You won’t need to Train like an Athlete to Profit from Exercise

By now we should all understand the health improvements that we get through doing exercises. We won’t get into these now, but comprehensives research has let us know that any amount of exercise assists us physically, mentally and emotionally. Precisely what we often do not realize is that you don’t have to exercise like you are preparing for high-level competition to reap substantial benefits. Just a little bit can dramatically help.

In my view training for twenty or thirty minutes four or five days weekly are able to keep you at the health and fitness ranges that are quite adequate. But that entails actually getting something accomplished in that time. Leaning against a piece of fitness equipment texting on the cellular phone won’t count toward time you exercise. And intensity levels make an impact; the more intensity you bring to any work out the more oxygenated blood actually gets to every area in the body. We are just beginning to scratch the surface to understand how significant this is for preventing disease and allowing us with aging healthier.

Yet any exercising is helpful, and it also does not have to be highly intense. Obviously a professional athlete who’s training for their sport won’t be able to train for 20 minutes daily and look to reach the fitness levels they need to be competitive. But nearly all of us aren’t in that classification. The actual fact is we all have significantly more to accomplish within our everyday lives than prepare the body, and if we feel it is crucial to dedicate two hours in the fitness center each day, seldom will any of us be able to find the time. We end up putting it off until the future. For the majority of us devoting a small amount of time to exercise will probably be enough.

Yet with people who find themselves completely sedentary there is always hope. It has been learned that for someone who’s entirely sedentary, just by getting up and moving about can help. Most of the health rewards are going to be found in the first twenty to thirty minutes, and pretty much everything longer than that really is an additional benefit. Taking into consideration roughly two-thirds of Americans will get no exercise at all, merely standing up and walking around for twenty minutes is going to be a great start.

Of course once you get off with that small initial step don’t stop there. Other studies indicate that people within the work force that exercised even for a short period of time performed considerably better on work out days in the following ways:

1.Workload management (74% said they had been more efficient). 2.Mental and interpersonal performance (79%). 3.Time management (72%) 4.Motivated to what they do (40% reported they felt more motivated).

A well-balanced workout plan has been found to be the best way to go. This will involve a mix of stretching, balance, cardiovascular and anaerobic exercise, plus workout routines that keep your core muscles in good shape. But it doesn’t need to be going to the gym and fastidiously training. Bear in mind, almost all of us won’t be getting our bodies fit for high-quality competition. We’re finding out that merely standing every 10 minutes and moving around a little prevents the body from deteriorating the way it will from sitting for long periods of time. Don’t underestimate the undeniable fact that each bit of movement will help.

There are many things we can do to help us become healthier and to age better, and exercise is certainly a big part of it. Seniors are now getting more into yoga and other exercises such as Pilates to keep young. Jim O’Connell is a writer and avid health advocate now living in Chicago.

Wow! The Hp Velotechnik Grasshopper Fx Folding Recumbent Bike Is All That, And More.

Positive aspects: Folds quickly and easily, aerodynamic and fast, full suspension, great high-speed handling, accessories look great.
Negative aspects: Optional under-seat steering upgrade requires a skilled rider.

First, I should reveal that I’m in the industry — Im an HP Velotechnik dealer in New York City. However, I’m also a happy owner of a Grasshopper fx (GH fx or just GH), which serves as my luxury urban ride. Like everyone in New York, I don’t have any extra space; I store my Grasshopper in my home office. If I want to take a bent with me on the train or bus, the GH fxs fast fold and carrying bag are ideal. Also, to grab my space on the street, I like a fast ride with nimble, positive handling. And since I have to lift and carry the bike any time I go out — down/up the stairs of my apartment building, down the stairs to train platforms, wedge it into elevators, etc. — a light and compact bent is a good bent, too. Lastly, I ride in all weather, year-round, and need to carry cargo, so strong, well-designed racks, fenders and light systems are a must.

The Fold: quick and easy.
Another reviewer on Bentrider Online has criticized the folding mechanism, but I can’t imagine what the gripe could be. I like it. And I know more than just a little about folding bikes — I also own a Brompton folding upright, possibly the world’s most successful folding bike, and a Montague folding MTB, which, in my hands, is possibly the worlds most abused folding bike. The Grasshopper (in my hands) folds as well as any of them — easily, quickly, smoothly and intuitively. The frame is stiff and straight with a strong hinge design. Ride quality is that of a top-end fold-less bent. And because it fits into a bag, I can carry it onto trains or buses as luggage. In other words, its a true folding bike in every way (though not as small as a Brompton).

Aerodynamic: Fast on the flats and downs, slightly slower uphill.
People are often surprised to learn that the seat height on a GH fx is 5″ lower than the bottom bracket which, with the dual 20 wheels, provides a moderately low center of gravity. In spite of this fairly aggressive design, the seat height of 21 and the appropriate front-end geometry make this a full-fledged touring and commuting bent. The GH fx is fast on the flats and stable at speed, even when fully loaded. My machine has the optional under-seat steering, but the standard GH fx comes with aerodynamic above-seat steering. Sometimes I wish I had the speed and turning advantage of above seat steering, but I like the relaxed comfort of USS. Its a toss up.

It goes without saying that its hard, slow work pedaling a bent up a long steep hill. Add to this that the GH fx, like any dual 20″ bent, is additionally challenging to balance at slow speeds, like 3 – 5 mph. Some novice riders might benefit from the stability provided by the gyroscopic action of a big rear wheel (such as on a HPV Street Machine), instead of the GHs small rear wheel. However, in my experience, the GH handles better on hill climbs than other small-wheeled bents, and, at any rate, as you become skilled and stronger, hill climbing only gets easier. (For context, when I talk about hills, Im referring to 7 to 12 degree climbs.)

Handling at speed.
At normal and high speeds, the GH fx handles like any HP Velotechnik — its positively awesome. With an intuitive and stable ride, and a moderately low center of gravity, it feels secure and responsive on the turns. Its an unforgettable riding experience.

At low speeds, it’s fine, but the optional under-seat steering (USS) upgrade on the GH fx puts a fly in the ointment. As a result, unless you really must have USS on the GH fx, or are an experienced rider, Id recommend choosing the standard above-seat steering configuration.

Heres what you need to know about the under-seat steering configuration on the GH fx. First, the ointment: everything about the bike is outstanding, just as youd expect from the minds behind HP Velotechnik. But, as is normal with USS (but admittedly frustrating), theres a limit to how sharply you can turn at slow speed before the handlebar (or your hand) hits the seat. Therefore, when you need to make a particularly sharp turn, you need a little momentum (and good balance) so you can bank into a sharp turn.

For me personally, it rarely creates problems in normal New York City riding, which is full of 90-degree turns at intersections, fast starts and sudden stops. The only time I find it truly irritating is when I need to ride at walking speed around obstacles like bridge stanchions (or tourists) or when stopping at a red light where I also need to make a close right angle turn (in this last case, I simply pick up the bike and pivot). Mind you, this is a common issue with under-seat steering bents as well as long wheelbase bents, so admittedly Im nitpicking an otherwise phenomenal bent.

All in all, this means the handling of the Grasshopper fx has a longer learning curve than other HP Velotechnik bents. The balance issue caused by the two 20 wheels is no big deal and simply requires time in the saddle. The limitations of the under-seat steering option are easiest resolved by simply ordering the standard above-seat configuration or…putting in time and practicing your handling skills.

Weight-weenies be gone: this is what a high-quality, fully-suspended, folding bike weighs.
I can lift the Grasshopper fx with one hand, so I dont really consider its 33.75 lbs. to be heavy. Still, for a fully-suspended, folding bent, rated to carry 275 lbs. and designed for touring and commuting, it would be hard to find the excess weight (maybe a half-pound could be knocked off the drive train and wheels of the stock build). It is unreasonable to compare this type of machine to a 26-pound non-suspended, non-folding Volae Team, for example. Good rear suspension adds weight as do front shocks. Solid, high-quality folding mechanisms add weight. And touring/commuting bikes, as a rule, are over-built to withstand punishing back roads and still keep rolling.

