What to Do When Pilates Isn’t Working

Often when speaking to potential new participants for my Pilates classes, I will often hear the line “My GP/Osteopath/Physiotherapist recommended I take up Pilates to help improve my back pain”. These days it is great that Pilates has a good reputation of improving participant’s lower back pain symptoms (as well as a lot of other benefits). Pilates instructor course has refined skills in improving your Pilates workout.

But what happens when Pilates doesn’t get the results that we expect?

What happens when Pilates doesn’t help our back pain, and even in some cases makes it worse?

Another line I hear a lot of the time, more so in my therapy sessions is “I have done Pilates a few times before but it didn’t help”. I also use to hear this quite regularly when I was working in a health club environment.

So why is it Pilates is not giving some of us the results that we desire?

Here are just a few potential reasons:

Is the bar too high?

If we have heard lots of success stories from friends and family about how successful Pilates has been for them or been recommended Pilates by our healthcare, we can be hopeful that Pilates will correct and resolve all our aches & pains we have been going through. However it doesn’t work like this. Remember that everyone will be different and whilst we may have similar symptoms to others, the underlying causes maybe completely different. It is also worth noting that Pilates is not a form of corrective therapy. It is an exercise system rather than an exercise class, and a lot of people have found that by completing a Pilates classes, their symptoms have improved as by product of learning the correct Pilates method. Another reason worth remembering is that people react differently to everything. For example from working in Pilates and Therapy setting for a few years, I have found some people react really well to deep tissue massage but some people react better to a MET (muscle energy technique) instead for example. My advice would be to find out what the underlying issue could potentially be and also find out what works best for you and decide on a course of action from there.

What’s happening on the inside

Let’s say for example someone attends a Pilates class in the hope of improving their lower back pain symptoms. As a Bodymaster method© practitioner, my initial thought is what’s causing the lower back pain? In the past I have seen rotations in the Pelvis, Rotations in the sacrum, A difference in leg length as being potential causes of ones back pain symptoms. Sometimes it has even been further up the body which has caused one’s lower back pain (thoracic mobility and even shoulder alignment). In a one to one therapy session, I would have the opportunity to carry out a full screening to identify any potential underlying issues. However in a small group class environment we don’t have this luxury. Now sometimes Pilates can successfully help reduce the symptoms of lower back pain and give the participant the opportunity to manage their symptoms. However if you are finding back pain (or other symptoms) are continuing despite starting Pilates, it may be a good idea to have further investigation to see which potential issues could by resulting in lower back pain symptoms, and then create a programme to try to correct the underlying issues. Ones these underlying issues have been correcting you may find your Pilates class then can become a lot more beneficial.

Method of Pilates

With the wide choices and variety of Pilates on offer these days, we are now seeing a big difference in what is delivered in classes. In my opinion, the most important element of a good Pilates class is the method rather than the choice of exercises. Let me take a moment to explain. To me what makes Pilates most beneficial is the actual method of Pilates rather than the exercises themselves. Don’t get me wrong, choosing the most correct and appropriate exercise is integral to the success of any class, however if they are not performed to the Pilates method then I find the success is very much limited. What do I mean by method? Well I am referring to the Pilates principles. These principles vary from training school to training school, class to class or book to book. Whilst these principles vary, I consider the following principles most important:

  1. Alignment
  2. Breathing
  3. Connections (Also known as centering)
  4. Concentration
  5. Relaxation
  6. Precision

Whilst I would consider these 6 to be the most important, there are others which should not be disregarded as well. I always knew these principles where important to the success of a Pilates class, however it wasn’t until I became a bodymaster method© practitioner that I really understood why these principles and the Pilates method were key. I won’t go until the full details of how these principles are beneficial, but you can read my other articles to get this information, in particular the article ‘core stability – why there is so much more to it than planks and sit ups’.

If I’m honest the method/principles of Pilates is the hardest part to get right but in my opinion it is the most beneficial when completed with the exercises. I’m sure we could all pick up a book or watch the latest online video’s for a range of different Pilates exercises, however without adhering the method the success is going to be very limited, in my opinion. I also believe there to be no such thing as a ‘Pilates exercise’ as it is the method rather than move which gives a Pilates class its name.

How big is your class?

One of the main principles listed above and what I consider to be very important ‘precision’. Why? Well to make any exercise effective (and principles for that matter) it has to be done correctly, using the correct targeted muscles and also ensuring which muscles are not intended to be used stay switched off. If an exercise is not done correctly or using the wrong muscles it will more than likely be counterproductive and could result in pain or imbalance.

What’s this got to do with the size of the class? Well getting everything correct in a class can be quite challenging, and participants will need hands on correction from the instructor, however experienced they are. Even in my small group Pilates classes, which I have a maximum of 7 people, it can be a challenge to ensure safe and effective exercise with such a small number (hence the limit of 7 people). I remember attending classes at Leisure Centres such as Virgin Active & Everyone Active, where the classes had an average of between 25-35 people, it was impossible for even the most talented instructors to ensure safety and correctness when delivering a class, because of the sheer volume of people there. One of the main reasons I have people join my classes these days are based on their previous classes being too big and being sure whether they were doing it correctly.

