You should always pay attention to a headache before, during or after a football practice, because it might signal something much more significant. Headaches can arise from something as simple as dehydration, but they can also signify a brain injury, such as a concussion. Players with headaches should never ignore the pain and should stop practicing immediately to seek medical attention because headaches remain dangerous for any football player.
While not all headaches on the football field come from concussions, the book “Head Games: Football’s Concussion Crisis from the NFL to Youth Leagues” reports that up to 47 percent of all high school football players have suffered a concussion. Many of these concussions go unreported because these players do not want to lose their spots on the team. Many players believe that they should not worry about headaches unless they lead to or result from unconsciousness, but all players should have an awareness about the dangers of head trauma.
Countless deaths have occurred after high school practices and games over the years, with many of the deceased reporting headaches in the hours leading up to their deaths. In 2008, offensive lineman Atlas Fraley called for emergency attention after complaining of a headache after football practice. When the paramedics arrived, they diagnosed it as dehydration and left him at home after pumping him with fluids. Family found Fraley dead a few hours later because of head trauma he suffered at practice, the KnowConcussion website reports.
Professional football player Percy Harvin did not, as of the 2010 season, have a history of concussion, but reported suffering from migraine headaches occasionally. During a practice before the 2010 NFL season, Harvin complained of a headache, but soon returned to the field after receiving medical attention. The Minnesota Vikings wide receiver later collapsed on the field and the team¡¯s medical staff rushed him to hospital. This shows you should receive immediate medical attention for any headache you suffer from on the field, regardless whether direct contact occurred with the head or not.
Headaches can occur for different reasons during football practice, but no player should ever ignore them. In a contact sport, any number of collisions can cause a concussion, and a player should never return to the field until all of the symptoms have subsided. Those who return to the field before the headache has disappeared have a much greater risk of suffering from extremely dangerous conditions like second impact syndrome or post-concussion syndrome, researchers warned in a study published in 2001 in the journal “American Family Physician.”
No equipment, no gym — not a problem. You can get a solid strength-training session just using your body weight to do pushups. This classic exercise targets the chest, triceps and fronts of the shoulders but also utilizes the biceps, abs, obliques and low back as stabilizers. Herschel Walker, ex-pro football player and member of the College Football Hall of Fame, does between 750 to 1,500 every morning to stay in shape. You don’t have to gut out that many to build strength and endurance, especially if you are a beginner, but you can use the move as part of a complete workout.
When you are beginning a strength-training program, pushups may be one of the first exercises you target. A full pushup may be out of your reach, so try modified versions. You can do pushups against a wall with your hands placed a little wider than your shoulders and your body positioned at an angle to the wall’s surface. Once you can do between 12 and 15 of these, try modified pushups on the floor. Get into the top of the pushup position and then lower your knees onto the floor. Bend and extend your elbows to complete the pushup. Build up to doing 12 to 15 of these modified versions for three sets — which could take several weeks or months depending on your fitness and strength levels. Once you conquer the modified version for multiple sets, you’re ready for full pushups. A complete workout for a beginner doing full pushups is just one set of eight to 12 repetitions.
If you’ve mastered the pushup, the number of pushups you include in your workout depends on your goals. If you are a member of the military and looking to score well in the 2-minute pushup test or building stamina for rock climbing or other upper body-centered activities, your pushup workout can involve dozens of repetitions of the exercise. Stew Smith, former Navy Seal and certified strength and conditioning coach, recommends you work up to 200 or 300 per day in as few sets as possible to increase your pushup endurance and build upper-body stamina. This may fly in the face of classic strength-training protocols that demand rest between strength training specific muscle groups, but this unconventional approach can increase endurance, says Smith. Doing a high-rep pushup workout also strengthens your core muscles.
If your goal is to get a pumped-up chest for bodybuilding or significantly increase overall chest strength, a pushup workout may not be enough. A study sponsored by the American Council on Exercise published in October 2012 found that among nine of the most common chest-focused exercises, pushups ranked lowest in terms of activation of the pectorals, the primary chest muscles. While pushups can be part of a chest workout, the researchers concluded that those after a big, strong chest should emphasize the bench press, pec deck machine and bent-forward cable crossovers in workouts. If you add pushups to a comprehensive workout, do a standard eight to 12 repetitions for three to six sets. If this is too easy, try variations such as pushups on a balance device, incline or decline pushups, one-legged or one-armed pushups or handstand pushups to create a greater strength challenge. A chest workout for strength or size should allow 48 hours between sessions for the muscles to repair and rebuild.
