Do You Remember Your First Bike?

They say you never forget how to ride a bike. But have you forgotten the first time you rode your first bike? How old were you? If it was a typical bike it probably had training wheels to get you used to the bike before they were eventually taken off. I don’t even remember ever having training wheels on my bike, but I do remember falling an awful lot.


It’s better if a kid can start out with a balance bike. Manufacturers of balance bikes say that kids learn faster on them than regular bikes with training wheels. A balance bike has to be small enough so that the rider can walk the bike while sitting on it with both feet flat on the ground. The idea is that eventually they will be able to run with the bike and lift their feet off the ground while coasting. This is how they learn to balance.


Learning how to pedal and balance is a bit tricky. Training wheels only teach kids how to pedal, not how to balance, which is much harder. Kids who learn on a balance bike learn how to balance first and then learn how to combine it with pedaling. Balance bikes are safer because kids are less likely to fall off and skin their knees if they are already used to balancing on a small bike without pedals.


Balance bikes have actually been around since the late 1800s, but the new versions are sleek, lightweight and durable.


According to the National Sporting Goods Association, the number of women bike riders is up slightly, while the number of kids riding bikes is down slightly. Maybe that is because more kids are sitting at home playing computer games. But parents should be encouraging their kids to get out and get some exercise and fresh air, hopefully taking rides together.

swiggies, Wrist Water Bottles Named Creative Child Magazine Best Product

Swiggies, wrist water bottles for kids were recently added to another list of top products. Over 1500 entries were submitted to Creative Child magazine for their top products award, and swiggies made the cut once it was narrowed down.

“As a corporate creativity trainer, I know how important creativity is and why it should be instilled in kids from an early age, and that’s what Creative Child Magazine does. The swiggies brand is synonymous with creativity and innovation and supports creativity education for children of all ages.

swiggies was also the winner of the Toyman Award for innovation and quality as voted on by the consumer. HydroSport, the parent company of swiggies, prides itself in creativity and innovation and strives to reach new heights in the innovation of future products.

Swiggies come in 6 bright kids colors and can also be imprinted with a corporate logo as a unique promotional product for a kids fun run or corporate sponsored event.



Marathons Going Green

Yesterday was the annual L.A. Marathon, which was perfectly timed on festive St. Patrick’s day and the weather was perfect. Approximately 24,000 runners went the 26.2 miles from Dodger Stadium to Santa Monica. It’s one of the largest marathons in the country and brings in runners from all parts of the world. So, on a day synonymous with green, I was surprised to see one of the biggest marathons in the country didn’t seem to be going green.

6,000 volunteers hand out oranges, bananas, and over 70,000 gallons of water to runners as they pass by. Then they kept the streets clean by raking the trash continuously. 1, 220,000 paper cups. I could help but think at least some of that waste could be kept to a minimum if they’d only used swiggies, wrist water bottles, instead. At least a little of the marathon could be greener with eco-friendly wrist water bottles. I would think you could save on time by not having to slow down at the water stations so often. You could just fill them up quickly on the go. And they can also be frozen to lower your body temperature in the heat.

With all the talk of going green, you would think marathons would be more conscious of the enormous amount of paper cups that are being used and find an alternative.

So, race directors, give me a call. swiggies are a great solution to that problem. And they’re BPA-free. Put your logo on them and participants will keep them for a long time, showing off your logo over and over again. And showing that you care about the planet at the same time by going green. It’s the best advertising money can buy.




Don’t Buy Counterfeit Products

A couple of months ago I went to the Trademark Expo in Washington, D.C. at the Patent and Trademark Office. Among the cartoon characters and licensed products there were booths full of seized counterfeit products that could have fooled any buyer.

Most people think of counterfeit goods as the luxury products sold on a street corner, like fake Rolexes and Gucci purses. It seems harmless until you see the counterfeit pharmaceuticals and engine parts. And no one can forget the tainted counterfeit dog food from China. I had a very hard time distinguishing the real toothpaste from the counterfeit. Or the real Jack Daniels from the fake. Just about anything and everything that’s made has been counterfeited and many of those counterfeit products were on display at the expo.

Over 750 billion dollars in counterfeit goods are sold every year worldwide, costing the U.S. hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions taken out of our economy. My patent examiner told me that the government is doing everything they can to stop it, but the problem is overwhelming. The lure of easy money from counterfeiting is great and the jail time too lenient.

