Monthly Archives: February 2016

Winter Crops

Winter Vegetablescauliflower

Winter yields crops of delicious vegetables that cost less than those in the supermarket. However, you must plant accordingly to avoid the freezing points that will ruin your garden. If you have a late maturing crop, it’ll take roughly 90 days to grow; a mid season crop would take 60; and an early maturing crop would take 30 days.

Cauliflower- May be grown and harvested all year, however is best in the fall through spring months

Sprouting Broccoli- Can be grown year round, but like most calciferous vegetables, it tastes best in cool weather

Parsnips- They look like a white carrot and have a nutty taste

Celery- It’s best in the fall with harvest continuing through winter and the warmer weather

Brussels Sprouts- They grow on a stalk and will last longer compared to when the stalk is cut

Reasons to Quit Smoking

Reasons to Quit Smokingsmoker

Smoking is one of the leading causes in preventable diseases and deaths, though nearly 480,000 deaths occur every year every year (equivalent to 1 in every 5 deaths.) It is estimated that nearly 40 million adults in the United States alone currently smoke cigarettes though. The reasons to quit smoking are endless; immediate results include whiter teeth, lower blood pressure, and everyday activities become much easier (such as climbing stairs.) However, the long term effects are reasons enough to quit.

One reason to quit is that smoking is expensive. Multiply the amount you spend for cigarettes a day by 365. That is how much you spend for cigarettes a year. Multiply that by the amount of years you’ve been smoking, and that’s the amount you’ve spent so far on smoking. After several years of smoking, you have to add the medical costs to this. You’d be surprised at how expensive it will become.

The health benefits of quitting smoking are far greater than any risks from the emotional or psychological problems that may follow quitting. You have people you can turn to in times of need, and they’ll always be happy to help.

  • Smoking shortens a person’s life by nearly 12 years.
  • Smoking accounts for about 30% of all cancer deaths in the United States
    • Smoking is a risk factor in cancers of the mouth, voice box, throat, kidney, liver, and many more
  • Smoking leads to COPD, which makes it hard for the person to breath, even at rest. In later stages, the person may gasp for breath, feeling as though they are drowning.
  • Smoking also causes premature skin aging, decrease of sense of smell and taste, lower bone density, frequent headaches, and many more.

The reasons to quit smoking are endless; but the major reason is your loved ones. You need to set an example for your friends and family. Most smokers say they don’t want their children to smoke, though children of smokers are more likely to smoke. Loved ones want to see you in a better condition, and they’d be happy to help you on you journey.

Improve Your Balance

Improve Your Balance

Balance falls into the same category as flexibility and core strength. Our bodies need these to properly function, though it seems as though it isn’t a major priority to most people. Core strength works as an anchor for your body and helps maintain balance. Core exercises such as sit-ups or using a balance board will strengthen your core while improving your balance.

One legged exercises will also improve balance as you are focusing on strengthening your leg muscles. Tai chi is believed to improve flexibility, balance, cardio respiratory fitness, muscle strength, and endurance. Stretching is a wonderful way to improve balance and motion. Stretching a few times a week will improve balance, especially with a set of light weights.

Vision is a huge aspect in balance. Have you ever noticed it easier to balance when you have your gaze fixed on a particular area rather than looking all over? Vision works with the proprioceptive systems to maintain balance and prevent many falls.  You can start by just standing up tall and closing your eyes without moving. Over time, combine a narrow base of support with some-leg balances while closing your eyes. This will definitely improve your balance.