Category: Health & Beauty

WHY CLEAN WITH HERBS?

 

Homemade herbal cleaning products are mostly composed of just one main substance – the cleaning agent – which means that you’re not paying for bulking additives, artificial colours or perfumes. You can choose the type and strength of the scent you want; fresh herbs or essential oils almost invariably leave a delightfully fresh, clean smell.

cleaning with herbs
There is also gathering evidence that links the use of chemical cleaners such as bleach with the development of asthma in both children and adults. Some chemicals can set off allergic reactions or contact dermatitis in sensitive people. And one 2010 US study discovered that women who held cleaning jobs while pregnant had a higher incidence of birth defects in their children.

So, whether you’re already committed to a greener way of cleaning or you just want to save money and simplify your life a little, herbal cleaning makes a lot of sense.

Try these two recipes to clean your surfaces and floors, the easy way, with the power of herbs.

All-purpose herb vinegar spray
This all-purpose, environmentally friendly, non-toxic spray is great to have on hand for wiping, cleaning and deodorising almost every surface (except marble). If you don’t have any fresh herbs, add drops of essential oil instead.

Ingredients
fresh or dried herbs (you can also use herbal tea bags)
distilled white vinegar
Preparation
Roughly chop 1 to 2 large handfuls of fresh or dried herbs (such as lemon verbena, peppermint, rosemary, lemon balm or lavender), or place 5 to 10 tea bags in the bottom of a wide-mouthed glass jar.
Add vinegar to fill the jar. Replace the lid, leave for a few days to infuse, then strain out the herbs. (If you are using tea bags, you can gently warm the vinegar before pouring to ensure maximum diffusion.)
Decant into a plastic spray bottle. This spray is perfectly safe and very effective to use at full-strength, but it can also be diluted half-and-half with water for lighter jobs.
Eucalyptus floor wash
With its powerful natural antiseptic, disinfectant and cleaning properties, eucalyptus oil can be put to work in every room of the house. This simple solution can be used on both timber and lino floors. When washing a timber floor, remember not to saturate it. Your mop should be damp, not dripping wet, and the floor should be well-swept or vacuumed before mopping.

Ingredients
1 teaspoon eucalyptus oil
2 tablespoons methylated spirits
5 litres hot water (about half a bucket)
Preparation
Combine all the ingredients in a bucket.
Wring out a mop in the solution and use it to damp mop the floor. Leave to dry; you don’t need to rinse
-readersdigest

Organize Your Closet: 9 Genius Rules for Deciding Which Clothes to Keep or Toss

Prepare for Your Purge

Give yourself at least four hours to dedicate to your closet reorg. Label three heavy-duty garbage bags “donate,” “tailor,” and “consignment.” Pull on nude, seamless undergarments and get ready to try on some clothes. Optional: your best friend and a bottle of wine.

Start With a Sweep

Begin on one end of your closet and pull out everything you know with certainty you don’t want. If you have to think about something for more than 10 seconds, move on and deal with it later, advises Cyndy Aldred on her blog the Creativity Exchange.
Aim for the Perfect Tops-to-Bottoms Ratio

The ideal wardrobe has three times as many tops as bottoms—the same ratio they’re sold in at the store, according to Real Simple. Aim for a 60 to 40 ratio of solids and neutrals to statement pieces and prints.

Stay Coordinated

When debating whether to keep or toss a piece, ask yourself if it matches at least three other things you currently own. Better yet, do this type of curation going forward by buying your basics at a maximum of three stores. Most shops have their own preferred style and fabrics. By shopping at only a few, you’ll find that more of your items match.

Consider: ‘Is the Item the Best Version of Itself?’

Don’t let thriftiness win at the expense of looking put together. If a garment has stains, fading, sagginess, uncontrollable pilling, or fits you poorly, take it to the tailor or donate it (and get yourself a new, better-fitting version).

Ask Yourself…

Would I buy this now? Do I have too many of the same item (i.e., three black cardigans)? Does this still fit without bumps, bulges, or hanger marks?

Part With Your T-Shirt Pile

Cotton T-shirts make great rags, and polyester is recyclable (check with your recycling center first). If one particular shirt holds sentimental value—say, your son’s spirit tee from a state championship—consider putting it in a frame and hanging it as artwork, suggest Erin Doland on Unclutter.com. Other fun options to consider are quilting the shirts together (Campus Quilt Company will even make the quilt for you!), crafting a tote bag, or making a pillow.

