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Sunday, March 17, 2013

"Life With Woody" 10 inspirational quotes than can improve yourself  It might take a little coffee or probably a few rounds of beer or any other booze you could get your hands on when it comes to relaxing after a hard day's work. Well, yeah I'm guilty about that one as well, unless I'm caught dead wearing a lampshade over my head after a few rounds of vodka… half-naked! Okay, bad example and I apologize to everyone reading this after getting nightmares about me in that state of drunken stupor. Just don't ask how it happened, please. But what's really interesting is that how do people go through the usual part of life when faced with vein-popping stress? I mean, the new age thing like Zen or yoga is one of the good things and it actually works. Is there room for the intellectual side of people who can actually smell the roses-in-a-can while on the move? It kind of had me thinking that there really must be something in this 'mind-over-matter' thing. Humor is indeed the best medicine there is whenever you are. I mean anyone can pay good money to listen to a comedian just to make you wet your pants after laughing so hard. Despite of what's been happening, and to those who has gone though the ordeal, it's better to just laugh while facing the troubles with a clear mind than anger with a clouded vision. One of my favorite celebrities of all time may have to be Woody Allen. Now this is one guy who gives you the in-your-face bluntness that he pulls out with gusto, even without even trying. You can talk just about anything with a man, and he's bound to mock the subject and you'll end up laughing rather than being upset about it. Woody Allen has this to say: 1. "Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons." It sounds good to me, I mean the practicality of all things does involve money but it doesn't have to take an arm and a leg to get it. 2. "I believe there is something out there watching us. Unfortunately, it's the government." 'Nuff said. 3. "There are worse things in life than death. Have you ever spent an evening with an insurance salesman?" This happens to be one of the classic ones. I mean the issue about life's little problems isn't all that bad, until 'he' shows up. Sure, relationships can get complicated, or does have its complications that probably any author about relationships is bound to discover it soon. We follow what our heart desires, unless you're talking about the heart as in the heart that pump blood throughout your body. 4. "Love is the answer, but while you're waiting for the answer, sex raises some pretty interesting questions." And if you want more, just keep on asking! 5. "A fast word about oral contraception. I asked a girl to go to bed with me, she said 'no'." It sounds, 'practical', I think. And when it comes to everyday life, he really knows how to make the best out of every possible scenario, and it doesn't involve a lawsuit if he strikes a nerve. 6. "Basically my wife was immature. I'd be at home in the bath and she'd come in and sink my boats." I never had a boat in my bathtub before. Just staring at it while soaking in hot water makes me seasick already. 7. "I am not afraid of death, I just don't want to be there when it happens." If it rains, it pours. 8. "I am thankful for laughter, except when milk comes out of my nose." It could get worse when you're guzzling on beer… or mouthwash, and it happened to me once! 9. "If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans." At least he doesn't smite us with lightning, and I'm thankful for that. And despite of what may happen to all of us in the next ten, twenty, or even thirty years, I guess we all have to see things in a different kind of light and not just perspective. I can't seem to imagine life without any piece of wisdom that could guide us. Whether we're religious or not, it takes more courage to accept your fears and learn how to deal with them is all that matters when it comes to even just getting along. And to sum things up, here is the last nugget of wisdom to go by… however, whenever, and wherever we may be. 10. "The talent for being happy is appreciating and liking what you have, instead of what you don't have." "What Really Makes You Tick?" 10 questions you should ask to yourself: a preparation to self-improvement Be all you can be, but it's not always in the Army. I often see myself as somewhat contented with my life the way things are, but of course it's hard to think of anything else when where are real issues to be discussed. Still I aspire for something deeper and more meaningful. So we're all pelted with problems. Honestly it shouldn't even bother or even hinder us to becoming all we ought to be. Aspirations as kids should continue to live within us, even though it would be short-lived or as long as we could hold on to the dream. They say you can't teach an old dog new tricks… or can they? 1. What do I really want? The question of the ages. So many things you want to do with your life and so little time to even go about during the day. Find something that you are good at can help realize that small step towards improvement. Diligence is the key to know that it is worth it. 2. Should I really change? Today's generation has taken another level of redefining 'self', or at least that's what the kids are saying. Having an army of teenage nieces and nephews has taught me that there are far worse things that they could have had than acne or maybe even promiscuity. So how does that fit into your lifestyle? If history has taught us one thing, it's the life that we have gone through. Try to see if partying Seventies style wouldn't appeal to the younger generation, but dancing is part of partying. Watch them applaud after showing them how to really dance than break their bones in break-dancing. 3. What's the bright side in all of this? With so much is happening around us there seem to be no room for even considering that light at the end of the tunnel. We can still see it as something positive without undergoing so much scrutiny. And if it's a train at the end of the tunnel, take it for a ride and see what makes the world go round! 4. Am I comfortable with what I'm doing? There's always the easy way and the right way when it comes to deciding what goes with which shoes, or purse, shirt and whatnot. It doesn't take a genius to see yourself as someone unique, or else we'll all be equally the same in everything we do. Variety brings in very interesting and exciting questions to be experimented. 5. Have I done enough for myself? Have you, or is there something more you want to do? Discontentment in every aspect can be dangerous in large doses, but in small amounts you'll be able to see and do stuff you could never imagine doing. 6. Am I happy at where I am today? It's an unfair question so let it be an answer! You love being a good and loving mom or dad to your kids, then take it up a notch! Your kids will love you forever. The same goes with everyday life! 7. Am I appealing to the opposite sex? So maybe I don't have an answer to that, but that doesn't mean I can't try it, though. Whether you shape-up, change the way you wear your clothes or hair, or even your attitude towards people, you should always remember it will always be for your own benefit. 8. How much could I have? I suppose in this case there is no such things on having things too much or too little, but it's more on how badly you really need it. I'd like to have lots of money, no denying that, but the question is that how much are you willing to work for it? 9. What motivates me? What motivates you? It's an answer you have to find out for yourself. There are so many things that can make everyone happy, but to choose one of the may be the hardest part. It's not like you can't have one serving of your favorite food in a buffet and that's it. Just try it piece by piece. 