Types of Padding in Football Helmets

An increased popularity — at all levels — in football caused an increase in player injuries, including fatalities. To address player safety, the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment. known as NOCSAE, began in 1969. Part of the NOSCSAE¡¯s focus was on testing and regulating helmet padding. This resulted in padding placement inside football helmets and on the type of padding used at each location.
Your helmet is a combination of components designed to work together in protecting you while playing football. Although it might not seem like padding, a helmet¡¯s hard, polycarbonate shell is the external padding that provides immediate protection against any hard objects you might encounter on the field. Attached to the shell is stiff expanded foam that cushions the entirety of your head. Throughout the expanded foam is additional padding of different stiffness. All this protection hides under a comfortable foam liner. Other components include a face mask, and in some helmets, an inner air liner.
The largest section of helmet padding is stiff polypropylene foam that nearly covers the entire internal surface of the helmet. Its main role is to absorb impacts and provide general protection. Throughout this protective layer sits additional protection strategically placed at points shown to receive harder impacts. To ensure this additional padding remains in place, the polypropylene layer is removed to provide a socket for the additional padding to sit without interfering with your comfort.
Because most tackles and blocks result in a head-down position, extra protection is require at the top of the helmet. In this location, the extremely stiff vinyl nitryl foam is placed to increase your protection against the impact of your head colliding with another football player. Its increased density gives you the greatest protection of head-on impacts.
Along your forehead and lower jaws sits softer foam that provides protection without the stiffness associated with vinyl nitryl and polypropylene foams. Because this area of the helmet receives less impact, it does not require the strength of the other two foam types. Remember, this foam does not protect you from hits that twist your head from side to side.
Certain types of football helmets have an adjustable air bladder designed to provide an additional layer of padding while increasing your comfort and the fit of the helmet to your head. An inflation port — located at the back of the helmet — always you to add or remove air from the bladder. This allows you to tailor the fit of your helmet.

The Best Youth Shoulder Pads

If your youngster has signed up for a football league, you’ll want to protect him with the best sports gear available. For most football players, this means donning quality shoulder pads, compression gear, gloves and a helmet. You may be tempted to use hand-me-downs or team equipment, but some gear, such as shoulder pads, really need to be fitted to an individual to provide the best protection. So if you’re in the market for some football pads, there are a few features to look for to make sure you’re making the best purchase.
The first consideration when purchasing shoulder pads is your player’s position, because different positions require different functionality. A quarterback will generally want low-profile, lightweight pads that allow for maximum speed and movement. Punters and kickers can also wear quarterback pads because they allow for the greatest mobility. Skilled positions, such as running backs, wide receivers and defensive backs, also need lightweight gear, but their shoulder pads should offer slightly better protection. Linemen require the heaviest, most durable pads to protect their bodies against hard tackles and hits.
During summer practices, temperatures on the field can become unbearably hot, especially under heavy shoulder pads. In hot climates, a major consideration when purchasing gear is breathability and heat retention. Purchase pads that allow enough room for slight air circulation to prevent heat from becoming trapped against the skin. A 2008 study from the “American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine” found that cool air circulating between an athlete and his pads can dramatically reduce core body temperature . Cutting-edge gear utilizes the same technology used by space programs to protect astronauts. These materials, specifically aluminized polyester, can even be inserted into existing shoulder pads to make the gear less hot for players.
The best shoulder pads must be properly fitted to a player. Youth sizes range from extra small to extra large and are based on weight, shoulder and chest measurements. You can use a tape measure and size chart to give you an idea of the right size, but it’s critical to actually try on the gear to make sure the pads you select provide enough coverage during play.
According to recommendations made by Michigan Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness, Health and Sports, shoulder pads should always be used for the athlete they were fitted for. Unless an athlete outgrows his pads or the become damaged, keep them in the same pads to ensure that the gear is providing the best possible protection. Be sure to regularly inspect the plastics and other materials of the shoulder pads for frays, cracks or loose rivets, and replace them as soon as these signs of wear appear.

Can Taking Vitamins Cause Me to Miss My Menstrual Cycle?

It is quite common during your childbearing years to have an irregular menstrual cycle at some point. Irregular menstrual cycles can come about due to lifestyle changes or changes in your body. Certain medications can cause you to miss your menstrual cycle, especially if these medications are prescribed to manipulate the sex hormones. Over-the-counter supplements should not cause you to miss your menstrual cycle.
The menstrual cycle is controlled by four hormones: luteinizing hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone, estrogen and progesterone. These hormones are secreted in specific ranges to control menstruation and ovulation. The menstrual cycle is an average of 28 days long with up to five days of bleeding. Due to stress, illness, rapid weight gain or rapid weight loss, the menstrual cycle can become irregular.
Vitamins are naturally found in a variety of foods, and they are added into foods such as cereal or juices. People take vitamin supplements to reduce the risk of developing malnutrition or vitamin deficiencies. Certain vitamin deficiencies can cause significant health damage or anemia.
Depending on the vitamin you take, each has its own side effects. As a blanket side effect, most vitamin supplements can cause nausea or headache. Multivitamins that contain the mineral calcium or iron can cause additional abdominal discomfort and constipation. When multivitamins or vitamin supplements are taken within the recommended dietary allowance, they will not alter your menstrual cycle. However, overdosing on vitamins or minerals can cause changes in the hormones and shock the body, which can affect the menstrual cycle.
If you miss your menstrual cycle for more than a week, consult with your physician. A missed menstrual cycle could be the sign of pregnancy or impending menopause. If you’ve taken more than the tolerable upper limit of any vitamin and feel ill, seek emergency care immediately. Vitamin toxicity can lead to nerve damage and, in severe cases, death.

Does Soccer Make You Lose Weight?

Soccer is a great sport for weight loss because it works your muscles and your heart in different ways. Soccer builds more muscle mass and burns more fat by recruiting both slow-twitch and fast-twitch muscle fibers. As a cardio workout, soccer playing burns more calories than typical workouts because you’re forced to switch between using your aerobic and anaerobic energy pathways. Unlike some cardio activities, soccer builds and preserves muscle mass, boosting your metabolism instead of encouraging muscle loss.
Playing soccer game burns about 260 calories in just half an hour for a 155-pound person. To lose weight, you have to burn more calories than you consume. To be more exact, you have to burn 3,500 calories to lose 1 pound of fat. Therefore, if you play soccer for an hour three times a week, you can burn an extra 1,500 calories each week, and lose 2 pounds each month from soccer alone. Because a soccer game requires you to constantly exert effort at various levels of intensity, it gives you an aerobic and anaerobic workout. By constantly switching between using those energy systems, you burn more calories.
According to the University of Copenhagen, regular soccer playing has been found to lower body fat. Soccer works fast-twitch muscle fibers because you use explosive power for sprinting, jumping, changing directions quickly, and other explosive movements in a soccer game. Fast-twitch fibers require stored glucose for energy, so using them releases fat-burning hormones that continue burning fat during and after your workout. This causes you to burn more fat than you would working your slow-twitch fibers by doing steady-paced aerobic exercise.
Playing soccer works both fast-twitch during explosive movements and slow-twitch muscle fibers during aerobic activity, and working more muscle fibers stimulates more muscle growth. You use every major muscle group for soccer, and challenge your lower body in particular, including your glutes, hamstrings, quads and calves. The more muscle mass you have, the higher your metabolism, so by building up your large muscle groups efficiently, you’ll burn more fat even off the field.
Play soccer at least three times a week for weight loss results if you’re not doing additional workouts. However, you should do two strength training workouts each week to exercise all major muscle groups. This can help with injury prevention and better performance during soccer, and you’ll boost your metabolism more by building more muscle mass. Warm up before and cool down after workouts and games. Stretch your muscles after workouts to prevent tightness and injuries.

PCOS Diet to Get Pregnant

Women with polycystic ovary disease might find it difficult to become pregnant due a lack of ovulation, which occurs because of a hormonal imbalance or weight gain. According to Fertility Factor, PCOS is one of the main causes of infertility, affecting up to 10 percent of women between the ages of 20 and 40. Making modifications to the diet and exercising can help reduce weight and restore ovulation in some cases. Some doctors recommend that a woman go on a low-glycemic index diet to help reduce weight and some of the symptoms that occur as a part of PCOS.
The glycemic index is a listing of foods arranged in the order in which they affect blood insulin levels. After a person eats, the insulin level rises in the blood, but certain foods can cause the insulin level to spike, which over time can cause insulin resistance, weight gain and type 2 diabetes. Since women with PCOS have a high level of insulin in their blood, eating foods that cause the level to spike puts them at an increased risk for developing these conditions. For this reason, they often are told to eat low glycemic index foods, which cause little change in blood insulin.
Eating foods that are low on the glycemic index aids weight loss and helps to maintain your weight once you reach your goal. In addition, the carbohydrates listed as low glycemic carbs help manage PCOS symptoms and feel fuller longer. Switching to this diet doesn¡¯t mean you have to carry around a chart of foods that you can and cannot eat: It¡¯s as easy as making dietary substitutions. For example, instead of eating corn flakes, eat bran or oats, and instead of eating white bread, eat whole grain bread.
Women with PCOS should avoid foods that cause weight gain, such as foods that are high in fat or foods listed on the glycemic index as ¡°high.¡± These are foods that contain refined carbohydrates, such as white potatoes, white rice and white flour. These foods cause a spike in insulin, which can promote weight gain. You should opt for complex carbohydrates instead, which are high in fiber. MayoClinic.com states that eating a diet high in fiber will aid in weight loss. Fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grain cereals are all good sources of fiber. Eating whole grains such as whole wheat, brown rice and quinoa are good low glycemic substitute options for refined carbohydrates.
In addition to making modifications to your diet, exercising is a must. Exercising helps promote weight loss and reduces insulin. Start off slow, then gradually build up to 60-minute exercise sessions at least five days a week. According to Women¡¯s Health, losing just 5 percent to 10 percent of your overall body weight can ease many symptoms of PCOS. This weight loss can help restore ovulation and regulate cycles in some cases.

Basketball and Elbow Pain

Whether you’re an NBA All Star like Lebron James or just an amateur playing hoops at the park, elbow pain can hurt both your physical and mental basketball game. In 2010, LeBron James told the Associated Press that he cannot avoid thinking about his elbow pain during a game. Ankle and knee injuries are more common in basketball, but elbow pain can keep you off the court for weeks.
According to the National Institutes of Healh, a common cause of elbow pain is overuse or tendinitis of the elbow, such as when you¡¯re shooting, passing or dribbling the ball. Overuse can lead to a strain, also known as pulled muscle, in which the muscle overstretches and tears. Tendinitis–an inflammation, irritation and swelling of a tendon–also can cause elbow pain in basketball players. Falls can cause elbow dislocations, in which the joint surfaces partially or fully separate. If you have a dislocated elbow, your arm will look deformed and you will be in extreme pain.
Cold muscles are more prone to injury, so it¡¯s important to warm up before shooting hoops, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. Warm up with jumping jacks or by running in place for five minutes. Then stretch your muscles, holding each stretch for 30 seconds. Wear the proper gear, including supportive athletic shoes, ankle supports, a mouth guard, knee and elbow supports and pads.
Your doctor can diagnose your elbow pain through a physical examination and tests. A standard examination includes inspection, palpation, range of motion testing, neurological assessment and examination of the related muscles and areas such as the neck, shoulder and wrist, according to doctors Eric M. Chumbley, Francis G. O’Connor and Robert P. Nirschl in their 2000 article, ¡°Evaluation of Overuse Elbow Injuries,¡± published in American Family Physician. If you need further tests for diagnosis, your doctor might order radiographs of the elbow to evaluate the radial head and joint stability. A magnetic resonance imaging, commonly called an MRI, can identify problems with the soft tissue, cartilage and ligaments, as well as and any defects.
You can treat elbow pain with the PRICEMM method: protection, rest, ice, compression, elevation, medication and modalities, meaning physical therapy. Protect your elbow in a bandage or splint. Rest for at least two days after you experience elbow pain. Ice your elbow for up to 15 minutes every three to four hours. Elevate your elbow above your heart. Take pain relievers, and begin to gradually work the muscles around the elbow through gentle flexibility exercises. You might need physical therapy if your elbow pain does not improve through home care.
If you have an obvious deformity such as a dislocated elbow or you know your pain is from a direct injury and not just overuse, seek immediate medical attention. Call your doctor if your elbow pain does not go away after prolonged treatment of the PRICEMM method. If you are unable to use your elbow or if fever, redness or swelling accompanies the elbow pain, contact your doctor. Continuing to play basketball with a sore elbow can worsen your injury.

What Is the Purpose of the Semicircle in Basketball?

If you have watched a professional basketball game since 1997 or a college basketball game since 2012, you may have noticed a semi-circle in the foul lane. This area on the basketball court is known as the restricted zone. If a defensive player is inside the restricted zone, an offensive player who makes contact with him cannot be called for a charging foul. This rule change was added to make the game safer, more fair and easier to referee.
A charging foul is an offensive foul that occurs when illegal contact is made by pushing, moving or charging into a stationary defender. This violation most often occurs when a player is dribbling the ball to drive to the basket and “charges” into an opposing player near the basket. The defensive player must be set in position and cannot move laterally in order for a charge to be called. A charging call results in a change of possession and counts as a personal foul toward the player who committed the violation.
Prior to the addition of the restricted area semi-circle in 1997, professional defensive players were planting themselves close to the basket, compromising the safety of offensive players trying to attack the basket and score. To remedy this situation, the NBA rules committee voted to add a 4-foot semicircle inside the foul lane with its apex 3 feet from the center of the basket. If an offensive player makes contact with a defensive player in this restricted area, it is now a defensive blocking foul resulting in free throws.
In 2009, college basketball experimented with dotted semi-circles to determine if the restricted area was a good idea for their game. Two years later, the NCAA once again experimented with a 2-foot wide circle, which was determined to be way too small for officials to make consistent charging calls. After the 2010-2011 season, the NCAA voted to add a 3-foot wide charge circle, which was implemented at the beginning of the 2011-2012 season. Currently, defensive players with even a foot inside of the restricted area are not able to draw offensive charging fouls when an offensive player is making a move to the hoop.
The International Basketball Federation, more commonly known as the FIBA, is the organization that governs international competition. FIBA rules are employed during competitions such as the Olympic games. In 2008, the FIBA announced its adoption of the restricted area semi-circle and copied the NBA’s restricted area rules. Other than the NCAA, other amateur basketball organizations such as the National Federation of State High School Associations, which makes the rules for high school hoops, have not yet adopted the restricted area rule.

Why Did Michael Jordan Wear Number 23?

For basketball fans across the country, the No. 23 often conjures up images of Michael Jordan soaring across a basketball court in a Chicago Bulls jersey. Considered one of the NBA¡¯s greatest players, Jordan remains one of the most well-known athletes years after his retirement. Whether you cheer for the Bulls, the story behind Jordan¡¯s choice to wear number 23 is a heartwarming story of Jordan¡¯s family ties.
Born into a middle-class family in 1963, Jordan grew up in Wilmington, North Carolina. The fourth of five children, Jordan spent his childhood and adolescent years playing sports. After playing three seasons of college basketball at the University of North Carolina¡¯s Chapel Hill campus, Jordan was drafted for the Bulls in 1984. The team went on to win world championships in 1991, 1992 and 1993. In 1993, Jordan retired from the Bulls to play professional baseball. In 1995, Jordan returned to the Bulls and helped them secure another world championship. By his final retirement with the Bulls in 1999, Jordan had helped lead the team to six NBA championships.
As a child, Jordan¡¯s favorite number was 45, his brother Larry¡¯s basketball jersey number. When Michael started playing high school basketball, Larry was already using the No. 45 jersey. Michael chose to halve Larry¡¯s number, which rounded up to 23. Jordan continued to wear the number 23 for college and professional basketball. Jordan¡¯s jersey number was retired after his first retirement from the Bulls. After returning to the Bulls in 1995, Jordan wore the number 45 jersey for just one season before returning to his original 23 jersey.
Just one year older than Michael, Larry Jordan was also heavily involved in sports since childhood. In fact, in the book ¡°Playing For Keeps, Michael Jordan and the World He Made,¡± author David Halberstam claims that Larry was ¡°a formidable athlete in his own right, though he was packaged in a wrong-sized body.¡± Several inches shorter than brother Michael, Larry¡¯s stature never allowed him to excel in basketball the way that Michael had. Still, Larry played professional basketball for Chicago in their ¡°6-4 and under professional basketball league.¡±
From 2004 to 2010, superstar LeBron James played with the No. 23 jersey on the Cleveland Cavaliers professional basketball team. In November 2009, LeBron publicly announced that he was considering a number change out of respect for his hero, Michael Jordan. Upon becoming a free agent in July 2010, James filed the paperwork to change his jersey number from 23 to 6. Just days later, James announced he was leaving the Cavaliers to play for the Miami Heat.

