How to Cook a Ham: Removing the Skin

Ham comes from the hind legs of the pig. It is often served on holidays and other special occasions. Hams are generally available in whole or partial form, with the bone in or out and with a skin, or rind, on or off. If you have a ham with the outer skin intact, it is possible for you to remove it fairly easily by using a knife and your hands.
Cut through the skin of the ham in a zig-zag motion, all the way around the hock, near one end. Turn the ham as you go to make the process easier.
Slide your fingers and thumb under the skin that you’ve loosened and gently pull it away from the flesh. Peel the skin away a little at a time. Use your knife to help if you reach a spot that won’t come up with your hands.
Move the ham into different positions as you peel and cut, until the skin has been completely removed. Leave a thin layer of fat on the surface of the ham as you peel the skin away. This helps protect the meat from drying out when you cook it.
Cover any leftover ham in the fridge with the skin you cut off. This will help keep the ham moist.

How to Get Better at Soccer in a Week

Soccer is one of the world’s most popular sports, with millions of players at every level from youth to professional. Mastering the game takes years of training and practice, with players of high skill levels earning opportunities to compete at the high school, college and professional levels. Improvement over the course of one week is difficult. However, you can make progress ¡ª particularly in fundamental areas that provide the framework for future success.
Run constantly for each of your first six training days. Alternate training for endurance — which will take you through the course of 90 minutes of competition — and short bursts of speed. Three days of running three miles or more, along with sprints on the other three days and a day of rest, should do it.
Control the soccer ball while running up and down the pitch. Known as dribbling, this skill set is very important if you are not to be a turnover machine. Become comfortable with the ball at your feet while moving up and down the field by practicing.
Increase your power by practicing your penalty kicks. Players who score frequently on penalty kicks can be an asset for any soccer program. Take 50 practice kicks each day, working on making contact with the ball on the inside of your foot and driving it toward your target.
Pass the soccer ball back and forth repeatedly with a partner, and learn to hit your partner in stride while running down the field. This is known as a through ball, and is crucial in creating scoring chances.
Chip the ball up in the air to your partner, learning to lob it high over defenders into tight spaces. This skill can be developed in a relatively short time and is essential to helping your game to the next level.
Study the fundamentals of team defense, like clearing the ball and marking your man, and incorporate those facets into your own game. This study ¡ª which you can do by watching soccer in person or on television, or on websites with many hours of soccer video such as footytube ¡ª will render you a “student of the game,” a trait that all coaches seek in exceptional players.

Cleats & Foot Pain

From the youth level to the professional ranks, go to an outdoor game and you¡¯re likely to see the players wearing cleats on their feet. This specialized footwear has its uses and advantages, but improper use, sizing and fits can cause the game to be a painful experience for the player. Without proper considerations, wearing cleats can lead to foot pain.
Baseball, football, soccer, lacrosse golf and competitive bicycling are examples of outdoor sports that utilize cleats on the feet of the players. Each of these sports requires a different type of cleat that is designed for the game surface and the types of movement required of the players. Princeton University¡¯s online dictionary defines cleats as ¡°shoes with leather or metal projections on the soles.¡± Cleats gain grip or traction on the playing field to allow the athlete to perform. They also provide support and control.
The foot has 26 bones, 33 joints and hundreds of muscles and ligaments, so there are many areas that can cause pain. Foot pain can be felt on any part of the foot, top or bottom, toes to heel. As the feet are necessary for mobility and getting to and from places, an injury or severe foot pain can be devastating to the quality of life. Some foot pain like breaks and infections can lead to long-term damage or disability if it not treated. Foot pain is often due to shoes that don¡¯t fit properly.
To avoid foot pain from cleats, a proper fit is essential. Make sure you know the sizing of the sport-specific shoe prior to making a decision. For example, soccer shoes are sized like regular shoes but may be narrower at the top of the shoe. Shoes that are made from leather will stretch more after wear so they should be snug when tried on initially. Never purchase and attempt to wear shoes that feel too small or cramp any part of the foot when trying on in the store. The heel of a baseball cleat should be snug, but not rubbing the back of the heel raw and the widest part of the foot should fit comfortably.
Common forms of foot pain due to cleats include heel pain like plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendon injuries, ankle sprains and blisters. Sprains are stretched or torn ligaments that can result from pivoting or having a foot caught while trying to move in another direction. Plantar fasciitis is inflammation on the bottom of the foot that can be caused by shoes without padding or shoes that don¡¯t fit properly. The burning sensation can be painful. Plantar fasciitis can also cause arch pain. Blisters result from shoes not fitting properly and rubbing the skin of the foot raw.
Cleats should always be broken in prior to wearing in a competitive environment. A game is not the best time to try a new pair of cleats. If you have any pre-existing ankle conditions, speak to a podiatrist before wearing cleats. Children should not wear used cleats. Most foot pain issues can be treated with self-care at home. Keep weight off the foot as often as possible. Use an ice pack for 15 to 20 minutes three times a day and a compression bandage during the day to reduce swelling. Also keep the foot elevated to reduce swelling. Cover blisters with bandages to prevent infection and irritation.

