Stay Safe While Enjoying The Great Outdoors

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When the weather warms up, it’s the perfect time to start enjoying the great outdoors again. Whether it’s hikes, dog walks or bike rides, if you have some gorgeous scenery nearby or don’t mind a drive to the country it’s a chance to get some light exercise and fresh air after being cooped up for most of the winter! However, there are a few safety precautions to bear in mind when you’re headed into the great outdoors. Here are some things to kit yourself out with before your next trip.

 

Bug Repellent

If you’re going to be walking around marshy or boggy areas, woods or in long grasses, then an insect repellent is a good idea. Midges, fire ants, ticks, and leeches can all bite and cause unwanted symptoms. Use common sense too, don’t walk through ants nests and generally keep an eye out for creepy crawlies when you’re out and about.

 

First Aid Kit

Hopefully, you’ll never need it-but if you do, you’ll be glad you brought it along. Some plasters in case you get a blister, antiseptic cream and wipes for bites and stings are useful for minor injuries. Some gauze and bandages to halt any bleeding and create a sling in case of any more serious injuries can be useful too. A small first aid kit containing a few essentials won’t weigh your backpack down too much.

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Sun Protection

Protecting yourself from the sun when you’re going to be outside all day is crucial. If there’s a bit of a breeze, you might not even realize you’re getting burned until it’s too late. Protect yourself with a sun lotion with a high SPF, being sure not to miss any areas such as your neck and the backs of your hands. Wearing light, long clothing items such as full-length sleeves and trousers is also useful (these are handy to stop bug bites too). Go with a breathable material like cotton, so you don’t feel too warm. A hat to protect your head and shade your face and some sunglasses to protect your eyes are also important.

 

Suitable Footwear

When you’re out in the great outdoors doing a lot of walking, you need the right footwear. Sturdy walking boots that comfortably support your feet and provide good grip on the different types of terrain. A good trick is to wear two pairs of socks in your walking boots, one thick and one thin. That way the layers rub together as you walk, rather than the boots rubbing against your feet.

 

Compass and Paper Map

Mobile phones have GPS and maps on them these days, but what if you go somewhere where there’s no signal? To prevent you from getting lost, these essentials will allow you to work out where you are and where you need to go. From a safety point of view, making sure you keep some charge in your mobile phone is useful too. If you wanted to get away from technology, just switch it off and keep it in your bag.


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Kick Asphalt: Teach Your Kids About The Dangers Of Driving

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Cars are not toys. They can be fun, enjoyable and smile-encouraging, but they are not toys. That is a lesson we all got taught, and a lesson we will all have to teach our children. However, that can be easier said than done.

 

Driving is the very skill all teenage children dream of acquiring and all parents hate thinking about, which is entirely normal. Your child is excited by the new prospects of freedom and independence and you are terrified by the dangers of the road, and rightly so. Luckily, your worries don’t have to be kept as worries, because there are things you can do to better prepare your teenager for the road and ways you can teach them to be that much safer.

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Be The Example You Should Be

Whether your kid wants to admit it or not, you are their biggest hero. You are their inspiration. As such, they naturally mimic almost everything you do, and driving is no different. That means safe driving starts with you. It is a responsibility you need to uphold. If there is something you wouldn’t want your child to do, then it is imperative you don’t do it yourself because bad habits die hard. That means driving well within the speed limits, checking your mirrors, wearing your seatbelt and keeping a safe distance. It also means no texting while at the wheel, no ignoring signs and no speeding.

 

Teach them About The Costs

Chances are you are going to pay most of the costs of the car whether you like it or not, but you should set a time limit on that generosity so that they spend their first year on the road conscious of money. This will give you a good chance to explain how costs can be kept down. As such,  show them how much their current insurance premium is on moneyexpert.com and then show them how much they could save after just one year of safe driving. Teach them about the diesel versus petrol, and about car tax, and how accelerating fast and braking hard can waste fuel. If they know these things will help them save their own pennies then they will listen for sure.

 

Help Them With An Emergency Kit

Cars may not be humans, but they were built and designed by them which means they are still prone to human error. Cars have problems. They break down, or get flat tires or just stop working. That is when an emergency kit comes in handy, and there is little worse than rooting around in the boot and finding absolutely nothing useful. The idea of your child being stranded isn’t pleasant, and that is why it is well worth packing an emergency kit in advance of any trip they go on. You can find an extensive list of must-haves at http://www.bankrate.com, but any and all emergency kits should include a spare tire, a jack, a torch, a first-aid kit, jump leads, de-icer and a tire iron from which to build on.

