Courtesy of U.S. Air Force
We have a few suggestions for improving flexibility. What type of stretching helps? There are three main types of stretching, including static, dynamic and ballistic stretches. No matter your level of activity, stretching can be done anywhere by almost anyone.
The history of stretching has roots in the likes of warrior combat and yoga. It evolved over the years to become part of sports and everyday life. Stretching is not just for professional athletes or yoga enthusiasts. Unfortunately, some studies appear to have confused recreational athletes regarding the benefits of a stretching routine.
We looked for some clarification and guidance on various CrossFit websites. CrossFit professionals have published many articles on this topic.
A few of their tips include the following:
(1) Always Start Slow;
(2) Be Consistent; and
(3) Adjust Stretching Based on the Workout of the Day (WOD).
Find the rest of the tips at Stretching for CrossFit and Special Forces Athletes. To learn more about CrossFit and stretching, read Dreams of CrossFit Greatness
, Stretching Myths
, and 9 Stretches You Should Know
Of course CrossFit stretching routines are not for everyone. Perform research and ask questions to find an appropriate stretching routine, which might require consulting your physician. Physical and occupational therapists are certainly capable of advising on specific stretching techniques. Adopt one of the professionally developed stretching routines to use at CrossFit, a yoga studio or your home. Consistent stretching has its benefits!
Disclaimer: This article is not intended to endorse any of the organizations mentioned. It is intended to provide general information about fitness. Consult your doctor before beginning a diet or workout.
Courtesy of NYCMarines
Ever arrived at a race only to remember something you wished was in a race pack instead of at home? As a result of preparing for a half marathon tomorrow, this article is an attempt to improve your preparations for races. The contents of a race pack vary greatly depending on many factors including the race type, month, location, age, gender, and disability.
The half marathon is scheduled to begin early morning in Chicago, Illinois inside the city, and the race forecast is mostly sunny with temperatures between 65-75 degrees. This city location requires that I carry certain items and allows me to leave others at home. The temperature range is ideal for my caliber of runner, and so I will pack light. I began packing the week prior to the race by creating a list of items then purchasing items on my trips around town. Two days prior to the race I began filling the bag with these items, and I placed it near my clothing and running shoes. For more information on new clothing options, check out It's Time to Rethink Your Shirt Choices
My race pack is possible because the race has a gear check. As I said earlier my race pack is specific to me and the expected race day conditions. I already possess many of the necessary clothing and items in my pack because all training plans should incorporate a dry run of the race day. The full list of items in my pack is as follows: sunscreen, band-aids, Gatorade, sports towel, sports watch, sunglasses, armband for tunes, race bib, extra t-shirt, extra socks, cash, train pass, and personal identification. I might add or subtract a couple of items depending on the factors above. Other helpful articles include What to Pack for Half Marathon Race Day
and Get Your Clothing and Gear Race Ready the Week Before the Race.My years of race experience also provides the following time saving activities. I will pin on the race bib the day before the race. The sunscreen, watch and armband will likely go on while I am traveling to the start line. I use an extra pin on race day to keep my shorts pocket closed, which contains my train pass, identification and a few dollars for emergency. Feel free to send us suggestions of items for a race pack and time saving activities. We love to hear from readers!
This article is intended to provide only general fitness information. For Love of Country is not affiliated with any of the websites or manufacturers mentioned in this article.
We found some sporting news to share with our readers. Recently, we posted an article about obesity. It provided some of the current opinions on whether obesity qualifies as a disability. One sports organization appears to agree with the classification of obese persons as disabled.
