7 Ways to Turn Your Kids into Healthy Eaters

Kids are notorious for being picky and hard to please come mealtime. Getting them to eat healthy or even try a new food feels like an uphill battle, and it doesn’t help that junk food and advertisements for fattening and sugary foods are everywhere you turn. But no matter how futile your efforts may seem, it is your responsibility to instill good eating habits in your child at a young age so that they can grow up to be healthy, strong adults. Here are seven ways to turn your kids into healthy eaters:

  1. Sneak in healthy foods with their favorite foods:

    One way to get your kids to eat healthier is to pair healthy foods with their favorite foods. For example, if your child loves macaroni and cheese, try adding diced broccoli, bell peppers, or peas to the mix. They may be reluctant to eat the new food at first, but over time they will hopefully grow to accept it and its versatility.

  2. Make junk food a treat:

    If you want your kids to become healthy eaters, then make junk food a treat. When the majority of your child’s meals are home-cooked and healthy, then the occasional candy, fast food, or soda will feel like a special treat. Cutting out all junk food from a child’s diet is too extreme and is likely to backfire when they are at school or a friend’s house. Treating junk food as a treat, however, can give them a healthier perspective as to why it’s eaten in moderation.

  3. Be a good role model:

    Kids do as they see. If you’re being a good role model and eating healthy foods, they will notice and be more apt to follow in your footsteps. Even when you think they aren’t looking or listening to your order, they are. In addition to making healthy food choices, you should also emphasize the importance of physical activity. Whether it’s taking a family walk, playing on the playground, or going to the community pool, kids need at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day.

  4. Eat as a family:

    Eating as a family reinforces the importance of mealtime and good nutrition. When kids have a meal routine in place, they are more likely to look forward to eating and will have an appetite come mealtime. This is another good opportunity to show your kids how to eat healthy and follow your lead.

  5. Make it a lesson:

    As you probably already know, kids love to ask why. “Why can’t I eat this?” “Why do I have to eat if I’m not hungry?” These are just a few of the “whys” kids ask at the dinner table. Instead of answering with the signature response, “because I said so,” give them an answer that teaches them something valuable. Give them a science lesson and reinforce the fact that in order to be strong and tall like their favorite athletes, they need to eat right.

  6. Make it fun:

    If you want your child to be a healthy eater, then make it fun. A few tricks to get your kids to eat new foods is to cut the food into fun shapes and bite-sized portions. Amuse your child by naming healthy snacks, such as “ants on a log” for celery and raisins, or “mud on a stick” for peanut butter and pretzels.

  7. Get kids involved:

    From picking out recipes and grocery shopping to packing their lunches and preparing dinner, kids like to be involved in the food decision process. While you’re picking out foods or preparing meals together, talk to your kids about the benefits of eating healthy and why it’s necessary. This is also a good time to teach them how to read food labels and make certain foods on their own.

7 Great Workout Tips for Beginners

The time has come to get in shape, but starting a new exercise program is no simple task. Maybe you’ve purchased a pair of running shoes or signed up for a gym membership, but still lack the knowledge of how to properly workout and achieve your fitness goals. Don’t fret; you are not alone. Most beginners require some guidance and refreshers to get their fitness off to the right start. If you or someone you know is an exercise newbie, check out these seven great workout tips to help you get into the groove.

  1. Design a fitness plan:

    One of the very first things all beginners should do is design a fitness plan that includes three components of exercise: cardiovascular/aerobic, muscular strength/resistance training, and flexibility. Perhaps the most important part of any fitness plan is your fitness goals. Think long and hard about what you want to accomplish and how you can best achieve these goals.

  2. Work out daily:

    To get into the groove of having a regular exercise routine, beginners should aim to work out every day. Keep it short and simple, about 30 minutes of cardio each day, combined with strength training and flexibility exercises twice a week. Fitness magazine recommends doing this daily routine for two to three months straight to ensure that exercising becomes part of your everyday life.

  3. Exercise with others:

    For added motivation and accountability, try working out with a friend or exercise group. You may find it more desirable to work out with a fellow beginner who is on the same level as you, or someone who is slightly more advanced and can show you new workouts and techniques. If you prefer working out in groups and being taught by an instructor, then a group fitness class may be just what you need to get moving.

