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9 Things Football Players Understand That Nobody Else Does

9 Things Football Players Understand That Nobody Else Does

From your 15-year-old sophomore who has his sights set on the varsity team, to the 35-year-old accountant who loves to get together over wings with his friends and recount tales of their glory days, football players share a common bond, and an understanding that most outsiders will never fully comprehend. If you have played – or currently play – tackle football, you’ll know these 9 things to be absolutely true.

1. We’re Not Dumb Jocks

A common misconception about football players is that we’re nothing more than oversized meat heads. While I can’t say that every team is chock full of future rocket scientists, understanding the nuances of your typical football game are difficult for anyone, better yet a team full of idiots. Understanding complex coverage schemes, line stunts, or perfect execution of the read option is the sporting equivalent of brain surgery. Each step requires real brain power, and it’s certainly not something a monkey in a helmet could do.

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2. You’re Nothing Without Your Team

Football is an intricate game that involves a lot of moving parts. Small mis-cues in timing, a slip and fall, or a single mistake can be the difference between victory and defeat. As such, each of those 11 guys has a responsibility to themselves, and their teammates to ensure that they are giving 110% on each and every play. No matter how good your star player is, he’s nothing without the 11 guys around him working in perfect harmony. You must learn to love, and appreciate the other 10 guys that make each of your personal victories possible.

3. “People Running into Each Other” is a Gross Misrepresentation of the Game

Football played by well-coached teams is less about big men running into brick walls, and more about amazing athletes executing a complexly orchestrated dance that requires perfection in execution from each of the 11 players on the field. Once you understand the game, and the strategy behind it, you begin to see football for what it really is – art.

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4. Kickers Are Slightly “Off”

While they only work a few times a game, kickers are among the most colorful creatures on the planet. Whether pacing the sidelines and talking to themselves, or angrily punching the ground after a missed tackle on a punt return – kickers are tortured souls that nobody fully understands, yet they’re completely indispensable at the same time.

5. We Work Hard – Really Hard

High school and college football players start to practice in the dead of summer with full pads and 90+ degree heat. To make matters worse, they often practice before and after school in the weeks leading up to the first game of the season. While you’re hitting the snooze button and dreading the thought of finding a dirty pair of pants to put on to make it to first hour, football players have been hard at work since the pre-dawn hours. No matter how hard the work, we come prepared to work – a trait that serves us well off the football field too.

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6. If Kickers Are “Off” – Linebackers Are Completely Nuts

What do you get when you put one of the most athletic, biggest, and most vocal guys right of a football field? A linebacker. These guys are like kickers in the sense that there is something not quite right about them, but while the kicker is a rather quiet sort of disturbed, linebackers are loud, rowdy, and they like to hit things – hard. As crazy as they often are, linebackers are the heart and soul of most defenses, and they are truly special due to their mix of athletic ability, craziness, and leadership qualities.

7. We Really Do Love Our Teammates and Coaches

The camaraderie you feel for the players around you is unmatched by any other situation in modern life. These players have all become more like family than just teammates or friends, and through intense workouts, victories, failure and everything in between, these are the guys that keep you balanced, and build you up when you begin to crumble.

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8. These Memories Will Provide Story Fodder for Years to Come

It doesn’t matter how old a man becomes, football always provides a story that they can whip out for any situation and at any time, without a second thought. Daughters wedding? Check. Business meeting? Double check. There’s no such thing as an ex-football player, just a not-actively-participating football player.

9. It Doesn’t Last Forever

No matter how much we wish it would, your glory days on the gridiron are far too short-lived for most of our tastes. While the stories are forever, your playing days aren’t. Enjoy every minute of it while you still can.

Featured photo credit: situnek34 via flickr.com

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Last Updated on March 25, 2020

How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

When it comes to living long, genes aren’t everything. Research has revealed a number of simple lifestyle changes you can make that could help to extend your life, and some of them may surprise you.

So, how to live longer? Here are 21 ways to help you live a long life

1. Exercise

It’s no secret that physical activity is good for you. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight and lowers your blood pressure, both of which contribute to heart health and a reduced risk of heart disease–the top worldwide cause of death.

2. Drink in Moderation

I know you’re probably picturing a glass of red wine right now, but recent research suggests that indulging in one to three glasses of any type of alcohol every day may help to increase longevity.[1] Studies have found that heavy drinkers as well as abstainers seem to have a higher risk of early mortality than moderate drinkers.

3. Reduce Stress in Your Life

Stress causes your body to release a hormone called cortisol. At high levels, this hormone can increase blood pressure and cause storage of abdominal fat, both of which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.

4. Watch Less Television

A 2008 study found that people who watch six hours of television per day will likely die an average of 4.8 years earlier than those who don’t.[2] It also found that, after the age of 25, every hour of television watched decreases life expectancy by 22 minutes.

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Television promotes inactivity and disengagement from the world, both of which can shorten your lifespan.

