4 Health Benefits of Cardio Workouts

People need cardio workouts in order to improve your heart’s function and keep it strong and healthy, and lucky for you, it’s actually much easier to squeeze in a cardio workout than you might expect. Here are just four great health benefits of cardio exercise.

1) It improves your heart’s health.
The most important benefit of cardiovascular exercise is the positive effect that it has on your heart. Things like running or biking make your heart pump blood at a faster rate than normal, and because your heart is one big muscle, this strengthens it even after you stop exercising.

2) It improves your mood.
Because cardiovascular exercise releases hormones that fight off stress and promote a sense of well being, you might feel happier and more energetic after working out.

3) It increases your metabolic function.
The more intense the cardio exercise, the faster it makes your metabolism function. This helps to maintain your weight or even promote weight loss.

4) It decreases recovery time.
If you hate cardio and love strength training, you might want to reconsider. Jogging or walking after performing another workout is known to quicken your recovery time, making the day after a long workout much more comfortable on your body.

5 Great Benefits Of Cardiovascular Exercise! [BodyBuilding.com]
The Brain-Boosting Effects of Cardiovascular Exercise [Women’s Health]
Aerobic Exercise: Top 10 Reasons to Get Physical [Mayo Clinic]

How to Decorate Your Home With Tapestries

While tapestries may remind you of your college dorm room, newer versions of these eclectic wall hangings are anything but frumpy. Updated tapestries are chic and modern, and they can be used throughout your home in a number of different ways. Here are just a few great ways to temporarily change up your wall color by using large tapestries.

  • Use a tapestry as a focal point. The first thing you should remember when decorating with a tapestry is that it will instantly become the focal point of the room. That means that should anchor it behind the headboard of your bed, as the backdrop of your sofa or on a bare wall in the hallway so that it doesn’t overpower the room.
  • Choose a complementary color scheme. No matter how wild and crazy your tapestry, you want to make sure that the colors used throughout pair well with the rest of your room.
  • Drape it over furniture. If you don’t want to hang it on the wall, you can drape your tapestry over an old armchair or small futon to breathe new life into its tired upholstery.
  • Hang it from the ceiling. For an even more unique effect, secure your tapestry to the ceiling and leave the rest of the walls blank.

How to Decorate With Tapestries [SF Gate]
Chic Room Divider [Martha Stewart]
decorate and wear: tapestry [Mr. Kate]

How to Add Color to Bare Walls With Washi Tape

Want to add color to your walls — without sacrificing your security deposit? Colorful washi tape is a great way to add a creative and temporary design to your walls, and it’s easy to install and remove. Here are a few ways to use washi tape to spice up your apartment.

DIY Triangle Wallpaper [brit.co]
If you want to craft a large-scale design that covers the entire wall, this beautiful geometric triangle tutorial is a great choice. By using a few different styles of washi tape in your choice of colors, some sharp scissors, and a measuring tape, you can create a floor-to-ceiling design that makes a major impact in any room.

DIY Picture Frames [washitapecrafts.com]
Instead of making holes all over your walls in order to hang traditional picture frames, follow this tutorial to craft flat frames using washi tape. The effect is eye-catching, artistic, and just as professional as a classic gallery wall.

Giant Geometric Washi Tape Jewels [curbly.com]
If you’re looking for a funky wall design for a kids’ room or an office, this unique washi tape jewel tutorial is the perfect choice. Use different colors of tape to craft large jewel shapes all over your walls for a wall covering that only looks expensive!

Decorating Tips Every Renter Should Know

Whether you just moved into your new apartment, or you've been renting the same place for years, it's important that your rental home feels like, well, home! There are a number of temporary ways to reflect your personality in your decor — without sacrificing your security deposit. Here are five essential decorating tips that every renter should know.

