How to Breathe Properly While Running & Playing Soccer

Breathing is automatic, but physical stress can overwhelm your body, causing you to adopt unhealthy breathing patterns. Particularly when you run, you may end up hyperventilating, holding your breath for long intervals or breathing at an erratic rate. This can cause rapid muscle fatigue, especially if your muscles are already in overdrive kicking a soccer ball.
When you exercise, your body produces more carbon dioxide, so it’s important to exhale this carbon dioxide to keep the oxygen balance in your body at healthy levels. Consequently, your exhalations should be about as long as your inhalations. One method is to count your breaths, but this can be distracting when you’re playing sports. Instead, try breathing out slowly and steadily rather than quickly blowing out all your air.
Another excellent way to ensure you’re breathing properly is to coordinate your breaths with your movements to find the right inhalation-to-exhalation ratio. Try taking a breath in every time you take two steps, then exhaling it for two steps. As you build aerobic endurance, you’ll be able to take longer breaths, so graduate to three, then four steps that last for the length of your breaths. When you exert effort, such as when you’re kicking a ball, exhale.
You’ll gain better access to oxygen if you take deep breaths through your diaphragm. Instead of allowing your chest to expand, your stomach should expand with each inhalation. This encourages slow, deliberate breathing and can prevent hyperventilation. When you exhale, contract your stomach muscles to push the air out.
You can take in more air through your mouth, so if you feel like you’re struggling to get enough oxygen, open your mouth and inhale this way. Exhale through your nose. Doing so can also help to slightly slow down the rate of your exhalations, making it easier to breathe slowly and deliberately.

What Are the Ten Softball Positions by Number?

When you hear a softball fan describing a play, she might use numbers between one and 10 to refer to the defensive players. These numbers aren’t tied to the numbers on the players’ jerseys — they’re a numbering system typically used to keep score during the game. Every position on the field has an assigned number.
The pitcher and catcher form the battery in softball. The pitcher is No. 1 and the catcher is No. 2. If the bases are loaded, the batter hits a ground ball back to the pitcher and she throws it to the catcher for a force play at home, the scorekeeper writes down “1-2” in the scorebook to indicate that the pitcher fielded the ground ball and the catcher recorded the out.
A defense in softball includes four infielders. The first baseman is No. 3. The second baseman goes by No. 4. The third baseman is No. 5 and the shortstop is No. 6. If the batter hits a ground ball to the shortstop and she throws the ball to first base, the scorer writes down “6-3” in the scorebook if the throw beats the runner for an out. If a runner is on first base and a ground ball is hit to the third baseman, she would throw to second base to get the lead runner and the second baseman throws to first to try to get the double play. If that play was successful, the scorer writes down “5-4-3” in the scorebook.
The traditional outfielders in softball play left field, center field and right field. The left fielder is designated by the No. 7, the center fielder is No. 8 and the right fielder is No. 9. If the batter hits a fly ball to the center fielder and she catches it, the scorekeeper would write down “8” in the scorebook to designate that the center fielder caught the fly ball and an out was recorded without the assistance of another player on defense.
The extra fielder in softball normally plays in the outfield. That position is designated by the No. 10. In most cases, the coach will position four outfielders across when playing defense in softball. In some cases, the extra fielder will play in short center field while the traditional center fielder plays much deeper. The coach can position the extra fielder anywhere on the field. The rules of the game of softball state that all defensive players other than the catcher must be in fair territory, which gives the coach the right to position the extra fielder anywhere she chooses.

How Does Weightlifting Affect How Far You Throw a Football?