 

Let them Drive With You

There is no better way to learn than by doing. It is proven to be the most effective form of learning out there, which is why you should take every opportunity you can to share the driving responsibilities. Let your teenage kid take to the wheel, and take this chance to teach them a few things and let them improve their skills in a safe environment. It could be that they drive you to the supermarket to do your grocery shopping, or to school to pick up their younger sibling, or to their grandparent’s house. This will help you understand what their driving is like while also helping them to feel like they are contributing, and thus building their confidence to a safe standard.

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Be Honest With Them About The Dangers

Driving is dangerous; there are no two ways about it. It is one of the leading causes of death in the world. As such, it is crucial you have open and regular chats with them about the dangers of driving. This doesn’t just mean drink driving but distracted driving too, which can be lethal. Driving is not a right, it is a privilege and it comes with a lot of responsibility. At the end of the day, strangers drive toward each other at speeds of up and over 70 mph with only a white line dividing them. It is madness, and it demands respect, concentration, and understanding. That is why it is important you sit down with your child and carefully explain the consequences of bad driving habits, driving under the influence and taking your eyes – or mind – off the road. It can kill, and that message needs to be understood.

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Protecting Your Family At Home Is As Easy As 1-2-3

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A man’s home is his castle, and ensuring that your property is a fortress for your family is vital. Many elements contribute to the overall happiness inside those four walls. But safety should be the first priority for every household.

 

Nothing else matters if the family isn’t safe and secure at all times. Thankfully, even the most comprehensive approach requires just three stages, meaning you can master the task in next to no time.

 

Over the next few minutes, you’ll learn everything you need to know.

 

#1. Making Practical Decisions

Your home isn’t a showroom. It’s a place where your family enjoys several enjoys several daily activities. Therefore, it should be built for living. If it isn’t, you’ll find that accidents happen on a far more frequent basis.

 

Households with young children must learn to appreciate the importance of taking precautions. From covering sharp furniture with foam padding to blocking electrical units, those upgrades are key. Meanwhile, simple habitual changes such as keeping medicines locked away in high cabinets will go a long way to helping the cause.

Essentially, you cannot keep your eyes on the children at all times. Therefore, making design choices around your personal family situation is key. Aside from keeping the kids safe, it should help you maintain your sanity.

 

#2. Keeping The Building In Great Health

Photos taken on several residential construction sites which use fall arrest systems in Phoenix, AZ over a week in August 2012

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A property isn’t a home until you inject your personality and character. Having said that, it’s equally imperative that you keep the building work in great condition. Once standards slip, the comfort levels will fade rapidly. Moreover, it could put your family’s health at risk.

 

Protecting the external factors ensures that the internal features are kept safe too. If problems do occur, experts at Roofing the Rockies can get your home back to full health in no time. In addition to keeping an eye out for those issues, you should think about the threat of damp and other structural damage also.   

 

Moisture isn’t the only potentially damaging substance, though. Gas and electricity leaks could put your lives at risk. Investing in the necessary alarms, and educating yourself about signs of trouble could make all the difference.

 

#3. Defeating External Threats

Unfortunately, those internal issues aren’t the only potential problems that must be considered. We live in a world where burglaries are a common nightmare. Unfortunately, those horrible situations won’t only cause financial damage. The emotional scars left could mean that you’ll never feel safe at home ever again.

 

Modern burglars are using more advanced methods than ever. Taking the necessary precautions to keep them off of your property at all times is vital. If the worst situations do surface, at least you’ll have the evidence needed to fight for justice too.

 

Prevention is the best form of protection and is key to keeping your family safe. Even if you live in an area where you’re unlikely to become a victim, it’s vital that you take charge. If nothing else, it’ll provide the emotional security that your family needs to enjoy the home to its full potential.

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The Things That Could Put You at Risk of Stroke

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Stroke is the third biggest killer in the United States. Nearly 800,000 people suffer a stroke every year, and the consequences can be dire, with 144,000 people dying from the condition annually and many more suffering serious disabilities and other health issues as a result of stroke.

 

Strokes take place when the flow of blood to the brain is interrupted or when a blood vessel in the brain either leaks or bursts. It is important if you want to avoid becoming a stroke victim, that you know the risk factors that could make you vulnerable.

