Windsurfing Basics

Windsurfing is quite a popular sport especially in the summer. It can give you a different kind of thrill which you may not experience in other sports. And contrary to what many people may think, it is not very difficult to learn it as long as you know the basics:

Getting started

As soon as you are ready with your gears, check the wind direction first before starting to sail. If you are a beginner, don’t ever sail with an off-shore wind because what you may think of as a gentle wind while on the shore will be twice when you are in the open sea or lake. If the wind is cross-shore, on-shore or somewhere in between, it is safer to attach the board and sail together. For beginners, the ideal wind strength is between forces 2 and 3 on the Beaufort scale. Additionally, check out the tides before setting off.

Stance

Your position while on the board is vital for speed and stability. Hold your head up while looking to the direction you are going. Your arms should be slightly bent shoulder width apart and parallel to the boom. Keep a straight back with bottom tucked in. Your legs should be shoulder width apart as you keep your front leg straight while the back leg slightly bent for control.

Steering

In windsurfing, being able to balance the forces is important and this is done by steering. When steering, it is important to take into consideration the center of lateral resistance (CLR) which is the imaginary vertical line from the daggerboard going straight up. When the force of the rig is balanced over CLR, you can expect to travel in a straight line. When you move the rig backwards, it means turning the front upwind. However, when you lean the rig forward, you will be turning the board into a different direction away from the wind.

Running

Running is when you sail with the wind coming from behind you while the sail is positioned at a right angle to the board. This technique is very unstable and requires you to have a good sense of balance. The daggerboard can help you achieve stability but be cautious of the increasing wind as it can tip up your board. When that happens, you should retract your daggerboard.

Tacking

Tacking means that you have to sail as close to the wind a possible and then make a sudden turn and go to the opposite direction while still staying close to the wind. To turn the front of your board through the wind and into the no-go zone, return first to the secure position while leaning the rig to the back of the board. Doing so will let you turn your board directly to the wind. Once you are through the wind, shuffle the mastfoot as you keep your feet closer to the center line. After doing that maneuver, you will now be positioned on the other side of the board. You could then transfer your hands to the boom and start sailing off. As you master this technique, you will be able to do tacking while keeping the board moving instead of going back to secure position.

Gybing

Gybing is a technique involving changing course while sailing downwind. This can be done by leaning the rig forward into the front of the board while keeping the sail filled and steering your board in the opposite direction of the wind.

Practice is very important in order to master some of the most basic techniques in windsurfing. With regular practice, these techniques will become second nature. As a beginner, you can greatly learn by observing and talking with other windsurfers.

The Sport of Kitesurfing

Come summer time and many people get to enjoy a wide range of water sports and activities. One particular sport that you may want to try is kitesurfing. This kind of watersport harnesses wind power through a large kite to propel you across the water while riding a small kiteboard or surfboard. It is a unique kind of sport that can give you a different kind of adventure.

Overview

Kitesurfing is a considerably new sport that is influenced by a wide range of other sports, particularly powerkiting, wakeboarding, surfing, windsurfing, snowboarding and paragliding. If you have tried any of these sports, kitesurfing may be a lot easier for you to try. However, even if you are just a beginner in any of these sports, you may still find kitesurfing an easy sport to learn.

Although the name of this sport includes surfing, in reality, it does not need waves as long as there is wind. In fact, most kite surfers especially beginners prefer flat water locations for freestyle riding because the ride is smooth and they allow for easy take-off and landing. But you may also try a wide range of other conditions such as surfing in big waves if you like more adventure.

Kites Used

To produce the right amount of pull from the wind, a kite with inflatable tubes is needed for this sport. The inflatable parts keep the kite in shape while allowing it to float and re-launch from the water. Kites come in various sizes depending on the size of the rider and the strength of the wind. It is anything between 2 and 14 square meters.

Since 2006, there have been numerous changes in the kites used for kitesurfing. Prior to 2006, there was only the C-kite which got its name from its curved “C” shape. After that, bow style and SLE (supported leading edge) kites started to be introduced in the market. Bow kites are noted for their flatter shape that is similar to an archer’s bow. The SLE kite, on the other hand, is unique for its bridle lines which are attached to its inflatable leading edge to support its shape. Both types of kites have swept back wingtips which give the kite a strong depower, allowing for easier re-launching from the water. This kind of feature also provides a great improvement in the ease of use and safety of the kite.

Since the introduction of the bow and SLE kites, there have been many improvements added to the original C-kite design. There are now hybrid kites in the market that incorporate some of the best features of these two types of kites.

