By Jerry Mooney
Whatever your age gender or lifestyle, whatever your job career or hobbies each and every one of us should actively seek out opportunities for self-improvement and development. Human life is, after all, a journey filled with peaks and valleys, highs and lows, challenges and rewards. Only in growing in our mindset, our skills and our experience can we meet the challenges that life throws at us in the professional, educational and interpersonal spheres. When we’re kids, the tools for self-development are laid out before us and we have easy access to them and all the time in the world to engage with them. We’re given access to books and learning materials, sports and activities and our minds and bodies are agile and pliant enough to get to grips with them.
Later in life, although most of us have some access to the same materials, we feel less inclined to engage with them as our commitment to our work, our career, our spouse and our children increases. Even those of us who were total sports nuts in our youth can view such leisure activities as a frivolity that they no longer have time for.
We should, however, all make time because besides the obvious benefits such as physical fitness, weight loss and good health, sports have other benefits that are useful to people of all ages. Get yourself down to FCBC Canada soccer academy, your local fitness center or a public pool regularly and you’ll start to reap the following benefits…
Better quality of sleep
8 Hours a day under fluorescent lights chugging coffee is pretty much the norm for most of us, but this lifestyle is not conducive to a good night’s sleep. Not getting enough sleep can be ruinous for your health, as well as compromising your concentration and diminishing your energy levels throughout the day. Regular exercise and particularly participation in sports raises your core temperature, ensuring that when it cools back down again (i.e. at bedtime), you’ll fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly.
Do you get cranky sitting behind a desk all day? Do you feel grumpy and irritable without quite knowing why? Do you find yourself affected by low mood despite being generally happy with your quality of life? A sedentary lifestyle has been strongly linked to depression while regular exercise stimulates the brain’s production of endorphins leading to better moods and increased vitality. Moreover, participating in sports increases your social circle and gives you more opportunities for human contact which is a guaranteed mood booster in today’s insular lifestyle.
Stress can be an extremely damaging but unfortunately inevitable part of modern life. While occasional bouts of stress and anxiety are natural and can even be a powerful motivator, excess stress can be damaging to your mental health. As tempting as it may be to use your busy schedule as an excuse not to engage in exercise, participating in sports can not only relieve stress but improve your body’s ability to cope effectively with stress meaning that you will be calmer and more collected while your colleagues are tearing their hair out!
Jerry Mooney is co-founder and managing editor of zenruption and the author of History Yoghurt and the Moon. He studied at the University of Munich and Lewis and Clark College where he received his BA in International Affairs and West European Studies. He has recently taught Language and Communications at a small, private college and owned various businesses, including an investment company. Jerry is committed to zenrupting the forces that block social, political and economic justice. He can also be found on Twitter.
By Sharon Jones
Got a road trip coming up soon? Whether this is for leisure or travel to get to your next business, you might already be dreading the long journey. Not many people enjoy sitting in the car for a few hours on end, even if the route does pass some awesome sights.
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All that boredom is really nothing to worry about, though. As long as you know all of the following ideas and tips, you will be able to banish boredom in no time at all!
Research The Route
Don’t just set out on the road trip with just the basics of the route. It’s much better to do your homework and spend your time researching the route. That way, you will know exactly what there is to say along the way, and you can spend some of your time trying to spot the sights. You will find that this makes the road trip a lot more inspiring and entertaining.
Get Your Tablet Ready
It will be necessary to bring some entertainment with you for the long and winding road, and a tablet device is perfect for this as they are so portable. You will be able to play casino online and stream YouTube videos while you have Internet data, but it’s also a good idea to download some apps and install programs so that you have some entertainment options if you don’t always have Internet. For example, you could always download a couple of movies or episodes of your favorite TV show.
Take Some Detours
This might not work if you are traveling for work and are on a tight deadline but, if at all possible, you should try and take as many detours as possible. That way, you can keep your journey interesting by heading to nearby sights and attractions. By taking the scenic route and as many detours as possible, you will see some magnificent sights that aren’t always visible on the highway.
