Jul 04

Staying Safe While Sailing or Boating

Staying Safe While Sailing or BoatingSailing and boating in the US is an unregulated activity, so anyone can basically enjoy it. Most states don’t have strict rules that require safety courses or even license to do sailing or boating. In fact, many avid boaters and sailors have learned the hobby from friends or just by themselves – and many amateur sailors are unaware of the risks at sea.

It comes not a surprise that there are many people who are hurt or die in boating and sailing incidents every year. In many of these incidents, the mishap could well have been prevented with proper training, a little foresight and preparation.

Here let’s take a look at the essential things to remember to stay safe while on the water.

  • Firstly, know your boat’s capacity. What is the maximum number of passengers and cargo weight can it carry? Never exceed your boat’s capacity or you’ll run risk of capsizing.
  • Know how to operate your boat. If it is your first time, it may be best to have an experienced boater with you through the trip and avoid distant travels.
  • Be sure to know the laws about Personal Flotation Devices (PFD). As soon as you (or any passenger) steps on the boat, make sure to wear PFD. Aside from PFDs, equip your boat with throwable devices that you can use should someone accidentally falls to the water.
  • Equip your boat with other safety equipment such as navigation lights, fire extinguisher, sound signaling and visual distress equipment, and communication gadgets. You can get them from a reliable boat supplies or safety shop. If you can’t find one, you might want to consider using alternative, maybe a good doorbell can be used as a sound signaling device (there are some nice doorbell reviews you can find at http://doorbellbase.com) or a powerful fog light for visual distress signaling.
  • Check your boat regularly. Just like your car or any vehicle, your boat needs periodic inspections and maintenance to keep it running in perfect condition. For instance, you may need to change the engine oil or repair the rudder. Before heading out, always be sure to check the condition of the boat.
  • Always check the local conditions, the weather and the forecast. There are many reliable sources of weather and conditions; some you can access right at your smart phone. Take note of any possible weather changes that can happen while you are on the water.
  • Know the water hazards in the area where you would sail. Chartplotters often show hazard – make sure to read them especially if it is your first time in the area.
  • Make a float plan (or simply an itinerary of your trip) and leave it to someone you trust. It would alarm them in case you’re overdue and can’t be reached. Many sailors have been saved from being stranded on the sea after someone reported they’re unexpected delay.
  • Orient new crew or guests about the boat and any emergency plans in place. This would avoid unnecessary panic in case of unexpected mishaps.
  • Develop your own checklist that you deem appropriate for your boat. Sailors and boaters would benefit much from having a pre-departure check, much like a preflight check that a pilot does.

Sailing and boating is exciting and fun, but never forget to stay safe on the water! I hope these tidbits help make your next sailing trip fun and safe!

Jan 09

Punching Your Way to A Stronger Upper Body

Punching Your Way to A Stronger Upper BodyAs an avid moth sailor, one of the most important physical aspects I need to develop is my upper body strength. I have to admit, I haven’t been doing my homework when it comes to strengthening my upper body. So recently, I looked around for some possible workouts to help me chisel my muscles. And I discovered boxing!

I may have seen (and even wrote about) different workouts and exercise routines for the upper body, I find boxing quite unique. It is not monotonous as the all-too-usual bodybuilding routines and common weight training programs. With boxing, you get to interact with different boxers. It is a high-intensity workout that will not just pump up your muscles but also develop strength, balance, confidence and endurance (a shot at world title isn’t bad either).

Boxing workouts cover almost all muscle groups in the body but focuses on your upper body, particularly the mid-section, torso and upper extremities. Take note that these gloves alone (you can see more of these gloves at http://boxingglovesland.com/) weigh around 20 ounces.

The weight may sound negligible, but just after a good 5-minute round of keeping your arms up, you’ll feel the weight bear down. This counterweight increases the upper body’s exertion which means more action for the muscles. In addition, you also need to beef up your upper body through push-ups, weight lifting and other routines. The mid-section is an important part for the boxer, so you will likely need to do sit ups (of varying difficulties).

