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Preparing to Apply for College

Preparing to Apply for College

Preparing to graduate high school can be an exciting time. However, it’s easy for students to feel overwhelmed as they think about future plans. The college application process may seem intimidating without a counselor. They could help break down the process into a list of 

Early Childhood Development Stages and Beyond

Early Childhood Development Stages and Beyond

Most of the development of a child’s brain and their overall growth occurs during the early childhood days. In most cases, the parents seek the help of pediatricians or child specialists. To make it easier, early childhood development is tracked with phases in the growth. 

Some Reasons for Considering Martial Arts as the Best Workout

Some Reasons for Considering Martial Arts as the Best Workout

Many people start their fitness routines from some traditional workouts like running, swimming, spinning, weightlifting, or gym class, but they fail to continue because after some time they lose interest in these workouts. They struggle to find something that can engage them with their exercise routine. If that’s the case with you, you should step into a martial arts gym. In martial arts training, you will be able to find something that strikes your fancy. Many people wrongly believe that martial arts are only useful for combat and self-defense and don’t consider its fitness benefits. From strength training to cardio, martial arts training offers you a variety of ways to get in better shape all while breaking from the mundane and gaining self-defense skills in the process. Embarking on your martial arts adventure, besides teaching you how to calmly yet sternly defend yourself, will help you in fitness, fat loss, muscle toning, and just about in everything else.

martial arts

There are more martial arts disciplines than you can name but we will discuss here a few popular ones with their fitness strengths.

Karate:

Karate is a Japanese word meaning “empty hands”. It is the most common and widely practiced martial art. Karate involves kicking, striking, and defensive blocking with arms and legs. You use hands, ball of the foot, heel, forearm, knee, and elbow while striking and defending in karate. All these parts are toughened by practice blows against padded surfaces or wood. Hence, Karate is a great way to tone and strengthen the upper body.

Tae kwon do:

Tae kwon do:

Tae kwon do is one of the most systematic and scientific Korean traditional martial arts which is closely related to karate, but focuses more on the legs and kicking, and less on the hands and upper body. As it involves kicks and striking above waist height only, it is certainly good for strengthening and toning the lower body. Today, Tae kwon do has become a global sport that has gained an international reputation and stands among the official games in the Olympics.

Brazilian jiu-jitsu:

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is a gentle art based mainly on grappling and ground fighting, focusing on the skill of controlling and submitting his or her opponent. It’s an art that teaches how to how to escape from an inferior position into a dominant one to dominate against a bigger opponent.  You use throws, takedowns, joint locks, chokes, and refined core body movement to take down your opponent. The sport is continuously growing in popularity and it is a great exercise, useful for self-defense, and an awesome way to challenge and enhance your fitness. You can avail of all these advantages of jiu-jitsu when you have jiu-jitsu Gis to join this martial art. You can also get your child registered in BJJ class after outfitting him/her in proper Gi.

Brazilian jiu-jitsu:

Here are a few reasons why people choose martial arts as their vehicle for health and wellness.

An effective full-body workout:

Martial arts are full-body intense workouts because you simultaneously use your arms and legs in their training. Full-body workouts help you lose weight very rapidly. Hence, practicing martial arts help you tone your upper as well as the lower body more quickly than the traditional workouts.

Make you flexible and agile:

Martial arts moves like flying kicks and double kicks make you very flexible and agile. These practices also improve your balance as when using the lower body you stand on one leg and properly execute a front kick. Furthermore, lifting, and moving another person requires muscle strength.  Defending and striking the opponent improve speed and power, so each time you go to class you will be improving each of these areas.

Teach proper posture:

As most of us have a job of sitting at a desk all day long, hunching over a monitor. Obviously, this isn’t good and can eventually lead to symptoms such as shoulder, back, and neck pain. Practicing martial arts will teach you a good posture. Right posture is beneficial for your health and can help to counter the damage caused by sitting down for over eight hours a day, five days a week.

Improve your mental health:

Besides physical benefits and teaching defensive skills, martial arts can improve cognitive and emotional health. As you learn self-defense moves, martial arts can give you greater self-confidence, reduce stress, kill your depression, and help you to concentrate and focus. Martial arts provide a safe outlet for relieving stress and anxiety without hurting anyone but a heavy bag.

The Bottom Line:

All the traditional and non-conventional workouts have some benefits for your physical and mental health but martial arts is capable of giving you a toned body that is beach-ready more quickly. From Karate to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to Tae kwon do, there’s no doubt that martial arts have a great variety to save you from getting bored from your fitness routine.

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How Does Boxing Affect Your Cognitive Health?

How Does Boxing Affect Your Cognitive Health?

Today, when people are dealing with so many ailments and mental issues, the sense of self-awareness and focus on personal health and wellbeing is growing. People are leaving the old school exercises and turning to unconventional workout methodologies like boxing. Boxing as a sport and 

Some Benefits of Having a Home Gym

Some Benefits of Having a Home Gym

In these modern times, everyone knows that regular exercise is really important for living a healthy and fit life. A myriad number of chronic ailments like diabetes, cardiovascular problem, hypertension, obesity, and some types of cancer are resulting from the couch potato and sedentary lifestyle. 

Before, During and After Your MRI Test

Before, During and After Your MRI Test

If you have been scheduled for an MRI test, you may be familiar with the acronym, but not much else. The first thing to know is: Don’t worry. MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) has been in use since the 1970s. An MRI test is normally painless, does not involve radiation, and helps doctors diagnose a very wide range of conditions that would be difficult or painful to diagnose using other procedures.

The infographic below, MRI Preparation: What to Expect, explains what happens before, during and after the test. From your point of view as a patient, there’s nothing in the infographic that will scare you, but there are several things you’ll learn that are very important.

The biggest challenges you’ll probably have with your MRI is the dress code. You’ll be told by your doctor in advance not to wear any metal during the test — metal and MRI tests do not mix. You should also tell your doctor about any metal you have inside, such as artificial joints or a pacemaker. The infographic also highlights other things to not wear during the test, such as makeup.

Depending on what part of your body is being scanned, you may find yourself almost completely inside the MRI tube for a test that can last from 15 minutes to over an hour. If you are claustrophobic, make sure your doctor is well aware of it in advance of the test. In some cases, claustrophobia is treated with a sedative; in less severe cases, simply having your favorite background music is enough to reduce anxiety.

Although an MRI produces images almost immediately, it can take anywhere from a few days to two weeks for radiologists to review them and doctors to report back. This is why, as the infographic states, it is a good idea to ask how long that report will take before you leave. For all the MRI details, please continue reading.

MRI Test

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Are Addictive Behaviors Disrupting Your Life?

Are Addictive Behaviors Disrupting Your Life?

An addiction problem can be very difficult for people to recognize and acknowledge. This is especially true for those who have had addictive tendencies for extended periods of time and for those who are trying to recognize addiction in others. However, there are several telling 

5 Tips for Eating Burger Take-Out and Staying Healthy

5 Tips for Eating Burger Take-Out and Staying Healthy

Maintaining healthy habits both in terms of nutrition and exercise means finding balance. Sometimes you may get a hankering for something juicy and smokey and search for “burger take-out near me.” It doesn’t immediately sound like the healthiest choice, but when you decide to prioritize 

Is Renting Better Than Investing in a House

Is Renting Better Than Investing in a House

A lot of chatter out there is about which is better: renting vs. investing in a home. The term “investing” is often used to talk about the money to be made from the house or apartment and is more about the return on investment (ROI) sometime down the road.

The next question is: do you plan to sell the house at some point, and if so, how long do you see yourself living in the house?

There are a handful of considerations when it comes to deciding whether you should rent versus buy. On one hand, renting is nice because what if this new job ends up taking you to the other side of the country in three years’ time? You’re not going to have to add “sell the house” to the list of things to do before a cross-country move. And that’s a much easier way to live.

On the other hand, however, what if you really love living where you are, have a steady and secure career, and really want to stop paying down someone else’s mortgage? What if you feel like you’re ready to buy a place to make and call your own?

