Aug 19

Preparing Yourself with Sports First Aid Kit

Sports First Aid KitDo you have an active family? Are your kids involved in soccer or little league? What sports are high on your priority list – running, golf, tennis?

According to the American Sports Data, Inc. it is estimated that:

50.6 million people over the age of 6 exercise frequently, participating in single activities (running, cycling, treadmill)

39.9 million participate in recreational sports (basketball, tennis, softball)

15.3 million people are active outdoors (hiking, mountain biking, skiing)

3.2 million players are registered with the U.S. Youth Soccer Association

If you pound the pavement, swing the club, or bat the ball, there is always the chance for injury. Is your family prepared with a sports first aid kit that meets your needs? Many commercially packaged first aid kits contain basic supplies. Sure, they might offer limited help for simple emergencies. But is your first aid kit prepared to handle your child’s rugby injuries or treat a sprained ankle on the soccer field? How about your knee pain after a marathon?

The answer is to create your own customized kit that fits your family’s sports first aid needs. Chances are you already have many of the necessary supplies on hand. Here’s how you get started.

Evaluate your needs by the type of sports your family participates in. Is there the likelihood of bumps, cuts, and bruising that might occur in contact team sports? Or are overuse injuries more prevalent such as runner’s knee, golfer’s tendonitis, or tennis elbow?

Decide what supplies best fit the type of injuries you have described, such as bandages and ointment for cuts; ice pack for pain and swelling; sunscreen for sun burn.

Find a roomy, insulated tote to carry your supplies. Why an insulated carrier rather than one of those little, plastic boxes that most first aid kits come in? Because you need to carry at least one, preferably two frozen, reusable ice packs in your sports first aid kit. Most kits only contain an instant, one-time-use, chemical ice pack. This is usually not sufficient to numb pain or reduce swelling. The best and most effective treatment for many injuries is to immediately apply a frozen ice pack for several 15 to 20 minute sessions. This will help lessen pain, reduce swelling and treat bruising. And an insulated tote will keep your ice packs cold for several hours.

Here is a list of suggested supplies to include in your family’s sports first aid kit:

Information: First aid guide or manual

General: Matches, Scissors, Travel Toilet Paper, Anti-diarrheal, Antiseptic wipes, Tweezers, Needle (for splinters), Thermometer, Safety pins, Flashlight, Disposable gloves, Mouthpiece (in case of using CPR), Blanket, Plastic Zip-lock bags (to keep supplies dry), Tissues

Emergencies: Cell phone, Whistle, Personal alarm, Pepper spray, Emergency phone numbers, Maps (with directions to nearest first aid)

Pain and Swelling: Cold pack, Ibuprofen

For cuts, scrapes, blisters: Bandages of different sizes, Antibiotic cream or hydrocortisone cream, Mole skin dressing kit, Sterile gauze, Adhesive tape, Antiseptic solution, Non-stick gauze pads

Sun protection/heat exhaustion: Misting water bottle, Cold pack, Sunscreen, Lip balm, Aloe Vera lotion

Fractures, strains, sprains, pulled muscles: Neoprene joint braces, Compression bandage/ice wrap, Cold pack, and two triangle shaped pieces of cloth for a sling or tourniquet

Dehydration: Filled water bottle, Sports drink

Allergic Reactions: Calamine lotion, Epinephrine (for bee stings), Antihistamine, Recommended medications

Insect Bites: Epinephrine (for bee stings), Insect repellent, Cold pack (reduces swelling of bug bites)

Assemble your supplies and customize your family sports first aid kit for each event or outing.

Disclaimer: This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical treatment or consultation. Always consult with your physician in the event of a serious injury.

Aug 13

Outdoors Adventure with Geocaching

GeocachingIf you’re tired of hiking the same trail or picnicking at the same park, then Geocaching may be exactly what you’re looking for. Geocaching is the high tech version of a treasure hunt. Armed with nothing but a handheld GPS unit and a thirst for excitement, you’re off for new adventures and the likelihood of finding a hidden cache.

Here’s how it works. Geocachers seek out hidden treasures utilizing GPS coordinates posted on the Internet by those hiding the cache. So to geocache, you’ll need a handheld GPS receiver. GPS, which stands for Global Positioning System, is the only system today able to show you your exact position on the Earth anytime, in any weather, anywhere.

GPS satellites, 24 in all, orbit at over 11,000 miles above the Earth. The satellites transmit signals that can be detected by anyone with a GPS receiver. Using the receiver, you can determine your location with great precision. But just as important, you’ll be able to locate other things too, such as a geocache. There are a variety of GPS receiver models to choose from starting at about $100.

Once you’ve got a GPS unit, you’ll need to know where the caches are hidden (hint: they’re everywhere). When a cache is hidden, the cache’s coordinates are submitted to a website for all to see (www.geocaching.com). Enter the coordinates into your GPS and you’re ready to go. There are more than 100,000 caches in over 200 countries.

Sounds easy, doesn’t it? Armed with a GPS and the coordinates, how tough can it be? In an urban area, easy access is typically available in the way of roads and trails. But what about on a mountain? What if there aren’t roads nearby? It’s entirely possible to be a few hundred feet from something and not be able to reach it such as across a river or two hundred feet below the cliff you’re o.

After you try to find a few caches, you’ll understand a number of the nuances of actually finding the cache. That’s the fun part. Once you find the cache, there are a couple of simple rules. Sign the logbook and if you take something from the cache, be sure to leave something.

