Sporting Life- Sports, Exercise Blog

Archive for January 2013

Gone are the days when all a basketball player needed to do was to lace up a pair of no-frills Chuck Taylor All Stars and run down the court to play the game. Basketball shoes have gone a long way since then. Ever since Earvin Magic Johnson and Larry Bird revived the National Basketball Association with their team-first style of play characterizing the intense rivalry of their Lakers and Celtic teams, the technology behind basketball shoes have grown by leaps and bounds.

Converse initially ruled the roost, with Magic, Bird and Sixers star Julius Erving endorsing the brand. Even Michael Jordan sported a Converse when he first rose to national prominence by leading his North Carolina Tar Heels to the NCAA championship in 1981.  Half a decade later, Jordan started endorsing the Nike brand. Suddenly, basketball shoes had air or gel underneath it to help lessen the impact of constant jumping and running, and design was further improved to help support a player’s ankle and soles.

All these improvements come at a price. Combined with the collectible factor of the shoes, some may fetch incredible amounts. Here are the top ten most expensive basketball shoes in the world.

1. Air Jordan I – $25,000

Air Jordan I

The Jordan I had two versions. The original had a red and black design that was banned by the NBA as the rules state that shoes must have some white on them. Jordan loved the Peter Moore-designed shoes, however, and insisted on using it during games. As a result, he got fined $5,000 each game he would play with the disallowed sneakers. Jordan and Nike eventually relented and replaced the design with a red, black and white combination. A black and metallic gold version was released in March 1985 in Asia. Only 12 pairs were created and these now cost $25,000.

2. Air Mag – $12,000

Air Mag

In 1989, the sequel of the smash hit Back to the Future was released. Michael J. Fox, the star of the movie, sported a pair of futuristic sneakers in the film. That pair is the Nike Air Mag. Nike eventually released it, though only 20 pairs were made. Michael J. Fox had previously appeared as a basketball player in the 1985 movie Teen Wolf, and he has been spotted watching the New York Knicks at the Madison Square Garden. Still, he is not a professional basketball player. Yet, the shoe that he made famous is the second most expensive pair of basketball shoes today.

3. Air Jordan V – $10,000

Air Jordan V

This featured a reflective tongue and clear rubber soles. It is also the first shoe that sported lace locks, thus allowing the user to easily strap the shoe. The mid sole has shark teeth shapes, which were probably copied from World War 2 fighter planes where Hatfiled drew inspiration. A version with the number 23 printed at the back in black and metallic silver was created in February 1990 specifically for Jordan and they now cost $10,000.  A retail version was later released without the number 23.

4. Air Jordan I – $8,000

Air Jordan I

A pair combining metallic white and metallic silver was released in March 1985. It had pearlized leather and only 1,200 were created.

5. Air Jordan VI – $7,200

Air Jordan VI

This is the last of the Air Jordans with the Nike Air logo. It featured reinforcement materials in the toe area, two holes in the tongue and molded heel to protect the Achilles tendon.  It came in five different color combinations, namely black/infrared, white/infrared, white/carmine black, white/sport blue and off white/maroon.  It was the shoe Jordan used when he and the Bulls won the championship against the Lakers. The white/carmine black version now fetches $7,200, as it was the color Jordan used during the 1992 Olympics that featured the original Dream Team.

6. Air Jordan III – $4,500

Air Jordan III

When the original designer of Jordan I, Peter Moore, was let go by Nike, Jordan almost went with them. He decided to stay however after seeing Air Jordan III, the first Air Jordan designed by Tinker Hatfield. It featured the now iconic Jumpman logo, an air unit at the heel and leather finish. Jordan went on to have a stellar year, winning a memorable Slam Dunk contest against Dominique Wilkins, grabbing the All Star Game MVP award the following day, and at the end of the year, bagging Defensive Player of the Year honor.

7. Adidas KB8 Selection – $3,000

Adidas KB8 Selection

It was named KB8, in honor of Kobe Bryant’s jersey number. The shoe was later renamed Crazy 8 after Bryant left Adidas in 2002. Bryant is also sporting a new number now, ditching his old number 8 for 24.  Only 2 pairs of the golden shoe were made and they were intended for the 1998 Slam Dunk contest. Waning interest in the contest forced its cancellation, however, and Bryant never got the chance to wear the shoe.

8. Air Jordan XI – $2,700

Air Jordan XI

Jordan first used this pair in 1995 when he made a comeback in the middle of the season after a brief fling with minor league baseball. Though he had several memorable games that season, particularly the buzzer beater against the Atlanta Hawks in just his fourth game back, and the 55-point game against archrival New York Knicks in Madison Square Garden, the Bulls fell short that year after losing to the Orlando Magic in the playoff. With the condura nylon top and carbon fiber plates allowing a lighter weight and better torque, Jordan used it again the following season. In his first full season back, the Bulls regained the title. He then used the shoes in his movie Space Jam with the number 45, his number in the season when he came out of retirement, printed at the back.

9. Air Force I Chamber of Fears – $2,500

Air Force I Chamber of Fears

The original Air Force I was created in 1982 and have been tagged as the most influential sneakers of all time. In 2005, a black, red and gold version was released, with half going to Asia and the rest remaining in the US. It is only available in auctions or as giveaway items.