Kickboxing & Punching Bag Workouts

The 75-lb. heavy bag is one of the primary training tools for kickboxing, martial arts and boxing. Training with the heavy bag will help you throw effective combinations with kicks and punches. Hitting the heavy bag regularly will increase your endurance, timing and power and will also give you the kind of cardiovascular workout that will keep you sharp from start to finish in a kickboxing match.
You will learn the best way to move around during the fight when you hit the bag. As you deliver punches and kicks, the bag will sway, much like your opponent will move as you throw punches. Effective kick boxers will throw punch-kick combinations and then move out of range. Then they will move back in, throw more combinations and get out of the way again. The heavy bag will help you with your timing of when to move in and when to move out.
The kickboxer must develop his ability to attack with combinations. The combination workout will help you learn how to do this in a kickboxing match. Circle the bag to the left if you are right-handed. Go in the opposite direction if you are left-handed. Jab with your left hand, throw a front right kick and then a left hook. Follow with a left jab, a right roundhouse kick and a straight right cross. Finally, throw a left roundhouse kick, a right uppercut punch and a left crescent kick. Keep hitting the bag with these combinations for three minutes. Take a one-minute break and repeat the drill.
Fighters in all disciplines quickly learn that throwing punches with just your arms will not be consistently effective. You have to use your whole body to throw effective power punches. Power starts with the legs, moves through the core muscles and must then move to the upper body, shoulder and fists. Hit the bag for three minutes at a time to mimic a round of boxing, alternating left- and right-hand punches. Take a one-minute break and repeat the set. Do not throw jabs — this is for power punches only.
Use the heavy bag to develop excellent technique with your roundhouse, front and crescent kicks. You will keep your opponent in a vulnerable position when you can deliver these kicks with power and authority. Most fighters will use their dominant leg for the majority of the kicks. However, you should alternate legs when you practice your kicks. Start off with three right roundhouse kicks, follow with three front kicks and then three crescent kicks. Then do the same with your left leg. Do three reps with each leg, take a one-minute break and then repeat the three sets to develop more consistency and power with your kicks.

Rehab for a Broken Rib

A broken rib can be a frustrating injury, because there just isn¡¯t a lot that you can do for it to help it heal more quickly. However, there are a few ways to help ease the pain of a rib fracture, prevent further complications and get back to normal activity.
Broken ribs usually occur from trauma to the chest, such as from a fall, motor vehicle accident or impact during contact sports. Most people who suffer a broken rib actually have a cracked rib, according to the Mayo Clinic. Cracked ribs aren’t as potentially dangerous as ribs that have been broken, since a jagged piece of bone could damage major blood vessels or internal organs. Unlike an arm or leg break, a broken rib isn¡¯t set in a cast. Instead, the ribs are left to heal on their own, and can take up to six weeks in the case of fracture, and 12 weeks or more if the rib has been torn from the cartilage, according to the Better Health Channel. In the past, doctors would wrap the injured area to help splint and immobilize the area, but are no longer used because they can keep you from taking deep breaths, which can increase the risk of pneumonia.
Doctors typically prescribe over-the-counter pain medication such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. If the pain is severe, a doctor may prescribe stronger pain medication or suggest injections of long-lasting anesthesia around the nerves that supply the ribs. While you may not want to take pills, it’s important to obtain adequate pain relief because if it hurts too much to breathe deeply, you may develop pneumonia, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Rehabilitating a broken rib starts with getting adequate rest and avoiding sports and activities which increases pain in the area, according to Physio Adviser.com. Depending on your job and the severity of the injury, you may need time off work. The use of ice packs may help to reduce inflammation in the early stages of the injury. The area should not be wrapped or otherwise compressed, and deep breathing exercises are encouraged to prevent localized collapse of the lungs.
Once you are pain-free, you may gradually return to sports and other activities that were aggravating the broken rib. Additionally, you may perform shoulder blade squeezes, as described by Physio Adviser.com. Squeeze your shoulder blades together as far as possible without pain. Hold for 1 to 2 seconds and repeat 10 times, provided there is no increase in symptoms.