Stretch into Spring with These Helpful Tips!

As BSSC’s spring sports season begins, we have injury prevention on our mind. After all, we need our athletes healthy to put up some good competition! That’s why we asked our partners at ProEx Physical Therapy to give us their top tips for staying healthy and injury-free this spring. Read on for more!

Spring is right around the corner! While the weather is getting nicer, that means it is time to get ready to return to outdoor activities. Many BSSC members will take to the fields  and courts around Boston this spring with recreational sports like softball, soccer and volleyball. As you begin to increase your outdoor activities, keep in mind that stretching can help prevent injuries and should always be a part of your fitness program and your pre-activity warm up routine.

Benefits of Stretching for Injury Prevention
- Preserve (or increase) joint range of motion and muscle length.ProEx Physical Therapy
- Prepare for physical activity and relief of muscle soreness after physical activity.
- Decrease muscle tightness and stiffness, resulting in greater mobility.
- Increase blood flow and nutrients to muscles.
- Rise in tissue/muscle temperature.
- Component of injury prevention and treatment.

ProEx Physical TherapyMake Your Stretches More Effective
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Maintain a pain-free level while stretching.
- Listen to your body and respond accordingly by discontinuing your stretch if you feel pain.
- Warm-up prior to stretching. A light jog for 5-10 minutes will do.
- Hold each stretch for 20-30 seconds and perform 3-4 repetitions.
- Stretch a variety of muscle groups that are utilized during the specific activity you are doing.
- Try to maintain a balanced position to avoid additional muscular tension, and breathe normal.
- When doing dynamic stretches, be careful not to force your joints into painful positions.

Static and Dynamic Stretches. What is the difference?
After a warm-up, and in the period prior to and after athletic participation, stretches should be performed. There are two different types of stretches. A static stretch is a slow and passive stretch targeting specific muscles, where a dynamic stretch is active movements. Typically both static and dynamic stretches can be performed before athletic activities but with more emphasis on dynamic. Examples of dynamic stretches are jumping jacks, body weight squats, and legs swings. A static stretch is the preference when you conclude your Stretchingworkout routine. Static stretches should be performed to each major muscle group for 3-4 repetitions, holding each stretch for 20-30 seconds. It is imperative that you pay close attention to stretching all your major muscles that will be (or were) utilized during your activities.

Nipping Injuries in the Bud
Stretching properly before a workout can be extremely helpful in preventing injuries while playing sports. In the unfortunate event that you develop an injury, Physical Therapy is an option to aid in healing your injuries and return you back to your desired activities in a timely manner. Working with a Sports Medicine professional, such as a physical therapist, will assist you in resuming your desired level of sport activity. The main purpose of Physical Therapy after an injury will be to decrease pain and swelling, increase range of motion, function, and strength. Your physician can write you a prescription for PT which will be performed on average 2-3 times a week.

About ProEx Physical Therapy
ProEx Physical Therapy is a physical therapist owned private practice specializing in orthopedics and sports medicine. To find the location nearest to you, please visit www.PROexPT.com. or call 877-776-9843 for more information.

BSSC Gives Back: A Guest Post from Cradles to Crayons

Each year, BSSC partners with a local non-profit that assists in improving the lives of children in the Greater Boston area.  This year, we’ve partnered with Cradles to Crayons, and we asked C2C staffer Jill Eid to write a guest blog post to introduce themselves to the BSSC community and shed some light on the great work they do there!

Cradles to Crayons Volunteer GroupMore than 305,000 children from newborn to age 12 are living in poverty stricken households in Massachusetts; each year, an estimated 100,000 Massachusetts children will experience the desperation of homelessness. Families are constantly forced to choose between necessities such as paying rent or buying a winter coat for their kids, buying groceries or purchasing notebooks for their child to take to school.

Cradles to Crayons volunteersThough these are some heavy numbers and hard statistics, Cradles to Crayons is just one of the hundreds of non-profits in Massachusetts addressing the needs of our community. And what exactly does this have to do with skiing, snowboarding, soccer, or softball?  Because in 2013, Cradles to Crayons is proud to be BSSC’s community partner!

What does it mean to be a community partner? It means that a portion of every BSSC membership fee will go towards supporting the children we serve.
Cradles to Crayons Citizens Bank Volunteer Group
So what do we do? Cradles to Crayons provides children from birth through age 12, living in homeless or low-income situations, with the essential items they need to thrive – at home, at school or at play. We supply these items free of charge by engaging and connecting communities that have with communities that need.
Cradles to Crayons BackpacksHow does it all work? Our process begins with collections of children’s items, held in neighborhood and corporate communities. Items collected are dropped off at the “Giving Factory” warehouse, where volunteers sort and inspect donations for only new or like-new items. Quality donations are packaged into personalized “KidPacks,” filled with clothing for a week, a coat, shoes, books, arts and crafts, and often birthday presents.

Where do KidPacks go? KidPacks are picked up and brought directly to children across MA, free of charge, through a registered network of social service partners.

How many kids do you help? In 2013, Cradles to Crayons anticipates providing more than 60,000 packages to children and engaging 30,000 volunteers.