Boards Used

There is also a wide range of boards used for kitesurfing but they are all predominantly symmetrical or have twin tips. However, some riders also use directional boards when riding with waves. Boards with larger surface areas require less power to get them up to the water and to keep them afloat even with light wind to power the kite. These kinds of boards are commonly used by beginners because of their ease of use and safety factor. More advanced riders, on the other hand, usually choose smaller boards. Although tiny boards used to be popular, they are no longer used because of the styles and tricks that are possible with the newer kites as well as their large depower capability. Generally, boards used are between 125 and 150 centimeters in length and between 38 and 45 centimeters in width.

Safety

Kitesurfing is generally a safe sport as long as you observe certain safety precautions. Most basic of which is to avoid kite surfing in crowded areas or near any obstructions such as rocks or boats. To be safe, keep a minimum distance of at least 100 meters from any type of obstruction.

Kitesurfing is an exciting sport that is worth trying. However, before you do, be sure to learn more about this sport for a better and safer experience.

Reasons for Persistent Taste in Mouth

Oftentimes, we experience some form of lingering taste in the mouth after we’ve eaten. But this taste fades away after brushing, taking water or just swallowing saliva. There are however instances where the specific taste is present even when you haven’t eaten anything. It can be due to an underlying problem. Millions of people across the United States suffer from metallic or sweet taste in the mouth. While this might seem normal, it can be a sign of an underlying serious health condition that needs to be addressed as soon as possible.

This short guide will help you understand some of the reasons that cause these two persistent tastes in the mouth.

There are many different causes associated with having a metal taste in mouth. They include the following.

Pregnant women will usually experience a metallic taste in the mouth especially during the first trimester. It is believed that hormonal changes within the body are the primary cause for this.

Certain medications are believed to cause a persistent metallic taste in the mouth. Some of the ingredients in the medications are believed to cause this and patients will experience this taste as long as they are on the medication. Common culprits include medicines for the treatment of diabetes, arthritis, heartburn, cancer and, heart conditions among others.

Problems of the oral and sinus cavities can also lead to metallic taste in patients. Oral infections such as plaque, gingivitis and tooth decay can cause a metallic taste in the mouth. Sinus infections that cause dry mouth can also result in a metallic taste in patients.

Diseases can also cause metallic taste in the mouth. In most cases, the metallic taste is simply a symptom of the underlying disease. Such diseases include diabetes, zinc deficiency, cancer, renal failure and hyperparathyroidism. Diseases affecting the nervous system can also alter your sense of taste or smell. Inflammation or autoimmune diseases affecting nerves associated to taste and smell can result in the patient having a metallic taste in the mouth sensation.

In some instances, the metallic taste in the mouth is associated with excess metals in the bloodstream. The body needs certain metals for its normal functioning. However, there are instances where there’s metal overload and the patient experiences this as a dry mouth with metallic taste.

Sweet taste in the mouth is also caused by a couple of factors and they include the following.

An underlying health condition can cause the sweet sensation in the mouth. One of the diseases where this condition is experienced as a symptom is diabetes. However, the reason why this happens is yet to be clear.

Health conditions associated with the nervous system are also known to cause a sweet taste in the mouth. The sweet taste is believed to be indicative of a more serious nervous condition such as epilepsy, stroke or seizure. Besides this, a viral or bacterial attack on the olfactory nerve can also result in a sweet sensation in the mouth.

For both cases, there are instances where the metallic or sweet taste is unexplainable. It’s advisable to get immediate medical help as these tastes could probably be warning signs of a serious underlying health condition.

Is Pain Or Numbness In Either Arm A Sign Of A Serious Health Condition?

Last week, I had to visit my doctor for consultation about a constant pain on my right forearm. I figured it would go away within days since I had been doing some DIY at home which mainly involved hammering in some nails. After the pain failed to subside after a couple of days (I was taking pain relievers but the pain recurred after the drugs potency dropped), I had to see the doc. After answering a couple of questions, my doctor said it was nothing serious and time would see me have a pain free arm. “You’re lucky it’s nothing serious. People come in here with more serious conditions and I’m usually forced to recommend extensive treatment.” He stated.

Since he had more patients to attend to, I left him to his work. “What are these serious conditions?” I wondered. I usually believed that pain or numbness in a particular arm was linked to overworking that arm or injury. What I found out was more eye opening. Arm pain and numbness can be a symptom of an underlying health condition. In some instances, the condition can be life threatening.

