Brazil Sports 


Due to its temperate conditions all year round, Brazil has established a significant sporting culture. Not only are sports widely played and popular amongst vast majorities of the population, but they are also varied in nature.

Football
The most popular and widely spread sport in Brazil is, undoubtedly, football (or soccer). This is especially appropriate as Brazil will be hosting the 2014 FIFA World Cup™. This means millions of football fans from all over the world flooding into this South American country in the hopes of seeing their favourite team take the coveted title of world champions. A number of well-known football players and world-renowned teams hail from this country. Just some of the popular players are Pelé, Ronaldo, Adriano, Kaká, and Ronaldinho.

Martial Arts
Capoeira is one of the most popular forms of martial arts in Brazil. It has distinct African influences and is characterised by nimble movements that require skill and agility. It is often played on the ground. Because of its very acrobatic, almost choreographed nature, it is often accompanied by music.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu dates back to the early part of the 20th century and is based on submission holds (such as joint locks). As individual enthusiasts have perfected the art in their own rights, this sport has begun to become internationally recognised. Vale tudo is a variation of Jiu-Jitsu that means “anything goes”. As its name implies, this adaptation of the discipline allows more freedom with fewer rules.

Footvolley

Invented in the 1960’s, footvolley is a combination of football and volleyball. It is played with a volleyball net, but players can use only their feet to get the ball to their opponents on the other side. It is a perfect beach game and visitors are sure to spot it as they frequent the many gorgeous beaches of Brazil.

Tennis

Brazil is represented in major tennis tournaments, such as Wimbledon and the US Open and is home to some of the best players in the world.

Basketball

The national basketball team of Brazil and its players are well respected in this sport on an international level. This is the third most popular sport in the country (after football and then volleyball).

Motorsport
As a nation, Brazil has won more than 100 Formula One races, testifying to the calibre of sportsmen that emanate from this nation in the motorsports arena. Some well-known names include Ayrton Senna, Rubens Barrichello, Bruno Senna, Felipe Massa and Lucas Di Grassi. It is also a key competitor in the American Championship Car Racing tournament, as well as less well-known competitions like Stock Car Brasil, Fórmula Truck and The South American Formula Three. Motorbike racing is also prevalent, and Brazilian competitors frequently participate in the MotoGP.

Volleyball

As the second most popular sport in Brazil, both the male and female national volleyball teams participate at Olympic level. They also compete in competitions such as the Volleyball World Cup and Volleyball World Championship. Brazil is recognised as the world champion in beach volleyball.

Rugby

Rugby is a much-loved sport in Brazil, but its teams have not yet reached the level at which they qualify for major competitions (such as World Cups). This sport dates back to the late 1800’s and has, therefore, established a strong foundation in the culture.
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Advantages & Disadvantages of Swimming 


Swimming is an excellent way to get in shape, but spending time in an over-chlorinated pool is associated with certain health hazards, such as asthma. While swimming in the ocean, stay on the lookout for sea creatures such as jellyfish. Drowning is a real risk regardless of where you swim, but the benefits of swimming far outweigh the risks, provided you follow simple precautions.

Physical Advantages

The physical properties of water make swimming a unique sport. Your body's buoyancy in water permits exercises that would be difficult or impossible on dry land. Unlike high-impact sports such as running, which stresses your joints, swimming is a no-impact sport unlikely to cause or aggravate joint injuries. The resistance provided by the surrounding water slows your movements and increases the difficulty of movement compared with exercise done out of the water. Water also cools your body while you swim, so you're less likely to overheat.

Social Advantages

Swimming is a social activity as well as a physical exercise. Pools and beaches provide venues for meeting new people and socializing with friends. People of all ages can participate, making it an enjoyable family activity for children, adults and seniors.

Ocean Dangers

Jellyfish, crabs and sharks occasionally harm swimmers in the ocean. Sharks sometimes bite humans, mistaking them for fish. Other dangers of swimming in the ocean include riptides, or strong currents that can sweep you away from shore, large waves that can knock you down, and sharp rocks and shells underfoot.

Drowning


The danger of drowning is a real risk for swimmers, especially children. Always keep an eye on your children when they are near pools and install a fence around your pool if you have one at home. Even if your child has a flotation device, supervise him while he is in or near the pool.

Chlorine

The chlorine used to disinfect the water in swimming pools is a toxin that might cause asthma and other respiratory conditions. Competitive swimmers often suffer from "swimmer's asthma," or asthma-like symptoms associated with frequent swimming. Your body absorbs chlorine both through your skin and lungs as you breathe. Unventilated indoor pools and outdoor pools with stagnant air might have unsafe levels of chlorine in the air.
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13 Reasons to Run a Half Marathon 


The half marathon (13.1 miles) is one of the fastest growing race distances, with new races popping up all over the world. If you've been on the fence about whether you should run a half marathon, here are 13 reasons to give the distance a try:

1. You'll stay motivated to run.
While some runners can race a short distance like a 5K with little or no training, most would have a tough time trying to get through a half marathon with no preparation. So having a half marathon on your calendar will keep you motivated to stick to your training schedule. On days when your motivation is suffering, you'll think about how you'll feel if you have to back out of the race or if you try to run it completely undertrained.

2. You'll burn a lot of calories.
Training for a half marathon requires logging a lot of miles, which will turn you into a calorie-burning machine. Of course, you need to make sure that you're not overcompensating for those lost calories by going overboard at post-run meals, especially if you're hoping to lose weight by running.

3. You'll experience lots of health benefits.

Beyond helping you to lose or maintain weight, there are lots of other health benefits of half marathon training. Running will strengthen your heart and ensure the efficient flow of blood and oxygen throughout your body, which helps decrease your risk of a heart attack. Exercise is one of the best ways to naturally reduce your blood pressure if it's above normal and it can help keep high cholesterol in check. Running also improves your immune system, so your body functions are more effective and efficient at fighting off germs.

4. You'll have a lifetime of bragging rights.
While the half marathon distance is growing in popularity, the number of people who've completed a half marathon is still very small. Once you cross that half marathon finish line, you'll be joining an elite group of runners who can call themselves a half marathoner.

5. You'll discover new running routes.
If you typically stick to shorter distances for running and racing, training for a half marathon will force you to find new places to run, since you'll be doing a long run every week. Check out MapMyRun.com or ask local runners for suggestions on where to run.

6. Your training will have more structure.
If you're the type of person who likes to follow a schedule, you'll love training for a half marathon. Every day you'll look at your training schedule to see what you need to do, whether it's running, cross-training, or taking a complete rest day. Each week, you'll add a little more distance, so you'll really feel like you're making progress toward your half marathon goal.

7. You're less likely to get injured than if you trained for a full marathon.

Runners training for a marathon log a lot of miles, putting them at greater risk for overtraining-related and overuse injuries than those training for a half marathon. Because the mileage demands are not as high as they are with full marathon training, you're more likely to give yourself a rest day when you're starting to feel a little pain, which can often prevent a full-blown running injury.

8. It's not as time-consuming as training for a marathon.

Running fewer miles in training also means that you won't feel like your training is a part-time job, which is how some runners feel about marathon training. Many runners find that half marathon training still allows them to have a nice balance between their training and their work and personal lives. And if you do have aspirations to run a full marathon, it's a good way to test the waters and see if you want to take on that challenge.

9. You'll meet other runners.
Some running groups or clubs offer half marathon training, so you can train with a group. At the race, you'll have plenty of opportunities to meet other runners, whether it's waiting on line at the porta-potties, standing at the starting line, running in the race, or celebrating post-race.

10. You can support a cause.
Many half marathons benefit charities and worthwhile causes, from disaster relief to fighting cancer or other diseases. Running for something that's bigger than you is a great way to stay motivated to keep training, meet other runners to train with, and can make your races even more meaningful.

11. You'll get a medal (and a shirt).
OK, so maybe the idea of getting a finishing medal doesn't get you too excited but -- whether it's a medal, a shirt, or a great finishing photo -- the point is that you'll get a little reward for your efforts. And having a reminder of your accomplishment is always great for a motivation boost. Many half marathons offer decent swag, like a technical running shirt, and have race expos where you can pick up some running gear freebies and samples.

12. You can travel to new destinations.
If you love to travel, running a half marathon is a great excuse to visit a new city or country. You'll get to see a lot of the local area in the race, and, unlike marathon running, you won't be too sore and tired that can't take in some more local attractions post-race. Many half marathons get discounted rates on hotel rooms and other travel expenses, so you may even save some bucks.

13. You can spend time with family and friends.
Many runners have discovered their love of the half marathon distance after being convinced by a friend or family member to sign up for their first one. Whether you train or travel to the race together, you'll get to spend time with one another and bond in your pursuit of a common goal.
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