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Fall Fitness Goals

BY: SportsFan - 09/17/2013 | 01:15 PM

[Written by Peter Nielsen].
 
Fall is a great time to make changes to your fitness routine. Summer is over, your activities and diet are changing with the season and you ‘fall’ into a new schedule. It’s a great time to take control of those changes and make some positive additions to your lifestyle. Autumn is also a season of practicality and budgeting, whether it’s time or finances! This actually makes it easier for you to set up a reasonable regimen that you can adhere to. You can always expand on your expectations after you’ve experienced some success.
 
Exercise and nutrition, of course, are the keys to positive health outcomes. Try these tips to get started.
 
• The fresh, cool summer weather is the perfect time to start — or restart — an aerobic regimen. Aerobic exercise reduces health risks, helps you lose or maintain weight and is great for the heart. Healthy adults should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of intense aerobic activity per week, that averages out to between 11 and 22 minutes a day, depending on intensity. Aerobic exercises include walking, running, cycling, swimming, aerobic classes, hiking, and stair climbing, among other things. Work up a sweat and get your heart pumping. Break up workouts into easy, moderate, and hard days.
 
• Regular resistance training will maximize fat loss, boost bone density, improve posture, develop muscle tone, and even slow down the aging process.
 
• Be more active throughout your day. Walk a few extra blocks, take the stairs, try dancing while you vacuum! The calories you burn will really make a difference!
 
• Drink at least eight glasses of water every day! The weather may be cooler, but your body still needs to be hydrated! Your body doesn’t function at its optimal level when dehydrated.
 
• Eat small meals throughout the day. Appetites increase in the cooler weather, eating smaller meals or snacks every two to three hours during the day will help suppress hunger. It will also help maintain a balanced blood sugar level throughout the day, which keeps your energy levels up.
 
• Pay attention to eating enough healthy food. Eat five vegetable and three fruit servings every day. Fruits and vegetables are nutrient rich with high water content and low fat and calories overhead. Fill up with fruits and vegetables and you won’t have room for the junk food!
 
• Keep a daily exercise and nutrition journal. Just the act of recording the food you eat and your workouts will help you make better fitness and nutrition choices.
 
Finally, set daily, achievable goals to help reach your long-term personal goal. Your long term goal may be to lose 20 pounds, your daily goals could be to exercise for 20 minutes, drink 8 glasses of water and eat 5 servings of fruit and vegetables. They’re achievable and will go a long way towards your final goal.
 
Happy Fall! It’s all within your grasp, what are you waiting for?
 
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Knee Pain

BY: SportsFan - 09/10/2013 | 01:09 PM

[Written by Peter Nielsen].
 
Is chronic knee pain putting a damper on your spring workout? More than one-third of Americans are affected by knee pain. Although many people think chronic pain is a normal part of aging, it can affect anyone – regardless of age. Close to 65% of Americans ages 18 to 34 or someone they care for have experienced chronic pain during the past year, and aching knees comes in as the second highest cause!
 
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons offers these suggestions to help ease knee arthritis pain and discomfort:
 
Alternate between warm and cool treatments. Different techniques that work for one person may not work for another, but alternating between cool compresses and warm moist heat does provide relief for many knee pain sufferers. Cool compresses reduce inflammation while warm moist heat relaxes and loosen tissues while stimulating blood flow to the area. Be careful and never leave heating pads/towels on for extended periods of time or while sleeping.
 
Strength and mobility training. The exercises you choose will depend on the strength of your knee. Aerobic exercise in a non-weight bearing environment – swimming or bicycling for example– can help you lose weight which will reduce the strain on your knees.
 
Stretch. Stretching the muscles and tendons surrounding the joint can help with some causes of knee pain.
 
Wear appropriate shoes. Shoes absorb the shock during movement. If they don’t, the shock moves up to your knee. For more information on the best shoe for you read our July, 2011 post If the Shoe Fits.
 
