Is Going Back to School Right for You?
The phrase "back to school" doesn't just apply to kids. Many adults are headed back to the classroom in hopes of starting a new career or improving their odds of promotion within their current job. In fact, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, the number of students over age 25 grew 43 percent from 2000 to 2009 - and it's expected to increase another 23 percent by 2019.
"Anyone considering going back to college needs to do their homework," said University of Phoenix School of Business Dean Dr. Bill Berry. "Returning to school is a big decision, and you have to be sure of your reasons so you get the most out of your educational experience."
If you've been thinking of going back to school, Dr. Berry recommends asking yourself the following questions and answering them honestly:
* What are my goals? You need to be clear about why you want to go back to school. Some common goals include getting ahead in your career or starting a career in a new field.
* Do I have time to take classes? According to the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning, whether taking classes online or in a classroom, it can take at least eight hours a week of work to successfully complete assignments.
* How can I leverage my support system? Ask family or friends if they are willing to look after your children while you're studying. If you work, discuss your situation with your supervisor to ensure you have a plan in place to address work-related responsibilities.
* How are my computer skills? As more and more course work is done online, it's critical to have these skills in order to succeed. If your computer skills are a bit rusty, look to see if your college or university offers any courses to help strengthen your skills before enrolling.
* Do I really know what to expect? Programs such as the University of Phoenix University Orientation workshops are required for incoming students with less than 24 credits. The three-week, no-cost workshops allow students to experience the University's academic rigor. "We want our students to succeed," said Dr. Berry. "Offering this workshop lets them figure out if this is a good fit for them, and what is expected of them as students."
What to Look For
The Council for Adult and Experiential Learning recommends that you:
* Look for colleges that are accredited - Check for their accreditation on their website, or look for them at www.ed.gov.
* Ask about Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) - If the school has a system for evaluating your prior learning, you could save time and money when earning your degree.
* Find out about student services - For example, will you have access to faculty and advisors to help you with classwork and your program goals? For example, University of Phoenix assigns every student a Graduation Team made up of advisors for enrollment, academics and finance, in order to help you navigate your entire college experience.
Going back to school is a big decision, but if you ask the right questions and do the right planning, it will be a decision you can make with confidence, knowing it will pay off with a brighter future.
Source: University of Phoenix
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Moms on the Run in the Twin Cities
Women all over the Twin Cities are dropping pounds, making new friends, and improving their health. Their secret? Moms on the Run! Designed for all fitness levels, Moms on the Run was initially created to move even the most inactive woman towards lifestyle change and give her the confidence and training structure to complete a 5K Race. Now in its fifth year of operation right here in the Twin Cities, Moms on the Run offers a structured 18-week training program in 12 metro locations.
If you've been waiting for the motivation to get your start as a runner, this class is for you. Programs are available for walkers, beginning and intermediate runners. Run your first 5K/10K/10 mile or half-marathon, improve your speed and endurance, or stay motivated in your walking routine. The group is for all women, not just moms, but jogging strollers are welcome. This class will focus on interval training to increase metabolism and burn more fat. You'll start out slowly and walk/jog/run your way up to your very first race or a new personal record!
Moms love to say they put their families first...but forget they are part of the family. Feel better. Do better. Your kids are watching you and the example you are setting for a lifestyle of health and fitness. If you are a woman who is too busy, too stressed, too tired....join us this spring. You'll find a supportive community of women eager to encourage you toward your health and fitness goals. Join Moms on the Run for Fitness, Fun, and Friendship!
Moms on the Run Twin Cities Locations: Apple Valley/Rosemount, Blaine, Coon Rapids/Andover, Eden Prairie, Forest Lake, Hastings, Maple Grove, Shoreview, Stillwater, White Bear Lake, Woodbury
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For more information or to register go to: MomsOnTheRun.com
Jillian Michaels: Fitness Ultimatum 2011 - 10 Fitness Tips
10 fitness tips from the upcoming fitness video game, Jillian Michaels: Fitness Ultimatum 2011 exclusively for the Wii this November.
1. Exercise does more than just tone your body, it boosts self esteem, improves mood and revs up metabolism. So suck it up and get moving!
2. If you are looking to shed those last stubborn pounds, you need to increase the intensity of your workouts. Try working at 85% of your Maximum Heart Rate for optimal results.
3. Getting bored with that same old exercise routine? Chances are you body is too. It's probably time to switch things up if you want to continue seeing results.
4. Using proper form when working out is the key to getting the results you want and preventing injuries. Think quality over quantity. Take the time to perfect your form in order to get the results you want and keep your body healthy and strong.
