Winter Running Tips For Beginners

Winter has arrived. The leaves are falling and it is freezing cold to be out. People wear blue jeans, jackets and long sleeve tees. For most runners, this is a great time. However, new runners might find it frustrating to run in the cold. The number one question in their mind is “can I run in the cold as a new runner and deal with the elements?”

Worry no more, because we are here to help. Here are some winter running tips for beginners:

Do not worry about breaking records

First of all, you need not to worry about increasing mileage or pace during winter times because the cold and icy condition make it more prone for you to slip and injuring yourself. We would like to also advise you to do your warm up indoors. Try to avoid icy roads and go for the snow, which provide better traction and grib. Shorten your stride and run slower for the sake of keeping safe during very ice and wet days ahead.

Clothing

Not surprisingly, you must wear proper winter clothing if you want to run during the winter. Wear thick dry socks and use slightly larger running shoes to accommodate the space needed for these socks. It is essential to keep your feet warm during winter runs to prevent frostbite and vessel problems. Also wear a warm hat during your runs. A great amount of body heat vapors through the head during cold condition and this will affect the circulation in your body. Your hands must be covered in wool gloves and you must also wear thick running suits. For shorts, you can wear those made of polypropylene or Lycra and combine it with wool running trousers.

Avoid Wind-chill

You must be careful and avoid running into a wind-chill. This extreme cold can be bad and dangerous. Experienced runners like to run into the wind to start their run and then return to the starting line with the wind blowing at their backs. This will make your return run easier as your body has become warmer.

Skin and hydration

Use moisturizer and sun block to prevent blistering in your face. Despite of the fact that you are running in the cold, you still need to maintain sufficient hydration just like when you are running during the summer. Hydration is important to help your muscles recover after a run in the cold and icy condition. You can also try drinking energy drinks with high carbohydrate to maintain your immune system during winter runs. Fresh vegetables and vitamin C can also help your immune system during your runs in cold condition.

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Best Family All Inclusive Vacations

Are you a typical family with hard working parents and a couple of kids?

If your idea of a perfect holiday doesn’t involve cooking or cleaning an all inclusive family vacation resort is the way to go!

All inclusive family vacations come in many shapes and sizes — there is one to suit the most discerning among us!

1) Take a cruise. This is perhaps top on my list of best all inclusive family vacations. On most cruises, you can eat to your hearts content. Many cruise ships even sell postcards to mail back to your friends featuring pics of gourmet meals! Kid friendly cruises such as Disney and Carnival also have pizza, hot dogs and milkshakes galore!

2) All inclusive beach resorts are also a hit with my family. Lots of fun activities for the kids on the beach while mom and dad relax or join in. Swim, snorkel, learn to dive, water-ski, or sail a sailboat.

Afterwards, there’s no need for mom to cook! The family can enjoy a variety of beautifully presented meals pool side or in the hotel dining room. My favourite all inclusive family vacation resorts include premium drinks for mom and dad too!

Consider Mexico or Dominican Republic for choices that are very kind to your budget.

3) Family all inclusive ski vacations are rare but do exist and can include airfare or other transportation, meals, ski lessons, lift tickets and entertainment. If you like outdoor winter sports this kind of vacation can’t be beat!

Can’t ski but want to learn how? Don’t worry, it is fun to learn and every ski resort has qualified instructors for group or private lessons.

Non skiers can enjoy the steaming outdoor hot tubs, restaurants overlooking the ski hill and roaring fireplaces by which you can enjoy the view while the kids ski!

4) Family focussed educational or adventure tours are another great all inclusive family vacation option. Friends of ours went on a week long discovery tour of the Galapagos Islands, and haven’t stopped talking about it.

Other possibilities include farm vacations, cruise and learn sailboat trips for families, and all inclusive trips to big league sport games or car races.

If you don’t see something that catches your fancy, check with your travel agent. Many travel agents are aware of all inclusive trip for you to the destination of your choice.