Quarterbacks build arm strength incrementally by throwing the football day after day, adding velocity and distance. But sport- and position-specific resistance training can make the core, shoulder and arm muscles stronger and more durable. A proper workout program can help quarterbacks throw the ball greater distances. From the high school level up to the NFL, quarterbacks use extensive weight training programs to improve their performance.
Even quarterbacks deep into their careers can improve their throwing range through proper weight training. Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers improved his arm strength after coming to the NFL from the University of California. “He never displayed this type of rocket or the ability to throw the ball from every angle,” former Cleveland Browns executive Michael Lombardi wrote for NFL.com. “He had a good arm, now he has a powerful arm … he looks like he enjoys the weight room and has made his meek body into one that can take a hit and drive the football.”
Rodgers, Drew Brees and several other quarterbacks use TRX suspension training and other instruments while training at Todd Durkin’s Fitness Quest 10 facility. “A lot of my emphasis is on the core, as well as shoulder and joint integrity,” said Durkin, who estimates that 60 percent of a quarterback’s power comes from core muscles. Durkin targets the scapula area while emphasizing shoulder deceleration. He aims to balance the front-side and back-side muscle development. Rodgers uses barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells and superbands in addition to the TRX to get stronger. He throws 15-pound medicine balls off the wall and catches them in a high-repetition drill. On the dumbbell bench press, he and the quarterbacks use 70- or 80-pound dumbbells. Rodgers also uses Pilates to build his core muscles and Yoga to improve his flexibility.
Quarterbacks train during the season, too, to maintain their strength, flexibility and durability. John Balano, strength and conditioning coach for the City College of San Francisco football team, recommends various medicine ball drills to work the core muscles and the “Jobe dumbbell protocol” exercises to the strengthen the four muscles comprising the rotator cuff. He recommends using dumbbells 5 pounds or lighter while stressing precise form in each exercise.
While weight training is important to quarterbacks, extensive throwing programs remain critical as well. “It’s just like when a track guy needs to get faster. You don’t do 5,000 squats, you run and run some more,” Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer told the “Dayton Daily News” in 2009. “To get your arm in shape you throw and continue to throw.”

How to Have Fast Feet for Soccer

Soccer requires quick feet and agility. During games, you not only have to run up and down the expansive field to cover as much ground as possible, but you rely heavily on short, explosive movements and acceleration to beat defenders. Quick feet will also help you dribble the ball, pass and shoot. Performing a few simple drills can improve foot speed and enhance your overall game.
Place eight to 10 soccer balls in a straight line, with about 2 feet between the balls. Stand with your right foot on top of the first ball and your left foot to the outside. Jump and switch feet, placing your left foot on the ball and your right foot to the outside. Race to the next ball and repeat, starting with the right foot on the ball. After the last ball, sprint 10 yards. Try to complete the line as fast as possible to build foot quickness.
The soccer ball shuttle drill improves foot speed and strengthens endurance. Line up eight soccer balls 10 yards away from the starting line. On the whistle, sprint over and collect a ball, dribbling it back across the starting line. Stop the ball as soon as it crosses the line and then run back to get the next one. Bringing back all eight balls completes the drill. Drive hard throughout the drill for maximum benefit.
For this drill, position four cones in a T-shape, the top three cones in a straight line with 5 yards between cones and the starting cone 10 yards straight below the middle cone. Starting at the base cone, sprint the 10 yards to the middle cone and then shuffle sideways to the far left cone. Shuffle all the way across to the far right cone. After shuffling back to the middle cone, spin and sprint back to the starting point.
Set the cones in a square pattern with 10 yards between cones. On the whistle, sprint from cone 1 to cone 2. Plant and make a sharp cut so you can then sprint diagonally to cone 3. Sprint to cone 4. Plant, cut and sprint diagonally back to cone 1. Finish the square as fast as possible, building up until you can run it three or more times in a row.
You’ll need a teammate for this drill. Mark off a large area of the field and have your teammate run wherever he wants. Your job is to stay within 2 yards of him at all times. Your teammate should change direction as much as possible and vary his pace, speeding up and slowing down in an attempt to lose you. After about five minutes, you can change roles, with your teammate now having to follow you.

How Do Athletes Prevent Stretch Marks?

Stretch marks are a common skin problem. Certain types of people are more prone to developing stretch marks, which can affect self confidence. Athletes may be prone to developing stretch marks, especially if they build body mass and muscle quickly. Treatments are available for stretch marks, but if you are sensible in your sport routine, you may avoid the need to use these treatments.
Stretch marks can occur as a result of quick weight gain or growth spurts in puberty. If there is a history of stretch marks in your family, you may be prone to developing stretch marks. Stretch marks are purple or red lines or bands beneath the top layer of the skin and can be unsightly. They usually appear on the stomach, breasts, hips, thighs and flank, according to MedlinePlus website.
Do not overexercise in a bid to build muscle, if you wish to avoid stretch marks. Certain sporting disciplines, such as bodybuilding or American football may favor bulking up to increase prowess, but this quick growth can cause stretch marks to form. Stretch marks are commonly seen in bodybuilders, particularly on the upper arms. More measured muscle growth allow your skin to grow at pace with your muscles.
Oils and creams are often marketed that claim to prevent stretch marks from developing. None of these creams have been proven to be effective. Moisturizing the skin will do nothing to prevent stretch marks from occurring, as the stretch marks occur in the dermis layer, while moisturizers work in the epidermis layer of the skin. Further study is needed to determine the effect, if any, of diet and any particular regime on the occurrence, but what little is known does not find any relationship between certain foods or exercises and reducing the incidence of stretch marks.
Steroids should never be taken without prescription and, while the possibility of gaining muscle quickly may be an attractive prospect, steroids can have many side effects. Among these are stretch marks. Stretch marks are one of the most visible signs of steroid abuse. With steroid abuse, stretch marks are usually seen on the upper arms and shoulders. Steroids can also lead to liver damage, heart attack, cancer and osteoporosis so should never be abused.
If you develop stretch marks that do not seem to be associated with muscle growth, weight gain or steroid use, contact your doctor immediately. Unexplained stretch marks may be the sign of an adrenal gland disorder or diabetes.

