Changing Your Lifestyle to Help You Get Fit

Although eating healthy and exercising regularly (and properly) will go a long way towards helping you to get fit, none of that is going to do you any good if you continue practicing those lifestyle habits which are going to negatively impact your health. If you do not participate in any of the following please forgive us for preaching to the choir; if you do, however, you are going to need to make some changes as soon as possible or you will be undoing all of your own hard work.

• Drinking. Although a little bit of alcohol never hurt anyone, alcohol in excess causes damage to the liver and contributes to the body’s fat stores. If you regularly go out and get drunk or have three or four beers every night with dinner (beer is a high calorie beverage) you are going to need to make some changes. Substitute water or tea for the beer (coffee if you must) and stay home if you cannot go out without drinking. Remember, your primary objective is to get your body fit as quickly as possible, and it cannot do that if it is constantly forced to concentrate its energy on filtering the alcohol from your system.

• Smoking. You have no doubt heard it all of your life, but we’ll say it again; smoking is extremely harmful on your lungs and has a strong negative effect on your lungs’ capacity for oxygen intake. Although you may not feel these effects throughout the course of your daily activities they will become all too apparent when it comes time to spend ninety minutes running across a soccer field, and the last thing you want to have to do is come out of a game and sit on the sidelines while you attempt to get your breath back because you couldn’t beat the habit.

There are a number of resources available on the market to help smokers to stop smoking, including a number of drugs in pill, patch and gum form that will help you to wean your body off of its nicotine intake so that the cravings are not so strong that you go running back. Talk to your doctor about the program that is right for you.

• Allowing diseases to go untreated. If you have a chronic condition such as diabetes or asthma it is vitally important that you take all available measures to make sure that the disease is being treated to the best of your ability. There are many people with these conditions who frequently forget to take their medication or deliberately partake in foods and activities they shouldn’t that are going to be detrimental to their health due to their condition but brush it off with the argument that a little won’t hurt. When you are playing soccer you are placing an enormous amount of strain on your body, and those conditions which weren’t a “big deal” back when you weren’t playing sports are suddenly going to start exerting a greater effect on your body. If you have not been properly caring for them the end results may be sufficient to cause your body to effectively break down, at best resulting in time spent warming the bench and at worst causing you to spend a couple of days underneath the hawk-like eyes of a nurse at your local hospital who would put Frau (Austin Powers) to shame.

• A sedentary lifestyle. What is a sedentary lifestyle? It’s one where you do not participate in a great deal of activity, and consequently your metabolism isn’t up to speed. When you are simply going about your daily routine this is going to result in fat accumulating on your body; however, when you are participating in a sport it is going to mean that it will be much harder and require a much longer length of time for your body to get into shape than if you were constantly up and around, cleaning your home or taking a walk around the block. Suggestions for an exercise regime were given above; remember, it is going to take more than simply walking into a soccer practice to get you fit and ready to play.

• An unhealthy diet. Again, suggestions for a healthy diet are given above. Remember that every time you place something unhealthy into your body you are making it that much harder for it to perform its natural functions. The idea behind eating is to help your body perform at its top capacity, not to slow it down.

Cardiovascular Exercises Recommended for Athletes By Physicians

Cardiovascular Exercises is one of the most important types of physical activity that our body must engage in. It is an exercise that raises our capability to keep our muscles in shape that we must need to move them that may raises your heart rate and makes them stronger and stronger make a more efficient and healthy body. Many different types of cardio exist, and you can mix and match different varieties to get the most benefit from your workout regimen.

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Moving on from the build-up of your arms and legs, you are also going to want to ensure that your body is receiving a full cardiovascular workout on a regular basis in order to help the body to receive and process oxygen through its various systems as efficiently as possible during periods of high activity. The good news is that there are numerous activities in which you can participate that are considered to be primarily cardiovascular in nature and are extremely enjoyable; in fact, for many of them you do not even have to tell your mind that it is exercising!