 

Here are the main things that could put you at risk of a stroke:

 

Eating Lots of Fatty Foods

 

Eating lots of fried, fatty foods and red meat doesn’t only increase your chances of a heart attack, it can be a factor in causing strokes too. According to the American Stroke Association, researchers have found that women who are postmenopausal and who eat a diet high in fat, are 40 percent more likely to suffer a stroke than those who typically eat a low-fat diet. Trans fats, in particular, are thought to increase the risk of stroke, and they are found in a huge number of processed foods like chips, pastries, cookies and crackers.

 

If you want to cut your risk of stroke, therefore, you must clean up your diet, avoid processed foods and according to some researchers, eat a Mediterranean diet, which is high in vegetables, olive oil, whole grains fish, and seeds, with only small amounts of red meat and sweet treats.

 

Being Single

 

A study carried out by an Israeli university found that men who were married by the time they reached middle age were 64 percent less likely to die of a stroke within the following 34 years than those who were single, taking into account other risk factors. So, if you’re still single, you might want to think about tying the knot if you want to avoid a serious stroke!

 

Atrial Fibrillation

 

Atrial Fibrillation is a condition in which the heart beats at irregular intervals. It is a sign that your heart is not pumping at optimum levels as it should. You can hear it at AbbottEP.com if you are worried it could be something you suffer from. Because atrial fibrillation can cause blood clots in the heart, they can increase your risk of stroke, which is why, if you are experiencing any of the tell-tale signs of afib, such as palpitations, you should get yourself checked out immediately.

 

Unhappiness

 

University of Texas researchers reported that older people who were more positive in mood, attitude and outlook were less likely to suffer from a stroke and even a small increase in the happiness levels could make the distance. In fact, for every step further up the happiness scale men got, their risk of stroke would drop by 41 percent, while women experienced an 18 percent drop for each step up the scale they moved.

 

So, try your best to be happy and think positively to cut your risk of stroke. If this is something that is difficult, do your best to do the things happy people are more likely to do, such as exercising, eating well and socializing, as well as seeking medical care, and you could stave off a stroke too.

 

Obesity

 

Obesity is a risk factor in so many illnesses and diseases, and stroke is no exception. You can find out more about obesity at CDC.Gov, and it might be wise to do so because researchers at the University of Minnesota who followed 13,000 American citizens for a period of 19 years discovered that the risk of stroke for obese people with a body mass index in the highest bracket, was between 1.43 and 2.12 times higher than those with a BMI in the lowest bracket. Obesity puts such a strain on the system and caused illnesses like diabetes and high blood pressure that having a stroke when you’re so heavy is very likely as you age. Do something about it now, and you will dramatically cut your risk level.

 

Smoking

 

According to the American Heart Association, smoking will double your risk of having a stroke, but if you quit smoking, even if you’ve been a heavy smoker for many years, you can cut your risk back to that of the average non-smoker simply by giving up. In fact, one study found that within five years of giving up there was no difference in the rate of strokes experienced by non-smokers and ex-smokers, which has to be an incentive to finally give up those cigarettes. Afterall, it won’t just be your heart that benefits – your whole body will get a boost and you’ll cut your risk of cancer too!

 

Genetic Factors

 

Sadly, some of the risk factors for stroke are out of your control. For example, if you are an African-American, your chances of having a stroke are twice that of your white friends and neighbors. Not only that, but black people have a much higher stroke-related death rate than whites. This could be partially explained by the fact that the black population is more likely to suffer from high blood pressure and diabetes than the general population.

 

Some studies have also found that women between the ages of 35 band 64 are nearly three times more likely to have a stroke than their male peers, perhaps because women tend to have more fat around the abdomen – a risk factor for stroke – than men of the same age who carry fat differently.

 

Being from the South

 

Sadly, being born and raised in the southeast of the United States, in places like Georgia, Arkansas, and Alabama gives you an increased risk of having a stroke when you’re older, even if you no longer live in the area.

 

One study published in the Journal of Neurology back in 2009 found that blacks who were born in the so-called southeastern ‘Stoke Belt’ were 22 percent more likely to have a stroke than the same demographic from other areas. Whites from the stroke belt were 30 percent more likely to suffer a stroke.  It is believed that this increased risk factor could be down to a range of things including bad diets, smoking and higher rates of obesity.

 

Although you can’t change genetic factors or the place you were born and raised, you can still work to cut your risk some by living a healthy lifestyle, monitoring your health, and avoiding too many vices.

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Sharpen Your Senses

Let’s face it: most of us would like to have super senses that would allow us to see in the dark or hear what our colleagues are saying about us from across a crowded room. But thanks to our lifestyles, many of us end up losing our senses (literally) as we get older.