How Do Player Numbers Correlate to Their Position in Soccer?

Traditionally, player numbers in soccer are associated with a specific position. Teams are free to assign numbers as they choose, so there’s a lot of variation from tradition. Numbers tend to match positions better in international soccer than in league play, where players tend to hold on to their numbers for the duration of their time at the club.
The first-choice goalkeeper of a team almost always gets the No. 1 shirt. For the defenders, No. 2 plays at right-back, No. 3 at left-back and No. 4 and No. 6 play the center. In a formation with five defenders such as a five-three-two, the additional central defender usually wears No. 4.
The center of midfield is occupied by No. 4 and 8. The player wearing No. 4 tends to be the defensive ¡°holding¡± midfielder, who stays a little further back during attacks. The No. 8 is the attacking midfielder who connects play between the midfield and the attackers. Number 11 plays on the left wing, while No. 7 plays up the right. When there are three center midfielders, the No. 7 joins the midfield on the right side.
The attacking players usually wear No’s 9 and 10. The No. 9 is usually the primary striker and better finisher, such as Mia Hamm, Alan Shearer and Ronaldo — if a team uses a formation with one attacker like four-five-one, the lone striker would traditionally be the No. 9. The No. 10 is often the playmaker and more skilled on the ball of the two strikers, such as Messi, Maradona and Pele. Where there are three attackers, number 11 joins the attack.
Teams often go against this standard numbering system. Sometimes, the numbers are retired. For example, no one will again wear the No. 9 worn by Real Salt Lake’s Jason Kreis. One of the oddest breaks from tradition was Ronaldo’s ¡°99¡± shirt at AC Milan. James Daly of Unibet jokingly suggests this may have represented the Brazilian’s weekly cheeseburger intake at the time. Yet as Akshay Mhasker of Football Speak points out, sometimes players find it hard to break from tradition. Ivan Zamorano, unable to wear his beloved No. 9 shirt, wore a “1+8” (No. 18 with a plus sign) shirt for two seasons.

What is Considered Aerobics?

Aerobic exercises comes in many forms, including walking, jogging, swimming, bicycling and dancing. If you perform an activity for 15 to 20 minutes straight while maintaining a heart rate that is 60 to 80 percent of your maximum heart rate, then it¡¯s considered an aerobic activity. Aerobic activities provide many benefits, such as improved cardiovascular health and improved stamina.
Long-duration, low-intensity activities are known as aerobic exercises, while short-duration, high-intensity activities are known as anaerobic exercises. Examples of anaerobic exercises include sprinting, racquetball, football and weightlifting. Aerobic means with air or oxygen. A good way to tell if your exercise is aerobic or anaerobic is your breathing. During aerobic activities, for instance, you should be able to carry on a short conversation while engaging in the activity. Anaerobic activities, on the other hand, will have you gasping for air if you try to speak. You are also more likely to experience sore muscles and fatigue after anaerobic activity than you are after aerobic exercise.
Aerobic activity conditions your lungs and heart and improves your heart¡¯s ability to use oxygen. This type of exercise, when partnered with a healthy diet and strength training, will help you gain control over body fat content. You will also increase your resistance to fatigue and will feel more energetic as you regularly engage in aerobic activity. Other benefits include toned muscles, improved moods, reduced anxiety, increased lean body mass and decreased tension.
As you begin a regular aerobic exercise routine, it¡¯s important to avoid applying what¡¯s known as the aerobic curve to your workout sessions. This curve involves increasing the intensity level of your activity until you hit your target heart rate, then decreasing the intensity for the duration of the workout. Aerobic activity is most effective when you increase the session¡¯s intensity until you hit your target heart rate, then maintain that level for the rest of the activity. If you are out of shape or haven¡¯t exercised for a long time, you will reach your target zone more quickly than those who are more conditioned. As your heart becomes more conditioned to aerobic activity, you will need to work harder to reach your target heart rate.
Aerobic classes are a common form of exercise for those seeking the benefits from this type of exercise. These classes typically involve high-intensity and low-intensity exercises. If you become too tired or a particular activity is too difficult to perform, keep moving at a less-strenuous pace, walking in place or slowly pacing the room. To fully benefit from aerobic exercises, it is important to keep moving until the session is over. Effective aerobic activity should also involve a cool-down period that keeps the body moving as your heart rate returns to normal.

