My Son’s Party

Recently my son turned 21, and was heading to join the police. He had always said, even as young as age three, that he wanted to be a police officer. It must be something in the genes, for his grandfather, and great grandfather were both police officers.

At age nine, we enrolled him in a new program funded by our local police force, called police explorers. This program was designed to teach young children all aspects of becoming a police officer. To show them some of the things that the police deal with on a daily basis.

He loved the program and was enrolled in it all throughout his school education. As a senior, he became a police supervisor for the police explorers, and helped direct and organize events for the other children in the program. They do a lot of public service work like directing traffic, park cars at large events etc. They have the full backing of the police force in case of an incident.

sky lantern party

This has played an integral role in his life, and now that he was heading to the police academy. I wanted to make sure we had an extra special birthday party for him. I decided to have the party at a friends house who had a large house, and plenty of other events for the guys to do like swimming, horse shoes and volleyball. I saw an ad on how to make your own sky lanterns.

I decided to check it out, and was pleased with how easy they were to make and that I could paint them, or design them in variety of different ways. I ended up buying wish sky lanterns via these were a great sky lantern. They also added the extra touch of being wishing sky lanterns.

The party was a week away, so I made sure I got my order with same day delivery. I started building them right away. It took about three days to get them all put together and painted. I painted them all dark blue, and painted a police badge on each one. The day before the party I took them all over to my friends house to make sure they were a total surprise to my son.

The day of the party everything went great, and all the guys were having fun. Later in the afternoon we sang happy birthday to my son. Shortly after, me and my friend launched all the sky lanterns and there was big cheer, and my son was visibly touched by the gesture. I gave him a big old hug and told him how proud I was of him. and knew he was going to do great in the police academy.

It was a great moment that I will always treasure. If you are trying to think of a great way to make your next party special, I suggest you try learning how to make a sky lanterns. It’s easy and affordable, and will definitely make your party much more memorable.

St George’s Day

I had an excellent St Georges day this year and although many people do not celebrate it, I am under the belief that it should become an official holiday just like all of the other bank holidays.

St Patrick’s Day is well established in the UK and is a public holiday in Ireland.  However, St Georges day is often forgotten.  It has been called for many times to make St George’s day a bank holiday but there is still no sign of it happening.  A campaign was launched a 2007 and people were very much convinced that the creation of the new bank holiday would happen within a few years but it has yet to take place.


The day goes pretty unnoticed for many people in the UK but St George is actually a patron saint in other countries too.  St George is celebrated in Rio De Janeiro by displaying flowers which are usually red and white in colour with street parties and candle gatherings.  This is known as Sao George.

Celebrations in Catalonia involve exchanging books and roses as a sign of respect and in Greece feasts are held while garlands are hung up in towns all over the entire country.

Other place in the UK also have their patron saints.  Wales has St David, a Celtic monk from the sixth century who was known for attending assembly of holy men.  St Patrick who we have already mentioned is Ireland’s patron saint.  He was known for apparently getting rid of the snakes in Ireland.  Scotland have St Andrew who is known as Christ’s twelve apostles.

Other places which celebrate St Georges day include:

  • Lithuania
  • Moscow
  • Venice
  • Genoa
  • Aragon
  • Georgia
  • Portugal
  • Istanbul
  • Palestine
  • Germany

So for England to have a lesser celebration of the day when we use the St Georges Cross as our national flag seems quite strange.  I hope that one day England can have an official patron saint holiday just as other countries do.

Gymnastics For Seniors

Gymnastics strengthens the muscles in the body, making them more flexible and promoting interaction between muscle groups. It also helps to keeps the joints supple. At an early age, muscles can be shortened in physically inactive people and some claim that muscles can become congested. Back pain, muscle tension and lack of mobility often result from this. With increasing age, the problems can accumulate but gymnastics is a good way to prevent this.

Gymnastics at any time

A good gymnastics program will work all parts of the body and at the same time people can have their own priorities, which are especially important to them. What’s important is regularity and a consistency. Beginners should be practising about two or three times a week, more advanced should be taking part four to five times a week or even every day. Even fifteen minutes can be sufficient for a training session and it is best to do your exercises at a set time, for example, before breakfast or while watching the news. This way it is easier to motivate yourself.


Like every sport, gymnastics makes sense only if you keep at it. But it is very convenient as you can train anywhere, anytime you feel in the mood. You only need your training clothes and the gym mat rolled out then you’re ready to go. Bad weather and other excuses are not valid with gymnastics because you can exercise comfortably at home.  As you get more serious into gymnastics, you may find the need to get the correct clothing.  For this, it is important to select the correct type for your group and your needs and we recommend looking at reviews for girls gymnastics leotards.