FIFA organizers of the 2013 Confederations Cup soccer tournament will offer a percentage of their total seats to disabled individuals. They believe obese persons should be eligible for these tickets, but it is likely these tickets will cost more than other seats. Those seeking to qualify for one of these seats must submit a medical certificate to prove a body mass index of 30 or more. It appears FIFA will offer the same ticket deal for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. The Confederations Cup ticket information is currently available at http://www.fifa.com/confederationscup/organisation/ticketing/ticket-information/accessibility-tickets/index.html.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires new U.S. stadiums to be accessible to the disabled. In addition, the ADA requires seating locations to be dispersed throughout all seating areas and provide a choice of admission prices and views comparable to those for the general public. New U.S. stadiums are also installing slightly wider seats in general, including Yankee stadium, but there appears to be no case law directly on point regarding obesity, disability and athletic events. Read our full article, Obesity: Whether it Qualifies as a Disability, available at http://www.forloveofcountry.net/1/post/2013/02/obesity-whether-it-qualifies-as-a-disability.html
One-third of adults ages 20 and older are considered obese, which is defined as having a body mass index greater than 30, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Obesity is an extremely important topic due to the related conditions, including diabetes and the physical strain of carrying too much weight. Clearly the American population struggles with obesity, and Veterans are not an exception. Not everyone is able to leave the military then stay active for the rest of their lives. As a result of crippling obesity related disability, many Veterans search for financial assistance from the government. They are challenged by the VA benefits process. In an attempt to ease the burden, we sought legal analysis of the various types of available disability programs. We found an informative article, Obesity Benefits: Comparing the Veteran’s Affairs Benefits and Other Disability Programs’ Benefits, in The John Marshall Law School Spring Bulletin, written by Ms. Elizabeth Lazicki. Ms. Lazicki analyzed the VA, ADA, SSA and USERRA to determine whether they provide a procedure to apply for benefits as a result of obesity. According to this article, a Veteran must establish "(1) status as a veteran; (2) the existence of a disability; (3) a connection between the veteran's service and the disability; (4) the degree of disability; and (5) the effective date of his disability." Her conclusion is the VA must clarify its definition of obesity to make it similar to the SSA and/or ADA. Based on her reasoning our Veterans will then have a better chance of avoiding time and money spent on appealing a benefits denial. The full article is found at http://www.jmls.edu/veterans/pdf/2012-spring-VLSC-newsletter.pdf.
There is a reason to look to the ADA for clarity. As a result of the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, it is now easier for individuals with a range of impairments to establish they are individuals with disabilities. The ADA defines an "individual with a disability" as a person who (1) has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; (2) has a record of such an impairment; or (3) is regarded, or treated by an employer, as having such an impairment, even if no substantial limitation exists (See
29 C.F.R. § 1630.2(j)(i)(1)(i)-(ii)). The EEOC claims that basic obesity, without any other underlying condition, sufficiently impacts the life activities of bending, walking, digestion, cell growth, etc., to qualify as a disability or perceived disability. EEOC v. Resources for Human Development
(E.D. LA.2010). (Source: http://www.diversityinc.com/diversity-and-inclusion/obesity-is-a-disability-says-eeoc) Furthermore, "service-connected disabilities, such as deafness, blindness, partially or completely missing limbs, mobility impairments requiring the use of a wheelchair, major depressive disorder, and PTSD, will easily be concluded to be disabilities under the ADA" (See 29 C.F.R. § 1630.2(j)(3)(iii)).See our related article regarding the application procedure for benefits available at http://www.forloveofcountry.net/1/post/2012/08/reader-question-application-procedure-for-navy-benefits.html. Follow us on Twitter, and check back soon for our new articles.Disclaimer: This article is intended only to provide general legal information. It does not create an attorney-client relationship. Consult a licensed attorney in your area if you are in need of legal advice.
Courtesy of Pablofausto
There is another great option to stay active this year. Thanks to the VA and Disabled American Veterans for providing sponsorship of the National Disabled Veterans Sports Clinic. This clinic is in its 27th year of serving our military heroes and takes place in Snowmass, CO on March 31 - April 5, 2013. They offer instruction and opportunities to participate in adaptive sports including rock climbing, scuba diving, skiing, and more. This clinic welcomes donations, sponsors, and volunteers. Contact Voluntary Services at (859) 442-2347 or visit http://www.miracles.dav.org/ to learn more about the clinic.
Courtesy of FITCO Cares Foundation at http://www.fitcocares.org/
According to news reports we have lost a true military hero this past week. Chris Kyle was a former Navy SEAL sniper, and he received two Silver Stars and five Bronze medals for valor. Mr. Kyle, a neighbor, and another man were at a gun range in Texas when the third man reportedly shot Mr. Kyle and his neighbor, also a Veteran. Based on the information available, the third man has been identified as a former Marine. Investigators have not reached a certain conclusion on motive yet, but sources indicated that PTSD is likely to blame for the killings.
What can be done to stop PTSD related incidents? It's a topic that news reporters will likely weave into the national gun debate during the upcoming weeks. One suggestion is for Veterans and friends to proactively contact VA professionals to seek help in dealing with PTSD related issues. We added a link on our website to the Veterans Crisis Line, available at http://www.veteranscrisisline.net
. According to its website:The Veterans Crisis Line is a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) resource that connects Veterans and Service members in crisis and their families and friends with information and qualified, caring VA responders through a confidential, toll-free hotline, online chat, and text messaging service. Veterans and their families and friends can call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, chat online at www.VeteransCrisisLine.net, or send a text message to 838255 to receive support from specially trained professionals, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
Chris Kyle continued to contribute to American society in many ways after his military service. He is remembered as the author of the best seller "American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History." He also started Craft International to train military and law enforcement members. Furthermore, he founded the nonprofit, FITCO Cares, through which he assisted military heroes with PTSD and their transition into civilian life. FITCO Cares Foundation has established a memorial page where supporters can share their condolences and donate to the cause at http://www.fitcocares.org
. Rest in peace Chris Kyle.
