Archive for the ‘Equipment’ Category

Zero1: Protective Helmet for Football Players

Zero1: Protective Helmet for Football Players

Even though football is a very popular sport and is enjoyed by more than 400 million people around the globe, the sport still remains under scrutiny for the safety of its players. Critics have scrutinized the sport because of it being injury prone. There are a lot of injuries that players can get from this sport. One of the most common injuries among football players and possibly one of the most life-threatening injury that can happen in any sport, is concussions. NFL has already done a lot of countermeasures against concussions. The organization even started numerous research programs to find the best solution or countermeasure against concussions. As a result, a new helmet was developed with hopes that it will have the ability to solve one of the biggest problems that’s been scrutinizing the sport ever since. Named Zero1, this is one of NFL’s research programs and is geared to be the ultimate solution against concussions.

The helmet consists of multiple flexible layers. It is developed to greatly reduce the rotational and linear impact forces to help prevent concussions from happening. The helmet is developed in a way that utilizes its four flexible layers to work in perfect harmony with each other to provide the absolute protection against concussions.

The top layer, named the “Lode Shell” will be responsible for absorbing the impact by deforming a particular part of the helmet. You can consider it as a bumper in a fender bender. This same technology has long been implemented in the auto industry but this is the first time that this technology will debut in a football helmet.

The second layer, called the “Core Layer” is a considered to be a masterpiece of medicine, sport and engineering. The Core Layer, which utilizes a highly-engineered column like formations, that are capable of bending and buckling in all directions to lessen the linear and rotational forces.

Next to the Core Layer is the “Arch Shell.” The Arch Shell serves as the interior of the helmet which is designed to fit perfectly to a player’s aspect ratio (the relationship between the player’s head length and breadth).

The last layer, called the “Form Liner” is the final layer that is specially designed to work accordingly with the Arch Shell which will allow the helmet to fit perfectly to a player’s head and to conform to the head topography, making sure that the pressure will be distributed all over the head equally. Aside from the layers that makes up Zero1, the helmet also boasts its Axis Fit System which is the one responsible for keeping everything together.

Zero1 is developed in a plain and simple way but with utmost perfection in mind to assure a better protection against concussions. As of now, the helmet is still going through various tests, most especially the concussion protection tests. Zero1 has to gain a five-star score before it can be approved to be used by the players. But even a helmet with a five-star rating cannot be completely considered as concussion-proof, because as long as players who play in contact sports they are still exposed to head injuries.

Different Types of Mouthguards

Mouthguards are available in 3 major types and they are:

Stock mouthguards

These are available in many drugstores and sporting goods stores. They come ready to wear and is the cheapest among the three. They are not expensive, they are one the ones with the worst fitting. They are also less comfortable and are not really guaranteed to provide protection. They are usually made from rubber or polyvinyl and have the tendency to gag sometimes. You will have a difficulty speaking and breathing with these mouthguards. They will require you to always close your jaw so that you can hold them in their place. In short, they are not ideal for athletes.

Mouth-formed mouthguards

There are two main types of mouth-formed mouthguards namely shell liner and boil-and-bite. Shell liner is lined with rubber or acrylic gel that will mold to your teeth and will set accordingly so that it can maintain its shape. While the boil-and-bite is made from thermoplastic. As the name suggests, it is first boiled and then fitted according to the contours of the teeth with the use of the fingers, tongue, lips and biting pressure. You can always try to refit it by boiling it in water again and then fit it accordingly to the contours of your teeth, if it doesn’t fit or is not comfortable in your first try.

You can purchase both types of mouth-formed mouthguards online, local sporting goods, and drug stores. Even though they are better than the stock mouthguards overall, they still don’t fair very well when it comes to the protection and fitting that the custom-fitted mouthguards can provide.

Custom-fitted mouthguards

These are the most expensive type of mouthguards. They may be expensive but the level of comfort and protection they can provide are far better than the first two types mentioned above. They are made from a cast that will precisely fit to your teeth. The dentist will first make an impression of your teeth and then use the impression to create your custom-fitted mouthguard.

They are made to cover both your upper and lower teeth. They can also serve as a cushion for your teeth against blows to the chin or falls.

You should first go to your dentist before you choose a mouthguard. Your dentist may be able to provide you with a customized mouthguard that is specific for your sport or activity.

Significance of a Mouthguard in Today’s Sports

Significance of a Mouthguard in Today’s Sports

A mouthguard (also known as mouth protector or mouth piece) is a flexible custom fitted device that is worn over the teeth to help protect it from potential damage from athletic sports or various recreational activities. Mouth guards are more important for those people who are wearing braces or for those people who just want to protect their teeth from any potential trauma.

Mouth guards will help protect your teeth from damages due to blows or physical contact. They can also serve as a protection from any soft tissue damage.

