Archive for October, 2011


Getting a Leg Up

[Written by Peter Nielsen].
 
From the moment get out of bed in the morning until you roll over to sleep at night, you legs are leading you through your daily tasks.  Whether you’re standing in front of the stone, walking out to the car or running into the store or to work, strong legs are fundamental to the quality and ease of everyday life.
 
Leg muscles are the largest muscle group in the human body. The upper muscles are the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings, the lower muscles are the calves and the tibialis anterior, which run down the front of the shins. If your goal is overall fitness, the largest muscle group definitely deserves some attention, and developing and maintaining strong leg muscles benefit the entire body in many ways.
 

  • Balance. Strong leg muscles help avoid the risk of sprained ankles, twisted knees and muscle soreness that results from inactivity and helps increase mobility.
  • Sports-oriented Fitness. Strong legs provide the impetus and power for running, jumping and turning. Well-conditioned calves, quads and hip flexors, lead to a strong base for athletic activity.
  • Healthy Aging. Strong legs help to fight fatigue, and maintain a normal routine. A new study from the University of New Hampshire finds that the leg strength of overweight older women is significantly less than that of normal-weight older women, increasing their risk for disability and loss of independence. Strengthening your legs also reduces the risk of falling.
  • Quality of Life. Leg strength and endurance improves the quality daily life. The greater your endurance and strength, the longer you can work enjoyably and efficiently, without fatigue. Strong legs allow you to get through your chores, fitness program and social life more enjoyably and efficiently. Simple choices like taking stairs instead of elevators can quickly boost your leg power.

 
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Practice Makes Perfect

Sharpen Your Deer Hunting Skills all Year Long
 
If bagging a whitetail buck or doe on your annual fall hunt has become more of a challenge, patience or practice are most likely at the root of the problem. And while patience is a virtue, a consistent practice regime using a variety of different deer targets can definitely help maximize your in-field results.
 
“Bow hunters who bag trophy deer know the importance of staying physically fit and mentally sharp all year long,” according to Jake Stark of Delta Sports Products. “They’ll make time to practice with a bag target during the spring and summer, hone their shooting skills with realistic 3-D targets as the season approaches and then take a quality foam target along on the hunt to dial-in their technique during any downtime.”
 
Top-notch sportsmen and athletes make time to practice all season long. They know the importance of exercise and a consistent approach. Eye sight, muscle memory and physical strength can all fade if not exercised periodically throughout the year.
 
Bag Target Benefits
 
If you haven’t shot a bag target in some time, you’ll really be surprised how dramatically they have evolved and how much bang for the buck they offer. Available in a wide variety of sizes and styles, new bags are super-durable, weatherproof and engineered to stop field point arrows from even the heaviest bows and crossbows.
 
The Team RealTree® Bag Target from McKenzie Targets offers a huge surface area with a realistic full-color deer image on the front and RealTree camo design on the sides. It features a tough durable synthetic filler, and allows easy two-finger arrow removal.
 
A new Speed Bag from Delta is designed specifically for practice with today’s high-speed, high-performance bows and crossbows shooting up to 400 feet-per-second. It offers a massive 24-inch surface plus all the benefits of the Speed Bag series, including easy arrow removal, a tough filler, and a heavy-duty outer shell for unbelievably long life.
 
“At the very least,” according to Stark, “you should start a few months before the season begins and shoot 30 to 50 arrows per session. Practicing with a partner may also help you improve each other’s form and technique.”
 
3-D Drama
 
As the season approaches, hone your shooting skills with a realistic 3-D practice target. Affordable tournament and practice 3-D targets are available in a variety of styles. Many include removable antlers, flexible ears, replaceable vitals, either ASA or IBO scoring options and twist-lock assembly for easy setup and teardown.
 
The new Challenger 3-D target from Delta Sports a big buck body and big rack to help prepare you for the moment of truth in any blind or stand. Tough, durable microcellular foam ensures exceptional arrow stopping, extended core life and easy arrow removal.
 
The new McKenzie Smackdown Series E-Z Mack Buck replicates a life-size deer with a huge body, aggressive posture, and a big rack. It’s designed to stop arrows that might blow through other targets and E-Z Pull Foam technology ensures it will stand up to hours of heavy practice.
 
Delta’s Archer’s Choice Real-World Magnum elevates any practice session to the next level. The AC Magnum comes with a rotating stand that spins up to 180 degrees when the target is struck by an arrow. So, once it comes to rest, you experience another shooting angle.
 

