Hula Hoop Your Calories Away!

Photo credits: www.wikimedia.org
Photo credits: www.wikimedia.org

You can burn at least a hundred calories just by hula hooping for 10 minutes a day! Add lunges and squats to your daily hoop exercise and you just might lose more than that in a very short time!

Celebrities like Beyoncé and Michelle Obama hula hoop to stay fit. And if the Queen B can do it, then so can you!

These simple and easy add-ons to your hooping exercises can not only help you get that flat stomach, but also guarantee hours of fun and entertainment (you won’t even notice how much weight you’ve lost after you exercise!)

  1. The Classic and SimpleSide to Side Hooping

This is the simplest form of hooping so it’s perfect for beginners. You can lose around 100 calories just by doing 10 minutes of this maneuver.

It won’t justtone your waist and abs. Side to side hooping can also improve balanceand coordination as well as tone your thigh muscles. Do the rotations in both clockwise and counter clockwise direction so you can exercise both sides of your body.

 

  1. Waist Hooping: Classic Hooping with a Little Extra

After mastering side to side hooping, try doing it front to back. You can do this by stepping one foot slightly forward to guide the hoop through the rotation, then rocking your body back and forth.

Another routine that you can add to classic hooping is squats. Do this by keeping your feet slightly wider than the usual shoulder width apart, then squat slowly while keeping the hoop rotating around your waist. This may be a slightly harder routine, but with more focus, can provide extra fun to your daily exercise.

 

  1. Arm Hooping: Tone those Arm Muscles!

This is an easy routine to do. Just put your arm through the hoop and spin away! But still remember to exercise both arms (if you only have one hula hoop). Rotate the hoops in both clockwise and counter clockwise direction to make your workout more challenging.

For an arm hooping routine that involves the whole body, add lunges. Extend yourarm up, pointing to the sky and do lunges while hooping. This routine will tone your arms, shoulders, legs, thighs, buttocks, and is a great exercise for your body in general.

 

  1. Hooping Without Looping: Hula Hoop Routines Without Any Rotations

You can also do exercises that do away with hula hoop rotations. One way to do this is via side stretches. Do this by touching the hoop against the back of your waist. Hold it up so that the top of the hoop is above your head, then with your feet shoulder-width apart, start stretching side to side.

Another simple routine you can do is passing. Pass the hoop from one hand to the other and try to stretch far back as possible when receiving the hoop. You can also do this while in a semi- squat position for extra pressure on your abdominal and leg muscles.

So you’ve learned about highly entertaining and simple ways to burn calories with theHula Hoop! The only downside to this is that you may need open space while hula hooping. You wouldn’t want to knock down picture frames in your living room while exercising, right?

Hula hooping tip: Listen to upbeat music or get a rainbow-colored hula hoop to add extra fun to your exercise.

Do you know any other exercise tips for hula hoops? Tell us in the comments below!

Duncan’s Yo-Yo: Revolutionizing Legendary Toys of Old

Almost everyone, if not all, knows what a Yo-yo looks like. Most people might have owned, or at least played it once in their life. It is a toy, after all – one that can be cheap, easy to use, and small enough to be pocketed and brought to school.

These days, this simple pastime for kids quickly has become a form of creative and competitive sport that needs mad skills and hard work in order to win.

How did that actually happen?

 

yoyo

 

The History of the Yo-Yo

Some historians would argue that the Yo-Yo came from ancient China, and was a smaller and more compact version of the Diabolo – a disk-shaped toy that can be dragged or wobbled using strings. Some would say that they came from ancient Greece, where ceramics and vases are littered with artworks that depict boys and girls playing with a Yo-Yo-like tool. An article from Spintastics mentioned that the yo-yo craze even spread to countries like India and France during the 17th century.

But it wasn’t until the late 1920’s when the word “Yo-Yo” was first heard. An Ilokano word, the Yo-Yo was introduced to the USA by Pedro Flores, a Filipino immigrant who was mass producing this toy in the country.

Donald Duncan, an entrepreneur, noticed the great potential of Flores’ toy, and it is his recognition that led to the Yo-Yo that you know today. He bought the rights of the toy from Pedro Flores and revolutionized the way it’s played. Instead of tying the string around the axle, he looped the string so that it would slide around the axle, paving the way to the legendary Yo-Yo move, the “Sleeper”.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

Duncan Yo-Yo a.k.a The Yo-Yo Revolution

The trademark for the Yo-Yo eventually fell under the control of the Flambeau Products Corp. when the Duncan Company lost most of its money in a legal fight. The change of company gave way to the creation of a whole new line of products and consequently, new ways of playing with it.

