Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

Resources March 2011

April 6th 2011

I have a few great links to share from March that I think everyone will enjoy.  Most of the titles here speak for themselves and they are all great articles!

Posted by Mike King under Life | 3 Comments »

How to Boost Your Metabolism

February 28th 2011

Your metabolism is the rate at which your body can burn calories to create heat and Renewable Energy.  Changing your metabolism is most effective over time as it is hard to gauge short term metabolic changes.  Often people say to be me that I’m blessed to have a high metabolism.  I have to say that while I’m certainly grateful to have a high motabolism, I don’t feel blessed with it as metabolism is not strictly a factor of genetics or your heredity.  Your metabolism is something that is shaped over time based on your lifestyle, your habits and activities you engage with in life.  This means that your metabolism is largely a result of your choices and actions, regardless of how easy it is to put the blame elsewhere.  There are certainly many ways to boost your metabolism and they come in groups that I believe are short term and others are long term so I’ve presented them in that way in this article.

Short Term Ways to Boost Your Metabolism

Eat Breakfast

You body automatically reacts to not having food when you wake and will go into a slow metabolic rate for its automatic response to starvation.  This can only be eliminated by eating a decent breakfast every single day.  Studies show eating a bigger breakfast and shifting your calorie intake earlier in the day helps to increase your metabolic burn rate, reduce weight gain and the risk of obesity (published in the American Journal of Epidemiology).

Morning Caffeine

While I can’t stand coffee myself and prefer to avoid it for its negative side effects (particularly vein constriction from the brain), it is found in numerous studies (one published in the journal Physiology and Behavior) that coffee and other caffeinated drinks increase your metabolic rate and stimulate your breathing and heart rate. Its a quick action drug, highly addictive and can boost your metabolism by at about 10 percent.

Strength Training

Muscles burn calories, even while resting.  The more muscle you have the more calories you will burn in any given activity.  So strength training does 2 things, it increases your body’s temperature, which raises your metabolic rate on its own, and it builds muscle which will then increase your metabolic rate since more muscles burn more calories.

Long Term Ways to Boost Your Metabolism

Changing your metabolism is most effective over time as it is hard to gauge short term metabolic changes.  The more you improve or increase your metabolism the more energy you will have, more active you can be and the easier it will be to either loose weight or stay fit with an active lifestyle.  Here are some of the ways to increase your metabolism over a longer time frame.

Eating Habits

Both what you eat and how you eat have a big impact on your metabolism.  There are numerous foods that improve your digestion and boost your metabolism.  Ginger and fruit juices are high in enzymes that improve digestion.  Honey is a great antiseptic and helpful to the digestive system as well.  Lemon helps to cleanse the liver for more efficient fat processing.  Cinnamon helps to metabolize sugars in the body.  These are all great to add to your breakfast menu.  Cayenne is another metabolic rate booster and could easily be added to a drink mix.  Yogurt, nuts with high fatty acids and high energy foods like whole grains and fruits/vegetables are excellent additions to your regular diet.  Avoid processed and refined sugars and replace them with simple carbohydrates.  Spicy foods that increase your temperature (or cause a sweat) are also very good metabolism boosters.

Eat a large healthy breakfast (no, that doesn’t include 6 pieces of fatty bacon each day) and reduce the size of your lunch and dinner portions and replace that with eating small meals or healthy snacks more often throughout the day.  Various supplements can also help to boost metabolism, the simplest being vitamin C which helps to produce carnitine, an amino acid needed to burn fat.  Another nutrient that helps is calcium from dairy products as Calcium helps to increase the rate your body gets rid of fat as waste.

Regular Exercise and Aerobic Workouts

Simple exercise like walking can have a very positive effect on raising your metabolic rate.  The extra muscle activity in large muscles increase your body temperature, burns calories and develops lean muscle to also help burn fat.  Walking is also very good for digestion if done after meals.  Additional exercise and workouts that build muscle continue to raise your metabolism for the next 48-72 hours as muscles recover and then future use of muscles enable higher calorie burn rates.  The old myth of muscles burning a high amount calories even while resting is only true for a short time after training.

