Some Tips for Extending the Life of Car Parts

An important part of making your car last longer , is to make the parts that can contribute to your car’s longevity last longer as well.

Car maintenance is a necessary factor for extending the life of your vehicle. However, if rotation of tires, changing the oil, and replacing the battery aren’t being performed, you could end up damaging more than expected, resulting in more trips to the shop. While it can be tempting to avoid replacing certain key parts in order to save money, records have shown that spending a little more money to keep your car in good shape could end up saving you from buying another car entirely. This infographic, accessed through the link below explains some of the precautions you should take to ensure that the lifespan of your vehicle reaches its maximum potential.

Click the link below to access the full infographic:

https://www.chevynationparts.net/how-to-extend-the-lifespan-of-key-car-parts

 

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Overload Principle: Training with Purpose

How do you know you’ve hit a plateau?

Have you trained for countless hours with sparse results? Strict dieting with little to show for it? Strength training without the ability to increase weight? When was the last time you hit a PR, anyway?

Plateauing happens to athletes at all levels. It’s good for training regimens to become a way of life, but doing those sessions over and over again can become like mindlessly checking a box. Inputs remain the same–which can be detrimental to increasing performance outputs.

Incorporating overload principle into training may be one of the steps you need to get off that plateau.

A runner sitting on a plateau overlooking a vista

Building Muscle–How it Actually Works

Overload principle states that in order for muscle to increase in size, strength and endurance, it must be regularly challenged to produce an output that is as near as possible to maximum capacity. The technique pushes the body past its limits, further breaking it down to force adaptations that lead to performance gains.

Skeletal muscle is composed of fibers that contract when our muscles are put to work. During high intensity, challenging exercise, muscle fibers are broken down. These small breakdowns are called “microtrauma,” and cause the muscle to rebuild stronger, overcompensating to protect itself from other breakdowns with new muscle-building protein.

The rebuilt fibers increase in thickness and number, resulting in muscle growth. To support this, we need enough dietary protein to ensure the rate of muscle protein synthesis is greater than the rate of muscle protein breakdown; this is how our muscles grow.

The same process happens in all of the muscles of our body. The heart muscle also gets bigger with training, enabling more oxygen to be used by other muscles. An exercise-induced release of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) stimulates the formation of blood vessels, leading to the capillarization of the muscle, allowing increased blood flow, oxygen, and nutrient delivery (which is a critical factor in muscle growth).1 More enzymes are also produced that are utilized in energy production.

A woman squatting in the weight room using overload training, which says that muscle fibers and broken down during exercise, then muscle growth is a result of the fibers increasing in thickness and number

Interestingly, when it comes to muscular hypertrophy (the building of muscle), the exact mechanisms aren’t totally understood; there are likely many factors at play. Current hypotheses include some combination of mechanical tension, metabolic fatigue and muscular damage.

But with training adaptations like overload principle, there can be results like slower utilization of muscle glycogen, greater reliance on fat oxidation, less lactate production during exercise, and adaptations to skeletal muscle.2 To produce muscle growth, athletes must apply a load of stress greater than what those muscles have previously adapted to.3

The idea of overload principle is rooted in how muscles grow–and it begins immediately after exercise, but can take weeks or months to actually manifest.

Practice Before Overloading

Before introducing heavier weight or adding more miles to an exercise program, it’s essential to have the correct technique for those exercises cemented. Muscle memory and the repetition of techniques with proper form are crucial for executing an exercise flawlessly.

Normally, these skills are best learned when fatigue doesn’t impact an athlete’s ability to perform the movements correctly.

But once introduced on top of a good skill base, overload principle can be a powerful tool to reducing the overall risk of injury.

Implementing Overload Principle

Without overload principle, fitness level is less likely to increase; training programs might not yield strength gains because the body adapts to static repetition.

There are two basic components of overload principle: the overloading, and the progression. Overloading is what we’ve discussed above, the adding of stress, weight, etc. to achieve greater fitness.

Progression is the way in which the overloading should be added to training. This can be achieved through an increase in frequency, intensity, time of exercise, or a combination of these.

There’s lots of misinformation online about the best ways to exercise. We’re setting the record straight by analyzing the latest scientific studies–so you don’t have to.