Gymnastics for seniors

Gymnastics is suitable for all ages. However, you should consult a doctor beforehand even if you have done gymnastics in the past. This applies particularly to all those who already suffer from muscle or joint problems. A check at the doctors every two years is recommended for active persons.
Those who have not participated in exercise recently should take care at the beginning. Long neglected muscle groups are particularly vulnerable to injury. Don’t overdo it so when doing stretching and routines. A little “pull” is good for exercise, but if it hurts, stop immediately!

Take a look at this astounding lady:

Gymnastics groups

There are many groups offering gymnastics.  Not only are there classes and groups for seniors but there are ones for toddlers.  In fact you can even get toddlers gymnastics leotards.  These courses have many advantages: the professional facilitator supports beginners to help them perform exercises properly and the fixed date of sessions makes it easy to get exercise regularly not to drop out.There are also many special senior gymnastics courses. These groups are typically aimed at people over the age of 60. The exercises take into account the age of the participants.

Is a weightlifting belt worth it?

If you ask somebody the question, “Should I wear a weightlifting belt or not?” it’s possible to get a response of a resounding “yes”, a definite”no”, or maybe an uninterested “I don’t give a damn, sir!”

Powerlifters often use specific weightlifting belts while people who do CrossFit are extremely proud that they never wear one. Bodybuilders are usually half and half with some believing belts are essential for both safety and performance and some not really bothered about them at all.

The purpose of weightlifting belts are to support both the abdomen and back.  By providing something for the abs to push against during a lift, pressure is created inside the body.  This is known as intra-abdominal pressure.  Having this during a squat, for example, improves stability within the body and allows forces to be transferred more efficiently through the torso.  In the case of squatting, this is from the legs to the shoulders where the bar rests.

Now, when we sign up for the gym and have an induction, we are taught by the trainer to exhale when applying force.  This isn’t correct for moving larger weights.  Maintaining the intra-abdominal pressure means holding the breath.  This is why you will often see a professional powerlifter holding their breath when doing a big lift.

There are a lot of misconceptions about the use of belts.  One of these is that they make you become lazy and not brace properly with the abs.  Actually, proper belt usage is the opposite.  When used correctly, they provide a lot of feedback to the user allowing them to get into a more stable and stronger lifting position.  This supports the back by preventing the lumbar from rounding and also prevents hyper-extension of the spine.


Lifting belts are useful but There is a place and a time for a wearing them.  They should mainly be used for maximum or near maximum efforts that mainly require stabilisation of the back.  Deadlifts and squats are two of the exercises that mainly benefit from a belt.  These can involve massive amounts of forces on the body and when a belt is used correctly, it can have a positive effect on increasing the amount of weight that can be moved.  But weightlifting belts should only be worn by lifters with experience.  They need to be able to brace and move safely under heavy loads with out any help from a belt first.  So for the most part, they should train with one.  Then move into belts when they feel that the extra support is needed to progress to their goals.

One thing that makes me chuckle is when I see someone wearing one for their entire workout.  I even saw a guy wearing a belt doing crunches.  You should take it off between sets to get a breather and if you have it tight enough, you will be eager to.  Also, weight belts come in a variety of different shapes and sizes and it’s actually clear that some manufacturers of the cheaper ones don’t understand how they should even function.  This is clear from their design.  So great care should be taken when trying to select the right one.


Things I do to build muscle quicker

People often ask me how they can lose weight and build muscle.  The first thing I say to them is “No, bad person!!  You can’t build muscle and lose weight simultaneously!”.  Then I slap them and walk away into the sunset.

But seriously, there are some things that people often overlook when it comes to getting in shape.  I’ve noted some of the ones I do below:

Sort your diet out

At the moment the world is obsessed with protein.  It’s all over the TV and internet.  Now, people go out and buy overpriced protein shakes and down them expecting to build incredible muscle mass overnight.  By my tone, you can tell that this is wrong.  Here are some of the common misconceptions I’ve heard from all kinds of people regarding diets when trying to get in shape:

  • Fat is bad – Nope.  Fat can actually be good for you and is necessary if you want to build muscle.  Excess calories are what make you gain fat.
  • Lots and lots of protein – Sure protein is important.  But it’s not the be all and end all.  It’s only a small part of what you need to pack on muscle. You also need fat (as mentioned earlier) and carbs.
  • Carbs are bad – Carbohydrates are key to muscle growth.  If you want muscle, you need carbs.  You only cut the carbs when you are trying to lose weight.