  4. Learn some fitness lingo:

    Do you know the difference between a set and a rep? Ever done a deadlift? Do you know where your gluteus maximus is located? Before you start working out, it would behoove you to learn some basic exercise lingo so that you can get the most out of your workouts and understand what you’re doing. One simple way to do this is to surf the web for reputable fitness and health articles. Look up any terms you don’t understand and take notes. It’s also a good idea to give yourself a little anatomy refresher so that you know what muscles are where and how to make them stronger.

  5. Do what you enjoy:

    Beginners have to find a workout that makes them happy and motivated to do it on a regular basis. It’s important to try out different types of workouts to know which ones you prefer. Whether it’s cycling, yoga, kickboxing, or water aerobics, find comprehensive, safe, and effective workouts that give you the results you want and the motivation to keep coming back.

  6. Do warmups and cooldowns:

    It’s very important to warm up before your workout and cool down afterward to prepare your body for aerobic activity and reduce your risk of injury. Although there is some controversy surrounding the necessity and benefits of warmups and cooldowns, they pose very little risk when done properly. Before you jump onto a treadmill or start cycling, give your body a chance to warm up by taking a brisk walk, a light jog, or doing a slow, sport-specific drill. During the cool-down phase, continue your workout at a slower pace and reduce the intensity for at least five to 10 minutes. Add stretching to your cooldown to increase blood flow to your muscles and reduce the risk of injury.

  7. Mix up your routine:

    One of the biggest mistakes beginner exercisers make is not mixing up their workout routine. While it’s best to do exercises you truly enjoy, focusing on one exercise or one machine and doing it at the same intensity each time can quickly lead to boredom and burnout. Remember, variety is the spice of life! Keep your exercises varied and challenging, and you’ll reap the benefits of improved strength, tone, and stamina.

7 Weird Things That Happen to Your Body When You Die

Do you have a will? Do you have a plan for your Facebook page? Death isn’t pretty and isn’t pleasant to think about. But it’s a natural part of life, even if you won’t be around to see it. You should know what’s going to happen. Check out these seven weird things that happen to your body when you die.

  1. Your muscles completely relax

    There’s nothing going on upstairs to tell them otherwise. Yes, this means your bladder and bowels will probably evacuate. Embarrassing. Luckily, it happens to everyone. Also — you’ll be dead.

  2. Your brain cells start dying

    Just like the rest of you. After about three minutes, all higher thought processes will end. By the end of the fifth minute, your eyeballs go glassy and flat. Before ten minutes are up, your brain stem shuts down … forever.

  3. Your body goes to the doctor

    When you think about it, it is pretty weird. If you die young, unexpectedly, or for any other reason require a postmortem exam, your body will have one. Doctors slice you open, look at your entrails, and figure out exactly why and how you died. If you haven’t had a check-up in a while, don’t worry — you can make time for the doctor when you’re dead.

  4. Your body begins to digest itself

    Blood pools in the veins, fluids secrete, and you start eating yourself. Upon death, the pancreas will digest itself, and microbes within the intestines will begin to eat through the walls. That is, if you’re left for dead in a desert somewhere. (These things happen between one and two days after death if your body is not sent for aftercare.) Hope you have insurance, because you do not want to go out this way.

  5. You get brought back to life

    When you die, lots of small postmortem processes begin. Hospitals call a person dead when heartbeat, blood circulation, and breathing all stop. This is called “clinical death.” Biological death, on the other hand, happens five minutes later. We think of death as a moment, but it’s actually a process. Cells begin to die, fluids are released, and blood begins to pool. Additionally, it’s possible to be revived from clinical death on, for example, an operating table. Thousands of people report near-death experiences, or have similar stories of what happens when we “die.” It might push science and common perception past their logical limits, but it’s a weird truism of the human experience.

  6. Your nails and hair keep growing

    It’s not that weird, but it’s going to happen. Your nails and hair are already dead proteins, and you might as well face the fact that your perfect hair and manicure will be screwed up after death. Luckily, you won’t be there to see it. And if you’re buried, cremated, or turned into fireworks

    promptly, no one else will see it, either.