Currently, Duncan offers a wide variety of Yo-Yo models to cater different types of players. Aside from the classic shape, they also offer Yo-Yos that have a flared gap or modified shape. They even offer counterweight Yo-Yos that break the traditional rules and allow you to perform more complicated tricks. These are some of Duncan’s most popular line of products:

 

The Classic

classic
Photo credit: Butterfly® www.yo-yo.com

The Classic Yo-Yos are for beginners. It features the original Duncan design with the looped string around a fixed axle. They can be used for basic sleeping and looping tricks. You can’t do a lot of complicated moves, but it’s still fun to play with, nonetheless! Classic Yo-Yos are great gifts and practice tools.

 

The Hardcore

hardcore
Photo credit: Flying Panda™ www.yo-yo.com

The Hardcore series are for basic to intermediate tricks. It includes a ball-bearing axle, which is one of the innovative types of Yo-Yo. This nifty feature will enable the toy to “sleep” for a longer time. If you’re up to upgrading your Yo-Yo abilities, the Hardcore series is definitely for you!

 

The De-Luxxe

deluxe
Photo credit: Metal Zero™ www.yo-yo.com

This series is for the professional and expert Yo-Yo masters. Used for creating complex string tricks, these babies also use ball-bearing axles, but are made from high-grade metal. The De-Luxxe series is mostly used by players for competitions.

A toy can never be too old for those who love them…

The Yo-Yo has undergone a lot of wonderful changes throughout the years, and Duncan has played a big part in its transformation. Thanks to them, people from different ages and skill levels can experience the joy of playing with this toy and mastering cool string tricks.

Have you played with a Duncan Yo-Yo before? Share your experiences in the comments section below!

Frisbee 101: Learning the Basics

If you’re looking for an outdoor sport that is fun to play with friends, then you should definitely try the Ultimate Frisbee. Not only is it exciting, but this game is also great for reducing excess fats and improving one’s motor skills.

This activity looks easy to do, but if you haven’t tried this before, you might find it a little bit challenging. To help you get started, check out this handy guide to learn more about the basics of Ultimate Frisbee.

(image source: https://atomicscout.files.wordpress.com/)
(image source: https://atomicscout.files.wordpress.com/)

Short History

Before we learn the mechanics of Ultimate Frisbee and run outdoors, let’s first travel back to the 1950’s and know the history of the famous disk.

Would you ever think that this game originated from a bakery? Well, the workers of Frisbie Pie Company actually came up with it. After the Civil War, William Russel Frisbie opened his bakery in New Haven, Connecticut and his workers tossed pie tins around the factory as a way to pass time. Eventually, tossing tin lids as an activity got popular and also got college students hooked.

Frisbee became a famous commercial product after Walter Frederick Morrison and Warren Franscioni made a plastic disk inspired by the flying tin lids. The disk made by Morrison and his partner has better accuracy and can fly further compared to the tin lids, and was called the Pluto Platter. Later on, the toy company Wham-O acquired the rights from Morrison and produced Frisbee.

Aside from being a boredom cure, the disk made its way into sports when Joel Silver, a student of Columbia High School proposed the idea of creating an “Ultimate Frisbee” team to the school’s student council. One of the very first players of the sport, Ed Summers, once noted that “The core of us were largely among the better students. There were also some druggie types. We were about evenly split between the better students and the half who smoked dope.”

The rules for the game were crafted and developed at the same school. The Ultimate Frisbee now flies high in several tournaments and is likely to be added as an official sport in the Olympics.

How to Play Frisbee

Now that we’ve learned the history and origin of the famous disk, it is now time to know its rules. Here’s a rundown of the basic things that you need to know:

Terms and Jargons

o   Handlers – designated throwers

o   Cutters – designated receivers

o   Pulls – long throw

o   Throw-away – term used to describe the incident when the disc falls into the ground because the thrower misses his target

o   Drop – term used to describe when the disc was not caught by the receiver

o   Block – term used to describe when the disc bounces into the defender causing it to drop into the ground

o   Interception – term used to describe when the disc thrown by the member of the offensive team was caught by a defender

o   Stall – term used to describe when a member of the offensive team was not able to release the disc before the ten second count

Game Play

There are two teams in this game – the defense team and the offensive team. The members of the two teams, usually seven, need to line up at their respective end zones. Defense team pulls the disc to the other team as a “kick off”.

