Archive | June, 2018

Top 10 Health Benefits of Lecithin

There are numerous benefits of lecithin to the human body that many of us are not aware of and many of which can help us become healthier as it is a proven substance that’s essentially needed by our body. The benefits of lecithin are limitless, but to give you an idea, here are the top 10 benefits of lecithin:

1. One of the great benefits of lecithin is it breaks up cholesterol and fats in our body so it is very advisable for those who want to lose weight. Consuming more lecithin means increasing the body’s metabolism rate.

2. The benefits of lecithin also reach out to people suffering from memory loss. Lecithin utilizes Vitamins A, E, K, and D which promote better concentration and memory. It is very beneficial to students and the elderly who wish to enhance their memory skills. As a matter of fact, those with Alzheimer’s or amnesia are advised to include lecithin in their diet.

3. Lecithin also cleanses the kidneys and liver which is important to those who are suffering from urinary tract infection and those who love to eat salty and spicy foods. It prevents diseases like gallstones and gallbladder infection.

4. Protection against heart diseases is one of the many benefits of lecithin. It lowers cholesterol level and prevents toxins from clogging the arteries. People who include lecithin in their diet noticed remarkable development in their cardiovascular health.

5. Other benefits of lecithin worth mentioning are its roles in helping our body absorb better essential nutrients and supporting the movement of our body fluids inside and outside the cells.

6. One of the major benefits of lecithin is it protects our spinal cord and brain cells from damages. We all know how important and delicate our spinal cord and brain are for the whole functioning of our body and lecithin can keep them in good working condition.

7. Lecithin is also beneficial to our skin. If we are taking in enough lecithin into our body, it nourishes our skin and lessens the possibility of dealing with skin problems like pimples, acne, whiteheads, and blackheads.

8. Increasing your daily intake of lecithin will very much increase your physical performance, very helpful to those who are into body building and sports and people who are always on the go. Lecithin can boost the body’s energy level without making you fat.

9. If you are suffering from arthritis, you’ll be surprised with the benefits of lecithin especially in helping you deal with this painful ailment. Lecithin contains essential fatty acids that keep muscles, bones, and joints strong and healthy.

10. There are also benefits of lecithin for pregnant women. Studies proved that it can contribute a lot to the development of the fetus’ brain and nervous system.

The lecithin benefits are numerous but it doesn’t mean it’s all good. Too much intake of lecithin can also lead to nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and dizziness. The body normally needs only 30 to 50 grams of lecithin per day and you can get it from eating egg yolk, fish, and peanuts.

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Brandon Lee Workout Vs Bruce Lee Workout

Brandon Lee’s workout program for the film – Rapid Fire was designed by Darryl Chan, his personal trainer. When Darryl asked Brandon Lee what his goal was, in terms of his physique; for the film Rapid Fire he said he wanted to look like his dad… Bruce Lee.

Brandon Lee’s exercise program started out with six days on one day off. He worked out two body parts per day.

Here’s a breakdown of the Brandon Lee workout six-day per week program:

Monday: Chest and Triceps

Tuesday: Shoulders and Biceps

Wednesday: Back

Thursday: Chest and Triceps

Friday: Shoulders and Biceps

Saturday: Back

Sunday: Off

As you can see from this workout the focus is entirely on the upper body. Later on Darryl Chan reduced the training program to 3 days on one day off schedule. The training schedule for that program looks like this.

Brandon Lee workout — Three Days on One Day off Schedule

Monday: Chest and Triceps

Tuesday: Shoulders and Biceps

Wednesday: Back

Thursday: Off

Friday: Chest and Triceps

Saturday: Shoulders and Biceps

Sunday: Back

Monday: Off

For the chest workout some of the exercises used were flat bench press, a dumbbell incline press, dumbbells decline press, and dumbbell flys.

The triceps workout Brandon Lee used the following exercises… weighted dips, triceps push downs and reverse grip push down.

One of the principles that was used in this workout was muscle confusion. The exercises would be changed for each workout. For example if they performed barbell bench presses for the chest workout on the next chest workout they might use dumbbell chest presses etc.

Repetitions and Sets

Both of Brandon Lee’s workout programs consisted of approximately 4 sets. The repetitions were designed to build power so, he performed 5 to 10 repetitions of each exercise.

