Top New York Rangers of All-Time

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The New York Rangers are a successful franchise that have enjoyed four Stanley Cup championships during their existence. They have had numerous legends put on the rangers uniform throughout the years. Here are some of the top Rangers of All time:

Mark Messier

Mark Messier was fan favorite among the New York Ranger fans and one of the greatest NHL players of all-time. In 1991, the Edmonton Oilers traded him to the Rangers. It was a move the Rangers felt would finally put them over the hump and put them in a situation to win the Stanley Cup. In his first season in New York, he scored an impressive 35 goals and tallied up 107 points to earn his second MVP award. This was an impressive accolade to the say the least. However, Messier knew what his main objective was when he arrived in New York and that was to bring championship back to the big apple! No one will forget what he did during 1994 playoffs. The Rangers were down 3-2 in the series to the New Jersey Devils in the Eastern Conference playoffs and Messier “guaranteed” a win to tie up the series. Well, Messier kept his promise as the Rangers would go on to win that game and he would score 3 goals! Messier would then lead the rangers to a stanley cup victory over the Vancouver Canucks for the first time in 54 years!

Brian Leetch

Brian Leetch is considered one of the greatest rangers of all time.  He was drafted by the Rangers in the first round of the 1987-88 NHL draft and the rest was history. Leetch enjoyed so much success during his days with the blue shirts as he would also win the Rookie of the Year award. This was sign of great things to come.  During the Ranger’s Stanley Cup run in 1994, Leetch would have a stellar postseason and win the Conn Smythe Trophy for Playoff MVP. The Rangers retired his jersey in 2008 in front of a great crowd at Madison Square Garden.

Mike Richter

Mike Richter is one of the best goalies to ever play for the Rangers. One of Richter’s best years with the team came during the Rangers playoff run and he couldn’t have picked a better time to do. He was standing on his head throughout the Stanley Cup run especially in both Game 7 games against the Canucks and Devils. He was also elected to 3 All-star games as a Ranger.

Rod Gilbert

Gilbert was the first New York Ranger to ever get his number retired, which is an honor and it shows how much he meant to the franchise. He spent 15 successful seasons with the blue shirts. Even though he was never able win the Stanley cup he was still considered one of the best ever. Gilbert still holds the rangers record for most goals with team at 406. A record that does not look like will broken anytime soon.

Adam Graves

Graves was a key part of the Rangers Stanley Cup run. His hardwork and determination never went unnoticed by the Ranger faithful. During his career he would score 280 goals, which included his 52 goal season in 1994. Graves also got in number retired in 2009.

 

For more information, check out: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/452074-top-20-ny-rangers-of-all-time/page/8

 

Serena Williams Reigns as Sports Illustrated’s 2015 Sportsperson of the Year

Sports Illustrated has selected Serena Williams as its latest sportsperson of the year, honoring the young woman for her superb dyed-in-the-wool physical ability and her 120 mph serve. Williams is the first solo woman to appear on the cover of the Sportsperson issue in more than two decades.

 

via GIPHY

Sports Illustrated showed deference by naming Serena Williams its 2015 Sportsperson of the Year. The honor is truly deserved, as the professional tennis player is ranked No. 1 in women’s singles tennis. Also, the Women’s Tennis Association has ranked her No. 1 in the world on six separate occasions. She remains the reigning champ of Wimbledon, the French Open, the Australian Open and the Olympic women’s singles and doubles. Moreover, she holds more major singles, doubles and mixed doubles titles than any other active male or female tennis player, and she’s third on the list of all-time Grand Slam singles titles.

At 34-years-old, the Saginaw, Michigan-born professional tennis player is arguably the greatest player in the sport’s history. Nonetheless, Sports Illustrated’s decision to select Williams kicked up a bit of dirt and stirred up some controversy.

For one, the Triple Crown winner and thoroughbred racehorse American Pharoah was actually voted the top choice for Sportsperson of the Year by Sports Illustrated readers. Despite William’s winning career and continued dominance over the game, she was ranked tenth out of 11 on the readers’ poll, losing out to the first horse to win the “Grand Slam” of American horse racing. However, the polling, nor the severe reaction and debate, fazed Williams. In fact, when she received her award from Sport Illustrated on Monday, December 14, she made an offhand joke about the horse debate, saying, “I’ve had my shares of ups and downs. I’ve had many struggles. I’ve had blood clots in both my lungs at the same time, and I’ve lived through tragedies and controversies and … horses. I had to say it! Basically, I’ve been through it all … um, I’m also a part-time comedian.”

