No Time for Exercise? Get Some in at Work!

Sure, you can exercise on the job easily enough when you’re a yoga instructor. What about other professions?

Many of us are so busy nowadays that important things in our lives often fall by the wayside. Amongst those typically is exercise. Don’t have time to join a gym or even go for a walk after work? Sure, you can exercise on the job easily enough when you’re a yoga instructor. What about other professions? We all know that being sedentary is bad for you, but so many modern jobs offer little chance for regular movement.

Well, guess what? There are ways for you to get some exercise time in while you’re on the job (and no, they shouldn’t anger your boss). Sometimes exercise isn’t about losing weight or building muscle; it’s about performing certain actions that can prevent future injuries.

Push-Ups

We’re not suggesting getting down on the floor in the middle of the office. There are other, more convenient ways to do push-ups, too. Try doing ten while leaning against your desk at a 45° angle and pushing up.

Squeeze Those Shoulder Blades Together

Here is an excellent one for desk jockeys. Being hunched over a computer can take a real toll on you, causing painful posture issues. Squeeze your shoulder blades together for 10-15 seconds, trying to make the tips touch. Do this a few times at several points in the day. You may not lose any pounds from this exercise, but your body will definitely appreciate it.

Shrug Your Shoulders

Here is another one that will help ward off the pain caused by hunched over office work. Shrug your shoulder as close your ears as possible and hold that position for 10-15 seconds several times per day.

Wall Squats

Heard of jungle squats? These are similar and are much easier to do in an office environment. Lean against a wall, slide down it to a 90° angle, and then slide back up. Do this ten times once or twice during your day.

This video offers some more suggestions for exercises you can do right at your desk:

 

Is Your Cat Always Stressed Out? These Steps Can Help

Cats are known to be a bit jumpy and skittish at times, but some kitties suffer from the feline equivalent of anxiety disorder. This can make them less than ideal pets and it is also not good for their overall health.

Is your cat constantly anxious about seemingly everything? The following steps might help to calm him down.

Make a Vet Appointment

Sometimes these changes in behavior are the result of a health condition that is making the cat feel ill or otherwise uncomfortable. Sometimes this manifests in such signs as loose stools or urinating outside the litter box. Others can only be detected by a trained veterinary technician, so play it safe and bring your cat in for a check-up.

If the vet cannot find a physical reason for your cat’s condition, she might prescribe an anti-anxiety medication suitable for your cat’s health and current mental state.

Remove Fleas

It is easy to sympathize with a pet in this situation. How would you like it if fleas were constantly biting you? We’re guessing you would be pretty stressed out.

Examine your cat to detect evidence of fleas. If you find some, make an appointment with your vet for recommendations on the most suitable treatment. You will also need to thoroughly vacuum and clean, as well as using a flea powder.

Minimize Loud Noises

If you like loud music or playing movies with the volume cranked, that can be quite distressing to cats, thanks to their excellent hearing. Try to keep it down a bit. Noisy, prolonged arguments can also be a problem, so try and talk things out instead.

Playtime

If you have an indoor cat, a lack of exercise and stimulation can make them skittish. Be sure to play with your cat regularly, and try to engage with him in ways that help to keep him moving. Having a bird feeder or fish tank can also create engaging distractions.

 

Tips for Staying on Your Diet

We live in such an image conscious world that being overweight can make life really tough. It is enough to drive some people into the depths of depression and, in some cases, even to suicide.

Going on a diet sounds like an easy decision to make when you are overweight, but it is anything but simple. For a diet to have any effect, you have to be willing to figure out a new and healthier menu, plan an exercise schedule, and then stick carefully to both. That can be challenging even for people who possess great willpower, let alone average folks.

Are you having trouble sticking to your diet? Don’t quit just yet because it is still possible to turn things around and achieve positive results. It won’t be easy, but the following suggestions can definitely help to ease things and allow you to achieve your goal faster.

The Buddy System

Do you know anyone else who is looking to shed a few pounds? Having someone doing it with you can help make a daunting prospect seem easier. That friendship and moral support can make it easier to stick to your diet, and it’s always more fun to exercise with someone else than to go at it alone. You will also be able to easily share tips that are helping.

Talk to a Dietician

It’s one thing to read about fad diets online and try to guess what will work; it’s quite another to come up with a plan under the supervision of a professional dietician. Going the latter route will cost you some money, but there is a much better chance you will meet your goals faster. It will also help you meet all of your body’s caloric needs more effectively than trying to guess.

Exercise

Eating right is a big part of losing weight, but you will succeed much faster if you incorporate regular exercise. You should already be doing about a half hour a day; increase that in order to lose weight. For safety sake, check with your doctor before starting any form of vigorous exercise. He or she will advise you on whether this is a good plan given your current weight and physical condition.