Delta’s new Kill Zone target is designed specifically for hunters on the go. The compact life-like mid-section features a handle for easy, go-anywhere portability. The durable lightweight design also ensures it fits easily in a travel bag, cargo compartment or bed of a pickup truck.
 
“Whichever 3-D target you choose,” adds Stark, “remember to concentrate on shot placement; draw back slowly and steadily, and release each arrow smoothly.”
 
Foam Targets on the Hunt
 
On the hunt, don’t waste downtime away from your blind or stand. Remember to bring along a quality foam target to dial in your shooting technique. Foam and foam plank targets are available in a variety of sizes.
 
McKenzie’s ShotBlocker® targets are the ultimate in layered foam practice targets. They feature a patented Welded-Core™ technology that eliminates the need for plates, cables, wires, straps or bands. What you get is a tougher target with layers or sheets that can’t shift, move or fall apart. They can be shot on all four sides, and best of all, the foam slivering that you get from most layered targets when shooting broadheads is practically eliminated.
 
“Make time to practice throughout the year,” says Stark, “stay physically fit and mentally sharp, practice with a variety of targets, and you’re sure to increase your chance of bagging that trophy whitetail you’ve been dreaming about.”
 
-Deer Abby
 
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Guarding Against Dementia

[Written by Peter Nielsen].
 
Protect yourself from dementia by taking care of your heart.  A new study followed more than 450 elderly people and
found that those with cardiovascular disease show steeper declines in cognitive function than those with healthy hearts.
 
Vascular dementia is the second most common form of dementia, second only to Alzheimer’s disease. Chronic, reduced blood flow to the brain — often caused by strokes that are so small the symptoms go unnoticed — cause vascular dementia. Over time, the damage adds up, leading to memory loss, confusion, and other signs of dementia.
 
Protect your heart and reduce your risk of vascular dementia:

  • Maintain healthy blood pressure levels.
  • If you smoke, stop.
  • Drink alcohol in moderation.
  • Control your cholesterol levels.
  • Maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
  • Include exercise in your daily routine.
  • Maintain a low-salt, low-fat diet.

Reducing cardiovascular risk factors such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol are good for heart and your mind.
 
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The Smell of Victory

The key to landing that trophy buck is staying undetected. Thanks to the companies that produce scent-control clothing and footwear, the ability to stay out of the noses of prey now lies in the hands of the predator.
 
Hunters throughout the years have used camouflage to stay undetected, as well as keeping quiet to avoid startling their prey. But big game animals use a keen sense of smell to further survey an area to determine if it’s safe. According to Mike Andrews of Scent-Lok, it’s imperative for a successful hunter to wear scent-control clothing.
 
“Big game animals, especially whitetail deer, rely on three senses to assess danger in the wild,” Andrews said. “The first is their eyesight, the second their hearing, and third, and most important, is their sense of smell. Good camo, as well as keeping still and quiet, can usually overcome the sight and hearing problems. But too much human odor can spook them to the point of turning tail and possibly avoiding the area all together. Using Scent-Lok reduces enough of the human odor so that deer remain calm and hunters stay undetected.”
 
Getting the Boot
 
In order to stay successfully scentless to prey, hunters need to be covered from head to toe in scent-control gear — and hunters’ toes can’t be covered unless they’re wearing hunting boots. Justin Behnke, Hunt Product Line Manager for LaCrosse Footwear, Inc. lets hunters know that rubber can be one of the best materials for controlling scent, and offers a suggestion on what type of boot to buy.
 
“Rubber is the best scent suppressant you can get in footwear,” Behnke said. “This is because it normally doesn’t pick up external odors easily, and can help prevent the transmission of human foot odor from the inside. So buying our Alphaburly® allows for the ultimate in scent-free protection, along with an extremely lightweight and comfortable boot.”
 
Rocky Brands is another company taking the next step in scent-control apparel. They’ve created a new type of scent-suppressant that will keep hunters’ smells at bay — not just on their feet. “We have developed a full head to toe scent elimination system with our rubber and neoprene MudSox boots and Scent IQ Atomic™ apparel,” Greg Huth, Apparel Designer for Rocky Brands.
 
Marty Lynch of Itasca Footwear is also a supporter of rubber hunting boots because of their ability to resist odors from soaking in or escaping.“I believe rubber boots are the best suppression factor in footwear,” Lynch explained. “Rubber doesn’t normally hold smell. This reduces the opportunity for the boots to pick up a scent and hold that to the hunting blind.” While the boots themselves are built to prevent transmission of scent coming from a hunter, some extra measures should be taken in order to keep odors controlled.
 
