How to Prevent Low Back Pain – A Physiotherapist’s Perspective

Many people will encounter low back pain at some point in their lives. Usually this is intermittent and after a fleeting struggle, many episodes of low back pain will resolve of their own free will. However, due to a more sedentary lifestyle and increased awareness surrounding ‘back heath’, the incidence of this problem, as seen by health professionals, has grown beyond measure over recent years. The question on everyone’s lips appears to be “how can I best look after my back and prevent back pain?” Well here are some simple steps you can take to help protect yourself against the rising incidence of low back pain and to restructure your life in a way that facilitates maintenance of a healthy spine.

It is important that you take the following information at face value, as it is sourced from my personal experience as a musculoskeletal physiotherapist. In no way should it be used to undermine the advice given to you by your doctor or other health professional.

1. Good Posture

Good posture is crucial to maintain correct alignment of the joints and the surrounding muscles. Optimal posture (I say ‘optimal’ and not ‘normal’, as there are many forms of ‘normal’) ensures that the forces transmitted throughout the body are distributed in a way that is symmetrical, most effective and requires the least amount of effort.

Just by observing others around you, it becomes apparent that there are many different shapes and sizes of body. For example, racket sport players often present with a forward shouldered posture (i.e. their shoulders are slightly rounded) due to the constant overhead action associated with their sport. Repetitive movement can over time, result in muscle imbalances in the body, which in this case, results in the muscles at the front of the shoulder becoming dominant and shortened; hence pulling the shoulders forward. However, posture itself is not only influenced by the sports and hobbies we participate in, but also by our chosen occupation and congenital factors (you’re simply born that way). Unfortunately, there is little wiggle room with regards to changing congenital factors (for example, an overly curved spine), however we can influence the other two parts of the equation to ensure maintenance of a healthy spine (and body).

As mentioned earlier, prolonged, poor posture can result in the associated shortening and lengthening of the soft tissues, therefore affecting joint alignment. Muscles and their relative attachments to the joints can exert abnormal forces on a joint, which can lead to the stresses of movement being transmitted through the wrong points on the body. Similarly, the muscles and joints over time, may become predisposed to overuse and can lead to joint inflammation and fibrosis (the formation of ‘muscle knots’). The best example for back pain, is the role of the deep core muscles, which function as a muscular corset to help stabilise the trunk and hip/pelvis. In most cases, the deep core (or stabiliser) muscles become neglected; the body therefore, seeks out a compensation strategy by utilising the larger and more superficial muscle groups (known as the ‘mobiliser’ muscles) to fulfill this stabilisation role. Over time, these muscles can become overworked and fatigued, which manifests as muscle tightness and potentially, muscle spasm.

Of course, it is all well and good to talk about good posture and the benefits it brings, but what fundamentally constitutes a ‘good’ posture? Essentially, an effective posture if one that promotes symmetry and protects the body from potential injury (and therefore pain). Going against logic, it is not always the case that persons with bad posture suffer from joint or muscle related complaints. Indeed, it has been my experience that persons with visibly ‘bad’ posture can go about their days quite happily without interference from pain due to being able to adequately compensate for their bad posture. However, a more in depth analysis and increased awareness of how bad posture may predispose to pain, takes on far greater importance once pain is present or has been present, previously.

It is my view that everyone can make a difference to their own posture, whilst working with what nature has provided. The most simplistic way to do this is to maintain symmetry in your everyday functional activities, therefore avoiding overuse via repetitive motion. Again, it is important to be aware that some occupations/sports will require repetitive motion, in which case utilising the opposing limb, frequently changing activity throughout your day or seeking regular massage therapy can all be simple, yet effective ways of preventing muscle imbalances or overuse- type injury. Additionally, regular rest breaks and exercise regimes such as Pilates or targeted strengthening to address weakened muscles can be useful to protect against the incidence of postural related pain.

Unfortunately, posture is far too big a subject to discuss all of the potential therapeutic options and self help strategies available to address posture and postural-related pain; however if you have been suffering with persistent pain and have identified your occupation or sporting hobby as a potential factor, it is advised to speak to a physiotherapist and arrange for an assessment.

2. A strong Core

In the maintenance of a healthy spine, strengthening the core muscles to help provide adequate muscular support is an important consideration. Muscles generally mimic the effects if scaffolding to a building, providing localised stability around the joints as we move. There are a whole host of exercises on the market, claiming to effectively strengthen the core muscles, most of which choose to focus on the Rectus Abdominis (or six pack). However, the core extends far beyond the six pack to include muscles of the deep core (Transversus Abdominis), the Pelvic Floor, Obliques Internus and Externus, alongside the Multifidus and Psoas muscles.

Taking this anatomy into consideration, the exercises most commonly advocated by fitness professionals can be argued to be ill effective, since the six pack constitutes only a small component of the larger core system. Similarly, bracing type exercises such as the ‘plank’ have been offered up to criticism, for their bias towards holding the breath to create an almost ‘false’ stability, as opposed to training the deep core muscles to stabilise the spine. That is not to say however, that research exists to confirm any kind of superiority of one exercise regime over another; indeed, the jury is still very much out on this issue due to the variety of different exercise regimens that are available on today’s market.