Go to the Tailor (or Toss!)

If you have a pile of clothes waiting to go to the tailor, get a new button, or have some other type of work done, fix them this week, or toss them, suggests on Preciously Paired.
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Learn Your Lesson

Flip your perspective by considering that each item you get rid of serves a purpose, advises blogger Ashley Trexler on 5minutesformom.com. Each discarded item can teach you not to buy that certain cut, color, fabric or size again.
Readers Digest•

7 Things That Will Happen When You Start Doing Planks Every Day

Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

Abdominal muscles must provide support for our entire back and spinal column.. In doing so, they also play a vital role in preventing injuries. However, for them to perform this function successfully, our core muscles have to be strong and trained on a regular basis. What all this means is that doing plank exercises every day is a great way to strengthen your core, and in doing so, support your spine.

Now, let’s focus on what will happen when you start doing planks every day:

1. You’ll improve core definition and performance:
Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominus, the external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.
2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column
Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism
Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

4. You’ll significantly improve your posture
Doing planks greatly improves your ability to stand with straight and stable posture. Through strengthening your core you will be able to maintain proper posture at all times because muscles in the abdomen have a profound effect on the overall condition of your neck, shoulders, chest and back.

5. You’ll improve overall balance
Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!- but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before
Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shoulders, shoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

7. You’ll witness mental benefits
Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

Now, the last thing left to do is to give you a sample plank exercise you can do to achieve great results in only 5-10 minutes a day.

Here is a great infographic that shows some of the best plank exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

7 Steps For Making a New Year’s Resolution and Keeping It

Are you keen to reinvent yourself in 2016? Or at least use the new year as a long overdue excuse to get rid of bad habits or pick up new ones?

Yes, it’s that time of year again. The time of year when we feel as if we have to turn over a new leaf. The time when we misguidedly imagine that the arrival of a new year will magically provide the catalyst, motivation and persistence we need to reinvent ourselves.

Traditionally, New Year’s Day is styled as the ideal time to kick start a new phase in your life and the time when you must make your all important new year’s resolution. Unfortunately, the beginning of the year is also one of the worst times to make a major change in your habits because it’s often a relatively stressful time, right in the middle of the party and vacation season.

Don’t set yourself up for failure in 2016 by vowing to make huge changes that will be hard to keep. Instead follow these seven steps for successfully making a new year’s resolution you can stick to for good.

1. Just pick one thing
If you want to change your life or your lifestyle don’t try to change the whole thing at once. It won’t work. Instead pick one area of your life to change to begin with.

Make it something concrete so you know exactly what change you’re planning to make. If you’re successful with the first change you can go ahead and make another change after a month or so. By making small changes one after the other, you still have the chance to be a whole new you at the end of 2016 and it’s a much more realistic way of doing it.

Don’t pick a New Year’s resolution that’s bound to fail either, like running a marathon if you’re 40lbs overweight and get out of breath walking upstairs. If that’s the case resolve to walk every day. When you’ve got that habit down pat you can graduate to running in short bursts, constant running by March or April and a marathon at the end of the year. What’s the one habit you most want to change?

2. Plan ahead
To ensure success you need to research the change you’re making and plan ahead so you have the resources available when you need them. Here are a few things you should do to prepare and get all the systems in place ready to make your change.

Read up on it – Go to the library and get books on the subject. Whether it’s quitting smoking, taking up running or yoga or becoming vegan there are books to help you prepare for it. Or use the Internet. If you do enough research you should even be looking forward to making the change.

Plan for success – Get everything ready so things will run smoothly. If you’re taking up running make sure you have the trainers, clothes, hat, glasses, ipod loaded with energetic sounds at the ready. Then there can be no excuses.

3. Anticipate problems
There will be problems so make a list of what they’ll be. If you think about it, you’ll be able to anticipate problems at certain times of the day, with specific people or in special situations. Once you’ve identified the times that will probably be hard work out ways to cope with them when they inevitably crop up.