Before we get to the list, however, let us briefly touch on precisely how often you should give your body a cardiovascular workout, simply because once you read down through the list you are probably going to be wondering to yourself exactly why it is that a special section should be made just for cardio- workouts. Quite simply put, although running every day will provide an adequate workout your body will quickly become bored with the activity, and it will cease to have such a strong effect on the systems. If you were attempting to lose weight this would result in a decreased number of calories being burned; since you are attempting to shore up your cardiovascular system the end result is that the system eventually reaches equilibrium, the point at which the exercise no longer has any effect on it. Since you want your cardiovascular system to continue to grow in efficiency you need to stir the pot up a little bit by throwing in an extra half hour of exercise three days a week on top of running on a daily basis.

Cardiovascular exercises recommended for athletes by physicians are:

• Running/jogging
• Walking
• Swimming (this will provide you with a fabulous full body workout, helping to tone the muscles in the arms and legs as well as build up cardiovascular strength)
• Riding a bike (this is strongly recommended in conjunction with regular training runs for crosscountry and triathlon athletes, as it serves to build up the thigh and calf muscles)
• Horseback riding
• Skiing
• Playing a sport (such as soccer, basketball or tennis)
• Skating (either ice or roller)
• Aerobics
• Dancing
• Karate
• Yoga
• Jumping rope
• Jumping on a trampoline
• Rowing
• Stairclimbing
• Anything else you do that causes your heart rate to rise!

You do not necessarily have to stick to this list; this is just to get you started. As a general rule, if there is any activity that you do that causes your heart rate to rise and you to break a sweat it is probably cardiovascular in nature and will have a positive effect on your system, resulting in increased efficiency and a higher level of fitness.

Consuming a Proper Diet

Now that we have discussed your fitness regime, let us take a moment to evaluate your eating habits as well. If you have ever attempted to lose weight you are well aware that getting enough exercise is only half the battle to getting your body in tip top shape; you must take your diet into consideration as well if you hope to achieve maximum results. The same can be said of preparing your body for soccer; the foods you eat are just as important in getting your body prepared as the amount of exercise you participate in. The foods you should avoid are very simple, and they have probably been drilled into you since childhood. Try to steer clear of:

  • Foods that are high in fat

  • Empty calories
    Foods with a high caloric content that do not really provide your body with much nutrition, such as butter and white bread.

  • Junk food
    Unfortunately, if you are going to attempt to turn your body into a machine on the soccer field there are some things which are going to have to be sacrificed, and your sugar addiction is among them. Chocolate, ice cream, fruity candies, Twinkies, pies, cakes and anything else that falls into this category should be avoided as strenuously as possible. Potato chips and other greasy, salty snacks fall into this category as well. As a general rule, if you’re dying for a snack while you’re in training take the time to reach for some vegetables. They are easily metabolized by the body and provide a much more nutritious “munchies” than their high calorie counterparts.

  • Fast food
    Any type of fast food, regardless of how nutritious it ispurported to be, is not going to be nearly as good for you as the real thing. It may take you a little longer at night to complete your nightly routine, but in the end it the rewards will be worth the effort.

  • Foods which have been processed or fried
    Contain a vast number of ingredients other than those at its core. You want to keep your diet as pure as is possible in today’s society.
  • Foods which have sugar listed as its primary ingredient
    This does not necessarily apply solely to cookies and candies. This includes items such as high fructose corn syrup, lactose, maltose…anything with an –ose on the end is probably some form of sugar. Manufacturers often use these ingredients in their preservatives, artificial flavorings and gels. Read the label if you are unsure if a product has a high sugar content.

  • Foods which have been cooked in oil
    Many oils are high in transfats, which are extraordinarily bad for you and are going to negatively impact your quest to get into shape.

  • Sugary drinks, such as juice and soda
    These are essentially empty calories, and the sugar you are consuming will only serve to make you even thirstier.

