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Archive for the ‘Winter sports’ Category


A Frozen Treat

It’s time to play nice on the ice.
 
We’ll take our winter on ice. There’s no better way to enjoy the cold months than by taking up a winter sport, a winter sport played on ice. Whether it be hockey, figure skating or just a pleasant afternoon spent tracing circles on a neighborhood pond, ice makes winter a special time of year.
 
While ice sports have always been part of northern winters, the proliferation of indoor skating rinks has made sports on skates a favorite of those who live in places where ponds never freeze. But the indoor trend has reversed a bit in colder parts of the country, as skaters and head back outdoors to play on the ponds.
 
Pond Hockey
 
Those of us approaching senior-citizen status undoubtedly played our first hockey on a frozen pond or lake. I ventured onto the ice at the age of five on Chicago’s Midway Plaisance, a remnant of a long-ago world’s fair that the city fathers would flood for skating. In later years, my friends and I played hockey on ponds in city parks. There was something about one’s breath turn-ing into ice crystals and the tingle of single-digit temperatures that invigorated. My kids, who grew up in the eighties, missed out on that, as indoor rinks became the skating venues of choice.
 
Today, pond hockey and outdoor skating are coming back in a big way. Like the pond hockey we played as kids, today’s games are usually held on a rink that is smaller than an NHL rink. A barrier of snow is often the only thing that serves to keep the puck on the ice, although organized pond-hockey competitions – of which there are more every year – are played on natural rinks ringed with minimal wooden boards.
 
Dunham’s can provide the equipment you’ll need to play pond hockey. Of course, you need a good pair of skates, a hockey stick, gloves and a puck. For most venues, helmets aren’t mandatory but are highly recommended. Shin guards are a good idea as well, since a flying puck can leave an ugly bruise. But since hard physical contact isn’t part of pond hockey, the armor worn for organized indoor hockey is often not worn.
 
Although pick-up pond hockey can be played with a makeshift net, Dunham’s carries the Mylec 810 and EZ Goal nets that can be quickly set up on the ice.
 
Figure Skating
 
Figure skating experienced a surge in popularity when the friends of one prominent lady skater tried to break the kneecaps of another prominent lady skater. Why it took an unseemly event to draw attention to figure skating is a mystery to devotees of the sport, but today nearly every little girl and quite a few little boys dream of becoming Olympic skating stars.
 
Of course reaching the upper echelons of any Olympic sport is a one in a million shot, but there’s plenty of fun to be had at less competitive levels. Figure skating demands coordination, good muscle tone and a certain amount of grace, so benefits de-rived from making the effort are multitudinous. And because most skating schools conclude the season with a public perfor-mance, students get a chance to show off their skills.
 
While the majority of figure-skating students are youngsters, many schools have classes just for adults. If you’ve always wanted to learn to do a double axle, you can do so at any age, and you don’t have to worry about being shown up by a five year old.
 
At the beginners level, all that is need to learn figure skating is a decent pair of skates. As a student progresses, more ad-vanced skates with special toe points are required to perform the jumps and spins taught at higher levels. Dunham’s carries a full selection of figure skates. Ask one of our sales assistants to help you choose the right equipment.
 
Recreational Skating and Ice Games
 
While hockey and figure skating offer competition along with the joy of skating, just making figure eights on a frozen pond can be lots of fun. And if that’s not enough to keep the youngsters interested, there are many games that can be played on the ice.
 
At the pond where I hung out as a teen we played “crack the whip.” To play, a line of half a dozen or more skaters is formed, each holding the hips of the skater in front or linking hands. The lead skater pulls the line with those behind assisting. As speed builds, the skater at the head of the line executes a sharp turn, which cracks the whip and causes the last couple of skaters in the line to accelerate rapidly towards the snow banks at the edge of the rink.
 
Informal races can be fun on ice. And while these can just pit each skater against the others, they can also involve complexi-ties, like skating backwards and pulling a second skater or towing a sled and rider. An obstacle course made up of sticks, rocks, boots, and whatever else is available can also add a different dimension to on-ice races.
 
-Ski Bum
 
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Out of the Gym and into the Snow

While a lot of people view the winter season as a chance to stay inside and hibernate until spring, there are a lot of valuable ways to keep your body healthy while enjoying the beautiful snowy weather.
 
Two fun activities that actually have a bevy of health benefits, snowshoeing and sledding, are fun, inexpensive ways to make sure your body stays in tip-top shape for the coming spring.
 
