Personal Fitness – Six Things You Will not Know About Stretching For Fitness Until You Read This

If you research the subject of stretching thoroughly, one thing becomes glaringly obvious. There are conflicting views as to what is or is not true, what you should or should not do and how you should or should not do it.

Basically the latest research does not support all of the information that many fitness 'gurus' have been handing down for years. So what does the latest research say? I'm glad you asked!

1. Stretching is goal specific. Meaning the way you'll stretch as part of your cardiovascular or resistance routine will not be the same as the way you'll stretch for improving your range of motion.

2. Stretching after exercise does not prevent post-exercise muscle soreness. There is also little or no support for the theory that stretching immediately before exercise can prevent either overuse or acute sports injuries.

3. Dynamic or Ballistic Stretching is heading the way of the dinosaur. The forceful, jerky movements have been known to cause micro tears in the muscle fibers. Bouncing and pulling your muscles with force is one way way ticket to soreness, injury and joint pain.

4. Static stretching is one of the safest ways to stretch. After a proper warm-up, assume a maximum stretch position for each muscle and hold for 30 seconds. Shorter durations do not produce desired results and longer durations do not significantly increase benefits.

5. PNF Stretching is a technique which involves a combination of alternating static stretches with isometric muscle contracting. It was first used by physical therapists for injury prevention and rehabilitation. Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) is considered the fastest way to improve range of motion.

6. Visualize while stretching each muscle group. You've got to be 'plugged in' mentally to get the best result. Take this quiet stretch time to improve your body awareness. Focus on what you're doing. Even in a recession, I do not think you're too poor to pay attention.

How to Keep Children Busy When Traveling

Children are such a blessing and at the same time they are such a nightmare, it is difficult to imagine life without them and also difficult to understand how we go about the whole day with them. Their spirit and energy level never goes down, feeling tired or relaxing is not a part of their life at all.

When going on a vacation with children, especially in the age group of 2 to 8 years traveling to a destination is probably the most difficult part. These children are grown up to understand things and too young to be on their own. Confined to one small space in an aircraft, train or the car is just not acceptable to them and therefore they are likely to create nuisance all the way till you reach.

Here are a few useful ideas and tips which you could use to keep children occupied when traveling and leave have some peace. Like I already mentioned traveling is the most difficult time so one needs to make sure there are sufficient activities to keep them busy. The most obvious choice are story books but that in itself will not be sufficient, carry activity books for them where they do not just have to read but have to do some activity and therefore involved. Coloring is another good option and if the child is interested in sketching he could do some of that. Invent innovative games where you can also get the child to be creative like get children to express what they want to say by drawing or writing.

If you have more than 1 child then again it is a boon and a bane both they play together for some time leaving you free and also then get fighting like mad and make you go crazy as well. The most important part is to get them involved in some games like cards, Pictionary, spelling games or any other educational games. They will probably need to be adjusted else they might end up teething each others hair. Verbal games could have been created to keep them busy and involved.

Video games are all time favorites with children so they could play them for some time though not all the time as they lose interest very soon. You could carry portable video players to play their favorite cartoons or to listen to the music they like.

Try carrying their favorite snacks for them, when they are bored they can munch on chips and other such packed stuff which they love so much. It could also be as a prize when they win in any games.

It is not about buying new things for the children before going on a trip it is about remembering to pack things to keep them busy during the trip. The bottom line is to be innovative, create a game out of everything and make it fun and interesting for the child; This will not only keep them busy but also keep them away from trying out new activities which could be harmful for them.

Carrollton Real Estate Continues Momentum

The northern part of Texas is one area in the United States where the real estate industry is experiencing a rapid growth. The previously small rural towns there have become the sites of many businesses and shopping centers. Dallas, in particular, is a favorite venue for conventions and a preferred destination for big corporations due to its geographic location. This very favorable business atmosphere has led to an increase in employment opportunities and economic development.

Carrollton is one city that enjoys the fast-paced real estate growth of northern Texas. This city which is part of the Dallas / Fort Worth (DFW) area in the north central Texas spans more than 38 square miles of land and has a population of 111,400 residents. It is considered the ninth largest city in the DFW metroplex and is home to some five thousand businesses. Many people have been drawn to the place mainly because of the low cost of living compared to other parts of the US In addition, the city provides a close-knit environment, great municipal services, has fantastic parks and award-winning schools.

Carrollton Homes

Carrollton is a kid-friendly city and is best suited for families in search of a quality life. The housing market in the Carrollton real estate sector is comprised of both luxurious and affordable homes plus favorable community partnerships that attract potential homebuyers. There are single family homes, manor homes, colonial homes, waterfront homes near creeks and lakes, townhouses and condominiums of various styles to choose from. A June 2007 report shown a very strong housing market in the Carrollton real estate with single family homes selling like hotcakes at an average of only 43 days on the market.

