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Archive for February, 2014

Outdoor Recreation Groups Helping People With Similar Interests Meet

Posted on: February 18th, 2014 by Pulse

outdoor-recreation-groups

There are means at our disposal to get out of the house and meet others with similar interests. If you are feeling isolated and depressed, ask yourself what it is you like to do and surely there is a way to find a group of people somewhere nearby with similar interests that want to meet up and socialize.

It is a great way to stave off the depression from isolation, which can actually lead to health problems in the future, as well as the obvious emotional and mental issues that can crop of up from being too drawn into yourself. Anxiety can come from such a situation, which in and of itself can also lead to health problems.

Meetup Groups On-Line

For those who enjoy being in the outdoors, there is a plethora of meetup groups that can be found on the internet. From hiking, biking, riding scooters, camping and so on, just type into any online search engine what exactly it is you are looking for and where you are from with the words “meet up” in the search criteria, and something should pop up that is local and available to you.

Chances are there are already several other people in the same situation as you are, or who attend these events and have been in the same situation as you have, and can help you get through the loneliness of isolation and help you to feel better about what you are doing.

Being Social and Outdoors Is Beneficial To Ones Health

There are noted health benefits from being in the outdoors, from emotional to mental to physical. Hiking in the outdoors improves someone’s physical health dramatically, especially if done on a consistent basis. It improves circulation in the body and the respiratory system from the exerted effort we experience while hiking.

Outdoor biking, especially with a group of people to help you along, has even more benefits than hiking and greatly improves physical health. It has been argued by certain physicians that biking may actually be one of the healthiest physical activities that someone can take a part in.

Being in the outdoors and away from the hectic bustling of city life, with the traffic and constant noises, has a dramatic calming effect on the mind and the emotional state. This is extremely beneficial in the face of the anxiety that is produced from living in dense populated areas.

The Effects of Depression, Anxiety and Isolation

Anxiety and depression from isolation have notable physical drawbacks and cause health problems. The health problems that could arise from the inactivity brought on by isolation and the resulting anxiety and depression are heart problems, muscle atrophy, hypertension from constant anxiety, depressed mood, lowered immune system (getting sick a lot) activity and lower cognitive function.

Fighting The Blues With Socializing and Activity

If you are experiencing any of these problems and feel that you are isolating too much, are depressed and down because of this, then the best remedy for such a situation is to reach out in your local community and try to find people with similar interests as yourself.

Being social will make you feel accountable to others and help you show up to events on a consistent basis. It will give a sense of accomplishment.

Set reasonable goals and expectations for yourself before starting out on such a venture. Do not expect to make immediate friends and feel dramatically better; instead, expect to make friends and start feeling better over time and repetitive activity. This the one of the best ways to get out of isolation and depression.

How To Incorporate Fitness Into Your Daily Routine

Posted on: February 15th, 2014 by Pulse

fitness-into-your-daily-routine

A common reason for people not exercising is that they simply do not have enough time in the day. Between waking up, making breakfast, commuting to work, working for 8 hours, commuting home, making dinner and relaxing after a long day, making time for exercise seems to me almost impossible.

It is not uncommon to have a large expectation as to what exercising effectively actually is. It would seem that true exercise would be going out for a run, going to the gym or the pool for hours at time; if a long exercise routine is not achieved then it is wasted time. This is a common misconception.

What is Effective Exercising?

While exercising, all aspects of the body are improved. The different systems in the body, such as the respiratory, lymphatic, circulatory and cognitive become linked more closely due to the demand on the body. Endorphins are released into the brain during exercise, causing a feeling of well-being. To achieve this, one does not have to exercise that much in order to start to see benefits.

It takes roughly 21 days to develop a routine, or in another word, a habit., good or bad.

It is advised that in order to determine if the exercise one is doing is effective or not is if you are breaking a sweat and breathing more heavily. Check your pulse to see if your heart rate has risen or not.

Exercise Minimum

The minimum amount of exercise one should aim for on a daily basis is half an hour. Once more: this is the minimum. An hour a day is advised for someone who is trying to start getting into an exercise routine.

If someone asked a dozen different physicians what the best type of exercise would be, a dozen different responses could realistically be expected. The most common type of exercises that one can do are biking, running, swimming, speed walking or hiking.

What Stops People From Exercising

A common deterrent to exercising is money. Gym memberships can be expensive and some people simply cannot afford it. But this should not deter someone. To go for a run, walk, ride a scooter, or go on a hike, all one would need is a good pair of running shoes or hiking boots.

The initial expense of this may seem daunting at first, but it is a one-time expense that would afford a lot of activity; the shoes would pay for themselves after, say, two weeks of daily running.

Scheduling Exercise

As for working said exercise into your daily schedule, there tends to be more time in the day than one would think. The common work day starts at 9AM and goes until 5PM. Instead of waking up at 7AM to get everything ready and head off to work, wake up instead one hour earlier and go for a 45 minute run around the neighborhood, or even a bike ride.

If this is not feasible, there is always time after the work day to work out. All it takes, initially, is one hour. Once one finds the time and gets used to the new schedule (remember, roughly after 21 days, or three weeks) then the plausibility of more exercise becomes possible. All it takes is dedication and discipline, and one will start to see that there is time to work out and the benefits therein are obvious.

Schools Are Thinking Outside The Box With New P.E. Classes

Posted on: February 8th, 2014 by Pulse

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Most people remember gym class in school as something that was rather drab and uninteresting, something that everyone had to do. But schools across the nation are starting to re-think the way that gym class is approached.

New standards for math and English have been incorporated into school districts across the nation, and with that has come a call for physical education to become more thorough and include more academia. P.E. teachers are starting to post vocabulary in their rooms for students to memorize.

