Stay Healthy on a Long Vacation

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vacationSummer is the time for vacations. If you and your family are planning a long vacation, whether by plane, train, or automobile, the last thing you want is to be sick, tired, or otherwise unwell and unable to enjoy yourselves.

There are steps you can take to make sure that you and your kids stay healthy during and after your vacation.

General Health

Travel of any kind is stressful, so it’s important to do whatever you can to relieve that stress.  Solid planning with multiple contingency plans is the first step. Making sure everyone is well rested, hydrated, and fed is also important.

Choose healthy food whenever possible.  Any trip is going to offer endless opportunities to indulge in junk food, fast food, and sugary beverages. Resist these energy-sapping foods in favor of healthful snacks and meals.

Exercise whenever possible.  This may mean walking up and down the concourse while waiting for a flight or doing stretches at the rest stop on a road trip. Remember you are not a race car driver like Scott Tucker (of scotttuckerracecardriver.com) doing a 24 hour race.  Whatever you can do to stretch out muscles and get your blood pumping will be good not just for your body, but for your mood.

Be sure to pack any medications, vitamins, and medical equipment needed. There’s nothing worse than arriving at your destination and realizing your prescription ran out or you forgot your reading glasses.

Plane Trips

Staying healthy on a plane is a matter of immunity. Make sure you take plenty of vitamins or immune boosting supplements like airborne for a few days leading up to your flight. Practice general hygiene such as washing hands frequently and keeping your kids from putting things in their mouths.

For really long flights, make sure to take a nap, if at all possible, and consider bringing along relaxing music or try a few meditation techniques to keep that airline stress at bay.

Road Trips

Travel by car often takes longer, but can also expose you to more climate changes. When planning your trip be sure to note if certain parts of the journey will pass through significantly colder, warmer, or wetter areas and be sure to have appropriate clothing, headgear, umbrellas, etc., on hand.  Remember you are not racing.  Take your time and stay safe!

Car trips usually involve more hours in cramped conditions, so it’s doubly important to stretch during breaks and even do smaller stretches while driving.  Be sure to plan plenty of rest stops to keep the driver from getting cramped, tired, or experiencing eye strain.

If you think about what you do on a daily basis to keep yourself healthy and then apply it to your long vacation, you’ll quickly see what steps you need to take.

Vince Piper is an established travel and sports writer.  His work has appeared on both travel blogs and sports sites.  He especially likes to write about auto racing vacations, such as the times he has followed racers like Scott Tucker of tuckerracing.com around the world to see endurance racing in person.

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photo by: kevin dooley

The Dangers of the Race

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Part of what makes automotive racing so thrilling is the risk that every driver takes behind the wheel.  It’s not the safest thing in the world to blast around a track at close to 200mph, and at that speed even the most minor mistake or malfunction can be disastrous or even fatal.  But driving accidents aren’t the only things that can be hazards on the track.

Naturally, one of the biggest concerns for a team is a crash.  While there haven’t been many fatalities since Aryton Senna or Jeff Gordon, people still die for various reasons.  Now, teams and racing commissions take it very seriously, and frown very much on unnecessarily risky behavior on the track.  At the same time, fast response teams are always on call to put out fires, clear the track, and provide emergency medical attention, if it comes to that.  Teams are helping mitigate the risks their drivers take by investing in cutting edge safety gear.  The helmets of today are by far an improvement over the leather ones worn in the early parts of the 20th century.  Meanwhile, fire suits help prevent drivers from getting too injured in the all-too-common chemical fire.

One of the major risks that drivers, technicians, and anyone on a team take is constant exposure to hazardous chemicals.  Gasoline alone can cause all sorts of different cancers, and that isn’t to mention motor oil, brake fluid, and all the solvents that a typical team uses.  It’s essential for teams to put procedures in place to make sure that their members don’t unnecessarily expose themselves to these nasty chemicals.  The most obvious way to do it is to have everyone wear either mechanics gloves or a good pair of nitrile gloves.  They aren’t the most perfect solution, but they can cut down on exposure quite a bit.

Racing can also cause some chronic illnesses in drivers.  The vibration from the wheel alone can cause arthritis, while the constant extreme G forces can make underlying cardiovascular problems much worse.  That is why it is so important for drivers to stay in good shape with plenty of cardio and weight lifting.

Racing is, without a doubt, an extremely dangerous sport, but by following the rules of the track, using the newest equipment, and keeping drivers in top shape, those risks can be mitigated.

Damon Tiggs, a sports journalist who covers Danica Patrick, Scott Tucker, JImmie Johnson and other American Racers, also writes guest blog posts for a number of racing and auto blogs.

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Long Term Illnesses Can Drain Your Finances

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Medical insurance doesn’t usually cover all medical expenses. This means that you’re out of luck if you have a chronic illness. The costs can often mount quickly because you’ll have deductibles, co-pays, and sometimes need equipment that might not be covered under your insurance plan. Managing your finances as well as your health can become very tricky, especially if your health isn’t the best.

diabetes testingHow Much Will I Need to Pay?

This really depends on what condition you have. Some chronic conditions like diabetes have a flat fee that is associated with maintaining it. This includes the cost of medication as well as equipment to administer the medication. Other conditions might be simply a medication and therefore limited to the monthly cost of the prescription and mitigated by the insurance so that you only have to pay a co-pay.

On the more involved end of the spectrum are conditions where the patient requires constant care by a medical professional. Home nurses are increasingly common among the rapidly aging population.Costs such as this will not be covered by most insurance plans or if they are covered then the entire cost will not be covered.

How Can I Reduce These Costs?

Some people take out long term care insurance so that when they get old then they will have expenses covered that are not covered by Medicare. This often includes costs like live-in nurses or setting up a comfortable situation at home for someone who has a chronic or long-term illnesses. This allows the person to rest and gain strength at home without the added stress of going to a hospital.

For those who are younger, there are also supplemental, or secondary, insurance policies that can be taken out to cover the additional cost of medical expenses. Of course, you can also try to find a better insurance but many companies do screen new people for preexisting conditions and some insurance companies might not pay for any expenses to related to prior illnesses. This will be changed as the Health Insurance Exchange (HIX) takes effect in 2014. This is pool all insurance policies together, allowing people to comparison shop and not be denied coverage if they have medical problems that can become costly.

One way to save some money is to buy prescription medication or medical supplies online. Some people order through a pharmacy that is outside of the U.S., for example in Canada where healthcare is free. If you decide to do this be careful because there are some questions about the legality of this.

This post was contributed by guest blogger, Marilee Moss. Ms. Moss is a retired financial planner who provides advice on money matters and analyzes financial news for blogs, sites like http://moneymutualtvcampaign.com, and news magazines.

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ATV Accidents Lead to Many Injuries

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ATVs or all-terrain vehicles are largely used for recreational purposes. Quad bikes, as they are also commonly known, are not even allowed on the roads in the USA. But as their name implies, this kind of vehicle is meant to be driven on any kind of terrain and in some parts of the world they are used for farming.

To a large extent the risk of injury an ATV rider faces is down to their exposure and quads are thus unsurprisingly considered to be as dangerous as motorcycles. In fact on their introduction in the early 70s, a good many riders suffered injuries, especially among children and adolescents. For this reason regulations exist such as those in the US that bars children below 12 years from riding ATVs more powerful than 90cc. New owners of quad bikes are also entitled to free safety training provided by the All-terrain Vehicle Safety Institute (ASI) which is mandatory to have before being allowed to ride in most states. Other organizations have gone as far as calling for the introduction of legislation barring anyone below the age of 16 from riding this kind of vehicle.

As expected, fractured or broken bones form the bulk of the kinds of injuries suffered by ATV riders. The less serious forms of bone trauma operators of ATVs can sustain in the case of an accident include fractured arms, broken wrists, broken ribs or broken legs. The other end of the scale includes concussions, skull fractures and cerebral contusion. There are those who are lucky enough to escape with minor bruises and grazes but others end up suffering severe internal organ damage that could lead to death.

We’ve seen above the measures taken by the government to lower cases of casualties and fatalities among ATV riders. Makers of these bikes have also devoted themselves to designing ATVs to cater for the rider’s safety to the greatest extent possible. But it is incumbent upon ATV users to take all necessary precautions to take care of their own safety as their own lives are at stake.

First is wearing the necessary protective gear. Most of the cases of injuries recorded after the advent of these bikes were of those who had neglected to put on helmets. In addition to a full-face helmet certified by DOT or Snell, riders should wear protective gloves, jacket and pants as a bare minimum. Those who ride quads competitively should wear knee, shoulder and elbow pads or a full suit fitted with this padding during races. Next, owners and drivers should conduct safety checks before every ride and should make sure that all required maintenance and repair are completely in a timely fashion. Lastly, since the ability of alcohol or drugs to interfere with judgment is not limited to drivers of cars, ATV operators should not drink and ride.

