Tips on Choosing the Best Compass for Hiking

Before you spend a lot of money on what you think is the best compass for hiking, you should take two important steps (that aren’t part of your hike). Learn all you can about compasses and how they should be used, then get a compass and work with it close to home. Once you feel confident at this level, you could be ready to take to the open trails.

With that in mind, there are a few key factors you should consider when shopping for a compass. The first idea has to do with the amount you’re planning to invest.

One old fellow who spent a lot of time hunting, fishing and just wandering outdoors said he always went one step better when buying any equipment. His reason? “It only takes a few pennies more to go first class.”

Analog or Digital

compass

Of course, the traditionalists will almost always purchase the analog compass because that’s what they feel most comfortable with. These compasses have been around for years, because they don’t have a power source (batteries) such as the new digital models have. Analog compasses will last for years if they’re treated with the care that any fine instrument should receive. You’re never going to be without this tool because of a dead battery.

Digital compasses will do a lot of the work for you, but because they rely on batteries, you have to make sure the batteries are charged before you head out the door. You’ll also need a portable charger so you can keep the batteries charged in your vehicle. This is a completely different way of looking at compasses and you should be prepared for it.

Declination is the key to safely and accurately using a compass. You need to know which direction is true north and which direction is magnetic north. One points you toward the North Pole as it stands in geography. The other points you to the magnetic North Pole. They are not the same. Declination is the angle of difference between the two. It can, and does, change.

Be Sure

If you know you’re facing true north, your compass will point you toward magnetic north. It’s an important difference you should understand when you’re in unfamiliar territory.

This won’t be quite so important with short trips and when you’re in an area with which you’re familiar. But as you head out on a long journey, far from home, you could end up missing your destination by several miles. Keep in mind that an inch off line at the start becomes a mile off line if you travel far enough.

The best compasses will help you deal with this difference, adding or subtracting from the bearing. Make this adjustment and you should be able to travel safely and accurately. This may be one of the good reasons for buying a top-of-the-line digital compass if you’re not confident with the use of the analog design.

Of course, you shouldn’t have to work very hard just to see and read your compass, so make sure you have one that you can use in low-light conditions. It’s important to have one that you can use without straining your eyes even in daylight. Consider the word “luminosity” and the word “backlighting” when you’re shopping for a good compass.

Tough Compass

tough compass

You have a compass with you on a journey so that you will not get lost. That’s very simple. You want to know where you are and where you’re going. But if you don’t spend those few extra pennies (as mentioned earlier), you may find a cheap compass doesn’t hold up under difficult outdoor conditions. Buy a compass that is durable and built for real-world use.

If you hike on another part of the planet, you should give some consideration to a compass with a global needle. Compasses can be calibrated for use in certain locations, which may cause your analog needle to drag and give you inaccurate information. A global needle will help you adjust for variances in the magnetic pull depending on where you are.

You should also consider getting a compass with a good quality mirror for sighting, so you can read your compass and see the surroundings at the same time. You’ll also have a good tool for signalling if you find yourself in need of assistance during an emergency.

Some Products to Consider

To give just a few examples: Give serious consideration to Suunto compasses. The MC-2G has a sighting mirror and a global needle. It provides for adjusting declination, has great luminosity and is very accurate. The top of the line with Suunto is the Navigator MC-2. You should be able to purchase this excellent tool for about $60 to $75. When you invest in a compass of this quality, be sure to get a good case as well, for protection and convenient carrying.

You will also do very well with the Silva Ranger 515, which is about the same weight as the Suunto, has a global needle, sighting mirror, magnifying lens and excellent luminosity. It also provides declination adjustment. This one comes in at about $55, depending on your source.

You can buy a usable compass for $15 to $20 but you will sacrifice many of the most important benefits. Stay away from compasses that are no more than accessories, especially if they come on a keychain or as a wearable watch. Some of these might work in basic situations, but they will not be suitable for serious navigation.

Summary

In addition to the factors already mentioned, look for a rotating azimuth ring or bezel with small degree intervals. Look closely at the markings on the baseplate. It helps to have a rule of some sort to measure distance on a map. Look for arrows and lines on the needle housing and baseplate that can help with orientation and navigation as well.

There is a definite bottom line when you are buying a compass for serious hiking and outdoor travel. Take the old guy’s advice and spend a few extra dollars, just to be safe.

See Also: 8 camping hacks that’ll turn you into a super camper (and impress the girls)

 

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6 Reasons Why A Groom Barbershop Is The Best

Somewhere along the way with all these discount chop shops and chain salons, we lost the importance of a traditional groom barbershop. Decades back, your barber shop used to be more than a mere haircut and shave. It was a place where men could let their guard down, discuss worldly issues and their problems, and communicate with friends. Your barber used to be part craftsman and part counselor. A barbershop was that special place where men could just be men talking openly about appearances, politics, and family.

