My Latest Hobby to Unlock Creativity

Creativity can be unlocked in many different ways. You can craft stories, write poems, draw things, create an app, write codes, etc. But one of the latest addition to this long list of ways to unlock creativity is 3D printing.

3D printing is a form of additive manufacturing. In this form of manufacturing, objects are built layer by layer starting from the ground up. I’m pretty sure you’ve heard about it before, probably even saw videos of it in YouTube. Perhaps you even have a 3D printer at your home!

I was browsing Reddit when I stumbled upon a post about 3D printing. After reading it and reading people’s comments about it, I started to get curious. However, it’s not as easy as it looks so I had to do my assignment. I looked up about it online and read tons of articles and even books in my local library. Every day after work, I would open my laptop and browse different forums and websites, participating in any discussions that have something to do with 3D printing.

I learned that 3D printing is basically a step by step process:

  1. Create or obtain a 3D model.
  2. Convert the 3D model to STL format.
  3. Convert STL to G-code by using a slicer.
  4. Print the model from the G-code generated by the slicer from the STL file.

Good thing I already have a background in 3D modeling and this is where I can boost and unlock my creativity. In case you are wondering, yes, you can theoretically 3D print anything that comes into mind! All you have to do is to create the 3D model by using your favorite 3D modeling program, convert it to STL, then convert it to G-code and finally print it! And boy it feels really good to hold your virtually crafted model in the palm of your hands! And also, finally you can have non-tech savvy people see your magnificent computer-generated 3D sculpture work of art displayed in your living room. Now they will not ask about what you do the whole day locked up in your room in front of your computer. You can proudly tell them that you are a modern Michelangelo.

3D printing actually began in the 1980s. However, it was limited to industrial uses and costs literally hundreds of thousands of dollars per machine. After the patent for fused deposition modeling (FDM) expired (this is one of the most popular 3D printing technology), 3D printers slowly become available for home consumers with prices dropping from hundreds of thousands to hundreds of dollars. Today, many people have started their 3D printing hobby, including me.

Now back to me. After learning about 3D printing, I thought about how my creations can now be turned into a real-life object. I can create 3D fanarts of my favorite TV shows and use them as a decoration or print a keychain of unique design or even print fully customized, specially-made-for-you toys for my kids! This opened up a new vista to expand my creativity.

3D printing, however, is not just about turning my creations into reality. It can be applied in many different ways. In fact, it’s already applied in manufacturing, medicine, architecture, and custom art. Some people even use 3D printers to create more 3D printers!

Now I hear you asking. What about us who are not good in 3D modeling or art in general? Fear not. There are many websites out there where you can download ready to print or ready to convert 3D models. You can find a list of free 3d printing sites all over the internet.

Now you don’t have to worry about creating models of your own but try to learn 3D modeling. You can easily get started by downloading Blender, a free 3D modeling software.

As for the 3D printing machine itself, there are tons out there to choose from, prices at least $200. You’ll need filaments, they act as the “ink” for the 3D printer. There are many places where I buy filaments in Canada, but I make sure that they are compatible with my 3D printer and with my intended output.

Keep in mind when 3D printing that the slower the printing speed is, the higher the output quality of your final product.…

How to Best Utilize Protein Powder to Maximize your Muscle Gain

Image result for Muscle Gain

Let us start with the basics of the usage of protein powders.  If you are an athlete or bodybuilder, you work out more intensely than the average person.  This means that you are working on making more muscle.  Now, muscles are built from protein, which you get from your food.

Obviously, food is a great source of protein.  However, this protein intake comes with all the other nutrients in food, which you most of the time find in greater amounts than protein.  Therefore, an extra intake of protein might be needed. This is where protein powders come in.

I do believe that protein powder is something you must be careful with since, as with pretty much anything, you should always be cautious.  An excessive intake of proteins can actually prove to be harmful more than beneficial.

So, how do you best utilize protein powder to maximize muscle gain?  Easy, keep other practices in check.

Find the Best Times to Supplement

You read that, right?  Protein powder should be used as a supplement.  Most experts recommend taking a scoop of protein shake right before a workout and after your workout session.   The pre-workout intake is to make sure you have something to work with.  This intake will help you fuel your muscles with energy.

The post-workout intake will help repair damaged tissue by creating a perfect anabolic environment for your muscles.  It is also recommended to take a good protein shake early in the morning before hitting the grind.

The Best Time to Work Out

Maximizing this extra protein intake with heavy exercise is important.  The best time to do this is usually during the evening.  This provides a complete-day time to replenish your body with the nutrients you need to deliver an effective workout.

Consider the Other Nutrients

But it is not all about protein here.  There are other important nutrients that your body needs in a healthy amount. Carbs and fats are an important source of energy to your body, for example.  Just make sure you eat the healthy type.

Keep Yourself Hydrated

This one is simple.  Your body weight is 70% composed of water.  This should give you the hint that water is critical for your body functions.  Do not lose track of this one while putting too much emphasis on proteins and other nutrients.

Keeping your body properly hydrated is important to perform at the intensity needed.

Workout with Frequency

In order for your muscles to be built effectively, you must keep up with the workout sessions.  Waning down on the frequency can sacrifice some muscle gains.  Plan for at least three weekly sessions where you work out the most important muscles.

Before trying any protein powder, make sure you check out trusted supplement reviews to learn which one might fit your needs better.  Always make responsible and educated choices about your body.

 …

The best music to listen to that will increase your productivity

The question is often posed whether it is better to listen to music while at work or not. The general way of thinking is that it boosts productivity and employee moral but a quick search on the internet will reveal a variety of differing opinions. Reading through some of them I was left with a simple answer to this old question. It depends.

One classic study on assembly line workers tested how music affected how they worked. Their overall productivity had increased greatly but based on what we know of human psychology now it’s more likely their mood was simply given a boost given the repetitive and boring nature of their job.

Now that’s not to say that your job needs to be boring and repetitive for music to be good for it. The main point is that performing any task which doesn’t require a lot of thought or verbal communication, in essence, a job that can largely be done on auto-pilot, is perfect for music. Having some earbuds plugged in can add a sense of isolation and allow you to focus fully on the job at hand. Other studies have found that music with a high bass is the best for this due to the rhythm they induce. Electronic music like that done by DJ Krista is one example. Depending on your role so as a tradesman, music could help you a great deal to get through the more repetitive parts of it. However, considering the role of most trade jobs with the risk of accidents and the need to work as a team, it’s probably best to leave the earbuds at home.

However, another interesting finding was that surgeons were found to listen to music a lot during surgery. Many of them felt it helped them relax and remain calm through a surgery. Researchers speculate that because surgeons are experts in their field music allowed them to relax and stay uplifted rather than distracted. And since their jobs are largely non-verbal any presence of lyrics in the music didn’t distract them from the job at hand.

In one other study introverts and extroverts were tested to examine the effects of listening to music which engaged in a memory task. Participants had to remember objects immediately or after a delay as well as a reading comprehension test. It found that on average introverts performed worse on this than extroverts. Especially when asked to remember an object after a delay. They concluded that this was because introverts process things more internally and find external events far more energy draining.

All this taken together what are we left with? Music can boost productivity when the job is a bit repetitive or the person has it mastered so well that they required less thinking about it. Though for those jobs that involve a lot of verbal communication and cognitive thinking, music can serve more as a distraction. Also, whether you’re an introvert or extrovert can also have an influence. Best thing to do is test out a few songs at work and see how you perform. And of course, if your job involves an element of danger exercise caution and leave the earbuds back home.…

Five Best Men’s Water Shoes

Have you been stuck in the gym the entire Winter? Well, summer is here and it’s time to discover the outdoors. But there is a good chance that your feet are a bit tender after an entire winter of hibernation. This is where the best mens water boots will come in. They will protect your feet from potential injuries from broken glasses, sharp rocks, hot surfaces, coral reefs, fish hooks and even sharp-edged mussels.