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Top 3 Health Issues Facing Men Today

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Men are generally perceived as tough and insensitive to pain. But contrary to that perception, they are prone to illnesses as well. In fact, studies show that there are certain health conditions that affect men more than women.

Below are the top three health issues that men are facing today:

Cardiac Illness and Stroke

According to WebMD, cardiovascular illnesses are among the greatest threat to men’s lives. The CDC reported that 1 out of 4 men are suffering from cardiac illness. It is interesting to note that men are prone to developing the illness more than women. In fact, the American Heart Association’s list of risk factors shows that being male is on the topmost list. And according to Dr. Gregory Burke of Wake Forest University, symptoms of heart problems appear in men 10 years earlier than women. Heart problems can lead to serious complications such as a stroke. Again, this problem is more common in men than in women. The American Stroke Association claimed that men are at 1.25 times greater risk than women. Hence, it ranks as the 3rd leading cause of death in the country.

Suicide and Depression

Men may look tough on the outside but the truth is they have their own emotional problems. For this reason, a lot of them go through depression which can lead to suicidal acts. According to MHN, men are four times at risk of committing suicide than women. This has something to do with their resistance to share their problems with someone else. William Pollack, PhD, of Harvard Medical School, states that because of this, there is little chance for other people to recognize depression in men and, therefore, necessary help cannot be extended to them when the need arises. Unlike women, men show depression in different ways. Instead of crying and isolating themselves, they tend to be aggressive, angry, show risk taking behavior, work until they burn out and present signs of midlife crisis. Many choose to ‘deal’ with depression by drinking heavily or using illegal drugs.

 

Cancer

The most common types of cancers considered as the leading causes of death in men are lung cancer and prostate cancer, with lung cancer holding the top position. This is because men are more exposed to the risk factors believed to cause lung cancer. Many men smoke and some who don’t are exposed to second hand smoke, making them equally predisposed to lung cancer. Other causes are work related such as exposure to radon and asbestos or air pollution. And some men have a genetic predisposition to the disease.

Meanwhile, prostate cancer is not as deadly provided it is diagnosed early. However, men should not underestimate this illness.  It is the second leading type of cancer that causes death in this country. Because it is devoid of any symptoms until its late stage, many men only discover they are ill when the cancer cells have already metastasized. Hence, the American Cancer Society highly suggests that men should get a digital rectal exam and PSA blood test when they reach the age of 50 to detect the presence of prostate cancer in its early stage.

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Play Sports, Increase Bone Mass

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In an article published today by EverydayHealth.com , new research shows that an active lifestyle is not only good for heart and muscles but it is also good for your bones. As you age your bones begin to loose density causing conditions such as osteoporosis , which can increase the possibility of a broken bone and other health problems later in life.

The study, done by a team from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, found that participating in load bearing activities ‚ €like soccer, baseball, or volleyball ‚ €increased their bone density over a 5 year period while those who lived a more sedentary lifestyle experienced a decrease in bone density over the same period.

The time to start caring about your health is now. Osteoporosis is believed to begin setting in at age 25 so there has never been a better time to start taking a proactive role in your health. Participating in vigorous activities that you get your body moving and heart pumping is fun and good for your health. Being conscious about what you eat, especially those foods that are high in calcium and vitamin D to promote good bone health. There are many great resources online, like prohealth.com , that provide you with all the information you need to live a long and healthy life.

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What to Expect in an Alcohol Treatment Center

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If you suffer from alcoholism, the idea of going in for treatment can be both exciting and terrifying. Seeking treatment is a huge step in beating the disease and getting your life back. But what is rehab all about? What will the alcohol treatment center be like? What will the actual treatment be like? These and a million other questions will most likely be bouncing around in your head. But going into treatment for an addiction to alcohol doesn’t have to be a scary thing. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

There to help

Everyone at the treatment center is there to see you succeed, but not everyone’s methods will be the same. There may be some tough love moments from your doctors, counsellors and fellow patients. But everyone wants you to beat the addiction and will do what they need to help you.

No stigma

When you sign yourself into a treatment center, it doesn’t mean that you’re a loser who failed on their own. In fact, the opposite is true! It takes a strong person to admit that they need help. So don’t worry about any stigma related with going into treatment. No one in the center will look down on you. Truth is, everyone will be proud of your for taking the first step.

Hard work

Despite the fact that a treatment center will offer you a safe and supportive place to start on the road to recovery, that road isn’t an easy one to travel. Delving into the reasons for your addictions and confronting what it has done to your life (and the lives of those you love) can be Hell. But it’s a necessary Hell for success. Getting sober and staying sober is hard, hard work; but well worth it.