According to Carol Wilson, R.N., M.S.N., snowshoeing is a low-impact activity that can be beneficial to people with bad knees. It also burns calories better than running, about 400-900 per hour, and is recommended by the American Heart Association as an excellent aerobic activity for the cardiovascular system.
 
“It works quads, hamstrings, calf muscles and muscle groups in feet and ankles,” Wilson explains. “With poles, it works muscle groups in the back, shoulders and arms.”
 
Judy Shanks, CVCSN, echoes Wilson’s statements and adds that there are other ways snowshoeing can be a benefit, such as alleviating stress and contributing to overall health and well-being.
 
“Cold air increases metabolism, contributes to better sleep patterns, balances hormones and promotes weight loss,” Shanks says. “It increases positive emotions and decreases negative emotions through exposure to nature.”
 
While jumping onto a plastic disc and sliding down a hill might not seem like the best type of exercise, sledding can actually burn about 470 calories for a 150-pound person in an hour. With the long trek back up the hill after the ride, you’re toning your leg muscles and keeping your heart rate up.
 
“The steeper the hill, the more beneficial the workout,” Shanks said.
 
One aspect of sledding that might go overlooked in terms of exercise is the fun factor. Just think about how much you laugh when sledding. That giggle while on the hill actually has some health benefits.
 
“Fun that is free,” Shanks said. “It makes you laugh, and laughter doubles heart rate for one minute afterwards. Muscles re-lax for 45 minutes after you laugh, and the immune system is boosted by decreasing stress hormones, increasing immune cells that fight infection and releasing endorphins.”
 
To fully enjoy all the benefits of snowshoeing and sledding, there are some preseason preparation exercises that should be implemented prior to hitting the hill or strapping on the snowshoes.
 
“At least two weeks prior, begin gradually increasing endurance exercising until you reach a 45-minute session three times per week,” Wilson said. “Include incline work on a treadmill.”
 
If you’re a parent and will be pulling your child around on a sled, Wilson recommends that you check with your doctor, espe-cially if you’re over 50, and see if you’re able to engage in some light weight lifting. This will prepare you for performing a mo-tion you’re not accustomed to.
 
“Lift weights so that you can easily lift a child weighing 40 pounds if you plan to take them sledding,” Wilson said. “Ride an exercise bike with moveable handlebars, pedal hard, and turn the handlebars since you will be steering the sled.”
 
Wilson also suggests that you perform stretches prior to your winter activity. Calf stretches, calf raises, leg raises and angled walking should get the body warmed up to prevent any injury. A good warm-up will raise the body’s temperature about 1-2 de-grees Celsius. Some endurance running on a treadmill can prepare the body for extensive outdoor winter exercise. She also rec-ommends some items to bring with on your journey.
 
“Keep hydrated, and keep water with you,” said Wilson. “Take sunscreen and lip balm, energy bars, a cell phone, flashlight and a portable GPS, if available.”
 
Prior to sledding, Shanks explains, sledders should perform some warm-up exercises to aptly prepare for the activity, includ-ing some easy squats and chest-knee stretches.
 
“Before sledding, do knee-to-chest stretches to avoid compression injuries due to repetitive bouncing over snow,” she said. “Either sitting or lying on your back, pull your knees to your chest and hold for 30 seconds. At the bottom of the sledding hill, do some more knee-to-chest stretches or squatting movements to restore flexibility.”
 
With some preparation before the season and before your snowshoeing or sledding experience, your winter wonderland can stay just that. Preparing the body in the fall for your winter activity, ensuring sound hydration before, during, and after, as well as warming up before and after exercise can keep the body healthy throughout the season and throughout your life. So next time you strap on your snowshoes or wax up your sled, make sure your body is just as prepared.
 
-Fitness Fanatic
 
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Winter Wonder Playland

Playing or walking in a winter wonderland will be a lot more pleasant with a good pair of winter boots to keep feet warm and dry. Before you head out to stroll through the snow, check out some of the new features and technologies in this season’s boots.
 
There are plenty of options out there for men, women and children who want to stay outside as the weather cools down.
 
Itasca Snowstomper children’s boots come in multiple colors and have many features to keep little feet warm and dry so kids can enjoy outdoor winter activities all day. They feature a front-zip design and TPR shell to keep the bottom of the boot water-proof. The foam liner provides extra-lightweight insulation, so little ones can keep building snowmen or shoveling all season.
 
