What is a hoverboard? They look like this.

What is a hoverboard?                                           Where Can I Get One? 

By now, most everyone has either seen or heard of the “floating anti-gravity” hoverboard that was made so famous from the 1985 movie with Michael J. Fox “Back To The Future” part 2.

Scenes of Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) balancing on a hoverboard dashing through the streets of the future and  over water, caught everyone’s attention and imagination.

Michael J. Fox on hoverboard over water.

Michael J. Fox on hoverboard over water.

But Are They Real?

The next best thing to actually flying through the air like a bird (which at one time or another everyone thinks about what it would be like to be able to do so) the hoverboard has come on the scene.

What should we expect?

Well, are you familiar with the Segway two-wheeled people mover?

The Segway was made popular by the local folks here in the Seattle area at the Microsoft  complex (located in the city of Redmond) .  Bill Gates was, in the early days, very open minded and allowed his team to go about their business with tremendous freedom of expression and mobility.

Because the Microsoft building was extremely large (after the first building had been outgrown) and people needed to get to other areas, Bill Gates allowed people to travel throughout the building on roller skates, bicycles, skateboards or to just  jog to another site.

Then came the invention of the Segway.  It was similar to the old fashioned early “skateboard” of the 1920’s where the kids would place a board on their roller skates, along with a wooden orange crate at one end (it was used for holding on to) and skating through the streets while standing on the board.

Orange box scooter plans for kids.

Orange box scooter plans for kids.


Segway Takes Over

Segway is very similar, with the exception that it is motorized.  It does take a little bit of getting  used to the quick turns, stops, and the reverse movements, but once you have tried it, you’ll be an expert in no time.  They also are great because they are pretty much self-balanced.

On the other hand, the “hoverboard” takes a bit of skill to use.  Balancing on this two wheeled moving machine can take on bumps and bruises or possible even bodily injury as you learn how to use it.  Padding and helmets are recommended.

Modernmechanix image shows kids how to improve scooter.

Modernmechanix image shows kids how to improve scooter.

Hovering Over The Ground

In reality, the hoverboard does not hover, it rolls on two wheels.  But because of it’s versatility, it gives each person such freedom of movement, that it feels like you are floating over the ground.  A quick turn right or left, a fast pull up stop, a jet rocket start…and more.  All are some of the hoverboards features.

A more PC (politically correct) description  is a :    self balancing scooter similar to a Segway without the vertical handlebars.

Early commercial made scooter.

Early commercial made scooter with rear wheel “parking brake.”

What’s In A Name?

It seems that the name hoverboard is going to stick.

Though these little workhorse scooters originally had the names of  :   IO Hawk , Monorover, Cyboard, Erover , Moonet, Speedway and a few more, hoverboard is what most call it.

With a powerful battery pack to propel its rider along at about 5 or 6 miles per hour, it can make for an exhilarating ride through the mall, the sidewalks, or even in some large stores.

Just make sure the use of these are legal in your area.

The self balancing  or “smart” balancing features that use 3-way sensors along with gyroscopes that counter your weight, will keep you in the upright position.  This highly stable system will allow you to make those 360 degree circles, spinning to the right or left, even going backwards.

With just a light leaning forwards, backwards, right or left, the hoverboard responds.  The two plates for your feet on the hoverboard (balance scooter) will detect not only your weight, but the very slight pressure you exert to make turns, move ahead, stop, or go backwards.

I Want One !

Hoverboards can vary in quality and price.  Some of the best will run you about $1500 to $2000 to purchase.  However, there are others that usually run around $300 or so.

A great variety makes the hoverboard a fun activity for all

A great variety makes the hoverboard a fun activity for all.

I highly recommend you purchase your hoverboard from Amazon because of the buyer protection that Amazon is famous for.

Now that You have an overall idea of what a hoverboard is,  let’s next consider  some of the safety factors of these little “personal people movers.”   Reviews

Written by :  Tom McDaniel Share this information

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Choose A Walking Route Planner

What Is  A Walking Route Planner           image by:sparkpeople

The question :  What is a walking route planner, can be defined differently by many authorities.  However, most folks that are wanting a route planner are just regular people that want to walk in safety, in beautiful surroundings, with friends, with their dog(s) or for a vigorous workout.  Some even accept the challenge of walking across the entire country!

Much depends on what you, as an individual, want as an end result.