This has not changed; they are still around.

Why Men Need a Groom Barbershop

It’s important for every man to have his own man cave, as well as a place he can be himself. What better place than an original barbershop to relax amongst his friends.

Here are some reasons why every man has to have his own groom barbershop.

Your barber is trained and knowledgeable about men’s hair cuts

well trained barber

Your barber had training in how to use clippers to cut your hair, which is his main tool. He is also knowledgeable in the different hairstyles that make men feel manly. They understand what you would like for that special occasion, and the atmosphere is normally cozy and warm.

It is the perfect place to take your dad, your son, or your friends. You will meet other men and they will also become your friends. It’s a relaxing outing and a great way to spend your day.

It’s an excellent place to bond with other men

Barbers are very interesting people with fascinating stories they may share. This helps in puting you at ease and opening up to join in on conversations about family, sports, cars, and politics.

Some of the men may relax with a newspaper and discuss all the current events. Meanwhile, there are lots of teasing, laughter and joking with everyone involved. It’s normally a mixture of men of all ages — from young, middle-aged and old, as well as your barbers who join in the fun and discussions.

Life is such a hustle and people don’t have the time anymore to have a conversation with each other about everyday happenings. This is where barbershops make a difference. Vigorous discussions may suddenly crop up and engage everybody in the room.

So, if you don’t want to miss out on this specific experience, you should change your lifestyle today and look for your own neighborhood barbershop.

The experience of a great shave

great shave

Most original barbershops still use their original single-blade razor for shaving you. You can’t say you’ve lived if you haven’t experienced this pleasurable great shave done by an experienced barber. Here’s what you can expect:

You will recline back into your barber’s chair and your barber will wrap a warm towel around your face. After this, he will massage your face with a cream to open and clean your pores. Then, more warm towels would be applied. By now you can expect to feel very relaxed.

Again, your face will be massaged with cream or cocoa butter in order to make your beard soft. Then a warm lather gets brushed onto your beard. Your barber will use his sharp razor to shave off your beard or according to your specifications.

Finishing off, another warm towel will be wrapped around your face, after which the final massage is done with a vanishing cream to soothe your face. Now didn’t that sound like a soothing and relaxing experience?

This activity and experience is great for the bonding of father and son

It’s important for you to have traditions where you and your father or son can bond together. Visiting your barber with either of the two or even with both is a tradition that every man in the family should experience.

There are fathers that visit their barber for years and introduced their sons and grandsons to the same barber and barber chair. This is the greatest traditional way for men in a family to bond together. If you don’t already do this, it’s never too late to start.

The experience of a barbershop can make you feel manlier

It’s not something that you can pinpoint. It can be the combination of certain smells or that all-man atmosphere. It can be the awareness of tradition from being in the same barber shop as your father and his father’s father. Whatever the reason, you can’t help but note the manly swagger in your step as you walk out of the barbershop.

If you still haven’t experienced it, then now is the time. Spoil yourself, your father or son, get out there, look for that familiar white and red striped barber pole and begin your own tradition.

 

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Yoga Helps You Love Yourself

A lot of people nowadays live in an environment that isn’t particularly friendly to the mind. The sad truth is that you basically work to survive and only a selected few can enjoy life to the fullest.

However, yoga can make the change you’ve been desperately searching for. Yoga can help you relax your mind and get rid of any unnecessary stress in your life. Whether you want to make life easier or simply enjoy it maximally, yoga can be the medium you need.

A lot of people that I know have chosen to do yoga and they managed to turn their lives completely around. It wasn’t until I noticed the changes that I decided to embrace yoga myself.

In this article, we’ll talk about how yoga can help you love yourself and what you do. Yoga can help you understand who you are and what your purpose in life is, which means that you’ll live a much easier life from the moment you start practicing it.

• Get To Know Yourself On A Deeper Level

yoga happiness

Humans are spiritual beings. This isn’t something most people understand and are willing to accept. Nonetheless, this is a fact, and without proper spiritual knowledge, we won’t be able to evolve further.

Get to know yourself on a deeper, more spiritual level by practicing yoga. Yoga can help you release negative energy and bring in positive energy. Plus, while doing yoga, you’ll get to know yourself for who you truly are!

• It Allows You To Let Go Of The Need To Be Perfect

Perfection doesn’t exist which means we shouldn’t be looking for it. But, if we are to become better people, we should constantly strive towards becoming better than before.