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Don’t take your senses for granted. Take care of your eyes, ears, nose, mouth and hands, and they’ll serve you faithfully for years to come. Here’s how to sharpen, not lose, your senses.

 

Dry Eyes

 

Dry eyes are a leading cause of eye inflammation which can result in problems with your sight later on in life. Scientists believe that dry eyes are the result of falling hormone production as you get older. Lower hormone production leads to fewer tears which lead to greater levels of inflammation. The result of this, according to Robert Latkany, the director of a dry eye clinic, is reduced vision, blurriness and burning eyes. Not good.

 

However, Latkany has some advice on how to prevent it. He says that people who eat plenty of omega-3 oils, whether in the form of fish, flaxseed or capsules, will keep their eyes moist and supple. If you’ve already got dry eyes, then he recommends supplementing your omega-3 regime with dry eye drops, like Restasis. These drops stimulate the tear glands to produce more tears, keeping the eyes healthy.

 

Cataracts

 

According to estimates by the website Prevention, more than 50 percent of people will develop cataracts by the age of 80. However, the risk of developing them begins way before you reach old age. Starting in your 40s, your risk of developing cataracts increases.

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You might not think that there’s a lot that you can do to prevent cataracts, but recent research by Tufts University seems promising. They found that people who took a vitamin C supplement for ten years had much lower cataract risk – having 60 percent fewer cataracts than the group who did not take the supplement.

 

Tufts also recommend that people avoid prolonged sun exposure and that they shun smoking, both of which produce lots of free radicals which can ultimately harm the eyes.

 

Even if you’ve already got cataracts, all is not lost. These days it’s possible to have surgery to remove and fix a clouded lens, restoring your vision to its former glory.

 

Faded Smell

 

Over time, your sense of smell, like the other senses in your body, can fade. According to estimates, around half of people over the age of 65 will report a faded sense of smell. With aging, the receptors in the nose that detect smell die off, leaving you with fewer receptors every year.

 

There are a couple of ways you can guard yourself against losing your sense of smell. One is to minimize your exposure to household chemicals, and the other is to remove yourself from smoky environments. Smoke, household chemicals, and insecticides can damage the nasal membrane and leave people without such an excellent sense of smell.

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Richard Doty, a doctor with a Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania has also found evidence that smelling things with a strong smell can help retain your sense of smell for longer. Apparently, smelling things like fresh lavender increases nerve cell activation in the nose which helps more receptors stick around as you get older.

 

If you’ve lost your sense of smell, Doty says not to give up. You may be able to bring it back, either by getting rid of any blockages or by sniffing strong scents a couple of times a day.

 

Gradual Hearing Loss

 

There’s a hearing loss condition called presbycusis that can start as early as your 40s. Usually, this develops either because you have a history of listening to loud noises (for instance, if you were a DJ in your youth) or you suffer from heart disease. Both heart disease and a history of loud noises can damage sound-detecting cells and cause you to have fewer of them as you age. Getting a hearing test is the first part of the solution, especially if you think you’ve experienced damage to the inner part of your ear. Unfortunately, hearing loss is difficult to reverse which means that if you can’t hear very well at the moment, you might want to talk to your doctor about getting a hearing aid.

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To prevent your hearing loss accelerating, don’t expose yourself to loud noises (of more than 85 decibels) for extended periods of time. Limit your time listening to your iPod on high volume to less than 90 minutes per day.

 

Loss Of Sensation

 

Can you lose your sense of touch? Well, according to science, you can as you age. Your sense of touch is partially transmitted by the elasticity of your skin. The more elastic it is, the more nerve cells are recruited around the area where your skin is being pinched or pressed. But with age, that elasticity can fade, and the number of receptors in our skin can fall.

 

It should be noted that there are a couple of medications that can destroy your sense of touch. One is called Cardene, a drug designed to reduce blood pressure. Cardene can lead to a dull sense of touch, almost like the skin is numb, but it’s a rare side effect.

 

As per usual, the best way to prevent a loss of sensation is to live a heart-healthy lifestyle. Living a heart-healthy lifestyle helps to keep all the capillaries that supply your nerve endings healthy, providing them with the nutrients that they need to survive. To keep your respiratory system healthy, stop smoking, avoid saturated fats in animal products and start taking a B12 supplement. B12 has been shown to help people hold onto sensation in their skin.

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The bad news is that once a nerve cell dies, it can’t be brought back to life. However, taking drugs like aspirin can increase the width of blood vessels, improving your circulation and increasing the stimulation of the bottom layer of skin. If you experience a sudden loss of sensation, it could be the result of a stroke.

