Sportsmith Blog
23Jun/110

Gymnastic Rings

When one envisions the classic Olympic sport of gymnastics, they generally think of the traditional equipment. The pommel horse, the uneven bars, and of course, the rings. The rings when used in Olympic events are some of the most physically challenging routines in the whole of gymnastics, but the rings aren't just for performing mind-boggling feats of strength on. They're also great for getting in a challenging, unique workout, and can be used by anybody, not just perfectly honed Olympians.

When used as an exercise device, the rings allow for "bodyweight training", which has become immensely popular as of late, as it requires little floor space to use, and requires little in the way of equipment. Just the rings and straps and a place to hang them is all you need. The military has especially taken interest in these types of exercises for it's troops, as the equipment is extremely portable, and they can exercise and stay fit even when deployed to remote locations, where they wouldn't have access to traditional weights and other equipment.

To use the rings, you simply need to hang them from a sturdy surface. Then, you can do a variety of exercises, including push-ups and pull-ups. The "wobbly" nature of the rings forces you to constantly try and maintain your balance, not unlike a balance board, but instead of maintaining full-body balance, the rings force you to keep balance with specific parts of your body, which isolate certain muscles and give you a workout literally like no other available. Imagine doing a push-up, but the surface your hands are on is continually shifting and moving. You're going to have to keep in constant motion yourself to keep your balance, and this will exercise muscles that rarely get used, giving your body a stronger core and building incredible muscle tone and mass quickly and effeciently. Ring exercises are also a known way to overcome "plateaus", which is when your body reaches a level of fitness where it's difficult to achieve any higher progress. The rings force you to make movements that you've never had to before, and will overcome these plateaus.

SPORTSMITH currently carries two different types of exercise rings. The first is the EFX Gymnastic Rings. These are sold in pairs, and come with everything you need to begin exercising right away. They're light, portable, and have 3 different grip surfaces for different types of exercise. You can hang them just about anywhere,  making them ideal for an apartment, or for places not suited for lots of exercise equipment. The second type we sell are the Wright Gymnastic Rings. These rings come with an extra long attachment strap (18 feet long, to be exact), and are made of a high-impact polycarbonate material that is super strong, yet lightweight. SPORTSMITH is proud to carry these exercise rings, and provide our customers with yet another option in their never-ending quest for fitness and strength!
How to install Gymnastic Rings, click here.

18Jun/110

5 Must Have Workout Products for the Home

Working out at home is becoming one of the most common ways people go about getting into shape and loosing weight.  The are many advantages to working out at home, for instance, its comfortable, private, and everything is yours.  One of the keys to having a good, successful workout is the type of products you are using to work out.  Also, depending on what area of your body you are targeting, you want to make sure that you have exactly what you need in order to get the job done.

Listed below are five MUST have home workout tools.  How you use them and when you use them are completely up to you, but in order to get a successful and rewarding workout you will need these items, at least.

Exercise balls, also known as stability balls, are used for many different workouts and exercises.  Those include aerobics, balance, flexibility, strength rehab, stability, and toning.  All of these exercising come down to core training and with the many different types of exercise balls, such as medicine balls and weighted balls, you will be sure to get in a good core workout.

Resistance bands can be used as a substitute for all kinds of expensive home gym machines.  These bands come in all shapes and sizes and go by many different names including stretch bands and resistance cords.  You can work on all different muscles groups from your upper body to your lower body.  Another object that these resistance bands substitute for are pull up bars.  All though you cannot actually lift yourself off of the ground with these bands, you can simulate the exact same back and chest workout that you would get from a pull up bar.

Weights are a must have.  Whether you have them in the form of kettle bells or dumbbells, they are a requirement for upper and lower body success.  Although the kettle balls allow for swinging moves that you cannot easily do with regular dumbbells, they both come in all shapes, colors, and sizes.  Find a set that fits you, because having your own set will allow you to make progress weekly or daily depending on how often you work out.