Foods With No Sugar or Carbs

You have a lot of zero-carb foods to choose from on a low-carb diet. All of the major proteins — meat, poultry and fish — are naturally free of carbs and sugar. A variety of oils, vinegars and seasonings are also on the carb-free list. But there are some exceptions. Each food category includes items you¡¯ll need to avoid when shooting for zero-carbs.
You won¡¯t get any carbs or sugar from beef, pork, lamb, turkey and chicken — as long as you stick with natural meat. They gain carbs when they¡¯re breaded, marinated or injected with solutions designed to tenderize and add flavor. For example, a serving of teriyaki-flavored pork tenderloin has 5 grams of net carbs — total carbs minus fiber — including 4 grams of sugar. Most cured and processed products, such as bacon and bologna, contain a small amount of carbs. You¡¯ll also get varying amounts of carbs from organ meats. For example, a 4-ounce serving of beef liver contains 4 grams of net carbs, while chicken livers have 1 gram. While low-carb diets often don¡¯t restrict fat, you¡¯ll get less saturated fat and fewer calories from lean meat. Flank steak, sirloin tip, top round, tenderloin, top loin, rump roast and extra lean ground beef are all lean cuts of beef. For pork, choose center loin, tenderloin and Canadian bacon, which comes from the loin. The leanest poultry is white meat without the skin.
In addition to being naturally free of carbs and sugar, fish has a nutritional benefit you won¡¯t get from other proteins: it¡¯s one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids. These fats help prevent heart problems and lower blood levels of triglycerides. For this reason, the American Heart Association recommends eating two servings weekly, especially fatty fish like salmon, trout and tuna. The good news is that most types of fish have absolutely zero carbs, including cod, flounder, sole, tuna, trout, salmon, bass and halibut. Shellfish are sugar free, but net carbs can range from zero in Alaskan king crab and 1 gram in shrimp, to 4 grams in a serving of clams. Of course, you¡¯ll have to avoid breaded fish and crab cakes so you don’t get carbs from breading.
Pure fat and vegetable oils are free of all carbs. This includes butter, margarine, and all types of vegetable oil. Vegetable oils are packed with healthy unsaturated fats, which help lower cholesterol. Corn, soybean, safflower and sunflower oils are good choices because they¡¯re higher in polyunsaturated fats that boost high-density lipoproteins, or good cholesterol. If you want zero-carb vinegar, stick with cider vinegar, red wine vinegar, white vinegar and unsweetened rice vinegar. Seasoned rice vinegar has 6 grams of net carbs per tablespoon, while balsamic vinegar has 3 grams. Other varieties have about 1 gram. Mix salad dressings at home by blending one of the zero-carb vinegars with vegetable oil. Commercially prepared salad dressings have 1 to 5 grams of net carbs, but you can find some sugar-free brands.
Unflavored gelatin is a high-protein, zero-carb item that’s handy on a low-carb diet. Let gelatin dissolve in hot water or broth, then use it in place of flour to thicken sauces. It also helps moisten and bind meatloaf and meatballs. Whether you prefer water, tea, coffee, soda or other beverages, be sure they¡¯re either unsweetened or sweetened with stevia, xylitol, erythritol or saccharin. Other types of artificial sweeteners may contain a small amount of carbs. Be careful with vitamin water; some brands are high in carbs. Hard liquor like gin, vodka and scotch doesn¡¯t have carbs, but you¡¯ll get carbs and sometimes sugar from wine and beer. The Atkins Carb Counter lists more than 20 herbs and spices with zero net carbs and even more with barely a trace of carbs. You¡¯ll find basil, chili powder, curry powder, garlic salt, lemon-pepper and Italian seasoning among those without any carbs.