4. Pick a start date
You don’t have to make these changes on New Year’s Day. That’s the conventional wisdom, but if you truly want to make changes then pick a day when you know you’ll be well-rested, enthusiastic and surrounded by positive people. I’ll be waiting until my kids go back to school in February.

Sometimes picking a date doesn’t work. It’s better to wait until your whole mind and body are fully ready to take on the challenge. You’ll know when it is when the time comes.

5. Go for it
On the big day go for it 100%. Make a commitment and write it down on a card. You just need one short phrase you can carry in your wallet. Or keep it in your car, by your bed and on your bathroom mirror too for an extra dose of positive reinforcement.

Your commitment card will say something like:

I enjoy a clean, smoke-free life.
I stay calm and in control even under times of stress.
I’m committed to learning how to run my own business.
I meditate daily.
6. Accept failure
If you do fail and sneak a cigarette, miss a walk or shout at the kids one morning don’t hate yourself for it. Make a note of the triggers that caused this set back and vow to learn a lesson from them.

If you know that alcohol makes you crave cigarettes and oversleep the next day cut back on it. If you know the morning rush before school makes you shout then get up earlier or prepare things the night before to make it easier on you.

Perseverance is the key to success. Try again, keep trying and you will succeed.

7. Plan rewards
Small rewards are great encouragement to keep you going during the hardest first days. After that you can probably reward yourself once a week with a magazine, a long-distance call to a supportive friend, a siesta, a trip to the movies or whatever makes you tick.

Later you can change the rewards to monthly and then at the end of the year you can pick an anniversary reward. Something that you’ll look forward to. You deserve it and you’ll have earned it.

Whatever your plans and goals are for 2016 I’d do wish you luck with them but remember, it’s your life and you make your own luck.

Decide what you want to do in 2016, plan how to get it and go for it. I’ll definitely be cheering you on.

Are you planning to make a New Year’s resolution in 2016? What is it and is it something you’ve tried to do before or something new?

Where Does Your Fat Go When You Lose Weight?

We talk a lot about dieting and burning off fat, but we actually have a lot of misconceptions about weight loss. Some people think fat is converted into energy or heat—a violation of the law of conservation of mass—while others think that the fat is somehow excreted or even converted to muscle. I was told early on that you can never lose your fat cells (adipose) once you gain them…they just shrink if you work it off.

Well, according to Andrew Brown from the University of New South Wales and Australian TV personality (slash former physicist) Ruben Meerman, when you lose weight, you exhale your fat. Their new calculations, based on existing knowledge about biochemistry, were published in the British Medical Journal . “There is surprising ignorance and confusion about the metabolic process of weight loss,” Brown says in a news release. “The correct answer is that most of the mass is breathed out as carbon dioxide,” Meerman adds. “It goes into thin air.”
Excess carbs and proteins are converted into chemical compounds called triglycerides (which consist of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen) and then stored in the lipid droplets of fat cells. To lose weight, you’re attempting to metabolize those triglycerides, and that means unlocking the carbon that’s stored in your fat cells.

Losing 10 kilograms of human fat requires the inhalation of 29 kilograms of oxygen, producing 28 kilograms of carbon dioxide and 11 kilograms of water. That’s the metabolic fate of fat.

Then the duo calculated the proportion of the mass stored in those 10 kilograms of fat that exits as carbon dioxide and as water when we lose weight. By tracing the pathway of those atoms out of the body, they found that 8.4 of those kilograms are exhaled as carbon dioxide. Turns out, our lungs are the primary excretory organ for weight loss. The remaining 1.6 kilograms becomes water, which is excreted in urine, feces, sweat, breath, tears, and other bodily fluids.

So, for this upcoming post-holiday season, should we all just exhale more to shed those extra pounds? No. Breathing more than required by a person’s metabolic rate leads to hyperventilation, followed by dizziness, palpitations, and loss of consciousness.
Researched By : Kátia C. Rowlands – Pilates Instructor– 082 513 4256•

8 GOLDEN RULES FOR SUMMER SUN PROTECTION

Summer is here, and it is going to be a hot one! Whether you’re off to the beach, the mountains or just planning a series of days chilling around the pool and the braai, you’re going to want to ensure that your and your family’s skins are thoroughly protected.

Go for double protection
Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen that will protect you against both UVA and UVB rays. These rays refer to the different wavelengths of sunlight. UVA is the longest (most prevalent but less intense) and penetrates the epidermis and dermis. These rays are responsible for making you tan and cause ageing. UVB rays are medium wavelength rays (less prevalent) that affect the skin surface, causing sunburn, which weakens your immune system and causes the release of skin-damaging enzymes. Note that UV rays can pass through glass and clouds, so always wear your sunscreen.

Reapply all the time
If you’re out in the sun all day, swimming, bronzing or just enjoying the outdoors, remember to reapply sunscreen at least every hour – whether it’s water-resistant or not. All sunscreens rub off or evaporate with time.

Apply a shot of sunscreen all over
It is important to use enough sunscreen and cover all the skin that will be exposed to the sun. Use a handful of sunscreen to cover your entire body. A good way to measure the correct amount is to use a standard shot glass (25 ml) filled with sunscreen. Apply it thickly and thoroughly.

Don’t forget the sensitive parts
Remember to apply sunscreen to all the sensitive parts of your body – the ears, around the hairline (both back and front), under the chin, the cleavage, backs of knees and arms, the hands and the feet. Take care when applying around the eyes.

No sun between 10:00 and 15:00
Seek a shady spot under a tree, umbrella or a verandah or retire indoors for a rest between the hours of 10:00 and 15:00 when the sun’s rays are at their highest and strongest.

Cover up and wear a hat
If you want to extend your time in the sun or stay outdoors during the hours when the sun is at its hottest, then make sure you wear loose-fitting, cool clothing that covers as much skin as possible. And always, always wear a hat, preferably one made of a tightly woven fabric such as canvas rather than of straw. Heavier and darker fabrics provide higher UV protection than lightweight fabrics like cotton. Go for sunglasses with orange and yellow lenses for better UV protection for your eyes.

Drink lots of water
As air temperatures increase and your core body temperature rises from being in the sun, your body releases water and essential body salts, such as sodium, potassium, calcium bicarbonate, and phosphate, which can result in dehydration or worse, heatstroke. Make sure you drink lots of water regularly to replace any fluid that is lost through sweating. Beware of beverages with lots of sugar or alcohol, they are likely to cause dehydration, best to keep it pure and drink only water.

Stock up on antioxidants
One of the meanest realities of life on earth is that sun exposure causes free radicals to form in your body. It’s when sunlight and the oxygen in your body mix, and it’s almost like when the combination of sunlight and water cause a car to rust or make an apple turn brown. Oxidation is like biological rust in your body, and it causes ageing and illnesses like cancer, To beat oxidation, your body needs antioxidants. As much as possible! Active forms of antioxidants can be found in some foods or in supplements and include, among others, certain vitamins (A, B3, C and D), carotenoids such as beta-carotene and lycopene, omega-3 fatty acids, co-enzyme Q10, and polyphenols.

But possibly the best oral antioxidant in the world is Pycnogenol® an all-natural plant extract derived from the bark of the French Maritime Pine Tree. One of the only places in South Africa to get hold of this powerful antioxidant is through Lamelle Research Laboratories’ Ovelle D3. Made with Pycnogenol®, Ovelle D3 protects collagen and elastin, increases skin’s resistance to the sun and helps combat hyperpigmentation.•

4 Killer Workouts for While You’re on Holiday or Vacation

So you’ve decided to still exercise to help stave off the vacation excess that always seems to creep onto your thighs and arse (if you’re a female) or your gut (if you’re a guy). Below are four effective, and time efficient, ways to make sure your jeans don’t become skinny jeans upon your return to real life:

1. Density Circuit
Select four compound exercises (that either target all the same muscle or a plethora of different ones), a rep scheme, and a time limit. Density circuits work great when you only have bodyweight to work with. Aim to have the most metabolically challenging and technical exercise as the first in the circuit.
For example:
Bodyweight Squats x 25
Push Ups x 20
Single Leg Hip Thrusts x 15 (per leg)
Pike Pushups x 10

Repeat for 10 minutes, resting as necessary.
2. Super Sets
If you’ve stepped into the gym, you’ve used these before. Pair two exercises together, rest minimally between sets and repeat.
For example:
A1) DB Bench Press
A2) Pull Ups
B1) Incline Bench Press
B2) Seated Row