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Broaden Your Horizons With Today’s TV Choice

Gone are the days when there were only one or two channels to choose from, these days the choice is astounding and viewers can find everything from real life drama to fantastical tales at a touch of a button. When TV first started making its way into people’s homes, choice was limited and couldn’t always cater to individual taste. Now that the technology behind TV broadcasting has advanced massively, it’s a whole different ball game.

In fact, now people who may have never had the chance to watch their favourite sports, can now enjoy them in HD from the comfort of their own home. Sporting events from all around the world are now televised, meaning people can do everything from supporting their local football teams to finding out about winter sports in remote locations or water games in sunnier climes.

There are also plenty of TV series and soap operas to choose from, ranging from tense medical dramas such as House to entertaining sitcoms like Scrubs. Those who aren’t fans of blood and guts might prefer to follow soaps such as Hollyoaks or Coronation Street for a UK flavour or Neighbours for an Australian setting. Joining these scripted shows are a whole plethora of reality TV offerings that allow people to find out how their contemporaries live and gain an insight into people they might never otherwise meet, but if you aren’t a people person, there are plenty of animal shows featuring exotic creatures to enjoy.

Once upon a time you might have had to wait a long time to see a movie. These days, there are entire channels devoted to films. This means that everything from classic musicals such as the Sound of Music or Singing in the Rain to brand new summer blockbusters such as the Spiderman or Transformers films can be found on the TV. What’s more, special seasons celebrating world cinema means that plenty of people get the chance to find out what films people in other countries love.

With so many different options out there, deciding what to watch can sometimes seem like a bit of a task – especially if there’s more than one person making the decision. Luckily, the number of programmes to choose from also means that you’re sure to be able to find something to satisfy everyone.

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Want To Buy A Used Kayak? Follow These Tips For Success

You’ve decided it’s time to buy a kayak, and the thought crossed your mind to buy a used kayak. Here are a few simple tips to follow if you want to buy a used kayak.

Every day people decide to get rid of perfectly good used kayaks for a variety of reasons. It could be divorce, relocation, upgrading to a better model, changing to a different sport, or it just doesn’t get used anymore – no matter what the reason for the sale, you can really get a great value for your money when you buy a used kayak.

Follow these tips to get your next deal on a used kayak:

1. Pay attention to how the kayak has been stored.

Proper storage can extend the life of a kayak. The best possible option is that the kayak has been stored inside a garage and kept out of the elements. If a kayak has been stored outside for an extended period of time, it requires further examination.

Check the seat for wear; sometimes the fabric on the seat can look fine until you touch it and it reveals that it is dry rotted.

Check the seals on the bulk heads. They can crack and dry up over time and exposure, and the bulk heads may no longer be water tight.

Make sure the boat doesn’t have any dips and bends in the hull from being stored without the weight being evenly distributed. While the roto-molded plastic does have a memory and can return to its original position, this may take some time and render the kayak difficult to use until it happens.

2. Look for signs of repair.

The most obvious repairs will be to the hull of the boat. Turn it over and look for any signs of patching or other repair work. A boat is only as good as its weakest repair, so if you see signs of repairs, you need to test the boat and make sure it is still water tight. If you find that the hull of the boat has been breached, it may still be worthy of a repair, but you want to take that into consideration when you make your purchase.

3. Sit in the boat. I don’t care how silly you feel, get in it. You will thank me later.

You need to make sure the seat is comfortable and adjustable. As you are sitting in the seat, picture yourself in that seat for 4 hours. Will it still be comfortable? Can it be adjusted to make it more comfortable? You want a seat you can spend all day in comfortably.

Now, see how your lower body fits in the boat. Does it feel tight and claustrophobic? Can you adjust the foot pedals so that they are in the right spot to provide the support you need? Again, make sure the fit is good enough to be comfortable all day. Trust me, you won’t use a kayak that is uncomfortable and causes you pain.

4. Pick it up. Yep. Pick it up.

Can you pick it up and load it by yourself? Try it and see if it is something you can manage on your own. If you don’t think you will ever be in a situation where you need to load it by yourself, then maybe this isn’t that big of a deal for you. However, it is good to know whether or not you could handle it alone before you make your purchase.