  1. Teva Men’s Churn Performance Water ShoeThis water shoes from Teva is equipped with a rubber sole and forefoot drainage that allows water to flow instead of staying inside the shoe. It has an elastic opening which makes it easy to pull on. When it’s from Teva, you can be sure it’s built to last and will protect your feet.
  2. Columbia Men’s DrainmakerFor sporty use, this is the ideal shoes. It’s durable without being too heavy, it’s built to last even when overly abused. The good thing about this pair of shoes is that it remain comfortable even after extended hours of all-terrain wear. If you are looking for a pair of sneaker to wear at the beach, look no further than this.
  3. Adidas Climacool Jawpaw Slip-on Water ShoeIf you’re looking for good support and fit, the Adidas Climacool Jawpaw Slip-on Water Shoe is the ideal pair of shoes for you. It’s durable and lightweight, it’s perfect for beach wear and white water rafting. This is designed to provide traction at the poolside, at the beach and while hiking downstream.
  4. Merrell Men’s All Out Blaze Aero Sport Hiking Water ShoeThe Merrell Men’s All Out Blaze Aero Sport Hiking Water Shoe is a comfortable shoe straight out of the box. The Vibram soles are waterproof and dry really fast. It has breathable ventilation to keep your feet aerated all through extended hiking and in all terrain. It’s hard not to like this shoes especially when you’re hiking along muddy roads because it just prevents you from slipping around.
  5. Vibram FiveFingers Signa Water ShoesThe last but definitely not the least is the Vibram FiveFingers Signa Water Shoes. Wearing this shoes is almost going barefooted. It feels like a glove and it’s built to drain out water so your feet don’t feel soggy. If you’re a rower or a kayaker, this is the ideal shoes because of its thin, flexible and lightweight. It will be as comfortable as wearing nothing on.

Water shoes are also important for preventing you from slipping around. You can just imagine the potential injuries if you go outdoor and experience slipping through rocky terrains. These shoes are considered based on quality and features and even the prices factor. If you have any of these, you can be sure to face the great outdoor with confidence knowing that your feet are protected.

Do you have experience with any of these shoes? Why not share your experience in the comment section below?…

Why getting regular massages increases productivity and energy

Everyone loves a good massage. No matter what your lifestyle or work routine is you can find great benefits in having a regular massage. Apart from leaving you feeling great massage therapy can relieve stress, prevent injuries, detoxify the body and leave you with more energy.

That last one is this article’s focus. While massage therapy does not directly give us more energy the side effects do lead to more energy along with greater mental clarity. Professional trainers have been swearing on the benefits of massage therapy for years now but only in recent years has scientific consensus come out to support this. If you feel like you don’t have enough energy in the day and find it difficult to focus at work then consider making a massage a regular part of your routine. Not convinced? Read on and see just how a massage can do that and more.

Increased energy through faster muscle recovery

For muscles to properly grow they need time to recover after a workout. Massage therapy can speed up this process by increasing blood circulation through the body which will aid in bringing nutrients through the blood stream and flushing toxins out. This leaves you less fatigued which means more energy. A deep tissue massage is the best choice for this as it softens up the muscles allowing for greater circulation.

 

Less pain means more energy

Muscle pains can make it difficult to focus and think clearly. Whether its muscle or illness related, massage therapy has been shown in studies to reduce pain levels and lead to greater mental clarity and concentration.

 

Alleviates Depressions leading to more energy

Depression and anxiety can really act as a drag on your energy levels creating a domino effect that brings you low both mentally and physically. Regular massages though have been shown to help alleviate anxiety. It’s unknown exactly why this is so and the research done so far is far from conclusive but it is believed that massage therapy increases serotonin and dopamine levels in the brain which is known to reduce stress levels.

It’s also well understood that high-stress levels can make muscles tense up which can lead to muscular pains. A massage relaxes the muscle tissues releasing the tension and leaving you with more energy for the day.

Leads to a better night’s sleep

Many people suffer from chronic sleep loss which saps their energy and increases stress. Just as massage therapy alleviates depression this in turn makes for a better night’s sleep. Stress is not the only cause of trouble sleeping; an intensive workout routine leaves the muscles feeling tense making it difficult for them to relax later on.

Relaxed muscle tissues and a distressed mind leads to a better night’s sleep and higher energy levels for the following morning.

