Is Your Car Detailing or Car Scratch Repair Company Charging Too Much?


Getting a scratch removed from your car is a job that shouldn’t cost a great deal of money – yet some companies on the market for this service seem to have a different idea, and charge ridiculous prices for this procedure these days. If you want to avoid falling for a trap like that, and want to make sure that you won’t get ripped off when you go to get a car scratch repair job, you’ll need to take a few precautions. Thankfully, as long as you know what you’re doing, it shouldn’t be that difficult to find a company that will work well enough for you.

You should start with some thorough research about the companies in your area that provide this service – depending on where you live, there should be a good choice of companies that you can take your car to, to have a scratch removed from it. Have a look at their websites if they have them, and compare the prices between the different companies before you’ve even started contacting them. You need to have a good idea of what each company can offer you in terms of price and quality of their services before you even take things further, as otherwise you’re going to waste a lot of time in your search.

Remember that a car scratch repair job should only concentrate on the scratch itself – some companies may try to convince you that they would need to completely repaint the vehicle, but in almost all cases this is simply not true. Nowadays there are various ways to get rid of a nasty scratch on your car without having to redo the paintjob of the car as a whole, so just talk to the different companies that you’re visiting and ask them how they’re going to do the job. In addition, you must make sure that if they’re fixing the scratch locally, they’ll know how to match the color of the paint to the car’s current shade – this is important, as a darker/lighter spot on the paintjob of your car can have an effect just as negative as a scratch.

Last but not least, on a similar note, you should get a guarantee for the longevity of the repair job in some form – after all, it doesn’t make much sense to submit your car for a scratch removal, only to be forced to come back in a few days/weeks because the paint has started to fade in the area where the scratch was repaired. Always check to make sure that the job that would be done on your car will be a quality one and won’t leave you with more problems than you originally had – especially in the long term. And if you’re satisfied with the services of the company you used for that repair job, keep in touch with them – you never know when you might need something similar done on your car in the near future, so it’s good to know where you can go for that!


Source by Jay Kenneth

Don’t Let Driver Exclusions Leave Your Insured Bare


Words can be a very powerful tool of communication, but it is important that the correct word is chosen to convey the correct information. One word can change the whole context of a sentence or a contract. It can also be the difference between whether your client has insurance coverage in a certain situation or not. When entering into an insurance policy contained in a “driver exclusion”, understanding the difference between the words contained in a “driver exclusion” is vital to ensure you fully understand the policy’s coverage, and can explain it to your prospect.

Since car dealerships can have many drivers, some with undesirable driving records, insurance companies many require that a “driver exclusion” endorsement be added to the policy or a “driver restriction” becomes part of business practice. Basically, a driver exclusion is an endorsement added to an insurance policy which is signed by the policyholder and the individual named on the exclusion acknowledging that the insurance will not apply under certain circumstances described in the endorsement. It is important to note that the absence of coverage does not take away responsibility from the policyholder or the excluded driver if the excluded individual is involved in an accident. These forms can vary greatly among insurance companies. Each can have a different effect on an insurance policy and should be reviewed with by the policyholder with their agent and their attorney. Some states have determined that a driver exclusion endorsement continues to be effective into a renewal policy without executing a new endorsement. It is important to make sure that if an excluded employee’s driving record has improved that this is reviewed with the insurance agent any time during the policy period, and especially at time of policy renewal.

Because driver exclusions are effective in most states in changing insurance coverage, they are added to a policy by special endorsement and become part of the insurance policy. Although the titling of these endorsements is very similar, the wording contained in the endorsement can vary greatly and have a carrying effect on the coverage.

Some endorsements show titles such as “Driver Excluded”, “Driver Exclusion” and “Named Driver Exclusion.” Titles such as these would make you think they all would change your coverage the same exclude coverage for a specific employee. For the endorsement to be effective in its intent, it will also include wording eliminating coverage for the dealership and all named insureds. Let’s take a closer look at some of the endorsement wording to see how they may impact your client’s business. Remember, each claim situation and specific state laws and regulations many change our general explanations.

The following are excerpts from one driver exclusion endorsement. “The person indicated below is excluded from coverage.. when driving any motor vehicle… and this exclusion applies to all insureds.” This endorsement appears to remove coverage only when the person named in the endorsement is driving. But it refers to any motor vehicle and does not address ownership of the vehicle. This would lead the impression that the exclusion applies to the dealership’s vehicles, customer vehicles, vehicles owned by the named person and any other vehicle they may be driving and potentially involves the business.

Another driver exclusion contains the following: “The person designated… is excluded from any coverage… when operating any motor vehicle… applicable to all insureds of this policy… whether or not the operation as with expressed or implied permission…” This is similar to the previous example, but not exact. In this endorsement, they use the term “operating” instead of “driving” and add a condition about permissive use. Is “driving” different than “operating?” If one of the mechanics named in a driver exclusion is showing a customer why they are having a certain complaint with their car by starting their car, opening a door, hood or deck lid, will this be considered “operating?” If any of the mechanic’s actions cause damage to the customer and the insurance company considers his actions as “operating,” then will insurance coverage will not be provided for that incident. This endorsement sample has added wording addressing permissive use clarifying that giving an excluded driver permission to use a vehicle, or the excluded driver driving without permission, will not void the endorsement.