5. Do not exercise on an empty stomach. This way you'll have energy during your workouts and you will burn fat instead of muscle.
6. Don't over do it. When starting out consult your physician. Work to beginner / intermediate levels. Stay at around 70% of your MHR. IN a couple of weeks or so as you become stronger and more fit begin to up your intensity for best results.
7. For results fast try circuit training. This is an exercise technique that utilizes a series of moves in swift succession with no rest in between. For example: Push ups into squats followed by jumping jacks. This method allows your workouts to strengthen while burning fat at the same time.
8. To ramp up your fitness regimen try incorporating a technique called HIIT or High Intensity Interval Training. This simply means working short bouts (30 seconds, 60 seconds, 90 seconds, 2 minutes) of cardio into your strength training routine.
9. Six pack abs are not about crunches. You simply CAN NOT spot reduce fat. The best way to get the washboard tummy is by burning the fat off on top of the muscle with a combination of diet, cardio, and over all resistance training.
10. When you are on the treadmill don't hold on. If you hold on while walking or jogging it decreases the intensity thus decreasing your calorie burn by up to 24%
If there are any writers out there who would like to review the Wii version for MomTalk, please email us at email@example.com
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Jillian Michaels: Fitness Ultimatum 2011 is the only video game with workouts designed and endorsed by Jillian Michaels, exclusively for the Wii. Players can use a wide assortment of exercises to work out each muscle of the body. Designed for all fitness levels, Jillian Michaels: Fitness Ultimatum 2011 allows players to monitor their fitness goals with Fitness Ultimatum's resolution-based tracking system, and a brand new High Intensity workout mode offers the most challenging workouts in the series.
Take it Outside! Outdoor Fitness Ideas
by Deb McLeod
With flowers blooming and birds chirping, you might have a hankering to get outside. Moving your workout outdoors is one way to get outside, enjoy the fresh air and benefit your health all at once.
If you're a gym rat, though, or you enjoy working out in the privacy of your own home, you might not immediately think to plan a workout in the sunshine. But you don't have to do a formal workout to keep fit. There are many things you can do outdoors that back up your fitness regime and are fun in the process.
Find a park
For some throwback fun, consider finding a park with a par course. These courses lead you through larger parks and instruct you to complete a series of exercises before you jog or run to the next station. (Check with your local parks and recreation department to find out if any of your local parks have a par course.)
If there's no par course, you can still create a fun workout at the park. Find one with a walking or running trail and use that for your cardio component. You can do pull-ups on the monkey bars, chase the kids to the swing set, and use the play structure's stairs as a stepper. In no time, you can create a workout that's a change from the ordinary.
Find a court
Haven't played basketball or tennis in a while? Maybe it's time to dust off the old tennis racquet and give it a go, or head to the park and shoot some baskets. If you have a child old enough to play with you, challenge him or her to a game of pickup basketball, and don't go easy (or let them go easy on you).
Visit the garden center
While this itself isn't a workout, you do have to work with all those plants you buy. Getting your yard ready for a garden and planting is hard work. If you spend a day in the yard sowing your garden, you will get a good workout.
To make gardening even more of a fitness challenge, consider planting a tree or moving a large plant to another part of your yard. The shoveling and handling of the plant will give you a good strength workout.
Be a kid
Head out into your newly refreshed yard and play with the dog. Chase him around the yard. Ten minutes of that is sure to get your heart rate up. Once you are warmed up, challenge the kids to a game of tag, or head to the trampoline to a bit of jumping with them. Think about all the things you enjoyed as a child - digging in the dirt, playing kick ball, playing tag, running after each other with water guns. Act like a kid and you're sure to get a workout.
Take a "walkcation"
These days, everyone talks about the concept of a "staycation" where you take a vacation at home, getting to know your home town like a tourist might. A fitness twist on this is a "walkcation". Get a book or find a website that features hikes near your town, and each weekend take one of the recommended hikes.
Not only will you benefit from a fitness standpoint, but you'll also get to know - with some intimacy - the natural wonder that surrounds you.
And that's good for body and soul.
... Continue reading Take it Outside! Outdoor Fitness Ideas.
A weekend away from work and personal responsibilities...time to relax...laughing and bonding with a few friends...These are just a few of the reasons that girlfriend getaways are becoming more popular than ever.
Women account for around 32 million trips last year, and a lot of them were girlfriend getaways. According to the AAA Girlfriend Travel Research Project, these trips now represent four percent of all US leisure travel spending, which is almost $200 million a year.
And what do all these women do on their trips?
* Dining out (86 percent)
* Shopping (74 percent)
* Spa visits (73 percent)
* Going to the beach or pool (70 percent)
Sound good? Then you're ready to get away with the girls.
