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    By: The My Medicare Matters Team Choosing a Medicare plan is an important, but difficult decision. This choice could determine your health for years to come and save (or cost) you hundreds of dollars in out-of-pocket costs. However, during the Medicare Open Enrollment Period (OEP)/Annual Election Period (AEP) October 15 through December 7, you can

    The post How to Choose a Medicare Plan During the Open Enrollment Period appeared first on My Medicare Matters.


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    By: Ann Kayrish, NCOA’s Senior Program Manager for Medicare This open enrollment people with Medicare will have more plans to sift through than in past years. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will now allow Medicare Advantage (MA/Part C) plans to offer an increased number and variety of plans in a service area. Medicare

    The post 10 Must-Ask Questions When Comparing Medicare Advantage Plans appeared first on My Medicare Matters.


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    By: Brandy Bauer, Associate Director of NCOA’s Center for Benefits Access. Reposted from NCOA.org. Did you or someone you work with fall into the Medicare Part D “donut hole” this year? The donut hole, or Part D coverage gap, occurs when a person reaches a certain spending limit for their medications ($3,820 in 2018), and must pay more of

    The post Avoiding the Part D Donut Hole appeared first on My Medicare Matters.


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    By: The My Medicare Matters Team Medicare changes every year, some of the changes like the expansion of the diabetes prevention program are narrow and impact a subset of Medicare beneficiaries, while other changes like the addition of the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period impact a larger group of Medicare beneficiaries. Regardless of how big

    The post What’s New for Medicare in 2019 appeared first on My Medicare Matters.


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    By: The My Medicare Matters Team About 1.3 billion people in the world live with some form of vision impairment. The reasons vary but the fact is, your risk of developing vision problems drastically increases as you age. Over 91% of people age 55+ use some form of vision correction, so having access to quality vision care

    The post 6 Ways to Get Vision Coverage When You Retire appeared first on My Medicare Matters.


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    By: The My Medicare Matters Team A new opportunity to switch Medicare Advantage/Part C plans is happening right now. The annual Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (MA OEP) which runs from January 1 to March 31 offers anyone enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan an opportunity to either: Switch from one Part C plan to another, or Switch from a Part C

    The post A Second Chance to Switch Medicare Advantage Plans appeared first on My Medicare Matters.


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    By: The My Medicare Matters Team Women are often the first line of defense when protecting their family’s health, but in doing so tend to put their concerns on the back burner. These quick tips can help keep you happy and healthy as you juggle your everyday responsibilities. 1. Get breast cancer screenings every 1

    The post 5 Healthy Aging Tips Every Woman Should Know appeared first on My Medicare Matters.


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    The My Medicare Matters Team Enrolling in a Medicare plan is a big decision. While you’re able to switch plans each year if you’re unhappy (in some situations more frequently) you still want to choose the best plan for your needs the first time. This means taking your out-of-pocket costs into consideration along with other

    The post A Guide to Medicare Part C Costs appeared first on My Medicare Matters.


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    By: The My Medicare Matters Team Coverage of preventive services is one of the most important parts of Medicare’s role in keeping people healthy. Whether reinforcing immunizations you received as a child, or preparing you for next flu season, vaccines are a key part of avoiding diseases that can prevent you from aging well. Medicare

    The post Healthy aging all year: Medicare covers 4 important vaccines for seniors appeared first on My Medicare Matters.


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    The American nursing home is a total institution, with rigorous top-down control over the environment and personal property of residents. Medicare and Medicaid initiated the modern nursing home ind…

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    Home Living Aid

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    Recession Watch

    A defining trait of severe recessions is the staggering levels of long-term unemployment that follow. During the last recession, between 2008 and 2009, 8.4 million jobs, or 6.1% of all payroll employment at the time, were lost. Prior to the last recession, the largest share of the unemployed experiencing long-term unemployment was 26.0% in the early 1980s. The same long-term unemployment rate exceeded 40% into the early 2010s, amounting to over 4%of the entire labor force, and is only now falling to pre-recessionary levels.

    The next recession? Many economists are suggesting that a recession may be approaching in the near future. The Bank of America sees a greater than 30% chance of a recession in the next year. Part of the yield curve inverted in August, and this has historically been an indicator of an imminent recession. Two-thirds of corporate chief financial officers surveyed by Duke University expect a recession by the end of next year. Some argue that certain economic sectors (e.g. manufacturing and housing construction) and geographic areas are already experiencing recessionary conditions. With consumer debt levels at all-time highs and still rising, the next recession might spell disaster for millions of households.

     

    Social Insurance: Protecting all of us in the event of recession

    Social insurance programs provide income support and a degree of economic security in the face of disruptions (whether because of a recession or technological innovation) and other risks common to all of us (illness, old age, disability). As I’ve noted previously, our nation’s social insurance infrastructure offers a significant measure of “recession readiness.” Benefits accrue not only to individuals and their families, but also to the communities in which they live and to the country as a whole. 

    In addition to countering the impact of recessions, social insurance policies boost workers’ dignity and strengthen our social fabric. By cushioning the effects of displacement, social insurance programs, coupled with other policies, support disruptive innovation and the free-market system that U.S. corporations believe is the “best means of generating good jobs, a strong and sustainable economy, innovation, a healthy environment and economic opportunity for all.” 

     

     

    How might a recession impact social insurance programs?

    A FICA “Holiday?” One of the proposals that may emerge in light of an imminent recession is a Social Security contribution “holiday.” The contributions that workers pay for Social Security were temporarily reduced in 2011 and 2012 to get money quickly into the hands of workers, so they might spend it to help the nation out of the Great Recession. 

    In response to the 2008 recession, President Obama supported two legislative provisions that put a portion of workers' FICA contributions back into the economy. One was the “Making Work Pay” tax credit. For 2009 and 2010, a refundable tax credit of $400 was available to working individuals and $800 to working families. The credit was calculated at a rate of 6.2% on earned income for 2009 and 2010 and phased out for taxpayers with adjusted gross income over $75,000 ($150,000 for married couples filing jointly). The other was a FICA “holiday.” In 2011 and 2012, the Social Security rate that applied to employees and self-employed individuals was reduced by 2.0%, but employers were subject to the full 6.2%. Both the Making Work Pay tax credit and the 2% reduction in workers' Social Security contributions were funded by general revenues, not the Social Security Trust Fund.

    The Academy issued a fact sheet on its impact on Social Security’s funding. This fact sheet described an “exit strategy” to attract broad public support and help strengthen Social Security for the long term.

     

    Other proposals: Last month, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, led by Academy Member Maya MacGuineas, proposed a “responsible plan to combat the next recession.” The plan, meant to be illustrative rather than prescriptive, extends Unemployment Insurance benefits, reduces Social Security contributions for two years, temporarily increases Medicaid payments to the states, and calls for $300 billion in infrastructure investments. Another Academy Member, Jason Furman, has called for a “pre-emptive strike against recession.”

    Stephen Wandner, a labor economist and Academy Senior Fellow, has raised significant concerns about the current state of Unemployment Insurance (UI). Little change has been made to the system since 1976, when necessary reforms were enacted after the 1974-75 recession. According to Wandner, “If the U.S. experiences a major recession, the broken UI system will be a big problem for the unemployed and the economy as a whole.”

    Wandner explains: “The big worry is that the system is not working well for employers or workers, and that if we have another major recession the UI system won’t be ready to adequately serve unemployed workers who will be laid off. There were two purposes of UI when it was established; one was to help individual workers, and the second was to be a counter cyclical force during recessions. When individuals have sufficient money to live on, they also help to stimulate the economy, so UI has what economists call a micro-economic purpose and a macro-economic purpose. The problem for the next recession is that some unemployed workers may not get any benefits, get insufficient benefits, or get less than those in other states.”

    In his new book, Unemployment Insurance Reform: Fixing a Broken System, Wandner proposes ways to improve the unemployment insurance system.

     

    Developing solutions: A new Academy Study Panel on Economic Security

    We will soon be announcing the launch of an Academy Study Panel on Economic Security. Modeled after President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 1935 Committee on Economic Security, this Study Panel will examine key policy issues that affect the economic security of people in the United States who face financial risks not adequately addressed by the nation’s current systems of social insurance and social assistance.  The Study Panel will focus on the question of whether existing programs are able to address widespread insecurity, especially if another large recession were to emerge. If not, what sorts of enhancements to existing programs or new programs might lessen such widespread economic insecurity in our nation?

    Stay tuned for more details.  As part of this new initiative, the Academy will be building on our substantial body of work in this area. Please check out some of the resources below. If you have any questions about the scope of this new Study Panel – or suggestions about its focus – please don’t hesitate to email me at warnone@nasi.org.

     

    Exploring the role of social insurance in “recession readiness”

    Unemployment Insurance

    Unemployment Insurance and the Safety Net in the Wake of the Great Recession (2012 Roundtable): In the wake of the Great Recession and the social policy changes of the past 20 years, unemployed individuals were finding it increasingly difficult to make ends meet. This roundtable explored the importance of UI and related safety net programs, such as TANF (public assistance) and SNAP (food stamps), to low-income or unemployed individuals and their families. Panelists discussed to what extent UI and related safety net programs provide critical support to the unemployed in times of economic hardship.