Thoracic outlet syndrome

This is a health condition that can cause pain in either the right arm or left arm. This condition occurs when there’s compression in the area between the first rib and the collar bone. The compression can occur in either or both sides of the body. This compression applies pressure on a network of veins referred to as the brachial plexus or the subclavian vein and artery. The result is numbness and pain in the arm, shoulder and neck in the affected side of the body. Some of the conditions causing thoracic outlet syndrome include injury, bone abnormalities or trauma.

Ulnar nerve entrapment

Ulnar nerve entrapment also referred to as cubital tunnel syndrome is another condition that can cause numbness and pain in right arm. The ulnar nerve transmits signals between the hands and the brain. This condition occurs when there is a lot of pressure on the nerve at the elbow. If the pressure is applied long enough, numbness and even pain in the forearm, hand and fingers is felt. Releasing pressure usually reverses the condition.

Syringomyelia

This is another condition that can cause pain in the right arm and, affects the nervous system. It results from the formation of a fluid filled cyst within the spinal cord. As the cyst grows, it applied pressure and gradual damage to the spinal cord. Symptoms of this condition include pain, numbness and general weakness in the shoulders, neck and arms. If left untreated, this condition can be life threatening.

Cervical disc herniation

Cervical disc herniation is one of the common causes of numbness in left arm. The condition results when a weak point along the fibrous outer layer surrounding a spinal disc ruptures. The pieces of the ruptured fibrous layer then find their way into the spinal column applying pressure on the delicate nerve endings. Besides numbness, pain, muscle weakness and, muscle spasms are associated symptoms.

Two Skin Conditions That Usually Affect the Scalp

Last year, I was invited by a former college mate to visit him in one of the islands in the Caribbean. We had found each other online and I couldn’t resist the offer. I had always wanted to visit the Caribbean and without having to pay for accommodation, it was an offer not to pass by. After arriving and catching up, it was time to hit the waters. While enjoying the water, I noticed a patch at the back of his head with several tufts of hair protruding. I didn’t want to pry but he noticed my gaze and probably read what I was thinking. “Tufted folliculitis. Doctors apparently don’t know what causes it so I’m stuck with this patch until the do so.” He said casually. I left the matter at that and enjoyed my vacation.

Back home, I saw another person with a similar condition and remembered my buddy. “Well, if doctors can’t treat the condition, I might as well find out more about it.” I thought to myself. During my research, I came across two conditions that will likely affect the scalp.

Scalp folliculitis

Folliculitis is a condition that results when the one or more hair follicles gets infected and inflamed. It can affect any part of the skin where hair grows. Palms and soles of the feet are therefore not affected. They usually appear as a small red swollen dot with a white center. Itching due to inflammation is one of the common symptoms of the condition.

The main causes of this condition include viruses, bacteria and fungi. The folliculitis resulting from these antibodies is usually infectious. There are non infectious forms of this conditions such as that affecting my friend. Mites can also cause the condition.

Scabs on scalp

Scabs are usually associated with broken skin. They form naturally as the body’s way of keeping a wound sealed off from bacteria and allow for healing. They can form on any part of the skin. However, if they appear on the scalp, this can be a symptom of an underlying health condition. Some of the health conditions that can cause scabs on the scalp include the following.

Psoriasis is a skin condition that results from the body’s defense mechanism suddenly attacking skin cells. The cells find their way forming itchy and dry skin which might crack and bleed. Scratching to relieve the itching can create open wounds which in turn result in scabs.

Shingles can also cause scabs on the scalp. The condition is caused by a virus that is found in the body. This is the same virus that causes chicken pox. The virus affects the skin and its main symptom is the appearance or itch rashes and blisters. The condition will usually disappear after a few days. The open blisters that result from scratching will eventually dry out resulting in scabs.

Eczema is another health condition known to cause scabs on the scalp. Its symptoms include thickening of the skin and intense irritation. Scratching to relieve the irritation can result in open wounds which scab after the eczema is treated.

Guide to Getting Over Someone

We all want love and to give it in return. Being social creatures, we want to hang around people and eventually find that person we’ll spend the rest of our life with. Unfortunately, life isn’t a fairytale where the prince and princess live happily ever after. Many people head into a romantic relationship hoping that it will last forever. They believe they have finally found “the one” and, their search is over. At least that’s what I did three years ago. Unfortunately for me, i ended up heartbroken three months after meeting my ex. It was devastating for me. Luckily, I did recover and years later, I’m in a fulfilling relationship.

Many people have had their share of similar stories. Unfortunately, the majority don’t have a clue about how to get over someone. That’s why I’ve prepared this short guide to help out.