10. Air Force I Four Horsemen – $2,500

Air Force I Four Horsemen

Nike designed this shoe especially for LeBron James during the 2004 ESPY Awards. Less than 12 pairs were made.

(From: The Richest)

Through rainforest, over mountain ridges, across open plains, beside lakes and oceans, Australia has so much to offer the hiker who’s prepared to pull the boots on and get stuck in.

With the peak walking season for Tasmania’s stunning Overland Track beginning on October 1, here’s our list of great hikes, taking from half a day to a week.

Multi-day treks

Overland Track, Tasmania

What would Frodo do? The writer stands atop Mount Ossa.

What would Frodo do? The writer stands atop Mount Ossa.The Overland Track covers 65 kilometers over six days through the Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park, part of the World Heritage Area.

Walkers can trek independently but must book with the Parks & Wildlife Service, or use one of the many guided-walk operators.

We went with Cradle Mountain Huts, known for its eco-friendly lodges tucked away from the track.

Highlights include Marion’s Lookout with (if the weather’s good) great views of Cradle Mountain; Barn Bluff towering over an exposed alpine plateau; and the beautiful D’Alton and Ferguson Falls.

Worth the challenge, weather permitting, is the five-hour side trip climbing Mount Ossa.

Our guide points out two rocky towers, nicknamed The Gates of Mordor, after that dire place in “The Lord of the Rings.” And up we go.

Larapinta Trail, Northern Territory

Trekking along Euro Ridge on the Larapinta Trail.

Trekking along Euro Ridge on the Larapinta Trail.The Larapinta Trail winds through a rugged and ancient landscape in the Northern Territory.

Waving goodbye to Alice Springs from the Euro Ridge, walkers head westward, experiencing the beauty of Simpsons Gap, Standley Chasm and Ormiston Gorge and ascending Mount Sonder at the end.

Being remote, this trail is best tackled on a group tour.

Michele Eckersley of World Expeditions (WE) says: “It’s our No. 1 trek worldwide.”

Apart from the six-day classic experience — support vehicles reduce the total walk — there’s also a 14-day end-to-end option (the whole 223 kilometers).

Both treks are organized by WE subsidiary Australian Walking Holidays.

Great Ocean Walk, Victoria

The Twelve Apostles on the Great Ocean Walk.

The Twelve Apostles on the Great Ocean Walk.Since 2006, the Great Ocean Walk has enabled us to go where its namesake road could not.

Stretching 104 kilometers from Apollo Bay, the track meanders through gum and eucalypt forest, reaches Cape Otway Lightstation, traverses sand dunes, beaches and cliff-top tracks.

There are shipwrecks to inspect and magnificent views of the Twelve Apostles, those much-photographed limestone sea stacks.

If you’re walking independently, there’s a shuttle service transporting gear from one stop to the next and the VisitVictoria site has information.

For guided walks or self-guided inn-to-inn packages try auswalk.

Six Foot Track, New South Wales

Crossing the Bowtells Swing Suspension Bridge over the Coxs River.

Crossing the Bowtells Swing Suspension Bridge over the Coxs River.Marked out in 1884 as a six-foot-wide (1.83 meters, if you really must know) track to allow loaded horses to pass each other while traveling from Katoomba to Jenolan Caves, the Six Foot Track in the Blue Mountains is iconic.

Taking three days and two nights, the 44-kilometer track starts at the Explorers’ Tree, drops into Megalong Valley and crosses Coxs River by the Bowtells Swing Suspension Bridge.

Challenging climbs take walkers to the Black Range ridge before heading for the caves.

Cape to Cape Walk, Western Australia

Walkers heading for Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse.

Walkers heading for Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse.The Cape to Cape Track in the southwestern corner of Western Australia follows the ridgeline for 135 kilometers through the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park, between the lighthouses of Cape Naturaliste and Cape Leeuwin.

This seven-day walk can be done independently or on a guided group tour with Inspiration Outdoors; participants carry a day pack and accommodation and transport is included.

The track mostly follows the coast, sometimes along cliff-top paths, at other times crossing beautiful beaches.

Several inland loops traverse sections of karri forest, while staff at the spectacular lighthouses at both ends run guided tours.

Do these in a day

Kosciuszko Walk, New South Wales

One of several streams on Mount Kosciuszko that will become the legendary Snowy River.

One of several streams on Mount Kosciuszko that will become the legendary Snowy River.From the Kosciuszko Express chairlift at Thredbo in the summer, a 14-kilometer return walk (five hours) goes to the summit of Mount Kosciuszko — at 2,228 meters, Australia’s highest peak.

The landscape features rocky granite outcrops, wildflowers and glacially carved Lake Cootapatamba.

Many walkers seem oblivious to the stream near the trail, but we pause to see the beginning of a waterway that became a legend thanks to Banjo Paterson’s poem “The Man from Snowy River.”

Passing the sign at Rawson Pass, it’s not much further before there’s a carnival atmosphere among hikers who have made it to the top of Australia.

The route’s easy to do independently but guided walks are an option.