    Three Years of Sluggish Recovery Means UI Benefits are Still Critical for Millions of Unemployed Workers: Before the Great Recession, the highest rate of long-term unemployment was 26% of the unemployed during a recession in the 1980s. During the Great Recession, however, it peaked at an unprecedented 46% of the unemployed and stood at about 42% in June. The economy continued to lose jobs long after the recession officially ended and the unemployment rate peaked at 10.0% in October 2009.

    How Has the Safety Net Fared in the Great Recession and Subsequent Recovery? (2013 Roundtable): Panelists shared findings that compared programs across states and past recessions, including UI, TANF, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and other related programs.

    Unemployment Insurance Benefits, Financing, and Reemployment Services after the Great Recession (2015 Roundtable): UI recipients received up to 99 weeks of benefits during and after the Great Recession, but many still exhausted their UI benefits. Meanwhile, additional funding for reemployment services disappeared, and most state accounts in the Unemployment Trust Fund went broke. This roundtable discussed what happened to UI benefits and benefit financing, the availability of reemployment services, and how many of those who had exhausted their UI options went on to collect SNAP benefits.

    Social Security

    Social Security: It’s for young people, too: Social Security responded to the recession and the slow recovery by performing exactly as it was designed to. By pumping out benefits on time and in full, it helped keep the national economy – not to mention the personal finances of the 56 million people who receive benefits – in better shape. The Center for Rural Strategies has documented that Social Security benefits provide a crucial chunk of total personal income at the local level, especially in rural counties. This makes a real difference to the small businesses and local economies in America’s towns and cities.

    Workers’ Compensation

    2015 report on Workers’ Compensation: Despite the growth in employment following the Great Recession – and the significant uptick in employees eligible to receive workers’ compensation – benefits per $100 of covered payroll dropped to $0.98 in 2013, a 5% decrease from 2009. At the same time, the growing workforce has translated into rising workers’ compensation costs for employers – now $1.37 per $100 of covered payroll, a 5% increase from 2009

    2016 report on Workers’ Compensation: Academy Member Marjorie Baldwin, Professor of Economics in the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, noted: “What we are seeing in these data are still the effects of the economy gradually coming out of the recession of 2008-10. As more workers are hired, employers immediately incur higher costs for Workers’ Compensation insurance – the increase in benefits paid comes with a lag, especially for the most costly long-term injuries.”

    Together, Social Security, UI, and Workers’ Compensation kept more than 24 million Americans out of poverty in 2010.

     


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    By: The My Medicare Matters Team The annual Medicare Open Enrollment Period (OEP) begins October 15th. You’ll have the opportunity to sign up for Medicare or change the plan you already have. As you prepare to take advantage of the OEP, information is your most valuable resource. Here’s a look at what’s changing and where

    The post Getting ready for 2019 Medicare Open Enrollment appeared first on My Medicare Matters.


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    A new study indicates that the United States continues to lose ground when it comes to addressing inequality. According to the latest report from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS) released in September 2019, the gap between the richest and poorest U.S. households is now the largest it has been in the past fifty years. Despite a national economy with low rates of unemployment, more than ten years of consecutive growth in gross domestic product (GDP), and median household income at an all-time high ($61,937 for 2018), disparities in income along racial, generational, and geographic lines grew.

    Since 2015, the Academy has viewed inequality as the most pressing challenge facing the nation. We have been exploring how the nation’s social insurance infrastructure might respond to changing demographic and economic realities with this overarching focus on inequality. Later this month, we will be launching a new Study Panel on Economic Security, which intends to build on and bring together multiple strands of policy work over the past several years. (More on this below).

    Source: 2018 American Community Survey census.gov/acs

     

    The Academy, of course, is not alone in taking this view. The August 2019 statement of the Business Roundtable on “the purpose of a corporation” noted that “Americans deserve an economy that allows each person to succeed through hard work and creativity and to lead a life of meaning and dignity.” At a recent event held by the Concord Coalition, Economic Patriot Award recipient Mark Weinberger (my former colleague at EY) stated: “The degree of income inequality is unacceptable. We need to acknowledge it and deal with it. It’s a moral and economic imperative.”

    First, a quick backgrounder:

    How is income inequality measured?

    One major indicator of inequality, the Gini index, measures how far apart incomes are from each other. The index ranges from 0.0 to 1.0; a score of 0.0 indicates a population in which incomes are distributed perfectly evenly, while 1.0 means a population in which only one household receives all of the income.

    The Gini coefficient has been holding steady in the United States for the past several years, with the coefficient (before taxes and transfers) hovering between 0.508 and 0.505 from 2014 to 2017. (For reference, the corresponding 2017 figures in Canada and the UK were 0.438 and 0.506 respectively.) However, these numbers reflect a substantial increase in inequality relative to 2005, when the score was 0.486, and a very large increase since 1967, when the Census Bureau began studying income inequality. At that point, when President Johnson had just declared a War on Poverty, the Gini index for the U.S. was a much more modest (and equal) 0.397. For more information on the Gini coefficient in the U.S. and elsewhere, including after taxes and transfers, see here.

    Source: BETTMANN / CORBIS

    What accounts for this increase in income inequality?

    Academy Board of Directors Chair Bill Rodgers, Professor of Public Policy at Rutgers University and Chief Economist at Rutgers’ Heldrich Center, noted in an interview with NPR that the new ACS report “clearly illustrates the inability of the current economic expansion, the longest on record, to lessen inequality.” When asked why the rising economic tide has raised some boats more than others, Rodgers listed several factors, including the decline of organized labor, competition for jobs from abroad, and tax policies that favor businesses and higher-income families.

    Is income inequality the only issue to be concerned about?

    It should probably not be surprising that asset inequality has been growing along with income inequality. A recent research brief by the National Institute on Retirement Security (NIRS) found that financial asset inequality among Americans continues to increase and that it poses “a significant threat to retirement for working Americans.”

    The NIRS research brief put forth three policy recommendations to help improve retirement security for working Americans that speak both to the critical importance of our current Social Insurance infrastructure and the need to enhance it to meet emerging needs:

    • Strengthen and expand Social Security;
    • Support state efforts to establish state-facilitated retirement savings plans;
    • Promote and improve the federal Saver’s Credit to help build the retirement savings of low-income households.

    The Academy’s new Study Panel on Economic Security

    In response to a number of studies tracking the growth of inequality, including the recent ACS and NIRS reports, we are launching a new Academy Study Panel on Economic Security. In addition to looking at the extent of economic and wealth inequality in the U.S., the Study Panel’s scope of work includes examining gaps in the existing systems, beginning with the original social insurance programs which were established during the Great Depression to guard against employment uncertainty, inability to work, and an inadequate income in retirement. As a foundation of its work, the Panel will compare the three modalities of social insurance, social assistance, and assured income as interrelated instruments to address economic security and inequality.

    The work of this new Study Panel is so critical to our mission and our overarching strategic focus on inequality that it will be co-chaired by three of the Academy’s officers – Board Chair Bill Rodgers, Vice Chair Reneé Landers, and Treasurer Jason Fichtner. After deliberating over a twelve-to-fifteen month period, the Study Panel will issue its report in 2020 to commemorate the 85th anniversary of the 1935 report of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Committee on Economic Security.

    Source: ssa.gov

    Stay tuned for more details about the official launch of the Study Panel later this month. (In the meantime, learn more about inequality with resources available on the Academy’s website.)

    As always, we welcome your questions and comments about this and other Academy activities.

     


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    Elaine Weiss, Griffin Murphy, Leslie I. Boden
    October 2019

    The 22nd report in the series, Workers' Compensation: Benefits, Costs, and Coverage (2017 Data) provides the only comprehensive data on workers' compensation benefits, coverage, and employer costs for the nation, the states, the District of Columbia, and federal programs. 

    Download the report

    Download the Executive Summary

    Read the national press release

    Read state-specific findings:

    Review the sources and methods used to produce the state-level estimates in the report.


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    October 2019

    Workers’ compensation insures millions of workers and their families against the risks associated with lost wages and medical costs in the event of injury on the job, work-related illness and, in extreme cases, the death of a worker. It is the only social insurance (SI) system run almost entirely by states, with no federal guidelines.

    Despite being a core component of the U.S. social insurance system, workers’ compensation often receives less attention than other SI programs, like Social Security and Medicare, in part because it has no federal aspect. To fill part of this gap, the National Academy of Social Insurance produces an annual report on state and federal workers’ compensation program benefits, costs, and coverage. This latest report provides new data for 2017, with comparison data for the five-year period from 2013 to 2017.

    Download the Executive Summary

     

    Go to Workers' Compensation Benefits, Costs, and Coverage (2017 Data).  


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    October 2019

    Over the past ten years, Ohio has experienced a larger decrease in Workers’ Compensation benefits per $100 of payroll than all but one other state. The state saw worker benefits reduced from $1.20 per $100 in 2007 to $0.68 per $100 in 2017, or by nearly half (43%), a larger relative decline than that of any other state but Michigan ($0.85 - $0.42, or 51%). Two complementary sets of forces – legislative changes that limit access to and levels of benefits, and incentives for employers to improve worker safety – likely explain much of this decline.

     

    Download the State Spotlight.

     

    Go to Workers' Compensation Benefits, Costs, and Coverage (2017 Data).  


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    October 2019

    In 2003, Florida passed sweeping changes to workers’ compensation laws. These changes led to both reductions in employee benefits and improved conditions for insurance carriers, trends that largely continue through 2013-2017, the period studied for this year’s report on Workers’ Compensation Benefits, Costs, and Coverage.

     

    Download the State Spotlight.

     

    Go to Workers' Compensation Benefits, Costs, and Coverage (2017 Data).  


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    October 2019

    The majority of workers in Wyoming are covered by workers’ compensation because their occupations are classified as “extra-hazardous.” Employees who do not work in such jobs, however, are not required to be covered. In recent years, several large private employers, have carved out exceptions that keep their employees outside the system.

    Download the State Spotlight

     

    Go to Workers' Compensation Benefits, Costs, and Coverage (2017 Data).  


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    October 2019

    Between 2013 and 2017, workers in Missouri saw substantial increases in both medical benefits per $100 of covered wages (of 11.8%) and in cash benefits/$100 of covered wages (of 9.6%). The latter represents the largest increase of any state. Overall, benefits for Missouri workers rose by 10.8%. Employer costs for workers’ compensation also increased in Missouri, albeit more modestly, by 5.6%, or $0.07 per $100 of covered wages, over the 5-year period.

     

    Download the State Spotlight.

     

    Go to Workers' Compensation Benefits, Costs, and Coverage (2017 Data).  


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  • 11/01/19--11:21: In Memoriam: Elijah Cummings
  • In reflecting on the passing of Representative Elijah Cummings, we at the National Academy of Social Insurance recall his stirring tribute to William (Bill) Spriggs, recipient of the 2016 Robert M. Ball Award for Outstanding Achievements in Social Insurance.

    We invite you to watch the late Congressman’s remarks during that memorable evening in which the Ball Award was presented to Bill Spriggs. (Congressman Cummings was actually a surprise guest speaker, so this intimate 7-minute recording was captured by none other than Bill Spriggs, via his mobile device!)

    Watch Elijah Cummings underscore the value of social insurance and the Academy's role, as he pays tribute to Bill Spriggs. 

    Elijah Cummings reminds us of the difference that one person like Bill Spriggs – and one organization like our Academy – can make. A few highlights from Elijah’s speech:

    “Bill Spriggs lives what he preaches, and he preaches lifting up people to make their lives the best that they can be. And it’s only fitting that this organization honor him, because this organization is about doing that very thing.”

    “I thank you for not being selfish. I thank you for not thinking that the world is limited, but thinking and knowing that the world is vast, and that you have a role to play in it. I thank you for not standing on the sidelines, even as you battle illness.”

    “As you journey on, continue to fight the good fight. Continue to surround yourself with the types of people in this room…Look to your right and look to your left and think about this…our diversity is not our problem, our diversity is our promise.”

    Please join us in keeping Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, a former member of the Academy’s Board of Directors, and the Cummings family in your thoughts during this difficult time.

    Thank you.


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    November 15, 2019
    Press Release
    For Immediate Release
    Contact: 

    Griffin Murphy, 202-243-7284

    The National Academy of Social Insurance has launched a new Study Panel on Economic Security, with thirty experts (see list below) from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds, to produce a comprehensive report on income supports and related policies within our nation’s range of economic security programs. The nation’s social insurance infrastructure effectively serves millions of Americans, but rising inequality and demographic changes are among a number of factors exposing gaps in programs initially established during the Great Depression.

    The Study Panel’s report will identify options for how current social insurance and social assistance programs might be modified to adapt to current economic challenges facing Americans, including a range of potential funding sources needed to fill gaps. The Study Panel expects to issue a final report by the end of 2020.

    “This is a crucial undertaking at this moment in time as, historically, employer-based work has been the primary means through which most Americans have sought income security. While this remains the case today, a plethora of statistics show that employer-based work is decreasing over time and that income security for many who are working is lacking,” noted William Rodgers III, Chief Economist at the Heldrich Center for Workforce Development. “The greater financial uncertainty has increased the anxiety of a growing number of Americans, their families, and their communities.”

    The Study Panel will be co-chaired by three of the Academy’s officers: William Rodgers III (Board Chair), Reneé Landers (Board Vice Chair), and Jason Fichtner (Treasurer). Kathryn Anne Edwards, Associate Economist, RAND Corporation and Professor at Pardee RAND Graduate School, will serve as Principal Investigator. The Academy’s CEO, William Arnone, will direct the overall project.

    “The Study Panel’s activities,” Kathryn Edwards explains, “will be guided by four working groups of panel members: Early Life; Middle Life; Late Life; and Financing. The three life-stage working groups will examine policy options to address existing shortfalls in income security for their given subsets of the population. As the ages for these stages of life vary depending on a given individual, the working groups have not set specific ages for each.

    The Financing working group will examine options for raising revenue and the potential impacts of utilizing a given revenue source. The Panel as a whole will then work to outline policy packages for income security across the lifespan, given the revenue constraints analyzed by the Financing group.

    Inspired by the 1935 Committee on Economic Security, the Study Panel will focus on the Committee’s goal for an ideal economic security system:

    “A program of economic security, as we vision it, must have as its primary aim the assurance of an adequate income to each human being in childhood, youth, middle age, or old age—in sickness or in health.” - Report to the President of the Committee on Economic Security

    “The extent to which this overarching goal of ‘assured income’ may be achieved through work, social insurance, social assistance, tax credits, and a guaranteed income,” notes William Arnone, “is the key question the Panel will address as it deliberates over the next twelve to fourteen months.”

    The Economic Security Study Panel includes economists, lawyers, and business professionals, in addition to a number of individuals with experience with the federal government, state government, labor unions, actuarial science, social work, the community of people with disabilities, and other sectors.

     

    Study Panel Members

    *Jason J. Fichtner, Co-Chair, Associate Director of the Master’s in International Economics and Finance and Senior Lecturer of International Economics, Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS)   

    *Renée M. Landers, Co-Chair, Professor of Law and Director of the Health Law Concentration, Suffolk University Law School           

    *William M. Rodgers III, Co-Chair, Professor of Public Policy and Chief Economist at the Heldrich Center for Workforce Development, Rutgers University                                                     

    Nancy J. Altman , President, Social Security Works and Chair, Strengthen Social Security Coalition

    Peter Barnes, Author, With Liberty and Dividends for All

    Lily Batchelder, Robert C. Kopple Family Professor of Law, New York University          

    Heather Boushey, President & CEO and Co-founder, Washington Center for Equitable Growth

    *Harry Conaway, Executive Director, Policy Futures Network      

    Peter B. Edelman, Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Law and Public Policy and Faculty Director, Center on Poverty and Inequality, Georgetown University Law Center

    Christina FitzPatrick, Policy Development and Integration Director, AARP

    *Howard Fluhr, Chairman Emeritus, The Segal Group     

    *Martha Ford, Senior Executive Officer, Federal Public Policy, The Arc    

    Laura A. Fortman, Commissioner, Maine Department of Labor   

    Robert Greenstein, Founder and President, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities            

    Samuel Hammond, Director of Poverty and Welfare Policy, Niskanen Center

    Bradley L. Hardy, Associate Professor Department of Public Administration and Policy, American University

    G. William Hoagland, Senior Vice President, Bipartisan Policy Center       

    *Kilolo Kijakazi, Institute Fellow and Director of the Integrated Financial Coaching Project, Urban Institute

    Elaine Maag, Principal Research Associate, Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center 

    Joseph J. Minarik, Senior Vice President and Director of Research, Committee for Economic Development 

    David Nexon, President and Founder, Nexon Policy Insights        

    David R. Riemer, Author, Putting Government in its Place             

    Kathleen Romig, Senior Policy Analyst, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

    James Roosevelt, Jr., Health Care Attorney, Verrill Dana and Clinical Instructor, Tufts University School of Medicine  

    Suzanne Simonetta, Federal Policy Analyst          

    Timothy M. Smeeding, Lee Rainwater Distinguished Professor of Public Affairs and Economics, University of Wisconsin-Madison

    William E. Spriggs, Professor of Economics, Howard University and Chief Economist, AFL-CIO       

    Andrew L. Stern, Senior Fellow, Economic Security Project           

    *Rebecca Vallas, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress    

    Stephen A. Wandner, Research Fellow, Upjohn Institute and Visiting Fellow, Urban Institute 

    *National Academy of Social Insurance Board Member

    Since its founding in 1986, the National Academy of Social Insurance has provided rigorous inquiry and insights into the functioning of our nation’s social insurance programs – Social Security, Medicare, Unemployment Insurance, and Workers’ Compensation. Comprised of over 1,000 of the nation’s top experts in social insurance and related policies and programs, the Academy studies how social insurance can continue to meet the changing needs of American families, employees, and employers, including new frontiers for social insurance. To learn more about the Academy’s work, please visit www.nasi.org, or follow @socialinsurance on Twitter.