Plyometric boxes are key for the success of an awesome leg or lower body workout.  Simple routines that are performed by using these boxes or steps prove amazing results.  Plyometrics steps and boxes come in different heights for different people.  It is about challenging yourself to the burning repetition of a leg workout and looking forward to the end reward.

Finally, everyone needs a little cardio love.  Whether you prefer a treadmill or an elliptical, you need to get your cardio workout in no matter what.  Both machines are commonly used and it is more a personal preference.  Regardless, they can be used for a therapeutic workout, a warm up, or a cool down.

Remember, these are only five of many different workout products.  These are simple and will get the job done especially for being at home.  They also won’t cost you an arm and a leg like many of the big home gym machines out there.

By possessing these must have products, you can significantly get into shape and loosing weight and bettering your health is what it is all about.  Bettering your health not only includes medical conditions, such as blood pressure and metabolism, but also personal conditions such as getting rid of acne and improving your physical appearance.  Whatever the reason may be, having these five workout products can improve you health tremendously.

16Jun/110

Fitness Equipment Repair Forum

Sportsmith now has a new online forum! That's right, the standard for posting your thoughts, ideas, and opinions is now one of the many online options that SPORTSMITH gives you. Powered by vbulletin, one of the largest hosts of forums on the whole of the web, our forums are a place where our customers and clients can gather and express themselves! Though the forums have just recently gotten up and running, there are already plenty of informative threads available for you to peruse. We have a full moderator and admin staff to help you with anything you might need, as well. We plan on writing many new threads to keep you informed of new happenings at SPORTSMITH, as well as to inform you on various technical matters concerning your exercise equipment. Head on over to forums.sportsmith.net to register your account and get posting today!

Sportsmith supports community and the forum is a place where anyone can come share their information about the fitness industry. This is a great place to ask questions and share your thoughts.

14Jun/111

Dehydration The Sign and Symptoms

Considering the human body is made up roughly of 70% water, drinking fluids on an ongoing basis is necessary for maintaining bodily functions and preventing dehydration symptoms.  Reality is, most people do not drink enough water throughout the day.  Although the amount needed is dependent on body weight, general rule of thumb is to drink at least eight glasses of water daily.

Dehydration occurs when more water is lost from the body than is taken in.  Water is lost routinely each day through the processes of breathing, sweating, urination, and elimination. While water is found mostly in body cells, the rest is distributed in blood vessels and in spaces between the cells.

Water balance in the body is so critical and so well-regulated that if water is lost from blood vessels, this loss is automatically replaced by moving water from cells into blood vessels. Signs and symptoms of dehydration occur quickly if this loss of water is not replenished. The first recognizable sign is thirst; the body is getting dry and needs a drink of water.

Causes of Dehydration:

Sweat - People lose water through sweating; exercising intensely; or fever due to an infection.  A person can lose a pound of water just by taking a brisk walk on a hot day. It is important this loss be replaced as quickly as possible.

The Elderly - Older people are quite vulnerable during heat waves, as they tend to thirst more slowly and are less likely to recognize signs of dehydration. In the Chicago Heat Wave of 1995, approximately 600 people died in their homes from heat exposure.

Illness - When illness strikes and people are dealing with vomiting or diarrhea, a great deal of water is lost from the body.  It is difficult to hold down fluids with bouts of vomiting.  As for diarrhea, 4 million children die each year, worldwide, from effects of dehydration.

Diabetes - For people who are diabetic, when blood sugar levels are high, sugar tends to draw water, making its exit through the process of urination. Therefore, having diabetes often involves frequent thirst and frequent urination, making it easier to become dehydrated.

Extreme Fluid Loss - This can come about through conditions of cholera (from contaminated water/food), resulting in vomiting/diarrhea and consequent dehydration. Bulimia (purging) can cause dehydration, as well as the excessive use of diuretics (water pills), along with a low-salt diet.  Stomach flu lasting 36 hours can also cause extreme water loss.