How to get involved: You may be thinking, “I don’t have kid’s stuff to give away”, “I don’t know anyone with kids”. The good thing is, there are a number of ways you can still be involved.

1. Donate your time- BSSC’s members are just the kind of volunteers we love: individuals that are dedicated and passionate. We are always looking for volunteers to spend a few hours sorting and inspecting donations in our Giving Factory warehouse. It’s a ton of fun, and you truly are making an impact on the lives of children in your own community.

2. Donate your voice- the best way to tackle the issue of childhood poverty in MA is by spreading the word. Tell your neighbor, mom, dad, brother, sister, cube-mate, or pals- the list is endless. Tell them there are tangible ways to make a difference in their community and get them involved with us!

3. Donate your dollars –in order to keep serving kids, we need your support! Any amount helps and is greatly appreciated.

Cradles to Crayons with Wally the Green Monster
We hope through our partnership with the BSSC your love for skiing, travel, outdoor adventures, basketball, or whatever it may be, will grow to include a love of giving back to your community. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about getting involved in Cradles to Crayons please don’t hesitate to reach me at jill@cradlestocrayons.org.

Look for Cradles to Crayons staffers and donation bins at upcoming BSSC events throughout the year and visit www.cradlestocrayons.org for more information on this great organization and how you can get involved in upcoming volunteer opportunities!

Single in the City: How to meet people in Boston

Ah, Valentine’s Day. An annual reminder to show the ones you love just how much you love them with a cheesy Hallmark card and a box of Russell Stover’s.  For others, it’s just another annoying holiday that rolls around once a year to remind you of your single status. Maybe you’ve tried online dating with no avail and the bar scene just isn’t cutting it. What’s a single guy or gal got to do around here to meet people, anyway?

offline-romance-love-date-internet-valentines-day-ecards-someecardsBoston is a tough city to break into for people who are new and looking to expand their social circle or meet potential dates. Many people have turned to online dating to meet new people in their city, but the fact is that good old fashioned “meet cutes” still happen, and with our connections to tens of thousands of active professionals, we’ve got a few ideas for you.

Many Bostonians have come to appreciate the more organic (“throwback”, if you will) social platform that BSSC provides: put together a group of people with similar interests, provide an activity around that interest, and let them take it from there. For some inspiration this Valentine’s Day, we thought we’d provide you with a little BSSC love story!

Liz and Courtney BSSC love storyWhen Liz Barry moved to Boston from Philadelphia several years ago, she was set adrift in the post-college world where, for the first time, there was no built-in community to rely on. Liz tried meeting people in bars, but had difficulty striking up true friendships there. A year after her move, Liz wanted to learn how to snowboard, so she joined a BSSC weekend ski trip that would change her life.

Liz and Courtney Dean Wedding BSSC love storyOn that trip, Liz met her now-husband, Courtney.  Liz’s BSSC membership has created her entire social circle here in Boston and has provided a gateway to real friendships. “The people I met through BSSC are quality people with the same interests and lifestyle as me,” says Liz, 28, who now leads ski trips for the organization. “And we now do activities outside BSSC events, like going out for lunches or hikes.”

Rock the Boat party cruise BSSC friendsBSSC provides a wide variety of well-organized sports leagues and activities like skiing, travel, zip line & rappelling, volleyball tournaments, Sox games and pub crawls, but for many, BSSC’s greatest value is the people they meet. By virtue of being social and active, the events spark a sense of camaraderie and community that go beyond the activity itself.

Coed Newton Indoor Soccer champs“That’s the most gratifying thing about my job,” says Nancy McGeoghegan, BSSC’s sales & marketing director. “BSSC organizes thousands of events annually, but the best part is seeing life-long friendships, and even romances, develop and evolve from people being passionate about what they do.”

So don’t let Valentine’s Day get you down (and don’t spend it surfing Match.com for your next date, either). Check out the social activities at BSSC and challenge yourself, have a great time and make a friend or a romantic connection!

Women Taking it to the Turf: Spring Sports Leagues in Boston

Boston Women's Sports LacrosseIt’s no secret that Boston has one of the most active, health-conscious populations in the U.S. Ask any of your female friends how they stay fit and you’ll hear Zumba, Spinning, Crossfit, Kickboxing, Yoga, Pilates, Yogalates…enough classes to fill an entire week’s worth of physical activity! These classes can keep you fit & toned, sure, but what’s out there for the women who crave the competition & camaraderie of team sports? We’ve seen an emerging trend of women who want to get back to their high school or college roots and play the sports they love, like Soccer, Field Hockey, Basketball and Lacrosse—sans male team members.

BSSC Women's Sports LacrosseAsk and you shall receive: a few years ago, BSSC started a Women’s Lacrosse league on the Harvard University turf expecting 6 to 8 teams to trickle in. Fast forward to today, and this program has exploded to over 700 women playing Lacrosse in Boston throughout the Spring & Fall seasons. BSSC‘s sports department saw the high demand for women’s sports and started Boston’s ONLY indoor Women’s Field Hockey league in South Boston, as well as the incredibly popular Outdoor Field Hockey league on the turf at Harvard. In 2010, Outdoor Field Hockey started with only 6 teams, and just 2 years later, the program has more than quadrupled in size again to an impressive 30 teams, which is close to 1,000 players!

