How to clean a down comforter at home?

After being used for a long time, your down comforter needs to be cleaned.

clean-down-comforterYou know? Choosing a best down comforter is not much more difficult than trying to clean it at home because if you do not how to wash it, the down comforter will be lumpy. Besides, it is usually become much heavier when it gets wet, which make a real nuisance for the washing machine to handle the weight. A wet down comforter can kill the washer on the spin cycle. And even in some cases, a king size one does not fit in the washer at all.

For those who want to save money that should have been spent on Laundromat, here are some worthy information for you to clean the comforter yourself.

There are three main steps of washing a comforter that you must keep in mind:

  • Use large washing machine
  • Wash gently
  • Rinse for two times

Use large washing machine

washing-machineThere is an evident truth that a small washer is not able to hold a big and heavy down comforter. If your washing machine has a huge capacity and a front – loading, it is very perfect to put the comforter inside and do the washing up. On the contrary, if you cannot afford a big washer, you will have no choice but bringing them to the local Laundromats as they have the suitable washer to clean your down comforter.

Thus, the key point here is that the size and capacity of the washing machine must fit with the size and weight of it. Everybody knows that smaller machine will not only lead to the overload, but also prevent the water and detergent from reaching the every part the fabric. Finally, the result is that the fabric is not clean and your washer is broken as well.

To make sure that whether the machine can handle the down comforter, you can check on the manual about the list of comforters it can handle or search in the internet for more information.

Wash gently

When you insert the comforter into the washer, you need to choose a suitable kind of washing – powder. Remember to use warm water while cleaning; the water must not be too cold, but not too hot to avoid doing harm to the down. Besides, try to let the down be soaked on the water absolutely and add some bleach if it is white.

To make sure the best effect, you can dissolve the bleach or the washing – powder into the water before loading the down comforter into the washer. The bigger the item is, the more important this step will be.

Rinse for two times

To be sure that all the bleach and washing – powder has already cleaned out, it is very essential to use the rinse cycle for two times. Before the down comforter moves to the drying step, you can pull it out and squeeze as much water as possible out to do the spin cycle work well. You can take a look at this website to see the best down comforter reviews to get one for your needs.

Exercises by Jim LaFountain

Note: Not all exercises are right for everybody. Check with a doctor before starting any new workout routine. Ask your physical education teacher to go through the moves with you to help you do them correctly.

1. Warm-Up

warm-up

Get Up and Go! for five minutes. Try marching or jogging in place, or try any of the other Get Up and Go! interval options suggested in step 4. You don’t need to work out too quickly. You’re just getting started!

2. Pull Up a Chair and Squat

Chair Squat: Sit up straight in a sturdy chair. Then stand up. To avoid knee discomfort, make sure your kneecaps remain behind your toes. Do 12 chair squats.

3. Lunge Ahead!

lunges

Lunge: Begin with your left foot extended in front of you. Place both hands on your left knee, if needed, for balance. Lower your right knee slowly toward the floor. Make sure your left kneecap doesn’t extend past your toes. Do 12 repetitions. Then reverse your foot position (right foot extended, left foot back), and do 12 more repetitions.

4. Get Up and Go! for three minutes.

A Get Up and Go! interval involves moving your body and getting your heart pumping–that’s what happens when you do cardiovascular exercise.

Walking is a great choice for a Get Up and Go! interval. If you are exercising outdoors, it’s easy to do. If you are working out indoors, you can march in place instead. It’s fun to mix things up too. Try these options:

  • jumping rope
  • doing jumping jacks
  • dancing to your favorite music
  • cycling (indoors or outdoors)
  • stair-climbing (on a machine or just up and down a staircase)

5. Push It Up

Modified Push-Up: Place your hands flat on the floor, shoulder-width apart. Position your knees on the floor. Keeping your back straight and abdominals in, lower yourself toward the floor, and then push yourself up. (in a conventional push-up, your legs would be straight, and your knees would not touch the floor. That will come in time!) Do five to eight repetitions.

6. Crrrrrunch Your Abs

Abdominal Crunch: Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Place your hands with your fingertips touching (not clasped) behind your head. Point your chin up, and slowly raise your upper back off the floor. When you feel your ab muscles working, pause, exhale, and return to the starting position. Slowly do 10 to 15 repetitions.

The program heats up in steps 7-13.

Keep It Going by repeating the circuit.