The Brandon Lee workout program was performed over a three-month period. His bodyweight went from 158 pounds to a lean and muscular 168 pounds. In looking at some of the pictures of Brandon Lee in the film Rapid Fire it appears to me that he achieved his goal of looking like his father. Unfortunately, this was the last film that Brandon Lee made.

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The Anti Toxin Diet – Drink Juice and Lose Weight

This diet is the best if you want to get rid of the extra toxins in your body. The juice diet not only detoxifies your body, but also does magic to your facial and physical appearance. Not only will you be shedding off pounds your face would glow. Your typical day should include a glass of low fat or skim milk In the morning as breakfast.

After a couple of hours you should have a cucumber juice with lemon. Make sure you do not drink half glasses, try having a big glass of these juices have a lot of water in between. for lunch have a big glass of orange juice with two boiled eggs. For your mid evening snack have a glass of banana, carrot, kiwi, grapefruit, orange, apple, mango, juice you can make a juice out of these fruits and veggies, or you can make a smoothie. The smoothie should be made in low fat yogurt and no extra sugar should be added.

Let’s say you are a veggie hater and only resort to eating meats and eggs. so you can stick to drinking fruit juices rather than vegetable juices. Try drinking the broccoli and mint juice. Not only will your system be purified, you will get all the required nutrients in your body. You can also drink tomato juice, as long as you do not have uric acid. But do not have a lot of tomato juice since the sugar in tomato can be problematic with the weight loss. a lot of people follow the orange juice diet, but a variety of juices made with fresh veggies and fruits can be healthier.

Make sure you check with your doctor before doing the juice diet. Once you have lost all the desired weight on the juice diet. Adding solid food should be done slowly and you should only introduce the easily digested foods first. For instance yogurt, cereal, salads etc. do not start your solid food diet until you have fully lost your desired weight. Drink a lot of water while doing the diet.

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Get a Bubble Butt – Make It Round and Sexy

Are you sick and tired of having a flat butt? You want to put on a pair of jeans or a dress and it just doesn’t fit well because there is nothing to fill it out with. You go out with your girlfriends and guys turn around to look at their well shaped behinds while you are left unnoticed?

What if there was a way of changing this, a way to get a bubble butt and to make your butt really round and sexy in only a few weeks time? If you keep reading I will tell you the secret of how to get a bubble butt.

Just picture yourself with a bigger sexier butt, just imagine what you would look like and how it would feel. You stand in front of the mirror and you see your jeans stretched hard against your booty and so far it is only you watching yourself. Then when you leave your home you will get a whole lot more attention than you are used to (in a good way) and you will feel a whole lot more confident.

So think of how you will feel with the sexy round butt you will get when following the advice in this article.

So how do you do it. How do you get a bubble butt?

You have probably been given all kinds of weird advice already. Things like eating cornbread or heaps of junkfood and just stay on your booty all day. This is only hazardous to your health but it certainly won’t improve the looks of your behind either. The fat will go everywhere on your body and even if you do add some fat on your booty this way it sure won’t look nice. So just stick to healthy foods.

Now the other advice people usually give when it comes to building a bigger butt is exercise. This is a lot better. Exercises is needed to get a good butt as the buttocks are made up of muscle. Good exercises targeting the buttocks will make them stronger and bigger. To get a noticeable difference you need know which exercises you need to do.

Now for the secret tip

An admirable sexy butt is made of fat as well as muscle. Adding muscle alone is not enough to make it really round and sexy. As mentioned before, eating junk food is not how you “fatten up” your butt. There is way of adding fat to your booty simply by moving body fat from other parts of your body to your butt. This sounds incredible, but it is true. This is very easy to do and takes only a few minutes a day. The combination of strong muscle and fat will give your booty that round sexy shape. So now you just have to take action and you will soon have a sexy round butt admired not only by yourself but by many others as well.

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The Seven Principles of Resistance Training

When focusing on resistance training, and overall athletic performance for that matter, there are seven overriding principles that govern improvement. When training, try to keep these principles in mind when looking for improvement. Often people find that they reach performance ‘plateaus’, however if they review their program, they will find that they are most likely neglecting one or more of the following principles:

1. Principle of Overload

2. Principle of Progression

3. Principle of Specificity

4. Principle of Variation

5. Principle of Individuality

6. Principle of Diminishing Returns

7. Principle of Reversibility

Principle of Overload

This is one of the fundamental basics of resistance training. It basically means that if you want to get stronger or make the muscle grow, you need to work or ‘overload’ the muscle. When you overload the muscle, you are actually tearing the muscle tissue at a microscopic level. When this occurs, the body tries to over-compensate, anticipating that it needs to be done again. In doing so, more muscle tissue is laid down, causing muscle growth.

Principle of Progression

Again, this is one of the basic principles of weight training. This means that as you get stronger, it is no point continuing to lift the same weight – you need to ‘progress’ by lifting heavier weight, or pump out more repetitions. If the progression is too great, the weight will be too heavy to lift, however if there is no or little progression, there will be no performance improvement.

Principle of Specificity

The concept of specificity is that if you want to improve your performance in a certain area, train in that area. In other words, train how you play! If you want to improve athletic performance in basketball for example, there’s no use running laps around an oval – Do athletics based on basketball, such as suicide runs, ball drills etc. Resistance training is the same – if you want to improve your push-ups, do push-ups and exercises that mimic that movement.

Principle of Variation

Some people get confused that variation and specificity conflict each other. In fact, they absolutely do not! The idea of variation is that you mix up your training routine so your body doesn’t adapt too efficiently to what you’re trying to achieve. Again, using the push-up as an example, you can vary your push-up workout by changing it to incline or decline push-ups, putting a clap in the middle or moving your hand closer to make it a triceps push-up. Alternatively you can try a bench press – Biomechanically it’s nearly identical.

Principle of Individuality

The principle of Individuality covers the differences of people with the ‘X’ factor -and those athletic freaks who seem to get stronger just by looking at weights! More seriously, individuality acknowledges that all people train at different rates. This individuality can be influenced by age, gender, race, nutrition, genetic predisposition and sleep factors. This is why it is important people follow their individual training routine rather than copy what everyone else seems to be doing.

Principle of Diminishing Returns

The Principle of Diminishing Returns means that as someone gets fitter or stronger, it takes more effort to continue to get fitter or stronger. A beginner who is morbidly obese will lose a significant amount of weight when they begin, but as they lose more and more weight, it becomes more and more difficult to continue to lose the weight. Strength gains are the same. This is why world class athletes train for hours and hours every day to try and gain a 1-2% improvement!

Principle of Reversibility

This is the ‘move it or lose it’ rule. It means that exercise needs to be continued to maintain athletic and strength bases, or the results will be reversed. Generally speaking, the elderly are not as strong as when they were in their youth, partly because they are not as active as when they were young. It has been estimated that an athlete at bed-rest will lose approximately 10% of cardiovascular performance per week! This is why many sportspeople will maintain their strength and fitness in the off-season – It’s much easier to maintain fitness and strength than lose it and try to get it back.

These are the seven principles of resistance training. Try to remember these and take them into account when writing your next training program!

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Food Allergy – The Body’s Cry For Help

If you often feel bloated, tired, or not so good after a meal; if you gave frequent have stomach pains, cramps, or bowel problems; if you have strong food cravings or food dislikes; if you experience a collection of symptoms that you just cannot explain, or sometimes become more anxious, irritable, or depressed f you may be suffering from food allergy.

Allergy has reached epidemic, proportions, and it has been estimated that at this rate, half of Europe will have allergies in a few years. Food allergies are of particular concern, as they are now being recognized as a factor in many health problems and diseases, especially in children.

Many scientists and health practitioners believe that a poor diet and the sheer quantity of toxins that are now present in our food are major factors in this unprecedented rise in the number and severity of allergies over the last decades.

When Food Harms Instead of Helping

Much of our food is over-processes and treated with toxins all the way from production to sale. Instead of being a major source of true health and resilience, therefore, the food we eat can actually undermine our body’s ability to deal effectively with daily stresses, and to clear out the toxins that assault us from all sides. No wonder that more and more of our bodies are reacting with food allergies.

Food allergies not only harm our bodies (and our minds), they also prevent us from deriving the full nutritional benefits from the healthful foods we do eat. By causing damage to our digestive systems, they can prevent complete breakdown of foods into essential nutrients, and interfere with the body’s ability to properly absorb what nutrients are available. This can lead to nutrient deficiencies and malnutrition, even though you might be eating lots of good food.