On the other hand, planning an “attack” on our health is also another type or form of a plan, wanting to be in the very best condition physically that we can be.

Where Do We Start?

Overcoming bad habits can be a real challenge.  Have you read about or even heard about the 30-30-30 attack method of overcoming bad habits and replacing them with good habits?

In this instance, we want the good habit of a regular walking routine.

The 30-30-30 challenge works like this…For a period of 30 days, we will take the time EACH DAY to read or listen to an audio recording of something positive.  It will be for a period of 30 minutes EACH DAY.   If we miss a day, then we start the 30 days over again.  So it is beneficial for us when we start that we do not miss a single day.

Since we want to be fit physically, then we read or listen to something that is health related.  Perhaps how to create good meals, proper warm up techniques, benefits of proper exercise for our age, physical condition or rehabilitation.

(Reading or listening to things of this nature will train us for having the proper mental attitude for exercise.)

We have to be the judge of what we can and can not do.

But why 30 days?  It’s known that to make or break a bad habit and create a good habit, it takes 30 to 45 days of doing that same thing over and over again.  Our brain and body begins to form “muscle memories” for that activity.

In this case, we want to begin a walking routine route planner.  We begin with a place in our local area that meets all of the safety and physical requirements that we want.  Once that is satisfied, then we begin.

Will it be indoors or outdoors?  Know what you are after.

Often times this highly successful type of “attitude attack” is applied to many areas in life.  In this case, we want to  apply it to our getting into a good physically fit routine, thereby, creating a good habit.   Having the desire to be fit is one thing, actually following through with it is where many fail.

Beautiful Scenery Is Desired

If we choose a walking route that encompasses scenery that is not only enjoyable to see and be in, but also safe to travel, then why not take advantage of it?  Do not ever underestimate the motivating factor of a beautiful route.

It’s true about things that we enjoy, we usually repeat them, over and over.  That can be true also of our route that we have chosen.

Year round scenery changes

Year round scenery changes

Too, as the year changes, so do our surroundings.  We take note of these gradual changes and want to keep coming back.   Just being out of doors in itself, compliments us and has positive effects on our health and mental well being.

Parks, open spaces, woodland trails, along rivers or lakes, canals or even near or on the beach are areas for consideration.  In the city, well lit streets for winter walking, tree lined or flower patches for spring or summer walking.  Perhaps we’ll  choose to take advantage of so-called bike paths.  They are usually safe and well traveled.

Need light rain gear?  How about a broad brimmed hat for the sun?

Regardless of where you choose to walk, be sure and take along with you, plenty of water and perhaps a type of energy snack for just-in-case.

Nordic pole walkers can go everywhere

Nordic pole walkers can go everywhere

Be Safe

As we walk, often times we are so “into it” that we forget about things that could possibly happen to us.  For instance.  Be sure that we avoid high crime areas.  Watch out for congested areas whether it be people, animals, or traffic.  Remember too, that there are others that take advantage of walking areas.

They may not be walking though.  Perhaps bicycle riders, skate boarders, roller-blades and many similar activities can be around us.  Just use common sense when making our choice of walking areas and times of day.

Some even choose to carry, not only water and a snack, but also a whistle to sound alarm if need be.  Others choose to carry an easy to reach can of hot pepper/mace type of personal protection.

If you anticipate animals, such as dogs, or even wildlife animals of any sort, bear spray is one of the absolute best types of defense.  It has a spray of some 20 to 30 feet and can also deter people that may do harm to us.

What Are We Desiring?

Overall fitness is something that all of us desire.  Some begin with the gym.  Others want to stay at home for a home-style workout.  And even more want to be with others that have similar goals and form a support group.  Whichever you choose, just do it on a regular basis using the 30-30-30 method to get started with.

If you’ve been keeping up with my blogs, you will note how beneficial walking is.  This can be especially true when using the Nordic walking poles (sticks as some call them) to get an overall body workout.

These workouts can be tremendously beneficial.  They can also be of great variety.  Intensity can be a factor also.   A slow casual walk, or perhaps a sightseeing type walk, to an intermediate type of walk or for those that really want to benefit quickly, a fast paced, heart pounding walk that works some 90% of our entire body muscles.

Entire Body Fitness Is Desired

Using the Nordic walking poles can be a challenge.  Getting our walking coordination to be in sync with using poles is not difficult.  We are really working with gravity and resistance in complementing our body muscles.  Nordic walking poles will help to redistribute our body weight and effort.  This is especially true with our lower body.