7. Get Up and Go! for five minutes (See step 4.)

8. Pull Up a Chair and Squat: 12 chair squats

9. Lunge Ahead! 12 lunges on each side

10. Get Up and Go! for three minutes (See step 4.)

11. Push It Up: Five to eight push-ups

12. Crrrrrunch Your Abs: 10 to 15 abdominal crunches

13. Cool Down

Walking or marching in place for five minutes (Slow your pace for the last minute or so.)

Tip for All Squats and Lunges

When you squat or lunge, lower your torso until your thigh is parallel to the floor. That will work the major muscle groups in your lower body.

Strrrretch after your workout

Quadriceps Stretch: Lie on your side as shown. Grab your top ankle and pull your foot in until you feel a stretch. Hold 30 seconds. Change sides and repeat.

Hamstring Stretch: Sit as shown, with your left leg stretched out in front and your right leg bent. Then place your left hand on your lower back and bend forward, aiming to grab your left toes with your right hand. Hold 30 seconds, and change sides.

Upper Body Stretch: Stretch your arms behind your back, clasping your hands together. Pull your hands back and up until you feel a good stretch in your arms and chest.

Total workout time: About 30 minutes

Discuss

  • What are the two main types of exercise in the program? (cardiovascular and resistance)
  • What are the benefits of each type of exercise? (Cardiovascular exercise burns calories and causes the body to release endorphins; resistance exercise burns calories, increases muscle mass, raises resting metabolism, shapes and tones muscles, and reduces the chances of injury.)
  • Why is it important to skip a day between resistance workouts? (The muscles need time to rest.)

Ouch! Cut yourself? Here’s how to bandage those boo-boos

You’re tinkering with the wheel on your skateboard when–argh!–you cut yourself on a sharp piece of metal. You have to act fast to get that cut on the road to healing. Do you know what to do?

cut-yourself

What Kind of Wound?

Everyone’s had annoying paper cuts that sting but go away on their own. Other types of wounds can be more problematic. Lacerations are rough, jagged cuts that sometimes require stitches. Puncture wounds are deep cuts from something pointy, such as a nail.

What to Do

* Clean it up. The first step in first aid is cleaning the broken skin. That reduces the chance of infection. Wash the wound thoroughly with soap and water, getting rid of any dirt or debris.

* Turn up the pressure. Press firmly on the bandaged wound to stop any bleeding. That is called direct pressure, and it usually works. If the area is still bleeding after 15 minutes, you might need medical attention.

* Wrap it up. Covering a cut helps prevent infection. First slather on an antibiotic ointment (such as bacitracin) or petroleum jelly to keep the cut moist. Then center an adhesive bandage or a gauze bandage over the area, making sure that nothing sticks to the damaged skin. If you have no bandages at the ready, wrap the wound in a clean cloth until you can get one. If the bandage becomes wet or dirty, replace it with a new one. Keep the cut covered until the surface has healed.

* Pick the right bandage. Adhesive bandages come in various shapes for small cuts. Sterite gauze pails are for larger cuts and scrapes and can be applied with tape.

Roller bandages cover hard-to-bandage areas, such as elbows. (For directions on how to use a roller bandage, visit www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk and type bandage in the search box.)

Stay on Guard

Be alert for any signs of infection, including failure to heal, swelling, warmth, redness, leaking fluid, or worsening pain. If you have any of those symptoms, see your doctor.

When It’s Serious

Some wounds are too much for you to care for by yourself. If the cut is deeper than a quarter of an inch, is anywhere on the face, or hits bone, seek medical help. Serious wounds may require stitches and a doctor’s care to prevent infection.

What is your best budget family tent?

So you are going to organize a family camping trip for the very first time and still considering which family tent you should choose in order to fit with your family’s budget but also provide the comfort and safety while sheltering in an outdoor adventure. This article will give you’re the guide to spend your money on in the most suitable way.

4 AiR TENT side

1.  The best family tent on a tight budget:

If you do not want to spend much money on an expensive family camping tent or your family occasionally goes camping together, you can look for an entry-level camping tent for the cheapest price. It may not have as many as features than the expensive one, but basically, your family still gets a safety place to sleep at night.

Also, for family that does not have many members, the smaller of the camping tent is the cheaper it will be. However, it does not mean that the large family cannot get a cheap one. You can buy a small tent, and then buy some extra rainflies to make places for your camping gear.

