Sporting Life- Sports, Exercise Blog

Archive for March 2013

College basketball is a game of tradition. Fans line up days before a big game to make sure they get good seats, they do the same chants, wave their arms in the same way and cheer the same way all in an effort to propel their team to victory. The food fans eat is also a big part of the tradition, whether before the game, at it or after it.

There is one small problem, though, with college basketball food traditions: the weather. It’s cold outside and, while football breeds legendary tailgating and outdoor eating, college basketball fans are stuck indoors. Fortunately, the basketball arena itself or your local watering hole, restaurant or sports bar is there to be the cornerstone of your basketball eating traditions. Here are just a few of the more popular food destinations in great basketball cities.

Free State Brewery — Lawrence, Kansas

Free State is a local microbrewery in Lawrence that’s almost always packed full of hungry and thirsty Jayhawks. Known across eastern Kansas for its excellent ales, including the hoppy Ad Astra ale, Free State has been a Lawrence hangout for decades. It’s located on one end of Massachusetts Street, a five-block area in Lawrence filled with restaurants, bars and eclectic stores, making it a wonderful place to grab a good dinner and a beer before catching a bus to campus, cheering the Jayhawks to another home victory and then returning for a postgame celebration.

Eskimo Joe’s — Stillwater, Oklahoma

Eskimo Joe’s is an institution in Stillwater with a national reputation because of its simple, but always recognizable T-shirts with the Eskimo logo and sled dog logo. Eskimo Joe’s is a multistory, multibar, multi-TV eating-and-drinking establishment that is perfect for Cowboy fans to get to before, during or after the game. The food is amazing, the drinks cool and the merchandise is legendary. Game days usually feature food and drink specials, and the atmosphere gives Cowboys and Cowgirls plenty of reasons to stay and party long after the drinking is over.

KFC YUM! Center — Louisville, Kentucky

Perhaps eating KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut during a game isn’t the most gourmet of food traditions. Still, when you’re at a stadium named after the YUM! brands (the owners of KFC, Pizza Hut, etc.) you know that you’ll be able to eat well at one of the stadium’s concession stands which will sell you a Taco Bell taco, a Pizza Hut pizza, etc. Plus, KFC YUM! Center is fairly unique in that not a lot of basketball arenas are sponsored by large food concerns. At the very least, the presence of so many YUM! foods means you’ll never have to eat stale nachos and that weird yellow cheese.

Players Sports Bar — San Diego, California

Players tops the list of the best sports bars in California, which is no small feat given the huge number of places where one can catch a game in the Golden State. However, San Diego gets high marks because of its proximity to one of the best emerging college basketball programs in the nation (San Diego State University). Players, though, gets high marks not for its local clientele, but for the fact it always keeps some of its large number of TV screens tuned to games from the Universities of Missouri, Texas, Illinois, and North Carolina, giving visitors and people who move to San Diego a little taste of home. Try their fried green beans and a burger when you drop in.

Walk-On’s — Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Located within stumbling distance of LSU’s Pete Maravich Center, Walk-On’s is a local chain of sports bars named after three LSU walk-ons (two of who happen to be the bars’ owners.)  Walk-On’s is perfect for getting some postgame grub because of its proximity to campus and because it prides itself on being a center of food and fun for all LSU sports fans. Some of the fun may not be of the family-friendly variety, but that doesn’t mean that the adventure seekers and college-students-at-heart won’t find a great meal at the place voted Best Sports Bar by ESPN.

(By Chris Perrin )

 

Kaohsiung, March 13 (CNA) Former MLB star Manny Ramirez began training with the players of the EDA Rhinos in Kaohsiung on Wednesday, a day after signing a one-year contract with the team.

Ramirez was introduced to his Rhinos teammates by manager Hsu Sheng-ming and was reunited with Hu Chin-lung, his teammate with the Los Angeles Dodgers from 2008 to 2010.

He then swatted a few home runs in batting practice off pitches thrown by Hsu after having trouble getting acclimating to the team’s mechanical pitching machine.

Ramirez said he felt OK after the workout and expected to gradually round into peak form.

He will not be able to play in any of the team’s pre-season exhibition games because his work permit is still being processed, Hsu said, but the manager expected the permit to be approved by the Rhinos’ first regular season home game on March 27.

Hsu said the Rhinos, one of four teams in Taiwan’s Chinese Professional Baseball League, did not sign Ramirez just to help the team win and boost ticket sales but also to help raise the league’s quality and attract higher caliber foreign players to the country.