Serena Williams

Twitter also came alive with fury due the publication’s decision to present Williams on the cover wearing just a pair of high heels and an all-black and laced leotard. The creative direction was problematic for many, particularly those who recognize that Williams is the first solo woman to appear on the cover of the coveted Sports Illustrated issue since Mary Decker, track-and-field star, appeared on the cover in 1983. Conversely, others considered her appearance on the cover fitting. They saw her outfit as powerful, and her positioning on the gold and carved throne as fierce…particularly because many recognize her as the queen of the court. Sport Illustrated later reveal that the cover was Serena’s idea, a decision based on a need to express strength and femininity.

Serena Williams, Sports Illustrated

Photo by: Yu Tsai/Sports Illustrated

The image is striking and captures her presence as a strong woman, but the cover lacks mention of the sport that landed her the cover. There are no references to tennis or sports, there’s simply an an abundant serving of sex appeal. There’s no need insist that Williams dilute her sexual confidence or repress ownership of her body because Williams is a strong and beautiful woman with charm, confidence and skill. Nonetheless, it would have been more impressive and powerful to include the elements of tennis; particularly because she is a black woman in a sport that isn’t known for its African American representation, as she once stated in an essay she penned for WIRED magazine.

Nonetheless, the Sport Illustrated feature article on the athlete frames William’s life, work and legacy beautifully. The writer not only lists her battles and wins, but he captures that success while acknowledging personal difficulties and injuries she’s overcome. Also, the piece captures life on and off of the court with ease, mentioning Williams’ impressive movements with a racket and early life encounters with racism that promised to shake her. The lengthy piece chronicles resistance, growth, philanthropy, reflection, loss and triumph.

http://bcove.me/mi0zvq0t

Staying Fit During a Thanksgiving Feast

alexander lakhanpalIn America, late November is often a marker of the start of the winter holiday season. Thanksgiving is usually defined as a family and friend-oriented time of year that involves relaxation, volunteering and overdosing on tryptophan from lunch or dinner. If you have the good fortune to celebrate with loved ones while partaking in a Thanksgiving Feast it may be tempting to ignore your normal fitness routine and indulge in the holiday. However, a little bit of planning will go a long way in derailing over-indulgences during the holiday. There are a few tips that I would suggest in order to maintain your fitness routine while still enjoying the holiday.

1. Sleep in. Because you have the day off, it’s worth it to get a full night’s rest and enjoy the opportunity to sleep in. Instead of getting up at 6am, perhaps you can wake up at 9am – refreshed! This will not only boost your mood, but will make you feel like you are actually on vacation.

2. Eat Breakfast. I would suggest that you eat something light like almonds or a smoothie right after you wake up as well as hydrate with water. The closer that you do this to when you first wake up, the better.

3. Once you have had a small morning snack, I suggest that you begin your workout. Enjoy the fact that you have a bit longer to work out today, and really enjoy yourself.

4. Following the workout, I would suggest that you stretch well then eat a real lunch with protein and vegetables. No matter what time you are planning to have your  big Thanksgiving meal, make a point to re-fuel after your workout.  You don’t want to head to a Thanksgiving gathering hungry because you will not only be irritable and low energy, but you will be much likelier to over-eat. Make sure that you continue drinking water throughout the afternoon.

5. If you are planning to have a later dinner, make sure that you are armed with healthy and filling snacks so that your energy levels don’t drop. And keep in mind that the time the food will be served is always a variable, so come prepared.

6. Once the food is ready, make sure to include vegetables on your plate, and pause with a glass of water and conversation before getting up for seconds.

7. Make a point to go for a walk after the meal before you go to bed.

Thanksgiving should be a chance to relax, spend time with family, volunteer to help others who may not have the same good fortune as you. Although this holiday is particularly focused on food, set yourself up with a plan that will help you maintain your fitness routine while still enjoying the comforts of the holiday. For more thoughts on Thanksgiving workouts, see the video below.

