frost up on the inside too. Since the heater takes a good 15 minutes to kick on, plan on scraping the interior windows at least half a dozen times while driving. I’ve discovered that a credit card works best for this job because the small size is easier to handle in the cramped front seat quarters of the car.

Rags. Window condensation also seems to be a problem with a Classic VW Beetle. Rather than smearing the moisture around the windshield with your hands, use a dry towel instead to absorb the condensation.

Old Blanket. For the times that you accidentally parked yourself in an ice rut on the side of a road, a blanket can provide your car with a little extra traction. What works best is to place the blanket behind the rear tires and back out of the spot.

Lighter. Another quirky feature of old VWs is that the metal locks tend to freeze up, especially after nightfall when the temperatures dip into the single digits. I keep a lighter in my coat pocket to help unlock frozen locks. The lighter is used to heat the metal part of the key before inserting it into the lock. In extreme freezing conditions, it will take a couple of tries before the lock is thawed sufficiently to work.

Bagged sand. Classic VW Beetles don’t have a lot of trunk space but usually have enough to hold some bagged sand. Weighting the front of the car with bagged sand not only boosts traction, it gives you something to sprinkle on the ice in case the car gets stuck. A 50 pound bag of sand costs $4 or less and can be found at your local hardware store.

More by this contributor:
How to stop your car windows from freezing up.
How to hang curtains in a VW microbus.
How to de-ice a frozen car lock.

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5 Events that Are Happening for the Muscular Dystrophy Awareness Week

According to the Muscular Dystrophy Association, these are 5 events that are happening for the Muscular Dystrophy Awareness Week.

1. Stride and Ride

This is a walking event held in communities all across the country at various dates/times throughout the year. To find walk locations, please visit the Stride and Ride website, posted here. To register for a walk in your area, you will need to contact your local MDA office and they will give you all the information you need to be able to participate. These walks provide the families of patients with MD with services they may need and access to life-saving research.

2. MDA Summer Camps

These summer camps offer a wide variety of programs for children from ages 6 to 17 who are affected by neuromuscular diseases. These children can attend sessions throughout the week that are arranged by MDA volunteers and other staff members. These camps have activities that are based on the abilities of the campers. These activities include, but are not limited to: playing baseball, going fishing, going swimming, riding horses, etc.. There are activities that have less physical demand, such as arts and crafts time, cook-outs, nature studies, and more. To find out more information on the times, dates, and locations of these camps, please contact your local MDA agent – you can get their contact information here.

3. Bowling Against Dystrophy

These bowling events are held to raise money for Jerry’s Kids. Jerry’s kids is a disease advocacy group for MD. To find out where this event is in your area, please contact your local MDA agent.

4. MDA Golf Tournaments

These golf tournaments are held all around the country to help support Jerry’s Kids. To find a tournament near you, please contact your local MDA agent.

5. The Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon: Held on Labor Day

This is a huge television event where many of today’s biggest celebrities bring help and hope to those with neuromuscular diseases. Please contact your local MDA agent for more information.

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5 Facts About Judaism

Judaism is one of the oldest religions in the world, so by know you should know…

1. Islam, Judaism, and Christianity all believe in the Old Testament. Yes, that’s right, all three of these religions have the same basis, and branch off from that. The rift comes with Jesus Christ. Christians believe that he was the messiah and they are waiting for ascension into Heaven. Jews believe that he was a prophet, but that the messiah has not come, and they are waiting for him. Muslims believe that Jesus was a prophet, but that Muhammad was the final prophet to God, and thus they are also waiting for ascension to Heaven. Also, each have their own text after the Old Testament. Jews have the Torrah; Muslims have the Koran/ Qu’ran; and Christians have the New Testament.

2. The original 10 commandments are not the real 10 commandments. If you remember from scripture, Moses brought down the commandments we all remember (No graven images, love thy father and mother, etc), but when he saw how his followers were acting, he smashed them on the ground. He then went and retrieved 10 new commandments from God, which are the following:

Exodus 34:14-26 “[1.] For you are to be worshippers of no other god: for the lord is a God who will not give his honour to another[…] [2.] Make for yourselves no gods of metal. [3.] Keep the feast of unleavened bread; for seven days your food is to be bread without leaven as I gave you orders, at the regular time in the month Abib; for in that month you came out of Egypt. [4.] Every first male child is mine; the first male birth of your cattle, the first male of every ox and sheep. [5.] A lamb may be given in payment for the young of an ass, but if you will not make payment for it, its nexk will have to be broken. […] [6.] Six days let work be done, but on the seventh day take your rest […] [7.] And you are to keep the feast of weeks when you get in the first-fruits of the grain and the feast at the turn of the year when you take in the produce of your fields. [8.] Three times a year let all your males come before the Lord, the God of Israel. […] [9.] No leaven is to be offered with the blood of my offering and the offering of the Passover feast may not be kept till the morning. [10.] Take the first fruits of your land as an offering to the house of the Lord your God. Let not the young goat be cooked in its mothers milk.”