5. Eat Less Red Meat

Red meat consumption is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and cancer.[3] Swapping out your steaks for healthy proteins, like fish, may help to increase longevity.

If you can’t stand the idea of a steak-free life, reducing your consumption to less than two to three servings a week can still incur health benefits.

6. Don’t Smoke

This isn’t exactly a revelation. As you probably well know, smoking significantly increases your risk of cancer.

7. Socialize

Studies suggest that having social relationships promotes longevity.[4] Although scientists are unsure of the reasons behind this, they speculate that socializing leads to increased self esteem as well as peer pressure to maintain health.

8. Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of heart disease[5] and perhaps even Alzheimer’s disease.[6] Salmon and walnuts are two of the best sources of Omega-3s.

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9. Be Optimistic

Studies suggest that optimists are at a lower risk for heart disease and, generally, live longer than pessimists.[7] Researchers speculate that optimists have a healthier approach to life in general–exercising more, socializing, and actively seeking out medical advice. Thus, their risk of early mortality is lower.

10. Own a Pet

Having a furry-friend leads to decreased stress, increased immunity, and a lessened risk of heart disease.[8] Depending on the type of pet, they can also motivate you to be more active.

11. Drink Coffee

Studies have found a link between coffee consumption and longer life.[9] Although the reasons for this aren’t entirely clear, coffee’s high levels of antioxidants may play a role. Remember, though, drowning your cup of joe in sugar and whipped cream could counter whatever health benefits it may hold.

12. Eat Less

Japan has the longest average lifespan in the world, and the longest lived of the Japanese–the natives of the Ryukyu Islands–stop eating when they’re 80% full. Limiting your calorie intake means lower overall stress on the body.

13. Meditate

Meditation leads to stress reduction and lowered blood pressure.[10] Research suggests that it could also increase the activity of an enzyme associated with longevity.[11]

Taking as little as 15 minutes a day to find your zen can have significant health benefits, and may even extend your life.

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How to meditate? Here’re 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners

14. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Being overweight puts stress on your cardiovascular system, increasing your risk of heart disease.[12] It may also increase the risk of cancer.[13] Maintaining a healthy weight is important for heart health and living a long and healthy life.

15. Laugh Often

Laughter reduces the levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, in your body. High levels of these hormones can weaken your immune system.

16. Don’t Spend Too Much Time in the Sun

Too much time in the sun can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer. However, sun exposure is an excellent way to increase levels of vitamin D, so soaking up a few rays–perhaps for around 15 minutes a day–can be healthy. The key is moderation.

17. Cook Your Own Food

When you eat at restaurants, you surrender control over your diet. Even salads tend to have a large number of additives, from sugar to saturated fats. Eating at home will enable you to monitor your food intake and ensure a healthy diet.

Take a look at these 14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go and start to cook your own food.

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18. Eat Mushrooms

Mushrooms are a central ingredient in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s GOMBS disease fighting diet. They boost the immune system and may even reduce the risk of cancer.[14]

19. Floss

Flossing helps to stave off gum disease, which is linked to an increased risk of cancer.[15]

20. Eat Foods Rich in Antioxidants

Antioxidants fight against the harmful effects of free-radicals, toxins which can cause cell damage and an increased risk of disease when they accumulate in the body. Berries, green tea and broccoli are three excellent sources of antioxidants.

Find out more antiosidants-rich foods here: 13 Delicious Antioxidant Foods That Are Great for Your Health

21. Have Sex

Getting down and dirty two to three times a week can have significant health benefits. Sex burns calories, decreases stress, improves sleep, and may even protect against heart disease.[16] It’s an easy and effective way to get exercise–so love long and prosper!

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Featured photo credit: Sweethearts/Patrick via flickr.com

Reference

[1] Wiley Online Library: Late‐Life Alcohol Consumption and 20‐Year Mortality
[2] BMJ Journals: Television viewing time and reduced life expectancy: a life table analysis
[3] Arch Intern Med.: Red Meat Consumption and Mortality
[4] PLOS Medicine: Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review
[5] JAMA: Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Women
[6] NCBI: Effects of Omega‐3 Fatty Acids on Cognitive Function with Aging, Dementia, and Neurological Diseases: Summary
[7] Mayo Clinic Proc: Prediction of all-cause mortality by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Optimism-Pessimism Scale scores: study of a college sample during a 40-year follow-up period.
[8] Med Hypotheses.: Pet ownership protects against the risks and consequences of coronary heart disease.
[9] The New England Journal of Medicine: Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality
[10] American Journal of Hypertension: Blood Pressure Response to Transcendental Meditation: A Meta-analysis
[11] Science Direct: Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators
[12] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
[13] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
[14] African Journal of Biotechnology: Anti-cancer effect of polysaccharides isolated from higher basidiomycetes mushrooms
[15] Science Direct: Periodontal disease, tooth loss, and cancer risk in male health professionals: a prospective cohort study
[16] AHA Journals: Sexual Activity and Cardiovascular Disease

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