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    Too many hours spent working and leading a very busy lifestyle can really take a tool on your body. Why not ease some of the aches and pain away with a great massage? Scheduling an appointment is quick and easy, and your health insurance may cover the cost for you. Learn more in the following article.

    When giving a massage, consider using a little bit of oil. Oil helps you to rub your hands over the skin more easily, and it also makes it easier to go deeper with pressure while giving the massage. Almond oil, olive oil and baby oil are all good choices. If you wish, add a little essential oil to make the massage fragrant.

    Massages are a great way to reduce stress and relive pain. If you deal with back pain constantly or are under a lot of stress, a massage should be part of your life regularly. Seek out a loved one or a professional to give you a proper massage.

    After a massage, drink plenty of water to remove toxins from your body. When you have a massage, toxins are released into your body and must be removed. By drinking at least two quarts of water right after a massage, the toxins will be removed. If you do not drink the required amounts of water, you may experience stiffness and pain from the massage.

    It is important that the area in which you are giving a massage is not noisy. Reduce external noise to create a peaceful, serene environment. The whole point of a message is to be ad relaxing as possible. Move to a less noisy location if you have to, or choose a quieter time of day. This will help you maintain a level of relaxation and calm.

    After you give a massage to someone, make sure that they take a warm bath. This will help to further the effect of the massage and soothe the muscles even more. After this person takes the bath, they will feel more refreshed and looser then they ever had in their entire life.

    If you will be getting a massage to have some stress relieved, go with an aromatherapy massage. Along with a massage, the therapist will use essential oils on your capillaries in order to relax the body. Most of these oils come from flowers, roots, and herbs and are completely safe.

    The powers of a healthy massage should not be underestimated. You can reduce your pain and stress and increase your energy by having a massage. Whatever health issues you may be suffering from, getting a massage can really help and you should give one a try.

    Slow movements during a massage are more soothing. Apply pressure with different areas of your hands and fingers. Also make sure to use your weight so you don’t get tired.

    The light and gentle massage technique is often referred to as Swedish. It helps increase circulation and relax your partner. This type of massage is also excellent for athletes who have muscle fatigue. You must be careful with this type of massage and listen to your partner. They could have injuries and if the massage is painful, you need to stop.

    Let your massage therapist know if anything begins to hurt too much. Some massage techniques can cause some discomfort, so you need to be aware of that. Ask the therapist to ease up in certain areas if you find that you are beginning to tense up because something is too painful.

    Make sure to rise slowly after a message. Since you are not used to your body being massaged in this way, it is important to let it adjust back to normal. You will probably feel a little lightheaded upon standing up; therefore, be careful to ensure you are balanced.

    Have you been having trouble sleeping at night? This is a common problem that a lot of people have in common. If you are leery about taking prescription or over the counter sleep aids, there is a solution. Having a massage relaxes you mind, body and spirit, which helps you to fall asleep easier each night.

    What should one use for a self-massage? Whatever you can use! If you’re massaging a knot out of your thigh, why not use your elbow? Is your neck sore? Fingers will do, but you can also buy a massaging neck roller. Try out different items and body parts and see what works for you.

    When giving a massage to someone, you need to be careful about the amount of pressure you are putting in them. Applying too much pressure could cause damage to their nerves, joints and muscles. Also, you should be massaging toward the heart, as applying the wrong way could cause damage to veins.

    You should talk to your masseuse when you are getting a deep tissue or sports massage. While there is no harm in shutting your eyes and relaxing, you also should speak up if you feel any pain, tightness or other uncomfort. This way they will be able to focus on healing that specific area, or stay away from it if needed.

    One of the most enjoyable bonding activities between baby and parent, or other loved one, is a massage. Just grab a bottle of baby oil, take off your jewelry and make sure your hands are warm, and start at the top or bottom. Anything you do is likely to be enjoyable if you’re gentle.

    When you plan to book an appointment for a massage, call up a few local spas and ask them what they have to offer. You may find that they provide a massage style which you’d like to try out, or that they don’t offer the old standby you’d prefer to use.

    As you surely know by now, there are just so many benefits to getting a massage, especially on a regular basis. Whether it’s from a professional or a good friend, a massage can be the difference between living life to the fullest or walking around in agony. Hopefully this article has provided you with helpful information.

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    You are looking for information that is clear and easy to understand when it comes to techniques for how to improve your memory. You want to make sure that the language is not above your head. This article will be exactly the resource you need for this information.

    If you are looking to improve your memory a little bit, then use the knowledge that you have by teaching others. Doing this makes your brain fire in a different way, and it helps in increasing memory. The trick is to teach something that you are genuinely interested in sharing.

    Take advantage of social networking sites to remember birthdays. Take the time to invite all your friends to join you on your social networking site, and be sure to ask them when their birthdays are and enter this information in the birthday reminder program provided so that you will always be notified in advance.

    Like an actor does before putting on a play, rehearsing what you learn is a great way to improve your memory. If you are attempting to study, recite the problems and answers aloud, and you will absorb the information easier, and ultimately, retain it more efficiently. This is a great way to improve your overall memory.

    In order to remember where you put things, it is a good idea to organize your possessions. By having similar items put together, you do not have to worry about scrambling around, looking for things. Also, you can try labeling boxes or storage containers, writing down what is in each box. This is sensible, whether you have a good memory or not.

    It is important that you stop drinking sugary drinks, like soda, when you are trying to improve your memory. Believe it or not, sugary drinks increase your blood glucose level, which in turn, deteriorates your brain function and memory. Instead, try to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day.

    If you constantly have trouble remembering certain things, find ways to eliminate the problem once and for all. For instance, if you can never remember where you placed your car keys, put a peg by your front door where you can hang your keys the minute you enter your house. Make a list of the items you most frequently forget and then figure out a simple way to remember each of the items on your list.

    Exercise your brain frequently. Consider activities where you need to improve. Repeating what you already know will lead nowhere and will not create new connections among your brain cells. Break your routines frequently and find new ways of doing your everyday chores. Choose activities which are new, fun and challenging.

    Write important appointments or events on a calendar, and make sure that you look at the calender every day. If you are a cell phone owner, most cell phones have a daily reminder or calendar in which you can program upcoming events.

    The idea of losing one’s memory is easily one of the strongest, anxiety-inducing aspects of growing older. Older people, especially those with dementia or degenerative brain diseases, should take prescription medication to help protect their brains from memory loss.

    It may sound silly, but one way to improve memory is to surround yourself with good friends, and to maintain an active social life. A Harvard study suggests that those who had active and fulfilling social lives, showed rates of cognitive decline significantly lower than their less socially active peers.

    Carefully focus on what you are trying to memorize. This is especially important when you are studying. Never try to multitask. Turn off the television, turn off the radio. Just focus on what you need to memorize and the knowledge you need to retain. Many things can distract you without you even realizing it.

    When trying to commit a long list of information to memory, it is usually better to arrange the information in chunks or smaller units and categories to help make the information easier to remember. As an example, it is easier to remember a telephone number as three units of three, three, and four numbers rather than a long string of ten numbers. The same tactics work when remembering social security numbers and computer passwords.

    If you are having problems concentrating or memorizing things, try getting more sleep. Your brain needs at least six to eight hours of sleep a night to function properly. If you have a sleep deficit, it can show in your cognitive abilities. If you’re having problems getting enough sleep, don’t ignore this; consult your physician. Very few people can manage to stay healthy in the longterm with only a few hours sleep per night, so don’t be fooled by the claims of those who insist that they can get by on 5 hours per night.

    You need to actively prepare your mind before you start to try to remember something. In the same way a runner needs to stretch first, you need to visualize yourself learning what you are trying to commit to memory. This can also help you to be more prepared and organized as well.

    You can help improve your memory while studying if you create a consistent and specific schedule of learning the material during a series of particular sessions. This way, you have ample time to absorb the information and retain it. Research indicates that this method helps people recall information better than all-night “cram sessions” where all the information is tackled at one time.

    Learn how to use mnemonic devices. Mnemonic devices can be the association of a concept with a familiar object or remember acronyms or rhymes. Create your own mnemonic devices: you need to make sure they are meaningful and that you will remember what you associated the information with later on.

    In conclusion, you want to avoid all of the hard to understand technical jargon and just get the plain facts in regards to how to improve your memory function. This article provided many different easy to digest tips and hopefully you will be able to apply them.

