Gunning Daily News

After Ready, Set, Go: Athlete Tips to Recover and Refuel

June 15, 2012 5:22 pm

When it comes to creating a workout regimen, there are many resources with helpful tips covering everything from stretching to strength training. But what you do after your workout can make the difference in the way you feel and perform. A hard workout can leave your body depleted and running on empty. The correct post-workout nutrition can help replace what you've lost and help your body refuel for the next workout, and post workout recovery activities are crucial.

Post Workout Active Recovery Techniques
In addition to recovery benefits from proper post-workout nutrition, an athlete's after-workout regimen should include active recovery techniques in the hours following intense exercise. Active recovery and rest days are linked to performance benefits.

• Cool down. To help your body bounce back, muscles must cool down. Light active recovery after a race will increase circulation and get your body back on track.
• Stretch. Stretch directly after exercise (or after a foam roll session) while muscles are warm. Stretching increases blood flow to muscle fibers, stimulates recovery and helps prevent injury.
• Massage. A massage helps release muscle tension and increases blood flow, which will help speed up the muscle repair process.
• Foam Roll. Foam rollers are like a self-massage and easy to travel with to training or competition. Foam rolling uses deep compression to help roll out muscle adhesions that develop over time, helping restore the muscle to its original length. The compression causes your nerves to relax -- a myofascial release -- which loosens the muscle and increases blood flow, all of which help your body recover.
• Ice. Within two hours of a very strenuous workout, ice muscles to reduce post-workout inflammation and swelling and decrease muscle soreness.

Source: www.GotChocolateMilk.com

Word of the Day

June 15, 2012 5:22 pm

Interim financing. Short-term loan usually made during the construction phase of a building project or until a permanent, long-term loan can be obtained. Also called a construction loan.

Q: Can an Older Homeowner Who Is Cash Poor but House Rich Use Their Home to Tap into the Equity?

June 15, 2012 5:22 pm

A: Yes, but not so much by refinancing. A reverse mortgage is a better, and increasingly popular, option for older Americans to convert home equity into cash. Money can then be used to cover home repairs, everyday living expenses, and medical bills.

Instead of making monthly payments to a lender, the lender makes payments to the homeowner, who continues to own the home and hold title to it.

According to the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association, the money given by the lender is tax-free and does not affect Social Security or Medicare benefits, although it may affect the homeowners’ eligibility for certain kinds of government assistance, including Medicaid.

Homeowners must be at least 62 and own their own homes to get a reverse mortgage. No income or medical requirements are necessary to qualify, and they may be eligible even if they still owe money on a first or second mortgage. In fact, many seniors get reverse mortgages to pay off the original loan.
Repaying a reverse mortgage is not necessary until the property is sold or the owner moves. Should the owner die before the property is sold, the estate repays the loan, plus any interest that has accrued.

Canning Tips: Perfect Pickles in 7 Easy Steps

June 15, 2012 4:22 pm

Preserving your own pickles means you have your favorite pickle flavors available all year round.
To can pickles, you will need a large boiling water bath canner or pot with a rack that will allow 1 inch of boiling water over the tops of the jars. Ideally it should be 4-5 inches taller than the jars you plan to can in. You will also need a jar lifter, bubble freer, saucepan, pint canning jars with rings and new lids plus the pickle mix and other ingredients specified on the package.

Seven steps to making perfect pickles

Step 1: Choose pickling cucumbers, not slicing cucumbers. These are short and blocky for their size -- about 4-inches long. They should be firm and green in color with no blemishes. Remember for pickles you must cut off 1/16-inch from the blossom end to help prevent soft mushy pickles (the blossom end contains an enzyme that will cause softening). Keep the cukes cool in the refrigerator until you have enough to make a batch but do not hold them too long or you will end up with shriveled pickles.

Step 2: Fill the water bath canner half-full with hot water and place on the burner, set the heat to medium. Heat another kettle of water for filling the canner after the jars are added.

Step 3: Scrub the cucumbers with a vegetable brush to remove all surface soil. Make sure all utensils and your kitchen is clean.

Step 4: Prepare the pickle mix. If you don’t want to make your own pickle marinades, mixes make it easy for you to make many of your favorites including sweet pickles, bread and butter pickles, kosher dills, spicy dills, and many more. If you just want one jar for the refrigerator, buy the single refrigerator pickle mixes. If you want to preserve more for later, the mixes for canning yield 4 or 5 pints per package, according to the package directions. Heat it in a large non-reactive pot, stirring until the ingredients are well mixed and the mixture comes to a boil.

Step 5: Choose the style of pickles you want -- whole, spears, or slices and prepare the cucumbers for the jars. Pack the raw cucumbers into sterilized hot jars (jars that have been boiled in water for 10 minutes), making sure to leave 1/2-inch of headspace at the top of the jar.

Step 6: Divide the hot pickling mix evenly among the jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. If more liquid is needed heat 1 part vinegar to 2 parts water and fill to the desired level. Wipe the rims of the jars, add prepared lids and screw bands. Use a jar lifter and lower the prepared jars into the canner (make sure the rack is in place and the jars are not touching). When all filled jars are in the canner, check to see that the water is at least 1-inch over the tops of the jars, if not, add more boiling water to the canner. Put the lid on the canner and set the heat to high. Start timing the canning process when the water has returned to a full rolling boil. Process for the specified amount of time. At the end of the processing time, turn the heat off and remove the lid. Let the jars sit in the canner for 5 minutes to complete the canning process.

Step 7: Cool the jars. Remove the jars to a cooling rack or towel leaving them upright. Allow jars to cool for 12 to 24 hours then check to make sure all jars are sealed. Wash jars, label and store in a cool, dry place. The rings can be removed for storage. Jars that have not sealed should be placed in the refrigerator and used soon.

Source: http://store.mrswagesstore.com/

Avoid Scams: Odd-Job Expert Offers Tips for Economic Survival

June 15, 2012 4:22 pm

Most adults of a certain age believe they’ve had some colorful jobs. Chances are likely, however, that Bethany Mooradian has them beat.

“I began finding random jobs after receiving my degree in puppetry because I realized that most puppeteers don’t make that much money,” says Mooradian, author of I Got Scammed So You Don’t Have To, a how-to book for finding legit work in an economy of scammers. “At one point, I was even Ronald McDonald’s bodyguard.”

Beginning in 1999, in order to make ends meet while pursuing her artistic passions, she looked for odd jobs. It wasn’t long before the search for and execution of odd jobs became a lifestyle. She gave so much advice to her friends on how not to be scammed, that she decided to write a book about it.
Mooradian came up with an acronym to help as a general outline to avoid scams: SCRAM.

S = scrutinize the source
C = check for affiliate links and fees
R = research the heck out of every detail
A = ask for more information
M = mouse over images and links to see what website you end on before you click.

“I was scammed in a work-at-home gig from a magazine ad when I was young and naïve,” she says. “It was before the Internet was widely used, so it wasn’t as easy to check it out, and I hadn’t yet developed my SCRAM method.”

While the odd, random job or source of supplemental income usually does not replace the income of a fulltime job, there are several ways of making money people often overlook, or simply don’t know about.
Mooradian emphasizes that anyone can find extra ways to earn income from what they already know how to do, “No one ever goes to college to learn how to ‘work at home.’ It’s simply a matter of taking your skill set and translating that into a home-office or flexible work environment instead of a 9-5 job.” Here are five income opportunities most people are not aware of.

• Being a Virtual Assistant: If you have computer and internet skills, you can work as a VA doing general secretarial work, or processing orders for large-name corporations at home. Many companies are seeing the benefit of “homesourcing” instead of “outsourcing” because overhead is reduced, and customers get to speak to local operators who understand the language and culture.

• Merchandising: Have you ever walked up to someone shelving products in a store to ask for help and they reply, “I’m sorry, I don’t work here?” Those are merchandisers. They’re hired to set up displays, check prices on items, and shelve products like magazines, food items, and greeting cards. Merchandisers have specific locations to service, but with fairly flexible hours.

• Landlord (rent that extra space!): Many people own property because they want their personal freedom. But for those who’ve fallen on hard financial times, like millions of Americans, finding a good, trustworthy person to rent your extra room, a storage space, garage, or a parking space is a great option.

• Mystery shopper: Mooradian has created a video and book training course on this topic titled “The Mystery Shopper Training Program,” which can be found on her website, as well as through Amazon.com and local bookstores. Mystery shoppers are paid to surreptitiously check out the behavior of employees in retail shops, bars, restaurants, apartment buildings, car dealerships, banks, and even on cruise ships and travel resorts.

• Use your talent: You don’t have to have movie-star aspirations to get work as an extra in movies, television shows or industrial/training films. Many times you can call up your local film board to find casting directors in the area to get on their “extra” list.

Voiceover work can also be done from the comfort of your home if you have a powerful enough microphone, and you can also be a “standardized patient” acting out diseases to help medical students with their board exams.

“The Internet is full of information, but finding useful leads for jobs or making extra money can be like searching for a needle in the proverbial haystack, which is why I provide over 300 legitimate companies, ideas, and resources for money-seekers,” she says.

Beachstyle Summer Fitness: Work Out Like a Surf Legend

June 15, 2012 4:22 pm

We’ve all seen suffers running around at the beach, looking like the epitome of healthy living. But you don’t need to be a surf star to work out like one. While designed with the beach in mind, big wave surfer Dave Kalama has outlined the following workout routine to be able to be done at the park, gymnasium or even your backyard. "Try to jog about 50 to 100 yards in between each round of exercise," says Kalama.

1. Stretch.
Start your workout with some light stretching for 10 minutes. Remember that your muscles aren't yet warm, so you don't want to push yourself too far.
2. Run. Warm up your muscles with a 20 to 30 minute run. If there's a beach nearby, run barefoot. This strengthens the toes, soles of the feet, ankles, calves and shin muscles and has added cardio benefits. If you aren't near the beach, run in your local park or gym. Adding intervals of sprinting will enhance this part of the workout.
3. Pull-ups. If you're outdoors, use a sturdy tree limb for this workout, and make sure you have someone there to spot you. Pull-ups increase strength in the shoulders, triceps, biceps, forearms and hands.
4. Crunches. The best part about crunches -- you can do them anytime, anywhere. But wherever you decide to do crunches, make sure you continue to do them until "failure" or absolute fatigue sets in, in order to get the full benefit. Crunches provide abdominal and oblique strength.
5. Lunges. Do at least four sets of 25 lunges, alternating your legs. Pay attention to your form, and remember to stay in control while you lunge and as you straighten to a standing position. This will help increase leg and gluteal muscle strength.
6. Cycling. Whether you're working out at the beach, the park or the gym, cycle to and from your workout location when possible. This will help increase cardio and warm-up, as well as warm-down your muscles.

Source: Schick Hydro

Word of the Day

June 15, 2012 4:22 pm

Interest. A fee paid for the use of money; also a share or right in something.

Q: Can I Refinance a Home Loan More than Once?

June 15, 2012 4:22 pm

A: You most certainly can. During the most recent refinancing boom, for example, many homeowners refinanced their home loans two or three times within relatively short periods of time because interest rates kept treading downward, making it extremely attractive to trade in one loan for another.

Just remember that refinancing is basically like applying for a mortgage all over again. Each time you refinance, you will still have to go through the application process, get a home appraisal, and likely incur closing costs. Also, if you have a pre-payment penalty clause in your present mortgage, you will have to pay that penalty if you refinance. So be certain that it is actually worth it for you to refinance.

Financial Aid Awards: 4 Things Parents Should Know

June 14, 2012 6:06 pm

Early summer is traditionally the time when most colleges and universities are sending out financial aid letters to the families of incoming high school graduates and returning students.

Unfortunately, notes CBS MoneyWatch correspondent Lynn O’Shaugnessy, many of these letters are confusing at best, not clearly spelling out what your student’s aid package is actually worth or how much the family will be expected to contribute.