Once you start practicing yoga, you’ll let go of the need to be perfect and accept yourself for whom you are, but you’re still going to work towards being a better person.

• Look Inside Your Heart

Through yoga, you’ll be able to look inside yourself and find lost emotions that were once part of you. Thanks to yoga, you’ll be able to experience many things that you haven’t experienced before!

• It Helps You See That You Are Worthy

yoga self worth

Stop telling yourself that you aren’t enough in this world. No matter how little you think you’re worth to the world, we’re telling you that this isn’t true. Your existence alone means that you are worthy of anything that this world has to offer, and don’t even try to think otherwise!

See Also: 9 Ways to Tackle Low Self-Esteem with a Positive Attitude

• Gain A True Sense Of Self

A lot of people simply don’t know their purpose in this world. Yoga practitioners have managed to realize how important they are and what they represent. Through yoga, you’ll be able to gain a true sense of yourself and your inner being.

• Embrace Yoga And Begin A Love Affair With Yourself

There’s no one more important than you. You’re the most important person to yourself, no matter what people say. After all, you’re the one in charge of your destiny and future. If you have negative thoughts, your future won’t look bright. Thanks to yoga, you’ll be able to take care of your life faster than ever before!

See Also: 13 Yoga Trends To Immerse Yourself In On Your Journey To Health & Happiness

 

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Tips for Grooms: How To Beat Nerves On Your Wedding Day

Only a man can understand the state of mind of a groom on his wedding day. People may think that brides have more worries on the day, but very few know that even men wait for this special day with bated breath. Unlike women, they are not good at expressing their emotions.

Are you the groom-to-be? Are you looking forward for the big event to arrive? Is the thought of commitment making your blood run cold?

Check out these basic pointers on how grooms can get rid of anxiety on their wedding day.

Prepare for the day

There is a saying, “Practice makes a man perfect”. This applies to your wedding day as well. Fear of taking center-stage and facing the crowd might be making you feel like a cat on a hot brick. Stage phobia adds to the nervousness.

The best way to get rid of this is to practice your part well. Rehearse the entire ceremony with your lady multiple times. You can make the auspicious day even more special with your perfection. Learn the lines of your speech by heart.

Share your anxiety with your married friends

talk to your friends

Ladies can share their feelings with their mother, sisters, and friends. However, men are not comfortable with sharing their state of mind with others.

In this case, close friends can prove to be your savior. Talk to your besties who are already married. They can give you valuable advice and put you at ease.

At the same time, you need to stay away from negative people. There will be guys in your circle of friends who will end up confusing you even more. Keep your distance from them, and choose the right person to confide in.

Be a part of the arrangements

An empty mind is the devil’s workshop. This is the time when the rest of your family members are busy, but you have a lot of free time. This is when the groom starts thinking too much.

The best way to keep your distance from negative thoughts is to keep yourself busy. Volunteer for some of the preparations like communicating with your groomsmen and ushers. You’ll be doing your bride a favor by taking some of the pressure off her.

Spend some time with the girl

There is nothing better than sharing your insecurities and concerns with the woman to whom you are getting married. You are in the same situation, after all.

Moreover, she has got all the right to know what you are thinking about as it is your future together at stake. It is the big day for both of you. So, begin the new chapter of your life with any sort of confusion. Be very honest about your feelings with your partner.

Exercise and meditate

exercise

Hitting the gym or spending some quiet time with yourself is the best way to calm yourself. Meditation is a holistic and scientific method that can help you deal with your bout of nerves and anxiety. Regular meditation will also help you center yourself when you are out of equilibrium.

See Also: How to Meditate When All The Other Techniques Don’t Work

Spend some quiet time a day before

Every married man can attest that the night before the wedding is the toughest one. In case your turbulent mind is not letting you sleep, take a small walk in the garden and listen to your favorite music. Relax and wear some airy clothing before going to bed. This will help you sleep.

Bachelorhood is fun, but there is nothing like the true companionship that marriage brings. Giving up your freedom and independence is what bothers men a lot. However, married life has got its own charms. Once you have made up your mind for the lifelong commitment, there is no looking back. Just keep the above points in mind and enjoy the special day with your soulmate.

 

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The True Staycation: How to Holiday in your Home Town

With the fluctuating currency market and uncertain climate, more holidaymakers are choosing to ‘staycation’ – taking a holiday in their home country. This can be a fantastic thing to do, after all, there are amazing places to visit and fun things to do all across the UK that are often forgotten about.

But how about taking your staycation one step further and actually taking a holiday in your home town? Take a week to get to know the surrounding area like a tourist would and you might find some amazing gems hidden close to home. It could even lead to some fun new activities for you when you return to normal life.

