Author: Thompson (Page 1 of 5)

Low-intensity exercises for getting fit at home

Some people are just turned off by the idea of going to the gym. To many, the idea of pushing your body to the max, heart racing with sweat spraying everywhere is not how they want to spend their evenings after a hard day at work. Exercise doesn’t always have to take such extreme forms, though. By combining low-intensity exercises with a balanced diet, it’s still possible to take care of your health and even get that coveted beach body.

Rather than getting your heart racing and potentially doing damage to your knee joints while doing your daily workout, why not explore some different ways to do it? Elliptical trainers have less impact on your knee and ankle joints, and with the right settings you can burn those calories and feel like you’re simply treading water. Just put your favourite movie on and forget that you are doing exercise altogether! If you do decide to use a treadmill, a simple walk every day on an uphill setting can be enough to keep you looking trim. Use a couple of dumbbells to work out your upper body while you’re at it.

Tai Chi and yoga are great low-impact, low-intensity exercise that you can do at home. Gentle, fluid movements ensure you tone your muscles without overly stressing your joints. Do Pilates to strengthen your core, too.

Work out doing chores

Perhaps the easiest way to get a workout at home is to get stuck into the household chores and jobs that need doing. You can build strength by pulling up weeds in the garden, chopping and carrying logs for the fire, carrying home the groceries on foot and countless other ways. Mop the floor with a wet cloth, rather than a mop. Get down on your knees and extended the cloth back and forth in front of you, scrubbing the floor clean and working out your abs and shoulder muscles.

Anything high up that needs cleaning or dusting, such as light fittings, fans and so on, you can do in the normal way, but in order to make it more of a work out, step up and down from the chair which gives you the height you need. You will basically be performing step-up and stretch over and over. If the thing you need to clean doesn’t have the height to warrant using a chair, you could use this an opportunity to get some calf-raises into your workout. Basically all you need to do is position your feet together and stand on your tiptoes, working out different muscles in your legs.

The kitchen and washrooms over ample opportunities to do some squats. When emptying the dishwasher, washing machine or fetching things from a low-down shelf or cupboard, we usually stoop down, grab as much as we can hold and take it to where we need it. This type of moving can cause back injuries and doesn’t exactly give us much of a workout. In order to maximise the benefit from doing such a chore, squat down each time you want to take an item. Take only one item at a time. If you’re emptying a full dishwasher, this could give you up to 100 squats without even thinking about it.

You can work out your obliques by sitting on the floor when you are ironing or folding clothes. Once an item is finished, hold it with both hands and turn to one side and let it go. Be sure to make use of both sides – you could use this to sort clothes between different owners.

Other tips include performing lunges whilst vacuuming or mowing the lawn, adding bicep curls whenever you find yourself carrying groceries or rubbish bags, wiping the windows in circular motion (as Mr. Miyagi recommended in the film Karate Kid – in fact his advice was to wax the car and paint the fence, both of which you could do).

You can always get in extra step ups when you have to go upstairs or downstairs and there are countless other ways you’ll find to do low-intensity exercise at home, once you’ve got used to thinking about it. So there’s really no need to feel guilty about not wanting to play squash or hit the gym after work anymore. You’ll be working out anyway!

The Impacts of Tourism on the Community

The introduction of any major tourist attraction into a community brings with it the hope for an improved quality of life from significant economic growth within the region. Many factors impacting revenue, employment, local economic development, and more, are all considered when approval is given for a new venture to be permitted for construction. In this instance, the proposal of a water park being built in town will bring with it increased traffic flow and all of the benefits and liabilities that are inherent to an influx of tourists into the region. Undoubtedly, an upsurge in visitors to the area presents risk and reward. Which of these being greater will ultimately decide whether or not such an attraction is beneficial to the community and based upon statistical research and precedent, the scenario that is under review presents multiple positive externalities.

A recent study from 2013 shows that the attractions industry generated a total economic impact of nearly $219 billion in the year 2011, which included direct and indirect sales, capital expenditures, and spending from out-of-town-visitors. This spending would impact local government, resulting in an improvement of the quality of local services with respect to infrastructure, schools, and public goods, among others.

The placement of the water park in the area would also help to raise property values in the community. Though residential value is ascertained with the condition of the property itself, other external factors can affect it significantly. The proximity of attractive commercial property, such as a water park, can go a long way to adding value to a home. A report issued by Homebase/The Center for Common Concerns shows a residential property located near upscale amenities such as nightlife, coffee shops, restaurants, and movie theaters (which account for a 14-30% increase in residential property value alone) result in additional foot traffic and become more attractive when buyers are making a decision as to where they want to live.

Every tourist attraction needs employees and a water park is no different. The location of the park in our community would also result in an uptick in the labor market, offering citizens the opportunity for employment. This is beneficial in two ways: First, it would allow our friends and neighbors an opportunity to join the workforce close to home. They wouldn’t need to travel great distances to go to work. Second: it stimulates the local economy through the spending done by the employees who work at the park itself and offers the surrounding businesses growth potential which results in expansion and the hiring of more employees to those establishments as well. This begins with the very preparation and construction of the park itself. The amount of dollars spent to stimulate the economy in every regard, from the cost of materials to the employment of workers who work on the site. Many of those dollars will likely be spent online on sites like Amazon which are linked to from review sites that provide vital information on the best tools and other materials that go into the construction of any major project. Visiting a site such as Drills and Drivers allows project principals from foremen to workers to compare brands and then click through to retailers to purchase the items necessary for the job. This spend represents a considerable amount of the purchasing that goes into any major construction project and it’s no different with the water park.

Finally, due to the increase in visitors to the community as a result of the water park, additional security will be necessary, creating a safer environment. Law enforcement will boost patrols of busier thoroughfares while the park itself will have their own security force dedicated to keeping park attendees safe.

Obviously, there are some potential negative side effects to the introduction of the water park to the area, with factors such as noise, increased littering, resource consumption, parking issues, and others that must be brought for debate. However, the benefits far outweigh the negative in this instance.

Safety Tips for Using Stand Mixers and Hand Blenders

Stand Mixers Safety 

Switch the stand mixer off before you reach into the blender or insert utensils. It also needs to be off if you need to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Keep your hands away from anything that is moving.  Stand mixers reach high speeds, if you touch parts of the mixer that is moving it could result in a serious injury.  Ensure the attachments, blades etc. have stopped moving before you touch them.

Ensure you wear proper clothing, short sleeves, or roll up long sleeved shirts; an appropriately sized apron, closed-toed shoes no sandals; tie back long hair and remove any jewelry that could get caught.

Please click the link if you want to see the best stand mixer in 2018 and its safety features.

Staying Safe with a Hand Mixer

It goes without saying that all kitchen appliances need to be handled with care to prevent injury. Hand blenders are no exception to this rule. It is easy to become complacent when using the hand blender, or any type of kitchen appliance but that is the time when you risk becoming injured.


When changing blades, or removing the blades for storing or cleaning, always unplug the hand blender from the electric power source. There have been times when a malfunction in the switch, or a slight bump has caused the machine to turn on.

Direct Blades Away From You…Always

When you are using your hand blender, it is always important to keep the cutting area and the blades pointed away from you, pointing downwards. This will make it harder for the blade to catch your hair, clothes, jewelry or even fingers, ouch!

Maintain Blade Sharpness

Over time and with use, the blades on the hand blender can start to become blunt. You must keep them sharp so you do not have to add extra force to get the blending job done. The extra force can cause you to slip, or lose control of it while it is on.