10. What Really Makes You Tick? So? What really makes you tick? You can be just about anything you always wanted to be, but to realize that attaining something that may seem very difficult is already giving up before you even start that journey. Always remember, that self-improvement is not just about the physical or philosophical change you have to undergo, but it's something that you really want. "A Piece of Blarney Stone" 10 ways to empower your communication The Blarney Stone is a historical stone, or actually part of the Blarney Castle in Ireland where it was believed that kissing the stone can grant you the gift of gab. Yeah, it seems strange in this day and age, but who are we to question tradition? It's not like I'm saying that Santa Claus doesn't exist (OOPS!). There is so much to know about conversation that anyone, even I, could ever realize. You can go though watching talk shows; radio programs; clubs dedicated to public speaking; ordinary conversations; certain rules still apply when it comes to interaction through words. It may sound tedious, I know, but even though it's your mouth that's doing the work, your brain works twice as hard to churn out a lot of things you know. So what better way to start learning to be an effective communication is to know the very person closest to you: yourself. 1. What you know. Education is all about learning the basics, but to be an effective speaker is to practice what you've learned. My stint as guest at every Toastmasters' meeting I go to taught me that we all have our limitations, but that doesn't mean we can't learn to keep up and share what we know. 2. Listening. It's just as important as asking questions. Sometimes listening to the sound of our own voice can teach us to be a little bit confident with ourselves and to say the things we believe in with conviction. 3. Humility We all make mistakes, and sometimes we tend to slur our words, stutter, and probably mispronounce certain words even though we know what it means, but rarely use it only to impress listeners. So in a group, don't be afraid to ask if you're saying the right word properly and if they're unsure about it then make a joke out of it. I promise you it'll make everyone laugh and you can get away with it as well. 4. Eye Contact There's a lot to say when it comes to directing your attention to your audience with an eye-catching gaze. It's important that you keep your focus when talking to a large group in a meeting or a gathering, even though he or she may be gorgeous. 5. Kidding around A little bit of humor can do wonders to lift the tension, or worse boredom when making your speech. That way, you'll get the attention of the majority of the crowd and they'll feel that you're just as approachable, and as human to those who listen. 6. Be like the rest of them Interaction is all about mingling with other people. You'll get a lot of ideas, as well as knowing what people make them as they are. 7. Me, Myself, and I Admit it, there are times you sing to yourself in the shower. I know I do! Listening to the sound of your own voice while you practice your speech in front of a mirror can help correct the stress areas of your pitch. And while you're at it you can spruce up as well. 8. With a smile A smile says it all much like eye contact. There's no point on grimacing or frowning in a meeting or a gathering, unless it's a wake. You can better express what you're saying when you smile. 9. A Role Model There must be at least one or two people in your life you have listened to when they're at a public gathering or maybe at church. Sure they read their lines, but taking a mental note of how they emphasize what they say can help you once you take center stage. 10. Preparation Make the best out of preparation rather than just scribbling notes and often in a hurried panic. Some people like to write things down on index cards, while other resort to being a little more silly as they look at their notes written on the palm of their hand (not for clammy hands, please). Just be comfortable with what you know since you enjoy your work. And that about wraps it up. These suggestions are rather amateurish in edgewise, but I've learned to empower myself when it comes to public or private speaking and it never hurts to be with people to listen how they make conversations and meetings far more enjoyable as well as educational. "Who's the Boss?" 10 ways to start taking control (time management, goal setting, record tracking) At first glance, it would seem that positive thinking and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) have nothing to do with one another. But many of us with ADD develop negative thinking patterns because we become frustrated by our challenges and frequent feelings of being overwhelmed. This negative outlook then makes it even harder for us to manage those challenges and move forward. Practicing positive thinking allows people with ADD to focus on our strengths and accomplishments, which increases happiness and motivation. This, in turn, allows us to spend more time making progress, and less time feeling down and stuck. The following tips provide practical suggestions that you can use to help you shift into more positive thinking patterns: 1. Take Good Care of Yourself It's much easier to be positive when you are eating well, exercising, and getting enough rest. 2. Remind Yourself of the Things You Are Grateful For Stresses and challenges don't seem quite as bad when you are constantly reminding yourself of the things that are right in life. Taking just 60 seconds a day to stop and appreciate the good things will make a huge difference. 3. Look for the Proof Instead of Making Assumptions A fear of not being liked or accepted sometimes leads us to assume that we know what others are thinking, but our fears are usually not reality. If you have a fear that a friend or family member's bad mood is due to something you did, or that your co-workers are secretly gossiping about you when you turn your back, speak up and ask them. Don't waste time worrying that you did something wrong unless you have proof that there is something to worry about. 4. Refrain from Using Absolutes Have you ever told a partner "You're ALWAYS late!" or complained to a friend "You NEVER call me!"? Thinking and speaking in absolutes like 'always' and 'never' makes the situation seem worse than it is, and programs your brain into believing that certain people are incapable of delivering. 5. Detach From Negative Thoughts Your thoughts can't hold any power over you if you don't judge them. If you notice yourself having a negative thought, detach from it, witness it, and don't follow it. 6. Squash the "ANTs" In his book "Change Your Brain, Change Your Life," Dr. Daniel Amen talks about "ANTs" - Automatic Negative Thoughts. These are the bad thoughts that are usually reactionary, like "Those people are laughing, they must be talking about me," or "The boss wants to see me? It must be bad!" When you notice these thoughts, realize that they are nothing more than ANTs and squash them! 7. Practice Lovin', Touchin' & Squeezin' (Your Friends and Family) You don't have to be an expert to know the benefits of a good hug. Positive physical contact with friends, loved ones, and even pets, is an instant pick-me-up. One research study on this subject had a waitress touch some of her customers on the arm as she handed them their checks. She received higher tips from these customers than from the ones she didn't touch! 8. Increase Your Social Activity By increasing social activity, you decrease loneliness. Surround yourself with healthy, happy people, and their positive energy will affect you in a positive way! 9. Volunteer for an Organization, or Help another Person Everyone feels good after helping. You can volunteer your time, your money, or your resources. The more positive energy you put out into the world, the more you will receive in return. 