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Start exercising right now with this simple guide to calisthenics

December 18, 2013

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bodyweightWe are all well aware of the fact that health is wealth. However, you have to try hard to attain this wealth. Exercise is one thing that is bound to bring about a positive change in your life. It is human nature that we judge ourselves in a very critical manner. Therefore, if you want to discover a flawless inner self then the best way is to pamper yourself by exercising. This will have a positive effect on your metabolism and you will enjoy a revitalized feeling throughout the day. Above all exercise will bring in discipline in your life and introduce you to an organized way to living this precious gift of God. Some people believe that they need to follow a rigid workout routine to remain healthy. Well this is a very wrong perception. And recently we have a new trend which takes us back to the basics: calisthenics. Calisthenics in other words – just bodyweight exercises is a great way to stay strong and fit without need for any equipment, spending money on the gym and in as little time as you have!

Reliving life at its best through exercise

The first step towards exercise is that you have to figure out your approach and if you know nothing about exercise calisthenics is a great way to start. You can either follow a specific routine, but there is disadvantage to it. The more complex you will make your work routine, the more difficult it will become for you to follow it. Therefore, the best approach is to have a look at the workout routine we put up for you. This routine keeps the fast lifestyle into consideration and the major prospective of this work routine is to encourage you to workout. The exercise will help you gain strength. We do not encourage the lean look because it is not healthy and will not work out for you in the end. For this routine you do not need any equipment or money. Just your own body and a bit of space.

The exercise regime plan for beginners

It is more difficult for you to take up strenuous exercises. Therefore, we will follow the simple rule slow and steady wins the race. You can start your workout with rings. These light exercises would not pull the energy out of you and yet bestow you with fitness. Another good idea is to start with a pull up bar. However, it is up to your convenience and ease and not a compulsion. We intend to make exercise fun for you and not really a hassle to deal with. Moreover, you have to visualize goals and have to follow them to the core to achieve your ultimate objectives.

Here is the beginners’ callisthenic routine

3 rounds with 9 sec rest in between rounds

  1. Elevated Pushups -10 reps
  2. Leg Raises – 10 reps
  3. Inverted rows -15 reps
  4. Bench Dips -10 reps
  5. Squats -20 reps

For inverted rows and bench dips just use a piece of furniture available around. I am sure you can find something. There should be no rest in between the exercises. If you cannot do the reps prescribed just do as many as you can. You will get there.

For more calisthenics workouts go to our site.

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Has the Low-Fat Diet Myth been Busted?

October 27, 2013

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saturated fatsYou may be surprised to learn that the popular wisdom advocating the avoidance of fat in our diet has actually contributed to heart disease rather than reducing it.
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According to experts such as cardiologist, Aseem Malhotra and David Haslam, PhD and Chair of Britain’s National Obesity Forum, the standard advice of the past four decades to avoid all saturated fat has been the most tremendous medical error of recent times. In fact, experts say that this advice has actually caused many people to develop the risk of cardiovascular disease leading to incorrect prescription of statin drugs. [...]

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Repaying Your Student Loan: 7 Essential Tips You Should Know

October 26, 2013

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If you borrowed money to finance your college education, you are in good company. According to data from FICO, the average student owes educational financiers $27,253; a figure which represents a 58% rise since 2005. The following tips will come in handy as you prepare to repay your student loan. [...]

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Three Must-See Destinations in Augusta, Georgia

October 20, 2013

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Near the mouth of the Savannah River you will find Augusta, Georgia’s third-largest city. Bordering South Carolina and 136 feet above sea level, Augusta experiences hot, humid summers and mild winters with occasional freezes. Augusta was named in honor of Augusta Saxe Gotha. She was a princess of Wales born in the year 1736, the year in which Augusta was established. The city has since grown to a healthy population of over 500,000.