These are the tablets that stayed and the ones that would be in the ark of the covenant. The others, which are mentioned in Exodus 14, were replaced by these, but no less better remembered.

3. Chuanaka isn’t as important holiday to Jews as one may think. Chanuka has been elevated in importance because it falls on the calendar near the very important Christian holiday, Christmas. And though it shares the giving qualities of Christmas, it isn’t considered anywhere near as important to Jews as Christmas is to Christians.

4. There was genocide on Jews before the Holocaust. Anyone remember the Spanish Inquisition? It was about converting Jews to Catholocism. Judaism has endured centuries of hatred and pain.

5. There are Rabbis whose specific job is to bless food to make it Kosher. My grandfather, who used to work in a butcher shop, explained to me one day that all butcher shops have a Rabbi who will come in and bless the meat as a whole in order to make it Kosher. They also have to bless the shop, tools, and anything the meat will be touching in order for it to remain Kosher. And just in case you want to eat blessed BBQ, your grill must be blessed before the meat touches it.

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5 Fair Trade Clothing Sites to Check Out!

According to the Fair Trade Federation (FTF) website, “Fair Trade is an economic partnership based on dialogue, transparency, and respect.” The principle that Fair Trade is founded on is very noble and ambitious. Because of this corporation, many people who live in poverty have a chance to sell items that would not normally be marketed to the major population. Rather than be exploited, these people are given a better avenue to show the world what they can create. Listed and described below are five different, fashionable clothing websites dedicated to using Fair Trade.

1. Fair Indigo

Fair Indigo is a clothing website with many fine pieces. Most of their fashion costs a pretty penny, but they make sure to provide high-quality pieces for their customers. Women, men, baby, and kid’s clothing is available. If you peruse the website it is easy to see that they have some wonderful items to be purchased. Fair Indigo even sells beautiful jewelry too add that extra flair to an outfit.

One of their unique items include a Boheme bag that is reusable. Buyers can use this bag for shopping or carrying everyday items. Another interesting buy would be their best-selling Alpaca Scarf. It is 100% eco-friendly and totally fashionable!

2. Global Mamas

Global Mamas is another interesting store that provides Fair Trade clothing. Their clothes are appropriate for all ages and sizes. Their pieces also have attractive, lively patterns.

One of the aspects that attracts buyers to Global Mamas would be the name. It truly encompasses what Fair Trade is about. It is not about just one person but everyone around the globe.

Some of their best sellers include reversible aprons, decorative ornaments, and beaded bracelets. Not only can these things add style to your wardrobe, but they can add style to your home.

3. Marigold Fair Trade Clothing

Marigold Fair Trade Clothing is a very trendy wholesaler that wants to reach people everywhere looking for “economic independence”. The clothes are made from naturally dyed organic cotton. They do not have clothing for all ages, but they definitely have variety. Expect to find anything from a relaxing Yoga outfit to a stylish work outfit on this site. Marigold really speaks to adult men and woman, and that is what makes the store special.

I was impressed by the variety that they carried. Some of more popular items were printed skirts, dresses, women’s and men’s tops. They seem to be making a fashion statement with flowy pieces.

4. Pristine Planet

Green shopping is very important to Pristine Planet, making it a perfect fit for Fair Trade. Clothing for every age is offered at this site. They carry beautiful patterns. One of my favorites had a flowery look to it. They also have funky sayings on some of their clothes. I laughed when I saw printed text on a pair of underpants!

One of their best features is the organic women’s clothing. Some fine fashion can be found here. Tunics, pants, whatever you need, they carry it.

5. Maggie’s Functional Organics

Maggie’s has some different items, and that is why I chose this store as the fifth and final Fair Trade clothing place to look at. Maggie’s Organics makes sure to state that it fully supports the ethical treatment or workers and well-made clothing. This is something we can all respect as buyers. I really liked how Maggie’s carried tights and socks. These items are essential, and that means that any person looking to be involved in Fair Trade can make a lot off of them. They have other clothes too.

The more popular and new styles that they provide seem to be comfortable. The pallet is fairly neutral and wearable with many outfits. If you are looking for something practical and soft, this might be the place!