Metal vs. Plastic Cleats

Top athletic performance, no matter what sport you play, depends first and foremost on stability. You need to have your feet firmly planted underneath you before you can throw, catch, kick, twist, turn or push off for a run. A pair of good cleats gives your feet much-needed traction on the turf for sports that take place on grass or dirt, like football, baseball, soccer, golf, lacrosse, rugby and others. The spikes are arranged in different ways for different sports. Despite these differences, there are only two real choices: cleats with metal or plastic spikes.
Cleats with metal spikes have been used in sports like baseball, football, golf, soccer and rugby for decades. Depending on the sport, the metal spikes are in different shapes, come in different lengths and are arranged in different patterns. The spikes themselves are made from steel for strength and durability. For mid- and high-range models, the metal spikes are replaceable, so that if one breaks off, bends or wears out before the shoe, you don¡¯t have to replace the entire pair of cleats.
The other type of cleat comes with plastic cleats molded in the soles of each shoe. The shape of the plastic spikes also varies by sport, along with the configuration, however the length of the spikes is shorter to prevent premature breakage. The spikes of plastic cleats are somewhat elastic, even for hard-molded models, and can bend under heavy pressure, such as full-sprints, pivots and slides. The plastic spikes are also not replaceable and wear down quickly.
Cleats with metal spikes are usually more expensive than plastic cleats, but the increased durability and effectiveness in turf sports — like baseball, soccer, golf and football — mitigate the added cost. Metal spikes dig into grass and dirt deeper than plastic spikes, and the metal stays rigid, while plastic bends, diminishing the overall amount of traction. For walking on any surface other than dirt or grass, cleats with metal spikes are loud and cumbersome, while plastic cleats are quiet and nondescript. Metal spikes, due to their expense and long life, are better suited to teen and adult athletes who no longer experience bursts of foot growth, especially for those playing in highly competitive leagues. The increased cost is usually worth the improved performance. Plastic cleats are better suited to young players who need to consistently increase shoe size every few months or recreational players who may not need top-level performance at a top-level price.
Some leagues, especially at the youth level, ban the use of cleats with metal spikes due to injury concerns. For example, Little League Baseball prohibits the players, coaches and umpires who participate in divisions for 9 to 10 year olds and younger to wear only plastic cleats. Many leagues that regulate other youth sports, such as football and soccer, also prohibit the use of metal spikes, essentially requiring the use of plastic cleats by default. Some adult recreation leagues for flag football and softball also prohibit the use of cleats with metal spikes.

The Advantages of Playing Football

Playing football provides numerous types of advantages, such as increased aerobic and anaerobic fitness, improved fitness skills and even psychosocial benefits. Football also suffices as a form of exercise that meets the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention¡¯s minimum recommended exercise recommendations of 150 minutes per week. Football can benefit all ages, provided the participant¡¯s doctor approves, and his developmental stage, maturity and physical size suits a contact sport.
Football involves running, sprinting and drills that require generous energy expenditure and engage the cardiovascular system. Regularly participating in aerobic exercise such as football offers benefits such as increased longevity, as well as reduced susceptibility to heart disease, osteoporosis, diabetes and other chronic diseases, reports the Harvard School of Public Health. It can also foster weight loss and weight management; a 155-pound person burns nearly 600 calories per hour playing football, according to Harvard Medical School. Football players, particularly those who are overweight, may lose 15 to 20 pounds in a single season, according to Dave Cisar, who is the founder and president of the Screaming Eagles Youth Football Organization in Omaha, Nebraska.
Football helps develop numerous types of fitness skills including speed, agility and power. Players may lose body fat, gain lean muscle and increase the likelihood of maintaining healthy habits throughout life, according to USA Football. Football players will develop muscle strength through conditioning exercises and explosive power through tackling and defensive moves. Other advantageous elements of football include increased muscular endurance, as well as improved flexibly and mobility, according to certified strength and conditioning specialist Phil Davies on the Sports Fitness Advisor website.
Abiding by the rules of the game and adhering to the coach¡¯s instruction teaches players discipline and emotional temperance. The competitive aspect of the game helps the players learn how to deal with disappointment, develop resilience, practice good sportsmanship and learn how to grow from constructive criticism. Football can also instill confidence and self-esteem, and help players overcome shyness, Cisar explains. The fast-paced nature of the game requires players to harness a great deal of concentration, adaptability and quick thinking. Football can also help ward off depression, as well as help players develop positive social circles and role models, reports USA Football.
Competitive sports help teach teamwork, which translates into selflessness, cooperation and better communication skills. The structure of the game fosters important life skills, such as leadership, goal-setting and time-management skills. Organized group sports such as football also offer a host of other advantages that can benefit players in all aspects of their lives, including higher grades, greater family attachment, less participation in risky behaviors and increased involvement in volunteer work, reports the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.