  7. It gets dressed up

    If you choose to be embalmed and have an open casket funeral, your body will be filled with formaldehyde. A mortician will then slather cake-like stage makeup on your corpse to make it look like it’s you, only sleeping. After that, your corpse gets dressed up in your Sunday best. While similar practices have been a common practice over many cultures for thousands of years, the entire process seems creepy to us. Consider more environmentally friendly forms of aftercare, such as donation of your organs and cremation.

8 Tips for Parents of Disabled Children

Being a parent is hard. Being a parent of a disabled child is harder. If you’ve recently found out that your child has a disability or you just need a pick-me-up that you’re doing something right, check out these eight tips for parents of disabled children, and don’t forget to take it one day at a time.

  1. Have A Good Support System

    Parenting is difficult, whether your child has special needs or not. You’ll need a good support system — a network of family, friends, community, and possibly your child’s healthcare providers. When the going gets tough, know who you can count on, when, and for what. When the people who love you know specifically how they can help, everyone can appropriately deal in the difficult times.

  2. Talk To Other Parents

    If your child has a disability, there’s a pretty good chance other children have a similar affliction. Find a support group for parents, if necessary. Or converse with parents you meet in the course of your child’s care. They can be a lifesaver. Other parents with similar situations will be able to understand your specific gripes better than others and may have creative solutions.

  3. Engage With A Community

    Join a support group. Find a club for parents of similar children. If you’re religious, go to church. Do something that builds community, even if it’s not based around your child. Join a craft club. Take one night off per week for Bunko. If it lifts you up or relaxes you, it’s legit.

  4. Practice Intense Self-Care

    One of the most important things a dedicated parent of a disabled child can do is take care of themselves. Caregiver burnout syndrome is a real thing, and — especially with children — it’s in a caregiver’s best interest to practice intense self-care. You can’t be an effective parent and guardian if you’re not well-rested, pulled together, and well-equipped to handle life’s curve balls. Make sure you have some private time, and do whatever you need to do to recharge.

  5. Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff

    Think “big picture.” Every day will not be your best day. And gold-star parenting days may not be your child’s best day. You have a difficult job that not everyone can understand. Happy, healthy, children and parents should be the goal. The rest of it is “small stuff.”

  6. Be A Tireless Advocate

    You can’t fix your child. And you may not always be the best caregiver (sometimes it might have to be a therapist or a doctor). Know what you can do right, 100% of the time? Be an advocate for your child. If you always have your child’s best interests on your mind, decisions about care, health, and educational strategies will make themselves. It won’t always be easy, but this is one thing you can always do right.

  7. Relinquish Control

    The surest way to put yourself in an early, stressed-out grave? Be both a parent of a special needs child and a control freak. You’ll drive yourself crazy being a helicopter parent that seeks to control every element of your child’s existence. Do what you can, and do your best. You can’t control the world, and sometimes not your own schedule, just let go, for your own sanity.

  8. Educate Yourself

    Arm yourself with knowledge. What does your child have? What does that mean? What are the implications for the rest of her life? These questions, and more, should be answered. Don’t become obsessed, but buy relevant books, seek several different sources of information, and rely on good science and medicine when you’re unsure.

6 Ways to Prevent the Retiree Blues

Even though you’ve worked hard for years and anxiously awaited this big day, retirement can still be a tough transition for anyone. Going from working every day to not working at all is a big life change that can leave you feeling bored and a little blue. If you or someone you know is approaching retirement or currently struggling to enjoy this phase of life, check out these six ways to prevent the retiree blues.

  1. Take up hobbies:

    Retirement is the perfect time to take up new hobbies or rediscover old ones while you have the time and energy to do so. Hobbies provide an exciting way to challenge yourself and increase your skill set, and they can be done alone, with another person, or as a group. And don’t just settle for cliché retirement hobbies like fishing or knitting, add something adventurous and youthful to the mix.

  2. Spend time with loved ones:

    Retirees won’t have time to become blue if they surround themselves with loved ones as much as possible. There’s no better time than the present to catch up with friends and family, and reach out to people you’ve lost touch with over the years. If you live far from your loved ones, make a point to visit them and make new friends in your area.