For example, for a family with 4 persons, there is a general rule of thumb that people usually buy a camping for 5 or even 6 persons to have more space for storing the gear. Instead of that, you can buy a 4-person tent for all members and an extra rainfly for the gear. This way is much cheaper and very economical.

2.  The best family tent for those who have a little more money:

family-in-tent

With a more expensive price, this kind of tent is suitable for those families that often organize a camping holiday. Of course, it will have more features than the cheaper one as the increase of the hydrostatic head and the quality for example.

If you are finding a mid-priced family camping tent, a dome tent is not a bad choice. This is the best budget family tent among the best family tents for not only its price but also its protection with the curved dome design as well as its lightweight. Also, this kind is rather easy to set up or take down in about 10 minutes and can stand the windy situation.

3.  The best value family tent:

This is a camping tent that of course has the most features than the rest as well as what you should buy if you have some money to spend on. Especially for the families who usually go camping, it is absolutely worth buying.

Among the best value family camping tent, we cannot forget the name of air-tent.

Choosing this kind, you can expect the durability to be lacking for the product that costs so little. It is famous for not only the price but also its simple structure and the easiness of setting up. You just need to spend a few minutes to raise the tent properly, not take much time the traditional ones.

Freedom From Food

Introduction

images

Binge-eating disorder might not be fully understood, but it can be overcome. People suffering from this condition can benefit from therapy with a mental health specialist and sessions with a registered dietitian or a nutritionist who has expertise in disordered eating. “Binge eaters need to develop an understanding of why they use that behavior to deal with issues,” notes Diekman. Of course, letting go of an attachment to food is easier said than done. An alcoholic can get sober and never touch booze again, but everyone has to eat to stay alive. That’s why people with binge-eating disorder, Diekman says, “need to develop a meal pattern–consistent times, a plan for choices, and a plan that focuses on eating in a normal way.”

It may also be helpful to learn from the experiences of others who’ve been there. Groups such as Overeaters Anonymous (OA) provide a sense of community and support, and they’re open to teens. Sian, 22, a student in Wales, was “devastated” by binge-eating disorder during her high school years, but she finally found help at OA meetings. “I still am surprised sometimes,” she reveals, “when I realize I am not the only one with this thing and it is a disease that affects lots of other people.”

Recovery starts with a will to change. For example, Morgan recognized that she’d “had enough” with being miserable. “I made the decision that I didn’t want to feel that way anymore.”

Learning to live beyond binges is tough but worth it. “I have gotten a freedom from food I never thought I would have,” remarks Sara, who has avoided bingeing for more than two years now. “There is hope.”

Eating Disorder Lingo

Mother's Hand Feeding Food to a Young Girl (13-14) Who Is Making a Face

To understand the differences a eating disorders, you need a handle the terminology.

  1. Anorexia nervosa: a condition marked by self-starvation; severely restricting the diet and feeling extremely anxious about gaining weight, even if underweight
  2. Binge-eating disorder: a condition involving eating a large amount of food in one sitting, past the point of fullness and while feeling out of control
  3. Bulimia nervosa: a condition marked by bingeing followed by behavior to compensate; eating excessive amounts of food and then compensating for it through purging, fasting, or exercising excessively
  4. Fasting: going long periods of time without eating
  5. Loss-of-control eating episode: a condition in which a person feels as though he or she wants to stop eating but can’t: doctors often use this term to describe teens with binge-eating problems

Purging: vomiting or using laxatives to rid the body of food the person has eaten.

Help a friend

It’s sometimes hard to see the signs of binge-eating disorder. People suffering from it usually binge secretly and don’t talk about it. But if you think a friend might be affected, you can definitely help, according to Connie Diekman, a registered dietitian at Washington University in St. Louis.

“People with eating disorders need to know that their family and friends care about them [and] want them to be healthy and happy,” she says. Let your friend know you’re concerned, and promise to be there for him or her. But don’t try to pressure the friend into seeking help, or your well-meaning attempt may backfire. If you’re worried about a friend and not sure what to do, consider asking the advice of a counselor, parent, or other adult you trust.

Just can’t help it: people with binge-eating disorder feel out of control

IT’S NO SECRET: WE ALL EAT too much from time to time. Maybe you’ve polished off a whole bag of snacks in one sitting or had a meal so delicious you not only went back for seconds, but also for thirds and even fourths. Chances are you regretted eating so much, but the next day you forgot about it and returned to your regular eating habits.