10. Use Pattern Interrupts to Combat Rumination If you find yourself ruminating, a great way to stop it is to interrupt the pattern and force yourself to do something completely different. Rumination is like hyper-focus on something negative. It's never productive, because it's not rational or solution-oriented, it's just excessive worry. Try changing your physical environment - go for a walk or sit outside. You could also call a friend, pick up a book, or turn on some music. When it comes to the corporate world, protocol is pretty much the religion. To know the things needed to do are the basics of productivity, but interaction and having a steady mind makes up the entire thing to true productivity. There are those who seem to work well even under pressure, but they're uncommon ones and we are human and imperfect. To get these little things like stress under our skins won't solve our problems. Sometimes it takes a bit of courage to admit that we're turning to be workaholics than tell ourselves that we're not doing our best. Happy as You Want to Be Almost everyone have heard the hit single 'Don't Worry, Be Happy' by Bobby McFerrin. The song has a very catchy way of conveying its message of being happy to everyone. Bobby Mcferiin's simple message surely made a lot of people by telling them not to worry. Living a happy, resilient and optimistic life is wonderful, and is also good for your health. Being happy actually protects you from the stresses of life. Stress is linked to top causes of death such as heart disease, cancer and stroke. One of the better things ever said is - 'The only thing in life that will always remain the same is change', and in our life we have the power to make the necessary changes if we want to. Even if we find ourselves in an unbearable situation we can always find solace in the knowledge that it too would change. Social networks or relationships are essential to happiness. People are different, accept people for who or what they are, avoid clashes, constant arguments, and let go of all kinds of resentments. If arguments seem unavoidable still try and make an effort to understand the situation and you might just get along with well with Happiness is actually found in everyone, increasing it is a way to make a life more wonderful and also more healthy. To be happy is relatively easy, just decide to be a happy person. Abraham Lincoln observed that most people for most of the time can choose how happy or stressed, how relaxed or troubled, how bright or dull their outlook to be. The choice is simple really, choose to be happy. There are several ways by which you can do this. Being grateful is a great attitude. We have so much to be thankful for. Thank the taxi driver for bringing you home safely, thank the cook for a wonderful dinner and thank the guy who cleans your windows. Also thank the mailman for bringing you your mails, thank the policeman for making your place safe and thank God for being alive. News is stressful. Get less of it. Some people just can't start their day without their daily dose of news. Try and think about it, 99% of the news we hear or read is bad news. Starting the day with bad news does not seem to be a sensible thing to do. A religious connection is also recommended. Being part of a religious group with its singing, sacraments, chanting, prayers and meditations foster inner peace. Manage your time. Time is invaluable and too important to waste. Time management can be viewed as a list of rules that involves scheduling, setting goals, planning, creating lists of things to do and prioritizing. These are the core basics of time management that should be understood to develop an efficient personal time management skill. These basic skills can be fine tuned further to include the finer points of each skill that can give you that extra reserve to make the results you desire. Laugh and laugh heartily everyday. Heard a good joke? Tell your friends or family about it. As they also say -'Laughter is the best medicine'. Express your feelings, affections, friendship and passion to people around you. They will most likely reciprocate your actions. Try not to keep pent up anger of frustrations, this is bad for your health. Instead find ways of expressing them in a way that will not cause more injury or hurt to anyone. Working hard brings tremendous personal satisfaction. It gives a feeling of being competent in finishing our tasks. Accomplishments are necessary for all of us, they give us a sense of value. Work on things that you feel worthy of your time. Learning is a joyful exercise. Try and learn something new everyday. Learning also makes us expand and broaden our horizons. And could also give us more opportunities in the future. Run, jog, walk and do other things that your body was made for. Feel alive. Avoid exposure to negative elements like loud noises, toxins and hazardous places. These are the few simple things you can do everyday to be happy. And always remember the quote from Abraham Lincoln, he says that, "Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be." What Innovation Can Do to Your Life It's a talent that everyone has, yet they think they don't. The power of innovation. If you've ever marvelled at somebody's creative prowess, guess what, you can create and innovate too. It just takes time. Everyone is born creative. The box of crayons in kindergarten were not limited to those who possessed potential; because the truth is, everybody has potential. You know how long it took to learn to ride a bike or drive or to never commit the same mistake again? It's the same with innovation. It takes a bit of practice and a lot of time before this mind function comes easily when called. This article will teach you a few tips on how to bring innovation into your life. Don't listen to what other people say. Follow the beat of your own drum. Allowing for the input of other people will only bring cacophony to the music you are trying to make. If you have an original idea, don't waste your time and effort trying to make people understand. They won't. And the help you will probably get comes in the form of negative feedback. If all those geniuses listened to their peers, we would probably still be living in the middle ages. Spend time on it. I cannot stress that enough, although, please do not mistake this tip to tell you to quit your day job entirely. Do not. This involves some tricky time management but with a little discipline you'll be able to squeeze both in. Exercise. Take a walk. Run a mile or two. Send all those endorphins coursing through your veins. Exercising certainly clears and relaxes your mind and allows for anything to pop up. Record your dreams. Aren't some of them just the craziest things that your conscious mind would never have thought of? If you've had these dreams before, and I'm sure have, this only shows you the untapped innovative power you have lying within. So jot down those notes. Those dreams may just create an innovative spark in you. Find your own style. You can always tell a Van Gogh from a Matisse. You'll know Hemingway wrote something by the choice of words on the paper. So it is the same with you. People will appreciate your innovation more because it is uniquely yours and that no one else would have thought of what you were thinking. That will let people see how valuable an asset you are. Don't hide behind nifty gadgets or tools. You don't need the most expensive set of paints to produce a masterpiece. The same way with writing. You don't need some expensive fountain pen and really smooth paper for a bestseller. In fact, J.K. Rowling wrote the first book of the Harry Potter Series on bits of tissue. So what if you've got an expensive SLR camera if you're a crappy photographer? Who cares if you've got a blinging laptop if you can't write at all? The artist actually reduces the number of tools he has as he gets better at his craft: he knows what works and what doesn't. Nothing will work without passion. What wakes you up in the mornings? What keeps the flame burning? What is the one thing that you'll die if you don't do? Sometimes people with talent are overtaken by the people who want it more. Think the hare and the tortoise. Ellen Degeneres once said that if you're not doing something that you want to do, then you don't really want to do it. And that's true. Sometimes you just want something so bad you become a virtual unstoppable. And that is passion. Passion will keep you going. Don't worry about inspiration. You can't force it; inspiration hits when you least expect it to, for those unpredictable yet inevitable moments you should prepare. An idea could strike you on the subway, yet alas, you poor unfortunate soul; you have no sheet of paper to scribble down a thought that could change the world. Avoid these disasters. Have a pen and paper within your arm's reach at all times. I hope this article has helped you bring more innovation into your life. Keep in mind that you're doing these things for your own satisfaction and not anybody else's. But soon enough they will notice, and everything should snowball from there.