Are You FITT?

The FITT principle is a way to approach overload training strategically and safely, by overloading these different aspects of exercise.

Frequency: How often physical activity is performed, which is normally about three to five times per week.

Intensity: How hard a person exercises during physical activity, which can be measured in different ways and is different for everyone. Heart rate is one way to monitor intensity during endurance, while weight can illustrate intensity of strength training; however, neither of these measures something like flexibility.

Time: The length of physical activity. Again, time varies depending on the person and fitness goal. Stretch-training for flexibility may take 15 minutes, but the minimum for aerobic activity is about 20 minutes of continuous exercise.

Type: The specific physical exercise one is training to improve. Someone trying to improve strength might overload weight and reps; a runner looking to improve endurance might overload distance and time.

By using the FITT principle to understand overloading, this may also help with burnout. Often, we seek performance gains, increasing intensity wildly in the hopes of achieving our goals. This can lead to overly fatigued muscle and even injury.

Compartmentalizing overload training, and already knowing the movements on which you’ll overload, can help reduce some of the dangers of pushing your body past its limits.

How to Overload

You probably already have a training plan. It has days with long runs and short runs, rest days and strength training days.

But do those workouts all look the same, week after week? If so, you may be treading in workout water. It’s time to budget overload training into your workout plan.

A note: if you’re serious, it may be worth getting help from a coach. You can’t keep overloading the same thing over and over–that defeats the purpose of overload training in the first place. Always increasing the same element, like volume, may lead to another plateau. It’s important to mix it up, looking at your training plan like a journey: there will be peaks and troughs to keep the body guessing.

A runner using overload principle, which stats that runners should increase distance, increase intensity and increase speed

When Running

Running with overload principle in mind applies the same techniques as strength and resistance training: increase difficulty (in some way) systematically.

Adding intensity to your workouts is a good place to start. Speed workouts and hill training can help improve muscle strength, overall speed and eventually, race day performance. These intense workouts should come twice per week, incorporating things like interval training, tempo runs, hill workouts or lactate threshold training (which could serve a dual purpose as being both a difficult workout and help you improve your lactate threshold).

Adding duration to runs is also an essential way to overload. One long run per week should be added to a training plan. Many runners prefer to conduct these long runs on weekends (specifically Sunday), because Monday is a popular rest day. You can even add mileage to this run over the course of several weeks.

There are also tools that can help overload training. A weight vest can be added while running or walking to increase lower-body strength and endurance. And running with a training mask on can make your respiratory muscles work harder, which increases respiratory compensation threshold (RCT) and can improve endurance performance.5

Ample recovery time is also important; muscles need time to recover. Work in a rest day after a day of overload training. Since you’ve just pushed yourself further than you’re used to going, recovery will help encourage those gains. If resting isn’t an option, try alternating hard training days with easy training days.

When Weight Training

You probably already strength train or cross-train between regular workouts–these strengthen muscles and joints, decreasing the risk of injury.

The type of strength training varies by athlete depending on their goals. Many employ circuit training, weightlifting or plyometrics training. In general, overloading would include increasing the number of sets or increasing weight used in this training.

The safest way to overload is first to increase reps or sets, getting as comfortable as possible with the exercise, then increase weight.

For example: let’s say you’re doing three sets of eight reps of bicep curls with 10 lb dumbbells. When overloading the following week, jumping to 15 lb dumbbells would be a 50% jump in weight–which is too much to overload. Instead, overload by increasing the number of reps or sets. Try for three sets of ten reps or four sets of eight reps before increasing weight.

On the flip side, someone pushing 100 lbs on a bench press would likely be able to increase weight to 105 lbs–that’s only a 5% jump in weight. For exercises with larger muscles, the overload increment can also be larger. Still, it’s best to focus on increased reps or sets before jumping up in weight.

To approach overloading systematically, make sure you keep a training log to track each increase in weight for all your exercises.

A woman lifting a barbell using overload training, which states that lifters should first increase the number of sets and reps, then increase the weight when the movement has been mastered

Overloading Outside of Exercise

Even though overloading happens in the gym, building muscle happens outside of it. All that overloading might be for naught if you don’t recover properly.