But what if you couldn’t stop, day after day? That’s what happens to people who suffer from binge-eating disorder. “I would fantasize about food all the time, hide food, steal food and money, and go on huge binges,” remembers Alan, a 19-year-old day care worker in Dartford, England. “Every time I ate, I felt a sense of shame and guilt. This made me feel worse and then eat again.”

Young woman eating popcorn Image downloaded by tanya corfield at 12:07 on the 04/07/14

The Other Eating Disorder

You’ve probably heard of eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia (see “Eating Disorder Lingo”). But until recently, there hasn’t been much research into binge-eating disorder, which is not currently recognized as a distinct mental illness. (Some researchers instead use the term “loss-of-control eating episodes” for teens, who are still forming their eating habits.) Still, it’s a very real condition that causes real suffering.

binge-eating-disorder

Unlike other eating disorders, binge eating doesn’t stem from an obsession with weight loss. Instead, it features an overwhelming and irresistible desire to eat large amounts of food, usually in secret, without compensating for the calories by purging or exercising more. “I felt so out of control,” says Marci C., * a 20-year-old student from Los Altos, Calif., about her first binge. “It really freaked me out.”

Everyone has a little too much food from time to time, whether it’s a bucket of popcorn at the movies or make-your-own-sundaes at a sleepover. When you go on such a bender, you might feel bad later and regret it. But that doesn’t mean you have binge-eating disorder, which typically involves bingeing at least twice a week for at least six months.

Such was the case for Sara B., 18, a community college student in Florida. There was a time when bingeing ruled her life. Sometimes, she’d polish off a whole box of cereal as a midnight snack or get home from school and eat until she passed out. “It was like I had a craving and I physically had no control over my body,” Sara recalls.

Behind the Binges

Stories like those represent a silent affliction. Recent studies have shown binge-eating disorder to be the country’s most common eating disorder. Among teens, about 4.3 percent of girls and 2.3 percent of boys say they have binged, and rates are higher among teens being treated for obesity. About half of all cases start during the teen years, according to James Hudson, director of the Biological Psychiatry Laboratory at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Mass. “It’s a transition time,” he explains.

That was true for Morgan D., a 27-year-old graphic designer living in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. As a kid, she was always “the last one at the table” because she didn’t want to eat. “Then, as an adolescent,” Morgan notes, “I began to hoard food and binge after school to deal with becoming a woman, getting my period, and social anxiety.”

eating

Not much research has looked at the brains of people with binge-eating disorder. But theories suggest that the mind’s reward centers may be involved. Perhaps those circuits are “disregulated,” says Hudson, and the body sends too many signals linking eating and pleasure.

Scientists think there is a genetic basis for eating disorders, including binge eating. “Portion distortion,” or the misunderstanding of healthy food amounts, may also play a role, according to Cynthia Bulik, who directs the eating disorders program at the University of North Carolina and recently wrote Crave: Why You Binge Eat and How to Stop. Society’s warped ideas of a normal meal amount, such as supersize meals at fast-food restaurants, can persuade people “to eat more than they really are comfortable with.”

There are emotional factors too. Some people, such as Ioanna G., a 27-year-old art history student who had a bingeing problem as a teenager, binge to cope with stress and other uncomfortable feelings. “I used food when I was not hungry to calm me when I was upset or frightened, to forget my real troubles by creating another one, to punish myself when things were not perfect,” Ioanna says.

Dieting can also be a trigger, points out Connie Diekman, director of university nutrition at Washington University in St. Louis. This pattern, she says, shows up as “starving all day, eating too much at night.” Quite a few of the young people who shared their stories with Current Health spoke about periods of dieting to lose the weight from binges, and some even developed other eating disorders.

Bigger Problems

Such overlap isn’t uncommon as people struggle to cope with the weight they’ve gained by bingeing. Sufferers can experience other mental and emotional problems as well, including bipolar disorder, anxiety, and depression. Sara turned to drugs and alcohol to deal with feeling awful about her weight and binges. In fact, she got help for her eating problem–reluctantly–only when she entered treatment for substance abuse.

There are physical consequences to bingeeating disorder too. Because people with the condition eat a lot of extra food, they tend to become overweight or obese. That brings on its own set of potential health risks, including high blood pressure, heart disease, joint issues, diabetes, and cancer. Indeed, doctors told both Sara and Alan that they were threatened by diabetes.

How To Stay Fit And Healthy?