BSSC Field Hockey

Since then, thousands of women around Boston have gathered their female friends, coworkers and former teammates to form teams to get back in the game to play the sport they love.

BSSC Women's Soccer

Well, this is all well and good for the chicks with sticks, but what about the rest of the women out there who are into sports like Soccer or Basketball? BSSC has recently started offering both Women’s Soccer & Basketball leagues throughout Greater Boston. Leagues are filling up and we don’t think it is just by luck; women do like to compete and play with teammates that share their passion for the sport they love.

Here are a few leagues with open registrations for you to check out today:

BSSC’s Winter Warrior Pub Crawl Brings Together Boston’s Bravest!

Winter Warrior Pub Crawl_2013Going out and staying social in Boston during the winters is not for  the faint of heart. With the shorter, darker, colder days dragging out for 6 months, trekking out in subzero temps can seem far less appealing than a night curled up in your Snuggie catching up on your DVR. Well, we at BSSC challenge the winter blues! For those brave enough to still look for things to do in Boston this winter–our Winter Warriors, so to speak–we’ve got the perfect opportunity to jumpstart your social life and shake off that Snuggie!

Group on StreetLucky for us all, Boston’s got many bars and pubs in close proximity, making a pub crawl the perfect antidote to a sluggish social life–even in the dead of winter. The historic Faneuil Hall area boasts over 30 bars alone, and all within mere steps of each other, making it a perfect pub crawl spot. A quick walk between bars will certainly lessen the blow when that brisk February air hits you, and that is precisely the reason we chose Faneuil as the location for this year’s Winter Warrior Pub Crawl.

We’ve partnered up with the fabulous Jim Beam to bring you an outstanding lineup Winter Warrior Pub Crawl_2013 (5)of drink samplings & shots. For those of you who aren’t in-the-know about this global corporation, Beam has many liquor & spirits brands under their umbrella, including: Red Stag Bourbon, Kilbeggan Whiskey, Pucker Vodka, Sauza Tequila, and Skinny Girl products to name a few. So what does that mean for you, dear pub crawlers? Variety, and lots of it. Here’s the scoop:

  • Winter Warrior Pub Crawl_2013 (17)When/Where/Time: Sat. February 23rd, Faneuil Hall, starting at 1pm (meeting time, 12:30pm).
  • Crawl Itinerary: 1 hr stops at Ned Devine’s, Sissy K’s, Wild Rover (formerly Trinity), Black Rose, Coogan’s and Jose McIntyre’s
  • What’s Included: Winter Warrior Pub Crawl T-shirt, drink specials, apps at 4/6 bars, swag & glowsticks, a wicked awesome day out
  • How much?: $15 for BSSC Members, $20 for Non-Members, and GROUPS save big when you buy 5/$50!

Click here to sign you & your friends/teammates/coworkers up for this slope-alternative day of winter fun, or invite them on Facebook here!  It’s an amazing deal- besides, can you think of anything more fun to do on a Saturday afternoon in February? Didn’t think so.

Get Snowcial at Waterville Valley & Wachusett!

Whistler_Blackcomb_Paul_Morrison

This winter sure seems to be making up for the dismal end to last year’s ski season, doesn’t it? Every mountain in the New England area is booming with business and open trails, with nearly all of their trails open for skiing and riding and TONS of snow- and pretty great snow, too! Sure, you can hit up just about any mountain in the New England area solo and have an amazing day of skiing/riding, but riding solo can get boring after the first couple of runs and lift rides on your own.

Skiing & riding with friends is a great way to stay active and social throughout the long winter months, but what if your friends aren’t so keen about slope-side activities? Meeting new people in Boston can be tough, but when you share a common interest in snow sports, the ice is immediately broken and you have something to talk about–and do–all day!

We think that the social aspect of skiing and riding is the best part of the experience of a ski trip, which is why we’re introducing BSSC’s Snowcial Events! Snowcials are BSSC trips for those looking to meet new people in Boston who share their love of snow sports  (and an après beverage or two!). We’ve come up with some new events this season that are tailored specifically to enhance the fun social experience of skiing  & riding. Here’s what we’ve got in store this season…

  • BSSC Feb Apres Ski Party 031Snowcial on the Slopes: An all-day event that includes skiing/riding, games, après ski party and more! Feb 10 & Mar 3, @Waterville Valley.
  • Friday Night Party Bus: Unwind after a long work-week with a quick bus ride to hit the slopes & the slope-side bar!  Mar 8 @Wachusett Mountain.
  • Après Ski Parties: Your chance to head downtown for a drink & an app on us, win some cool prizes (free lift tickets, anyone?) and meet some fun people to hit the slopes with! Feb 6 @McGreevy’s, Mar 6 @The Greatest Bar

Click here to sign up for any of these fun events and for a list of all the great day ski trips we have coming up this season, and be sure to check out our social page here for a full list of the great events we have coming up!