 

Final thoughts

The benefits of massage therapy build up cumulatively. It’s important to stick with it to draw its full effects. Most professional recommend getting a massage once a week if regular exercise is part of your routine. If this isn’t an option then try to aim for twice a month. It’s also worth understanding the different types of massages to find out which one suits your situation best. Most professional massage therapists can provide accurate and up to date information on the massages they provide and who they’re geared for. Adam Harris in Vancouver provides free consultation to help you make the right decision.…

How Music Can Help You Focus in Business

It’s a fact. Music can provide a lot of wonders in our life. Studies and experiments were able to prove that music can help a person improves in so many ways. Its effectiveness depend on which aspect of your life you are having trouble with. Listening to a good music will help you achieve the wellness and the peace of mind that you always wanted.

music

For instance, a study show that listening to a good song calms a baby. It also helps someone to concentrate better and improve mentally. That’s probably the reason why the corporate world even find music a good way to help their employees to improve their productivity. Playing a soothing and relaxing music at work would make a difference.

Focus in Business

This is not something that we commonly hear. How music can actually help you focus in business? If you are running a business, that’s definitely a challenging and stressful responsibility. It can be quite draining on your part. You probably have to use up all your energy just to get everything done for your business.

Running a business is no joke really. It’s exhausting beyond explaining. Since we all have different life aspects, it would often hard to put all your focus in business. You have to take care of yourself, your loved ones, your family, your kids and a whole lot more. And that’s pulling you away from focusing much in running the business. You’d probably end up giving it up.

Try Music

music2Then why don’t you try the power of music? Some therapist would even offer a good playlist to listen to. Listening to good songs while working might even help your brain to function better. It delivers a positive vibe on the human body system, helping it to function well. Thus you have all the energy and will to do the things to be done.

It would also be great if you can spend at least 10-15 minutes a day just to listen to a good set of songs. And while working, you can play a more upbeat music to put your brain in the mood for working. A pump song triggers energy and enthusiasm.

In most workplace, the management would let their employees listen to a song. Music is known to help improve the productivity of workers. It also gives them more energy to focus on their job and perform above expectations. Thus, if you have some paid personnel in your business, you might want to let them listen to good songs and help them progress in their work.

Not having the right focus in business or in whatever we do isn’t really a good thing. It doesn’t deliver the kind of output that we want. Rather than stressing yourself too much, try creating your own song playlist. Pick the songs that you know will help you boost your mood and will give you the push to do your best.

 

 

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Why Anger Management is Important in The Workplace

Creating the best work environment is important for a greater productivity. People are the most important asset in all companies.  Even the emotional implications of unwanted friction or being at odds with someone can greatly affect the positive outcome of the working experience.

The rationale

Think of the 9 to 5 in a small cubicle with the computer screen and the cup of coffee as a company.  Of course, add the pile of paperwork that needs to be done.  You have certain goals to meet.  Probably, you are already stressed as the deadline comes closer.  All of these factors are very easily detonators to a stress pour out.  We have all seen it:  a co-worker that seems to train every day to make your life more miserable than what it already is.

Then you have the pressure of trying to make ends meet at home.  If you have a spouse and kids, you also need to deal with all issues at home.

Why is anger management important?

There are probably very little things that you can do to help with workload or physical ambient.  However, there is all you can do to deal with all of them positively.  We are not talking about stoically withstanding with unfair situations, you do stand against those.  But we are talking about showing patience (and even empathy, sometimes) towards those situations that you cannot change.

We all have our temper and a measure of what pops our balloon.  Sometimes we get mad at things that deep inside we know they are more about us than anything external.  It is at those moments that knowing how to control one’s anger comes in place.  This could even actually determine if you keep your job.  I have seen many situations in which anger took the best of an employee and they had to be fired.

Anger is a human emotion and sometimes it is important to be able to express our feelings.  Anger management is not about suppressing those emotions.  It is more about handling them properly.  When we get livid, we usually affect other people.  We usually do and say things that we would not normally do.

We get angry as a response to internal and external situations.  Anger even affects our physiology.  It has been associated with digestive conditions, headaches, rapid breathing, elevated blood pressure, and it even increases the chances of a stroke.

Anger is an adaptative response to us feeling hurt, threatened, or in danger.  This increases your adrenaline and makes you more alert.  Although this can help you react in stressful situations, it can also kill you if you are not able to handle it properly.

If you are able to recognize the signs of having an anger issue, it is important that you approach an expert to get some counseling.  Remember, anger in the workplace handled badly will have negative effects on you and your record.…

Hire a Leg Up To Walk Your Dogs So You Can Focus on Work

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There’s no doubt, dogs bring a different kind of happiness to individuals and families. They provide a unique experience when it comes to playtimes,  dinners and ordinary days. With the unconditional love and unlimited joy they bring, you, as their owner should be able to play the part too. Did you know that there’s more to dog walking than simply being an exercise? There are plenty of benefits that await you and your pet by simply doing this routine regularly.