    The post Techniques And Tips For Strengthening Your Memory appeared first on Home Living Aid.


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    Many of us have careers that rely on our ability to remember facts and figures. If we were to start slipping in our duty and causing productivity to drop, we would inevitably lose our careers. If you think this cannot happen to you, you are woefully wrong. Check out these great memory-saving tips.

    One of the best ways to store new information in memory is to relate it to something else that you are already familiar with. Creating a logical link between the new information and something else that you already know will increase your chances of being able to successfully recall that information later. The link you create functions as a trigger to recall the new information.

    Take advantage of social networking sites to remember birthdays. Take the time to invite all your friends to join you on your social networking site, and be sure to ask them when their birthdays are and enter this information in the birthday reminder program provided so that you will always be notified in advance.

    A useful memory tip for anyone needing to recall particular types of information, is to work on minimizing distractions in your surroundings. Competing stimuli can actually impede recollection and prevent easy access to stored information. By seeking peace and quiet, it will be easier to retrieve the desired data from your mind.

    It is important to get a sufficient amount of sleep if you are trying to improve your memory. Medical studies have shown that getting enough sleep every night can improve both short and long term memory. Your brain cannot absorb new information when your body has not gotten a lot of sleep.

    Keep a diary or calendar for appointments. This is extremely helpful in remembering important dates or events. Be consistent with it and keep it in the same place all the time. You should look at it every day to update it and to make sure there isn’t anything you are forgetting.

    If you have a hard time remembering to do important things, you may want to leave yourself a voice message. Looking at your phone and seeing that you have a message will help to remind you that you have something important thing to do. Text messaging is another convenient reminder technique.

    Try to avoid food high in salt and saturated fats, including fast food. It has been scientifically proven that these foods can lead to carotid artery disease, which cuts off the brain’s oxygen supply. Losing oxygen prevents the part of the brain that holds memory from learning and obtaining information.

    To help you memorize new material that you’re learning, a great technique to implement is the technique of visualization. When you are trying to remember information in a textbook, it can help to use photos and charts to retain what you are studying. Drawing your own versions of charts and graphs can also help you to memorize.

    Break complex information down into smaller, more memorable pieces. This simple trick is regularly used to help people remember large numbers. For instance, your credit card numbers, phone number and social security number are all broken down into smaller, hyphenated sections to make them easier to remember. You can do the same thing with any complex data that you are trying to recall.

    Engage your mind regularly in activities like puzzles or brain teasers to improve your memory. Not only are these activities fun, but they also improve attention and concentration while keeping your memory skills sharp. Brain games train your mind to work more efficiently and help form different thought patterns, enabling better retention of memories.

    A good tip to help improve your memory is to be more social. Studies have shown that our brains respond much better to socializing than if we were alone. People who socialize regularly will enjoy the benefit of a slower memory decline. Try being more social to improve your memory.

    Try not to keep memories in your head that are unneeded, such as information that you know you will never lose. It has been medically proven that getting rid of useless information frees up space in the brain for information that you are actually going to get use out of.

    Scent has a huge impact on memory. If you keep something that you enjoy smelling right next to where you keep things, you will have an easier time recalling where the object is. For example, if you keep a plug in air freshener right next to where you keep you wallet when you are home, you will have no problem remembering where it is.

    Adding fish oil to your diet really helps enhance your cognitive abilities. Fish oil contains Omega-3 fatty acids, which can help improve memory. Getting the dosage right is essential, so contact your physician before taking this supplement.

    An easy trick to remembering the name of a new person is to think of someone else with the identical name, then connect the two in your mind. You can even associate their name with that of someone famous. When you link the new name with familiar knowledge, it will help you remember the new name when you encounter your new friend again.

    Remembering and matching names with faces can be very difficult. Focus on the person’s face or a specific feature of their face; then try recalling an anecdote about them. With time and practice people’s names will spring to mind more readily.

    Did you know that reading out loud can significantly increase your ability to memorize and recall new information? Reading the information as text and also hearing it with your ears exercises multiple pathways for information to get into your brain thus enhancing your chances for recall. In addition; when you read aloud you are more likely to focus on each word and not just quickly skim the text. So when you want to retain the information just speak up!

    Using tips like what you’ve just read will help you to keep your memory strong and active. The knowledge you absorb will be retained and you will be far less likely to suffer from memory loss as you progress in age. By just applying these simple tips, you could change your entire life.

    The post Apply This Advice To Your Life To Help With Your Memory appeared first on Home Living Aid.


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    Imagine having all of your memories vanish one by one, until you are essentially much like a over-sized newborn baby. Alzheimer’s disease is a disease that affects a persons memory, and can be devastating to the diagnosed loved-one’s family. This article will give you and your family some tips for coping with the emotional stress involved with this disease.

    Write down things you want to remember in order to improve your memory. This exercise causes blood to flow to the area of the brain which is responsible for memory. Great ways to put this technique to work include writing in a diary or journal, keeping up a written correspondence with a friend, of making extensive use of planners or written schedules.

    Visualizing yourself recalling information is actually a great way in which you can work to recall information. You are basically training your brain to be able to memorize items when you foresee yourself dipping into that memory bank to pull them out at a later date. Think of it like visualizing your hand turning a doorknob before you actually turn it.

    Becoming a teacher to retain knowledge as a student is a fantastic way to improve upon your memory. For example: Giving your friends a pop quiz and/or attempting to teach them new material will help you to learn it better yourself. Try this tactic when you need to study and you’ll be surprised at how much you remember.

    To better commit names to memory, repeat a person’s name after an introduction, and try to come up with something about the person that might help you remember his or her name. If you meet a Bob who mentions that he enjoys fishing, you might associate his name with a bobber like those used on a fishing line, for instance.

    If you have a hard time memorizing things, it is wise to try not to learn too many new things at the same time. Wait until you have fully memorized a piece of information before moving on to the other. Learning many things at the same time will just make everything scramble in your brain.

    Get plenty of high quality sleep to keep your memory as sharp as possible. Lack of sleep, or poor quality of sleep, can significantly reduce memory and make it difficult to retain information, especially if sleep deprivation is a pattern. Getting an adequate amount of high quality sleep goes a long way towards improving your memory.

    To improve your memory for the item you are studying, make sure it has the full focus of your attention. Memory works by taking important items from the present and storing them for recall later. If you aren’t focused on what you’re trying to learn, your brain won’t deem those facts important and won’t store them.

    Aid your memory by organizing facts into topic sets. Create outlines of study materials that are based on similar topics rather than when you originally learned that fact. Your brain remembers things better if they go together. By grouping similar concepts and topics together, you increase your chances of remembering those items later.

    When learning an abundance of new information all at once, it is important to take breaks, even if it is just for five minutes at a time. Letting your mind relax for a few minutes will keep it fresh so that you are able to absorb all of the information.

    Although you may have left the classroom far behind, you should never stop trying to learn new ways of thinking. When you stop learning, you actually stop stretching the area of the mind that aids in memory. There may be a point in time when you try to rely on your memory, only to find that it is failing you.

    You should use calendars, journals and other planning tools. A day planner is a great place in which to jot down things you need to remember. Establish a schedule of your day and keep looking at it. Writing these things down and looking at them will help your mind. You won’t have to worry about remembering every item and will have the information handy when you do need it.

    When you think about how your memory is, make sure you view yourself in a postivie light. If you think you have a bad memory, the self fulfilling prophecy will come into effect and you will have a harder time actually remembering things. Reward yourself for the things that you do remember, and you will see an improvement quickly.

    Keep your memory sharp by playing brain games often. Crossword puzzles, number games, and trivia are great examples. Brain games keep your memory sharp. They also improve your concentration level and attention span. Use them as a fun way to greatly enhance your cognitive abilities.

    Maintain cognitive abilities by taking fish oil supplements daily. Research has shown that omega-3 fatty acids, such as those contained in fish oil, may help boost your memory skills. Ask your doctor how much you should take based on your diet and body type.

    If you are studying new information, try switching up your routine a little bit. Endlessly repeating the same sort of study session can get boring. You may find that, after a while, you are no longer retaining the information. So switch up your routine. Pick a new time and a new place to study. The novelty of the change will help you in remembering.

    Use all of your senses to help your memorize. All of your senses use different portions of your brain, so you will not have to work as hard to recall the information. Visualize the item, smell it (if you can) and taste it (if it is food). The more effort you put into visualizing the object, the easier it will be to recall.

    As discussed in the beginning of this article, Alzheimer’s disease is a debilitating disease that affects your memory. Watching your mother or father’s memory, deteriorate in-front of your eyes, can be one of the most painful experiences that life has to offer. Apply the advice from this article to help you and your family cope with this devastating disease.

    The post Improve Your Memory With These Helpful Hints appeared first on Home Living Aid.


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    Are you trying to bulk up? Many people have the goal of putting on some muscle to be stronger and more attractive, but it can be difficult to figure out how to go about it. If you’re looking for tips on building muscle, look no further! Read on for the best methods.