  3. Travel:

    In case you didn’t already know, retirement and traveling go hand in hand. Whether you decide to travel the world or stay domestic, you will certainly benefit from a change of scenery. As if traveling wasn’t fun enough, senior retirees also get incredible travel discounts and deals wherever they go. If you don’t want to travel alone, go with friends or a senior travel group.

  4. Stay active:

    Nothing fends off a case of the blues like a great workout or fun activity that gets your heart pumping and endorphins flowing. It doesn’t matter if it’s jogging, yoga, hiking, or gardening; just make a point to stay active and do the things you enjoy.

  5. Give yourself mini-jobs:

    Retirement is a great time to take care of nagging projects and much-needed home repairs. One way to prevent the retiree blues is to give yourself plenty of mini-jobs that stimulate the mind and keep you busy. Tasks like remodeling the home, fixing the car, and organizing the garage will keep you occupied for weeks or months. Your mini-jobs can also include everything from babysitting grandchildren to volunteering.

  6. Work again:

    Now, we know what you’re thinking: “Isn’t this article about ways to embrace your retirement, not reasons to go back to working?” Well, in some cases, working a low-stress, part-time job may be just what you need to prevent the retiree blues and keep your mind occupied. This is the time to follow your career dreams and do something fulfilling. If you’re an animal lover, for instance, apply at an animal shelter or become a dog walker.

7 Reasons You Should Get an Annual Check-Up

Do you, or don’t you? Doctors, patients, and insurance companies have varying opinions on the necessity of annual physicals and check-ups for most people. While some think these exams are a waste of time, money, and effort, others call them indispensable for preventative maintenance. While your health plan is up to you and your doctor, there remain some pretty good reasons for checking in with a physician once a year. Here are seven of them. Stay healthy!

  1. Because you get your car tuned up once a year:

    If you take care of your car, you have no reason not to devote some time, money, and energy to your health. Without preventative and regular maintenance, our cars, bodies, and homes would fall into disrepair. Women, men, and children should have a wellness checkup at least once per year.

  2. Because even healthy people get sick:

    You could be in top physical condition, but you may have underlying health problems that need to be addressed. Even if you feel great the majority of the time, something could be boiling underneath the surface. Knowing your cholesterol levels is important. Cancer screenings, such as mammograms, are important. Hormone levels and thyroid function become increasingly important as we age. And you can rest easy when you know for sure that your health is as good as it seems.

  3. Because you have insurance:

    If you’re lucky enough to have insurance, make the most of it while you can. It’s easy to get lax about things when you’re employed and healthy, but if you have access to inexpensive, quality medical care, take advantage of it. Know your family history, and watch for hereditary illnesses, such as heart disease and diabetes.

  4. Because you smoke, drink, or don’t exercise:

    If you have an unhealthy vice, make sure you see a doctor at least once per year. While it would be healthier to forgo six hours of television per night or that half-pack of smokes you blaze through in a day, if you’re going to have bad habits, make sure you’re in the best possible physical condition. This includes seeing a doctor at least once yearly for cancer screenings, blood pressure checks, and other common (but major) health issues.

  5. Because everyone in your family died young:

    This isn’t meant to scare you; it’s meant to encourage you to be proactive about your health. If your immediate family members routinely die of heart attacks, strokes, cancer, or any other illnesses before their time, you should absolutely be taking control of your health and medical care. Having a doctor you trust, and one who understands your family’s history, could prove to be important if you’re at a particular risk for any number of serious health issues.

  6. Because your life is constantly changing:

    If you move around a lot, have a job where you frequently travel, or otherwise have an unsettled style of living, getting an annual check-up should be one of your top priorities. It’s just like a teeth cleaning — you may not like it, and it may seem like a nuisance — but you’ll be healthier and better off when it’s over. Additionally, if your physical activity is constantly in flux, you’d do yourself a favor to get an annual check-up. Going from couch to 5k twice a year could prematurely age you if you’re not aware of your specific health needs.

  7. Because you’re special:

    If you know you have a terminal or chronic illness, you need to be under constant medical care. Those in remission or with a latent disability or disease may not need to be at the doctor every week, but an annual check-up for peace of mind will work wonders. Monitor your progress and chart any health changes with your primary care physician and any specialists necessary. It may take some time and effort, but you’ll be much happier and healthier as time marches on.

7 Secrets No One Tells You About Aging

Do you have ear hair? Do people open doors for you with a smile and the line, “Age before beauty?” Do you order Blue Plate Specials? If so, you’re old. Many people cringe at the thought of wrinkles and the impending loss of their youthful visage. Don’t be one of these people. Aging is cool, and it might be the best thing you’ll ever do for yourself. Either way, you can’t fight it. And we’ve got seven secrets about aging that might help you usher in your golden years with ease.

  1. It Gets Better

    One thing no one tells you about getting older: It actually rocks pretty hard. Getting older means getting wiser, and being wiser makes life better. Graceful aging can seem difficult to younger generations, but it’s neither difficult nor uncommon. It’s not that you want to “go gently into that good night,” it’s that age brings a tacit understanding of what’s really important in life.

  2. It Gets Worse

    Creaky joints, the need for more sleep, and a sluggish metabolism are just a few of the things you will experience as you age. Your children will act like they don’t need you anymore, your job may become obsolete, and “senior moments” might become more frequent. Not to worry, it happens to everyone. And aging can be combated with proper self-care, a balanced lifestyle, and making the effort to remain plugged in.

  3. It Costs More

    A lot more. Think six figures. Hopefully, your salary has steadily increased and you’ve saved frugally in preparation for retirement. As you age, doctor’s appointments often become more expensive, more time-consuming, and more frequent. You never thought those rock concerts of your youth would put you in specialized hearing aids, but now you’ve got four appointments in two weeks. And elder care, like nursing homes and assisted living, is incredibly (often prohibitively) expensive.

  4. You Get Better Seats

    You can hop a line, get the AARP discount, and people give up their seats for you. Even if you’re nowhere near senile, acting that way might make it easier and quicker for you to get through the daily grind. Maybe you don’t have bad knees, but if you want to switch seats with a twenty-something on an airplane, go ahead and use that excuse. You’ve earned the extra leg room and the extra consideration.

  5. You Mature Emotionally As Well As Physically

    If you live long enough, your parents will die. You might outlive your siblings, partner, or friends, as well. Any number of horrible things can happen on a long enough timeline. As you age, the dramas of your younger years will (hopefully) begin to seem trite, and simple happiness and quality of life should take priority. As your bones become more brittle and your hair turns gray, it’s imperative that you recognize and respect changes in your heart and mind, as well.

  6. Failure Is Never Fatal

    It’s a hard but liberating lesson to learn. If you live long enough, you’re bound to screw up something really important. Whether you lose your spouse, your dream job, or your home gets repossessed, with aging comes life’s hard knocks. But here’s the secret: The sun will come up tomorrow, and — if you’re optimistic — so will you. Relieve yourself of the pressures of youth and be proud to accept that screwing up is simply a part of life.

  7. Sex Gets Hotter

    Especially for women. Studies show that women’s sexual satisfaction increases with age, even if desire for frequent coupling diminishes. The American Journal of Medicine published a study to this effect in January of 2012. But sizzling sheets isn’t the full story. Even a majority of those who infrequently or never have sex report being satisfied with their sex lives. No matter if your golden years are frisky or fried, satisfaction is in the cards.

7 Healthy Ways to Cope With the Loss of a Loved One

There’s truly nothing worse than experiencing the loss of a loved one. Nothing can prepare you for the immense sadness and pain of saying goodbye to a friend, family, co-worker, or neighbor, but there are ways to help you come to terms with your loss in a healthy, positive manner. If you or someone you know is experiencing bereavement, take a look at these seven healthy ways to cope with the loss of a loved one.

  1. Give yourself time to grieve:

    Everyone grieves in different ways and at different times, but one thing’s for sure, you can’t rush it. It is a gradual process that is often described as five stages: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. For some people, the symptoms only last a few months, while others take a year or longer to overcome their grief. It’s important to remember that grief is a healthy response to loss and your individual grief is not on a timeline, so long as it does not interfere with your overall health and daily life.