Taking into account research on how pain affects muscle activation, there is a general consensus that the presence of pain leads to reduced activity or ‘inhibition’ of the stabiliser muscles i.e the muscles whose job it is to provide support to the joints. This reduced activity manifests as pain when performing relatively low level activities such as walking, sitting, standing and stair climbing, since the joints are left relatively unsupported and movement has as a result, become destabilised. Unfortunately, even once pain resolves, this same inhibition fails to spontaneously resolve, therefore leaving the affected person more vulnerable to future injury, unless there is time dedicated to retraining the stabiliser muscle groups. This can therefore explain why such a high percentage of persons who experience low back pain, suffer a recurrence not long after their initial episode despite a full resolution of pain previously.

In order to retrain the stabiliser muscle groups, specific and targeted exercises must be employed to change the body’s recruitment strategy If you visualise the body a large circuit board with wires connecting into different areas, pain results in faulty connections in the wrong areas. These are the areas of increased muscle activity. The premise behind retraining exercise is to challenge these faulty connections and reconnect the wires into the correct areas to address weak links in the body, therefore promoting balance and symmetry in the muscle system.

Again, exercise retraining is a large topic area and demands expert guidance from a health professional. If you wish to look further into this area, I advise you source out a Pilates trained health professional who can offer their individual expertise on exercising for the correction of low back pain.

3. Keep Moving

When experiencing back pain, it is in our nature to try avoid painful movement at all costs and generally, walk around like a stiff board. The important thing to know about backs however, is that a prolonged avoidance of movement, in most cases, can be detrimental and compounds the original problem.

By not moving for a prolonged period, the joints and muscles fail to receive their normal movement stimulus and can become very stiff, very quickly. Once the initial pain has subsided therefore, you can potentially be left with a very sore and painful back, simply from the fact that the joints and muscles haven’t been moved. Imagine trying to stretch an elastic band that simply doesn’t want to budge. If prolonged, our behaviours can lead to a ‘fear avoidance’ of movement that manifests as a loss of movement, which can turn an acute episode of low back pain into a chronic one if left unaddressed.

The best and most simplistic way to gauge activity levels when experiencing back pain, is to lead by symptoms. It is important that during an episode of pain, persons find a happy medium- somewhere between rest and activity- where you are able to continue to move the back, but not to a point where the pain is excruciating. If you move too much into pain, this promotes a reflex ‘guarding’ response in the muscles, which can lead to further tightening and even muscle spasm.

A helpful tool can be to visualise a scale from zero to ten (zero = no pain and ten = worst pain possible). It is important, in the early stages to keep as low a pain score as possible, whilst maintaining as close to normal movement of the spine. This is the level where your activity is unable to aggravate your back pain further and therefore, provides that all important window of time for symptoms to settle.

Similarly, simple changes to the ways in which you choose to perform an activity or the length of time for which you choose to do it are important factors for consideration, in order to maintain those crucial low pain scores. Use a trial and error technique to pinpoint a happy medium and be careful not to push it on the days where symptoms appear more settled than usual. Giving into this temptation can leave you feeling very sore and sorry for yourself the following morning!

4. Heat and Ice therapy

I often get asked “do I use ice or heat therapy for my back pain?”. Obviously, the sensation of heat is preferable to that of ice and therefore, most people opt to use heat as a first port of call. However, it is important that you select either of these therapies, with thought to what best suits the stage your back pain.

For example, for pain that comes on suddenly and is sharp and aggressive in nature, it can be helpful in the first few days to use ice therapy to limit inflammation at the affected area. Apply a pack of frozen peas, wrapped in a towel directly over the area of pain for fifteen-twenty minutes at a time and repeat this every 3-4 hours- limit this time if you are known to suffer an adverse reaction to cold or suffer from circulatory problems or lack sensation.

Differentially, for chronic back pain (dull, longstanding pain) heat is advocated to help increase blood flow to the affected area and therefore, help to stimulate the healing response and relax tight muscles. Sometimes your therapist may recommend contrast therapy- a mixture of heat and ice applied to the site of pain. Just make sure you don’t attempt to apply them at the same time or you will end up with a soggy carpet at the end of it!

5. Know when to take it further

Sometimes, the steps we take to self-manage our back pain aren’t enough. It is therefore, advisable that when pain is unrelenting or you are experiencing other symptoms alongside your back pain, that you make an appointment with your GP or physiotherapist. During your consultation, your health practitioner will take a history from you, asking you questions about your pain and examine your movement. It may be that you will be prescribed some pain relief medication or are advised to undertake an episode of treatment. This can include modalities like massage, joint manipulation, acupuncture, exercise and electrotherapy.

The most important thing is that you don’t ignore the problem and hope that it will go away by itself. In most cases, people who have sought help earlier often make a quicker recovery. By ignoring your back problem when pain chooses to ensue, you are giving it chance to manifest, which could lead to a delayed recovery time and potential complications, as a result of changed movement strategies and an altered walking pattern.

7 Steps to Maxing Your Creativity

Following is a quick list of 7 items that you can turn into habits to become highly creative regardless of which area of your life you want to be creative in. Creativity is the act of taking your imaginative ideas and making them real. (Note: imaginative does not need to mean completely new and never thought of before!) Innovation is the process of implementing your creative ideas. You can be imaginative but not creative or innovative – or you can turn those creative thoughts and ideas into reality.

1. Preparation

“In creating, the only hard thing’s to begin; a grass-blade’s no easier to make than an oak.”-James Russell Lowell

Have you ever been in ‘the zone’? That timeless, almost magical place in which everything just flows naturally and nothing seems to go wrong? Give yourself time and space to get completely absorbed by your creativity. Once you are completely absorbed, the zone comes into play.

2. Planting

“We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts we create the world.” -The Buddha Don’t waste your energy thinking about the negatives and the details. Think about what you want to create, put your soul into it. Send those vibes and intentions out into the universe. This will amplify what you most crave.