Activities For The Active

Backyard Activities for the Home Improvement Lover When we think of backyard activities, sports often come to mind. While sports are a great way to spend your time outdoors, they are not all that backyard activities include. In fact, while you may not necessarily think so, backyard activities also involve the completion of projects. If you are a home improvement lover, it is quite possible that your next backyard activity could involve the building or the remodeling of a structure. In the United States, backyards are filled with millions of different things. Many homeowners have pools, barns, work sheds, or garages. If you already have these items inside your yard, you may want to think about remodeling them. Remodeling projects are ideal for those who wish to update or expand their backyard structures. Summer is the perfect time to complete many remodeling projects, especially those that are outside. While many homeowners make the decision to remodel, there are others that choose to build. If you don’t have a barn, garage, or work shed, but you would like to have one, now would be the perfect time to start construction. In most areas of the United States, summer has the prefect weather conditions for many backyard projects. The first step in building or remodeling a backyard structure is to develop a plan. If you already know what you would like to build and how you would like to build it, you are well on your way to a completed project. However, if you are unsure what you would like to build or how to build it, you may want to think about doing a little bit of research before you start your next home improvement project. Perhaps, the easiest way to get ideas or directions on how to build a garage, work shed, or barn is to visit your local library or book store. In these locations, you should be able to find a number of books that will not only offer you suggestions, but give you directions on how to get started. Libraries are nice; however, you will only be able to keep the materials for a short period of time. If you are interested in saving your resource guides for another project, you may want to consider purchasing your own books. Once you have decided on a structural design, you will need to obtain the necessary building supplies. The supplies that you need will all depend on what you are building or remodeling. Despite the fact that different projects will require different supplies, there are some supplies that are common among all backyard building or remodeling projects. These supplies may include wood, metal, saws, and many other common household tools. As previously mentioned, summer is ideal for most construction projects. Even though the weather will most likely be cooperative, it may still be a good idea to check your local weather forecast. If you are doing a project that requires perfect weather, such as roofing or painting, you will want to plan your project around the projected weather forecast. With projects that require more than one days worth of work, you may want to wait until the weather forecast predicts steady weather. This will prevent you from having to stop your building or remodeling and then startup again later. Although building and remodeling projects are great backyard activities, not everyone is able to do them. If you are inexperienced in construction, you may find it difficult or impossible to do the work yourself. If this is the case, professional assistance may be just what you need. Completing your own home improvement projects will save you money, but only if you know what you are doing. Poor building or remodeling jobs may not only need additional, costly repairs, but they may also be unsafe. With something as large and important as most home improvement projects, you are advised against taking any unnecessary chances or risks. Whether you make the decision to perform your own home improvement project or sit back and watch a professional do it, you will still be outside, enjoying everything that your backyard and the beautiful weather has to offer. Backyard Campouts: The Perfect Nighttime Activity Each year, millions of Americans head out to their local campgrounds. Camping in the great outdoors is any camper’s dream; however, not everyone is able to camp at a campground or state park. If you find it difficult or impossible to go camping, you may want to consider backyard camping. You may very well find that it is the perfect backyard activity, especially in the evening. Although camping in your backyard may not seem glamorous, it can be a fun and exciting adventure. In fact, it is an adventure that thousands of families enjoy each year. Backyard camping is popular for a wide variety of different reasons. One of those reasons includes the ease of camping. If you are an avid camper, it is likely that you may know alto well how hard to can be to make it to your campsite. Not only do you have to worry about getting yourself to the campsite, but all of your supplies as well. And, imagine if you forgot anything! In most cases, backyard camping cuts down on the hassle of most camping trips. Backyard camping is also popular because it allows campers to camp is a safe area. Unfortunately most campers, while camping on public grounds, are unfamiliar with their surroundings. Not only may they be unfamiliar with the land, but they may also be unfamiliar with other campers. Unfortunately, in today’s society it is just too much of a risk for some individuals. If physical safety is a concern of yours, that concern can almost completely be eliminated with backyard camping. Not only will you know the area, but you also know who or what should be in your neighborhood. As previously mentioned, backyard campouts are popular among those with children, especially young children. When it comes to camping, there are many children who are not at the right age to go. Whether it is due to unfamiliar territory, uncomfortable sleeping spaces, or being away from what they know, there are many children that are unable to handle a camping trip. However, as a parent, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be able to enjoy camping. With backyard camping, everything should workout for everybody. Not only will be camping in the outdoors, but you will also be near your home, in case you need anything for your children. While backyard campouts are ideal for those with small children, campouts are also fun for everyone else. Many individuals, including adults without children, enjoy backyard camping because it is convenient, safe, and free. Most public campgrounds, in the United States, charge a fee for campers. While this fee will vary from location to location, it can get quite expensive. That is why backyard camping is so popular in the United States. If you are interested in having a backyard campout, you will have to decide which supplies you will need. Depending on your preference, you may be able to sleep in a tent or underneath the stars. In addition to sleeping equipment, you may want to think about backyard toys, food, drinks, and snacks. By preparing for your backyard campout, you should have everything that you need. Proper planning will also prevent you from having to go inside your home. Avoiding your home as much as possible, even though you are in the backyard, is a great way to make the most out of your backyard camping adventure. Backyard Reunions: Easier Than You May Think Family reunions are the times when many families come together. In some cases, they are only time that everyone in a family gets to see each other. Unfortunately, it seems as if family reunions are becoming a thing of the past. While family reunions still exist, they are not as popular as they once were. Due to having children, busy sports schedules, and long work hours, many families are unable to have a family reunion, but you may be able to change that. As previously mentioned, family reunions are difficult because everyone has their own, unique schedule. Busy schedules are not the only reason why family reunions are becoming a thing of the past. Family reunions are also difficult because many families do not know where to have them. Many public parks and campgrounds are now changing their guests. For many, these fees are difficult to afford. If location is what is preventing your family from having a reunion, you may want to consider your own backyard. A backyard family reunion, either you are thinking it is a really good idea or a really bad idea. Even if you feel that a backyard