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4 Routes to Success in a Life of Less Stress

Living a life of less stress is something that most of us aspire to. Unfortunately, with so many work and family pressures weighing on our minds, this is something that isn’t always easy. The real skill comes from being able to compartmentalize the different parts of our lives so that they don’t overlap. If you find that stress is negatively affecting your life, here’s some advice for getting back on track.

 

Get A Good Night’s Sleep

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We all know the stress relieving qualities of a good night’s sleep, but the problem is that too much stress in your life affects your sleep, leaving you more tired and stressed. And so the vicious cycle continues. If you find yourself struggling to drift off, try writing down all your worries in a journal and leave them until the next morning. Remember, it’s very unlikely you’ll be able to solve all the world’s ills from your bedroom! Get into a steady bedtime routine so your body naturally becomes prepared for sleep, and try to relax yourself close to bedtime. This may be by listening to music, meditating or some gentle yoga.

 

Cut Down on Screentime

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First and foremost, watching TV or playing on your laptop too close to bedtime can interfere with your sleep. The light naturally disrupts your body’s ability to produce melatonin which is the sleep hormone. It can also be very stress relieving simply to get away for your screen for a little while. Social media in particular can be a problem as it often doesn’t do you any good to compare your life to those you see on there. Remember that it’s a highlights reel and everyone will be dealing with their own issues even if it seems like they’re on holiday all the time!

 

Take Time to Yourself

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Even if you can only set aside a few minutes every day, this time can be invaluable in helping you to recharge. Many people find taking a bath can be very stress relieving so take a look at the advantages of steel baths vs acrylic baths if you’re thinking about investing in a new one. Other people prefer to read a book or listen to some music or a podcast. Taking some time to decompress from the stresses of life is extremely important for everyone.

 

Focus on Exercise

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Getting into an exercise routine can be a great way to focus your mind away from your other stresses in life. If you’re in the middle on an intense spinning class or at match point in a crucial tennis match, it’s very difficult to focus on anything else! Exercise generally provides a sense of balance to our bodies and minds, helping to significantly reduce stress. Even a long walk can help get your mind focused and sort through some of the jumbled problems which race through our minds.
These are just four methods for reducing the stress in your life and getting you back on track mentally and emotionally.

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The Dangers of Renting an Old Office

Not every business can afford to rent an expensive office or move into a modern building with all the latest devices, fastest internet speeds and updated hardware. Sadly, many startups have to rely on old office buildings in order to afford a place to get their business started, but it can lead to some real dangers that need to be sorted out straight away.

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Asbestos Fears

 

Old offices that were built a long time ago likely used asbestos when they were being built. Asbestos is a very harmful material that can cause cancer in areas like the throat and lungs, making it extremely dangerous for people who are exposed to it for long periods of time. If your office was built a very long time ago then it’s a good idea check for asbestos. You don’t want to move into an office that already has a lot of asbestos because it needs to be completely removed and renovated by experts. This means that you’re better off turning down cheap deals unless the cost of renting the office and clearing out the asbestos is worth it.

 

Worn Pipes

 

As water is carried through pipes in a building, it will eventually start to wear out and it’s possible that your piping may suffer damage. In an old office, these pipes could rust and start carrying nasty materials and chemicals through the water, making it unsafe to drink or use for any purposes other than cleaning. Contaminated water can be very dangerous should your employees ingest it, so make sure that you are checking the pipes before you move in and that you’re prepared to place them should the plumber discover something bad.

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Electrical Wiring

 

Although electricity is generally very safe when a building is constructed, structural damage could lead to exposed wires and dangerous tangles in the wiring. It’s a good idea to consider electrical testing if you are moving into an office that looks rather worn out or if the refurbishment was rushed. Many lazy electrical engineers tend to hide problems and don’t repair things to a high standard during the refurbishment process, making it incredibly dangerous for your employees to use electrical outlets and switches.

 

Structural Damage

 

Buildings don’t last forever. If a building was built a long time ago in an area that suffers from natural disasters or a lot of rain, it could start to wear down the materials used and eventually weaken the structural integrity of your office. If there is loose flooring or questionably refurbished ceilings, then it could lead to horrific accidents such as the floor or ceiling collapsing.

 

Final Words
Cheap office rentals can be incredibly good for a startup, but chances are you’re going to be running into a scam where the seller has hastily refurbished the place in order to look good. However, the damage is usually on the inside and it can be hard to tell if there are structural issues that will put your employees in danger.

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