Summer activities for teenagers

It’s finally summer! While your younger kids are begging to go the pool, your older kids may be wondering how to fill their time. It’s important for teens to stay busy. Help your teens fill their time by suggesting fun activities. The following activities are teen-approved.

 

First, try to encourage your child to get outdoors. Have them throw a frisbee around with their friends or a younger sibling. Let them ride their bike downtown to a movie or to get ice cream. Purchase kites at the local hobby shop, taking them to a park and flying the kites as a family. Participate in a sport together as a family. Go to a park that has tennis courts or basketball courts, for instance, or set up your own baseball game in your backyard. Teach your child how to swim in your backyard pool or build a sandcastle with them.

 

Another fun activity is to go camping. In most communities, there are local parks that allow camping. You can camp at most national and state parks. It all depends on what activities your family wants to do while there. If you want to fish or go hiking, for instance, this may take some research. Also, you have to decide if you’re tent camping or will have a camper. There are different amenities than if you are simply putting up a tent. There are electric and water hookups, for instance, as well as options for wifi.

 

When it gets too hot, it may be a great day to stay inside and play games. This may be board games or video games, but it’s important the teen spends time with their family. They are well on their way to growing up. Soon they will be out of the house and off to college. (Sorry, Mom). Spending the day with the family is going to create memories that last a lifetime. Turn on the air conditioner and eat simple foods. Have a turkey and cheese wrap for lunch instead of a hot sandwich. Pair it with chips or fruit. This helps your family beat the heat and have fun at the same time.

 

Teens may also have activities they enjoy just by themselves. They may enjoy writing in a journal or drawing, for instance. They may enjoy exercising, baking or studying a religious text. Respect that they enjoy this activity on their own. If you try to crowd their space, it may either spark their interest (and they’ll let you join them) or it could backfire. Alternatively, some teens may enjoy working on crafts. Help them invest their time in a home improvement project, such as flipping an item that you purchase at a second-hand store. There are several places you can sell these items after just adding a coat of paint.

 

Finally, encourage your teen to use the summer in order to learn a new skill. Are they off to college soon? Allow them to start their summer courses by taking a class or two at the local junior college. If they have a passion, drive that passion by enrolling them in workshops or seminars that further their knowledge or skills. This is going to be fuel for your child to love learning. They are going to be more willing to love school and keep learning than had they simply stayed home and watched reruns of their favorite sitcoms. It may be summer, but it doesn’t have to be the dog days of summer. Keep your child active and they’re going to thank you for it. editor@urbanmediatoday.com

Best summer road trips to the west coast

Where do you want to travel this summer? The West coast offers a bit of everything. It offers you a historic remembrance of the Wild west where outlaws and tough cowboys once called home. National and state parks are spread from Washington to Arizona and New Mexico, not to mention wineries and tours that you can’t see anywhere else. But wherever you go should be as unique as your family. All of these places have a great deal of attractions, no matter the interest of any family member.

Let’s start up north and work our way down. Seattle, Washington is probably most well-known for the Space Needle. It’s quite similar to Willis Tower in Chicago. You ride an elevator to the top and there’s an observation deck where you can take pictures. Seattle, too, has the Museum of Flight and the Museum of pop cultures. There are several parks to sit and relax after a busy day of sight seeing. Or, arrange to take the 3-hour Seattle tour around the city. You’ll explore Seattle’s neighborhoods and see where the Seattle Mariners (a Major League Team) play baseball.

Portland, Oregon is another place to visit. Portland has many attractions centric to those who love the arts or gardening. There is the International Rose Test Garden and the Portland Japanese Garden, for instance, each of which offer unique plants and flowers relevant to their garden theme. In addition, there is the Portland Classical Chinese Garden. Take a stroll through the Portland Art Museum or the Pittock Mansion. Don’t also forget to check out the outdoors. Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area offers waterfalls and hiking trails for those seeking adventure. Another fantastic perk about Portland: any shopping that you do will be tax free. This is a huge benefit if you hit any shopping malls.

Moving down the coast, San Francisco is a fantastic place to visit. Here you will see the Golden Gate Bridge, which may be the location’s most famous landmark. It’s also home to the infamous Alcatraz Island. Once a prison, it’s since been made into a museum and attracts millions of visitors each year. Also, don’t forget to check out Lombard Street. It’s known to be the crookedest street in the world due to its zig-zag formation. You’re going nowhere fast on this road; just follow the cars in front of you and take in the scenery. Chances are that you’re never going to be on a street quite like this again! Likewise, don’t forget to check out San Francisco Zoo. It’s home to over a thousand endangered species and nearly 100 acres of gardens.

