3 Factors that Make Physical Activity So Essential for Children

Most children love to play – even the ones that love their video games! Unfortunately for them, we are slowly moving towards a time when physical activities and playtime are shrinking beyond anything that’s long enough to be enjoyable or effective for them. Speaking of effectiveness, let’s discuss three ways in which physical activity and games are crucial to growing children.

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The Golden 60 Minutes

Young children and even teenagers can reduce their chances of gaining too much weight by being physically active for just an hour a day. It doesn’t have to be a continuous burst of intense exercise in the gym for one hour, but just sixty minutes of any one or multiple physical activity/activities in total throughout the day. Given that the CDC presented data that showed every one in five American children to be dangerously overweight, the golden rule of 60 minutes needs to be followed more widely.

Physical Activity has been Directly Linked to Better Learning

There is a direct connection between physical activity and learning, as it was found that school children who were involved in track & field or any other sport, even as a side-activity, fared better in academic test scores. The subjects that seemed to have benefitted the most from physical activity were mathematics, reading and comprehension.

In general, it was found that aerobics or cardiovascular exercise in children leads to growth in brain matter, along with the formation of new neural connections at a much faster rate than in children who don’t participate in aerobic exercises as much. Aerobics includes anything from running and jogging, to playing a sport that taxes the child’s agility and stamina.

Lack of Physical Activity Can Stunt Physical and Cognitive Growth

Contrary to what some parents may believe, cognitive growth and physical growth are simultaneous and interdependent in many ways. In children who are still at their growing age, the impact of insufficient physical activity could be hugely detrimental for their cognitive development. Even if such an under-active child excels in school work, a rounded development of the bran is unlikely to occur.

It should be noted that this connection between cognitive development and physical activity is one that lasts a lifetime in human beings, but during the early years of rapid growth, missing out on the necessary physical activity will result in inadequate brain development. For example, physical exercises in the form of children’s games or any sport, can help children develop sensory skills. They learn to coordinate their neuromuscular reactions to senses of sight, sound and touch in ways that they wouldn’t learn to do otherwise as children, but would find to be highly essential skills as adults.

Lastly, we must acknowledge the fact that depression, suicidal thoughts and a low self-esteem in children, are often the results of being overweight or obese. Physical activity in children can not only prevent excess weight gain in the first place, but the exertion can lower such grim thoughts and feelings even if they are already present through the regular release of endorphins.

A Beginner’s Guide to Keeping a Bird as a Pet – Everything You Need to Know

Having a bird as a pet is not for every family. But if you are considering adopting a bird for a pet, there are a few things you and your family will need to know before bringing your new feathered friend home.

From the cage, to what to feed your bird, you will find all the information you need if you click here. Below are several ideas to keep your new pet healthy and happy.

Time Involved

Before adopting a bird for your family, you should discuss with each member how much time they are willing to give to the care of the new pet. A bird may seem like an independent creature, but they do need help with food, water, cleaning the cage, vet visits, and playtime.

Most of the birds up for adoption will not require more than about an hour a day. Adopting two birds at one time may be helpful when it comes to keeping a bird entertained. They will talk and sing and play with one another.

There are also some birds require several hours of attention a day. Any bird of the parrot species, cockatoo, amazons, macaws, and Conures all require more time. You may not have to hold them all the time, but they will want to be near you and need interaction with you in the form of talking. So, you will need to figure more time for these types of birds. If you travel or have a busy schedule, these types of birds are not for your family.

Costs of Birds

The cost of purchasing the bird only depends on what type of feathered friend you are thinking of buying.

Parakeets and Budgies are the cheapest and smallest birds and cost anywhere from $10 to $35. Finches are also small and begin at $10, but can increase in price up to $100. Canaries can cost between $25 and $125. Cockatiels will cost anywhere from $50 to $150 for they are a bit larger bird. Macaws and African Grays are among the largest pet birds and cost between $600 and $9000.

Cage Costs

The cost of the cages varies from the small, which run about $10, to the extra large that can cost up to $1000. These are just the cages the birds spend most of their time in, for eating, sleeping, and playing.

There are also flight cages for birds to spread their wings and fly in the safety of your home and in a contained area. Flight cages cost up to several thousand dollars for the ones that take up nearly an entire room.