Aside from developing your upper-body, boxing cross-training also includes the ability to improve agility, flexibility and overall condition through basic boxing routines, such as sprint training, medicine ball drills and jump roping. As you become more immersed into boxing, you would want to develop new skills.

The entire boxing training is way more motivational and fun than the dull and often boring weightlifting on free weights or machines. And since it is more fun, you are more inclined to follow it and stick to the training program.

What I find great about boxing is that anyone can try and learn it easily. I am totally an outsider in the world of boxing but with just a couple of training sessions, I think I already get the groove. It’s easy to follow the routines and techniques; you won’t feel lost or awkward. Another positive aspect about boxing is that it requires only very few supplies: a pair of gloves, wraps, jumping rope and a pair of shoes. These are all that you need to get started with boxing training. Of course, if you want to try your boxing skills, you would have to get to a gym and find a sparring partner.

I’ve read that a 6-week program is enough to give you the basic boxing skills and techniques, as well as the chiseled upper body. It’s a very interesting sport to learn!

Jan 08

Why Mixed Martial Arts is So Popular These Days?

Why Mixed Martial Arts is So Popular These Days?Since Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) was launched in 1993, mixed martial arts have become the new trend in the fitness world. Mixed martial arts combine the techniques of boxing, Thai Kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Jeet Kune Do. More and more individuals, male and female alike, are now enrolling in different mixed martial arts training camps and clubs. And there are many reasons why many get easily hooked to this sport. The action, the adrenaline, the excitement, and the health benefits are just some of the many good things you get from training mixed martial arts.

And like any other sports, martial arts have its own set of rules, discipline, restraint and regulations. For instance, you may need to wear a certain fighting suit (such as a fighting bjj gi reviewed in this site) during a bout.

While it may appear that the sport will teach you to fight, it actually does not. Once the other fighter is done for, the bout is done and you don’t have to continue pounding on your opponent. It’s a sport guided by rules and not intended to teach you how to harm others. That said, let’s see what other people love about mix martial arts training.

  1. Builds confidence. By knowing how to fight, you feel a little more relaxed, calmer and freer. You are confident that you can defend yourself or a loved one in case there is a threat.
  2. Teaches discipline. As a sport, MMA entails a lot of discipline both of the body and mind. It also trains you to live a healthier life such as through sleeping and eating right.
  3. Excellent physical workout. A good 3-5 minute rounds of grappling or sparring is already a great cardio workout.
  4. Promotes self-defense. While you don’t ever want to use your MMA skills outside the cage, it would help to know the basic skills so you’ll be ready to defend yourself against possible attackers.
  5. Expression of inner feelings. Many people need an outlet for all the kept emotions and frustrations. With MMA, you can let go of your inner yearnings through physical expression. It is a legal way of releasing your aggression (but of course you have to put restraint to avoid overly hurting the other fighter).
  6. Teaches competition. In MMA, you are taught to strive well to achieve success at the same to be humble to accept defeat. Mixed martial arts will bring that winning spirit and drive which you will definitely find helpful in other aspects of your life.
  7. Stress reliever. After an hour of MMA training, you’ll likely forget about your worries and stress. It is a perfect means of releasing all the stressors in your life.
  8. Rather inexpensive and worthwhile hobby. Unlike other hobbies, MMA trainings will not normally cost you a huge sum. You may need to pay registration, membership and training fees, some gears and supplies, but considering the many health benefits of MMA, you will certainly find all these expenses worthwhile!
Nov 28

My Favorite Moth Sailing Destination

Last weekend I travelled to one of my favorite moth sailing destinations – Hayling Island Beach. Not many people actually go sailing in this part of the ocean on ordinary days, although it usually hosts many moth sailing events throughout the year.

There are a lot of reasons why I find this spot the best. For one, it is the most accessible from my place. The beach is just a couple of hours away from my home. This comes in handy especially if I want to spend short weekend retreats. I could simply hop on my truck and drive to the resort when I want to.