When you complete dozens of pushups in a workout, proper form is paramount. Keep your body rigid as you bend and extend your elbows to prevent straining the lower back. If you start to feel shoulder or wrist strain, stop immediately, and if the discomfort does not go away for several days, seek medical advice. Build up gradually to high-rep pushup workouts; doing too much too soon can lead to injury.
It’s not just about working hard in the weight room, doing long-distance runs and sprint workouts and hitting a blocking sled. Football players who want to train hard and get better at their job can train in the pool, too. Aquatic workouts can help a player run faster, jump higher; and can even help kickers get more height and distance on their kicks.
A football player can improve his speed by running in shallow water. Go to the area of the pool where the water is thigh-high. Spring 25 yards one way and then 25 yards back. Take a one-minute break, then repeat the drill. By the end of the second two-lap run, you will likely feel exhausted but do your best to maintain your speed.
Stand in water that is waist-high. Bend your knees at a 45-degree angle, and jump up as high as you can. When you land, immediately repeat; jump like this 15 times. Take a one-minute break and then repeat the entire drill. The resistance provided by the water will help you build strength and explosive jumping power in your legs. This can help you get higher as a receiver, to catch the pass over a defender; or help you get high enough to knock the ball away from a receiver if you are a defender.
This is a great exercise for kickers and punters. Kicking the ball high and far is not just about explosive strength in your legs and hips. Much of a kicker’s power comes from your abs and core muscles. Grab the underside of the starting blocks at the end of the pool. Pull yourself up so that your feet are off the bottom of the pool. Point your toes, then lift your legs so your body is forming the letter “L”; Hold this position for two seconds. Return to the starting position. Do this maneuver 15 times, take a one-minute break, then repeat the set.
Playing organized sports can be one of the best experiences for any young person with an interest in sports. A player can improve his skills, make friends and learn how to be part of a team. But the experience is not always beneficial. Young athletes can get hooked up with a coach who is more interested in his ego than helping a young person. Instead of forming friendships, a young person might feel isolated. Injuries can also result from tough competition.
The coach of a youth sports team has the ability to make the experience an enjoyable or miserable one for a young athlete. If a coach is in it to win games and championships rather than emphasize learning and enjoyment, then he is not the right kind of person to lead young people. Some coaches will act warm and friendly to young players when they perform well but then act like they barely know the youngster when they go into a slump. This can ruin a young person’s attitude and make the experience painful.
Organized youth sports take steps to keep young people from getting hurt while playing. But sports are not risk-free and even with the right techniques, players are going to get injured. This is particularly true when they play contact sports such as football, hockey and soccer. Injuries can also occur in basketball, baseball, volleyball and tennis. Youngsters who suffer serious injuries (knee, shoulder, back and neck) might be hesitant to take the field in competitive situations again.
Sometimes the parents of athletes put undue pressure on young performers. Some might be blatant and provide specific expectations. “I expect you to get at least two hits tonight,” a father might say because he hopes to bring out a good performance. Others might indicate that the family name is on the line and issue a threat. “You better not do anything to embarrass me,” could be a parent’s last words before their child takes the field. Those are harmful words. Even if the child does perform well after hearing those words, all he might feel is relief. He won’t feel any of the joy that these sports are designed to promote.
There are very few weather stoppages in football. Through rain, sleet, snow and ice, football players take to the field and play the game no matter what the conditions. So do football fans, who have no escape from the elements if they want to see their team play. They must stay out there and face brutal rain and wind. Fans need the proper rain gear to make the experience less miserable.
The idea is to stay as dry as possible despite the rain and the best way to do it whether you are sitting in the stands or playing the game ¡ª while standing on the sidelines ¡ª is with the rain poncho. Lighter and more pliable than a rain coat, a rain poncho will move with your body and that will allow you to cover more of your body when moving around or sitting in the stands. The poncho will cover you from the top of your head to midway down your calves, and that will go a long way toward keeping you from getting soaked.
Rain pants and waterproof shoes are essential if you are a fan sitting in the stands. Rain pants protect you from getting soaked while seated and as you move around, waterproof shoes will keep your feet from getting soaked. Wet feet at a sporting event can turn any game into a miserable performance.
Don’t even think about taking an umbrella into the game with you. Under most circumstances it will be taken away from you. Unless you are sitting in the last row, there will be other fans sitting behind you and nobody wants to look at the back of your umbrella for a full 60-minute contest. You will likely be the object of ridicule for bringing an umbrella into the stadium with you.