There are nutritional alternatives that will help you reduce or manage arthritis pain.
 
Anthocyanins. You can help reduce inflammation by inhibiting production of inflammatory chemicals with the antioxidant anthocyanin. Anthocyanins contribute to the health of connective tissue, and are even more powerful than vitamin C for eliminating the free radicals that irritate body tissues and cause inflammation. Add anthocyanins to your diet with cherries, blackberries, black currents, blueberries, eggplant, elderberries, raspberries, boysenberries, red and black grapes, strawberries, and plums.
 
Ginger and Turmeric. Many spices contain beneficial phytonutrients that can have powerful effects on health. Tumeric and ginger have been show to have anti–inflammatory effects, and are beneficial for joint health.
 
Green Tea. A refreshing beverage cold or hot, green tea contains a natural antioxidant called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). Studies suggest that EGCG works to stop the production of certain inflammatory chemicals in the body, including those involved in arthritis. Early research indicates that EGCG and other catechins in green tea may also prevent cartilage from breaking down, extending your joint health.
 
Olive Oil. Olive oil contains a natural compound called oleocanthal which may help prevent arthritis-related inflammation by blocking the same inflammatory pathways as medications commonly used to fight arthritis pain. Use olive oil when cooking instead of vegetable oil or butter. For the highest antioxidant content, choose “extra virgin” olive oil.
 
Omega-3 Fats. Many foods increase inflammation, but omega-3s actually work to decrease inflammation by suppressing the production of enzymes that erode cartilage. Participants in a number of studies have reported more energy, heightened strength, a reduction of joint swelling and tenderness, and less stiffness and pain when omega-3s are included in their nutritional regimen. The best foods for omega-3 fatty acids are include salmon, herring, sardines, anchovies, rainbow trout, flaxseed, and walnuts.
 
Vitamin C. Vitamin C is one of the nutrients most responsible for the health of collagen, a major component of cartilage. Research also indicates that people who eat a diet low in vitamin C have a greater risk of developing some kinds of arthritis. Make vitamin C rich food a part of your daily nutrition regimen. Guava, bell peppers, oranges, strawberries, pineapple, broccoli, kidney beans, kiwi, and cauliflower are all excellent sources of vitamin c.
 
Finally, avoid sugar and foods with added sugar and refined carbohydrates. Eat high fiber foods like whole grains and legumes. Studies have shown that high fiber diets are anti-inflammatory.
 
Don’t let joint pain stop you from enjoying a full and healthy lifestyle!
 
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Age-defying Menu Items

BY: SportsFan - 08/27/2013 | 12:31 PM

[Written by Peter Nielsen].
 
Summer brings a cornucopia of age-defying goodness along with beautiful weather for outside activities … boost the results of your summer workouts with some healthy food items with long-lasting results! Why do these foods make onto our menu for youth? The list is long, but most are rich in anti-oxidants, protecting you from the damage caused by free radicals. Protect your skin, your eyes, and your immune system with these great summer treats … you may even be able to control the number of fat cells your body produces! You’ll not only look and feel better, you’ll be healthier!
 
Asparagus is a natural detoxifier and diuretic; it is a good source of Vitamin K and C, folate, and phytonutrients – especially glutathione an important antioxidant. A great source of fiber, asparagus also offers inulin, a prebiotic that helps the probiotics in your digestive tract flourish. Get your fresh asparagus locally from May through June.
 
Avocado‘s oleic acid give it a starring role on the health roster. Various studies indicate that this monounsaturated fat can help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and boost levels of HDL (the “good” cholesterol). They’re an excellent source of carotenoids, delivering high-quality vitamin A for eye health while supporting the immune system and promoting healthy functioning of the reproductive system. They’re also a good source of antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins C, K, and folate!
 
Basil can help suppress inflammation, it is also rich in orientin and vicenin, two water-soluble flavanoids that protect cell structure and chromosomes from radiation and oxygen-based damage. The beta-carotene found in basil may help to lessen the progression of asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis while protecting cells from further damage. Get the most out of basil by eating it fresh on salads or in pesto!
 