Well, if you can answer some of these questions, you might be well on your way to discovering if renting is better than investing in a house—or not.

Perks of Renting

There are a handful of perks to renting and they do make sense for many people, regardless of your stage in life. Renting isn’t uniquely for college kids and divorcees. Renting can be a great way to keep your savings growing or to make it more readily available for spending or investing in other areas. With some proper research and a bit of luck, maybe the ROI of that investment brings in more than had the savings been earmarked for a house deposit, fees, and closing costs.

It’s also nice to have someone else take care of the to-dos of home maintenance. When you rent, your landlord is the one responsible for making the tweaks and repairs to keep the property in tip-top shape.

You may also gain a renewed sense of freedom and flexibility when you opt to rent a place. A tenant can move from place to place more freely and easily after the expiry of the lease. With this freedom of choice, it’s no wonder that renting makes a lot of sense for some.

Additionally, if all your savings are tied up in a down payment on a house, it’s very unlikely that you are investing in other places, let alone diversifying those investments. By renting, you keep your savings open to other roads that might not have otherwise been taken.

Negatives to Consider

However, one of the cons associated with renting is the well-known “it’s more expensive to rent.” Not always, but there’s some truth behind the notion. Inflation and the sheer rise of property prices can make this so. It can also be more expensive to make rent payments as opposed to putting those funds into owning your own home. When you have to make your mortgage payment, it’s almost like you’re being forced to save. The money pays your main bill and simultaneously builds equity in your home.

Benefits of Buying

While renting has a handful of perks, there are some benefits that go along with buying property too, be it a home or an investment property, such as a rental home.

When you buy a home for yourself, there’s a certain sense of comfort and stability in that there’s no landlord to evict you, and you’re free to decorate and make the space to your taste.

Most renters are familiar with the rising price tag on monthly payments each year or each time the contract is renewed. This isn’t something you have to worry about (as much) when you buy a home. Your monthly mortgage payments are figured out so that you know how much they are for the duration of your loan. The market will be the overall determining factor, but with a fixed-rate loan, you know what you’ll be shelling out on mortgage payments annually.

That also goes hand in hand with the fact that there’s a general rise in home prices over time, and your financial relationship to your loan will also be related to how the housing market is doing overall. Buying a home should be considered a long-term investment and not chalked up to the “glamour” or “fast profits” of flipping houses.

A final benefit to consider is that you’re building equity in your home, and that means that you can borrow against the value built into the home over time and use the funds for anything from a renovation to sending a child to college, to making a big purchase or even going on a vacation.

Negatives to Consider

A few cons to carefully consider include more numbers. You will need to consider how much interest you will be paying, although rates can certainly fluctuate during the course of a home loan. There are also opportunity costs to consider. That is, if your money is tied up in a property, you cannot be investing it elsewhere. And finally, although you may consider that buying a home is only about the deposit and repaying the loan, it’s also important to factor in the costs of fees, closing costs, and all home maintenance costs, agent fees, association fees, and property taxes.

Note on the Term “Investment”

“Investment” implies selling the house at some point. For an ROI to be made, the house or property will have to be resold. Assuming everything has been maintained, that the housing market is still chugging along, and even, perhaps, a couple of upgrades have been made to boost the beauty or usability of the home, you may be able to look at the numbers and say that you got more back than you put in.

A note for anyone debating between the two options: it’s best to let it boil down to the math. The factors to consider when running the numbers can include your financial resources, lifestyle, family goals and requirements, investment portfolio and future aims, among other things.

For any questions, Rivermark Community Credit Union is there for you. We can help take a look at both sides and see which makes the most sense for you.

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Change Your Lifestyle and Change Your Health: A Complete Guide

Change Your Lifestyle and Change Your Health: A Complete Guide

Everyone wants to live their best life, yet maintaining a healthy lifestyle is challenging. It takes discipline and requires making smart decisions regarding diet and exercise. Are you happy with your current overall health? If not, you’re not alone. Millions of people struggle with weight loss every