Why Do We Love Halloween So Much?

What is it about Halloween that gets people so excited? It used to just be a time for kids to go around collecting candy and dressing up like little monsters. However, Halloween has expanded well beyond that and become a time of year that every age group seems to relish.

So, just what is it about Halloween that has made this time of year so special, while other occasions, like Easter, remain firmly in the kiddie camp?

Celebrations!

Parties are usually fun anyway, but Halloween parties are a blast! If you love wearing cool costumes, Halloween parties provide the ultimate excuse. Scary, funny, silly, sexy…you name it! Kids’ parties have many opportunities for fun, and the adult ones are pretty good, too. Horror and sex are a common combination in movies and at Halloween parties as well, so expect to see sexy vampires, zombies, and creatures of all persuasions.

Don’t even get us started about the food! Cake, candy, chocolate, pumpkin pie!

Being “Evil” for a Day

Many of us are happy to obey the law and do our best to respect others. Halloween gives us a chance to put that aside for one day and pretend to be monstrous! Or mysterious. Or just plain irresponsible. Pretend can be fun, even for grown-ups, and Halloween gives us all a chance to really change our identity. Your dark side can be on display for a change.

You Can Be Scary

Along with being mysterious, you can also be downright chilling! Halloween is a great time to try and be scary, which for most people is 100% removed from their usual day-to-day persona. You can even fill your home (and property) with ghosts, ghouls, zombies, black cats…any decorations that you think might raise a chill. Indulge your creativity and create an atmosphere of terror at home!

Why Do People Think That Movie Theatres are Their Living Room?

I started to notice it in the early 2000’s. Instead of watching the screen, I noticed people with their flip phones open pressing the buttons. At the time, I did not have one and did not know about texting, so I was perplexed at what they were doing. I soon learned the hard way, when one sat right next to me doing it. I let them know my feelings and they immediately stopped.

However, as the decade wore on, I encountered this more and more and some people were less than accommodating about turning off their phone so I could enjoy the movie. While talking during movies is not a new phenomenon, people also began to be more brazen about it. At times, I wondered if they were honestly confused about the fact that they were in a public space versus their own living room. They honestly seemed to have forgotten the difference.

If you are one of those people who like to talk and/or text in movie theatres, please just stop. You may not think you are disturbing people, but trust me you are. Take it out into the lobby next time.

Should you feel you cannot stop because you simply cannot do without your phone for two hours, please either leave it at home or just wait until the movie hits video on demand. You may be used to the additional noise and light shining in the darkness, but trust me, not all of us are. These are unwelcome distractions from the enjoyable immersion that a movie offers. I do not want to think about your instant messaging when I am watching the intricate world set up in BLADE RUNNER 2049.

Please… just think about others for a couple of hours. It won’t kill you. In fact, you will probably enjoy the movie more.

How to Keep Your Chin Up During Dark Times

Many surveys these days are showing that people are more on edge and unhappy than they have been in several decades. The average person is under a lot of stress and it seems like good news is in very short supply. The recent mass shooting in Las Vegas is just one example of what seemed like an almost daily barrage of horrible events force fed to us by 24/7 news networks and the Internet. Such an unending stream of negativity can weigh upon even the happiest person.

Do you find that you are less happy than you used to be? Here are some tips that might help to change things around for you:

Exercise

Keeping physically active is important not only for your body, but also for the mind. Exercise helps to generate “feel-good” endorphins in your brain that help you to feel better. This is why a good workout finds you feeling calmer and happier afterward.

Practice avoidance

Are there other people or situations that make you sad? Try to avoid them. For example, if the constant barrage of negative news brings you down, try spending less time on the Internet and watching television. If there is a certain person and you find yourself getting sad just being around them, make some polite excuses so you have to spend less time in their presence. That might seem rude, but think about the alternative.

Concentrate on the positive

Is there something coming up in the near future that you are looking forward to, like a holiday trip or a reunion with old friends? Try to keep that at the forefront of your mind as it will help you to stay positive and centred. Also, if there is something particularly good in your day, try to keep thinking about that event or accomplishment.

What to Do When You Feel Old

There are only two things in life that are inevitable: death and taxes. Well, three, if you include the aging which leads to death. In any event, we cannot do anything about aging or death and that thought can sometimes be rather depressing. We will all get old and we will all die.

Even if you manage to keep your mind off of this advancing decrepitude, your body constantly speaks up in the form of nagging aches and pains. Then there are those days when you feel depressed and in pain. All you want to think about is your lost youth and how you know feel that you have squandered it.