Recovery 101 : After the Marathon

Alexander LakhanpalAfter months of preparation, it’s finally happened. You have successfully completed an arduous marathon and it’s time for your body to begin the process of recovery. So what does this look like? Well the recovery periods vary for everyone, but there are certain things to look out for and pay attention to regardless of your age, fitness level, and injuries. However, I would strongly suggest that you consult your physician or trainer to help determine what course of recovery is best for you.

Step 1 : Immediately Following the Race

Because you have just expended so much energy, immediately following the race your core temperature will begin to drop really quickly. Therefore make sure that you bundle up immediately. Along those same lines, replenishing what you have lost is important. Although there will likely be some fanfare immediately following the race, make a point to grab a handful of healthful snacks (like raw almonds) to begin the refueling process. You many not feel that hungry so make sure to bring some food with you. Also, although you have been drinking water throughout the race, make a point to drink some more. You don’t want to get dehydrated. Also stretch it out a little bit before you cool down. Once you get back to your room, take an ice bath with cold water for fifteen minutes. Ideally the temperature will be at fifty five degrees, but really anything under sixty five degrees will do the trick. After you get out of your ice bath, feel free to take a nap, walk around and loosen the legs a bit. Most importantly, just relax you have more than earned it!

Step 2: The Week After

The week following a marathon can be very physically taxing, but there are certain things to remember that will help you get through it. First of all, don’t work out during the three days following. Your body has been through a lot, and your muscles are only beginning to repair the damage from the run. Make a point to soak in a hot tub for ten to fifteen minutes to help loosen your muscles and increase blood flow through the body. Following the hot tub, lightly massage your muscles (very gently). Make a point to continue to fuel up by eating fruits, carbs and protein. Your body is repairing itself and needs the proper ingredients to do this successfully.

During days four to seven make sure that you continue to maintain a healthy diet. Make sure that you are eating enough food and that you are making choices that will truly help you recover. At this point it is perfectly fine to engage in deep tissue massage. Also, take contrast baths. Contrast baths include sitting in a cold bath followed by a warm bath for intermittent periods of 5 minutes. You do this series two to three times and end with the cold bath. The point of contrast baths is to enhance blood flow to your legs.  Prior to going to bed, take an epsom salt bath a

an hour before bed then massage your legs out with a stick or your own hands. Make sure to then stretch and relax. 

Step 3 : Days 7 to 14

During this time you can start to exercise again, but make sure that you are easing yourself back into it. Only exercise for 3 to 4 days this week. An easy four to 6 mile jog so do the trick. Continue to treat your body well, and remember that your immune system is still very vulnerable right now so take it easy.

Step 4 : Days 14 to 21

Continue to be vigilant about any potential injuries. Feed your body healthy foods and don’t push yourself too hard. This is a great time to slowly transition back into your routine, but really listen to what your body is telling you.

As always, do your research, and consult your physician with any questions or persistent  problems. For more information about recovery, see some ideas here.

The Day of the Race : Marathon Prep

alex lakhanpalWith New York City abuzz with the excitement of the impending New York City Marathon, it’s no surprise that part of that electricity stems from the communal sense of anxiety felt by tomorrow’s runners. The feeling of excitement is almost palpable. With that in mind, I thought it would be a good idea to go over steps that (any) marathon runners can take in order to reduce nerves and focus on a good run when it comes to a marathon.

Reduce Route Surprises

If you live in the same city as the marathon, make a point to incorporate the course into your training. If that’s not possible, find out the specifics of the route and try to simulate those same conditions when training. This will help eliminate surprises in your endurance or in how you feel during the day of the actual marathon.

Plan Your Day

If you are traveling to a new city for the marathon, take time before your trip to plan out your itinerary. Leave enough time to get into the city so that you will be able to have a good night’s sleep before the day of the race. Also, look at your schedule for any down time. Quiet time can often lead to undue stress or anxiety about the marathon, so make sure that you bring distractors to fill this time. That could mean reading a book or magazine, or just having your phone ready for some Sudoku.

Wear earplugs

Another important way to prepare for the marathon is to bring earplugs. The yelling from the crowd can definitely be inspiring, but it can also lead to you unintentionally increasing your pace in the beginning of the marathon. You don’t want to do that because you will likely burn out when you need your strength most later on. Conserve your energy and start a bit slower than you think you need to. Additionally, leave those earplugs in to help avoid audio distractions while you are running. However, when you come to those difficult parts on the route, make a point to take them out so that you can hear the encouragement from the onlookers. Take advantage of the fact that they are cheering you on!

