Health and Fitness – Alcohol Does Serious Damage!

Life is a precious gift and all through our growing years parents lovingly tend and nurture life, giving us strong healthy bodies that are bursting with vitality. Then we grow up and go off to do our own thing that includes being hell bent on destroying the health and fitness we enjoy. Alcohol is a killer, make no mistake about that! It is wonderful to party and get drunk and we tell ourselves that we are young and life is to be enjoyed. This article covers the repercussions of serious drinking on well being.Medical research has indicated that a glass of wine or beer or one hard alcohol drink every day is good for the body. Who really stops with one drink? The reason being, alcohol is extremely addictive and once you get caught in its grip, getting out takes some serious effort. Society is plagued by alcoholism, even the young and the saddest part is that the numbers are on the rise, even among pre-teenagers.You would be hard pressed to find few if any parts of the body that are not negatively affected by the effects of alcohol. Going into the details of every one of the side effects caused by alcohol on health and fitness will take forever; this article covers a few of the scarier aspects of alcoholism. There are short term effects of alcohol like ruined relationships, dysfunctional family life that involves abuse, driving impairment and negative reactions to prescribed medication. In the long term the problems that develop affect health in myriad ways by breaking down the body’s defenses and organ functions leading to serious and even fatal health consequences.The liver is one of the primary organs that is affected by alcohol very negatively. Inflammation of the liver leads to Hepatitis which includes abdominal pains, fever and jaundice. Prolonged abuse unfortunately can be fatal, the good news however, is that when you stop the effects are reversible. Cirrhosis of the liver, which is scarring of the organ is the ultimate result of the abuse and cannot be reversed and may require a liver transplant as a last resort.The pancreas is the organ that regulates your body’s blood sugar levels through the production of insulin and it also helps in digesting the food you eat. Inflammation of the pancreas through alcohol abuse leads to severe abdominal pains and weight loss that can eventually result in death.Alcohol heightens the risk of various cancers attacking the body and the correlation between alcohol and cancer has been medically proven. Women can develop breast cancer in addition to cancers of the mouth, throat, liver, pancreas and colon.Now that you are suitably enlightened on the dangers of alcohol abuse it is best to stay away from something that can fatally damage your health and fitness.

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Photography Tips To Avoid Mistakes

Many people wonder why their photos don’t look as good as professionals, even when they have a top quality camera. The simple fact is that there are common mistakes that amateurs and professionals alike make at times. Here are a few photography tips on those mistakes and how to avoid them.Red-Eye – Nothing is worse than receiving your pictures and noticing that over half of them have the dreaded red-eye in them, ruining all the best shots. This is the most common mistake that can be prevented by paying attention to lighting. Taking a picture in dim or dark settings will cause the light from the flash to reflect off the eyes of your subject. The light illuminates the blood vessels in the retina giving the eye a red glow. To avoid this happening, first decide if the flash is necessary. If it is, instruct the subject to not look directly into the camera lens.Another problem is losing the focal point of a picture. This is common when taking family pictures and then trying to fit too much in the picture. The family members seem to get lost among the scenery and background of the photo. To prevent this you have to first decide just what the focal point is of the picture, once that is determined you need to get as close as you can to the subject and zoom in till it is perfect.Ever feel that you have captured the perfect picture only to see that it was blurry when developed? This is common when the camera moves or shakes at the time you snap the picture, sometimes it is because the shutter lags. The best solutions is using a tripod, if that isn’t an option, then support yourself against something solid so you can hold the camera steady easier. If shutter lag is the problem, prevent this by holding the shutter bottom halfway down. When you feel the time is right, then press it the rest of the way to take your picture.Under and over exposed pictures are common problems that cause many otherwise great photos to be not so great. The amount of light that passes through the cameras lens is the exposure. When not enough light is passing through, the photo is then underexposed. It appears dark making it hard to see details. When too much light passes through, the photo is then too bright. It washes out the subjects and creates harsh shadows.Under exposure is usually caused by not enough light for the photo to be taken properly. But shutter speed and being too far away from the subject are other causes for this. When taking pictures inside, try to be near a window or have some extra lighting on. Make sure you stand as close as possible and if needed, adjust the shutter speed manually so it slows down.Overexposure – This usually occurs when a photo is taken outdoors, especially on sunny days. Too much light is cause of this problem and to fix this, have the subjects stand in the shade if possible. Also, use the flash on the camera to help even out the lighting and eliminate the shadows. The best time for outdoor photography is when it is overcast.To become a good photographer, a lot of practice is needed. But no matter how good you are, not every photo you take will be perfect. Even professionals run into problem photos and make simple mistakes. These photography tips can help you take better pictures by avoiding the common mistakes. But mistakes will happen and instead of throwing a picture away, try to fix it first in one of the many programs available today.

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The Drawbacks of Lifestyle Funds or ETFS

Lifestyle funds or ETFs offer advantages for many people, but they also can have unwanted repercussions or even leave you short of money in your retirement.The concept of letting a manger handle your retirement account and allocate your investments based on your age sounds like a terrific idea… kind of like a one-stop, one-item market that fits all your needs. But does it?The concept behind Lifestyle funds is simple: diversify your money into different stocks so your risk is spread out and then allocate it further based upon growth, stability and income producing stocks or bonds.In this manner a young person would see his money going primarily into stocks or ETFs with substantial growth potential and a minor amount into income producing bonds.A middle age investor investing in a Lifestyle fund would have his money spread out between growth, dividend producing stocks and bonds on an almost equal level.A retiree would have her money primarily in bonds or other very secure stocks with high dividends levels so her balance remains stable while producing some, not a lot, but some income that at least comes close to or matches inflation. Of course, the actual balance of this account will now diminish as money is withdrawn to fund his or her life.The danger with a lifestyle fund, in my opinion, is that you can actually end up short of money in retirement. Perhaps not at first, but as time goes by the Lifestyle ETF or fund is not growing, it is diminishing as you withdraw money while earning, hopefully an amount equal to inflation. But as we tend to live longer and longer, into our 80′s and 90′s, perhaps over a 100, a Lifestyle account that stopped growing, stopped holding growth stocks or ETFs when you first hit retirement age may run out of cash before we die.Years ago, life expectancy after retirement was only 10 maybe 15 years, now we are seeing a retirement life that is approaching almost as many years as our “working life” span.In order to be sure you have enough funds to support you in retirement an investment strategy needs to remain fairly aggressive for many, many years after you retire.Obviously there are a number of ways to grow your retirement account and to keep it growing and viable throughout your life: Use investment software to manage your account, even Lifestyle funds
Use Lifestyle Funds or ETFs
Retain an Investment AdvisorUsing Investment software and self-directing your retirement account for safe profitable investing is something everyone is capable of doing as long as you have the desire.Using Lifestyle Funds or ETFs can be the answer as long as you realize that you may have to pick funds that expire further out in years than when you plan to retire so your money continues to grow during your retirement years.The other pitfall of locking into a Lifestyle Fund is that when the market declines the allocation and diversification may not protect you from major losses as the fund is ‘locked into its allocation’. In other words these funds rarely incorporate a Market Exit signal for when the market dives. This type of feature is something a good investment software program offers.The choice of using Lifestyle Funds or ETFs is tempting as long as you understand the drawbacks. Monitoring them with an investment software program or a brokers evaluation system to compare one against another and against the market trends can help make these a viable choice for those with limited time to manage their future.

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