Kings Canyon Rim Walk, Northern Territory

The sheer wall of Kings Canyon, a feature of the Rim Walk.

The sheer wall of Kings Canyon, a feature of the Rim Walk.It’s one of the world’s best short walks.

The reasonably fit should not be deterred by the 500-step climb to the top because it’s then quite flat.

This walk of six kilometers (four hours) follows the rim of Kings Canyon in a horseshoe fashion.

There’s a sense of awe at this ancient land with 100-meter-high sheer cliff walls, weathered dome-like structures called the Lost City and the Garden of Eden with its permanent waterholes. It’s enough to make one feel humbled.

Stay the night before being sure to start early to avoid hiking in the midday heat.

Kings Canyon Resort lays on various accommodation levels and guided tours.

Dove Lake Circuit, Cradle Mountain National Park

Looking back at a brooding Cradle Mountain, towering above Dove Lake.

Looking back at a brooding Cradle Mountain, towering above Dove Lake. This six-kilometer walk leads around the shores of Dove Lake in Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park in about two hours.

It’s an easy grade of walk, much of it on boardwalk, and one of Tasmania’s most popular.

Highlights include the much-photographed boat shed, built in 1940 by the first Ranger at Cradle Mountain, Glacier Rock, which bears the marks made by Ice Age glaciers and the peaceful cool temperate rainforest known as the Ballroom Forest.

Towering above it all is Cradle Mountain. Look several times to see its mood change from bright to brooding with the weather.

Binna Burra to Green Mountains (O’Reilly’s), Queensland

A peaceful moment on the Binna Burra to Green Mountains walk.

A peaceful moment on the Binna Burra to Green Mountains walk.Part of the Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk, a multi-day hike, the section from Binna Burra to O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat in the Green Mountains section of Lamington National Park makes a good full-day walk.

The Border Track passes through stands of Atlantic Beech forest, subtropical and cool-temperate rainforests and along the rim of the Tweed Valley volcanic erosion caldera.

From Wanungara Lookout views extend over Limpwood Valley, Mount Warning and sometimes as far south as Byron Bay. The 23-kilometer hike takes six or seven hours and can be done in either direction, completely independently or with transport by O’Reilly’s.

Manly to the Spit Bridge

Walking the Forty Baskets Beach section on the Manly to the Spit Bridge walk.

Walking the Forty Baskets Beach section on the Manly to the Spit Bridge walk.Hiking in the middle of the city? Absolutely.

Walks through Sydney Harbor National Park provide a peaceful perspective.

A favorite is Manly to the Spit Bridge, a 10-kilometer one-way walk of three hours.

No human guide is needed and manlyguide.com has an excellent map.

Catch the ferry from Circular Quay, alight at Manly Wharf and head west along the foreshore.

Having crossed the picturesque and oddly named Forty Baskets Beach, the track heads up through a reserve with spectacular lookouts.

Quiet beaches like Castle Rock give the walker reason to pause, before everything becomes busier approaching the Spit Bridge, which we see open for a ferry to pass.

(From: Bruce Holmes/ CNN Travel)

World Baseball Classic

All 16 provisional rosters for the upcoming World Baseball Classic were revealed Thursday with a bevy of big-name Major Leaguers committing to the third edition of the international tournament.

Among the most promiment were Miguel Cabrera, the Tigers third baseman and reigning American League Most Valuable Player and Triple Crown winner, who will play for Venezuela; Dodgers infielder Hanley Ramirez, Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano and Blue Jays shortstop Jose Reyes for the Dominican Republic; Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, who is on the Mexico roster, and outfielder Carlos Beltran and catcher Yadier Molina — both of the Cardinals — for Puerto Rico.

2013-01-25_160306The U.S. roster, announced earlier in the day, boasts last year’s National League Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey of the Blue Jays, the National League’s 2011 MVP in Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun, and Mets third baseman David Wright among a host of other All-Stars, including Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira and Twins catcher Joe Mauer.

“This is important,” Commissioner Bud Selig said about the tournament. “This is going to be the biggest World Baseball Classic we’ve had. I feel the greatest growth in this sport is international. The World Baseball Classic is our forum to do that. The clubs have been wonderfully cooperative. I’m excited. I think you’re going to see a huge Classic. Everyone is really looking forward to it.”

The tournament will open with Brazil facing two-time defending champion Japan in Fukuoka, Japan, on March 2, and end with the final game in San Francisco, scheduled to be played on March 19. MLB Network will broadcast all 39 games.

Team USA — managed by Joe Torre — is in the Arizona bracket with Canada, Mexico and Italy and will open against Mexico at Chase Field in Phoenix on March 8. The other three first-round pools will play in Fukuoka, Japan; Taichung, Taiwan; and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

“Being on the other side internationally, the tournament is humongous,” said Hall of Fame shortstop Barry Larkin, who was a coach under manager Davey Johnson on Team USA in 2009 and is managing Brazil this year. “There is a tremendous amount of interest and excitement. I think it’s more exciting because of the opportunity it gives the players who are not in the States.”