The 40-year-old Ramirez signed a one-year contract with the team that reportedly will pay him between NT$750,000 (US$25,000) and NT$800,000 a month.

Ramirez, who began in the major leagues with the Cleveland Indians in late 1993, slugged 555 home runs in the majors, ranking 14th all-time, and hit .312 for his career.

He was also named the World Series MVP after leading the Boston Red Sox in 2004 to their first championship since 1918.

His career was overshadowed, however, by two suspensions for using performance-enhancing drugs. He was suspended twice after failing to pass drug tests in 2009 and 2011.

Ramirez arrived Monday evening amid renewed enthusiasm for the sport in Taiwan, following Taiwan’s best run ever in the World Baseball Classic.

As many as 15.54 percent of all households with cable tuned in to Taiwan’s game against Japan on March 8, according to a user lab under the Institute for Information Industry and the Cloud and Connect TV Forum, based on information provided by two domestic cable operators.

The rating, reported Wednesday, was considered to be exceptionally high in a country where the media market is highly segmented.

(By Lin Hung-han, Cheng Che-fon, Chung Jung-feng and Jamie Wang)

Taipei, March 20 (CNA) Asia’s largest bike show opened Wednesday in Taipei, attracting over 1,000 exhibitors who are expected to generate over US$300 million in business, organizers said.

The Taipei International Cycle Show has attracted 1,103 exhibitors from 36 countries, over a quarter of whom are foreign exhibitors, Wang Chih-kang, chairman of the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA), said at the opening ceremony of the show.

A total of 7,000 international buyers are estimated to attend the show that will run till March 23, he said.

“Taiwan has become the supply center of the world’s high-end bicycles,” he said, highlighting the country’s strength in the research, development and branding of bicycles.

The export value of Taiwanese bicycles reached US$1.8 billion in 2012, up 8.68 percent from a year earlier, while the total export value of bicycles and bicycle parts touched US$2.73 billion in 2012, an increase of 11.74 percent from the previous year, according to TAITRA, Taiwan’s main trade promotion body.

Taiwan also exported 94,200 bikes valued at US$45.29 million to China last year, a significant growth of 179 percent and 158 percent, respectively, from 2011, TAITRA said.

Wang attributed the growth to a reduction of tariff barriers in bicycle trade since the 2010 Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement between Taiwan and China took effect.

He said the Taipei bike show is currently Asia’s largest and among the top three in the world, and expressed hope that the show will become the world’s largest, after construction is completed on a new exhibition hall near the current venue at the Taipei World Trade Center Nangang Exhibition Hall.

He added that the show is also expected to boost business in the tourism, transportation and communications sectors.


Anthony Lo, chairman of the Taiwan Bicycle Exporters’ Association, said Taiwan should continue its efforts to become a “cycling island” by continuing to research and develop high-quality bike products, improving its cycling environment and transforming its cities into low carbon cities.

Currently, over 25,000 people use the Youbike system — a bike rental system in Taipei — every day, Lo said, adding that the number of bikes under the program is expected to increase from around 1,500 to over 5,500 by July this year, benefiting over 10 million riders in the city each year.

Youbike was launched by the Taipei city government in 2009 and allows registered users to use their “Easy Card” prepaid transport cards to rent the bikes for free for the first half hour of rental, after which they are charged.

Vice President Wu Den-yih said the government is determined to support Taiwan’s bicycle industry and urged the Ministry of Economic Affairs to accelerate the construction of the new exhibition hall.

The four-day show will showcase a diverse range of bicycles, bicycle accessories, sportswear and other bicycle and sports-related products.

Forums will also be organized to discuss the latest breakthroughs in motors, batteries and emerging market trends and how to transform Taiwan into a “cycling island.”

An international expo showcasing sports textiles and accessories will also be held March 20-23 in Taipei, while an international sporting goods show and an international diving and water sports show will take place March 19-22.

At the opening ceremony, Wu also presented awards to the four gold award winners of the Taipei Cycle d&i awards, jointly organized by TAITRA and Taiwan Bicycle Exporters’ Association and executed by iF International Forum Design GmbH for the second time.

The gold award winners include an innovative full carbon wheel set, a cycle shoe insole, child’s bicycle seat and bicycle brake caliper.

The annual event, now in its 26th year, will take place at the Taipei World Trade Center Nangang Exhibition Hall and Hall 1.

(By Christie Chen)

Everyday activities like shopping for groceries burn calories, just like standard exercises. A one-hour shopping trip includes activities such as pushing your cart through the aisles, loading the groceries into your car and putting them away once you arrive home. Whether you burn more calories grocery shopping than walking depends on your speed.