There are studies show that people should practice exercises regularly, even when they are getting older. After passing the age of fifty, various changes in biology feature will happen inside the body. To illustrate, the level of hormones is becoming decrease which results in health profblems such as diabetes and heart attack. Then people will find it hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle and physical performance. Two main features for achieving a perfect health and fitness are eating balanced and practicing a variety of exercises. Therefore, to maintain a perfect health even when you are getting older, keep in mind all the things below. exercising

DOING EXERCISE – THE PERFECT OPTION

There are many reasons why individuals should do exercises regularly. Some people may think that workout at a slow level will also help improving the health. In fact, it doesn’t. The faster you practice, the greater amount of calories you can burn in each minute. • People live longer – one research from Queensland showed that intense exercises give great benefits for people who have achieved the age of 50. In addition, they will both enhance the physical performances and improve the mortality. • Reduce the risk of getting stroke – stroke is one of the most common symptoms among heart disease and cancer. People who are getting older are more likely to get stroke; however, it can happen to everybody, even with small children. For instant, each individual should spend at least 2 hours doing intense workout in order to reduce the chances of getting stroked. exercise-bikes• People look younger – among those expensive lotions and potions, other ways to make people look young are do exercises and be happy. In addition, scientists have discovered that the effective way to reverse the skin’s aging process is doing a variety of exercises. For people who have followed the healthy eating plan and exercising target, their fur will grow longer and hardly to get gray. • People will become happier – in fact, more physical practices will results in excitement and enthusiasm. People who are more active than others also show their friendliness when working in groups. For example, they willing to help each other as much as they can.

MAINTAIN A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE

It does not matter how old you are, try creating the habit of doing exercises regularly. According to Ollie Frost, “Age should not be a limiting factor”. Other benefits from working-out are that it helps strengthen different muscular parts and reduce the risk of taking depression. 1. Do aerobics – there are a lot of aerobic activities that people can add up to their fitness routine include swimming, cycling or running. These workouts should be done at least three times in a week to get the best results. Moreover, women often try other types of practice such as squats, lunges and push-ups. They can not only tone their butt, but also build muscle in different parts of the body. 2. Stretch the body – while aerobic is the main practice during your process, you should include stretching in order to maintain the best results. In addition, practitioners should focus on areas such as hips, calves and the ankles. Remember to keep the process of doing this type lasts for approximately ten minutes. 3. Cycling regularly in the house – In fact, indoor cycling is a high-intensity type of exercise that allows people to burn a great amount of calories. People have more chances to fight against obesity and other health problems. If you are looking for a perfect model of exercising machine, Sunny Health and Fitness Indoor Cycling Bike is one of the best choices. This device can be used for achieving all of your fitness goals in the future. You can read Sunny Health and Fitness Indoor Cycling Bike reviews here http://exercisebikesexpert.com/sunny-health-and-fitness-indoor-cycling-bike/ Among all the things mentioned above, you can find out more on the internet to find out which type of exercise is good for you. Also keep in mind that having a diet healthy plan is very important additionally. Just create a habit of doing exercise today and you will be amazed by perfect results.

How Good can you get? Comparing the DNA toolboxes of two lunch-pail cyclists

Can genes resolve a years-long argument over who sucks more?

cyclists

My buddy Bill and I have probably ridden 10,000 miles together over the years. A few seasons ago, he scored some points in a training series frequented by professional bike racers and Olympians, and has kicked my ass daily since 2002. Still, Bill imagines he’s physically mediocre–devoid of natural talent but full of savvy,1 a self-proclaimed “fast slow guy” who succeeds not because of superior capillaries or oxidated enzymes but through some combination of smart training, crafty road sense and a tolerance for suffering.

I’m a 41-year-old Cat 5, so I’ve done hard time with true mediocrity. I race against juniors who bitch about their math homework before they blow my doors out. When I’m out of shape,2 I get dropped on conversational recovery rides. So the fact that I log 5,000 miles a year–with substandard fast-twitch muscle fibers–and claw my way into good-enough condition to hang on to the wheels of elite cyclists is nothing less than a triumph of the human spirit. Bill’s rhapsodic little dreamworld, in which he’s as inherently average as I am, is an insult to my true overachievement.

That’s why I was eager to swab my cheek for CyGene’s athletic performance panel. I wasn’t holding out hope of uncovering some physical gift tucked away in my DNA. I just wanted scientific evidence that I suck more than Bill.