This technology from Itasca is not just available for children! The Itasca Chloe boots for women are easy to pull on with a bungee design, and the fleece lining blocks out the cold.
 
Thinsulate, a synthetic material used to insulate outdoor clothing, can be found in boots as well. Itasca’s Cascade and Big Buck Hunter 800 designs for men both contain the material. The Big Buck Hunter 800 is also completely waterproof with a bar-rier construction and TPR shell.
 
Anyone who is looking to enjoy the outdoors this winter needs to be sure they have footwear that will keep feet warm and dry, but hunters need extra features as well.
 
Rocky Brands’ Jasper Trac style features a durable rubber pac shell for durability. The boots are also water resistant and have a removable 200-gram 3-ply liner. The boots are perfect for hunters as they feature a Realtree AP camouflage print covering the nylon. The bottom of the boot has a PolarTrac outsole which makes it perfect for all terrains.
 
“Hunting is really about freedom,” said Dayne Hess, vice president of Rocky Outdoor Sales. “Getting into the field, escaping from the daily grind, testing your skills while one on one with nature – it’s that feeling of freedom that inspired this new system of apparel and footwear.”
 
Keep sledding, hiking, hunting and enjoying the cold weather with warm, dry feet with the variety of winter boots available this season. Is it snowing yet?
 
-Your Friends at Dunham’s
 
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The Latest, Greatest, High Tech Apparel is Here At Dunham’s

Stay Warmer, Dryer and Ski or Board Longer.
 
Serious skiers and boarders know the importance of correctly layering their clothing. The concept is simple. Multiple layers of breathable light-weight clothing can keep you warmer, dryer and skiing or boarding at peak performance longer, even in the coldest temperatures. Start with a base layer set of quality-multipleade crew and leggings capable of wicking moisture away from your body. Add a breathable mid-layer such as a shirt, sweater or vest. Top it all off with a wind-resistant jacket and pants. In addition to keeping you warm and dry in low temperatures, layering your clothing correctly will also keep you more comfortable by making it easy to removing outer layers when temperatures rise.
 
The great news is that Dunham’s has teamed up with two of the biggest names in ski and snowboard apparel to make Dun-ham’s Sports your one-stop shop for all the latest, greatest most-high-tech apparel you need to stay warmer, dryer and ski or board longer.
 
This Ain’t Your Daddy’s Long Underwear!
 
Under Amour, already the recognized leader in base layer technology ups the ante this year with new ColdGear® UA Base-layer 2.0, 3.0 and 4.0 crews and leggings. UA Cold Gear is designed to wick moisture away from your skin, circulate body heat and keeping you warm and dry without weighing you down.
 
“We already had what we thought was the best product out there – the best combination of warmth, weight and dryness – but we started two years ago to make it better,” says Kevin Eskridge of Under Armour.”Our new Cold Gear Baselayer lines were developed in partnership with the most cutting-edge fabric mills in the world, then tested at our Under Armour Innovation Lab tested and validated by world class athletes.”
 
Eskridge adds that choosing the UA ColdGear Baselayer cold weather protection you need is a matter of personal preference, depending on how active you are and how affected you are by the cold. Every UA Baselayer crew and legging features light-weight 4-way stretch fabric, UA’s signature Moisture Transport System and Anti-Odor technology. Baselayer 2.0 offers excellent mid-weight protection in cold weather. Baselayer 3.0 delivers maximum warmth in extreme cold conditions. Baselayer 4.0 deliv-ers warmth, dryness and comfort in the brutal cold.
 
Conquer the Coldest Weather
 
Dunham’s offers a complete line of high-tech Under Armour apparel to help you layer correctly and conquer even the coldest weather. A smooth, slick Under Armour Rhyme Stone ¼-Zip with UA’s signature Moisture Transport System and Anti-Odor technology can be worn as a comfortable mid-layer or stylish outer layer, depending on the weather. Lightweight ¼-zip construc-tion allows on-demand ventilation.
 
If the soft feel of fleece is more your style, slip into an UA Power Stretch mid-level fleece. Armour® Fleece technology com-bines a soft brushed inner layer and a quick-drying, lightweight outer layer. As the name implies, the bonded fabric layers move with you to help keep you limber, more mobile and ready for almost anything any hill, trail or half-pipe can throw at you.
 