Teams traditionally talk to more than 600 players about ultimately filling a maximum of 448 spots on the final 16 rosters. This is the only international tournament in which players on 25-man Major League rosters can participate. And this is the first Classic to play qualifiers, with eight teams added to the mix to play the eight teams that didn’t make it out of the first round four years ago.

Spain, Brazil, Chinese Taipei and Canada qualified in games played in September and November. Spain and Brazil are newcomers to the Classic.

Japan won in 2006 and ’09 with right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka named tournament MVP on both occasions. The Japanese will enter this year’s Classic without a Major League player on their roster. Korea, the loser to Japan in the ’09 finals, also is without a big leaguer, although both teams are expected to be well prepared and fundamentally sound as always.

The final game in 2009, at Dodger Stadium, was an epic. Korea tied Japan, 3-3, in the bottom of the ninth against a young pitcher named Yu Darvish. Korea pitched to Ichiro Suzuki in the top of the 10th with first base open, runners on second and third and two out. Ichiro won it on the final pitch of an eight-pitch at-bat with a two-run single. Darvish, entering his second Major League season with Texas, and Ichiro, now with the Yankees, both declined to play this year.

China, new to baseball when the tournament began in 2006, has starting pitcher Bruce Chen, a veteran left-hander who enjoyed a career resurgence recently while playing for the Royals. The team will be managed by John McLaren, with Bruce Hurst the pitching coach and Art Howe the hitting coach.

Cuba, losers to Japan in the 2006 finals at San Diego’s PETCO Park, didn’t make it out of the second round at San Diego in ’09. The Cubans will return with their usual squad of homegrown players, but no readily recognizable names. Pitcher Aroldis Chapman and outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, both stars on the ’09 Cuban team, have since defected and are playing in the Major Leagues for the Reds and A’s, respectively.

The Canadian roster includes 12 players who played for Major League teams in 2012, including first baseman Justin Morneau of the Twins, catcher Russell Martin of the Pirates, closer John Axford of the Brewers, reliever Jesse Crain of the White Sox, outfielder Michael Saunders of the Mariners and third baseman Brett Lawrie of the Blue Jays.

Ernie Whitt, an original member of the expansion Toronto Blue Jays in 1977, will manage the Canadians again and Morneau is slated to be with him for the third time. Whitt has been Canada’s manager in the World Baseball Classic and Olympics.

“Any time you’re out there, and they’re playing the anthem, and you look down the line, and you’re not the only Canadian in the lineup, it’s a sense of pride,” Morneau said. “There’s a lot of emotion involved. There is emotion involved any time you’re playing for your country.”

The U.S. lost in the second round in ’06 and in the semifinals to Japan in ’09. Only four players will be back from the 2009 team: Wright, Braun, Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins and Red Sox right fielder Shane Victorino.

This time, at least making it to the final game at AT&T Park, if not winning it all, is the goal.

“Without a doubt, you get tired watching other countries playing on the last day of this thing,” said Larry Bowa, a former big league shortstop who will be the U.S. bench coach. “When I was playing, if somebody asked me, I would have jumped at playing in this thing. I’m not just going there to hit fungoes. I want to win.”

Around the diamond, the U.S. plans to have a starting eight of Teixeira, Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips, Rollins, Wright, Mauer, Braun, Orioles center fielder Adam Jones and Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton. Dickey, Giants right-hander Ryan Vogelsong, Braves right-hander Kris Medlen and Rangers left-hander Derek Holland will anchor the starting rotation with Braves closer Craig Kimbrel in the same role, heading up a deep 10-man bullpen.

The U.S. left one of its 28 roster spots open for a fifth starting pitcher. The provisional rosters were due on Wednesday and the final rosters of 28 players must be filed by Feb. 20.

The Dominican Republic has a roster complete with current Major Leaguers and one free agent. Former big league catcher Miguel Olivo is the Dominicans’ only player not currently signed by a Major League team. Angels shortstop Eric Aybar, Blue Jays outfielder Melky Cabrera, Texas outfielder Nelson Cruz, Padres starter Edinson Volquez and Rays closer Fernando Rodney are also on the roster.

The distribution of talent is going to make it a tough tournament, Torre said.

“Japan is two-time champs and you know that the Dominican is going to be very strong,” he said. “I know Robby Cano is going to be playing second base and that scares me coming right out of the box. [The Dominican] is going to be a very good club. Venezuela is also going to be good and strong and, of course, the Asian countries will be well represented. I’m looking forward to it. It’s going to be an exciting time.”

From: Barry M. Bloom / World Baseball Classic

running

mikebaird via Flickr

For years people have been searching for the “perfect diet” like they were hunting the Holy Grail. But which diets actually work?

Consumer Report (CR) recently asked more than 9,000 readers to weigh in on the question. They ranked 13 weight loss plans and tools, assigning each diet a score out of 100 based on factors like initial weight loss, food variety, and maintenance, among others.

Consumer Reports found that do-it-yourself plans were more popular than commercial alternatives, possibly because of the lower cost and the better flexibility. But ratings aside, Consumer Reports points out that weight loss is possible on any of the plans, and satisfaction is based on more than just shedding pounds alone.

lululemon athletica via Flickr

Weight Watchers is a commercial plan in which dieters monitor their food intake with “points.”