While consistent training is another necessary component to performing well during a marathon, these tips will help you get through those day of jitters!

Beginner’s Guide to Running a Marathon

Alex LakhanpalIt’s no secret, running is a physical activity that yields numerous benefits to the mind and body. From strengthening your lungs and cardiovascular system, to controlling your weight to strengthening your immune system to regulating your overall mental health – running is a great element to incorporate into your lifestyle.

If It’s Not Broken, Why Fix It?

If running is so wonderful on its own, then one might wonder what the point is of running in a marathon. Marathon running can be dangerous when it comes to aggravating otherwise minor injuries. It’s also known for taking a toll on the knees and other joints due to the constant repetitive motion and impact. Also, there is always the potential for dehydration and painful recovery after the race. With all of that in mind, running a marathon may seem like an ill advised idea. However, there are a number of benefits to running a marathon, and there are a few key ways to prepare for a marathon.

The Benefits of Marathon Running

While marathon running bears all of the expected benefits that you would also find just from running, there are a few additions to the list as well. An article from The Wall Street Journal claims that there are long-term health benefits from competing in marathons over time. Benefits from long-distance running include a lowered risk of eye and prostate disorders and significant improvements in one’s cardiovascular health. It is believed that these benefits are due to the training that competitive marathoners undergo regularly. In this case it seems as though the marathon is the signifier of a particular type of healthy lifestyle that leads to all of these long-term benefits.

How to Get Started and Stick With It

Although it’s fairly easy to come up with a workout regiment to train for your first marathon, the hardest parts usually involve sticking with the plan, and taking care of your body for such a sustained amount of time beforehand. However, there are certain things to keep in mind and strive for when you have decided that you want to participate in a marathon. First and foremost, have a reason for running. This may not seem like a necessity, but in those moments when you want to quit, you need to be able to focus on a reason that will convince you to continue on. So come up with a good one! Another thing to keep in mind is that you should only compare yourself to you. When it comes to your running times, where you are in the race, how you are feeling or how you look, use your past runs and trainings as a measuing stick…never look to others for this.  And finally, keep it fun. There’s no reason to get too intense about running.

How to Run Faster : Step 2, Technique

alex lakhanpal runningAs is the case with any workout regimen, it’s always important that you evaluate where you are currently and consult with your physician in order to avoid injury. Furthermore, when incorporating a new exercise routine into your daily life, it’s also wise to do so gradually in order to avoid burnout (or injury). If you are just beginning the process of working out, that you spend time researching what activities make sense for your body and interests. Choose something that is fun or a challenge, that will help keep you motivated.

And, for those of you that are already active runners looking to improve your time or challenge yourself even more, I would suggest that you evaluate yourself. First of all, physically, what are your weak spots? Dealking with knee problems? Do you chronically sprain your ankle? Asthma? Shin splints? Poor alignment? Whatever the physical ailments may be, big or small, do a full evaluation and take steps to correct them. You should do this in concert with your physician.

Unfortunately, running can exacerbate many of these physical problems, and if you are trying to improve your speeds, you need to know that you and your body are on the same page.

Once you have taken care to evaluate any injuries or issues that may inhibit your speed, the next move is to reconsider your current technique. The video below discusses some of the best ways to increase your running speed just by making small tweaks to your current running technique. This includes everything from moving your arms directly forward and back to good vertical posture and not bouncing up and down when running.

How to Run Faster : Step 1, Drop the Baggage

We’ve all had that moment. That moment of nostalgia for the days when we were  in our peak physical condition. For those of us who were athletes during our prime, it may be somewhat unrealistic to expect that we can capture the exact same level of physical conditioning that we once had.

However, you may be surprised by what your body can still do, even if it’s been a while since you last donned your track shoes.

Instead of trying to recapture your time, or weight, or lifting capacity of your former self, simply focus on improving from where you are right now. Re-assess your goals. Is your priority to look a certain way? Or is it to enhance the quality and longevity of your life? Be realistic. Do you have eight free hours a day to devote to training? Or would you rather have one or two brief workouts a day that pack in dynamic movements, so that you can spend more time with your family?

Before beginning a new exercise regimen or training schedule, these are all important things to consider and should shape how you approach improving your overall health.