5. Educate yourself to get the best deal.

Research the make and model of the kayak you are going to look at before you go. It is important to know the length of the kayak too. Find out how much the kayak costs new. Also search the internet for used kayaks of that same make, model and length kayak for sale. See what the range of prices are for the used kayaks. Search the internet for reviews of that kayak. See what others who have owned that kayak say about its performance and durability. If you find that most of the reviews online indicate that people weren’t happy with that particular kayak, then this may be a clue as to why this kayak is for sale.

You can literally save hundreds, and possibly even a thousand dollars by buying a used kayak. In addition to buying used from individuals, you can also buy demo boats from kayak dealers. Demo boats have been gently used and possibly rented for short periods of time. Again, this gentle usage knocks several hundred dollars off the cost.

Another way to get a great deal on a used kayak is to buy a kayak from a rental or excursion company. They will sell their kayaks after a set amount of usage and they replace them with new kayaks. Most of the time, these kayaks have been well maintained and are a good investment.

If you just have to have a new kayak and be the first one to put any dings in it, then I have one other tip to help you get a great deal. Many dealers that sell kayaks in the summer, also sell skis and winter sports gear during the winter. Before they change over their store from one season to the next, you should be able to get a great deal on the model year that has just closed out. It is easier for them to sell it at a reduced price than to store it over the winter, and next year have a new kayak that is a year old to try and sell alongside the new models.

Buying a used kayak can be a fantastic way to get a great value for your money. Many used kayaks are barely used and you could buy it and save hundreds of dollars.

Whether you buy new or used, do your research and try to get the most you can for your money. You will love your new kayak! The water awaits!

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Success Lessons from the Winter Olympics: Visualization

Over the next few weeks, the Olympics will no doubt generate many headlines focusing on inspirational stories, unexpected successes, good/bad television ratings, and even scandals.

But here’s a fact you probably won’t hear much about: With each Olympics, countries throughout the world rely more heavily on sports psychology to help their athletes achieve success and win gold.

Canada, for example, is hoping to rebound from their disappointing 2002 effort by sending 12 psychologists with their team to the Olympics in Turin, instead of the seven they sent to Salt Lake. The U.S. took just two psychology experts to Lillehammer in 1994, and then attempted to achieve greater success by taking 11 to Salt Lake.

Why this increased reliance on sports psychology?

Simple. Sports psychology works.

Numerous studies have shown that the techniques of sports psychology significantly enhance success and performance. That’s particularly true in the Olympics, when the different between gold and silver is often hundredths of a second or fractions of a point. When physical performances are nearly equal, the mental edge determines winning and losing. Psychology becomes crucial to success.

Sports psychology features a number of proven techniques to enhance success and performance, but this article focuses on one in particular: Visualization.

Visualization goes by many names, including mental practice and covert rehearsal. It’s been a favorite tool of sports psychology experts for many years, but it has an even longer history as a technique for motivation, self-help, and self-improvement.

In the late 1800s, many popular self-help and self-improvement movements swept the country, including Christian Science and the “New Thought” movement. Some of these “schools” of self-improvement were overtly religious, while others took a more philosophical approach to the psychology of success. But they all shared a common belief in the importance of psychology as crucial to success. Specifically, they all taught that our beliefs literally shape our reality, and that visualizing the future *creates* the future. In a sense, they preached that psychology is destiny, and the path to self-help and self-improvement begins with visualizing what you truly want. Many of today’s motivational gurus borrow heavily from these century-old self-improvement movements.

In the 1920s, followers of Freudian psychology also preached the benefits of visualization, but for different reasons. They believed that visualizing the future influences the unconscious mind, and in turn, the psychological dynamics of the unconscious would push you toward what you visualized, without you even realizing it. Again, the fundamental philosophy of self-improvement at work is that psychology is destiny, and visualizing the future is crucial for motivation and success.