If icy winds send shivers down your spine, then slip into great looking UA jackets and pants with Armour Storm technology. The soft, comfortable ArmourLoft inner keeps you warm and comfortable without adding excess weight or bulk, while the 100-percent waterproof breathable yet wind-resistant fabric finish takes the sting out of even the coldest winter blasts. UA ColdGear® men’s knit hats and women’s Blustry beanies also deliver warmth and comfort so you can stay focused, even in extreme tempera-tures. ColdGear thermal lining features an exclusive hex pattern that traps body heat for maximum warmth and minimal weight.
 
Technology You Can See and Feel
 
In the past few years, Columbia has turned its attention to developing superior technologies and functional designs that allow you to choose pieces that best fit your environmental and activity needs. This year’s line features Omni-Heat Reflective, Colum-bia’s proprietary technology that helps regulate temperature by using metallic dots, which reflect and retain body heat, while the area between the dots dissipates moisture and excess heat to keep you more comfortable.
 
“The silver dots do an amazing job reflecting body heat – almost like a breathable space-blanket,” says Andy Nordhoff of Co-lumbia Sportswear. “Our designers have been able to incorporate Omni-Heat Reflective in new form-fitting silhouettes for this season since they no longer need to rely on thick, traditional insulation. The result is a lightweight solution that allows for great range of motion for all outdoor activities.”
 
Columbia’s wrapped those styles in waterproof, breathable membranes designed to be lightweight and durable. And in addi-tion to staying warm and dry all winter long, the color palette for the season ensures that you will also look as good as you feel.
 
But Omni-Heat Reflective goes well beyond jackets. In designing the baselayers for example, Columbia worked with a phys-iology expert to determine heat zones in the body and have mapped the Omni-Heat Reflective to those zones. For high sweat zones that naturally expel heat, designers incorporated wicking fabric to deliver optimal temperature regulation. And the full line of baselayer is antimicrobial, reducing the stink factor after a long day working moving snow on the slopes with your skis… or in the driveway with your shovel.
 
From Dunham’s to You
 
So, what are you waiting for? If you are serious about getting the most out of every time you hit the slopes, trails or half-pipe, Dunham’s Sports has all the latest, greatest most high-tech apparel you need to stay warmer, dryer and ski or board longer.
 
-Ski Bum
 
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A Merry Family Holiday Special

An activity and gift guide designed to bring the family together
 
The holidays are upon us, and for most of us, that means family time. But all too often that family time is fleeting. Time spent together may be limited to not much more than meals and exchanging gifts.
 
So what better way to bring everyone together than by choosing gifts that the family can enjoy together? Many outdoor and recreational activities are well suited to getting the gang together, and the holidays are a good time to put a family fun plan into action, a good time to “get in the game” with activities that include all. And if those activities mean getting up off the sofa and exerting oneself a bit, they can be beneficial in terms of health and fitness.
 
Today, ever more outdoor and indoor activities are geared toward family participation. A wide variety of games, sports, and leisure time activities are now designed to appeal to a wide cross section of adults and children. No longer do we get a sitter for the kids and head to the ski lift without them. Today, it’s all about doing it together.
 
The popularity of family activities is a trend that will undoubtedly improve the quality of life for many Americans. The emotional connection that can be established when a family plays together opens the door to better communication and establishes a high level of trust.
 
Dunham’s carries a wide range of gear for numerous family and individual activities. And all Dunham’s games and equipment are carefully selected from among the range of products available. When you shop at Dunham’s, you can be sure that every item in the store is a leader in its category.
 
On the following pages, we’ll provide a brief description of some family activity opportunities, along with gift ideas and some information about the best products in each category — products you’ll find at Dunham’s.
 
Holiday time is family time, so let’s all make a commitment to spend more time — quality time — with the people who are most important in our lives.
 
-Your Friends at Dunham’s
 
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Jingle All The Way

Enjoy winter sports without giving away all your coin.
 
The classic winter sports scenario is the stuff of fantasies. It usually includes a cold, crisp day spent skiing fresh powder at a gorgeous mountain resort, followed by an evening in front of the fire at the clubhouse lounge. The very thought of it is enough to warm your heart — while putting a chill on your finances. What’s more, with airline inconveniences, long lift lines, icy slopes and unpredictable weather, expensive winter vacations often fail to live up to the imagery.
 
Fortunately, winter fun need not be expensive. The beauty of the season and a full measure of cold-weather exhilaration can be had close to home for minimal dollars. Many winter sports require very little equipment, investment, or travel, yet they can be very enjoyable. Among them are snowshoeing, sledding, and ice fishing.
 