Blueberries seem to make all the ‘healthy food lists here, but that’s only because they’re a known superfood with a wide variety of benefits. Years of research have linked anthocyanin, the flavonoid that gives blueberries their color, with improved memory. Good news … recent studies show that we can freeze blueberries without losing the anthocyanin antioxidants!
 
Garlic and its relatives -— including onions, chives, leeks, and shallots — contain sulfur compounds that may protect blood vessels and help prevent heart attacks and stroke along with cancer-fighting properties. Early research suggests that garlic consumption may actually help to regulate the number of fat cells that get formed in our bodies!
 
Kale is filled with carotenoids and flavonoid, giving it particularly high marks for fighting disease, particularly cancer. Kale is a great source of fiber and sulfur, which makes it a great detox to keep your liver healthy! High in vitamin K, it helps protect against various cancers, aids in normal bone health and the prevention of blood clots … increased levels of vitamin K can even help people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease!
 
Thyme contains a variety of flavonoids, including apigenin, naringenin, luteolin, and thymonin which increase thyme’s antioxidant capacity, it’s also a very good source of manganese, giving thyme a high standing on the list of anti-oxidant foods. Additionally, thyme’s volatile oils have antibacterial and antimicrobial properties that can neutralize disease-causing pathogens, including some strains of E. coli and staphylococcus.
 
Salmon is not only an excellent source of omega-3s, it’s packed with the carotenoid astaxanthin that protect eyes and joints, boosts the immune system, and helps prevent heart disease and cancer. Recent studies find that In particular, adults adults who ate fatty fish twice a week had a 35 percent lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease!
 
Eating fresh produce and fish not only tastes great … you get huge nutrition returns that help you live healthy, youthful and fit for all those summer plans!
 
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Muscle Cramps

BY: SportsFan - 08/20/2013 | 01:59 PM

[Written by Peter Nielsen].
 
Cramps — also called charley horses – afflict 39 percent of marathon runners, 79 percent of triathletes, and 60 percent of cyclists at some time, but they’re not alone! Cramps can occur anywhere and to anyone. Whether you’re young or old, extremely active or usually sedentary, chances are you’ve experienced a muscle cramp. Researchers have found that infants, the elderly, the overweight, and athletes are at the greatest risk for muscle cramps, which demonstrates how wide-spread they are!
 
During common cramps, muscles of your calf or foot suddenly become hard, tight, and extremely painful. They are are caused by muscle spasms, involuntary contractions of one or more muscles. While most common in the foot and calf muscles, the front and back of the thigh, the hands, arms, abdomen, and muscles along the rib cage are also common locations for cramps. They occur during, immediately after, or as long as six hours after a workout.
 
The specific factors that lead to muscle cramps has not been clearly defined, however there are several possible causes, including:
 
• Strain on the calf muscles while exercising.
• Insufficient stretching before working out.
• Muscle fatigue.
• Dehydration.
• Magnesium and potassium deficiencies.
• Spinal cord injuries.Pinched neck or back nerves.Poor blood circulation in the legs.
 
If you find yourself grimacing with charley horses there are a few things you can try!
 
• Eat foods high in vitamins and magnesium and calcium.
• Drink plenty of water and stay well hydrated.
• Stretch properly before exercise.
 
Muscle cramps usually go away in a few minutes, but if you experience them frequently for no apparent reason you may want speak to your doctor. Your body may be try to tell you something!
 
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Simple Steps for a Healthier Summer

BY: SportsFan - 08/13/2013 | 11:43 AM

[Written by Peter Nielsen].
 
The American Institute for Cancer Research has come up with some great summer ideas that will make a big difference in your overall health and reduce your risk of cancer. They’re small, targeted steps, but they can do a lot to change the big picture! Staying fit and healthy can be difficult anytime, but these simple changes are great steps to ease positive changes into your lifestyle!
 