Grocery Shopping

You arrive at the grocery store and spend 45 minutes pushing your cart up and down the aisles, temporarily pausing to place an item into your cart: that alone burns 105 calories in a 130-pound person, and even more — 146 calories in 45 minutes — in a 180-pound person. Spend five minutes loading the groceries into your car after checking out and you’ll burn another 16 calories if you weigh 130 pounds; up that to another 22 calories if you weigh 180 pounds. Take 10 minutes to unpack your groceries and put them away in your pantry once you arrive home and burn another 26 calories if you’re 130 pounds, or another 36 if you’re 180 pounds. In all, a 130-pound person burns 147 in a one-hour shopping trip; a 180-pound person burns 204 calories.

Grocery Shopping Vs. Leisurely Walking

A one-hour trip to the grocery store burns more calories than a leisurely walk. Walking at a a slow pace — less than 2 mph — for an hour burns 118 calories if you weigh 130 pounds and 163 calories if you weigh 180 pounds. You’d have to up your speed to 2 mph for your hour-long walk to burn the same number of calories as your hour-long trip to the grocery store.

Grocery Shopping Vs. Moderately Paced Walking

Increase your walking speed to 2.5 mph and you’ll start burning more calories than you did during your one-hour trip to the grocery store. Walking for an hour at that pace burns 177 calories if you weigh 130 pounds, 30 calories more than if that same person spent an hour grocery shopping. A 180-pound person burns 40 more calories walking at this pace for an hour than she would grocery shopping for 60 minutes. Increase your speed to 3 miles an hour and you increase your calorie burn to 195 if you weigh 130 pounds and 270 calories if you weigh 180 pounds.

Grocery Shopping Vs. Brisk Walking

Walk at a brisk pace — 3.5 mph or faster — for an hour and you’ll burn significantly more calories than you would during a one-hour trip to the grocery store. An hour’s walk at 3.5 mph burns 224 calories if you weigh 130 pounds and 311 calories if you weigh 180 pounds. Up your speed to 4 mph and you’ll double the number of calories you burned on your shopping trip: 295 calories an hour for a 130-pound person and 409 calories for a 180-pound person.

Calories burned walking

Activity (1 hour)
130 lb
155 lb
180 lb
205 lb
Walking, under 2.0 mph, very slow
118
141
163
186
Walking 2.0 mph, slow
148
176
204
233
Walking 2.5 mph
177
211
245
279
Walking 3.0 mph, moderate
195
232
270
307
Walking 3.5 mph, brisk pace
224
267
311
354
Walking 3.5 mph, uphill
354
422
490
558
Walking 4.0 mph, very brisk
295
352
409
465
Walking 4.5 mph
372
443
515
586
Walking 5.0 mph
472
563
654
745

(By Elizabeth Falwell )

Basement fitness centers be damned. There are some places around the world that make your intentions to lace up the runners and don the spandex a whole lot more inviting.

1. MV Stella Australis, Chile

Ever wanted to jog around Cape Horn but thought it was impossible? Well, it’s not.

Brand-new ship (well, in cruise ship terms any ship just past her first birthday is still brand-new) Stella Australis plies the glacier-lined route between Punta Arenas (Chile) and Ushuaia (Argentina).

The gym is positioned on the top deck with full-height double-glazed windows providing an ever-changing view of snow-dusted mountains and glaciers amid forest-clad fjords. The double glazing is important, as summer temperatures barely reach double figures in South American Patagonia.

There’s no problem getting warmed up, however, on modern treadmills, steppers and bikes, as albatross soar on the Furious Fifties winds that buffets the land at the “end of the world”.

2. Andaman Hotel, Langkawi, Malaysia

National Geographic film crews know a good location when they see one. So it’s no surprise to find out that the same ancient rainforest that treadmill pounders gaze at from the Andaman Hotel is a favoured habitat for filming wildlife documentaries.

Located on the northwest coast of Langkawi, the region abounds in rare wildlife on land and kaleidoscopic fringing coral reef beyond the beach.

Hotel designers didn’t quite get it right for water babies but for those who find inspiration in lush plush jungle, you won’t be disappointed with French windows allowing heady tropical aromas to waft around the gym.

3. Sasakwa Lodge, Tanzania

Unleash your inner safari man (or woman) when you drop into your own personal piece of African indulgence on a privately held 137,000-hectare concession of Singita Grumeti Reserve.