Weight training and high effort exercise are anaerobic and tend to burn more carbohydrates than fat during the exercise but they keep the muscles burning fat for several hours afterwards when high oxygen levels are available.  Aerobic exercises maintain higher levels of oxygen during the muscle activity and can be even greater at improving your metabolism.  They have the same after effects but during an aerobic workout, your muscles will still have higher oxygen levels, and since fat requires oxygen to burn completely, aerobic exercise will do more to burn fat directly.  Any good cardio workout is aerobic and will burn more calories during the workout than strength training for the same duration.

Regardless of your choice of exercise, doing it regular will have very positive effects on your metabolism as well.  Elevated heart rate exercise done with high intensity will even make you burn more calories for several hours after the activity.  The more active you are, the more likely your cardiovascular system is to supplying enough oxygen for cells to burn fat for energy.  This is also why an unfit person becomes out of breath so quickly when they engage in a new exercise. Iit quickly becomes anaerobic and the muscles do not get the oxygen they need so they burn carbs instead of fat.

Quality Sleep Habits

Sleep plays an important role in the health of our bodies and it is related to our metabolism directly as well.  Sleep is not all about the amount of time you sleep for as so many people are led to believe.  The real factor is sleep quality, which includes how well you sleep and how consistent your sleep patterns are to ensure a healthy, quality sleep. A quality sleep is when you get and feel well rested and your body has had the REM stage sleep time that it needs.  There are ways to increase your REM stage and get to REM faster and that is what I mean by quality sleep.  The biggest factor in quality sleep is the pattern of sleep that you have.  Your body works with an internal biological clock and each person has natural tendencies for wakefulness.  Following a pattern that is in line with your natural wakefulness and staying very consistent with it will ensure you have a quality sleep pattern.

Your wakefulness is directly tied to metabolism as your body will naturally reduce its metabolic rate as sleep onset approaches and your wakefulness levels decrease.  Therefore any exercising or activities you do to benefit from for boosting your metabolism is best done when you already have high alert levels.  If you are already fighting your biological clock and natural alert levels, it will take much more effort to activate and raise your metabolism.  On the other hand, if you are most active when your alert level is highest as well, you will benefit from already active and easily raised metabolic levels.  Your wakefulness levels and internal clock affect many of these other areas, such as diet as well.  Unfortunately, most people never take the time to learn about their true natural wakefulness and leave themselves fooled by sleep deprivation or habits driven by their social environment to lead them into thinking they understand their sleep needs, when in reality, they do not.  This impacts many things they do and can seriously hinder attempts to boost your metabolism.

Lots of Water

Water is not only a great appetite suppressant but also super at flushing our sodium and toxic from the body.  Often people who do not drink enough water feel hungry as its the body’s signal to want food (and water from those foods) when not properly hydrated.  Cold water also increases your metabolism since your body must do work to heat your core temperature back up and is great for flushing toxins. Water keeps you hydrated and it’s a lubricant for inside the body.

Posted by Mike King under Life | 19 Comments »

Resources Feb 2011

February 14th 2011

Well it has been a long time since I’ve published any resources and links so its well overdue for that again.  Some of the articles I’ve really enjoyed reading over the last few months I’ve collected here and few items people have sent me as well I thought worth passing along.

Business and Leadership

Personal Development Picks

Guides and Help

Excellent Lists

Posted by Mike King under Life | 11 Comments »

Win a FREE Book Preview – Tell to Win

January 16th 2011

I have an exciting offer for everyone today and that is for a free copy of a book galley (a prereleased copy) of a new book by Peter Guber called “Tell To Win”. I have been given one from the publishers as a copy to review myself and an additional offer to give one away to my readers here.  They describe the book as:

In Tell to Win, Guber shows how to move beyond soulless Power Point slides, facts, and figures to create purposeful stories that can serve as powerful calls to action. Among his techniques:

• Capture your audience’s attention first, fast and foremost
• Motivate your listeners by demonstrating authenticity
• Build your tell around “what’s in it for them”
• Change passive listeners into active participants
• Use “state-of-the-heart” technology online and offline to make sure audience commitment remains strong

As most of you know, I love story telling and believe it is a powerful tool to motivate and engage people.

