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5 Ways to Improve Your Health

5 Ways to Improve Your Health

Woman visiting Montmartre, Paris

Smile and laugh more – Those who smile and laugh tend to have a more positive outlook which leads to longer and healthier lives. When we laugh the body changes physiologically in ways that can be measured scientifically. Significant research demonstrates that those who smile and laugh frequently, relax and sleep better, manage pain more effectively, maintain normal blood pressure more easily, have stronger immune system function and even burn more calories and raise their metabolism which makes laughter very similar to exercise in its effects on the body in the realm of blood sugar regulation. Observe what makes you smile and laugh and bring more of those elements into your life.

Seek nature – People show physiological and psychological improvements in their health and wellbeing when they interact with trees and plants. Research shows that cognitive and emotional functions when engaging in creative play or meditative practices in natural green environments improves greatly. Everything in existence vibrates in a very subtle manner. It has been proven that different vibrations affect biology in different ways. When you touch a tree its vibration pattern can have a positive effect on various biological behaviors in your body on a cellular level.

Slow down – The speed you move through life with informs your body that you are safe or that you must complete tasks under penalty of death or serious injury. When we constantly move rapidly from one task to another, we get stuck in fight or flight mode with our adrenal glands maxed out and our bodies perpetually prepared for peril. A hyper aware nervous system has more influence than you may realize. These biological signals can affect everything from mood, sleep, social interaction, constipation, energy levels, metabolism, food choices and much more. Learn to slow down and complete tasks in a more mindful and deliberate way to improve the quality of your life.

Try new things – Those who seek new experiences typically maintain more positive emotions and tend to minimize the negative ones as opposed to those who engage in fewer experiences. There is a positive effect on the mind and body when the imagination is allowed freedom. Research indicates that individuals who engage in activities like dancing, painting, creative writing, or singing are not just happier than those who don’t, but they are healthier too. It is thought that these things may boost the immune system from an increased sense of social engagement and personal growth.

Seek community – Friends, neighbors, family, coworkers, and pets all have the potential to improve your overall health. People have better health when they have a strong sense of community and researchers have found that those who interact with their fellow employees in a supportive and friendly work environment actually live longer! It turns out that this is particularly true for heart health. In housing cooperatives where there is a sense of personal interaction with others many people report both improved emotional and physical health. Humans truly are social beings and we need playmates to survive.

Is your credit score affected by insurance inquiries? | Ohio Insurance

Is your credit score affected by insurance inquiries? | Ohio Insurance

car 3 image, Ohio Auto InsuranceYou’re on the phone with your new Ohio insurance agent, and hoping that you can save some serious cash, when it happens… they check your credit score! Great. Now your credit score has taken a hit because you were looking to get better coverage and to save some money. Why should you be penalized every time someone takes a look at your credit score?

Well, as awful as that all sounds, having your credit score looked at by an Ohio insurance agency is actually not as bad as you might think, and that’s because the insurance carrier only requires a “soft” inquiry. While a hard inquiry can make a small dent in your credit score, a soft inquiry does absolutely nothing. So if you came here to find out if your credit score is affected by an insurance inquiry, then the answer is no!

If you’d like a more detailed answer to this question, please feel free to check out this great video that we put together!

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Tailgating Ideas and Safety | Ohio Auto Insurance

Tailgating Ideas and Safety | Ohio Auto Insurance

Tailgating Football Fans --- Image by © Don Mason/Corbis

Tailgating Football Fans — Image by © Don Mason/Corbis

High School, College, and Professional Football games bring about an atmosphere of unbridled excitement in the Autumn months. And what would these all-American events be without a good tailgate? This very popular pre-game tradition brings joy and excitement to many before the game even kicks off. In order to ensure an optimal tailgating experience, safety and preparation are imperative.

Food safety may perhaps be the most pressing priority for anyone looking to ensure a positive pre-game experience. After all, any worthwhile tailgate has at least some of the staples; steak, potatoes, hot dogs, and burgers!! In order to avoid cross-contamination or other bacterial issues regarding meats, it is important to thoroughly cook any meat that is being prepared prior to the tailgate at home. Once the food is properly prepared, storage in appropriate temperatures and sanitary containers is the most important factor in ensuring food safety.

Along with the usual suspects as far as food goes, many people enjoy having a few beverages during the pre-game tailgate. A safety tip on par with the importance of food safety would be to always have a designated driver. Additionally, tailgaters should have an ample supply of water and sun screen due to the likelihood of hot weather conditions prior to the game.