 

However, a lot of dog owners don’t have the liberty and the time to give their pets. Most of the time, these people are out of the house for long because of work and other commitments outside. In cases like this, it would be a wise decision to hire someone to do the dog walking Toronto. Dogs, when not given enough exercise, playtime, stimulation and attention may bring about consequences that may stress you or hinder you from being more productive in other areas in your life.

 

Take into example a dog who hasn’t been walked or played with for a couple of months. You’d notice a change in behavior and as time progresses, this behavior will demand a lot of time, energy, attention and resource from you. Sometimes, dogs may display undesirable behaviors like aggressive behaviors, chewing on just about anything including their waste. This and other stressful behaviors may develop as time passes.

 

If you’re still trying to decide on whether you should hire a dog walker to help you out, here are some things you can consider.

 

  1. dos-perrosHiring a dog walker will give you more time for work. Taking care of a pet requires a lot of time and attention. If you let a professional do it for you, you’d have more time available to spend on more important tasks and activities in your day. You can actually take some time off in the morning to find some peace and quiet as your dog is sent to a dog walking session. It’ll help you clear your mind and set goals more effectively.

 

  1. Hiring a dog walker will improve your dog’s behavior. Dogs need an ample amount of exercise, stimulation and fun times. Once given the following, your dog will really perform well in terms of behavior. There will be less time of boredom and less time to develop destructive and problematic behaviors This will mean more time of productivity because there will be less distraction for you to deal with.

 

  1. Hiring a dog walker will make your life easier. Whether you acknowledge it or not, hiring dog walkers will greatly make your life easier by taking on the tasks that are too time-consuming and difficult. When your pet is with them, you can continue with your daily tasks with ease. You can concentrate better knowing that all the concerns such as feeding requirements, phobias, contacts, health and other requests are taken into account.

 

Balancing your time with work and play doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to take the responsibility alone. You can get help from reliable, professional and experienced people to walk your dogs regularly. In this way, you can spare yourself from having a bad day and invest more on productive days at work.

 

 

 

Morning Routine to Find Your Zen

Wake Up EarlyEarly in the morning, you will find the environment peacefully asleep. Noises are greatly reduced and it is easy to focus in doing something such as writing, workouts, meditation, etc. In addition, waking early in the morning allows you to feel something so unique and peaceful. Therefore, we can infer that waking up early in the morning is one of the best thing we can achieve. Why? Because if you wake up earlier, you can have plenty of time to prepare for your day ahead and you will easily accomplish everything with a peaceful and calm mind.

Benefits of Waking Up Early

You will be able to have more time to prepare yourself with the obstacles and work that you have to face throughout your day. By waking up, say, at 6 AM, you will be able to meditate effectively, reflect and focus in writing something. In addition to that, you’ll be able to finish things earlier and you’ll avoid rushing and doing things with adrenaline rush.

The Routine to Find Your Zen

Exercise

Exercising is a great way to tone your body for the harsh day that you’ll face. In addition to that, you’ll be able to awaken your body to prepare it for anything. You can easily execute anything with a fully awaken body.
I like to jump on my foam roller first thing in the morning. This gets the blood flow going and places me in a dynamic place! Once I’m done with the foam roller I’ll do some light exercises with resistance bands.

Waking Up Before 6 AM

Yes, or at least exactly 6 AM every morning. After that, just stay awake, just sit and reflect about yourself and what you want/need to do today and you’ll be able to execute them smoothly.

Meditation and/or Yoga

Meditation and/or Yoga is a great way calm yourself and it’s perfect to do early in the morning where there only a few distractions around you. Also, the calm atmosphere of early morning will help you calm down.

Be Grateful

Upon waking up, be grateful and have a peace of mind. If you start your day with a moody feeling, you’ll feel sluggish throughout the day and you’ll be having a hard time doing tasks, socializing and even enjoying.

Waking Up Earlier – How to Do it?