But what about placing a cache? That’s fun too. Just be sure to follow the rules as outlined at www.geocaching.com. Once you’re a seasoned geocacher, you’ll try your hand at travel bugs, geo-teaming and benchmark hunting.

If you have only a couple hours to search for a cache, try to find one that is close by. If you have a couple days, take a family trip and make an overnight adventure out of it. Using your GPS along with your sense of adventure, you are bound to spend more time out of doors with people you enjoy. What could be better? Get Outdoors!

Aug 05

Understanding Your Shoulders and Arms Muscles

Shoulders and Arms MusclesBecoming familiar with the muscles that make up your body has more benefits than simply allowing you to talk shop with your training partners. The more familiar you are with the muscles you’re working, the better you’ll be able to judge what’s needed to make improvements.

In this article we’ll get to know the muscles that make up the shoulders and arms. Shoulders and arms work together but they require significantly different exercises to make them bigger and stronger.

The main muscles found in these areas are as follows:

Deltoid – this is comprised of three separate segments that cover the shoulder and run a few inches down the arm. The anterior deltoid raises the arm to the front. The middle deltoid raises the arm to the side. The posterior deltoid draws the arm backwards.

Rotators – these are small muscles of the rotator cuff that control small movements of the upper arm. Consisting of an internal rotator, external rotator and supraspinatus they are used in lifting and throwing actions.

Biceps brachii – the biceps covers the front part of the upper arm and consists of a long head and a short head. The long head crosses the shoulder joint and works with the front deltoid to raise the arm to the front.

Triceps brachii – the triceps covers the the back of the upper arm and consists of three sections – the long, lateral and medial heads. The role of the triceps is to straighten the arm at the elbow.

Brachialis – this muscle lies between the upper arm bone and biceps. It helps the biceps to bend the elbow when the palm is facing sideways.

Forearm muscles – the forearms consist of many little muscles called flexors and extensors. The largest forearm muscle is the brachioradialis that lies close to the elbow.

Jul 27

Staying Healthy Together, Exercising With Your Children

Exercise With ChildrenMaking exercise a priority is a challenge for everyone. And for parents it can be especially difficult to find time to workout because of the full plates that they often juggle. When summer arrives the juggling act becomes even more tricky with children home from school and involved in extracurricular activities.

But, finding time for regular physical activity is so important that it should be a priority placed on your calendar, just like your kids’ softball game. A parent needs to exercise not only for themselves, but also for their kids benefit. It’s important to set a good example.

If your children never see you engage in fitness or if they hear you complain about working out, then they are going to have a negative image of exercise. Let them know that you workout to stay healthy, to be strong and to have more energy and stamina (so you can keep up with them)!

The big question is how to make it a priority that fits in your schedule. Well, it’s actually easier than you may think. With a little planning you can find ways to incorporate workouts into the time you spend with your children. Regardless of what age your children are, there’s a way to find time to workout (often even with your kids)!

Here are some tips that you can use when exercising with your children based on their age.

Age: Infant through pre-school

Fit in exercise time while they are napping. Try a home exercise video, walking or jogging (if you have a treadmill), jumping rope.

Occupy them for even 15 minutes with a video or toy while you do some toning exercises like squats and triceps dips.

Grab your stroller and go for a brisk walk*. Or, buy a jogging stroller for more flexibility. With a jogging stroller you can walk faster, jog or even run at a fast pace. And, for veteran rollerblades, you can even use the stroller for some skating time.

For younger children, you can use a back carrier to transport them while walking. This can burn even more calories as the extra weight makes it more challenging.

Turn on some music and dance together. Toddlers love dancing, especially when their parents joins in.

Push your kid on a swing. And, after every push complete one squat.

Use an infant carrier or bike trailer to enjoy a bike ride together.

Age: Grade School

Try rollerblading or skating together.

Spend an afternoon at a park with a playground, but don’t spend the whole time relaxing on the sidelines – join in on the fun. Spend some time swinging to help workout your legs. Try making it across the monkey bars – even just once (it’s a great upper body workout and you’ll be amazed that your kid does it with such little ease). Try some pull-ups using a bar on the playset. Do some tricep dips on a nearby park bench.

Play catch with a ball or get a small group together for a kickball or softball game.

Make Saturdays family bike outing day.

Involve your kids while you strength train. Let them count your reps out loud for you and/or clock your rest time in-between sets.

For pool outings, don’t just spend time soaking up the sun. Walk back and forth in shallow water while your kids have fun splashing about.

On rainy days that force you inside, walk or run up and down the stairs. You might even make it a contest to see who can finish 5 complete rounds first.

Age: Teenagers

Register for a fun run (or walk) event and spend time together training for the event.

Purchase a family gym membership and workout together weekly.

Play tennis or basketball together.

Consider joining a community volleyball or softball team that includes enthusiasts of all ages.

Don’t just sit and cheer your kids at their sporting events. Every few minutes do some walking or jumping jacks or squats.

Implement a daily family walk each day before or after dinner.

Work together in the yard raking leaves, planting flowers, trimming trees.

 

So, with all the above recommendations, you no longer have the “I’m a parent – I don’t have time to workout” excuse. If you implement these activities for just 30 minutes three times per week, you can easily burn an extra 450 calories or more! Plus, working out sets a great example for your children that will teach them at an early age how important (and easy) it is to make physical fitness a part of daily life. Exercising with your kids also provides the extra bonus of spending quality time together.