10 Safety Measures for DIY Tree Trimming

Friday, October 21st, 2016

Tree

Unlike cutting your Christmas tree or small bushes around the house, tree trimming operations can be dangerous and can involve climbing and pruning with power tools. For some trees, an aerial lift may be required to reach the taller branches, putting you at risk for falls or electrocution if there are nearby power lines. That’s why it’s helpful to keep these safety measures in mind if you plan to trim a tree on your own.

Note: Tree trimming can be hazardous so be certain to consider professional assistance before tackling this task.

– Pre-work Assessment

You should examine the worksite for any hazards, pay extra attention to any area with nearby power lines. It’s important to estimate the felling zone, leaving ample room for the tree, and redirect the tree, so it falls out of the way of obstacles. Any tools that you’ll use should be inspected to make sure they operate correctly and efficiently.

– Tree Inspection


Trees should be checked thoroughly, as the job varies depending on the size and kind of tree. If the tree leans in one direction, this will play a significant role in determining which direction the tree will fall. The trunk should also be checked for any knot holes, cracks, or signs of rot that could hinder the process. If the tree has interlocking branches with another tree, they must be removed prior to felling. Any local fauna should also be considered, such as insects, snakes, mammals; you should also note any plant growth on the tree.

– Inclement Weather

Plan the job ahead and be sure to work in optimal weather conditions.  Risk increases with inclement weather. So, in cases of wind, snow, hail, or any other hazardous weather conditions, reschedule for a better day. In addition, if you are prone to heat cramps/syncope/ exhaustion/stroke or any other heat-related illnesses, be sure to take extra precautions – especially on humid days.

– Locating Escape Areas

Before starting the cutting process, be sure to designate your escape areas, safe locations to stand after you’ve made the back cut and the tree is beginning to fall. To determine the escape areas and prevent any serious injury or death, first reconize the danger zones. The first danger zone is in a semi-circle, half the diameter of the tree towards the direction of the fall. The second danger zone is one-quarter of the diameter of the tree that is in the opposite direction of the directed fall. These two areas must be avoided when operating. The escape areas lie between the danger zones.

– Power Lines


Assume all power lines nearby are energized. If necessary, contact the utility company to discuss possible de-energizing and grounding of power lines. Only trained and experienced line-clearance tree trimmers can do tree trimming or removal work within 10 feet of a power line. Some other cautions that can be taken around power lines include using proper ropes with correct carriers/hooks for raising and lowering equipment, using pull ropes to prevent branches from falling onto power lines, and using nonconductive tools and equipment.

– Tools

The chainsaw is among the most common tool used. Other key cutting tools include rope saws, pole pruners/loppers, and folding pruners.

For operating a chainsaw, be sure to read the manual before attempting to operate. Some guidelines include:

                  1. Stay alert as chainsaw work can be exhausting

Turn the engine off when carrying a chainsaw

Kickback is also a major concern when operating chainsaws. Kickback happens when the chain at the end of the bar comes into contact with a hard object or when the teeth of the saw are pinched in the wood, which causes the saw to kick backwards and upwards, where it can hit you. To reduce kickback, be sure to not limit cutting to the upper section of the bar, but insert the saw fully. Furthermore, when cutting, stand at an angle with a firm balance, so if the saw kicks back, it will avoid your neck and head. Many chainsaws made after 1995 have anti-kickback devices installed within them. If your chainsaw lacks one or are looking for a new chainsaw, you can purchase a best-selling WORX WG303.1 16-Inch Chain Saw on Amazon for $92.87 as of July 18, 2016.

– Protective Equipment

OSHA regulations require head, eye, face, hearing, leg, and foot gear before operating chainsaws, with additional equipment as required by the different debris and poisons:

– Fall Protection

To avoid injury from falling, be sure to use ropes and harnesses to anchor yourself whenever possible and avoid free-climbing, but never anchor or tie yourself to the limb or branch that you are cutting. Be sure to position yourself only on limbs that can support your weight and that are close to the trunk. Limbs that are cut should be removed from the tree, so you don’t accidentally use them for support when descending. If any ladders are used, they should be tied into the tree. Safety lines should be kept away from chainsaws and other cutting equipment to prevent them from being cut. Extra caution should be exercised on slopes.

– Teamwork

It is important to work with another person. That way there is one person who stays on the ground and another who climbs. In an emergency situation, both individuals should have first aid and CPR training.

– Alert and Caution

Finally, tree trimming accidents can lead to serious injury or death, so stay alert and cautious at all times. If you aren’t prepared to handle the risk or lack the necessary experience, contact a service professional instead. Let TalkLocal find you the professional you need.


The owner of this website is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon properties including, but not limited to, amazon.com, endless.com, myhabit.com, smallparts.com, or amazonwireless.com.

 

5 Ways to Reduce Tooth Sensitivity

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016

Dentist

Has your morning coffee woken you up, not only with caffeine but with a sharp pain? Has your ice cream met you with a stinging feeling? Chances are you have sensitive teeth. When your teeth are sensitive, this can produce a range of mild discomfort to great pain in your mouth when exposed to heat and/or cold. Many people experience this sensation between their late teenage years and their mid-thirties.