3. Question Like a 5 Year Old

In one of my earlier articles I wrote about the decline of creativity from the age of around 5 – coinciding with when we begin to learn in a more structured environment. We go from asking 100’s of questions a day to our more adult self of only asking at most, around 5!

We need to take heed of our inner child, hark back to the early days when we knew nothing and start asking more questions! Listen to the questions that come from others as well. Let go of the adult part of you that insists on trying to answer these questions. Enjoy the unknown and the re-learning. Let go of preconceived notions.

4. Get Curious, It’s Only Cats that Need to Worry

“If you stuff yourself full of poems, essays, plays, stories, novels, films, comic strips, magazines, music, you automatically explode every morning like old faithful. I have never had a dry spell in my life, mainly because I feed myself well, to the point of bursting.” -Ray Bradbury

The human mind is an amazing machine. The most complex machine that we have ever seen. Get interested in anything, in everything. Read, write, watch as many different things as you can. Your creative genius will literally take feeds and all matter of things that may seem unconnected and give you something truly unique and wonderful to get going on.

5. Don’t Be Afraid to Fail

“I make more mistakes than anyone else I know, and sooner or later, I patent most of them.”-Thomas Edison Everyone knows who Thomas Edison was. Inventor and innovator! After his death in 1931, it was discovered that Edison had left behind over 3,500 notebooks filled with ideas and thoughts. Not all of them were winners! Keep creating and striving to get better. You’ll learn from your mistakes and be even more creative the following time.

6. Avoid Burn Out

As with everything else in our lives, we need to be able to take a break from it now and then. Switch over to reading a book, or writing some poetry, art or song writing. Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed and burnt out.

7. The Final Secret

The final secret to unleashing your creative potential lies within you. It’s not a secret that you don’t know but rather something that you un-learned as you grew up… Unleash Your Inner Child. See With Your Childs’ Eye. There are no limitations on your imagination.

Imagine It. Think It. Be It. Live It!

Learn More About How To Find Freelance Photography Jobs

If you like photography and you would like to find freelance photography

jobs, there are many options in the market. Of course, there are a

lot of professional photography jobs, but there are also other smaller

options for those people who would like to make money from freelance photography

jobs.

Everyone who loves photography can become a photographer, you need to

choose a special field like, family or wedding photographer. You can

make money very easy, by taking pictures of things that you like such

as babies, nature or animals. People who love scuba diving, can become

an underwater photographer if they wish it.

For people who like taking pictures and who would like to start a career

in photography, there are many different ways to find freelance

photography jobs, you can find all variety of jobs depending on the type of

job that you are looking for.

The first thing that you can do is create a resume and portfolio of the

work that you have done. After that you can search on the internet at

work from home photography jobs or freelance photography jobs, there you will

find a lot of opportunities, but you can also join photography forums in

order to meet people who are already making money with freelance photography

jobs. There you can get very helpful information and tips to find

freelance photography jobs.

You can look for freelance photography jobs in your local area and look for

companies or local firms that may need photographers. You can start with small

events like birthday parties or small weddings. Show to your family and friends

samples of the work that you have done and ask them to spread the word. You can

participate in a charitable event so you can boost your portfolio.

Other things that you can do to find freelance photography jobs is submit

your work to magazines and contests to get yourself known and then build your portfolio.

Do not forget that you can also apply to freelance photography jobs directly.

Electrical Checklist for Your New Home

The rewarding feeling of building your own home is truly satisfying. But at times the stress can be overwhelming.

Planning where to put your electronic devices is a critical and challenging issue that you need to deal with.

To help make your journey a bit easier we’re sharing a few tips from what we’ve learned along the way.

Firstly, before you consider decorating the interior ask your Designer to show you where the planned electrical outlets are located.

From there take a moment to consider each room of your house. Ask what the purpose of the room is, how you plan to furnish it and what appliances will be utilised.

Take the master bedroom as an example, are you planning to install a TV and where will you put it. Do you have enough outlets for the hair dryer, alarm clock, electric blanket and other important devices you use?

For children’s rooms consider how their needs may change over time. Very young children need lighting and a place to plug in the baby monitor. As they grow you need to add plugs for the stereo, alarm clock, mobile phone charger, mp3 player, laptop and light.

Remember, a room’s purpose will change over time so planning ahead for the needs of teenagers reduces costs in the future. It also helps when it comes to sell as a potential buyers purpose for the room may differ.

Tackling the kitchen can be a trickier area and is best done in consultation with the person who uses it the most. Planning for your major appliances such as the oven, fridge and dishwasher is somewhat simple. The real issue is strategically positioning power outlets for small appliances such as the kettle, toaster, blender, electric fry pan and extractor fans.

It’s worth considering how you want to be able to control the lighting. And that your layout may change as your family grows.

Your concern for the main living area should be around lighting and powering major electrics. Consider where you will be placing the dinner table and lounge suite. These areas are often used for reading, homework or as place to use the laptop when not in proper use.

Ask how the sound system will be connected to the TV and if you will be utilising wireless speakers, in wall mounting and advanced control systems.

Also, are there enough sockets to power the TV, DVD recorder, Sky Decoder and the wireless headset?

It’s also worth noting that most modern phones require power for the answer machine or the cordless dock.

If you plan to install carpet you will need to use the vacuum cleaner and an extra outlet that is not stuck behind a bed is pretty handy.

