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Archive for December, 2013


Pond Hockey’s Simplicity Appeals to Growing Fan Base

Think back to your pick-up softball games. They didn’t require much in the way of equipment: a mitt, a bat and a ball. There were no umpires, no foul lines, no groomed infields. You played for the love of the game; you learned to be creative and to compromise when there was a dispute. In northern climates, including many areas of the Midwest, baseball gave way to hockey in the winter. The same simplicity, however, applied: minimal equipment, makeshift rinks and ever-changing teams and conditions. After decades of organized hockey, it’s good to see many are now embracing a return to the game’s roots.
 
“All you need for outdoor hockey is your gear and a shovel to clear the snow and turn the surface into a hockey rink,” said Corry Kelahear, Reebok-CCM. “It’s less formal and offers more opportunity for more creativity. It’s great for individual skill development and it’s a nice way to reconnect with the simplicity of the game.”
 
“Pond hockey (also known as shinney) is how a lot of NHL players got their start. Those who participate in pond hockey are doing it for the love of the game. They love being outdoors, playing hockey in its original elements,” added Peter Bartlett of Bauer.
 
Unlike indoor hockey, outdoor hockey doesn’t require a great investment in equipment.
 
“The equipment is essentially the same as indoor hockey: skates, a stick, we always recommend wearing a helmet and it’s even more important to do so for outdoor hockey. A pair of gloves adds protection while making it easier to grab the stick and keep warm,” Bartlett added.
 
Kelahear explained that since outdoor hockey, or pond hockey, ice surfaces tends to be rougher, participants will need to have their skates sharpened more frequently. He actually recommends not using the high-end equipment of indoor hockey and getting pond hockey-specific equipment.
 
“With the Reebok-CCM products that Dunham’s carries, you can get the basic outdoor hockey equipment for about $150. That’s a reasonable investment for something that can deliver years of pleasure,” Kelahear said.
 
Bartlett echoed Kelahear’s sentiment. “A lot of kids get their first taste of the game playing shinney. Bauer makes everything needed for the game – from the first pair of skates for 4- to 5-year-olds to the skates being worn by 65 percent of NHL players and everything in between.”
 
If you’re thinking about giving pond hockey a try, here’s what our two experts recommend:
 
• Make sure the skates are comfortable. You don’t need a pro-level skate. Rather, look for something that is comfortable to wear and with plenty of padding. In addition to keeping your feet warm, the padding will absorb some of the blow, should you get hit with the puck.
 
• Skates don’t come sharpened, so the first experience won’t be a pleasant one without the proper edges. Your local Dunham’s store is a great resource for this service.
 
• Get a basic stick and tape it. Bartlett recommends an entry-level composite stick, as they are more durable and lighter weight.
 
• A helmet is especially important because the ice is not perfect as it is in indoor hockey.
 
“Beyond the basics, we always recommend a mouth guard, a jock strap for boys, elbow pads, probably shin guards and a very thin layer of gloves under the hockey glove. The latter help keep the hands a little warmer,” Kelahear added.
 
With any new product, be sure to consult with the sales staff to ensure you have the right product and the right fit. Bear in mind that skate sizes don’t correlate directly to shoe sizes. (Most people choose ice skates one size smaller than they wear for their everyday shoes.)
 
-Fun For All Ages
 
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Overeating?

[Written by Peter Nielsen].
 
We are all aware of the serious negative effects of long-term overeating and sedentary life styles, including obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure. Past research has indicated that even a few days of eating more calories than you use has negative health effects. However, researchers from the University of Bath in Great Britain have found that daily exercise may actually counteract the negative affects of short term inactivity and overeating!
 
The week-long study included 26 healthy men, ranging in ages from their late teens to early thirties. All participants gave blood samples and had oral glucose tests; samples of abdominal fat was also taken from all members of both groups.
 
Volunteers were separted into two groups, one group was asked to limit physical activity to below 4,000 steps each day and eat fifty per cent more calories than normal. The other group was told to eat seventy-five percent more calories and run on a treadmill for 45 minutes per day. This was done so the ‘net daily surplus’ of calories was the same for both groups.
 
The results were amazing! The inactive group demonstrated a marked decline in blood sugar control, fat cells indicated that both nutritional balance and metabolism were disturbed. Meanwhile the results for those in the exercise group were markedly different: blood sugar levels remained stable, and changes in fat cells were significantly lower!
 
