Does Donating Plasma Affect My Work Out?

More than 38,000 blood donations of all kinds are needed in the United States every day, according to the American Red Cross, and it is particularly looking for healthy volunteers like athletes. Blood plasma donation doesn’t take a lot of time and is relatively painless, with few side effects. While most casual exercisers should be fine, there are considerations that may affect your ability to be a plasma donor if you’re involved in training for athletic competitions.
Plasma is the clear liquid part of your blood that is left after the red cells, white cells and platelets have been filtered out. Plasma contains 92 percent water and eight percent proteins, salts, enzymes and antibodies. It’s the single largest component of human blood, making up approximately 55 percent of blood volume. Plasma is used to make therapies for treating life-threatening diseases and medical conditions such as shock, trauma and burns. There are more than 330 licensed and certified plasma collection centers located in the U.S.
In general, plasma donors are required to be at least 18 year of age and weigh at least 100 lb. You’ll have to pass two medical examinations, a medical history screening and be tested for viruses and other factors. Giving plasma takes about two hours, as blood is taken from your arm, the plasma filtered out, and the other blood components returned to your veins. Most collection centers require that you wait at least 48 hours before making a second donation, because that’s the amount of time it takes for your body to replenish the plasma.
If you’re a healthy athlete, you should be able to recover fully after plasma donations within eight weeks, although you may lose some of your ability to train over the next few days due to low energy levels. Donating plasma can also reduce competitive performance for up to four weeks, depending upon whether you also donate red blood cells, because it takes that long for blood hemoglobin levels to return to normal. About 12 percent of donors develop lowered levels of antibodies, which may make you more prone to getting an infection.
In a 2001 article published in the journal “The Physician and Sports Medicine,” Marvin Adner, M.D., said that blood donation shouldn’t be a concern for active people as long as they aren’t iron-deficient. Donald M. Christie Jr., M.D., added that hydration is the key to a quicker recovery and to drink a lot more liquids than those offered at the donation center, continuing afterward throughout the day. Christie notes that a reduction in performance fitness levels would be slight in an endurance athlete, and donation should have no effect on strength or short-burst activities. However, in a separate article in “Omega Cycling,” Dr. P.A. Lambeti reported the results of a study showing maximal performance was decreased for at least one week in cyclists and recommended competitive cyclists not donate within seven to 10 days of a race.

Bill Walsh

Bill Walsh was a masterful leader. Riding with half of his San Francisco 49ers squad to Pontiac, Michigan’s Silverdome and Super Bowl XVI, traffic was bumper-to-bumper, as thousands braved the frigid, icy conditions.
Sensing the heightened tensions of those on board, Coach Walsh decided to speak. “Gentlemen,” he began, “I’ve got good news and bad news. The bad news is that the game has begun without us. The good news is we’re ahead 3-0.” Laughter erupted.
Be it with a tension-breaking corny joke or a risky play call, Walsh (born 1931) knew it was his job to recognize and react to the needs of his team.
For 10 seasons with the 49ers (1979-1988), he did just that. In the process, he took a team that in 1978 was the NFL’s worst and turned it into a Super Bowl champion in just three seasons.
Under Walsh, the 49ers achieved a level of success they’d never before reached, winning three Super Bowls (in January 1982, 1985, and 1989) and capturing six NFC West titles.
Walsh built his winning teams with the careful selection of talented players. He selected future stars Joe Montana and Dwight Clark in his first draft as 49ers coach.
He added Ronnie Lott and Eric Wright in 1981, added Roger Craig in 1983, and in 1985 traded up to select Jerry Rice.
Never did he allow himself to become complacent or stop trying to improve his team. As a result, only seven players appeared in each of the 49ers’ three Super Bowls victories.
Walsh’s 102-63-1 record is the best ever for a 49ers coach. Most agree that his finest coaching performance came in 1987, when in a two-week period injuries forced him to make seven changes on offense, including five to the offensive line.
Injuries also necessitated changes on the defensive line and in the linebacking corps. Still, the Hall of Fame coach managed to advance his team to postseason play for a fifth consecutive year.
To learn more about football greats, see:

Types of Shooting in Basketball

The object of basketball is to shoot the big orange ball through the slightly larger circular hoop. Shooting is one of basketball¡¯s basic skills, and one new players are typically eager to learn. While some players specialize in certain types of shots, all-around players learn as many as possible to maximize their scoring options.
Most shots involve similar physical mechanics. Square your shoulders to the basket, place the fingers of your shooting hand under the ball, tuck your elbow close to your body and balance the ball lightly with your non-shooting hand. Extend your shooting arm toward the hoop and flick your wrist to release the shot. Shoot with your fingers and generate most of the power with your wrist, not your arm. Follow through directly toward the target with your shooting hand. You¡¯ll typically aim for a spot above the middle of the rim. From close range, aim for a spot on the backboard.
The jumper is used most frequently for mid- to long-range shots, including three-point attempts, although you can use it from short range to gain separation from a defender. Jump straight up and use the basic shooting form. Release the ball at the peak of your jump.
The two-handed set shot was once the common way to shoot from the perimeter. Today it¡¯s typically only used by young players who lack the strength to shoot with one hand. A free throw, however, is basically a type of set shot, although it¡¯s almost always performed with one hand. Use the standard shooting form, but don¡¯t jump.
You¡¯ll typically shoot layups from very close range after dribbling to the basket, or taking a pass near the hoop. Typical layup form involves grasping the ball with two hands, raising it in front of your face and banking it off the backboard, which all occurs while you¡¯re in motion. A putback of a missed shot is also technically a layup. If you can jump well enough you may also raise the ball as high as possible and flip it straight through the rim.
Centers and power forwards who typically operate near the basket often use short shots. A turn-around jumper begins with your back to the basket. You then jump away from the hoop while leaning back and simultaneously pivoting about 180 degrees to face the basket before you shoot. For a hook shot, stride into the lane with your back to the hoop while keeping your torso between the basket and the ball. Turn your non-shooting shoulder toward the hoop, jump, raise the ball straight up and flip your wrist to take the shot.
The dunk, basketball¡¯s most spectacular shot, relies more on jumping ability than shooting skill. If you can jump high enough, and hands large enough to control the ball, leap, lift the ball above the rim and push or throw it through the net.

What Is the Difference Between Latin American & European Soccer?

More than a century of competitive world soccer has shaped the perceived differences between Latin American and European soccer styles. Some of these generally accepted differences have almost become stereotypes, surviving despite the continually changing nature of the modern game. However, basic soccer philosophies differ between cultural regions, and both Europe and Latin America possess their own fundamental styles.
Latin American teams traditionally play an open style of soccer. The style of play is free-flowing, and the focus is on attack. In comparison, the general view of European play is one of greater discipline and less freedom of expression. European tactics tend to focus on denying the opposition space in which to move, resulting in a tighter and more cautious approach. These are general overviews, and ones that the modern game is perhaps eroding. The 21st century has seen Latin American teams such as Brazil and Argentina tighten up their defensive play, often at the expense of truly open soccer. In contrast, the German national team, once known for its rigid efficiency, displayed an open and attacking style of soccer during the 2010 World Cup.
Latin American soccer players are renowned for their technical abilities. They are confident with the ball at their feet and happy to take on opposing defenders one on one. Latin American soccer players move the ball spontaneously and with many individual-based plays. European soccer does not emphasize individuality to such an extent. Coaches focus upon team play and encourage direct passing between players rather than technical trickery. Obvious exceptions to this general rule include Spain, for example, which won the 2010 World Cup with a showy display of technical football.
Lying somewhere beyond technical ability is natural flair, something that Latin American players possess in abundance. The Brazilians are the kings of style, and their passion for doing the unexpected seems to have spread throughout the entire Latin American region. Pele, Diego Maradona, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho and Lionel Messi are just a few names on a long list of Latin American showmen. Europe has also produced its fair share of flair players such as Zinedine Zidane and Cristiano Ronaldo, but most fans and pundits still look upon Latin America as the home of flamboyant soccer.
Some of the greatest goalkeepers of all time have come from Latin America. Ubaldo Fillol and Amadeo Carrizo from Argentina, Gilmar from Brazil and Jose Luis Chilavert from Paraguay are all notable examples. However, Latin American goalkeepers have a reputation for eccentricity and unreliability, thanks largely to some woeful performances by Latin American goalies in World Cup competitions. As for eccentricity, no goalkeeper can rival former Colombian international goalie Rene ¡°El Loco¡± Higuita. Higuita was known for dribbling the ball up the pitch, scoring goals from free kicks and, most famously, the Scorpion Kick save. Despite being a hugely popular and entertaining player, his antics didn¡¯t help restore the global reputation of Latin American goalkeepers.

Why isn’t there a Women’s Tour de France?