The road leading to the resort is well-paved. While driving, you can bask on the fresh sea breeze at the same time let your eyes enjoy the lush scenery. You can take your truck directly to the beachfront but there are designated parking spaces, especially if you want to stay much longer. On certain occasions, the beach swells with people. There are a many happenings that have been staged on the beach. On one of my moth sailing trips, there was a beach volleyball event; the following week, a concert. Usually, these are rare occasions and have always found them a pleasant surprise. They simply make the place much livelier.

I’ve seen countless beachfronts but I could personally say that this place has one of the most stunning views of the great Hayling Beach. At sunset, one can enjoy the panoramic view of the sea, complete with a silhouette from tall palm trees. It’s as if the palm trees have been meticulously trimmed, perhaps with a pole saw like the ones reviewed at PoleSawReport.com, to enable you to capture picture-perfect stills.

The place seems to be enveloped by the vastness of the seas. The soothing gush of water, the fresh sea breeze and the calming waves make the resort a personal favorite. Trust me, for someone who loves the ocean, I know you’ll love this place too.

But more than the scenic view and other features of this resort, the things that has drawn me back to this place for countless times are the memories I have with this place. It is here where I first learned sailing with my dad. Summer sailing excursions with my dad were among the happiest days in my life. He did not only teach me how to sail but also the love of the ocean. I remember riding my dad’s sail. It was just an ordinary sailboat but with some really colorful sail. He wasn’t really into speed or action instead he just wanted to leisurely cruise the seas. He loved the feeling of freedom that sailing offers. And this is one thing I’ve learned to too from him.

Looking back, I could say I’ve learned a lot of values in life in this picturesque beach. This strong personal connection makes me crave for moth sailing at Hayling Island even more!

Nov 16

The Many Benefits of Fishing

The Many Benefits of FishingWho doesn’t love the ocean? The cool breeze, the fresh air, the calming wave, the warm sun, the soothing sound of water – there’s just so many things to love about the ocean. And it’s not surprising why I find moth sailing the best adventure ever!

But recently, I discovered another adventure the ocean has to offer – fishing. While I may have spent countless days afloat, I haven’t really tried fishing in the open sea. And I actually find it the most rewarding feeling ever. Hooking and eating your own catch at sea, what could be more satisfying than that?

Having been a sea-lover for years, I wonder why I discovered fishing just now. Had my friend not given me his old saltwater spinning reel, I wouldn’t have found the satisfaction of fishing. I was really excited with my first saltwater fishing escapade and prepared for it well. I even read about the best saltwater spinning reel from this site. I find reading tips about basic fishing tools and techniques definitely helpful. I guess the day wouldn’t be as fun (or it could even be dreadful) if I didn’t do some reading.

After a full day of fishing, I’ve realized some benefits you can get with fishing:

  1. Stress relief

Being afloat in the vast seas gives you a sense of freedom. It allows you to detach from your worries and releases you from the highly stressful, everyday routine. Fishing also enables you to interact with nature which brings on a sense of life.

  1. Health benefits

Being active and being outside will help you stay fit and also encourages a healthy lifestyle. Burning 102 calories per hour during fishing is not bad, right? Also, fishing will usually entail swimming, sailing and walking. You get to burn additional calories with these side activities. Best of all, you get to eat fresh, low cholesterol fish which is good for your health.

  1. Recreation

Having no catch after a bad day of fishing is still better than watching TV or browsing through the net. Perhaps, the most common reason why people love fishing is that it is fun!

  1. Socialization

Along the way you get to meet and learn from a lot of people. On my first fishing trip, I met a guy (an old-time fisher) and had a nice chat about fishing and life as well. He reminded me of some nice practical and inspiring lessons that I must have long forgotten. You can also tag along your family and friends as fishing gives you plenty of opportunity to strengthen social bonds and relationships.

  1. Self satisfaction

The Many Benefits of FishingAfter spending hours waiting for a fish, finally I got one.  My first real catch gave me a thrilling and satisfying feeling. The spinning reel I used was the same as the one I read about at SpinningReelPro.com. It was a good day for fishing as I got a few more before I finally retired for the day.