CR Reader Score: 56

Typical Weight Loss (Men): 12 to 35 lbs

Typical Weight Loss (Women): 10 to 28 lbs

Pros: Weight Watchers provides the flexibility to create your own diet plan and lets you eat whatever you want.

Cons: The Weight Watchers points system can be annoying to keep track of each day, and their premade food products are a bit pricey.

mikebaird via Flickr

SparkPeople is a diet tracking website with an additional online support community.

CR Reader Score: 60

Typical Weight Loss (Men): 10 to 25 lbs

Typical Weight Loss (Women): 5 to 21 lbs

Pros: SparkPeople is free and readily-accessible, and enables you to easily track your weight loss journey. The site also has a user community that you can rely on for encouragement and shared tips.

Cons: The premise is mainly a low-carb, high-protein diet, which isn’t best for everyone, and there can be a wait to get advice or answers from physicians on the site when you need help.

beast.com via statigram

Nutrisystem is a commercial plan with many easy-to-make meal choices.

CR Reader Score: 66

Typical Weight Loss (Men): 10 to 30 lbs

Typical Weight Loss (Women): 7 to 24 lbs

Pros: Carbs are not off limits on the Nutrisystem plan, and the meals are simple and easy to make.

Cons: Nutrisystem’s food choices have been called “palatable,” and eating them feels like sitting down to a TV dinner instead of a meal.

Shutterstock

The South Beach Diet is a DIY plan that guarantees weight loss in the first two weeks.

CR Reader Score: 70

Typical Weight Loss (Men): 11 to 27 lbs

Typical Weight Loss (Women): 8 to 23 lbs

Pros: One of the perks of the South Beach diet is the allowance of snacks and dessert, and the brand claims you can lose up to 13 pounds in the first two weeks.

Cons: Many people say planning and preparing the meals can be time-consuming, and the first two weeks in which the most weight is typically lost can feel very restrictive.

The Perfect Workout via statigram

Medifast is a commercial plan with no calorie or point counting.

CR Reader Score: 70

Typical Weight Loss (Men): 20 to 43 lbs

Typical Weight Loss (Women): 14 to 40 lbs

Pros: Dieters on Medifast are relieved of counting calories, carbs or points on this plan, and stay full from a diet of mostly protein and fiber.

Cons: Medifast is a lot more rigorous than other diets, on which adults typically consume between 800 and 1,000 calories, which has associated health risks for some individuals.

Niels M. Knudsen

Slim Fast is a DIY plan that is perfectly portioned.

CR Reader Score: 71

Typical Weight Loss (Men): 10 to 25 lbs

Typical Weight Loss (Women): 5 to 22 lbs

Pros: Slim Fast is convenient with its many grab-and-go products, and the plan ensures that you get the right portions and calories throughout the day.

Cons: Two out of your three meals have to be “meal replacements,” like their meal bars or shakes, which can become boring and routine after a while.

FailedImitator via Flickr

The Paleo Diet is a DIY plan is perfect for carnivores.

CR Reader Score: 71

Typical Weight Loss (Men): 10 to 32 lbs

Typical Weight Loss (Women): 6 to 20 lbs

Pros: The mostly protein Paleo diet is based on the premise that we could eliminate all the modern day health ailments if we reverted back to eating like our Paleolithic ancestors, namely, primarily meat and plants. This diet is also low in sodium.

Cons: The Paleo diet does not approve most grains and dairy, so the diet lacks many of the nutrients, especially calcium, that our bodies need.

cumi&ciki via Flickr

MyFitnessPal is a free app and website that tracks your calories and exercise.

CR Reader Score: 72

Typical Weight Loss (Men): 10 to 30 lbs

Typical Weight Loss (Women): 4 to 18 lbs

Pros: MyFitnessPal works as a calorie counter and diet and exercise journal, making users accutely aware and more conscious of what they put into their bodies.

Cons: Some users wish MyFitnessPal had healthy and guilt-free recipes available for those who love to cook but are looking out for their waistlines.

rexboggs5 via Flickr

Jenny Craig is a commercial plan that many celebs have had success with.

CR Reader Score: 74

Typical Weight Loss (Men): 15 to 34 lbs

Typical Weight Loss (Women): 10 to 30 lbs

Pros: Jenny Craig is one of the easiest diets to follow, with straightforward instructions and prepackaged foods in reasonable portions delivered to your door.

Cons: Those who love to cook are largely restricted from eating homemade meals, as they don’t fall within the Jenny Craig-approved foods, which can also be expensive.

mikebaird via Flickr

The Mediterranean Diet is a DIY plan that allows the good fats of foods like olives.

CR Reader Score: 76

Typical Weight Loss (Men): 10 to 25 lbs

Typical Weight Loss (Women): 7 to 25 lbs

Pros: The Mediterranean diet offers dieters a wide variety of foods and flavors, and many find that the weight they lose on the plan stays off.

Cons: The biggest problem with the Mediterranean diet is price, as the quality, often-imported foods and ingredients can cost more than other items at the grocery store.

Official U.S. Navy Imagery via Flickr

A Low-Carb Diet (non-Atkins) is a DIY plan in which users reduce the caloric consumption of carbs.