Give The Kids Jobs
Traveling with little ones? Then you are probably worried that they will start to complain and cause trouble as soon as they get bored. There’s one way around this – you just need to give them some simple jobs and responsibilities while they are in the car. For instance, you could hand older kids a map and ask them to help you navigate.
Read About Road Trips
Why not relax with a good book while you’re in the back seat? There are lots of popular novels and books that are all themed on road trips, and these will be the perfect accompaniment to your journey. One of the most famous road trip books has to be Jack Kerouac’s On The Road. Don’t worry if you are driving; you can still enjoy a good book on the road – you just need to find it in an audiobook format so that you can listen to it.
Boredom and road trips don’t have to go hand in hand, especially when you use the above ideas!
Image via Pixabay
By Sharon Jones
There are many different hobbies someone could choose to take up, ranging from stamp collecting to drinking as many different varieties of beer as possible, or going the mad scientist route with a kit from HumanParagon.
Some hobbies, it turns out, can be better for your overall self-development than others. Here are a few of the leading contenders.
Take up gardening
Much of what we do during the course of our daily work lives is frantic, rushed, and caffeine-fuelled. We’re running from one task to another, endlessly, while doing a poor job of focusing on any given thing.
Not only that, but there’s also the fact that we’re often quite disconnected from the fruits of our labour. In the complex 21st century business world, how many of us truly get to finish our work for the day and gaze with pride at the completed result?
Gardening is a fantastic antidote to these everyday woes. Not only does it force us to slow down and engage with the present moment in a more deliberate way, but it directly anchors us to the sense of creating, and enjoying the results of our efforts.
There’s little as satisfying as seeing your garden develop over time and knowing that it was directly due to your efforts.
Of course, gardening is also great for our health and fitness, with much-needed vitamin D from the sun, fresh air, and light exercise all working wonders for our physical and mental wellbeing.
Get your walking shoes on
It’s a big world out there, and although many of us are now experiencing more of it than ever before, in the sense of catching flights to exotic locales for our holidays, we’re also engaging with it less on a direct basis.
Walking is a great way of getting reacquainted with the world around you. It’s also great for developing your fitness and appreciation of nature, while giving your mind the space and inspiration it needs to come up with fantastic new ideas.
It’s no wonder why many of the great writers, philosophers, and inventors of history swore by regular walks as a way of coming up with their brilliant visions.
Have a go at mountain climbing
Men climb mountains to overcome themselves, the saying goes, and there’s a world of truth to that.
Mountain climbing is a hobby which will not only expose you to some of the world’s most stunning vistas, but will also give you an incredible workout, while conditioning you to push through initial resistance and stick with your challenges until the end.
Once you’ve crested your first mountain summit, you’ll know what it’s all about.
Get into chess
Chess is, firstly, a fun game to play with other people — or even solo, with the help of a computer opponent. Of course, that’s only the tip of the iceberg.
Chess is a game of immense strategy — so much so that hundreds of enormous tomes have been written on different methods and protocols which can be used to win a game.
Getting into chess as a hobby is a brilliant way of sharpening up your problem-solving skills and training yourself to view tasks from new and interesting angles.
By Sharon Jones
The world of alcohol is changing and the way that people are consuming alcohol is also shifting. In the constantly evolving business of alcohol there is no wonder that bars, restaurants and supermarkets are changing the way that they promote and sell their alcohol brands. With trends having a huge influence over the changing industry of alcohol today we are looking at the most influential factors on today’s booming alcohol market.
More People Entertaining At Home
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Historically the alcohol market has been predominantly focused on distribution in the hospitality sector. However with more and more people choosing to entertain friends within the comfort of their own homes a shift is being seen where alcohol brands are paying more attention to their promotion and branding within supermarkets. The alcohol industry is recognising that there is now a blurry line between entertaining at home and being entertained whilst going out and they are responding to that by upping their focus to consumerism taking place in supermarkets. As more and more people are looking to enjoy their social time within their homes alcohol brands are finding innovative ways to become a part of that. Launching social media campaigns encouraging people to post pictures of themselves enjoying their preferred beverage, many alcohol brands are now finding new and creative ways to become a part of the growing world of home entertainment.