Here’s the best way to take a true staycation and see another side to the place you live.

Check into a hotel

staycation hotel

If you want to feel like a tourist, you should do what tourists need to do and the first step is to check into a hotel. Of course you might be able to enjoy your staycation from your own home but a hotel gives you a week of freedom from making your bed, cleaning and completing household chores – the stuff we take for granted on holiday.

Choose a small boutique hotel rather than a chain where possible, and remember to take any recommendations from staff on things to do.

Pick up a tourist guide

It’s likely that you’ll be able to pick up a tourist guide to your city – if there’s a tourist information office or something similar, they’ll probably be giving away free guides. Otherwise, buy a guide book or get articles online.

It’s almost guaranteed that you’ll find plenty of fun things to do that you had never really considered doing before. And don’t dismiss things outright; if they are popular but you have never done them, it’s worth giving them a try.

Try restaurants and bars you’ve never visited

Eating out is a must on your staycation; this is a holiday after all. You might be tempted to head out to all of your favourite restaurants, and there’s nothing wrong with doing this for a couple of nights. But save most of your meals for places that you’ve never experienced before.

It’s even worth going a little further afield to find brilliant restaurants and bars nearby. Scour sites like TripAdvisor to find some of the most popular places that you haven’t tried yet.

Visit a museum

visit a museum

When people go abroad they always search out the local museums to have a look round – but how often do you do this is on your home town? Well, when you’re on staycation, it’s the perfect time to do it.

Find a list of local museums and art galleries. You might be surprised by just how many there are that are close to you. Take the time to visit a couple during your staycation to sample the arts culture in your local community.

Watch a sports team

Another popular activity when on holiday is to go and watch a local sports team. So now is the perfect time to do the same thing in your home town.

Find out what sports teams play near you. There’s likely to be a hugely diversity of everything from lower league football, basketball, roller derby, polo and more. See which teams are currently playing and see if you can’t get along to a game. Once again, it’s a good idea to choose a sport you wouldn’t usually watch.

Enjoy a spa day

You don’t have to go to Sweden to get a Swedish massage. There are plenty of places where you can relax and enjoy a spa day. Check whether the hotel you’re checking into has a spa. If not, you can always find a local spa where you’ll find a huge variety of treatment options.

Take a class

Another great idea is to take a class in something. Whether it’s drawing, baking, photography or wine tasting, it’s fun to learn something new while you are on holiday. If you can, try to choose something that brings together local elements. This can be a brilliant way to gain a new perspective on the place that you live.

See Also: 4 Smart Ways to Travel The World For Free 

 

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What Are You Hungry For? The Real Causes Of Overeating

We’ve all been there: we went through a lot of stress and sleepless nights because of our newborn and so we chose to comfort ourselves with a big bucket of ice-cream. Hectic schedules and taking care of our children can often make us feel like nobody understands our troubles or we simply don’t feel like talking about it.

When you experience a burn-out of any kind, it’s easy to form a habit of binge-eating in front of a TV. And then you fall into a vicious circle and feel terribly guilty after the third bag of chips.

Poor nutrition causes feelings of fatigue, depression, and nervousness. Overeating is a direct consequence of an unbalanced emotional state or a long-term unhealthy behavior. Most frequently, our bodies try to cope with constant changes in blood sugar levels and hormonal imbalance, making it harder for a person to be productive, focused, and lose weight.

What are you hungry for? Read on to find out what causes overeating and how to deal with it.

Stress is taking its toll

High stress levels are the most frequent reason for emotional overeating as we use food to cope with anxiety. Researchers from Harvard explained the connection between increased levels of cortisol and disbalance of insulin levels – and food cravings most people experience after going through a stressful period.

When we experience short-term stress, we’re likely to lose our appetites. But when we’re exposed to it on a daily basis, overeating becomes a system for coping. Low blood sugar caused by rigorous diets, skipping meals, or poor nutrition is the reason why your body craves high-fat and sugary foods.

See Also: 9 Ways We Can Reduce Our Stress Level 

Physical activity puts you back on track

do yoga

When we feel low or depressed, it’s most probably due to a drop in serotonin levels. This is caused by lack of sleep or when we exhaust ourselves with great amounts of work, without leisure time or activities that bring us pleasure.

Instead of reaching for comfort food for a quick fix, try committing to some sort of physical activity. Exercising releases serotonin which is responsible for maintaining an optimal sleeping cycle, regulating mood and appetite. It is also a great way to handle stress, promote good mental health, and make that “feel good“ feeling stick for a while.