The focus for lighting should be not just where you would like it but how you wish to control it. Dimming lights or multiple smaller voltage lights help provide ambiance but place an extra strain on power resources that should be planned for to avoid problems.

Internet modems, printers and screens for desktop pcs require their own power source and are often overlooked. Crowded multi-boxes are used to supplement and hidden behind study desks.

These are the cause of many house fires and used improperly are dangerous so plan adequately and keep your family safe.

Heating systems such as heat pumps or on the wall heaters are convenient but require installation. Gas heaters also require power for the fan component included in mains units.

Taking the above questions into consideration will not only help you work out your electrical requirements but avoid the need to use unsightly extension cords and multi boxes.

Spend time considering your electrical requirements before decorating the interiors of your new home. It is a good time investment that you will be glad you made.

2 Quick and Easy Halloween Crafts

Making Halloween crafts can really get you into a festive mood for this spooky holiday. Here are 2 fun and easy craft ideas:

Tin Can Lanterns

Did you know that you can easily create Halloween lanterns out of those old tin cans? Use cans that have a smooth surface to accurately display your designs. All you need to complete this Halloween crafts project cans, a hammer, and a nail.

Use a nail to press very shallow points into the cans, designing Halloween images like, a jack-o-lanterns, skulls, cats, half-moons, and stars. If you do not want to do this free-hand, tape a drawing onto the can.

So, how to make the holes without denting the metal? The trick to this is to fill the can with water, and freeze it. Next, hammer simple designs into the can with a nail. One or two good taps should do it, depending on the size of the hole that you want.

When your cans are complete, place tea lights or votive candles inside to illuminate.

Spooky Bags

If you are hosting a Halloween party, or handing out candies to trick-or-treaters, decorate small bags to hold assisted insects, and surprises.

Here's what you'll need:

– scissors

– a glue stick

– brown paper bags with handles (5×8-inch, or smaller)

– several sheets of construction paper, in colors like, purple, green, yellow, orange, black, and white.

Draw simple shapes like, jack-o-lanterns, moons, stars, and witch's hats, on card board, and cut them out. Now, you have templates to work with. Trace these shapes onto your construction paper, cut them out, and attach them to the bags with a glue stick.

Important People for House Building

For those who are engineers, architects or interior designers, house building is definitely a fun process for them. They would understand the process and how it is done. They are the ones who have control over the whole building. During this process, there would be so many people who are involved. Of course, the owner of the house would be one of them but there are other people who are concerned too. They all have their own duties and responsibilities with the house. They may work separately in their areas but they work together to build a perfect house for the owner.

Here are the important and needed people who are involved in the house building and their responsibilities:

• Engineer: Provides the structure design of the whole house; in-charge of providing the structure from the floors to the roof; works together with a work supervisor and a site supervisor

• Architect: the most important person in house building; gets the ideas from the clients and they are the ones who puts it into paper; are knowledgeable with guidelines and legal requirements that are related to your building so they are hired to avoid any legal issues; could pick out the workers for the area

• Contractor: they are the ones who watches all the workers and labourers at the site; supervises their work to ensure that they are doing their job well

• Mason: in charge of the construction of the whole house; in charge of building walls and other construction

• Carpenters and Painters: One of the most needed people during the building process; they are the ones who provides the doors, windows, cabinets and other woodworks that you need; paints walls, ceilings, etc

• Electrician and Plumber: Every house must need a good source of water and electricity so they are the ones who would fix the lines and pipes to have good water supply and electricity connection

All of these people are needed during the house building. So there are really a lot of people when you go to the site. They all must do a good job to be able to build a strong and nice house. They all must agree on things and cooperate with each other so the house would look nice. All of them have one goal. Their goal is to be able to build a home where a person or a family would be able to live comfortably.

Almost Instant Updates You Can Make to Your Home Style

There are small things we can do to spruce and update our living spaces. Of course we would all love to the endless supply of cashflow that the design shows provide. Most of these suggestions are inexpensive and can add so much personality to your space.

Stop Using Matching Throw Pillows

Commonly when buying a sofa they come with matching throw pillows, but by adding different color or pattern accent throw pillows you can update a room instantly. Adding that dash or bold color or striking patterns can help complement the neutral tones of the room.

Changing Light Fixtures

Instead of using a standard hanging light fixture try adding a decorative chandelier or lantern. By adding a simple change to your dining room can add so much personality to the room.

Designate a Cozy Space

Today’s popular design is the open floor plans. Where floor designs are open and flow seamlessly. But, though that is nice for the overall style of the home try making a place in your home more cozy.

Decorate Personal Spaces

Most of us spend most of our energy on decorating spaces that we show to other people. The guests for our parties or an unplanned visit that can happen at anytime. Decorating these spaces are important but lets not forget places in the house where we spend most of our time. The bedroom, office, or bathroom. Take items that you love and decorate your favorite

Creating a Collection

First rule of adding a collection of items to a room is to remember that odd numbers go together better than even. Take a second to find items in your room that are common in some way. For example, you might have a group of silver items that share a common element. By putting them together on a console or sofa table.

Painting Inside

If you have a wood piece of older furniture lying around that you want to spruce up try painting the inside of the cabinet to add a splash of accent color. Adding accent color can instantly brighten up a space.

