Crossing over: Running vs. Cross-training Footwear

With so many different exercise options available for those looking to stay in shape, the choices of what footwear to purchase is equally expansive. Luckily for customers, however, they can be broken down into two main categories: running shoes and cross-trainers.
 
But which is better? The answer to that question, simply, is another question: What are you using them for? With varying weights, support areas and treads, the differences between running and cross-training shoes make it easy to find the perfect shoe.
 
One brand to consider is one you’ve likely heard about before. Under Armour originally made its name in compression gear, has created some breakthroughs in the world of footwear. Their new running models, the UA SpeedForm ® Apollo 2, UA Micro G ® Speed Swift and UA Micro G ® Assert 6, use innovative technology to combine weight, comfort and support into a revolutionary experience.
 
Lighter and sleeker than traditional foams, UA Micro G cushioning delivers ultra-responsive, low-to-the-ground performance for better, natural stability and comfort. SpeedForm Apollo 2 features a supported and smooth upper with ultrasonic welded seaming for next-to-skin support. A TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) heel counter locks in your foot for superior comfort.”
 
While Under Armour running shoes offer a wide range of innovations, the same can be said for Under Armour’s cross-trainers. Cross-trainers are built a little differently to maximize not only running, but side-to-side and jumping movements.
 
The Under Armour Strive V has the UA Micro G cushioning system, which is a mainstay in the running shoes. But what differentiates this model from its running counterparts are the details. The shoes feature a wider base for lateral stability, and multi-surface traction pods on the outsole for different ‘training’ scenarios both indoors and outdoors. They also have stitched-down leather overlays to help lock the foot into place, as well as for extra durability.”
 
Whether you’re signing up for the next big marathon event, going for a jog outside or enjoying a HIIT workout at your local gym, the running and cross-training footwear options by Under Armour at Dunham’s will have you covered. With so many technological advances like UA Micro G cushioning to lighter and sleeker designs, your next run or training workout will be as explosive as you can make it.
 
-Fitness Fanatic
 
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Squeeze The Most Out Of Your Workout

There are so many choices on the market when it comes to exercise apparel. You can get different cuts, prints, colors and fits. And you’ve probably seen apparel that calls itself “compression.” But what does compression gear mean? And what are the benefits?
 
According to Jack Eig of RBX, compression clothing has areas made up of very stretchy fabric that can create firm, supportive pressure. This material can be used for almost any type of workout clothing, including shirts, tank tops, leggings or partial garments, such as sleeves.
 
It’s a common misconception that compression apparel can actually help prevent injury during a workout. That isn’t quite true. Actually, it’s thought that the biggest benefit of this gear is that it can help prevent muscle soreness, Eig said.
 
“The best advice for any athlete is to remain aware of their body’s signals during exercise,” Eig said.
 
According to an April 2015 article at menshealth.com, studies show that the tight compression gear can reduce the fluid buildup in your muscles after exercise. When you exercise, your muscles experience inflammation. When that happens, fluid and white blood cells rush to the muscles to help repair them. Compression gear prevents this fluid buildup. Reducing fluid buildup prevents pressure and swelling, resulting in less cramping.
 
Compression gear could also increase blood flow to your muscles. Unfortunately, it won’t rid you of soreness and cramping completely.
 
“When you’re working out in your compression gear, the clothing is putting 360 degrees of firm support around your major muscle groups and holding them in place,” Eig said. “The increased pressure also helps stimulate blood flow, which helps prevent your muscles from cramping.”
 
This apparel might even boost your confidence. Eig said that another benefit of compression gear is the way it fits and shapes your body.
 
“Compression gear is great because while that same firm fit is cradling your muscles, it’s simultaneously eliminating any sort of jiggles and bumps and smoothes your body’s curves,” Eig said.
This season you can find RBX leggings at Dunham’s Sports. These compression leggings feature laser-cut details, heavyweight fabric and a high, compressed waistline for maximum support.
 
So remember, while compression gear might look and feel great, it won’t prevent injury during exercise. It could, however, help your muscles recover more quickly. And that will get you up and active sooner!
 
Try compression gear out for yourself. You can find shirts, tank tops, leggings and more this Spring at Dunham’s!
 
-Fitness Fanatic
 
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Lost In TheBeat

The Synergy of fitness and music.
 
Running shoes? Check. Gym shorts? Check. T-shirt and hoodie? Check. Headphones? Headphones? Oh PLEASE tell me I brought my headphones. Of course not. A very disheartening feeling, knowing I’d made it all the way to the gym and forgotten a crucial piece of workout equipment. Yes, I consider headphones workout equipment, but I’m not the only one. Not by a long shot. At my University fitness center, every head was sandwiched between a pair of the things. And not just earbuds. We’d use anything we had available to us to make sure we could jam while working out, regardless of circumstances. Seeing someone struggling to keep a huge pair of studioesque over-ears from bouncing off their head on the treadmill was entertaining, at the very least. If nothing else, it further illustrated to me the intimate relationship between music and exercise.
 