CR Reader Score: 77

Typical Weight Loss (Men): 13 to 35 lbs

Typical Weight Loss (Women): 10 to 29 lbs

Pros: Like those on Atkins, other low-carb dieters see quick weight loss, and many have seen lower blood pressure as well.

Cons: People cutting carbs could potentially see a loss in muscle mass if they aren’t careful, and some also lack sufficient nutrients, like fiber, in their diets.

DVIDSHUB via Flick

The Glycemic Index Diet is a DIY plan focused on the consumption of more low-carb foods like whole grains, and fewer high-carb foods like white bread.

CR Reader Score: 80

Typical Weight Loss (Men): 11 to 29 lbs

Typical Weight Loss (Women): 10 to 27 lbs

Pros: On the Glycemic Index diet, also known as the GI diet, users cite feeling fuller than on many other diets. The diet also claims to cut the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Cons: The diet can be moderately difficult to follow, and other than carbs, the GI diet doesn’t provide much guidance in the ways of fat, protein, or salt consumption.

Flickr/lululemonathletica

The Atkins Diet is a DIY plan based on cutting carbs and finding more balanced nutrients from other sources.

CR Reader Score: 83

Typical Weight Loss (Men): 15 to 30 lbs

Typical Weight Loss (Women): 8 to 25 lbs

Pros: Many people adhering to the Atkins diet see results quickly, and the brand makes low-carb snacks and other ready-made food products.

Cons: The carb-eliminating diet can feel restricting, and some people on the diet find themselves gaining back some of the lost weight if/when they return to eating carbs.

Post From:Melissa Stanger/Business Insider

taispo 2013

taispo 2013

Taichung, released by TAITRA on November 7th— The 2013 Taipei International Sporting Goods Show (TaiSPO) will take place concurrently with the 26th TAIPEI CYCLE in celebration of its 40th anniversary, TAITRA, the show’s organizer, said. A 5-day extravaganza will begin as the 40th TaiSPO opens on next March 19th, one day earlier than 2013 TAIPEI CYCLE, and will be held in conjunction with Taiwan Int’l Diving & Water Sports Show (DiWaS) and Taipei Int’l Sports Textile & Accessory Expo. The scale is estimated to feature a record-breaking 5,000 booths, attracting more than 8,000 domestic and international buyers.

TaiSPO represents a consistent effort to turn Taiwan into Asia’s hub for sporting goods industry. While the competition of sporting goods industry is getting intense, Peter Lo, chairman of Johnson Health Tech Co. and convener of the Division of Fitness Equipment and Accessories under the Taiwan Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association (TSMA), founded the S-Team. Offering joint consultancy by TSMA, the Footwear & Recreation Technology Research Institute and the Corporate Synergy Development Center, the S-Team will hopefully establish a cooperative network made up of central, satellite and supporting factories, so Taiwanese fitness equipment makers can adopt a business model that is based on brand-specific sales channels in addition to research, development, and innovation (RDI) programs. The S-Team, founded in May 2011, has successfully introduced a national standard of fitness equipment this October and plans to set up a dedicated pavilion at TaiSPO 2013, as it did this year. It will showcase exciting results of a year’s efforts, as well as refreshing contributions to the industry.

While TaiSPO is an indicator of trends in the sporting goods industry, the TaiSPO Awards of Excellence gives a sneak peek at the latest and most innovative products in the sporting goods industry. According to the list of preliminary winners published online, 14 products are nominated in the TaiSPO Awards of Excellence 2013.

After 40 years of progress, TaiSPO stands as the second largest sporting goods show in Asia, a world-class trade event which has been also in good connection with the WFSGI to hold Manufactures Forum for consecutive 4 years. In appreciation of the support over the years, Taitra, the TaiSPO organizer, launches a special event, called “TaiSPO 40th Anniversary Lucky Draw”. Buyers, who have completed online pre-registration at http://www.taispo.com.tw by March 1st, 2013, will be auto-entered in the Lucky Draw.

The TaiSPO 2013 will run from March 19th-22nd at Taipei World Trade Center (TWTC) Exhibition Halls 1 and 3,Taipei, Taiwan, including fitness equipment, sportswear and accessories, outdoor sporting goods, sports balls, protective gear, massage equipment, and more. In 2013, the Taiwan International Diving and Water Sports Show (DiWaS) will also offer an integrated display of swimming, diving, and water sports supplies as a part of TaiSPO for the second consecutive year. The 5-day celebration is definitely a must-see as it includes the TAIPEI CYCLE and SpoMODE, scheduled for March 20th-23rd, 2013, at TWTC Exhibition Hall 1and the Nangang Exhibition Hall.

 

Bicycling lets you have fun and get exercise while being kind to the environment at the same time. It can also be a great way to run errands, commute to work or experience a backcountry trail, not to mention more serious pursuits such as touring or racing. Whatever your goals, you have a number of bicycle options to take you there.

The aim of this article is to help beginners, casual riders or those who haven’t ridden in a while to select the right type of bike for them.

What’s Your Primary Riding Style?