  2. Let family and friends help:

    Grieving the loss of a loved one is a highly personal experience, but that doesn’t mean you can’t let others in or allow them to help when you need it. Let your family and friends help by making calls, grocery shopping, and cooking food when you feel too weak or mentally drained to do it yourself. Not only will it take some of the pressure off of you, but having company around can also help lift your spirits.

  3. Focus on yourself:

    Taking good care of yourself when you’re grieving the loss of a loved one may be the last thing on your mind, but it is a necessity in this time of sadness. Although you may not have much of an appetite or feel like going outside, you owe it to yourself to eat well, exercise, and relax. Take the time to focus on your mind, body, and spirit by reading, writing in a journal, or meditating.

  4. Seek professional help:

    Sometimes, even the best of friends and family members cannot counsel you in this time of need. When your grief seems like too much to bear, it is best to seek professional help from a general psychologist or one that specializes in grief counseling. Counseling lets you express your thoughts and feelings to an unbiased listener who can help you overcome the pain and come to terms with your loss.

  5. Memorialize the deceased:

    Memorializing the deceased is a healthy way to cope with the loss of a loved one and can be done individually or as a group. There are many ways to honor some who has passed away, including writing a poem or letter and reading it at the gravesite, holding a candlelight vigil, planting a tree in remembrance, or volunteering for their favorite charity.

  6. Postpone major life changes:

    It’s completely normal and advisable to postpone major life changes while you mourn the loss of a loved one. Major changes like moving, changing jobs, remarrying, or having another child can increase stress and worsen the emotions you’re already experiencing. It is important to give yourself time to adjust to the loss of a loved one and slowly ease into the next stage of life.

  7. Cherish the memories:

    It’s important that you cherish the memories you had with your loved one, and relieve those special moments by looking through old photos and videos and telling stories about your experiences. Recounting these memories may make you laugh or cry, but in either case, you’ll feel better afterward.

7 Myths About Medicare

With the November U.S. presidential election fast approaching, debate is raging in the political arena regarding Medicare, specifically how it is or isn’t working. Additionally, there is some confusion among senior citizens (and their loved ones) as to how the recent Affordable Care Act will benefit or perhaps threaten Medicare. To help sort out the facts from the rhetoric, take a look at these seven popular and perpetuated myths about Medicare.

  1. Medicare is an unearned entitlement:

    While this statement may be a factual falsehood, there are people who are philosophically opposed to the entire idea of a federal health program designed to ensure that citizens over 65 who are in need of medical care will not face financial destitution. But philosophical systems aside, the fact is that American employees “earn” the entitlement of Medicare by paying in to social security during their working years. Interestingly, this form of so-called “socialized” health care works exactly like private insurance: some customers pay more than they receive back, others get back more than they pay in.

  2. Medicare’s budget is out of control:

    Medicare is described by its critics as a big, bloated, inefficient, wasteful federal expense. However, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, Medicare’s spending growth rate through 2019 is projected at 3.1%, more or less matching the growth of the U.S. economy, while spending by private insurers will increase 4.9%. In addition to being run more efficiently than private plans, Medicare spends much less on administrative overhead, including fighting fraud and abuse.

  3. Medicare costs are out of control:

    Medicare has always and is projected to continue to cost significantly less per beneficiary than private insurance. While it is true that Medicare spending will increase as the number of senior citizens in the U.S. continues to grow, the program is expected to remain remarkably cost-friendly thanks to lower payment rates to health care providers and its aforementioned lower administrative costs. These savings are passed along to the benefit of people enrolled in Medicare.

  4. Market competition brings down the cost of private plans administering Medicare:

    Medicare Advantage, which originated in 1997 with the passing of that year’s Balanced Budget Act, is offered by private providers who are paid by Medicare as well as premiums and co-payments. It was believed that market competition among Medicare Advantage’s participating insurance providers would bring down the costs of health care plans, but anyone 65 or older will tell you that definitely did not happen. The Affordable Care Act will continue to reward Medicare Advantage providers who provide high quality, comprehensive care, but will also gradually reduce the subsidies Medicare is paying to these providers. As a result, it’s likely that instead of becoming less expensive and more consumer friendly, private companies will raise their premiums and co-payments or elect to drop out of the Medicare program altogether.