In other words, even though the exercise group ate more, and both groups had the same ‘net’ daily energy intake/output … the participants in the exercise group were protected from many of the negative effects of overeating!
 
This is an important new information that supports the importance of exercise in our daily lives! Remember, when you’re not in a period of overeating and lowered activity, the benefits of exercise will keep you healthy and happy throughout the year!
 
• Helps prevent weight gain and maintain weight loss.
Protects against heart disease by boosting high-density lipoprotein while lowering unhealthy triglycerides levels.
 
• Helps in the fight against depression while lifting your spirits.
Boosts energy levels.
 
• Is important in the prevention of a wide range of health problems, including including stroke, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, some types of cancer and arthritis.
 
Protect yourself against the negative health effects of overeating this season with a good daily workout … and get a head start for the upcoming new year!
 
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Play Table Tennis for Fun and Sport Millions Around the World Already Do.

Table tennis is the most popular indoor sport in the world – for good reason. Easy to understand and play, at least at the friendly fun level, the game requires a relatively modest investment in equipment and is a great way to get active, especially during winter months.
 
Table Tennis Fundamentals
 
The basics involve two or four players (singles or doubles) using rackets to hit a lightweight ball back and forth across a hard table divided by a net. Points are scored when a player fails to return the ball within the rules.
 
• The table and net. Official tables are 9 feet long x 5 feet wide x 30 inches high, made of wood, with a uniformly dark playing surface and 6-inch-high net. But as YiYe Wu, of DMI Sports, points out, different tables have varying properties. “To improve ball bounce, the best tables are thicker, with sturdier frames, and several layers of paint.” YiYe, who grew up in China playing table tennis, adds, “Some tables that come with ‘play back mode’ fold up on one end so players can practice alone.” Models at Dunham’s range from $150 to $500.
 
• The racket. Each player uses a laminated wooden racket (“paddle” in the U.S. and “bat” in the UK.) The blade averages 6.5 inches long by 6 inches wide, with rubber on one or both sides and a sponge layer underneath to dampen the impact of the ball. According to YiYe, handle shapes differ, so she recommends experimenting to find the best match for a player’s style of grip and play.
 
• The ball. International rules specify balls be 40 mm in diameter and made of high-bouncing air-filled celluloid or similar plastics weighing 2.7 grams. “Look for the stars,” advises YiYe. “Three-star balls are usually the best quality for better bounce and longer wear.”
 
Beyond the basics, players can invest in special shoes and clothing, robot ball launchers, instructional books and DVDs, coaching, club memberships, and more. Abundant information and resources can be found online.
 
Table Tennis Benefits
 
“One of the best things is the game can be enjoyed at any level of skill, by players of all ages and physical attributes,” comments YiYe. “Participants are active and moving, and the sport develops excellent hand-eye coordination. Those who want to progress can find clubs and tournaments throughout the country. Plus, families spend time together and friends socialize and have fun.” Forty million competitive and countless millions of recreational players worldwide agree – table tennis is a sport for all.
 
-Fun For All Ages
 
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Holiday Eating Tips

[Written by Peter Nielsen].
 
The holiday parties and family gatherings are in full swing. The whirlwind of preparing for and partaking in the festivities can really take us off guard, no matter how many years we’ve prepared for it. You want to enjoy warmth and love of the season, but you certainly don’t want to pay for it with those extra pounds later! There are a few easy steps you can take that will help you maintain your weight without distracting you from the moment.
 
• Have a small healthy snack before you leave the house. Walnuts are a great choice. They’re packed with protein and fiber, making them an excellent choice for keeping hunger at bay.
 
• Go easy on the appetizers, choose vegetables and fruits with dip or whole-grain crackers.
 
• If you’re at a buffet, start on the salad end of the table. If you’re the host, put the fruit and vegetables at the beginning of the table. A recently conducted study with 124 adults asked participants to select food from two breakfast buffets. The first buffet table had fruit and other healthy foods at the front of the table with fattier foods at the end, while the second buffet had the fatty foods at the front of the table and healthy foods at the end. Both tables contained the same items.
 
Eighty-six percent of the participants chose fruit when it was the first item on the buffet table, compared to 54 percent who selected fruit when it was at the end of the table. They also found that the first three food items chosen from the buffet made up 66 percent of their total choices, regardless of whether the items were high or low-calorie foods.
 
• Try using smaller plates for your meals if they’re available! Different studies have shown that smaller plates lead to actually eating less!
 