Although this next endorsement example does not specifically state that it will not cover the policyholder, it does state that this insurance does not apply and the assumption can be made that it will not apply to any insured when an excluded driver is involved in an accident. The following wording is quite different from the previous two examples and seems to broaden, beyond “driving” or “operating”, the types of situations that will not be covered. The wording is: “This insurance does not apply… arising out of the ownership, maintenance or use… This exclusion will also serve as a rejection of the Uninsured Motorist, Underinsured Motorist…and Personal Injury Protection…” In this situation, your client has a good employee with an unacceptable driving record and their insurance company is requiring this exclusion. Your client wants to keep the employee, realizing they are now excluded per the endorsement and reassigns them to detailing or washing vehicles. While performing their duties, they injure a customer. They may not have coverage if your client’s insurance company considers this “maintenance.”

The example endorsement wording contained in the above paragraphs is actual extractions from endorsements currently used by insurance companies that are writing insurance for auto dealerships and various garage businesses. These endorsements usually state that they modify insurance provided under the Garage Coverage Form and Business Auto Coverage Form. Both of these coverage forms contain coverages other than liability coverage, such as Garagekeepers Legal Liability, Physical Damage to inventory and other endorsements for Auto Med Pay, Uninsured Motorist, No Fault and many other optional coverages that can be effected by a driver exclusion endorsement. Advise your client to make sure their insurance agent tells them what coverage and endorsements will be effected by a driver exclusion endorsement.

Since a major part of your client’s business involves the use and driving of automobiles, a driver exclusion naming any of their key employees can have a significant effect on their daily business activities and financial stability if an excluded driver is involved in a not covered claim. What can you do to help your client avoid having driver exclusions added to their policy??

If your client asks their insurance agent to specifically find out why their insurance company wants to exclude an individual, your client along with the individual can determine if there is anything that can be done to remove the insurance company’s concern and avoid having the exclusion on their policy. Upon request, the insurance agent can research other insurance companies to determine if they will demand the same restrictions excluding certain drivers and verify any significant change in pricing. If the policyholder prefers to stay with their current insurance company, advise them to suggest a driver restriction form rather than a driver exclusion endorsement. Typically, a driver restriction form is not part of an insurance policy and does not affect coverage. It is used as a management and vehicle control tool in restricting the driving activities of selected employees that have undesirable driving records. The form requires the signature of the concerned employee and the policyholder, both agreeing to its terms. Depending on the individual’s position with the company and the types of driving violations, the form can restrict all driving or specifically list various situations describing when the individual is permitted to drive. This type of in-house agreement has been acceptable by some insurance companies in lieu of enforcing a driver exclusion endorsement.

Implementing a formal loss prevention program that includes a driver training program, encouraging defensive driving for employees and monitoring employee motor vehicle records may also help convince an insurance company to remove driver exclusion endorsements from a policy. In some situations, your client may also want to install GPS tracking devices allowing them to track their employees’ driving habits and destinations.

If any of these suggestions are successful in removing driver exclusion endorsements from your client’s insurance policy, they are worth yours, as well as your client’s efforts and cost in keeping their insurance company from eliminating coverage from them and named drivers. Their insurance company may still require driver exclusion endorsements for some individuals with very poor driving history. If this happens, advise the client to make sure the endorsement is limited in its restrictions and specifies the coverages effected.


Source by John Krivacsy

10 Four Wheel Driving (4WD) Facts You Didn’t Know


Over the recent years, 4WD has evolved from a hobby to a quintessential motoring lifestyle catering to large families, industries and businesses. 4WD vehicles provide that much needed support to families that are often mobile, industries that require access to places that common vehicles can’t traverse, and a person’s need to have something bigger and powerful for those “just in case I need it” instances.

After years of improvisation and evolution, 4WD has its share of facts and trivia that is both fun and useful knowledge. Here are some of them that are sure to increase your interest in 4WD.