What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?

Tooth sensitivity happens when nerve endings in your teeth are exposed directly to the elements – like deep sea diving in the Arctic without a wetsuit. Dentin is a tubelike structure that’s dense with nerves but shielded from direct stimuli in healthy teeth. Tooth enamel covers dentin in the visible part of the tooth; cementum covers the dentin located above the gum line. However, these coatings are prone to wearing thin over time – especially near the gum line. When either protective layer dissipates, the nerve endings in your dentin get exposed to the full brunt of the heat and cold, causing pain and sensitivity. There are many ways this can happen:

Toothbrush Abrasion: This basically just means you’re brushing too hard. The rough back and forth motion on your teeth can cause the enamel to become thin and expose the dentin underneath.

Tooth Grinding: If you wake up in the morning with jaw pains or headaches and don’t know why, it could be due to grinding your teeth at night.  The clenching or grinding of teeth can remove the enamel due to the constant pressure placed on your teeth

Tooth Whitening: Teeth may typically become sensitive for a brief moment when undergoing bleaching or similar procedures.

Dental Erosion: Acidic foods that come in constant, direct contact with your teeth can break down the enamel and cause your teeth to be more sensitive.

Dental work: Sometimes a routine cleaning could make the teeth feel temporarily sensitive. If you had some sort of surgery, such as a root canal, expect this sensation to go away in about a month.

Tooth Decay/Gum Disease: Plaque or tartar buildup can cause damage to the gums and the structure of the tooth, making the area sensitive and eventually difficult to clean. Call your dentist to seek the best treatment if you reach this stage.

Aging: Over time, the gums can naturally shrink back with age and expose the dentin underneath. Some research, such as this CNN article, claims that this could also be hereditary. This is no fault of your own.

What Can I Do?

– Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste. You can purchase a three pack of Crest Cavity Protection Fluoride Anticavity Regular Toothpaste on Amazon for $12.94 as of July 1, 2016. If you prefer not to brush with fluoride, then another great option is to find toothpastes with potassium nitrate. You can purchase Colgate Enamel Health Sensitivity Relief Toothpaste on Amazon for $16.87. The potassium nitrate is excellent for enamel health and reduces the uncomfortable pain by blocking the nerves in the dentin. Potassium nitrate isn’t for everyone, but it does require continued use to see if this option works best for you. Check this article for other toothpastes to use with sensitive teeth.

– Change your brushing habits. Make sure you brush at least twice daily with a medium to soft bristle tooth brush in a circular motion, instead of back and forth. You can purchase a six pack of medium bristle Colgate Extra Clean Toothbrushes on Amazon for $5.36 or a six pack of soft bristle Colgate Extra Clean Toothbrushes for $5.50 as of July 1, 2016. Take caution against aggressive brushing because it could wear away the enamel and cementum while you brush. It is going to require more effort on your part to make this change to your routine, but your teeth will thank you for it.

– Reduce intake of sugary foods and acidic beverages. If you can’t possibly live without your soda, it is recommended that you drink it with a straw so that the beverage does not come in direct contact with your teeth. After eating, especially when dealing with sugary or acidic foods and beverages, it is advised that you wait at least one hour after consumption to brush your teeth. When consuming some foods and drinks, the enamel becomes softer and you run the risk of brushing the sugar right onto your teeth and rubbing down on your enamel right when it’s in its weakest state.

– Wear a mouthguard. If teeth clenching or grinding is a chronic problem for you, a mouthguard can help relieve a majority of the pressure that you put on your teeth. This tactic is more preferable during the nighttime, as most people find themselves only doing it while they sleep. If you find yourself clenching your teeth during the day, remind yourself to relax your jaw and that your teeth should be slightly separated. This may take a bit of practice, but soon you will be able to develop that positive habit!

– Talk to your dentist. If you have gum disease, think you have some sort of tooth decay, or are planning to get your teeth whitened, it is important to talk to your dentist about the procedures and treatments that it takes to get your teeth back on track in the safest and least painful manner!

Tooth sensitivity can suck the joy out of so many things; it can even make breathing painful on a chilly day. Luckily, applying the tips above can help you manage your sensitivity, slow erosion, and even rebuild enamel. And, if you’re looking for a dentist, use TalkLocal to find a dentist in your area.


The owner of this website is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon properties including, but not limited to, amazon.com, endless.com, myhabit.com, smallparts.com, or amazonwireless.com.

Four Summer Health Problems and How to Solve Them

Friday, July 8th, 2016

BeachSummer

Summer has arrived, and we’re all getting ready for barbecues and beach trips. Unfortunately, as much fun as summer brings, it can also bring just as many dangers. That’s why you have to make sure you’re prepared for these summertime hazards so you can go out and enjoy yourself.

Here are four common summer health problems, as well as how to prevent them and what to do if they strike.

Dehydration: This is a major concern in the summer. People are always going out and having fun, but they don’t think about how they might end up passed out on the floor. Dehydration can lead to many problems, including but not limited to weakness, fainting, and heart palpitations. To help prevent dehydration, make sure that you and your family drink lots of fluids but don’t drink alcohol because that will increase the likelihood of dehydration. Wear lightweight and light-colored clothing and if you’re exercising or working outside, stop, take a break, and replenish your fluids, especially before you get too tired.