Although you are probably lamenting the loss of some of your favorite foods after reading through the list above, don’t lose heart; there are still plenty of things on the “approved” list, and once you have gotten yourself in shape and broken the addiction to those unhealthy items which shall not be named you can reintroduce them into your diet in very small quantities (for example, a single chocolate chip cookie probably isn’t going to hurt you, but eating an entire pack isn’t going to do you any good).

Now that you know what you shouldn’t eat, let’s take a look at what you should. A healthy diet is a diet rich in the following ingredients:

  • Vegetables, particularly green ones
    Salad is excellent for you, as is
    broccoli; just remember to go easy on the dressing.

  • Whole grains

  • Lean meats
    such as chicken, fish and low-fat steak

  • Fresh fruits
    (try to avoid canned fruits and vegetables; the former are high in sugar and the latter high in sodium)

  • Water
    Even though iced tea is low in calories it is high in caffeine, something you should also try to avoid while you’re in training. Drinking water regularly provides a second benefit as well; your body’s levels of hydration are a critical factor in determining how well you perform on the field. Muscles which have been dehydrated, even slightly, are going to cramp faster and tire more easily than muscles whose cells have maintained their high water content.

A general rule in any form of athletics (but particularly one where you are going to be running around out-of-doors for any length of time) is that if you are thirsty you are too late. Your body is already dehydrated enough to begin to cause complications. Try to drink water consistently throughout the day, whether you are thirsty or not. Keep a sports bottle with you at all times; freezing the water inside the bottle overnight will help to keep it cold and refreshing, since youwill have a constant supply of ice. Just be sure to drink a big glass of water when you first get up in the morning to help get you over that “hump” where the ice is just beginning to melt. (Freezing a bottle of water, then taking it out of the freezer about an hour before game time will help to ensure that you have a cold liquid available to you the entire time you are on the field).

Although it probably is not something you focus on with regularity, if you are unsure as to whether or not your body is properly hydrated take the time to examine your urine each time you go to the bathroom. Urine contains certain substances which serve to give it its traditional yellow hue; when these substances are undiluted the urine will appear to be darkly colored. The principle is that you want your body to be as hydrated as possible, thereby expelling excess fluids in greater amounts and strongly diluting other substances in your urine, giving your urine a clear color. Short story: if you go to the bathroom and your urine is yellow, you need to drink more water.

  • Fortified cereals
    Try to steer clear of those which are high in sugar (sorry, Lucky Charms still aren’t on the list of approved food intake while you are attempting to get your body in shape); however, Raisin Bran, Total, Special K and other related cereals are extremely healthy, keeping your body stocked up on the nutrients it needs to survive.

  • Milk and other dairy products

  • Carbohydrates
    It is essential that you carefully monitor your daily intake of carbohydrates, however; although carbs are the part of your diet that provide your body with the all-important energy that you are going to need to keep up once you set foot on that field, if you do not use up the calories in your carbs they are going to settle in and become fat (you’ve no doubt heard people say that the spaghetti they ate went straight to their hips and dismissed it as foolishness; there actually is a ring of truth to this statement).

Great South Athletic Conference

Great South Athletic Conference

The Great South Athletic Conference (GSAC) was an intercollegiate athletic conference affiliated with the NCAA’s Division III. Member institutions were located nationwide, but was originally based in the southeastern United States.

It was founded in 1999 as a group of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III member institutions from the Southeast with similar academic and athletic interests.

Charter members included Fisk University, LaGrange College, Maryville College, Piedmont College and Stillman College. In 2002, Huntingdon College and women’s colleges Agnes Scott College and Wesleyan College were granted membership. In 2003, Spelman College and Wesleyan (Ga.) were admitted to the GSAC on a provisional basis and given full membership status in 2005. Salem College, a women’s school in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, became the conference’s eighth member for the 2009-10 season. Covenant College, located on top of Lookout Mountain in northwest Georgia, joined the conference in Spring 2010 and began playing in Fall 2010, while completing its requirements for NCAA Division III provisional status.

Stillman, a charter member, dropped out of the conference following the 2001-02 season, now currently competing in the NCAA Division II Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC); while Fisk, another charter member, dropped out of the conference following the 2005-06 season, to compete in the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC) of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).