What’s being done in-between classes

Now this is one of biggest things which determine success in my one to one sessions. In a one to one setting I always give the participants a corrective exercise programme to be carried out, usually around twice a day for two weeks minimum. Now from experience when I use to receive any form of therapy, it can be quite challenging initially to carry out the corrective exercise programme, however it is one of the most important sections to achieve optimal results. Looking back all my participant that have carried out the corrective exercise programme in-between sessions (in a one to one setting) they have always received far more effective results, it has also reduced the amount of sessions required to achieve their desired results. Obviously this will be slightly different to classes, as in a class we are unable to carry out a biomechanics screen which can tell us which areas we need to concentrate on setting the corrective exercise programme for, however what I have found beneficial for a lot of participants, is to carry out and practice the Pilates principles in-between classes, such as breathing, alignment & connections. I won’t go into the exact details of why these will be beneficial (I have other blogs on this) but practising these skills in-between can not only help improve results but they will also help you pick up a better understanding of these principles better, therefore making your classes more beneficial and also achieving desired results quicker. Its worth remembering that there are 167 hours between classes each week (if we do one class a week), so it makes sense to practice these principles in-between as.

These are just a few things to consider to achieve the optimal results from our Pilates class. As always there can also be other factors, but these ones I would consider to be most important and effective.

Thanks for reading.

Alex

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Pilates Equipment Basics

So you want to get started on a Pilates program but don’t know what Pilates equipment you will need to get started. That’s great news and a decision you will not regret! Physio Northern Beaches helps to restore movement and function when someone is affected by injury, illness or disability.

Pilates is growing in popularity because it produces results and has been doing so for decades. Now you can even set up a home workout studio that uses Pilates equipment similar to the original Joseph Pilates designed models. And we know what kind of results he described!

Joseph and his classic Pilates Method have such a legion of followers and part of that reason is because his Pilates equipment produced results. The good news is that the huge variety in sizes of Pilates equipment has made that equipment more affordable and more size appropriate to fit into our homes instead of just a gym somewhere.

Think back about when Joseph Pilates got started with his Pilates method. During World War I, Joseph was at an English internment camp and started to test his exercises on injured soldiers. Pilates started with those patients who were immobilized and bed-bound. To get them exercising, Joseph rigged up their hospital beds with springs, creating resistance to help them regain their strength. Brilliant! It was from this experience and experiment that Joseph went on to develop the Pilates Reformer.

Fascinated with spring-based pieces of equipment, Joseph headed to New York in the 1920s. He’d spent additional time creating more spring-based pieces of equipment as well as pieces that had lots of movable bars and adjustable straps.

When he landed in New York, Joseph set out to be successful and there was no stopping him. He’d seen the success with the immobilized in England and he believed in his product and his method. Early during his time in New York, he began to work with dancers to help them gain flexibility and lengthen their muscles as well as to repair their bodies. He was fortunate enough to work with some very famous dancers who not only hungrily embraced the Pilates method but they told others about it too.

One of the hallmarks of the Pilates program is the Pilates Reformer. Like other pieces of Pilates equipment, the Reformer uses the resistance of springs in order to create effort. The Reformer is made of a sliding platform anchored at one end of its frame with springs. The user can move the platform by either pulling on ropes or pushing off from a stationary bar. So you gain the benefit of the reformed by tackling the challenge of moving the platform while keeping your balance on a moving surface. You can work the Reformer sitting or standing.

The Pilates Cadillac is another classic. This machine consists of a padded platform with a cage-like frame above it. Sounds a little medieval…I digress…The Pilates Cadillac has a variety of bars or straps connected to the frame by springs. See the theme… Joseph Pilates loved springs and believed in them for creating resistance!

Another piece of Pilates equipment is known as the Pilates Barrel. This barrel is typically made with a sturdy wood frame with a well-cushioned foam and vinyl curved form. The Barrel is a simpler piece of equipment than the Reformer or the Cadillac and is meant to be used with mat work in exercises that open the upper back to enhance flexibility and correct posture.

So just because you know what type of Pilates equipment is out there and you know that you can buy it for your home, but stop before purchasing it and think about it!

Pilates equipment should only be used in a home setting after you’ve received proper training from a certified Pilates instructor. With Pilates it is not just learning how to use the equipment but you must also learn how to breathe in accordance with Joseph Pilates methods.

There are many great Pilates videos and Pilates DVDs that you can use in between sessions in which you are learning how to use your Pilates equipment from a certified Pilates trainer.

Pilates equipment for the home is an exciting proposition. Just take the time to research the equipment and learn what you are doing before getting started. Keep working with a trainer and then enjoy the results of your workout. Celebrate the new flexibility and mobility that you will enjoy with Pilates.

For more important information on Pilates [http://www.the-pilates-zone.com] be sure to visit [http://www.the-pilates-zone.com] You’ll find advice on Pilates workouts Winsor Pilates, Pilates basics, Pilates in pregnancy and more

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Pilates Thru Pregnancy: Exercises for Healthy, Pregnant Women

Most people think of Pilates as a new form of exercise because of its recent surge of popularity in the fitness and healthcare industry. In reality, Joseph Pilates invented about 80 years ago by. The Pilates instructor course is not expensive as what you have expected.

Pilates was a sickly child with asthma. To help fight his illness and build his strength, he experimented with various mind-body disciplines and later became an accomplished skier, diver, gymnast, and boxer. While in internment during WWI in England, he taught fellow interns his concepts and exercises that he developed over 20 years of self-study and apprenticeship in yoga, Zen, and ancient Greek and Roman physical regimens. During this time, Pilates began devising the system of original floor exercises known today as “Pilates matwork”. Within a few years, he became a nurse to the many internees under care with wartime disease and physical injury. Here, he began devising exercise apparatuses to rehabilitate the patients by taking springs from the beds and rigging them to create spring resistance and “movement” for the bedridden. This “system” formed the foundation for his style of body conditioning used today.

In many ways, Pilates equipment today is not much different than it was back then. The use of spring tension, straps, supports for back, neck and shoulders are the same uses for the equipment today. The nature of the equipment is to both challenge and support the body as it learns to move more efficiently.

With the determination to help others achieve better health, Pilates opened his first studio in New York in 1926 where he used his exercise apparatuses and more than 500 movement therapy exercises to help rehabilitate athletes and dancers. For over 60 years this form of exercise was a well kept secret – but dancers, athletes, physical therapy patients and fitness enthusiasts have relied on this Pilates method to attain and stay in top physical form.

The benefit of Pilates’ movement therapy exercises for women through pregnancy and post-partum is mostly misunderstood. Simply put, Pilates is a safe and effective approach to exercise for pregnant women to assist with breathing, body alignment and to recover body shape and tone after birth.

Pilates focuses on breathing, which promotes relaxation and helps activate the transversus abdominus. The transversus abdominus is the deepest of the abdominal muscles and is responsible for supporting the lumbar spine and pelvic area at a time when ligaments are lax due to the natural hormone relaxin excreted by the body during the pregnancy and nursing stages. Lateral breathing also inherent in Pilates fitness, which improves rib cage mobility when the range of motion in the diaphragm is limited due to the high position of the baby in the third trimester.

Back pain is a common side effect of pregnancy. Unless the abdominal muscles, pelvis and spine are strengthened, problems with the back can occur. Strengthening the transversus abdominus (“abs) through guided Pilates movements will not only improve back pain and postural alignment, but will aid women during labor for a much quicker & safer delivery. Research has shown that activation of the transverses abdominus also activates the pelvic floor, keeping these muscles strong and supple for the birthing process. This can also help with any incontinence that you may experience during and after pregnancy.

The nature of movement in Pilates exercise is low impact and allows pregnant women to exercise effectively without experiencing any undue stress on the now lax joints, or an increased heart rate. Pilates also involves many stretching and toning exercises that helps to maintain hip flexibility and stamina, which is essential for well-being and preparation for childbirth. These exercises are aided and supported by Pilates apparatuses such as the reformer: a moving carriage on a bed; the wunda chair with springs to create resistance and the trapeze table to hang from. Pilates exercises also can be performed on a mat with small props such as pillows or cushions which supports the head, the magic circle, foam rollers and therabands for extra resistance.

Most exercise modifications happen during the second and third trimester due to the ever-increasing belly. All Pilates movements, at this point are best done seated up right or side lying. However, you can work supine as long as the head is elevated with pillows at 30 degrees above the heart for no longer than 5 minutes, turning to the side for a break. This ensures natural blood flow and oxygen to the A popular exercise among pregnant Pilates enthusiasts is legwork on the wunda chair. It involves sitting on a small stool with springs attached to a lever and pushing the lever down with your feet. Take note this Pilates movement provides conditioning for the legs and activation of the abdominal muscles, which stabilize the pelvis.

Remember it’s very important that your Pilates instructor is certified and has experience in working with pregnant women.

Tracey Mallet is a certified Master Pilates Instructor, certified personal trainer, fitness instructor and lifestyle / weight management counselor through the Aerobics and Fitness Association of American (AFAA). She is also a Level One certified Gyrotonic® Instructor with an award winning 3-in-1 Patented Pregnancy System that is only found at http://www.traceymallett.com

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Getting Into Shape With Pilates

As a beginner to Pilates it is necessary to learn the basic fundamental movements that form the basis for classic Pilates exercises. Understanding each position is necessary for your safety and precision to be able to progress to more advanced Pilates exercises. These are the basic movements, which develop core strength and flexibility. From these basic positions you establish torso stability, pelvic stability, engaging the abdominals, proper alignment of the spine, and an increased range of motion. Northern Beaches physio approach settles pain as fast as possible allowing exercise therapy to be far more effective.

Pilates is functional fitness, which allows for better posture and movement in your daily life. All of these fundamental Pilates movements start from a neutral position of the spine where you are lying with your back on a mat. During the fundamentals of Pilates you begin to develop a sequential breathing, which allows you to flow through each exercise. The breathing rhythm is vital to the precision of each exercise and to get an overall benefit from each movement. These fundamental exercises can be used as a warm up for more advanced Pilates or other types of exercise programs as well.

1. Imprinting- Imprinting is the best way to relax and get centered before beginning a Pilates workout or any workout for that matter. It lengthens and relaxes the spine making movement easier, allowing a flow from one position to the next. Although imprinting is relaxing, it rejuvenates the mind and relieves stress so there is nothing impeding your ability to complete your workout. To start lay on a mat on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor and arms by your sides. Keep your spine neutral by allowing your back to rest comfortably with its natural curves. Now relax, your whole body. Let your weight release down towards the floor. Only use as much energy that is needed to hold up your knees in a bent position. Visualize the imprint that your body is making into the mat. Breath deeply to lengthen your spine and open up the disc space between your vertebrae. The object is to allow your body to relax evenly so the imprint of your body in the mat would be perfectly balanced. Stay in this position for 5 minutes while you continue with deep breathing.

2. Neutral Spine- Finding your neutral spine is where the three curves of your spine are in their most natural position. To do this lay on your back on a mat with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor and arms by your sides. Inhale completely, then exhale and use your abs to press your lower spine into the floor. This is called a flat back. Inhale and release your back. Exhale and pull your spine up creating an arch in the low back. Inhale and release. When you release from both the flat back and the arch your spine should go into a natural position creating a neutral spine.