The first thing to do is get a grip of your emotions and let them go positively. A breakup is always emotional especially you are the one being dumped. Most people will go the easy way and use their emotions as an excuse to do some damage. The problem with this is that you’ll end up with low self esteem and self respect once you’re drained. Think of something positive you’d want to do and this should be something that’ll provide some relief. Heading to the pub or having a fling will only degrade your self worth. Positive things can be as simple as crying or as intense as heading to the gym.

The next thing to do is cut off all contact with your ex. Admit that the person isn’t there anymore but remember that, there are countless people that still care for you. Cutting off contact also alerts your ex that you need your privacy and they should respect that.

Third, make time for your loved ones. You probably spent most of your time with your ex. Now, use this time with friends and family. They want the best for you. However, make it clear that the time you spend together is meant for catching up and not discussing your ended relationship.

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The fourth thing to do is make time for yourself. Do things you would have loved to do if you were single. This helps you regain your confidence and also distract you from thoughts of your ex. Remember that loving yourself first is key to making others love you. It’s time to spoil yourself. If you had a controlling boyfriend that dictated what to wear, make an overhaul and dress your part.

Fifth, get rid of any reminders that hand around. Don’t ask your ex to get their stuff. Simply get rid of the stuff and move on.

The sixth step to do is to stop regretting and analyzing the past relationship. Majority of people will drain their energy thinking about the breakup rather than focusing on the present and future. Admit that the relationship wasn’t meant to be and move on.

Finally, enjoy your new found freedom. Don’t be tempted to enter into a new romantic relationship immediately. Stay single for a while and the right partner will find you in time.

Two Deadly Conditions to Keep your Cat From

Cats have for centuries been one of mans favorite pets. Curious, cheeky and cute they make great house pets. Besides being great pets, they’re also great for keeping rodents away from your house. I was at the veterinary doctor’s office the other day and was amazed by the number of kitties brought in that day. It was like there was an outbreak of some sorts because I’d never seen so many cats in one place. Ok, except for those feline competitions held once in a while. When my turn to see the vet came, I couldn’t help but ask the reason why so many cats were visiting today. “Mostly roundworms and pancreatitis… but most will be ok”. He said.

After heading home, I did some research on these two conditions. Here’s what I found.

Roundworms in cats

Roundworms are the most common worm infestation in cats. Also known as askarids, these worms usually infest the intestines and at times, the lungs. Infestation occurs when the cat ingests roundworm eggs which might remain dormant of hatch within the intestines.

Roundworm eggs can remain dormant in the soil for years before hatching. The eggs will end up in the cats digestive system through ingestion. For adult cats, ingestion occurs after eating food with roundworm eggs such as rodents. Kittens usually ingest roundworm eggs through their mother’s milk. Once ingested, the eggs hatch into larvae and further develop into adults. Adult roundworms have a brown-white appearance and can grow up to 5 inches in length.

Roundworm infestation usually goes unnoticed. However, in severe cases, the cat will lose weight, vomit, have a potbellied appearance and, cough if roundworm larvae find their way into the lungs.

Several measures can be taken to prevent roundworm infestation and they include ensuring that your cat eats clean food. Keeping the cat indoors to prevent feeding on rodents is another effective measure. Regular treatment for roundworms especially for a cat with kittens is also recommended.

Pancreatitis in cats

Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas. The pancreas is part of the digestive and exocrine system. Its main purpose in the body is the production of digestive enzymes and insulin in the body. This condition is caused by several factors including drug reactions, trauma, infection and, parasites.

This condition is characterized by leakage of digestive enzymes from the pancreas to other organs. These enzymes then start digesting proteins and fats in these organs. In short, the body starts digesting itself. Like roundworm infestation, pancreatitis isn’t easily detectable in cats. It’s only in severe cases that symptoms such as vomiting, fever, fatigue, loss of appetite and depression are visible.

In most cases, the cats diet plays a major role in determining whether the cat will be at risk in developing pancreatitis. Fat and calcium rich diets are the main culprit. It’s advisable to avoid feeding your cat only on processed foods as these exert pressure on the pancreas to secrete excess digestive enzymes.

If your cat suffers from this deadly disease, its advisable to visit the veterinary. Treatment is usually based on the cause of the condition.

Your Guide to Sprained Feet and What to do

Majority of people will suffer from a sprained foot at a point in their life. A foot strain occurs when the ligaments on the foot are overstretched resulting in partial or complete tear. It can be mild or severe and, pain and swelling will usually occur. Sprained feet are quite common in athletes due to the pressure exerted on their feet during competitions. However, you can sprain your foot in less competitive situations such as climbing stairs and suddenly twisting your foot.