Try yoga and meditation as they will increase your metabolism, help you tranquilize and relax, and become more aware of your body and its needs. Jogging and cycling are also great options, as well as power walking. Consider using a body tracker app to measure real progress and motivate yourself, as scales won’t reflect your success. Muscles weigh more than fat so you might be seeing higher numbers on the scale when in fact – you are stronger and fitter than before.  

Don’t eat your emotions

Over a longer period of time, overeating can shut off the hormone that signals when we’re full which is a certain path to obesity, a recent study has shown. By repeatedly consuming excess calories, our body becomes overwhelmed and so cells stop producing uroguanylin, responsible for telling us we’re full.

This can be regulated with a workout regime and mindful eating. By shifting your perspective gradually, you can start perceiving food as precious fuel for your body – not a way to cope with negative emotions.

Focus on your calorie intake and keep a food journal to control your portions. Analyze the reasons you feel the need to overeat.

Is it triggered by some emotionally heavy situation you’ve recently experienced? Do you feel the lack of love from your closest ones? By mapping out your problems, you can focus on handling them more effectively instead of using food as a substitute.  

Understand your body’s needs

healthy alternative

Your cravings are indicators of the nutritional deficiency your body is experiencing. Whether you feel like eating something sweet and creamy, or extremely salty – you’re most likely to reach out to simple carbs (i.e. plain sugar) as they penetrate your blood stream almost immediately, giving you a nice sugar rush or feeling of fullness.

However, there are healthier alternatives. If you’re craving chocolate, your body lacks magnesium. A healthy alternative to milk chocolate is raw cacao, fruits, nuts, or seeds. If you feel like eating bread or pasta, you need nitrogen which can also be found in high protein foods (e.g. fatty fish, meat, or beans). If you crave for salty foods, you need chloride and silicon which are best consumed with goat milk, nuts, and cashews.

When you consume too much sugar, your body gets addicted to it. Don’t cut off all the sugar at once but do it gradually: your body will go through withdrawal and it will be exhausting. Drink lemon water to get rid of toxins and increase your liquid intake.

See Also: 7 Healthy Foods That Will Fill You Up and Prevent Overeating

With effort and devotion, you can beat food cravings and ensure a healthier lifestyle for yourself. Your body is a temple so treat it with respect.

 

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Yoga and Health: From Better Mental Health To Improved Sleep Quality

Did you know that yoga and health are intertwined?

Although a spiritual practice at its core, the Western world views the ancient practice of yoga mostly through the lens of holistic healing. Even the National Institutes of Health classifies yoga as a form of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM). But there is some truth to this because at the core of yoga philosophy is a focus on one’s health with the purpose of preparing the mind and body for enlightenment. Furthermore, the healing benefits of yoga are now widely recognized within the medical community thanks to a growing body of research confirming the yoga’s healing power.

Most of these studies found that yoga prevents stress-related diseases and improves overall health and well-being. Considered a holistic practice, yoga is said to heal the mind, body, and soul. Whatever ailment you may be suffering, yoga can help you without any risk of side effects.

If you need more convincing on why you should start practicing yoga, here are a couple of the health benefits yoga provides.

Better mental health

yoga mental health

According to an article published in the International Journal of Yoga, mental health problems such as anxiety and depression are one of the most common reasons why people seek alternative treatments such as yoga.

Yoga seems to be just as effective, if not better, like medication and talk therapy in relieving the symptoms of mental illness. The reason for this being that yoga helps one relax by downregulating the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis (HPA axis) which is, almost without exception, overactive in people with mental disorders.

Put simply, yoga helps one achieve tranquility of the mind, greater levels of well-being, relaxation, improved self-esteem, lowered irritability, and a positive outlook on life, all of which are lacking in people with anxiety and depression. The mood-boosting benefits of yoga are also long-lasting and become permanent aspects of one’s outlook on life.

Reduced stroke and heart attack risk

Chronic stress is now recognized as a major contributing factor for atherosclerosis, a condition which increases a person’s risk of stroke and heart attacks. But yoga does not solely reduce your risk of stroke via stress relief.

The deep breathing and stretching during yoga practice are known to help thin the blood and as such reduce your risk of blood clots. Twisting poses wring out the venous blood in internal organs, and this allows oxygen-rich blood to reach these organs once the twist is released.

Similarly, inverted poses help the venous blood in the lower extremities go back to the heart and into the lungs where it is oxygenated. Yoga postures that increase heart rate can also provide aerobic-like benefits to the heart muscle, strengthening the heart and with this reducing the danger of stroke and heart attack.