Replacing Old Lampshade

Trying to stay contemporary with our home style can be difficult. An easy way to update the style of your home is updating the lampshades. Right now the modern mid-century look is definitely in. By trading in your out of date shades with simple drum shaped shade can instantly update a room. Even better would be to forego the white shade with a dramatic twist, like gray or bronze

Breaking Up Dining Chairs

Typically dining tables come with slats that can be removed. Keeping the slat in the table usually only occurs when we have people over and that most commonly happens for holidays or birthdays. Since we don’t use the full length of the tables you have extra chairs to use. By simply taking those extra unused chairs and use them to flank a console or sofa table in your entryway, a sideboard in your living room, or a dresser in your bedroom.

History of Strength and Conditioning Science

Early records of strength training date back to 3600 BC when Chinese emperors made their subjects exercise daily (Webster 1976). During the Chou Dynasty subjects were required to pass weight- lifting tests before entering the military. There is large amount of evidence that indicates weight training was part of life in ancient Greece and India. In fact, the Greeks built numerous sculptures of people lifting stone weights.

Numerous systems of training have been proposed over the years. The accumulation of experience and different philosophies has led us to the current training methods utilized today. Keep in mind; many authorities have varied greatly from the original purpose of strength and conditioning. Hard work and dedication formed the foundation of earlier training methods. Today the opposite has occurred in numerous settings as easy work and quick fixes form the foundation of most people’s regimens.

During the 16th century in Europe books on weight training began to surface. Sir Thomas Elyot’s book on the topic was published in England in 1531. Joachim Camerius, a lecturer at Leipzig University, wrote several books in 1544 recommending that weight training should be a key activity offered in the model school. John Paugh published a book in 1728 titled A Physiological, Theoretic and Practical Treatise on the Utility of Muscular Exercise for Restoring the Power to the limbs, which pointed out the benefits offered by weight training for rehab purposes. In the 1860’s, Archibald Maclaren, devised the first formal system of physical training with dumbbells and barbells for the British Army.

The showmen and strongman entertainers of the 19th Century heavily contributed to methods used today in the fitness and Sports Conditioning industry. From extensive research iron game historian David Webster credits Italian circus and fairground performer, Felice Napoli as the one who popularized strongman performances on an international scale. Disciples of Napoli include Professor Attila (Louis Durlacher) and Eugen Sandow (Frederick Muller). Attila became well known and he attracted some of the world’s most well known physical culturists and many rulers of Europe. His list of students included King George of Greece, King Edward of England, Crown Prince Frederick who became King Haakon of Norway, the six children of King Christian of Denmark, the Queen Mother Alexandra of England, Princess Dagmar (Empress of Russia and mother of Tsar Nicholas), and the Duchess of Cumberland.

At the time training the wealthy was a much respected occupation. We have what we call personal trainers today. The current protocols used by the majority of today’s trainers are a far cry from the original teachings and benefits provided by trainers. The fame and notoriety of trainers of those days was a result of the public displays of extraordinary physical feats. These events were often attended by royalty and were highly acclaimed for their promotion of physical well-being.

Eugen Sandow, born in Koningsberg in East Russia in 1867, was recruited for his teachings by presidents and rulers from around the world. Nine kings and queens and many princes of Europe, as well as US presidents William Taft and Woodrow Wilson endorsed Sandow’s book Life is Movement. Sandow was a successful strongman as well as a promoter of formal fitness and health management. He emphasized that physical education and sport should be an integral part of the school system. He also toured the world lecturing and promoting physical culture as a means of improving the quality of life.

Most authorities recognize Sandow, as one of the most important figures in the history of fitness, with the history of his work revealing that the modern phenomenon of science based fitness training is not a novel invention. Sandow promoted the importance of strength and skill as being the cornerstone of fitness. A half a century later Dr Kenneth Cooper proposed that being fit was primarily dependent on aerobic conditioning. Approximately 25 years later the important role of strength training has once again been recognized by the academia.

In Russia during the same period Vladislav Krayevsky founded the St Petersburg Amateur Weightlifting Society (1885). Many respected scientists, athletes; artists became his students, including famous strongman George Hackenschmidt, who credited Krayevsky for teaching him all he knew. Hackenschmidt mentioned in his book The Way To Live that some of the world’s strongest men of the era, including Sandow were trained using Krayevsky’s system.

Krayevsky’s work and the popularity of his students had a major effect on weightlifting in Russia. Not only was he a renowned teacher, but he also achieved significant numbers in barbell lifts himself. He was the president of the jury at the first world championships in Vienna in 1898.

Krayevsky wrote two of his fundamental works during the period of 1896-1899. The writings were titled The Catechism of Health-Rules for Athletes and The Development of Physical Strength with Kettlebells and without Kettlebells. The Catechism of Health-Rules for Athletes was sent to press December 9th 1899, but was never published and is now preserved in manuscript form. His other book was published in 1900 and reprinted three times (1902, 1909, 1916) after his death (1901).

Krayevsky was well studied on the history of physical culture and all forms of gymnastics. He was knowledgeable about Swedish gymnastics and noted its therapeutic benefits, but his concern with the lack of scientific data of the Swedish system led him to recruit experimentalists to research it.

Many of Krayevsky’s recommendations are still used today. His recommendations include medical control of an athlete’s health, consistent training and varying load patterns, full spectrum physical development, psychological development and avoidance of smoking and alcohol.

The early strength pioneers developed numerous devices in regards to strength training including cable machines, kettlebells, barbells, dumbbells, odd-shaped bars, thick grip bars, weighted boots, isolation machines and various throwing devices. Yet 50 years later there are numerous people who claim to have invented this machinery. In today’s industry there are many systems and people promoting their new systems, which are not really new at all.