The Best Soccer Formation for an 11-Sided Game

When playing an 11-sided soccer game, your team has one goalkeeper and 10 players to distribute on the field in the best way possible. Putting players in positions keeps the team orderly and helps players spread out and cover their part of the field. Teams use several formations, depending on whether they want to focus on offensive or defensive strength.
The most common soccer formation used around the world today is known as the 4-4-2. This formation has four defenders, four midfielders and two forwards. It is easy for older youth players to learn because the positions are well-defined and straightforward, and many college and professional teams use it as well. In this formation, the four defenders can either be in a straight line or can line up with a stopper in the front center and a sweeper in the back center. Having a sweeper is helpful when playing against fast teams.
When an opposing team has a particularly strong offense, soccer teams often play an even more defensive formation by moving one of the forwards back. They can either play a 4-5-1 formation or a 3-6-1 formation. In the 4-5-1, instead of having a second forward, teams play a defensive midfielder. The midfielders on the wings and one or more of the center midfielders can join the forward on the front line on offensive drives. The 3-6-1 formation is popular with German teams and includes four center midfielders, two who play more offensively and two who play more defensively.
Teams that have a strong set of defenders or who are playing against a team with a weak offense might want to set up with a more offensive formation. Usually, a team will switch to a 4-3-3 formation, moving one of the center midfielders up to a center forward position. This makes it easier to get together a scoring drive because one more player can receive passes at the front. Another option is a 3-5-2 formation, which provides up to seven offensive players.
The best formation depends largely on the skills of the team members and the strengths and weaknesses of the opposing team. Coaches need to be flexible and willing to adjust their formation to face particular opponents or to compensate for a key player’s injury. Some coaches even change formations in the middle of the game in an effort to come out with a win. However, youth soccer coaches should use no more than two soccer formations to avoid confusing the players.