Signs and Symptoms of Dehydration:

Initial signs of dehydration are thirst and a decreased output of urine.  At this stage, urine becomes more concentrated and is yellow in color.  In addition, a person can experience dry mouth; weakness or fatigue; dry skin or flushing; head rushes or chills.

A 5% fluid loss can result in symptoms of:

*Increased heart rate/respiration/body temperature

*Decreased sweating/urination

*Extreme fatigue/headache

*Nausea

*Muscle cramps or tingling in the limbs

 

A 10% fluid loss constitutes severe dehydration and requires immediate medical attention. Symptoms associated with severe dehydration are:

*Pale, cool, clammy skin or shriveled skin

*Difficulty breathing, racing pulse

*Chest and abdominal pain, muscle spasms

*Low blood pressure, loss of valuable electrolytes

*Seizure, unconsciousness, organ failure, even death (the brain is most vulnerable to dehydration)

Prevention:

The best way to prevent dehydration is to drink consistently throughout the day (eight glasses minimum). An infant is considered well-hydrated if the diaper is wet at every change.

Avoid doing outdoor activities in high temperatures; hold events under shaded areas.  If you must work in a hot environment, hydrate frequently to replenish water loss.

When suffering from vomiting or diarrhea, change one's diet or use medications to control the degree of fluid loss. When recovering from such symptoms, clear fluids are usually recommended for the first 24 hours.  Then one should progress to what is called a BRAT diet, starting with bananas, then rice, apples and toast, in that order.  Add more foods when tolerated.

Imodium can be taken to control diarrhea; acetaminophen or ibuprofen to address fever.

Symptoms of dehydration can differ from person to person, as well as from differing ages.  Children lose more fluids through vomiting and diarrhea than adults, while the elderly are more prone to fluid loss than younger adults.

6Jun/110

Benefits Of Water Aerobics

Many people automatically think that to get proper exercise, they must participate in activities like tennis, running, weightlifting, basketball, or even yoga. However, there is one element of exercise that is ideal for getting in shape – aquatic fitness. Aquatic fitness, such as water aerobics, usually takes place in a shallow swimming pool and can be considered a type of resistance training. There are many benefits to doing aquatic fitness exercises such as the fact that the use of water supports the body and therefore reduces the chance of muscle or joint injury. Also, the alleviation of gravity due to flotation places less stress on the joints when stretching, and can also allow a greater range of motion.

Some other benefits of water aerobics is that because it is done in a shallow pool, and the ability to float is possible, even the elderly can participate without feeling unsafe. Exercising in water is also great if you are prone to overheating, as the water is constantly cooling the body, leaving it impossible to overheat and potentially pass out. Despite what people may think, you do not have to be a strong swimmer in order to join in on aquatic fitness exercises. As long as you can keep yourself afloat and hold your breath underwater, anyone can do these aerobics.

If you are interested in getting involved in different types of water aerobics, check into any local gym facility or swim club. Many people enjoy working out in groups, which is why aquatic fitness has become so popular. You can now get the exercise you always desired, in a way that won’t put unwanted stress on your body, and will keep you in shape for the rest of your life. Check out what water aerobics can do for you and get enrolled in them today!

1Jun/110

Sportsmith Digital Catalog 62

Sportsmith is proud to announce that our Catalog 62 is now available in digital format. Interactive Catalog 62 is one of many in the new online digital format to better serve our customers and take advantage of the growing trend towards digital and online service.  Features include:

  • Shop the catalog anywhere, anytime.
  • View instructional videos.
  • One click access to parts and products.
  • Share easily
  • Eco-friendly

Our digital catalog comes in high-quality Flash format, and you will need Adobe Flash Player 10, which is available for free here. It is incredibly easy to navigate pages and zoom into areas that interest you. It also features a handy search function, so you can go directly to the pages you want with a simple click of the mouse.

Sportsmith is proud to bring our customers the easiest and most convenient ways to place orders with us. One more way to better communicate with the industry we serve. We’re preparing all sorts of new and exciting ways to make your shopping and ordering easier in the near future as well!

To view the digital version of Catalog 62, click here.