The development of different scientific and educational cultures split the West and East as their promotion of physical activity was vaguely different. During the years following the World Wars Russia and Europe still continued to promote various elements of physical strength, power and skill while the West primarily promoted aerobics. Kenneth Cooper’s book Aerobics was popular at the time as well as Swedish endurance exercise research. According to Cooper and the Swedish researchers cardiac and general health depended primarily on prolonged endurance work. Supporters of the endurance doctrine heavily protested strength training. Cooper told the world strength training promoted a beautiful body but did nothing for health.

During the same period that the aerobics craze was running wild in the West Russians and Eastern Europeans accumulated extensive international information on strength and sports training while developing comprehensive educational programs to promote their findings. Most schools offered weightlifting and within a few decades there were approximately 1 million weightlifters in the USSR. Strength training became a key element in all sports training programs in the USSR while the attitude in the West was that weight training would slow athletes down and limit their range of motion. Consequently Russia dominated the Olympic Games, especially in Olympic Weightlifting, at the same time the aerobic doctrine became gospel in the West.

The Russian dominance has often been attributed to the use of anabolic-androgenic drugs, but the sporting use of these drugs was actually introduced in by the West first. It is probably more accurate to say that the Eastern nations dominated due to their special strength science and understanding of comprehensive sports conditioning. On the topic of drug usage no one uses more drugs than Pro bodybuilders, which are predominantly Americans.

In the West today the majority of gyms, trainers, academia and coaches are still ill informed when it comes to fitness and Sports Conditioning. The aerobic endurance crazes still dominates in most cases, yet this makes up a minor portion of fitness. All one needs to do is study the science and abundant evidence that supports the numerous health and fitness benefits of a proper strength-training program to realize its importance.

References

Siff, M.C (2000) Supertraining. Mel Siff.

Copyright 2005 Jamie Hale

The Little Things That Count In Weight Loss

Losing weight takes hard work and effort. There are many big decisions that need to be made once someone decides to tackle the challenge of losing weight. What diet plan should you go on? How much or how little should you exercise? Will diet pills be involved? These are three decisions that each and every person has to make on his own. However, there are also little decisions that are made every day that can affect losing weight. The little things DO count in weight loss. The following are a few of the "little things" that can help you meet your weight loss goals.

· Take any chance to exercise. Exercise is an important aspect of weight loss but it can be difficult to fit in if you have a tough daily schedule. Look for opportunities to exercise during the day. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park your car a good distance away from your work so that you can get a good walk. Use your lunch break as a time for exercise.

· Increase your water intake. Water is an important part of weight loss. Carrying a water bottle with you during the day and sipping on it periodically can actually help increase your weight loss. It will be great for your body and your skin as well. Avoid sodas and other drinks that are high is sugar and calories.

· Chew gum. If you find that you are craving a snack, choose low calorie gum in place of other snacks. This will help kill your craving and also help you avoid overindulging in snacks. There is now dessert flavored gum that can help you with your sweet tooth. Chewing gum can also help you take your mind off of eating.

· Choose to eat early. The time of day that you choose to eat can affect your weight loss goals. Eating early in the afternoon will give your body time to get rid of the excess calories that you have consumed for dinner. Eating breakfast is also very important. Take eating seriously and choose the right time for every meal.

· Get involved in the community. Being active will be very helpful in losing weight. Find ways to keep busy! The more you go the more you will lose. Being active in your community is a great place to start. You may find that others in your community are on the same journey. Support is crucial to any weight loss plan.

The little decisions that you make about your life during your weight loss journey can make all the difference. They can help you reach your weight loss goal quicker and give you better results. Discover little ways to increase your results. Whether its chewing gum or choosing to eat earlier, there are many ways that you can allow the "little things" to guide you in losing weight. What changes will you make in your life to increase your results?

A Guide to the Canon Eos 1300D Rebel T6 Dial Modes

If you’ve used the Canon 1300D Rebel T6 at all you will know that the Dial Mode on the top Right is really very important because that’s the dial that tells the camera the type of picture you want to take and also, in some cases, the circumstances in which you’re taking the picture. This means that the camera can help you take the pictures that you want, without you needing the expert knowledge to set the aperture and shutter speed yourself.

In other words, you can concentrate on the composition and content of the picture and leave the camera to sort out the technical aspects. However the Canon 1300D also allows you partial or full control of the settings, so that you can make these decisions when you feel confident enough. The four options at the top of the dial – M, AV, TV, and P are called the creative or manual modes and the reason they are called the creative modes is because you can actually change many of the settings in the camera so that you can become more creative with your photography and actually have some real impact on the type of picture you want to take. These modes allow you to control the aperture – useful for controlling the depth of field, or the shutter speed – ideal for introducing movement blur into a shot, or freezing the subject in an action picture. Full Manual control (M) allows you to change all the settings and so give you complete control over the exposure of the shot to suit your taste.

The Modes which are from the green square down are called the Basic Modes or the Preset Modes and that’s because these modes actually tell the camera the sort of picture you want to take and control the exposure settings for you. So, you may want to take a portrait or a sports picture or even a night-time picture and by choosing these modes the you tell the camera to change the settings accordingly so that you get the best exposure in those circumstances.

For example the Portrait Mode here will enhance skin tones and also reduce the depth of field which is very good for portraiture as it makes the subject stand out from the background.

The Sports Mode will allow you to take action shots by increasing the shutter speed so that you don’t get any blur. it will also trigger continuous shutter so that you can shoot 3 frames per second.

And the Food Option enhances colors and slows down the shutter speed so that you get a wider and deeper depth of field. It also switches off the built in flash so that you don’t get glare from the plate.