3. Giant Sets
On my last trip to Singapore and Thailand I fell in love with giant sets, which are essentially super setting two or more exercises of the same muscle group. However, my version was slightly different. Considering I was pressed for time, yet still wanted to cram in more volume than a grandmother does food, I worked with descending sets.
For example:
A1) DB Bench Press – 4 x 10
A2) DB Incline Press – 3 x 10
A3) Cable Press – 2 x 15
A4) Push Ups – 1 x 20

Rest 30 seconds between exercises and repeat until all prescribed sets have been completed. What I found is that I was able to get a nifty little metabolic training effect whilst also getting that ever-precious pump.

4. Tabata Rounds

I’ve heard rumours that Tabata is used in some political prisons to torture inmates. Select an exercise, preferably a bodyweight one, and perform 20 seconds of ball-busting, hyped up on three scoops of illegal DMAA fueled pre-workout, adrenalin surging reps. Rest for ten seconds and then repeat for 8 total rounds (4 minutes of total time).

travel workouts, working out while traveling, holiday workouts, vacation workoutExercise is not something that is confined to four walls, grunting men, or even deafening thunderous thuds as plate-filled barbells smack against the floor and life, being what it is, has a nasty habit of throwing curveballs at you. Nobody wants to be that person who turns to his or her friend or loved one and says, “Sorry, I can’t visit X with you because I’ve got a leg day scheduled and, well, I can’t miss that – not even for an all expense paid trip to (insert dream destination here).” What truly defines someone who loves fitness, exercise, and by extension themselves, is the ability to adapt to different surrounds and circumstances and still get in the necessary work to grow and progress as a person.
-breakingmuscle.com•

MATRICS: HOW TO STAY ON TOP OF THE STUDY GAME RIGHT UNTIL THE END

With the matric exams in full swing and one or two subject papers ticked off the list, the Class of 2015 is likely to start glimpsing the freedom that lies just a few weeks away. Unfortunately, this enticing vision may lead to a more relaxed approach to remaining papers, and impact negatively on results, an education expert says.

Dr Felicity Coughlan, Director of The Independent Institute of Education, SA’s largest and most accredited private higher education institution, says matriculants who are starting to feel an almost palpable lifting of pressure should take this as a cue to re-assess their approach during the home stretch.

“Of course it is a welcome feeling, but it should only be welcomed if you are absolutely certain that you are putting in your very best, for every subject, right until the end,” she says.

“The reality is that the hard work of the past decade and a bit could be negatively impacted by a relaxing of focus during these last four weeks of your school career. This is especially so since matriculants are experiencing a period of relative freedom, with the loss of routine which came with going to school and having to do homework every day,” says Coughlan.

“That is why it is important to take a little bit of time now to objectively evaluate where you are, how your studies are going, and where you possibly need to make changes to keep the momentum going. Once you pass the halfway mark, you are going to need all the focus you can muster to counter an increasing number of distractions,” she says.
Dr Coughlan says matrics can take the following steps to ensure they continue delivering their very best throughout the exams:

1) Do not be thrown off track if one of your papers did not go well.
Stop stressing about the subjects you’ve already written, advises Dr Coughlan.
“There is nothing more you can do about those results. Throw yourself into each subject as its time comes, and especially for the so-called ‘easier’ subjects which are often scheduled towards the end of the exam timetable. Every paper counts.”

2) Review your study roster.
Dr Coughlan says learners should now be well into the groove of studying, and should consider whether they can up the ante a little bit, by putting in an hour or two extra to complete a mock paper, for example.
“Every little bit of effort will pay off, and make you more confident when you enter the exam room,” she says. And that is important, because a few extra marks may well mean the difference between your application for a position, and that of your competitors in the job market.
“It may also mean the difference between being accepted into your course or institution of choice, or having to look at alternatives.”

3) Develop a daily routine and eat the frog.
It is very important to decide on a daily routine and stick to it. By having a set routine you don’t have to decide from moment to moment and hour to hour what you are going to do next, which allows your full attention to be on your preparations. Importantly, you have to eat the proverbial frog, says Dr Coughlan.
“Don’t ease into the day by fiddling with this and that and then only tackling your studies by mid-day. If you take the biggest task for the day and dispose of it first thing in the morning, you would have built momentum that will energise you throughout the day. Everything else will seem easier after you start the day with a major accomplishment.”

