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 )

 

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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 )

When learning to play tennis, only the basic equipment needs to be purchased. You can purchase a complete outfit made by any major manufacturer of sporting goods. These include Nike, Adidas, Prince, Wilson, Head, and there still many more out there selling good products. Players can move on to more expensive styles in racquets and clothes after their tennis training has been completed or when you start to play some of the local tennis leagues. The salesmen at a sports equipment outlet will be a good guide to make sure they have everything they need.

 

Tennis apparel is athletic wear, so function is key. You’ll be running much of the time when you play tennis, so choose shorts or warm up pants that won’t bunch up and limit your mobility. Running shorts might be a good choice if you aren’t buying tennis-specific apparel. Make sure your clothing is snug around your waist. If it’s too tight, you’ll have problems when you turn your core on serves and groundstrokes. If it’s too lose, it might start slipping when you run and jump.

Take time to go out and shop around for your outfit. If you do not have a lot of spare time or you hate to think about spending time at the mall on your day off, look on the internet. Online stores are great source for those who are looking for new tennis clothes.

Playing tennis is all about sudden starts and stops, as well as moving quickly from side to side. The trouble is that, during extreme stopping, cornering, and pivoting, if the sneaker’s outsole is too rigid, the tennis player loses contact with the playing surface, which results in a loss of footing. That is why you need proper pair of tennis shoes. Nike, Adidas, Sergio Tacchini or Lacoste are market best sellers these days.

What about tennis rackets? Choosing racket is most important thing in tennis world. When it comes to buying one you can consult your tennis coach or tennis racket expert for advice on the brand of racket that is most likely to fit specific requirements. Testing out different brands is the best way to find the right match. Popular brands are Babolat, Dunlop, Fischer, Avery, Gamma, Head, Prince, Volkl and Wilson. Length and racket weight are the most important when choosing.

Most tennis rackets weigh between 8.5 and 12.5 ounces. In general, lighter rackets are easier to swing. The standard tennis racket length is 27 inches. While the rules of tennis allow rackets to measure up to 32 inches, most tennis rackets measure from 27 to 28 inches. Because the grip is the tennis player’s link between the tennis racket and player body, grip comfort is of great importance. Grips typically range from 4 inches to 4 7/8 inches in circumference. Most adult tennis players use grips between 4 1/4 inches and 4 5/8 inches.

(From :http://making-baby-food.org/tennis-clothes-and-rackets-for-beginners/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=tennis-clothes-and-rackets-for-beginners )

With a spot in the second round of the World Baseball Classic on the line, the U.S. came from behind twice on Sunday to defeat Canada, 9-4, at Chase Field. The Americans, who scored three times in the eighth to decide the game on an Adam Jones two-run double and Shane Victorino’s RBI single, will move on to Marlins Park from Pool D along with Italy to meet the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.

First baseman Eric Hosmer put the game out of reach with a bases-clearing double in the top of the ninth inning off Canada closer John Axford.

The Americans narrowly avoided their earliest exit from the tournament, now in its third running. They’ve never finished higher than fourth. The Canadians still haven’t made it out of the first round. Mexico was the other team that didn’t survive the pool this weekend.

“Well, it’s not a relief, because we have been teasing ourselves,” U.S. manager Joe Torre said. “Last night [in a 6-2 win over Italy], we had the one big inning. We had too many opportunities [today] with too many good people up at the plate. We really don’t have a soft spot in that lineup. I guess we have to get behind to all of a sudden think about it. But they were very aggressive today and it really helped us.”

The tournament won’t get any easier. The U.S. is the top seed out of this bracket heading to Miami and will play an 8 p.m. ET game on Tuesday against Puerto Rico. Italy will play the Dominican Republic in the 1 p.m. ET game. The games will all be broadcast nationally by MLB Network and ESPN Deportes.

As opposed to the round-robin format in the first round, the next round will be double-elimination, meaning the teams to win two games each advance and the teams which lose twice are out.

The defending two-time Classic champion Japanese were the first team to qualify for the semifinals on either March 17 or 18 in San Francisco’s AT&T Park. The final game is there on March 19.

Like its first games, the U.S. fell behind by two runs early as Canada took a 2-0 lead in the second inning on a two-run homer by Michael Saunders off left-hander Derek Holland, who went five innings, allowing four hits and left with the score tied at 2.

Saunders, the Mariners’ right fielder, was named Most Valuable Player of the pool after going 8-for-11 with seven RBIs in the three games.

“It’s definitely an honor,” Saunders said. “However, it’s kind of a sour taste in my mouth right now. Whenever you represent your country, it really doesn’t matter how you do, as long as you win. And that was the main focus today. We played a tough game, and obviously the U.S. came out on top, but we’re holding our heads high. We came to this tournament prepared and we felt like we played well. A few innings didn’t go our way, but I think we played well and I think we showed the world that Canada is here to stay.”

The U.S., which lost its opener to Mexico in the pool and then came back to defeat Italy and Canada, had numerous chances to score on Sunday. The Americans squandered runners in scoring position in the first, second and seventh innings, finally breaking through to take the lead against reliever Jimmy Henderson in the eighth.

The U.S. was trailing, 3-2, and had runners on first and second moving as Henderson delivered to Jones, who lined the pitch into left-center for the double that gave America the lead for good. Victorino, 0-for-3 in the game and 0-for-11 with the Red Sox this spring coming into the Classic, singled home Jones.

With Jones at the plate, Torre had just sent Willie Bloomquist to second to run for Joe Mauer. It was Bloomquist who read the play and took off on the pitch with David Wright at first base trailing.

“Knowing Bloomquist and Wright, those are guys who are perennial basestealers,” Jones said. “I played with Bloomy in Seattle, and any time he gets on base, he doesn’t want to stay on that base too long. It was a good pitch for him to go on and it was a good pitch for me to hit. I was glad that I didn’t try and do too much, didn’t get distracted by the runners, and just was able to put a good swing on a good pitch to hit.”

For Canada, the loss was just another bitter pill. In 2009 at Toronto, the U.S. won the opener of the pool at Rogers Centre against the Canadians, effectively sending them on to elimination. Again this year, Canada lost its opener, 14-4, to Italy in a game that ended in the eighth inning because of the 10-run mercy rule.

Canada redeemed itself on Saturday by defeating Mexico in a game that was marred by a benches-clearing incident in the ninth inning.

Both the U.S. and Canada had to play themselves out of 0-1 holes to get to this single-elimination confrontation. And in the end, it turned out to be too much for Canada.

“I think it’s exciting for baseball, to be honest with you,” long-time Canada manager Ernie Whitt said. “Did we want to get mercied in the first game? Absolutely not. But it happened. And like I said yesterday, Mexico did us a favor by beating the U.S., which just gave us an opportunity. We knew what we had to do, we just fell short today.

“I’m not happy with the results. I thought it was a good ballgame. They got some key hits in timely situations, and so you tip your hat to them.”

(By Barry M. Bloom / MLB.com)


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