USA vs. the World Cup

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It seems that America only knows how to fight a good fight.  Never more true has this been than in the 2014 World Cup, where USA has beaten and clawed its way up to face the undefeated team, Belgium.  After an unfortunate loss to Germany, words bubbled about America’s expectations, but USA seems doggedly determined to beat the odds this time around.

As soccer, as we know it, has become more popular on this side of the pond, so has the USA’s standing in the World Cup.  We suffered a disappointing 0-1 loss against Germany, but spirits are undaunted as we turn to face one of football’s top contenders.  More importantly, players that have been considered more of a liability, have managed to hold together, and keep a solid front, adding strength to what would otherwise be one of the weakest World Cup team contenders.  This year’s system of cards and flags has given cause for concern, but regardless, USA has managed to hold on.  Yes, a few players have had hard a time holding up to the pressure, but on the whole, this has been USA’s best year yet.  Not only have they had to compete with some of the most experienced World Cup teams, surviving the group of death, but they have also had the unfortunate lot of being the most travelled team throughout the series.

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The Difference between USA Athletes, and everyone else

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When it comes to sports and athletics, America has everyone beat.  Year after year, the USA produces top athletes, sportsmen, gold medalists, and trophy winners.  With the arrival of the Winter Olympics this year, and the upcoming World Cup, 2014 looks like it’s going to be another year for USA athletes to shine.  So what is it that has allowed USA athletes to shine above the rest?  USA is known for beating the odds and coming out on top, and we help set the definition of what it means to be an ideal athlete in this modern day and age.

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What it means to be a Healthy Sportsman

man running

Here in America, we pride ourselves, we pride ourselves on both our athletes, and their abilities.  Yet, alongside that that prowess, there has been rising controversy in the health of many of our athletes.  From drug scandals, to major physical injuries, the sports realm has received also a lot of criticism across the board for their treatment of athletes.  Remember, these are our prime sportsmen, who are valued and celebrated because of their physical acumen.  It always boils down to one, universal question, if your job is to push the limit, how far is too far?

It’s a discussion that reaches every single, major athletic competition in this country.  From weightlifters to swimmers, decathlon runners and football players, our players’ health is a major topic across every media outlet.  Part of any athletes’ job is to represent the ideal image of health and fitness of man, so how healthy are our athletes anyway?  First, we need to define the idea of health.

Physical Fitness:

Of course, we all have our own individual perceptions of ‘physically fit’.  We recognize it in the football players, jocks, weightlifters, personal trainers, and in general, all athletic competitors.  Our players are in peak physical condition, with trained and refined bodies, that often become idealized and emulated.  But our competitors are also notorious for pushing their bodies to the extreme.  Being active in sports does not mean simply engaging in a physical activity, it’s also about leading a healthy lifestyle.  Unfortunately, there are still a few athletes out their besmirching the name of all American competitors, with either physical or substance abuse.

It’s an ongoing problem here in the United States, and one that doesn’t seem to have an easy resolution.  The sports scandals always hit the big news, from baseball, to swimming, to cycling- problems of drug abuse and overtraining are all over the field.  We try to limit our athletes’ exposure to controlled substances, but whether to have a good time, or bring the “best” performance to a game, somehow a few manage to slip through the cracks in regulations.  Take for example, the most recent Tour de France.  As testimony and events from that time also show, this problem isn’t just limited to the United States.  You can see this in the past several Olympics, where competitors from various countries, events, and years have been disqualified for substance abuse.

Overtraining is another problem- being too physically fit.  This can lead to muscle problems, and mental disorders, the result of pressure to stay in shape, and on the top of your game.  Media coverage and advertising endorsements put a lot stress on our athletes to be the best, but when that need starts overtaking your life, you can be putting your health at risk.

Mental Fitness:

It is not enough to be physically fit, but mental and cognitive abilities must be assessed as well.  In light of recent tragedies that have smeared the name of competitive sportsmanship, professionals have begun taking a look at the mental fitness of our athletes.  While sports provide us with a source of entertainment, it should not be done at the expense of the individual athlete.  Sports provide us with a healthy outlet for our energies, but when we suffer serious trauma, a line needs to be drawn.  Athletes and competitors often put their bodies at risk in the activities they engage in, or the moves they perform.  Many regularly sustain injury as a result, but when that minor to major injury becomes life threatening, that is a problem.

So what does the United States do about the mental fitness of their sportspersons?  It’s a tragedy to know that a lifelong and even legendary sports career can result in permanent damage that can render you mentally incompetent, and worse, a danger to yourself and others.  That’s why frequent full medical examinations are an important part of sports and fitness.  It’s also important to be able to manage your time and your schedule well, and understand the stresses in your life that can be the result of sports.  Many athletes are too busy to recognize their breaking points, and thus don’t deal with them accordingly.  That’s dangerous territory, which can lead to eating disorders, mental disorders, and even manifest itself physically.

