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Month: July 2018

How to Choose Touring Bike for Your Cycling Vacation

There are a number of bikes that are available in the market from mountain bikes, traditional folding bicycles to road bikes. Each type of bike is designed to apprehend and serves different interests to travelers. Every year, many people plan a cycling vacation to some of the most beautiful places of the world. If you’re planning a cycling vacation, it’s likely you will be needing a strong and sturdy bike. Your bike should be capable enough to carry heavy objects so that you can bring essential supplies along with yourself.

Before you start your cycling expedition to Europe or anywhere around the world, make sure you have the proper bike and touring equipment. A touring bike is necessary to ensure that your riding experience is favorable. Below is the general list of the main attributes to select a touring bike:

1. Strong and Sturdy Frame: The frame along with the fork is the most important part of the bike. You must select a touring bike that has a strong and stiff Frame and body. Strong frame helps to stand up the tortional stress in curvy paths, while weaker frame starts to bend and flex. It is the heart of your bicycle. So, buying a bike with a rigid and tuff frame is very essential.

2. Long chain stays: This is the most desirable feature in your touring bike. A long chain stays makes your wheel base longer and much more stable. It also solves the problem of heel strike on your rear pannier as it provides better stability to your feet. It also provides your frame more clearance, by allowing more space between the wheel and the seat tube.

3. Uncut steerer tube: This is another desirable feature while selecting a touring bike. An uncut steerer tube provides more flexibility to your handlebars to move up and down. Most people like the handlebars in level with the saddle, and a cut steerer tube makes it difficult to achieve. If your steerer tube is cut already, then this will restrict your bike moves.

4. Relaxed geometry: Your bike’s geometry mainly depends upon the bike frames, as keeping frame angles more relaxed. A relaxed geometry promotes a more comfortable, relaxed style of riding. It means keeping your angles within your frame tube. Therefore, select a bike to be ridden in a straight line.

5. Large tires: Tire size is another significant feature while selecting a touring bike. If you are touring on rougher roads or tracks, bigger tires can grant you better protection. Bigger tire provides more air and ultimately better suspension.

6. Water bottle cages: A good touring bikes have at least three bottle cages, on the top of the downtube, front of the seat tube and the underside of the downtube. This can be very useful for carrying extra water on long tours. You can even get your bike custom made for carrying some extra loads of water and fuel for cooking.

7. Good load Handling: Your bike should be capable of carrying enough load while travelling. Do not buy a touring bike without trying it out in fully loaded form. Take a little ride around the bike shop’s parking lot. This will give you an idea, that weather your bike have the capability to handle the load on tour.

Some destinations have easy terrain while others may have high jagged peaks. You must select a touring bike on the basis of destination you are going to visit.

Spend time researching different bike types, accessorizes and feature required in your bicycle. If you are not clear which bike will suit your requirements, then you can ask your tour operators to provide you a bike as per your needs and requirement.

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All About Skiing Injuries

Changes in modern ski equipment, improvements in slope design, and maintenance helped reduced the incidence of serious injuries. However, we must take note that there are still a significant number of ski injuries that can possibly occur during your ski trips.

According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), studies have showed that major of injuries that occur to skiers are sprains, fractures, lacerations and dislocations. At present, injury to the ligaments of the knee is a more common injury that occurs to skiers.

Several studies have shown that the most common injury to the knee is the damage to the medial collateral ligament (MCL). Physical therapist Jennifer Lewis of Athletes’ Performance in Phoenix, Arizona explains that “MCL injuries occur when a sudden force or twisting motion is applied to the outside of the knee forcing the knee inward, most often when the foot is planted on the ground.” Usually, all degrees of MCL sprains can be managed with bracing and limited range of movement.

Another type of knee injury is the damage to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). ACSM explains that the injury occurs when the lower leg is suddenly twisted away from the upper leg as in “catching the edge.” Usually, this injury is triggered by a backward fall as the lower leg moves forward. This type of injury often requires surgical repair and extensive rehabilitation.

According to ACSM, 30 to 40 percent of all injuries are caused by the injuries to the upper extremities. The most vulnerable part of the upper body is the thumb. Injury to the ulnar collateral ligament of the thumb occurs when a skier falls on an outstretched arm that is still gripping the pole. The thumb is suddenly pulled outward, injuring this joint. Sprains of the thumb are graded as first degree, second degree or third degree depending on how severe the damage to the ligament is. It may just be a thumb, but when an injury to a thumb is not attended to properly, it can result to long-term disability.

Another injury in the upper extremities is the dislocation of the shoulder. After rehabilitating the dislocated shoulder, protection of the joint to avoid recurrence is important. Despite rehabilitation programs design to strengthen the shoulder, dislocation is still possible. Surgical repairs are often necessary to repair dislocated joints to restore its functional state.

