• Are There Foods Good for a Concussion?

    A concussion usually occurs when you hit your head and develop an altered state of awareness or a headache. You also may lose consciousness. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, more than a million people in the United States get a concussion each year. In order to prevent brain damage, you should undergo a medical examination whenever you hit your head before you try any home remedies for treatment.
    Most concussions don’t result in complications, although you may continue to have a headache or feel dizzy for a few days. Rest is one of the primary treatments for a concussion, according to Seattle Children’s Hospital. Young adults and children should refrain from playing sports for about three months. Eating a healthy, balanced diet of whole grains, proteins, fruits and vegetables is important because the brain needs the nutrients to heal.
    While maintaining a healthy diet is important for healing, you may feel nauseous for a few days after hitting your head. Eat small meals that won’t upset your stomach, such as oatmeal and whole grain wheat toast. Chew your food thoroughly to help with digestion. If you have a headache and can’t chew easily, puree food or try softer sources of fruits and vegetables such as applesauce and fruit cocktail. Scrambled eggs are an effective source of protein following a head injury. You may need to stick to fluids and can use protein shakes or other nutrient-rich drinks for nourishment, according to Alternate Pulmonary Medical Associates.
    A blow to the head results in a drastic disruption of the brain’s chemical metabolism according to an April 2011 article in “The Globe and Mail.” Providing the brain with food for energy quickly after the injury occurs may mitigate the level of consequences you undergo as a result of the concussion. Speedy delivery of a high-protein snack bar, nuts or protein shake immediately after the injury and followed up with a high-protein diet for a couple of weeks may alleviate future problems and help you recover quicker. Meat is an effective source of protein to include in your diet because it also contains sufficient amounts of creatine, which provides your brain with substantial amounts of quick energy.
    Swelling and inflammation can lead to extended problems following a head injury and may cause bleeding in the brain. Eat foods with no salt or reduced sodium to prevent water retention and edema. Foods that can effectively reduce inflammation include red grapes, which contain resveratrol. Instead of salt, use seasonings such as turmeric that also have inflammation-reducing properties.

  • How Did the Game of Soccer Start?

    Soccer, or football as it is known outside North America, is arguably the most popular sport to both play, talk about and support, according to the Football Association website. For many, watching their national team play in the football World Cup brings out passion and euphoria as well as a sense of unity and national identity. Football fever has long gripped the nations of Europe and South America but, perhaps surprisingly, football first originated in China.
    Cuju is the name for a Chinese soccer-like game believed to exist 3,000 years ago, according to History of Soccer website. The game could be played with any part of the body apart from the hands, and the target was a small hole rather than a net. Sports historians also speculate that the Greeks and Romans had a game resembling soccer. Forms of the game were outlawed in England as early as King Edward’s reign in 1307 because of its brutality.
    The game of soccer, as it exists today, officially took shape with the formation of the English Football Association in 1863, according to the FIFA website. The Football Association was a group of 11 schools and clubs that met one evening in a London Tavern to define the rules for the game. Over the next half century, hundreds more teams and competitions emerged as Britain’s growing working class started playing the game.
    FIFA, or the Federation Internationale de Football Association, is soccer’s world governing body. It formed in Paris in 1904, with the founding countries being France, Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland and Spain. FIFA anticipated that soccer’s popularity would spread and sought to establish the code of rules set by the English FA as the international standard for playing the game. The English FA initially refused to join this French-dominated European football alliance.
    The first official World Cup was staged in Uruguay in 1930. Only 12 teams participated, four from Europe, and the hosts beat Argentina to win the cup. The shape of the tournament and the number of teams involved has changed many times over the years. All 208 FIFA member countries took part in qualifying for the 2010 FIFA world cup in South Africa, with the 32 best teams arriving on the continent to decide the 19th winners of the tournament.

  • Is 7/7/07 a lucky day?