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On June 29, the 100th Tour de France kicked off in Corsica, and the peleton of male cyclists are now well on their way, peddling for the Lance-Armstrong-tainted crown. So where are the women cyclists and their Kevlar-tough calves? Waiting for the ladies’ race to begin? No, because there isn’t one, much to the understandable chagrin of top-tier cyclists like Britain’s Emma Pooley who, in a recent interview with BBC Women’s Hour, discussed why a women’s Tour de France doesn’t exist:
“There did used to be a real women’s Tour de France back in the ’80s, two weeks long, really tough, full of proper mountain stages. But it fizzled out because of lack of sponsorship. In the ’90s, the men’s Tour de France actually sued them for trademark breaches for using the name Tour de France F¨¦minin, so they had to change the name to Grand Boucle, which meant they lost even more sponsorship…2009 was the last time that the daughter race of the Tour de France happened.”
Even though a race of that magnitude — the circuit is 2,000 miles long, which one woman is running during the men’s race — Pooley sees the lack of a women’s Tour de France as a missed opportunity because of the increasing interest in women’s cycling, thanks in part to its televised exposure during the 2012 London Olympics. Moreover, there wouldn’t be any need for additional media outlets, since they would already be in place for the men’s race.
“The Tour de France is such a logistical challenge anyway that adding 50 or 70 women wouldn’t make a huge difference,” Pooley told the BBC. “I’ve heard the argument that there wouldn’t be enough hotels, but honestly for the spectators it would be a good thing…if there were a women’s race, too, there would be two races to watch.”
Even if the Tour de France were to open up to women riders, UCI, cycling’s international governing body, doesn’t allow women to ride as far in a single stage in a tour. Critics also argue that female cyclists aren’t physiologically capable of competing in the grueling race over hills and mountains, and while Poole acknowledges that women wouldn’t be expected to cross the finish line with the fastest male cyclists, she attributes the barriers to women in cycling to “old-fashioned sexism, in my opinion.”
That type of gendered barrier in the sport is a major focus of “Half the Road,” a documentary by cyclist and filmmaker Kathryne Bertin that Pooley also appears in. While the number of pro women cyclists is much smaller than the number of male riders, the rewards for the women like Emma Pooley, Kristin Armstrong and Marianne Vos are a far cry from the hefty purses and generous sponsorships heaped upon men’s pro teams. A 2009 New York Times article estimated that “salaries for members of the women’s team ranged from ‘a jersey and a bike’ to about $100,000 a year. Men’s salaries are from $45,000 to more than $2.5 million.” Not to say there aren’t rigorous women’s races out there; here’s a full rundown of the 2013 women’s pro cycling schedule. But Pooley and other diehards who continue riding, training and racing insist that better exposure for the women’s sport — something like a Women’s Tour de France — is all it needs to attract more girls and younger women to cycling. The question is who will provide the sponsorship cash to fund teams and races in the meantime, when they could otherwise spend budgets on higher-profile men’s teams.
When the bicycle came around in earnest in the 1890s, it was more than just a transportation revolution for women. Even though bicycling riding horrified Victorian prudes who were scandalized at the notion of women straddling the saddle and going places unaccompanied, the bike won out. For that reason, suffrage trailblazer Susan B. Anthony considered bike riding, the “image of untrammeled womanhood,” and she believed ” has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world.”? And what a powerful image of untrammeled womanhood it would be to see, one day, women riding in a Tour de France. Here’s hoping the bike can beat out old-fashioned sexism once again.
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The Best Superset Exercises

Supersetting is an effective way to increase the amount of work you do in a specific timeframe. This boosts your metabolism and calorie burn, meaning you lose fat faster without having to spend more time in the gym, according to New Jersey-based trainer Jim Ryno, owner of Lift. A superset involves performing two exercises back-to-back, though there are many different ways you can use supersets. No one way is absolutely the best, but there are four key types of supersetting exercises, which all suit different scenarios.
Antagonistic muscles is another way of saying opposite muscles. When one muscle is contracting, the antagonistic is relaxing. This is demonstrated when performing a dumbbell curl — the agonist muscle — the bicep — is contracting, while the antagonist — the tricep — is relaxing. By pairing two opposing exercises, one muscle group gets a complete rest while the other works, so by the time you’ve finished the second exercise, you’re ready to go back to the first. Additionally, antagonistic supersets can increase nervous system activation and make you stronger, claims coach Nick Nilsson on the Critical Bench website.
Pre-exhausting is a good way of making your workouts harder while using less weight. Typically, it’s advised you perform multi-joint compound moves before single-joint isolation ones, but the pre-exhaust supersets turn this theory on its head. You start with an isolation exercise to fatigue your target muscle, then move on to a compound exercise.This ensures whatever muscle you’re targeting is completely fatigued come the end of your supersets. Challenging pre-exhaust combos include leg extensions before squats, dumbbell flyes before bench presses and straight-arm pull-downs with barbell rows.
Post-exhaust supersets are simply the opposite of the pre-exhaust method. You perform your compound first, then your isolation. This way of doing things can be effective for improving weaker body parts, notes coach Kelly Gonzalez. Try deadlifts followed by lying or seated leg curls, dips before triceps push-downs or follow your seated dumbbell presses with a set of lateral raises to failure.
Supersetting isn’t limited to just weights exercises. If fat loss is your goal, traditional supersets work better than resting between every set, but you can take it a step further by adding calorie-burning cardio into the equation. You may usually rest two to three minutes after every set of compound moves and around 60 to 90 seconds after isolations. Instead of taking it easy between sets though, try adding in cardio. Follow up squats or deadlifts with two minutes on the elliptical or bike, or throw in a set of kettlebell swings between pushups or some treadmill sprints between pull-ups.