• Trade in the soda and sugary drinks for water and fruit-infused water. Despite all the warnings about soda, 48% of Americans consume soda daily … and they’re drinking 2.5 glasses a day! These calories can contribute to excess weight gain, a factor in cancer risk. Squeeze some fresh lemon juice with a few strawberries into a glass of ice water … it’s more refreshing and healthier!
 
• Having a hard time scheduling a traditional gym workout? Go for several breaks throughout the day. It has long been accepted that inactivity plays a part in cancer risk and new research indicates that sitting for long periods of time can increase cancer risk even among people who exercise daily. Rev up your day with walks, take on a few flights of stairs during your break, stand up while you’re on the phone … get creative! The American Institute for Cancer Research advises at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day.
 
• Drop the full-fat ice cream and opt for a fruity berry/yogurt parfait, frozen yogurt or sorbet. Make fruit the star of dessert. Ice cream can come with the hefty price tag of 270 calories and 18 grams of fat into half a cup! You’ll not only slash the number of calories you take in, you’ll receive the nutritional bonus that comes with berries and fruit juices!
 
• Go for the home-cooked meal instead of dining out. It may seem easier and faster to eat out and cooking can be draining in this weather, but people consume 50% more calories, fat and sodium when eating out instead of at home! Dining out also limits the variety, availability and amount of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and other vitamin-rich “super foods” that reduce the risk of cancer.
 
• Expand your salad horizons! Replace that iceberg lettuce with nutrient-rich like spinach, arugula, collards, and kale. Many consider greens the number one food you can eat regularly to help improve your health. They provide fiber, phytochemicals, and antioxidants and research shows that dark leafy greens can protect against cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, and stomach.
 
• Say ‘no thanks’ to white bread. The important nutrients found in whole grains have been removed from refined grains. The outer layer of a grain is rich in minerals, vitamins and important phytochemicals and they’re rich in dietary fiber to protect against colorectal cancer.
 
• Love barbecue but concerned about the carcinogens created when meat chars? Try veggies .. grill up a portabella mushroom or a veggie kabob. Veggies don’t create carcinogens when they brown. For extra flavor, marinade your veggies first. If you don’t have time to marinade, brush lightly with olive or canola oil for that great, carmelized flavor. Not only are veggies rich in nutrients and cancer-fighting phytochemicals, they will help you cut down on red meat. Remember, consuming too much red meat raises the risk of colorectal cancer so try to restrict your red meat intake to no more than 18 ounces per week.
 
Try these simple ideas and have a happy, healthy summer that will give you a lift year-round!
 
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Head-to-Toe (and Mouth) Protection for your Football Player

BY: SportsFan - 08/06/2013 | 11:49 AM

Mouth Guards and Gloves Go High Tech!
 
Back in the days (when dinosaurs roamed the Earth and TV was black and white), we didn’t wear gloves to help us catch the tight spirals or mouth guards to prevent repeated visits to the orthodontist. Luckily – for athletes and parents – times have changed.
 
Flavorful Protection
 
Speaking of evolution, plain mouth guards are as passé as landlines and portable CD players. Extremely popular with today’s athletes are flavored mouth guards.
 
“We see players wearing mouth guards even in non-contact sports because they help prevent injuries,” said Tom Hoey of MoGo Sport. “We have developed technology that allows us to take natural flavors, embed them in the polymer and have the flavor last for the life of the product.”
 
Mogo Sport mouth guards are available in six flavors: blue raspberry, fruit punch, lemon, mint, orange and bubble gum.
 
“With other mouth guards, you see athletes removing them to take in water. Our flavor technology helps generate saliva, pre-venting dry mouth. This ensures kids wear their mouth guard properly and longer,” Hoey said.
 
Mogo Sport mouth guards are available in junior (11 and younger) and adult (12 and older) sizes. The company also makes special mouth guards for kids with orthodontics or braces.
 