==> Why Visualization Really Works

Today, research in sports psychology has made it clear that visualization can enhance success and performance in sports. But parallel research in positive psychology has confirmed that visualization can enhance success in everyday life, making it a valuable tool for those interested in motivation, self-help, and self-improvement. But the reasons that visualization enhances the psychology of success are more practical and pragmatic than followers of Freudian psychology or popular self-help movements would have us believe. Here are the three main reasons that visualization enhances success and self-improvement:

1) Visualization enhances confidence

Research in the field of positive psychology shows that simply thinking about an event makes it seem more likely that it will actually happen. As you think about an event, you begin to construct mental scenarios of how it might occur, and even more importantly, how you might *make* it happen. The result is often greater confidence, and self-improvement occurs via a “self-fulfilling prophecy.” The psychological process is simple:

Visualization => Confidence ==> Action ==> Results ==> Success

2) Visualization boosts motivation

Visualization boosts motivation as well as confidence, making self-help and self-improvement more effective. As your dreams for the future seem more likely, you become more motivated to initiate and sustain action.

Setting goals is often a very rational, even “dry” element of one’s efforts for self-improvement. But visualizing your desired future is a very different psychological process, making abstract goals very tangible and concrete in your mind. This process engages your emotions as well as your thoughts, and generates an authentic excitement that motivates self-improvement.

Visualizing your future also makes you aware of the gap between where you are now, and where you want to be. The result is more motivation for self-improvement, as you strive to close the gap between your future ambitions and your current reality.

3) Visualizing is a form of practice

This is the most important reason that visualization enhances success, but the one most often overlooked in self-help and self-improvement books. Like any kind of practice, visualizing a behavior makes you more skilled and successful when it comes time to actually engage in that behavior. Moreover, visualized behaviors can be practiced more quickly, easily, and frequently than actual behavior – that’s part of why world-class athletes regularly complement their actual practice sessions with regimens of psychologically-focused visualized practice.

Visualization also used routinely in psychology and self-improvement because it is excellent for practicing behaviors that are too frightening, intimidating, or even dangerous to perform in person. For example…

Salespeople who fear rejection perform better and are more motivated if the visualize themselves facing, and bouncing back from, rejection

Psychotherapists routinely ask patients to visualize themselves facing their fears and anxieties as a way of easing them into actually confronting those fears

Recovering alcoholics can begin practicing their skills at resisting temptation by visualizing themselves facing, and resisting, tempting situations such as parties or restaurants

In each case, it is clear how visualization allows you to practice your success skills, making self-help and self-improvement more effective.

==> Visualization Tips for Maximum Performance

Of course, visualization needs to be a complement to actual practice, not a replacement. But done properly, it can make actual practice even more effective, and start fostering a psychological mindset of success. Done improperly, it can even hurt performance. To incorporate visualization into your self-improvement and motivational efforts most effectively, just keep these three principles in mind…

1. Correct visualization

Visualization only enhances success if you visualize the appropriate behavior. On the other hand, visualizing incorrect or ineffective behavior creates the wrong psychological mindset, hurting performance and minimizing success.

Sounds obvious, but this principle of the psychology of visualization is often violated, particularly by novice athletes. For example, someone who has just started playing basketball can certainly visualize themselves shooting f’ree throws, but because they haven’t had much coaching or training, they are likely to visualize the wrong things (e.g., not bending their knees, not following through). As a result, visualization has been shown to actually hamper the success of novice athletes. But many studies have shown that experienced athletes, who use proper form and technique, will benefit from visualization, because they are likely to visualize the right things.

The bottom line: If you are new to a sport or other endeavor, maximize your success by skipping visualization for now. Instead, your best path toward success and self-improvement is to focus on real practice, learning from skilled performers, taking lessons, getting training, etc.

2. Distributed visualization

Visualization increases success and self-improvement most effectively when visualization sessions are distributed over time, as opposed to being “bunched” into fewer, longer sessions. This is true for any kind of practice or preparation. For example, in preparing for a test, short bursts of studying distributed over time (e.g., one hour per night for four nights) leads to better results and more success than cramming (e.g., four hours in one night). The advice of “a little practice over many days” – commonly offered by self-help books – is definitely not self-help snake oil.