4) After each paper, get right back in the saddle.
Learners will, understandably, be tempted to take it easy on the afternoon and evening after writing a major paper, says Dr Coughlan.
“But rather than spending too much time relaxing, aim to take a short breather only, and then immediately shift your focus to the next paper. Review a chapter or two to get your mindset instantly on the right track.”

5) Tune out all noise and distractions.
“Switch off your mobile phone and any other devices while you are studying, and do not study in front of the television,” says Dr Coughlan.
“You can check your messages or social media in your scheduled breaks, but these kinds of distractions should take a back seat for the next month. You won’t remember your friends’ status updates even a week from now, but if you allow them to distract you, you may have to live with a less than satisfactory result for the rest of your career.”

6) Practice saying no.
As the exams near completion, you will be faced with more and more invites and events that seem much more exciting than yet another study session.
“There will be time enough for fun when you’re done. While it is good to socialise a little bit during this time, just to stay in touch with the real world, the limited time you have available for studies should be jealously guarded.”

7) Stay balanced.
As always, the best counter to stress and anxiety is living a balanced, healthy life, says Dr Coughlan.
“Make time for exercise, get enough sleep, and try to keep your diet healthy and balanced,” she says.•

14 Green Flag Hiking routes to kick-start your summer

Natures Valley beach and Grootriver EstuaryCape Town – A total of 14 hiking trails in the Tsitsikamma section of the Garden Route National Park enjoy green flag status.

The criteria needed for this status includes health and safety aspects, cleanliness, maintenance of the trails and sustainable management. Most of the hiking trails start and end in the Storms River Rest Camp.

The hikes take you through the gorgeous Tsitsikamma forested areas, offering cooler temperatures to hike in, spectacular views of the sea, access to its many beaches – with natural rock pools for you to cool off in.

Kick-start your summer with these 14 awesome Garden Route trails.

1. The Waterfall hike – 3km
A walk to a cool waterfall will make any summer hiker smile. This scenic route starts at the Oceanettes (Storms River Rest Camp. It follows a path in a westerly direction towards the waterfall. It forms part of Day 1 of the Otter Trail along the coastline to a gorgeous plunge pool.

2. The Loerie – 1km
A relatively easy walk through the forest. This special walk takes travellers through the indigenous beauty of the forests. Along the trail you emerge onto a plateau at the Agulhas lookout. The trail takes you along a coastal forest.

3. Blue Duiker – 3.7km
This trail starts on the same spot as the Loerie trail. It takes you into the depths of the forest to a cool, shady area of Outeniqua Yellowood. It follows a circular route across the road and ends at the Oceanettes.

4. Ratel
The trail is divided into three routes. The green route is 1km long, where you follow a boardwalk through the indigenous forest to the Big Tree. The yellow route is 2.6km, and the red route is 4.2km.

5. Goesa Nature Walks 2km
A short walk through the forest along the Hard Pear trees and Tree Ferns along a stream. Starts and ends at the Storms River Forestry office in Storms River. It is a circular walk easy enough for all members of your family.

6. Rugbos trail (2)
This trail traverses through the forest and has three escape routes which are colour coded. Yellow 1.4km; green 1.3km and blue 3.1km. Green and blue start at Tsitsikamma Khoisan Village at Bloukrans River. Yellow starts at Rugbos picnic site.

7. Stinkhoutkloof – 8km
This trail is in the Tsitsikamma forest and ends at Bloukrans Forest Station. Look up to the Yellowood, White PeaR, Stinkwood, and Cape Breech trees. Stop off for a dip in the natural pool at the 5km mark.

8. Grootriver trail – 6km
The trail starts at the entrance of the De Vasselot Camp next to the Grootriver Bridge. An enjoyable challenge with scenic views of the coast.

9. Salt River – 15km
The trail starts opposite to the De Vassselot Camp site and takes you on the Kalanderkloof trail onto the plateau. It crosses the road and winds down to the Salt River via a jeep track. You can follow the coastal path back to the Nature’s Valley beach.