family reunion will not work, you are still advised to give it some thought. After closely examining the advantages of disadvantages of having a backyard family reunion, you should be able to make an informed decision. Making informed decision is better than making one on impulse. Perhaps, the greatest benefit of having a backyard family reunion is that you will not have to travel far. The problem with most family reunions is that people relocate. This means that not everyone lives in or around the same area. Instead of you having to travel, the rest of your family will have to. This may not only help to eliminate unnecessary travel expenses, but it is also convenient, especially if you have children. Another advantage to planning your own backyard family reunion is that you will be in complete charge of the planning. How many times have you been to a party and wondered why the host did or didn’t do something? Planning your own family reunion will ensure that everything is just the way that you want it to be. While you may want to consider the suggestions offered by your other family members, you don’t necessarily have to use them. That, alone, is enough to make many homeowners want to plan their family’s next reunion. While a backyard family reunion does have its advantages, there are disadvantages as well. One of those disadvantages may include the size of your yard or the size of your family. If you have a large family, but a small backyard, it may be impossible for you to host your next family reunion. However, that does not mean that a backyard reunion isn’t a good idea, it just means that you cannot be the host. Instead, you may want to consider speaking to your other relatives. With your assistance, someone else may be willing to host the next family reunion. The cost of hosting a family reunion may not only be expensive, but it may exceed what you are able to afford. When you consider all of the food, drinks, snacks, and decorations are that are needed, it costs quite a bit to host this type of party. Despite the large cost, you may be able to turn this disadvantage into an advantage. You can do this by seeking assistance from your other relatives. Whether you ask for financial assistance or a dish to pass, the cost of hosting a family reunion may significantly decrease. As with any party, including a family reunion, it is your decision as to whether or not you want to host one. By keeping the above mentioned advantages and disadvantages in mind, you may be able to decide whether or not a backyard family reunion is possible. If it is, you may not only enjoy the experience of planning your family reunion, but you may also enjoy seeing those that you haven’t seen in a while. Gardening: A Fun and Creative Backyard Project When summer rolls around, many individuals enjoy spending time in their backyard. When it comes to summer, many individuals associate backyards with picnics, barbeques, swimming, and outdoor sports. While all of these activities are nice, there are not the only things that you can do in your backyard. In fact, there are a number of other popular backyard activities that you may never have given much thought to. One of those activities involves growing a garden. When it comes to gardening, there are many individuals who wonder why they should even bother. Growing a garden may take a lot of time and hard work; however, there are a number of benefits to gardening. To determine if growing a garden would be the perfect backyard activity for you, you are advised to fully examine these benefits. After that examination, you should be able to decide whether or not gardening is an activity that you would enjoy. One of the many benefits of gardening is that you can design your garden however you want. There are a large number of individuals that choose to grow flowers, plants, or vegetables; however, you do not have to choose just one. If you desire, you could have your garden be a collection of plants, flowers, and vegetables. You may also find that the type of garden you choose will have a number of benefits. For instance, plant and flower gardens are often beautiful. If you choose to grow plants or flowers, you may find that they help to improve the appearance of your backyard. Vegetable gardens are a great way to save money on food. Many vegetable gardens are composed of potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, and beets. If you are able to successfully grow these foods, you and your family could enjoy them as a tasty treat or part of a meal. Perhaps, the greatest benefit of gardening is the relaxation. Although garden requires a fairly large amount of work, there are many who feel as if it really isn’t work. In fact, there are many gardeners who say that gardening is as great way to relax. This is because you can work at your own pace. In addition to being relaxing, a garden will be your own creation. If are able to successfully grow a garden, you may be pleased with the results and proud of yourself, as you should be. If you plan on using your garden as a source of relaxation, it is possible that you may prefer gardening by yourself. Even though you may enjoy gardening by yourself, you may also find benefits to including your family in the process, especially if you have young children. There are many children who enjoy helping their parents in the garden. If your child would like to offer you assistance, you could purchase them their own supplies. Most online retailers, toy stores, and department stores carry a selection of age appropriate gardening accessories. In addition to purchasing gardening accessories for your child, if they are interested in gardening with you, you will have to purchase your own. Gardening supplies include a wide variety of different items. These items, such as hoes, weeding forks, shovels, and knee pads, can be purchased from most retail stores. You may find that a number of these supplies are available for an affordable price. With the ability to create your own unique garden, improve the appearance of your backyard, grow your own food, and purchase gardening accessories for an affordable price, you are encouraged to at least consider this popular backyard activity. You may find that it is perfect way to spend your summer. Popular Backyard Activities for Adults When most of us think of backyard activities, children come to mind. While children may enjoy being outside, they are not the only individuals who enjoy participating in backyard activities. In fact, many adults also enjoy being outside in their yards. Whether you are retreating your backyard alone or with some friends, you may want to think of some fun or relaxing backyard activities. This can easily be done by examining some of the most popular backyard activities, especially those that are designed with adults in mind. As previously mentioned, many adults use their backyards to relax. If you are looking to do this, you may want to examine your backyard or patio furniture. The furniture that you have available may make it possible, or even impossible, to enjoy a relaxing afternoon in your yard. Popular furniture, used to help achieve relaxation, may include lounge chairs or hammocks. If you do not have any comfortable lawn or patio furniture, you may want to consider purchasing some. Most, on and offline retail stores, carry a fairly large selection of patio furniture. Although many adults use their backyards as a source of relaxation, others use it for excitement. If you are looking for fun backyard activities, there are literally an unlimited number of things that you can do. These activities may include playing sports games, going for a swim, or having a barbeque. All of these backyard activities are ideal for individuals of all ages, especially adults. If you are interested in playing sports games in your backyard, you will have to think about the games that you would be interested in playing. You may also want to examine whether or not you would be playing alone or with someone else. If you are interested in playing a game by yourself, basketball or a singles game of horseshoes may be ideal. In addition to being ideal for singles games, horseshoes and basketball are also great games for when more than one player is participating. Additional multiplayer games may include soccer, football, tennis, badminton, or volleyball. The above mentioned games are ideal because just about everyone one can participate in them. Most backyards are able to accompany a number of different backyard sports