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Teen Dieting

We have the highest teenage and childhood obesity rates today than at any other point in the world’s long history. Much of the blame for this is on the fast food, low energy society that we have become. Far too often we feel that it is safer to keep our children inside our homes rather than out and about in the great outdoors. The things we are doing for the protection of our children are actually detrimental to the health of our children.

There are things however that are being done to address the problem and get our children more involved, more active, and better educated about making the proper choices about diet, nutrition, fitness, and overall health. The problem for most teens is getting them off the computer, phone, or away from the television long enough to get active.

Even video games are getting in on the act of getting children up and active by creating games such as Play Station 2’s Dance Party Revolution and the new Nintendo Wii gaming system that seem to be taking the market by storm. These systems allow consumers, to actively participate in the game play adventure rather than sitting back and playing the game in a static environment. It is a great way to get teens off their seats and active. These games are also fun for adults and will have the same effects when it comes to activity. Whoever thought we’d be actually encouraging game play for exercise?

Get Outside and Get Active

Teens learn by example and whether they care to admit it or not, they typically enjoy doing things as part of the family. Go rock wall climbing or mountain climbing. Go bike riding as a family. Camp in the great out doors and go hiking, boating, or biking yet again. Learn a new sport together. It’s amazing how much fun you can have learning how scuba dive and while you are at it, neither of you will be consuming empty calories. Even if the sport you take up together doesn’t involve a lot of physical activity it is quite likely more active than sitting in front of the television.

Have your teen join a recreational sports team. We have all kinds of sports teams available in our community in which our teens can join. Even those with no skills at all can join and play in some of the leagues while other leagues are competitive. Getting out and about for a softball game, soccer game, and even volleyball can be a great way for the family to do something together and the games and practices are opportunities for your teen to be active.

Lawn work is another way to get out and get active with your teen. The key, as always, is in your teen burning more calories than he or she consumers. It is often easier said than done but it is quite possible if you work to get them out and about. Find things however that will be interesting to your teen and focus on those rather than torturing them with activities that hold no interest at all (well maybe not the yard work). At any rate, filling their time with activities is also allowing time that they aren’t consuming calories as well and that is something worth considering.

Encourage your teen to eat healthier foods. Eliminate calorie-loaded soda, fruit juices, and energy drinks from your pantry shelves, and encourage your teens to drink plenty of water each day. Introduce as many vegetables as possible to the diet of your teens and get rid of the prepackaged convenience goodies that teens are notorious for depleting in one sitting. Also having your teens actively participate in the preparation and clean up for meals will help them pay more attention to the things they put into their mouths as well as the messes they make in the process.

Selling Your Computer Looking At Alternatives

At some point, your needs are going to outgrow the capabilities of your computer. You may find yourself in need of more hard drive space for all those videos and mp3s that you download, for example. Or maybe that cool new programming language you’ve been dying to try requires more memory than what your computer currently has. Unless the activities on your computer are restricted to pure textual output (plain text files), your computer is going to get filled with a lot of “stuff” – stuff that can overfill a PC’s capacity too much for the computer to function well.

The problem is that while upgrading a computer is always an option, technology advances so fast that newer products (such as memory chips, new drives, etc.) aren’t always compatible with the machines that we own. This is a common occurrence when newer pieces of hardware require the programming of a newer operating system. Sure, one could upgrade the operating system to accommodate the demands of a new piece of hardware, but trouble starts when that new operating system requires new hardware in return. If we’re not careful, we could end up replacing almost every hard and soft part of a computer that we own – all in an effort to upgrade! Upgrading in this fashion is not only silly to do so, it’s also costly – more costly than simply buying a new computer.

But once the decision to buy a computer is set in stone, what can be done with the old one? There are alternatives to selling a computer and this article is going to introduce a few of them.

1. Give it to the kids. This is of course, assuming the kids are too young to whine about not having enough SDRAM or less than a 160GB hard drive. Today’s “older” computers are perfectly capable of accommodating the needs of young PC users, and they’re excellent machines for playing educational CDs, small multimedia files, or games downloaded from the Internet. And don’t forget the most important role they play in a child’s homework-clad life: A simple encyclopedia CD on a used computer makes excellent research tool (not to mention a rather fancy calculator!).

2. Donate it to a less-fortunate or less-literate family member. We often joke around the office about the “grandma” who refuses to use a computer until she can afford the “latest” one. Chances are, Grandma isn’t ever going to shell out the bucks to buy the latest computer on the market, nor is she going to know how to use it once she gets it. What Grandma doesn’t realize however is that a used computer is an excellent training tool that she can use to prepare herself for something “better” in the future. We always say, “‘Tis better to screw up something on an old, used machine than to screw up everything on a brand new one!” A couple of errors on an old, used machine are easier to fix because someone is going to have the experience and knowledge to fix it. Errors on a new machine however can be a beast to fix because we’re all knocking at Microsoft’s door looking for answers.

3. Convert the machine into a storage area. As another alternative to selling that machine, we suggest that people disconnect it from the Internet and use it to store personal documents, records, or files. This way, personal data (such as bank statements, store receipts, health records, etc.) is protected from prying viruses or hackers, while the newer machine is used to surf the net.

As you can see, old computers still serve a purpose either for you or for someone else. And although selling an old computer is always an option, there are a number of things that you can do with an old computer. All that’s required is a little “out of the box” thinking and a grateful recipient.

Air Travel Rules: Traveling With Electronics

In this day in age, it seems as if all individuals have at least once piece of electronic equipment with them, often at all times. That electronic equipment may include a cell phone, a beeper, a laptop, or a personal data assistant, commonly known as a PDA. If you are one of the individuals that regularly travels around with one or more of these electronic items, there is a good chance that you will be taking them with you when you board an airplane. If so, there is a chance that you may be concerned with whether or not they are a violation of air travel rules.

When it comes to determining which electronics are prohibited aboard an airplane, you will find that almost all are allowed.  Despite this allowance, it is still a good idea that you check with your airline or airport, in advance.  Since most electronic items are expensive, you not want to get to the airport only to learn that you are prohibited from bringing all of your belongings with you, especially something as expensive as most electronic equipment. 

As previously mentioned, many individuals keep a cell phone or pager with them at all times.  All cell phones and pagers are permitted aboard airplanes. In addition to being permitted onboard, they are allowed to be stored in your carry-on luggage.  Your cell phone or pager, like most other electronic equipment, will be suspect to inspection, if need be.

Laptops and personal data assistants, commonly known as PDA’s, are also permitted aboard airplanes.  You are also allowed to store them in your carry-on luggage, if you choose to.  If stored in your carry-on luggage, your laptop or personal data assistant machine will need to be scanned along with the rest of your carry-on luggage. This screening process is safe and should not hurt your equipment.

While the screening process is safe for most electronic equipment, it isn’t for all.  There is a chance that your film, especially film that has yet to be developed, could be ruined by the x-ray machines.  In the event that you are storing a camera in your carry-on luggage, you will need to notify airport security.  They have alternative ways of checking your camera or film equipment. Other recording devices, such as digital cameras or camcorders, are also permitted aboard an airplane, even in your carry-on luggage. It is safe for these items to go through the x-ray screening process.

As previously mentioned, many of the above mentioned electronics can either be stored in your carry-on luggage or your checked baggage.  If you are able to store the items in your carry-on luggage, you are advised to do so. It is no secret that checked baggage gets tossed around in a number of different fashions.  With expensive electronic equipment, your equipment is less likely to suffer damage if you are the one in charge of caring for it.  In addition to a reduction in damage, most airlines are restricting the use of baggage locks.  This means that it may be unwise for you to store expensive equipment in your checked baggage, especially if you cannot lock it.  Honestly, you never know who may have access to it.

By keeping the above mentioned information in mind, you should be able to pack correctly for your next trip, whether or not that trip is a business trip. Although most airlines do not have restrictions on the electronic equipment that you bring onboard, you will find that the use of these items is often restricted.  A large number of airlines will only let you power up your camcorder, cell phone, pager, PDA, or laptop during specified times.