    Is 7/7/07 a lucky day? Seven is often associated with good luck and for some people it has mystical or religious associations. It’s a prime number, though so are 3, 11 and 13,267. Seven appears frequently in the Bible, and there are seven days in a week, seven wonders of the world, seven seas, seven sins and seven virtues, seven years bad luck, seven dwarves, the Boeing 777 and winning numbers in craps, slot machines and blackjack (where three times seven is a blackjack). American Indians have seven directions, Christianity has seven sacraments and Hinduism believes in seven chakras. Then there’s the world’s most popular boy wizard: the seventh Harry Potter book comes out on the 21st day (that’s three sevens) of July, 2007.
    To some, 7/7/07 is simply another day or, perhaps, a magnet for superstition, astrologers and marketing companies. But to many people, the number seven holds special, even spiritual or supernatural significance. According to our article on numerology, seven is often associated with magic, wisdom, intelligence, mystery and solitude. The day has caused many people to pore over their lives, looking for the number seven — in their age, anniversary, the day they met their spouse — and a variety of events have been planned accordingly.
    In California, yoga instructors will be meditating at 7 p.m. while Christians in Tennessee will fill the Tennessee Titans’ football stadium for mass prayer. Many shops will be holding special sales, casinos are expected to do great business and if the lottery comes up all sevens, the winners are going to be splitting the money many ways.
    But the big winner on July 7 will be the wedding industry. Because the date falls on a Saturday, 7/7/07 will likely be the biggest single wedding day in history. On the popular wedding site theknot.com, more than 38,000 couples are listed as marrying on July 7. That’s more than three times the average for a Saturday in July. Las Vegas wedding chapels have been offering special, seven-themed packages, including, for the budget-minded, a seven-couple ceremony, costing $77 dollars per couple, complete with seven roses and seven photographs.
    Many other hotels and wedding chapels are offering promotions, some of them quite lavish and, of course, costing an amount with a preponderance of sevens. Between price, room numbers, bridesmaids, groomsmen, dinner courses, flowers, number of guests and starting times, sevens will be everywhere. While many wedding chapels, event planners and hotels are charging rates replete with sevens, due to the increased demand, prices are up across the board.
    Some companies that seem to have no business in weddings have gotten involved. Six Flags, the theme park company, is allowing seven couples to get married on the rides of their choice as part of their “Thrilled Ever After” promotion. Wal-Mart is paying for seven couples to get married in the garden and lawn area of seven Wal-Mart stores. There are also the obligatory celebrity weddings — actress Eva Longoria and basketball player Tony Parker will marry in Parker’s native France; Chef Wolfgang Puck will marry his fianc¨¦e, Gelila Assefa, though Puck claims the date was chosen because others presented scheduling conflicts.
    So is all the fuss worth it, or are companies simply gleeful that the numerically pleasing day presents so much opportunity? After all, it was probably difficult to market? wedding packages for 6/6/06. On the next page, we’ll look at why some people say 7/7/07 is either a bad day or simply another one like the rest. We’ll also talk about why 8/8/08 may be even bigger than 7/7/07.
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  • Recommended 100 Meter Sprint Workouts

    The 100m sprint is one of the most important events in track and field. The mens’ winner of the 100m dash at the Olympics is crowned with the unofficial title of the “world’s fastest human” and is celebrated for his accomplishment. Women sprinters are also held in high esteem. This race requires explosive speed, excellent quickness and nearly perfect technique.
    In order to build explosive running strength, sprinters do interval training to get faster. Start off by sprinting 400m and then follow that with a 200m sprint. Then do a 100m sprint before closing with a 50m run. All four of those races help sprinters gain endurance, improve technique, build speed and get quicker. Take a two-minute break after completing the four sprints and then repeat the drill.
    One of the best ways for a sprinter to gain speed is to do parachute training. A running parachute provides resistance to the runner and forces him to work harder when running. The running chute is worn like a back pack. Attach the running chute and take off when you hear the coach’s signal. As the chute unfurls, continue to sprint without slowing down and while maintaining as much speed as possible. Then go back to the starting line and do the drill again but when you get to the 50m mark, press the release button on the chute. As the chute drops off, you will get a surge of speed. This is called “overspeed” and it will help you become a more explosive runner.
    In this drill, you will work on your technique in the starting blocks. The sprinter’s ability to get out of the starting blocks and up to top speed quickly is vitally important. In this drill, you will practice your start to help you get out of the blocks quicker. Practice starting and sprinting the first 20m of the race and then go back to the starting blocks until you have done this drill 10 times.

