Consumer Real Estate News

    • Traveling? Avoid Suitcase Strain with These Tips

      14 November 2018

      Traveling can be a fun, exciting experience. Straining your back from a heavy suitcase? Not so much. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, over 85,000 people were treated for injuries related to luggage in 2017 alone.

      "Hurting your neck, back, or shoulders can put you out of commission for a long time," says AAOS spokesperson and orthopaedic spine surgeon Charla Fischer, MD. "You can prevent that by packing lightly, using sturdy luggage with wheels and handles, and using good form when carrying or lifting bags."

      To help, the AAOS offers the following advice for lifting and carrying luggage:

      - Avoid purchasing luggage that is too heavy or bulky when empty.

      - Use smart packing techniques. When possible, place items in a few smaller bags instead of one large luggage piece.

      - To lift luggage, stand alongside of it and bend at the knees. Try to limit bending at the waist. Lift the luggage with your leg muscles. Grasp the handle and straighten up. Once you lift the luggage, hold it close to your body.

      - Do not twist when lifting and carrying luggage. Point your toes in the direction you are headed and turn your entire body in that direction.

      - Do not rush when lifting or carrying a suitcase. If it is too cumbersome, get help.

      - Do not carry bulky luggage for long periods of time. When possible, use the airline's baggage service when traveling with heavier items.

      - Carry pieces in both of your hands rather than one hand off to the side. This can decrease stress to the spine. Less weight on any one arm can also reduce the risk of developing "suitcase elbow," a chronic condition similar to "tennis elbow."

      - When placing luggage in an overhead compartment, first lift it onto the top of the seat. Place your hands on the left and right sides of the suitcase and lift it up. If your luggage has wheels, make sure the wheel-side is set in the compartment first. Once wheels are inside, put one hand atop the luggage and push it to the back of the compartment. To remove the luggage, reverse this process.

      - When using a backpack, make sure it has two padded and adjustable shoulder straps to equally balance the weight. Choose a backpack with several compartments to secure various-sized items, packing the heavier things low and towards the center. Slinging a backpack over one shoulder does not allow weight to be distributed evenly. This can cause muscle strain.

      - When using a duffel or shoulder bag, do not carry it on one shoulder for any length of time. Be sure to switch sides often.

      - Do not drag rolling luggage when climbing stairs–carry it instead.

      Source: AAOS,

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 5 Ways to Find Your Morning Workout Motivation

      14 November 2018

      (Family Features)--For many people, hitting the gym in the morning leaves less time for excuses or interferences.

      However, finding the motivation to get up and workout first thing can be a huge hurdle. If you're looking to make your early workout successful and one you'll actually stick with, consider these tips:

      Get Out of Bed, No Matter What. Making the first move may be the hardest part. Try setting two alarms and keeping them away from your bed. Walking across the room immediately after your alarm sounds gets you up and helps deter you from pressing snooze. Even sleeping in your (clean) workout clothes can make it easier to get going once you're up.

      Find a Workout Buddy. Having a partner can be motivational and help hold you accountable. It's often easier to push through a tough workout when someone else is keeping you in check.

      Commit to a Class. There are many ways to work out in the morning, and it's up to you to decide what kind of exercise is best suited for your fitness goals. Consider the potential benefits of a scheduled class: working out with a group gives you an appointment to keep, a set time and place and an instructor and team to push and encourage you even when you feel like giving up.

      Refuel for the Day (and Workouts) Ahead. Post-workout nutrition is critical to refueling your body after a tough workout, allowing you to take on the day ahead.  

      Give Yourself a Break. Keep in mind that after exhaustive endurance exercise, your body needs rest time (24-48 hours) to adequately replace your depleted glycogen stores. Take some time to let your body and mind prep for the next workout.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Veteran? Stay Vigilant for Scams

      14 November 2018

      If you're a veteran, it's important to be aware of several veteran-specific scams that have been surfacing as of late. According to a recent AARP survey, veterans are twice as likely to fall victim to scammers as the population at large. To help, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and its Operation Protect Veterans gives us a rundown:

      "Secret" Veteran Benefits Scam: Veterans are told they qualify for "secret" government programs or benefits that offer thousands of dollars—but first, scammers attempt to collect personal information or a fee.

      Fake Charitable Giving Request: Scammers are running bogus charities that claim to help fellow veterans.

      Benefits Buyout Offer: Veterans in need are being taken advantage of by scammers who are offering a quick, upfront buyout—usually at a fraction of the value—of future disability or pension payments.

      VA Loan Scams: Scammers are offering to refinance VA loans at very low rates.

      Bogus Employment Scam: Scammers are posting fake job descriptions to collect personal information from a veteran's job application, or they are charging veterans an employment fee.

      Source: U.S. Postal Inspection Service

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 5 Ways the Whole Family Can Eat Healthy

      13 November 2018

      (Family Features)--People are understandably conscious about the foods they're eating and where they come from. The human eating space has seen the rise of whole, clean and natural foods, and in the last couple years, the trend has even moved into pet foods.

      Many pet parents who eat healthy and care about where their food is coming from have those same thoughts about their pet's food, as well as their family's. Healthy eating is as simple as being mindful of what you eat and being more aware of the origin of your food and its ingredients.

      These tips from can help your whole family lead a more healthy life.

      1. Nosh on Nutrients – Opt for healthy, recognizable ingredients instead of overly processed foods. Make sure you're providing your family with plenty of fruits, vegetables and quality proteins. These ingredients are also beneficial for dogs, so look for a pet food that includes them as well.

      2. Be Mindful of Your Meals – Being more aware of what you're putting into your body is a first step toward making better choices. Try keeping a food journal to keep yourself more accountable for everything you eat. Jot down when you eat and how it makes you feel to help recognize which foods are making you feel good and which ones aren't.

      3. Have Dinner at Home – When you cook dinner at home, you have more control over the ingredients your family is consuming. Try to cook at home most nights to avoid potentially unhealthy restaurant fare that could have an unexpectedly high calorie count. It's also an opportunity to spend quality family time at home and build cherished memories. Allow your dog to share in the family experience by serving him dinner at the same time. Plus, he'll likely be less tempted to beg for table food if he has his own bowl to keep him busy.

      4. Teach Your Tots – Educate your family members about nutrition and include them in the process, from the grocery store to the kitchen to the table. The more you know about your food and the nutrition it provides, the healthier the choices you can make to maintain a healthy life. By incorporating your kids in the kitchen and allowing them to help cook, you can set them up for a greater chance of success in their own kitchen someday.

      5. Don't Forget the Dog – Some pet food brands make it simpler to share a food philosophy with your pet. Just like the food you'd want to feed your family, look for dry dog food recipes made with real, recognizable ingredients as close to their native form as possible.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Tips for Cooking Safely This Holiday Season

      13 November 2018

      The holidays are a fun, joyous time of family, friends, and hustle bustle. But as you whip up a masterpiece in the kitchen, it's important to be mindful of safety, especially at a stressful time when your thoughts may scatter. Below are a few safety tips from the American Red Cross.

      - Install a smoke alarm near your kitchen, on each level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. Use the test button to check it each month. Replace all batteries at least once a year if your smoke alarm requires it.

      - Consider purchasing a fire extinguisher to keep in your kitchen. Contact your local fire department to take training on the proper use of extinguishers.

      - While cooking, don't wear loose clothing or sleeves that dangle.

      - If you are frying, grilling or broiling food, never leave it unattended—stay in the kitchen. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.

      - If you're simmering, baking, roasting or broiling food, check it regularly.

      - Use a timer to remind yourself that the stove or oven is on.

      - Keep kids and pets away from the cooking area. Make them stay at least three feet away from the stove.

      - Keep anything that can catch fire—pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, towels or curtains—away from your stove, oven or any other appliance in the kitchen that generates heat.

      - Clean cooking surfaces on a regular basis to prevent grease buildup.

      - Always check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving home to make sure all stoves, ovens, and small appliances are turned off.

      Source: American Red Cross

      Published with permission from RISMedia.