Great Guide On How To Be Physically Fit

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As people age, they often let their fitness slip. The pressures of a job(s), spouse, and kids often take precedence over working out. If you are tired of the way you have let your body slip, then follow these fitness tips listed below. They will help you get into the shape you were in when you were a teenager.

In order to get the most out of your running fitness workout, be sure to run properly. This will help to prevent injury and ensure that you get the most out of your workout. Proper running technique involves pushing off with your toes and landing on your front foot when it is nearly under your body. This, combined with proper posture will ensure a good running workout.

Yoga used to be an obscure activity, done only by those into new age experiences. But yoga has become so mainstream that it’s almost impossible now to find someone who hasn’t tried it. There are many types of yoga exercises, which focus on stretching and elongating muscles. There is yoga that focuses on relaxing, but also fitness yoga that gets your heart pumping.

To exercise your ab muscles, you should do crunches. Simply lay flat, backside down on the ground. Then raise your legs with your feet still on the ground and knees pointed upward. Place your hands behind your head and slightly raise your upper body off the ground, but don’t come all the way up. This strengthens your core muscles.

Arm lifts are a good way to give your arms a quick workout and to gain upper body strength. Simply take a chair, bed, table, or any elevated surface that is the same height as your mid section when sitting down, and stand in front of it. Then take your arms and place them behind you on the surface. Crouch down a little until your arms bend into a 90 degree angle, and then rise up. Repeat 10 times for 3 sets.

Keep your goals short and simple as you start on a new fitness program. You can easily overwhelm yourself if, after a lifetime of being a couch potato, you decide you should be able to run 10 miles at full speed on the treadmill. At the beginnin, keep your goals simple. Start out with just a walk for a few minutes every other day. Work up to longer and more frequent walks as you progress.

Schedule your time to workout the same way you schedule your important appointments. Your health and fitness are just as important to your life as your next doctor’s appointment, so treat it the same way. Setting your workouts in your calendar will make you more likely to take the time and do them.

Set smalls goals when trying to increase your fitness level. For example, if you want to lose 50 pounds you should make your initial goal to lose 5% of your weight. Meeting that goal will boost your confidence and resolve. If you would like to run a 5k spend some time improving your mile time and then go on to longer distances.

If you are starting a new physical fitness program, the route to success is not to go about it too aggressively. Generally, you are trying to make this a habit, not a regime. Approach a workout or a walk around the block as if it were second nature, like doing the laundry. Just relax and do not be hard on yourself, especially in the beginning.

When riding a bike for exercise, you should try riding with only one leg. This forces you to concentrate on the one leg that is moving the entire bike. It also provides more of a workout for that individual leg if you ride it for a significant amount of time.

Therefore, these tips show that getting back into shape is not as hard as you may think. All it takes is a little time, dedication, work, and patience. These are important characteristics not just for working out, but for life as well. If you can be successful at parenting, being married, and at your job, then there is no reason why you can’t be successful with your fitness goals. So get out there and do it!

Steelers Fall Hard to Dolphins 30-15; Patriots Next

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They said that they had learned from their 34-3 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, that their defense just didn’t show up and their offense was out of sync. The Pittsburgh Steelers vowed that they would never play that bad again-and they fulfilled that vow after beating up on the KC Chiefs and the NY Jets, but then they travelled to Miami to face the 1-4 Miami Dolphins and (to vote the Great Yogi Berra) it was déjà vu all over again.

The Steelers apparently weren’t prepared to face a Dolphins team that surely played better than their record and they demonstrated it as they beat up on the Steelers in a 30-15 defeat, improving their record to 2-4 and dropping the Steelers record to 4-2. Like the Eagles a month ago, the Dolphins looked more like the Steelers than the Steelers did as they rushed for 222 yards-including 204 from rookie Jay Ajayi. The young man made the Steelers defense look like the unit that they are: One who’s not only suffering from injures, but also courage to compete. They lost their hearts in this game.

It also didn’t help that their bread-and butter didn’t show up either. It’s no secret that the key to the Steelers success is their offense-lead by QB Ben Roethlisberger. When that unit is on, the Steelers are unstoppable, and when they’re not…you get the Steelers performance in their 2 losses.

But to add to their troubles, Roethlisberger was injured late in the 2nd quarter with an apparent left knee injury. Although he was able to return in the second half, the Steelers did not as they looked inferior to the Dolphins.

But for a split second, the Steelers looked like they were the team that destroyed the Chiefs and the Jets as they opened the game leading the Dolphins 8-3. WR Darius Heyward-Bey took a reverse-handoff and ran it 60 yards for the TD. It was the longest run of Heyward Bey’s career. Roethlisberger then found RB Le’Veon Bell for the 2-point conversion. It looked like just another day in the offense for the Steelers.

And then things started falling apart.

Miami added another Andrew Franks FG to close the Steelers lead to 8-6. Then that’s when Roethlisberger began the Steelers woes as his pass that was intended for WR Sammie Coates was intercepted, but then Big Ben clutched his knee, departed to the locker room and was replaced by backup Landry Jones who only lasted one series. The Dolphins would add another FG to take the lead and would then score their first TD of the game when RB Damien Williams ran it in from the 1-yard line to extend the Steelers lead to 16-8.

In the second half Big Ben returned, but he wasn’t at peak performance as he couldn’t get in sync with the offense as the overthrew several receivers and on their second drive of the half, he threw his second interception of the game. The Dolphins quickly capitalized on the turnover when Ajayi scored on a 1-yard run to extend their lead to 23-8.

In the 4th quarter, both teams traded punts until late in the game when Big Ben and the Steelers finally got it together as they completed a 97-yard drive that ended when Big Ben found rookie WR Cobi Hamilton for a 23-yard TD to close the Dolphins lead to 23-15. Of course the onside kick was next, but it was unsuccessful as the Dolphins secured the ball. With 1:05 left, the Steelers were hoping to use their timeouts and get one more 3-and-out from the Dolphins and have one last drive.

Wrong. The Dolphins decided to seal it as Ajayi took the handoff from QB Ryan Tanneyhill and ran it 62 yards for the TD. Ballgame.

In addition to Ajayi’s 204 yards, Tanneyhill passed for 252 yards and WR Jarvis Landry caught 7 passes for 91 yards. Their defense was pretty good as they sacked Big Ben twice and intercepted him twice. For the Steelers, Big Ben passed for 189 yards, a TD and an INT, Heyward-Bey led with 60 yards and Bell led with 55 yards receiving. Although the defense wasn’t impressive, the special teams were able to block a Franks FG attempt.

Although the Steelers lost, the other teams of the AFC North lost as well, allowing the Steelers to remain all alone in first place in the AFC North. They will now return to Heinz Field to face the 5-1 New England Patriots next Sunday.

Ray’s take: Let me put it this way: When one of your wide receivers leads in rushing and one of your running backs leads in receiving, it’s a sign of an odd game. They best way to describe the Steelers is out of sync-at least after they scored their first TD. I’m sure that it was hard for them to see Big Ben go down…but that’s when the rest of the team should step it up.and they didn’t, plain and simple. The team looked deflated and lifeless while the Dolphins looked like they played in the Super Bowl.

Ajayi was very impressive and if he keeps playing like that then we will hear more from him in the future. I’ll be fair that the Steelers defense continued to lose players as DE Stepheon Tuitt was injured along with LB Vince Williams. And as for fellow LB Lawrence Timmons…let’s just say that he lost his lunch on the field, while the cameras of CBS were rolling. Of course the main concern is Roethlisberger’s knee as he’s scheduled to get an MRI on Monday. I can’t imagine the injury being too bad if he finished the game, but time will tell. Let’s be honest: nobody wants Landry Jones to start against the Patriots next Sunday.

Please e-mail Ray at ray@urbanmediatoday.com

Follow him @urbanmediaRay on twitter

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Buying a Car? Check Your Credit Score First

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by: Charles Essmeier

Do you check your credit score and credit report before you go shopping for a car? You might find out that it is well worth your while to do so, as some auto dealers are taking advantage of the fact that many consumers do not know their credit scores.

No one likes buying a car; the entire process is awkward and cumbersome. Most items we buy are plainly marked with the price, but with cars, the price is often a mystery. Then you have to haggle with a salesman and hope that you have worked out the best price possible. Having done that, you have to arrange financing. You can often get an acceptable interest rate when financing through the dealer, but some dealers are padding their bottom line by offering loans at higher rates than they otherwise might.

The scam works like this – You negotiate your best price with the dealer and you agree to finance through them. You fill out the credit application and hand it over to the salesman, who has promised you some reasonable terms. He takes off to process the application and to check your credit report while you have a cup of coffee. He returns a few minutes later, shaking his head. He informs you that your credit score is only 600 and that you will not qualify for the interest rate he offered you. He says that you will have to pay a higher rate. And not knowing any better, you agree.

Had you done your homework by checking your credit score ahead of time, you would have known your actual credit score and you could have pointed out that the salesman’s assessment of your credit score was incorrect. At that point, you could insist upon receiving the more favorable interest rate or threaten to finance elsewhere. This is a common scam that works because most people really do not know their exact credit score.

Learning your credit score is easy. All you have to do is visit the Websites of one of the three major credit bureaus – Experian, Trans Union or Equifax. For a modest fee, you can receive a copy of your credit report with your credit score. Armed with this useful piece of information, you can shop for a car with a bit more peace of mind, knowing ahead of time whether or not you can qualify for the best financing.

About The Author Charles Essmeier is the owner of Retro Marketing.

Ray Jr on Sports

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  1. Not only did the Pitt Panthers football team continued to bask in their 37-34 victory over Georgia Tech, but the rest of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) did as well as they recognized several players with individual honors. One being K Chris Blewitt who kicked the game-winning FG and OT Brian O’Neill.
  2. Blewitt was named ACC Special Teams Player of the Week and O’Neil Offensive Lineman of the Week after he took a lateral from QB Nate Peterman and ran it 24 yards for the first TD of the game. He was also effective in the trenches as well. Congrats to both. Much deserved, especially Blewitt, who beat the Yellow jackets as time expired for the 2nd year in a row.
  3. Another star in Pitt’s win got recognized nationally as TE Scott Orndoff was added to the Mackey award Midseason Watch List, which honors the nation’s Tight End. He caught a critical 74-yard TD pass in Saturday’s game that not only tied the game, but it was tipped by a defender and fell into Orndoff hands. In my opinion, a pretty Immaculate play.
  4. But as we know, the Panthers need to put their attention to their next opponent, the Virginia Cavaliers (2-3,1-0 ACC) who welcome the Panthers to Charlottesville Saturday at 12:30pm. Pitt hopes to win its 5th game of the season and their 2nd game in ACC Play. Although the Panthers beat Virginia last season, they haven’t won vs. them on the road since 1953. Wow.
  5. Virginia’s QB is Kurt Benkert, who leads the team with 13 TD passes, Albert Reid leads team RBs with 324 yards and 4 TDs and Olamide Zaccheaus who leads the WRs with 324 yards and 4 TDs. Despite Virginia’s record, I feel that Pitt knows better than to underestimate this team especially since they still have concerns of their own-and of course, that means the defense.
  6. As impressive as their Saturday win was, it wouldn’t have gotten to that point if Pitt’s defense could keep the Yellow jackets out of the end zone. Pitt was up 21-10 at one point, but allowed Ga. Tech back in the game. In fact, they trailed 34-27 before Orndoff TD. I’m not sure what they have to do, but they still have to face ranked teams like Clemson, Miami and Georgia Tech-who know how to score.
  7. With that being said, I feel that the Panthers will win Saturday because they’re more talented and diverse on offense. I mean, I have never seen a deeper group of RBs and the fact that HC Pat Narduzzi’s finally letting Peterman throw the ball vertically makes the difference. I’ll give it a 24-16 Pitt win.
  8. Pitt DE Ejuan Price continues to get more national attention as well as he leads the nation with 8.5 sacks and he’s gotten a sack in every Now folks are comparing him to former Panther Aaron Donald, who dominated college football in 2013. He’s locked up the ACC Defensive Player of the Year award, but like Donald, he could end up with some National awards as well. Stay tuned.
  9. And here’s the AP Top 5 rankings: Of course, Alabama and Ohio State remain at 1 & 2, followed by Clemson at #3, Michigan and #4 and Washington at #5. In addition, Louisville is #8 and Paul Chryst’s Wisconsin Badgers is #9. The other ACC ranked teams are Miami (#16) and Virginia Tech (#17). West Virginia is the only local team who is ranked #20.
  10. If there was a College Football team that has surprised me, it would be the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, who is 2-4. It doesn’t take Einstein to know that record is far below that school’s standards. To be honest, that team hasn’t had it right since former HC Lou Holtz was still there. Current HC Brian Kelly needs to be careful.
  11. As for the NFL, the Pittsburgh Steelers (4-1) find themselves in first place in the AFC North, something that they haven’t been since the end of the 2014 season. As we all know, they key to their success is their offense which has averaged at least 30 point a game in all of their games. QB Ben Roethlisberger is looking like the NFL MVP at this point.
  12. Net up for the Steelers are the 1-4 Miami Dolphins, which will take place Sunday in Miami at 1pm. If the Steelers keep playing like they have been of late, they shouldn’t have any problems beating the Dolphins. But they still know better than to underestimate this team, especially at their stadium.
  13. The obvious concerns for the Steelers are on defense as they still have several players who’re out: DE Cameron Heyward (hamstring) S Shamarko Thomas (groin) and LB Ryan Shazier (knee), although he practiced on a limited basis on Thursday. On offense, T Marcus Gilbert (ankle), C Cody Wallace (knee), and WRs Sammie Coates and Markus Wheaton also didn’t practice. Here’s hoping most of them will play Sunday.
  14. I can honestly say that the Steelers backups have been doing a good job filling in for the injured starters. T Chris Hubbard has filled in admirably for Gilbert and LB Vince Williams continues to get it done in Shazier’s absence.
  15. And at TE, Jesse James is truly getting it done as he has 3 TDs, so they’ve truly not missed LaDarius Green, who’s been out up to this point recovering from injury. But the news reports state that Green will start practicing next week, but he still has to work his way into game-shape as he didn’t practice at training camp or play in the preseason.
  16. The Steelers also announced that they’ve signed RB Karlos Williams to their practice squad. He’s the brother of LB Vince Williams and he will not be on the practice squad long, that’s for sure. He scored 7 TDs last season for the Buffalo Bills. Watch out for him.
  17. As for the rest of the NFL, shame on Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones who states that QB Tony Romo will resume his duties as starter-never mind with rookie Dak Prescott has done in leading his team to a 4-1 record.
  18. Yes, it is said that starters should never lose their job to injury, but there’s an exception when the replacement is leading his team to wins. Can you imagine if former Steelers HC Bill Cowher would’ve given the starting QB job back to Tommy Maddox despite Roethlisberger’s success in 2004? Come on Jerry, keep Prescott in there.
  19. And I don’t think anybody has noticed the Minnesota Vikings 5-0 start. Remember, this is happening despite the absence of QB Teddy Bridgewater and All-Pro RB Adrian Peterson, who’re out with injuries. Impressive. But can they keep it going? Time will tell.
  20. As for MLB, the ALCS is set with the Toronto Blue Jays vs. the Cleveland Indians. I like the Blue Jays, but the Indians stunned the Boston Red Sox in a sweep in the NLDS and their pitching looks pretty good. And as we know, that’s what it will take to win it all. Time will tell.

Please e-mail Ray at ray@urbanmediatoday.com

Follow him @urbanmediaRay on twitter

How To Prepare For A Job Interview

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For most people being employed is not a luxury, but a necessity. Depression sets in quickly and can leave you a mess. You need to do everything in your power to find the job that you need. This article is very useful in giving advice for anyone looking to land a new job.

While job searching, give it your all in your current job. You will get a bad reputation if you do not stay focused on your current job. Any potential employer might find out about your poor performance. Success depends on your ability to work to your full potential.

Head to school. At times, discovering the job you want requires that you expand your skills. The greater your knowledge, the more opportunities you will have. Lots of self-guided study options exist that can be built around your schedule.

When dealing with employees, especially lots of them, it is important to maximize their productivity. Think about it. If you have ten super productive employees, you can save yourself, hundreds of thousands of dollars on benefits and wages, as compared to hiring twenty or more employees. As such, find ways to maximize productivity.

Don’t get overly friendly with those that you work with. Keep things as professional as possible and always stay on task. Personal relationships can become difficult and lead to conflict in the workplace. You want to steer clear of disaster so you don’t risk your company position.

Try doing a practice interview before you go to interview for a new job. Have a friend or family member play the role of the interviewer. This will help you be prepared when you go to your interview. It will also help you remain calm and collected when you are at your interview because you are better prepared.

Curb your tongue during the first few months of employment. Remember, you are the new person. You may have a lot of great ideas, but if you stir the pot too early, you may never get a chance to set your ideas in motion. Your first job should be to get all those at your new work to like and trust you.

Prepare an “elevator pitch” about yourself. This is a 30 to 60 second statement that could be delivered on an elevator ride, hence the name. Include information about your biography and any pertinent career accomplishments. Use the statement on phone interviews or when asked why you should be hired for the job.

A good resume can get you the job you want. Your resume should be organized in a way to give employers a snapshot of your experience and abilities. Past work experience, skills and educations should be listed on your resume. Highlight any volunteer work that you have done. After writing your resume, look it over to be sure that nothing is missing!

Call your local library to ask what sort of help they could provide you. They may offer free Internet use, allowing you to job search and send resumes online. They may also have seminars on writing resumes or other classes, which could help. Lastly, they may be able to help you print your resumes at an affordable rate.

Set aside money for your job search. People do not realize how pricy it can get to search for a job. If you have a car, you will need money for gas. Also, when you are out job hunting all day, you will want some money to grab a bit to eat.

Call your references. This is important for a few reasons. The first is that they need to be warned that they may be called, plus you should let them know what sort of skills they should be highlighting. Second, their number or email address may have changed, so you need that update.

After an interview, be sure to pick up your phone when the company calls you back. And, if for some reason, you cannot answer, be sure to call them back right away. Waiting too long to return their call will have the company thinking you are not that interested in working for them.

After applying for a few jobs, you should start to get phone calls regarding interviews. How will you answer the phone? You need to make a great first impression on the person that could be hiring you, even if they’re only someone that does the interviews for that company.

Be sure that you are well-groomed before going on your interview. A professional appearance is very important if you want to make a strong, first impression on your interviewer. Wear clothes that are appropriate for the type of job that you are applying for. When you look the part, the hiring manager can visualize how you can fit into his organization.

Be honest on your resume regarding everything. If you have something that you aren’t proud of, don’t mention it on the resume. You have no way of knowing if the truth might be discovered by the potential employer.

Do not make negative comments about past employers. It’s likely that a prospective employer will peruse the social networks to find out more about you. If you don’t post certain things you don’t need to worry.

When starting your job, get some notebooks for taking notes. You’ll probably have a bit of training initially, so there is going to be quite a bit of information thrown your way. Taking notes properly can let you go back and see what you were taught.

Keep an open mind when trying to find a new job. Not only apply for the specific position you are looking for, but jobs that are related to that position as well. You might not end up landing the exact position you were looking for, but it will give you an opportunity to get into a company where you can transfer positions down the road.

The keys to getting a new job are having the proper skills and the right presentation. Combined with a pertinent skill set the job is yours. Keep the information that was shared here with you in mind and make good use of it to land a job. This is obtainable as long as you stay with it and don’t give up.

JOAN EARLY’S NOVEL, “THE OTHER TWO-FIFTHS,” DEPICTING A GENERATIONAL STRUGGLE FOR EQUAL RIGHTS, IS NOW AVAILABLE!

Nationwide — In The Other Two-Fifths by Joan Early, the shadow of Abe Lincoln disappears in the catastrophic race riot shattering the Springfield, Illinois community in 1908. Despite the model of a harmonious community, a labor strike in the mines pitted blacks against whites. A lone man seeking revenge seizes the moment, raging a war against the Carter family. The cauldron of racial hatred leads to the destruction of two black communities, claiming seven lives. Hollis Carter escapes. He begins a journey of social justice; one that continues on in his children and grandchildren.

Author Joan Early developed a love of books while growing up in rural Mississippi. Reading was her prime entertainment throughout childhood. Later, she chronicled her family’s history in stories told by ethnically diverse ancestors and expressed her feelings through song lyrics and poetry.

Early’s professional writing career began in 2003 when her short story entry won first place in Ebony Magazine’s literary contest. She continued writing historical fiction and family sagas, but changed to contemporary romance. Her published works include: Sara’s Reward (New Concepts Publishing, 2007), Look Both Ways and Fireflies (Genesis Press, 2009), Oak Bluffs and Friends in Need (Genesis Press, 2010) and Separate Dreams (Genesis Press, 2011).

Joan’s first novel, Legacy (First Books, 2002) remains a favorite with book clubs, and was followed by: Night Sweats (New Concepts Publishing, 2012), A Tangled Web and Heartstrings (New Concepts Publishing, 2015). She returns to her first love of historic fiction and family saga in The Other Two-Fifths. Joan and her husband live outside of Beaumont, Texas, where she continues writing, attends writers’ conferences, and enjoys entering literary contests.

For more details, visit www.joanearlybooks.com or www.joanearly.net

Use These Tips And Tricks To Improve Your Fitness

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With so many types of exercises out there and different foods to eat, the novice person attempting to get fit might just get lost in the sea of information available on the web. Before it becomes too overwhelming for you, read these tips to find out how you can do some simple everyday things to get in great shape.

Don’t go for an all or nothing approach when it comes to fitness. Even if you can’t fit in thirty minutes of exercise every day, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t bother trying at all. Even if you can only get your thirty minutes in once a week, it’s better than nothing. You can always work up to more workouts as time goes on.

When on an exercise routine it is best to have a day of rest once a week. During rest your muscles will grow and recover. In order to have the best results, your body needs its rest so it can be at full potential when you are exercising.

A really good way to get fit is to join a boxing gym. Boxers are some of the most fit athletes in the world and by joining a boxing gym, you’ll have access to all of the resources they have. Hitting a speed bag is just one of the things you can do.

For sleeker looking arms, try exercises designed to improve your posture. Most posture exercises work all the major muscles in the arm, allowing them to be strengthened and toned. Try extending your arms until they’re at shoulder height, with your elbows bent and palms up. Hold this position for at least 5 seconds, then release and repeat. Performing this exercise at least 3 times weekly should have you standing straighter and leave your arms looking great.

When lifting weights, you will help muscle mass if you do a lot of reps with a light weight; that is in contrast to fewer reps with high weight. Endurance is a vital aspect of lifting, which you should not overlook. This is a very popular technique among many professionals.

A modification to traditional running that can increase fitness is high knee running. It simply involves raising your knees above your waist while running. By doing high knee running, you increase strength in your core muscles by essentially doing a standing crunch while running. It’s also an extra workout for your thighs.

It is possible to speed up recovery time from a particularly hard workout. The day after your hard workout, lightly exercise the same muscles. Use weights which are about twenty percent of your max weight and do two sets of twenty-five repetitions. This will help to deliver nutrients and blood to muscles to help them recover at a faster rate.

Is doing pull-ups the bane of your exercise routine? Changing your way of thinking can help you greatly. Concentrate on pushing your elbows down during your chin-ups instead of obsessing over getting up to the bar. Shifting your focus in this way will make chin-ups seem less difficult, and you’ll be able to do them for longer.

Muscle injuries can bring us down, but getting back into exercising as soon as you can will help you heal quicker. Start out slowly, trying just a few minutes at a low intensity just to test yourself. As soon as you experience pain, stop. When you are finished apply ice for twenty minutes. Continue the next day trying to do a little more.

When exercising in sets, make sure to take some time out to stretch in between them. Try to stretch a good 20 to 30 seconds between each stretch. This can not only keep the muscles you just worked limber, but it can help increase overall strength by maximizing the benefits of each set.

Learn what Kenyans do to train to run and win marathons. They train at differing speeds which pick up as their training progresses. You need to start slowly for the first third of the run, go at a more normal pace for your middle third, and then much faster for the last third of your run. Increase your speed by gradually starting off faster and faster, which will eventually increase all of your speeds.

Be careful not to let misinformation mislead you. There is a lot of stuff out there floating around about how to become a fit person, but take it from the experts who put together the tips you have just read — real information is the key to your success with anything in life, especially fitness.

KIDS’ CONSUMPTION OF HIGH-CALORIE DRINKS AT FAST-FOOD RESTAURANTS TIED TO COMBO MEALS -Unbundling menu options may reduce calorie intake

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Newswise — A new survey of children’s and teenagers’ eating habits at fast-food restaurants suggests that consumption levels of sugary drinks are closely tied to their automatic inclusion in “combo meal” packages.

According to the NYU Langone Medical Center researchers who led the survey, kids who ate at any of five major fast-food chains consumed 179 more calories on average when their meal deals included soda, sweetened tea or juice, or flavored milks, compared to those who drank non-sweetened beverages or nothing with their food.

In a summary of the results, published in the American Journal of Public Health online Oct. 7, researchers also found that purchasing drinks as part of bundled meals was tied to the consumption on average of 82 more drink calories than when the drinks were purchased separately. And, they reported, parents who bought combo meals were 24 percent more likely than those who did not to buy a high-calorie, sugar-sweetened beverage than a non-sweetened drink or no beverage.

“Our study strongly suggests that uncoupling sugary drinks from combo meal deals might reduce high-calorie beverage consumption and help to curb childhood obesity rates fueled by these kinds of liquid calories,” says study senior investigator Brian Elbel, PhD, an associate professor in the Department of Population Health at NYU Langone, and at the NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.

For the study, Elbel’s team surveyed fast-food restaurant eating choices of 483 boys and girls between the ages of 1 and 18 who dined in or took food to go from a McDonald’s, Burger King, KFC, Wendy’s or Subway between January 2013 and June 2014. All restaurants involved in the survey were located in New York or in Newark or Jersey City, NJ, and the parents of all dining youth were interviewed about their purchases based on meal receipts.

The high calorie levels calculated by the research team among youthful diners mean it is highly likely that added sugar intake from such drinks causes many of them to exceed the maximum, recommended limit of between 120 and 180 calories set in U.S. national dietary guidelines, say the study authors. Elbel points out that about 17 percent of Americans under the age of 19 are estimated to be obese, a situation caused in part by people’s consumption of too many calories from sugar. The researchers say their analysis is the first to assess factors that may be driving sugary drink consumption at fast-food restaurants.

Overall, among those surveyed, fewer than half (42 percent) purchased a combination meal, but 74 percent of combo purchases were kids’ meals, Elbel reports. The survey also found that about half of all beverages (49 percent) were sodas. The rest were juice (38 percent), flavored milk (5 percent), regular milk (2 percent), and water (1 percent). Another 5 percent consisted of sweetened teas, lemonade, and hot chocolate. Those who bought their meals “to go” averaged 14 fewer drink calories than those who ate in the restaurant.

Age and gender mattered as well — but less so than combo meals — in the purchasing of sugary drinks, according to the survey analysis. Teenagers were 22 percent more likely to drink them than younger children, and males were 31 percent more likely than females.

The new analysis, Elbel says, comes in the wake of efforts by several cities to restrict access to supersized soft drinks, mainly by imposing higher sales taxes. Such taxes failed to pass in New York City in 2014, but were later that year introduced in Berkeley, Calif., and this year in Philadelphia.

“Although our study does not prove cause and effect with respect to obesity and bundled fast-food meals,” Elbel says, “policy-makers will ideally be able to use research like ours to guide them in formulating public health policies that may effectively decrease consumption of unhealthy sugar-sweetened beverages.”

Funding for the study was provided by the National Institutes of Health, including National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases grant R01 099241, and National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute grant R01 HL095935. Additional funding support was provided by New York State Health Foundation grant 12-01682, and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant 70823.

In addition to Elbel, other NYU Langone researchers involved in this study are doctoral candidates Jonathan Cantor, MS; and Andrew Breck, MPA.

Steelers Ground NY Jets 31-13; improve to 4-1

Many media types felt that when the NY Jets entered Heinz Field to face the Pittsburgh Steelers, it would truly be a mismatch on paper, because the Steelers were 3-1 with the high-flying offense and the Jets wee 1-3, with their struggling offense. They felt that the Steelers would destroy the Jets and that there’s a reason why the Jets have only beat the Steelers once in Pittsburgh.

Every once in a while, the media gets it right.

Not only were the Jets a mismatch on paper vs. the Steelers, but they weren’t on the field either as the Steelers defeated them 31-13 to improve to 4-1 on the season. The Steelers are now all alone in first place in the AFC North Division and with the offense leading the way, they’re looking pretty unstoppable.

QB Ben Roethlisberger passed for 380 yards and 4 TDs-giving him 9 in 2 weeks. Several of his receivers benefited from his passes, but none more than 2nd-year WR Sammie Coates, who not only caught their first TD, but he would score their last TD and finish with 6 receptions for 139 yards. He would’ve caught a 3rd TD if he didn’t drop it while falling in the end zone, but a great game by the young man, nonetheless. Fellow WR Antonio Brown caught 9 passes for 78 yards and a TD, RB Le’Veon Bell caught 9 passes for 88 yards and TE Jesse James caught 6 passes for 43 yards and a TD. Not a bad day at the office for those pass-catchers.

After the Jets opened the game with a 35-yard FG by K Nick Folk, Big Ben went to work as he threw a bomb to Coates who ran it in for a 72-yard TD, giving the Steelers a 7-3 lead. Coates is looking like a true deep-threat as he continues to fill in for the suspended Martavis Bryant. Folk would close the Steelers lead to 7-6 with his 2nd field goal, and the Steelers offense would then fall asleep as they were unable to convert on their next few drives as they entered the second quarter.

The Steelers did get a drive going in the middle of the 2nd, but were unable to convert, and when K Chris Boswell lined up for a FG, HC Mike Tomlin called for a fake in which Boswell tried to run for 3 yards but only got 2, turning the ball over on downs. The Jets then took over and QB Ryan Kirkpatrick had his only successful drive of the game when he led the Jets on a 7 play-69-yard drive that ended when Fitzpatrick found WR Brandon Marshall for a 15-yard TD, giving the Jets their only lead of the game at 13-7. Hard to believe that this was the last points that the Jets would put on the field.

This must have woken up the Steelers offense, because they caught fire beginning with their next drive as Roethlisberger would once again orchestrate a drive that ended with a TD, this time to James, caught it from 1-yard out, giving lead back to the Steelers at 14-13 before halftime.

Believe it or not, there was only one score in the 3rd quarter as Boswell kicked a 47-yard FG to extend the Steelers lead to 17-13. And when Kirkpatrick and the Jets couldn’t convert to begin the 4th quarter, the Steelers were able to as Roethlisberger got them down the field yet again and found Brown for 5-yard TD, extending the Steelers lead to 24-13. And then late in the 4th quarter, the Steelers would deliver the knockout punch when Roethlisberger once again found Coates for a 5-yard TD giving the Steelers a 31-13 lead, which was the final score.

