Simple Home Improvement Projects Which Will Vastly Improve Your LifeStyle and Your Net Worth

Home, sweet home. Big or small, a home is always precious to its owner. A home is a person’s palace and place of comfort. After a busy day, it’s going home that a person looks forward to. So every homeowner wants to decorate his or her home according to his or her own tastes and make it as comfortable and a safe environment to live in.For people with money, time and energy, home improvement has become very common activity. Home improvement projects are not restricted to just walls and paint. It goes far beyond that. The prime function of home improvement is to add value and comfort to your home, as well as its beauty.Professionals can be hired if the home improvement project is more complicated than you can do just by yourself. In such cases, professionals are the best ones to do the job you want in order to make your home look great. You can hire specialized contractors or general contractors, depending on your particular home improvement requirements.Homeowners are usually concerned with all the nitty gritty stuff, as well as the more common aspects of a home improvement project like furniture, functionality and overall style. Home improvement ideas largely depend on one’s individual taste but it is the job of a home improvement expert to do the more technical parts of the job.Although it is recommended you hire a professional for your home improvement project, many homeowners prefer to do the jobs themselves.There are some do-it-yourself (DIY) home improvement projects that you can carry out yourself even if you don’t have an interior design degree. All you have to do is a little research and find the accessories that fit your tastes to make your home the talk of the town.Below is a list of some home improvement ideas that you can consider for your home improvement project:Laminate flooring: laminate wood flooring is very popular with many homeowners. The richness of the hardwood floors would add warmth and charm to any home. The laminate hardwood floors are durable with a tough finish and can be used in any area of your home even if you purchase discount laminate flooring.Decorative area rugs: Using a decorative area rug is a great home improvement idea. You can select the decorative area rugs from a wide number of area rug discount choices that are available online as well as offline. Select a well-designed rug including Persian rugs will help make your home ‘one of a kind’.Improving the look of your home does not really require any effort than simply installing new window treatments. This might not seem like a big thing, but after you’ve installed new window blinds you will quickly see the huge difference they make in the feel of your home. The right window blinds will add a softness to your window areas. Plus you can now better control the amount of light that enters your home and the amount of privacy you desire.Now that you have a fair idea on several possible home improvement projects, you can add value to your home at your own pace whether you’re an interior decorator or not. Doing this will help to ensure a better home value and guarantee that your home is updated to current standards as well as can withstand any storms.Do not hesitate to invest in home improvement – just remember that with a wise investment in your home, you are increasing its market value too beside making it a more enjoyable place for you and your family to live.

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Short Historical View of Asian Martial Arts

“The Ultimate aim of Karate lies not in victory or defeat, but in the perfection of the character of the participant.” Gichin Funakoshi (1868-1957)Asian Martial Arts are practiced for many reasons, including self-defense, sport, and as a mind-body exercise. If practiced properly, the martial arts are an excellent exercise, as well as artistic expression. Some students enjoy severe training as a type of ascetic discipline, sublimation, and other train for just pure excitement. However, some arts have a greater risk of injury and would not be considered suitable as a health promotion exercise.Most countries practice martial arts, either indigenous or borrowed. Most of the popular Asian martial arts that are practiced in the West can be traced to originally to Japan, Korea, China, and India. The martial arts have evolved into the variations commonly seen today across the USA and Canada, in mini-malls and schools. Traditional arts, if practiced correctly and regularly, will improve the fitness of the exerciser. There are some arts that are purely for sport or self defense and may not be suitable for health promotion.Arts of India and China
India has a long history of martial arts. Indian epic religious texts such as the Mahabarata discuss martial skill. Stick fighting and hand-to-hand combat–e.g., Kalarippayat and wrestling–are true Indian arts. Some martial artists believe that the arts of India were transported to China. Indian medicine and training methods also were taken to Sri Lanka, Burma and Thailand. Then they were combined with indigenous martial arts and medicine. There are also Greek and Persian technological, religious, medical, and philosophical influences on Chinese and Indian culture, and vice versa. For example, in 688 BCE the martial art of pankration was practiced in Greece.Martial arts were practiced in pre-Buddhist India. Today there are hundreds of styles of martial arts practiced in China differing by region and clan. It is a popular myth that kung-fu exercises were brought by the Buddhist Monk Bodhidharma (Chinese: Tamo or Damo, Japanese: Dharuma) from India to the already existing Shaolin (Small Forest) Monastery in China. The first Buddhist temple in China was actually the White Horse Temple (68 AD). The arts were practiced in China hundreds of years prior to Bodhidharma’s arrival.”Bodhi” means awakened or enlightened. Bodhi also refers to the Bo Tree, a Banyan tree called the Sacred Fig (Ficus religiosa) that the Buddha was said to meditate under the bodhi tree and achieve enlightenment. The monks at that temple practiced what is called Ch’an Buddhism. In Ch’an Buddhism, the focus was on meditation and direct experience of cosmic consciousness. Ch’an became what we know as Zen in Japan. The monks were said to be in poor health and weak when Bodhidharma arrived, so he taught them exercises to improve their health and fitness. There is a great deal of controversy over what these exercises were, and there is no clear history as to when they were brought to the monastery, but most likely they were similar to physical yoga methods. There are hundreds of variations and, though usually practiced within the martial arts, they are also excellent as exercise methods.The martial arts developed within the Shaolin monastery are called Shaolin ch’üan. Ch’üan (Quan) means fist–punching, or boxing in Chinese–and was the forerunner to the modern “hard style” kung-fu known as Wei Chia Ch’üan (Weijiaquan)–the”External Family Arts”. They are called “external” or “outside” arts because they came from India. The temple was disbanded and monks were purged several times during Chinese history; the last time was during the communist “Cultural Revolution” from 1966 to 1976. There are other “hard” styles, which are regional and classified by the area name. Regional versions include O’mei (Emei, Ermei), T’ai Shan, and Wu Tang (Wudang) styles. There are modern forms and traditional forms from each region.The “Internal Family Arts,” Nei Chia Ch’üan (Neijiaquan) are commonly thought to be based on Chinese philosophy, in contrast to the “Outside” Buddhist based art of Shaolin. The arts of t’ai-chi ch’üan, pa-kua chang, and hsing-i ch’üan were classified as Nei Chia Ch’üan, “Internal Family Arts,” in 1894 by an association of several famous masters. In 1928, the three arts were called Wu Tang ch’üan (Wudang quan) by the Central Martial Arts Academy in Nanking. Wu Tang was the Taoist area and these arts came to be associated with Taoist philosophy. Wu Tang region has its own versions of martial arts that may have had no direct connection to the Nei Chia group. They were called Internal Arts or Wu Tang arts to contrast them with the Shaolin arts, due to philosophical and training differences. T’ai-chi ch’üan (taijiquan) is the most popular of the Chinese Internal Arts for health promotion.Reference: Asian Mind-Body Techniques Revealed by Harvey Kurland,