Greater flexibility and strength

Stiff joints, sore muscles, and poor function biomechanics are today’s common complaints that tend to get worse with age. Regular yoga practice can help prevent age-related decline in flexibility and strength.

This is simply because yoga postures help gets your body through a whole range of movements that inevitably lead to greater flexibility and muscle strength. One of the main reasons why people develop arthritis with age is simply limited and repetitive movements that lead to muscle atrophy and joint cartilage wasting.

Yoga can help with other age-related problems as well such as osteoporosis, cognitive decline, hormonal imbalances, and even urinary incontinence. Because incontinence can result from weak pelvic floor muscles, yoga postures that strengthen the pelvic floor can provide much relief just like Kegel exercises for men and women.

See Also: 13 Yoga Trends To Immerse Yourself In On Your Journey To Health & Happiness

Improved sleep quality

sleep quality

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC), as much as 1 in 3 US adults are not getting the sufficient amount of sleep. This is rather concerning considering that sleep disorders increase a person’s risk of systematic disease, mental illness, and even cancer.

One of the main reasons why people of today seem to have trouble sleeping is an overactive nervous system. Yoga calms the central nervous system by helping you turn your senses inward which inevitably bring you into a relaxed state of mind – something that is crucial for quality sleep.

A study that was published in Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine even found that older adults practicing meditative yoga for 12 weeks reported better overall sleep quality, reduced anxiety and depression, reduced fatigue, greater vitality, and improved sense of well-being.

See Also: Are You Sleep Deprived? 8 Health Risks Of Poor Sleep 

Stronger immune system

One of the strongest side effects of chronic stress is a weakened immune system. On the other hand, the stress-reducing benefits of yoga are known to lead to overall greater vitality by strengthening immune system functioning.

Our immune system protects us from pathogenic diseases but also from cancer, autoimmune disorders, allergies, and general disease-susceptibility. Because stress leads to the suppression of the mechanisms that control the immune system such as T-cell production, our risk of becoming ill increases.

Yoga can help keep us disease-free thanks to the stress-relief it provides but also by improving blood flow to vital organs, establishing hormonal balances, and making us more attentive to our health by increasing our awareness.

Conclusion

In today’s hectic world, stress is taking a toll on our health and well-being. Reducing your stress levels can make a big difference for your health, but this seems to be easier said than done.

Thankfully, the ancient wisdom of yoga that’s over 3000 years old has provided us with the secrets to keeping our mind’s at ease during the most stressful times. But the gentle stretching and deep breathing in yoga also help us stay healthy throughout life.

Yoga postures improve flexibility, joint health, and cardiovascular functioning. The result is no more aches and pains. Yoga also strengthens our immune system which research shows is important not just for fighting viruses, but also for preventing cancer and chronic illness.

In short, yoga as a holistic practice treats our body as a whole and provides healing from within. Practicing yoga will provide you with more health benefits than you can count.

 

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5 Ways To Avoid Bringing Bedbugs Home From Your Vacation

You’ve probably heard, ‘Don’t let the bedbugs bite!” But that’s easier said than done. You really can’t stop the pesky little blood suckers from biting and leaving you with itchy reddish welts.

If you’ve gone on vacation, you can only hope that the hotel you billeted into is bug-free or that no bedbug took up temporary residence in your clothes or luggage. Otherwise, you’ll end up bringing home a little bloodsucker souvenier from your two-week vacation. Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to unknowingly infect your home with bedbugs after a bout of traveling.

But don’t fret since there are ways on how one can avoid bringing bedbugs home. Here’s how.

Pack for protection

travel luggages

A plastic trash bag or a sealable plastic container will help your clothing and your luggage bedbug-free. Cover your luggage with a large plastic trash bag to keep the bugs from entering your suitcase.

Store your belongings safely

If you want to put your clothes in the hotel drawers or clothes cabinet, sealing it in a plastic bag or container will help you make sure that no bedbugs hide in your fashionable ensemble. And if you are putting them back inside your luggage, make sure to inspect your clothing that no critters are hiding away. Also, always keep your luggage close at all times.

Head straight for the bathroom

hotel bathroom

The least place that bedbugs hide and dwell is the bathroom, especially the bathtub. So, directly bring your luggage in the bathroom to avoid those little critters. In case you will leave your suitcases in the room, make sure they are placed in sealable plastic containers that are closed at all times.

Play detective

Once you arrive in your hotel room, inspect all crevices of the room, especially your bed. Check the bed, under the covers, and even pull back the beddings.

If needed, remove all pillowcases and check the seams and crevices. You may think this is a bit extreme especially since enjoying your vacation should be your top priority. However, taking a few minutes to play detective and being meticulous in checking your bed, beddings, pillows, pillowcases and headboards will help you make sure that you won’t get bitten and suffer from bites later on.