Whether we’re exercising or not, music moves us, figuratively and literally. Music doesn’t just compel us to dance, it lends us energy. Peace when we’re stressed. Stress when we’re too peaceful (heavy metal, anyone?). Those who listen to music while working out know that it doesn’t simply help you pass the time. It gives you the second wind to run that extra mile, or the emotional power to fuel three more repetitions when you thought you’d given up. Music helps us find strength in ourselves. And just as people’s personalities, workouts, and lives are varied and organic, so is music. Subtle nuances give your favorite songs and artists their flavor and character. For this reason, different music is better for different workouts and everyone has their own cup of tea, so to speak. I recall an instance where a dedicated amateur bodybuilder dropped his phone pulling his headphone cord out, immediately filling the freeweights section with Korean pop music. Go figure.
 
The point is, better sound can capture those elements of our favorite music that motivate and energize us. As exercise continues to gain popularity in the US of A, streaming music companies compile workout playlists for users, and audio tech companies like Koss have started creating sweat-proof earphones designed to withstand drastic movement and stay on your noggin, like the KSC32i FitClips. “Music is inspirational; getting lost in the right song can really take you to the next level” says Michael J. Koss Jr. of Koss Corporation. “We’ve created a line of headphones specifically crafted for the active music lover.”
 
Every pair has been delivering the excitement of a live performance since 1958, when John C. Koss invented personal listening with the world’s first SP/3 Stereophone. Now, that quality sound can carry you through your next workout. Oh, and the KSC 32i’s come in several colors, including coral pink. For you, K-pop guy.
 
-Fitness Fanatic
 
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Olympic Golf

It’s Merits and Detriments.
 
Golf does not have a storied past in the Olympic Games. Introduced at the 1900 Paris Games, it featured 22 players from four countries (France, Greece, Great Britain and the U.S.). It was last featured four years later in St. Louis, when the U.S. fielded 77 players and Canada, the only other country participating, fielded three, including the winner, George Lyon. After a 112-year hiatus, it returns to Rio de Janeiro this year. A great deal has been written about its inclusion, both for and against it. Here we present a synopsis of both viewpoints.
 
Pros
 
The Olympics, both summer and winter versions, are among the most watched TV events in the world, with some estimating the audience in the billions. That can certainly bode well for the game as viewers from many countries where golf is not currently well-known may be intrigued enough to give it a try. The course being built in Brazil is scheduled to be used afterward as “a public facility with the chief purpose of promoting golf in Brazil,” according to the International Olympic Committee. Translation, it will be a public course for 10 years and its future unknown after that period. Golf’s entry in the Games also gives some of the world’s best golfers an opportunity to win something new: an Olympic medal.
 
Cons
 
Unfortunately, there are many reasons why golf has been missing from the Olympic Games for over a century and why its inclusion this year has drawn a great deal of criticism, beginning with the format. Unlike the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup, this will not be a team event. Like nearly all golf tournaments, this will be a 72-hole individual stroke-play competition. How will it differ from Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy and Jason Day going head-to-head at dozens of other events this year?
 
It’s a small field, with only 60 players participating. Qualification is a bit convoluted. The top 15 in the Official World Golf Ranking for the men and Rolex Ranking for the women will automatically qualify, as long as there are no more than four players per country. After the 15th-ranked player, the rankings will be used to determine the rest of the 60-player field, with no more than two players per country beyond the top 15 able to compete.
 
As of February 7, 2016, the U.S. would be represented by Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler, Bubba Watson and Dustin Johnson on the men’s side and by Stacie Lewis, Lexi Thompson and Christie Kerr on the women’s side.
 
Rankings change constantly as one player wins and another misses a cut and it’s conceivable that a player who gets hot after the qualification deadline will not be eligible to compete. It’s also conceivable that the number one ranked golfer in the world could be pitted against one ranked 600. While anything can happen, this competition would be as fair as the U.S. going up against Jamaica in bobsledding.
 
The appeal of the Olympic Games has been national pride and the ability of the some of the world’s best athletes to represent their country. However, both the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup provide this opportunity for American golfers.
 
The addition of the Olympics has further compressed a schedule that is crowded. On the PGA Tour, for example, there is an 11-week stretch where 8 of 11 events are majors, Olympics, Fed Ex Cup or the Ryder Cup. Many players will have to choose which events to play and which to skip.
 
One last concern and one that may well influence athlete participation at the 2016 Summer Olympics, and not just by golfers. Brazil, along with many South and Central American countries and a handful of U.S. southern states, is seeing a significant increase of the mosquito-borne Zika virus, which has been linked to birth defects. We would not be surprised if many golfers, especially women of child-bearing age, choose to opt out of this competition. Considering that golf is played outdoors in areas where mosquitos love to congregate, this situation could have dire effects for years to come unless precautions are taken to minimize exposure to this virus.
 
Conclusion
 
In addition to the 2016 Games, golf is scheduled for 2020 in Tokyo. Depending on feedback, the format may well change before Tokyo, though the point may well be moot as the game’s future beyond the 2020 Olympics is up for a vote next year.
 
-Par Shooter
 
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