When the double whammy hits you, try to get on your feet and get moving. Exercise is not only good to keep your weight down, but it also helps to lower your blood pressure. Meanwhile, your brain is producing feel-good endorphins that will lighten both your mood and your step.

At the same time, try to avoid abusing too many substances. Alcohol may help to calm you down, but remember that it is a depressant. That will simply lower your mood and that is not something you need when you are feeling this way.

It can also be tempting to indulge in comfort food. Unfortunately, as we get older, it becomes more difficult to lose weight because we have less energy and drive to exercise. Putting on extra pounds and then having trouble to lose them is guaranteed not to make you feel better.

Do what you can to avoid stress. It is bad for your blood pressure and can actually prematurely age you. Stress will depress you, which makes you less likely to exercise and socialize, which will just make things worse. It is really the worst kind of vicious circle.

Here’s How You Can Save Some Time Each Day

For most of us these days, it seems like there are never enough hours in the day for us to get everything done. Between her responsibilities at work, at home, and with friends and family, it can be tough to find time to even relax, let alone tackle other projects.

Fortunately, if you plan everything correctly, there are ways to free up a few minutes here and there and this will lead to some substantial time savings for you. Try some of the following strategies:

Plan ahead

The best and most efficient way to tackle any project is to plan ahead. Whenever possible, try to map out your day in as much detail as you can; this will make it easier to know how much time you have to accomplish things and how much time might be left over. Think about things you can do during those spare periods and plan them in such a way that you can start and finish them as time efficiently as possible.

Turn off your smart phone

Our smart phones can be a wonderful aid, but as the kids today say, they can also be a tremendous time suck. You would probably be shocked to learn just how much time you spend looking at that phone each day. Try turning it off and, if you are still succumbing to temptation, put it away in another room.

Streamline your cooking

Many of us do not eat as well as we should due to the time involved in preparing meals. Set aside some time on the weekend and prepare all of your main courses for the week on that one day. Refrigerate and freeze portions that you can then eat on each subsequent night. That way, when you get home from work, you just have to put something in the microwave.

Here’s How You Can Lower That Electric Bill

Tired of your sky high electric bill? We’re sure that you are. In fact, we have never met anyone who is happy about their electric charges. The Ontario government recently took steps to help ease the pain caused by the province’s excessive hydro costs, but our power needs still take a big bite each month.

It is up to the individual consumer to find ways to use less power and decrease their monthly hydro expenses. Here are a few tips that can help:

Watch Your Air Conditioner Settings

Do you really need the air conditioner on for that long and at that low of a temperature? Try adjusting it a bit upwards. Also, close your curtains and perform other measures that can help to keep the temperature down cost free. A little extra planning and a little extra “discomfort” can end up saving you a fair bit in the long run.

Laundry Costs

Don’t run your washer or dryer until you have a full load. Also, wash your clothes in cold water. You will be surprised what a difference that can make to a process that already uses a lot of power.

Observe Power Conservation Times

Most power companies have the day divided into sections where power consumption is higher, hence a higher charge for the user. Try and schedule as much of your heavy power use as possible to occur in the evenings (usually after 8PM) so as to reduce your costs.

Unplug Things

Did you know that battery chargers, charging bases, TVs, and other electronic devices continue to use power when plugged in, even if you are not using them? It’s true, so take the time to unplug them when they are not in use. You can make this process easier by using a plug bar with an On/Off switch.

 

 

How to Overcome Shyness

No two people are alike and that includes personality types. Some people are naturally outgoing and can talk quite easily to strangers, while others are more withdrawn and have trouble socializing. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being shy, but shyness is still often seen as a burden that people want to overcome.

Are you shy and do you have trouble talking to people and making new friends? Here are some tips you can try to overcome your shyness:

Don’t Advertise Being Shy

You don’t have to walk into a room and say, “I’m shy.” Chances are, unless you say that, no one will come to this conclusion immediately. If you see someone who looks interesting, consider striking up a conversation. Think about a subject that the two of you might have in common as that helps to break the ice. However, if you don’t feel like talking to anyone at the moment, wait a bit and see if that changes.

Ignore Your Inner Critic

Shy people often have an inner voice that impedes their progress by telling them that they should avoid certain people and situations. That causes the shy person not to take chances and they will avoid talking to certain individuals even though they do not necessarily know that the conversation might go badly.

The next time this happens to you, ignore that voice and try to strike up a conversation. If it goes well, think about what you did that made the difference and try this approach again with someone else.

Don’t be Discouraged

Even if your encounter went badly, don’t give up. The most outgoing people in the world have bad conversations and don’t always say the right things. This doesn’t bother them because they know that, at the end of the day, it’s not that important.