The Steelers defense suffered yet another blow when DE Cam Heyward left the game with a hamstring injury, but it didn’t affect that unit as they didn’t give up a point the entire second half, they also gave up a total of 80 yard in the half, and gave up only one TD the entire game. Impressive.

Meanwhile the Jets (1-4) will now have to do some soul-searching as they’re not looking like the team who the Steelers had to fight for the final AFC spot in 2015. No, it didn’t help that Pro-Bowl CB Darrelle Revis was out due to injury, but this team is truly struggling right now.

Kirkpatrick passed for 255 yards and a TD, RB Matt Forte ran for 53 yards and Marshall caught 8 passes for 114 yards and the TD. Bell led the Steelers RBs with 66 yards, but it was obviously that the running game wasn’t needed as much in this game.

Ray’s Take: I love it when a team takes advantage of scoring opportunities. No, it wasn’t like last week when they put of 43 points against KC, but let’s not be greedy, it would only 12 less points. I like how the Steelers offense got themselves together after losing their lead, and if teams want to continue to leave TE Jesse James wide-open in the end zone, he might challenge the NFL receiving TD record when it’s all done. As for my dude, WR Sammie Coates, he continues to get it done. Yes, he dropped a few-including that one that would’ve been a 3rd TD, but he made up for it in the 4th quarter. Big Ben is looking like a serious NFL MVP candidate, if you ask me. You want to complain about the Steelers D? Do me a favor: Check their stats, look at how they kept the Jets off the board the entire second half-and get back to me.

Injuries: In addition to Heyward’s injury, S Shamarko Thomas (groin), LB Jarvis Jones (wrist), and Coates (cut on hand) were also injured. Jones and Coates remained in the game.

The Steelers will now travel to Miami to face the Dolphins (1-4) who fell 30-17 to the Tennessee Titans (2-3) on Sunday.

Please e-mail Ray at ray@urbanmediatoday.com

Follow him @urbanmediaRay on twitter

5 Effective Ways to Better Yourself After a Breakup

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Romantic breakups are just as emotionally traumatizing for men as they are for women. As a man, people often expect you to show no emotion after a breakup. However, this is hard to do if you really cared about or even loved your ex-girlfriend or fiancé. It is even more difficult if you were in the relationship for a long duration. But don’t allow a romantic breakup to negatively impact on your future. There are ways to better yourself after a romantic breakup.

 

Accept What Happened and Move On

 

It doesn’t make sense blaming her or yourself. It won’t change things. If you want to wallow in your pain or guilt, that’s understandable. It might even help you to see the error of your ways and help you to move on. But just do it for a few days or weeks at the most. The guys that you hang out with might tell you to “man up” about the whole situation.

 

However, it is best to get the pain or guilt out of your system before moving on to a new relationship. Besides, it’s not fair to the next person that you meet. Don’t bring old baggage to the new relationship. Deal with your hurt emotions or wounded pride and move on.

 

Prepare to Get Back into the Dating World

 

Do whatever you need to do to prepare for new relationships. This process may take a few days for some men and a few years for others. If you need to remain dateless for a while, then do it. This can do wonders to strengthen your emotions and build confidence. If you need to lose a few pounds to feel better about yourself, then do it. You must make yourself happy before you can do the same for someone else.

 

Give Yourself Time to Heal

 

Men are always told that the best way to get over a female is to find another one. This is sage advice if you weren’t the one that was dumped. If you are experiencing a broken heart, it is best to give yourself time to heal before you try to find another girlfriend. Unfortunately, this might take time, especially if there is some resentment towards your ex-girlfriend. Make yourself better emotionally before jumping into another relationship.

 

Lean on Your Family and Friends

 

You might feel compelled to hide the breakup from your family and friends. However, they can help you to get over the breakup faster. Spend more quality time with your family. Or plan to hang out more with your guy friends. Hit the ball park or the gym. Just do more of the fun things that you used to do before “she” came along.

 

Concentrate on Your Goals

 

Take your mind off of the breakup by focusing more on your goals. What do you want to do in life that you haven’t done? Do you want to get a promotion at work? Or maybe you would like to learn how to ride a motorcycle? Learn a new hobby such as fishing or wine tasting. Jot down a few things that you want to do and do them. It could be something that you already know how to do or something that you want to learn how to do.

 

All in all, romantic breakups are hard for men too. But instead of sitting around like a lovesick puppy, find ways to make a bad situation better. Move on and do fun things in life with friends and family. Concentrate on some of the things that you have always wanted to do. This will do wonders to help improve your situation.