7 Steps to Better Heart Health

Heart Health

7 Steps to Better Heart Health

Guest Post Written By Aurora McCausland

 

We all want to be healthier. If you’re healthier, you not only live longer, but you enjoy your life better for the years that you are alive. There’s no point in living an incredibly long life if you’re sick and miserable the entire time when you have the ability to make your life better and enjoyable. There are so many aspects of health and taking care of yourself that it can feel overwhelming and impossible to manage. It can be hard to know where to start. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming or difficult to maintain and begin to implement a heart-healthy lifestyle.

 

 

Take a 10-minute walk every day

 

This seems like such a small effort that it won’t actually make a difference in your life, but it really will. A 10-minute walk is something that almost anyone can accomplish, no matter what their fitness levels are. Go at whatever pace you feel comfortable at, but make sure that you take that chance every single day to get moving and get some fresh air. And even if you already do exercise, a little daily walk is a great addition to any workout routine.

 

Eat an extra fruit or vegetable daily

 

Fresh fruits and vegetables are not only inexpensive, but they’re all a tasty way to add a little bit extra fiber to your diet. Fruits and vegetables are beneficial to your whole body, from your brain to your bowels, and everything in between, including your heart.

 

Have a heart-healthy breakfast

 

Heart Healthy Smoothie

 

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It gives you the energy you need to get you through the day and fuels you until it’s time to eat lunch. Skipping breakfast will leave you exhausted, and you’re also missing a great opportunity to fill your body with the nutrients that it needs to function properly. A great breakfast to start your day with would include some fruit, and a serving of whole grains such as whole wheat toast or oatmeal.

 

Decrease your alcohol consumption

 

Of all of the damaging things that you could do to your body, excessive drinking is definitely one of the most detrimental. Individuals that drink even a moderate amount have double the risk of both heart attacks and strokes, as this article details. If you combine this with other, pre-existing health conditions, this can dramatically increase the chances of someone experiencing heart failure or a stroke.

 

 

Don’t drink your calories

 

diet.mayoclinic.org

While on the topic of drinking, a lot of people consume most of their daily calories through drinks. And this doesn’t even necessarily include alcoholic drinks. If you were to cut out just one drink of soda or a sweetened latte a day, you would considerably lower a number of calories that you’re consuming every single day. In fact, just by cutting back on one sugary drink a day, you’ll save yourself at least 200 calories a day, if not more (it depends on the drink). That translates into a 10-pound weight loss over the course of a year.

 

Incorporate seafood into your diet

 

Seafood is filled with Omega 3 fatty acids, which is a healthy fat. When you think about heart health you usually don’t think about fats. But, many of your organs (including your heart) are made up of fatty tissues. You just need to make sure you’re feeding your body the right kinds of fats, not the kind you’ll find in pastries and cookies. Seafood is also a lean protein, which also helps build and rebuild muscle.

 

 

Lift some light weights

 

One of the keys to having a healthy heart is to keep your entire body healthy and functioning correctly. You don’t need to go crazy and get a gym membership tomorrow, but lifting a few light weights every single day will help you develop some light muscle tone and improve your natural stamina and endurance. Giving your body a little bit extra strength will help you enjoy your everyday life and give you energy for happier days. 

 

Let’s Chat, What are some ways you try to keep your heart healthy?

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DISCLAIMER
The information in this blog is provided “AS IS” with no warranties and confers no rights.  This blog does not represent the thoughts, intentions, plans or strategies of my employer, it is solely my opinion.
Feel free to challenge me, disagree with me, or tell me I’m completely insane in the comments section of each blog entry, but I reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason whatsoever (abusive, profane, rude, or anonymous comments) – so keep it polite, please.

Beginning Steps for Monetizing Your Blog

steps on monetizing your blog

Disclosure:  Post contains affiliate links and was written by author Christine H.