  1. 1898, Latil (French) Built a 4×4 gun tractor during the WWII era. This concept sprung from his manufacturing of power packs as replacement for the front axle shafts and horse of carts.
  2. The first 4WD vehicle was designed by Ferdinand Porsche (founder of Porsche cars). He designed the vehicle when he was 25 years old.
  3. First mechanical 4WD was built by the Dutch company Jacobus Spyker in 1902.
  4. Four Wheel drive auto company (FWD) built the first US vehicle in 1911. FWD supplied 4WD trucks to both British and US Marines during WW1.
  5. Mercedes and BMW followed in 1926 with their line of 4WD vehicles for commercial consumption.
  6. “Wankertank” or “Toorak Tractor”: colloquial names for 4WD commonly heard in and around the Melbourne area. Wankertank are 4WD’s that are only driven around town, while Toorak Tractor is a name pertaining to the exclusive eastern suburb of Toorak where these vehicles are mostly seen.
  7. The first 4WD Formula 1 racing car was the Ferguson P99 Climax. It remains the most famous specimen to garner twin claims to fame. The first 4WD car and the last front-engine car to ever bag a spot in a F1 event.
  8. The most radical 4WD vehicle is one made by a Russian armour-car builder Russo Baltique, who among all other details of the vehicle used whale penis leather as the seat covering. The Russian car company manufactures safety vehicles for Russia’s Tsars and top officials. The vehicle is named the Dartz Prombron Monacco Red Diamond Edition which is claimed to be the world’s most expensive vehicle at the time. Expensive it is, with gold-plated bulletproof windows, exhaust made of tungsten, diamond and ruby encrusted gauges and a Kevlar coating for the exterior. A shortage of whale penis leather was a concern until facts came in that a Blue Whale penis can grow up to 2.4 meters. The manufacturer has not mentioned so far the kind of whale that they get the penis leather from.
  9. World’s first pedal powered 4WD vehicle was created by a German fellow, Frank Fraune and called it the Trailcart. The Trailcart is a metamorphosis of a mountain bike and 4WD with 290Nn of torque. 400mm of axle displacements helping it master rugged terrain. This invention is receiving some serious reviews by investors which include Land Rover who tested the vehicle in its obstacle park in Wulfrath, Germany.
  10. Australians are the world’s biggest buyers of 4WD vehicles.


Source by Frank Reid

Choose an Audio Capacitor That Best Fits Your System


The definition of an audio capacitor is: it’s an electrical circuit which is used to store charge temporarily. You should not confuse it with a battery, because a cap holds temporarily a charge. It consists of two plates of metal which are separated by a dielectric.

The new types of capacitors on the market come in a cylindrical shape of about three inches in diameter and about a foot long. There are also audio capacitors in rectangular shapes available for different technologies. There is a negative and a positive terminal that turns on or off the LCD display. It’s not important the shape they come in, but these capacitors are designed for one thing, which is storage of the electrical power.

An audio capacitor can charge and discharge very fast and thus, stabilizing the voltage to the amplifier. By doing the stabilization on the voltage, you help the amplifier reduce distortion and produce more power consistently.

More about capacitors for your car

1. Audio capacitors can accumulate power whenever it is not required.

2. When the demand for power exceeds the supply capacity of the power system of the car, then this power accumulated by the capacitor is released.

3. A car audio capacitor usually ranges from 0.5 farads to 3 farads.

4. It is needed to ensure the good functioning of the amplifier.

5. If you install it, you have to be sure it complements your amplifier. And, as well, you also need to place the capacitor as near as possible to the amplifier.

6. To 500 RMS of power output you need a capacitor of 0.5 farads.

Do you need a car audio capacitor?

You have a problem when you see this particular symptom: Headlights dimming. If your system has trouble with the headlights dimming, that means that a capacitor is needed. Get a cap. This is a pretty good guess but it’s not always true and certainly it’s not a guaranteed cure. With this being said, it’s also important that, before installation of a capacitor it’s generally best to install the audio equipment. In this case you will be able to see which symptoms need to be remedied and assess the severity of the symptoms. This way you will also know how much capacitance would be beneficial.

Get one that fits your needs!

Today’s market has a large range of capacitors that fit your system:

– For mid-level systems (1000 watts maximum), you need a 1 Farad capacitor.

– For 1000 – 2000w systems, you need 1.1 to 1.9 Farad capacitor.

– For 2000 – 3000w systems, you need 2 to 2.9 Farad capacitor.

– For high power (over 5000 watt) systems, you need 5+ Farad capacitor.

An audio capacitor is especially important for amplified systems that are highly powered. With a new and improved capacitor wired into the system, your amplifier will do the best job in playing at high volumes, and with the help of it, you’ll avoid the well-known side effects like the lights dimming when the music is very loud.

Now why not choose an audio capacitor that brings the best in a system?

There are numerous capacitors on the market, but why not choose wisely? After all, it’s for your own joy that you deserve!


Source by Sheldon Kelly

Vinyl Sticker Printing is a Profitable Business


From the business point of view, printing is a highly profitable business. It can be used to gain the market and control important share of the market with properly printed products. There are many products that cane produced in this field. One of highly successful products is called the vinyl sticker printing. It gives the printing companies an opportunity to offer stylish and innovative products that are also quite useful for the outdoor marketing campaigns.

There are many varieties of printing products. Some of them are easy to produce while the others require the use of some advanced technologies and tools. An example of the sophisticated product is vinyl decal sticker printing which requires the use of advanced machinery to produce high quality vinyl decal products that can be used for a number of products.

The decals are used on many surfaces. They are quite easy to use. In fact, a decal is a special sticker as it does not stick to a place rather it imprints to a surface. The paper or plastic that has the sticker design on it is pasted on a surface and then removed, which leaves behind the imprint of the design. For example, the vehicle window decals are used in the same way to save the vehicle from permanent stickers.

With a huge variety of products, the stickers printing business can be turned into a very profitable one. Most of the customers want these products to be used for usually two purposes: marketing and advertisement. This offers the printing companies a great opportunity to cash on and make huge profits by delivering top class services.


Source by John Ronald Turner

Considerations When Purchasing a UTV Windshield


If you’re like most new UTV owners that drop a hard-earned wad of cash on a shiny, bone-stock new machine, you probably discover on that first ride that the one accessory you should have budgeted for was a high quality windshield. With many of the new machines on the market capable of freeway speed on firm ground, and the likely scenario that your recreational use includes some dusty, rainy, or snowy driving, it’s not long before most drivers opt for a more permanent alternative than motorcycle goggles.

So why not just head down to your nearest dealer and throw a couple hundred bucks at whatever’s in stock? At first glance it may seem like a pretty simple purchase. Just make sure it fits your vehicle and you’re in business, right? But there’s a reason for the wide selection of UTV windshields available. Side by side owners are an adventurous, varied group of enthusiasts with applications ranging from recreational use in dunes or trails, to hunting, to a second street legal vehicle to get around town in on those fair weather days. Besides your application, there are several other major considerations that should be made to avoid buyer’s remorse. What type of weather do you encounter frequently? Will you be trailering your UTV every time you use it? Do you want to have the option to remove it from the vehicle easily? What type of warranty options should you consider? This posting will address these questions to help you make an educated purchase.

There are two major reasons that owners purchase a windshield, and they are both critical to your continued enjoyment of your UTV. The most obvious is to protect your face and body from dust and debris. Unless you use your UTV exclusively on the street, you will likely get a mouth full of bugs or at least a thin layer of your local soil all over you from that very first ride. The good news is that literally any windshield, even the one-size-fits-all half windshields that are commonly seen on UTVs operating in sand dunes, will at least limit your exposure. Half windshields are often a good choice for low dust, hot weather applications where insulating the cabin is not an issue. In addition to the universal half windshields that will fit any model, there are many manufacturers, like Moose Division, that make both fixed and folding half windshields in the $150-$350 price range.

Speaking of weather, what’s the temperature and precipitation frequency where you ride the most? If you find yourself frequently battling the brutal winters of the Mid-west or Northeast (or any of you wacky Canadians), you not only want a full windshield, you may want to consider one of the heavy duty glass windshields that usually include a wiper option. While expensive, this will likely be the last windshield you will ever buy for your side by side. They are as strong as a car windshield and won’t scratch, and they offer the added benefit of insulating the cabin, particularly when integrated with a cab enclosure. If your weather conditions trend closer to the triple digits, in addition to the afore-mentioned half windshields, there are many vented Full Windshields on the market. Check out options like the patent-pending “Coolflo” Polaris RZR Windshield by Trail Armor or “lock and ride” models that are easily removable with thumb screws. Both are available in the $200-$400 price range.

I’ve talked a little about Windshield materials, and there is good reason for the incredibly wide price range between different materials available. Obviously, glass is the most expensive because it requires mounting in a thick, heavy frame (it’s already mounted in the frame for you), and is usually of the same quality as automotive windshield. These are usually the only windshields that have a wiper option available. They are an excellent choice for most applications other than racing, where the weight and added drag will slow you down. They are virtually impossible to break and are usually DOT approved (street legal). Most states require a windshield for any four wheel motor vehicle, and if you are ticketed for driving without one, the ticket may be close to the cost of a new windshield. Don’t get busted without one!

Most plastic Polaris RZR windshields fall into two categories: Acrylic (buy at least 1/4″ thick for strength) and Polycarbonate (usually 3/16″ thick). Both are sturdy enough to handle the elements, but usually only the thicker polycarbonate is DOT approved. If you plan on having your windshield on your UTV most of the time, it makes sense to spend a little extra on the heavier polycarbonate. It’s considerably stronger than acrylic and the way most owners beat up their machines, you’ll likely be glad you did. The strongest option (next to glass) is hard coated MR-10 Lexan, a super-hard material used in demanding applications like light aircraft windshields and medical grade instruments. It will never haze or yellow and it is safe to leave on when trailering your side by side. No matter what windshield you decide on, be sure to verify that the manufacturer warranties the windshield for trailering. This is the most common reason for UTV windshield breakage. EMP makes a great fixed Lexan windshield for the Polaris RZR and Polaris Ranger, among other models. It even includes a wiper option on some models.

There are essentially two mounting options to consider when purchasing any windshield. Will it require tools to remove it from your machine or not? Glass windshields are too heavy to take on and off regularly, so go with plastic if your application requires this flexibility. Most easily removable options include some form of “lock and ride” system that allows easy removal with thumb screws. They can usually be removed anywhere by one person as long as they are strong enough to lift the windshield off the cage. Most windshields do not require drilling, but use clamps that secure the windshield to the roll cage.

While windshields are usually great for protecting passengers from the elements, backdraft dust can be another issue, particularly if you have a windshield/roof combo on your side by side. This is where cab backs are a great option. These rear windows that bolts to the rear of the cage to keep dust, snow and rain out of the passenger area. Most offer the same easily removable thumbscrew system as the “lock and ride” windshields, and they are available from Kolpin and others for around $200.

No matter the type of windshield you decide on, it makes good sense to invest in a Brand made by a quality manufacturer such as those mentioned in this article. Bargain-basement models made of thin acrylic that are passed off as a “one size fits all solution” are often cheaply made sheets of plastic with a couple of clamps made by retailers who are trying to squeeze maximum profit out of their customers. Name brand warrantees will protect you from junk that might break your first time out. Take it from someone who has replaced more than one windshield on the same vehicle.


Source by Kevin R Connors

Top 2 Ways to Jam GPS Tracking Devices


The one thing that can be certain with technology is that as it advances, our privacy retreats. Many high tech devices are great at spying, probing and prying our daily movements and activities, and now it is easier than ever for average citizens to get into the game as well. GPS tracking technology is no different. This technology allows employers, parents and jealous ex-lovers to track our movements as easy as logging into a GPS tracking system, and as affordable as a monthly cable bill. As an individual, how do you get your privacy back? There are 2 effective ways for taking yourself off of the GPS radar grid.

1. Purchase a GPS Jamming Device

GPS Jamming devices work off of the concept that if the signal can’t reach the GPS tracking device, then no tracking can take place. GPS Jamming devices work by sending out a stronger localized signal that effectively blocks the incoming tracking data so the tracking device can’t see the signal to be able to store the coordinates into the device. No tracking information is then recorded in the device because there is nothing to record. GPS jamming devices work within a small area and are effective in vehicles in jamming the signal to the vehicle’s tracking device, or they can be used on your person to jam any GPS device you are carrying (such as a cell phone).

The major issue with these devices is that many localities ban the sale of these devices because they are transmitting signals at frequencies that the FCC doesn’t like. Even though these devices are only effective at a short distance, owning these devices is still prohibited. It is similar to having radar detecting equipment in localities that have made it illegal. You can find places online willing to sell these jamming devices to anyone willing to take the risk of getting caught with one.

2. Use Good Old Fashioned Technology

Another way to jam GPS signals is to use good old fashioned technology… metal foil. If you can find the wires in the GPS tracking device, you can wrap the wires in a metal foil (aluminum foil or some other type of metal foil) and you will be able to block much of the signal coming into the device. The issue is that you have to know where the GPS tracking device is and you have to know where the antennae wires are on the device. If the device is in some hidden part of the automobile, you may have some digging to do in order to find it, and it may be difficult to encase the wires in foil.

Unfortunately, the ways in which you regain your privacy when it comes to being tracked through GPS tracking device. Even though your options may be limited, they are effective. The solution you use to keep your privacy may be determined by where you live and the local laws in your area.


Source by B Hopkins

Making Room for the New – Creating a Vacuum Is the Number One Rule in the Universe


Recently, a friend of mine said, I have learned “you have got to get rid of the old in order to make room for the new.” If we all realized just how poignantly true this statement is, we could easily and effortlessly claim our good.

Creating a vacuum is the number one rule in the universe. Often, we cling to old, worn-out things because we are afraid to embrace the new and often unknown. Creating a vacuum applies to all areas of our lives. This has to be done frequently throughout our life. First, start with areas that seem insignificant. Clean out your car, your desk drawers, your closets and all the physical crooks and crannies in your surroundings. Don’t forget the trunk of your car as well as your wallets and handbags. After you have thoroughly cleaned out these areas donate, throw away, or give away the items that no longer suit you. There are a few guidelines to remember. Anything that makes you: a) feel poor or unworthy, b) has not been used in a year, c) will never be used again, d) makes you feel sad, must be discarded. The emotional attachment, as well as any financial concerns regarding these items, must be released and forgotten. Starting with these areas will result in some immediate improvements in your life. Be honest with yourself. If you feel at all anxious during this process, here is a prayer that may help:

I freely and fully release all worn-out things, conditions, and people who are no longer for my highest good. I freely and fully release them to their highest good and my highest good comes to me with speed, ease, and wisdom.

For some, this will be an easy process, however, for many, it will not be. Just remind yourself that nature abhors a vacuum and is busy creating the appropriate items to replace the ones that no longer suit you. Now the real work begins.

You will also have to take the next step if you are seeking permanent change. You must decide to concentrate on “healing” you. This means you will have to take a break from “fixing” the people around you. Letting others be is a difficult task, but somehow I think they will survive.

You begin this tedious process by discarding relationships, not for your highest good; releasing past hurts and feelings; severing emotional attachments to old lovers; forgiving painful events in the past and casting off old ideas.

All these things, as well as possessions that have outlived their usefulness, block the flow of good in the universe. Dwelling on past events of your life will guarantee that you will continue to relive these experiences. Old feelings and hurts will be cast into all new relationships, causing them to end in the same way. When relationships end, remember the heart is not broken. This is only a signal that it is time to continue your journey on another level. Carry with you only the good, the love you shared. Allow all else to fade into nothingness, for that is truly what it is.

If you are having difficulty determining if your current relationships are toxic, ask yourself if the relationships are abusive in anyway, i.e., physically, emotionally or financially. If the answer is yes, then you have some arduous decisions to make. When we become entangled in toxic relationships (personal, physical, family or professional), our growth is stunted. We try to heal the others, forgetting that the only person we can truly heal is our self. By becoming fully committed to our healing, we will be able to let go of these relationships. Once you have freed yourself, you can begin to grow and your life will be bombarded with miracles. I will not promise this will be easy. Because this is a very difficult step, it will be one of the most rewarding.

Spirit has promised to not fail or forsake us. This applies to all areas of our lives. After you have completed the task and created a vacuum, Spirit will rush in and fill the empty places with wonderful people and delightful things. So do not panic if it looks like you are all alone and do not have a thing to wear.

Remember, life is too short to drink cheap champagne. Dream Big! Live the life you have imagined.


Source by Stephanie Wilson-Coleman

What Has Changed in Health & Fitness Over the Last 30 Years?


There have been many changes in fitness over the past 30 years. It’s human nature to reminisce about times past. That’s great but lets not forget that things change as well. This is certainly true in the area of health and fitness. “If you do what you have always done, you will get the results you have always gotten” is true, but what if the situation changes? Then what used to work is no longer a viable and effect way to get the results that we want. In this article I will outline seven items that have changed over the past 30 or so years that affect the way we view health, fitness, exercise and what is considered “best”. Let’s look at some of these changes in Fitness.

1. Activity level

This change in fitness is pretty obvious. We just don’t move around as much as we used to 30 years ago.

Currently, the average sedentary person living in an urban setting takes 900-3000 steps a day. Uh… that’s a puny number! In the journal of sports medicine existing literature was pulled together to set a general guideline of what a good number of steps per day would be

The author Dr. Catrine Tudor-Locke translated different physical activity into steps-per-day equivalents. A rate of fewer than 5,000 is classified as sedentary, 5,000 to 7,499 is low active, 7,500 to 9,999 is somewhat active 10,000 or more is active and 12,500 or more is very active. So what does 900 make us? Close to dead! But its not hard to imagine. Get up from, take elevator to car park, drive car, take elevator to office, sit down, order fast food, reverse the process to go home and go back to bed. Just to note, 1km is about 1300 steps.

Its gotten to the point where we have to purposely inconvenience ourselves to get our activity level up. Here are some suggestions (that actually show us how pathetic our average activity levels have become).

Park at the far end of the car park and walk to your building Instead of dropping the kids off in front of the school, park a couple of streets before it and walk them the rest of the way… 10,000 is actually considered a LOW estimate for children.

Go round the shopping centre or supermarket in a random. With today’s super malls, this is a big thing!

Take the stairs instead of the lift or escalator (well if you work on the 50th floor, maybe climb halfway to start)

Give the dog an extra 5 minutes on his walk (we need it even more than him)

Stop emailing colleagues in the same office, instead go over and talk to them (shockingly effective considering how much email we send each day!… great for team building as well)

Go for a walk during your lunch break, walk to get your lunch or to find somewhere to eat your lunch

Get up and do something, run up and down the stairs for example during TV ads (no excuses here!)

Walk to the corner shop instead of driving or popping in on your way home

Walk to friends houses instead of driving

Take public transport and walk from the train station

Dr. David Bassett studied an Amish community to see what things were like in the past. These guys have no cars, no electricity and do hard manual labor to put food on the table. Its like time travel to the past. They eat 3 large meals a day with lots of meat, vegetables and natural starches like potatoes.

The 98 Amish adults Bassett surveyed wore pedometers for a week. The men averaged 18,000 steps a day. The women took an average of 14,000 steps.

The men spent about 10 hours a week doing heavy work like plowing, shoeing horses, tossing hay bales, and digging. The women spent about 3.5 hours a week at heavy chores. Men spent 55 hours a week in moderate activity; women reported 45 hours a week of moderate chores like gardening and doing laundry. Wow that’s a lot of manual labor. Get a pedometer (its only like 20 bucks) and see how you fare.

2. Fat Percentages and Obesity

Activity level leads us right on to this point about obesity. The scary obesity rate is one of the most obvious changes in fitness.

The obesity rate among the participants in the study of the Amish population was 4 percent, as determined by body mass index, or BMI. The current obesity rate among the urban populations is 30% or more. OK the obesity percentages are a scary thing because obesity is already in the “VERY high risk of a lot of bad ways to die” category. There is still the overweight category (obviously fat but not hitting the medically obese range) to consider. These people are at a high risk already!

The total percentages of overweight + obese are really wild… hitting close to 70% in some cities. Compare this to the average in the 1980s. 10-15% obesity in most cities. It rose to the mid 20% in 1995 and its now at an all time high.

3. Diet

OK linked to point no.2 is of course diet. This is another obvious change in fitness. Its very simple actually. We now eat more refined foods (white bread, sugar, rice, flour, noodles). In the body these give pretty much the same response – FAT storage. The only time we should eat these items is immediately after hard training. As we can tell from point no.1, not much of any training is going on. But lots of eating is!