Another problem is that food allergies can restrict your ability to eat the foods you need. A diverse diet offers maximum assurance that you are getting the nutrients you need, but if you live in fear of a reaction, you might find yourself limiting your diet more than you need to. For instance, a person with an allergy to swiss chard or silverbeet might eliminate all greens from their diet, when really, they might only be reacting to a particular chemical found in plants of the ‘beet’ genus. By eliminating all greens, this person is losing many health-giving properties of greens, which are outstanding sources of chlorophyll, calcium and magnesium.

Allergenic foods

An allergenic or reactive food is one that causes an allergic reaction, such as hives, wheezing, stomach cramps or stuffy nose. The foods that tend to be most highly allergenic (especially to children) are: milk wheat corn sugar soy nuts eggs.

Other highly reactive foods are: oats, yeasts, chocolate, seafood, beef and citrus.

However, you can develop an intolerance, sensitivity or allergy to any food. The degree of sensitivity to a food depends on your tolerance ‘threshold’ for that food. You might be able to eat small amounts of a food, but react to larger amounts. Or some foods may be eaten without reaction once in a while, but not more frequently.

In fact, you may not be reacting to the specific food, but to one of more of the components of that food. It might surprise you to learn that the most common problematic substances are the vitamins and minerals in foods. They can cause us to have allergic reactions to many foods we eat on a daily basis. Other major causes of food allergy are food additives, sulphur, pesticides, biotechnology and genetic engineering.

Symptoms of Food Allergy

There are many warning signs that indicate that you might have a food allergy: dark circles under the eyes, frequent sniffing or throat-clearing, irritability, moodiness, hyperactivity, or frequent fatigue. Other signs may include headaches, stomach aches, bowel problems, muscle pain, coughing or wheezing, and frequent digestive or respiratory problems. Symptoms vary from person to person. Common signs of food allergy include the following:

Digestive problems – Reactions to food allergens can damage to walls lining the digestive tract, and also disrupt the balance of hormones and chemicals needed for proper digestion and elimination. This can lead to problems such as Leaky Gut syndrome, where the walls of the small intestine leak partially-digested food into the blood stream. This can lead to bloating, stomach cramps and inflammation, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, autoimmune and immune deficiency diseases, and many other problems.

Blocked airways – Food allergens are responsible for excess mucus in many allergic people, leading to chronic blocked noses, and mucuosy throats – as well as ear infections. Babies have very small upper airways and it takes very little to block them. When the allergens are removed from the diet, the mucus dries up.

Middle Ear infections – Over 70% of children suffer from middle ear infection at some time or other, and it believed by many researchers to arise from food allergies, particularly to milk and wheat. One study reported that 78% of the children with otitis showed allergies milk, wheat, egg white, peanuts, and soy, and when these foods were eliminated from their diet, 86% experienced significant improvement.

Psychological or emotional problems – Food allergies have been clearly linked to a range of psychological and behavior disorders such as autism and hyperactivity in children, anxiety, depression, inability to concentrate, mood swings, and ‘fogginess’.

Food addictions – If you are addicted to a food, you are probably allergic to it. This is because allergic reactions in the body trigger the release of certain chemicals, among them, opioids, which make you feel good. If you feel happier when you eat that food, you can develop a craving for it.

Types of Food Allergies

If you are allergic to a food, you can experience either an immediate or a delayed reaction to food. The immediate reaction pattern is referred to as Type l food allergy. Immediately or within a short time after eating the food, you show clear and often dramatic symptoms. If you are allergic to fungus, you might develop abdominal cramps within an hour of eating a ragout containing mushrooms. A child with a type 1 reaction to kiwi fruit might experience severe itching in the mouth or vomiting within 15 minutes of eating a kiwi fruit.

The most dangerous Type l reaction is called anaphylaxis – a severe reaction that can be fatal within minutes. If you or your child experiences light-headedness), swollen tongue or throat, difficulty breathing, fainting or facial swelling immediately after eating food, seek immediate emergency care.

Type l food allergies are easy to diagnose. They respond to allergy skin tests, and show up on blood tests because they result in an excess of IgE antibodies. For many doctors, this is the only kind of real food allergy. Recent estimates show that that Type l food allergies occur in between 3-5 % (sometimes to 8%) of children, and in 1-2 % of adults.

Type ll food allergy does not involve IgE antibodies. Instead, IgA, IgG and IgM antibodies may be produced. This reaction pattern is associated with the release of inflammatory substances by the immune system. Many food allergies are of this type, therefore, they are not detected by standard allergy tests, which usually only test for the IgE antibodies.