 

Your blog is your baby. You invest a lot of time in it. You put in a lot of effort, and you pour your heart and soul into it. If you decide to monetize your blog and make it a player in the online communication and marketing community, that’s a great way to subsidize your passion. You can make some money in creative ways. However, most of us are hesitant to take the step because we’re just not sure how to get started. How do you balance the personal and honest elements of your site along with revenue-generating changes?

 

how to monetize your blog

What Generates Revenue for a Blog?

 

Ads

 

Ads are probably the most commonly used because they’re the easiest to set up. By simply adding a sidebar and/or banner on your site, you can start getting paid, either according to the number of people who see the ad on your blog, or a number of people who actually click on it. Either way, you get the most out of these ads when you build your audience and are judicious about which ads you approve for your site and how you place them. Make sure that you keep your ads appropriate for your content and audience, and don’t ever overwhelm your personal content with advertisements.

 

 

Affiliate Links

Affiliate links are often similar to pay-per-click ads, and might even appear similarly on your site. These are links that you post on your site, for which you’ll get paid a small percentage when your visitors click through and make a purchase. The most common program for affiliate links is Amazon’s. What’s nice about Amazon is that it’s usually easy for you to have applicable products that won’t interrupt the flow of your content.

 

 

Endorsements and Reviews

 

For well-established bloggers with a big following, a major source of revenue is endorsements and reviews. This is commonly known as influencer marketing, which is a sort of word-of-mouth marketing technique for the modern world. With this technique, you’ll review and/or endorse a product on your blog for payment from the product or service. Sometimes, you’ll be solicited for these arrangements directly. Other times, it can be useful to propose something yourself. For example, some travel bloggers leverage their blog endorsements to get a free stay at a hotel.

 

What’s important to remember once you step into the realm of endorsements is to always stay honest. Turn down deals from products and services you don’t feel comfortable touting. This is where soliciting brands and products yourself can be useful because you’ll get deals on products that you really are passionate about supporting.

 

Sponsorship and Private Ads

 

If you can get a continuous relationship going with a specific brand, you might be able to set up sponsorship, or private ads. These will usually appear to be the same as affiliate links, ads, or endorsements on your blog. The difference is simply that instead of having a middleman facilitate the relationship, you’ll work directly with the brand.

 

sponsored posts and reviews

 

Selling Products, Services, or Content

 

Some bloggers use a site as one branch of a multi-faceted business. They might use it to cover similar topics to what they’d present when they’re hired as a speaker. It might attract an audience for their exclusive line of homemade products. It might also be a way to build a community of people who are interested in learning more through a full-length book or e-book available for purchase.

 

How Much to Charge

 

In the case of private ads and endorsements, you’ll need to be ready to negotiate your own rates. These will depend entirely upon how valuable you are to the other party, which means you need to demonstrate how working with you will benefit them. Be ready to answer specific questions about your social media reach, your site’s Alexa ranking, interaction from your readers, and click-through rates of ads on your site. Assembling this together into a press kit will ready you for professional pitches and official deals.

 

Determining what to charge on your site can be incredibly difficult. After all, it’s a hard thing to price-match, and you’ll be competing with other bloggers, a diverse group who range from people who get a full income from blogging to casual hobbyists. In the end, you’ll need to think long and hard about what price point will make the effort worthwhile to you, and how much value you’re able to give the client in return.

 


Keep Finances Organized

Once you set up a few streams of revenue for your blog, it’s important to treat this source of income like any other. Be professional, organized, and legal. Figure out how to send and receive invoices, determine how to pay taxes on the income, and keep records that will help you continue to build your media kit. This link has some great tips for handling finances in this kind of setting.

 

DISCLAIMER
The information in this blog is provided “AS IS” with no warranties and confers no rights.  This blog does not represent the thoughts, intentions, plans or strategies of my employer, it is solely my opinion.
Feel free to challenge me, disagree with me, or tell me I’m completely insane in the comments section of each blog entry, but I reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason whatsoever (abusive, profane, rude, or anonymous comments) – so keep it polite, please.