“The best way to make sure your boots stay scent free is to tuck your scent suppressing pants into your boot while hunting for an additional layer of scent suppression. Give your boots a quick spray down of an after market scent suppression spray before you head out on a hunt, and use a rubber conditioner afterwards to enhance the longevity of the boots,” Behnke said. Keep in mind, though, that if your pants are carbon-lined, you should wear them on the outside of your boots to prevent human odor from puffing out.
 
It’s About Non-Sense
 
With the technology in scent-control technology continuing to advance, hunters today have more choices than ever. While less expensive garments are tempting at first, they might be lacking the full benefits of scent-control features. The better option might be to purchase a premium garment of scent-control material because the hunter will stay protected and undetected for more than one season. For seasoned hunters, this might be the best value in the long run.
 
“Premium scent suppression apparel has long lasting odor reduction,” said Powell Andrews of Russell Outdoors. “It can reduce odor through several days of wearing without loss of efficiency and can tolerate repeated laundering without loss of efficiency. Scent-Stop by Russell Outdoors is a unique antimicrobial treatment because it is bonded to the fabric at a molecular level, making it much more durable than competitive technologies.”
 
While the antimicrobial garments can help prevent the formation of odors, they do not absorb, neutralize, or trap odors that already exist. To combat this, it would be a good idea to use an antimicrobial next-to-skin layer with an activated-carbon outer layer.
 
Ensuring Repeat Performance
 
With your new scent-control pants, jackets and boots, your wardrobe is now complete for the season. Afterwards, the next step is to take care of it for next time. While proper cleaning will ensure that none of the odor-controlling material loses its luster, today’s fabrics make it easier than ever.
 
Believe it or not, the days of requiring a special detergent or spray is no longer needed in today’s scent-masking clothing. Many products today are able to withstand many cycles of regular washing.
 
“Scent-Stop by Russell Outdoors apparel may be laundered as often as necessary per the care instructions in the garment’s label,” said Andrews. “It can be machine washed and dried. The finish technology has the durability to last through repeated laundering cycles.”
 
The same can be said for Scent-Lok or Scentblocker clothing items, though a premium carbon detergent is recommended in order to ensure that the detergent rinses completely from the garment.
 
“Our garments can be reactivated in a basic household dryer time after time with virtually no significant drop in performance,” Andrews said. “Through normal wash and dry cycles, we estimated that our products can remain effective for a minimum of five years.”
 
With a full line of scent-control gear for the 2011 hunting season, Dunham’s Sports is the only stop hunters will have to make to stock up on all of the latest attire. Offering apparel from brand names like Scent-Lok, Scent-Stop by Russell Outdoors, and ScentBlocker, as well as footwear from LaCrosse, Itasca, Rocky, and Frogg Toggs, Dunham’s will help keep hunters scent-free so they can enjoy the sweet smell of victory.
 
-Deer Abby
 
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Dealing with Stress and IBD

[Written by Peter Nielsen].
 
Dealing with Stress and IBD
 
So, what should we do? I believe we need to take a total inventory of our stress. Think about it – parents and kids being involved with going back to school; the holidays looming on the horizon with possible visits of relatives, meals to prepare and coordinate; possible job losses – the list goes on.Stress can produce cortisol, which comes from the adrenal glands. When cortisol is in the body for too long, because we haven’t been able to resolve whatever it is that is bothering us, it raises our homocysteine levels. These are linked to several systems in our bodies and can be a challenge for people with IBD.
 
Once we have considered what it is that is affecting our lives, we need to put those issues into perspective and develop as stress-less an environment we can. It may seem difficult at times, but getting a handle on some of these instead of letting them consume us will calm things down. If it is the holiday season that is sending you into a spin, then remember what the holidays are meant to be all about – and be ready to enjoy them.
 
I advocate getting plenty of rest and staying away from extra alcohol and caffeine.
 
It is really easy for any of us to go off our diets during the holidays but, with Halloween, Thanksgiving, Chanukah and Christmas looming, there are so many possible pitfalls in front of us. Holidays are usually a medley of trials and tribulations.
 
For people with IBD, we need to remember to eat properly and drink water.
 
Stay away from too many fatty foods, because they can be a major problem. Be sure to include green vegetables in your diets, particularly those rich in fiber and folic acid. Folic acid helps lower homocysteine and that will be good for handling your stressors. A warning, though – I must emphasize how extremely important it is for individuals with IBD, when it comes to vegetables, to take into consideration what I call the “fork test.” Overcook them to the point where you can easily stick your fork into them.
 
So, the next time you are faced with stress that seems to be producing a flight or fight response in you, don’t let it overcome you. Most importantly, remember to take care of yourself.
 
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