    Stay active on your rest days. Being active increases your blood flow, and will help you to recover more quickly. The activity can be as simple as going for a walk. You can also go swimming, biking, or even get a massage. Engaging in these kinds of activities is significantly more effective than simply lying in bed all day.

    An often overlooked part of a good exercise program is warming up. Take your time increasing your muscle mass to avoid muscle strain and injuries to ligaments. Stretching before working out is the best way to avoid injury. Do five or ten minutes of light exercise before lifting, followed by a few light to intermediate sets of warm-up lifts.

    Talk to your doctor about which supplements are safe for you. You may be able to enhance your muscle building efforts with creatine and other types of supplements, but you need to know if they are healthy for you to take. Taking supplements is something you need to discuss with a doctor so you can build muscle safely and in a healthy way.

    Try doing real stairs instead of the stairs that your gym has. This can help change the perspective that you have for working out, give you an additional amount of motivation, burn more fat, and build more muscle. The additional scenery could also help you workout for a longer period of time.

    Use caution when taking creating supplements for long periods of time. If you have any kidney problems, do not use this supplement. Also, they have been implicated in causing heart arrhythmia’s, muscle compartment syndrome, and muscle cramps. Adolescents using this supplement are at the highest risk. Read the label and make sure that you do not take more than recommended amount.

    You should completely exert yourself when performing weight lifting exercises in order to maximize your muscle gain results. Do this by forcing yourself to keep doing one more repetition until you absolutely cannot. This sends a clear signal to your body that you need more muscle. Remember to get help from a spotter so that you do not suddenly drop the weight when you are finished.

    In order to build muscle, it is important to maintain detailed records of your progress, and how you got there. By taking the time to jot down a few notes on the exercises and repetitions performed in each workout session, you will be able to consistently build upon what you have already done, and continue to grow stronger and build more muscle.

    Adequate rest is important to your muscle-building program. Your body can perform the job of recovering from muscle fatigue best when you are resting, so make sure to get at least 8 hours of sleep a night. Failure to do this can even result in serious injury if your body becomes over tired.

    Performing squats is essential for lifting routines. The squat incorporates many different muscle groups. Not only are your glute and quad muscles activated, but your lower back, hamstrings, core, and shoulders are also utilized. People who do squats regularly have been proven to have more muscle mass than those who do not.

    When you first start working out, do not try increasing the weight you are lifting. Instead, work on improving your stamina by doing longer sets or simply more sets. Once working out becomes easier, you can start adding weight or trying harder exercises to keep your routine interesting and challenging.

    Knowing the best basic exercises for muscle building will give you fast track results. Be sure to include squats, dead lifts and bench presses to maximize your use of time and energy. These are the three tip muscle builders that will strengthen and build your muscles. Incorporate them into your regular routine and increase the number of repetitions you do in safe increments.

    Perform your lifting regimen every other day. After a vigorous workout, the protein synthesis process can take up to 48 hours to complete. In other words, your body builds muscle for up to two-day post-workout, and working out while your body is still recovering may undo your hard work. Enjoy the day of rest–it will help to maximize your results.

    Good sleep will work well with your muscle-building efforts. Since muscle building and recovery go hand in hand, you need to make certain your body is getting all the rest it needs. No getting enough sleep or rest can interfere with muscle building results and may even lead to injuries.

    Have reasonable and realistic expectations for yourself. The best hard bodies are the result of a lot of time and effort, so don’t expect to look like a body building world champion after a week or two of working out. Have a solid and healthy plan and dedicate yourself to it over a period of time. You will see results and doing it in a healthy and calculated manner will be much healthier for you.

    If you really want to build some significant muscle mass, you should consider using a creatine supplement. Not everyone benefits from the use of these products, but they may lead to increased muscle growth and are worth trying. If they do not work for you, then it is no loss.

    You should monitor your intake of carbohydrates. If your diet is too poor in carbs, your muscles will be used to fuel your body while you exercise. You should be eating between two and three grams of carbs for each pound of your weight every day. Make sure you are getting your carbs from healthy aliments.

    As you can see, putting on muscle is something that anyone can do with the proper knowledge. Now that you know what you need to do to get the body you want, soon you’ll be looking and feeling great. Don’t wait! Apply these tips now, to see a big improvement!

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    Nobody wants to be overly skinny or overweight. If you find yourself in one of these categories, you may want to consider developing a muscle building routine. If you can develop a productive routine, you can say goodbye to your old body and hello to the new and improved you.

    After muscle building workout sessions, be sure to rest well. Many people fail to do this after their workouts, which can be detrimental to their building larger muscle mass. It is when you are resting that your body grows and repairs itself. If you fail to rest after muscle building workouts, or you cut the rest period short, this over training can prevent your body from becoming larger. As you can see, it is important to refrain from cutting back on rest periods that your body needs.

    Eat a lot of protein. It’s a well known fact that the more protein your body can store, the more muscle you can build. Try to have at least one gram of the protein you need for every pound that you weigh. For instance, a 150 pound woman should attempt to eat approximately 150 grams, meat and other protein, every day.

    Stay active on your rest days. Being active increases your blood flow, and will help you to recover more quickly. The activity can be as simple as going for a walk. You can also go swimming, biking, or even get a massage. Engaging in these kinds of activities is significantly more effective than simply lying in bed all day.

    Before you workout, drink a shake that is filled with amino acids along with carbohydrates and protein. This will increase the way your body deals with protein, and will help you get the look that you are craving. Anytime, you are consuming a liquid meal; your body will absorb it faster than eating a regular meal.

    Try varying your grips. Once you become experienced in working out, your muscles will start to resist any growth on exercises that are familiar to them. Different grips can help to make these familiar exercises different, which can cause additional muscle growth. Examples of exercise where you can change the grip are barbell rows, barbell curls, pull-ups, and bench presses. Try using wide grips, close hand grips, reverse grips, and even mixed grips that include having one hand up and one hand down.

    Try to create a body that looks bigger than your body may actually be. Increase the size of the muscles around your chest and legs. Doing so will often create the illusion that your waist is smaller then it really is, giving you an appearance of greater upper body girth.

    Utilize pyramid training. A single weight lifting regimen doesn’t yield results forever. This is why you should attempt to pyramid your weight by using heavier weights throughout every set. Heavy sets allow you to build up your strength, and the medium weights maximize your muscle growth. This allows you to gain both strength and size in just one workout.

    Any time you are lifting a heavy free weight, it is very important that you have a spotter. This is someone who knows the routine that you are doing and also understands when you are requiring help. Many times this person can become a type of gym buddy as well.

    Utilize supersets in your workout regimen. By doing two exercises back to back without resting, the working muscles are placed on a much higher demand. Supersets typically include opposing muscle groups, which include biceps and triceps. By doing an isolation move after a large compound exercise, additional growth can occur.

    Keep protein going into your body both before and after a workout for maximum muscle building effects. About half an hour to an hour before working out, make sure to consume a good 20 grams of protein. This can easily be accommodated with a couple of glasses of milk or protein shake. Do the same an hour after your work out also, and you will enhance your muscle-building efforts!

    If you are unsure of what exercises to do more often, throw in more dips, push-ups and chin ups. These exercises have stood the test of time in their proven ability to build upper-body mass. Nor are they likely to be replaced by other possibilities in the near future.

    Be careful when deciding which moves you will do with more weight; some moves are not favorable to extra weight. Some moves that can cause injury include neck work, split squats, and dips. Some exercises where you can safely use larger weights include: presses, rows and deadlifts.

    While bodybuilders typically focus on the intake of protein in their diet, fruits and vegetables are also important. Many vitamins and minerals are lost through sweat during workouts. Fruits and vegetables do not add a lot of calories to the diet, but do replace these nutrients while also adding fiber.

    Do not allow your forearms to interfere in your goals for muscle growth. Forearms can be built by performing wrist curls, hammer curls, and reverse curls. If you’re striving to increase the size of your forearms, do wrist curls, reverse curls, and hammer curls. However, if you place more emphasis on your total-body gains, then do farmer walks. This can be achieved by picking up heavy dumbbells and taking slow, long steps. This causes your forearms to be overloaded isometrically with a lot of weight.

    Train two to three times each week for optimal muscle growth. Exercising your muscles at least three times a week provides enough exercise to stimulate the muscles to grow. Novices should start with just a couple of sessions, a week, while experienced trainers may wish to work out more than that.

    You are now ready to start the development of a muscle building routine. By making good use of the provided information and dedicating yourself to your new routine, you could be greeting the new you in the mirror sooner than you think. Keep positive thoughts and stay consistent and you will succeed.

    The post Start Increasing Your Muscle Mass Today With These Tips appeared first on Home Living Aid.


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    Building muscle can be quite the challenge for just about any human. It takes hard work and serious dedication to a routine to develop the muscle mass that many people dream of. There are tips in this article that can help you with this challenge and make it a bit easier to succeed.