Below is a video that talks about how to set yourself up for success as you begin to transition into a new exercise program. Two of the main takeaways include clearly defining your goals and motivation, as well as a gradual progression into the training program.

Enjoy!

 

The Secret To Losing Belly Fat? Stop Drinking Diet Soda

alexlakhanpalIt’s no surprise that drinking soda can significantly contribute to weight gain. In 2009 the NYC Health Department ran an ad campaign that showed the “amount of fat” contained in each bottle of soda with somewhat graphic ads that depicted fat within these bottles. Another ad that was less graphic, but just as expressive was one that showed the amount of sugar that you consume in a typical 20 oz bottle of soda. Although many of us are aware of this health crisis running rampant in our country, obesity rates especially in the US are mounting and give no hint of slowing down.

 

But for those who are trying to cut back on drinking soda, what are the options? If the headaches, lethargy and general irritability that can come with kicking  a soda addiction cold-turkey seem like a horrific nightmare for you ( and everyone around you) diet soda may seem like a reasonable alternative. Right?

 

Wrong. Whether you are enroute to giving up soda completely, or have decided to drink diet soda indefinitely instead of regular soda, don’t kid yourself. Recent studies show that diet soda unquestionably contributes to gaining weight NOT losing it. While this may not be terribly surprising to some, the data mounting against diet soda as a weight loss aid (or at least non-contributor to weight gain)  is undeniable.

 

Earlier this year, the  Journal of the American Geriatrics Society published a study that followed 749 participants over the span of nine years and tracked their drinking habits. Each participant in the study recorded how many cans of soda they consumed (if any) and noted whether it was diet or regular.  This lengthy study found that the participants’ answers were incredible predictors of fat gained in the abdominal region of the body.

 

Even when researchers adjusted for factors like smoking, diabetes, level of activity and age, those who consumed soda were much more likely to have gained weight, or carried more belly fat than their non-soda drinking counterparts.

 

Over this nine year period, participants who didn’t drink soda, on average gained roughly .8  inches on their waists, however, those participants that drank diet soda on a daily basis gained an average of a whopping 3.2 inches around their waists. Even those who reported only drinking diet soda occasionally, on average gained 1.8 in.

 

Perhaps this data is telling us something that we already knew – or at least suspected. However, in addition to busting the myth that “diet” sodas will somehow aid you in losing weight, the study also revealed that diet sodas are linked to the most dangerous type of weight gain. Weight gain in the stomach is generally linked to an increased likelihood of Type two diabetes,cardiovascular disease and inflammation.

nyc_pouringfatcampaignSo why is it then, that these diet drinks are so unhealthy? While they may bear markers of being low calorie, these drinks contain artificial sweeteners that are capable of sweetening up soda at a rate of two to six hundred times that of sugar. That’s staggering. And while scientists are still unclear as to why exactly diet sodas cause weight- gain there is no denying the link between the two.

For those looking to improve their cores,  once you’ve ditched the soda, start strengthening with this great workout.

The Perfect Pushup

alexander lakhanpalWhile The Pushup may seem like a fairly easy move for those of us in relatively good shape, apparently, a lot can go wrong with a pushup. From hurting your back to straining your neck, if performed improperly, a pushup can in fact be a hazard to your health. If you are new to fitness, I suggest that you start slow and focus on form instead of trying to crank out a significant number of pushups. Even modifying the pushup until you are comfortable or physically able to correctly perform a full pushup is a worthwhile idea. Doing 100 pushups is of little consequence if you throw out your back and can’t turn your head to the side owing to improper form. So for novices and “pros” alike, I would suggest that you heed the following advice.

1.Surface

Make sure that you are working on a flat even surface, unless you are performing advanced training moves that require an uneven surface. Make sure that you have a mat or a clean surface under you so that you don’t cut your hands

2. Alignment

Ensure that your shoulders are directly over your wrists, and that your lower back isn’t sagging – but also that your lower back/glutes aren’t raised. Your should be in a straight diagonal line from your head to your feet.

3. Watch the Neck

Don’t Strain your neck! This is a very common mistake that people make when they are tired, or just don’t know proper form. Make sure your neck is stretched out long, and that your eyes are slightly forward.

4. Do a full push up

When you are at the lowest point, your elbows should be at 90 degrees. Engage your shoulders triceps lats and abs fully. Always protect your lower back and try to engage as many muscles as possible.

For correct form, see below: