Excuses not to exercise....

You're too busy, too tired. too intimidated by treadmills and dumbells and guys in muscle tee shirts. Yes, you have plenty of reasons not to exercise. But there are even more reasons to exercise. Time and time again, exercise has been proven to boost overall physical, mental and emotional well-being.

Everyone would agree that exercise is a vital component of any long-term weight-control program. Therefore, establishing an exercise routine that works for you is important. As humans, however, we can be very clever in devising reasons and excuses not to exercise.

Most of us make excuses at one time or another for our behaviour, and the reasons vary widely. In our busy and often stressful lives, we convince ourselves that there simply isn't time to be physically active. If we examine our days more carefully, however, they are most likely filled with all sorts of "unplanned time robbers." Phone calls, requests for assistance, deadlines, etc. are common time robbers. Before long, the needs of others begin to far outweigh our own needs--our need to be physically active.

I don't have enough time!

First, set a goal that will motivate you, such as fitting into a pair of new or old jeans. Once you establish that objective, the next part-finding the time to work out-will quickly follow. With 1,440 minutes in each day, you should be able to set aside 30 of them to do something good for yourself!

Exercise is boring!

Find something to do that is fun for you. Focus on one activity, others crave variety in their routines. Exercise is overwhelming enough. If you set up unrealistic goals for yourself, you sabotage your efforts for maintaining them.

I can't seem to make it to the gym!

Things come up, and exercise is just not as large a priority as the events that we allow ourselves to be distracted by. People who struggle to fit fitness into their routine change the way they think about exercise.

Focus on exercise as a habit you build into your life like taking a shower, or brushing your teeth. Exercise can be your best ally against weight gain and many diseases associated with overweight.

Exercise increases and prolongs calorie burning and increases stamina, fitness, and muscle strength. Physical activity has also been shown to decrease appetite for many individuals and is directly associated with long-term weight control. Remind yourself regularly of the positive benefits you receive from physical activity.

Here are some tips that will help you start and stick with an exercise program:

Choose something you like to do. Make sure it suits you physically, too. For instance, swimming is easier on arthritic joints.

Get a partner. Exercising with someone else can make it more fun.

Vary your routine. You may be less likely to get bored or injured if you change your routine. Walk one day. Bicycle the next. Consider activities like dancing and racket sports, and even chores like chopping wood.

Choose a comfortable time of day. Do not work out too soon after eating or when it's too hot or cold outside. Wait until later in the day if you're too stiff in the morning.

Don't get discouraged. It can take weeks or months before you notice some of the changes from exercise.

Forget "no pain, no gain." While a little soreness is normal after you first start exercising, pain isn't. Stop if you hurt.

Make exercise fun. Read, listen to music or watch TV while riding a stationary bicycle, for example. Find fun things to do, like taking a walk through the zoo. Go dancing. Learn how to play tennis.

The mind can also benefit from exercise. Increases in overall well-being, mood, self-esteem, and the ability to cope with anxiety and stress have been found to be true of regular exercisers. Some people experience improvements in quality-of-life with regular exercise.

BOULES (Pétanque)

The game of boules, otherwise known as pétanque , is perhaps the sport that is closest to French hearts. Similar to British lawn bowling or Italian bocce , the French version is traditionally played with metallic balls on a dirt surface beneath plane trees, with a glass of pastis at hand. The local boulodrome is a social focal point in southern France.

The object of the game is to throw your balls — usually with somewhat of an arched back-spin — so that they land closer to the small object ball (cochonnet ) than those of your opponent, or strike and drive the object ball toward your other balls and away from your opponent's.