Why a Bird May Not Be For You

Birds Live for a Long Time – The commitment to a pet bird is many, many years. Some of the pet birds, if well cared for, will live past 75 years of age. This is a long-term commitment for you and your family and something to think about.

Birds Bite – All birds bite, and it is not because they are mean, but rather they are wild by nature and most likely scared. It will happen to the nicest pet owners and from the nicest birds.

Birds Are Messy – Birds can’t help themselves, they can only eat in one way, in a big mess. You will need to clean the cage and the area around the cage daily. This is time-consuming and sometimes disgusting because they also potty in the same manner and the same place.

Birds Are Loud – All birds are vocal creatures, however, some of them are louder than others. The larger the bird, the larger their voice will be. And birds do not stay quiet just because you asked.

Noise Levels

Some people will enjoy the chatter a pet bird will provide on a daily basis. Many of the words you say can and will be repeated so watching what you say could be an issue in some households.

Listening to their bird sing a song is another favorite of many bird owners. They will sing their own version of a song unless you take the time to teach them how to sing your favorite song.

Here are five birds that are quieter than the others if noise is an issue with you or anyone in your family.

1. Senegal Parrots

A medium-sized bird, about 10 inches in length and one of the quietest birds in the parrot family. They are less likely to scream and screech like several other breeds of birds.

2. Parrotlets

Another in the parrot family, they are small and do not scream or screech like the majority of hook-billed birds. They do create soft chirps and chatter that is more soothing than annoying.

3. Budgies (Parakeets)

This is the smaller version of the parrot, although they look almost identical. They have a voice, but not the desire or volume to screech and scream as the larger birds do.

4. Canaries and Finches

Since these are tiny birds, their voices are also tiny. They may make a small “beep” or “squeak” throughout the day, but it is more sweet than harsh.

5. Cockatiels

These are a bit larger bird, but their voices are softer, and they can be trained to do a variety of behaviors that are funny and will make them and you happy. They are a popular bird and one that loves to please their owners.


A nutritious, varied diet is what pet birds require from their daily food intake. This can include veggies, fruits, seeds, and special bird pellets.

Birds are loving and can provide years of fantastic entertainment and enjoyment for everyone in the family. At first, they may not seem to be as much work as dogs or cats, but they do need attention and a lot of care.

Make sure you visit someone who has birds or a place where birds are kept, like a nursing home. This will give you and your family an idea about the birds’ daily needs and care.


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Creating a Welcoming Home Décor

It’s common to see the word welcome on doormats at the front door. It’s an indication you want visitors to feel welcome and comfortable in your home. That’s also how your family should feel. Creating a family-friendly and possibly pet-friendly décor is the ideal way to create a relaxing and welcoming atmosphere. Including handmade items in your décor can accentuate a homey atmosphere.


Stain resistant upholstery is typically the best choice for an active household. Choosing furniture that has zippered cushions can make cleaning easier for you. Fabric that doesn’t trap pet hair is essential if you share your home with pets. Although leather is more expensive than some other fabric options, it’s extremely durable, easy to clean and won’t trap odor or pet hair.

Handmade Accessories

Handmade items seem to instantly add a feeling of hominess to the décor. Handmade Persian rugs are visually exquisite, yet durable enough for a family-friendly living room. Handmade accessories such as throws and pillows can elevate the beauty of your living room or bedrooms. It is very trendy to include nature-themed items in your décor. There are lots of handmade, nature-related decorative accent pieces available. You could also have the family make decorative accessories from items you find on a family outing.

Kid’s Art

Children love drawing and painting. You can frame some of their work and use it as wall art throughout the house. You can use multiple framed pieces to create an artistically unique accent wall. There are lots of craft projects involving kid’s art that you can do to showcase pieces of their art. You can display a picture under a piece of glass placed on an end table or coffee table. Don’t hesitate to be creative with display ideas.

You can create a home décor that makes your family feel welcomed as soon as they walk through the door. You don’t have to forfeit beauty to create a family-friendly, pet-friendly home. Choose your furnishings and accessories wisely and enjoy fun family moments at home.

