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Archive for September, 2011


The White Fruits & Vegetables …

[Written by Peter Nielsen].
 
A Dutch study published in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association found that eating fruits and vegetables with white flesh may protect against stroke. Researchers studied the nutritional intake of 20,069 people with an average age of 41 over a year with a focus on links between fruit and vegetable color groups and the incidence of strokes. Participants in the study had no previous diagnosed heart disease or stroke at the beginning of the research. Many studies have linked high consumption of fruits and vegetables with lower risk of stroke, this is the first to concentrate on the color groups of fruits and vegetables in conjunction with stroke.  The color of the edible portion of fruits and vegetables indicates the presence of beneficial phytochemicals such as carotenoids and flavonoids.
 
During 10 years of follow-up, 233 strokes were documented. Consumption of green, yellow and red fruits and vegetables were not found to be related to stroke. However, the risk of stroke incidence was 52 percent lower for people with a high intake of white fruits and vegetables than for people with a low intake. Each 25 gram per day increase in white fruits and vegetable consumption meant a 9 percent lower risk of stroke. An average size apple is 120 grams.
 
White fruits and vegetables are colored by pigments called “anthoxanthins” and contain health-promoting chemicals such as allicin, which helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure and may reduce the risks of stomach cancer and heart disease. Foods included in the white category for this study were apples, pears, bananas, cauliflower, chicory and cucumber. There are plenty of other options to include in your diet such as garlic, onions, jicama, and mushrooms. It is important to note that potatoes are considered a starch and are not included in the white vegetable group.
 
Other fruits and vegetable color groups protect against different chronic diseases, so enjoy a full ‘palette’ of colors as part of your healthy daily diet!
 
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Four Thousand Years Old, Getting Better Every Day

The kayak may be one of the world’s oldest watercrafts, but the latest designs show a lot of fresh thinking.
 
Kayaking is one of today’s fastest growing recreational activities, but the kayak is not a new concept. The first kayaks were built over 4,000 years ago by some of the first inhabitants of North America — indigenous residents of the Arctic region. Made of animal skins and driftwood, these early boats were ideal transportation for a hunter who wished to navigate frigid waterways in search of dinner.
 
A wide variety of kayaks are available today, and thanks to many years of development and advanced design techniques, the venerable watercraft is now a superb way for one or more adventurers to explore the world’s waters.
 
Recreational Kayaking
 
While kayaks are still used for fishing or hunting, recreational paddling has become the most popular activity of kayak enthusiasts, and boats designed specifically for that role are widely available. Recreational kayaks provide go-anywhere freedom, and because they move almost silently, they are a comfortable fit in a wilderness environment.
 
According to Mark Palinsky of Old Town Kayaks, today’s recreational kayaks are engineered with plenty of stability and gear capacity. Made of tough space-age plastics and easy to control, recreational kayaks are well suited to leisurely exploration of lakes and rivers. Because modern kayaks are roomy and provide easy entry and exit, the sport imposes no boundaries. Kayaking is enjoyed by young and old alike, and unlike most recreational activities, men and women participate in equal numbers.
 
The most common type of recreational kayak is the 10- to 14-foot sit-in design, where a single occupant sits in a comfortable padded seat that is positioned below the kayak’s deck. According to Lisa Senecal of Pelican International, sit-in kayaks are more popular than sit-on-top designs, because the paddler is better protected from spray. That makes a difference when the water is uncomfortably cold.
 
Today’s better recreational kayaks are equipped with a number of hatches for stowing equipment,  bulkheads that can help keep compartments dry, handles for carrying the kayak, adjustable foot braces, thigh pads, and perhaps even a cup holder for your favorite beverage.
 
Variations on a Theme
 
While recreational kayaks are today’s best sellers, other types are available as well.
 
Whitewater kayaks are specialized watercraft, and you’ve probably seen them shooting the rapids on television.Short and maneuverable, they work best when pushed by a fast-moving stream. Because whitewater kayaking can be challenging, it requires training and preparation.
 
Touring kayaks are another configuration. Very long and less maneuverable than a recreational kayak, they are capable of higher speed on open water. Touring kayaks are usually about 16 feet or more in length and can rapidly cover a lot of water, so they’re a great choice for a long trip across a bay or large lake. Many are designed for two or three occupants and include plenty of gear-stowage room. Some touring kayaks have rudders to assist in control and an upturned bow to deflect waves. At rest, they are generally not as stable as recreational kayaks.
 
Kayaks designed for fishing are lightweight and extremely stable. They can include features like rod holders, mounts for electronic gear, a means of securing the paddle, and an anchor system.
 
Sit-on-top kayaks are exactly what the name suggests. Rather than sitting within the hull, the paddler sits on top of the hull. Because this raises the center of gravity, sit-on-top kayaks are wider than traditional kayaks in order to gain stability. They are popular with scuba divers who want to easily get in and out of the water. They are also the choice of some fishermen, who like the freedom of movement that this kayak provides. The latest designs are almost unsinkable and are a great choice for those who want to play on and in the water.
 