On the other hand, our core or upper body also gets into this workout.  It helps each of us to walk tall with a much improved posture.

A healthy heart and increased cardiorespiratory activities are highly desired.  This can be met by almost anyone at any fitness level.  As we apply the 30-30-30 routine in our lives, we will actually miss it when we are not able to get to our routine.

It’s quite addictive

If we choose to walk, then it should be on a daily basis.  If not, then a minimum amount of regular walking would be 3 or 4 times per week.  It should be 30 minutes each time.  But if we are unable to do that all at once, then quick bouts of 3 or 4 minutes throughout the day that add up to a total of 30 minutes per day would also be acceptable.

Year round enjoyment when using Nordic walking poles

Expect Year round enjoyment when using Nordic walking poles

Weight Loss Benefits Of A Route Planner

Have you decided where you will be walking?  Rough terrain?  City streets?  Through the neighborhood?  In a gym on a flat surface?

The terrain we choose to walk on can directly affect our loss of weight.  The more we exert ourselves, the more calories we will burn, even when at rest.

Using Nordic poles will burn more calories than traditional walking.  But keep in mind that until you reach the fat-burning-heart-rate,  we may not be seeing many changes in ourselves.

As soon as we reach that level, that is, the fat-burning-heart-rate, we will begin to see the fat seemingly “melting off” our body!

Walking with poles on our own walking route planner will take some finesse and skill. Don’t get discouraged when you begin.

Can you think of another place to walk?

Use your imagination 

Posture, Joints, Bone Density Add Up To Less Stress

As we walk with poles, we note that there is a slight rotation movement going on in our back.  This is beneficial.  Using upper and lower back muscles will automatically improve our posture.

With better posture, we begin to feel, act, and notice “better coordination” in all activities of life.  Plus, by having more cardiovascular activities, we have increased our endurance level.  Those activities that used to wear us out no longer do so.

Walking poles will help redistribute the effort that it takes to walk.  This is especially beneficial for those that are recovering from surgery, injury,  a birth defect or just getting started with a physical exercise routine.

By allowing the Nordic walking poles to take some of the strain, it allows our knees, back, and other joints to not be so stressed as we walk.

This is especially noted when we walk either up or down hills.

Bone density will increase.  Bone density is desired.

The more we use our body, bone will increase to make up for the effort we are putting it through.  Baseball pitchers and tennis players have been known to have somewhere as much as 4 times the bone density in the arm used most when compared to the arm used less frequently.

Since we want overall bone density, the use of walking poles meet that requirement, forcing  us to use all our bones and body muscles.

Don’t Get Stressed

Have you ever heard of “runner’s high?”

Anticipating the "walker's  high"

Anticipating the “walker’s high”

It is the point that all runners are trying to attain.  It is when your body releases endorphins which in turn, gives each runner a sense of being “high” along with an overall sense of well being.  It is a desirous thing.

Many who take up the Nordic walking routine, soon experience this.  They also experience less stress, not only to their joints, but in their mental outlook as well.

In addition to this is the ability for better pain management, along with endurance and greater muscle gain.

Since a much improved body efficiency in using oxygen as we get into a walking routine has been noted, we find that we become more aware of our surroundings.  Not only that, but we increasingly become aware of our finely tuned “engine” (a.k.a. our body) and it’s workings.

We take note of our heartbeat, our breathing, walking pace, how our feet touch the ground, we even “feel” the earth under our feet, the rhythm of our poles, our coordinated walking stride, and how our body is responding to this newly acquired skill along with how  our muscles are being strengthened with every stride.

With all of the above working together in harmony, we soon realize that our being stressed-out by everyday issues and/or problems seem to be not so overwhelming after all.  In fact, we even find that remedies for issues or problems, readily come to us as we walk.

Walking Route Planner

So you can see that a walking route planner can mean  all sorts of things to all sorts of different folks.   Did you see where you fit in?

Tools of the Trade

Tools of the Trade

Why not consider using your newly developed walking skills with a set of Nordic walking poles?  After all, the purchase of these poles is pretty much a once-in-a-lifetime purchase.  They can be taken with you wherever you go.

But which pole should you purchase?  How can I know which is right for me?

Written by :  Tom McDaniel Share this site!

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