We also eat less fresh fruits, vegetables and meats. We eat more snacks like chips and cookies (which are also refined despite what advertisers claim).

These changes in fitness are made more troubling because even natural foods today are not as good for us as they used to be. Current farming methods make vitamin and mineral content in fruits and vegetables drop about 10-40% depending on the mineral. Corn fed meats don’t give us as good an omega 6 to omega 3 ratio as we used to get from grass fed and free range animals. (that means not so many healthy fatty acids for us)

And of course, we are also simply consuming more calories. The Amish people in the study in point no.1 ate about 3600 calories/day for men and 2100 calories/day for women. Many sedentary people consume this much and more! How? Well a fully “featured” gourmet coffee from coffee bean or Starbucks can add up to 500 calories in an instant of caffeine folly.

That’s 2 hours of walking for an average sized lady.

Just remember, calorie quality counts as well. 2000 calories of vegetables, meat and healthy fats is infinitely better than 2000 calories from french fries. Its close to impossible to get fat on the first, and nearly impossible not to get fat with the second.

I like this car analogy. If you had a 2million dollar dream car, would you put low grade or high grade petrol into it? High grade of course! Then why do some people put low grade filth into their bodies which are so much more important than the car we drive?

4. Games children play

The average child who grows up in an urban environment is a motor-skill weakling. As a hobby, I coach youth basketball. In our talent scouting, I have kids do a very simple drill of dribbling in and out and around cones. There are so many kids who can’t do it and some who I think might fall down if asked to RUN around the cones without the ball! This is in contrast to the past where kids ran around, chased each other, played physical games and sports of all kinds, where the playground was the center of fun for young kids. This lack of activity not only causes a change in fitness for the child in his/her youth, but has a profound long term effect as well.

Of course this change in fitness is a result of a combination of possible factors.

Parents who only consider academic success to be worth striving for, who only give a child recognition and praise when they do well in academic subjects.

An education system who also values book knowledge above other things and takes away physical education classes to put more academic lessons in.

Poorly taught PE lessons that don’t help a child develop motor skills in the key early years Busy double-income families where fathers are not free to play with their children (or don’t care enough to… money isn’t everything dads)

The maddening computer game addiction situation where virtual life is more important than real life. I believe this is the reason for all the empty basketball courts in my neighbourhood. It used to be that teams lined up to play there. Now only people my age (late 20s to 30s) play. No young kids are there any more.

But actually, so what? The issue is that if kids stink at sport and physical activity, the well known psychological factor of “competence” comes is. Simply put, in general, we do what we are good at. If our next generation is poor at sport and physical activity, they are even less likely to do any of it! Which combined with items 1 to 3, make for a deadly health crisis for many countries. Obesity costs the UK 7.4 billion in national health care per year! If we don’t help our kids, that’s only going to grow to be a bigger and bigger burden for everybody.

5. Social Support

This is a more subtle change in fitness. People are communal animals. We stick with things because there is a supportive community behind us. Even drug and alcoholism rehab centers recognise this. We all need social support. But social links are getting weaker. And no, Friendster and MySpace links don’t make up for it.

In a more connected but less close world (I know so many people who are only comfortable behind a computer screen and not in front of a real person) there is less social support than in the past (extended families, communal living, strong friendships within a neighbourhood etc) and its hard to stick with something which requires dedication and sacrifice like an exercise program. I’m not a sociologist but I do believe there is a reason that exercise classes do better in terms of membership than individualized training. Most of them certainly are not as effective as great individual coaching. But the social factor does come in when sustaining a lifestyle change is involved.

6. Free Time

This subtle change in fitness is pretty clear. We just have less time that we “own”. Bosses, social, family and other commitments make free time a very precious commodity and it adds difficulty to the fact that time is our only non renewable resource. When we choose to exercise or spend time cooking to keep a healthy lifestyle, we are competing with movies, games, TV and other things for free time. We know that exercise is good for us, but it not only has to be good for us, it has to be BETTER in our minds than the latest episode of desperate housewives, or the latest computer game. That’s the issue. We need to prioritize long term health over temporary fun.

7. Training methods

OK here is where we are doing well. 30 years ago the aerobics craze took the western world by storm. Its not a very good training method both in terms of results, and in terms of results per unit of time. Add that to the fact that we have such minimal time to train, we can’t afford to train in a sub-optimal way. We know a lot more now. Fortunately for us, there are good methods that smart coaches use to improve training efficiency and get RESULTS even with less training time. Some of these include smartly designed resistance training programs, interval training and good assessment techniques to determine individual needs. If you have a coach like that in your corner, you can turn back the clock and avoid becoming one of the ever growing statistic of people who’s health is headed in the wrong direction. Stay fit and strong and good luck!


Source by Jon Wong

What is a GPS Watch, What Does it Do, and How Can it Help Me With My Fitness Program?