The American Wild west may only live in history books, but this summer take your kids to get a glimpse of what life was like in the 1880s. Tombstone, Arizona takes you back to the day of gambling halls and saloons. While it may have the appearance of a ghost town, there are museums of the courthouse and the gunfighter hall of fame. Visit the Boothill Graveyard where the real outlaws and cowboys lie. There is a lot to keep you busy here. Try to only stay the afternoon and leave before the sun sets, however; it is the dessert and it does get chilly.

Finally, visit Albuquerque, New Mexico. If you want a cultural vacation, this is the place to visit. Make sure to check out the Sandia Peak Tramway, which runs over 10,000 feet above sea level. It runs to the top of Sandia Peak and has its own observation deck. You’re able to see the city of Albuquerque below you, which is a stunning view. Another spot to hit is old town Albuquerque. This is a tribute to Spanish and Native American culture, both of which are prominent within the area.

Traveling out west can be really fun. Add these cities to your road trip destinations and you’re sure to have a great time. editor@urbanmediatoday.com

Things I miss about Pittsburgh Summers

I will have lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for four years this fall. It’s great except for the fact that most of its inhabitants–myself included–actually can’t afford to live here. But there are loads of advantages and unique flavor, like being able to claim an NBA franchise and an official city instrument (the accordion). But I’d be remiss not to mention the things I really miss during the summer months in Pittsburgh:
1. Actual humidity: I know it sounds crazy to miss humidity, but there is nothing worse than stepping out into what you think is a beautifully sunny day, only to be smacked in the face by defiant, inland winds. It was erroneously documented that Mark Twain once said “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.” Regardless of who actually said it, it’s not necessarily far from the truth. What’s the point of summer if you still have to wear layers? I now appreciate that summers in Pittsburgh require packing away winter clothes.
2. Cool, finished basements: The BEST way to recover when it’s a little too humid. Many of the houses in the surrounding SF suburbs are ranch-style, so basements are hard to come by. There’s nothing like leaving the arid humidity and blistering sun to descend into a cool, subterranean bunker with a perfectly worn-in old couch. Even better is that most of these refreshing oases feature refrigerators filled with Pittsburgh’s own summer sugar-water trifecta: pop, Hugs (a.k.a. Huggies) and popsicles.
3. Islay’s chip-chopped BBQ: This rivals Primanti’s as Pittsburgh’s most famous sandwich in my humble opinion. Even though I’ve recently stopped eating meat, I dream of lifting the top of a steamy crock pot and inhaling the sweet, bubbling goodness that is BBQ ham and slathering it on fresh Mancini’s italian bread. I have yet to find this delicacy outside of Pittsburgh.
4. Kennywood: Growing up in Pittsburgh will ruin you for multi-site amusement parks like Six Flags. There’s nothing like an amusement park that personally invites you 2-3 times per summer between school picnics, neighborhood days and ethnic celebrations. Selecting pre- and post-Raging Rapids/Log Jammer outfits and mapping the best food sequence are memories that span generations. Insider information (i.e., the Jack Rabbit “jumps” the track and you get squished going around the bend of the Thunder Bolt when you sit on the left side), oral histories (e.g., Garfield’s Nightmare used to be The Old Mill and Phantom’s Revenge used to be the Steel Phantom which used to be the Laser Loop) and urban myths (e.g., The skull and crossbones warning is on the Racers because a child stood up and subsequently died), are passed down among families and communities like ham BBQ recipes.
5. Ethnic/Church festivals: What’s summer without a sun-drenched celebration at the local Sons of Italy, Greek Orthodox Church, or Insert-your-catholic-saint here Church? So hot that you expect the delightful seniors citizens who wait all year to cook and serve thousands of people to slump over from heat stroke but praise Saint _______ they never do. So hot that everyone fans themselves with the stiffest piece of paper they can find until night fall when the winner of the 50/50 raffle is finally announced, they can grab their take-home dessert and go.
6. Dairy Queen: I watched the Pittsburgh Dad “Little League” video because I was 1000% sure DQ would be mentioned; I wasn’t disappointed. Its an after-sport tradition for children who engage in intramural sports and the parents forced to watch. While DQ is a national chain, out here in health conscious and wealthy SF, the fast food places I grew up with are few and far between. Sure, I can get a hot fudge sundae with peanuts elsewhere, but it’s a sad excuse for the real deal–the one and only Peanut Buster Parfait.

Shanna K Houser Contributor/Freelance Writer

editor@urbanmediatoday.com

Be the King of the Backyard Barbecue – Tips for Crafting the Perfect Burger

by beconrad

 

Summer is the perfect time to grill the perfect burger. If you are getting ready to fire up the grill and invite your friends for a barbecue, proper planning and execution are important. The perfect burger does not just happen – it is the result of painstaking preparation. Here are some tips you can use to create a burger that will have everyone at the party asking for seconds.

 

.   Fresh is Best – A pack of frozen hamburgers will do in a pinch, but if you have time to plan fresh is always best. Pack your cooler with ice, stop at your favorite meat market and ask for a fresh ground burger.

 

.   A Little Fat is Fine – While we all want to eat better, a little extra fat is good for grilling burgers. The additional fat will provide a juicier burger, while leaner cuts tend to dry out on the grill.

 

.   Let Your Thumb Do the Work – When crafting those delicious burgers, use your thumb to place an indent in the center of each patty. That indent will help the burger cook more evenly and allow it to get done in the center without burning along the edges or on the sides.

 

.   Experiment with Different Cheeses – Swiss and cheddar are fine, but you do not have to settle for the same old thing. Provide your guests with something different this year, with an assortment of provolone, pepper jack, blue cheese and even brie.

 

.   Keep a close eye on the grill. The high heat gas and charcoal grills emit mean food can burn in an instant. Pay close attention to your grilling duties – and never leave the grill unattended.

 

.   Set Out a Bun Bar – The serving table at most backyard barbecues starts with a back of store-bought hamburger buns. You can do better than that. Set out a bun bar with sourdough bread, Texas toast, pita bread and other options. Pick up your favorites at the grocery store, or invite each of your guests to bring their favorites.

 

.   Provide Unusual Condiments — You will want to provide plenty of mustard, ketchup and relish for your guests, but do not be afraid to set out some more unusual choices. From barbecue sauce and mayonnaise to steak sauce and horseradish, there are plenty of ways to top off the perfect burger.

 

There is an art to grilling, and artistry to creating the perfect burger. Whether you are grilling in your own backyard or manning the grill at a friend’s barbecue, the tips listed above can help you craft the perfect burger and keep the guests coming back for more. editor@urbanmediatoday.com

 

Change Your Life And Become More Fit!

Getting in shape has tons of benefits, such as preventing illness and injury, but it can also help you gain strength, gain confidence, and look better. In fact, most people have no idea how to get started on a program to become fit. The following article will give you some tips on how to start a fitness program.

Set up your weightlifting routine around your fitness goals. If you are trying to create large, bulky muscle you’ll want to do more weight, but with longer rest periods between sets and between workouts. If you are trying to develop lean muscles with high endurance, you want to lift less weight, but do it more often and with shorter rest times.

When looking for another way to improve fitness sometimes one needs to look no further than their pet dog. By taking the dog on walks around the neighborhood or specific trails an individual can increase the amount of exercise they and their pet get. Apart from all the extra exercise and the benefits from that one will strengthen the bond between owner and their pet.

To become more fit, you need only put one foot in front of the other. Walking is an excellent way to improve your aerobic fitness level. You will get your heart pumping and muscles working. You can start small, walking a little bit more every day. Your body will adapt, and soon you will be able to walk miles and miles.

Do not think of the process of getting fit as a short-term exercise with a cut-off date. Fitness is a long-term commitment. In fact, it should be a permanent one. When building a fitness routine consider not just the immediate benefits but whether or not the routine is one that can be sustained indefinitely. Fitness is for life, not just for bikini season.

To stay fit it’s important to break bad food habits. While a healthy diet contributes greatly to overall fitness, it can be one of the hardest goals to achieve. Most people enter a fitness program accustomed to eating unhealthy foods. This is a habit that can be broken. The quicker the fitness enthusiast acclimates to a healthy diet the faster cravings for junk food will disappear.

A good tip to help you lose weight is to exercise moderately. A lot of people make the mistake of going too hard at first. They’ll do over two hours of cardio in one session and pretty soon they’ll burn themselves out. It’s best to go with a more moderate workout routine.

It’s important to replenish your body’s sodium levels when you exercise, so make sure you aren’t letting them dip too low. Most sports drinks contain plenty of sodium, or you can add an electrolyte supplement to water. Keep an eye out for any symptoms of low sodium, such as headaches, muscle cramps, and disorientation.

A good nutritional tip is to keep eating healthy even when you’re trying to put on muscle. A lot of people think they can eat whatever they want when they try to gain muscle, but that kind of reckless eating will only result in fat gain. Instead, keep eating healthy as you normally would.

Use your workout equipment in an order to see maximum results. The order should be dumbbells first, regular barbells second and machines last. Doing exercises in this order will ensure that you don’t get fatigued too early in your workout, by engaging in the more labor-intensive equipment first. This also works your muscles out, from smaller to larger.

You can prevent illness if it is really difficult for you to exercise during the week or if you just don’t do it at all by adding two 20 minute aerobic or weight workout sessions to your weekly schedule. This small amount of exercise can help you avoid sick days.

When shopping for shoes for your fitness workouts, try going at the latter part of the day. This is because, at the end of the day, your feet swell and are at their largest. You should leave at least half an inch between your toe and the end of the shoe.

Giving a part of your home or your car a deep cleaning will not only improve the look of your house or vehicle but burn a lot of calories. Going to the gym or setting a time to exercise is not always necessary when you keep active and do high-intensity activities.

Before you begin squatting heavy weight, you must practice squatting with proper form. First, you should stand in front of a bench. Then, as you squat down, you should imagine that you are about to sit down. As your butt touches the bench, push back up. Attempt this with a light bar and as you improve gradually increase your weight.

When you are doing your working routine, try not to use a weight belt. Constantly using a weight belt can actually weaken the muscles in your lower back and abdominal muscles. Use it only when you are going to do maximal lifts in exercises including the overhead press, deadlifts, and squats.

A great fitness tip that can help you lift more weight is to start developing your weaker muscles. Sometimes it’s your weaker muscles that are preventing you from increasing the weight you can lift. By developing these weak muscles, you’ll be surprised at how much more you can lift.

The fitness of your chest if very important when dealing with structure and form while working out. If you want to achieve a balanced workout, you must work your chest as well as your other muscle groups. If you only work out your chest, these muscles will grow stronger disproportional to the rest of your muscles.

Walking is one of the best ways to maintain good fitness. It is a low impact exercise so it is easy for people of all ages. You can incorporate it easily by walking to the places you frequent that are near you. Walking provides a fantastic aerobic workout if you maintain an appropriate pace.

As a fit individual, you enjoy a world of benefits for both your mind and body. Use the information shared here. By following these tips, you will soon see your fitness level start to improve. editor@urbanmediatoday.com

Food the new way?

I paid $17 for a salad today. To be fair, it was an entree sized “organic, sustainable” salad and fresh strawberry lemonade was also included in the purchase. When it arrived, it looked amazing, like you’d see on a commercial–mixed greens, avocado, cucumbers, tomatoes, garlic chickpeas and ginger soy dressing. Was it worth it? That depends on your perspective. Worth it in the sense of enjoying pesticide-free, organic, recommended daily allowances of veggies and protein? Yes. Worth it in regards to fulfilling internalized societal standards of being “good” or obedient to healthy food choices? Ugh…yes. Still trying to turn that voice off. But the taste? No. Return on investment (i.e., being satiated for several hours)? No.

Truly healthy or “clean” eating is an acquired taste to which I am slowly acclimating. It’s not that I’ve never eaten nutritious foods and enjoyed them, however, with the expection of fruit, they were not my childhood staples.  As with all things we can trace our problem back to a well-meaning mother and nefarious corporations. Growing up, our kitchen held two extremes:  inexpensive, processed food guaranteed to feed and satisfy three growing kids with little waste as money was tight, or “diet food” for when my mom rejoined Weight Watchers to lose a few pounds. Diet food was cottage cheese (sidenote: there has never been a food I have wanted to like more than cottage cheese, but I just CAN’T. And I have mixed feelings about it because who in their right mind enjoys a food that looks like that?!) and pineapple, Weight Watchers brand wheat bread, a head of iceberg (do people eat  iceberg anymore?) drowning in light (not to be confused with “lite” as in Spam or Miracle Whip) Italian dressing. Such diet food as I now know, is not truly nutritious. It, like most of the foods that clutter the Standard American Diet (SAD—wow, such a telling acroynym) are highly processed, devoid of naturally occuring nutrients and filled with addictive sugars and flavors.  I don’t know how long it was before I knew that vanilla came from a bean and not a bottle. After years of grocery brand blocks of vanilla flavored ice cream, I thought that Breyers was diet ice cream. And cheese–I don’t think I ate actual cheese, and not “cheese product”(looking at you, Kraft and Velveeta) until maybe high school.

Essentially food has always basically been divided into two categories for me: regular and diet. And eating “diet” food was expressly for the purpose of losing weight, not enjoyment or satiation. About 8 years ago, I naively, yet seriously asked a coworker and friend if she ate so healthy because she used to be fat. She laughed and said that it was just how she chose to eat and had done so for a long time. As a part-time dog sitter in tech rich San Francisco, I get an intimate look at the eating habits of the inhabitants  of Silicon Valley and it’s so…pure. Food delivery, pressed juices, steel cut oats, unsweetened butter (did I miss the memo on the dangers of salted butter?), unflavored rice cakes and natural peanut butter. And it all seems to be eaten unironically and with great satisfaction.  I’ve always hated commercials where women (its always women) ravenously and joyously gulp down some bullshit “guiltless” treat, as if it tasted as good or even better than what they really wanted to eat. But my sneak peek into other peoples’ pantries  has made me consider that there’s some grain (get it) of truth in this advertsing and that everyone’s palates are different.

Truly healthful eating that focuses on human nutritional needs, not dieting and “diet” versions of processed foods comes as a bit of a culture shock.  In choosing to consume in this manner, there is an inherent level of responsibility I’ve never considered  or previously cared to take on which is not just to choose food based on taste or for the promises the packaging makes, but instead to be informed about the food, if and how it is processed and its effects upon the body. Indulging in tasty and filling food is a (intentionally) hard habit to break, not to mention it seems ridiculously more economical. I say seems because I keep hearing indirectly that it is possible to eat a healthy, non-processed diet on a budget. But as someone who never remembers coupons and is not a stict adherent to budgets (hence the $17 salad), I have some doubts.  And taste, taste, taste! In my calculations, today’s salad should have been quite delicious, but it was quite the opposite.  I am not blessed with culinary apptitude. The only seasonings I know how to use are salt (lemon pepper), salt (seasoning salt), salt (garlic salt), salt (soy sauce), and salt (salt). Do I now need to learn what exactly cumin is? Buy a chia pet and grow my own basil? Time will tell. But for now, I am placing a $10 cap on all salads.

Shanna Houser Contributor  news@urbanmediatoday.com

High School: Now and Then

Last week I attended the inaugural graduation of the KIPP San Francisco College Prep High School one day after the 20th anniversary of my own high school graduation. I think it’s safe to say things have really changed. First, let me say that it does indeed feel like I’ve been out of high school for 20 years. When my best friend from high school recently reminded me of this historic occasion, I texted back:”Unlike the 10 and 15 yr anniversaries, this one feels realistic to me. Lol–like I feel young enough but I know my ass ain’t that young anymore.” Chalk that up to increasing joint tenderness and my ignorance of most artists to which “the children” as I call them, pledge their allegiance. Suffice it to say, there were many differences between my high school graduation and theirs. To name a few:

 

  1. These graduates did not have to wait 24 hours at best (if you were a big baller and you had the money and time to get overnight photo printing) to see the photos from their big day. Hell, I don’t even think my family owned a digital camera at the time, although I believe they existed in 1997. Last week’s show, hotel, and afterparty were Instagrammed, Facebook Lived, and Snapchatted within an inch of its life.

 

  1. SO. MUCH. SWAG. All that adorned my gown was honor cords and I was quite proud of those measly little strings. Not these kids nowadays. Hair was done, nails were done, everything BIG…including BIG HEADS! Yes, parents were waving HUGE face cut outs of their children on sticks! They also had legs for days–candy leis, flower leis, money leis (including one where the money was origami-ed into the shape of a weed plant), honor cords, ethnic stoles and sashes and huge individual letter balloons spelling out their names. I blame capitalism and the insidious rise of kindergarten and elementary school graduations for this. Years ago when I worked at another charter school in DC–this one an elementary school, I couldn’t wrap my head around the need for literal graduations for elementary school kids. Like Chris Rock said, “You’re SUPPOSED TO” finish elementary school!!! I was shocked to see independent “bruh-mans” pull up outside with carts of flowers and balloons then, but I could have never guessed how far it would eventually go.

 

  1. I love the new-ish trend of decorating your cap. It shows individuality in a ceremony that demands conformity. I shared a room with the art teacher and some of these kids definitely put more effort into their caps than any of their art projects. There was bedazzling, family tributes, Fifth Harmony lyrics, Star Wars references and even Ewok ears. During prom season, most of the boys cajoled one of their intended date’s friends to make prom-posal signs for them. I wondered how many of these caps were also outsourced.

 

  1. Speaking of decoration, I would have never been able to keep up with today’s performative requirements of femininity. False eyelashes, perfectly shaped, shaded or drawn-on eyebrows, nail art, weaves and pounds of paint masquerading as makeup. And how could I forget the shoes! I feel like shoes with heels over 3 inches would’ve been banned from my graduation although I honestly don’t think anyone would have even considered wearing them. Nowadays, it’s a heel fashion show–platform heels, stilettos, and gladiator stilettos. Between all their decorative accouterments weighing them down and their towering heels, I was afraid some girls wouldn’t make it across the stage. Luckily no ankles were harmed.

 

  1. Hands down my favorite thing about the students at KIPP SF are their close bonds. They truly are a family. They call each other sister and brother and their upper-class kin mother, father, grandma and grandpa and they mean it. Affectionate, heartfelt hugs are as ubiquitous in the school as hot Cheetos and chili lime chicken ramen noodles, and graduation day was no exception. My core group of high school friends dissolved by my first summer home from college. I don’t see that happening here. Then again, they have many more options to stay in touch. When I started college, I was one of the few people with my own cell phone (Thanks, Dad) and Facebook was still just under a decade away.

 

High school graduations are a special time, a modern cultural rite of passage. Despite the 20 year difference, what remained the same was the hope, excitement, and anticipation of freedom promised as a reward for one’s hard work. Congratulations Class of 2017–you did it! Welcome to the rest of your lives. Have fun and pay attention. 20 years will be gone before you know it.

Shanna K Houser Freelance writer

BS: Penn State-MA: Sofia University

Simple Tips To Educate You About Fitness In The Following Article

While it is true that becoming fit can take a long time, there are things you can do today to start a fitness plan or to make the one you have better. Try the ideas in this article to jump-start your fitness plan. The effort you put into it will be worth it.

Even if you are using your fitness program to build muscle, you can benefit from cardiovascular exercise. Cardiovascular exercise will help build the endurance of your muscles, as well as, increase your lung capacity so you can work out longer without becoming fatigued. In addition, it increases blood flow to your muscles so you can gain more muscle mass from other exercises.

To maintain your fitness level, you must be consistent. Rather than participating in extreme exercise and dieting occasionally, you should develop the habit of practicing a moderate exercise and diet plan daily, on an ongoing basis. When you get 15 minutes to half an hour of light to moderate exercise daily and eat a balanced, healthful diet, you will gain and maintain the best in fitness.

If you want to bench press without injuring yourself, proper form is a must. Remember to always lie completely flat on the bench. A great way to always maintain the proper form is to leave your feet firmly planted on the ground, and always grip the bar no more than shoulder width apart. This will allow a fluid, natural motion and enable you to keep a solid form.

Swimming is a great form of exercise and it doesn’t put any stress on the body. When you swim you are working all the muscles in your body giving your whole body a nice relaxed workout. If you are not used to swimming then it may take awhile to get used to it but you’ll come to enjoy it in time.

To get the most out of your cardio workout, try interval training. Go as fast as you can for two minutes, and then rest for a minute. By moving your heart rate up and down like this, your workout is maximized, which means those calories are getting burned quicker than ever.

Determine what your goals will be for each training session. Shorter training will more effective than long sessions. Try to aim for multiple 15-minute sessions and focus on just one or two different training goals for each period. This type of training will provide more frequent reinforcement without overwhelming your pup all at once.

Join the kids at night for a quick game of tag, hide and seek, or some other physically active game. The time will fly away as you forget the troubles of the day and marvel in the energy that kids seem to just radiate. That energy is catching! Use their playfulness to your advantage in your quest to get fit.

As you begin to recover from a painful muscle injury or strain, gradually increase the intensity and duration of your recovery workout rather than jumping right back into your previous workout routine. After each workout, apply ice to the injured area for half an hour, then repeat the process with added intensity the next day.

Even the most seasoned runner encounters muscle soreness in their calves upon waking in the morning. Try this: sleep on your stomach and allow your feet to hang over the side of your bed. Overnight, the effects of gravity will lightly stretch your muscles, making them noticeably less sore when you wake up the next morning.

Always warm up first. Muscles can generate much more power when they are warm. Usually, legs and arms are cooler than your trunk region, and warming them up before getting to your main exercise program gets the blood flowing to your muscles. This means you can have a stronger workout.

If you have a finger or two that always seems to get jammed during sports or training, try taping them. All you do is tape them to a neighboring finger as a bit of added support. This added strength will be less likely to cause those fingers to bend at strange angles.

Make sure to replace your workout shoes after a while to avoid having major knee injuries. It is generally suggested that you determine an expiration date of sorts on your workout shoes. To calculate this, figure that shoes generally last for about 500 miles. Take the number 500 and divide it by your weekly mileage to see how long your shoes should last.

While you work out your biceps, you should bend your wrists when you come up for each curl. By doing this, you force your biceps to work harder. This will, in effect, increase the net amount of muscle that you will gain and lead to a better workout.

When recovering from an injury, you should try and work out as soon as possible. Start out with only a few minutes here and there to test out if you are truly better. If you are, then you should start working out and build up the strength that you had lost while injured.

A great tip to help you get in shape is to start playing rugby. Although rugby can be a very tough sport, it can also get you in very good shape from all the running and strenuous activity. If you have the stomach for it, rugby can be a great way to get fit.

After you workout, it’s important to do cool down exercises. Exercising causes your blood vessels to enlarge which makes your heart work harder to maintain your stamina during a workout. Cool down exercises help your body to gradually return to its normal functioning state and prevent unnecessary cardiovascular strain.

It is worth your time and effort to improve your fitness level. The ideas you’ve read are a great way to make a fitness plan or to improve the one you have. It may take a time to become truly fit, but don’t put it off. Start today. You are worth it!  editor@urbanmediatoday.com

Broke? Learn Employment Advice That Will Help You Get Ahead For Once!

Are you looking for a job? Are you looking for tips that will help make your search for employment more effective? If so, you have come to the right place. The tips that follow can help you use your time and resources wisely when you are looking to be employed someplace new.

Make sure that you eat a healthy breakfast the morning of your interview. This is very important as you may get nervous during your interview, and you will want to feel as comfortable as possible. A well-balanced meal will also provide you with the energy that you will need to succeed.

At any new job, you should learn as much as possible about everything. This also means to learn about other departments that are not your responsibility. This will make you an in-disposable asset in the company which will protect your job during periods of layoffs and/or reduced hours.

One of the most important variables, when you are trying to land a job, is the contacts that you have on the inside. Think about all of the friends and acquaintances that you have made in the past and try to find out if any of them work at the company. This can give you a tremendous edge for hiring purposes.

If you are looking for a new job, you can skip to the front of the line if you have recently taken some classes. Sign up for enrichment courses every once in a while since this will show employers that you plan to stay at the top of your game.

Be prepared to fight for the raise that you deserve. Keep track of what you bring to the company throughout the year so that you can make your case when the time comes. Your boss will respect you for it and it could easily lead to a much larger raise than what you would have received otherwise.

Learn how to translate your job skills. There have been several industries that have taken substantial hits, and they will not be recovering anytime soon, so you may have to look outside of your field for some opportunities. Furthermore, keep track of which fields have grown recently. Using this knowledge can help you see how your skills can be translated into these growing opportunities. You can also use apprenticeships, internships, and some part-time transition roles.

If your work can be done either day or night offer flexible schedules. This will expand the pool of employees that you are choosing from, and whenever there are more candidates available, chances are better that you get better employees. This also will make your employee feel that they are freer to set their schedule and live their life as needed.

If you want to move up in your company, network with employees outside of your immediate department. Volunteer to be on committees if the opportunity is available. This is a good way get exposure to other departments. You never know if a position will open up in another department. If that hiring manager knows you, you have an advantage.