If you’re having difficulty waking up early, then all you need to do is to adjust your sleeping routines as well as some of your habits. The first thing that you can do is, of course, sleep earlier, but how can you do that? There are several simple ways to achieve it.

The first one is to make sure that you cut off any electronics away from you at least 2 hours before you sleep. That means if you want to sleep at 10:00 PM, make sure that at 8 PM, all of your electronic devices such as your PC, laptop, TV or iPhone are turned off or in sleep mode.

If you’re a coffee, tea or caffeine lover, the last drink should be at least four hours before you sleep. Caffeine is at peak after one hour and will stay in your blood stream for up to six hours and we know that caffeine is literally a way to stop us from falling asleep.

There you go, I hope you enjoy adopting your new lifestyle.…

Paddle Board Yoga to Relax

Relaxation is one of the best parts of being alive, isn’t it!?

Did you know the single most effective way to unlock creativity is to reduce stress? Reduce stress, improve creativity which improves your life & business.

Are you Paddleboarding? Then why not try paddle board yoga? Haven’t heard of it? That’s why you’re here, to learn what paddle board yoga is and why do it.

paddleboard yoga: relax!

What is Paddleboard Yoga?

SUP Yoga is a form of yoga but on the beautiful water. You can practice on the shoreline sand or in a swimming pool to obtain the strength and flexibility needed to keep up the balance and postures on fluid water, for example, the sea or a lake. Professionals and those with strong cores can start by traveling through a sequence of yoga postures, while remaining on a typical length surfboard or a specially designed stand up paddle board.

How to do Paddleboard Yoga?

As we have learned earlier, this is almost similar to regular yoga, but with an added twist, you do it on a stand up paddleboard. Before you start, make sure that you’re comfortable handing the board. Don’t be afraid though as it’s really easy and intuitive. Once you’re comfortable, you can begin doing paddleboard yoga.

Select a ySUP

Okay, maybe you’ve tried stand up yoga a few times and now you’re ready to make the investment. How do you choose a board? What types of things do you look for?

First we need to size the board. Too big and it’s going to be a boat to carry around. Too small and you’re going to end up in the water more often then not. That said generally speaking we’re going to want to err on the side of larger. The larger a board, the more volume the more stability. You want stability while practicing your downward dogs in the middle of the ocean. Trust me on this one :).

Okay, so what else? Well at the very least we want a pad or a mat to work on. Solid construction paddle boards are generally very firm on top. That doesn’t bode well. That said you can get pads that are made out of the same material as yoga mats. Pretty good right?

You wouldn’t do yoga on the bare class floor (hence why people have become millionaires selling yoga mats). Pretend it’s a classroom floor, bring your “mat”.

Better yet, buy an inflatable paddleboard. Paddlers Retreat offers some pretty in depth reviews on the subject. Onto the poses!

The Poses for your SUP Yoga

There are several poses but we’ll discuss the easiest to learn and best for beginners. The two most popular are downward facing dog and knee lunges. Let’s dive in!

Downward Facing Dog – Stretch That Back Out!

 

Begin on all fours. Spread your fingers wide apart and reach towards the edges of the board. Really spread them out. Place your index finger and thumb to the board. Twist your toes under and lift your rump in the air (and shake it like you just don’t care – kidding!) while snaking your neck around. Chip away at pushing through your hands, and lift your forearms way up into the clouds from the board, always reaching further with each breathe. Drive your sternum to your spine and activate the core, driving your heels to the ground to establish a strong pose. If your lower back is tight, use a slight bend at the knees. Hold for at least seven breaths or no less than 30 seconds. Repeat three times.

Don’t forget to enjoy your settings!

Knee Lunges

Begin in downward dog (the previous pose) and step your right foot forward towards the middle of your hands while setting the left knee down on your mat (oops I mean board). Keep your front toes pointed. Curl your back toes under your body for added stability. Your feet ought to be hips distance apart despite the fact that they are in two different places.

Make sure to drive through your heel and ball of your front foot – this is where you draw your stability from, and push through your toes and ball of your back foot – this is where you draw your power from.. Place your hands on your thighs for strength if needed. If you’re feeling strong in the pose, send your hands to the sky, palms up. Return to downward dog and reset your left foot forward. Hold each one side for five breaths or 30 seconds each.
Those are just two of the many poses you can do on a paddle board. It really is a great sport!…