If you’re a golf fan, you know that Augusta hosts the famous Masters Tournament each year. But there’s more to this place than golf. History buffs flock to the Georgia area. In fact, the Historic District encompasses most of downtown, honoring Georgia’s pre-Civil War history and her role in the conflict. You will also find the boyhood home of Woodrow Wilson, a history museum, an art museum, and a cultural center.

Augusta Museum of History

augusta mesuem of historyAfter stopping by the Augusta Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau to get your bearings, I recommend heading off to the Augusta Museum of History. The place is dedicated to preserving and interpreting Augusta’s past.

They strive to enrich present and current generations by keeping Augusta’s history alive.  Inside, you will find exhibits on golf, local legends like James Brown and Ty Cobb, and of course everything about Augusta from Indians to the war in Vietnam.

Morris Museum of Art

Now that you have a feel for what Augusta is all about, head over to downtown’s Riverwalk, where you will find the first ever art museum dedicated to artists from the American South. Opening in 1992, the Morris Museum of Art now has an extensive permanent collection that includes paper, photographs, sculptures, and nearly 5,000 paintings. The museum hosts about nine special exhibitions each year, so you never know just what you’ll find!

Presbyterian Manse

Presbyterian ManseAfter a rich experience in the art world, it’s back to history at the Boyhood Home of President Woodrow Wilson. The 28th President of the United States (1913-1921), Wilson is known for being a leader of the Progressive Movement. World War I began during his second term. Wilson is also remembered for his statement Fourteen Points, his role in negotiating the Treaty of Versailles, and the organization of the League of Nations.

The charming, two-story house (Presbyterian Manse) serves to depict the life of Woodrow Wilson as a boy who grew up during the Civil War and following Reconstruction. The house is the oldest Presidential residence in Georgia and serves as both a historic attraction and an educational facility. Its white columns will invite you in and make you want to further explore Wilson’s boyhood history.

“Tommy” Wilson lived in the house from 1860-1870. While living there, he experienced the hardships of war, started his education, and became a devout Presbyterian. His experiences here would prepare him for his later responsibilities as President of the United States. Woodrow Wilson’s famous quote proves that he never forgot his roots: “The only place in the country, the only place in the world, where nothing has to be explained to me, is the South.”

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Augusta Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau: 1450 Greene Street, Suite 110

Augusta Museum of History: 560 Reynolds Street

The Morris Museum of Art: 1 10th Street

The Boyhood Home of President Woodrow Wilson: 419 7th Street

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Exploring the Islands Surrounding Singapore

September 25, 2013

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Singapore is a metropolitan city and a melting pot of people, languages and culture. There is no lack of activity or novelty in this urban island, but city life can sometimes take its toll on the mind and body. Whether you are a tourist or a local, the islands surrounding Singapore offer both a welcome refuge from the concrete jungle and a peek into Singapore’s pre-urban past. Let’s check out some of these destinations within a two-hour boat ride from Singapore.

Pulau Ubin

pulau ubinPulau Ubin is one of the few remaining undeveloped areas within Singapore. Located 15 minutes away from Changi pier, Ubin is an enchanting destination that has an element of timelessness and is a must-see for any would be visitor. It stands in sharp contrast to the skyscraper filled mainland, with one of its major attractions being the 19th century wooden houses that are home to cheery, easy-going villagers.

Some of its rural charm includes unfettered forests, age old dust paths and a laid back pace of life that makes one feel liberated from the modern pressures of life. Visitors have the option of cycling off to a wetland reserve – Chek Jawa – or simply whiling away at the local eatery enjoying the tranquility of the rural landscape.

You can reach the island by catching a bumboat from the Changi ferry terminal.

St John’s Island

st john

St John’s Island is another popular destination within Singapore. It offers an idyllic retreat for visitors who can choose among picnicking at its remarkable beach, getting a tan or even just strolling around the island to experience nature at her best.

St John’s Island also has an exquisite coral reef home to a school of dolphins that on a good day can be seen playing in the water. For individuals who seek tranquility, taking part in a nature walk conducted by the local marine institute would be a good idea.

