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Stretching is Vital to Joint and Muscle Health

Have you ever noticed that a cat or dog will stretch almost every time they get up from sleep or laying around? They do this because it’s good for them. Most dogs and cats don’t have near the joint problems that humans do. It’s because they stretch as often as they can.

Stretching is one of the most important things you can do for your body. It doesn’t matter if you want to get in shape or are even trying.

If you practice daily stretching, you can still avoid some of the injuries that come with daily life; like joint pain and muscle aches.

Exercise isn’t always fun for everyone, but stretching is something that anyone can do and it feels great.

If you are trying to get in shape you need to add daily stretching to your routine. You should even stretch on the days you aren’t working out, just to keep the muscles limber and help prevent injuries on your workout days. It also increases blood flow which is essential to all your vital organs and tissues.

Stretching before a workout helps to warm up soft tissues and prevent tears in ligaments. A good daily stretch also helps prevent muscle strain and bone fractures by keeping everything in working order.

Some of the reasons that stretching is so important for your workouts is the extra benefits it gives you. Not only does it do the things mentioned above, it also helps to increase your muscle tone, diminishes muscle stiffness and cramping, but it also adds more flexibility.

Poor flexibility is one of the major causes of stress injuries on the muscles and joints and tight hamstring muscles are directly related to lower back pain. Tight muscles lead to poor posture, so it’s only natural that flexible, strong muscles will improve posture.

Another benefit that really isn’t discussed as much is that stretching can also help you manage stress and improve your brain function by giving you mental clarity. Getting oxygen to the brain, even with something as easy as stretching is always a huge benefit.

Stretching before your workout as a warm up and afterwards as a cool down phase is vital to your overall health and progress. The warm up phase gets your muscles ready and limber for the extra loads you’re about to put on them. During the cool down phase, stretching helps your muscles relax after a hard workout.

It may seem like a contradiction but you do need to warm up the muscles before stretching. You can do this by walking in place, doing some jumping jacks or light aerobics. The key is to get some blood pumping to the muscles before you stretch them. Stretching a cold muscle can be just as damaging as not stretching during your workouts.

Also remember to hold stretches for awhile. Most experts tell you 10 or 15 seconds, but you get greater benefits the longer you can hold a stretch and let gravity do as much of the work as possible. Never force yourself into a stretching pose, instead just slink into it naturally and only stretch as far as you feel comfortable.

We’ve discussed ways that stretching can help you with your workouts and mentioned that stretching is good for everyone. If you’re a couch potato and have no desire to do exercise, you should do some stretches daily. It’ll make you feel better, and who knows, it may inspire you to start working out.

Richard Administrator
Hi, this is Richard. I am a part-time writer and a full-time mother to my dog. I specialize in health and fitness writing.I love listening to Lo-Fi music
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Richard Administrator
Hi, this is Richard. I am a part-time writer and a full-time mother to my dog. I specialize in health and fitness writing.I love listening to Lo-Fi music

Spore Creature Creator: A Precursor to Will Wright’s Spore

Ever since we were children, we have all enjoyed playing God. It all started with our action figures, and then Will Wright came along with The Sims franchise. Given the power to control your Sims every action, letting them live or die on your whim. There is nothing like the feeling of using your Godly ability to kill by removing the ladder from the pool or making the door to a room disappear, ultimately leading to the death of your Sim. After all of the shenanigans you could pull, you felt the need for more power. The folks over at Maxis have decided it was time you had that power, and they have created the next step in the God sim genre with Spore.

Spore is due out to a PC near you in September, but you can have a taste of the power that lies ahead of you with the Spore Creature Creator. The creature creator doesn’t just allow you to choose from a few skins or body types for your devoted followers. The possibilities are almost endless with over 200 different parts available to customize your lifeforms with. Your little (or big if you choose) minion will probably not be made in the image of its creator. If you can imagine it, you can most likely create it.

The creation of your creature is a very simple but fulfilling process. After you choose a body, or create your own by manipulating the spine to your desired height, width, and length, you can just start dragging and dropping on body parts. You want four beefy arms with spikes running down them, not a problem, you want a tiny useless arm dangling from the back of your skull, it can be done. The choices of parts you pick are not just for looks, spikes and poison spores give your creature ways to attack others or to defend itself. Even the mouth you choose will effect your creatures diet.