3. Precise visualization focused on the means, not the ends

Visualization must be precise, vivid and detailed to be an effective tool for enhanced motivation and success. Self-help and self-improvement books often encourage people to visualize broad ends, like “being richer” or “having less fear.” Although this can temporarily boost confidence and motivation, this is one case in which many popular self-help and self-improvement books often steer people in the wrong direction. Visualizing the “ends” – how your life would be if you accomplished your goals – is not the most effective approach because it doesn’t provide the many benefits of practice.

Instead, research in positive psychology shows that visualizing the “means” rather than the “ends” leads to more personal growth; documented benefits include reduced anxiety, more effective planning, and enhanced success. For example, don’t envision “having a great sales year.” Instead, a better strategy for success and self-improvement is envisioning yourself going to specific sales meetings, your actions in those meetings, the reactions of others, and how you will specifically overcome obstacles and persist in the face of rejection. Use all your senses – as you imagine the actions of others, consider how they might they might dress and the sounds of their voices. In short, self-improvement requires visualizing how you achieve self-improvement, rather than how it will feel to have accomplished your self-improvement goals.

When visualization was successfully used as a psychological tool with the 1976 U. S. Olympic ski team, for example, precision, detail and focusing on the “means” were crucial to the process. Skiers focused less on their eventual success of winning the gold medal, and instead visualized themselves careening through the entire course, experiencing each bump and turn in their minds. That team went on to have unexpectedly strong success, and precise visualization has been a standard psychological tool in the training of Olympic athletes ever since. You can use these same principles to enhance your own motivation, self-improvement, and success.

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Survival Guide for the Penis – Tips for Cold Weather Care

For men who love skiing, ice fishing, snow-mobile riding and other cold-weather sports, the winter months can be the most exciting time of year. On the other hand, although the sun is lower in the sky and there are fewer concerns about harmful UV rays, weather conditions can still be harsh on sensitive skin. While many men are savvy about carrying lip balm, and some may even admit to using skin lotion against the drying effects of winter on the face and hands, extra penis care is also needed at this time of year.

Many men experience penis symptoms such as the following during the coldest part of the winter:

· Reddened, chapped, flaking skin – even when dressed against the weather, the cold can sap the skin’s natural moisture, resulting in chapping. In addition, heating the home or workplace tends to dry the air, creating an arid environment that can be harsh on sensitive skin. These factors can lead to discomfort and put an end to any plans of long evenings in front of the fire with an intimate partner.

· Chafing from clothingHeavier winter clothing and sports gear such as ski pants can create extra chafing in the groin area, wearing away at the delicate skin and causing dryness and irritation. Dry, cracked skin is prime territory for bacterial and fungal infections to take hold, causing further unpleasant symptoms and prolonging the problem.

· Chapping due to physical activity – Even on the coldest days, men can work up a sweat when exercising or playing outside. While the cold air can be invigorating during exercise, once the body begins to cool down, the dampness in the groin area combined with the chill can lead to chapped, sore, distressed-looking skin.

When to get help

Dry, cracked and irritated or reddened skin is not always a sign of chapping or dehydration. Some common skin conditions such as balanitis, thrush and lichen planus – to name a few – can result in similar symptoms. If the chapped-looking skin is accompanied by a whitish, chunky discharge, if the skin feels warm to the touch, or if the condition does not respond quickly to treatment, treatment by a qualified medical professional may be necessary.

Keeping the cold at bay

In order to avoid the damaging effects of winter on the penis, men can take some common-sense steps to beat the cold:

1. Layer up.Dressing for the weather is really a no-brainer, but it does make a difference. While not foolproof, dressing in warmer clothing can protect the body against the drying effects of the cold. Starting with comfortable, non-binding underwear made from cotton can protect the penis from direct contact with rougher fabrics such as wool. For sports, undergarments that wick moisture away from the body are recommend, as they can keep sweat from accumulating. Long underwear is ideal for wearing under ski pants or regular clothing and can keep the area both warm and dry.