If you haven’t tried fishing, you better try it! It’s a great lifetime skill and activity that is beneficial for you!

Nov 15

Shoot the Best Videos of Your Sailing Adventures

Shoot the Best Videos of Your Sailing Adventures The days of shaky, unedited vacation videos recorded with handheld videocams are over. With mobile devices now equipped with powerful video technologies, anyone can take videos, edit them and publish them instantly. For vacation-lovers, like myself, these gadgets are boon. They come in handy, allowing you to capture the moments anytime you want.

But if there’s one gadget that I consider the best for shooting my moth sailing adventures, it’s definitely a quadcopter. It was just by accident that I read some nice reviews about quadcopters from this website: QuadcopterGuru.com. I admit, I am not really into vacation videos but the amazing aerial shots from the quadcopter are definitely inspiring! After my first drone video, I instantly fell in love with it.

Drones allow high-resolution videos from an aerial perspective. It lets you capture the surroundings as well as the action. This is perfect for fast-paced sports and adventures, moth sailing included. Of course, if you are the one sailing, you have to bring someone to operate the drone.

While flying quadcopters are not really illegal, some people just are so negative when it comes to drones; often thinking that these RC aircrafts invade their privacy. To avoid run-ins with anyone else (and probably legal nuances), it is best to know the basic rules for flying quadcopters:

  1. Never fly beyond your line of site or at dark. (Even if the drone is equipped with lighting and a camera.)
  2. Don’t fly the aircraft more than 400 ft.
  3. Avoid operating a drone in highly populated areas.
  4. Never fly near airports, churches, parks, schools, hospitals, government facilities, and any kind of utilities such as water treatment facilities or power stations.
  5. Know the local regulations in your area about drone flying (such as if you need to register the drone or if you need local permit.)

Follow these rules and you should be free from any liabilities. As more and more people realize the excitement of using drones, the laws and regulations might change. It’s best to stay updated by checking with your local authorities. Usually, vacationers will not find such problems especially that majority of open areas don’t have flying restrictions. If you are new in a certain state or area, it is best to ask permission from local authorities. Flying drones is fun but you have to take rules seriously, lest you run afoul of the law and face felony charges.

If you are just starting out with drone-flying, a good model to practice with is the WLToys V262 quadcopter. Find out more about this inexpensive quadcopter by clicking this link. Start flying your drone now and capture the best videos of your adventures!

Sep 21

Dress for the Crash, Not the Ride

Dress for the Crash Not the RideI love riding my bike, but one thing I’ve noticed is that a lot of people just don’t wear a helmet. So here’s a little guide for buying them and a reminder to always wear them!

When you’re shopping for a motorcycle helmet, it’s tempting to let vanity kick in and put things like fashion and appearance over safety. Resist the urge: as Chris Sackett, vice-president of Bell Helmets, told the London Telegraph, “Dress for the crash, not the ride.”

He’s absolutely right. The brain is the most intricate yet fragile organ in your body, so it’s imperative that you protect it with the same diligence that you safeguard the other precious things in your life. In this instance, that means investing in a well-fitting motorcycle helmet that meets all safety standards.

I personally recommend full-face helmets, because when you’re out on the road with the wind blowing rocks and other airborne debris into your face, the more coverage the better. Some people I know hate that idea: they want to feel the wind blowing against them as they race along the road. But like Sackett pointed out, you need to dress for a worst-case scenario, not a pleasure trip. The last thing you need is a pebble in the eye when you’re navigating a hairpin curve.

Once you find a well-built helmet that you like, try it on. Perfect fit is the next criteria that needs to be met. Even the best-designed helmet the industry has to offer is useless if it comes off your head during a crash. The secret to finding a great motorcycle helmet is selecting the one that fits your head the best and looking at a helmet review page like http://www.motorcyclistlife.com/ – my personal favorite.