General Safety Tips for Cooking with Kids

Cooking can be fun with kids and for kids.  Everyone wants to be safe in this regard. You must be sure to go over general kitchen safety with kids of any age. Explain why they should not throw water on an oil fire on the stove. Always have a first aid kit on-hand, and that you understand basic first aid yourself. With that covered, here are some additional safety measures to take with your children:

Make your equipment as child friendly as possible: mixing bowls and cutting boards with non-skid bases, utensils and knives of the right scale, peelers and other tools with non-slip grips and safety graters.

Shorter kids will need something to stand on, which makes it is very important that they do not need to reach for items which may cause them to lose their balance.

Wherever possible, try to set up a lower work surface for the kids to make it easier, safer and more comfortable to work.

If you use these helpful safety tips, cooking with mixers and blenders will be both safe and fun.

Top 5 Toaster Ovens

When you choose your new toaster oven, you will find that many different models are available. You can buy a conventional toaster, or decide to go to the higher end of the market and buy a toaster oven. Many toaster ovens offer lots of different functions, letting you bake, broil, toast and even steam.

Here is a list of 5 of the top toaster ovens available on the market.

Black and Decker TO1303SB 4 Slice 

This oven is available at a very good price, an entry level model that comes complete with fantastic looks. The black casing and stainless steel door look great together, you could say it is a kitchen classic.

There is no need to pre heat your conventional oven, this model will enable you to get cooking straight away.

The front window is large and helps you to keep track of how things are cooking. The timer, with a ‘stay on’ function, makes cooking easy and to your exact specification.

While it is small enough to fit on any counter top, it still allows you to cook up to four slices of bread or a 9 inch pizza.

This appliance would be a great choice if you are looking for an entry level model, but require something that looks good on the counter top. Black and Decker toaster oven reviews are available by clicking the link.

Panasonic NB-G110P Flash Xpress 

This toaster oven cooks with two 1300w infrared lights which cook up to 40% faster than a conventional toaster oven. For convenience the oven instantly heats, eliminating the need to pre heat the oven.

The oven has six cooking menus, all of which have pre-set buttons. It will automatically calculate the cooking time for a wide variety of foods such as bread, waffles and bagels and also has a reheat function. The digital timer and temperature settings make the oven very user friendly.

The machine comes complete with an inner tray, which is perfect for cooking a 9 inch pizza or 4 slices of bread. All of the crumbs are collected in the removable tray for easy cleaning.

An interior light allows you to view the food while it is cooking and an audible beep lets you know when the cooking is complete.

A top end model, perfect if you require plenty of features and easy cooking.

Cuisinart CSO-300 Combo 

This has to be my top choice. While it is expensive, it offers so many functions and features. This steam and convection oven incorporates all of the functions of a professional steam oven in a smart and compact way, it is so small, you can place it on any countertop.

The fact that it cooks with steam reduces cooking times by up to 40%. You can select any of the nine cooking functions which include bread, bake convection, bake steam, broil, broil steam, steam or super steam. A keep warm function also comes in handy when entertaining.

This oven not only toasts and bakes, it allows you to steam or poach any type of fish, poultry, rice or vegetable. You can also use the bake steam function that will roast vegetables or meat perfectly. The food comes out perfectly moist and juicy, yet beautifully browned.

If you enjoy making bread, a special setting allows you to proof bread and rolls and bake them quickly, this machine can bake up to 35% faster than a conventional oven, while retaining the nutrients and vitamins, as well as the moisture and freshness.

A fantastic feature is the steam clean facility, who would say no to a self-cleaning toaster oven?

Not only is this a very versatile oven, it looks great too. It is finished in brushed stainless steel, adding style to any kitchen.

Rosewill RHTO-13001 6 Slice Toaster Oven 

With this oven, preparing pizza or toast really couldn’t be easier. When you consider the price of this model, it offers lots of features. It will bake, broil, toast and warm, making it a fantastic addition to any modern kitchen.

The machine is finished with a black exterior, and has a white interior, which will add style to the modern kitchen. The large window allows to you monitor what stage the cooking process is at.

Compared to a lot of models it has a large cooking area, it will easily fit a 12 inch pizza or up to 6 slices of bread. It is powered by a 1500w adjustable thermostat, giving you perfect results, with minimal effort. The 60 minute timer also allows you to ensure your food is cooked precisely every time.

For such an affordable model, this is a powerful oven that really shouldn’t be passed by without serious consideration.

Westinghouse WTO-201-0S Toaster Oven 

This appliance would be a fantastic addition to any kitchen. It is not only affordable, but has great looks with its sleek and stylish stainless steel exterior.

For a cheaper toaster oven, this model has a large cooking capacity. It can cook up to four slices of toast or a 10 inch pizza. This oven also has a good temperature range, from 250 – 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

It features four cooking settings, which include bake, broil, toast and keep warm. This oven also has a 60 minute timer, perfect if you have other things to get done while the toaster oven works away without supervision. It comes complete with a tray to bake or broil and an oven rack, all specifically designed for this model.

Finding the best model or device

There is always some work to finding the best model or device, no matter what kind of technology you are investing in. In fact, this is something of a quest that I have gone on, many times in the course of my life.

From my first TV to my first car, from my first video game to my first guitar, even my first electric shaver, boom box and coffee maker. Well recently I started on a new kick, learning to cook and I found out that it wasn’t the same world as other technologies.

I should explain that I already had a lot of stuff for my kitchen, but what I really had a problem with was getting rice to cook right.

It was like a bad game of win lose or draw. No matter what, I could always find some way of screwing up the rice. Either it was too soft, too sticky or I just burnt it up. It actually wasn’t funny to me, but rather it was very frustrating.

Which is when a girlfriend of mine suggested that I might benefit from the purchase of a rice cooker.

The premise was sound, so I began to do some research on these devices unknown to me. Figuring that it would be like any other piece of technology, that I could deduce most of what I needed to know from online reviews by customers, buyers and others. Boy was I wrong.

The problem is simple, in essence.

No matter where I shopped online, I found that there was a wide range of different rice cookers, all of which seemed to be decent kitchen items. Although the price range for such rice cookers could go anywhere from $10 all the way to $1200. As if that made any sense to me at all.

Assuming there would be more clarity to be gained, I proceeded to read through the reviews on several websites one by one. I will not name the particular websites to protect the innocent, but the more details I read, the more murky my choices became.

Some reviews made wonderful claims and boasts about different size cookers, being able to make so much more rice. Other reviews claimed certain models cooked higher quality rice and were made from special materials, making them seem almost like magical pots. Still other reviews made wild claims that only the Asian made rice cookers were worthy of cooking rice and no other cookers could compare.

In none of these reviews could anyone seem to address my primary question.

Why do I need a rice cooker?

It seemed that if I did need one, there would be some way to tell, which one best suited my needs. And if I didn’t need one, then I prayed for the cosmic powers of all things rice like to give me a sign, so I could end this exhausting search for the perfect rice cooker. But alas, it seemed that no answer was forth coming.

So I gave up, deciding that perhaps I would never be able to understand this strange frustrating new technology. That I maybe the one person in the world who will never be able to cook rice to anyone’s satisfaction. It was just then, that I looked one last time for a review that might express what I wanted from such a mythical device.

Which is when I found this review while looking for a rice cooker.

It was from an anonymous person, probably posted as a joke, but it expressed everything I wanted from something to cook my rice in. The poster went simply by the name Rice Man, who so eloquently typed out this haiku like review of the perfect rice cooker ( which I have reprinted here with all the punctuation and grammatical errors, so please forgive them in the spirit of this article ).

i put rice in

i put water in

i turn on

rice cooks

i eat

i happy

i satisfied


Yes, Rice Man.

No truer words have never been spoken. So I turned off my computer and went to my stove, determined to find a way to make rice the old fashioned way. Since buying a rice cooker did not seem to be in my future. At least for now.

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