  1. Change the hardware. Give your apartment an instant upgrade by replacing hardware. Switch knobs on cabinet doors with something gold and glamorous — just make sure that you can switch them back before moving day.
  2. Use rugs. Rugs are every renter’s friend. Choose something bright and colorful or stark and minimalist to create a designer-quality look.
  3. Add temporary wallpaper. Temporary wallpaper is a great alternative to wall paint. Create an accent wall in the bedroom or go wild and wallpaper an entire room.
  4. Hang art. One of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to make your space your own is by creating a gallery wall or adding a large framed print on a bare wall.
  5. Add window treatments. Cover your windows in chic, sumptuous curtains to add personality to a space and make a room feel put-together.

Dos and Don'ts of Decorating a Rental [HGTV]
5 Easy, High-Impact Rental Decorating Ideas (That Can Move With You) [Apartment Therapy]
How to Decorate a Rental [Style Me Pretty]

Easy Ways to Get More Exercise Every Day

No matter how busy your schedule, it's important to make time for physical activity every day. Here are some smart, time-efficient ways that you can squeeze more exercise into your daily routine — sometimes without even realizing it!

  1. Start with five minutes. Everyone has five minutes to spare, even on the busiest workdays. Take five to walk around the block, do a few jumping jacks, or even drop down and do a short yoga sequence.
  2. Make the most of your favorite shows. If you have a television show that you wait for each week, multitask by working out as you watch. Do some pushups and crunches during commercial breaks, or head to the gym and watch right from the treadmill.
  3. Change up your commute. Instead of driving or taking the subway, try walking or biking to work.
  4. Work out with a coworker. If you and a coworker plan on working out together on your lunch breaks — or even taking a weekly meeting out for a walk — you can squeeze in exercise even as you work.
  5. Bring the whole family. If your kids are standing between you and your fitness routine, make them a part of it! Go for a jog with the stroller, bring the little ones on a bike ride, or become members at a family-friendly gym.

4 Ways to Squeeze In That Workout [Women’s Health]
25 Ways to Make Time for Fitness [Experience Life]
10 Ways to Sneak In a Workout [Fitness Magazine]

Heading for a Beach Getaway? Read These Packing Tips!

If you’re planning an upcoming beach vacation, you’re likely dreaming of the sun and the surf and not thinking too much about what to pack beforehand. A vacation is meant to be relaxing and free of stress, so use these tips to make the packing process a breeze.

  1. Bring breathable clothing. Even if jeans are your go-to staples at home, they won’t do you much good at the beach. Forgo these heavier items in favor of shorts, swimsuits, and cover-ups made of cool, loose fabrics.
  2. Don't forget the sunscreen. Be sure to pack sunscreen beforehand instead of telling yourself that you’ll buy it once you get there. You likely already know about the harmful effects of UV rays, but forgetting sunscreen even for one day can leave you with a nasty sunburn that will ruin your whole trip. If you’re traveling by plane, you can even invest in some sunscreen towelettes that will comply with the airline’s liquid restrictions.
  3. Pack beach-friendly electronics. Sure, the beach is a great time to get away from e-mails and television, but there are a few electronics that will make your time at the beach even more fun. Portable, waterproof speakers can sync with your cell phone and provide entertainment for everyone around you. An e-reader is another great tool, as it enables you to read without packing a bulky, heavy book.

10 Beach Products You Never Knew You Needed [Budget Travel]
Packing for a Summer Vacation [Ask Men]
How to Pack for a Beach Vacation [Independent Traveler]

How to Reap the Health and Beauty Benefits of Coconut Oil

If you keep up with natural beauty blogs, cooking magazines, or even just browse the racks at your local grocery store, you’ve likely noticed that coconut oil is having a moment in the spotlight. This all-natural oil is positively full of different uses, and these are just a few of the best.