Another thing you want to consider is color. During the day, you may turn heads in a sleek black helmet that matches your dark motorcycle and leather gear, but you won’t be as visible at night. That’s something you need to be concerned about, as a lot of accidents are caused by drivers emerging from side streets without seeing oncoming motorcycles. I’m not suggesting that you force yourself to go with a bright orange or yellow helmet, but choose something with enough contrast to allow drivers to see you.

Once the choices have been narrowed down to safe, well-fitting helmets that are visible from a distance, there are still a few things to consider. Do you experience a lot of wet, humid days where you live? If so, you want to prevent your visor from steaming up. If your helmet of choice doesn’t come with an on-board anti-fogging system, it’s worth investing in one.

Ventilation is another consideration. When you’re driving in hot weather, you want to be able to keep cool. The type of bike you drive also makes a difference: with most touring bikes, the driver sits upright, so a specially designed touring helmet is the best choice. If yours is a sport-touring bike, you’re in the three-quarter position while you drive, so a dual-sport or race helmet is the way to go.

A motorcycle helmet is an important choice, but it’s also a personal one, because you’re the one who will be wearing it. The more informed you are when you make your purchase, the happier -and safer- you’ll be.

Aug 17

Fitness While Sailing

Fitness While SailingFitness is something everyone needs even to perform our routine tasks and not just for activities that need more exertion such as sports, hiking, trekking, bungee jumping etc. The difference lies in the level of fitness you need. While you need considerable level of fitness for strenuous activities, routine tasks need not require a high fitness level.

Although I know that moth sailing needs considerable skill and fitness levels, fitness in sailing generally is looked on in different ways. In my opinion normal sailing fitness is where you are able to do whatever things you do on a boat. If it is a sailboat, you need to have sufficient fitness level to handle the sails and manoeuvre the boat. But if it is a boat race, the fitness levels required are entirely different.

Fitness tips

To have a smooth sailing experience barring light wind conditions, you need endurance, flexibility, agility and strength. This will make it easier to do upwind sailing and in case of a race do hiking, gybing and tacking easily.

With the effective flexibility, strength, speed and endurance, it is easy to handle the various tasks involved in sailing. With proper fitness, you can arrive at better decisions and also use the appropriate technique effectively.

In whatever sea conditions you are in, when you are fit you will get a sense of wellbeing, which helps you enjoy the sailing more. Just last week I had gone sailing with my wife. She has gone on such trips several times, so knew the drill well. When a few of other fellow moth sailors commented on her skill, she said it was due to her practice and of course, the nice supplements she takes regularly.

When your fitness levels are not good, it affects your focus and you will be drawn to the pain in your body rather than the wind shift. For successful sailing being in good physical condition is must.

You can find many fitness programs that focus on getting you fit for sailing. These help in gaining the right level of fitness you need and also on how to maintain it.

What I say to my friends and relatives who go on their first sailing trip is that any form of exercise is better, when compared to not doing any at all. You need to plan a regular exercise schedule, and know the fitness level you want to reach. You should first try out the things that you enjoy best, so you can see to your fitness levels more effectively. And while you are exercising, make sure you are well hydrated and perform the needed warming up and warming down exercises. A balanced workout goes a long way in keeping your stamina levels high.

As far as moth sailing is concerned, you need to be relatively fit, sail a dinghy confidently and weight below 90 kg. The launching, landing and the main sailing may look overwhelming at the outset, but soon you will be eager to go with the right fitness and practice.

Extreme sports for better mental and physical development

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Extreme sports for better mental and physical developmentMy interest in extreme sports is something that worries my wife endlessly. I often say that if it doesn’t kill you, it is sure to make you stronger. The challenge that extreme sports provides physically has a great impact on your mental stamina.

According to the Journal of Health Psychology, you get stronger mentally. I dug up this information to appease my wife, but got interested in the research myself. According to researchers in Australia activities that involve putting your life at risk such as Base jumping, big wave surfing, waterfall kayaking and of course speeding (according to my wife) in my moth are considered as extreme sports.

In a study done on experienced athletes who involve in such sports it was found that when they overcame intense fear, it led to life changing experience that brings about better self-awareness and confidence.