Here in the United States, we have many organizations and schools devoted to the physical and mental therapy of our competitors.  Education is a key part of this process.  Another is teamwork, being able to treat your teammates like a second family, have confidence in them, and be responsible enough to be reliable.  I see excellent teamwork from many foreign competitors, who seem to better understand group dynamic, without the constant media press and sports coverage our athletes on home court have to be subjected to.

Nutrition and Supplements: The Basics You Need To Know

Americans, we are renowned for eating burgers and fries and drinking coca cola, but this article will prove we are not all like that and will help us learn about the best nutrition and supplements to take, to keep us healthy and fit.

Living a healthy, long and fulfilling life all comes down to diet and lifestyle.

There are a set of ‘Dietary Guidelines for Americans’ in place and these are good to read and get yourself familiar with. They outline and provide “evidence-based” nutrition information and advice on food and lifestyle matters. It is also a good source to tell you what foods to eat more of, and in turn, which foods to avoid and cut back on. For example :-

Foods and components to increase


  • Fruit<– be sure to eat plenty of fresh and organic seasonal fruits
  • Vegetables – focus on eating dark green and leafy vegetables, such as broccoli, spinach, etc
  • Whole grains – Not all grains are considered bad for you. Be sure to replace your white bread with a whole grain bread
  • Low fat or fat free – Like grains, not all fat is a no-go! Just eat more low fat or fat free options, especially with dairy
  • Protein – Nothing better for you than protein – you will find this best in rich red meats and eggs
  • Seafood – can be a good replacement when you don’t want to have so much red meat in your diet

Foods and components to decrease

  • Salt – try not to consume more that 2,300mg per day. Excess salt will lead to heart disease, hypertension, diabetes or kidney disease
  • Saturated fats – although saturated fats are found in meats, eggs and dairy, as long as you focus on the intake of these foods, your health will be fine. Try not to let calories take up more that 10% of your calorie intake
  • Cholesterol – again, meat, eggs and dairy contain cholesterol, but try not to exceed 300mg per day
  • Trans fat – sounds horrible in itself. This means avoid pizza, ribs, ice-cream etc
  • Added sugars – this means avoid sugary drinks, like soda or energy drinks and also
  • Refined grains – avoid donuts, biscuits, cakes etc
  • Alcohol – as long as you keep alcohol intake to a minimal, the odd glass is fine. Opt for red wine or spirits, as opposed to white wine.

The guidelines are also a very important tool when determining eating patterns and habits. By choosing the correct eating habits, you can prevent yourself against obesity, heart disease etc.

With the above in mind, if you also take dietary supplements, then you are on the road to a long and healthy life. Some supplements that are considered highly desirable to take are multi-vitamins, vitamin D and K, calcium, L-tyrosine, just to name a few.

These days we are seeing more and more Americans stop and think about what they are eating and putting in their mouths. Long gone are the days of eating hot dogs and being known as the “fat country”. More people are opting for healthy eating and cutting calories, but also backing this up with a solid dietary supplement intake. It’s not rocket science!

Correlation Between Playing Sports and Health

As an avid sportsman and health buff, I have come to admire the strong correlation that exists between “how actively you participate in various playing various sports and games” and the impact on the health. I was wondering if there were any scientific studies done to validate this theory. As you and I know that correlation doesn’t necessarily mean causation. Doing a quick google search on the topic of health and impact of sports and sporting activities, I came across an excellent study done by the United Nations. It was interesting to see that the idea of using sports as a mainstream concept to promote better health and to prevent disease was studied extensively.

Checklist

In US, there is an epidemic of obesity that we are constantly fighting and adoption of sporting activities such as football, basketball, soccer etc. can help the nation go long ways to help with the dealing negative side effects of obesity. Diabetes has been increasing at an astronomical rate in the last several years which can directly be attributed to obesity. While there are many root causes contributing to the problem of obesity, one this is for certain, the solution doesn’t necessarily lie outside of the individual. When each individual takes responsibility for their own weight and takes appropriate steps they will be able to prevent the negative side effects of obesity.

One has to take responsibility for their actions; otherwise they will have to pay the price of regret. As someone once said, you have to pay the price of discipline or you’ll pay the price of regret. So, profound.

While exploring various sporting activities one should consider from obesity standpoint, as not all sporting activities’ are created equal. Some of them have a huge health benefit while others not as much. But a sport like golf where the amount of physical activity is not a lot as compared to other games like football, it still does have tremendous health benefits if one chooses to walk across the golf course vs. rides on the golf cart. Once again it comes down to individual decision.

Where I live, we get bombarded with snow in winters and it becomes a convenient excuse for not having to outdoor exercises. With little creativity the external weather elements can be circumvented to receive the adequate amount of exercise. Spring, summer and fall are my favorite seasons, once the snow is completely melted, I start playing my favorite game which is of course the soccer or football for the rest of the world.

Another favorite activity for us is biking; we do all forms of biking as a family, sometimes using electric bikes, dirt bikes. It is not only fun but a little dangerous. One has to be careful and not forget to take appropriate safety precautions to protect from any injuries. The best investment one can make in them is by using a helmet to protect their head. It is sad that so many people ignore this well-known preventive measure and succumb to injuries or death each year in accidents. But as long as one takes appropriate measure to protect themselves from potential injuries, biking is a great relaxing activity not only provides excellent cardio vascular workout benefits but also acts as a great channel to de-stress from a hectic day of work.

Don’t Be Intimidated By The Interview Process

Most people dread job interviews. Although, there is really no reason to be intimidated by the interview process. Your success usually depends upon your attitude and having confidence. You always want to put your best foot forward and the mental game is a huge part of that.

When you head off to your interview be prepared. Look professional, smile and be friendly. Do some research on the company beforehand. This way when at the end of the interview when they ask you if you have any questions, you will have some intelligent questions about the job and the company. This shows the interviewer that you know your stuff. 

One of the biggest obstacles to doing well in a job interview is being nervous. Being prepared and feeling confident can go a long way, but another thing that helps is practice. You may be dreading that first interview and you may be so nervous you feel like you blew it. But by the end of interview 30, you will be an old pro and nerves won't be an issue. Now you can focus on acing the interview.

Hopefully interview 30 won't be necessary, but with each interview your skills get better so just do the best you can and don't lead being nervous ruin your success. There are a lot of useful websites that have pointers for brushing up on interview techniques and other jobhunting skills. Use them to your advantage.

Most recruiters are looking for employees that fit in with the company and have the requisite job skills. This being said, appearance also matters. Look neat and professional and have a comfortable outfit that you feel confident in. There are many websites that can give you pointers on brushing up on your appearance we found some good tips here.

You also want to have a resume to showcase your skills. No two resumes are the same because no two people share the same work experiences.  However, there are several basic types of resumes that are used to showcase your personal skills and work history.  

A chronological resume starts with a listing of your work history, with your current (or most recent) position listed first and the rest of your work history listed in reverse chronological order.  You usually want to list 3 to 4 positions, each including job responsibilities, skills required, and key accomplishments.  An Education section as well as a Skills section follow.  

Recruiters who are searching for entry level positions prefer this resume example since they can easily ascertain work habits and experience.  This resume example works best for job seekers who have a strong, solid work history.  

A functional resume is focused on skills and experience rather than actual work history.  If you are a new graduate that has a very limited (or no) professional work history, focusing on a functional resume example may be the best option for you.  Each skill must be specific and be accompanied by descriptive explanations and be targeted to the position that you are trying to get.  Functional resumes are also beneficial to job seekers that are changing careers to a field that is very different from their previous work experiences or for those applicants with significant gaps in work history.  

This resume example is preferred by recruiters who are searching for higher-level management positions.    

How Should Athletes Be Supporting Themselves? (Why Not Work From Home)

Everyone knows about the high profile athletes that make millions of dollars every year on winnings and sponsorship. And good luck to them.

However the reality is for the vast majority of athletes, including some very successful athletes in some less mainstream sports, that simply pursuing a career as an athlete does not pay the bills. Whilst many government support training programs for athletes the support rarely amounts to a significant amount of money.

And therefore supporting themselves financially becomes an issue for many athletes. Not only do they need to earn a living, as does everybody else, but they also need to do so with a background of many hours each day spent training, which reduces the time available to work at some other form of income producing work.

So today we wanted to examine the possibility that athletes could work from home online to produce an income to support their training.

What are the benefits of working from home for an athlete?

For many athletes the day starts early. Swimmers, for example, are often training in the small hours of the morning, and by the time they get home for breakfast have spent many hours in the water. Other athletes often spend the afternoon in training.
One of the benefits of working from home, in many types of work from home jobs, is that the individual is able to choose the hours and the length of time they work. There is great flexibility for people who work from home.

This gives the athlete the possibility of structuring their work hours around their training hours, which increases the likelihood they will be able to devote their full attention to training. If they work from home on a flexible basis then they can make their training regime their number one priority, and structure their work hours around that.

They will also have themselves as their own boss. Whilst being employed as its own benefits, for example a regular wage, it may be difficult for some athletes to convince the boss to allow them the flexibility that they need to pursue their chosen profession. Many employers don’t quite understand that for a serious athlete their training comes first and their work comes second.

Another advantage of working from home is that athletes spend weeks or even months each year travelling to attend athletic events. Many work from home jobs simply require a computer and an Internet connection, and this gives the athlete an opportunity to work in other locations as well as something to do with their time when they are not competing or training.