Some reactive patterns are ‘hidden’. Delayed patterns of food allergy (referred to as Type lll food allergy) often go unrecognized because the symptoms are not usually obvious, and may occur days after the food is eaten. Also, since they do not involve the production of excess IgE antibodies, delayed allergy reactions to not show up on skin tests or IgE antibody tests. Rather, they tend to show up as clusters of physical, behavioral and learning problems affecting several body systems at once.

You may experience Type lll allergy as a combination of recurring or persistent symptoms such as breathlessness, frequent clearing of throat, episodes of hyperactivity and emotional hypersensitivity, chronic stuffy nose, and frequent flu-like symptoms. Another person may experience recurring headaches, frequent itching of the eyes, abdominal pains, fatigue, bouts of depression, sleep problems, and swelling of the lymph nodes. These delayed reaction patterns of food allergy are difficult to diagnose. Yet according to many health practitioners, they account for the majority of food allergies, especially in children.

In fact, food allergies are so common – and still so frequently undiagnosed – that you should take any undefined pattern of illness that involves different symptoms and different body symptoms as a sign of food allergy until proven otherwise.


It used to be accepted that children outgrew food allergies, and adults sometime report the same, but we now that allergies just evolve and change over time. For instance, allergies to milk or eggs can evolve into respiratory or other allergies, or as various health problems. For true healing to occur, the underlying allergies must be addressed.

The most common treatment for food allergies is avoidance. This will relieved the symptoms and prevent further damage; however, it can mean a lifetime of restrictive diets.

There is some evidence that eating organic foods can decrease the incidence or severity of allergic reactions to food, and may even help protect against allergic reactions. Organic foods provide more of the quality nutrients needed to build up the immune system, which is always weak in those with allergies. Certainly, a diet high in organic foods decreases the chances of developing allergies to food additives and pesticides, and can reduce the incidence of allergies.

However, if you already have food allergies, the damage they have already caused still needs to be corrected.

The best solution to food allergies is desensitization. There are different treatment options available, some of them immunizing the body to allergens with extracts taken under the tongue or injections. Acupuncture has also been shown effective in treating some allergies. The problem is that these therapies may not address the underlying health issues, such as nutrient deficiencies, toxin overload or stress, that caused food allergies in the first place.

For a real solution to food allergies, choose a program that involves detoxification to clear the body of toxins that contribute to allergies, corrects other underlying health problems, and desensitizes you to the allergens that are affecting you.

Once the food allergies are under control or eliminated, it is important that you obtain solid nutritional advice to help you maintain and build the health of your immune system. If you don’t eat enough of the right foods, or eat too much of the wrong foods, you are at risk of developing new allergies or other problems. A good diet is still your best protection.

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Exercise During Pregnancy – the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Are you pregnant? Has your doctor told you to get moving in some way, to do some sort of exercise? (By the way, ALWAYS check with a doctor before beginning an exercise program.)

Exercise can either be your best friend or your worst enemy. Here is some food for thought if you are struggling with starting an exercise program during your pregnancy.

==> The Good.

You need to exercise during pregnancy. You need to gently stretch and stay as flexible as possible. This can make a huge difference in the quality of your delivery and recovery.

I know. I’ve had four full time pregnancies and I’ve experienced firsthand the difference staying flexible can make. Exercise also keeps your body working at a higher efficiency rate which will help you sleep better and improve your digestion, two things not to be taken lightly during pregnancy.

The difference exercise during pregnancy can make for your post-partum recovery is amazing. Again, I can tell you from firsthand experience, that a comfortable and reasonable fitness routine (simple walking is terrific) can help your body ‘snap back’ like nothing else.

Physical exercise has been shown to improve moods. Girlfriend, we know how to have moods when we’re pregnant, don’t we? Enough said.

And don’t forget this vital point. A healthier mom means a healthier baby. How can you argue with that?

==> The Bad.

Exercise performed during pregnancy is different than exercise at other times. You’ve got to be extra-sensitive to your body needs. You’ve got to go slower and be willing to stop sooner. You must be willing to be flexible in your choice of exercise, too. If you like to run, you probably won’t be able to keep that up your entire pregnancy. Of course, that choice will be between you and your doctor.