  • How to Run the Triangle in Soccer

    Watching Christiano Ronaldo score a goal from mid-field is an exciting sporting event. Ronaldo does not score goals on his own. One of the formations his team — and just about all others — use to move the ball up the field is a triangle. If you are a coach or a player, keep in mind that a triangle has three points. A soccer triangle formation includes three players that run at the same pace in the same direction to maintain the shape of a triangle as the game progresses up or down the field. This formation allows for easier forward passing than if you and your teammate are positioned in a straight line.
    Position your three defenders in the shape of a triangle. Run your first, middle defender in front at the top of the triangle. Run a second defender to the right and behind on an angle. Place your third defender to the left of the field slightly in front of your second defender and behind your first defender.
    Position your three midfielders in the shape of a triangle. Run your center midfielder as the top point of the triangle. Position your right midfielder behind and on an angle to the right from the center. Place your left midfielder slightly in front of your right midfielder, yet on an angle to the left of and behind your center midfielder.
    Position your three forwards in the shape of a triangle. Position your center at the top of the triangle. Place your right forward on an angle to the right and behind your center. Position your left forward slightly in front of the right forward, yet behind and to the left of your center.
    Coach players to maintain their triangle shapes as they move the ball up the field toward the goal. Change the size of the triangle as needed to defend against the opposing team when players must close the distance between each other. Allow the triangle to widen for longer passes.

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  • Diet Plans for Soccer Players

    You practice hard and you play hard, but if you want to perform your best as a soccer player, you also need to think about what you eat. Soccer is an intense and grueling sport that burns a lot of calories. Replacing those calories with the right foods in the right amount can improve energy, speed, strength and recovery.
    During a game, soccer players are in constant motion for 60 to 90 minutes and can run, walk or dribble up to 12 miles. This intense play and activity require a lot of energy. Soccer players need 20 to 27 calories per pound of body weight a day, according to Dr. Jay Williams from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. That means a 150-pound soccer player needs 3,000 to 4,050 calories a day, with the higher calorie count corresponding with those heavy practice and game days.
    Carbs provide most of the energy your muscles need to get you through your practices and games. Sixty percent to 70 percent of the calories in a soccer player’s diet should come from carbs. Most of those carb calories should be from complex carbs, which include foods such as whole-wheat bread, pasta, potatoes, grains and vegetables. Complex carbs take longer to digest and help maintain a steady stream of energy. Simple carbs digest more quickly and act as a fast source of energy; these include fruit, milk, sweets and soda. For better nutrition, choose milk or fruit when looking for a quick energy pick-me-up.
    Soccer players also need to make sure they get the right amounts of protein and fat. Protein is important for muscle recovery and growth, and 10 percent of your calories should come from protein. Good sources include lean meats, poultry, seafood, low-fat dairy, eggs, nuts, beans and vegetables. Fat also provides energy, and at least 20 percent of your calories should come from fat for peak performance, says Williams. But be choosy with the fats in your diet, and go for healthy sources such as oils, nuts and fatty fish, and avoid fried foods.
    Soccer players need to eat frequently throughout the day to maintain energy levels. A good meal plan should include four to six small meals a day. Each meal should include carbs, protein and fat. For example, a healthy breakfast meal to start your day right might include a bowl of whole-grain cereal with a banana and low-fat milk. To maximize your nutrient intake, include a fruit or vegetable with each meal. To replenish energy stores and start muscle recovery after practice or games, eat a carb and protein snack, such as a turkey sandwich or a low-fat yogurt, as soon as you’re done.