So you can see, that the Dial Mode really controls the camera, which means it is very important to understand the options you can choose from. Other settings in the camera are very dependent on the Dial Mode choice. For example you can see all the options in the menu tabs if you have the Dial Mode set to Manual. However if you are on a Basic Mode, you will only have access to a few of them.

Don’t Erase Old Computer Disks, Destroy Them!

Given how quickly technology upgrades, it’s no surprise to walk into your office closet and find boxes of outdated floppy disks and detachable drives, some of which probably are not compatible with the current hardware in your workplace. When one considers the pack-rat mentality to hang onto obsolete data, one must also wonder why these disks need to remain in storage. If you need the space for other purposes, it’s time to consider massive spring cleaning.

However, invalid though certain disks and drives may be, it doesn’t mean that the information contained within is safe. Especially if you carry sensitive information like credit card numbers, addresses, and bank statements on disks, it’s important for them to be destroyed. As long as it is possible to track down the proper brand of computer to read the information, your company remains at risk. Simply throwing away software poses a threat and sends out an invitation to identity thieves to help themselves.

Don’t Erase, Destroy!

In the interest of keeping the software for later use, you might wonder why not just erase all the disks and hang onto to them? While it sounds like a reasonable solution, erasing disks and drives is no guarantee that the data will be wholly eliminated. Forensic computer specialists are able to trace information on allegedly clean computers for criminal cases, so it stands to reason a savvy tech with fraud in mind could do the same with your data. Physical destruction, rendering the object unreadable by any machine, is the safest option for your company.

What to Destroy

Most mobile shredding companies offers services to destroy software in addition to paper. Industrial-strength shredding machinery can easily crunch through the plastic and vinyl of a disk or drive until it is nothing but confetti. If you are serious about the safety of your company, it is strongly recommended to schedule an appointment to have unneeded and outdated computer data shredded:

  • Hard drives – from old laptops and desktop computers and storage drives
  • Floppy Disks – 3.5 hard plastic and 5.25 flexible
  • Optical Media – CD-ROMs, DVDs, and similar disks
  • Zip Drives – and similar large disks

The sooner this information is collected and taken care of by a licensed, bonded shredding professional, the sooner you can rest assured your company’s privacy is secured.

Foreplay Games For Couples

By playing some foreplay games before sex can help to get the both of you into the mood of having sex, which will typically result in a hot passionate sex. Foreplay is important if you want to enjoy a good sex. With foreplay games, you will be able to add different variations to your foreplay and make it more exciting.

Let us just discuss some of the possible foreplay games that you can play with your lover:

Foreplay Game #1: Card Games. Take a deck of poker cards and assign a naughty and erotic sexual act to each of the number. For example, you can have a slow stripping dance assigned to the Number 5 of the cards. This is a very simple game which you can play with your lover and enjoy a night of sensual fun.

Foreplay Game #2: Simple Bet. To play this game, you will need to switch on the TV and hope there is a basketball game on. You and your lover will then choose a team each to support and bet for sexual pleasure. For example, if the team that you support gets the lead after the 1st quarter of the game, you will earn yourself a good blowjob during the commercial break. Make it a point to have sex only after the entire game. I can bet that you and your lover will be praying for the game to be abandoned!

Foreplay Game #3: Horny Scavenger Hunt. Start off by hiding your sex toy in different areas of your house. Give your lover clues to look for them and to add some fun into the game, you might want to strip a piece of clothing each time he or she finds that you have hidden.

Do not let your sex life to become a routine and boring activity. Sex is too good to be done in this manner. Put in some effort and turn ideas into horny games to spice up your sex life with your spouse today.

Do you know that there is a sex game that can turn an ordinary, every day experience into 30 minutes of mind blowing foreplay? Visit the website below to read more now:

Building Your Own Electronic Tool Kit.

Have you ever considered building your own electronic tool kit, but determined it was just too expensive or too complicated? That presumption could not be any further from the truth.

Like with any other type of purchase you most likely will have some kind of budget in mind. Just one bit of advice here; Do not let your budget keep you from purchasing quality tools, the investment you make now could save you hundreds of dollars in the future in replacing poor quality tools.

The first thing you should consider is how you are going to store your tools. Will you be using your tools on the road or will you be working in a service shop type of environment.
My personal recommendation is to have a tool case or tool bag to house your tools. It is a great way to protect and organize your investment. There are many choices of tool bags from wheeled tool cases, foam filled cases and aluminum tool cases. Your personal circumstance will warrant which tool case you should choose.

Now to the most important part of your purchase, which tools to buy? This will also be determined by some factors that you should seriously consider before making your final decision.

1) Will you need to have portability for your power tools and electronic test equipment? Then you will want to purchase items that can be operated with rechargeable batteries. A few examples of this are a good quality handheld oscilloscope or a rechargeable soldering iron.

2) Will you be repairing mechanical equipment equipment, electronics equipment or both? Electronics equipment may require tools like special torx screwdrivers to remove fasteners used to prevent end users from accessing internal components. You may also need special screwdrivers that are rated for working with high voltage. Consider carefully what you job will involve when making you tool choices.

3) Then of course there are specialized fields of Electronics. Telecommunications, Cabling, Home Theater Installation, Computer Repair and many others. Each of these areas requires special training and special tools. Of course there are tools that remain in common to all of these different fields of electronics.