Before you take your creature to the test drive section to try out those five legs, you got to get painted up. The paint option allows you to choose from premade designs, or you can give a custom look by painting him up by using layers. By choosing a base, coat, and detail layer you can give a look you know you won’t find anywhere else. If you have a look you really like you can even apply it to another creature you make down the line.

Spore promises to be a great game full of custom-made creatures, buildings and vehicles. Until we can play the full version we will happily be killing the time until release with our custom-made army of six-armed, one-legged, lobster-dog men.

Richard Administrator
Hi, this is Richard. I am a part-time writer and a full-time mother to my dog. I specialize in health and fitness writing.I love listening to Lo-Fi music
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Richard Administrator
Hi, this is Richard. I am a part-time writer and a full-time mother to my dog. I specialize in health and fitness writing.I love listening to Lo-Fi music

Sociological Imagination: The Need for a Universal Antidote

Can you imagine anything more horrific than to be told you’ve just been poisoned, and that you will die in just a short time?

Of course, Harrison Ford played out this scenario to great comic effect in the 1984 adventure movie Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

What we see in this movie is wonderfully choreographed chaos as Indiana Jones struggles to get the vial of sparkling liquid which his enemy Lao Che has described as the antidote, the only thing that will save him.

In this, not only did Indiana Jones know he was slowly dying; he also had to face the cruel fact that the solution was just beyond his reach.

For any of us, wouldn’t it be easier to just die without hope, then to realize that the antidote representing life was only inches away and still unobtainable?

Sociological Imagination: The Need for a Universal Antidote

Can this idea of a universal antidote be taken to new levels of grim necessity?

True, we are far removed from the arch enemy caricatures of the 1930s upon which the character of Lao Che is based; but can the present state of our human experience be in need of a type of generalized and omnipresent antidote?

Further, as we deal with the particular poisons of the post-9/11 era, wouldn’t the antidote have to represent the power of faith instead of just being a vial of sparkling liquid?

The need for a universal antidote is typically recognized as we are engaging in the daily dramas of the sociological imagination. This imagination refers to how the individual interprets personal experiences in terms of what is happening in the larger world.

The Martians of 1950s drive-ins, for example, are a helpful precedent of human experience which involves this interpretation. The fiction of the Martians could bring about a greater sense of attunement to the sociological imagination if only because moviegoers were encouraged to envision the impact of the real foreign invaders, those who had already pushed the destructive panic button of their own political dogmas.

Because of the sociological imagination, the aliens of the movies could become translated into the Red Menace of real life.

Further, the need for (and acquisition of) a universal antidote was demonstrated in these drive-in reminisces by the reliance on science to defeat any and all enemies.

The United States didn’t have to admit to any real fear as long as science could be the façade of the moment, a one-way ticket to a more personal peace of mind. Science could always be the coins I found in my father’s pocket when I wanted to buy ice cream.

War of the Worlds (1953), The Blob (1958), and When Worlds Collide (1951) are all fine examples of how the antidote of science became the universal rationalization for sending the kids off to school in the morning with a clear conscience even when ambiguous predators roamed the streets.

How can anything truly frighten you as long as the test tubes are cooking up a better alternative for the hatred of human beings?

Of course, this scientific antidote can be seen even in more recent times. One has to only consider the space race to see the point.

Somewhere between playing with rubber ducks and playing with atomic bombs, the need for a universal antidote becomes apparent, and it is discovered by distinguishing between the personal experience of watching children playing on the swings and the real possibility that the swings may one day become rusty.

Citation: The Red Menace Films of the 1950s by Timothy Sexton

Richard Administrator
Hi, this is Richard. I am a part-time writer and a full-time mother to my dog. I specialize in health and fitness writing.I love listening to Lo-Fi music
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Richard Administrator
Hi, this is Richard. I am a part-time writer and a full-time mother to my dog. I specialize in health and fitness writing.I love listening to Lo-Fi music

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