10. Varinghoek trail – 13km
Trek along the hills and forests of Natures Valley with this challenging day hike.

11. Kalanderkloof – 7km
Starting at Nature’s Valley, go through the forest gorge with the ancient Kalander trees. Stop off at the rock pools and take a selfie along the lagoon. The walk can extend into the Salt River mouth.

12. Grootriver trail – 6km
Enjoy a gentle walk starting at Natures Valley.

13. The Dolphin – 17km
A traveller’s feast. This is a two day trail along the coast. You can stop off at the many beaches, enjoy the Misty Mountain Reserve in Soetbaai and snorkel and bird watch.

14. The Otter Trail – 42.5km
This five day hike. A physically demanding trail not suitable for children younger than 12 years old. A beautiful trail crosses the Bloukrans River and Elandsbos River. A fun adventure to tick off your travel bucket list in.

– Traveller24

-TheGremlin

LEARNERS AND STUDENTS

EXAMINATION TIME:  CONSOLIDATE AND  ACHIEVE – Part 2

The “science of learning”. In the previous edition of the Mossview, Prof Gous highlighted the first 5 of 10 basic principles of learning….
Attitude and Interest
Motivation
Anxiety
Time Management
Concentration and Attention

INFORMATION PROCESSING,

acquiring the knowledge, and reasoning.
Assimilation of study material means more than just learning. It involves identifying, understanding and applying the principles of the subject. Before the exams every student should be able to make a list of all the principles in a course. If this is not possible you should scan the study material immediately, review all applications, examples, problems, typical questions and previous exam papers if possible. Also check to ascertain whether they illustrate in any way the principles. The latter is particularly valuable in subjects which can be defined as problem solving disciples eg. Maths and Science. It is much better to learning or acquiring knowledge that involves comprehension through the active reorganization of the material than to memorize merely for the exams. Students, who have analysed and evaluated the content of the study material for making useful summaries – a condensed form as a single source of study.

SELECTING MAIN IDEAS,

recognizing and relating important information.
Very few students pay sufficient attention to headings, sub-headings and summaries in their study material. They often memorise details without knowing how and where these facts fit into the structure of the course. It is advisable to establish a thorough understanding of the outline of the course, by memorizing headings and sub-headings when studying. This outline serves as a frame of reference within which details can be organized as reading and studying proceed. When reading you should always be aware of the development of the theme from paragraph to paragraph. A paragraph is usually built around one major idea. This idea is often stated in a sentence at the beginning, the middle or the end of the paragraph. It is also helpful to identify the key word(s) in a paragraph. They appear in topic or key sentences of paragraphs.

Use of SUPPORT TECHNIQUES and MATERIALS. Underlining and the making of summaries are useful when revising the study materials. Make drawings and sketches, simple charts, diagrams and tables to enable one to clarify and better understand the content. Visualisation and picturing can make the study material more concrete, definite and comprehensible. To visualize is to think with the mind’s eye; to conjure up pictures or images which may clarify abstract concepts. Compare notes with those of friends and participate in study groups.

SELFTESTING and REVIEWING – the latter the most important single element in an effective study system. The best time to review is immediately after completing a section of the study material. Reviewing involves testing oneself immediately after the reading. It compels one to interact with the study material and guarantees better comprehension and retention. Plodding through the material passively and focusing on underlined highlights is ineffective. In half an hour of hard work a student can achieve more than in a whole evening of lazy drudgery. Be actively involved during the process of reviewing. Create questions that might be included when preparing for the exams. Try to identify potential questions when reviewing study materials. And always test yourself to be sure you know the material you have been studying. Self-testing is an essential element in determining just how much is enough. It is important to be able to successfully recall material twice during testing and re-testing.

PREPARING and EXAMINATION STRATEGIES. Only a short period of time is available. Therefore time management must be well structured and materials accordingly organized e.g. Summaries of summaries – the keys to all the information. It is important to consolidate the knowledge that one has built up over the past few months. Attend carefully to the instructions before starting on an examination by reading instructions and questions. The outlines serve as memory aids and are extended by adding details recalled during the course of the examination. All writing should be done in the answer books. Answer the questions which you feel most confident about first, if no specific order for answering questions is required. Identify each answer clearly with the appropriate question number.

Prof Hendrik Gous –
044 695 0841/081 270 4227 •

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