Still, all those points have a silver lining. A great exercise for pregnancy is swimming. And hey, no one cares what you look like in a bathing suit! In fact, being pregnant is a wonderful time to celebrate the beauty of your body. Take advantage, buy a cute suit, and head for the water.

An additional safety point to consider when you exercise is not to overheat. I’ve experienced this, as well, and it is not fun. I was only fourteen weeks pregnant, but the weather was hot and humid. I was playing horseshoes (hardly an aerobic sport), but after a short time I was feeling terrible. The people around me were commenting on how flushed I looked. When I went inside it took a very long time for me to cool down, much longer than normal.

So be careful. Exercise during pregnancy is meant to benefit you and your baby, but that means it needs to be moderate and regulated. Save the Olympics for later.

==> The Ugly.

You’re pregnant. You feel sick. You’re tired. Exercise?? Are you crazy?

It’s true. Even the most die-hard fitness gal often finds motivation for exercise during her pregnancy much more difficult. So if you are not a regular exerciser, you’re wondering how you can possibly pull this off. Even if you know it’s very important to your health and your baby’s well-being, it can be hard to simply get started.

The number one recommendation I can give you is to not to do this on your own. It’s just too big of a leap during this season in your life. The great news is you have some excellent options that can make your exercise time downright fun.

Look for an exercise system or group specifically designed for pregnant women. (For a detailed review of such a system, see the author’s resource box following this article.) Look for one that gives abundant support. This is crucial! You need to be in regular contact with other exercising pregnant women. This will give you the motivation you need to keep up your exercise program even when you don’t feel like it.

Let’s face it. You’ll need someplace to vent and share openly about your pregnancy experiences. An exercise group of other moms-to-be could be a very, very helpful thing to you. I highly recommend it.

So do something wonderful for yourself and your baby today and get moving!

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What Type of Footwear Should I Put on For A Mini Trampoline?

The advantage of a mini trampoline is it can be utilized both outside and inside. This begs the particular question then: what type of footwear will be best suited? Will particular footwear wear down the trampoline pad? Would it be safe to jump with your bare feet? How about socks?

We’re here to reply to these kinds of questions once and for all so that you could increase your comfort as well as being safe.

Let’s begin by covering the shoes we recommend you DO use for your small trampoline. Certainly, you should first check with any paperwork that came with your rebounder regarding certain guidelines from the maker.

A set of tennis, running, or cross training shoes are ideal for working out on a small trampoline. They have enough traction on the soles to make sure you do not slide, yet they’re still gentle enough to not cause damage to the trampoline top layer over time. Additionally, these types of shoes provide great support for individuals that have poor arches or perhaps if you find your feet hurt after a round on the small trampoline. These types of shoes were created for bouncing, which will let you stay firm while jumping your way to your fitness goals.

Much better compared to tennis shoes are no shoes. Your own bare feet come with a natural non-slip sole. Additionally, you will be able to experience the subtle adjustments in the surface of the mini trampoline which will let you get used to changes in your jumping sequence. Also, bouncing on your naked feet can help improve your foot muscles that would otherwise not be used while using shoes. It truly is dependent on comfort and choice whether you choose to don tennis shoes or leave your feet bare.

An ideal compromise in between bare feet and footwear come in the form of Vibram FiveFinger shoes. They might look strange, but they definitely do provide you with the non-slip grip of a shoe with all the overall flexibility and subtle motions that are included with barefoot rebounding!

Regarding safety sake, our recommendation is that you don’t use the following when using a little trampoline. You’ll also extend the life span of your trampoline by following these suggestions.

Though it may be inviting to jump with your socks, especially when doing exercises at home, it’s a bad idea. Your socks give the bottom of your feet with no proper grip in any way. The top of the trampoline is sleek also. Add to that the proven fact that you’ll be jumping and twisting on the trampoline and it’s a recipe for disaster.

If we have not previously mentioned it in this posting, then it’s probably not smart to wear on a mini trampoline. We’re discussing stuff like flip-flops, sandals, cleats, boots, dress shoes, high heel pumps, slip-ons, the list can go much more. Use common sense and stick to bare feet or athletic shoes having soft soles while rebounding. It is going to make sure that you as well as your trampoline last for years in the future.