In other words, when you overcome the physical terror it leads to psychological wellbeing and life fulfillment. Actually, fear is because of your lack of trust in your ability and yourself. When you are able to quell that fear you prove to yourself how much capable you really are. This has some great and positive implications in your life both in the present and in future, according to Psychologists attending the Queensland University of Technology.

While extreme sports are definitely good for your mental health, I also spend some time towards boosting my physical health via my regular training sessions with the grappling dummy I got at http://www.grapplingdummyinsider.com/. The consistent physical training, which includes resistance training and cardio, helps me to be in fit shape to get involved in the extreme sports.

If you are wondering whether you need to practice bungee jumping to get the benefits, rest assured there are much easier ways to accomplish the feat. According to studies activities that scare the life out of you like starting a new venture or quitting your well paid job or just signing up for a newsletter has the same benefits as taking up extreme sports. The single advice to keep in mind however is that you need to be well prepared before you jump into the task, so you are prepared mentally and physically.

While organized sports are preferred by some athletes, others like the freedom that extreme sports offer.  Further, there are advantages you need to consider, such as, the camaraderie you develop with fellow extreme athletes. You can find many extreme athletes belonging to some group or club.

Getting involved in the sport with a friend makes it easier to learn the maneuvers and tricks. And another benefit of such adventurous activities is that you get to maintain your physical fitness while you enjoy the sport. The regular practice needed to perform the extreme sports helps you keep your muscles in top condition and lose excess weight.

Aerial jumps you do while riding a BMX strengthens your triceps and biceps. And snowboarding down a slope boosts the lower leg and quadriceps muscles. One big drawback of extreme sports is the high risk of injury you face. Even a slight misstep can land you in grave danger.

Apr 01

How to keep moving forward when life beats you

How-to-keep-moving-forward-when-life-beats-youIf you know me personally, or have read about me earlier, you will know that I have successfully fought depression and moved on in life. I can either spoil another day by not doing anything useful or enjoy even the bad moments of life. The choice is completely personal.

You may feel that I have recently faced depression. That’s not true. I have battled through the tough moments of life from a very young age. I often struggle with physical exhaustion, low morale and lack of motivation, but does bothering about it help me in any way? No.

Therefore, I have devised a plan of moving on with life as it comes. I have learnt to accept the failures and stop complaining about it.

Accept the hard realities

If you get everything easily, you will never know what the real hardships of life are. You must learn to accept and enjoy the small achievements and feel proud about yourself. Do not think about the negative thoughts and keep trying to move forward. Carry out the small tasks with complete dedication and you shall never fail.

Never Regret

Life can be cruel sometimes. You may encounter an unexpected event in your life. Do not care about how much hurt you feel at that moment, find the power to motivate yourself to keep moving forward.   People usually make mistakes in their lives. The consequences may be hard to accept. But, you must let go of the past experiences. Forgive yourself for those mistakes and move on.

Take full responsibility

You are totally responsible for the type of life you are leading presently, be it your career, relationships or your moments of happiness. Everything is under your control. Sometimes you choose to ignore the hard times as it causes less pain. Listen to your conscience and inner wisdom to be aware whether you acted like a coward or not. If you choose to agree with your inner voice, move on in life.

Boxing

I hit a punching bag when I am angry or undergoing stress. You can even use a pillow to vent out the frustration. You may also combine boxing and expressing your thoughts by penning them down on a paper to reduce stress. It is a better option than engaging in a fist fight with somebody.

Survival trip

In this fast-paced lifestyle, you are prone to developing health disorders due to stress. You must take short breaks from the busy schedules and spend time with the natural resources for a healthy life. Connecting with nature reduces the risk of illnesses and you experience a speedy recovery.

Smelling a flower, experience fresh morning air, listening to stream of water flowing on the rocks and chirping of birds are some of the moments that help you forget the stress caused by the daily chores. You must go for short weekend trips with your friends or family members to a forest or a wildlife sanctuary to experience nature. Even hiking or mountaineering is a relaxing option.