If you believe you’ve become dehydrated, make sure to continue drinking fluids. Don’t just down an entire bottle of water in three seconds; try other ways to gain your fluids: small sips of water, electrolyte drinks, popsicles, etc.. Make sure that you’re still wearing lightweight clothing and try to stay in a well circulated area. Use misting fans and spray bottles to cool down or an ice pack, but don’t place the ice pack directly on your skin. You can buy a D-FantiX Handheld Water Misting Fan for $19.99 as of July 1, 2016.

Bug Bites: Bugs. Suddenly, they’re everywhere, and they aren’t going away anytime soon. So, always remember to use bug spray when you’re going out. For those who don’t trust the chemicals inside of bug spray, check out this article for homemade mosquito repellent, and check online for other natural bug repellent recipes. If you’re going to parks or hiking, wear sneakers and long socks and avoid traveling in the high grass. Bug spray is no substitute for sunscreen so still put sunscreen on and then put bug spray on afterwards.

Should you get bitten by a bug, here’s what to do: stay calm and get as far away from the insect as possible because there may be more. Do not scratch or pick at the bite; instead, clean the area with warm water and soap. To relieve this, first try rubbing alcohol on the spot with a cotton ball. The irritation should gradually go down, but if alcohol doesn’t work, get a bacitracin ointment and place it on the bite before covering it with a bandage.

Sunburns: If you’ve never experienced the redness, tenderness, skin peeling, and even blisters that can occur with a sunburn, then consider yourself lucky. To protect yourself and prevent your skin from getting permanent damage, first thing first: sunscreen. Apply it and make sure to use a high enough SPF for your skin type. You may not think you need it but you do. For further protections, wear wide brim hats and sunglasses since prolonged sun exposure is linked to eye damage such as cataracts or temporary visual impairment.

If you weren’t able to protect yourself and end up with a wicked sunburn, cool it down as fast as possible. Whether it’s getting in a bathtub or an ocean, cool down for just a few seconds before wrapping up to keep your skin protected. You can keep cooling down your skin with cold compresses or ice bags; just be sure to wrap the ice – don’t put it directly on your skin. Moisturize your skin over the time that it’s healing. You can take some ibuprofen to help with the pain and make sure to keep drinking water to stay hydrated. If the pain persists, be sure to see a doctor.

Food Poisoning: This doesn’t seem like your usual summer problem but think about it. With summer comes a lot of cooking and a lot of eating outside. Picnics, barbecues, family reunions, these are all opportunities for food to come into contact with something it shouldn’t. To keep yourself and those you cook for safe, remember to wash your hands, utensils and workstation before and after cooking. Also, make sure your food is cooked thoroughly; that’s where a meat thermometer comes in handy. You can buy a best-selling Habor Instant Read Cooking Thermometer for $12.99 as of July 1, 2016. Also, be certain to pay attention to those expiration dates.

Now, you don’t really have control over what your family does and cooks. Aunt Ethel might have seen a new recipe that she just had to try. You eat it and then it hits you. Now, there are varying degrees of food poisoning, so it’s always important to see a doctor and get a proper diagnosis. In many cases, you will feel ill for several days, but it will pass on its own. During this time, it’s important to drink plenty of fluids to keep hydrated. (Seems to be a recurring theme with summer problems). But it’s possible that the food poisoning could be severe and in that case, you will require antibiotics and possibly more treatment.

Have fun this summer, but don’t forget to take care of yourself. Be careful and enjoy the rest of the season.


The owner of this website is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon properties including, but not limited to, amazon.com, endless.com, myhabit.com, smallparts.com, or amazonwireless.com.

5 Activities to Do on the Fourth of July

Monday, June 27th, 2016

sparklers-923029_1920

June is coming to an end so what’s around the corner? You know what. The Fourth of July, Independence Day, our nation’s birthday, etc. You’re going to have the day off but have you even made any plans yet? You want to do something to celebrate the day but what?

Here are 5 activities to do on the Fourth of July:

Local barbecue: This one’s obvious, I know, but it’s always a fun time. Between the burgers, the hot dogs, the fish, I could go on forever! And hey, if those aren’t your thing because you prefer your greens, there are plenty of ways to cook veggies. You don’t know how good a veggie kabob tastes until it’s cooked on the grill. So, invite your friends, family, and your neighbors (if you know them like that) and make sure one of them brings the potato salad.

Fireworks: You may want to have your own private fireworks show but before you even think about it, make sure to look up your state’s laws regarding this.If you find out that you can’t legally do your own fireworks, then don’t; they’re not so much fun that you should risk getting arrested. Instead, check online for an awesome public firework show, grab a blanket, arrive early to get a spot with the best view, and watch the rockets’ red glare.

Learn Some History: So you don’t live near the Boston Harbor or the Liberty Bell. But America is littered with impressive historical landmarks, if you know where to look. After all, your state didn’t become one of the 50 by accident. So, go on a history excursion. Visit a local historical museum, look up and show up at national landmarks, or find some history buffs who really want to share their knowledge.

Support a Vet: It’s not Memorial Day or Veterans Day but if it wasn’t for those American soldiers long ago, you wouldn’t be able to enjoy a relaxing day filled with barbecues and fireworks. So, find a way to support any active or retired servicemen and women. Short on ideas? Check out this blog post.

Stay Inside: Temperatures can sometimes rise to levels that can be unsafe for some of us. If you or some of your hang-out buds are prone to dehydration, heat stroke, or feeling faint during especially hot days, then don’t feel compelled to brave the sun. Instead, stay inside and have a movie marathon with the family. You can rent Zootopia on Amazon Video for $5.99 as of June 21, 2016. Make sure to stay hydrated and just relax.

Also, don’t forget to grab a flag that you can wave proudly during these events. You can purchase a best-selling embroidered 100% American-made American flag on Amazon for $28.62 as of June 21, 2016.  So, whether you’re barbecuing with friends or watching the sky light up on TV, just take some time and appreciate the things you can do in the Land of the the Free and the Home of the Brave.

The owner of this website is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon properties including, but not limited to, amazon.com, endless.com, myhabit.com, smallparts.com, or amazonwireless.com.

Six Father’s Day Gifts Any Dad Will Love

Thursday, June 16th, 2016

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Father’s Day is less than a week away, and that means it’s time to hunt down the right gifts for that special guy who has always been there for you. Dads can be frustratingly tough to shop for, and that means we usually fall into the cliché presents and celebration tactics that we did last year, the year before that, and so on—you get the picture. If you want to really celebrate your Dad in style this year and make for a Father’s Day he’ll always remember and cherish, consider these unique and sentimental Father’s Day gifts he’ll actually love this June – most of which you can have delivered.

Make a Special Meal

What guy can say no to a warm meal prepared with love? Sometimes the simplest of gestures are the ones that mean the most. Get the family together to whip up Dad’s favorites in the kitchen and cater a meal specifically to his tastes. The fact that his family worked together to create a special meal for him and that he gets to enjoy a laughter-filled dinner with all the people he loves most is sure to be a wonderful gift for Father’s Day. Even if you’re not a chef extraordinaire, the effort is what counts. When it comes time to sit around the table and eat, make sure it’s a technology-free zone. It’s so easy to get distracted by the chime or lights of our phones and other gadgets, so make sure this night is all about Dad.

A Special Relaxation Spot

What dad doesn’t want to kick his feet up and take a well-deserved nap every once in awhile? If your dad works hard and you want to give him his own special place to have that relaxation time he so truly deserves, consider investing in a luxurious hammock. Dads tend to be on the more practical side, and what could be more practical than a prime nap spot? Hammocks come at a variety of price points in a surprising array of designs and materials. If you’re looking for the perfect hammock for Dad, check out Yellow Leaf Hammocks for a stylish and comfy new hanging bed.

If He’s an Avid Reader

Does your dad scour stores for new mystery novels, devour the classics likes of Hemingway and Orwell, or love losing himself in a great adventure story? If your dad is a literature maven, then you can’t go wrong with a gift that helps him pursue his favorite passion. If he doesn’t yet have a Kindle, or has been resistant, it’s time to help him take the plunge. While he might say he prefers the turn of pages and smell of old books, sometimes it just takes a little nudge to show how convenient technology can make reading and discovering new books. You can get an Amazon Kindle for $59.99 on Amazon as of June 15, 2016.

Spend a Day Together

As we get older, life gets impossibly busy and tends to throw more our way than we can handle, and sometimes the important things- like time with day- get shoved to the wayside. So, have all the kids set aside the day, and spend it with him doing all the things he loves. Maybe it’s a barbecue and backyard games, or a trip to sit on the beach. Focus on your dad throughout the day, and make sure he gets to bask in the glow of his loving family. If you do end up having a barbecue, you can also surprise him with a new set of barbecue tools. You can get the best seller Mr. Bar-B-Q 94001X 18-Piece Stainless-Steel Barbecue Set with Storage Case on Amazon for $19.49 as of June 15, 2016.

Compile Some Memories

Throughout your life you’ve likely made a cache of wonderful memories with your dad, so why not pay homage to these memories? Document each in their own individual letter, wrap them up in some cute envelopes, and tie together for a bundle of gifts that he can open all at once or savor and open each day or week for the next little while. If envelopes aren’t for you, try to put them together in a lovely scrapbook that you can decorate yourself. You can get a SiCoHome scrapbook on Amazon for $13.99 as of June 15, 2016. Maybe you can even get his friends and other family members in on the surprise.

Office Surprises

If your dad is a busy guy who’s constantly putting in hours at work, make the long days move that much quicker with some fun office surprises. Send a bottle of specialty wine straight to his desk, drop off a Father’s Day gift basket at his office, or show up with lunch in the middle of a long work day to break up the slow-moving hours. He’s sure to be proud of your effort to make his day special and get to show his colleagues and employees just how loved he is.