A football game at the college or professional level will usually take about three hours. So in order to prepare for a day in the rain, you have to have the proper mindset for the experience. Your day of watching football will be wet, but it doesn’t have to be miserable. Once you get used to sitting in the rain, you are going through a shared experience with the other fans and players in the rain. As your body makes the adjustment, it becomes fun, enjoyable and memorable to watch the game in the rain.
It’s not just a matter of going to the game and sitting in the stands and watching the game. It’s the entire experience. Those who go to games regularly don’t cut back on their experience just because it’s raining. They tailgate even though it may be pouring outside. Take a tent with you when you go to the game so you can make the best of your pre- and post-game experience. You can have your beverages and meals in the tent and enjoy the experience despite the rain.
It’s little wonder that your feet begin to sweat and smell when they spend all day constricted by tight shoes. Feet crave fresh air and most shoes don’t give them that luxury. You can’t always walk around barefoot to ward off sweat, but you can treat your feet right whether they’re in or out of shoes. By keeping your feet and shoes clean, you’ll help to nix sweaty soles and say goodbye to embarrassing foot odor.
Wear a clean pair of cotton socks to prevent most sweating when you wear shoes. Do not wear the same pair of socks more than once. If you have foot odor, consider wearing antibacterial socks.
Change the shoes you wear every day. This gives your shoes a chance to dry out.
Scrub between your toes and wash the tops and soles of your feet with warm water and antibacterial soap every day. Pat your feet dry with a towel before putting on socks or shoes.
Fill a bowl with warm water, then add a few packets of black tea. Give the tea a few minutes to steep, then soak your feet in the mixture for up to 30 minutes. The tannic acid in the tea may help stop feet from sweating.
Wear open-toed shoes or sandals to allow air to reach your feet. If your feet aren’t confined, they won’t sweat as much. Canvas and leather shoes also let your feet breathe.
Clean your shoes by hand every few weeks, if possible. Wash sneakers of canvas shoes in hot water with a capful of laundry detergent and color-safe bleach. Don’t immerse leather or suede shoes in water. Instead, wipe them clean with a damp washcloth and mild soap.
Apply a spray-on antiperspirant to the soles of your feet. Antiperspirant is designed for your underarms, but it works just as well on feet to stop sweating and odor.
Put foot powder in your shoes before wearing them. Foot powders contain baking soda and talcum powder to help ward off sweat and odor.
Insert cedar trees into your shoes when you’re not wearing them. The cedar absorbs wetness and makes shoes smell nicer. Crumpled-up newspaper absorbs moisture, too, if you don’t own a cedar tree.
Having strong chest muscles can help you push away the competition in sports. The chest muscles help to extend the arms to push things away so activities in sports that are push related heavily involve the chest. The different sports that require muscular strength and or endurance in the chest will probably surprise you.
The constant pushing, blocking and jockeying for position in football requires you to have strong chest muscles. Strength coach Fred Hatfield says that having a strong chest and shoulders will help performance on the gridiron. Football players use their chest muscles when blocking or pushing their opponent and defensive players do the same when they try to get away or get off a block. In addition, defensive players also use the chest muscles heavily when they make tackles because not only do they push and grab but defenders wrap up the offensive player to tackle. The chest is also involved in the throwing motion of the quarterback and with ball carriers carrying the football.
Baseball players need strength and endurance in the chest to complete the tasks of hitting the ball and throwing the ball. The chest muscle is a supporting muscle, but it is involved in the overhand throwing motion in baseball. The motion especially for pitchers is more endurance related, but strength certainly helps a player to throw the ball harder. Chest strength is vital for hitters in baseball, because hitters must forcefully extend their arms to hit the ball hard and far. The chest is the largest muscle involved in the swing and to an extent chest muscle endurance is important during the swing, especially toward the end of a game or a long extended practice.
According to the Stretching Institute, chest flexibility and strength is important in swimming. All swimming strokes involve the chest muscles which help to extend the arms. Strokes like the freestyle, backstroke and breaststroke are all fueled by the chest muscles. Strength in the chest is important to help an athlete swim faster, but in swimming chest muscle endurance is even more important. Swim races can last for minutes at a time so the strongest athlete might start out in front, but endurance becomes the key in order to win the race.
Any rowing sport such as kayaking, canoeing or competitive rowing requires chest strength and endurance. The chest muscles are heavily involved in the rowing action by pushing the oar into the water during the arm extension portion of the row. Over short rowing distance, chest strength can definitely help you row faster. However over a longer distance strength will wear out and endurance in the chest muscles will enable you to row for miles at a time.
The average height and weight of women varies around the world, but in the United States in 2010, the average adult female height was 63.8 inches (approximately 5 feet 4 inches) and 166.2 pounds, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This number is higher than in the past and corresponds to a body mass index (BMI) that is classified as overweight.