  • Tips for a 14-Year-Old Boy Trying to Gain Weight

    A boy’s body undergoes enormous changes during his teen years, many of which can start as early as age 14. Boys start to gain weight, particularly muscle mass, and experience a broadening of the shoulders, deepening of the voice and development of facial hair. Others don’t hit this stage until they’re several years older, and they may feel left out socially when their friends develop earlier. If your doctor encourages you to gain weight because your thinness is endangering your health and energy, then eating a balanced diet, with extra high-calorie and nutritious snacks, as well as quality exercise will help you. Be patient with your body, though, and try not to rush the process; it can take three to four years to reach your adult size.
    You may not fully reach your adult weight til well after age 18, so take steps that gradually help you gain weight. Adding too much weight too soon increases your body fat, rather than helping you develop healthy lean muscle. But if being skinny depletes you of energy, makes you feel self-conscious or negatively affects your immune system and health, adding calories and appropriate resistance training will help you become your healthiest. Make sure you’re eating enough calories to support your current weight. Talk to your doctor about your activity level, and she can help determine that calorie number. Then, add 250 to 500 calories to the maintenance number to gain a healthy 1/2 to 1 pound per week.
    Adding calories from healthy foods and not from junk-y snacks or fast food, helps you put on quality muscle mass. Processed foods, such as soda, chips and white bread, have extra calories but offer little nutrition. These foods don’t help you look or feel better. A diet that’s nutritionally poor causes you to miss nutrients that support optimal growth. Increased serving sizes of homemade meals, such as extra servings of protein, unprocessed grains and starchy vegetables, help increase your daily calorie intake by 250 to 500 calories per day. For example, serve yourself two grilled chicken breasts and instead of one fist-full of brown rice, have two, or choose the largest baked potato offered. When you have a choice, opt for the higher calorie — but still healthy — versions of foods. Choose chili over chicken noodle soup, make sandwiches on dense, whole-grain bread instead of white bread and have broccoli with melted cheese rather than an iceberg lettuce salad. If you don’t increase your meal sizes, then increase the calorie density of your meals — meaning you should make high-calorie additions to the foods you do eat. Cook oatmeal in milk, and stir in raisins and walnuts; spread avocado on sandwiches; and add olive oil to salad or use olive oil as a dip for bread.
    Eating mini-meals between breakfast, lunch and dinner helps add calories. When you’re at school, pack nuts or trail mix in your backpack for you to grab between classes. Stash a peanut butter sandwich on whole-wheat bread in your after-school activity bag to fuel sports, band or choir practice. A snack before bed, such as whole-grain cereal with milk, also boosts calories. Dried fruit, yogurt, smoothies made with pureed fruit and milk, and even deli meat and cheese, are other portable snack options you can easily carry with you so you don’t miss meals or snacks. Drink milk or fruit juice between meals to boost your calorie intake. Drinking a lot of liquid with meals can squelch your appetite, though. Unless directed by your doctor, skip supplements designed for weight gain. Whole foods offer more nutrients and fewer preservatives to support good health and growth.
    Most teen boys need at least an hour of physical activity per day. This can be sports practice or simply messing around with your friends, with a soccer ball, for example. Resistance training at the gym helps you develop muscle mass and promotes healthy bones, but it won’t necessarily cause you to gain tremendous amounts of weight. If you haven’t yet reached puberty, developing large muscles isn’t possible. Also, your build may not be designed to bulk up, even after you reach puberty. If you’re naturally lean and lanky, resistance training can make you stronger and healthier, but you may stay thin. Talk to a coach or an adult with knowledge of lifting weights to guide you on proper form, technique and weight choice. Adequate physical activity helps you sleep well at night, which is essential to proper growth. Get 8 to 10 hours per night to give your brain and bones time to develop, and to allow your growth hormone to release.