Inflatable Kayaks are usually made of hypalon, polyvinyl chloride, or polyurethane-coated cloth. Because they can be deflated and folded, they are easily carried to a destination. A pump is required for inflation. Electric pumps that connect to a vehicle’s electrical system are a common choice.
 
What’s New?
 
“The kayak market is beginning to see the emergence of recreational kayaks that are slightly modified so that they can be used as touring kayaks for longer trips,” said Pelican’s Lisa Senecal. She added that people are increasingly looking for increased comfort in the way of padded ergonomically designed seats, dry storage and bulkheads that form watertight compartments.
 
Old Town’s Palinsky said that improved water-resistant hatches are featured on some newer kayaks. For example, his company recently introduced a Quick Seal hatch design on its Dirigo series kayaks. The hatch features gasket technology that is very resistant to water.
 
Kayaking Paddles
 
Kayak paddles are made in a variety of styles and of various materials, including aluminum, plastic, fiberglass and carbon fiber. Aluminum paddle shafts with plastic blades are light and inexpensive, and are a popular choice. Carbon fiber paddles are rigid and lightweight, but they are expensive. While not as light or rigid as carbon paddles, fiberglass paddles are also very high quality, and they can be more affordable.
 
Many paddles offer blade-angle adjustment. Varying the angle can change the amount of effort required to pull the blade through the water.
 
Kayaking Accessories
 
As the popularity of kayaking grew, the list of accessories expanded, but some are more necessary than others. For example, a personal flotation device, or PFD, is an absolute requirement. In addition, most kayakers don’t want to be without a dry bag — a watertight sack that protects your cargo if water enters the hatch. Fishing-related accessories are quite popular. Among these are swivel rod holders and anchor kits that will adapt a recreational kayak for angling.  Other available extras include carry straps, seat cushions, tie-down devices, worktables and more.
 
Paddle to that Special Place
 
It doesn’t take a large investment or a lot of skill to enjoy kayaking. Perhaps that’s why the sport has grown so rapidly. A kayak on your favorite lake or stream gives you freedom to wander that most other types of watercraft can’t match. So strap those kayaks to the roof of your car and head off to the great outdoors. That special place awaits you.
 
-Paddle Bum
 
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What’s Your Line?

Think about it! No other tool in your tackle box is more important than the fishing line you use. No other has also improved more dramatically over the past few years. Higher quality materials, advanced manufacturing processes and continuous improvement based on testing by pro anglers have made modern fishing lines stronger, smoother, tougher and more high-tech than ever before. Today’s new-generation of lines can be grouped into four types: monofilament, braided, fused and fluorocarbon. Each type offers its own benefits and advantages.
 
Monofilament
 
Monofilament lines are formed by extruding molten material such as nylon into a single strand. Mono lines are easy-handling and have larger diameters than other lines. They are also more buoyant, so spinnerbaits, poppers and frogs sink slower and stay closer to the surface, even on long casts. Early monofilaments, however, had high “memory,” meaning they tended to come off the reel in coils or loops after being stored for a long time. They also tended to weaken when exposed to heat and sunlight. Higher quality materials and advanced manufacturing processes have practically eliminated those problems. Today’s new-generation monofilaments are available in a wide variety of different colors, pound-test weights, and special formulas for different types of fishing and water conditions.
 
“No one offers more choice in quality monofilament line than Berkley,” says Mike Polus of Pure Fishing. “Trilene XL is an extremely versatile monofilament line that is good for a wide variety of baits and techniques”. Trilene XT is extra strong for fishing in heavy cover.
 
Big Cat has controlled shock absorbency for fighting big catfish. The high visibility solar green color lets you see the line more easily in muddy water and even glows at night under a black light. TransOptic has a special additive that absorbs sunlight, so you can see it above water but it becomes completely invisible under the surface.”

 
Braided
 
Braided lines, often called superlines or microfilaments, are made of multiple individual synthetic fiber strands joined together in an intricate, time-consuming braiding process. The result is a line that’s ultrathin, superstrong and extremely sensitive. In relation to its diameter, braided lines are the strongest. A 15 test-pound braided line, for example, may have the same diameter as a 4 test-pound mono line. The smaller diameter allows anglers to spool more line on reels. That’s a huge advantage for shore-bound anglers. Braided lines are engineered with less stretch, so they transmit strikes more quickly when fishing in deep water or slow trolling. More visible than mono lines, braided lines are available in a variety of float and sink rates. Look for one that offers the optimal performance for the type of fishing you do.
 