The island can be accessed via the daily ferries leaving from Marina South Pier.

Batam

batam resortAlthough Batam (part of Indonesia) is known for its luxurious resorts and sprawling golf courses, it is not the reserve of well-heeled travelers. There are actually numerous locations on this island that offers budget-friendly refuge from the hustle and bustle of city life. Located 20 kilometers from Singapore’s south coast, Batam is also a gateway to Indonesia and its famous Riau Archipelago.

Visitors have the option of hiring a vehicle and setting out on an enchanting drive through the island. Some of the most notable landmarks that can be viewed during these drives include the Barelang bridge – a signature landmark in Batam and camp Sinam: now a ghost town that once hosted thousands of refugees during the Indochina war.

For those more interested in having a good time, the Melur beach renowned for its pristine conditions is the destination of choice. You can then spend the rest of the day at the Sekupang district best known for its luxurious spa and massage treatments.

The island can be accessed via BatamFast Ferry which runs a frequent 45 minute ferry service departing from Singapore’s Harbourfront Terminal.

Bintan (Tanjung Pinang)

bintan--indonesia

This Indonesian island lies right next to Batam and can be best described as sleepy village with one of the finest beaches in Asia.

When visiting this island, it would be a good idea to first power-up with traditional buffet – Nasi Campur – before heading out to the coastline.

The view from the coastline is quite remarkable making a stroll on the peaceful stretches of sand one of the major highlights when visiting. The day can then be completed by a visit to the Penyangat island ruins (ancient capital of the Malay Kingdom) and a seafood meal at the Melayu square.

The island can be accessed via a 90 minute ferry ride from the Tanah Merah terminal.

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Trends in Green Home Design

September 18, 2013

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When you opt for an eco-design home, you will not only be living up to your environmental ideals but saving yourself money too. Green homes incorporate renewable resources and concepts which reduce the amount of water and electricity you consume. With their environmentally friendly design, you are assured of reducing your family’s carbon footprint and ultimately, you will have more money in your wallet and in the bank.

Select eco-friendly door and window designs

Recycling

Maybe there is an argument for a front door fitted with a glass window as it helps light up the entryway. However, this design also allows warmth from the interior to escape. Contrast this with a door made of environmentally friendly and recyclable wood (without a window) which keeps your house energy efficient at all times.

Homes without eco-friendly window designs lose, on average, about 30% of air conditioning and heating energy a month. As different climatic zones have different energy efficiency requirements, look for window designs with an Energy Star rating for your region.

 

Opt for eco-friendly siding

For the best results, go for stucco, wood or aluminum siding. Avoid siding made of PVC as these are infused with toxins not to mention they are neither biodegradable nor reusable.

Go for a natural gas fireplace

Traditional wooden fireplaces may satisfy your nostalgia but burning wood releases harmful pollutants and also encourage deforestation. A natural gas fireplace is a more eco-friendly choice.

Choose green roofing materials

Again, opt for roofing materials with a fitting Energy-Star rating, preferably made of recycled resources. Aluminum metal roofs are highly recommended as they offer excellent heat resistance and can be reused again and again.

Opt for renewable energy to run your HVAC system

Solar panels are a sensible choice for anyone looking to cut their energy bills. While the cost of installing a solar panel system at home may be high, the system begins paying for itself immediately with lower (sometimes even eliminating) energy bills. Moreover, homes with solar installations have a higher resale value.

Natural gas is also comparatively energy efficient when it comes to running heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment. Just be certain that the equipment you go for has the relevant Energy Star rating.

Go for bamboo flooring

Bamboo is by far the most eco-friendly and resilient flooring material you can find. Being a type of grass, bamboo is quick to grow and therefore is sustainable and renewable. Best of all, the material is as sturdy and durable as oak and other hardwood flooring materials.