Here are some good characteristics of an ideal mouth guard:

  • It should allow you to speak clearly and will not interfere with your breathing.
  • Can stay firmly in its place during action especially in athletic sports.
  • Can provide high level of comfort and must fit really well with your teeth.
  • Must be durable and easy to maintain.
  • Must be tasteless, odorless, resilient and resistant to tear.

In general, mouthguards can only cover the upper teeth. But for those people who are into sports or who wears braces or other dental appliances should wear a mouthguard that can also cover their lower teeth.

Who Should Use a Mouthguard?

Many major sports leagues are now requiring the use of mouthguards for their athletes. Sports with high risk of physical contacts like football, ice hockey, basketball, lacrosse, field hockey, rugby, soccer, boxing, and wrestling requires its players to use mouth guards.

The American Dental Association also recommends people to use mouth guards who are into surfing, skiing, skateboarding, acrobatics, skydiving, volleyball, martial arts, weightlifting and other activities that has a high potential for physical contacts.

You can also try talking to your dentist or orthodontist for a more professional advice when it comes to choosing a mouthguard. Your dentist should be able to help you in choosing a mouthguard that will provide you the best protection for your teeth.

Benefits of Using a Mouthguard

Mouth guard serves as an important precaution for all athletes regardless of their age and abilities. It helps in protecting an athlete from a potential broken tooth, tooth loss or bone damage. They can also protect you from serious injuries such as cerebral hemorrhage, concussion, jaw fracture and neck injuries.

You need to be smart in choosing your mouth guard. Not all mouth guards are the same. They vary according to the level of comfort and protection they can provide as well with their price.

Tips for Buying Running Shoes

Tips for Buying Running Shoes

Here’s what you have to look for in the right pair of running shoes you are going to buy:

Heel

The shoes should fit snugly in your heels. To know that the shoes will fit snugly into your heels, wear it first without lacing up and see if you can slide your feet out. There might be some heel movement but it will not be a problem once you are going to run. You have to make sure that the shoes will feet comfortably in your heels because any uncomfortable feeling will be amplified once you start running with it.

Instep

The shoe should fit snugly and feel secure in your instep. You need figure out if the shoe you are testing feels tight. If the shoe feels tight for you, try using a different method of lacing it up to remove its tightness before you consider testing another shoe.

Width

A good running shoe will allow you to move your foot side-to-side without having to cross over the edge of the inside sole of the shoe. Try another shoe, if the one you’re testing on makes you feel that your little toe is already sitting on the edge of the shoe or if you feel uncomfortable with your toes while wearing the shoe.

Length

You have to make sure that the shoe will have enough space at the end of the shoe to avoid feet swell. Foot swelling usually happens when you are wearing a very tight shoe especially if you went for a long run. A good running shoe will give you enough space to wiggle your toes up and down.

Flex

You should also test the flexibility of a running shoe. To do this, just hold the heel and press its tip into the floor. A good running shoe should bend easily and crease accordingly to your foot flexes. Running shoes that doesn’t have an aligned flex point may result to plantar fasciitis or arch pain. Also, a running shoe without enough flexibility can result to an Achilles-tendon or calf strain.

Feel

Last, but not the least, is to identify the feel of a running shoe. You need to figure out if the shoe is capable of matching with the contours and movements of your feet. To do this, you need to test it out by doing a quick jog. You will only know what you feel about the shoes once you try it out.

Different Types of Shoes for Runners

Whether you are an Olympic athlete or just a regular jogger, happy feet can make all the difference. For runners, selecting the right running shoes is extremely important; you’re going to spend most of your time in them, so you want something you really like and that fits you best. In addition to a comfortable ride, shoes can play a major role in keeping you running strong.

Here are different types of shoes for different types of runner’s feet.

  • Neutral shoes: They can work for mild pronators, but are best for neutral
    runners or people who supinate. Shoes provide some shock absorption and some medial (arch-side) support.
  • Stability shoes: Great for runners who exhibit mild to moderate over pronation. They often include a firm “post” to support the arch side of each midsole, an area exceedingly impacted by over pronation.
  • Motion control shoes: Best for runners who have moderate to severe over pronation, they offer features such as stiffer heels or a design built on straighter lasts to counter over pronation.
  • Barefoot shoes: Soles offer the bare minimum in protection from potential threats on the ground. Many have no cushion in the heel pad and a very thin layer. All barefoot shoes have a “zero drop” from heel to toe. (“Drop” is the difference between the height of the heel and the height of the toe.)
  • Minimalist shoes: These feature extremely lightweight construction, little to no arch support and a heel drop of about 4–8mm to encourage a natural running motion and a mid foot strike, yet still offer cushioning and flex. Minimalist shoes should last you around 300 to 400 miles.