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Friday, July 5, 2013

Stay Healthy – Learn To Meditate

Wondering how people who live to be 100 with a great quality of life do it? In his book, “Aging Well,” Harvard researcher, George Vaillant, M.D., found out just what centurions do. They cultivate a sense of peace, well-being and maintain a positive attitude. How? Here’s one of their biggest secrets: meditation. What’s ironic about meditation is, it has just become known in the West as a healing technique, but it has been practiced for ages in the East. So in my quest to give you easy sensible ways to purify your energy, I’ll begin by defining meditation, then I’ll show you how easy it is to apply to your daily routine.
Meditation Defined
Meditational exercises primarily use the experience of the body and thought as a means to reconnect with the environment and its healing power. Meditation, when practiced frequently, has been proven to promote inner peace and wellness. Meditation is also a mental practice in which the mind is directed to one area, often the breath. It draws its energy from the human connection to nature and creates a sense of unity or one-ness with it.
This unity has been shown to increase communication with the spirit of the body. It has also been known to allow positive thoughts in and to stimulate positive physiological and psychological effects. Meditation techniques are easy to learn and can easily be incorporated into any lifestyle. If practiced regularly, meditation will bring balance to your body and mind.
General benefits of meditation and breathing exercises include:
  • Deep inner peace
  • Improved self-esteem
  • Increased creativity
  • Physical health/healing
  • Reduced medical care
  • Slowing/reversal of aging
  • Reversing of heart disease
  • Stimulation of the body’s immune system
  • Reduced stress
  • I have found there is really no one right ways to meditate. Here are a couple of my favorite meditational exercises that will get you started. Remember, there is no wrong path here. Try these, or simply sit in silence for 20 minutes, daily. You’ll be glad you did.
    Meditative Grounding Exercise
  • Sit with your legs crossed in a comfortable (Indian-style) position with your hands relaxed on you lap. Close your eyes and imagine a beam of light dropping from the base of your spine through the earth and connecting you to its center.
  • Allow this beam of light to expand in width until it is wider than your own body and envelopes it. This is your personal space.
  • This exercise places you totally in your body and reminds you that you are anchored to the earth. Remember, the more grounded you are, the more aware you are. Sense the presence of your higher self: listen to its voice.
    Energy Cleaning Exercise
    Now that you are grounded, it’s important that you cleanse this personal space. Often we collect other people’s energies and are not aware of it. We do this both through interaction with others and basic activities of daily living.
  • To remove all foreign energies from your space, imagine holding a brush and sweeping away the debris.
  • Allow the debris to fall to the ground and become washed away. Let the light from the previous exercise envelop your body and spread its healing energy to the edge of your space, forming a protective force field around you.
  • Cleaning out the area surrounding your body will keep you grounded, define your personal boundaries and declare your space. Then choose who and what you wish to enter you space, keeping disease and illness out.
    Breathing Exercise
  • Follow your breath as you slowly inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Count with each exhale until you reach 10 then begin again at one.
  • If you find yourself past 10, acknowledge this and begin again at one from wherever you are.
  • Imagine your body’s cells being replaced with fresh, pure oxygen and positive healing energy from this power source. Picture yourself exhaling old cells, stress, illness and worries.
  • Let your thoughts pass through your mind like drifting clouds. Let them in and gently let them pass through. If the mind should harbor a negative thought, refocus on the breath.
  • Thank any persistent negative thoughts for coming into your mind then gently let them go.
  • Listen only for the positive, pronounced voice; the voice of your body.
  • Retrieve Your Energy Exercise
    Since foreign energy often resides in your space, let’s also assume that you leave energy in other places. After completing the preceding exercises it is necessary to re-energize and call energy back.
  • Imagine you have an energy magnet used to attract your energy back to you. Visualize energy flowing back to you, filling your body with light, health and empowerment.
  • Allow a few minutes for the process.
Journal Questions:
  1. Record in your journal any problem or trouble you may be having – emotional, physical or otherwise. Let problems go and give them over to your meditation.
  2. Do you notice solutions coming to you throughout the day? Do you notice with regular meditation that your body and mind are becoming calmer and clearer?
Ideas To Consider:
  1. Make time for your spirit daily. Exhibit behaviors and self talk that show your reverence for yourself.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Why Do My Feet Hurt So Much When I Run?

If you are a seasoned runner you know the importance of a good running shoe. It can make the difference between a great running experience, or potential injury. 

The problem is not being informed. Most people do not know that there is a proper shoe for your foot type. Knowing your foot type before you hit the stores can make a world of difference whether you want to do brisk walking, jogging or marathons. 

How do you determine your foot type? It's really quite simple. Get a piece of dark paper and then soak your feet and step on the paper. Look closely at the imprint. There are generally three types of feet. 

1) If your imprint covers most of the feet (not much arch at all) then you have flat feet. You are among the 60% of the population in America with flat feet.

2) If you show a wide arch and narrow line of your outer foot then you have high arches. You are among the 30% of the population of in America. 

3) If your imprint has a medium arch then congratulations. You are among the 10% of the population in America with the ideal foot. 

Regardless of what foot type you have, there are running shoes that are right for you. As many as 56% of the 30 million runners in America, have injuries from improper shoe selection. So you can see that you do have to do your homework to protect yourself. 

With all the pressure one gets from TV adds or what is popular to wear now, you really need to put the health aspect first. Most likely you will be able to find a shoe that is right for your foot type and still have style. 

To determine the shoe to buy, here are some guidelines: 

1) For the flat-footed person, you will want to buy a shoe that is rigid and stable. This will prevent your ankles from bending inward or outward and it will protect you.

2) If you have high arches, you will want to look for a very cushioned shoe. High arched feet don't absorb shock very well so you'll want that cushion to help in absorbing the shock for you.

3) For the medium arch or ideal foot, you want the combination of both stability and cushioning for your feet. 

When you try on a shoe it should be snug but not tight and there should be approximately a 1/2-inch between your longest toe and the front of your running shoe. Tip: Shop for your shoes late afternoon when your feet are a little more spread. If it is not comfortable when you are in the store, imagine what it will be like when you are out on a run. So test them well while you're there. 

In summary, those shoes you bought that were such a bargain may be cause for concern in the future, so pick wisely and may your running experience be smooth and wonderful. Your feet will be most grateful. 

Picking Out The Ultimate Fishing Boat

You and your family are heading out early in the morning for a day of fishing in your brand new fishing boat. You hit that highway that leads to the lake, excited voices echoing throughout your SUV. Your wife and kids are just as delighted with the new boat as you are and are discussing the whopper they hope to catch. You arrive at the lake, launch the runabout that contains the entire family's fishing gear and in no time at all, you are skimming across the water, every family member safely encased in a lifejacket. You just know that this is going to be a great family outing and everyone loves the new fishing boat. 

A fishing boat can be anything between a canoe where you dangle basic bait over the side in a river or stream to a powerful cabin cruiser or yacht. Basically, all you need to get out onto the water is a vessel that is seaworthy. There are a large variety of fishing boats available on today's market. You can buy them at boat shows, fishing shows or dealerships. Let's look at some different types of fishing boats. 

Freshwater Fishing Boats 
If you enjoy fishing in freshwater rivers, lakes and streams, leave the big, powerful boats for someone else. Choose a fiberglass or aluminum boat that is lightweight and easy to transport. A bowrider, runabout, walleye boat or a boat with a small or dual console will meet all of your freshwater fishing needs. These boats are perfect for family outings. 

Bass Boats 
Bass boats ride low in the water and are usually very colorful and extremely fast. They can be aluminum or fiberglass and most often they are equipped with platforms in both the bow and stern for easy casting. If you've always dreamed of owning the perfect bass boat, be sure to buy one that has a trolling motor mounted on the bow. These boats are mainly used for sport fishing and tournament fishing. 

Offshore Saltwater Boats 
If you enjoy heading out on the open sea for a day of saltwater fishing that includes huge fish and heavy tackle, you will need a heavy boat that is dependable and can be relied on in all situations and weather. Anything less than a cuddy cabin or center console that's equipped with either twin or single outboard motors will not fit the bill. The high end of an offshore saltwater boat is a bluewater or convertible that comes complete with luxury quarters and elaborate salons. These boats should be equipped with inboard diesel engines that have maximum power. 

Inshore Saltwater Boats 
If you're planning to fish for tarpin, bonefish, trout and snook or redfish on tropical flats, a light boat will take you a long way. This type of boat should always be less than a 25-footer and powered by a single outboard motor. The best type of vessel for inshore saltwater fishing is a basic bay boat or flat boat. Both types of boats offer a spacious deck for casting and float well in shallow water. 