3. Head Nod- The head nod lengthens and extends the spine. Many Pilates exercises incorporate this type of bending and rolling movement, therefore the head nod is essential to Pilates exercises. Begin in your neutral position on a mat. Inhale to lengthen the spine, and tilt the chin down toward your chest. Don’t allow your head to come off of the mat as you move. Exhale and return to neutral position. Inhale and tip your head back as far as you can without straining. Exhale and release to neutral position.

4. Arms Reach- This exercise challenges the body to remain in alignment while in motion. By starting in the neutral position, inhale and bring your arms up above the body with your fingers pointed at the ceiling. On the exhale bring your arms back behind your head to the floor. This stretches the muscles of the shoulders and upper back while increasing the range of motion. Inhale and bring your arms back above the body with your fingers pointed at the ceiling. Exhale and release your arms back down to your sides. Remember to control the movement of your arms and don’t let momentum or gravity control your arms.

5. Snow Angel- Along with the previous arm exercise, this exercise aims to keep the torso and spine in alignment while the arms are in motion. It also engages the muscles of the arms, shoulders, abdominals and back. While in neutral position inhale and bring your arms out from to the side of your body and up next to your ear. Exhale and return your arms back to your sides. (This motion is exactly the way your arms move when doing a snow angel.)

6. Pelvic Curl- This exercise engages the abdominals, back and leg muscles. From neutral position, inhale a deep breath. As you exhale engage the abdominal muscles and push your bellybutton down towards your spine. Press your lower back flat against the floor. Inhale and press down through your feet pushing your tailbone, hips, low back and middle back off the floor. Lift until you come to rest on your shoulders and they are in a straight line with your hips. Your abdominals and hamstrings should support you while you are holding this position. Do not arch any higher or droop any lower because it could result in injury. As you exhale, use your abdominals to control your body as you roll back down to the floor, starting with your upper back, all the way down to your tailbone. Inhale and release your spine to neutral position.

7. Knee Folds- Our legs are so important because they hold up the rest of the body. Starting from a neutral spine position, inhale and use your abdominal muscles to lift one leg off the floor, bringing your knee back towards your chest, making a deep fold in the hp. Exhale and return your foot to the floor. Remember to maintain abdominal control of the leg rather than allowing gravity to pull the foot and leg back to the ground.

8. Swan-The swan exercises prepare the back for extension exercises by engaging the abdominals for support. The swan exercise extends the body backwards rather than forwards, which expands the chest and. To begin lie face down on a mat and bend your arms underneath your shoulders and body. Contract your abdominals, which should pull your stomach up off the floor. Maintain your abdominal engagement as you inhale and press your hands on the mat to lengthen the spine. Lift your head so your upper body creates a long upward arc. Exhale as you sequentially lower your body back down to the mat- belly, ribs, chest, and shoulders. Remember to keep your abdominals engaged the whole way down.

9. Wall Roll-The wall roll stretches the spine while engaging the abs. The wall roll uses the wall as a tool to promote proper posture. Find a wall that you can stand next to. Stand straight up with your back against the wall. While leaving your back against the wall move your feet 6-10 inches out in front of you away from the wall. Contract your abdominals and raise your arms straight up over your head. Keep your arms parallel to your ears. Slowly begin to roll your body down starting with your head then neck, each part of your body rolling sequentially away from the wall. Roll down as far as you can without your hips leaving the wall. Keep your head and neck relaxed. Begin to return you body upward the same way you rolled down, returning on portion of the body to the wall at a time. Really using your lower abdominals to pull your body upward. Keep your arms by your ears the same way they were on the roll down.

Graduated with a BA in exercise science and have worked in the medical field since. My focus is alternative medicine however all aspects of health interest me. Check out my health website!

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Home Remedies and The Internet

When it comes to healing yourself without visiting a doctor, sometimes one of the best places to start your quest is the internet. Now I know that for some people, this can send shivers down the spine, when they jump to the conclusion of “wacky internet diagnosis” scenarios in their mind.

One way to ensure you are getting solid information from the internet is to use the benefits of the crowd. What do the majority of people think? Youtube is one such channel that offers some insight into what we might call collective-knowledge.

The way it works is pretty simple. Firstly do a Youtube search for a home remedy for any common aliment, find a video that looks professional and has a high number of views. This part is crucial, as you don’t want to be looking at videos that have only a handful of eyes viewing them. Basically the older the video the more views it is going to have as well, so look for ones that have been around for some time.

Can Videos Be A Reliable Source For Medical Tips?

Watch the video and see if the medical advice, often given away for free by medical professionals as a way of attracting patients to their practices or surgery’s. If things seem to be legitimate, next take a look at the thumbs up and thumbs down. If this is all thumbs down, probably there is good reason and it might be time to look elsewhere.

If you find there are thousands of people giving this the thumbs up, don’t be surprised or put off it there are perhaps hundreds of people giving it the thumbs down. You don’t want to be taking notice of something if it has equal votes in either direction.

So then, if you find that there are people giving it a good thumbs up vote, then take a look at related videos to see if they are saying the same thing. The more videos you find saying the same or similar things, the more reliable the home remedy or physical technique is likely to be.

Now I had to do this for a condition of my own, recently and I began my search by typing in, “do you need to have surgery to fix a bulging disc?”.

This produced some interesting results and to my pleasant surprise, a technique for decompressing the spinal column and putting reverse pressure on a bulging disc, in order to relieve pressure on the spinal nerve.