• Don’t let yourself feel deprived, have a dessert or cookie, AFTER you’ve eaten a healthy meal!
 
Even though you’re may be much busier than usual, make time for exercise. Exercise not only helps prevent weight gain, it relieves holiday stress. Add an extra 15-minute walk or run to your fitness schedule to help offset holiday eating.
 
Follow these simple suggestions and support your overall goals throughout the holidays into the New Year!
 
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The Simple Pleasures of a Silent Hunt

There’s no greater joy for hunters than that first day in the field, when they escape the rigors of modern life and return to their roots. At one Michigan company where I worked, the first day of deer season was a holiday. As it should be.
 
Now, thanks to an expanded crossbow season that includes much or all of the weeks allotted to archery and firearm hunting, that special day can come a bit sooner for many of us.
 
But the advantages of crossbow hunting go well beyond a longer hunting season. Rob Bluthardt, a Michigan hunter who has been harvesting bucks since he was a kid with both firearms and conventional bows, has been shooting with a crossbow for several years. “The main reason I love crossbow hunting is you get the challenge of bow hunting but the reliability and accuracy of hunting with a rifle,” says Rob.
 
Hunters haven’t always held crossbows in high regard. Bow hunters thought them to be a cheat, and complained that the archery season was no longer theirs alone. Firearm shooters considered crossbows inefficient. But most have come around. Many bow hunters have seen that a crossbow enables accurate shooting while preserving the silence and challenges that distinguish archery season. And firearm shooters now recognize that today’s crossbows are accurate weapons that can both extend the season and fill the freezer.
 
Upside, Downside
 
Crossbows offer advantages over conventional bows. A crossbow can be armed in advance, so you’re ready to shoot when opportunity presents itself. Pre-arming also enables shooting from a relaxed position, allowing accuracy at close range. A safety device helps prevent accidental discharge.
 
The downside is limited range. While a firearm can bring down a distant deer, crossbows are restricted to about 40 yards. That means no yapping in the deer stand, and factors like wind direction become critical. Plus you get only one shot. Second shots are usually not part of the program. But accuracy and stealth are skills every hunter should develop, so hunting with a crossbow can make us better.
 
The Modern Crossbow
 
While state regulations that encourage crossbow hunting are new, the weapon is an ancient one that was used by Chinese and Mediterranean civilizations prior to the first century. Early crossbows were conventional bows fitted with a trigger device. Today’s recurve crossbows are similar in concept. They’re quiet and light, but power and range are limited.
 
The majority of current crossbows are of a compound design. The draw is shorter than that of a conventional bow or recurve crossbow, so a cam system is used to enable plenty of draw weight and optimize delivery velocity.
 
Cocking devices are available for most crossbows. The mechanism pulls the string into a loaded position and can enable those with strength limitations to join the hunt. However, many able hunters employ a cocking device, as it makes loading more precise.
 
The Barnett Ghost 410, which is available at Dunham’s, is a great example of a modern compound crossbow. With a draw weight of 185 lbs., it can generate 149 ft. lbs. of energy and deliver a 22-inch arrow at a velocity of 410 feet per second. Yet it weighs only 7.2 lbs. That minimal weight is the result of a design that employs advanced carbon construction.
 
Dunham’s also offers less expensive crossbows. For example, the best-selling Barnett Wildcat C5 is a reasonably priced weapon with a draw weight of 150 lbs. That’s sufficient to deliver a 20-inch arrow at a speed of 310 feet-per-second. The SA Sports Ambush Crossbow is very affordable and is a good entry-level weapon. The Titan Extreme by Ten Point is a medium-priced alternative. With 180 lbs. of draw weight it can deliver an arrow at 333 feet- per-second. A built-in crank cocker reduces the cocking tension to a mere 5 lbs. Dunham’s sales consultants are well educated in crossbow technology and can help you choose a bow that’s right for you.
 
Getting to the Point
 
Crossbows fire arrows, called “bolts,”are similar to those used in conventional bows but shorter and heavier. Extra heft means they hit the target with plenty of force. The best bolts are made of carbon fiber and can retain more velocity downfield than less expensive aluminum bolts.
 
At the business end of the bolt is the penetrating broadhead. Available in various configurations and weights, it must be matched to the game to achieve a quick, humane kill. A lighter broadhead can achieve greater speed but won’t hit with as much force as a heavier one.
 