5 Key Visual Elements of Branding a Blog

Disclosure: This is a guest post contributed to DelBlogger by Maurine Anderson

 

Building a brand is no simple task, and the same holds true when building a blog brand. Brand, after all, isn’t just your logo or your blog design—it’s what people think of your blog. It’s who you are, what you do, and how people perceive you in the online community. A brand is something that you do not have direct control over. Put this way, the idea of building a blog brand can be very intimidating.

 

Fortunately, branding can go a long way in helping you build your blog brand. The term “branding” refers to those activities that you undertake to influence how people perceive you as a blog or business. Branding for a business, for example, might involve creating a logo, establishing a color palette, coining taglines, naming products in a consistent way, engaging consistently with customers on social media, etc.

 

Branding involves a wide range of activities, as mentioned above, but a great many elements of branding are primarily visual. Things like your logo, typography, photography, and graphic design are visual in nature, and they go a long way in leaving a brand impression in readers’ minds. And the great thing about these visual elements of branding? They are relatively easy to control, making them great first items to consider as you create a branding strategy for your blog.

 

So whether you are creating a branding strategy for a new blog or want to strengthen the brand of your current blog (more on that here), here is a look at five key visual elements that contribute to the branding of a blog.

Photography style

 

Photography is perhaps the most important visual element of a blog. Therefore, it’s important as a blogger to develop a routine in creating high quality photos that speak to your style. Try to create consistency in your photography, lending all of your photos a particular style that will ultimately remind people of your blog. You might, for example, use consistent colors, post-production filters, and composition style in all of your photos. Finding your photography style can take months or even years of practice, so give yourself time with this one.

 

Color palette

 

Here is one that is relatively easy to decide on and stick to. A color palette can go a long way in setting the tone for your blog, so try to decide on a few key colors from the start that you will use regularly for your blog. If your color palette is lemon yellow with forest green and pastel pink as accents, for example, you might have a yellow logo, forest green colored links, and pastel pink social media buttons. You don’t have to limit yourself entirely to using these colors in all of the graphic design and typography on your blog, but you should plan on using them regularly in your work to create consistency. This article has some great tips on deciding on a color palette for your blog or business.

Typography

 

The fonts and font sizes you use can leave an impression with readers as well. Decide on one or two fonts that you plan to use in all of your blog work, and stick to using those fonts for consistency’s sake. You might, for example, make Helvetica your font of choice for all body text on your blog and then use Futura in your blog post titles and infographics.

Graphic design

 

If you ever design visual elements like infographics or Pinterest-friendly graphics for your blog, then you definitely need to consider your approach to graphic design as well. You might, for example, develop a template that you will use for all Pinterest-friendly graphics you design. Try to make your approach to graphic design consistent enough that when a reader sees something of yours on social media, they’ll recognize where it came from instantly.

 

Logo

 

Finally, your logo. Your logo should complement all of the above visual elements of your brand. Aim to create a logo that speaks to who you are as a blogger and that instantly tells readers a little bit about who you are. If you are artistic and like to blog about authentic lifestyle, for example, you might have a hand-lettered logo.

Let’s Chat:  Do you have any tips on branding a blog?

 

The information in this blog is provided “AS IS” with no warranties and confers no rights.  This blog does not represent the thoughts, intentions, plans or strategies of my employer, it is solely my opinion.

Feel free to challenge me, disagree with me, or tell me I’m completely nuts in the comments section of each blog entry, but I reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason whatsoever (abusive, profane, rude, or anonymous comments) – so keep it polite, please.