Tacky in a Good Way
 
Yep, football gloves are tacky … meaning they can help junior (or senior) make more catches.
 
“All of our football gloves feature Armour Grabtack, providing the best tack in the industry. They give any player a slight edge,” said Ryan McGrath of Under Armour.
 
Extremely popular for summer football are the company’s gloves with HeatGear technology in back. It wicks moisture away from the hands, keeping the player cooler. New for 2013 is Under Armour’s Highlight glove. It features a long cuff that extends approximately three inches from the wrist.
 
“The Highlight glove delivers enhanced performance and unique styling,” McGrath explained.
 
Under Armour gloves are available at your local Dunham’s in four men’s styles and one youth style and in a variety of colors. Under Armour’s most popular style, the F3, can be found at all Dunham’s stores in both adult and youth sizes. The Renegade and Highlight adult gloves are available in limited stores.
 
If you’re considering football gloves, McGrath offers the following advice: “The glove shouldn’t be too loose. The fingers should comfortably go to the edge of the fingertips. I hate to say it, but it should fit like a glove.”
 
Protect Your Quarterback
and the Rest of Your Team with the Proper Equipment

 
Let’s face it, modern athletes are much bigger than yesterday’s counterparts. For example, today’s NFL quarterbacks, tight ends and even some wide receivers are bigger than offensive linemen from the 1960s. The average player is also faster, making full-speed impacts all the more jarring and potentially damaging. That evolution in size and speed is also evident at lower levels, including youth ranks. That’s why it’s extremely important to make sure young football players are outfitted with the proper pro-tective equipment.
 
High-Tech Protection
 
Just as players have evolved, so has protective equipment. It’s lighter, more comfortable and provides better protection.
 
“Protective performance apparel has come a long way,” said Steve Arensdorf of Stromgren Athletics. “Today, girdles, padded arm sleeves and padded compression shirts are made of closed-cell EVA foam. They can be laundered daily and the pads don’t need to be removed prior to washing.”
 
Here’s something else that’s sure to make any parent – and any sibling riding home with the athlete – much happier: the mate-rials used in the protective equipment are antimicrobial and moisture-wicking. That should cut down somewhat on the need to ride home with windows down and noses out the windows.In addition to ensuring the protective equipment is appropriate for the child’s age and size, Arensdorf offers the following advice when shopping for your child: “Make sure it’s a quality product; it should have antimicrobial and moisture-wicking properties. Check out the quality of the pad; squeeze it to see how it feels. Our pads are also perforated to help them breath, making them more comfortable,” he said.
 
However, just as your child is likely to outgrow his or her shoes in the span of a season, protective equipment is not meant to last forever. In addition to needing a larger size, there are limitations to how long the antimicrobial properties will last.
 
Choosing the Right Equipment
 
“Typically, football equipment will last through the fall and spring football seasons and should be replaced the following sea-son. We also don’t encourage that schools hand down garments from one child to another. We recommend new ones for each athlete,” Arensdorf explained.
 
A team’s best chances of winning any game is to have the best 22 kids on the field. That takes the best protective equipment.
“If it prevents an injury, protective equipment more than pays for itself,” Arensdorf concluded.
 
For the best in football protection, visit your local Dunham’s where you will find a range of products in a variety of sizes to help protect yourself and your teammates this championship season.
 
-Laces Out
 
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Pan Perfect

BY: SportsFan - 07/23/2013 | 11:35 AM

Kids and panfish just seem to go together.
 
I was a wee lad of eight and fishing with my dad for the first time on Lake Puckaway in southern Wisconsin. We’d been on the lake for two hours, and hadn’t seen a fish. I was thinking that fishing wasn’t for me. Then my bobber plunged under.
 
“Lift your rod,” dad said. I pulled it up and felt a tug and a wiggle. “Now reel it in, he urged.”
 