games. However, to go swimming, you will have to have a pool. Even though pools are popular, not everyone has one. If you are unable to have an in-ground or an aboveground pool installed in your backyard, a kiddie pool maybe a nice alternative. While kiddie pools are designed with small children in mind, they are great for wading in hot weather, even for adults. A barbeque is another backyard activity that is enjoyed by many adults. Since most households already have a grill, you may not have to purchase anything besides your food. If you do not have a barbeque grill, many small ones can be purchased for around twenty dollars. Barbeques are great backyard activities, all on their own, but they also work well in conjunction with swimming or other outdoor activities. In addition to enjoying, the above mentioned, popular backyard activities for adults, you may also want to make up your own. Whether you create your own unique game or stick to traditional backyard games, it is likely that you will be pleased with your decision to entertain yourself outside. There are many adults that just enjoy being outside, even if they are not participating in anything particular. Popular Backyard Activities for the Whole Family When summer arrives, the use of a backyard increases. This is due to the fact that most individuals do not like staying inside when the weather is so beautiful. If you are one of those individuals, it is likely that you and your family will be spending a fairly large amount of time outside. To make your time memorable and enjoyable, you may want to consider familiarizing yourself with popular backyard activities, especially those that are designed with the whole family in mind. One activity that everyone enjoys is eating. Whether it be breakfast, lunch, or dinner, you may want to consider having your next meal outside. If you have a barbeque grill, you and your family may enjoy having tasty food that was prepared on the grill. If you do not have a grill, but are interested in purchasing one, you have a number of options. A large number of retail stores, both on and offline, carry a fairly large selection of barbeque grills. Charcoal grills are a cheap way to cook; many can sell for as low as twenty or thirty dollars. In addition to having a backyard barbeque, your family may also enjoy a backyard picnic. Backyard picnics are often easier to prepare than most barbequed meals. If you wish, you could easily prepare all of your food inside. Popular picnic foods may include, but should not be limited to, sandwiches, subs, coleslaw, salads, crackers, cookies, and pretzels. If the weather is warm, you may also want to make sure that you include extra water. Water, especially during hot weather, is important for hydration. While eating outdoors is a great way to spend time in your backyard, it will only take a few hours. If you are interested in spending the whole day in your backyard, you will want to find other backyard activities. One of those activities is likely to include swimming. Swimming is a favorite summer pastime, for individuals of all ages. The only downside to swimming is that you must have a swimming pool. If you do not have a swimming pool and cannot afford to purchase one, do not worry. There are literally an unlimited number of other backyard activities that your whole family could enjoy, even without a pool. Other popular backyard activities involve the playing of sports games or water games. Water games, like many other backyard games, are ideal for individuals of all ages. To cool off or just participate in a family fun activity, you can purchase a water sprinkler, water balloons, or water guns. Many of these items can be purchased for an affordable price at most, on and offline, retailers. If sports are more your family’s style, you may want to examine purchasing a volleyball net or a basketball hoop. While a basketball hoop or a volleyball net may be an expensive purchase, it is likely that you and your children will enjoy them on more than one occasion. If you are concerned with the cost of a basketball hoop, volleyball net, or other sports equipment, you can purchase cheaper alternatives. Other popular sports games, which do not require the purchase of expensive equipment, may include kickball or softball. Spending the day in your backyard is a great to not only have fun, but to spend quality time with your family. A backyard campout may be the perfect end to the perfect day. Camping is enjoyed by many. Backyard camping is great, especially if you have small children. Not only may they enjoy the new experience, but you will also be close to you home if something goes wrong. For a reasonable price, if you don’t already have one, you should be able to purchase a tent and other camping supplies. As you can see, there are a large number of backyard activities that your whole family may be able to enjoy. In fact, the above mentioned activities are just a few of the many that are available. For additional activities, you may want to ask the rest of your family for suggestions. It is possible that they may alert you to a fun backyard activity that you never even heard of before. The Benefits of Organizing a Backyard Barbeque Each year, a large number of Americans cook a barbequed meal in their backyard. Despite the fact that barbequing is a popular backyard activity, there are many individuals that never think about having a backyard barbeque party. If you love entertaining guests and barbequing, you may want to think about making your next party a barbeque party. Perhaps, one of the greatest benefits to having a backyard barbeque party is that you will have a chance to see everyone that you know. When planning a backyard barbeque, many party hosts make the decision to invite their friends, family, neighbors, and sometimes even coworkers. Whether you get to see these individuals on a regular basis or on a rare occasion, you may enjoy having all of your friends and family together in one place. In addition to inviting those that you know, a backyard barbeque party can give you the opportunity to familiarize yourself with new friends or family members. Whether your family recently grew, through marriage or birth, or a new neighbor moved into the area, you may want to consider hosting a backyard barbeque. Not only will a backyard barbeque give you the opportunity to meet new people, it may also make those new people feel welcomed. Oh course, perhaps, the greatest benefit of hosting a backyard barbeque party is that you will have a chance to relax. Despite the fact that you may be the party host, you will likely find that you are able to find time to enjoy your own party. This can easily be done by taking small breaks or by seeking assistance from others. Whether you invite your friends, family, neighbors, or coworkers, it is likely that a number of your party guests would be more than willing to help you set up lawn furniture, cook food, or even clean up. Another one of the many benefits to planning a backyard barbeque party is that you can plan your party anyway that you want it. This means that if you are only interested in having a small gathering, you can do so. You can also decide which food, drinks, or snacks are available to guests. You can also determine when your party will start and when it will end. This freedom is ideal because it can prevent you from stressing too much over planning the perfect party. The good thing about backyard barbeque parties is that most can be planned in a short period of time. While it is still advised that you plan certain things ahead of time, such food, drinks, and party games, you do not necessarily have to. With a little bit of hard work and determination, you may be able to throw a backyard barbeque party together in a couple of days, or even in a few hours. The more assistance you are able to receive, the quicker you may be able to plan a party, including a backyard barbeque. As you can easily see, there are a number of different benefits to hosting your own backyard barbeque. Whether you have a reason for planning a backyard barbeque party or not, it is likely that you will be glad that you decided to plan it. In fact, many party hosts find that they had so much fun that they end up hosting another party soon after.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Anti-Aging For Men

While aging is inevitable, feeling older doesn’t have to be. A number of anti-aging strategies can hold back the hands of time and improve health and longevity for men.