We’ve outlined the best supplements for runners to take, but here’s a high-level look at what can help increase muscle and improve recovery.

BCAAs: These branched-chain amino acids provide the body with building blocks to maintain lean muscle mass.6 The body breaks down protein into these amino acids, which then are sent throughout the body to be used again in protein building–and thus, muscle-building. One study even showcased they alleviated skeletal muscle damage.7

HVMN Ketone: Can be used before, during and after workouts. HVMN Ketone has been shown to increase the efficiency of working muscle by 28%,8 and in testing, athletes went ~2% further in a 30-minute time trial.9 For recovery, HVMN Ketone decreases the breakdown of intramuscular glycogen and protein when compared to carbs alone,9 while also expediting the resynthesis of glycogen by 60% and protein by 2x.10,11

Protein: Whey, casein and soy protein are the most popular choices here, and all should be taken post-workout. Whey is a great source of BCAA, and is absorbed the fastest by the body. It’s largely considered the most effective protein for building muscle.12 Casein protein is slower to absorb, so it can be taken before bed. One study showcased consuming it before bed led to a 34% reduction in whole body protein breakdown.13

Overloading to Measurable Gains

Overloading may be the best way to break the body out of its routine and spur the growth you’ve been looking for. By pushing the body past its limits, even for a set or an extra mile, your body will adapt to be able to handle that stress during the next training session.

It’s important not to over-overload. This can lead to injury and be detrimental for your overall training goals by putting you on the sidelines for a few weeks. Measured overloading is the best approach, tracking the increases to understand how they’re helping work toward your goals.

Take it one step at a time. Before you know it, you’ll be off that plateau and on your way to climbing a whole new mountain.

How do you get off the plateau? Share in the comments below.

Marginal gains?

You train, you work hard, you put in the hours–you should be seeing results. We’re developing more resources to help you get the most out of your workout.

Authored by Nate Martins •
September 25, 2018

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Jack-of-all-Trades

When you’ve been working for yourself for a little while, you soon come to realise that doing your job is just half the battle. Since setting up on your own you’ve become an accountant, marketing guru, sales representative and errand do-er. What you might also find yourself having to face, is the prospect of carrying out HR duties on top of all that.

How to automate Adwords optimizations was one thing, when it came to becoming a Ninja-like marketing expert, taking on the hiring and firing of staff seems like an altogether greater challenge. And yet, it can be done, and you can be the one to learn to do it. We take a look at some of the skills, tips and tricks you’ll need to take your business to the next level when it comes to taking on, training and getting the most out of staff.

Hiring

When it comes to interviewing and hiring staff the real secret is simply being organised and doing enough research into your job role and person specification that you know exactly who’s going to be a great fit. With those two elements firmly in your mind and clearly communicated in your job advertisement you’ll have your pick of dream candidates queueing up at your door. Be open-minded and look for personalities that give a little added value to your position.

Managing

No one said you’d make a natural manager but if you’ve had a boss in the past, chances are you have a good working idea of what works and what doesn’t.

There’s a difference between a good manager and a great manager and that difference is the desire to see your staff grow and exceed even above their own expectations in the role you’ve placed them in. When you realise that your staff are indeed your greatest asset, you’ll find better and more relevant ways of investing in them, whether through external training courses or in-house schemes.

A great manager has good communication at the heart of everything they do whether that’s issuing clear and precise instruction or explaining the corporate goals of the organisation, your communication skills will act as a gateway for two-way conversation and set a great example.

Managing people is as much about your qualities as a leader as it is about their ability to do the job. A great leader will make time to listen to employees and take on board any suggestions without it damaging their ego or pride when a great suggestion is put forward. Instead a great leader will recognise an employee’s achievements and adequately reward them for it.

Image courtesy of Pexels

Firing

There are times, of course, when you will need to let staff go and that can be tough. Before you go to the ultimate act of terminating their employment there are several steps you’ll need to take first before you can fire them. You will need to have a frank and honest talk with your employee about their performance and flag up your concerns. Then you’ll need to get some kind of performance improvement plan in place with clear goals and a timeline that sets out what kind of changes they’ll need to make to their working practice and by when.

