We were approached by the folks at Synergy who asked if we'd like to try out their line of therapeutic braces and supports. We said yes, but also secretly wondered if there would be any new angle we could provide. Isn't one brace just like another? Fortunately for us, Synergy took care of the angle for us with their FIR-Inside technology.
For those of us who don't know what FIR means, here is some information from the Synergy website: Far Infrared Rays (FIR) are natural waves of light energy produced by the sun, totally invisible to the naked eye. Infrared light generates the warmth we feel on bright, sunny days.
FIR light energy activates the water molecules in the blood increasing the blood flow and oxygen in the bloodstream. As the far infrared light energy is absorbed, the body’s cellular metabolism improves resulting in enhanced cell regeneration and tissue repair.
Far Infrared Therapy may be safely used by almost anyone suffering pain from injury or disease. FIR Therapy has been found to help athletes recover from injury and provide relief to individuals with diabetes and other common circulatory problems such as Arthritis and Raynauds Syndrome.
Their therapeutic braces and supports are made with an activated bamboo charcoal with far infrared rays woven directly into the fabric. Synergy’s technology allows far infrared rays to penetrate deeper into the tissue, reducing swelling and pain while accelerating healing.
Synergy claims that their braces and supports improve blood circulation, alleviates pain, reduce swelling and increases mobility. And their fabrics combine bamboo fiber and Poliyou material to prevent bacteria from growing. This results in anti-microbial, moisture-wicking, neoprene-free braces and supports that keep you dry and odor-free.
My son, who is a baseball player, began throwing again for the first time this off-season. The same day he went to the gym and banged his elbow on a weight machine. He came home complaining of a little arm soreness, which is never what you want in your throwing arm. I asked him to try the adjustable elbow brace. He's usually not eager to try new things like this out but he put in on in the evening and even slept with it secured to his elbow. The next day I asked him how the elbow felt. He was more than pleasantly surprised that there was no more pain, just a little stiffness from being in the brace for twelve hours. I guarantee you that if he ever has elbow pain again, he'll put this thing back on in a heartbeat, and for him, they guy who rarely thinks anything new works, that's saying something.
Synergy makes a whole line of braces and supports that are worth checking out. If you're skeptical about the FIR technology, take a look at their website and look at the research that's been done on the topic. Even without FIR the braces are high quality and can prevent or provide relief to injuries. And if the far infrared therapy does work as my son suspects it does? Then that's the real deal.
A few weeks back we predicted it. Because the new college football playoff system is limited to four teams, it is going to backfire, There will be teams with a legitimate claim to being among the top four left out. Once again, we'll never know if we are going to get a true National Champion.
Sure enough, it happened. Six teams from major conferences finished the regular season with one or fewer losses. Some had tougher schedules than others. Some had worse losses. Some had bigger wins. Some played in stronger conferences. There really was not one of the six that was a clear, no doubt, head-and-shoulders above the rest. But here we go again. Just like how nearly every year for the past couple of decades we all knew that there was a good chance that the best team got left out of the championship game, it might very well have happened again in the inaugural season of the new four-team system. And while four teams is better than the two we've been stuck with, it still isn't good enough.
In this publication, we've been howling for an eight-team playoff for years. Not only would it be easy to do, it would bring back the luster of the bowl games. Its simple: On January 1st, just like in the old days, you play the Rose, Sugar, Orange and Fiesta, (or Cotton if you want go really retro. And you could play the Sugar on New Year's Eve to stay in that throwback mood if you'd like). Those four bowl games would be the “Elite Eight.” The four winners would play a Final Four the next weekend and a “true” National Champion would be crowned the week after that. I would even go so far as to say that, regardless of rankings, (since they all seem so arbitrary and inaccurate anyway) play the Rose with the Pac 12 vs. the Big 10, the Sugar with the SEC, and so on to really hold on to or, more accurately, resurrect tradition. But even if you don't want to go that far, who wouldn't want to crawl out of bed this New Year's Day and watch back-to-back-to-back-back National Quarterfinal college football? Alabama – Michigan State for breakfast, followed by a lunch match-up of Oregon – Mississippi State, then dinner with Florida State vs. TCU and a late night snack featuring Ohio State and Baylor. How fun would that be?
But instead, the college football selection committee has suddenly become huge fans of two teams, namely Michigan State and Ole Miss. Why? Because they're the bowl game opponents of Baylor and TCU, the two schools left off the dance card. If Baylor and TCU were to both lose, the selection committee would breathe a sigh of relief, feeling that their looking askance at the Big 12 was justified. But if those two teams win and/or win big, here comes more controversy. And even if they do lose, it proves nothing. Both of those teams have to be bitterly disappointed and won't look at a bowl like the Peach as a reward, but rather a punishment.
Sure, you could try to argue that in an eight-team playoff maybe the #9 team now would feel jilted. But you have to draw the line somewhere and eight is enough. There is a much smaller chance that the ninth-ranked team has a legitimate claim to being the best as does the fifth. And, coincidentally, this year, there were only eight teams with two losses or less. Everyone else had three or more so it would have worked perfectly.
Until someone explains why the quarterfinal-eight-team-four-bowl plan won't work, or until we see it happen, we're going to continue to beat the drum. When it finally transpires we promise we won't say another word. We'll be too busy enjoying football.
One of the most exciting aspects of doing what we do is when we encounter products that are the result of someone looking at an ages-old device or contraption and wondering if there is a way to do it better. Sometimes changes are made due to advancements in technology. Other times, a minor tweak or two leads us to say, “Why didn't I think of that?” And once in a great while we see something that is so revolutionary and so different that we know we'd have never thought of it. In a million years.
Take crutches, for instance. Crutches have been handed out by doctors for injured femurs, knees, ankles and feet for generations and they've remained virtually unchanged. Most people would assume that must mean nothing better can be created. Someone else looked at them and said, “What if we did this instead?” That someone would be the folks at Forward Mobility who designed the incredible Freedom Leg. The Freedom Leg takes those oldest of medical devices people have been hobbling around on for decades, and makes them virtually obsolete.
They sent us one to try out. Everyone, whether they've had a real need or not, has at least tried out a pair of crutches at one time or another. We all know how quickly the arms and underarms get tired and sore, and that the necessity of keeping the leg up off the ground is a nuisance. Not only are you down a leg, but both hands as well. It is nearly impossible to carry anything or walk up stairs using the handrail. Essentially, if you have an injury or surgery that requires no weight to be put on your leg or foot for weeks or months, you've been sentenced to a protracted period of non-mobility and discomfort. That is, unless your doctor knows about the Freedom Leg.
We strapped it on and will admit it took some getting used to, just like crutches do. But within minutes it was obvious why this is going to take the medical and sports injury world by storm. We went up and down stairs, moved around on carpet, wood and tile floors and got pretty nimble in no time. You'll feel safer, knowing that hands-free means if you were to stumble, you'd be more likely to catch yourself. Plus because the leg is suspended in place there would be no risk of you landing on it and re-damaging the injury.
The bend in the brace and knee naturally lifts the foot, allowing you to walk with it above the ground while both hips remain level. Advanced composite beams transfer the weight from the thigh to the ground ensuring there is zero weight on the leg from the knee down. The foam shin pad ensures the foot cannot move forward of the brace and touch the ground. It is compatible with a cast or boot. With your hands free you can accomplish all your normal day-to-day tasks without assistance, including walking up and down stairs. Maybe most importantly,you still use your upper leg muscles on the injured leg to walk. This will reduce the atrophy normally associated with extended periods of off-loading which can, in turn, significantly reduce your rehabilitation time. This is especially important to athletes. It is the perfect solution both before and after surgery, and because it is lightweight and durable, (only weighs 3 lbs.) you don't feel like Frankenstein going from place to place.
The Freedom Leg is not inexpensive, but most insurances will cover it. And even if not, wouldn't you pay a couple bucks a day to be able to move around at will instead of being non-ambulatory? After all, you can't put a price on freedom.
Source: Forward Mobility
When my boys were very little, every Thanksgiving I would take the three of them down to the school and we'd play two-on-two football. We called it the Turkey Bowl and it was loads of fun. I remember one particular time when it happened to be raining cats and dogs. We all got mud-soaked from head to toe. The two older ones and I loved it, but the youngest, who was about five at the time didn't love it. At all.
As the years went by, we'd invite some other kids and the Turkey Bowl grew. When the boys were in high school, they took it to another level. They created a Facebook event and allowed guys from all over the community to join in with their own teams. Teams showed up with people they'd never met, one time a former pro quarterback was at the helm. They used the high school football field, self-refereed, and charged an entry fee. The winning team and the runners-up divided up the pot. They came home exhausted, bloodied, (even though it was flag), exhilarated, and usually a little richer. Stories of great plays, precision passes, one-handed catches and key interceptions filled the family room for the next twelve hours.
Wish I'd stumbled upon this earlier. Buried deep within this cool site, Instructables.com are free, step-by-step instructions for creating your very own Turkey Bowl trophy. Nothing would have added that extra excitement than to have this replica of the Lombardi Trophy sitting on the sidelines during the tournament. Now, thanks to us, (you're welcome...well...technically thanks to the user who actually made one and submitted the instructions), you can spend the next several hours cranking out your own “Vince Lomturki” trophy to make your Turkey Bowls more memorable. Happy Thanksgiving from Sports Product Review. And when you get on the field, make sure you line up in the Wishbone.
So I don't know, maybe I have weird ears. Or maybe I just can't figure out things like ear buds. Ever since headphones went from ear muff, over the ear style to the tiny, unobtrusive in-ear version, I've struggled. Whenever I put them in straight, they fall out, as if my ear canal is too small. So I resort to turning them on their sides, which looks silly and distorts the sound. My kids and my wife, who apparently either have bigger ears or know how they are supposed to properly wedge these things in, shake their head in disappointment whenever they see me struggling with ear buds. And even if I can get them to stay put any length of time, its not long before they cause so much pain I've got to take them out. anyway I've resorted to just wearing an old pair of over-the-ear headphones I've had since college.
Thank goodness SOL REPUBLIC makes RELAYS, an award-winning ear bud style head phone that is designed with patented FreeFlex technology. This seamless, adaptable fit makes them easy to put in, and unlikely to fall out. They sent us a pair to try and as soon as we opened the package we knew they were special. They come with four different sized ear tips to fit in any size ear comfortably and snugly. I tried a couple different sizes and found the ones that were perfect, and cranked it up. The sound is amazing and, maybe even more incredibly, I could walk around, exercise – do whatever and never once did I feel so much as a slip. You may never want to take them out, but if you ever do they come with a handy carrying pouch for easy transportation and storage.
My oldest son is in the gym 3-4 days a week and he burns through ear bud style head phones like they're made out of styrofoam. RELAYS are water and sweat-resistant so you can wear them even during the most intense workout. He needs a pair more than I do.
Even if you aren't “ear bud challenged”, as I am, I would be surprised if you didn't find these to be tremendously superior in comfort and in performance to anything else you've worn. Whether you use them for work, play, relaxation, or an active lifestyle, one thing is for sure. Once you try them, you and your ears will always be plugged in.