Comparing the GH fx to my tiny, unsuspended Brompton, which weighs about 31 lbs. (with hub dynamo), or my Surly Cross-Check (diamond frame) which weighs about 30 lbs., I cant consider the 33.75 lbs. Grasshopper fx to be heavy, especially for a bent. Does it make me work harder while riding up a hill? Undoubtedly, but I dont notice. And, at any rate, Im happy to have full suspension and a quality build when I hit bad asphalt while ripping downhill in the Appalachian Mountains.

Options and accessories fit easily and perfectly.
The Grasshopper fxs accessories attach neatly and elegantly, as youd expect from HP Velotechnik. Fenders mount securely and look good. Racks install quickly, are incredibly strong, and look like they belong. The kickstand holds the bike firmly, even when fully loaded. The lights have appropriate mounting points and electrical cables can be run through the frame. The GH fx always looks stylish and classy and even lycra-clad roadies give it the cool bike salute.

Long and short, in skilled hands, whether in the above-seat steering config, or with under-seat steering, its an amazing ride that does everything, goes anywhere and folds easily to boot.

Wooden Train Toys Like Thomas Train Can Help Kids Social Development

Wooden train toys are popular with kids the world over. Theyre bright, theyre durable, and theyre fun for toddlers and preschool kids. Manufacturers of wooden train brands like Thomas Train and Melissa and Doug have thoughtfully designed their products with the little people in mind, making them safe and colorful way to have fun with never ending play time activities.

But wooden train toys are more than popular play time activities. They are also great tools for social development of young kids. This article provides examples of how Thomas Train facilitates development of social skills.

Everyone is Special – a key component of childhood social development is recognizing that everyone is special. Thomas Train toys help teach children the value of being an individual, as each train has its own personality. Draw your childs attention to this by asking them to draw a picture of their favorite wooden train toys while talking about their favorite character. Point out the similarities between the train and the child, emphasizing your childs good qualities, and pointing out what makes them special. Next, talk about your favorite train, or a siblings favorite train, and do the same exercise, pointing out the differences, and how differences make us special.

Thomas May I? – Similar to Simon Says, this game helps children learn to follow directions while still having fun. If Thomas isnt your childs favorite character, feel free to pick another. Have children form a group about twenty feet away, then call out Thomas says you may–. Before completing the directed action, children must ask Thomas, may I? to stay in the game. Whoever makes it up to the front gets to play Thomas. Let children take turns choosing which character will be in charge. This game stimulates a lot of social interaction, allowing kids the opportunity to practice and refine social skills.

Associative Play – Wooden train toys allow children to express themselves while also learning to work with others. How? The design of Thomas Train toys caters to children as individuals, allowing them to build the track to suit their own personal vision. This same design, however, allows several children to share the same set of wooden train toys. This means children can share pieces, passing them back and forth and communicating while still playing in a way that suits their individual personalities.

Free Play – Though its tempting to structure playtime, free play is just as important as any activity. Let children sit with Thomas toys and listen as they make up their own stories and structure. If they look to you for ideas or advice, resist the urge to make suggestions. Instead, encourage children to experiment. Ask questions about what they think should happen, or even why theyre asking you for advice. If your child is still unsure, consider switching activities for a while. Its possible he or she is uncomfortable with independent play, or just needs some reassurance. Snuggle up with a book for a while and let your child get comfortable. When you think theyre ready, talk about why they were uncomfortable with free play. Take baby steps. Dont push, but dont be too soft, either.

Wooden train toys are fun for the whole family. Theyre an excellent way to encourage group play and social development. By selecting quality brands like Melissa and Doug or Thomas Train toys, children can explore their individuality in a safe, encouraging, and fun environment.