Walking & Edema

It¡¯s common to experience some swelling of your hands, feet and lower legs, symptoms known as edema, during and immediately after exercise. This is especially true during hot weather, during pregnancy and after eating salty foods, which increases water retention. Without other symptoms, especially pain, and if the swelling disappears within 24 hours, don’t worry. A few self-care steps can help. But if edema persists, see your doctor right away.
It¡¯s not completely understood why hands swell during exercise, according to, but the theory is that it¡¯s a side-effect of how your body and blood vessels respond to increased energy demands on muscles during exercise. During exercise, blood flow increases to muscles as well as your heart and lungs. This sudden shift reduces blood flow to your hands, which cool down. Blood vessels in your hands overreact, opening wider, which causes fluids to concentrate. With continuing exercise your muscles generate heat and blood is pushed closer to the skin surface, to dissipate heat through perspiration, and this might also contribute to swollen hands.
Long walks, otherwise being on your feet or sitting for a long time, eating salty foods and hot weather can also cause edema of the legs and feet. Painless swelling of the feet and ankles is also fairly common among older or overweight people, and can sometimes affect calves or legs. The explanation of edema of the legs and feet is the same as for swollen hands when exercise is the likely cause.
Edema is more prevalent among people who don¡¯t exercise regularly. The problem might largely resolve itself once walking becomes routine. But until then, and during hot weather, remove your rings and take off your watch before setting out. To minimize hand swelling while you¡¯re walking occasionally extend your arms and do forward and backward arm circles, and also stretch your fingers and make fists, to enhance circulation. For leg, ankle and foot swelling, lie down when you get home and elevate your feet above your heart for 30 minutes, to encourage fluid return toward the heart with a little help from gravity. Also lift you arms above your heart if your hands are swollen, too.
Edema that causes swollen legs can be a symptom of various serious conditions too, including leg infection, a blood clot in the leg, heart failure, kidney failure, liver failure and pre-eclampsia or toxemia in pregnant women. Call 911 if you have edema and feel short of breath or have chest pain, pressure or tightness. Call your doctor if you have a fever, if you experience more than mild swelling or if swelling continues to increase, and if your swollen foot or leg turns red or feels warm to the touch. Some medications, including calcium channel blockers for high blood pressure, can cause edema, so let your doctor know whether symptoms seem related to a medication change.

Snowmobile Track Size Guide

Snowmobiles have differing handling characteristics depending on which type of vehicle you choose. Track size is an important factor. Your level of expertise and the riding conditions you¡¯ll face are both crucial when it comes to track size. While snowmobiling is fun, it can be hazardous if you don¡¯t fully understand factors that influence the performance of your vehicle, including track size.
Choosing a track for your snowmobile used to be simple — you either used a ¡°short track¡± of 121 inches or a 136-inch mountain sled track. These days track lengths come in 121-, 128-, 136-, 141-, 144-, 151-, 159- and 162-inch sizes. Tracks are generally 15 inches wide.
Choose a longer track if you need more flotation. Longer tracks are good for riding in deep, fresh powder snow. Longer tracks provide better stability that can make your ride more comfortable, and also allow you to slow down more without getting stuck. This is an important consideration, as most snowmobiles do not have a reverse gear.
Shorter tracks are better if you will be riding along tight trails and turning sharp corners. A snowmobile with shorter tracks is easier to turn, whereas longer tracks have a tendency to keep you going straight. Use a shorter track if you will be riding on groomed trails or on packed trail conditions, recommends “Snow Tech” magazine.
Shorter tracks are lighter and require less engine power to make them move. Longer tracks are heavier and use up more engine power to produce an equal amount of speed. This means that to utilize the 159- and 162-inch tracks, you¡¯ll need either a powerful snowmobile that costs top-dollar, or aftermarket add-ons to increase the power of your vehicle. Lower-priced models have engines that average 225 cc, and big engines get up to 800 cc.
Big engines can allow you to hit speeds of up to 90 mph, and longer tracks and more power enable you to get your snowmobile into more areas than vehicles with less track length and power. However, if you are an inexperienced rider, this can prove dangerous. You need the ability to get yourself out of situations that such a bike can get you into, as well as the know-how for recognizing danger. Accidents can be fatal or lead to serious injuries.