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Leadership Training – 5 Benefits Youth Gain From Leadership Training

Are you considering developing or supporting a leadership program for youth? Forge full steam ahead because there’s nothing to lose and everything to gain. Leadership training maximizes the potential, productivity, and results of youth. It’s a win-win!

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.” Likewise, sowing a solid leadership training program into the lives of teenagers reaps a harvest of leaders for life. You’ll offer youth the opportunity to gain these five benefits from one powerful seed.

1. Youth develop key skills.

Youth develop skills in communications, critical thinking, leadership, problem solving, and human relations. Leaders need these skills to be effective in their roles. At the same time, youth learn about character, values, and ethics. Where would any leader be without them?

2. Youth build confidence.

Leadership training inspires teenagers to dream more, to do more, and to become more. Everything begins with confidence and a good leadership training program helps each young person discover that he or she has the potential to lead. This potential gets nurtured through learning activities, special projects, internships, and community service.

Think about it. Who does not want to be thought of as a leader? That’s why the best leadership training programs are inclusive. They include the average and often overlooked, not just straight A students.

3. Youth receive current, cutting edge techniques, strategies and solutions.

Youth receive current information on leadership challenges, the traits of leaders, what it takes to lead, motivating others, how to resolve conflict, dealing with difficult people, effective presentation skills, etiquette, practical money skills and more.

4. Youth gain experience through service learning projects.

According to Donald H. McGannon, “Leadership is action, not position.” Hence, service learning projects provide action and valuable experience. Youth explore real issues as they work with leaders in the nonprofit sector, business, and government. At the same time they build relationships with mentors who serve as positive role models.

5. Youth get positive results.

“If you don’t know where you’re going any road will get you there…if you don’t know where you’re going no road will get you there. A solid youth leadership program sets teenagers on the right path – one paved with opportunity. It positions youth for ongoing positive results. Skills are developed, information is imparted, and experience is gained.

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Our Top Ten Team Building Exercises

You’ve recruited the individual members of your team. You’ve established your goal. You’ve developed a plan and a timeline. Now the trick is to get all those unique individuals working together toward the same goal. Given the varied personalities, communication skills and personal agendas individual members bring with them to the team, getting your team to work cooperatively can be a challenge.

In the most productive teams, members are individually and cooperatively focused on reaching the team’s goal. Members understand the interdependent nature of the team: that their individual work depends upon and affects the quality of others’ work and, ultimately, the ability of the team to reach its goal. Members respect, appreciate and recognize each person’s unique contribution to the team’s efforts, but place the greatest emphasis on cooperative achievement of the team goal.

Experiential team building was all the rage not long ago. The team would travel offsite for a “fun” day of rope games and unusual problem solving, typically at an outdoor education center. Unfortunately, too often there was little follow-up and any lessons learned never made it back into the workplace. Today, the emphasis has shifted to in-house team building exercises that can be accomplished at the beginning of a meeting.

Follow these key steps to plan a productive team building exercise:

  1. Keep it simple. It should be quick and easy to set up in a typical meeting room.
  2. It doesn’t need to be expensive. You can get a lot of mileage out of basic office supplies or a few items from your kitchen pantry.
  3. The exercise should be geared for normal office clothing or team members should be told ahead of time to dress appropriately.
  4. People have a hard time relating to large groups, so divide the team into small units of 2 to 4 or 6 people. By breaking down barriers and creating partnerships within these small groups, team members will be better able to relate to the larger team.
  5. Instructions must be easy to understand, especially by any non-native English speakers in your group.
  6. Limited instructions may be part of the team building exercise. Forcing people to figure out what to do or how to do something helps team members identify skills and abilities in themselves and their peers that can help them define their roles on the team: leader, facilitator, problem-solver, communicator, etc.
  7. The exercise should engage all members quickly.
  8. It should present a problem that has multiple solutions to allow for creativity, but that can only be solved through collaboration and cooperative action.
  9. You can increase the difficulty level of any exercise by adding a complication such as “no talking,” or by speeding things up by asking, “How can you do it faster?”
  10. At the completion of the exercise, it is crucial that a facilitator, often the team leader, lead the team in reflecting on what happened, the choices made, and how they interacted with each other. Team members should discuss what they would do differently next time. Reflection is critical to identifying and reinforcing learning.

Try these team building exercises to get your team off on the right foot.