Sarcasm and cynicism have no place in a job interview. While many people use these tones as a means of breaking the ice or establishing rapport, neither sentiment is particularly effective in a professional context. Potential employers are more interested in the ability to communicate with others in a positive, encouraging and supportive manner. A negative tone may also come across as indicative of someone who holds grudges and is prone to conflict.

If you’re nervous about an interview, think about it differently. Think of it as a “test” interview. Imagine that you’ve already got the job, or that you’re not interested in the job at all. This instantly relaxes you, and you can stop being nervous and just have a conversation. A lot of the time, that will get you hired.

As an older job seeker, remember that it is perfectly alright to be vague about years. You do not have to say that you have had thirty years of experience doing the job for which you are applying. Simply say that you are very experienced or that you have thorough experience from the ground floor up. It’s alright to be creative. Your exact age is your own business.

You must give off the right vibe and first impression during an interview. You have to be positive and have a smile on your face, but don’t force it. This will give your interviewer a great impression and can be a deciding factor in the hiring process.

Before an interview, practice interviewing with another person. This person can be a trusted friend or relative. When you role play, you can practice how to answer those interview questions on the spot. They’ll let you know how you come off and which answers would work best.

Take your reference letters with you to the interview. Lots of folks talk about having references, but it is better to have actual letters on hand. This way, your future employer does not need to search to get in contact with your references.

Review what your skills are. If you think you need to brush up on skills, take some classes. You don’t need to take a bunch of classes to get a type of advanced degree if you’re unable to pay for it. Any additional classes you can take to improve your skills will help you land a new, better job. So take some classes to increase your skills and pump up your resume.

If you have managerial or supervisory experience, you may be tempted to include testimonials solely from higher-ups. This is excellent information, but you can take it further by including feedback from your subordinates. Hiring managers look for candidates who can connect and build rapport with employees at all levels of an organization.

Hopefully, you can take what you have learned here and find a job you will love. Try out these tips and use them when you are looking for new employment. Don’t get discouraged, it takes some time to find a new job and before you know it, you’ll be working your new dream job. editor@urbanmediatoday.com

Be the King of the Backyard Barbecue – Tips for Crafting the Perfect Burger

by beconrad

 

Summer is the perfect time to grill the perfect burger. If you are getting ready to fire up the grill and invite your friends for a barbecue, proper planning and execution are important. The perfect burger does not just happen – it is the result of painstaking preparation. Here are some tips you can use to create a burger that will have everyone at the party asking for seconds.

 

.   Fresh is Best – A pack of frozen hamburgers will do in a pinch, but if you have time to plan fresh is always best. Pack your cooler with ice, stop at your favorite meat market and ask for the fresh ground burger.

 

.   A Little Fat is Fine – While we all want to eat better, a little extra fat is good for grilling burgers. The additional fat will provide a juicier burger, while leaner cuts tend to dry out on the grill.

 

.   Let Your Thumb Do the Work – When crafting those delicious burgers, use your thumb to place an indent in the center of each patty. That indent will help the burger cook more evenly and allow it to get done in the center without burning along the edges or on the sides.

 

.   Experiment with Different Cheeses – Swiss and cheddar are fine, but you do not have to settle for the same old thing. Provide your guests with something different this year, with an assortment of provolone, pepper jack, blue cheese and even brie.

 

.   Keep a close eye on the grill. The high heat gas and charcoal grills emit mean food can burn in an instant. Pay close attention to your grilling duties – and never leave the grill unattended.

 

.   Set Out a Bun Bar – The serving table at most backyard barbecues starts with a back of store-bought hamburger buns. You can do better than that. Set out a bun bar with sourdough bread, Texas toast, pita bread and other options. Pick up your favorites at the grocery store, or invite each of your guests to bring their favorites.

 

.   Provide Unusual Condiments — You will want to provide plenty of mustard, ketchup and relish for your guests, but do not be afraid to set out some more unusual choices. From barbecue sauce and mayonnaise to steak sauce and horseradish, there are plenty of ways to top off the perfect burger.

 

There is an art to grilling, and artistry to creating the perfect burger. Whether you are grilling in your own backyard or manning the grill at a friend’s barbecue, the tips listed above can help you craft the perfect burger and keep the guests coming back for more.