Thorough Approach

Take, for example, Everglades Elementary School in West Palm Beach, Florida. Ms. Patelsky has taken a more open-minded and thorough approach to her gym class. He emphasizes that she is a teacher, first and foremost.

For warmup, she has them count by intervals of four while stretching down to touch their toes. They do laps around mats imprinted with mathematical symbols. While doing push-ups, they are taught the word “alternate” as they switch between arms, one hold themselves up while the other is stacking large toy blocks into columns of different numbers.

Incorporating Other Classwork

In Chesapeake, Virginia, students in Deep Creek Elementary School count down in different languages during class warm-up and hop around on mats with letters printed on them to spell out words.

In Roxhill Elementary School in Seattle, Washington, physical education teacher Chellie LaFayette uses an iPad purchased via a Federal grant to show her students pictures of the Iditarod dog sled race and maps of mountain ranges. She uses the names of the mountain ranges to name routes on the climbing wall that students use there.

Standardized Testing For Gym

Testing has begun to incorporate gym-related material in the end-of-year standardized testing. The District of Columbia has added 50 questions about health and physical education, such as questions about the respiratory and muscular systems, to their standardized tests.

But not everyone thinks that this is such a positive change that is occurring in our schools. During a time of increasing childhood obesity and diminishing recess time, as well as physical education being cut completely in certain areas, administrators want to keep the focus of physical education on physical activity and not academia.

“I’m more concerned that we don’t have enough time to be in the gym,” said Anna Allanbrook, principal of the Brooklyn New School, an elementary school that does not incorporate academics into gym time.

Excessive Homework

Some parents and students say that in the excess of homework that comes from school already, the assignments from the physical education classes are simply adding to all of the busy work.

But the teachers are standing by their activities and assignments, elaborating that they want to keep the students moving during their physical education classes, and that there should be more meaning to the movement.

Kristina Rodgers of Indian Pines Elementary School in Lake Worth, Florida explains that it is hard to keep students moving for the entire half-hour period of class. After that observation, she decided to make it so she interspersed cognitive tasks with intense physical activity, such as fast-paced drills.

Physical Activity Tied To Cognitive Function

A growing body of research points out that physical activity helps improve cognitive function, especially in children as they continue to develop. So, mixing physical activity with academic work only improves cognitive development; that is the idea, at least.

“Some children just learn better through more movement than they do sitting at a desk,” said Janis Andrews, chief academic officer in Palm Beach. “Some kids are going to have that ‘aha’ moment not in the classroom, but the light bulb is going to finally go on outside.”

Easy Tips For Reducing Your Carbon Footprint

Posted on: February 1st, 2014 by Pulse

reducing-your-carbon-footprint

First off, what is a “carbon footprint” exactly? The Carbon part of Carbon Footprint refers to the greenhouse gases, namely carbon dioxide, that are emitted into the atmosphere from human activities. This also includes things that are considered natural, like cow farms or when bodies of water “burp” carbon dioxide into the air, but turn out to have come about via human influence.

The Footprint part of Carbon Footprint refers to the “impression” we leave as humans on the planet via the amount of greenhouse gases our lifestyle results in. For example, if one were to drive a large truck that was 40 years old, the emissions from such a vehicle would emit more hazardous exhaust than a modern 2-door car, thus having a larger carbon footprint.

Decreasing Your Carbon Footprint

Despite what would seem to be an insurmountable cultural system in which the gears keep turning and the elements of which are uninfluenced by the common person, there are a variety of ways that anyone in our modern world can decrease the impact they have over the general carbon footprint our society produces.

Transportation

Most greenhouse gases are a result of gas-burning engines that come from automobiles, airplanes, trains and factories. Compared to consumer automobiles like sedans, minivans, small trucks and so on, industrial automobiles like big rigs, airplanes, freightliners and trains produce a much larger carbon footprint. So how, in the face of this, does one who perhaps has no direct impact over these large industrial machines actually do their part and decrease the amount of CO2 their actions directly, or indirectly, cause to come about?

The easiest element one can have action over pertaining to the world of transportation in general is to drive a more modern car, one that has been built to meet modern emission standards, versus an older car which would have worse emissions. Get your car serviced regularly to make sure that everything is working properly and keeping to modern emission standards.

If possible, take public transportation more than driving yourself, or even take use a zero emission vehicle like a bicycle or a scooter. A good way to see the impact of this would be to imagine everyone riding a bus or a train instead driving themselves, alone, in their cars on the freeways. How much more congested would the roads be?

To reduce the need for large trucks which are moving across the country constantly, transporting goods manufactured somewhere else, a good idea would be to buy things from local businesses wherein the goods they sell are made locally.

Our Homes

One aspect of the carbon footprint we all leave that is easily overlooked is the power consumption in our homes. To curb this, do things like installing more energy-efficient bulbs and turning off the lights in rooms that are not being sued at the time. Keep the thermostat at a more average range of temperature so that the AC or heater is not in need of being on constantly. One could even go the extra mile and have solar panels installed on their home to further reduce the need to have power sent to them via the power company.

So as to reduce the need for water purification plants needing to work more, take shorter showers and do not leave the faucet running. Wash your dishes when it is truly needed as opposed to maybe every day.

Doing these types of things will require a lifestyle change that some may feel is uncomfortable , but only at first. Living more sustainably will help you feel better about your impact on the planet and inspire others to do so. Individual efforts may not seem to have much of an impact on the overall carbon situation, but as a collective whole, massive changes can come about if, as a society, we began to adopt more and more carbon-saving practices, sacrificing perhaps a bit of comfort that we are normally used to.