An important and somewhat over-looked facet of tailgate preparation is the need for comprehensive Ohio auto insurance covering potential damages that can be incurred during these social events. Individuals who enjoy a good tailgate should take care to make sure that the auto insurance plan that they purchase covers potential automobile damages that can be incurred during a tailgate.

With Football season now in full swing, there are few better weekend activities to enjoy than a good tailgate. When pertinent safety precautions meet with unique ideas and an optimistic sense of team spirit, a tailgate can be quite the unforgettable experience! 

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What Are the Benefits of Telecommuting?

Telecommuting is a growing trend with so much business being done on the Internet. This unconventional style of working has many benefits for employees, and increased job satisfaction often leads to better work, so it is advantageous for employers as well.

One great benefit of telecommuting is the amount of time and gas money saved by not having to drive to work in the morning. This can be very significant if an employee lives in a busy city or commutes from a distance of 30 miles or more. The money saved on gas can be socked away into a savings account, and with the lack of travel time, employees can sleep in later and still be working earlier than they normally would be.

Not only does telecommuting save gas money, is also reduces the amount of money that must be spent on clothes for work. If all work is done at home, there is no need to dress up. Furthermore, telecommuters don’t face the temptation of buying expensive and unhealthy lunches at work, so they generally spend less money on food, and it’s often better for them.

Another benefit is that many people work better when they have control over their environment. For introverts, an office environment can be particularly detrimental to productivity. If such a person works from home, they can have all the solitude they want, especially if they set up a special room as an office. They can also make that room as comfortable and practical as possible so that they will work better.

Many parents find it difficult to work, but telecommuters can do their job from home with the kids present. Of course, they will not be able to engage the children much during work hours, but they will be on hand in case they are needed. This can create peace of mind and dramatically reduce child care costs. Clearly, telecommuting is a work option that can have far-ranging benefits.

15 Must Have Items for Your Storm Survival Kit

15 Must Have Items for Your Storm Survival Kit

Storms

With the fall season being upon us, chances are we have plenty of bad storms ready to rear their ugly head. While we do have meteorologist who try their hardest to predict such events, there’s truly no telling when or where a storm may hit, let alone predict its severity until it actually happens.

A perfect example of this is the derecho that took a major bite out of the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest back in June 2012. The storm left a devastating trail of damage, and the worst part is that no one really saw it coming. For this reason alone, having the proper emergency supplies on hand at all times is the best way to be prepared for a storm, whether or not you know it’s coming.

Here is a list of 15 items that you should have stored in the event you are hit with any type of bad storm:

  • Flashlights and/or Lanterns: Keep them handy and easily accessible in the event of a power outage.
  • Plenty of Backup Batteries: Those flashlights won’t be doing diddly squat if the batteries are dead.
  • Candles: Candles never run out of batteries and are perfect for keeping your surroundings illuminated for long periods of darkness.
  • Butane Lighter: You’ll need something to light your candles with, and while matches are an option, a lighter can survive getting wet.
  • Gasoline: If you have a generator, a back-up supply of gas is a must. Furthermore, you never know if you might need gas for your automobile.
  • Fire Extinguisher: With all this talk about candles, lighters and gasoline, it’s only natural that I mention a fire extinguisher, something that every home should have.
  • Battery Operated Radio: A radio is a surefire way to stay informed about the current storm and safety situations. Furthermore, a radio can serve as a slice of much needed entertainment.
  • Water: You never know how a bad storm could affect your water supply, either rendering undrinkable, or in certain situations, leaving homes without any access to water at all.
  • Non-perishable Food: Things like cereal bars, canned fruit and maybe even some cookies are good to have in the event that you are unable to cook a regular meal.
  • Cash: Some stores might stay open during a power outage, however, they likely will not be able to process credit/debit cards, so keep a small amount of cash handy.
  • Cooler/Ice: An ice-filled cooler is a great way to keep any necessary food items from going bad.
  • Battery-powered/Car Cell Phone Chargers: Often your cell phone will work during a power outage, but the battery life will only last so long, so having access to a charger that will work is a must.
  • First Aid Kit: Accidents happen, and a fully-stocked first aid kit is simply a must for every household.
  • Hand Sanitizer: If you do not have access to clean water, hand sanitizer can keep your hands germ free.
  • Diapers and Formula: If you have children, keep a back-up stash of both diapers and baby formula in case you aren’t able to leave the house for a long period of time.