See Also: 10 Things You Never Knew About Bed Bugs 

Teach kids hotel protocol

Teach your kids how to pack properly for protection, store the luggage in the bathroom and to check the beds and beddings inside and out, including the headboard’s creases and crevices.

Following these tips will surely help you avoid bringing home bed bugs as well as teach your kids some useful and practical life skills. But in case you suspect that some critters still managed to get into your luggage, directly store away your suitcases in the basement or put it in a large plastic trash bag and leave it inside your car outside. The heat of the sun can kill bedbugs for good.

More so, it is best to unpack your clothing, used or not, directly to the washing machine at 120 degrees temperature or more. Also, make sure to spin it dry since this will ensure that you are killing all bed bugs and its eggs.

To further make sure that you are protected, take the time to read up on our bedbugs protection plan. This way, our post-vacation plan won’t be wasted on killing and disinfecting your home with these bloodsucking critters.

 

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This Powerful Lesson Explains Why Inner Beauty Trumps Good Looks

Ever had an insult cut you so deep that it still stings years later?

Mine occurred in my early 20s – the day after I’d been dumped. It was a deserved break-up. I’d treated her terribly for months. As I went to unfriend her on Facebook, I spotted the following status:

“It’s funny when you see how ugly someone is on the inside, how ugly they become on the outside.”

Urgh. This hit home hard. Not only because I’d been a bad boyfriend, but also because these words were so shockingly true.

She’d described a sensation that happens to all of us when we truly hate someone. In her eyes, I was an ogre.

It hurt, but it also taught an important lesson about inner and outer beauty.

–The power of perception–

Have you browsed through photos of an ex and wondered what you were thinking, even though you used to be besotted? Or seen yourself in the mirror and cringed, despite being delighted with your appearance days earlier?

This is the brain’s reticular activating system (RAS) in action. It controls our selective focus, deciding what captures our attention and what remains as a background blur.

Studies suggest that this function is programmed to focus on whatever matches our inner belief system. If we believe someone is seriously awesome, our RAS searches for evidence to back that up. But when we don’t like someone, our brain focuses on their flaws.

This works for personalities and physical features. Yes, our brains actually perceive pictures of a partner differently depending on how we feel about them.

–Why inner beauty is important–

inner beauty best

This theory explains why no mother thinks their son is ugly – or why so many husbands believe they have the hottest wife in the world.

It also explains why I fell for my ex in the first place. When I first set eyes on her, I thought she was nothing special. But then I spotted her dancing crazily on the nightclub table. Suddenly, she was the sexiest woman in the venue – and I had to have her. My perception flipped within minutes.

This phenomenon may be even more powerful with women. Sure, being physically attractive plays a part when they’re selecting a partner, but it’s in their DNA to find a good fit for raising a family. She wants a man that can be a fantastic role model for her children.

That’s why qualities like confidence, honesty and a strong character are arguably more important to her than being handsome.

M. Farouk Radwan, psychologist and founder of 2knowmyself.com, explains: “A man can choose his life partner in seconds after seeing her, but a woman usually needs more time to assess the man’s personality traits, as most women give them higher weight than looks.

“Of course, a woman would like to be with an attractive man, but to most women, looks won’t count that much, provided that the man looks acceptable and that he possesses the important personality traits they are looking for.”

–Why good-looking men get all the girls–

good looks

If this theory is true, why aren’t there tons of short, fat, bald dudes dating supermodels?

Sadly, most of these men are so caught up with their less-than-perfect appearance they can’t show the qualities that women are actually looking for. They don’t feel entitled to be confident, unstifled, daring, strong-willed ambitious etc.

Meanwhile, the tall strong sports athlete has no issue showing these attributes. Society gives these stereotypes permission to act like God’s gift to women. They’re expected to be bold, sociable, secure in their own skin, so it’s simple for them to be this way.

My advice for men and women who don’t meet society’s ideal standards of beauty? Stop complaining about being too tall, short, fat, skinny, black, white. It doesn’t matter. Do what you can to improve your body, fashion, nutrition – then work on your inner beauty.

Smile big, laugh often, become more sociable, be comfortable in your own skin. Give compliments, help others, find your passion, make bold decisions, follow your dreams. Live life to its fullest.

You’ll be amazed how this affects your dating life. Women will be falling at your feet. They’ll call you handsome, sexy etc regardless of what you actually look like.

It’s funny when they see how beautiful you are on the inside, how beautiful you become on the outside.