Only after you’ve given them every chance to show a marked improvement and they’ve failed to live up to their side of the agreement can you go down the dismissal route.

While it’s tough for an employee there are times when it’s necessary and as a manager you’ll need to spend some time figuring out what went wrong and ask yourself if you made a bad hire or if there were external reasons for the decline in performance. Learning lessons is a vital part of the process and will help you avoid making the same mistakes in future.

Like marketing, PR and selling, your HR skills can be learnt, honed and polished with a mixture of research, practice and experience. No one said setting up on your own would be easy and you might not have expected that you’d be taking on so many more skills, but you have and what an achievement.

Read around your favourite business and lifestyle bloggers to get the best advice and ideas on how to be an effective leader. With just a little practice, you’ll soon see your business grow from strength to strength with a great team behind you who share your vision and business goals and who flourish under your great leadership.

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Finding Help And Support Online

We all need advice from time to time, and the internet can be a great place to find it. There are many reasons for finding help and support online. Perhaps you need help learning how to do something, or you feel embarrassed discussing problems with friends and family – whatever the reason, there are plenty of channels you can find the support you need.

Learn more about finding help and advice online to help you get the support you need.

Image Credit: Unsplash under Creative Commons

Read blogs from like-minded people

Blogs can be a fantastic way to connect, especially if you have an interest in a particular subject. Many bloggers have a specific ‘niche’ that means they’ll only really write about certain topics. This could be a dietary or a health-based blog, or even about something completely random. Whatever your interest or your concern, you can be sure there’s a blog from someone who’s like you. Reading the advice and experience of others can help provide you with support and reassurance. It’s also worth noting that the blogging world can be a very engaging one, so it’s worth opening up and having conversations with a blogger if you want to discuss something in more depth.

Why not start your own blog and help someone else who might be experiencing the same thing as you?

Visit charities and other websites for advice

Charity and health websites can be excellent sources of information. If you’ve been diagnosed with an illness or a problem, then these websites can be useful, informed resources for finding out the information you need. They can also point you in the direction of where to get further advice or how to talk to someone if needed. Remember to only visit trusted websites by organizations that you’ve heard of, as many people put out fake information online that could cause potential harm.

Explore forums and discussion boards

It’s not always easy to speak to family and friends about your problems, but discussion boards and forums could be a good place to get the advice you need as well as share your problems with other. Forums like Inspire bring people together, providing a safe place to share thoughts and ideas. While you should never go through something alone, an online support group can be a good place to start until you’re ready to speak to someone in your life offline.

Whatever you need help and support with, the internet can offer many avenues to help you get it. When talking to people online, it’s important to remember that you are talking to strangers, after all, so be familiar with the risks and precautions to take when chatting online. While it’s easy to go online to seek advice, remember that there are people you can talk to offline too, friends, family, and your doctor are all sources you should trust to confide in, so don’t be afraid to open up to them to help you get the support you need.  

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Guide To Healthcare IT Project Management

There is no denying that healthcare IT projects are on the rise. There are a number of different reasons why this is the case. In recent years, there have been many data breach attacks on healthcare businesses. The reason this industry has been targeted is because a lot of medical centres and businesses have been using outdated systems. Because of this, a lot of projects involving cyber security are taking place. There are also projects that deal with moving healthcare businesses forward in terms of implementing new software and technologies. With that being said, in this blog post, we are going to take a look at hiring IT teams to handle projects in the healthcare sector.

https://cdn.pixabay.com/photo/2015/07/17/22/43/student-849822__340.jpg

The fast pace of business development in both healthcare and IT

Recent research has indicated that project managers in the IT and healthcare sector are struggling to keep up with the pace of business development, and this is resulting in project failures. The findings indicate that effective project management is the key to unlocking success in the IT industry specifically, which could result in us seeing a rise in project management courses and project management apprenticeships. Read on to discover everything that you need to know about it.

The statistics you need to know about

A recent survey conducted by Axelos has revealed that almost one-third of IT projects are at risk of failure. This represents £254.3 billion of losses in regards to turnover, which is quite a startling and worrying statistic. The survey involved interviewing 500 project leaders, and 76 per cent of those surveyed stated that projects have become more challenging to deliver because of the more competitive environment we find ourselves in due to the current economic climate. Project failure is something no business can afford, but this is especially the case in the healthcare sector whereby downtime is simply not an option.