  1. Cooking. Coating a frying pan with coconut oil is a wonderful alternative to using fattening sprays or butters. It gives your food a slightly nutty taste, but it usually doesn’t interfere with the taste of the food itself. You can also use coconut oil to replace shortening or vegetable oil in any recipe.
  2. Lotion. Although most DIY lotions require mixing a few ingredients, coconut oil can be used all on its own. Simply massage a bit into your knees, elbows, or anywhere else that you notice dry skin.
  3. Face wash. Washing your face with coconut oil is much less drying than using a traditional store-bought product, and it helps to remove makeup with ease.
  4. Hair conditioner. Take advantage of coconut oil’s numerous moisturizing benefits by rubbing it into your scalp and hair. Let it absorb into the strands for about two hours, and then shampoo out as usual.

101 Uses for Coconut Oil [Wellness Mama]
Everything You Need to Know About Coconut Oil [Shape]
31 of My Favorite Uses for Coconut Oil [Thank Your Body]
21 Miraculous Uses for Coconut Oil [Wonder How To]
10 Genius Ways to Use Coconut Oil [Michelle Phan]

Know These Three Terms Before Getting Creative in the Kitchen

Any cook knows that for a dish to turn out as intended, he or she needs to have a clear understanding of the recipe. That includes knowing the different common ways to cut and slice ingredients. Here are three terms you should know before getting started in the kitchen.

  1. Pare. Preferably done with a paring knife, to pare a fruit or vegetable means to peel the outer skin from it. Apples and potatoes are often prepared this way.
  2. Mince. You can do this with a sharp knife or kitchen scissor, just so long as you cut or chop the ingredient into very fine pieces. Mincing often applies to herbs and spices.
  3. Dice. If a recipe asked you to dice an ingredient, it means to chop it into small, uniform pieces. Chunky salsas and fruit salads often employ this action.

The Basic Kitchen:Glossary of Cooking Terms [Le Petites Gourmettes]
Glossary of Cooking Terms [Better Homes and Gardens]
Cooking Terms [Recipe Goldmine]
Glossary of Cooking Terms [Cookery]
Culinary Terms: Food Dictionary and Glossary of Cooking Terms [Culinary Arts About.com]

Add These Two Fiber-Rich Foods to Your Diet

One of the most effective ways to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight is by adding more fiber to your diet. Men under the age of 50 should eat 38 grams of fiber each day and women should eat 25 grams, according to current dietary recommendations. If you’re not sure which foods to choose to meet this daily need, here are two surprising sources of fiber to incorporate into your diet.

  1. Apples. This old-school snack is a remarkably good source of fiber, with 4 grams per medium-sized apple. Any food that contains more than 3 grams per serving is considered a good source, so adding one to your day actually might keep the doctor away.
  2. Avocados. This creamy fruit is a super source of fiber. One medium avocado contains 14 grams, along with vitamins B, E and K. While they are high in fat, only 4 grams are saturated so you’re actually boosting your healthy fat intake.

The 16 Most Surprising High-Fiber Foods [Greatist]
High Fiber Foods: 7 Surprising Sources [ Huffington Post]
The Most Surprising High Fiber Foods [Health]

Popular Games for Apple Devices

There are always certain iPhone games that become crazes throughout the Apple community, and two games in particular stand out more than most. These game apps are colorful, exciting, and as anyone who plays them would agree, very addictive.

Angry Birds
Angry Birds is one of the most downloaded iPhone games of the past few years, in large part because of its silly characters and addictive challenges. The game’s objective is to retrieve a group of birds’ stolen eggs, but in order to do so the player must complete a series of levels that take place in a strange world with zero gravity and dangerous Space Pigs. If it sounds very strange, that’s because it is—but it’s also very fun!

Candy Crush Saga
For fans of the classic bubble burst games, Candy Crush Saga gives the game a modern twist with a whole lot of colorful, fanciful personality. Players must navigate their way through the magical world of Candy Kingdom alongside the adorable Tiffi and Mr. Toffee. Whimsical candy graphics decorate the games numerous puzzles, which only get harder and harder as the game goes on. With more levels added every other week, Candy Crush Saga is a never-ending game that will provide hours of playing fun.

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