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5 Family Friendly Fuel Efficient 2011 Vehicles

My family is in need of a new car within the next year, so my husband and I have been doing some collective research. Since gas prices are at an all time high, symptomatic of an ever-rising volatile economy, we are mainly focusing on gas mileage efficiency. We are also entertaining the idea of purchasing an electric car. Of course, traveling with our most precious cargo – my two young sons – makes safety another important factor in our final decision. The following are vehicles high up on our list as we narrow our search for the next perfect car purchase:

Chevy Volt 2011

Deemed “2011 Motor Trend Car of the Year,” this is a front runner choice for us so far. Since we are a four person family and we rarely make out-of-town trips, it would eliminate the need of gasoline for a majority of our driving. There is an option to use gas for out-of-town trips, as the Volt gets approximately 37 miles per gallon when the gas engine kicks on the highway (after the energy running off electric power runs out). We also like that by purchasing the Chevy Volt, we wouldn’t be feeding into America’s reliance on foreign oil. Our purchase would also compensate a domestic car company, further aiding our U.S. economy. The only drawback would be in price, as it’s retailed about $32,000 which is a bit out of our price range.

Toyota Prius V (Versatility) 2011

What is great about the Toyota Prius V is in price– approximately $21,000– which is a considerable savings than the Chevy Volt. However, we would be contributing to a foreign market but our eco karma would be maintained since it another electric car option. This crossover vehicle gives the space of a SUV but the gas mileage of a car. The Prius V boasts about 50 miles per gallon which would be great for when we do take our out-of-town trips. It’s versatility ( V ) is in how we would use it– hatchback space for needed storage (always a factor in traveling with family in short errand trips about town) or we would equip it with more luxury space for comfort in long distance traveling.

Volvo V60 Sports Wagon 2011

This particular Volvo coupe is aiming high for us in safety. We like that it features the Dynamic Stability and Traction Control (DSTC) system, especially for those long distance car trips we take through mountainous terrains.

Volvo XC60 T6

Volvo XC60 T6 prices at about $32,000. We like that it is a crossover vehicle that provides for better gas mileage efficiency than an SUV, but still gives plenty of space in back for a week’s worth of grocery purchases, sports equipment, and/or any other storage needs we have for our family activities. It averages about 22 miles per gallon.

Subaru Outback 2011

My husband plans to camp a lot with our sons as they get older and he is considering the Subaru Outback 2011 with four wheel drive. It estimates at about $23,000 which puts that well within our price range. The miles per gallon average about 19 miles for city driving, 27 miles for the highway.

We are still weighing out the pros and cons of all above mentioned vehicles, but they are well within our top five family vehicles to purchase in the upcoming year.

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5 Family Staycation Hotspots in Charlotte, NC

If the price of gas in Charlotte is keeping your family from even thinking about going on vacation this summer, perhaps you should consider a family staycation. Charlotte is filled with some wonderfully fun and entertaining places to go that will make you feel like you have traveled miles away. Here are some of the best places in Charlotte to go for a family staycation:

Great Wolf Lodge is the perfect family getaway. You’ll feel as if you’ve traveled hundreds of miles away because you’ll be having so much fun. The Lodge hosts a huge indoor water park that is included with the price of admission to the lodge. The rooms are actual suites that comfortably sleep 4 to 8 guests. Whereas Great Wolf Lodge is located in several areas across the country, its nice to know that there is one in Charlotte. You can have a great family vacation without having to leave the city.

McDowell Park Camping. McDowell Park and Nature Preserve is one of the area’s most beautiful parks. Located beside of Lake Wylie, it hosts over 7 miles of hiking trails, playgrounds, picnic areas, and a nature center. Another wonderful feature of the park is the camping area. The camping area hosts 56 camping sites that range from primitive to RV, depending on what your family is looking for. McDowell Park has always been one of my family’s favorite places to go — whether we just spent the day grilling out and walking the trails or whether we took advantage of the camping facilities.

Carowinds. Carowinds is the area’s theme park, host to many different rides, attractions, and shopping. There is also a huge outdoor waterpark that is included in the price of admission. For your convenience, there is a campground which is perfect for a family staycation. To get the best value for your money, buy a family season pass. This way you can enjoy the park during your staycation as well as throughout the entire summer.

Explore uptown Charlotte. Uptown Charlotte is filled with fun activities for the family. Take a ride on the Lynx Blue Line lightrail system, and spend the day visiting some of the places that uptown has to offer. Some of these include Discovery Place, Imaginon, the Epicenter, and the Nascar Hall of Fame. There are a variety of restaurants as well for every price range, including street vendors and entertainers for your enjoyment.

US National Whitewater Center. The US National Whitewater Center is a wonderful way to spend time with your family. If your family loves adventure, then this is the place for you. There is whitewater rafting, kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding. There are zip-lines, rock-climbing, mountain biking, and trails to walk on. There is also a restaurant for when those hunger pangs take over. Check on their website for a list of upcoming events.

Don’t give up on the thought of a vacation this summer. With so many fun activities here in Charlotte, you can have a staycation that you will always remember.

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