Creative Ways To Reach Health Goals In 2014

If you’re trying to get fit for 2014 then the time is now! There are so many things that you can do differently in order to burn more calories and create new opportunities to tone your body. Let’s take a look at some of the trends that are starting to pop up in several different avenues of life.

Alternative Transportation

If you’re looking to burn more calories in your day to day life, then one of the best ways is to stay local and bike, walk, or skate to your destination. This obviously depends a bit on what sort of city you live in and the local weather, but for many people it’s a good option that can actually be fun and put you in better touch with your community. I recently started ditching my car and opted to stay local as much as possible, and instead ride my bike or skateboard as much as I could. Not only are you supporting local business but you’re also burning more calories as well as saving money on gas. This is becoming a very popular mode of transportation in eco-minded cities, but also even more urban areas are catching on such as New York City with the Citi Bike exchange ports.

Fitness Tracking

It’s easier than ever these days to monitor your fitness goals using mobile apps and computer software. There are now a plethora of apps that can track your day to day steps and activities, adding them up for you and calculating total calories burned as well as the distance to your goals. These little apps can be strangely motivating as they give you instant gratification, making your goals seem much more manageable and concrete instead of some “idea” that you’re going to just “run more”. There are also computer software programs and phone apps that can help you track your nutrition and daily calorie intake. There are even apps in the works to help you plan meals and select foods based on how you’re feeling.

If you’re hesitant to get a software app because your computer is slow or acting up, then you might want to consider using software tools to help maintain and clean up your PC in order to help it run faster.

Small Changes

In addition to larger changes in your overall exercise and nutrition plans, you can also make small changes that will add up over time. Things such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or parking in the back of the parking lot to force you to add a few more steps in each day can really add up faster than you may think. Even just opting for regular coffee instead of a rich mocha or latte can really have a big impact over the course of a few months. Pick one or two of these goals to start, and once they become habit you can add a few more. Don’t overwhelm yourself with too much at once or you’ll be in danger of giving up too soon.

As you can see there are many opportunities to improve your health and fitness this year! I hope I’ve given you some ideas on how to make small yet meaningful changes.

Interesting Commentary On Global Climate Change

Back when it was Kerry vs Bush there was a lively debate on global climate change as well as directions for power initiatives.  I am hoping that the conversation will continue to be advanced in the next presidential election, and perhaps even before then.

Renewable Energy

Other survey questions concerned whether the country’s focus should be shifted from nuclear fission and fossil fuels to the development and implementation of energy-efficiency and renewable-energy technologies. Clinton said that he generally opposed the proliferation of nuclear plants “because of my deep reservations about the safety risks and long-term problems posed by such plants.” He also said that “we must rely less on imported oil, and more on cheap and abundant natural gas,” while investing in the research and development of renewable energy. Tsongas, Harkin, and Kerrey all said that they favored the development of solar/hydrogen fuel systems and other renewables, while Tsongas added that if he were president, he “would channel substantial resources into such research.”

Buchanan said that the market should determine what energy sources are used, while Bush balked at government-mandated energy reduction/efficiency targets because, he said, “they are unlikely to work, they invite government red tape and counterproductive intervention, and they can slow down cost-effective conservation by force-feeding uneconomic technologies into the economy.”

Global Climate Change

On combating global climate change, Harkin said the federal government must create incentives for industry to produce, and for consumers to buy, energy-efficient, low-polluting appliances, motor vehicles, machinery, buildings, and homes. “I favor a revenue-neutral ‘feebate’ system,” he said, “whereby purchasers of energy-efficient, low-polluting products are given a rebate, and those who buy polluting gas guzzlers are charged an offsetting fee.”

Clinton noted that “the idea of a tax shift to discourage polluting is right in line with the principle of making polluters pay … and a carbon tax is one way to do this.” Tsongas agreed that “a reasonable ‘carbon tax’ would be an effective way to combat global warming,” while Kerrey said that such a tax “is perhaps the most direct and cost-effective way of reducing [CO.sub.2] [carbon dioxide] emissions.” Clinton also proposed a [CO.sub.2] emission credit system utilizing marketable allowances, much like the sulfur-dioxide allowance trading system outlined in the Clean Air Act, and added that he would support a climate change treaty in which the U.S. would agree to stabilize [CO.sub.2] emissions at 1990 levels by the year 2000.

Citing a lack of definitive scientific evidence, Bush said, “It would be premature at this time to impose a carbon tax, or any other control measures that would place serious new burdens on the U.S. economy.” He noted that he has, however, instructed U.S. representatives at the negotiating sessions leading up to June’s United Nations Conference on Environment and Development to stake out “a strong position in support of the reduction of emission of chlorofluorocarbons and other substances that deplete the protective ozone layer.”

Nuclear Waste

The potentially loaded question of what to do with the country’s nuclear waste elicited few new ideas from the candidates, although criticism of present administration policy was rampant.

None of the Democrats, except for Harkin, supported the sitting and construction of a high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, but they all supported a comprehensive re-evaluation of U.S. policy regarding waste storage and disposal.

“Serious questions have been raised as to the long-term environmental and safety concerns at the Yucca Mountain site,” said Clinton.

Tsongas, who has also criticized the proposed facility, called for an independent commission such as the National Science Foundation to explore the feasibility of site options. “Then,” he said, “there will be no question that this is being examined on a non-political basis.” Kerrey said that he supported a strong state and local role in the screening, selection, and operation of any kind of waste storage facility. “I simply do not trust the Department of Energy and Nuclear Regulatory Commission on these matters,” he said.

In more pragmatic fashion, Harkin admitted that “No waste disposal system will be perfect. … The best we can accomplish is to reduce the risks of storing this deadly cargo to the lowest possible level.” Toward this end, he supports the development of “suitable storage facilities for both high-level and low-level radioactive waste.”

On the Republican side, Buchanan had not formulated an opinion on nuclear waster, but Bush called it “essential” that Yucca Mountain continue to be evaluated as a potential depository site. “If nuclear power is to take its place among the important energy sources for the United States,” he said, “we must ensure that we have a permanent solution to the nuclear waste problem.”