This city in the Dallas / Forthworth metroplex has one of the most active housing markets for newly built and pre-owned homes. With a very convenient location and a wide range of housing styles and prices, it is no surprise why many people have decided to stay in Carrollton for good. In fact, Carrollton was cited in America's Top 100 Places to live in for the year 2006. The Money Magazine, meanwhile, ranked the 19th city as one of America's "best small cities" to live in.

The average value of Carrollton homes for sale is pegged at $ 165,000 while the median household income is $ 74,000. Buyers need only to search on the internet for Carrollton real estate, Carrollton realtors and Carrollton homes for sale to have an initial assessment of homes and their prices as well as to gather information on this thriving city. They can also visit open houses to get an idea on what homes are available on the market. Experts say the open house has long been an effective way to introduce homes for sale to prospective buyers. Schedules of open houses are normally posted on websites that offer home listing services and online real estate marketing. The National Association of Realtors' (NAR) 2006 profile for home buyers and sellers revealed that 47 percent of all buyers utilize open houses as a good source in their search for homes.

Overall, the Carrollton real estate market is seen to continue its growth with more people considering this DFW city as a place to call their home. Carrollton realtors are also increasing providing both the buyers and sellers more choices in choosing people to help them in their transactions.

How to Manage Your Personal Finances – Retirement Capital Requirements

Many articles have been written about the subject of retirement planning and there are many books published by experts on this very important issue. I have just recently joined the fold of the retired group and I have been through the mill (so to speak) of planning and implementing my retirement plan in it's initial phase. It is this, the initial phase, which I would like to concentrate on in this article.

So, how do I plan my retirement date?

Most companies have contractual dates for retirement. For example, retirement ages could range from 55 years old for early retirement to 60 years old for Directors to 65 years old for operational staff. These dates are generally a guideline since companies do exercise some flexibility when applying these parameters. However, each individual should be using these parameters as a benchmark and then build a projected financial model to see if they are adequately provided for in retirement. Note: The use of a financial advisor is highly recommended in this planning process.

Since the above guidelines, your retirement date is in fact flexible provided that you can satisfy the golden formula which is expressed as: "Accrued income plus passive income must exceed your current cost of living plus an adjustment (up or down) for lifestyle choice in retirement plus inflation projections and sufficient liquid cash for emergencies ".

Let's face it, the thought of early retirement is in the minds of all of us but if you can not afford it, you are heading for suicide.

Let me expand the golden formula as follows:

  • Accrued income is the monthly pension or income that you can derive from your pension accumulation through your working life. This figure will be provided to you by your pension fund or your investment institution.
  • Passive income is income from investments that you made through your working life. Here you consider regular income from property investments, equity investments, dividends, savings interest, business partnerships and any other form of reliable income which you will derive on a monthly basis.
  • Current cost of living is the full annual cost of your current lifestyle. Be extravagant in estimating this figure and be sure to include everything that you incur as a cost.
  • Adjust your retirement requirements up or down depending on your circumstances and your intended lifestyle in retirement.
  • Make adequate provision for injury during your retirement years. Your financial advisor should project your retirement capital adequacy over your expected lifespan.
  • Ensure that you have a 'nestegg "of cash available for emergencies such as buying a new car, unexpected medical bills, renovating your house, helping your kids, taking some holidays and anything else which is relevant to your situation.

I spend many hours pondering the above elements and I suppose it is only natural to be very conservative about whether you can actually go ahead and retire. Assuming that the criteria for the golden formula are met and in order to make the decision a little easier, the following points are highly recommended:

  • You should have no heavy debt burdens. Your mortgage should be paid off, your car hire purchase agreements should be settled and you should have no major debt commitments. In fact, you should be able to live from cash out of your wallet.
  • Your "wish list" for your activities in retirement must be catered for in your planned expenditure.
  • You must not have any plans that requires you to erode your capital base.
  • You need to be sure that your monthly income is pretty secure and you need to have alternative plans if for some reason, your monthly income drops.
  • You need to be able to save some of your retirement income monthly just to prove that you are coping.

In this planning exercise, you need to budget for everything that you want in retirement. Once you have taken the step, there is no turning back if you are serious about retiring. You also do not want to find out that you can not afford some of the things which you had in your vision.

In conclusion, the most important factor in planning your retirement is to ensure that your life partner (if appropriate) is fully informed and on board with the plan and that you create a mutual acceptance and arbitration about your future in retirement.

The above article is created to stimulate thought on your own unique circumstances and you need to tailor your plan accordingly.