O’Shaugnessy points out four things a family should look for when reviewing a financial award letter:

• Grants and scholarships – This is money that will not have to paid back. A good financial aid package will include a healthy portion of grants and scholarships.
• Cost of attendance – Annual cost is one of the critical things you need to know to determine how good the financial aid package is – but some schools do not include the total cost of attendance (tuition, books, room/board and fees, such as health fees) in the financial aid letter. Be sure these costs are itemized.
• Watch out for loans - The only loans in an aid package should be government loans with more favorable terms that families qualify for due to their lower incomes. Such as subsidized Stafford loans. Some schools will try to make their aid offering look better by including PLUS loan for parents or an unsubsidized Stafford loan, which are available to parents of all incomes and will need to be repaid.
• Family contribution - You won't know if your award is a generous one unless the letter includes what the parents and the child are expected to contribute. These contribution figures will be based on the calculations that are generated when a family files for financial aid. There should be a line in the letter stating what a school expects the child to contribute (it will be minimal) and what the parent(s) must contribute.

If any of this information is not conclusive, parents should contact the school for clarification before accepting.

The Busy Remodels of Summer: Tips to Consider, Part 2

June 14, 2012 6:06 pm

Between spring cleaning and summer inspiration, it’s not uncommon to be bitten by the remodeling bug this time of year. And thanks to popular home improvement shows and the ever-growing “DIY” movement, you might be tempted to hit the hardware store and start hammering, painting, or grouting this weekend. But before you jump in with power tools blazing, Dan Fritschen, author of Remodel or Move?TM Make the Right Decision and founder of www.remodelormove.com, has a few things for you to consider.

It’s a good time to think ahead to winter. You might not want to contemplate winter’s chill while you bask by the pool, but according to Fritschen, it’s a good idea. 

“Plan now for ‘winter’ remodels like replacing a furnace, adding insulation, or getting more efficient windows or siding added,” he recommends. “Most people aren’t focused on these types of projects during the summer, so you’ll have a better chance to get a good deal and to schedule the work at your preferred time.” 

You can soak up the sun while adding curb appeal. You might not think about your yard when you consider remodeling, but the fact is, curb appeal is important! What your yard looks like and how it is landscaped influences how others (and you!) perceive your home in general. 

“For obvious reasons, summer is ideal for landscaping, planting, putting in patios and walkways, and more,” Fritschen says. 

The long sunny days can save you money and power your home. If you’ve been considering adding solar panels to your home, now’s the time. Prices for solar panels are at super low prices—as little as $1 per watt for 200-watt panels—so for $2,000 you can buy panels that can generate 2 kw of power during peak sunshine periods (like this summer!). 

“Buying that 2 kw of power in the example above would cost you about 24 cents per hour according to the Energy Information Administration,” points out Fritschen. “And while installing a full solar system will cost more than $2,000, when all is said and done, with all the rebates and the benefits to the environment and your pocketbook, it is still a good investment. The lower cost of the solar panels and the long sunny days of summer make generating power from the sun smarter than ever.” 

You might just dig up a sweet deal. Yes, the economy is (slowly) getting better, but it’s nowhere near the remodeling heyday of 2007, so contractors and retailers are working hard to win your business. 

Depending on where you live, you might be able to find discounts of 10 percent or more on many materials and appliances for your remodel. Plus, even though summer is a busy season, many contractors are bidding their best prices in an attempt to get back to the business levels they had prior to the economic slow-down. 

This could be a good time to take an interest in interest. Right now, most of us aren’t thrilled with the economy, including the fact that interest rates are at historical lows. It’s likely that if you have cash in a savings account, you probably aren’t earning very much right now. So why not use that money on a new kitchen or finished basement that you’ll enjoy every day? 

“Also, if you’re borrowing to pay for your remodel, then take advantage of the lower interest rates on mortgages and other types of loans,” recommends Fritschen. 

And on the subject of money, here’s another interesting thing to consider: “203k FHA loans enable you to borrow on the value of your home after the remodel is complete,” Fritschen shares. “Having just a single loan for the purchase of a home plus the cost of repair/renovation can be a huge money saver.” 

Source: www.remodelormove.com.