CyGene says the test would shed light on how our bodies are genetically wired to perform in endurance or power activities. A week later, we went online to examine our personalized genetic profiles, which cover six genes believed to influence athletic performance and the odds for sustaining sports-related injuries.3 It was intriguing to see that Bill and I have a couple of variations. One suggests that Bill might be better suited to endurance than power, and we both learned about some injury issues we might face. But otherwise, the tests indicate nothing remarkable–or remarkably different–about our genes.

I’d bet that these genetic tests are most alluring for youngsters who haven’t yet had a chance to tease out the capabilities hidden within their bodies. If you’re seven years old,4 you might order up the test to see if you’ve been dealt a genetic royal flush of power and endurance (so you can plaster your walls with Lance posters, set up college tours and begin periodization, I presume).

But if you’re like Bill or me, a grown-up moonlighting as a racer, you’d be better off taking a VO2 max or lactate-threshold test to assess the size of your engine and potential. For now, the genetic tests just don’t offer enough detail or accuracy to flesh out a clear picture of your unique physiology. While one touted 2003 study did find that many elite athletes do have specific gene variations,5 more recent research raises questions about whether such simplistic testing can actually identify people with outstanding potential. The science is intriguing–but it’s premature.

That may change in the future. Within a decade, scientists expect to identify hundreds of genes linked to speed, power, endurance and other markers of athleticism. And as new genes become linked to performance, gene-testing companies will fold them into their products–a process that CyGene CEO Martin Munzer equates to a grainy photograph slowly coming into focus. “We’re just skimming the waters of genetic discovery,” says Munzer. In fact, CyGene will store the cells that Bill and I mailed in and update our profiles every time the firm’s physiological toolbox gets a new widget. So I can hold out hope that hard proof of Bill’s superior lactate-clearing infrastructure will emerge in 2013.

Until then, Bill and I will try to settle our feud on the road. Sadly, my fast slow friend is looking a tad doughy6 these days. He’s even getting dropped on climbs he’d normally crush. In other words, he’s looking pretty average. I just hope it doesn’t go to his head.

  1. That’s not all he’s full of
  2. In other words, every spring
  3. At the time, we couldn’t get Atlas Sports Genetics’s test for ACTN3, a.k.a. the “speed gene.” The gene’s RR variation may indicate the ability to produce a protein specific to fast-twitch muscles; an XX pairing inhibits that protein, perhaps creating endurance athletes. Atlas initially sold the test only to kids under nine; now it’s open to all.
  4. Or the obsessive and overbearing parent of a seven-year-old
  5. The research, published in the American Journal of Human Genetics, found that 50 percent of the 107 sprint-oriented athletes have the RR variants, while 25 percent of the 322 endurance athletes are XX. But the relevance of this finding has been called into question by subsequent studies.
  6. As this issue went to press, Bill weighed 171. His normal racing weight is 157. Too much work, too much Chimay.

Why they won’t play the game. (Spectator Sport)

WE work a very mean trick on our athletes. First, we demand that they win things, and then we demand that they behave like normal human beings. The snag is that winning in modern sport is so fantastically difficult that there is very little opportunity for a high achiever to get the hang of concepts like normality.

Competition is more intense than ever. Physical fitness of an almost superhuman level is required: diet, gym, weights, running are the concerns of players in the most sedentary of sports. Tiger Woods has a terrifying fitness regimen, and he is only a golfer.

sport-psychologyAnd then there is the mental side. For a modern athlete, the mind must be just as much a tool of the will as of the body. Sports psychology is a boom industry; everybody who has ever been paid to wear a sports shoe knows about kinaesthetic visualisation.

Success in sport requires commitment of a peculiarly total kind. There is no room for anything else. People used to laugh at Geoffrey Boycott, the England batsman, who put `business’ under `reasons for travel’ on his visa forms. Now the Boycott attitude is the norm.

And they have done it to please us, or at least to satisfy our demands for ever more exciting competition. The more it matters to the participants, the greater the spectacle. And so we dangle the carrots of money and fame, rewarding the great ones with a fortune in lucre and love. Those that seek such greatness enter the life of total sport like turtles heading for the sea.

We really should not complain, then, when athletes at the peak of their profession fail to understand the world they live in. We have insisted that they become unlike normal people. We have made them live like monks — away from the cares of the real world, devoted to their own rites — in order to give us pleasure.

The process works so well that we could be witnessing the beginning of the end of international sport. Top athletes live their protected lives wrapped up in a cocoon of money and handlers and agents. The hardest question they are ever asked is, `How come you’re so great?’