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Why Cultivate a Culture of Health and Wellness

Health is wealth, so goes the old adage. Now, with more ailments than ever to contend with, and with healthcare costs and insurance premiums continually rising beyond the reach of the average citizen, more and more persons are beginning to see the wisdom in that old adage. It is not uncommon to see families spending up to $1000 on health insurance each month.In just five years, that will add up to $60,000, which is a sizable investment. Worse still, that amount doesn’t guarantee that the family’s general sense of health and well-being will improve over the 5-year period.Indeed much of what we call “healthcare” may better be described as “sickcare,” because for the most part, they’re merely emergency responses we get from physicians when a person is already down with one ailment or the other! And to make matters worse, the so-called healthcare system itself is gradually showing signs of systemic failure.Should we also add that many health issues today are simply beyond the remedy of our once “trusted” physicians? To exonerate themselves, physicians now conveniently classify such health problems as “degenerative diseases”. How smart they are!Truth is that back at medical school, doctors and their colleagues were not trained to stop you from falling ill. Their calling is to cure or heal you when you do fall ill. So if you’re going to stay healthy, it’s largely up to you! The habit of relying on your family doctor for good health is an idea that’s fast going out of fashion. More and more persons are now taking responsibility for their own health and well-being.Indeed, your health is in your hands. By adopting a culture of health and wellness in your daily living, you’ll stay healthier and need medical attention far less often. It starts with what you do on a daily basis. Besides constantly watching what goes into your mouth and avoiding a sedentary lifestyle, you must commit yourself to a health plan.You may design it into a 6-months, 1-year, or even 5-year personal health plan. Depending on specific areas of your health you’re most motivated to address, your health plan may include hiring a wellness coach. This will cost some money, but the health benefits are well worth whatever it costs you. Wellness coaches are good at helping to cultivate the right attitudes and behaviors that produce the greatest results.They will also help you develop the type of action plan that will be easier to stick to. Wellness coaching programs are also available online. But it is important that you commit yourself to whichever is recommended for the goal you desire to achieve.The beauty of cultivating a culture of health and wellness in your lifestyle is that it serves as preemptive measures towards illnesses. It also leaves you with the liberating feeling that you’re in charge of your health and your life. And if you practice it daily, it soon becomes a part of the fabric of your life-more like your culture. And what better habits to form than those that enable us to live healthier, happier lives!As more and more health problems continue to ravage our world, there’s wisdom in taking your health and well-being into your own hands rather than relying on what government and physicians can offer. You can achieve good health by adopting enlightened self-care health and wellness practices. Cultivating a culture of health and wellness may prove to be the best habit you ever formed!

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