Snowshoeing
 
Snowshoeing? Didn’t that go out of style a few hundred years ago? Hardly. Snowshoeing has become one of America’s fastest growing winter sports. And it offers a number of benefits that have led to its rise in popularity.
 
First, a trek on snowshoes gets you moving in the great outdoors, and some of the best places to snowshoe are beautifully remote locations where others have not tread. Unlike skiing or snowboarding, snowshoeing is easy to learn. If you can walk, you can snowshoe. And you can do it for a minimal investment. Snowshoe prices start at less than $100, and even top-of-the-line models are affordable at around $300.
 
Finally, snowshoeing offers significant health benefits. It’s a low-impact sport, so your chances of injury are minimal. Long snowshoe walks build endurance and strength while burning calories. If you use poles while walking on snowshoes, you’ll build upper body strength as well.
 
Yukon Charlie’s, a major supplier of snowshoe equipment, says that while poles are not required they’re recommended, since they provide balance and stability on challenging terrain, while reducing stress on the knees and increasing overall cardiovascular activity.
 
Sledding
 
Sledding offers much of the speed and thrills of skiing without the expense. If you have a hill near home that gets a good coat of snow in the winter, your entire family can enjoy this winter sport for a truly minimal investment.
 
H2O Recreation, a major supplier of sleds, says that inexpensive plastic sleds are among today’s top sellers.
 
“These range from the basic round saucer at less than $10 to 39-inch, 48-inch and 66-inch sleds, ranging in price from about $10 to less than $20,” H2O says. “They’re used for recreational sledding, but also see service for things like hauling wood and ice fishing. They’ve been popular for more than 25 years.”
 
Inflatable sleds and tubes have come more recently to the slippery slopes. They provide a soft ride, but do not offer much steering control.
 
H2O says that foam sleds are a fast growing category. They are lightweight and fun to ride. Many come with colorful graphics. They’re available in various lengths, and most are priced between $20 and $30.
 
Among other available snow toys that can provide thrills on hills are snow scooters, which combine a snowboard with a scooter-like hinged handle. Classic wooden sleds are available as well. While more costly than modern alternatives, they are a blast from the past.
 
Ice Fishing
 
Ice fishing is a fast growing sport that offers relaxing entertainment for countless anglers. In the cold northern regions of the country, it’s not uncommon to see a flotilla of fishing huts out on a frozen lake.
 
The first rule of ice fishing is “be safe.” The U.S. Army Cold Regions Research & Engineering Laboratory recommends that only those in good physical condition should venture out onto the ice, because of the intense exertion that can accompany ice emergencies. Clothing should not restrict your ability to stay afloat. Hip boots and waders are taboo. A flotation vest or jacket is recommended. Ice picks that can help a fallen fisherman grip the edge of an ice sheet can be life savers.
 
When heading out on the ice, check the thickness every 150 feet or so by drilling a hole with your drill or ice auger. Check it more often if you find that the thickness varies. Determining how thick the ice has to be to support a load is complicated, as there are many variables. You can find detailed charts and specific recommendations on the U.S. Army web page at http://www.crrel.usace.army.mil/ierd/ice_safety/safety.html.
 
While elaborate ice-fishing equipment is available, you don’t need a lot to get started. South Bend Sporting Goods, says her company offers a kit that includes everything you need to start ice fishing. It’s called the R2F Panfish Complete Ice Fishing Combo, and it comes with a rod, pre-spooled reel, a tackle box, and more.
 
Of course, you can’t fish until you’ve cut a hole in the ice. For that you’ll need an ice auger. A sled to carry the auger is most helpful as well. An ice scoop — essentially a dipper with holes in the bottom — is needed to keep your fishing hole clear.
 
The dangers of frostbite and overexposure can be significant for the unprotected fisherman. If you plan on being out on the ice for more than a couple hours, a shelter is a good investment. Frabill, Inc., a leading manufacturer of ice-fishing shelters, says that hub-style shelters are lightweight and range in price from $150 to $300. Black in color, they retain quite a bit of the sun’s heat on a bright day.
 
Whether you snowshoe, sled or fish, you’re going to want to end the day just like those folks at the fancy resorts do: in front of the fire with a cup of hot chocolate in hand. It’s the perfect conclusion to a great day of active winter fun. And you don’t have to travel to Aspen to enjoy it.
 
-Ski Bum
 
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