So what can you do to avoid buying these products and contributing to the problem? Buy from reputable brick and mortar or online retailers. Especially in a bad economy it can be tempting to want to save money. But make sure you are buying from the source or from a reputable retailer.

I’ve fought hard to stop counterfeiters of my own swiggies brand and monitor all activity at the ports and online. I deal with a well known family factory who manufacturers toys for the largest companies in the world. Their quality is always monitored and tested for safety.

So, the next time you see a deal that looks too good to be true, it probably is. And to help combat this problem, if you spot counterfeit products, please contact The National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center at

Marathons Raise Money for Charity This Thanksgiving

As Americans celebrate Thanksgiving with turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie, runners across the country are raising money for those less fortunate so they can enjoy a good Thanksgiving meal. These traditional marathons are often called “turkey trots” and are held on Thanksgiving Day or Thanksgiving weekend.

Sometimes the events are a fundraising marathon for a local food bank or charity, or sometimes they are a fundraiser for a particular person or group of people. The entry fees go to the fundraising cause, and that can really add up. A church marathon team recently raised $500,000 for 2 villages in Zambia so they could have clean water.

If you can’t pay the entry fee for a marathon, or you’re not a runner, volunteer your time. Races always need volunteers to give out water at the water stations or other tasks on race day.

And if you can’t volunteer at the race, at least volunteer your time in other easy this holiday season. Visit a patient in the hospital. Bring something they would appreciate, like books, toys for kids, or special treats. Visit someone in a nursing home.

If you’re a runner, are you going to be entering any marathons that give to charity this year?



Beer for Hydration? Maybe You Need a Wrist Beer Carrier

Hash Harriers have been mixing running and beer for decades. Now it appears researchers have proof that beer is better for runners than water for replacing lost fluids. So maybe you need some beer carriers filled with your favorite brand instead of water.

Granada University in Spain tested 25 students in their medical facility over several months and came to the conclusion that beer helped people absorb fluids more quickly post workout. This may be due to the salts, sugars and bubbles in beer. And also the fact that the carbohydrates help replace lost calories due to intense physical exercise.

Professor Manuel Garzon asked subjects to run on a treadmill almost to the point of exhaustion. Then half of the runners were given 2 pints of beer, while the other half received water. Rehydration in the beer test group was slightly better than the water test group.

For beer drinkers like the Hash Harriers, that’s good news. They bill themselves as a “drinking club with a running problem”. Hashers participate in an old game of hares and hounds, which is a non-competitive race with clues and a beer gathering and sing-a-long at the end. There are thousands of Hash Harrier clubs in the world, and even Hash Harrier newsletters, magazines and conventions. At any given time somewhere in the world, there is a Hash going on, sometimes with runners in costume, but almost always with a beer in hand.

swiggies, wrist beer containers are a great way to drink your beer along the way without detection. In cities where you aren’t allowed to carry an open container of beer, swiggies wrist beer carriers are perfect. They hold 11 ounces total and don’t weigh enough to slow you down.

The added cold beer on your wrists also helps lower body temperature. And now that science has deemed it a better way to rehydrate, Hashers everywhere can rejoice.





Psychological Benefits of Running

As I was running through the hills near where I live I was thinking that it’s great just to take a break away from the office, away from the computer, and away from stress. Even if it’s just for a short time. There’s a lot to be said for tuning out the world for a while on a run and the psychological benefits of running.

Here’s another good article by Judy Mick that discusses that topic:

Most everyone knows that there are great physical benefits of running. It keeps you healthy and in super shape. But, many don’t know that running in great for you mentally as well. Here are some ways that running makes you stronger mentally as well as physically.

Running provides great stress relief. There are several ways that this happens. If you have a problem that you need to figure out how to handle, a long run gives you the time to sort it out in your mind. You’d be surprised how clearly you can sort through things during a 2 hour run.

Also, going for a long run can just clear your mind. If you’ve got many things going on in your life, a nice run can help to just get away from things. Many runners will take this time to be by themselves and just be out on the roads – themselves and nature.

Others will run with someone to have company and just forget about their problems.

Another way that runners deal with stress is just going out and blasting through a run. If it’s been an overly stressful day, you can go out and do some speed work. This will help to get all that stress out of you. Trust me, it feels great!