So what would an athlete do to work from home? There’s many possibilities. For instance many athletes launch their own line of clothing, like underwear or swimwear or training shoes. Much of the work can be done from home, for example building a website and marketing the products. Modern Internet technology allows for all of this work to be done anywhere provided there is a good Internet connection.

There is also a range of other opportunities, for example many athletes move into athletic commentating after retirement as well as freelance writing about their chosen sport. Freelance writing is the perfect profession to someone to pursue at home. Find out more about freelance writing at http://www.aussieinvestigator.com/how-to-become-a-freelance-writer/.

So if you’re an athlete who is a successful athlete but not a high profile one who does not earn the big dollars that some do, then it may well be worth considering opportunities for you to work from home in your spare time. It might bring in some extra dollars and give you some flexibility at the same time.

Top Home Fitness Equipment

With the many diseases people have been exposed to, exercise has become an integral part of everyday life. Everyone has started to incorporate exercise into their lifestyles in order to ward off ailments and keep fit and healthy. However not everyone has the leisure of time to head off to the gym. This is why home fitness equipment play a very important role in ensuring the overall well-being of people. So for those who are looking at purchasing home equipment, here are the top five ones worth investing in:

  1. Exercise balls. Exercise balls are a great addition to home gyms as they help you effectively perform your core exercises. You can choose to get either a medicine ball or a stability ball. A medicine ball is best for doing leg workouts and abs workouts. Pair this while doing lunges and you will see a difference. Regular use will strengthen your back and core. Another kind of exercise ball would resistance balls or stability balls. These balls help you with balancing. Do your pushups with this and you will see toned abs in no time.
  1. Resistance bands. These long rubber bands help you stretch and tone your muscles, making this very good for your core. Regular usage of this will tone up your legs, hips and butt. Use this while doing your squats for better results.
  1. Dumbbells. Dumbbells can be considered the most basic of all equipment for any gym. A gym will not be complete without them. Make sure to choose dumbbells that would fit the correct strength level. These free weights are great for toning and sculpting.
  1. Kettlebell. Another type of equipment that would be good to have around would be the kettlebell. Some prefer this to dumbbells as the centre of gravity shifts as you move around. It fine tunes your coordination while giving you a complete body workout.
  1. Rowing machine. No gym will be complete without a cardio machine. One of the best choices for a good cardio workout would be a rowing machine. It is great for anyone who wants a complete and extensive workout. It requires different groups of muscles, making every rowing session a full aerobic workout. It allows you to have an intense workout, making it an effective fat burner. It is great for those in a hurry as it targets the entire body as you use both your legs and arms. But best about this is that there are lesser chances for you to sustain injuries. Rowing is a natural movement so working out on this machine will not cause stress on your joints. There is no pressure on your back, as your legs will be doing all the work. It is a good combination of strength training and cardio exercises. Visit this website and check out the best rowing machine buying guide in Australia.

Best Outdoor Sport Activities

Photo by Jerome Bon

The call of the wildness has always been strong probably because we humans have always associated ourselves with nature. Since the dawn of time, man hunted for food and learned to brave the wild in order to survive. When times are rough, man also looks for food and shelter in the forests – depending only on sheer skill and determination. Today, with all the modern comforts and pleasures of living, it is no longer necessary to hunt for game and food in order to eat.

The thrill and pleasure remains, however, and this is why both men and women still engage in outdoor sports activities to this day. The activities range from simple trekking, hiking, camping and rock climbing to the more complicated hunting games and survival contests. There are events, which include hunting with the use of a crossbow or a bow and arrow as a test of skill and agility. Some events include diving and white water rafting where the risk of getting injured during a bad fall is very great. However, these activities make people feel alive. More than just the adrenaline rush, these events are all about pushing the envelope of fear and conquering one’s demons. Visit this website and read about the best crossbow reviews here.

How does one prepare for such outdoor sports? Before you think of joining outdoor events and extreme sports, it is important to be physically active and fit to begin with. These kinds of activities take a toll on one’s body and coming in without any preparation is a sure recipe for disaster. The events sometimes take hours or even days to complete and so one must be prepared in terms of strength, endurance and survival skills. Months before the said activity, a participant must already be training in terms of cardiovascular activities and strength training. There would be instances when you would need to walk for miles or climb or run or swim. Some ride their bikes for long hours and then have to carry the bike to cross streams or trails.

Apart from the physical training, one must also practice the necessary skills: knife throwing, shooting or firing an arrow. This also takes time and a lot of practice. You may also need to visit the site or spot where the activity or competition will be held in order to get an idea of what the lay of the land will be. The best way to prepare for an outdoor event that tests your skill and strength is to become familiar with the surroundings and know what to expect on the day itself.