Experts speaks

According to ACSM, skiing should be stopped if it causes further pain. In case of injuries during a ski vacation, just remember this initial first aid: rest, ice, compression, and elevation. They also recommend that injuries should be properly evaluated and treated by appropriate medical personnel. In addition, performing sport specific exercises will help delay muscle fatigue which often contributes to the injury.

Moreover, they also advise taking lessons to increase one’s skiing ability and appreciation of varying ski conditions. Likewise, good equipment that is properly fitted and maintained by a certified ski shop will minimize risks. Skiers who understand the risks of the sport have greater chances of avoiding any serious injuries.

With the enhanced equipment used in skiing, the risk of getting serious injuries on ski trips is minimal. However, let’s not forget that certain injuries can still happen if we do not observe proper safety measures.

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How To Your Own Private Swimming Pool

Swimming is a great way to keep fit and stay in shape because it makes use of every muscle in the body. It is also relaxing as being immersed in water provides a welcome counter force to the effect of gravity. However, few of us have our own swimming pools. We have to put up with the often crowded public swimming pools in leisure centres and health clubs. It can be frustrating getting held up by slower swimmers or even being tail-gated by faster swimmers. Not to mention, the chance that other swimmers could be sick or urinate in the pool.

Is there a solution to exclusive use of a pool without building your own or hiring out the leisure centre?

Yes there is – endless pools!

Endless pools are effectively treadmills for swimming. They are small pools approximately 2.5 metres long and two metres wide. At one end there is a jet which creates a variable current gives enough resistance for a swimmer to swim against without hitting the edge. The speed can be adjusted to the swimmer’s ability or stroke. For example, a swimmer can select a fast speed for swimming crawl, butterfly and backstroke; or alternatively choose a slow speed for breaststroke.

Endless pools are a cost-effective way for the average earner to own their own pool, only requiring a reasonable size garden or garage. True, they would have to sacrifice the space which could otherwise be used for storage, growing vegetables or general relaxation so there would have to be a strong preference to swimming as a form of exercise.

Endless pools would be an excellent idea for a small business – the main attraction being the ability to swim in private for a small one-off cost. It would only require an average size warehouse to be adapted to fit about ten rooms, each containing an endless pool. Customers could then book a pool online for an hour or half hour slot, then go to the room to change and start swimming. No more grotty public changing rooms! It would provide an excellent method of training since customers would be able to set the jets to allow them to swim at a constant speed for certain periods, as well as adjusting them to practise different strokes. Additional equipment could even be used to simulate weather condition such as waves for open water swimming. What perfect way to train for a cross-channel swim? Put an exercise bike and treadmill in the same room and you have the perfect simulation suite for triathlon training!

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Tricks to Protect Yourself From Chlorine

While some took a fancy to dancing, fitness, aerobic and all other sports, I’ve always been drawn to the waters. If not for that knack for self-preservation, I could have taken to surfing. I just love the smell of chlorine and the serenity that surrounds a pool when you’re about to dive in and race back and forth. For me, it had to be swimming or nothing. From as far back as I can remember, I’ve always been that kid ready to jump into those speedos and dive into the pool. My parents hoped puberty would rescue me from my madness, but I was literally in love with this beautiful sport and nothing could change that.

For a long time, I dived into the pool completely oblivious of the dangers lurking in the water. Chlorine. I actually came to like the smell and I completely ignored the risks it poses to my health and to the health of so many swimmers.

But is it really wise to ignore those risks?

WHAT THEY DON’T USUALLY TELL US ABOUT CHLORINE IN POOLS.

For all its virtues, such as the sanitation that it brings to the water, even with all the bodies and all unsanitary elements that they bring to it, chlorine also exposes us to potential harm. When chlorine comes into contact with organic materials, such as urine and sweat, it forms a highly dangerous compound called chloramine. Recent researches indicate that this chemical is responsible for a large number of health issues, quite common among swimmers and pool workers.

What kind of health hazards am I talking about? Well, they are quite a few.

1. Skin Rushes, Itches and Even Eczema and Cancers

While the less serious effects of chloramine and other dangerous compounds are skin dryness, rushes and eczema, the studies conducted by the Center for Research in Environmental Epidemiology in Barcelona indicate that excessive exposure to chlorinated water also causes a rise in blood markers that have been associated with cancer.

2. Ocular Infections

One of the most common and obvious effect of chlorine is the irritation it subjects our eyes to. Most people leave chlorinated pools red-eyed. As a matter of fact, more than one-third of the chlorinated swimming pool related defects are those related to eyes.

3. Hair Damage

The Pacific Center for Health said that chlorine may actually destroy much-needed proteins in our bodies. As a side effect, our hair can become unmanageable and color-treated hair can be completely ruined. Unfortunately, I have been an unaware test subject of this theory, and yeah, it’s pretty accurate…

4. Reproductive disorders

While practically water-proof, the skin can absorb several chemicals from the water, including some of the dangerous compounds of chlorine. These chemicals pass through to small blood vessels and tissues and have been linked to reproduction issues, as well as potential birth defects.

