Friday, March 23, 2018

Computers, Health and the Net

Can the Internet and computers help keep us healthy? It depends on how it is used and what sites we rely on to get our information. A recent study found that computer-delivered interventions show that using the computer and the Internet can work in some areas but not in others. Data from 75 randomized controlled trials, published between 1988 and 2007, with 35,685 participants and 82 separate interventions were included in the study. The researchers found that Computer-delivered intervention (CDIs) can lead to immediate post-intervention improvements in health-related knowledge, attitudes, and intentions as well as modifying health behaviors such as dietary intake, tobacco use, substance use, safer sexual behavior, binge/purging behaviors, and general health maintenance.
The researchers believe that computer-delivered interventions may help some participants organize previously latent motivation and behavioral skills at a critical moment, leading to improved health behaviors.
CDIs do not provide benefits in all contexts; the evidence does not support the use of CDIs to improve physical activity, weight loss, or diabetes self-management. Nonetheless, there is sufficient evidence to continue to investigate the benefits and limits of CDIs, to explore patient- and intervention-characteristics that facilitate health behavior change, and to determine the long-term effects of CDIs.
The research also looked at how long the changes might last. Some would argue that health behaviors are likely to recur (some would say “relapse”) when environmental conditions change (e.g., during increased stress), and the influence of the intervention wanes. The researcher found that computer-delivered interventions often exhibited uniform impact on outcomes despite the variability in follow-up duration, suggesting that the impact of computer-delivered intervention can be durable.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Budget Travel

March is coming to an end, and Spring break is coming up or is upon you as are the summer holidays. It is time to think about planning to travel this year. In today’s world traveling on a budget is becoming more and more of a necessity.  Keeping costs low while traveling is important, whether you are a solo traveler seeing the world for the first time or a family with a carload full of kids heading to the beach or the theme park.

When it comes to coming up with a travel budget, the first step should be to decide what is important to you and where you can cut back a bit.  For instance, some travelers are comfortable spending a bit more for a better class of hotel, while others prefer to save money by using budget accommodations and spend the money they saved on sightseeing or a special meal for the family.

As with other aspects of finance, it is a good idea to create a travel budget.  Determine a budget for the various aspects of your vacation, such as hotel, airfare, rental cars, sightseeing, gasoline, etc.  Once you have a good idea of what each element of the vacation should cost, it is time to start shopping around for the best deals.

Once you have determined what is most important to you, it is time to start determining how to get the best deals.  Often, admission deals on area attractions are the easiest to come by, since many theme parks, museums, and other destinations run specials to attract out of town guests.

To score big discounts on area attractions, the best place to start is the website of the attraction itself.  Be sure to check the website for any specials, such as two for one deal, free admission for children, special reduced admission days, etc. 

If you are a member of the military, a senior citizen or a member of an organization such as AAA, there are often additional discounts available.  Most AAA offices sell discount admission tickets to theme parks, museums and other popular attractions within driving distance, and most AAA offices sell discounted admissions to popular attractions like Walt Disney World as well.  The key to making your travel budget stretch farther is to ask about and take advantage of, all discounts that may be available.

If you are driving to your destination, one great way to make your travel budget go further is to make sure your car is in tip-top shape before embarking on your trip.  Small details, such as under-inflated tires or worn spark plugs can really eat into your gas mileage and end up costing you a bundle, especially on a long road trip.

A good map can also be a money saver since it will keep you from driving around in circles and wasting gas.  Finding your way easily to and from the hotel and the surrounding area will make your vacation more pleasant and less costly.

No matter how you save money on your next vacation, having a budget and sticking to it will help you enjoy your vacation more, and worry less about paying for it. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Think Back

Think back to a happy time a really, really happy time in your life. Go back as far as it takes, to a time when you felt so light you thought you might float.
Do you remember it? The carefree feeling? The acceptance of the moment, of yourself, of life? Feeling unfettered by thoughts of the future and oblivious to the past?
Feel it a little longer...
There. Very nice.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Life is not what you see...

Life is not what you see, but what you've projected. 

It's not what you've felt, but what you've decided. 

It's not what you've experienced, but how you've remembered it. 

It's not what you've forged, but what you've allowed. 

And it's not who's appeared, but who you've summoned.

And this should serve you well, beloved, until you find what you already have.