5 Ways to Offer Fitness Promo Codes for Personal Training Business

Promo codes are great marketing tools that you can employ in your personal training business to encourage more registrations. Today, virtually all fitness centers offer coupons, at least once in a while.

But one thing should be clear: you should target to offer coupons and not discounts. But why not the latter? To begin with, discounts mostly paint an image of a low-value service. Most clients will question the price if it’s lower than usual, more so when it touches their health and wellbeing. Secondly, when customers become used to discounts, it may be difficult to ask them to pay more at a later date. And if you decide to continue offering the discount, they may affect your profits considerably.

On the contrary, Coupons are client-specific and seasonal. So, you can always determine when to offer them. Here are five creative ways to offer promo codes for your personal training business:

  • As Introductory Workout Offers

Customers always like to try something new before they can spend money on it. This also applies to personal training businesses. To encourage new clients to enroll, you can offer them introductory promo codes for the services that you offer. Whether it’s a new routine or a program for special needs clients, a coupon code can encourage them to consider registering. If the service is great and the clients see value in it, they’ll sign up.

  • As a Special Package Deal

If you are offering a range of services such as bootcamps, nutrition programs, and childcare in addition to the training, you can promote them in packages. For example, you can combine the training with the nutrition program or the training with the childcare. You can show the clients how much they are saving when they consider the packages. If the deal saves them a considerable amount of money, the clients will consider it.

  • Through Social Media

There are so many potential clients who are following your personal training business but would like to join your facility. However, because of the price or perhaps not being familiar with your packages, they are a little hesitant. If you send them personalized coupons, you can be able to change their minds and encourage them to register. If the offers are attractive enough, the clients will share them with their friends on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

  • As Referral Offers

Most clients prefer to train with their friends instead of doing it alone. You can encourage them to bring their friends along if you offer them special coupons. Referral coupons are great at generating new leads. You can start with a free session for every new client that is referred. The referred clients are likely to refer others if they come to know of the offers. In the end, you’ll be having more registrations that you anticipate. This will boost your revenue significantly.

  • As BOGO (Buy-One-Get-One) Deals

There is no better way to sell a product or service than to offer one for free. This encourages the customers to buy in bulk. You can bring this tactic to your personal training business. For products, you can offer promo codes for the energy boosters or training tools that you are selling. As for the services, you can encourage the customer to do more hours. For example, you can offer an extra training hour for every hour that the customer pays for. You just need to ensure that the offers are seasonal so that they don’t lose their value.

Bottom-line

Promo codes are powerful at marketing your personal training business, but you have to use them strategically and wisely. The above strategies are practical and may be what you need to make your fitness business a household name. They’ll help you enjoy a massive client base.

3 Ways to Burn Fat and Gain Muscle

If you’re eying a goal of burning fat while gaining muscle, you’re in for a lot of hard work and diet monitoring. It’s not going to be an easy trek, but if you’re set on achieving the body of your dreams, it can be done. Even if you’re spending an hour each day in the gym, what you do outside of a training facility has just as much of an impact on your body as your workout regimen. If you’re looking to shred fat and amp up your muscle growth, here are some excellent tips to get you started.

Turn Up the Intensity

Unless you’ve been actively avoiding any fitness publications, you’ve likely heart of high-intensity interval training (HIIT). High-intensity interval training consists of cardio sessions that are arranged as quick bursts of incredibly hard work. Though each set usually only lasts 20 to 90 seconds, you shouldn’t focus on conserving your energy the way you would with a longer session. To get the most out of HIIT, you’re going to want to really push your body during each and every workout.

High-intensity interval training is scientifically proven to be more effective in shredding your body as it helps boost endurance and metabolism while working to chip away at body fat. If it sounds difficult, that’s because it is. If you look at your workouts as though they were on a scale of one to ten, a HIIT session should be around a nine each and every time. However, don’t forget to rest between each set, or you could overexert yourself and cause some real damage to your body. While high-intensity interval training takes some practice to get used to, it’s an powerful way to reach your body goals.

Try Out a Supplement

Supplements are an excellent way to make sure you’re getting the most out of each and every workout. Since there are so many options available on the market, do some research to find the right product for your specific goals. For instance, if you want a spike of energy, increased stamina, and a boost in your libido, you may want to consider a supplement like GHT male, which provides a concentrated way to naturally boost testosterone.

If you’re looking to burn fat, you may want to investigate products that boost your body’s rate of thermogenesis. You could also test out boosters that help your body reach a state of ketosis, which is when, instead of relying on carbohydrates for energy, your body relies on its own fat stores. Many fitness enthusiasts rave about the benefits of trying a ketogenetic diet, and it may be a great way for you to drop unwanted weight.

Ditch the Booze

One of the biggest reasons your body tends to hold onto fat? Your drinking habits. While there’s nothing wrong with enjoying the occasional drink or two on the weekend, alcohol is jam-packed with empty calories and carbohydrates that are of no nutritional value. There’s a reason the term “beer belly” exists, after all.

If you’re looking to build muscle and burn fat, say, “No,” to the bottle for 30 days. You’ll begin to experience better sleep cycles, increased protein synthesis for muscle repair (the key to building muscle), and a decrease in cortisol in your body. Cortisol is a stress hormone that boosts your cravings for comfort foods and promotes a tendency to overeat. Doesn’t sound like a good fit for a diet program, does it? If you go 30 days without alcohol, you’re likely to see such fantastic results that you’ll want to go even longer without a drink.

A Personalized Plan

No matter what diet and exercise tactics you decide on, if you want to achieve that perfect body, you need to commit to your regimen. Monitor your food intake, make yourself go to the gym, and don’t make excuses for not following through with your plans. While it’s okay to have a cheat day here and there, don’t make it a habit, either. Burning fat and building muscle are hard enough as is, but if you’re driven, the results you see when you look in the mirror will be worth it.

Call yourself a tennis fan? 5 freaky tennis facts you didn’t know

We all know that a game of tennis provides a terrific cross-training cardio workout, improves flexibility, co-ordination and bone health, along with burning calories and fat. If you’ve never played and want to give tennis a go, perhaps inspired by watching the great and good play at Wimbledon, there are many local clubs that specialise in tennis coaching, such as this one.

But did you know that it is also responsible for generating some fascinating facts since it was invented centuries ago?

Fact 1: No rackets required

When tennis was first played in the 11th or 12th century there were no rackets involved at all. Players hit the ball – which was originally white – with the palms of their hands, earning it the name jeu de paume (game of the palm) and its proponents very sore hands. This is often referred to as real tennis or royal tennis.

Rackets were not used until the 16th century, when it became known as tennis – possibly from the French word tenez, meaning ‘take, hold or receive’.

Fact 2: Tennis the monarch murderer

Tennis has been directly or indirectly responsible for the deaths of at least three kings in Scotland and France.

One of the most famous ‘death by tennis’ stories involves the 1437 assassination of King James I of Scotland, an early tennis enthusiast. Fed up with losing balls down a drain next to the tennis court at Blackfriars Monastery, where his royal apartments were, the king ordered it be blocked up. Soon after, assassins broke into the monastery and James attempted to escape under the bedroom floorboards and into the sewage system but because the drain had been sealed he was trapped and murdered.

Two French kings also died from playing tennis: Louis X succumbed after a nasty chill, caught after playing jeu de paume at the Chateau de Vincennes while a 28-year-old Charles VIII died after hitting his head on a doorframe leading to his tennis court while rushing to watch a game!

Fact 3: Wimbledon world records

The Wimbledon Championships are famous for some impressive tennis statistics and world records.

Wimbledon holds the distinction of hosting the longest professional tennis match on record. In 2010, American tennis player John Isner faced Frenchman Nicolas Mahut over a 3-day, 5-set match at the All England Club. The match lasted 11 hours and five minutes, after two stoppages for darkness. The first-round match finally wrapped up after Isner won by 70 to 68 games in the 5th set.

Wimbledon is the oldest tennis tournament in the world, first taking place in 1877 when the men’s singles was the only event held. It’s also the only major tennis tournament still played on grass.

Women’s singles did not begin until 11 years later in 1888, when a field of 13 women vied to win a silver flower basket worth 20 guineas. Foreshadowing Venus and Serena Wiliiams’ later rivalry, two sisters, Maud and Lilian Watson (the daughters of a Warwickshire vicar), faced each other in the final. Maud scooped the basket and won the title again the next year.

What’s more, Wimbledon is the largest catered annual sports event in Europe, with 2,200 staff and vast quantities of food and drink consumed including about 330,000 cups of tea and coffee, 320,000 glasses of Pimms, 17,000 portions of Fish & Chips, 34,000kg of strawberries and 10,000 litres of cream.

Fact 4: Margaret Court still making headlines 50 years on

Australian tennis player Margaret Court holds the world record for winning the most Grand Slam singles titles, winning 24 titles between 1960 and 1975. She is also the only woman in tennis history to compete a multiple grand slam set twice, winning the singles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles.

Court has attracted another kind of notoriety more recently for her opposition to LGBTI rights and for her vocal stance against Australian same-sex marriage reforms. She famously wrote a letter in 2017 to The West Australian newspaper criticising Qantas airlines for being a corporate supporter of same-sex marriage and vowing to boycott the airline. Court, now a Christian minister in Perth, Western Australia, said that same-sex marriage would destroy freedom of speech. Calls to rename the Margaret Court Arena in Melbourne have so far been rebuffed by politicians.