    Always take in enough vegetables. Many diets designed to help you build muscle focus too much on carbohydrates and proteins without including the necessary vegetables. Vegetables are packed with vitamins and minerals, two things that are absent from high concentrations in protein and carbohydrate-rich foods. An additional benefit is that these are all great sources of fiber. Fiber will allow your body to utilize protein more efficiently.

    As you are lifting weights, do your movements slowly. Moving too fast uses the body’s momentum instead of letting the muscles do the work. Likewise, don’t swing the weights, because this keeps the isolated muscle from doing the work. This is why going slow seems harder. The isolated muscle is doing its work!

    Stay active on your rest days. Being active increases your blood flow, and will help you to recover more quickly. The activity can be as simple as going for a walk. You can also go swimming, biking, or even get a massage. Engaging in these kinds of activities is significantly more effective than simply lying in bed all day.

    Proper warm-up exercises are essential when you are trying to increase your muscle mass. As you build muscle and get stronger, you can actually be vulnerable to injury. Taking the time to warm up can prevent such injuries. Before doing any heavy lifting, exercise for about 10 minutes then do warm up sets.

    Motivate yourself by setting goals that are short-term, and then rewarding yourself once you attain them. Building muscle needs a true commitment that lasts a while, so it is critical to constantly motivate yourself. Give yourself healthy rewards along the way to stay motivated. As an example, you can get yourself a relaxing massage that will help improve your blood flow and give your muscles a chance to recover.

    Mix your routine up from time to time. As you repeat any particular workout routine, it could become boring, which can prevent you from working out. Try to very your workout each day to keep working different muscles. By changing your workout, you keep your workout fresh and you’ll be more likely to stick with it.

    Massage your muscles regularly. You can do this on your own by making use of a foam roller, tennis ball or any other tool that will help to relieve the stiffness of sore muscles. You could even consider going for regular massages at the parlor. Whatever means you use; you must be sure to relax those muscles regularly.

    Knowing the number of sets that work for your body is vital for building muscle mass. Many experts recommend you do around twelve to sixteen sets for your large muscle groups, such as your back, chest, and legs, and about nine to twelve sets for your smaller muscle groups, such as your calves, shoulders, and arms. Although this might work for some people, this can cause others to overtrain or undertrain. This is why you must understand the way your body responds to workouts.

    Make sure that you are eating healthy foods every 3 hours. Figure out how many calories you will need to consume every day, and then divide that by six. The number that you get will tell you how many calories you will need to consume while you are eating your meals.

    Utilize pyramid training. A single weight lifting regimen doesn’t yield results forever. This is why you should attempt to pyramid your weight by using heavier weights throughout every set. Heavy sets allow you to build up your strength, and the medium weights maximize your muscle growth. This allows you to gain both strength and size in just one workout.

    Keep in mind that muscles don’t grow while you’re working out; they grow during the resting period when they feel sore. For this reason, it’s most efficient to alternate workout days to give your muscles time to rest and grow. Working out heavily every single day will just wear your muscles down.

    Knowing what supplements to take can make a big difference in muscle building. Many people use dietary supplements to help them build muscle. Educating yourself on proper supplement intake is just as important as strength training itself. So it is important you understand what supplements to take before you begin a workout and after a workout.

    Only plan to do three or four workouts each week. Taking days off is important, as this gives your body time to recuperate. Working out a lot more than you can handle could injure your body, making it counterproductive in the end.

    You have an overwhelming selection of workout machines or programs for you to try. It is sometimes easy to forget that not all methods are effective for all goals or all athletes.
    Building muscles it’s easily accomplished when you customize a routine and stick with it. There are many options for building muscles. Do your research and investigate the best workout tools and techniques to get the look that you want. You may even have a workout friend that can help you increase your result.

    If you have built yourself, an effective routine that provides you with muscle-building results you are happy with, resist the temptation to change things up just for the sake of novelty. Change for the sake of change is not worth it if what you are changing is already getting the job done.

    Complete a thorough analysis of your own body to best determine what you are capable of and what you should not do just yet. This gives you a starting point to establish your goals. Make sure to consider your weight, percentage of fat, and any health concerns when conducting your own analysis.

    Utilize the helpful information that is included in this article to plan out a successful workout routine that you can use to build muscle in the rapid, yet safe manner that you hope for. Keep positive thoughts and remain patient and you are sure to reach your muscle building goals.

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    Eating right and following a good nutritional plan is important for the health and welfare of mind, body, and soul. With so much advice from so many so-called experts out there, it can be hard to make good choices. The advice in this article stands apart from the rest. So, if you heed it, you will be on right path.

    Niacin is an important part of a healthy diet. It helps in the maintenance of the skin, the gastrointestinal tract and mucous membranes. Niacin also assists in circulating the blood and nerve function. Niacin works in the body to release energy from fats, proteins, and carbohydrates in food for effective use in the body.

    To improve your nutrition, you should keep track of what you eat. All food contains a certain number of calories that you should add up, to make sure you meet the amount of calories that you need everyday. Counting calories also helps you to reduce the quantity of food that you eat, if you tend to overeat.

    Nutrition is a science with some objective elements. But there is also a subjective aspect to nutrition. While studying nutrition, you need to be mindful of your individual needs as well as rules that apply generally. For instance, a person with celiac disease needs to avoid certain grains, while these grains may be fine for other people.

    Try being a vegetarian at least one day a week. A vegetarian is in some ways healthier than being a meat eater. Even if you are not ready to make a leap to complete vegetarianism, you can get some of the benefits of a vegetarian diet by taking a break from meat completely one day every week.

    Make the transition from whole milk to skim milk, but do it slowly so that you can adjust to it. Start by switching to 2% milk then 1%, and finally settle on skim milk. The difference is that skim milk has 95 percent less fat and 50 percent less calories than whole milk.

    Choose organic fruits and vegetables whenever possible. Organic food is grown without pesticides and fungicides. While organic foods can be more expensive, the long term health benefits save money in future health care costs. The more unnatural things you can cut out of your diet the healthier you will be.

    If you are hosting a luncheon, and you desire to keep the food as healthy as possible, consider serving a healthy version of tuna salad. Tuna is low in calories, rich in protein, and is a great choice for getting omega-3 fatty acids. Purchase a few cans of white beans, and puree the beans in a blender. Once pureed, mix the beans with Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise, and combine both mixtures with the tuna. Instantly, you have made a healthier version of tuna salad that will go a long way in serving a large gathering.

    As advertised, eggs are most certainly incredible and edible, so never forget to use them in a diet. Egg whites contain zero fat, very few calories and they pack a powerful punch of protein. They also act as a great vessel for other ingredients and as a great carrier of flavor. Best of all, eggs are really cheap at every grocery store in the land.

    To give your metabolism a boost, eat a healthy breakfast. Skipping your morning meal may seem like a good idea when you’re trying to lose weight, but going without breakfast actually slows your metabolism. Eating a bowl of healthy cereal or fruit in the morning, will help your body to burn calories more efficiently throughout the day.

    Try using descriptive words regarding its texture and looks, and avoid what it tastes like to start with. For instance, you might get them interested by talking about how the texture is similar to another food that they already like.

    To naturally detoxify your body, look for foods that are high in soluble fiber. When your body digests soluble fiber, it turns it to water, which makes it ideal for detoxification. Foods rich in this nutrient include carrots, apples, and green peas. These foods also provide your body with essential nutrients, making them a great way to boost your overall health.

    Eating fruits and vegetables that are in season is a great way to save money and also get your vitamins. Foods that are in season will taste better and you will probably enjoy them much more. Buying foods that are in season will cost you less because they have so many of them that need to sell.

    A great nutrition tip is to opt for white meat when you’re eating chicken or turkey. Although dark meat may taste good, it is much higher in fat. White meat is leaner and much healthier for you. Stay away from the thighs as well and stick with the breast.

    Watch your sodium consumption carefully. Too much salt can be a cause of high blood pressure. Too little salt can be dangerous if you’re a hard and heavy athlete. Visit your physician or discuss your sodium intake with a Dietitian to make sure that you’re at your ideal levels.

    Try to make all of one day’s meals completely vegetarian. This will help you build your meal around your vegetables and grains. It is a great way to eat healthy. You may find that you enjoy the vegetarian style of eating and may plan to continue to do so. This will provide you with a reason to try different preparation options for vegetables.

    When preparing meals for yourself, it is a good idea to add some cayenne or other spicy peppers to your meal. It has been proven that eating spicy food can make you feel full in a shorter amount of time than mild food and so you will end up eating less.

    So, in order to keep your mind, body, and soul on the right path, then you need to establish good nutrition as a foundation in your life. This can be achieved by learning about nutrition and taking the advice from articles such as this one.

    The post Caring For Your Body Means Caring About Nutrition appeared first on Home Living Aid.


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    If you want to stay healthy, eating a proper diet is very important, but knowing what you should and shouldn’t eat can be confusing. It seems like every day a new study says that some food is either very unhealthy or very good for you. This article gives you some sensible nutritional advice; advice that most people can follow.