Use a tank-less water heater or solar thermal heater

Tank-less water heating systems are more energy efficient than traditional heaters fitted with tanks. Solar thermal water heaters, while a trifle more costly, are even more eco-friendly. You will reduce your energy bill by at least half and your house will never run out of hot water.

Use natural paints for your walls

Paints made from natural materials such as plant extracts, oils and minerals are not only safer but also eco-friendly. Such paints are free of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), a well known pollutant.

Ensure your plumbing is green

Clay pipes are highly recommended for underground pipes in place of PVC, a form of plastic infused with harmful toxins. For pipes above the ground, alternatives such as galvanized steel, zinc and aluminum are highly recommended eco-friendly options.

Go for furniture made from recyclable and renewable materials

It is prudent to take time in choosing furniture that complements the look and appearance of your entire home. When it comes to eco-friendly furniture materials, you will be spoilt for choice from alternatives such as bamboo, rattan, teak and recycled wood.

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Quick & Easy Tips for the First-Time CouchSurfer

September 3, 2013

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With the holidays coming chances are good you will be doing a good bit of travel. Travel means expensive hotels and food cost. At least it did before CouchSurfing was established in 1999. It is a simple concept: you put up at a stranger’s place while traveling (instead of staying at a hostel or hotel). There is even a social network of the same name devoted to other “CouchSurfers”, like you. There are over two million users spread across 237 countries using this social networking site that focuses on this type of hospitality exchange.

This is how it works. Before you travel, rather than booking a hotel you visit this social networking website. If you find an available host at your destination, they can offer their place for you to stay during your trip there. In return, if they are ever traveling your direction, you open up your couch to them.

couchsurfing

As simple as it sounds, for a newbie there can still be confusion as to standard practices and things to watch out for. If you are considering CouchSurfing for the first time, here are a few helpful tips to help you get started and make a good impression on your host.

Plan ahead & offer advanced notice

Chances are good that you plan your vacation weeks in advance. You should give your potential host as much notice as possible too. Keep in mind that hosts also have a life of their own. If you wait until the last minute to tell them that you are on your way, they may have to change their plans to accommodate you. The best thing to do is to make them well aware of your plans before you travel so that they are able to plan accordingly. It will save them the inconvenience of changing their plans and it will save you from being the one responsible.

Show appreciation

CouchSurfer hosts are not allowed to charge a fee for the use of their couch. That does not mean that you cannot show your appreciation. They are after all saving you the expense of a hotel accommodation. Each person on the website fills out a profile that includes their personal likes or dislikes. Read up on the person you plan to visit and give them a gift that coincides with the things they enjoy. For instance, if you read that a person enjoys a certain type of wine, consider bringing a bottle along; or if they enjoy a certain type food and you know how to prepare it, offer to whip up a meal while you are there. Small gestures like this go a long way in showing that you appreciate their hospitality.

Reimburse them

If you consume food belonging to your hosts or use up a whole box of Kleenex, replace them or give them a little reimbursement for using their items. At least offer to do so: even though most hosts will decline the offer it is polite to do so and helps them feel better about having you back the next time you travel their way.

Clear up any mess you make

As far as possible, you should ensure that you restore the conditions of your host’s place before you leave. Make up your bed, vacuum where you put your shoes, take out your trash etc. You should treat their home as though it is your own or at least do the same as you would for your relatives and friends if they were to invite you to their home for a night or two.

Make a sincere offer to host them

It does not matter if you live in the middle of nowhere. Offer your place to your hosts if they are ever in your area. They may never take you up on your kindness but at least you have let them know that you appreciate their efforts and wish to return the favor.

Select an experienced host

If you are new to it, you will probably have an easier time if you choose someone who has been hosted by and also hosted others in return several times. The reason is simple: they have been there and done that. They will understand the sort of concerns or doubts you may have and you will feel less awkward raising them. For instance, they will tell you where to leave the key when you head off for your vacation. This will help ensure that you have a great first experience with CouchSurfing.

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