Get plenty of rest

Too many people hit the gym and train the same body parts too often.  I commonly see people training their biceps every day of the week.  This is called over-training and can actually have a detrimental effect on any muscle growth.  Not only do you need to train hard (not too often) but you need to “rest hard” also.  This means giving each of the body parts that you destroy at the gym chance to recover before going back and hitting them again.  The general rule is to only workout one body part per week and also get at least 8 hours sleep at night.

Don’t do too much cardio

If you are trying to bulk and gain muscle, you should limit your cardiovascular sessions to once or twice a week.  To much cardio means that you are burning off the precious calories which you want for your muscle growth and defeating your goal.  If you choose to include more cardio, you should also increase your calories.

Do compound exercises

These are key to building some serious strength and muscle.  No professional bodybuilder ever became big by doing only curls all day.  There are 3 exercises that absolutely everyone needs to do to make any sort of reasonably progress.  These are squats, deadlifts and bench press.  These compound movements pretty much hit the entire body in some form or another.  These are also the only 3 things that powerlifters do.

Lots of crunches = abs?

No. You cannot spot reduce fat.  Doing lots of abdominal exercises if you have decent amount of body fat will not make you slim and give you ripped abs.  People with abs on show always have a low bodyfat level to so that their abs are visible.  Abs actually only take a small amount of work to build as they are actually only a small muscle group.  So wasting hours doing ab work is pretty much a waste of time.

The Power of Oxygen

If you are ever in a sporting goods store.  On the shelves, especially those in some high altitude and ski location, you will probably see small pocket-sized metal canisters that look like mineral spray.  But instead of a nice cold mist, these actually contain around 95 percent pure oxygen — this is roughly four times the concentration found in our normal air.  They can also come in flavours like mint and peach.

Companies such as Oxygen Plus state when the oxygen levels in your blood drop, so does physical and also mental performance. But by utilising for natural boost, the portable oxygen manufacturers claim that you can in-a-way saturate your blood with oxygen and thus return your blood oxygen levels to an optimal mixture.

When you breathe, oxygen flow into the lungs.  This is carried by hemoglobin in your blood to your cells and muscles. “The idea is that if you can add more oxygen, then your body will have more oxygen to create energy and thus requires less effort to actually be made during training,” states Doctor Kenton Fibel, who is a Physician at the Hospital for Special Surgery and also Team Physician for the New York Rangers. “The other thought is when you have finished exercise, you are depleted of energy. This is potentially a faster way to restore that energy.”


Can oxygen really improve your performance?

Doctor Mark Kovacs works with top athletes and elite tennis professionals and also formerly managed the Sport Science, Strength & Conditioning departments in the United States Tennis Association.  He says that the answer is no. “The problem is not really the quantity of oxygen we bring in. It’s how much we actually use it. Bringing in additional oxygen isn’t adding to our ability to use it”. He says “There isn’t really a physical reason to do it”

Doctor John Smith from Texas University stated “If somebody goes into a rested state, their oxygen level will be about 99 percent saturated. Even the person who’s performing some form of exercise, their blood oxygen level is not going to go down that much”.

The scientific studies actually show some very conflicting results.  Many studies have shown that supplementing with oxygen can improve recovery time during interval training, while many others have shown no significant improvement in those who used got a boost of oxygen. Other studies have shown that there is no effect of supplemental oxygen on recovery.

Doctor Smith from Texas University has recently studied a variety of the effects of additional oxygen on exercise and actually found no physiological changes.  He also found no change in the rating of perceived exertion between those persons who supplemented with additional oxygen, and people who didn’t. On average, participants using the extra oxygen took 39 seconds longer to become exhausted, but this may be a placebo effect as test subjects knew that they were taking oxygen.

Benefits of extra oxygen might be visible in the intervals between high-intensity exercise, “By the time people doing exercise get to a third or second to last attempt and are exhaustively fatigued, its possible that their oxygen levels are a bit lower. At this point, giving them additional oxygen may increase their levels a little,” said Doctor Smith.

In Summary

Some of the benefits that people are said to experience with supplemental oxygen could be given by the placebo effect rather than an actual physiological change. “If that is the case, then go for it. As long as it’s not hurting anyone in any form,” said Doctor Smith.  Is it worth the money? “In my opinion, as long as you have no problems in breathing, you’ll be able to increase oxygen levels in your hemoglobin quite easily without the need for it.”

By far the best way to improve performance is to focus on training, recovery and nutrition. Doctor Fibel says “The vast majority of the benefits and ability to compete at higher levels will come from your daily training routine and any oxygen supplements shouldn’t be a substitute for trainind and a healthy diet”.