Hands trembling, I cranked my reel, and soon saw a bright gold flash, then a squirming yellow perch. My heart racing, I ma-neuvered my prize catch into the boat. Just like that perch, I was hooked.
 
I don’t think any of us could forget our first fish. And chances are, it was a panfish: a bluegill, sunfish, perch, crappie, bullhead or any of a number of small fish found in lakes and rivers.
 
Some varieties, like bluegills, sunfish and their close relatives are easy to catch because they hang out near shore, bite readily and aren’t fussy about bait. Bottom dwellers, like perch and bullheads can require more effort. All can provide many hours of fun.
 
The Rod and Reel
 
When angling for panfish, use ultra-light equipment for best enjoyment and sensitivity. Eric Guider, who supplies Shimano products for Dunham’s, says the Shimano AXULSA Ultra-light Spinning Reel combined with an FX 5½-foot Ultra-light Rod is perfect for panfish. It’s easier to feel fish bite with a short, light rod, and you-get more fight out of small fish when using light equipment.
 
Shakespeare offers a wide selection of tackle designed for both young and old when panfish are the goal. Their Kid’s Combos are great for wee ones, and Ugly Stik combos are ready for action. Pflueger Microcast and Trion combos are good choices as well. You’ll find all of them at Dunham’s.
 
Fishing With Live Bait
 
Some fishermen won’t angle with live bait and contend fish are more likely to swallow the hook because the meal is tasty. Some research suggests that’s not true. And when fishing with children, live bait can be a plus, because it gets results.
 
A worm looks tasty to most little fish, although crappies and rock bass in some waters prefer minnows. In general, it’s best to use bait that’s native to the area, since it’s probably a staple of your prey’s diet.
 
A baited hook hanging from a bobber is usually the best way to catch bluegills, sunfish or crappie. Use a small bobber that won’t spook fish, and a number 6 hook a couple of feet below the bobber. If the fish are less than hand sized, a number 8 hook might be better.
 
Scott Ingram of Lindy Fishing Tackle suggests rigging a Thill Premium Slip Float on your line below a bobber stop. When you need to change depth, you can move the stop up or down, and a slip bobber lessens the chance of spooking fish when casting. It works great with both live and artificial bait.
 
A bottom rig – a split-shot sinker, swivel and hook – dragged along the lake bottom often attracts perch and bullheads. Angling for these guys with a bobber works too if you gauge the depth of the water and fish near the bottom.
 
Fishing With Artificial Bait
 
Some fishermen prefer to go after panfish with artificial bait. And some have no choice, since live-bait fishing isn’t allowed on certain waterways.
 
Jim Burrows of Pure Fishing believes the right kind of artificial bait can be as effective as live bait and points out that artificial bait won’t die. He even uses them when he takes his grandchildren fishing.
 
Because fish are unpredictable critters that can go into a funk at the slightest change in weather, it’s good to have a variety of artificial baits on hand when you’re angling for panfish. Matt Jensen of Rapala says any of their ultra-light series of hard baits is a good choice. If crappie or sunfish are lurking, he suggests you try Blue Fox Vibrax baits. They’re proven performers.
 
There are many ways to catch panfish, and your Dunham’s sales consultant can help you choose gear that’s best for you and your family. I can’t wait to get out to some of the local lakes with my granddaughter again this summer, and she’s as anxious as I am. Landing game fish is a thrill, but introducing a youngster to the joys of fishing is equally rewarding.
 
-Hook, Line & Sinker
 
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Out of the House and Into the Go-Kart

BY: SportsFan - 07/16/2013 | 12:45 PM

Summer means one thing—getting out of the house. That can mean anything from a week spent camping to a day trip to a state park. Whatever the outdoor excursion, a go-kart can make a fun and exciting addition to your ad-venture.
 
Go-karts are great for your use on your private property, but have you ever thought of where else it can go? You should always be sure that the terrain you take your go kart on is safe and, of course, legal. Lindsey DeLong of American Sportworks said customers are sometimes surprised by where their go-kart can go.
 