GPS watches utilize a network of global positioning satellites to precisely track how far and how fast you are running, biking, or swimming. Anytime. Anywhere in the world. It will measure your real-time speed, average speed and maximum speed. It calculates your pace, average pace and best pace, tracks your workout distance, and also functions as a continuous odometer. Whether you’re buying one for yourself or purchasing a gift for someone else, we’re here to help you understand what you’re buying. We’ll guide you to match the right technology for your intended use or to maximize your training or exercise experience.

What does a GPS watch do and how can it help me with my fitness program?

The first thing that comes to people’s mind is that a GPS watch will tell them the direction they’re heading (i.e. North by Northeast) or street address similar to what a car’s navigation system does. This is not true. Although GPS (Global Positional System) watches use the same principles, it is not nearly as sophisticated. Like your car’s navigation system, it communications with the satellites in orbit around the earth to determine your exact coordinates each second while you move. It then sends this information to the watch to calculate your velocity and distance traveled between each set of coordinates.

So why does this matter to me if I’m a runner, cyclist, rower, skier or walker?

Because now you can get the most critical information about your workout that you could never get previously unless you exercised at a track or some other pre-measured course. Namely, how far did I go and how fast did I get there? A GPS watch will provide you with all this information. Here’s some typical data collected from a runner’s workout:

  • The Average Speed during the run was 7.5 miles per hour.
  • The Maximum Speed achieved was 9.0 miles per hour.
  • The Average Pace during the run was 8 minute miles.
  • The Best Pace achieved was 6.5 minute miles.
  • The Total Distance was 3.5 miles.
  • The Total Time was 28 minutes.

This is great information to know so you can target improvements in your exercise program and monitor how you’re performing toward meeting those goals. And you can go anywhere. You’re not constrained by a specific circuit or measured course. Just run, walk or cycle anywhere you want and the GPS watch will perform the calculations no matter where you go. This technology works anywhere in the world because the GPS system is designed to receive information from up to 12 satellites at any one time that are located on the same side of the earth as you. If you’re serious about getting fit or improving upon your current fitness regime, a GPS Watch is a great training tool to own.

So now that you understand how a GPS Watch works and what it can do, choose the model is right for you. Here are the main options to look for:

Heart Rate Monitoring – Some GPS watches come with Heart Rate Monitors so you can gauge your heart rate in addition to your time, speed and distance. The Timex Global Trainer and the Garmin Forerunner 405 both offer this option. In order to reach your fitness goals, you need to train at the right intensity level. Heart rate is the only accurate measurement of your intensity or exertion level. That’s why using a Heart rate monitor is such a valuable part of your training.

Computer Interface – So now you have all this great information in your watch – what do you do with it? Download it, analyze it, and trend it by uploading it into your computer! The Timex Data Recorder works in conjunction with all Timex GPS Watches and comes with cable and software. This item is purchased separately. The Garmin 405 provides computer download capabilities and software as well and are included with the watch. Having this information available on the computer to use with the manufacturer’s tailored software makes it all the more valuable.

GPS Transmitter – Garmin’s GPS device is integrated right into the watch which makes the watch a little bulkier and less suited for daily use. It does have more features however such as Longitude and Latitude coordinates. Timex’s GPS device is a separate component that is worn on your arm or clipped to your waist. Therefore the watch is much lighter which allows it to be used as an everyday watch. Timex has now released its 3rd generation GPS device which weighs only 2.7 ounces. The previous versions were slightly heavier and required more batteries. Although everyone wants the smaller, lighter GPS unit, there is a trade-off. The smaller the unit, the fewer batteries it takes to operate and you’ll need to replace them more frequently.

Target Speed and Pace Alarms – This feature allows you to individualize your performance. An alarm will notify you when you reach preset upper and lower limits for either speed or pace. Timex offers this with their 100 Lap models.

Target Distance Alerts – You can set the watch to alert you when you have traveled a specific distance or multiples of that distance. For example, when this setting is set to “1 mile” the watch will sound an alert when you have traveled one mile and then again at two, three and four miles, etc.

Speed Smoothing – This feature makes pace and speed values easier to read while using the watch by “smoothing” out any small variations in speed. You might want to enable this feature if you are viewing pace information and the displayed numbers appear too “jumpy.” Smoothing has no effect on the accuracy of the data displayed, nor any effect on the distance accumulated.

Lap Memory Recall – This allows you to record separate data for each lap or distance interval. Suppose you run a 5 mile race and you want individual statistics for each mile as well as for the overall race. You would depress the LAP button at each mile mark to reset the Lap data functions so at the end you can compare the data of each lap. Was your 1st and 2nd laps (miles) good, but you faded on the last three? Perhaps you need to work on your endurance. Are your laps better at the end than in the beginning? Then you might need a better warm-up routine.

Timex offers both 50 lap and 100 lap models while Garmin offers 5000 laps for all its models. If you want to keep a couple of weeks of workout data on the watch, make sure it will support enough laps for your purposes.

Auto Splits – This feature will enable the Chronograph to automatically take splits based on time or distance traveled.

Odometer – The watch keeps track of total distance received by the watch.


Source by Marisa DeAngelis