Your first consideration is to know where you’ll be riding: on pavement, dirt trails or both. Some bicycles are made specifically for a particular kind of riding surface, while others are versatile enough that, perhaps with a quick tire change, they can be ridden in more than one category.

To get you started, here is a general breakdown of the different kinds of bikes that REI carries. Within each of these categories are individual models that emphasize performance, versatility or comfort.

Road Bike

Road Bike

Road Bikes

Best for: Pavement.

Description: Generally lighter in weight than the typical mountain or comfort bike, road bikes are good for multiple pavement uses including fitness riding, commuting, long-distance/event rides, touring and racing. They are suitable for riders ranging from novices to seasoned enthusiasts. Proper fit for most road bikes is particularly important, as a poor fit can be uncomfortable or even painful. In addition, a poorly fitting road bike can also reduce the efficiency of your pedaling. Some models are built for speed with a more aerodynamic riding positioning, while others provide a more upright riding position. Road bikes may include racks, lighting systems or fenders for commuting or touring use.

Road bikes are distinguished by 2 basic handlebar styles:

  • Drop-bar handlebars are lightweight and aerodynamic and are a better choice if you want to go faster or are more concerned with efficiently transferring your energy into making the bike move forward. They also allow for a greater number of riding and hand positions than flat-bars. Their more aerodynamic riding position (bent over at the waist) may put more strain on your back if you are less flexible.
  • Flat-bar handlebars combine the efficiency of drop-bar road bikes with a slightly more upright riding position. This allows you to sit up in a higher and more relaxed position so you can better see the road and potential hazards. An upright position also reduces strain on your hands, wrists and shoulders. This increased versatility comes with the tradeoff of being slightly less efficient (from an aerodynamic standpoint) than the typical drop-bar road bike.
Mountain Bikes

Mountain Bikes

Mountain Bikes

Best for: Dirt or rocky trails and gravel roads; OK for pavement too (with tire change).

Description: Designed with shock-absorbing features and better braking systems, mountain bikes can handle dirt trails and the rocks, roots, bumps and ruts that come with them. They feature lower gears than most road bikes to better handle steeper terrain. Higher-priced models tend to be lighter weight as well. Mountain bikes can be a good choice for commuting because they can withstand potholes while still providing comfort. However, the smaller diameter wheel (26 inch) of traditional mountain bikes is less efficient on pavement than the larger diameter wheel (700 millimeter/27 inch) of a road bike. To address this, many mountain bikes are now designed for 29-inch wheels. These larger diameter wheels and tires provide decreased rolling resistance and more easily roll over obstacles, at the cost of some agility. Mountain bikes come in 2 basic varieties:

  • Hardtail bikes feature a front suspension fork and a rigid back with no rear suspension shocks. This type of mountain bike is much less expensive and lighter in weight than a typical full-suspension mountain bike. A hardtail is the more versatile choice if you plan to use it for both paved and unpaved surfaces. The tradeoffs from a full-suspension mountain bike? A hardtail is less able to safely handle more technical singletrack trails, provides less overall shock absorption and, in some situations, delivers less rear wheel traction.
  • Full-suspension bikes have both front and rear suspension shocks making them ideal for backcountry trails or technical (steep, bumpy, twisty) singletrack. They also stand up to more aggressive riding including jumps or drops of up to 5 feet. As mentioned above, full-suspension bikes are more expensive and generally heavier than hardtail bikes.
Recreational Bikes

Recreational Bikes

Recreational Bikes

Best for: Pavement or gravel/dirt roads.

Description: These bikes emphasize comfort and ease of handling. They are ideal for riding around flat neighborhoods, parks and bike paths. Some styles offer bigger wheels for an extra-smooth and efficient ride and many feature front suspension forks as well. These bikes are good for general riding, casual family outings or those who haven’t ridden in a while. Most have large tires so you can ride them on gravel or dirt as well as pavement. Some models include rear racks and/or fenders. There are 2 common varieties of recreational bikes:

  • Comfort bikes are aptly named. They feature slightly wider 26-inch tires than other pavement bikes, a comfortable seat and a very relaxed sitting position. Many styles also offer a suspension seatpost that compresses when you sit on it, providing extra comfort and shock absorption. Some comfort bikes even have internally geared rear hubs for easy maintenance.
  • Hybrid bikes aim to offer the best of the road- and comfort-bike worlds. While they have a comfortable seat, upright sitting position and (often) suspension forks and/or seatposts, they also offer the more efficient pedaling of 700-millimeter (700c) wheels versus the comfort bikes with 26-inch wheels. These are a good choice if you want to commute to work and enjoy leisurely rides through the park.

Urban and Commuting Bikes

Best for: Pavement or some gravel roads.

Description: Designed with city streets in mind, urban bikes are rugged and sturdy with tough frames and strong wheels. They feature an upright riding position that allows you to better see, and be seen by, motorists. Many commuter-friendly models include racks, lighting systems or fenders.

Women’s Bikes

Best for: Those who have the more typical woman’s body proportions of longer leg length relative to torso length.

Description: These bikes—which can be road, mountain, comfort or hybrid bikes—feature frame geometries, handlebars and wider saddles that are tailored to better fit the typical female body proportion. For instance, the top tube frame lengths on women’s bikes are generally about 1 to 3 centimeters shorter than men’s bikes, so the reach (saddle to handlebar) is shorter and fits most women better. These bikes also feature shorter-reach shifters that better fit women’s hands.