“Only about 25 percent of what determines longevity is in a man’s genes,” says Stephan Quentzel, MD, a family physician, psychiatrist, and assistant professor of medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. That means the rest is up to you. Healthy lifestyle choices can add years to your life. Here’s what every man needs to know to promote longevity and live to a ripe, old age.

Longevity in Men: What You Can Expect

The average life expectancy in the United States for men is 77.8 years. Women outlive men by 5 years, possibly because potentially fatal conditions such as heart disease and cancer are more common in men, according to National Institute on Aging (NIA), part of the National Institutes of Health. One reason: Estrogen protects women from heart disease until after menopause. It’s unknown why cancer rates are higher in men, but preventive healthcare may play a role: Women are twice as likely as men to see a doctor for regular checkups and screenings.

The good news is that it’s possible to beat the longevity odds. A 2006 NIA-sponsored study of longevity concluded that men with healthy habits and no risk factors had a 69-percent chance of living to age 85. Factors found to negatively affect longevity included smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, being overweight, high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar, and poor physical fitness (measured by grip strength). Men with all of these risk factors had less than a 25 percent chance of living to age 85. Fortunately, all of these risk factors can be improved with lifestyle changes.

Longevity in Men: Anti-Aging Strategies for Men


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There is no scientific evidence that anti-aging supplements, such as growth hormone, DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone), and testosterone, can improve longevity. On the other hand, lifestyle changes have proven longevity benefits. Here are six tried-and-true strategies for living longer:
Anti-Aging Strategy #1: Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight can take three years off your life, while obesity can slash seven years off your life. Additionally, a 2008 Kaiser Permanente study of 6,500 men and women found that those who accumulated lots of belly fat in their forties were almost three times more likely to develop dementia in their seventies.
Anti-Aging Strategy #2: Watch your diet. Steer clear of fast food — it’s loaded with salt, which increases the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease. Some studies suggest that a healthy diet of 25- to 40-percent fewer calories than normal may help longevity, but the studies have only been conducted in animals. On the other hand, there’s plenty of solid research supporting the benefits of eating a balanced diet with five or more daily servings of fruits and vegetables.
Anti-Aging Strategy #3: Exercise regularly. Aerobic workouts promote longevity by strengthening the heart and lungs. But don’t skimp on resistance workouts (with free weights or weight machines). “Resistance training is the only type of exercise that slows declines in muscle mass, bone density, and strength that were once considered inevitable consequences of aging,” says Pete McCall, MS, an exercise physiologist with the American Council on Exercise.
Anti-Aging Strategy #4: Drink moderately and don’t smoke. More than two alcoholic drinks per day can damage your liver over time and cause other potentially fatal health problems. Smoking drastically increases the risk of lung cancer and heart disease. But smokers who quit — no matter what their age — can add years to their life. According to the American Lung Association, smokers who quit before age 35 have a life expectancy similar to people who have never smoked. Even quitting after age 65 will add several years to your life.
Anti-Aging Strategy #5: Manage stress. Chronic stress can lead to high blood pressure and heart attacks, as well as to decreased immunity. Don’t let stress interfere with your longevity. Try meditation, yoga, deep breathing, or listening to soothing music when you feel stress mounting.
Anti-Aging Strategy #6: Get regular checkups and screenings. Seeing a doctor at least once a year and having the recommended screenings for your age can prevent minor health problems from developing into chronic or deadly diseases. Talk to your doctor about screening for colon cancer starting at age 50 (earlier if you have a family history of colon cancer) and for prostate cancer, the second most common cancer killer of men.