Tiger-wood

And now we are asking them to continue to please us in times of trouble, just as they have done in times of peace. And they don’t get it; they don’t want to put themselves in danger. The world told them that they were special; they merely accept the world’s valuation.

And if they feel they are far too precious to be put at risk, well, it was the world that gave them such unflinching self-regard. And so the Chelsea Six refused to make a 24-hour trip to Tel Aviv, and, as I write, the Fearful Five, the England cricket refuseniks, are still dithering about whether or not to go to India.

No doubt they imagine that Osama bin Laden is sitting there in his bunker reading the back page of the Sun. `So Chelsea play in the Uefa Cup, huh? I’ll give them away goals! And now I see England are to play a Test series in India. Scramble the Spitfires! Nuke the bastards! I hate those slow, flat pitches!’

If you tell a person that the world revolves around him, and reinforce that statement with fame and money, you can hardly blame the poor fellow for believing you. And so, as the world moves deeper into trouble, the athletes retreat –just at the time when the world most urgently requires the cheering banalities of sport.

Boost your sexual energy: three easy moves that will get you in shape and up your pleasure in bed

Research has shown that regular exercise improves your sex life by increasing strength, endurance, and blood flow. Now there’s a fitness regimen specifically designed to boost your libido, enhance your orgasms, and tone and trim your bod. The original Shag Workout was developed by Gymbox, a London gym; our version is a little easier to learn–and just as potent. Do this quick routine once or twice a week and you’ll feel the better-sex benefits in less than a month.

1. Boost Your Flexibility

The technique: The Hot Hips Swivel

hip-swivel

The benefit: Looser hips lead to more-fluid movements in and out of bed, plus heightened erotic awareness.

How to do it: Warm up by walking or jogging in place for two to three minutes, then doing 15 to 20 jumping jacks. Next, stand with your feet apart and your knees slightly bent. Put your hands on your waist. Swivel your hips to the right, front, left, and back, making a smooth counterclockwise circle (fig. 1). Inhale and contract your PC muscles (the ones you squeeze when you do Kegels) as you move your hips forward. Exhale and release as you move them backward. Work those hips! Move in a dozen continuous counterclockwise circles, then reverse direction and do 12 clockwise swivels.

The feedback: “I didn’t realize how much tension I held in that part of my body until I started doing this routine,” says Jennie, 29, a Montclair, NJ, homemaker and part-time real estate sales associate. “My walk is more sensual, freer, and looser, and so is the way I move in bed.”

2. Boost Your Confidence

The technique: The Hungry Lioness

The benefit: This move makes you feel sexually alive and more aware of your body from head to toe–and the feeling lasts long after the exercise is done.

How to do it: Get down on all fours. Keeping your butt lifted, walk your hands forward until your head and chest are near (but not on) the floor (fig. 2a). With your chest and back relaxed, tilt your pelvis so your butt goes up even higher, then tilt back down. Your pelvis should be the only thing moving. Continue vigorously rocking your pelvis up and down for up to one minute.

Next, relax your pelvic muscles, then thrust your body forward and up, shifting your weight onto your hands. (Your body should be nearly straight from shoulders to knees, and your arms should be straight, with your shoulders above your hands, as shown in fig. 2b.) As you lean forward, inhale and gently squeeze your buttocks together. Now exhale and push back to your original position (weight on knees, butt in the air), relaxing your pelvis and buttocks. Repeat for up to one minute.

The feedback: “I felt silly at first–and the moves do take a little practice. But I really got into rocking my pelvis to ’80s rock tunes,” says Terraza, 31, a paralegal worker in Edwardsville, IL. “And I was surprised at how energized that part of my body felt afterward.”

3. Boost Your Desire

The technique: Kick-dancing

kick_dancing

The benefit: Gentler (and sexier!) than kickboxing, kick-dancing is a good cardio workout that gets your blood pumping and builds endurance.

How to do it: Pick out tunes that make you want to move, and dance to the music any way you want–but add kicks, as high and as often as you can kick (fig. 3). If you don’t exercise much, start with low, gentle kicks and build up slowly to avoid injury. Do this for at least five minutes, building up to 15 on the days you have time for a longer workout.

The feedback: “Kick-dancing is the best way I know to combine cardio exercise with activity that gets your sexual juices going,” says Michelle, 27, a personal trainer in New York City. “Sometimes a little kick-dancing can even get you in the mood when you thought you were too tired.”