    Do not make the mistake of avoiding fat entirely. Some fat is necessary to provide a feeling of fullness and help your body function properly, but try to stick to healthier fats rather than the partially hydrogenated version found in most packaged snack food. A little fat with a meal causes carbohydrates to digest more slowly for a lower rise in blood sugar, resulting in more constant energy and less hunger later.

    Try to fit as many fresh vegetables in your diet as possible. Instead of having mashed potatoes with dinner, have fresh asparagus or green beans. Fresh vegetables taste better than frozen or canned, and have more of the nutrients your body requires. They are also more filling, which means you are less likely to eat more fatty foods.

    Try to eat most of your meals at home. When you are on the go, you tend to eat high calorie foods and a greater amount of them. At home, you can control what ingredients you use and make sure they are fresh and healthy. This cuts calories and enhances family time.

    Try not to buy into the fact that fruit juices and vegetable juices are a healthy beverage option. Many store bought varieties are riddled with sugar, sodium, and other additives that make them no better than something like a soda. It is best to stick to whole fruits. However, if you do desire fruit juice, the best way is to make your own with a juicer and fresh fruit and vegetables.

    Make sure you eat foods containing vitamin C everyday. Humans are unable to produce or store vitamin C and deficiency can cause soft gums, skin hemorrhages, brittle teeth and nails, slow wound healing, anemia and eventually scurvy. Good sources of vitamin C are citrus fruits like limes, lemons and oranges.

    A glass of wine a day is very healthy for your body. Scientists have found that a Mediterranean diet is actually one of the most healthy diets that one can have. This diet consist of vegetables, lots of fruit, whole grains, and olive oil in all of their meals.

    When people go out to eat, it has become the norm to order an appetizer. Many times, the appetizer has as much calories or more then you should be eating for an entire meal. Instead of ordering something that could be a meal in itself, order your salad to come before your meal.

    A good nutrition tip is to invest in a shaker bottle. Shaker bottles are a great way to transport protein shakes and they are invaluable for anyone that works out. They’re usually available at a cheap price and if taken care of, they can last a long time.

    If you are having a bagel in the morning for breakfast, try not to use a lot of cream cheese as a topping. Cream cheese contains a high level of fat, and can make you feel lethargic during the day. This can also hurt your energy level when working out at the gym.

    When eating at a salad bar, you can make yourself a wonderful nutritious meal. Load up on the dark leafy greens, add some carrots and peppers along with other vegetables that look tasty. Don’t pile on thick creamy dressing, or it won’t be healthy for you to eat at all.

    If you are going to have an alcoholic drink while at the bar with your friends, avoid cocktails that are loaded with sweet syrups and juices. Your best bet would be to have something like a gin and tonic or a light beer. These have much less calories.

    Make sure you drink lots of water each day. Sports drinks, sodas, coffee and even juices do not count toward this. Drinks other than water are filled with sugar and additives that may do more to dehydrate you than hydrate you. Drink more water than anything else, and if you have a beverage like alcohol that is dehydrating, make sure to drink twice as much water as it, to balance out.

    Use a list when grocery shopping. People who go to the grocery store unprepared tend to spend more and buy less healthy food than those who go armed with a list of healthy foods they have decided to eat. Sit down and make a plan of meals to make that week. Next, make a corresponding list of ingredients you will need to prepare them as well as healthy snacks.

    Try to change your entire household at the same time. If mom and daughter are eating healthy but dad and son are not, it will be difficult to stay motivated. Talk to your family about how this is important to you and they should be willing to at least try to help you within the house.

    Eat smaller meals more frequently. Eating smaller-portioned meals that are several hours apart five or six times a day not only helps with digestion, but also helps to keep your weight down. Also, you will reduce your weight and keep the toxins out. Eating frequently also keeps hunger pangs at bay, making it less likely that you’ll binge.

    To get the maximum health effects, try to consume as many raw foods as you possibly can. Studies have shown that many essential nutrients in foods, when cooked, are lost due to their inability to survive temperatures of around or higher than 120 degrees. Therefore, make it a point to incorporate as many raw foods as you can in your daily meals, so your body can benefit from the increased nutrient value.

    Eating a healthy, nutritious diet shouldn’t be a difficult chore. It really isn’t that hard to keep yourself in good shape by eating right. Just remember some of what you’ve learned from this article. Follow the basic guidelines you’ve read about, and you won’t have too much trouble getting the nutrition you need.

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    A nutritious diet is the foundation of good health, so it’s very important to make sure that you know how to eat properly. Many of us assume we are eating a healthy diet, when really, we may be missing vital nutrients. This article will give you some great tips for ensuring that your diet is as healthy as possible.

    Aspire to eat between 600-900 milligrams of garlic daily. It fights many health problems including cancer and heart issues. It is also full of properties that fight off fungus and bacteria and help your organs stay healthy. With all of these great abilities, garlic, whether as an extract or in clove form, is an important every day food.

    If you’re looking to improve your nutritive intake, but aren’t yet ready to make huge changes, start with small ones. For example, if you like white bread, it’s completely painless to switch to one of the “soft wheat” breads currently available. Some brands are as white as their low-fiber white-bread cousins, yet they provide much more fiber per slice.

    Many people take an inconsistent approach to nutrition because the subject isn’t naturally exciting. They may start the day with a donut, then feel guilty later and try to go for something healthier. If you are one of these people, consider simplifying things for yourself by making different, less unhealthy choices when you get your junk-food fix. If you like donuts, try a low-fat muffin next time. Then maybe work your way down to an egg-white flatbread. Also try changing your half-and-half to milk. If you make slow, incremental changes, soon you will find that you’re making more nutritious choices and that the old junky choices just don’t taste as good.

    When considering your nutrition, do not over do it with vitamins and supplements. Multivitamin pills can never replace the amount of nutrients that you receive in eating food. While they are good to compliment your meal with, never substitute a pill for real food. Your body might not react well to a large intake of concentrated vitamins.

    Be aware of what you drink. Avoid any drinks that contain alcohol or sugar, replacing them with water, low-fat milk or tea. Sugary drinks are packed full of empty calories that add no nutritional value to your diet. Drinking one sugary drink a day can cause you to put on unnecessary weight, and increases your risk of developing high blood pressure.

    If you are out at a supermarket, do not buy junk food. If you have junk food lying around the house, there is a good chance that you will eventually consume it. Not purchasing this food in the first place is the best way that you can prevent this from happening.

    The key to better nutrition is gaining a sound education of portion sizes, and your body’s daily caloric processing ability. For most people the FDA has issued charts to help you get this information, but for some people with higher or lower metabolisms this can vary. The main thing to focus on is balancing out a good variety of different foods for your body to get a little bit of everything.

    Unless you are diabetic, avoid eating two to three hours before you go to bed. Do something to take your mind off food like putting away leftovers, washing the dishes, or cleaning your teeth. Finish your evening with a nice cup of herbal tea. This will help you to relax and get to sleep.

    It’s smart to steer clear of junk food, but even smarter to recognize other foods that are equally disastrous to your health. This will include food that is oily or fried, processed, or even high in simple carbohydrates such as starch, sugar or flour.

    Not everyone likes to talk about it, but everybody knows it: Fiber keeps your regular. Meeting your recommended daily allowance of fiber is easier than ever with commercially prepared over-the-counter fiber supplements, not to mention the abundance of fiber found naturally in popular foods like oats, whole grains, lettuce, fresh spinach, and most other vegetables. Getting enough fiber also helps to lower your risk of developing heart disease and certain types of diabetes.

    It can be hard to maintain proper nutrition during pregnancy when you’re feeling tired, so plan ahead for days when you just don’t have the energy to cook. Take advantage of those days when you are felling good to make a second tray of lasagna or a double batch of chili to freeze for later use.

    People that are big fans of snacking sometimes find it hard to give up chips even though they are greasy and full of salt. Instead of giving up chips you can switch to baked chips. They are much lower in fat and they are not greasy, but you will need to keep and eye on how much sodium they contain.

    Good nutrition can help you avoid gaining excessive weight during pregnancy. While doctors may differ in the exact amount of weight you should gain over the nine months, they can all agree that weight gain from healthy, nutritional eating, is far better than weight gain resulting from indulging your cravings for chips and candy.

    To avoid acne, stay away from greasy foods. They will only cause more acne to come, and they really aren’t good for your body either. The grease can get in your pores just by eating the food, but also by being on your hands, and then touching your face.

    Sometimes, it is hard to stay on track with a healhty diet while traveling. There are times that you may have to stop at a fast food restaurant. If you do, there are a few things you can do to cut calories. First, order your burger with no cheese or condiments. Also, if possible, choose grilled meats or a salad bar.

    Knowing how to eat a healthy, nutritious diet isn’t really very hard. The basic principles of nutrition are easy to learn. If you utilize the information you’ve learned from this article, you shouldn’t have any problem eating a healthy diet. Before you know it, you’ll be in better health than ever.

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