Three schools (also charter members of the GSAC) left for the USA South Athletic Conference beginning with the 2012-13 season: Piedmont, LaGrange and Maryville. Pine Manor College and Trinity Washington University joined the conference in the 2012-13 season to replace those schools. Due to the lack of men’s athletic programs in the GSAC, the conference stopped sponsoring men’s sports championships at the end of the 2011-12 season.

On May 10, 2012, Covenant College and Huntingdon College announced plans to leave the Great South and join USA South Athletic Conference beginning in the 2013-14 season. In the 2012-13 season, the Covenant and Huntingdon women’s sports competed as full members of the GSAC, while their men’s sports competed as NCAA Division III independents.

On November 1, 2012, Spelman College announced that they will be dropping all intercollegiate sports at the end of the 2012-13 academic year.

On January 14, 2013, the GSAC announced that Mills College, Finlandia University, and the University of Maine at Presque Isle will join the GSAC in 2013-14. Finlandia and Maine-Presque Isle are co-educational colleges. The women’s sports will join the GSAC, while the men’s sports at the two schools will remain Division III Independents.

On May 6, 2015, the USA South Athletic Conference announced that Agnes Scott College, Salem College, and Wesleyan College will be leaving the GSAC and joining the USA South beginning in the 2016-2017 season.

On June 11, 2015, the GSAC announced that Mount Mary University and UC Santa Cruz would be joining the conference in women’s soccer, volleyball, women’s basketball, softball (Mount Mary only) and tennis (UC Santa Cruz only).  The move was made effective immediately. Both schools were formerly affiliate members, playing tennis in the GSAC since 2013.

Following the move of Agnes Scott, Salem, and Wesleyan to the USA South, the GSAC dissoved in the summer of 2016. The GSAC held its last conference championships in April, 2016.

Check the full details of GSAC history and member schools in Wikipedia thru this link.

Women In Olympic Sports

Women In Olympic Sports

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) promotes women in sports in an effort to increase participation in the games as well recognition of the well being of women and girls in sports at all levels of sports and different structures within sports.

This is consistent with the Olympic charter which promotes equality within sports of men and women by including both genders in these competitions.

The IOC as well as the International Federations (IFS) and National Olympic Committees (NOCs) have been committed to the mandates of this Olympic charter. Multiple measures have been taken toward increasing the participation of women at governing and administrative levels as well as training and education toward women in sport and the supporting administrative structures.

Since 1991, all new sports asking to be included in the Olympic program must feature women’s events. The 2012 Olympic Games in London were the first Olympics where every participating country included female athletes. They were also the first Olympics in which women competed in all sports in the program. Women have competed in the Olympics since 1900, following an all-male Games in 1896.

According to The International Olympic Committee’s List of Women’s Sports , these were the following years every new woman’s sport was introduced.

The first women’s sports were in 1900, which were tennis and golf.

The next 3 Olympics added archery (1904), tennis and figure skating (1908), and swimming (1912).

The next sports were not added until twelve-sixteen years later, fencing (1924) and gymnastics (1928).

The second winter sport added to women’s sport was alpine skiing in 1936.

Another long twelve to sixteen years later, canoeing was added in 1948 and equestrian sports in 1952.

Two Olympics following, speed skating was added to the games in 1960. The following Olympics volleyball and luge were added in 1964; rowing, basketball, and handball were added in 1976; field hockey was added in 1980; shooting and cycling were introduced in 1984.

The next two Olympic terms included 6 more women’s sports, tennis, table tennis, sailing in 1988 and badminton, judo, biathlon in 1992. In 1996, football and softball; in 1998, curling and ice hockey; in 2000, weightlifting, penthalon, taekwondo, and triathlon, in 2002, bobsleighing was added; in 2004, wrestling; in 2008, BMX.

The last updated women’s sports included in the Olympic games according to the IOC are boxing (2012) and ski jumping (2014).

Source : Wikipedia