It’s undeniable that sports are a very important aspect of American culture and have been since the early days of this country’s existence. While there are dozens of sporting activities that American’s enjoy and participate in there are four that are widely considered to be the most popular; football, baseball, basketball and hockey. Each of these sports has a major league where the premier athletes of their particular sport play on various teams which compete against one another. A huge amount of revenue is generated by these leagues and each enjoys an enormous fan base.
These four sports are played not only by professionals but also in colleges, high schools, junior high schools and by those who are in grade schools (grades K-6). Early exposure is the norm for the majority of children in the U.S. and that is probably not a bad thing because it allows the kids to choose their favorite sport at a rather young age.
The sport which has the most participants at the high school and college level is football, a uniquely male sport. There are more boys slipping on a football helmet and the designated football jersey than those who are involved in any other sport. It follows that the NFL, the premier football league in this country is also the most popular of the sports leagues.
Baseball has remained popular throughout the decades since it’s inception and retains a great following. Because professional baseball has such a lengthy season (beginning in April and culminating in October) it generates a significant amount of money.
Basketball is currently ranked third on the list of most popular American sports although reports from the National Sporting Goods Association suggest that more individuals are involved in playing team basketball than in any other sporting activity. This sport is enjoyed by and participated in by many female athletes and boosts it’s own female professional teams.
Ice hockey is becoming increasingly popular in this country although it has long been a favorite in Canada. 23 teams from the U.S. and 7 teams from Canada make up the NHL which is the premier hockey league in North America and which attracts millions of fans. While the sport does not currently have the same popularity as football, baseball and basketball, it is becoming more well-known and enjoyed among many American families.
For those who been a little blue over these hot summer months and who have missed the excitement of seeing your favorite sports team compete, the wait is almost over. Football training has been going on for numerous weeks now and it won’t be long until you’ll be able to catch your favorite NFL player clad in his football jersey and doing what he does best. While most of us tend to agree that time in general seems to go too quickly that opinion doesn’t seem to hold true when we’re waiting for our favorite sport to make it’s reappearance.
The kids may bemoan the fact that they have to drag out their book bags and go back to school but it is hard to deny the sense of excitement and anticipation that accompanies this season of the year. It’s like a new beginning and with it a sense of being able to accomplish great things. There is an eagerness about the prospects of being productive and a hopefulness that comes with looking forward to being involved in the start of a new season of sports. When the dog days of summer are left behind, it is time to refocus on the thrill and excitement that is so much a part of fall sports. Whether that involves watching a favorite professional team gear up for a great season or watching your own children or grandchildren as they toss a football or kick a soccer ball, the excitement is almost palpable.
Let’s face it – there are a lot of problems in the world we all live in. Everyone seems to have his or her own share of difficulties to deal with. Thankfully, there are combatants that allow us to turn away from our troubles temporarily and concentrate on things that invigorate us and bring us joy. That is what we find in fall sports; a chance to get enthused and focus on things that are fun, that get our blood pumping and put a smile on our faces. Welcome fall sports!
While there are some people who can’t seem to go a day without spending hours at some form of physical exercise, there are other individuals who try hard to avoid it completely. One has to wonder what is the best approach to exercise and how much of it is sufficient to keep the body healthy and in shape? Opinions differ on this question but it seems safe to say that some form of exercise at least five days of every week is ideal.
It isn’t necessary to get on the biking shorts for a forty mile ride or to lace up the boxing gloves for a two hour session with the punching bag in order to derive benefits from your activity. Quite the opposite. A recent publication from the journal of the American Heart Association reports that even small increments of aerobic exercise may be sufficient to lower one’s risk of coronary heart disease. That is good news for the millions who wish to maintain good health but are not die-hard lovers of exercise.
The current guide lines put forth by medical/exercise experts suggest at least 150 minutes of moderate to intense exercise each week. Those guide lines, however, are beginning to get a lot more flexible as research findings conclude that benefits can result from much less physical activity. Studies found that even ten to fifteen minutes a day of exercise may be sufficient for many people to reduce health risks. While these new findings are encouraging for those who are adverse to exercise, it should be noted that individuals who want not only to improve health but to also lose weight and tone their body need to spend more time in physical activity.
Most kids seem to enjoy playing sports and while there is a wide range in the offerings from which they may choose, most have inherent risks involved. In certain sports the risks are minimal while in others they are much more prevalent. Whatever sport your child chooses to be involved with there are things a parent become aware of that can reduce the potential for accident and injury.
Soccer is a much loved sport of American children who often can be seen kicking a soccer ball around at the early ages of 3,4, or 5. Besides the normal cuts and bruises that often accompany the physicality of this sport there are also occasional reports of more serious injuries such as sprains and fractures. The number of these injuries are reduced as the kids learn correct techniques for playing the game such as the advisability of keeping their knees aligned directly over their toes when landing after a jump to prevent excess stress on their joints. It is strongly suggested that participants wear shin guards to reduce the incidence of bruises and that they should wear shoes that are designed for this particular sport which will provide increased stability.
Football is an obvious favorite in the world of sports and each year a huge number of young boys become involved in this activity. While the game of football is fast-paced and exciting, it is also the source of a great many injuries to young athletes. Sprains and pulled muscles are almost routine in football and the more serious injuries of torn ligaments and concussions are becoming more prevalent. Proper equipment is very important for those who are playing this sport. Propertly designed football helmets, mouth guards and pads are required. Pads are available for shoulders, chest, forearms, elbows, knees, thighs and shins.
Sports are an important aspect of growing up for a great many individuals and numerous benefits are associated with the various sporting activities. Minimizing the risks involved in sports is critical for those whose children participate in sporting activities.
There is no doubt that walking is good for you. Whether you are a strong and speedy walker or a slow, deliberate walker, either style can be a boon to one’s health. There are, however, tips that can dramatically increase the benefits you may derive from this activity.
For instance, while walking on a level surface may be the most comfortable than walking on an incline or a decline, it is not the best for your overall conditioning. If you add hills to your routine you will notice the improvement in your endurance and your strength. You will also likely lose some extra weight as it will be necessary for your body to work harder and burn more calories. Another benefit is that walking up hills tends to tone legs and firm up the gluteus maximus and who isn’t in favor of that?
Another helpful tip is the idea of adding a few extra pounds such as a wearing a weighted best when you walk. Ankle weights and wrist weights can also be used but they are not as beneficial as the vest which distributes weight more evenly and doesn’t cause stress on the joints of the body. Wearing a weighted best can also build bone density and adds in developing core strength.
It has been proven that walking at varied speeds is most beneficial. Interval training is the rage currently and for good reason. One can burn more calories and derive more benefits from changing up the speed of one’s exercise. This type of training also keeps the metabolism revved up for a much longer period of time.
Walking with your shoulders stooped and slouching can lead to poor body alignment and increased tendency for injury. Remember to keep your stomach muscles tight with your shoulders pulled back and pump your arms back and forth as you walk for maximum benefit.