  1. Scrambled Jigsaw. Before the team arrives, place a jigsaw on each table. To manage the time element, use large-piece children’s puzzles of 100 pieces or so. Remove 5 pieces from each puzzle and move them to another table. As the team arrives, divide members among the tables. Instruct teams to fully complete their puzzle, by any means, in the shortest amount of time possible. As puzzles are completed and teams realize pieces are missing, they will be forced to negotiate with other teams to complete their puzzle. This exercise promotes flexibility, communication, negotiation and cooperation.
  2. Creative Assembly. Purchase 3-D punch-out wood dinosaur puzzle kits. Divide the team into groups of 2 to 4. Without comment or instruction, give each group the unpunched puzzle pieces, one complete puzzle per group. Do not let the group see the boxes, pictures or instructions or in any way identify what you have given them. Instruct each group to assemble its project, telling them they can only use what is in front of them. You’ll get some interesting and creative constructions, a lot of laughter and some good natured frustration, particularly with the winged dinosaur kits. When time is up, ask each group to describe its construct. In this exercise, creative thinking, brainstorming, problem-solving, cooperation and consensus will certainly get a workout.
  3. Slight of Hand. Divide team into groups of 4 to 6. Hand each group 4 tennis balls. Tell them each person must handle all 4 balls in the shortest time possible. Do this several times, each time asking, “How can you do it faster?” This exercise will progress from the obvious passing of the balls down a line, to around a circle, to some interesting ball drops and hand swiping. Your team will practice cooperation, quick thinking and creative problem solving in this exercise.
  4. Going Up. Divide team into groups of 2 to 6. Give each person one 8 1/2″ x 11″ sheet of paper and one 5″ strip of masking tape. Instruct each team to build the tallest possible free-standing structure. This exercise promotes cooperation, creative thinking, problem-solving, consensus, leadership and division of labor.
  5. Gnome Dome. Divide the team into groups of 2. Give each group 20 gumdrops and 12 toothpicks. Instruct each group to build a dome. Problem-solving, creative thinking, cooperation (and possibly snacking) will be practiced during this exercise.
  6. Poisonous Web. Stretch a piece of rope across a door frame, securing it to the frame or connecting wall with duct tape. You’ll need two pieces of rope, one 3 feet off the ground, the other 4 1/2 feet off the ground. You are creating a “window” 18 inches wide that you describe to the team as a “poisonous spider web.” The team must work together to get all members through the opening without touching the ropes. They must go through, not under or over the ropes. If a team member touches either rope, the entire team must go back to the beginning and try again. This exercise builds cooperation, leadership, creativity and problem-solving. It also forces team members to trust and depend on each other.
  7. Hang Ups. Hand each person a wire coat hanger. Tell the group they may work individually or create their own groups. Instruct them to make something useful from their coat hanger. Set a time limit of 5 to 15 minutes. Ask each person/group to describe his “tool” and its use. This exercise will indicate which of your team members are natural leaders or born socialites as well as which are more shy and may need to be drawn out when working with the group.
  8. In the Picture. This is another puzzle game. Divide the team into groups and give each one a jigsaw puzzle from which you have already removed one piece. Each team will complete a puzzle with one missing piece. Ask each team what this represents in terms of the team. You’re aiming for discovery of the importance of each individual to the successful accomplishment of the team’s goal, but you may get some interesting responses about proper planning, supply officers and quality control.
  9. All Aboard. This is another physical game. Depending on the size of your team, place a 1-foot to 3-foot square of cardboard on the floor, or mark off a square with masking or duct tape. Draw numbers, one for each team member. In order of the numbers drawn, team members must stand in the square. As the number of people in the square increases, members will have to work together and get creative to get everyone aboard. This exercise practices cooperation, problem-solving and leadership.
  10. Bridge the Gap. Divide the group into teams of 2 to 4. Give each group a small ball of modeling clay and 12 toothpicks. Instruct them to build the longest cantilever bridge they can. Award points for speed of construction, length of bridge, ability to stand without tipping over and ability to hold weight (to measure this, stack quarters until the bridge tips or breaks). Team members will practice creativity, problem-solving, consensus (and manual dexterity).

To be successful, teamwork must be more than a method of dividing up the work to get the job done. Teamwork must embrace a cooperative attitude of mutual respect, shared responsibility and open communication. Teamwork recognizes each team member’s individual contribution to the team in the context of the interdependency of those efforts in cooperative pursuit of the team’s goal.

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