2. Keep it clean.Washing away built-up dead skin cells and oils can help to keep the penis skin healthy and maintain the integrity of its surface. Using regular soap is not recommended, as these can contain harsh chemicals that may further dry the skin. A mild cleanser made from natural ingredients may work best.

3. Moisture Matters. The most effective way to prevent dehydration and chapping is to keep the area well-moisturized. All-natural moisturizers such as shea butter or coconut oil are highly effective, and shea butter, in particular, is gentle on sensitive skin. A preparation of vitamin E provides a natural barrier to retain the skin’s hydration, fighting the effects of cold weather and the chafing caused by heavy clothing.

4. Nourishing the penis. To prevent the cold winter months from taking a toll, it is important to replace the nutrients that can be depleted through dry, stressed skin. Applying a quality penis nutrient formula (most health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil) as part of the daily care routine can help to replenish the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that are needed to promote healthy, smooth skin, fight off bacteria and other invaders, and maintain the skin’s natural moisture balance.

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Ice Skating – For Pleasure and Sport

The world of Ice Skating saw seven-year-old Sophie Kemp glide her way to stardom at the Planet Ice Skating Stars competition in the UK recently, one of the youngest participants to do so. Despite the fact that Sophie had only begun skating since April this year, her dogged determination saw her complete a three-jump and a spiral, two of the most difficult ice skating techniques, on her way to the top of the group that was open to ages 6-16. Her mother, Kate Kemp is proud of her daughter’s achievement, having been a former club skater herself, and overjoyed that Sophie is making lots of lovely new friends.

Ice skating and figure skating took the world by storm in the 1970s, 80s and 90s when many skaters, men and women, displayed intricate movements and graceful techniques of skating on ice. One name that shot to skating brilliance during that time is Tara Lipinski, who became the youngest ladies’ figure skater and the youngest athlete in any sporting discipline to win a gold medal. With titles of US National Champion and World Champion much before she turned 15, Lipinski won the Winter Olympic gold medal at Nagano, Japan in 1998. Unfortunately, her skating years didn’t last long as she quit the professional circuit in 2002 citing health reasons. However, her career as a figure skating analyst with NBC Sports took off and after nearly two decades away from the limelight, she plans to produce a skating show and hopes to bring figure skating to its former esteem.

As skating rinks around the world prepare to dive into the oncoming winter months, one of the most famous ice skating rinks in the world, the one at the iconic Rockefeller Centre in New York will celebrate its 80th anniversary this season. Opening for the winter season is scheduled in early October and already reservations for skating packages are underway. Skating enthusiasts are looking forward to making special memories of the season at the rink located at Fifth Avenue.

Skating is a popular sport that involves using skates to move on any surface including naturally occurring frozen water bodies such as lakes, ponds or rivers or artificially frozen tracks like parks, rinks and tracks which are mostly indoors.

According to a study by the Oxford University, Finland was where the earliest ice skating activity happened nearly 3000 years ago when flattened and sharpened bones were strapped to leather boots for people to glide on ice. The first ice skates were invented in the 13th century by the Dutch people. In the Nordic region, ice skating is a necessary skill besides a common sport for all classes of people.

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Reading the Clouds: Weather Watching

In California, late autumn usually means the door to Pacific storms starts swinging wide open, bringing snow to the high country. Regardless of where you live, weather affects your daily life, but is especially important for people who spend time outdoors. Naturally, skiers and other winter-sports enthusiasts will be listening to the latest weather reports before they head to the high country. But once they are out gliding across the crystal blanket or hiking in potentially foul weather, they may not have a radio or television or reliable cell phone service available to check on that storm the forecasters said was coming.

However, approaching storms give hints of their impending arrival at least several hours ahead. The following aids can help decipher those clues:

“A Field Guide to the Atmosphere” by Vincent J. Shaefer and John A. Day (Houghton Mifflin).