Training for Reebok Aerobics Instructors

The name Reebok has become a staple in the fitness industry. Since the 1980s Reebok has been involved in the development of step aerobics, aerobics, strength and flexibility training. The Reebok Instructor Alliance was created to provide instructor training for group classes and networking opportunities for fitness professionals. As the fitness industry has evolved, so has Reebok, from the early days as a footwear company to a worldwide fitness training resource.
Reebok has offered training under the names Reebok University, Reebok India and Reebok Instructor Alliance. Training is geared toward step, aerobics, martial arts, core, strength, Pilates and kick-boxing. Certification includes a combination of knowledge and theory along with practical application. Candidates learn how to construct a safe and effective workout for participants of all fitness levels.
Instructors can become certified as a Reebok Certified Fitness Trainer or Reebok Certified Step Trainer. The certification includes 60 to 80 hours instruction, including theory and practical application. Content knowledge consists of anatomy, exercise physiology, injury prevention, program design, nutrition, biomechanics, fitness testing and nutrition. Practical application topics consist of communication, teaching techniques, music, choreography and patterns and special populations. Ongoing professional development courses are available for instructors that are certified through an outside organization such as the American Council on Exercise, or ACE, and the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America, AFAA.
Benefits of aerobic training include increased heart and lung function along with a decreased risk of heart problems. Increases in metabolism help reduce excess body fat and prevent obesity and obesity-related problems. Participation in a cardio training program led by a certified instructor provides a “how-to guide” for beginner-level participants. Instructor training on proper exercise technique, progression and motivation helps to maximize effects and stick to a program designed to achieve health and fitness benefits along with a decreased risk of injury. This instructor training provides a stamp of approval for the public, giving the instructor the confidence and the ability to successfully lead group classes and individual training sessions.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, an above-average increase is expected in employment opportunities for fitness instructors between 2008 and 2018. This is due to the realization of the importance of exercise. Fitness instructors are employed in health clubs, universities, studios, hospital, rehabilitation and corporate settings. As awareness of the health and fitness benefits of exercise increases, so do employment opportunities for fitness instructors.

Exercise & Concerta

Concerta (methylphenidate) is a stimulant medication prescribed to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children and adults. It speeds heart rate and respiration while increasing levels of the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. Because it can raise blood pressure and heart rate, Concerta may cause adverse health effects when combined with the physical stress brought on by vigorous exercise.
There are many different types of exercise, each having unique effects on the body. Aerobic (¡°cardio¡±), weight-bearing and stretching exercise are the main categories into which most physical activities fall. Aerobic exercises like running and brisk walking primarily work the cardiovascular and respiratory systems, while weight-bearing exercises strengthen muscles. Stretching exercises like yoga and Pilates are designed to tone muscles while improving breathing and flexibility. Workouts consisting of all three types of exercise are recommended for optimal physical fitness.
Exercise is needed to keep the body fit and strong. Lack of physical activity is a major contributing factor for obesity, which increases the risk for heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and many other health conditions. Stimulants like Concerta, ephedrine and amphetamines are sometimes used as performance-enhancers by athletes. According to the National Institutes of Health, stimulants significantly increase anaerobic capacity and knee extension strength while decreasing pain and fatigue during physical activity, making it possible to train more intensely for longer periods of time. The use of stimulants like Concerta is viewed as an unfair advantage by many sports organizations and is banned in most professional sports.
According to the National Institutes of Health, methylphenidate–the active ingredient in Concerta–can cause hypertension, hyperthermia and irregular heart beat. It increases metabolic rate, which often results in increased sweating. In combination with factors like high temperatures and strenuous exercise, Concerta may increase the risk for heat stroke and dehydration. Concerta also decreases pain perception while exercising, making it harder to tell when the body has reached its physical limits. Baseball player Steve Bechler and cyclist Tom Simpson are tragic examples of the dangers of combining stimulants with exercise. Both men died as a result of dehydration and hyperthermia triggered by intense physical exertion and stimulant use. While neither athlete was taking Concerta at the time of death, the substances they were using (ephedra and amphetamine, respectively) belong to the same class of drugs as Concerta and are known to cause similar effects.
Patients taking Concerta to treat ADHD and other disorders should use caution when performing strenuous physical activities. Drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration and avoid exercising in extremely hot conditions. Warm up and cool down properly before and after exercise, and avoid exercises like weight lifting immediately after taking Concerta. Gentle stretching exercises like yoga may be less likely to cause cardiovascular distress than high-intensity aerobic or weight-lifting workouts.
The FDA considers Concerta a safe and effective medication for treating ADHD in patients ages 6 to 65. Concerta is unlikely to cause serious cardiovascular problems when taken by healthy patients for whom it was prescribed. Underlying heart conditions, inadequate fluid intake and concurrent use of other stimulants like caffeine may increase the risk for adverse effects while taking Concerta.