If you do not already have these times on hand, there is no better time than now to get them all together and take an inventory of what you have and where it is. Better yet, have the family join you, this way they know where everything is in case you aren’t around if a storm hits.

Got any items you would add to your emergency kit? Share them with us in the comments below!

Create A Home Fire Escape Plan for Kids

Create A Home Fire Escape Plan for Kids

Fire-escape-plan-for-kids

The second week in October is National Fire Prevention Week, and while there is a ton of information out there in internetland about fire prevention, I wanted to focus on creating a home fire escape plan for the whole family. More specifically, for your kids. While your home is looked at as your biggest financial investment, there is no bigger investment than the lives of your children, so ensuring that they are protected should be priority numero uno. One way to keep your little investments safe is by taking the time to create an escape plan for your whole family in the event of a fire, therefore I have put together a handful of tips on getting you and your family on the right track.

  • Create a floor plan: take a few minutes with your kids to draw up a floor plan. From there show them the best route for escape depending where they are in the home if a fire does occur.
  • Figure out the best ways of escape from each room: with your floor plan in hand, walk around the house, with your children, and physically go over each of the escape routes.
  • Check doors for heat: inform your kids that they must check doors for heat with the back of their hand before moving into another room. If the door feels hot, then they should take an alternate route if one is available.
  • Crawl to avoid smoke: ensure your children know that they need to crawl in order to avoid smoke inhalation.
  • Stop, drop and roll: we all know the phrase, but take the time to hammer home to your children that they need to immediately stop, drop and roll if any part of their person catches on fire.
  • Come up with a meeting spot: whether it be a neighbor’s house, a mailbox or a nearby tree, come up with a place where everyone can meet. Furthermore, inform them that they are not to go back inside the home for any reason whatsoever.
  • We’re talking about practice: take all of these tips and practice them with the entire family, both during the day and at nighttime. Take different approaches each time, and throw different scenarios at your child so they’ll be ready for any situation they might be faced with.
  • Calm before the storm: while going over these home fire escape plans with your children, you should constantly make clear the importance of staying calm during any situation they might come across.

Hopefully these tips come to be of great value to you while creating a home fire escape plan with your kids. Being prepared for a house fire is incredibly important for you and your family alike, and there really isn’t a better time to do so than during National Fire Prevention Week.

If you have any ideas or tips of your own, please share them with us in the comments’ section below!

Finding Air Leaks in Windows and Doors

Finding Air Leaks in Windows and Doors

tips-to-find-air-leaks-in-windows-and-doors

The weather is getting colder and colder with each passing day, and soon enough we will be knee-deep in winter. It’s an awful thought, I know, but it’s inevitable. While the dread of the nearing winter chill is frightening in and of itself, things could be far more terrifying if your windows and doors are emptying your wallets by letting in a lot of cold air into your home. However, you could prevent this from happening by taking the time to ensure your windows and doors are free from air leaks, which you can do by following these simple quick tips!

  • Do a visual inspection: Take a few minutes to walk around your home to see if the caulk on your windows and doors is in good condition. If it’s peeling or cracked, it will need to be removed and replaced ASAP.
  • Hands on inspection: On a day when it’s pretty cold out, go around the inside of your home and move your hand around the outer surfaces of your windows and doors to feel for any cold air.
    • If you feel any cold air coming in through the windows, you likely need to either re-caulk your windows or replace the weather stripping. Furthermore, you might consider injecting a foam sealant in between the frame of the house and the frame of the window.
    • If you feel a draft coming through your door/doors, weatherstripping will be your best bet.
  • The fire approach: This is basically the same idea as using your hand, however I think your results will be more accurate by using either a lighter, a candle or some incense to located air leaks. Again, walk around the interior of your home with any one of the items listed, and look for movement. If the flame flickers or smoke begins to swirl around, you my friend have a draft.
    • Naturally, if you are walking around your home with an open flame, please be careful not to start a fire! The draft that would cause is far worse than the one you stated with, so proceed with caution.

Hope these tips will be useful for you while looking for air leaks in your windows and doors. Furthermore, I hope any fixes you make saves you a ton of dough on your heating costs this winter!

Have any tips of your own? That comments section below is your place to share them with us!

What Should I Do When I Have A Flat Tire?!

What Should I Do When I Have A Flat Tire?!