5. Respiratory Diseases

These are especially common when chlorinated pools are indoors. The toxic gases surrounding the swimming pool can cause severe damage to lungs, which may lead to respiratory problems or even asthma. Although these toxic gases can be harmful at any age, they pose a higher risk to seniors and children.

Asthmatic swimmers are exposed to an increased risk when swimming in closed environments, but even those who never had asthma may develop some of its symptoms.

6. Other Alleged Problems

Preliminary studies performed in European research facilities seem to indicate that chlorine and its more dangerous by-products may also cause epiglottis, cardiovascular defects, liver & kidney cancer, as well as neurological dysfunctions, among others.

However, the results of these studies are yet incipient and it may take a while to reach a final conclusion.

WHY THEN DO WE USE CHLORINE?

After finding out how dangerous chlorine is, I wondered this myself. The simple answer is that chlorine ticks all the boxes. It keeps the pool almost 100% sterile by eliminating the bacteria that is brought into the water. It also deals with the issue of algae build-up, which is pretty common in water. Its oxidation effect also ensures that organic debris doesn’t collect in the pool. Chlorine is also a very cheap chemical.

CAN WE PROTECT OURSELVES WHILE SWIMMING?

Did I scare you already? I certainly hope not, because there are simple ways to safeguard yourself.

Let’s take a look at them!

1. Swim Outdoors.

Firstly, you should always make sure that you avoid swimming in chlorinated indoor pools. This is very hazardous, as the toxic gases associated to chlorine may cause you serious respiratory problems, such as asthma. Whenever possible, swim outdoors, where most of the toxic gases are eliminated in the air.

2. Hydrate Yourself

When going to swim in chlorinated water, always make sure that you’re sufficiently hydrated. This can be done by drinking non-chlorinated, filtered water before going swimming. This way your eyes will keep their moisture and will be able to produce the tears necessary to reject bacteria and toxic chemicals.

3. Shower Before Swimming

As I already mentioned, chlorine in itself isn’t necessarily harmful, but when it reacts with ammonia from sweat it forms a pretty hazardous by-product called chloramine. Showering before swimming will remove the sweat and will prevent the formation of chloramine on your skin.

Some folks say that even the light amounts of chlorine in our daily showers may harm the skin and hair of a regular swimmer. If you’re concerned about this possibility, you can go the extra mile and install a shower filter to remove most of these chemicals.

Moreover, getting your hair wet will make it harder for chlorinated water to work its way and damage it.

4. Shower After Swimming

Don’t allow chlorine to stay on your skin for prolonged periods after you have finished swimming. Make sure you shower after swimming, to remove all traces of chlorine.

Please note that a simple shower won’t remove chlorine as efficiently as a vitamin C shower, which is believed to remove up to 99% of both chlorine and chloramine.

5. Avoid Chlorinated Pools

Yeah, I know it’s a difficult one, since chlorine remains a widely used chemical in most of the public pools.

However, when you have a choice, choose to swim in open water or in pools disinfected through other means, such as ozonators and ionizers.

6. Breathe Fresh Air

Always give yourself time to clear your airways by exposing yourself to fresh air after being exposed to chlorine. Don’t just leave the pool and confine yourself to the house. Take time to just breathe.

7. Use Moisturizing Creams

There are a lot of waterproof sun creams and lotions that can be used to prevent your skin being damaged due to overexposure to chlorine.

Topical vitamin C creams have been found to be very efficient in neutralizing chlorine.

Also, here you can find instructions on how you can make your own cream or lotion that provides a de-chlorinating effect. The ingredients are very common, so it should be an easy one to make.

8. Buy a Swim Cap to Protect Your Hair

This may not sound as much, but using a swim cap can and will protect your hair from irreparable breakage. I had this problem myself and believe me, it isn’t pretty. I’ve always been a very stubborn child and I completely hated swim caps, as they always seemed to hurt my ears. Even so, after being forced to use all sort of oils to repair my hair, I grudgingly started to use them.

So, my advice is to wear a cap that is snug enough to stay on your head, but not so tight that you get painful ears or headaches.

9. Buy Swim Goggles to Protect Your Eyes

A pair of swim goggles should be the one accessory that’s always in your backpack when you go swimming. It doesn’t even matter whether the water is chlorinated or not, as chlorine isn’t the only substance that can hurt your eyes. In fact, every time you open your eyes underwater you risk to irritate them or even to catch an infection.

As an added bonus, goggles will allow you to see clearly underwater and avoid unwanted accidents and bumps.

For detailed information on how to choose a perfect pair of goggles depending on your preferences and needs, you can download our detailed eBook on this subject from our website. Whether or not the effects of chlorine outweigh its benefits will be left to opinion. What is factual is that you and I should take care of ourselves. If no one will, we ought to protect our own health.

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