As the title suggests, this book is about more than weather forecasting. As all the books in the Peterson Field Guide Series, its primary purpose is identification – in this case, clouds, rainbows, glories, haloes, and other atmospheric phenomena. For this, it has numerous drawings, plus 336 black-and-white and 32 color photographs.

Because the atmosphere isn’t just something to identify, but also is an ever-changing system to observe, the book devotes much space to discussing the processes at work in the ocean of air. It is as much for the skier who wonders how a high, icy cirrus cloud can give the sun a halo as it is for the backcountry snow camper who wants to know if he’ll have to dig his way out of his tent the next morning.

“Weathering the Wilderness” by William E. Reifsnyder (Sierra Club Books).

The subtitle to this book is “The Sierra Club Guide to Practical Meteorology.” It is written with the outdoor recreationist in mind. The first part of the book is a basic course in the whys and wherefores of winds and storms. Of particular interest to the would-be forecaster is a table that shows how different weather conditions – pressure (for which you’ll need an altimeter/barometer to measure) wind, clouds, precipitation, temperature, humidity, and visibility – change as frontal systems approach and pass. Incidentally the chapter on “Weather Hazards”, especially its discussion of wind chill, hypothermia, and avalanches should be of particular interest to the skier.

The second part concerns the general weather patterns of various regions across the United States and Canada, including the Sierra Nevada and it’s usually mild, wet winters that produce good skiing conditions.

Pocket Weather Trends (Weather Trends Inc.)

This device is the handiest of the three forecasting aids. It resembles a simple slide rule. A slide holder has 6 boxed areas on its face with photos and descriptions of different cloud types. Each box has eight compass directions. Each slide – one for each of several regions – has a black mark in the middle that is lined up next to the wind direction within the box that corresponds to the cloud type observed overhead. Then at two horizontal windows – one for November through April the other for May through October – the slide will show you the forecast for the next 12 – 36 hours.

These books are all available on Amazon.

In addition to books or charts, there are handheld weather instruments a recreationist can carry with them. Accurate measurements of weather conditions can take the guesswork out forecasting. Companies such as Kestrel, Ambient Weather, Speedtech, Weather Mate, and Davis Instruments make handheld devices that can measure temperature (current, maximum and minimum), pressure, elevation, wind speed, relative humidity, dew point, and other measures. Plus, they are all either water resistant or waterproof. These are available directly from the manufacturer, recreation stores, or online.

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Five Things to Do While on Holiday in Cyprus

Cyprus is a great island that attracts families looking to stay in holiday villas or self catering holiday apartments. People love to spend their vacation at this travel destination with their family and friends in order to have a time of complete joy and excitement.

The best part about Cyprus is that its tourist attractions are well located and distributed all around the beautiful island. The old-fashioned bars, cafes and taverns are simply amazing to visit if one wishes to have simple services.

All the nature lovers can conveniently enjoy the scenic and outstanding beauty of Cyprus by walking on the outstanding trails in the Akamas Peninsula and Troodos Mountains. Even the churches and monasteries of Cyprus are great places to visit such as Trooditissa, Ayios Ioannis, Kykko Monastery, Byzantine churches and Machairas.

The first and foremost thing that the travelers will surely love in Cyprus is snowboarding and skiing. Cyprus is soon becoming the established destination for exciting winter sports.

Skiing on the Mount Olympus is a great way to spend your time in eth beautiful natural landscapes of Cyprus along with enjoying your favorite activity. The Mount Olympus offers 4 ski-lifts and the Troodos Mountains are famous for providing exceptional winter sports.

Watersports is another thing that can keep you busy while holidaying in Cyprus. Opportunities about this island for the lovers of activities like swimming, paragliding and windsurfing.

Some of the recommended beaches include Dasoudi, Larnaca and Geroskipou. Scuba diving, diving and sailing are also open for the adventure lovers at certain locations. Also, it is best to spend a day with your loved ones on some of the magnificent and scintillating beaches of Cyprus.

The island offers peaceful conditions for each type of water sport. There is outstanding snorkeling option as well, particularly around the Cape Greko.