Float Tubes 
Float tubes are devices that allow fly anglers who don't own a boat easy access to get out onto the water. They are excellent for fishing ponds, lakes and mountain streams. Essentially a float tube is a floatation device that is equipped with a seat. The angler sits in the seat while wearing fins and kicks his way around while partially submerged. Fly fishing from float tubes can be difficult, especially for those who are using them for the first time. It definitely takes time to hone your fly casting skills from a float tube. 

There are two basic types of float tubes - traditional and pontoon. Traditional float tubes are usually round and have an opening in the front or middle. Basically, these are an inner tube with built-in features for fly fishing. These float tubes can take a lot of time to maneuver because they are round in shape and cause a lot of water resistance. 

The newer pontoon float tubes are much easier to use. These are equipped with two pontoons, or air chambers, one on each side of the fisherman. Pontoon float tubes have less water resistance and offer far less drag than traditional ones because the pontoons are V-shaped and move through the water almost effortlessly. 

If you are thinking of purchasing a fishing boat, shop around, talk to anglers who own their own boats and do your research to help you decide which type of boat you'd like to have. If you still can't make a choice, talk to a boat fishing guide or the owner of a fishing charter service. They will be glad to give you tips on how to choose the perfect boat for you. 

Donating Cars To Charity - New Tax Rules

On June 3, 2005, the IRS released guidance on charitable deductions for donated vehicles. The American Jobs Creation Act (AJCA) radically changed the amount of the deduction taxpayers can claim for their donated car.

Fair Market Value v. Actual Sales Price

When donating a car to charity, a taxpayer traditionally was allowed to deduct the fair market value. The new law changes this valuation to the actual sales price of the vehicle when sold by the charity. The taxpayer is also required to get written and timely acknowledgment from the charity in order to claim the deduction

The AJCA does provide some limited exceptions under which a donor may claim a fair market value deduction. If the charity makes a significant intervening use of a vehicle--such as regular use to deliver meals on wheels-- the donor may deduct the full fair market value. For example, driving a vehicle a total of 10,000 miles over a one-year period to deliver meals is a significant intervening use.

The AJCA also allows a donor to claim a fair market value deduction if the charity makes a material improvement to the vehicle. Under the guidance, a material improvement means major repairs that significantly increase the value of a vehicle, and not mere painting or cleaning.

Interestingly, the IRS has also added an exemption not included in the AJCA. On its own, the IRS has determined that taxpayers can claim a deduction for the fair market value of a donated vehicle if the charity gives or sells the vehicle at a significantly below-market price to a needy individual, as long as the transfer furthers the charitable purpose of helping a poor person in need of a means of transportation.

If you intend to assert one of these exemptions, how do you determine the fair market value? Generally, vehicle pricing guidelines and publications differentiate between trade-in, private-party, and dealer retail prices. The IRS consider the fair market value for vehicle donation purposes to be no higher than the private-party price.

The new provisions of the Americans Job Creation Act certainly make it less attractive to donate a car to charity. Using the exemptions, however, you can still create a sizeable deduction while helping others who are less fortunate. 

Go Karts - Becoming a Racing Enthusiast

Imagine - ripping your torso as you hit a curve launching your sprint kart down the circuit. Pressing on the accelerator as you exercise dead-on hand-and-eye coordination determining the smartest way to turn the drift in the 21st minute of an hour-long enduro race. Or perhaps be a spectator - routing for the likes of Fernando Alonso and Michael Schumacher as they race neck-and-neck on the last lap. Guess what - you are breathing and witnessing (even smelling the distinctive aroma of clay dirt on the dirt track) the atmosphere that comes with go-kart racing.

Developed in the 1950´s by pilots with a zest for tinkering with motorcycle engines to propel simple frames, go-karting extended internationally after the construction of the first go-kart by Art Ingels in Pasadena. Before dwelling on it's mass European appeal and discussing the pinnacle of Formula 1 racing, let's backtrack for a second. Riding go-karts (or karting) is the best way to break into professional racing. It is the simplest means of exploding your chassis down the track before getting into the sophisticated arena of professional racing. Single cylinder engines, basic chassis models, and lack of speed producing components provide go-kart racing with the air of simplicity, geared towards beginners and novices.