Dryptosaurus

DRYPTOSAURUS (DRIP-toh-SORE-us)
Period: Late Cretaceous
Order, Suborder, Family: Saurischia, Theropoda, Unknown
Location: North America (United States)
Length: 18 feet (5.5 meters)
Dinosaur Image Gallery
Dryptosaurus is the only carnivorous dinosaur from the East Coast of the United States based on more than a single bone. The partial skeleton was discovered more than a hundred years ago by workers in a quarry in New Jersey. It was originally named Laelaps but this name had been given to a spider, so it was renamed Dryptosaurus.
The only parts of the skull that have been found of Dryptosaurus are pieces of the jaws. The teeth had serrations like those on a steak knife, showing it was a meat-eater. This is supported by the huge, eight-inch claw (it probably had several, but only one was found). Hands with talons like an eagle’s would have helped Dryptosaurus hold struggling prey. Its name means “tearing lizard,” which refers to these claws.
Although in fragments, enough of the skeleton has been found to show that this animal stood about eight feet tall at the hips. The back legs were much longer than the front, so Dryptosaurus probably walked on its back legs with its tail acting as a balance.
Dryptosaurus is a puzzle because its relationship to other carnivorous dinosaurs is not known. Although it looked somewhat like a tyrannosaur, it had longer limbs for its size and larger, more curved claws on its hands. Scientists hope it will be better understood when they have finished restudying the skeleton.
It is not certain what Dryptosaurus ate, because the fossil record for dinosaurs in New Jersey is very incomplete. All dinosaurs from New Jersey, including both Dryptosaurus and the older Hadrosaurus, were found in marine rocks. The remains of these dinosaurs must have drifted out to sea before becoming fossilized.
Hadrosaur bones are in many Late Cretaceous formations in the area, so hadrosaurs probably made up a large part of the diet of Dryptosaurus. Ceratopsians were probably not present (none of their distinctive bones have been found), so Dryptosaurus did not have to dodge the horns of an angry ceratopsian. Only isolated bone armor plates have been found from nodosaurid ankylosaurs. The body armor of ankylosaurs would have made it difficult for Dryptosaurus to kill the animal, but it is possible that Dryptosaurus scavenged an already dead body. Dryptosaurus may have been like the African lion that feeds on a carcass rather than chasing an antelope.

Fitness Gifts for Men

If your guy is a fitness buff, giving him something that reflects his pastime is a great way to make sure he’ll actually use and appreciate the gift. Even if the man in your life is just starting on the road to better fitness, you can help him reach his goals. Gadgets, weight lifting equipment and even motivation are good birthday, Christmas or anniversary gifts that show you care about his health.
If he always has to go to the gym to lift weights, because there is not enough space in the house for a lot of dumbbells, Esquire Magazine recommends Bowflex SelectTech dumbbells, which have every standard weight on one bar. He selects the weight he wants by sliding the dial to it and automatically has the right dumbbell at his disposal–without separate units or a large rack. Ankle weights, wrist weights and doorway pull-up bars are also good choices for a guy who is short on space.
Scouring the latest fitness magazines and manufacturers for the best new gadgets is a good way to give him something he doesn’t already have. New gadgets for the fitness-inclined appear every day, including items like Bluetooth connected activity trackers, the latest in heart rate monitors, specialty stop watches, pedometers and watches with built-in GPS. Clothing made from the newest fabrics, such as microfiber or a moisture-wicking polyester, compression-style leggings and accessories such as weight gloves and belts are welcomed items for his daily workouts.
If your guy isn’t a fitness buff, but he’d like to lose a few pounds and get into shape, purchasing a gym membership can get him started. A gym membership may be just the motivation he needs to get moving toward his fitness goals. For something different, a specialty gym, such as Crossfit, boxing, MMA or even rock climbing, or a few sessions with a trainer can help him get going on his goals. Add a membership for the family, and you can join him in his fitness adventure.
A subscription to a fitness magazine gives him something motivational to read on the treadmill. Specialty magazines focused on bodybuilding, camping, diet and nutrition, men’s fitness, outdoor adventures or extreme sports may keep him focused while he’s at the gym and at home after his latest workouts. A magazine subscription is an economical gift that lasts for 12 months.
Add some gym swag to his fitness wardrobe, with items such wrist straps, knee wraps, a weight lifting belt, microfiber towels or a good, insulated water bottle. You can have them personalized with his initials or select items with his favorite sports team logos. For real bragging rights at the gym, buy him an iPod and customize it with songs he loves or that will motivate him, and pair it with personalized arm bands, skins or fitness headphones.