The survey also revealed that almost three-quarters of project leaders stated that their project timelines and budgets have become a lot tighter over the past year. A similar portion also stated that stakeholders are now demanding greater value for less outlay. It is, therefore, little surprise that 48 per cent of project managers also stated that their profit margins have lowered over the past 12 months. Furthermore, half of those interviewed said they face challenges in finding the right people to resource for their projects, 55 per cent said they have to deal with business practice evolutions, which make projects more complicated. And, 58 per cent of those surveyed said that risk has increased because of the change in business.

Getting the right help

It is quite clear to see that in order to achieve business growth, healthcare firms need to focus on improving their approach to IT projects. Outside assistance from experts come highly recommended, and this is something you can discover more about at http://thinkwgroup.com/. The survey also indicated that we cannot simply blame external factors for the increasing incidence of project failure. There is also a clear indication that processes aren’t robust enough, especially those relating to skills and resourcing. 65 per cent of project leaders state that project delivery is demanded in much less time than before, however, they aren’t benefiting from on-going skills training. Only 12 per cent of employers provide project leaders with budgets for continued learning, and only 35 per cent of those interviewed said that employee numbers have increased. Training existing employees in IT matters is likely to be inefficient for most healthcare firms, which is why outsourcing talent in this regard is the best route to go down.

All in all, it is quite clear to see the importance of project management when it comes to the success or failure of a business. It is also evident where we are going wrong at the moment. We are expecting project teams to achieve much more in less time, and we are expecting them to do this in more a complex economic environment. Despite this, we are not giving them the tools they need to succeed. We aren’t investing enough in project management training, nor or we hiring the personnel that is required to take projects forward. By making these changes, we can expect to see businesses grow and take great strides forward.

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How to Monitor Your Own Health Between Checkups

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It is quite normal to go for regular health check-ups and blood tests, but how can you make sure you are keeping well in between them? You may well see your physician twice a year to see if all is well, but what can you do and what signs should you look for until your next visit? Here are some tips to help you stay healthy between checkups…

Have A Healthy Lifestyle

A healthy diet will help you to stay well between visits to your physician. The three major things you should try to fit into your diet every day are fruit, vegetables, and fiber. You should also make sure you are active for at least part of the day, and find time for some relaxation too. These things all form part of a healthy lifestyle and will help to keep you fit until your next checkup.

Sleeping Well

If your sleep patterns have not changed and you sleep well each night, that will go a long way toward your general well-being. However, if you notice that you are having disturbed nights or trouble sleeping, that could be a sign that something is not right. After 8 hours every night, you should feel alert and energetic. If you feel sluggish during the day, this could be another sign that something is wrong.

Keep on eye on your sleep and if it changes, speak to your physician before the checkup time arrives.

Watch The Color Of Your Urine

Your urine should ideally be the color of pale straw. If it is dark, it could simply be a sign you are not getting enough fluids, but it could also be something more serious. If you get it tested at a place like LifeBrite Laboratories, you can find out for sure and potentially put your mind at rest There are also companies, including that one, which will carry out blood tests to search for illnesses and vitamin deficiencies amongst other things, so you can really get a grip on your health and make any changes necessary.

Are You Losing Hair?

Hair loss can be attributed to several health conditions, including thyroid disease and low levels of iron in your blood. If your hairbrush seems to have more of your hair than your head, make an appointment with your physician to get checked out now.

Check Your Extremities If You Are Diabetic

People with diabetes can suffer from problems with their extremities, especially the feet. If you are diabetic, check your feet every day for broken skin, blisters, cuts, bruises, and fungus. If they are clear, it is usually a sign that you are managing your blood sugar levels well. If you have any of these symptoms you should visit your doctor now rather than wait for your checkup.

Check Your Heartbeat After Exercise

Immediately after finishing exercise count how many times your heart beats in 15 seconds. Then multiply that by 4 to give you the rate for 1 minute.   Sit back and relax for two minutes and then do the same thing again. The difference between the two numbers should be more than 55 and if it is not, you need to see your physician soon.

Women with a poor heart rate are more likely to have a heart attack than men, but whatever gender you are you should not ignore a poor heart rate.

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Bring Out Your Inner Big Kid

Everyone deserves to bring out their inner big kid. You have to admit, there is one bubbling away inside of you that you just can’t fight sometimes. The weird little dances or voices that you do, the silly things you think in your head, and the desperation to have the imagination of your children as you sit and watch them babble away to themselves. But sometimes, you really do realise that life is just getting too serious. You’re always thinking about things that you need to do, purchases that you probably shouldn’t have made, and bills that you’re going to have to pay. It’s a stressful time to be an adult, and at any point if you were to try and let out your inner child, you might feel a ton of guilt that you’re not living up to your responsibilities, or that you might regret it later. This is something that we have drilled into our own minds, due to the expectations of society. But you really do only have one life, and you only have one chance to go and live it before it runs out. If you’re going to live your life, you really do need to think of ways that you can bring out your inner kid, and we’re going to talk about a few of them today!

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Toys & Gadgets

This is one of the most underrated ways that you can let out your inner big kid. There are so many different toys and gadgets out there, and despite what some people might say, they’re not just for children. Adults can have endless amounts of fun with the gadgets that are out there today, and they really can help to bring some light into your life when you constantly feel as though you’re doing the same thing. So, gadget number one on our list for those of you who are looking for some fun, is a hoverboard with bluetooth and lights. Hoverboards were a big craze not so long ago, especially with the younger generation. They can be used both indoors and outdoors, and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to have some fun with one. Even if it’s just taking one around the street, or using it to get around the house, it’s still all good fun. Because you’re doing something different, and using such a cool gadget to whizz around even the smallest of places like your home, you do feel like your inner big kid has been let loose!

Another gadget on our list of cool things to have, is a VR headset. Now, this one is really easy to get sucked into, because you’re entering yourself into a virtual reality, and you never know, you might like it more than the reality you’re in at the minute. VR has been around in its most basic form for a while now, but with poor graphics, design, and all round use, people weren’t too bothered about it. But now all of the tech giants are getting involved, everyone seems to be excited about it. There’s just so many things you can do with them, from playing a game, to watching a movie, to feeling like you’re lying on a beach sunbathing. It all depends on what you like to do, and what experience you want to get from it. But one you put the VR on and get plunged into that virtual reality that you might not have experienced before, we just know that you’re never going to want to come out of it!

Doing Something Totally Crazy

If you want to bring out your inner kid, doing something crazy is definitely the way to do it. Doing something that makes everyone say to you ‘ I can’t believe you did that’, because being crazy just isn’t the norm for most people. But when you do something totally crazy and out of the ordinary, you’re going to feel amazing for it. You’ll feel as though you’re taking yourself out of the circle of life that you’re used to, and it just feels so exhilarating to do it. It could be something you’ve always wanted to do, and it actually could be pretty mundane in the grand scheme of things. But for you to do something that’s out of the ordinary for you, it makes it crazy! One thing you could do that’s definitely not the norm, and is definitely a bit crazy, is going to do something like skydiving. It’s rare that people actually go and do something like this, although you do hear of a lot of people doing it for charity. Whether you do or don’t is up to you, as you really would only be doing this to bring out your inner kid. But if the thought of jumping out of a plane thousands of feet off the ground is too much for you, then you could do something a lot safer, such as indoor skydiving. It’s fun, you’re contained to only falling a few feet if you ever had to, but you still get that crazy feeling of skydiving. Whatever you chose to do, just make sure it’s something away from the norm for you, but it helps you feel alive!

Holidaying With Friends

This is one of the best things that you can do if you want to bring out your inner kid, because when you go on holiday with your friends, something in your mind just changes. All of the sudden you really do feel like you’re a big kid with no responsibilities. The only responsibilities you have are eating too much, drinking too much, and soaking up too much sun. No matter what age you are when you go on holiday with your friends, you’ll always turn into giggling people who care about nothing more than having fun. To truly bring out your inner big kid on a holiday with friends, you’re going to have to think about doing things such as quad biking, or renting a scooter, or going to the water park. Whatever age you are, all of the above are fun as long as you’re prepared to let your hair down and go with the flow.

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