Equipment check

The only really essential equipment is a set of three steel boules. A set costs anywhere from US$5 for a rusty old set you may be lucky enough to come across to US$120 for a competition set. To be legitimate for competition play, a boule must conform to the following specifications:

Weight: From 650 to 800 grams [1lb. 7oz. — 1lb. 12oz.]
Diameter: From 70.5 to 80.0mm [2.78" — 3.15"]

A player who specializes in pointing (or placing) should normally favor a small, heavy boule. A heavy boule is slightly more difficult to displace, and a boule of the minimum allowable diameter presents a smaller target to the opposition's shooters. Women and young boys, usually having smaller hands and less arm strength, frequently compromise by selecting a boule that is both light and small.
A shooter should choose a lighter boule for the best chance of success. This may seem surprising, but in fact the decreased momentum of a light boule gives it the best chance of remaining in place after knocking an opponent's boule out of the game (the perfect, and much admired, shot known as a carreau ).

A shooter should not use a small boule: a shot that just barely misses with a small boule might have been effective if only that extra 5 mm had been on the radius!

La Boule Bleue of Marseille has a special web page enabling you to pick the right boule for yourself in a step-by-step process.

In choosing a boule, however, perhaps the overriding consideration is "play with what feels comfortable to you."
Very non-essential equipment

The following pétanque trivia is definitely not necessary.......
* Peaked cap for playing against the sun
* Calipers for really fine measurements of distance
* Hand-held score keeper (sometimes provided with an image of Fanny on the back)
* Powerful magnet on the end of a string: for those who have trouble bending down to pick up boules
* Special cloth for wiping grit off boules

Children and Drugs

One of the things that children value most is the trust and respect of their parents. However, when they think they will not get caught, they do not feel their bond of trust is ever in jeopardy and they do what they want. It’s easy for well balanced children to make bad choices.

Parenting decisions are only as sound as the facts on which they are based. Unfortunately, parents often make decisions based on fantasy rather than facts.

Too many parents get lulled into a false sense of security because their kids play sports, make good grades, and have “nice” friends. That’s a fantasy and is not what happens in the real world.

Speaking factually, about half of all school children at senior schools have tried illegal drugs. These figures are much higher if you include the students who have used alcohol and tobacco.

From the time children are very young, they are taught to “just say no” to drugs. I’m convinced that the peer pressure usually gets worse when they do because teens don’t know what to say next.

An emerging trend offers parents direction and hope. Drug testing kits now exist that can be administered at home and provide instant results for a fraction of the cost of a lab, without sacrificing accuracy or privacy. Parents who follow through with such an approach give their teens a socially acceptable excuse. The words “My parents test me” stop pushy peers in their tracks. Additionally, teens’ poor behavior and choices can be made to change when teens know it’s a certainty rather than a remote possibility that their drug use will be discovered.

Question: Should parents talk to their kids more often about the facts and possible problems ahead?

Answer: “Wise is the man who fixes his roof before it rains.” I suggest that parents would be well served to sit down with their children and start talking about the dangers of drugs as early as when their children are in middle school.

While a conversation about the dangers of drug use is an important first step, it is simply not enough to protect your child without a plan to follow through.
Trust should be earned rather than bestowed and an approach eliminates potential misunderstandings by creating a contract that spells out specific rewards and consequences tied to home drug test results.

It’s no wonder so many teens think their parents won’t find out. They’re right—until it’s too late.

South Africa World Cup 2010

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) -- South Africa kicked off the one-year countdown to the World Cup in a ceremony Thursday at a half-complete stadium nestled between mighty Table Mountain and the glistening Atlantic.

South African President Jacob Zuma kicked a ball off a stand at the ceremony and said his countrymen have shown they can rise to the challenge of hosting the first African edition of the football tournament.

"We are ready,'' deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe earlier told business delegates at the World Economic Forum on Africa. When asked to rate the country's preparedness on a scale of one to 10, he replied: "More than 10.'

That assessment is optimistic.

While most international attention has focussed on stadium construction and South Africa's ability to protect fans from its notoriously ruthless criminals, the biggest single stumbling block is lack of transport.

All major airports are being upgraded to cope with the crowds. But plans to create urban rapid bus transit systems to supplement erratic and often dangerous minibus taxis are being fiercely resisted by taxi drivers who have threatened to wreak mayhem if they are ignored. Negotiations between government transportation officials and taxi associations were continuing to try to resolve the impasse, even as construction work continued on the bus lanes.

"It is our biggest concern, no question,'' Helen Zille, premier of the Western Cape province, told delegates at the forum.

There are question marks whether there will be enough accommodation for the expected 450,000 fans, and whether South Africa's communications systems will be advanced enough to service the anticipated 15,000 members of the media.

Costs of hosting the 32-team tournament have spiraled way beyond original estimates - about tenfold in the case of stadium construction. And most of the projects were planned and budgeted for when the South African economy was growing. Now it is in recession.

Michael Jordaan, the chief executive officer of South Africa's First National Bank, said the economic benefits of the World Cup were likely overstated. But he said it was the best medicine for the global downturn that has seen South Africa enter its first recession in 17 years.

"It's the best possible time to have investment,'' Jordaan said. "It is the most wonderful thing that we have a deadline. We have to get the stadium ready and the roads. It's very fortuitous that the timing hits us right now.''

The Western Cape alone is spending an additional 12 billion rand on infrastructure that would not otherwise have taken place, Zille said.

"Barack Obama talks about being shovel ready,'' Jordaan said. "We're already shoveling.''

Link to FIFA Official World Cup....... http://www.fifa.com/worldcup/index.html

Should we exercise or not?

The western world is faced with ever increasing signs of people becoming obese; this is brought about by an ever changing lifestyle.

Due to the ever increasing cost of living, people seek to earn more money in order to stand still and the pace of life becomes faster and faster. This creates a situation where they snatch meals and in particular meals of junk food, and when they arrive home in the evening they drop into an easy chair and watch the T.V.

In addition there is the tendency for people to become lazy, taking the easy way out, again by visiting the local burger bar and watching more Television, as the number of programs increase year by year.

This concept, favored by many adults, then is disseminated to their children and we are therefore encouraging a new generation of couch potatoes, and so the circle widens. To add to the down turn, there is less activity in schools than years ago, when teachers and parents used to volunteer time in the evenings to do sport with pupils.

This brings us to the question, as to whether we should exercise regularly and also what type of exercise should we do!

Some form of exercise is of paramount importance in maintaining a healthy life and there are numerous forms of achieving this, in fact, everyone could find a suitable system, if they were of a mind to improve their fitness.

Additionally, it does not necessarily take a lot of time, if they were to research what is available. With the Internet now a big part of our life, it is far simpler to find out about such things, than it was 20 years ago.

What form of exercise should we be looking at?

The first point to consider is how healthy you are at this point in time, and it would be advisable, if you are uncertain, to have a word with your doctor, before considering the route to take.

Even so, whatever you decide to do, it is wise to undertake a very easy entry route into physical exercise. It is also quite easy to find a routine that only takes 7 -10 minutes at a convenient time during the day.

Once you have decided that you want to become fitter and healthier and have embarked on a simple program, and then it is wise to think about the next stage!

This will obviously depend on your age and your overall body condition. Maybe you will want to join a fitness gym, you will certainly receive expert advice and tuition, but perhaps walking for 20 minutes on a treadmill etc., does not appeal to you. Perhaps you will look at taking up a sport that you did at school !

The added advantage of taking up a sport, such as tennis, is that you can join a club and meet many new people, who will make your participation much more enjoyable, you will make lots of new friends and it is also a sociable.

Make certain, whatever you decide to do, that the club is not elitist and that everyone can partake, irrespective of ability.

Other easy forms of exercise, which are equally rewarding, are walking and hiking; find a local group who go on guided walks etc., Join a swimming club, this again is one of the best forms of workout; if you can't swim and feel a little embarrassed, seek private lessons, an understanding coach will arrange these at of peek times.

There are forms of exercise that we can all do if we put our mind to it; take up an allotment, digging is a great form of exercise, providing you don't over do it initially, and the rewards of your own produce makes it very worthwhile.

Even doing the housework, vacuuming etc., is better than nothing.

It is extremely important to make a change and start regular exercise - get to it!
If you would like to consider a home fitness workout; you will be helped continuously and program updated to suit your needs and make it fun!