  • The Hindenburg Crashes

    If we were to create a list of the greatest disasters of all time, the Hindenburg disaster would be near the top. Like the sinking of the Titanic, the destruction of the Hindenburg is something that still resonates with people many decades after it happened.
    It’s easy to understand why it resonates. Imagine a gigantic, 12-story tall, three-football-field-long airship detonating in the night sky with 7 million cubic feet of pure hydrogen fueling the explosion, all captured on film. It was a spectacular event that may never be duplicated.
    To appreciate the Hindenburg disaster, you have to know a little bit about the time period. The Hindenburg was a massive dirigible built in 1936. There are no dirigibles in widespread use today, but at the time the dirigible was a fairly common way to travel long distances in luxury. This is one reason that the Hindenburg disaster was so interesting — dirigible travel was something for rich people in the 1930s, in the same way that the Supersonic Concorde was a way for rich people to travel in the 1980s. If you needed to get from Europe to America in the 1930s, the normal way to do it was on a boat. The crossing took about a week at 20 to 30 knots. In a dirigible flying at over twice that speed, you could arrive in a couple of days. Tickets on the Hindenburg were very expensive — roughly $5,000 to $6,000 in today’s dollars. But you were traveling in the ultimate style, with nearly one crew member for every passenger on board.
    A dirigible is a rigid airship. Today’s blimps, like the Goodyear Blimp, are not rigid. They are basically just big rubber balloons filled with helium. A dirigible actually has a massive aluminum frame inside that gives it its shape. The frame also lets you build accommodations for passengers that look a lot like the accommodations of cruise ship, complete with furnished passenger cabins, dining rooms, and more. Therefore, a dirigible has to be big enough to lift the frame, the frame’s covering, all the passenger accommodations and the passengers. That’s what made the Hindenburg so big. It was 800 feet long — about as long as four Goodyear blimps lined up end-to-end. Inside its aluminum frame were 16 giant bags holding hydrogen gas. Altogether there were 7 million cubic feet of hydrogen gas in the Hindenburg — enough to lift the airship itself, plus over 200,000 pounds of passengers, crew, luggage, food, cargo, et cetera.
    By May 1937, the Hindenburg had successfully crossed the Atlantic many times. The safety record of dirigibles flown by the Zeppelin company was perfect. The Hindenburg had flown nearly 200,000 miles and carried thousands of passengers prior to this trip, so no one was expecting anything to go wrong. However, there were a lot of journalists on hand because it was the first flight of the year. The Hindenburg was coming to land into the Lakehurst Naval Air Station in New Jersey after a routine transatlantic flight from Frankfurt, Germany. Thirty-six passengers and 61 crew members were on board and ready to leave. The flight was late due to strong headwinds on the Atlantic, and the weather in New Jersey had delayed the landing even more.
    The airship pulled up to its mooring post, let down its ropes to the ground crew, and at that point something went horribly wrong. A fire started near the tail and ignited the rest of the hydrogen in the ship very quickly. The gigantic fire ball was captured on film (both motion picture film and stills), and this is another reason why this disaster was so important. The explosion and aftermath were completely amazing, and people could see it actually happen on film.
    The third reason for the resonance of the Hindenburg disaster has to do with the “mystery” that surrounded the explosion. No one knows exactly why the fire started. But there was (and still is) a huge amount of speculation. Here are three theories:
    No one will ever really know. It is a strange coincidence that, although many cameras were on hand, none of them captured the start of the fire on film. Eyewitness accounts were conflicting.
    There are several things that this disaster has left with us as a society. There is the iconic image of the ship exploding. There is the motion picture film shot that day that captures the disaster. And there is the phrase “Oh, the humanity!”, uttered by a radio announcer who was on the scene reporting the event. You may have thought that phrase came from a sportscaster. No, it came from the Hindenburg disaster.
    For more information on the Hindenburg and related topics, check out these links:

  • Cheap Family Activities Quiz

    From washing the car to going on a picnic to popping popcorn for movie night, we’ve got some trivia questions about the inexpensive family activities that everybody loves.