You should also be looking at tools that offer you a warranty or total replacement of defective tools. Typically manufacturers will NOT offer a lifetime warranty on electronic test equipment. The warranty offered on most test type equipment is generally for a 1 year period and replacement or repair of the equipment is left to the discretion of the manufacturer. On the other hand, tools like wrenches, screwdrivers, hammers, and other types of tools will offer a lifetime warranty on these types of tools. It is best to inquire about any warranties before making any purchase.

Building your own electronic tool kit is a great way to put together exactly the tools and test equipment you will need for your particular field of electronics. You may also want to consider purchasing a tool kit and choosing your specific tools or test equipment to add to that tool kit as well. The key here is to have the right tools for the job when you need them.

Best Chest Workout – Exercises You Overlooked

If you think that you can develop the best chest just by going to the gym and pumping as much iron as you can within a week, then you’re dead wrong. What you need is not more weights and more time in the gym, what you really need are the best chest workouts that are available and find out what works for you.

Compound Workout

Hitting multiple muscles in one exercise are good. These exercises are called compound exercises. These would include a variety of bench presses, wide-grip dips, fly chest exercises, and even bench presses with the use of dumbbells.

It depends on your preference whether to perform exercises with dumbbells, barbells, or any other equipment in the gym, or just simply perform push-ups. However, keep in mind that you need to perform all these routine moderately in order to achieve a well-developed chest. I meant to say that a maximum of 10 repetitions is enough for a day’s routine. As you move on, gradually increase the weight of each set to improve your muscles.

Barbell Bench Press

By changing the degree of incline when doing bench presses, not only do you hit different aspects of your chest, but you can also increase the stress that your muscles are subjected to. The high incline barbell bench presses target your upper chest muscles, while doing low inclined bench presses hit your lower chest muscles. Flat bench presses basically hit both areas equally.

Dumbbell Bench Press

Injury to your shoulders is a common outcome in using barbells. With the use of a dumbbell for bench presses, not only will ensure you one of the best chest workouts, but it can also help you avoid injury from over exertion. This can also prevent you from developing one muscle group more from the other. However, if not prevented, this will probably result to what is called musculature imbalance.

Vigorous Push-ups

Performing natural push-up exercises using only your body weight is as effective as the exercises performed in the gym. Since push-ups can also hit different muscle groups in one time, you can also call it a form of compound exercise. The muscles that are mainly involved in push-ups are the pecs, the deltoids and the triceps.

You can actually change the muscles you are using when you decide to increase the degree of your exercises. There are also several forms of push-ups that you might not know of but have proven to work. You will boost your attention on your chest and deltoids once you increase the depth of your push-up exercises.

You can also achieve bigger and stronger muscles when doing tense push-up exercises. A common explosive push-up exercise is the clap push-up. Lifting your body off the floor while pushing yourself up defines an explosive push-up. By doing so, you increase your tone by stabilizing your chest muscles as you go up, and experience more stress as your body hits the ground.

To ensure that the best chest workouts will be exercises that will surely work out for you, you have to remember to keep your reps to the recommended 10, and to at rest between sets for about 1 minute and 30 seconds. When exercising, you should also always make sure that you have proper form. Through this, you can make certain of the full growth and improvement of your muscles.

All these types of chest exercises will come up with a good outcome if done in a proper way. You can always choose one from among the three and follow strictly the important tips, then you will have a good outcome.

Schwinn Folding Bikes – See What Makes Them So Popular

Humans are indeed intelligent! The many inventions that have made life easier are among the proofs. Among those, in the area of transportation, are the Schwinn folding bikes.

Basically, they was created as an improvement over all of the other similar products on the market. People would not have thought about creating a thing without something there to trigger the concept.

Schwinn folding bikes are very easy to manage. They fold well and are very light. The way every part of it was assembled perfectly. There is balance among the components of this specific type of bike.

The seat is adjustable. So, if the rider is tall or short, he or she could easily adjust the height of the seat. The brakes, they are fantastic. They work extremely well. When it comes to this folding bike’s gear shifter, there’s nothing to worry about at all. It is easy to maneuver; thus, providing you with a smooth, safe ride.

The seat, handle bars, and everything that is set to generate an outstanding bike are all high quality. Durability and flexibility are two major things that the manufacturer wants to obtain in this product.

Obviously, the foldable bike was able to attain those two goals. And this was the reason why it is becoming such a hit in the market. Teens and adults are buying it.

Learning how to fold and unfold with Schwinn folding bikes can be done in just a few minutes. By demonstrating the whole thing in front of you, you can right away catch the idea of the way it’s done.

Procedures are simplified. This is why users don’t need to spend hours trying to learn the folding and unfolding.

When you buy a Schwinn folding bike, you will get a carrying bag for free. It is included in the whole package. You can fold and put the bike inside the bag and carry it to anywhere you go. If you want to go camping or for a vacation, you can easily bring it with you.

Having a folding bike is indeed comfortable and convenient. It allows you to save energy and contribute in environment preservation. You can help minimize the production of carbon. Cars, buses, and trains are among those vehicles that give off huge amounts of carbon dioxide into the air.

Too much carbon harms not only the health of the environment, but the entire population as well. It could irritate the lungs and result in respiratory problems.

By using Schwinn folding bikes, you are offering a big help to Earth and its people. You can promote a healthy place for your family to live in. Especially if you choose to have this bike as your main vehicle for transportation.

Every time you go to the cafe, convenience store, park, your neighbor’s house, or anywhere around the city or town, bike instead of riding a taxi or the bus. As long as you are not in a hurry, you can rely well on pedaling to get you where you want to go.