Disc Movement

The Frisbee can be moved in any direction. It should be passed to a player but if the disc was not caught by another person, there will be a reversal of roles wherein the defense team will now play the offense and gain the possession of the disc.

Scoring

A team will gain a point when a player catches the disc passed by his teammate in the end zone of their opponent.

Substitution

Substitution is allowed if there are injured players, or if the team wants to try a different strategy. If a team wants to replace a non-injured player on the field, they need to wait for a point to be scored before doing so.

Refereeing

The Ultimate Frisbee is a self-officiated game. Players decide the foul, line calls, and disputes. A contact between players results to foul, except for incidental contacts. Players are responsible for everything that happens inside the game; therefore, they should be honest and respectful of each other.

Now, gather your friends or family and make two teams with equal number of members. Remember, in this game, the more the merrier! Just make sure that there is enough space for the players to run. Toss high with the ultimate disk!

How did you fare in your first Frisbee tournament? Share your memorable experiences in the comments!

4 Amazing Female Chess Players

The presence of women in chess tournaments is barely felt. In a study conducted by psychologist and Fédération Internationale des Échec (FIDE) Master Merim Bilalic, more men play chess than women. This is why most people perceive the game of chess as more of a “man’s game”.

However, that is not necessarily true. Even though the number of female players is scarce, a lot of them are actually succeeding in this game.  Some, at a very young age, have even attained their grandmaster (GM0) titles. In this article, you’ll be introduced to the greatest and most brilliant female players who dominated the chess tournaments.

1. Susan Polgar

Susan Polgar is a Hungarain-American grandmaster. She is the very first female player who earned her title by competing in the regular tournaments, rather than winning it in the World Women’s Chess Championship (WWCC). Furthermore, Polgar was the very first woman who qualified for the 1986 World Championship series. She won ten Olympic medals, and four WWCC Championships. Currently, she holds an Elo rating of 2577.

Aside from competing in tournaments, she has also written several books about chess such as Queen of the Kings and Chess Tactics for Champions. She also writes for several publications like Chess Life, Chess Horizons, and Georgia Chess. 

2. Alexandra Kosteniuk

She is considered as one of the top grandmasters in Russia. Kosteniuk started playing the board game at the tender age of five years old. By the time she was 17, she already competed in the final round of the WWCC. Unfortunately, she was crushed by Zhu Chen, the Qatari chess Grandmaster. After three years, she managed to stage a comeback, and won the European women’s tournament in Dresden, Germany.

alexandra

She received the title of grandmaster back in 2004, making her the tenth woman to receive this coveted title. But before she even attained this status, she already won other awards such as International Master, and Woman Grandmaster.

Kosteniuk is also a fashion model and an official chess ambassador.

3. Judit Polgar

Named as the Princess of Chess, Judit Polgar is considered as the strongest female player in the game. Polgar earned her GM status in 1991, when she was only 15 years old. At that time, she was the youngest player who achieved such an impossible feat. In fact, she even broke the previous record that was held by Bobby Fischer.

judith

 

Currently, she holds an Elo rating of 2705, making her the only woman who broke free from the 2700 rating hurdle.

4. Jennifer Shahade

Jennifer Shahade is an American player and author. She won the American women’s chess tournament two times in a row, and has an Elo rating of 2322. Shahade is the first and only female player to nab the first place in the U.S. Junior Open back in 1998. And in 2002, she bagged the top prize at the U.S. Women’s Chess Championship.

Shahade studied comparative literature at New York University. You can see some of her works in several publications such as Chess Life, The New York Times, and New in Chess. She also wrote a book called Chess Bitch. Currently, she’s the online editor-in-chief of www.uschess.org.

Aside from chess, she is adept at poker too. In 2007, she managed to finish 17th place out of 1286 in the Ladies World Series of poker.

Just because there are more male grandmasters doesn’t mean that they are the only ones excelling in the game. If there’s one thing that you can learn from Judit Polgar, Jennifer Shahade, and the other players; it’s that gender is never a hindrance to your success. You can be a grandmaster too, as long as you remain passionate and focused on your goals.

Are there any other brilliant female players we forgot to mention? Let us know in the comments!