I noticed the top rated youtube video has over one million views (1.8m) and a lot of thumbs up (49k) votes, it also only had less than 1k of thumbs down votes. I also noticed a large range of related videos, espousing the same or similar treatments that you could do in the comfort of your home, and most impressively how to avoid unnecessary surgeries.

Home Remedy For Fixing A Bulging Disc

So how did the home remedy for fixing a bulging disc workout for me? Quite well is my answer. I had been getting good results from my Russian qualified neurologist Dr Dulitsky, using his method of treating patients with ozone therapy injections, and kind of hit a plateau in what I was achieving with these treatments, so I decided to look for additional treatments that would help me get my full feeling back in my feet, which had become quite numb due to the pressure on the spinal nerve affecting the proper function of my sensory nerves going down my legs to my feet.

The sensation of instant relief is similar to what you feel when you may have been lying on your side and had a numb arm while watching TV. Once you change positions, and take off the pressure, you numbness dissipates and the tingling goes away. Well, this sort of how fast this technique works for making my feet feel more normal.
Another thing this led me to, was the prospect of utilising a stronger form of spinal decompression. Traction is a method of using weights and pulleys to create a greater decompression effect on the spinal column, that doctors or medical professionals use to treat conditions similar to what I have.

Traction kind of sounds a little scary, as you mind conjures up your medieval torture devices like the “rack”. Being put on such a machine would be horrifying and something you want to avoid, so the low traction of a home remedy seemed even more attractive, to me, especially since I could test the waters so to speak, before putting more trust in this technique to achieve the medical outcomes I was looking for.

So before your well meaning friends or family put you off trying to find a non-medical solution to an aliment that could react very well to the collective knowledge of many thousands of people out there just trying to help their fellow man.

Avoiding The Tourists While Exploring Somewhere New

Do you plan to take a vacation?

Don’t bring a lot of valuables with you. The initial picture of Canada ski packages conjured in anybody’s head is likely to be one of vast mountain ranges with snow capped peaks.

Create a list for your trip!

Be flexible when considering your destination.While it may be fun to revisit your favorite spots, checking out new places is part of the fun of going on a trip. You can also pick another location to save some money by picking an alternate destination.

Do your research before making a booking. Look at different websites that have user reviews about the places you are interested in visiting. Ask your friends or family if they have been there before. This will help you a better idea of what to expect from your trip.

Take some clothespins when you travel. They can be a useful item when you go on a trip, and since they are small they take up hardly any room.

Taking a trip can often make you to want to bring pieces of your home along for the vacation.Limit yourself to the toiletries that are essential toiletry products. Make yourself a list of the things you generally use daily and are truly needed. Pack only the ones which are really necessary.

A luggage tag on the exterior of luggage can easily be ripped off in transit.

You could be covered if a flight is canceled. You should do your research a bit before leaving.

Join travel forums and social websites that are travel-centric. A great way to prepare for any trip is to talk to others who enjoy traveling. This will put you in a group of people who share experiences to avoid making their mistakes or missing some great spots on your own trip.

Sleeping pills or tranquilizers can help you through a red-eye flight. It can be very hard to get sleep on a plane with all the noise, given the cramped seating, and the uncomfortable seats.Try a sleeping pills to make your flight go by more quickly. Don’t have the pill before the plane takes off, as there may be a delay or problem that requires a return.

Find out as soon as possible whether you need a visa to enter the country you are travelling to. Sometimes the wheels of bureaucracy turn slowly, so it is always a good idea to begin the process of applying for one as soon as you can.

Jet lag is a common complaint for travelers who cross time zones. You can’t completely avoid jet lag, so you should try and sleep as much as possible before you leave. You should also make an effort to sleep during the flight if possible.

You can’t really lose something written on the mirror using a dry-erase marker because it’s hard to overlook.You can use dry-erase markers and easily wipe off of mirrors with just a little bit of tissue paper.

If you want to quickly adjust to another time zone, don’t allow yourself to fall asleep until nighttime locally. Though you may be tired, succumbing to sleep earlier than you should may end up making your jet lag worse because you have not allowed your body to recalibrate.

Bring along an extra passport photo along on your trip. It takes quite awhile to replace a lost passport. You can speed up the process swifter by having an extra passport photo available. You should also carry any other documentation you get going again.

Airports are normally extremely busy, so one plane delay creates a chain reaction throughout the day. The first flight in the morning should have very limited with delays.

Try to get a hotel room on a high floor. You should also avoid staying in rooms with sliding doors whenever possible. Rooms with these are much easier to get into.

You can travel via bus to save on baggage fees.While buses have much small fees for larger and heavier bags, it won’t be as much as if you were at the airport. You can also bring large items without paying a large fee.

There is going to be a lot of temptation when you are on the road, especially when it comes to business purposes. Instead of eating at a buffet, take advantage of the hotel gym that you will have access to. This keeps you in shape and keep you energized while on your trip.

When traveling with dogs, brush them well before you put them in the car. This will help reduce the dander that flies around.

Split your valuables amongst multiple places. Avoid keeping all your important documents and valuables in one bag or suitcase. Put your credit cards, tickets, cash, credit cards in ticket in various pieces of luggage. If anything is stolen or lost, your other items will still be with you.

Don’t take too many clothes when packing for your trip.You should easily able to put away a week of clothing to travel with. If you are going to be gone over a week, plan to do laundry instead of packing more clothing.

TSA is sure to be suspicious of your gift and take the wrapping job. Instead, pack sheets of wrapping paper, or purchase it when you arrive.

Always stay safe when traveling. Know your surroundings and the hotel about areas in which you are staying in. There are bad areas in all countries that you should steer clear of.

Bring food if you are going on a flight. Your flight will seem much longer if you have nothing to eat. Just avoid bringing along liquid snacks to a prevent any issues do not arise. You will feel better if you have some snacks with you.

Now, you are better equipped to make travel plans than you were before. A shrewd traveler can help you have a better travel experience, and help better that of your companions. Know-how and advance planning will create the trip you always wanted.

The Best Ways To Design A Top-Notch Web Site

Designing your own website can be very daunting, and yet just a bit scary too! This is especially true if you are a novice at it. Read the tips presented here to find out how easy it can really be to design your site. Construction logo maker can be a formal or casual design but should immediately identify the business specialty.

Be mindful of the background on your website. Some sites include complex or patterned GIF backgrounds that can make text hard to read, while other websites have backgrounds that contain elements that annoy visitors such as gif animations. Choose a background which complements your website, and that goes well with the rest of your design.

It has several useful benefits, but it can be problematic for some visitors. The web browsing softwares out there differ greatly, and they are updated frequently. Not all visitors have the most current version of his browser. These things prevent users from making use of your site.

Keep your site simple. People who are shopping around decide quickly whether to use your site just by viewing the front page. Be descriptive, but be concise.

It is important to always make users needs of your web visitors. The web designer must know what the end user’s needs at all times.This includes user experience, usability, usability, and experience of the user. These are primary considerations you must take into account. Always look at things through the design from the vistor’s perspective.

Navigation link placement is very important for any site and ensures visitors stay on your site. You must provide the user with easy to navigate so that your visitors will enjoy it.

You are better off keeping the graphics to the normal GIFs and JPEGs for graphics. PNG and BMP files take up a lot of bandwidth. Convert to smaller sizes to make visitors have a great user experience at your website.

Always use fonts that area crisp and easy to read. You can tell if a site looks professional just by viewing their fonts. If a visitor doesn’t have a font on his computer, a default font will be substituted. This can make your website look bad.

Always check for broken hyperlinks.The best time to do this check is well before you FTP the page and take it live. This is important, as visitors who click on your links expecting useful information, and if that happens a lot on your website, will leave your site in disgust.

Adobe Dreamweaver is a great for those that wish to create a website. Even amateurs can quickly get the hang of using this product.

Begin by making smaller websites, and how to improve upon both. Begin with a few basic pages, and check out how well you do with that.

Limit your starting content you start out with on a page to small amounts when first start out. You don’t want information that will overwhelm you and confuse visitors when they arrive on your page.

Use a basic layout to get the hang of designing a web design foundation on which to build.

Do not come across as a specific path which takes their choices from them. This means no surveys or offers into their window that are required to continue.

Keep in mind that a website does not have to be all designed by you.Web design requires knowledge of many different areas including graphic design, user interface design, creating content, search engine optimization and content creation. You should never feel embarrassed asking for help when you aren’t an expert in all of them. You can pick and choose which areas you need help in any area you’re not well-versed with.

Try using time wisely when you are designing your website. If you procrastinate, all these tasks can pile up and overwhelm you.

The web design process doesn’t stop once your new website. Be ready to stay active with your website on an ongoing basis. You don’t have to update every day, but it’s critical to update the site regularly. This is especially true if you host videos or work with current events. Updating a website is quite different than updating a blog. You need to implement a lot of work into it.

A visual sitemap should be made so that you with advanced planning. A visual sitemap enables you to precisely watch over the development of your site is evolving. This will allow you to hone in on anything that needs some tinkering, or need other improvements at a glance. There is no substitute for a clear visual of your project.

Make sure your interface tools are simple for users to understand. If you do small things across your pages to remain consistent, people will stay on your site longer and return again and again.

Make sure you use of a descriptive title for your site. You will find that this mistake is made. It is imperative that you name every one of your websites. Search engines use this as part of their algorithms when it comes to search engine optimization algorithms.

Avoid placing dark text on a dark background. It becomes much harder for the eyes to focus and read because of webpages. Avoid using complicated patterns on your background as background. This can make some text appear to blend into the pattern.

If your website is for commercial purposes, free web hosting providers are not your best bet. You don’t want tons of ads to detract focus away from the services and products you are offering. You will fare better with a paid hosting service.

Ask a potential web design company for references.

A web designer’s work can be made easier when they compile a collection of cheat sheets that can be referred to for example code, that you can check out any time questions or problems arise about your site. These lists can also useful in learning how to make your site.

Web design makes for a great way to promote and reach your niche market. If you do this right, you will be a stronger promotions professional. Use these guidelines as soon as possible, and you will notice remarkable improvements.

Brazil’s Carwash Task Force wins Transparency International Anti-Corruption Award

Transparency International today proudly announces that the Carwash Task Force (Força-Tarefa Lava Jato) of Brazil has been selected as the winner of the 2016 Anti-Corruption Award. Superior best car wash products starts at home! If there is one car detailing activity that adds huge benefits to your car’s appearance, it’s regular car washing.

The Carwash Operation (Operação Lava Jato) began as a local money laundering investigation and has grown into the largest investigation to date uncovering cases of state capture and corruption in Brazil.