But America is a diverse country, with lots of different ethnic groups, all of which have their own averages for height and weight. While non-Hispanic white women weigh 165.4 pounds and are 5 feet 4 inches tall (on average), the average non-Hispanic black women weighs 187.9 pounds and is also 5 feet 4 inches tall. Additionally, the average Hispanic women weighs 160.6 pounds and is 5 feet 2 inches tall, and the average Mexican-American woman weight 161.5 pounds and is also 5 feet 2 inches tall. Here is how the average American woman stacks up against women around the world: America: 166.2 pounds and 5 feet 4 inches Brazil: 137.8 pounds and 5 feet 2.2 inches Chile: 148.8 pounds and 5 feet 2 inches Germany: 148.8 pounds and 5 feet 5 inches South Korea: 124.6 pounds and 5 feet 2 inches Sweden: 147 pounds and 5 feet 5.7 inches The UK: 152.1 pounds and 5 feet 4.4 inches
The average weight of American women in 2010 is significantly higher than that of women in 1960, when the average American woman weighed 140.2 pounds — an increase of 26 pounds. The average height has also increased during that time period, but by a much smaller margin — 63.1 to 63.8 inches. As a result of this disproportionate increase in weight, the average body mass index of women in 2010 is 28.7, which falls into the category of overweight. By comparison, the average body mass index of women in 1960 was 24.9, which is on the high end of normal.
Although BMI is useful in helping to evaluate weight versus height, there are some limitations. For example, people that are more muscular are likely to have a higher BMI and may be classified as overweight by this system, despite being at a healthy weight. As a result, some of the increase in BMI that has happened between 1960 and 2010 could be due to an increase in muscle mass, but it is more likely that it’s due to an increase in unhealthy, high-calorie foods and a decrease in activity levels.
The skills required to master the game of football include strength, flexibility, agility and mental preparedness. Many football players exhibit strength, but may be lacking in other areas. This is where ballet enters in. Ballet lessons can improve your strength, increase flexibility and make you more agile, while providing a mind-body connection and reducing your risk of injury.
Strength is a key component of playing football. If you are not strong, you will not have much success in the game. Ballet provides a total body workout that targets muscles few other exercises use. For instance, ballet strengthens the muscles in your feet. Ballet lessons will additionally strengthen your back, legs and arms, with a great emphasis on strengthening your core muscles, which are useful while playing football. Working a variety of different muscles makes your muscles more adaptable, according to American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
Being flexible may not seem like a key factor in football, but increased flexibility has many benefits to the game. Ballet provided the flexibility necessary for NFL Hall of Famer Lynn Swann to become famous for his graceful, entertaining and successful football career. Increased flexibility can also reduce your risk of injuries, according to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.
In addition to making you a stronger, more flexible football player, ballet can make you more agile, moving quickly on your feet, changing directions with greater balance, stability and a greater range of motion. Ballet can also help increase your speed, as it did with Dallas Cowboys running back Herschel Walker. Walker credits his speed and agility to his diverse exercise routine that included ballet.
One of the most important components of playing football is concentration, another benefit Walker credits to his ballet experience. Dance lowers your stress, stimulates you intellectually and helps you recognize and deal with patterns, spacial issues and sequences, which are essential to football strategy. Dance also trains you to perform in front of an audience, an aspect that can frighten athletes into poor operation at game time. Dance stimulates a connection between your brain and your body that helps you do your best in all activities, including football.
Riding a bike is a great way to get some exercise. Riding a bike also minimizes the strain on your body that running can put on your knees and ankles, which can lead to complications later on in life. If you’re riding a bike that has a suspension system, it’s important to make sure the suspension is set to the proper levels, depending on your weight and the type of bike riding you plan on engaging in.
Determine the “sag” of your bike’s suspension system before you adjust it. The sag is how much the suspension will drop down from your weight alone.
Have a friend hold you up, or lean against a wall and sit on the bike without touching the ground. Your sag should be about a quarter of the suspension’s full “travel,” or how far the suspension goes down.
Adjust your suspension to make sure the sag is correct. To do this, twist the knobs on the top of the suspension, clockwise to tighten to reduce the sag and counterclockwise to loosen to increase the sag.
Adjust the dampening of your suspension. Dampening refers to the speed at which your bike’s suspension will bounce back up after being compressed. The controls are usually located at the bottom of the suspension system.
Test your bike’s altered suspension. Ride over some bumps or a sidewalk curb and judge the comfort in which your bike sags and springs back. Try adjusting by a single click until you achieve the results you’re looking for.