How to Win a FREE advanced copy of the book?

1. Simply make a comment about why you enjoy story telling or what you think it is useful for
OR
Tell a short story about a time where storytelling has helped you.

2. You must include your email address in your comment so that if you win, you can be contacted.

We’ll randomly select a winner on the 23rd of January and send them their copy.   NOTE (Update Jan24, 2011):  Stidar has been selected from the comments as the winner so congratulations and thanks everyone for your comments on this book!  And again, thanks to the publisher for offering this extra copy for the give away, and I hope you enjoy the book very much!

Posted by Mike King under Life | 6 Comments »

Tips For Finding The Best Distance Education Program

January 4th 2011

I’m happy to have another guest article today continuing the subject of online education.  See the last article on looking for a career change.  This one is written by another reader, Rick Mulligan, who felt most people interested in self learning may also have interest in online studies and so he offered to write this great article about how to find the best resources for study.

Distance education offers a flexibility that many students need in order to work and get the education needed to move up in today’s working world. More and more people are seeking out educations outside of the traditional campus courses, and with the new advancements in distance and online education it is becoming quite a popular choice. There are schools of all different types offering degrees and certificates in almost any subject. From accredited online administrative assistant schools all the way to distance education cosmetology degrees. Online training and IT courses available can lead to rewarding careers in the technology sector. When choosing a school there are many things to consider. I will offer some tips from my own experience and from the experience of others. Sometimes choosing a school can be frightening, hopefully this information will give you a heads up and aid you in your search for the school that is right for you.

Personal Checklist

This is perhaps, to some, the most important thing when it comes to deciding on the school that suits your needs. When you are looking for schools make your own checklist of qualities and requirements that you have personally set in place for your school. Dong this is a great way to shorten your list and eliminate personal problems once you have agreed on a school. Be sure to meet your personal requirements so that when entering the school you are completely prepared for all aspects of earning your education. This is a great tool and has benefited many students in their search for a school.

The Internet

Another tool that you have that is extremely valuable when deciding on a school, is the internet. Every school will have their own personal web page. This makes researching on the internet simple and a great way to acquire information. Make sure that you research all aspects of the school. This will eliminate problems with the school and other aspects of you education. When you visit the websites of the schools that you are interested in be sure to look at the course curriculum and requirements. Also check the school’s frequently asked questions page, you can usually answer many of your own questions by reading the FAQ.

Accreditation

Be sure to ask questions concerning the schools accreditation, this is an important part of choosing the school where you will earn your education. Accreditation is assurance to you as a student, that if you were to take your education elsewhere to a new online or distances school, or to a traditional classroom based program, you will be able to transfer credits. With out accreditation from a nationally recognized accrediting organization a school will not be eligible to participate in any government student assistant programs. Meaning that you as a student will have no means of financial aid or assistance. Grants and loans will not be an option, eliminating all the financial aid opportunities that may be available to you. If your college is accredited you are allowed the same rights to admission, registration, tutoring and other services that are provided to all other college students, regardless of the means in which your education is delivered. Also, some employers may offer tuition reimbursement. Most will not pay you back if the college that you attended is not a nationally recognized, accredited school. Keep this in mind when looking for the school that is right for you. The opportunities both financially and in regards to other student services that should be provided are very beneficial, you will exclude yourself from those programs if you choose a school that is not accredited.

Financial Aid, Scholarships and Payment Plans

The amount of tuition paid is something that all students and sometimes those students family members must deal with. When choosing your school look into all of the scholarship options that are available to you. Some schools may have different projects that can be completed for scholarship money. If there are opportunities for scholarships make the most of them. This can greatly reduce or even cover the money that will need to be spent on tuition. Financial aid is another avenue which is available to students who may not have the means of paying a tuition in full. Financial aid criteria may differ a small amount between institutions and states and the requirements may vary as well. Even if you believe that you may not be eligible looking into financial aid and filling out the required paperwork can never hurt. Any little bit counts when it comes to paying for college education. Some schools may also offer payment plans which works well for students and parents alike when working towards paying off your tuition. Ask about payment plan options and the requirements to be eligible for setting up this type of payment option. Most times you will pay in monthly installments which seems to make the payment process a little more simple. Don’t exclude yourself from any of these financial options you may be eligible to exercise the use of all three.

There are many schools out there that are offering degree programs in all different types of education paths. When choosing your school keep the things that I have mentioned in mind, and keep your own personal checklist in mind as well. I hope that these tips will aid you in discovering the school that suits you best.

Success as a Student

Now that we have covered a little on choosing the institution that is right for you, lets talk a little about success as a student. Once you have your school and course picked out, you now have to begin the process of earning your education. There are many tips available to you as a student that can be greatly beneficial to your overall success as a college student, and eventually a college graduate. Here are some that have aided many students in the process of earning their educations.

Find the Studying Habits and Methods That Work For You

Every individual learns differently and should base their method of study upon that. It has actually been proven that studying in short busts, rather than studying for long periods of time, is much more effective. Try this technique and form a routine based upon how studying this way works for you. Some people may find that for them the way that they’ve always studied or been taught to study works best. This could be because it is the way you were taught or because it is the way you formed study time for yourself. Either way sticking to what works for you is always best when it comes to studying. If you have bad study habits breaking free from those can be difficult but is almost necessary if you want to succeed in your college education. Try starting to study more regularly and once again go based upon how you learn and the study method that seems to work best for you as an individual. There is plenty of helpful information online from college students just like you, who are working their way through. Sometimes talking to other students is a great way to get ideas for studying. Getting creative while studying can help make the process seem less mundane. Try having group study, personally this always worked best for me. This way you are having a bit of a social gathering, human to human feed back and more often than not, if you are one who isn’t fond of studying, there is someone in the group that can hold you accountable. This way seemed to make studying much more interesting. Having the feed back from others can help you keep focused. Whichever way seems to work best for you is probably…best for you!

Exaggerate

At cross country practice I always ran around 6 miles even though our actual meets were only 2 miles long. Same applies to other things. When you exaggerate the learning process everything that comes after seems to be a little easier. Knowledge is such a powerful tool and using it can get you many places in life. You may be learning to get the job that you’ve dreamed of your whole life. Some may be learning just because of a thirst for knowledge or an interest in a certain subject. Whatever your reasons may be remember how important knowledge is and exaggerate that with your learning and your college education. This way everything after will seem like a piece of cake. That job you wanted will be a breeze if you are well educated in your field. Same with anything else.

The opportunities that our generation has are amazing and nearly endless. With the advances in technology, distance and online education we have doors open to us that we should definitely take advantage of. Remember to explore your options and keep your personal needs in mind. Take the opportunities we have and run with them, in whatever direction you want!

Rick Mulligan is a career counsellor living in Oregon, U.S.A. When Mulligan is not working, he is spending time with his family, and advocating for distance education through online universities.

Posted by Mike King under Life | 6 Comments »

Unnoticed Significance

December 12th 2010

I’ts funny how life presents itself and the situations you encounter in life.  Sometimes you seem to know exactly what’s important or significant in life but then you suddenly start to notice that often its the little things that are really impacting you.  I seem to continue to discover these little things, usually without looking and its these little things that usually have the real significance.  Whenever these things occur in my life, they seem to really touch a nerve and impact me for a long time.  I have one simple example of why this subject just resurfaced for me.