For related articles, see http://www.forloveofcountry.net/1/post/2012/08/new-sports-camp-for-wounded-warriors-in-carolina.html
and http://www.forloveofcountry.net/1/post/2012/08/military-attempts-to-resolve-behavioral-health-issues.html.For Love of Country is not affiliated with any of the organizations referred to in this article. This article is not an advertisement and For Love of Country does not receive any money related to this article.
Courtesy of Adam Isserlis
The U.S. Open has a fresh face on the tennis court this year. Army Specialist, Ryan McIntosh, is a new ballboy with an inspirational story. McIntosh lost his leg below the knee in Afghanistan after stepping on a land mine. He played sports before his injury and has remained active since. During the 2011 Wounded Warrior games he learned of the opportunity to serve as a ballboy at the 2012 U.S. Open Tennis Tournament in New York. He participated in tryouts to qualify as one of the 80 ballpersons to work at this year's Open. McIntosh's U.S. Open supervisor, Tina Taps, said "He shines out there. And with his military background and sense of teamwork, he personifies what we want to do with these kids." After the Open, McIntosh will return to service in the Army as an Adaptive Sports Coordinator, and he will train for the 2016 Paralympics.
(Source: Wounded warrior works as U.S. Open ballperson,
Army Times, http://www.armytimes.com
Courtesy of Robert Couse-Baker
As a followup to our last blog article we wanted to find out what the military is doing to resolve behavioral health issues. Behavioral and mental health were historically uncomfortable discussion topics in the military, likely because the military struggled to establish an effective resolution.
Fortunately, some leaders in the military are rolling out a new approach to deal with behavioral health issues. Several years ago the Army and community in Fort Carson, Colorado experienced the horrible repercussions of leaving behavioral health issues untreated. As a result, Maj. Chris Ivany, Fort Carson's battalion psychiatrist, created a new approach to proactively catch and treat soldiers. Major Ivany's approach introduces soldiers to counselors within hours or days after battle. With early intervention soldiers begin expressing their feelings to both their counselors and buddies. The soldiers undergo another process at their home base as soon as they return. The followup screening process is designed to treat soldiers before they begin leave and during leave from duty.
Since its introduction, the military's approach has been deployed to the other 43 brigades. Another cooperative effort between the military and Troops First Foundation resulted in Operation Proper Exit. According to the organization's website, "For those Wounded Warriors who are thriving in recovery and are capable of returning to theater, this program itinerary stages a meet-and-greet tour to forward operating bases with a group of recovered soldiers." (Source: http://www.troopsfirstfoundation.org/int_exit.php
) These efforts provide a source of hope for all of us to properly bring our military heroes back home. Source: Army's huge culture shift: No shame in mental health help, By Gail Sheehy, Special for USA TODAYDisclaimer: For Love of Country is not affiliated with any organization mentioned in this blog article. This article does not constitute an endorsement of any organization referenced in this article. We encourage those interested in donations to research charitable organizations by requesting information from the organization and using tools available on the internet. Thanks to our contributor for sharing this story!
Courtesy of theakshay.
We know not everyone is interested in climbing Mt. McKinley like the Wounded Warriors in our articles available at http://www.forloveofcountry.net/1/category/fitness/1.html
. For those looking for a family experience, there is a new nonprofit sports camp opening in October 2012 in North Carolina.
According to a camp representative, "Our mission is to reconnect wounded warriors and their families in an environment that is therapeutic, builds a healthy spirit and solid family relationships." There appears to be no fee to attend the camp, and the organization claims to have received 501(c)(3) status so donations can be made on its website. More information about the camp is available at www.eaglerockcamp.org. If you are a Wounded Warrior interested in attending the camp, use their Contact Us tab on the above website to request an application.
If you are interested in researching the status of a charity as a 501(c)(3), then request from the charity their entity name submitted to the Internal Revenue Service. A search of 501(c)(3) organizations is available at http://www.apps.irs.gov/app/eos/
. It is often a lengthy process to receive official 501(c)(3) status from the IRS. Once the organization receives 501(c)(3) status, donations "are deductible as charitable contributions on the donor's federal income tax return." (Source: http://www.irs.gov/publications/p557/ch03.html#en_US_2011_publink1000200026
)Disclaimer: For Love of Country is not affiliated with any organization mentioned in this blog article. This article does not constitute an endorsement of any organization referenced in this article. We encourage those interested in donations to research charitable organizations by requesting information from the organization and using tools available on the internet.
Courtesy of Disabled Sports USA