With Father’s Day on the horizon, make sure you find a unique gift that will make Dad feel cherished and loved on this special day. Get creative for a memorable celebration that he’ll surely love.

The owner of this website is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon properties including, but not limited to, amazon.com, endless.com, myhabit.com, smallparts.com, or amazonwireless.com.

11 Need-to-Know Facts Before You Run

Friday, June 3rd, 2016

 

running

Today is National Running Day, but you can’t just go out there and start sprinting; you should make sure you’re prepared. Take a look at these 11 need-to-know facts before you run.

Stretch

Stretching is fundamental to running. Not stretching before you run can result in sore muscles and injury. When warming up for a run, do some dynamic stretches, such as walking and lunges. You want to prepare your body for exercise by moving it; dynamic stretches increase flexibility, which reduces the chance of injury. Static stretches, such as touching your toes, don’t properly warm up your body, making them less than ideal for a pre-run stretch. They are, however, perfect for post-run stretching. Yes, that’s right, you should stretch before AND AFTER a run. Stretching helps prevent tight, sore muscles, allowing you to recover faster. A foam roller, is perfect for massaging your muscles after a good run. You can buy various massage rollers on Amazon, such as this professional grade exercise foam roller for $26.96 as of June 3, 2016. You can also use a tennis ball to massage sore feet after a run. Simply pop a couple of balls into the freezer and voila you’ve got a chilled personal massager for your hot, achy feet.

Proper Shoes

Whether you’re beginning a running regimen or just going for a brisk stroll, you’ll want to wear the proper shoes. Take it from one of our interns who learned the hard way – they ran a mile in sprinter’s cleats their freshman year of high school, and their shins haven’t been the same since. If you’re starting a running regimen, you should visit a running specialty store to get fitted for proper running shoes. A good pair of running shoes should cost you about $100. If that’s not your thing, at least invest in a pair of good insoles that will help comfort your feet. If you’re looking for some quality running shoes, try Amazon’s wide selection. For more information on buying proper running shoes, check out this blog.

Pace

Don’t try to take on too much too soon. For example, if you’re not used to running, don’t expect to be able to run 2 miles or run for 30 minutes straight. Start with something reasonable. One popular method is the run-walk method. Run for one minute, then walk for 2 minutes. Alternate that way until you reach your desired running time. Maybe aim for 10-15 minutes total the first time. You can slowly work up your running time by decreasing the walk time by 30 seconds, each segment. This technique will help you to recover faster and erase fatigue. Also, it will be easier to keep going with each walking break.

Health Benefits

Whether you want to lose weight or improve your heart health, tunning is a great way to get health and stay healthy. Running, even a little bit each day, can improve your heart quality which will lower your chance of cardiovascular disease, a high-risk killer in the US. It’s great for your legs and abs, just as summer is rolling in. It’s also an excellent benefit to your mental health. Keeping up with a running schedule can give you a boost of confidence and reduce your stress. Also, it improves your mood because running will give you waves of endorphins. So, yes, Elle Woods was right. If you think you might have some complications while running, make sure to check with your doctor before trying anything.

Location

With running, where you go along your journey is just as important as how quickly you arrive at your health destination. For some runners, the fresh air and changing scenery of an outdoor run helps the miles go by more easily. Of course, it makes sense to beware bad weather since catching a cold would be counterproductive to your health goals. Plus, advanced planning is even more important for an outdoor run. Hills and rugged paths can increase your risk of injury or early fatigue while a long distance run means planning how you’ll stow your water bottle, cellphone, and other things you might not want to leave in the house or car. Of course, running on a treadmill is a more convenient solution. The air conditioning isn’t bad either. If using a treadmill, keep track of how you’re doing. Most treadmills allow you to change the incline and speed according to match your current fitness level and desired intensity. If you’re looking for a treadmill, try Amazon’s best seller Weslo Cadence G 5.9 Treadmill for $287.00 as of June 3, 2016.

Time of Year

Cold season and extreme conditions aren’t the only reason to watch the weather before you run. There’s a big difference between running in the cold and running in the summer. High humidity decreases sweat production so that your body retains heat. High temperatures increase the risk of dehydration if you forget to drink water while exercising. Also, don’t forget your sunscreen and a light hat to help protect you from the sun. In summer, dress lightly with light colors to reflect more sun. As for the winter running in the winter chill, you may need several layers of clothing and a longer stretch and warmup session to reduce risk of injury as well as cold. Rule of thumb is to dress as if it’s 20 degrees warmer out to account for the rise in body temperature that will occur during your workout. Don’t forget that there’s not much traction in the snow so invest in traction cleats. You can get a pair of Yaxtrax Pro Traction Cleats for Snow and Ice for $17.39 on Amazon as of June 3, 2016.

Diet/Hydration

Keep track of what you put in your body.

– Bananas are great fuel before a run because they are fat-free and loaded with potassium and carbohydrates.

– Salmon should be in your diet because those Omega-3 fatty acids are good for your heart.

– Eat kale because it’s filled with vitamins, iron, and calcium.

– Stay hydrated. Water is your go to drink, but that won’t replenish the electrolytes you lose when from sweating so drink some electrolyte drinks as well.

–There’s also an old wives’ tale that if you do cramp up, drink some pickle juice. Gross, but meant to be effective.

–Caffeine is good for endurance. I know that you want to go straight for the coffee but try green tea instead, much healthier.

Music Playlist

While many professional runners don’t require music, you may not be at that level yet and just running may get boring. Music can be a good way to keep you pumped up so plan your running soundtrack accordingly. Sad songs at a slow pace won’t motivate you to run so try to get songs with upbeat rhythms and pumping music. Another good option for treadmill runners: a fascinating book. It can be a little harder to focus on the story while you’re running but if it’s a really good book, it’ll distract you from the burning sensation in your calves and thighs. Of course, don’t let yourself become so distracted that you’re not watching where you’re going. Don’t run into the middle of the street when the light turns green just because you were distracted by Beyoncé.

Running with a Partner/ Trainer

Running with someone else helps you stay focused and motivates you to keep going. If running with a friend, choose wisely so they help you keep up the good work and you can do the same for them. Find a nice place where you can enjoy the scenery; decide if you’re going to go at a nice leisurely pace or if it’s turning into a race. It’s a great and free way to make running less work and more fun. Now, running trainers aren’t free, but they are a good investment. They’re professionals who’ll be able to provide you with even better tips and tricks for nutrition and preventing injury. They can also keep you on track with your goals and give you a consistent and increasingly beneficial exercise routine. If you decide you want a personal trainer, let TalkLocal help you find one.

Form

A simple change in form can mean the difference between a healthy run and a sprained ankle. Most runners try to increase their stride length but you want to increase your stride frequency. Count how many times your foot hits the ground in fifteen seconds and multiply by 4; try to get the number high enough that you’ll reach 180 steps in one minute. While you’re running, make sure to land on the balls of your feet, rather than the heel. Try running barefoot in your home to get a good sense of where to place your foot, you’ll feel a difference. Also, try to keep your upper body relaxed with your elbows at a 90 degree angle, swinging them wastes energy.

Psyche

As they say, the first step to getting your body right is to have your mind right. So, make sure you’re in the right mindset for running. Ask yourself some of these questions and then think of more:

-Why are you running?

-What goals are you setting for yourself as you run?

-Is it by mileage or distance? How often will you run?

Then while you’re running, find ways to keep you going. Set a timer on your phone and don’t stop until you hear it. Once you’ve reached that goal, set it higher. If you’re running and getting tired, pick a specific focus point, such as a tree and run until you reach it, then choose something else, and keep it up until you’re done. This can help increase your speed and endurance. Remember: you don’t have to go all out at once. Start small and keep consistent.

Running is an enjoyable activity to keep you healthy and happy. That’s why we want you to keep these facts in mind. Be safe and happy running.

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The owner of this website is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon properties including, but not limited to, amazon.com, endless.com, myhabit.com, smallparts.com, or amazonwireless.com.

Aging At Home

Thursday, May 19th, 2016

aging man and young woman

When planning for retirement, we often think about how much money we need to save to retire comfortably. That’s great financially, but what about physically? It takes a lot of time and energy to maintain a home and as we age, we may not have the same amount of energy to dedicate to it due to health reasons. If you or a loved one plan on aging at home, here a few things to consider to make your “golden years” as enjoyable as possible.

Hand rails. Adding hand rails near the toilet and bath tub add extra security when standing up, helping to prevent falls.

Non-slip bath mat. A non-slip bath mat is always a good idea in the shower or bathtub to help prevent slips and falls.

Ramps. If your loved one uses a wheelchair or walker, adding a ramp to the front door will make entering and exiting the home much easier.

De-clutter. Sell or donate unnecessary items around the house. Keep hallways and floors free from extras to prevent an accidental fall.

Medical Alert Device. Having one of these can make a big difference in the case of an emergency, medical or otherwise, especially if your loved one is a fall risk.

Standing Tub. These can be a bit pricey but offer all of the benefits of a hot bath with the convenience/safety of a shower stall.

Lawn Care Professional. Yard work can be physically demanding, especially if you have a large one. Hiring someone to take care of the manual stuff leaves you with more time and energy to enjoy the outdoors.

Check Wiring. Your home’s wiring should be checked every few years to make sure everything’s up to standard; the average lifespan of your home’s wiring is 40 years.

Tack down rugs. Make sure you tack down the corners of rugs to help prevent falls. Adding shelf lining underneath rugs and carpet prevents sliding.

Stair Lift. Walking up and down the stairs can become a real chore in one’s later years. A stair lift helps to make the entire home accessible.

Widen Doors. This is especially helpful if a wheelchair is needed in the home. The cost for this type of project varies greatly. Pricing depends on the number of doors as well as other home structure factors, such as load-bearing walls.

Lever Style Door Knobs. Something as simple as turning a knob can be quite painful for someone who suffers from arthritis. Something as simple as changing door knobs makes a huge difference.

Lighting. Our eyes tend to weaken as we age, so having a well-lit home is important. Adding trellis/tracking lights to the stairs as well as night lights to the bedroom makes things safer for that nightly visit to the restroom.

Security System. Not only do security systems deter burglars from breaking and entering, they help put your loved one’s mind at ease, especially if they live alone.
If you find that you or a loved one could benefit from these home updates, you don’t have to go it alone. Call TalkLocal and we’ll connect you with a local pro who can help.

Recipe for a Successful Road Trip

Monday, May 16th, 2016

successful road trip with kids

Spending 20+ hours in a car can seem like a daunting task and, if not done properly, a recipe for disaster. Avoid the heartaches and woes when trying to fly the coop on your next road trip.

– Snacks. The first thing you’re going to need to get your road trip started is snacks. Make sure to diversify your snacks; get both sweet and salty. Also, pack a couple of healthy items, such as fresh fruit and vegetables, to break up some of the greasy fast food stops.

– Entertainment. You cannot and should not count on your second-in-command to be your sole source of entertainment, especially if the both of you are driving. Download a few audio books before you embark upon your adventure to get you busy while your buddy catches some shuteye.

– Directions. In the age of technology, it seems silly to print out directions but remember technology can be finicky. Nothing seems more frustrating than driving in unfamiliar territory only to have your GPS re-route your entire trip. It’s best to have a hard copy just in case things get a little wacky.

– Comfort. Long trips can do a number on the body, so make sure you’re comfortable. The first thing to ensuring comfort is to have space, so clean out your vehicle before hand to increase elbowroom. Also, don’t forget to bring a pillow and a blanket for nap time. After all, you don’t want to get a crook in your neck.

– Vehicle. Bring your car into your dealership or local mechanic for inspection before you hit the road. Get your oil and tires checked to make sure things are in tiptop shape. If you don’t have a “car guy” yet, give TalkLocal a call and we’ll connect you with a local pro.

– Friends. So now that you know the recipe for a successful road trip, make sure to share with friends so that you and your buddies can hit the road and have some fun.
With the right ingredients, you’re guaranteed to make horrible road trips a thing of the past. Grab your ingredients, gas up the car, and hit the road. Remember, half the fun of an adventure is just getting there.

Keep Your Water Cooler Running

Friday, May 13th, 2016

keep your water cooler running

The water cooler is the hub of all things fun at the office. It’s a place to exchange ideas and jokes amongst co-workers. It’s the lifeline to the outside world. Well… wouldn’t it be terrible if your water dispenser suddenly broke down? Suddenly, you’re left with nothing but a giant bottle of water, sitting there and mocking you. Here’s some tips on how to avoid accidents and keep your water cooler in tip-top shape:

– Clean tray. Keep things hygienic by cleaning your water dispenser place with multiple hands and bottles in. Make sure to clean the tray where the water is dispensed. Use a household disinfectant or make your own (2 teaspoons of bleach per gallon of water) to clean this area to prevent mold growth.

– Change the filter. If your dispenser has a filter, make sure to change it regularly as directed by the packaging. It’ll keep the water fresh and free of impurities.

– Flush out the system. Add 1 tablespoon of baking soda to 1 gallon of warm water to flush out the drained system. This helps to disinfect your system and keeps your water tasting fresh.

– Reboot. If there seems to be a problem with your machine, such as not having cold water, you should unplug and replug the water cooler. Also, make sure that the cold water switch is on.

– Call a handyman. If something’s wrong with your dispenser and you’re not quite sure what it is or how to fix it, it may be time to call a handyman to fix the problem. Let TalkLocal help connect you with a local pro for free.

– Buy a new one. If all else fails, buy a new one. You can buy a best selling water cooler for $99.99 on Amazon as of April 29, 2016.

We hope these tips help keep your water cooler running and the conversations flowing.

Top 10 Pain Medications for Dogs

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

Have you been looking for the answer to: “Can I give my dog pain medicine?” or “What kind of pain medicine can I give my dog?” Well, look no further. We’ve spent countless hours researching the top 10 pain medications for dogs in order to help dog owners everywhere. Nothing breaks a pet parent’s heart more than seeing their fur baby in pain. Pain can stop your dog in its tracks, keeping them from enjoying the activities they love the most. Help your dog feel better faster with these pain medicines.

Note: The advice in this blog should not be substituted for the sound medical advice of a veterinarian. If you notice that your dog is in pain and you’re unsure of the cause, call your vet as soon as possible so that they can determine the seriousness of the ailment.  Avoid long term use of pain medication unless otherwise instructed to do so by your veterinarian. While medicating your dog, closely monitor their behavior and health and call your vet if your dog isn’t improving.

Top 10 Pain Medications for Dogs

tabl of contents of top 10 pain medications for dogs

1. Vet’s Best Aches + Pains
According to the label, this medication is formulated to relieve “discomfort associated with regular exercise and normal activity.” The active ingredients include glucosamine, bromelain, methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), white willow bark extract, and yucca root, which are great anti-inflammatories that promote joint health. A 50-count bottle is available for $6.79 on Amazon as of May 10, 2016.