It’s never too late to starting taking steps to fight the effects of aging. A healthy lifestyle — not your genes — is the critical factor in determining how your health will fare as the years go by. By taking care of yourself, you can look forward to a long and healthy life. Anger Management Tips to use in Stressful Situations When an individual is dealing with anger issues, usually their emotions evolve when put in stressful situations. If a difficult incident pops up, often their only way to cope with it is to put up their defensive side. Becoming angry is probably easier than dealing with the circumstances. This is unfortunate since anger doesn't solve anything. Once it subsides, the problem is still there. There are anger management tips which people can used when found in stressful situations. If there is a friend or family member who is easy to talk to and understanding, it might be good to talk to them. When an individual becomes angry they are incapable of seeing the other side of the problem. Talking to someone may help them by sharing their side of the story. The friend or family member may be able to help them sort through their issues and make them look at the situation from the other side. This anger management tip may work well for some people. Another great anger management tip is to write down thoughts and feelings during a fit of anger. The angry individual may feel as if nobody understands or cares about their problems. Sharing may only cause extra conflict. Lashing out will get them nowhere. Writing or journaling may help people with anger issues. Without anyone to talk back or object to what they have to say, it may be help to get their feelings off their chest. Using writing as an anger management tip may also help in the future when trying to find the triggers which cause the angry outbursts. Being able to look back over the information written may provide the person with reasons for their anger through reading about similar incidents. Taking a vacation, spending some alone time is another good anger management tip. Removing oneself from the environment which seems to frustrate and irritate them may be a wise idea. Being able to get away and reflect on their actions may help an individual to look at things differently. Given space and time may be positive for a person with anger issues. Some people suggest prayer and meditation as anger management tips. Both of these suggestions involve very personal practices for an individual. Given a chance to pray and be alone with one's thoughts is a good way to release tension and let the pressures of life wash away. Letting go of feelings of anger and negative thoughts would definitely make a positive change in a person's life. Through prayer and meditation a person is able to dig deep into their minds and souls for answers to their problems and comfort for their broken spirits. Back Pain and Considerations When back pain occurs, the process of consideration must start. Back pain can emerge from various causes, yet when the pain is severe, one should seek medical advice immediately. When injuries occur and the back delivers messages that signal us that a problem exists, one must also seek medical advice. Injuries often cause neurological conditions. When to visit your doctor: If you are in an accident or fall and cause injury, seek medical assistance instantly. Delaying the problem can lead to further complications. If you lift a heavy object and your back starts to ache, seek help. If the muscles in your legs cannot provide you support and stability to stand erect on your toes, seek help. If slapping of your feet start when you begin walking, you will need medical support also. At the lower trunk, legs, and back, if you feel weakness, tingling, or numbness you will need medical assistance. During sleep hours if your back gives you problems, you endure fevers, and if you experience chills, seek help. If you loose control of your bladder and bowels, medical treatment is needed. If you notice pain traveling down your arm or leg, in addition to back pain, seek help. If you notice joint pain or swelling in all areas, including the back seek help. If you have back pain and perform home treatment, such as bed rest and taking over-the-counter meds, seek help. If you feel pain in the back, which you believe is not an emergency; you should rest your back. When pain starts from common activates, it is often because you have over-exerted the joints, muscles, etc. When treating the problem at home, rest in a comfortable position. Lie on your back and place a pillow under your knees. You can also try resting on your back while placing your feet on your couch or chair. The knees should bend at a 90-degree angle. Roll a towel up and situated it so that it supports your neck. Whatever method you choose and if it is right for you, allow your back to rest until the pain vanishes. If the pain continues however, seek medical assistance. Sometimes you have to rest the back a few days before it ceases aching. Ultimately, you can visit a massage therapist, chiropractor, or someone who performs acupuncture to seek help. In fact, many doctors and mental health experts are incorporated acupuncture into their treatment plans. The process includes needles, which treats the disorder by inserting the injections into the skin at points believed to cause the pain. Acupuncture originated in China, which blocked flow of energy is believed to create pain. When you rest the back, make sure that you lay on a firm surface, especially if you are resting for a day or so. If you lie on soft mattresses for a length of time, it could cause problems to the muscles that support the back. During the wake hours, you want to continue lying on your back, rather than sitting up to read a book. You can continue the treatment at home by moving around every couple of hours. You want to focus on balancing the body when walking around and use hard surfaces to support your weight. When you lie back down to rest, make sure you move gradually in position. If you have a back mattress at home, lie on the mattress and allow the heat and vibration motions comfort your aching back. How to lie in bed properly: Whichever side your pain is, sit on the edge of your bed and lower the head, so that it balances with your trunk. Raise the legs and slowly turn over onto your back. Use your arms to erect from bed rest. Herniated Disk and Back Pain The disk at the back spinal column divides the skeletal structures. Disk does not compose blood vessels or nerves like other elements of the skeletal structure. Instead, disks are made up of fat, water, and tissues that connect to the skeletal structure. During all hours of the day, the disks leak water, which is caused from forces of gravity. For instance, when we sit it is a gravity force in action, which one might think that it takes little effort to sit, but contrary to the notion, it is adding a lot of weight to the spine and disk. The disk restores water that has leaked out during the day, yet the water is restored at slower paces. Fat and water is balanced in the disk, yet when it is not it causes a person to shrink height. Fat and water inside disks are thick, yet when a person starts aging, the substances begin to thin. When fat and water begins to thin, it can lead to osteoarthritis. Thinning water and fat of the disk is also the leading cause of back pain, especially at the lower region. Disks exterior are covered by “Annulus Fibrosis.” Sometimes the connective tissues lead to abnormal thickening, which scars the tissue. Usually injury follows, then infection, and moves to restrained oxygen intake. Surgery is often the result. The inner area of the disk is shielded by “Nucleus Pulposis.” The pulp makes up the hub of the disk, which is polished and soft. The disks make up the primary supporting force that regulates the spinal column, bones, muscles, etc. When the disk is not protecting the spinal structures it is often dehydrated, pressured, or deformed. The disk has strength that combines with flexibility to withstand high loads of pressure, yet when that flexibility and strength is interrupted, it can result to herniated disk slips, or other injuries. Slipped disks in medical terms are known as HNP. (Herniated Nucleus Pulposa) As outlined the intervertebral disks are ruptured, which interrupts the nucleus pulposa. In medical terms, slipped disks can include L4, L5, which is Lumbrosacral and C5-7, which is Cervical. L4 is a single area of the spinal column and disks, which defines the numerical disk ruptured. Slipped disks are caused from accidents, trauma, strain of the back and neck, lifting heavy objects, disk degeneration, weak ligaments, and congenital deformity of the bones. Disk degeneration is outlined in this article. Symptoms: Lumbrosacral will show apparent symptoms, such as acute lower back pain, which radiates to the buttocks and down to the leg. The person will feel weak, numb, or tingling that stretches to the leg and foot. Ambulation also causes pain. If cervical disk problems are present, the patient will feel stiffness around the neck. As well, the symptoms will make the patient feel weak, numb, and he/she will feel tingling around the hands. Neck pain often generates pain, extending it to the arms and onto the hands, which cause weakness to the upper region of the body. The weakness often targets the triceps and biceps, which become atrophy. The lumbar is affected also, which the patient will find it difficult to straighten the back. What happens when a disk is slipped and/or broken the annulus fibrosis reacts by pushing its substance into the hollow spacing between the spinal column. The spinal column is made up of nerves, which travel to various parts of the body, including the brain. These nerves are affected when the disk is slipped. Learn more about the Central Nerve System (CNS) to relate to slipped disks. First, understand how the joints and connective tissues can cause back pain.