  5. Medicare is government healthcare:

    Medicare is sometimes referred to as “government healthcare” or “socialized medicine.” By definition, a socialized health care system would mean the government paid for all health care, employed all health care providers, and ran all of the country’s health care facilities. But the health care providers, pharmacies, and nursing homes that fall under Medicare’s coverage are all privately owned.

  6. Medicare is going to be broke in 2024:

    Medicare is funded by a combination of payroll taxes, taxes paid on social security benefits, interest earned on Medicare trust fund investments, premiums from people enrolled in Medicare part B and D, general revenue, and other funds identified by congress. While insolvency has been predicted for the Medicare nearly every year since 1972, various acts of congress and revisions to the program have managed to keep it solvent. There’s no question that both social security and Medicare are facing serious financial challenges, even though savings in the Affordable Care Act keeps Medicare financially stable through 2024, and funding sources are in no danger of suddenly disappearing. Given how important Medicare is for the country’s growing senior citizen population, it’s important the government continue to identify additional sources for funding Medicare and changes that will cut costs and improve its efficiency.

  7. Repealing the Affordable Care Act will save Medicare:

    The Affordable Care Act greatly expands health coverage for its beneficiaries. For instance, those who have been denied insurance because of a pre-existing condition, including children under the age of 19, can now get insurance. Insurance companies cannot drop your coverage if you get sick. Repealing the Affordable Care Act will only send Medicare back to square one and take the latest life-saving benefits away from millions of Americans.

7 Household Items that Double as Workout Equipment

When it comes to working out, all you really need is weight, resistance, and a sturdy surface to stand on. As much as we love our stability balls and free weights, we can do without them, or better yet, find alternatives for this equipment inside our homes. With a little creativity and craftiness, you can get a great workout using these seven household items that double as workout equipment. Check them out below.

  1. Milk jugs:

    Milk jugs aren’t just for pouring, they’re also made for curling. Milk jugs are a cheap and effective alternative to kettlebells and dumbbells. Best of all, you can make them as light or heavy as you want. Add water, sand, or rocks to an empty gallon jug and you’ve got yourself a heavy weight for bicep curls and shoulder presses.

  2. Doorframe:

    Take advantage of your tall doorframe the next time you want to improve your posture and stretch your chest, back, arms, and legs. If your doorframes are strong and sturdy enough, you can install a pull-up bar to do chin-ups and other challenging workouts right in your doorway. You can get really creative on this one.

  3. Towel:

    Something as simple as a hand towel can double as kick-butt workout equipment. Aside from the obvious use of wiping away sweat and providing a clean place to lay your head, a bath towel can also be used for gliding reverse lunges and crunches.

  4. Chair:

    The same chairs you sit in to eat dinner and watch TV can serve as excellent workout equipment. Use a kitchen chair to do push-ups, tricep dips, single leg squats, step-ups, or simply use the chair to balance yourself as you lift weights or stretch. There are endless options to the types of exercises you can do using a simple chair.

  5. Rope:

    If you happen to come across a thick, sturdy rope lying around the garage, grab it immediately! Ropes are some of the best workout tools of all time. Remember rope climbing in gym class? Well, now you can relive those agonizing (and effective) workouts by swinging a rope over a fixed object, such as a sturdy tree branch, and doing inverted rows, pull-ups, or suspended pushups.

  6. Pillows:

    Don’t underestimate the exercise potential of pillows. Even though they are soft and fluffy, pillows are unstable and hard to balance on. But it’s this wobbly surface that makes them excellent tools for core-stability work and lower-body strengthening. You can do squats, push-ups, and Pilates stretches using pillows of all sizes and shapes. Bonus, you’ll have a soft place to lay your head for a post-workout nap.

  7. PVC pipe:

    If you have a nine-foot long (give or take) PVC pipe lying around the house, you’re in luck! A PVC pipe can easily be transformed into a homemade slosh pipe that offers a great full body workout. To make one, simply cap one end and fill the tube halfway with sand or water and seal it shut. The slosh pipe can be incorporated into numerous workouts, such as lunges and overhead presses.