Vet's Best Aches + Pains

2. Nutramax Cosequin DS Maximum Strength
Cosequin DS is one of the highest rated and reviewed joint health medications on the market. In fact, it’s the #1 veterinarian recommended retail joint health supplement brand. It helps with dogs who suffer from arthritis or joint pain due to age or weight. If your dog doesn’t like taking pills, then you’re in luck because it’s also available in a soft chew. A 132-count bottle is available for $34.95 on Amazon as of May 10, 2016.

Cosequin DS dog pain medicine

3. Nutri-Vet® K-9 Aspirin
According to its label, Nutri-Vet K-9 aspirin is for the “temporary relief of pain and inflammation associated with arthritis and joint problems.” The aspirin is available in 300 mg tablets for medium and large dogs and 120 mg tablets for small dogs. The active ingredient is aspirin. A 75-count, 300 mg bottle retails for $11.49 on Amazon as of May 10, 2016.

NutriVet Aspirin for dog pain

4. Amazing Turmeric for Dogs Curcumin Pet Antioxidant
In case it wasn’t obvious by the title, the active ingredient in this medication is turmeric. Curcumin, which is the primary compound in turmeric, is known for being a potent anti-inflammatory. Its low risk for side effects and hypoallergenic composition make it a great option for dogs prone to allergies. Turmeric Chews is available on Amazon for $21.97 as of May 10, 2016.

Turmeric dog pain medication

5. VETiONX Promaxol
According to VetiONX, this “fuss-free liquid formula can be added undetected to your pet’s water.” This is a plus if your dog is a picky eater or trickster when it comes to taking medications. A bottle of Promaxol retails for $39.00 on Amazon as of May 10, 2016.

liquid dog pain medication

6. Ricky Litchfield Topical Gel
Named after the World War II canine war hero, this gel works to relieve hotspot, arthritis, and muscle pain through its use of buchu oil. Buchu oil is known for its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties, making it an ideal ingredient for pain relief. Ricky Litchfield Topical Gel is available for $19.95 on Amazon as of May 10, 2016.

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7. Excel Aspirin for Dogs
According to the label, Excel Aspirin for Dogs “relieves minor aches and pains and inflammation associated with arthritis and joint problems.” The enteric coated pills make it easy on your dog’s digestive system, helping to prevent ulcers. Excel aspirin is available for $5.68 on Amazon as of May 10, 2016.

dog aspirin

8. K9 Nature Supplements Nature’s Aches Away
These soft chews are formulated with fish oil, cat’s claw root extract, willow bark extract, and other natural ingredients. The three active ingredients are known to relieve joint pain and arthritis. These chews are an excellent choice if you want to give your dog all natural medicine. You can purchase Nature’s Aches Away for $29.77 on Amazon as of May 10, 2016.

natural dog pain medication

9. NaturVet Senior Aches & Discomfort
This particular medication is engineered specifically for senior dogs. The glucosamine in the tablets works to naturally restore joint health by improving joint lubrication and anti-inflammation. Because it has rare side effects, glucosamine is a safer option for sick or sensitive pets. NaturVet Senior Aches and Discomfort is available for $10.75 on Amazon as of May 10, 2016.

glucosamine as dog pain medication

10. Bayer Low Dose Aspirin, 81mg
Last, but not least, is plain old aspirin. As we’ve mentioned in previous blog posts, the only human pain medicine that is safe to administer to your dog is baby aspirin, also known as a low dose aspirin. Even though low dose aspirin is safe for dogs, you should follow these guidelines to avoid over-medicating your pet. Bayer, the #1 bestseller in aspirin, is available for $10.87 on Amazon as of May 10, 2016.

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Further Information
Knowing the cause of your dog’s pain can help when buying pain medication. The active ingredients in the medication are what’s most important and helpful in relieving discomfort. The most common active ingredients in dog pain medication are glucosamine, chondroitin, methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), turmeric, bromelain, and aspirin.

Glucosamine is naturally found in the body and when taken as a supplement appears as either a hydrochloride or sulfate. Glucosamine helps alleviate pain by improving the health of the cartilage found in your dog’s joints. Chondroitin is also found in the body naturally and is frequently paired with glucosamine in order to improve joint health and mobility. MSM is an anti-inflammatory used to treat arthritis and other joint inflammation. The sulfur found in MSM is a key component in the composition of joints, cartilage, and skin. Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties, which makes it ideal for dogs suffering from swelling and stiffness. Similarly, bromelain is an enzyme found in pineapples that works against inflammation, especially in the sinus area, which makes it a good choice for dogs with seasonal allergies.

If you’re looking for something to treat a more generalized medication, you may want to consider aspirin but be extremely cautious when using low dose aspirin. Aspirin is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) used to treat general pain caused by over exercise. The FDA has approved the following NSAIDs for use in treating dog pain: carprofen, deracoxib, firocoxib, and meloxicam. If you do choose to give your dog medication, we have some tips on how to give your dog medication.

Additional Help
Dealing with a sick pet is no fun, but you don’t have to standby and feel helpless while your dog languishes away in a corner. When used appropriately, pain medication can help your pup feel better faster. That way your little furballs can get back to chasing squirrels, jumping on the couch, doing other things they love. If you’re still not sure which pain medication is right for your dog, call TalkLocal and we’ll connect you with a veterinarian who can help.

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