How Reverse Mortgages Got Their Start and How They Work

You have probably heard a reverse mortgage is a great retirement home loan option unlike a standard loan. What you may not understand is the purpose of a reverse loan and how the concept actually works. To grasp the potential benefits of reverse loans for retirees, you must first delve into their origins. Here is a brief look at how reverse mortgages got their start and how they work.

The First Reverse Mortgage Ever Offered

Reverse mortgages got their start in the United States in 1961. The first one was issued in Maine. A woman concerned about the possibility of losing her home when her husbands income was no longer coming in went to a local lender to ask for help. That lender became the first reverse mortgage lender by developing a special type of loan to help her. Reverse loans have gone through several changes through then, including government regulation, but they still have their roots in that initial agreement.

The Evolution of the Reverse Mortgage Process

As reverse loan agreements became increasingly popular, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) started developing its own version of a reverse mortgage. Today, it is known as a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM). An HECM is just like a reverse mortgage in most ways, except it is government-insured and typically issued by a government agency like HUD or the FHA. A loan from a private reverse mortgage lender is still controlled by some government regulations but is not government-issued.

The Reason it is Called a Reverse Mortgage

If you are wondering why a reverse mortgage is referred to as “reverse,” it is because you get ongoing money from the lender according to the terms of the loan, at least until the total available home equity is borrowed. To figure out how much you can borrow, a reverse mortgage calculator is used. By using the reverse mortgage calculator tool, you and your lender can use specific information to figure out exactly how much money is available to borrow from your home equity.

A standard mortgage requires you to repay money to your lender regularly, instead. That can cause extra financial problems when you are on a fixed retirement income. The reason a reverse loan has no such requirements is it is designed to be a long-lasting loan that provides financial assistance throughout your retirement. As long as you stay in the home, you do not have to repay all of what you borrowed at any particular time.

When You Have to Pay Back a Reverse Mortgage

You have to pay back a reverse mortgage if you cease to meet the terms of the loan at any time. For example, you are required to continue paying the costs associated with owning the home. Failure to pay such expenses, including taxes, or filing for bankruptcy may cause you to default on your loan. Another way you can default is by moving off the property before the loan is paid back. In any such situation your options are to pay back the remaining loan balance or agree to the sale of the property.

Reverse Mortgage Spending Restrictions to Considering

Reverse mortgages have very few spending restrictions attached to them. You can use the money to fund vacations, retirement hobbies, or family needs of any sort. Paying medical bills or monthly utilities are also good uses for the funds. The major restrictions on how you can spend the money are any closing costs are taken out of what you receive ahead of time and you cannot maintain any other home loan while you have a reverse mortgage. Therefore, if you already have a traditional mortgage, you must use the funds you receive to pay it in full before you can be free to spend remaining funds for the purposes you desire.
















Provide Better Customer Service within Your Dry Cleaning Business

Dry cleaning businesses are still alive and well. Inviting technology into your business can help you to stay modern, however. There are a number of ways for you to provide better customer service to your customers, ensuring that they stay loyal to you and your brand.

Implement POS

A dry cleaning POS system can make a big difference within your operations. You can get rid of your old-fashioned register system. Make it easier for people to pay with cash or card. Give them an itemized receipt in print or email it to them. With an advanced POS system, you can also run advanced reports, telling you more about the most popular services.

Provide Service with a Smile

The concept of providing service with a smile is sometimes lost. You may have had a long day and be too quick to provide someone with their dry cleaning without taking the time to ask about their day. Customer service is one of the top factors when consumers decide who they want to do business with. If you have employees who struggle with providing service with a smile, it might be time to provide them with some one-on-one training so that they aren’t, inadvertently, sending your customers to another dry-cleaning business.

Add a Loyalty Program

A loyalty program can be added so that you can thank customers for continuing to choose you on a regular basis. When you have a comprehensive POS system, running a loyalty program is easier. You can have customer profiles built in, allowing you to track how often a customer visits you. You can add points to their account and show them what kind of discounts they can utilize during each visit.

When you take the time to build your customer service platform, it will allow you to become customer-centric. You will find that customers are happier with you, and you may get more business as a result of word-of-mouth marketing, too.