The state prosecutors from the Carwash Task Force have been on the front line of investigations in Brazil since April 2014. Dealing with one of the world’s biggest corruption scandals, the Petrobras case, they have investigated, prosecuted, and obtained heavy sentences against some of the most powerful members of Brazil’s economic and political elites. To date, there have been more than 240 criminal charges and 118 convictions totalling 1,256 years of jail time, including high-level politicians and businesspeople previously considered untouchable.

With their national campaign “10 Measures against Corruption”, they pushed for legislative reforms to enhance the capacity of public administrators to prevent and detect corruption, and law enforcers to investigate, prosecute and sanction it.

On 30 November, Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies voted for a weakened version of the law. The lawmakers took out essential features on whistleblower protection and illegal campaign financing and introduced an amendment that opens the door to prosecute judges and prosecutors for liability offence. In extreme cases, carrying out their normal functions could be interpreted as being unlawful according to subjective criteria. The new version risks the independence of judges and prosecutors.

The Senate has yet to vote on the legislation and already protests have started to reverse the changes made to the original 10 Measures against Corruption.

“Billions of dollars have been lost to corruption in Brazil, and Brazilians have had enough of the corruption that is ravaging their country. The Carwash Task Force is doing great work in ensuring the corrupt, no matter how powerful they are, are held to account and that justice is served,” said Mercedes de Freitas, Chair of Transparency’s International Anti-Corruption Award Committee. “We are pleased to award the Brazilian prosecutors behind the Carwash Task Force with the 2016 Anti-Corruption Award for their relentless efforts to end endemic corruption in Brazil.”

The Anti-Corruption Award honours remarkable individuals and organisations worldwide, journalists, prosecutors, government officials, and civil society leaders who expose and fight corruption.

The ongoing Carwash Operation has triggered additional criminal investigations and proceedings in other sectors and is recognised as a landmark for white-collar criminal prosecution and defence in Brazil. The investigations have gained traction and huge popular support on both national and international levels.

The prosecutors from the Carwash Task Force are the second Brazilian awardees since the launch of Transparency International’s awards in 2000 after the whistleblower Luis Roberto Mesquita who received an Integrity Award in 2002.

Transparency International received 580 nominations for 136 individuals for the 2016 Anti-Corruption Award, reinforcing our belief that there is a need to celebrate the many heroes of the fight against corruption. Nominations for this year’s award were submitted by the public and Transparency International chapters around the world. The jury for the award is a committee of 8 individuals from across the world who have been active in the anti-corruption movement for many years. Past winners include corruption fighting journalists, activists and government officials.

The Carwash Task Force will receive the award later today during the 17th International Anti-Corruption Conference in Panama City.

The Auto Repair Pointers That Can Make Life Easier

Nothing is more frustrating than the feeling you get if your car breaks down on the highway.This kind of situation is dangerous and now you a lot of money. How can you going to find a quality mechanic? Use these tips to get proper auto repairs done quickly. You may well be offered ‘paint protection’ when you buy a new car, an extra coating that effectively seals the paintwork on the car, meaning that it won’t suffer from the light marks and fading that can damage untreated paintwork, Sydney car paint protection does this in Australia.

Ask many questions you have at the shop. Preventing issues can save money.

Keep car records on hand. You may want these with you when you go to get repairs done; a great place to store them is the glove compartment for easy access. The auto repair professionals will need to refer to these records. This can make the problem quicker and more smoothly.

Always keep records each time your car.If the car has other issues later, it may help the mechanic to see these notes.

Look at the reviews online for body shops in your area. This can inform you a good indication of how satisfied customers are with their experience. This can then be used to get with a shop that makes you eventually choose to do your car repair work.

Never leave anything in your car when it is getting repaired. Mechanics may need to take these items out to do the inside of your vehicle and they aren’t responsible if an item is damaged or missing. Remove everything from the trunk too.

Look for signs that should serve as a new auto repair company. If you’re receiving double-talk when you ask them a question, you should take your business elsewhere. You need to be able to trust the person doing your repairs, so don’t fear seeing someone else.

Just because it is winter does not mean you should avoid washing your vehicle. Winter can ruin the quality of your vehicle.Sand and salt is something that can cause rust and corrosion.

Check the car’s tire pressure whenever you fill your tank. Look at the tires and make sure nothing has become embedded in them. You don’t want to risk driving around with bad tires.

Take pictures of your vehicle prior to bringing it into any shop. Some shops might strip parts off your vehicle and resell them. You should document what the vehicle looks like in case your mechanic fails to fix them or makes things worse.

If you need your car fixed, but desperately need to repair your car, you may want to contact your local vocation institution to see if they have an auto repair department. You will pay a greatly reduced rate to have students fix your car while under the supervision of a licensed mechanic.

It may be a recall you didn’t know about. The manufacturer may even fix the problem at no cost to you.

A portion of good auto repair is consistency. Stick to a trusted mechanic whom you have used before instead of going around to various ones for repairs.Different mechanics may find different issues with your vehicle. They could charge different amounts that cause you more for repairs.

It costs a lot to use the mechanics at the car’s dealer, but it’s often the safest option. The dealer mechanics at the dealership are specialists concerning your type of vehicle you have. They can diagnose problems quickly and are well trained for your car’s make. They usually attend training session regularly.

If you want to know how to diagnose problems with your vehicle, you can’t recognize if something is going wrong. You might even consider taking a class on auto repair if you are unfamiliar with automobile basics. This is why it’s a good idea to look for problems and address them before they get serious so your car which will help it last longer.

Pay attention to any unusual sounds you hear when starting your car. Noise is something that can indicate a problem.