Planning a getaway can be tricky, so here are some tips to keep in mind.
Talk about money. Everyone involved needs to be honest about how much they can comfortably afford to spend. Remember that the point of the trip is to be together - it doesn't have to be at a swanky resort or exotic locale.
Share the legwork. Each person should do some research on possible destinations. Find out about activities, accommodations, air fare and other potential costs. Then get together over coffee, discuss the details and pick a destination.
It's helpful to have one person in charge of booking, handling the money and communicating with the group. But when it comes to planning itineraries, it's best to take turns. By sharing responsibilities for meal and activity planning, no one can take over the group and everyone has input into the fun.
Step outside your comfort zone. No group trip will thrill everyone all of the time. Be willing to go somewhere you've never been, try new types of food and do an activity you wouldn't normally do.
Because girlfriend getaways are so popular, a number of hotels offer special packages to make the trips even more fun. For example, here are two packages offered by Radisson hotels:
Minneapolis. This package includes a spacious guest room, a bottle of wine upon check-in, a $25 gift certificate to a local mall and a daily buffet breakfast.
Orlando. Some of the goodies in this package include a two bedroom suite, a bottle of champagne with chocolate covered strawberries, a $10 Starbucks gift card, complimentary transportation within five mile radius of hotel, and a $50 dinner for two at the in-house restaurant or a $50 credit for two to a spa, or two guest passes for a local fitness center.
Check the hotels where you're going to find out if they offer anything special for a ladies-only weekend.
Taking a break from it all is a healthy thing to do. And when you can share that break with close friends, you'll come back rejuvenated and ready to take on the world again.
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Dealing with the Loss of a Loved One During Valentine's Day
By Louise Zweben, CEO of SympathyTree.com
Valentines Day's, anniversaries, birthdays and the holiday season are especially difficult if you have recently lost a loved one. It is normal to be depressed during these days, as you think of the times you spent together, knowing that those days with that special person are now in the past. The best gift you can give yourself from that special person this Valentine's Day is to start looking ahead. However, it is important to remember that looking ahead does not mean forgetting that special person and leaving those memories behind. It is actually the opposite - looking ahead is about finding a way to keep those fond memories alive forever, knowing that no one can take those times away from you, and that now is the time to move beyond the past and look ahead. This decision to look ahead is an essential part of the grieving and healing process and is vital to your health and balance. On this Valentine's Day, let me share with you four ways to show your love for the one you've lost, while continuing on with your journey of healing.
• Create an online memorial, a unique and meaningful way to capture the life of someone you have loved and lost in stories and pictures, and then share those special memories with close friends and family. Such a memorial keeps all family and friends, including the ones who live far away; talking about the times they shared with that person to provide you the comfort of a close community. Through an online memorial, you build a tribute to that special person which captures what made them so special. You can create an elegant online memorial in just a few minutes with basic computer skills by using a website that offers memorial sites. Above all, it is a love letter to them on this special day. It can help in mourning and healing, so that we can begin to take the first steps needed to move forward.
• View photographs and watch videos of you with your loved one as a way to remember the times you shared with them. Blocking it out when it hurts is not the right thing to do. In fact, the first step in moving forward is looking back.
• Invite close friends or immediate family over to share a meal or just some time together. Any time that you spend with them can be a very cathartic and reflective time and begins the process of putting things in perspective.
• Pledge to join a support group so you can learn to cope with the loss of someone who was a part of what made us what we are. So, what do we do, how do we go on after they are gone and how do we deal with the grief? In addition to family and friends, a support group can help you during this difficult time.
These four things may be the best way to pay tribute to them, to begin to deal with your loss, and to do something very special for them and for yourself on this Valentine's Day.
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Louise Zweben is the CEO of SympathyTree, an online memorial site . Louise first had the idea for SympathyTree.com from her personal experiences in dealing with the death of a close family friend. Louise is a serial entrepreneur with successful businesses spanning a wide range of areas including Technology and Real Estate.
Feeling Fatigued? Try Exercise!
by Karen Asp
You're exhausted. Not only have the shorter days and lack of sunshine sapped your energy, you're also wiped out from the holidays. The last thing you want to do is exercise. Yet here's the irony: A new study confirms that just a little bit of physical activity -- even a brief stroll -- will combat fatigue and give you an instant rush of energy that will last for hours.
More Exercise, Less Fatigue
Researchers from the University of Georgia recently took 36 fatigued non-exercisers and assigned them to one of three groups. For six weeks, one group did 20 minutes of moderately intense exercise on an exercise bike three times a week, the second group did similar workouts but at a more leisurely pace, while the third group did no exercise.
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