The concept of sprint karting comes to our mind when we think of the prototypical kart & track in amusement parks, recreational areas, and arcade palaces. Impeccable karts with sleek designs and sturdy frames rip through on short tracks, usually made from asphalt or concrete - ranging from half a mile to a mile in length. Sprint karting is divided into classes (think boxing middleweights and welterweights) that distinguish engine-types (two-and four-cycle), driver (classified according to age and weight), brand of kart (Yamaha and Honda are popular choices), and specifications. No carbon-fiber made frames and McLarens built with lightweight materials here! Sprint karting is a simplified, scaled-down form of professional go-kart racing with shorter tracks, downgraded technology, less experienced drivers, and downgraded components across the board.

Other forms of karting include enduro racing. Endurance racing, or "enduro" for short is a prolonged version of sprint. Propelled by aerodynamical butterfly steering, enduro karts are an upgrade over sprint karts - participating in races lasting an hour or more. Dirt, oval tracks is the staple of endurance racing and is more prevalent in the Midwest than anywhere else. Because of the long racing period, special emphasis is paid to durable karts and pit stop maintenance than focusing on just speed. In runner's terms, enduro is a marathon - not a sprint. If you sacrifice chassis and tire maintenance for speed throughout the course of a race, reaching the finish line is out of the question.

Behind every successful sprint car are its well-performing components, specifically its frame, engine, and tires. The dynamics of a go-kart is two-fold: to be built to withstand the rigors of racing and to serve as the backbone for speed. Usually made of steel, frames have the option of being flexible or not. Flexible frames mean easier maneuvering along the track, especially when turning as to maintain good "side bite" and control of the kart. Because non-professional go-karts have no sophisticated traction and suspension system to withstand bumps, frames are usually subject to more punishment. Sprint kart tires usually do not have indented grooves, as they are soft in nature and more suited to all-terrain.

900 BHP horsepower engines are the norm for souped-up Honda Formula One karts. Capable of reaching speeds of 200+ mph, they represent the all-out nature of karting technology. For the novices, a simple 2-cycle engine will do! Running on gasoline and electricity instead of petrol (typically mixed with other fuels to suit environmental conditions for Formula One,) sprint karts run on either 2-cycle or 4-cycle engines. 4-cycle engines are the weakest engine around, with horsepower topping 20 HP. Think of the power needed to run a heavy-duty vacuum cleaner - that's how much power a 4-cycle engine exerts. 2-cycle engines are typically associated with the likes of Vespas (European motor scooters) and mopeds. These go up to 90 HP. Added cylinders (individual horsepower generators in go-karts) can boost horsepower, adding pure speed & power to your machine. Perhaps 10-cylinder Formula One kart engines and its incredible capabilities ring bells to you now!

Want pinpoint control over the speed of your go-kart? No problem here! Go-karts have basic transmission systems with gears that control speed to its desired amount. Coming with clutches, shifter karts (a popular type of sprint kart that allows you to move at a certain amount of speeds) make the best use of engine power when zipping along a straight path or maneuvering over the short or wide curve. Depending on the amount of cylinders and engine, shifter enthusiasts can lay opponents in their dust blazing trails up to 90 mph. Shifters usually run on larger road courses known as road racing. It is flush in structure with qualification criteria like class of kart, weight of driver, etc. Honda, Kawasaki, and Yamaha are popular suppliers of engines. These companies are at the forefront of karting technology, regularly tinkering with what's already available or creating new concepts of their own.

Sprint karting opportunities are available to everyone. If you want to enjoy it as a form of recreation instead of competition, visit your local track and rent a kart! Make sure to sign any insurance waivers and become acquainted with the rules and regulations! If you like to compete, inquire from within. Sprint karting is one of the least expensive sports out there. People from all walks of life and all economic backgrounds can drive a kart, or even purchase their own with a powerful engine. There are many karting schools available all over the nation that will let you ride their karts for a nominal fee. In essence, karting is more than a pastime. It is a bonafide sport capable of preparing you for more advanced karting by helping you shape your judgment, hand-eye coordination abilities, and technological/dynamical know-how of the instruments you're using. 

Is Saturated Fat In Coconut Good For Your Heart Health?

You probably know that saturated fats are bad fats that can cause all kinds of heart related diseases. Did you know that and the humble coconut oil has 92% saturated fats? Then why is it that there are many advocates of taking coconut oil as a health supplement? Isn't that contradictory?