If you are considering seeking treatment for an alcohol addiction, it’s only normal to feel overwhelmed and scared. But getting the help that you need to get and stay sober is worth the initial stress.

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The Art of Designated Driving

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The pub crawls that attract the most attention and participation are the ones where the combination of willing participants and proximity of excellent bars are at a perfect premium.  The crawl part, of course, comes from a nod to drunken stumbling, but also highlights that for these, driving is not necessary, because the distance between bars is negligible.  It’s a fine idea, and one that emphasizes that there are no excuses for drunken driving.  Even cities as occasionally uninhabitable as Minneapolis in the winter, or Phoenix in the summer, have pub crawls at intemperate times that can be wonderful evenings for groups intent on having fun.

In order for any kind of pub events to be successful, there has to be a designated driver for every party.  This includes evenings where there are pub crawls, and any other evening for that matter.  When the activity is drinking, someone needs to be in charge of getting people home safely.  In order to be a good designated driver, one doesn’t have to know a lot about niche wheels or other automotive details, but has to meet some very simple requirements.

The very first requirement for a designated driver, is, obviously, to not drink.  Avoiding drinking can sounds like an easy task, because it really means not doing anything, but in atmospheres where the social rewards from drinking are high, it can be tough.  Fortunately, times have changed quite a bit from the last generation, and being the driver is now often a very positive thing.  Because it is a selfless service for one’s friends and companions, most bar owners and even most barflies like to give a nod to the drivers in the crowd.  There are often free drinks, non-alcoholic of course, like fountain drinks or coffee offered by the management.  And one of the great benefits, of course, is that rare pleasure one can get from observing an evening sober, watching the progressive loss of motor control and judgment from the people you love.

Knowledge of complicated transmissions, ultra wheels, or even how to change a tire, are not necessary, but a clear head, an ability to not drink, along with a valid driver’s license, and a big heart, are the ingredients for what it takes.  Not everyone is meant to be the designated driver, perhaps, but it’s something that everyone should at least try, if not for the interesting experience of being outside the norm for a night, then at least for the chance to be helpful to one’s friends.

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Driving After Drinking is Not Worth the Risk

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It is very common to go out with friends for drinks or to have a few cocktails with dinner, but getting into the car to drive home after a night of drinking is never a good idea. Driving after consuming alcohol is a bad decision on many different levels; the consequences of getting caught are not worth the risks.

Drinks

Driving under the influence of alcohol presents health risks not only to the driver but to the passengers in the car and the other drivers on the road. Once someone has consumed alcohol, their judgment becomes impaired and their reflexes become slower. With slower reflexes and blurry vision it is difficult to operate a car and can easily lead to an accident.

Many lives are lost each year due to drunk driving and many families are devastated by the loss of a loved one due to a DUI accident. The driver who causes such an action can be charged with man slaughter and can spend many years in jail as a result.

State laws and police forces have become increasingly strict on DUI infractions. The laws differ from state to state but in most states a violation leads to jail time, a suspended license, and extremely high fees. Those who break these laws will most likely have to go to a law office to make sure the proper paperwork is filled out and will inevitably have to pay legal fees.

So while going out and having drinks with friends is a fun way to be social, driving afterwards can lead to very severe consequences. Rather than paying astronomical fines and legal fees, pay for a cab or car service.

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Property Management Careers

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There comes a point in everyone’s life where they consider whether they want to change careers. This may be the result of a layoff or their employer going out of business. Alternatively, they may grow disenchanted with their work or simply get tired of it. Some of these people may be considering switching to a career in apartment and commercial property management and wondering what exactly would be involved in the daily work.

Property managers fulfill several different roles. In essence they are stand ins for the landlord. They are responsible for filling units, which means coordinating advertising, meeting with prospective tenants , and taking care of all the paperwork, such as leases and other agreements. They also provide maintenance and repairs for the property during the course of the lease. This includes upkeep on empty properties. Some managers do repairs themselves while others hire professionals.

There are two ways to build a career in property management, whether residential or commercial. The first is by looking for work with existing companies like TransGlobe Property Management . These large organizations employ a number of managers as well as maintenance staff. They have established procedures for handling different situations which makes them a great place to learn the best practices of the industry. The other way to go is check job listings for individual landlords who are seeking managers or building superintendents. An alternative to this is to start managing your own investment properties or those of family members or friends.

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