Other Bike Categories

Cyclocross bikes: Cyclocross is a form of bike racing. It involves taking laps around courses that feature a variety of terrain including pavement, dirt trails and grass. The courses also have obstacles that require riders to dismount and carry their bikes around them. Similar to road racing bikes in some ways, cyclocross bikes are lightweight yet tough enough to deal with extreme conditions. Most have knobby tires in order to handle all types of terrain.

Folding bikes: These bikes can be folded up and placed in a carrying bag, which makes them handy for commuters with limited storage space at home or the office. They are lightweight yet strong and can be folded up quickly and easily. Folding bikes are also a good choice for those who want to travel with their bike.

Electric-assist bikes: These ingenious bikes feature a battery-powered motor that can help you climb hills easily or make your commute less strenuous. Built-in sensors monitor how much pressure you’re putting on the pedals and then apply battery power accordingly.

Fixed-gear bikes: Often called fixies, these are bikes without a freewheel mechanism and (usually) only one gear. Long associated with track cycling, fixed-gear bikes have become popular with urban riding enthusiasts for their simplicity, low maintenance and low weight.

Get the Right Bike Fit for You

No matter what type of bike you choose, make sure it fits you. Bikes are sold in a variety of frame sizes, so this is a good starting point. To find the frame that best fits your leg length, try this simple stand-over exercise: throw your leg over the bike’s top tube and straddle it. Generally you want about 1″ of clearance for a road bike and about 2″ or more for a mountain bike. Recreation and comfort bikes generally offer plenty of stand-over room already. Wear shoes to get an accurate reading.

Stand-over height

Now consider the seat height. You want to make sure your leg has a slight bend when your pedal is at its lowest point in its rotation. To achieve this may involve making simple up or down adjustments to the seat height.

You should also have the proper reach to the handlebars. Your arms should not be fully extended; rather, your elbows should be slightly bent so that you feel comfortable and not too far away or too close to the handlebars.

Take a Test Ride

A test ride is a great way to discover what the best bike is for you. Most REI stores provide an area for customers to do this, usually in a little-used area of the parking lot. The stores in Seattle, Denver and Bloomington (Minn.) even offer onsite mountain-bike test trails.

Protect Yourself

Bicycling comes with many useful accessories and safety gear. The only real “must have” is a helmet. As with your bike, it’s important that a helmet fits you properly. Other bike-comfort features worth considering include padded bike gloves and padded shorts.

Choosing a Bike for a Child

From bikes with training wheels to teen-sized versions of adult bikes, there are many options available for kids. The most important consideration when buying your child a bike is size. When shopping, keep in mind that children’s bikes are measured by their wheel size, not frame size. The most common wheel sizes are 16″, 20″ and 24″. The right size is one where the child can comfortably get on the bike and stand with his or her feet on the ground.

It is not recommended that you buy a bike that is too large for a child and then have them “grow into it.” Doing so can set the child back in terms of riding skills and confidence. A properly sized bike will be easier for kids to handle, less dangerous and a lot more fun. And don’t forget the helmet!

(SOURCE:http://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/bicycle.html)

ISPO

ISPO

About ISPO

Thanks to its many events and services ISPO is considered the leading international sports business network. Every year, more than 2,000 international exhibitors present their latest products from the segments of Outdoor, Ski, Action und Performance Sports at ISPO MUNICH to over 80,000 visitors from more than 100 countries.

For over 40 years the global leader has provided a comprehensive overview of the entire range of sporting goods, athletic footwear and fashions, as well as the latest trends from these segments. Year for year the custom-tailored trade show concept with special communities and authentic side events guarantees a very unique, personalized and communication-rich atmosphere. As the only multi-segment trade show the event also offers its participants an opportunity to discover discipline-overlapping synergy and cross-selling potential, as well as recognize new segments and trends in advance. Thanks to close cooperation with the industry ISPO can identify market requirements and offers international sports business professionals the best possible presentation and networking platform at ISPO MUNICH.

In order to sustain its internationally leading position throughout the future the organizers continuously work on further improving ISPO MUNICH. Among the tasks is the endorsement of the new generation, as well as drawing the media’s and the public’s attention to industry-related topics. To reach this goal, ISPO will focus even more strongly on networking and partnerships.

ISPO

ISPO

Opening Hours and Location

ISPO MUNICH: February 3 to 6, 2013

Opening Hours Exhibitors Visitors
Sunday, February 3, 2013 7:30 am – 6 pm 9 am – 6 pm
Monday, February 4, 2013 7:30 am – 6 pm 9 am – 6 pm
Tuesday, February 5, 2013 7:30 am – 6 pm 9 am – 6 pm
Wednesday, February 6, 2013 7:30 am – 5 pm 9 am – 5 pm

 

Location  
By car, taxi Messe München Trade Fair Centre, Germany
By U-Bahn line U2 (Subway) Messestadt West, Messestadt Ost

More information: http://www.ispo.com/munich/en/All-Sports/Home


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