Incongruously rising above the plains in the style of an Edwardian manor house, the main lodge is surrounded by a handful of secluded cottages, each with its own infinity pool and dreamy heat-haze views all the way to the horizon.

If you can drag yourself beyond poolside tranquilized stupor, the gym is a revelation for such a remote location. Equipped with modern machines, it’s easy to imagine running across the sun-kissed plains, with bounding zebras kicking up their hooves beside you.

4. Aqua Expeditions, Peru

If cruising little-accessible waters of the Amazon floats your boat, step onto the treadmill aboard luxury river expedition vessel MV Aria, departing from the forest-clad port of Iquitos.

Launched in the spring of 2011, MV Aria plies the upper reaches and tributaries of the Andes-fed Amazon, allowing up to 32 guests to immerse themselves in wildlife and wild landscapes of 20,000 square kilometers of Pacaya Samira Reserve encased in floating luxury.

Hitting the treadmill daily is recommended, given that menus are designed by renowned chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino, otherwise known as the jungle chef, for his creative use of Amazonian wild foods.

More an exercise room bathed in natural light from immense picture windows rather than a fully blown gym, there’s no denying the inspirational “in-your-face” view gliding by.

5. Chobe Safari Lodge, Uganda

Recently restored to her former 1950s elegance and perched above the bank of the River Nile, water is the main focus of Chobe Safari Lodge.

That is, of course, once you’ve had your fill of the elephants, hippos and buffalo that hang out around this legendary waterway. Attracting wildlife by the safari-load, the three-level swimming pool, spa and gym all overlook the rushing, gushing Nile.

Within the largest National Park in Uganda, Murchison Falls National Parkis not a bad spot for fishos to drop a line once they’ve finished buffing their biceps in the Chobe Health Club and Spa.

6. Sheraton Anchorage Hotel & Spa, United States

It’s unlikely that master mariner Captain James Cook would recognize much about Anchorage these days. Things have changed a bit since he anchored in the bay, now known as Cook Inlet, beneath a couple of active volcanoes and a mountain affectionately known by locals as Sleeping Lady.

On a clear day Redoubt and Spurr mountains, all 3,000 meters of them, poke out above the clouds, all theatrical summits and look-at-me attitude.

Gazing out from the 15th floor gym to the street below, gym junkies shouldn’t be surprised to see one of the 1,000-odd moose who also call Anchorage home wandering the streets.

7. Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel, United States

Any hotel that puts step machines front and center behind frameless glass walls that overlook the Pacific Ocean gets my vote.

Add a crystal chandelier to enhance the theatrical movie star opulence, and you’ll be seriously motivated to get your butt camera-ready.

Naturally, equipment is top-of-the-line Precor and Icarian with individual screens and multimedia connectivity. The team at Ritz-Carlton seem to know just how to prop up a narcissistic gym junkie’s habit.

 

8. Wickaninnish Inn, Canada

The favored destination for storm chasers, those climate-crazy souls who time their holidays to encounter the worst weather, Wickaninnish Inn sits tall, proud and somewhat weather-beaten on a point jutting seaward. Beachcombers and surfer dudes also find their way to wild tumbled Chesterman Beach.

Looking west across the Pacific Ocean from Vancouver Island, 10 years ago the inn built a new wing to capitalize on their beachfront location, thrilling gym junkies no end by placing the workout room center stage.

9. Paresa Resort Phuket, Thailand

Phuket is home to sea gypsies who live on floating villages earning a living from ever depleting fish stocks, as well as the seething, writhing, pumping tourism hub of Patong Beach which attracts modern-day travelers.

Treadmill joggers who bother to look south from the gym at Paresa can catch a glimpse of the ever-present partying integral to the beachfront strip.

But for my money, the real attraction is the uninterrupted cliff top view from high above the Andaman Sea, particularly at dusk as the blazing tropical sun disappears below the salt-laden horizon.

10. Hotel Icon, Hong Kong

Opened just two months ago, Hotel Icon represents the combined efforts of Hong Kong’s most creative geniuses.

Clearly health-conscious designers who appreciate the benefits of positioning the pool and gym on the rooftop, it’s hard to imagine a more exciting cityscape than Hong Kong’s.

Particularly so at night, when all bets are off when it comes to conserving energy and the city lights up like the a Christmas tree.

Naturally, being a brand-new luxuriously appointed hotel with a heavy focus on glamour, gym equipment is state of the art and open 24 hours.

(By Fiona Harper, CNN Travel )


Sporting Life

March 2013
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