Symptoms

Some of the common symptoms of a sprained foot include the following. First, the affected area will turn red and then bluish-black. The reason for this is that besides torn ligaments, there are microscopic blood vessels which rupture draining blood into the surrounding tissue. Swelling is another symptom associated with a sprained foot. The affected area becomes inflamed and surrounding tissue swells to try and counter this situation. Another symptom is heating around the affected area. Due to inflammation of surrounding tissue, the body reacts by producing histamine. This chemical protects the body against outside invaders and this battle is usually accompanied by inflammation and heat in the affected area.

Pain and at times tingling feet can also be felt. The pain is the result of the torn ligaments. Tingling on the other hand can be felt if there has been damage or pressure applied on the peripheral nerves in the affected area by the swelling tissue.

Treating sprained feet

Depending on severity of the sprain, you can either seek medical help from a doctor or treat the sprain from home. It’s however advisable to consult a medical practitioner since you cannot tell the severity of the sprain at a glance. Home treatment procedures include the following.

The first thing you need to do is to protect the sprained area. The reason for this is that you wouldn’t want to further damage the ligaments. The foot is already weakened and trying to use it can cause further damage. A bandage wrapped around the foot will offer both protection and support for the foot.

The next thing to do is rest the sprained foot. Simply put, try not to use the foot for at least 48 hours. This gives it time to heal itself.

Third in the treatment regime is reducing the heat and swelling by application of ice. Ice will help constrict the ruptured blood vessels thus preventing further blood drainage into the surrounding tissue. It also offers relief for the swelling, pain and itching.

The fourth thing involves compressing the affected area. A bandage works great to prevent further swelling. Another reason why compression is necessary is that it limits blood flow into the affected area. This way, the ruptured blood vessels will have time to mend and heal.

Finally, keep the affected foot elevated. This has a similar effect as the fourth step in that it limits blood flow to the affected area.

In cases where the sprain in severe, you might have to get medical attention from a physiotherapist.

What to Know About Infj and Infp Relationships

Relationships are largely based on trying to find a compromise between different characteristics. This involves knowing that differences exist among us and it is these differences that need to be identified, managed and accommodated. Each person has their own character traits that make them unique personalities. In this guide, I’ll focus on two personalities infj and infp with regards to how they form and manage relationships. Although looking at each personality individually I’ll discuss each with regard to different areas where relationships are built. These include romantic relationships, work relationships and their need to be in and build a relationship. I’ll also take a look at some of their core strengths and weaknesses as far as relationships are concerned.

Infj relationships

The infj personality largely revolves around values and what they believe in. they will act as long as they believe it’s the right thing. A unique character trait of the infj is that they are usually independent in thought and spirit. They tend to see the bigger picture especially when it comes to thought.

When it comes to romantic relationships, the infj will seek lifelong relationships. They tend to care about those around them and will strive to perfect the relationship. The infj will always try to keep their partner happy and will usually seek for compromise rather than get into conflict.

Due to their ability to think abstractly coupled with their desire to strongly voice their opinion, infj personalities make effective leaders at the workplace. It’s usually hard for someone to convince an infj to change opinion unless they believe it the right thing.

Some of the infj core strengths include confidence, conflict resolvers, compassion, loyalty and supportive. Some of their core weaknesses include stubbornness, being passive, and inability to open up completely even to close ones.

Infp relationships

The infp personality largely revolves around harmony, meaning and personal values. Considered the dreamer, the infp follows their hearts desires and wont act on something their heart doesn’t believe is right. Interestingly this personality is both curious and shy.

When it comes to romantic relationships, the infp will be cautious at first and only open up over time. Once committed to the relationship, the infp will be loyal to their partner. They have an ability to sense their partner’s feelings. This personality is also considered difficult to understand as they tend to show the reactions to feelings rather than feelings. This is especially so if they think that their values have been infringed upon.

Due to their shy and curious nature, the infp plays an excellent supporting role at the workplace. They are great at bringing the team together based on what the right thing to do is. Interestingly, although great at playing support, the infp doesn’t like to be constrained by rules. They are quite flexible in their thinking and are ideal candidates for positions that demand individual input.

Some of the core strengths of the infp include loyalty, gentle, perceptive and sensitive to others feelings, flexible and, loving. Some of the core weaknesses of this personality include shy, inability to tolerate criticism, perfectionist and highly emotional in stressful situations.