Flat-tire

A flat tire has the potential to be a major source of frustration whiling driving on the road. Not only does it compromise the driver’s safety, but a flat tire will also be rendered useless in a matter of seconds. Here are a few safety tips for driving on a flat tire.

Do not make any abrupt movements
Often times, a driver’s initial response to a sudden flat tire is to turn the steering wheel. This is definitely not the best way to handle the situation. When navigating a vehicle with a flat tire, always try to keep the steering wheel as straight as possible. You should also avoid slamming on the brakes. This will insure that your vehicle will not veer onto the path of oncoming traffic.

Turn on the hazard lights
Many drivers forget to turn on their hazard lights in the event of a flat tire. The simple act of blinking the hazard lights will alert the other drivers that you are experiencing difficulties. The likelihood of a crash will be significantly lessened.

Do not continue to drive on a flat tire
Continuing to drive on a flat tire is surely a recipe for disaster. It is vital that you pull over the vehicle as soon as possible. If the vehicle has driven on a flat tire for more than a few miles, the tire is probably no longer usable and you could risk further damage to your vehicle.

Avoid changing the tire on the side of traffic
Do not ever attempt to change a flat tire that puts your safety at risk. An inattentive driver could accidentally crash into you at any moment.

Avoid speeding on the spare tire
A spare tire is only meant to be driven a low speeds. Driving at excessive speeds jeopardizes the stability of the vehicle. A good rule of thumb is to not drive over 45 mph on a spare tire.

Why Have a Home Inspection?

Why Have a Home Inspection?

Buying a home is a process that involves many critical steps like shopping for Ohio insurance, many of which are completely unfamiliar to the average person. Aside from all the paperwork and the process of finding the property that is right for your own needs, there are additional precautions that one must take in order to sure that they are making the best investment possible for the future of their family. Chief among these concerns should be the a home inspection.

home-inspection-ohio-insurance

While many people would rather avoid this process, a good home inspector will reveal any potential hidden problems a home may have that could cause concern or require additional expense for the homeowner in the future. Not just any home inspector should be used for this service, however. It is important to evaluate the professional who you are considering using so that you are given a report that you can trust. The results of the inspection can impact the price of the home as well. By knowing what to expect from the inspection, you can make the best decision as you move forward in the buying process.

The typical experience with a home inspector will cover some very specific aspects of the home in order to identify potential problems. Should problems be located, then the seller should either fix the problems before moving forward or lower the asking price on the property. The inspector should evaluate the home’s heating and air units, electrical work, plumbing, and structural integrity. These are the aspects of a home that can cause the biggest worries and lead to the most serious expenses when it comes to repairs. The inspector’s job should not end there. They should also take the time to look over both the exterior and interior of the home. The interior includes kitchens, bathrooms, the foundation, and other major installments. On the exterior of the home, elements such as chimneys, slabs, trim, and garages should be of concern.

The entire process should take at least two to four hours, depending on the size of the home. It is also a good idea to keep in mind the average price that you should expect to pay for the service. It can vary depending on the type of structure and its age, however, the typical price for most homes falls between $300 and $800.



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Moving From City To Suburb Advice

If you have lived in the city your whole life, then you may find it difficult to transition to suburb living. Fortunately, there are several things that you can do to make it easier. Below are some tips for preparing to move from the city to the suburbs:

Start Looking For A Job Early

Jobs are typically harder to find in the suburbs. That is why if you do not already have a job lined up, then you should start looking for one early.

Make Sure That Your Car Is In Good Shape

Living in the suburbs means that you will probably have a longer commute every day. You should make sure that your car is in good working order before you move. One of the advantages of living in the suburbs is that the traffic is not as congested as in the city. However, because you will be driving further distances, you will probably be spending a lot more money on gas.

Start Looking for Housing Early

City living can be quite expensive. Housing is one of the many expenses that comes along with living in the city. That is why some people opt to live in an apartment instead of house. You will have an easier time finding a house for a price that you can afford if you live in the suburbs. In fact, you may be able to find a house in the suburbs for the same price that you would pay for an apartment in the city. However, you will want to start looking for housing early.

Prepare To Travel For Fun

There is a lot less to do in the suburbs than it is the city. If you want to visit the mall, art gallery or bar, then you will probably be traveling to the city a lot.

Homeowners Insurance

Regardless of where you live, home insurance is very important. This insurance covers injuries and damages related to accidents.