See Also: 6 Ways On How To Attract Love In Your Life 

 

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Foods That Will Help You Keep Your Family Healthy

Let’s face it – keeping your family healthy is a full time job.

Even when we want our spouse and children to eat healthy meals, we struggle due to lack of time, tempting food commercials, and the downright convenience of processed meals.

But we can still make an effort to provide better meals. We can do this by simply championing whole foods and having our meal plans revolve around them.

Best Healthy Foods for Your Family

• Oatmeal

oatmeal

If you want avoid any 10 AM cravings, you should give your breakfast a nice fiber boost with a bowl of oatmeal. Furthermore, oatmeal also contains soluble fiber that will help you control your cholesterol levels and insoluble fiber which will keep your family satisfied throughout the day.

• Raspberries

raspberries

Raspberries are really dark fruits, but did you know that this means that they are laden with fiber and antioxidants? They also possess a good amount of Vitamin C. A cup of the fruit contains around 8 grams of fiber.

• Barley

barley

Barley has the highest fiber content of all whole grains. Your average pearled barley pack has around 6 grams per cup after cooking. And that’s why you should start serving it as a side dish with almost every meal.

• Broccoli

broccoli

Last but not least, we have a member of the cruciferous family of vegetables. And if you are not aware, cruciferous veggies are full of nutrients. Broccoli, for instance, packs a ton of antioxidants that have certain cancer-preventing benefits. Also, a single cup of broccoli has more than 5 grams of fibers.

Junk Food Alternatives

junkfoods

Fast food restaurants in the United States serve roughly 50 million customers every day. Furthermore, according to CDC’s newest findings, more than a third of (around 34% to be exact) of children between ages 2 and 19 eat fast food on a daily basis.

As we all know, fast food is extremely high in fat and sugar and awfully low in nutrients. Nevertheless, we cannot deny the fact that junk food still is tempting for young children.

You can try to cut down on the number of times you and your family go out for meals. Alternatively, you can serve these healthy alternatives instead:

French Fries – Try preparing some baked grits on your oven with a dash of salt.
Fried Chicken – Grilled chicken is a great, low-fat alternative to KFC.
Ice Cream – Yogurt and fresh fruit smoothies should satisfy your children’s need for sugar.
Potato Chips – For younger children, try baking vegetable chips, and for older ones, buy some nuts.

See Also: Four Simple Ways to Teach Your Kids to Say “NO” to Junk Foods

How to Help Your Family Eat Better

Now, for our spouses and parents, keeping loved ones on a healthy diet will always be a full time job. But even when you’re armed with the healthiest fruits, veggies and meats, making sure that your family sticks to a healthy diet isn’t always an easy task. But you shouldn’t feel discouraged at all.

You see, even small, seemingly insignificant changes to your daily routine can have a huge effect on your family’s overall health.

  • Mix Things up As Often as Possible

Who says that a healthy diet has to be boring? For instance, did you know that it can be beneficial to eat something sweet in the morning to hold back carvings later in the day? Well, according to Tel Aviv University research, if you have a little chocolate in the morning, you won’t feel so tempted to eat something sweet during the day.

Nevertheless, you should limit your children’s sugar intake to about three teaspoons a day; and don’t worry, many recipes taste just as good with less sugar. Pinterest is a wonderful companion at this time as you can pin numerous healthy recipes and ideas onto your boards.

And if you feel like it, you can consider using a meal delivery company that deliveries fresh recipes and groceries on a weekly basis for that little bit of help.

  • Stop Eating in Front of the TV

Who doesn’t eat in front of TV from time to time? Most of us are guilty of it. But did you know that eating while watching TV or YouTube clips can directly impact your awareness and memory and make it harder to recall the amount of food consumed? In 2013, a group of UK scientists discovered that people who eat while distracted consume up to 25% more calories, according to Daily Mail.

The bottom line is – if you’re paying too much attention to the screen in front of you, you are not really paying any attention to what and how much of it is going into your or your kids’ mouths. A nice family meal, centered on the dining table will not only provide a great platform to your family to connect with each other, but it also gives you an opportunity to eat more mindfully.

Final Thoughts

Finally, in order to influence your kids’ eating habits, you have to make sure that every member of family sits down to eat together at approximately the same time every day. Not only will you be able to monitor your family’s eating habits, you’ll be able to identify possible problems and deal with them early.

Family meal times are a great opportunity to catch up on your children’s’ daily lives, and talk and listen to your loved ones without the distraction of smartphones, computers or TV. The simple act of talking to a parent over dinner will play a big role in boosting your children’s morale and self-esteem later on.

See Also: Shifting Your Family To The “Real Food” Diet 

 

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