Running will improve your attitude. There are those that think “runner’s high” is a myth. But, there is something to be said about how good you feel after a run. The release of endorphins that accompanies running does make you feel better and keeps you a happier person. There are even some doctors that prescribe a running routine for their patients that are suffering with depression. For these runners, this also helps them to focus on something else rather than their problems.

A regular running program will also improve your confidence. This can happen in many ways. This confidence can come from goals that you set and accomplish. Many runners start running as a means to lose weight. As they reach this goal, they gain confidence to keep on running and it spills over into their everyday life, also. Runners also gain confidence from setting other goals, such as training for a specific race distance, tackling that big hill, getting faster, etc.

You know how running benefits you physically. Isn’t it great to know that running will also help you keep a good attitude and in a good mood? For many people, this may be even more important.

Running is a simple sport – but there are also many things that you need to know and be aware of. Sign up for my Free weekly newsletter at Runner For Life for advice to stay out on the roads and keep running for life.

swiggies Wins Toyman Award for Best Innovation & Quality

The consumers have voted an award for innovation in the Toyman Award of Excellence and the winner is swiggies, wrist water bottles.

With the summer heating up, it’s even more important for kids to be hydrated. Swiggies, wrist water bottles are a fun way to get kids to drink more water. Swiggies unique, patented hands-free design makes it easy for them to drink water on the go.

And since 60 million plastic water bottles are thrown away every day in the U.S., with only a fraction of them being recycled, swiggies is a great, green alternative. They are BPA-free and have been approved by Child Safe International.

“With swiggies, parents and coaches don’t need to remind kids to drink water. It’s right there on their wrists,” says Tom Root, president of HOPSports, a national after-school fitness program for kids.

Dehydration places kids at risk for serious conditions, like heat exhaustion and heat stroke, which can be life threatening if left untreated. But dehydration is completely preventable as long as kids drink enough of the right kinds of fluids.

Hill Running: Benefits and How to Run Properly

Being a hiker and a runner, hill running is a great way to combine the two. If I can’t get to the mountains to hike, hill running through the streets is the next best thing. Here is an article about how it benefits you as a runner and how to do it the right way:

Hill running is something that runners may not like to do, but know that it will make them a stronger runner. Hills are not easy, but they can get easier for you to maneuver. There are several benefits of running hills. Read on to find out how hills can benefit you as a runner – and the proper way to tackle hills.

Running hills will strengthen your calves, hamstrings, quads and glutes more so than running on flat surfaces. This will definitely make you a stronger runner and will make running seem easier on all surfaces. Strengthening these muscles will also help prevent injuries from running.

Hill running will also help you to get faster. Believe it or not, the same muscles that you use to run hills are the same ones that you use for speed work. So, when you come to a hill, just remember that it has many advantages for you. Running hills are something that many runners put into their schedule about once a week to make them a stronger runner.

To properly run hills, you want to maintain the effort that you were with when you started up the hill. Yes, you will run slower up the hill, but you make it up the hill without running out of breath when you reach the top. Your stride will shorten slightly as you go up the hill depending on the degree of incline. Then, you will lengthen it back out to normal as you reach the top of the hill.

You want to run up the hill with your back straight – or maybe leaning a little. Many runners make the mistake of hunching over as they run up a hill. This will hamper your breathing as you run up. Make sure that you are looking straight ahead – you don’t want to keep looking at your feet. Running with incorrect form will make hills seem a lot tougher than they are.

Your arm swing is important to getting up hills, also. Your arms should be moving forward and back as you normally do as you run. Also make sure that are not clenching your fists. This will make you overly tired and will also restrict blood flow through your arms as you are pumping them to run up the hill.

With knowing how hills benefit you and help you become a stronger runner, you may just learn to like running them. Especially if you are using correct form.

Running is a simple sport – but there are also many things that you need to know and be aware of. Sign up for my Free weekly newsletter at Runner For Life for advice to stay out on the roads and keep running for life.

National Running Day

If you see a lot more runners out today it’s probably because it’s National Running Day. The running industry has dubbed the first day in June a day when runners everywhere lace up their sneakers and hit the road, or trails, or the treadmill.

Cities and small towns across the country are planning running events to celebrate the fact that running is a free, easy… okay it’s free, way to work off stress.

So, grab a friend, two legged or four legged, and head out for a run to celebrate. To find out more go to: