What is a Carbon Footprint?

Saturday, August 12th, 2017

Within the last few decades, awareness regarding climate change around the world has continued to increase as more people become aware of their impact on global warming and climate change. Although studies have shown that we are quickly reaching the crisis point for our environment, making major lifestyle changes can be daunting when you have no idea how you and your family actually impact the environment.
This is where the carbon footprint comes in. By understanding your carbon footprint, you can find ways to reduce your impact on the environment by targeting specific activities and lifestyle choices.

What is a Carbon Footprint?

Your carbon footprint is the total amount of greenhouse gases you produce directly or indirectly. In this case, greenhouse gases are usually expressed in tons of carbon dioxide, or CO2. While other greenhouse gases are certainly involved in climate change, they are usually converted into CO2 to make understanding impact a bit easier. You produce a certain amount of greenhouse gases or carbon dioxide every time you drive your car, take a trip, heat or cool your home, buy food and purchase electronics and other items.

What is Global Warming?

Global warming is a phenomenon where the average temperature of the planet rises. As the temperatures rise, the additional heat causes the Earth’s delicate ecosystem to change. For example, the glaciers and polar ice melts, affecting sea levels. Rising temperatures also have an impact on the weather, causing abnormal weather patterns and increasing the number of extreme weather events, including droughts, floods and tornadoes.

How Does Your Carbon Footprint Contribute to Global Warming?

Greenhouse gases, such as CO2, capture heat that comes from the sun. As the amount of CO2 and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere increase, more heat is trapped, causing the Earth’s temperature to rise. The more CO2 and other greenhouse gases you create, the more you contribute to global warming. While it is true that your carbon footprint is much smaller when compared to major polluting businesses, reducing the amount of CO2 in your daily life can actually result in a healthier lifestyle for you and your family.

How Can You Calculate Your Carbon Footprint?

One of the easiest ways to get an estimate of your carbon footprint is to simply use a carbon footprint calculator. You can find a free calculator at Carbon Independent. The calculator allows you to input your electricity use or get a quick estimate if you do not have your bills on hand. All you will need to do is enter your household data, your personal lifestyle choices and travel choices.

Carbon Footprints around the World

The world average for CO2 production is 4 tons per household per year. The U.S. average is a staggering 20 tons of CO2 per household per year, far more than China and India, which produce 3.2 tons and 1.2 tons per household per year, respectively. It is argued that the estimated sustainable figure is 1.5 tons of CO2 emissions per household per year. For those of us living in the U.S., our high CO2 production averages may be due to the reliance on personal vehicles as transportation and our general consumption habits as a nation.

Is There a Way to Slow Down or Prevent Global Warming?

Every person has an impact on the environment and contributes to global warming. Anything you consume produces CO2 and other greenhouse gases. As such, reducing your carbon footprint is done by either consuming less or making changes to what and how you consume.


Beat Heat Exhaustion and Dehydration by Staying Cool This Summer

Saturday, June 24th, 2017

There is no better way to enjoy the summer season than by spending your free time outside in the sun with your family. However, your summer fun could end in catastrophe if you and your loved ones are not careful when spending the day out in the heat.

Identifying Heat Exhaustion

Heat exhaustion occurs when someone becomes dehydrated and ill due to heat. Some of the symptoms include headaches, vomiting, dizziness, muscle cramps, excessive sweating and fatigue, among others. If not treated, heat exhaustion can escalate to heat stroke, which is a potentially fatal medical emergency that can result in a coma or seizures.

If you suspect that someone is suffering from heat exhaustion, there are several steps that can be taken to cool the individual down:

  • The person should be moved to a shady place or indoors where air conditioning is available.
  • Any excess clothing should be removed to help the person feel more comfortable.
  • You can pour old water over the person from heat exhaustion. You can also pack icepacks around them if they are available.
  • If their symptoms persist or you cannot get them cooled down, it is essential to contact emergency services.

Identifying Dehydration

Dehydration occurs when someone’s body does not have enough water or electrolytes to function properly. Most of the body’s water is lost through sweating on hot days. Someone who is experiencing dehydration may have a number of symptoms, including sudden headaches, nausea, dizziness and even shortness of breath. Severe dehydration can be life-threatening and needs immediate medical attention. Symptoms for severe dehydration include extreme thirst, unconsciousness, fever, low blood pressure, rapid breathing and an inability to sweat or urinate.

There are simple treatments for mild dehydration:

  • Water intake should be increased by frequently drinking small amounts. Drinking a large amount of water or other fluids all at once could lead to illness and vomiting.
  • Sucking on ice chips can ensure that fluids are going back into the body slowly.
  • Eating ice pops can help balance electrolytes. Popular sports drinks also have electrolytes, but they also contain a high amount of sugar. Therefore, these should be avoided by young children or individuals suffering from diarrhea.

For severe dehydration, the person may require an IV to replace fluids at a hospital or in an emergency room.

Tips for Staying Cool

Drinking water and staying indoors in the air conditioning are easy ways to beat the heat. However, everyone wants to enjoy the summer while it lasts. You don’t need to suffer episodes of dehydration and heat exhaustion to enjoy the great outdoors.

While keeping yourself hydrated is a must, here are several additional ways to stay cool when temperatures skyrocket:

  • Make Your Own Popsicles: One of the easiest ways to stay cool is to eat something cold. By making your own popsicles, you can even get the kids involved. Experiment with different healthy fruit juices and fruit pieces to create a tasty snack that will get everyone to sit down and take a break to cool off.
  • Stick with Cold Foods and Drinks: Keep your meals light and full of chilled fruits and vegetables. Eat small amounts during the day rather than one big meal. Digestion generates body heat and eating less more frequently will keep you cooler.
  • Leave the Kitchen Appliances Off: The oven generates quite a bit of heat. Avoid cooking foods that require the oven during the hottest parts of the day to give your air conditioner a break. Use a slow cooker for your big meals.
  • Use a Cold Cloth: If you find yourself outside working in your yard or garden, placing a cold cloth on the back of your neck will cool you down. You can also soak a cloth headband in ice water and wrap it around your head.
  • Use Ice with Your Fans: If you use floor fans, placing ice behind the fan will cool the air that is being blown into the room.

By staying cool, you and your family will be sure to have an enjoyable and memorable summer this year.


Tips for Dealing with Spring Allergies

Wednesday, April 12th, 2017

Although you may be happy that warmer weather has finally arrived, you may be frustrated with the allergy symptoms it may bring with it. Unlike food allergies or allergies to certain types of animals, spring allergies often occur when the trees, flowers and other fauna are in bloom.

What are the Common Allergy Symptoms?

Spring allergy symptoms can range from the sniffles to coughing, sneezing and watery eyes. In severe cases, they can cause a person to trouble breathing and can affect their ability to concentrate. Allergy symptoms can make a person feel ill and have a negative impact on their school or work performance.

Identifying the Causes of Allergies

If a person believes that they have allergies, it is highly recommended that they go to a specialist who can help them identify exactly what they are allergic to. An allergy specialist may give you a skin test or a blood test. Skin tests often include pricking the skin with a small amount of the suspected allergen. If you are allergic to that particular allergen, you will form a red bump at the site of the prick.

Tips to Prevent Allergy Symptoms

If a specialist is able to identify a particular allergen that is causing you trouble, they may have medication that you can take that will reduce the symptoms and make you feel better. However, if your symptoms are not severe enough to warrant prescription medication or they are more troublesome than normal, there are some natural remedies you can use to keep your symptoms at bay.

For example, nasal irrigation may potentially help clean out the sinuses, which could make breathing a little bit easier. To do this, you will need to mist up a solution of warm distilled water, a quarter-teaspoon of baking soda and a quarter-teaspoon of salt. A neti pot or squeeze bottle is then used to administer the solution into the sinuses. It is important to note that this works for some and not for others, so if you do not see any improvements, you may need to find alternative treatments.

Spring Cleaning to Get Rid of Allergy Symptoms

If you are allergic to pollen and other types of biological allergens, you can help make yourself feel better by making sure your home is free of them. Vacuuming at least once a week and doing the occasional dusting can keep your exposure levels at bay. Be sure to change out or wash your furnace filters, depending on the type that you use, on a regular basis so that you can be sure that the airborne allergens are being removed from the air that you are breathing. You can also install a whole-home air cleaner like these to improve your indoor air quality.

You can also prevent some allergens from getting into your home by removing your shoes before you come inside. If you spent the day outdoors, a quick change of clothes can prevent you from transporting pollen and other allergens all around your home. Finally, you may find it appropriate to shower before jumping into your sheets. This way, you can breathe a little easier and get a refreshing night of rest.

Stay Healthy and Productive

When you find a system of keeping the allergens at bay that works for you, you will be amazed at just how much better and more energized you feel. Note that, in addition to keeping pollen and other biological allergens out of your home and taking medical precautions, it is always helpful to eat a healthy diet, stay active and stay positive.

Taking Control of Indoor Pollutants During the Winter

Thursday, February 2nd, 2017

During the winter when temperatures remain low, keeping the home airtight and warm may be of the highest priority for many homeowners. While sealing off the home from the outside world will save money and keep inhabitants warmer, there is a major drawback. Sealing up the home can cause indoor air pollutants to also become trapped in the recirculating air, potentially causing feelings of illness or other more severe symptoms.
What are Indoor Pollutants?

Indoor pollutants can range from biological allergens like pet dander and pollen to harmful or even toxic particles called volatile organic compounds. Pollutants can be brought indoors from outside or they may be generated inside from appliances or even from the home’s heating unit.

Before you can begin to improve the indoor air quality in your home, you will need to determine where the pollutants are coming from. Volatile organic compounds can be found in many household supplies, personal care products, furnishings and paints. Fireplaces, dryers and other appliances also give off combustion pollutants when they are used. Finally, biological pollutants can be created when the pets shed, mold and mildew buildup in the damp places or if you bring them in from outside. For example, you can potentially bring in pollen, environmental tobacco smoke and pesticides on your shoes.

Symptoms that can be Caused by Indoor Air Pollutants

Poor indoor air quality can make you and other family members feel ill. It can cause watery eyes, coughing and sneezing. When the air quality is very poor, you may even suffer from headaches and upper respiratory congestion. In worst case scenarios, sufferers may even get nose bleeds more easily, have difficulty breathing or even develop a severe lung disease.

Because these symptoms are associated with other illnesses, you may not think about your indoor air quality when you are suffering these symptoms. However, if you feel better when you are away from home, then it may be worth taking steps to improve your indoor air quality.

Simple Ways to Reduce Indoor Pollutants

It is just a fact of life that you, your pets and your appliances will always be producing air pollutants. While you can certainly reduce the amount of some pollutants in your home, making your air permanently cleaner for the winter will involve your heater. Your heating equipment is responsible for circulating the air when your home is sealed off, so any pollutants that are in the home will have to pass through your heater first. As such, ensure that you clean or replace the filter once every 30 days during the winter. If you have a regular filter, you can upgrade to a HEPA filter, which collects smaller particles and prevents them from going back into the circulating air.

Another way you can improve your indoor air quality is to stop using products that leave pollutants in the air. For example, choosing to use green cleaning supplies and non-aerosol personal care products can reduce the amount of pollutants you are adding into the air. Additionally, if you are involved in hobbies that require paint or chemicals, working in a well-ventilated room, even if it is cold, will prevent you from breathing in the fumes. To keep biological pollutants at bay, you can up your vacuuming and dusting game to prevent a buildup of irritants. Shoes should be taken off outside or be left at the front door.

During the winter, it is important for everyone to be aware of their indoor air quality and how to combat them. By being vigilant, you can ensure that the air you are breathing while stuck indoors is clean.


Keeping Kids Healthy during the School Year

Friday, January 27th, 2017

No matter how hard you work to keep your child healthy during the winter months, you cannot control whether or not other parents send their sick children to school. However, this means that your child is going to be constantly at risk for getting stuck in a cycle of being sick and healthy throughout the school year. While not all school illnesses can be avoided, there are some things you can do to keep your kid on the healthier side.

Washing Hands

All children should be taught how to wash their hands and avoid contact with their eyes, nose and mouth. When it comes to washing hands, there is a correct way to ensure that you are killing as many germs as possible. Kids should learn that they need warm water and that they need to lather up with soap for a full 15 to 20 seconds.

Washing hands is only half the battle as hands do not stay clean for very long. Kids should be taught to avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth after touching anything the could potentially be contaminated.

Sharing is Caring Unless Someone is Sick

Some kids enjoy exchanging and sharing their food and drinks. However, contact with food is one of the ways that infections spread, so your kid could be risking an illness every time they share food or drinks with their friends. There are certain infections that are widely spread this way, including mononucleosis, also known as the “kissing disease,” which can cause a kid to miss several weeks or even months of school.

Reduce the Stress

Kids have quite a bit to stress over in this day and age. High school kids may be trying to balance a social life, after school activities, homework and college prep all at the same time. Younger kids may be facing bullying and feelings of self-doubt. Stress can potentially cause a kid to feel ill and may even prevent them from being as productive as possible. There are some ways to combat and reduce stress,

First, parents should help their children set realistic expectations. Learning how to focus on one task at a time can help. Reducing the overall amount of duties the child has can also reduce stress. Parents should also ensure that their kids are getting some free time to hang with friends, get out of the house and get some exercise at some point during the day. If all else fails, chewing gum can help temporarily relieve stress and anxiety.

Eat Well

School food is not always the most nutritious food a kid can get his or her hands on. However, having a good diet full of healthy foods is not only good for general health, but it also can help a person feel better. The healthier a kid is, the easier it is for their immune system to fight off infections and germs. Diets that include eggs, beans, nuts and dairy items provide everything they need to stay fueled and healthy. In addition to a good diet, adding some daily vitamins can also give the immune system a boost. A daily dose of vitamin C can help protect against infections or reduce the severity of an infection if the kid does get sick.

Being sick while in school is no fun. Like everything else, however, staying healthy can become another chore that kids have to worry about. By helping your child stay healthy, they will have a better school experience without having to worry about constantly missing classes and having to make up the work that they missed.


The Importance of Humidity

Sunday, January 1st, 2017

Many homeowners do not understand just how important the amount of humidity in their homes can be. The amount of moisture in the air can dictate how the inhabitants of a home may feel or even allow for certain unwanted organisms to grow within the home. However, maintaining humidity levels may be the last thing on your mind, especially if you are busy keeping your air conditioner, roof and gutters maintained. Regardless, adding the maintenance of humidity levels could greatly improve the way that you feel while hanging out at home.

Dealing with Dry Air

You may find that you suffer from dry sinuses, dry skin and chapped lips during the winter time or when the air becomes particularly dry during the summer. Dry indoor air can cause a person to suffer from nosebleeds, headaches and other associated illnesses.

The main way to increase the humidity level within the home is to purchase a humidifier. There are several different types of humidifiers available, including:

  • Install a Central Humidifier: These humidifiers are included as part of the home’s HVAC system and are designed to raise humidity levels throughout the home.
  • Impellar Humidifiers: These humidifiers have a rotating disk installed that produces a cool mist.
  • Steam Vaporizers: Electricity is used to create a cooling steam that is then released into the air. Because this device involves hot water, it is not recommended for households that have children or pets.
  • Ultrasonic Humidifiers: These devices use an ultrasonic vibration to produce a mist that increases humidity levels.
  • Evaporators: Air is blown through a wet material, which could be a wet filter, belt or wick.

Dealing with Damp Air

High humidity levels often becomes a problem during the summer time. Occupants who suffer from certain allergies may be more likely to suffer from respiratory problems or even asthma flare-ups. Further, dust mites, molds and bacteria can also grow within the home if the humidity levels are high enough.

There are several things that you can do to lower the humidity levels within the home:

  • Purchase a Dehumidifier: Dehumidifiers suck the excessive moisture from the air and collect it in a reservoir.
  • Install a Permanent Dehumidifier
  • Run the Air Conditioner: When air is forced through the air conditioner, the air is not only cooled but dried.

What are the Ideal Humidity Levels?

In general, humidity refers to the amount of moisture in the air. If the home does not have proper ventilation, the indoor air can become stale and dry. However, if too much moisture is added to the indoor air, the occupants of the home could also suffer from symptoms associated with the flu while the growth of harmful bacteria and other organic contaminants may be assisted.

The Mayo Clinic recommends that homeowners keep their indoor humidity levels between 30 and 50 percent. If you or another occupant suffer from allergies, it is recommended that you speak to your doctor about what humidity levels would be right for you.

How do I Measure My Home’s Humidity Levels?

The device used to test humidity levels is called a hygrometer, which resembles a thermometer. While these devices can be purchased at any of your local hardware stores, many humidifiers also come equipped with a hygrometer to help keep indoor humidity at a healthy level. Hydrometers come in both analog forms and digital forms, both of which are simple to use and allow you to better control the conditions within your home.


Preventing House Fires During the Holidays

Thursday, December 15th, 2016

For many families, the holidays are for traveling far and wide to spend time with family members you may not have seen all year, eat some delicious food and give gifts. However, it may shock you to know that 30 percent of all house fires and 38 percent of all house fire fatalities occur in December, January and February. To keep you family safe and warm, do not neglect to think about fire safety.
Electrical Fires

Each year, approximately 65,000 house fires are started by electrical heating equipment. If you rely on space heaters to keep your home warm, there are a few safety tips you should know so you can operate them safely.

Always read the manual before using a space heater for the first time. This manual will give you specific safety instructions and risks that you should be aware of. Before use, inspect the heater for any cracks, loose connections or broken plugs. If you see any wear, avoid using the heater. Do not ever leave a space heater unattended or let children and pets play nearby without supervision. Do not use space heaters to warm bedding, dry clothing or cook food. These heaters are only meant to provide supplemental heat. Heaters should be placed three feet away from the walls and anything that can catch fire, like clothing and paper. Install smoke alarms outside your sleeping areas and on each floor. Make sure to test them once a month.

Kitchen Fires

Kitchen and cooking fires are also the culprits for approximately two out of every five house fires during the holidays. The leading cause of kitchen fires is unattended cooking. If you are going to be the main cook for the celebrations, try to avoid leaving the food unattended. If you must, most the gathering from the family room to the kitchen so everyone can have a hand in creating a delicious meal.

There are a few other things you can do to decrease the risk of a kitchen fire. For example, ensure that the stovetop and oven are clean and grease-free before you start cooking your meal. Use the back burners to prevent guests from knocking into pans and handles. Keep appliances that are not being used unplugged and out of the way. If there are children present, make sure they are supervised to prevent any shenanigans that could become a fire risk.

Fires Caused by Holiday Decorations

It is estimated that approximately 60 percent of families decorate in some way for the holiday season. Some decorate their living space with a live tree while others go the route of a realistic artificial tree to add charm. If you are going with a live tree, ensure that the tree is green and fresh as this cuts down on the risk of a fire. Newer electrical lights are generally safer than older ones; however, you should still look to ensure that there are no chewed or exposed wires.

Vintage decorations are also becoming all the rage. Vintage metal trees are beautiful and can add a unique touch. However, you will need to be extra careful with these trees as you cannot put electrical lights on them. You will need to purchase standing lights that shine on the tree. Further, vintage electrical decorations may need to be rewired if the old plugs are still attached. Using the decorations as is can put your home at risk for a fire.

The holidays should be a time when you can share the warmth and cheer with your loved ones. By reducing the risks of a house fire, you can cherish these memories without having to remember a tragedy.

Tricks to Getting Up Easily in the Morning

Tuesday, October 11th, 2016

alarm-clockWith the fall season finally started, you may be finding that you and your kids are having difficulty not only getting up in the morning but leaving home alert and awake. If you find it difficult to avoid hitting the snooze button for another 10 minutes of sleep, there are several tricks you can use to make the mornings a little bit easier.
Create a Routine Sleeping Schedule

Even though it is fun to stay up late watching television or exploring the internet, this can cause you to have problems waking up, especially if you are getting less than eight hours of sleep. By picking a time to go to bed and sticking to that schedule, your body will naturally begin to adjust to becoming tired the same time every night. This works for actually waking as well; if you commit yourself for getting out of bed at the same time every day, you will find it easier to actually get up when the alarm goes off the first time.

This technique does require some practice as you may have to force yourself to actually get up out of bed. However, stick with it and it will become easier over time. Eventually it will become a habit and you will not have to push yourself.

Relocate Your Alarm Clock

You may find that it becomes more and more difficult to actually get out of bed, especially if the temperatures are getting colder. However, once you are out, it is easier to get going with your day. By moving your alarm clock, you will have no choice but to get up and turn it off. Make sure to use a song or sounds that will wake you up and switch up the alarm sounds as soon as you start to find it difficult to wake up again.

Make Use of the Natural Light

Utilizing the natural light can help your brain with waking up. During the spring and summer months, you can adjust your blinds so that light comes in as the sun rises. During the fall and winter months, however, you likely need to be up and getting ready to go before the sun rises. A natural alarm clock that mimics daylight can help. These alarm clocks simulate the sun rise and make the room brighter slowly without jolting you awake. This method also allows you to wake up naturally so you do not end up sitting up awake right when you are in the middle of your dream cycle.

Get Moving

One of the easiest ways to feel more awake is to start moving. Whether that means getting in the shower, washing your face or even getting dressed and going for a quick run, you are less likely to fall back asleep if you are already focused on something else. Even simple stretching or eating a mint can get your mind off being tired or sleepy.

Ultimately, it is far easier to wake up and get going with your day if you get a good night’s sleep. Even if you are sleeping for longer periods of time, you may not feel rested or energized if you spend all night tossing, turning and waking up intermittently. If you find that, no matter what you do, you cannot get quality sleep, you could potentially have a medical condition that prevents you from getting to sleep or staying asleep. Always talk to your doctor if you ever have any trouble with your sleep habits as they may have a solution that allows you to feel ready to go every day.


5 Ways to Keep Your Home Safe While on Vacation

Tuesday, June 21st, 2016



No matter where you’re heading, going on vacation is exciting. However, planning for your vacation may not be as fun. Regardless, you want to ensure that your home remains safe while you’re away. By following these tips, you’ll enjoy coming home following a great vacation.

Hire a Trusted House Sitter

If you have a family member or a trusted friend who lives nearby, having them move in while you’re gone can keep your home safer. Not only can they bring your mail and newspapers in doors, they’ll be able to watch any pets you have and water your plants. Since burglars usually look for homes that are temporarily empty, having someone on the property makes your home a harder target.

For those who do not have a live-in house sitter, consider stopping the mail and newspaper service. This way, no one will be tipped off that no one is in the house. Simply call your local post office to hold your mail. Also avoid ordering packages prior to leaving so they don’t sit on your porch.

Utilize Your Neighborhood Watch Group

Many neighborhoods have watch groups that keep an eye on the neighborhood. You may be able to ask your local watch group to keep an eye on your home while you’re not around. Not only can they look for suspicious activities, but a reliable member may also help you keep your home safe by removing fliers that occasionally get stuck on your door.

Keep Your Home on a Schedule

If you don’t have someone to stay in your home while you’re taking a relaxing vacation, your home may stay dark all day long. In order to create the illusion that your home is not temporarily vacant, use timers that can turn your lights on and off. A neighbor or a member of your neighborhood watch group can take the garbage to the curb and put them back.

As a pro tip, keep your blinds open. If the blinds remain closed at all times, your home can begin to look suspicious.

Lock Up

While this seems like an obvious point, there are many homeowners who are used to keeping a window unlocked to get in if they forget or lose a key. As your preparing to head out the door, take some time to ensure all of your windows and doors are locked. Ensure that you also turn the deadbolt if you have one. This will make your home a less attractive to potential burglars.

Be Smart about Social Media

When you release details to the world through social media, you do not have any control over who sees your updates. In general, it is best to stay mum on your travel itinerary until after you return home. If you want to talk about your upcoming trip with your family, friends or house-watcher, consider hosting a casual dinner party at home or talking over the phone. If you’re meeting friends over coffee, it’s always a good idea to be aware your surroundings.

Additionally, talk to your children about being discreet when it comes to when your family will be gone. Teens and younger friends could potentially get it into their heads to cause some mischief involving your home.

Enjoy Your Vacation

By taking steps to ensure that your home will be secure while you’re out of town, you’ll be able to rest easy. Further, you’ll be able to enjoy making new memories without spending energy thinking about whether or not you’ll come back to a home that is still intact.


Get in Shape while Having Fun

Friday, May 20th, 2016



It can be difficult to get yourself back into shape after a long, cold winter. It can be even harder if you don’t necessarily enjoy hitting the treadmill or working out indoors. With bathing suit season quickly approaching, however, you may be feeling a little bit of anxiety over getting into the workout groove. Luckily, there are ways that you can get fit simply by being involved in activities that you enjoy.
Turn Your Workout into Play

If you enjoy doing a certain activity, the time can fly by. Playing tag football in the park with friends and family will burn away those calories. Heading to the local tennis court or gym for a game of tennis or volleyball will also get you up and moving. You can also go swimming, playing golf or play a mean game of badminton to help you shed the pounds and strengthen your muscles.

Pick Up a New Activity

Between work and relaxation after work, many people have a lifestyle that is more sedentary than active. Picking up a new activity can help. If you enjoy watching dancing competitions on prime time, consider looking into ballroom or dance classes at a local dance studio. Join a morning walking or running group in your neighborhood. Some areas even have cycling groups if you enjoy bike riding. Even joining the community to become involved in their beautification programs will also get your blood pumping. Not only will you get to meet new people, but they’ll also help you hold yourself accountable so you can start to see results.

Train for Your Vacation

Whether you’re planning a trip to an exotic location or even just to visit parents or friends, you want to be able to enjoy it without feeling tired or sluggish. If you intent to go skiing, biking or even horseback riding, getting into shape before you go means you’ll be more likely to come back with fond memories and not an injury. Flexibility and cardiovascular training will allow you to keep up with the group and give you the strength or stamina you need to make it to the end. You’ll also be able to focus more on the experience rather than on how out of breath you are.

Take Your Indoor Workout Outdoors

If you already have a workout routine but you dread it daily, taking your workout outside can help spice things up. Taking a run through the local park instead of running on a treadmill can make the time go by faster. If you enjoy yoga or other similar workout activities, consider finding a group that meets outdoors so you can enjoy the fresh air and the sounds of the wildlife while you meditate.

Make it a Group Activity

For some, working out alone can be difficult, especially if you aren’t feeling particularly motivated. Joining in on a group activity allows you to meet new people and have some fun. Those who have been involved in your choice activity for some time may even have tips on how to get more out of your workout. They may also be able to offer encouragement and keep you motivated by asking about your progress.

Making a change in your daily routine can be difficult. However, you can start working towards your goal simply by getting off your couch or office chair, heading outside and simply moving. By making it fun to get in shape, you’ll start to find that you not only look the way you want, but you’ll even feel better too.