Sammy Baugh

According to legend, Washington Redskins coach Ray Flaherty once diagrammed a deep pass play for his team, then remarked to his passer, Sammy Baugh, “When the end cuts way down here, Sam, I want you to hit him in the eye.” Baugh, knowing the accuracy of his arm, asked, “Which eye, coach?”
Although this oft-quoted story probably never happened, it indicates the precision of the tall Texan’s passing.
Until “Slingin’ Sammy” Baugh (born 1914) arrived in the NFL after an All-American career at Texas Christian University, no one had ever seen a passer who could throw long, short, and in-between with such fantastic accuracy.
As a rookie in 1937, Baugh led the Redskins to a championship. In 1942, he and the ‘Skins took another title. On three other occasions, Baugh’s passes took the Redskins to championship games.
For all of his 16 seasons, his tosses kept his team exciting and competitive. He led the NFL in passing a record six times. In 1945, he completed 70.3 percent of his passes.
It’s no exaggeration to say that Baugh’s fabulous success with the pass was a major factor in turning football from the grind-it-out days of old into the exciting, air-dominated modern game. It¡¯s no wonder that in 1963 he was named as a charter member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
In the mid-1940s, at the height of his career, Baugh was asked to learn a new position. Within a year, he had made a successful transition from a single-wing tailback to a T-formation quarterback, as he led Washington to another division title.
Baugh was such a great passer, it is sometimes forgotten that he did everything well. His 51.4 punting average in 1940 is still the NFL record, as is his career average of 45.1.
He was an effective runner when the situation demanded as well as a top pass defender. In 1943, he led the league in passing, punting, and interceptions — a triple crown.

Podcast Goodness: Desertification and Zoos

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Hi there, friends. Chuck here with the weekly podcast wrap-up. Since I typically start off with a little bit of what kind of things are going on in Atlanta meteorlogically speaking, let me just say that we’ve been awash in a sea of pollen. Anyone from the South can identify, I’m not sure what it’s like elsewhere. I seem to remember some decent pollen in New Jersey when I lived there, none in Arizona, and a little bit in Los Angeles. It’s been nuts here, but thanks to a nice afternoon shower, the streets ran with yellow rainwater and it’s all clean again. Yeesh.
This week on the Stuff You Should Know podcast program, Joshers and I covered desertification and the merits and problems of the modern zoo. I mentioned the pollen because we started our desertification show on Tuesday with a little bit of American history by way of the Dust Bowl. This was a prime example of desertification and how it can wreck an economy. Josh pointed out that the dust came into homes no matter if the doors and windows were sealed tight – kind of like the pollen here this week. Desertification is the degradation of soil in a semi-arid environment because of man-made issues coupled with some help from Mother Nature. The good news is, it can be reversed, as was the case with the Dust Bowl. The Midwest once again has fertile ground for planting thanks to the efforts of the U.S. Government. Things aren’t so easy for developing nations, which is the real problem.
Yesterday we covered whether or not zoos are a bad thing for animals. You basically fall into two camps here. You either think that the research that goes on and the efforts to help restore endangered species outweighs the negatives or you don’t. There are some excellent and responsible zoos out there doing great work, but unfortunately there are a lot more that have sub-standard conditions still, despite improvements made over the years. This one was tough because we had to relay some truly sad stories of animals that suffered because of the zoos they were in. But it’s part of our job to point all of this out so you folks can make informed decisions on whether or not to support your local zoo.
So let’s hear it, SYSK Army. What do you think about desertification? Are you a proponent of zoos or are you against them?
As ever, have a great weekend wherever this finds you, and be safe.
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