Increasingly Intelligent Technology
As with pretty much all industries the increasing modernisation in technology is having a huge influence in the alcohol sector. Even the very nature of e commerce is having an influence in the way that alcohol is being promoted and is allowing brands to be able to be quicker to react and interact with their target market. Technologies in the ways that alcohol is also being produced is also shifting from increasingly intelligent brewing software to the development of cleaning technology which is set to change the face of the sustainable alcohol fermentation process. The developing software and technology that is being used in the alcohol industry is changing the way that brands are looking at the development of their alcoholic brands and the different ways in which the process can be adapted to bring in higher profit margins, to be more time-efficient and to be more sustainable moving forwards.
Increasingly Savvy Consumers
As the world of consumerism and commerce offers more and more choice, consumers are becoming more and more savvy and more and more demanding. This trend of consumers leading the way for brands to be more reactionary to consumer demands is seeing alcohol brands pushing themselves to the next level in terms of premium quality products, broadening product ranges and diversity of pricing. Consumers looking for increased authenticity with the alcohol brands that they are purchasing means that brands are having to find innovative ways of standing apart from their competitors. This trend of savvy consumers is also pushing alcohol brands to be more focused on creative lifestyle advertising based on the choices and values’ they feel their target market wants to be associated with.
By Jerry Mooney
Everyone likes to think that they’re great at what they do. Be it driving, drawing, writing or working at the office, people like to tell themselves they’re doing a good job because, quite frankly, there aren’t many people that will tell us otherwise. If they do, then we’re quick to argue our corner and we may even reject any kind of advice or opinion they offer.
Many of those situations can be harmless, but driving is an area where complacency can kill. To help snap you out of that fantasy, here are 9 signs that you’re actually a bad driver. If you feel like many of these points apply to you then don’t worry—many people have been there before and it’s what you do afterwards to redeem yourself that counts.
You spend your mornings behind the wheel
Be it doing your makeup, eating your breakfast, reading the news or even brushing your teeth—never do these inside a car while it’s moving and active on the road. Your car is for driving, it’s not an extension of your home. Get your stuff sorted out before you hit the road or else you become a hazard to not only yourself but others around you. If you find it difficult to get time in the mornings, then sleep a little earlier. Driving while tired equally as bad as driving under the influence and you may even be fined if you’re a careless driver.
You always think you’re below the alcohol limit
You technically can have a bit of alcohol before you’re considered drunk enough to be charged with a DUI on the road. However, that amount is incredibly small and if you’ve successfully finished a beer or a cocktail, then you’ve already passed the reasonable limit and you will require a criminal lawyer to get you out of a sticky situation. If you want to avoid ever running into the law while driving, then stop taking alcohol lightly. Always make sure you have a designated driver in your group of friends, or consider taking another form of transportation to get home.
You think that everyone else drives too fast
Are people constantly driving past you even when you’re in the slow lane? Then you might be simply driving too slowly. People automatically assume that driving slowly is safer because there’s less chance that you’ll end up in a fatal accident. However, it’s actually a lot worse because not only are you putting other drivers at risk, you’re causing slowdowns which could result in even worse crashes. A good driver will always match the speed of others around them so that everyone is aware of their surroundings and plenty of distance is created between each car.
You treat your car like a fashion statement
Sure, cars can look absolutely stunning and beautiful. However, if you focus more on the looks of your car than the actual internals or functionality, then you’re approaching car ownership with a luxury mindset that is out of the scope of this article. Cars can be luxurious and fitted with everything from leather seats to lighting on the bottom of your car. Some wheels can even cost more than vehicles themselves, so it goes without saying that it’s possible to completely modify your vehicle into a fashion statement and not for functionality.
You get funny looks when you say you’re good at driving
Have you ever told your friends that you’re good at driving, only to receive funny looks? Don’t worry—you probably aren’t the only one that gets it, but it’s a good idea to ask them if they really think you’re a good driver or not. Some people are impartial and, as long as they get from point A to B, they don’t care about your driving ability. However, if you say that you’re one of the best drivers around and your friends don’t see it as a funny statement, then they probably know that you’re just gloating or bragging and they won’t believe a word you say.
You think that other drivers are at fault more than yourself
No one likes to blame themselves for something happening, but if you find yourself shouting from behind the steering wheel at other drivers, then it might be a sign that you’re refusing to see your own mistakes. This is when a dashcam comes in handy because you can accurately record what goes on in front of your vehicle. You can easily play it back on a mobile device and see who’s really to blame. As long as you approach this with an open mind, you’ll realise that you make mistakes just like those people that you blow your horn at.
You’ve never thought about taking defensive driving courses
To be a safer driver, you’ll have to think about taking defensive driving courses. These are designed to help you actively avoid crashes, collisions and accidents while on the road. Many accidents happen as a result of a reckless driving inflicting damage on other vehicles in the road. If you want to avoid ever being at the center of a crash, then take some defensive driving courses to refresh your memory and give you more skills to work with when driving in a busy environment.
Your hand is your phone holder in the car
If you find time to look at your phone on a regular basis by picking it up with your hands, the there’s a good chance that you’re not a good driver. Drivers should always use hands free kits and avoid distractions as much as possible to ensure the safety of themselves and their passengers.
You think you’re great at multitasking in the car
Multitasking is something to be proud of but it has no place in the car. It doesn’t matter if you’re playing a video game on your phone, singing a song or even petting your dog—make sure your eyes are fixed on the road and your surroundings more than anything else. Remove distractions and stop assuming that good multitasking skills are making your more productive.
By Nigel Hilton
Whoever said that sports are necessarily an outdoors pursuit? The truth is that there are a huge number of fantastic sports which you can play inside, and many of these are also delightfully easy to set up in your own home in very little time at all. Perhaps you have a kind of man-cave area of your house, and you are looking to kit it out with something a little different. Or maybe you are about to move into a new home, and you’d like some decent entertainment for when you get settled in. Whatever the situation, there are a number of great indoor sports you can easily make fit into your home. Let’s take a look at a few of the best.
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Although it is often ridiculed as somehow not being a genuine sport, the fact is that indoor golf is played all over the world by a huge number of people, many of whom are genuinely dedicated to it as a way of life. If you have never given it a go before, you might be surprised at how enjoyable it can actually be. For those who have never tried it, it can be a surprisingly difficult one to pick up – but once you do, you will find that it is actually highly addictive. The truly great thing about it as an indoor sport, however, is that it easily packs away and won’t take up too much space in your home. This does not need to be a permanent fixture in your home in order to get use out of it, so you don’t need to worry about stepping on anyone’s toes.
Pool & Others
Pool is one of the most popular games in the world, and it is not hard to see how you might be able to successfully bring it into your home. The truth is that there are few games which suit the personal home more than pool – although its counterparts, such as snooker and billiards, do probably come quite close. If you are thinking of having pool in your home, you will need to make sure you have a fair bit of space, especially if you want to choose one of the more luxurious high end pool tables. In all likelihood, you will need a spare room, or a garage at the least. But provided that you do find that space, you will find it is a fantastic addition to the home – and a great focal point for parties.
Originating in Germany under the name of Foosball, table football is one of those classic indoor games which don’t seem likely to go anywhere anytime soon. If you are a fan of this admittedly tricky sport, then you might well want to try and find a table to suit the spare space in your own home. Fortunately, you will probably find it quite easy to make it fit into your home, as the tables are not that huge and can usually be packed away pretty easily. But on the whole, this is a great way to bring the world of sport into your home in a fun and inviting way for guests.