“Sufix 832 Advanced Superline™ changes the game,” says Matt Jensen of Rapala USA. “Unbeatable strength, fine diameter, and line consistency are the reasons Sufix 832 was selected Best New Line of 2011by Field & Stream. An advanced precision braiding process weaves together eight superstrong fibers, including one GORE® Performance Fiber, at a tight 32 weaves per inch. And because it’s both rounder and tighter, castability is amazing.”
 
Fused
 
Fused lines are also made of multiple individual synthetic fiber strands thermally fused or glued rather than woven together. Using more or fewer strands determines the pound-test. The thin diameter and strength of fused line makes it ideal for fishing in and around vegetation. Fused lines are more abrasion resistant than mono lines, but less abrasion resistant than braided lines. They often come in bright colors that you can see and watch jigs or plugs for bites. Choose a fused line when you need a slick, strong line that doesn’t have much stretch.
 
“Fused lines, like Berkley Fireline, deliver longer and more controllable casts than mono or braids of the same pound-test,” according to Mike Polus. “Low memory helps fused lines come off the reel faster and with less friction. The smaller diameter means it’s not affected as much by the wind. That improves both casting accuracy and lure control.” If visibility is an issue, Polus recommends tying on an 18- to 36-inch leader of low-vis monofilament or fluorocarbon.
 
Fluorocarbon
 
Fluorocarbon is a polymer made by bonding fluorine and carbon together. Fluorocarbon lines are water repellent and highly resistant to deterioration by sunlight. They are also nearly invisible in water, which makes them ideal in clear-water situations. Line diameter is typically the same as monofilament lines. . Fluorocarbon lines are very abrasion-resistant, so they are ideal for sub-surface fishing in heavy cover. They stretch slower than monofilament, so they’re more sensitive. They’re also denser, so lures dive deeper and faster.
 
“Vicious Pro Elite Fluorocarbon is great when pitching a worm or diving plugs in rocks or logs,” says Chris Armstrong of Vicious Fishing.”It’s tough, smooth and strong. Instead of an 8-10 pound mono, you can spool 12-15 pound Elite Fluorocarbon and go a lot deeper. This line also detects even the slightest of bites, so you’ll get more strikes and put more fish in the boat.”
 
Know More, Land More
 
Knowing the different types of line to use will help you catch and land more fish. Use the line that suites the conditions and style you fish. Remember to also respool at least one per season, or more often based on how frequently you fish.
 
Monofilament

  • Easy handling (easy casting, good on spinning and baitcasting reels)
  • Most versatile, special formulas available
  • Controlled stretch (more time to set the hook)
  • Most buoyant (great for topwater fishing)

 
Braided

  • Ultrathin (more line on the spool)
  • Superstrong (strongest in relation to diameter)
  • Abrasion resistant (great for heavy cover)
  • Low stretch (high sensitivity)
  • More visible than mono
  • Available in variety of float or sink rates

 
Fused

  • Thin diameter
  • Superstrong
  • More abrasion resistant than mono
  • Less abrasion resistant than braided

 
Fluorocarbon

  • Virtually invisible under water
  • Water repellent
  • Resists deterioration by sunlight
  • Abrasion resistant
  • Low stretch (high sensitivity)
  • High sink rate (lures dive deep and fast)

 
-Hook, Line & Sinker
 
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Achilles Tendon Relief

[Written by Peter Nielsen].
 
The Achilles tendon connects the calf muscle to the heel bone and facilitates the ability to rise up on your toes and push off when you walk or run. In fact, depending on the type and strength of movement, the Achilles tendon withstands up to 3-12 times a person’s body weight. Achilles tendon problems are most often caused by overuse or repeated movements which occur during sports work, or other activities. Repeated pushing off or stop-and-go motions when running or playing sports can cause microtears in the tendon. Achilles tendon tears are common in runners, but they can happen to anyone. The best way to avoid an Achilles tendon injury is to stay in shape, warm-up and stretch before your exercise regimen, and strengthen the Achilles tendons. Symptoms of problems include swelling and mild to severe pain.
 
Treatments includes ice, relative rest, physical therapy and an anti-inflammatory. Recently, ginger has been used to reduce symptoms of Achilles tendonosis because it produces anti-inflammatory effects and has pain-relieving properties. Physical therapies include stretches and eccentric (calf lowering, rather than calf raising) strengthening of the calf muscles.
 
Buying shoes with a good shock-absorbing capacity can also work wonders. Correctly fitting footwear is vital in the prevention of Achilles tendon injuries, assists recovery from Achilles tendon injuries, and helps in the prevention of reoccurrences of Achilles tendon injuries. Conversely, incorrect footwear increases the likelihood of Achilles tendon injuries, delays recovery, and increases the chance that the injury will reoccur.
 
Remember, injuries vary dramatically in both their severity and the amount of damage done to other parts of the foot and leg. This is particularly true for crushing type Achilles tendon injuries, and a physician should be consulted.
 
An Achilles tendon injury is a setback for any fitness regimen, relax, take care of it, and you’ll be back in top form before you know it!
 
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