Fixed-blade broadheads require some preparation before going out in the field. Because broadheads differ in flight characteristics, scope adjustment and bow tuning should be worked out on the target range. Retractable blade broadheads, which expand only on impact, fly true and are a good solution for hunters who can’t put in time on the range. The blades of all broadheads should be sharpened every time the arrow is fired to ensure maximum effectiveness.
 
Deer season is upon us. See you in the field.
 
-Deer Abby
 
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Priceless Peace of Mind

When it comes to gun safety, there is no such thing as overly cautious. And a modern, secure gun safe is the most certain way to protect your home and loved ones. While you may have confidence in your ability to maintain control over weapons without locking them up, many disaster examples say otherwise. A quality gun safe can protect your weapons while keeping them out of the hands of curious children – or hardcore criminals who could turn your weapons on you and your family.
 
To many, the words “gun safe” suggest a hulking box that takes up a lot of real estate. And while there are safes large enough to contain a substantial collection of long guns, small safes meant to protect a single handgun are also available. The small safes do a good job of keeping weapons and children separated, but since they can easily be carted off and opened later, they don’t offer much in terms of protecting your gun investment or keeping your weapon out of the hands of criminals.
 
From models that can fit in a desk drawer to those that can fill a room, safes are now available in a wide range of sizes and shapes. Most have shelves and racks that can be positioned in a variety of ways to accommodate a range of equipment. In choosing one that’s right for your weapons, consider the length of your long guns, the number of guns that will be stored, and space requirements for ammunition and accessories. You might also want to devote part of your safe to documents or valuable storage, so don’t scrimp when it comes to size. And if you’re a firearm enthusiast, remember that your collection will likely grow larger over the years. Nothing says, “plan ahead” like two small safes standing side-by-side
 
A Premium Product
 
But while size matters, it’s not the only consideration. Equally important are locking security, fire resistance and waterproofing. Not all locking systems are created equal, and while most of today’s better safes offer protection from the elements, the quality and level of temperature resistance and moisture sealing varies.
 
The best safes offer extensive protection from fire and water, along with multiple locking points. For example, one of the most popular gun safes available at Dunham’s is the Total Defense 28-gun fire resistant/waterproof safe from Stack-On, The safe is approved by the California Department of Justice for firearm safety and features four-way locking with eight 1.5-inch locking bolts. A durable combination lock opens the safe and a hardened steel plate behind the lock resists drilling. The safe can resist fire for up to 30 minutes at 1400° F. It’s built with insulation inside the doors and walls and a fire seal at the door’s closure point. The seal expands when heated and can keep out smoke and soot.
 
The safe is also water resistant and can keep your guns and valuables dry for up to 72 hours in as much as 2 feet of standing water. Both the fire resistance and waterproof ratings are not just the opinion of the manufacturer. The safe was tested by ETL, an independent testing lab. Look for ETL ratings when purchasing any safe that is said to be waterproof or fire resistant.
 
With more than 17 cubic feet of interior space, the safe is engineered to accommodate different storage needs. It’s fully carpeted and equipped with six interior shelves. It can be configured to hold 28 guns, converted to hold 14 guns plus storage items or set up for storage only. Barrel rests help organize and protect stored long guns. In an online review, a buyer wrote, “This safe is very flexible in how you position weapons, shelves, etc. If you have an assortment of long arms and handguns, this safe will fit your needs well.”
 
A Wealth of Choices
 
Dunham’s also carries a wide range of other Stack-On gun safes and cabinets. Among the safes are 24-, 36- and 48-gun fire-resistant safes from Stack-On’s Elite line. Gun cabinets are offered in 8-gun and 14-gun models. Also available are smaller personal and quick access safes.
 
Gun cabinets are an alternative to safes for those who aren’t looking for protection from fire, water or professional thieves, but just want to keep their weapons out of the reach of small children.
 
The 14-gun Stack-On Steel Security Cabinet can hold up to 14 guns and has a removable shelf. Foam padding on the bottom of the cabinet protects weapons. A key lock and three-point locking system provide good security. The cabinet meets the California Department of Justice standards for firearm safety.
 
Choosing a storage safe or cabinet is simply a matter of determining what’s right for you and your family. If you need premium security and protection, the Total Defense 28-gun safe is a great fit. But if flooding isn’t a concern, one of the Elite series safes can provide security. And for those who only want to restrict access to weapons in the home, a gun cabinet is a great choice.
In the final analysis, one can never be overcautious when it comes to the secure storage of weapons. Peace of mind is priceless.
 
-Deer Abby
 
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