“Several states accept go-karts as off-road recreation at various public places like parks, lake communities and national or federal trails and forests,” DeLong said. “Chances are (go-kart owners) might be surprised at some of the great options for family outings within a reasonable day-trip driving distance.”
 
“Over the years, customers of American SportWorks go-karts have taken kindly to trail riding and ‘mudding,’ along with driving in, through, around, or over most all manner of flora and fauna, field and stream, dirt and gravel,” DeLong said. “We do get some great customer feedback, and there is a wealth of information available on the Inter-net, like YouTube videos of customers having a blast.”
 
Before venturing off to the unknown, check first with government websites or local authorities to be sure what is allowed and where you can ride legally. And remember, unlicensed motorized vehicles cannot operate on sidewalks or roads. No paved roads? No worries! The messier terrain off-road is where American Sportworks go-karts were meant to be. Just remember to stay safe and respect the environment.
 
All American Sportworks models are recommended for riders ages 13 and up. Proper gear should always be worn and safety precautions should always be followed.
 
The models include the deluxe, electric start Carbide which has a 150cc single cylinder, air-cooled, 4-stroke en-gine and a one-year engine warranty. The Marauder comes with a 208cc, 4-stroke engine and a three-year engine warranty. The Black Widow also comes with a three-year engine warranty and has a 136cc, 4-stroke engine.
 
The whole family can enjoy the fun and thrill of a go-kart ride, not just the kids! Take Dad out for a spin and make this Father’s Day an adventurous one with a ride on your very own go-kart.
 
-Off-Road Warrior
 
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Forget Yelling “Fore”

BY: SportsFan - 07/09/2013 | 12:22 PM

Find the Short Grass with Game-Improving Clubs
 
As a golf fanatic and part-time instructor, I’m frequently asked by new golfers, “What kind of clubs should I buy? What do you recommend in the way of beginner or complete sets?” I typically reply that it makes sense not to go overboard with their first set of clubs and to pick something that delivers performance, feels comfortable in their hands and is pleasing to their eyes. Two companies I frequently recommend are Adams Golf and PowerBilt.
 
Adams Golf
 
“Adams Golf is a leader in the area of game-improvement sets for beginner golfers,” said Randy Brown of Adams Golf.
 
In addition to iron-only packages, Dunham’s carries a variety of complete sets by Adams Golf, including their very popular TightLies. Ideal for newer golfers, the TightLies set includes an oversized driver, oversized woods, irons and wedges. The set also includes a putter and a golf bag. They are available for men and women.
 
Also popular are the company’s V3 irons, which include 4-6 hybrids in graphite shafts and 7-Approach Wedge in steel shafts.
 
Both the TightLies and the V3 are considered “game improvement” clubs, meaning they are designed to be easier to hit by those of us who aren’t PGA Tour players. As such, the weight has been moved away from the face and toward the sole of the club, making it easier to get the ball in the air. The oversized faces on both sets deliver a bigger sweet spot, helping to mitigate those dreaded off-center hits.
 
By the way, don’t think because you aren’t spending a ton of money on clubs that you are being short-changed. As Brown ex-plained, the TightLies and V3 irons feature the same components, quality and craftsmanship found in their uplevel offerings.
“Our goal is to make golf enjoyable for every golfer of every level. One way to do so is by making clubs that are easy to hit by the average, or even newer, golfer,” Brown said.
 
PowerBilt
 
PowerBilt clubs are what we use in our afterschool golf classes. They are available in a variety of sizes and styles and for young golfers, it’s my #1 recommendation, since my students are already familiar with the clubs. They are available for children younger than three and up to age 12. Adult sets with the full complement of clubs and either a cart bag or a carry bag are also available at your local Dunham’s.
 
See, golf doesn’t have to be expensive … but it can be a fun activity you can play the rest of your life.
 
-Par Shooter
 
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