Why Your TV Binge-Watching Is Bad for Your Health

Did you know that excessive Netflix-and-chillin’ could kill you?
A new study shows that — in case it wasn’t obvious — sitting on your butt for hours at a time can be hazardous to your health.
“Our prospective cohort study suggests that prolonged television watching is a substantial risk factor for mortality from pulmonary embolism,” report the authors of a study published July 26, 2016, in the American Heart Association journal Circulation.
Read More: 10 Body-Sculpting Exercises You Can Do While Watching TV
A pulmonary embolism is sudden blockage in a lung artery, which can occur when a blood clot travels to the lung from a vein in the leg, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
In other words: A clot block.
As the study shows, however, a PE is no joke. It can kill.
The mortality rate from PE for people watching less than two and a half hours of television per day is 2.8 (per 100,000). The rate jumps to 4.8 for those watching two and a half hours to almost 5 hours. The rate then increases to 8.2 for those watching over five hours.
Signs and symptoms of PE can include unexplained shortness of breath or other problems breathing, chest pain, coughing, coughing up blood or an irregular heartbeat, according to NIH.
Additionally there could be signs of deep vein thrombosis (a blood clot that originates in a vein deep in the body) in the form of “swelling of the leg or along a vein in the leg, pain or tenderness in the leg, a feeling of increased warmth in the area of the leg that’s swollen or tender, and red or discolored skin on the affected leg,” the agency notes.
The Japanese Collaborative Cohort Study, called “Watching Television and Risk of Mortality From Pulmonary Embolism Among Japanese Men and Women,” was derived from the responses of 86,024 participants (36,006 men and 50,018 women) in the study — which started in the late 80s in 45 regions of Japan and involved 110,585 participants aged 40 to 79.
Sorry to bear bad news, binge-watchers, but you certainly shouldn’t be sitting for stretches longer than two and a half hours; in fact, some experts suggest you get up at least once per hour. Others suggest standing and stretching your legs every 15 or 20 minutes.
There may be a date-night compromise: Alternate your activities between Netflix-and-chill sessions and Pok¨¦mon GO sprints — or some other activity that gets your blood pumping.
Read More: Pok¨¦mon GO Sparks Accidental Fitness Trend
Are you guilty of TV binging? Do you think you sometimes overdo it? What shows are you binging? And how do you break away?

How Does Adrenaline Affect an Athlete’s Performance?

The excitement an athlete feels when participating in a sport or activity is the release of adrenalin into their circulatory system. Adrenalin, also known as epinephrine, is the body’s response to stress and at one point, centuries ago, may have made the difference between life and death. Our heightened senses prepared us to either fight or flee. It was a survival instinct that can be applied to athletic activities today.
The influx of adrenal surge is a welcomed effect when an athlete is about to do battle in the sporting arena. There’s an increase of energy sent to the muscles and the muscles response is to boost their ability to react. There’s an enhanced alertness brought about by an arousal of the central nervous system. The body begins to sweat more, in preparation to cool the muscles and the pupils dilate in an effort to take in more of the surroundings. The athlete is now ready.
When adrenalin is released into the bloodstream, it invariably finds its way to the heart. The heart, upon feeling the increase in adrenalin, immediately boosts the rate and strength of its beating. The result is an increase in blood pressure, which, in turn, allows for an increase in respiratory exchange, making more oxygen available for the working muscles. The more oxygen available, the better the performance.
The rush of adrenalin into the working muscles has a positive effect on athletic performance. Unfortunately, if the athlete isn’t able to control this hormonal flow, it could have negative effects on overall health. The production of adrenalin is designed as a survival technique, but far too often the stress hormones are called into action at inappropriate times. If this happens more frequently then it should, the result is a suppressed immune system and a propensity toward a resistance of infections.
The athlete that is more able to direct their energy properly, is usually the athlete that experiences victory. It’s not enough to feel the adrenalin surging through your body — it’s equally important to control the adrenal response in such a way that produces the best results. The most effective way of focusing is to place yourself in a similar scenario as often as possible. This is called training and it is an essential component of the athletic experience.