The third important thing that the travelers can enjoy in Cyprus is that of cycling. It serves as the effective as well as cheap way of watching serene atmosphere and scenic beauty of the island. Facilities to rent bicycles are easily available in the resorts and towns. The terrain of Cyprus offers various choices for mountain biking option.

In addition, trekking and hiking is one of the other great facilities that the travelers can take pleasure in while vacationing in this island. There are various unspoilt areas that serve as the perfect lands for hiking.

Some of the advisable nature trails are Kaledonia, Persephone and Atalante in Troodos region and Adonis and Aphrodite in the Akamas region, with other marvelous trails in Limassol and Machairas forests.

Needless to say, the events and festivals of Cyprus are simply amazing. The Carnival is widely celebrated with joy in almost all the towns of Cyprus. A week of entertainment is enjoyed accompanied by the orchestras, marching bands and serenading singers.

Birdwatching is another event that is taken with due interest. Cyprus serves as a brilliant destination for birdwatching as it as about 350 different bird species including the huge flocks to small clusters. Other must-watch events and festivals include Children’s Festival, Cyprus International Fair, Greek Independence Day and Anthestiria Flower Festival.

There is so much do and see when on holiday in Cyprus and one of the best ways to enjoy this beautiful island is for families to rent holiday villas or self catering holiday apartments.

By renting holiday accommodation in Cyprus you are able to sample the local food and culture. Many families choose self catering holiday accommodation in Cyprus and come back to this great holiday destination many times.

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The Evolution of Softball

The first softball game ever to be played was on Thanksgiving Day in the year 1887. After a football game between Yale and Harvard-specifically during the paying of bets-a man from Yale threw a boxing glove at the Harvard grads, one of whom hit the glove with a broom handle-giving rise to the game of softball.

Initially an indoor game

George Hancock, one of the Harvard and Yale alumni, tied a boxing glove into the form of a softball and proceeded to draw a softball diamond with a chalk on the floor of the boat club. Since the glove-turned-softball was soft, the players did not as yet wear gloves. Thus came about the first softball game which ended with a score of 41-40.

Shortly thereafter, Hancock wrote down the rules for the softball game and came up with a softball and rubber-tipped bat. He even marked permanent foul lines on the floor of the boat club.

Soon became an outdoor sport

Softball went on to become one of the favorite sports during that winter in Chicago. The new sport became a way for baseball players to keep practicing even during the winter season. Way past the winter season, softball was taken outdoors where it was played out in fields that are much smaller than baseball diamonds.

The evolution and development of softball, however, was credited to a fire marshall named Lewis Rober. Rober used the relatively new sport to keep his Minneapolis firemen from getting bored while waiting for fire calls.

On a lot adjacent to the fire station, Lewis Rober marked a softball field where the firemen whiled away their time playing the sport. Rober soon found that the larger and softer balls coupled with the smaller fields created a sport which had more offense and more action compared to baseball. He made it a rule to limit the game to seven innings so as to enable the game to be completed in an hour.

Very soon, softball games were staged between firehouses, drawing as many as 3,000 spectators and leading to a mushrooming of softball games in parks and playgrounds all over the city. By the year 1913, softball was officially adopted as a sport by the Minneapolis Park Board.

Became an international sport

The game spread from Chicago to Milwaukee and then to the Midwest and Canada. Different places had slightly different rules and implements. For instance, the game was called in other places by other names such as cabbage ball, pumpkin ball or mush ball. It was only in 1926 that the name softball was set as the official name of the sport.

It was only in the year 1933 that the rules of softball were standardized by the Amateur Softball Association. The sizes of the ball and of the field as well as the distances between the bases were set. The fast pitch and the slow pitch softball games were also defined.

As to softball attire, the early years of softball had players wearing sweater and pants. Today, softball players wear nylon shirts with undershirts, pants, softball cleats and softball socks. Ball caps are mandatory for fast-pitch male leagues. Metal spikes on softball cleats are prohibited.

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