Supporters of virgin coconut oil argue that coconut oil helps them to improve skin condition, have more energy and even to lose weight. Huh? consuming saturated fats to lose weight? How is that possible?

These advocates hail the virgin coconut oil as one of the hottest new nutritional supplement to hit the health and nutrition industry in years. This logic flies against conventional wisdom, isn't it?

Saturated fat and there are plenty of it in coconut oil has been the villain for heart diseases. When hydrogenated vegetable fat (trans fat) was invented like in margarine, it was supposed to replace unhealthy saturated fat like in butter and was thought to be a healthier form of fat only until it was discovered in the last few years that trans fat is more dangerous to your heart health than saturated fat.

It is with this thinking that proponents of coconut fats is now arguing that not all forms of saturated fat may be bad and the coconut oil may be one of them. Dr. Bruce Fife, a US based naturopath and author of "The Coconut Oil Miracle" remarked during a press conference in Singapore last month, "Not all saturated fatty acids act in the same way. The fat in coconut oil is different from most other fats and has many health giving properties".

He further added that, "The Lauric acid (I coconut oil) boosts immunity, has antioxidant properties and is being investigated in reducing viral load in HIV patients. You should also take into account the size of the carbon chain in the fatty acid. Most of the oils and fats we consume are long–chain fatty acids. Coconut oil is the richest source of medium-chain fatty acids, which actually behave very differently from the long-chain versions."

"Medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil boost the body's metabolic rate and promote weight loss. They are broken down immediately in the liver to produce energy and are not stored as fat," he added.


So is the consumption of coconut fats good or bad for health? It's very controversial isn't it?

Let's hear it from another expert Dr Annie Leong, deputy director of the nutrition department at the Health Promotion Board. "There is not enough evidence to prove that medium-chain saturated fats can reduce heart risk."

Nutritionist Anna Jacob argued that, "Kerala is the coconut capital of India and it also has the highest rates of heart disease. While it is possible to argue that Indians are genetically predisposed to heart disease, but a diet high in saturated fat as well could heighten that risk."

My question is that since Indians are more prone to heart disease, then the high rates of heart disease should be spread evenly throughout India and not just in Kerala, don't you think so? Therefore, I am still a little skeptical.

So who is right and who is wrong? So is coconut oil saturated fat good or bad for your heart health? Well, the jury is still out there as far as I am concerned. I for one will make a conscious effort to avoid consuming coconut oil too often until the coconut debate is more conclusive with empirical evidence that the coconut oil is good for heart health. 

Types of Credit Card

You should be able to find several indispensable facts about credit card in the following paragraphs. If there's at least one fact you didn't know before, imagine the difference it might make. 

Still discussing on types of credit card – in this article we will be discussing about other types of credit cards like Balance transfer credit cards, low interest credit cards, airline mile credit cards, and reward credit cards among others. Let's start with Balance credit card.

Balance credit cards are unsecured standard cards designed to allow consumers to save money in interest charges by transferring higher interest credit card balance onto a lower interest rate credit card.

Low interest credit cards are other types of non secured standard credit card. They offer either low introductory APR that change to a higher rate after a certain period of time or a low fixed rate. You can take advantage of the low introductory APRs to make larger purchases for now and pay them off several months later. 

Air Mile Credit cards are cards that are good for people that travel frequently or planning to go on vacation. It's a form of reward card that allow you opportunity of obtaining a free airline ticket. You will need to accumulate specified air miles before you can be entitled to free ticket. All accumulated mile points will be based on dollar amount of your credit card purchases over a period of time based on predetermined point level.



The information about credit card presented here will do one of two things: either it will reinforce what you know about credit card or it will teach you something new. Both are good outcomes. 

Specialty credit cards are other set of standard non-secure cards designed specifically for individual business users and students with unique and special needs. 

Make sure that you study the terms of any of the card that you pick very well to avoid risking your credit rating. Also, when you pick any of the reward cards make sure you study the forms and offers very well because credit card issuing companies do offer different reward programs and their promotional offers often change. So make sure you thoroughly look over the card's terms and conditions of each specific card before applying.

Is there really any information about credit card that is nonessential? We all see things from different angles, so something relatively insignificant to one may be crucial to another.