If you go to a auto body shop and they do good work, you should get back with them the next time your vehicle is having trouble. You might also receive a loyal customer.

This will help keep your carpet staining from things like slush and slush. These are a big help during winter and rainy seasons.

When washing the car, take the mats out and hose them down. Dirt particles are easily get inside the rubber surface and over time they will tear holes. Holes aren’t attractive and let dirt have a clear path to your carpet beneath.

Ask any questions you have about your car when you take it in. Any company worth its salt will be happy to answer your questions.

Knowing how to find the right mechanic for your auto repairs can be tricky. When you have proper information, doing it is a lot easier. You will have an advantage if you know the right questions to ask and what to look out for. Keep this information in mind, and use it whenever you experience car trouble.

Eye Care Tips You Can Start Putting To Use Today

Seeing clearly is essential to our lives, and it is often taken for granted until something happens.You need to form a good care routines to keep your vision from failing you.The article below has many great tips that can help you care of your eyes. Improve your vision with the best lasik eye surgery Brisbane.

To find a good doctor locally, ask your family and friends or check patient feedback and online reviews. This will make sure your eyes get the very best care.

While many understand the importance of sunglasses in the summer, you should know it is also important during the winter. This is because of light. Even the clouds are out, the sun emits enough light to make the sky and clouds bright.

Knowing your family’s history when it comes to eye disease can really be beneficial to you. The sooner you catch something, the sooner treatment can start to help maintain your eye health longer.

Omega-3 fatty acids are great for excellent eye care. It would be a great idea to make use of foods that contain this nutrient into your diet. Foods such as tuna, salmon, salmon and dark, leafy green vegetables. Get one serving eaten every day you can.

Wearing good sunglasses help keep your eyes protected from UV rays. Too much UV exposure can cause damage to the eyes. Find ones that address UVB rays and UVA rays. You also have the choice of wraparound glasses that protect all possible angles.

Help your eyes healthy by wearing a pair of good quality sunglasses. They can keep your eyes protected from damaging ultraviolet rays. The sunglasses you choose should block all UVA and UVB rays. They also help you reduce any glare. Even with contacts that have UV protection, wearing sunglasses is still important.

Take a look at your home.Heating and air conditioning systems are one the primary causes of dry eyes. This is what can help to prevent your eyes from becoming dry and irritated.

Regular eye checkups are an important part of your eye care program. This should happen more often as you begin to age. Closely monitoring them allows your eyes will alert you to any issues early.

Replace the makeup every couple months. The reason for this is that bacteria builds up when you keep the eyes leading to damage.After several months, you are just smearing bacteria all over your face and into your eyes. This bacteria can cause multiple kinds of damage to eyes and their surrounding skin.

Know you’re family’s history of eye health. There are many eye conditions that are hereditary in nature. It is helpful to know who in your past has been affected. This lets you take the steps you to potential issues.

Quit smoking to keep your eye’s long-term health. Smoking increases your risk of developing macular degeneration, optic nerve damage and other health issues. If you’ve tried to quit before and failed, you should get back on the wagon.

Smoking can negatively affect blood vessels in your eyes. It can also lead to cataracts, macular degeneration, and cataracts. Find ways for eliminating or reducing your smoking to protect eyes.

Take breaks if you work and at home. Your eyes will need a chance to rest and feel better. Walk around the office or go outside to refresh your eyes.

These ointments lubricate your eyes and last longer than water based solutions. They could make your vision blurry at first though, that’s why the best time to use them is before going to bed.

Take good care of your contacts. Studies show that most people do not properly care for their contact lenses properly. This can cause infections, irritation and vision loss. Your mouth has bacteria that can result in infections. You also wear glasses every so often to rest your eyes.

Most people are now aware of the damage smoking poses to the lungs. Smoking can also damage your eyesight. Research has proven a correlation between smoking and things like nerve damage, optic nerve damage, macular degeneration and smoking. These are very serious conditions can lead to the loss of sight.

Wear a hat to safeguard your eyes protected. Sunglasses can help, but a hat offers complete protection from the sun. A wider brim is optimal if you want the full protection. Your eyelids are sensitive and can develop melanoma. You can keep this by using sunglasses and sunglasses.

Smoking hurts your eyes. Smokers are much more likely to experience macular degeneration than those that don’t smoke. Smoking reduces antioxidants of the eye which could lead to cataract formation. Your eyes are going to benefit if you stop smoking.

Wear your glasses if they are prescribed to you.Many people with prescription glasses think their vision is fine even when they aren’t wearing them. Talk to your optometrist to be sure you should wear them. Your eyes do strain themselves when you wear your glasses correctly.

If you wear eyeglasses, have yearly eye exams. You might think that you see well with your pair, but it is hard to tell when your eyesight changes. Your prescription may need to be adjusted if necessary in order for you to have the best vision.

Wear gear to keep eyes as needed. Goggles keep your eyes are well protected from any flying debris. They will keep your eyes safe.

Always keep glasses nearby. If you are eyes are irritated, you can cause all types of different problems.

Do not assume you need glasses for reading. Many people think the cheap reading glasses they buy at the dollar store are all they’ll need. See an optometrist to make sure that you only need more than reading and not for anything else.

With each blink, moisture is produced for your eyes that contains an oil contained in the eyelid. This oil is a protective coating on your eyes when you blink.

Proper eye care should be a daily focus, and this article has given you some valuable information about doing so. Keep these tips in mind to be sure your vision is how it should be. For all fortunate people who can see, eye care should rank number one on the priority list.