The other night, my wife and I had just sat down to pizza we had ordered.  Not so strangely, the doorbell rang, the dogs went nuts and I had to get up to answer the door.  Even though I never answer the phone while I’m sitting down to eat (that’s what voice mail is for afterall), I figure if someone is coming to the door, they at least deserve my answering it.  Often its someone doing a survey, selling something or fund raising.  However, you never know when its going to be a friend, a neighbor or someone really in need.  So, up I go to the door, sending the dogs away to check who’s there.  I step outside and an older man is standing below the steps bundled up from the cold weather, I greeting him and asked what I could do for him.

He was a very friendly man doing great medical animation, he explained that he noticed ice on my sidewalk and driveway and that he was going to chip it off and clean it up for me if I would spare him a glass a water and whatever I could give him for money.  I asked his name and he suddenly got much friendlier, telling me he was sorry for not introducing himself as “Sunny Jim” and he shook my hand.  He told me he had lived in this neighborhood for 28 years and that he has been homeless for 22 now.  Amazing and shocking!  He gave me every assurance he would do the walks, showed me he had his own tools to do it, and explained that he doesn’t beg for money, but he works for it.  Weather its window washing, snow shoveling, ice chipping or whatever.  He plays music at the local community mall as a service as well for the community to raise a few dollars.  I like his attitude on this instead of feeling that its begging, he really cares for this community and is why he still lives here and does his thing.  I let him get to work and offered him some pizza when he finished up and told him I would give him some money for doing the work as well.  I went back to finish my own pizza and to let Jim work and about 15 minutes later he knocked on the door again.

I saw that he had worked himself short of breath, cleared away much of the ice that had built up and was eager for that glass of water.  I gave him some cash, some pizza and a couple extra food items and chatted a bit more with him.  I ended up sitting down on our front steps outside with him for a good 15 minutes.  He had many stories to tell about people, his memorable points in life, things he has learned and had to deal with living homeless and inspiring stories about people helping him out and offering more than he could ever expect.  He told me about a few friends he had made in the neighborhood and I assured him he just made another one.

What struck me the most with Jim, was how bold he was to say whatever he wanted to say.  He had no reservation telling me how strong he was for an old guy, how he gets by finding things, making a few bucks and run ins he has had with the police.  I could tell he was simply desperate to tell his stories and he was incredibly gracious and appreciative for the little I helped him and more importantly, how thankful he was for what he did have.  He credited it all to knowing Jesus and being a Christian which is also why I quickly connected with him and had much to share.  I volunteer at a program at my Church called Inn From the Cold that houses homeless people overnight once a month and I’ve always been quite comfortable talking to them, sharing stories and seeing that joy in their eyes to have a hot meal, warm bed and a roof over their heads.  Jim took that even farther with having that same appreciation for life, even though he is someone who seems to have so little, in reality he has a lot!  He is willing to share, is open and honest and has an obvious appreciation and love for life.

Anyway, for a couple days now I’ve seen Jim in the neighborhood where I tended not to notice him before without knowing his name.  I certainly will not take him for granted, will stop to say hi and to share a story or two again with him when we cross paths again.  And that is quite likely as I bike to work near where he camps out near the river so it is bound to happen regularly.  So, our brief encounter and discussions certainly brings the homeless to the front of my mind in these rough winters here in Calgary and especially as we approach the Christmas season, those with few possessions may have more significance than we know in our life, our communities and in connections and friendships we could build.  I certainly don’t want to take people for granted based on how they live and I’m thankful to have seen the significance in this otherwise unnoticed neighbor.

Is there unnoticed significance in your life?  Are there people you ignore or pass by who might have a similar significance to you?  Maybe it is something unnoticed about your friends, your family or your colleagues.  Slow down, sit down with someone and spend that extra time with them to share some stories.  You might be surprised how significant it can be.  Also, do you have any similar encounters or stories of unnoticed significance you discovered in your life?  I’ve love to hear your stories.

Posted by Mike King under Life | 5 Comments »

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