Natural Ways to Boost Your Mental Health

Today’s Guest Post was contributed by Maurine Anderson
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First things first: any serious medical condition should, of course, be examined and addressed by a licensed healthcare professional. With that being said, however, it’s never a bad thing to also discuss with your doctor how you might be able to alter your lifestyle to boost your mental health.
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Here are some proven (and sometimes unexpected) ways that you can actually improve your mental health for better all-around well being.
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Spend time outdoors.
Studies have shown that spending time in nature can actually decrease brain activity in the subgenual prefrontal cortex, which is the region of the brain that’s active when you’re engaging in negative thinking. It also has the power to improve self-esteem and relieve symptoms of a variety of mental health conditions.
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Try aromatherapy.
Essential oils can be used in a variety of ways to boost mental health—in a warm bath, in an essential oil diffuser, or in a cup of hot tea, for example. And certain essential oils actually have positive mental health benefits tied to them.This article, for example, mentions that lavender can be used to encourage sleep and relaxation; lemon can relieve effects of depression and anxiety, and eucalyptus can offer clarity of the mind.
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Get a massage.
Speaking of aromatherapy, aromatherapy can be used in conjunction with massage to boost mental health benefits even further. According to to this article, getting a massage relieves stress and stabilizes your overall mental state. In fact, it even triggers the release of “happiness” hormones like dopamine and endorphins, giving you an instant boost of gratification.
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Meditate.
Meditating isn’t only for the spiritually centered—it is a practice that anyone looking to improve their mental health can incorporate in daily life. Meditation has the power to rewire thought patterns, decrease pain perception, and clear the mind from distraction—a common symptom amongst those with mental health conditions.
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Get some exercise..
It may sound like common sense, but the benefits of exercise are simply too great to leave this one unsaid. Mental health may be only one aspect of your health, but it is truly related to every other aspect of your well-being—including your physical health. Research has found that those who get regular physical exercise are more resilient to the cognitive decline that comes with age.
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Exercise can also reduce the symptoms of many mental health conditions and improve sleeping patterns. And for those who prefer having immediate gratification, physical exercise, like massage, triggers the release of “happiness” hormones, resulting in a lifted mood.
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Have a cup of green tea or matcha.
Ever wonder why so many health-conscious individuals seem to drink green tea daily? Green tea has a variety of mental health benefits to offer—as does its powdered relative, matcha.
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According to this article about the health benefits of green tea and matcha, drinking green tea or matcha can relieve stress, improve your memory, and minimize neurological health conditions—among many other physical health benefits which can only support stronger mental health.
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Eat mental-health promoting foods.

Green tea isn’t the only thing that can boost your mental health. A variety of other foods has been linked to stronger mental health, including salmon, olive oil, avocados, nuts, and berries.
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SMLXL

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Practice self-care.

All of the tips in this article have something in common—they involve some form of self-care. Self-care is essential because if you are not in a proper mental state in the first place, you simply won’t be able to look outward and serve others. So in addition to the tips listed above, don’t underestimate the power of small forms of self-care, such as taking a nap, cleaning your living environment, or spending a few minutes in the morning on personal hygiene.

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spa robe SMLXL

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Do service for someone.

You’d think that the perfect picture of happiness was relaxing in a peaceful place, with plenty of money to buy you just about anything you could ever want. But studies have actually shown that people are happier in life when they center their focus around meaningful activities rather than hedonism. So if you’re looking for more happiness to boost your mental health, let happiness be a side effect of taking part in meaningful pursuits that will help others.  

Let’s Chat: what are some of the things that you do to relax your mind and body?

Disclosure:  This post contains affiliates links which will not add an additional cost to your purchase, however, it may buy me a cup of coffee!

8 Hobbies That Will Make You Money

Today’s guest post was written by Maurine Anderson

There’s a nifty saying that goes, “Find three hobbies you love: one to make you money, one to keep you in shape, and one to be creative.” You don’t necessarily have to turn a hobby like painting or yoga into your lifelong career, but it is a good idea to pursue at least one hobby in life that can make you some money. That way, whether you need to finance a wedding, save some extra money for a down payment, build up an emergency fund, or pay off some debt, you can always depend on your craft to help sustain you. You can even use your craft to “swap skills” with other people, as this article suggests.

Have you always wanted to find a hobby that could help you make some extra money on the side somewhere down the road? Here is a look at 8 hobbies that can make you money.

One tip here—and this applies to all of these hobbies listed: Once you have the skills to back yourself up, don’t let people take advantage of you. Don’t be afraid to charge people what you are worth, and don’t be afraid to turn down jobs that people are asking you to do for free. A creative skill can take years and thousands of dollars to master, and you should never feel pressured to do free or cheap work, even for family and friends (unless you are doing it as a gift, of course.)

Photography

photography

Photography and videography are two major ways that people are making money doing what they love. It may take years of practice to become good enough to work at the professional level, but if you have a DSLR camera and some good post production software, go ahead and put yourself out there.

Even if you aren’t quite as good as the professionals, many people are looking for photographers who might be looking to shoot an event or family portraits for a slight discount. And if you manage to create professional looking photos, you could even make money selling prints or selling your photos to a stock photo website.

Graphic Design
graphic design

If you were particularly artistic as a child, then chances are you could make some extra money doing something graphic design related. Spend some time learning to use Adobe Illustrator (and perhaps Photoshop and InDesign, as well.) Then, try approaching a few small businesses and offer to design a new logo, packaging, business cards, or marketing materials. As this article explains, many businesses are all-too-eager to outsource to a professional graphic designer. Alternatively, you could try starting your own wedding invitation business online. You could even start a shop on Etsy and sell digital or professionally printed artwork.

If you’re good with pen and paper, try honing some lettering skills and start offering professional lettering and calligraphy services. The world of graphic design is extremely vast, so if you are artistic by any means, you’ll surely find your niche here.

Knitting or Crocheting

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Love knitting or crochet? Try making handmade hats, scarves, mittens, blankets, sweaters, stuffed animals, and more—and then selling them through your own shop on Etsy. You could even try making your own patterns and selling those. People are always looking for thoughtful, handmade gifts for loved ones, and your work could be just what they are looking for.
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Sewing
sewing tools

If you’re a good seamstress, there are a variety of ways you can make extra money. You might do alterations on shirts, dresses, and even bridal gowns. You could make your own sewing patterns and sell those online. You could teach sewing lessons. You could even make custom goods for people, such as household linens, costumes, or bridal gowns.

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Jewelry Making
jewelry making

Love making your own jewelry? Why not design and make your own jewelry and sell it online through a site like Etsy? Jewelry is a great thing to sell online because people are always looking for something unique, and it doesn’t cost a lot of money to ship.

Music

You don’t have to be a professional-level musician in order to make money with music. Even if simply play a musical instrument, chances are there are people in your neighborhood who would love to pay you for lessons. If you play the piano, for example, consider putting up signs in your neighborhood for private piano lessons. You can schedule your own hours and take on as little or as much work as you want.

Fitness

If you’re a fitness junkie, you can definitely make some extra money helping others realize their fitness goals. You can work part-time as a personal trainer at a local gym, for example, or you might design your own workouts and sell those online in a downloadable eBook format.

Blogging

Here’s one more hobby, and this could really go along with any of the other hobbies listed here: Start a blog! Share your expertise online, and attract a following of people who are interested in your hobby. If you gain enough followers, the possibilities for making money are virtually endless.
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You can use affiliate links on your blog, for example, and earn some change every time someone clicks on your link and buys something. Or, you might design and sell a downloadable eBook through your site, where people can see your best tips and tutorials. Or, you can let companies sponsor your blog posts, where they will pay you to mention their products or services on your site.
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Blogging can also lead to other types of money making opportunities, such as publishing a book or developing an app.
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Let’s Chat: are any of these hobbies ones that are making you extra income?
Disclosure: Affiliate links are on used in the post.  There will not be an additional cost if you make a purchase through them, however, I might make a few cents if you do.
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