Fact 5: Paralympic tennis begins

Paralympic tennis was first introduced into the Olympic Games in Barcelona in 1992. The sport was invented in the USA in 1976 after Brad Parks, who was recovering from a skiing accident, hit a tennis ball from a wheelchair and realised the sport’s potential.

The game follows the same rules as able-bodied tennis with only one exception: the ball is allowed to bounce twice and only the initial bounce must be within the court boundaries. No changes to racket, balls or court size are needed.

The first ever Paralympic-only venue to be built at a Games was the wheelchair tennis venue Eton Manor, which was purpose built for the London 2012 Paralympic Games. It has nine competition courts and four practice courts, with a capacity of 10,500 spectators.

How to Exercise if You Have Limited Mobility

If you do not have full mobility, you can still exercise and enjoy the health benefits that come with it. There are plenty of ways in which you can exercise if you have limited mobility either as a result of old age, weight problems, illness, injury, or disability. People who are confined to mobility scooters need to overcome their physical limitations and find appropriate ways to get active to improve their overall health.

During exercise, the body releases endorphins that energize the exerciser’s mood. Regardless of one’s age, physical condition, and whether or not they have exercised in the past, there are ways that you can exercise without having to worry about injuring yourself.

What types of exercise can I try out if I have limited mobility?

Generally, all types of exercise offer health benefits. See your doctor and have him help you figure out the best exercise routine. Find out what exercises you should do and those that you should avoid as well as how many hours of exercise you should have daily and weekly.

No matter what your physical situation is, you need to incorporate at least three types of exercise into your work out routines. But first, ensure that you:

  • Maintain good posture- always sit upright
  • Find a chair that allows you to keep your knees bent at 90°
  • For safety purposes, always ensure that you apply brakes to your wheelchair or scooter
  • If you suffer from diabetes or high blood sugar, take your diabetes medication as advised by the physician and check your blood pressure before and after your exercise.
  1. Cardiovascular exercises

This type of exercise raises your heart rate, increases your endurance, and burns your calories. Repetitive cardiovascular can also help loosen up stiff joints. For people with limited mobility, exercising in water is really beneficial since their body is supported and there is reduced risk of discomfort.

Even if you are confined to a mobility scooter, you can still perform cardiovascular exercise. If you cannot walk, cycle, or dance, you should try swimming, water aerobics, or aqua-jogging. There are quite a number of swimming pools that offer pool-therapy programs with access for people who are on wheelchairs.

Chair-bound exercises are a great way to alleviate body sores that are caused by sitting in the same position for long periods.

  1. Strength training exercises

Strength training involves the use of weights and other forms of resistance to build muscle and bone mass, prevent falls, and improve balance. Most of the traditional upper body exercises can be done from a seated position using anything that is weighted and fits well in your hands such as dumbbells.

You can focus on your upper body strength training if you have limited mobility in your legs. If you have, say a shoulder injury, you should focus on strength training your legs and core. There are gyms that offer machines which make arm-bicycling and rowing possible.

Heavier weights are used for strength training exercises than for cardio exercises. As your strength improves, add more weight and more exercise.

  • Flexibility exercises

These types of exercises are aimed at enhancing your range of motion, reduce pain and stiffness, and prevent injury. Flexibility exercises include yoga, seated versions of Tai Chi, and stretching exercises. Stretching helps reduce pain and pressure on your muscles that often results from sitting for prolonged hours.

Flexibility exercises are really helpful in improving relaxation, enhancing flexibility, preventing and delaying muscle atrophy. Most of the flexibility exercises can be modified depending on your medical condition, age, weight, and physical mobility.

Starting the exercise routine

The first thing that you need before you set out on any exercise journey, especially if you have limited mobility, is to seek medical clearance. Talk to a physical therapist about the activities that are best suited for your situation.

Here are a few tips on how you should move forward with the exercise:

  1. Write down your reasons for exercising. Come up with a list of goals that you would like to achieve within a specified amount of time. In the beginning, you should focus on short-term goals rather than those that may take longer to achieve.
  2. Start slow and increase your activity levels gradually. Always start by doing something that you enjoy and go at your own pace. Make small steps that will keep you motivated.
  3. Try in as much as possible, to exercise on a daily basis. Plan to exercise at the same time every day- consistency yields results.
  4. Expect some difficulty in the beginning. Do not be discouraged if you find that some exercises are a bit challenging. Give yourself time to slowly build momentum
  5. Stop exercising immediately you start experiencing pain, irregular heartbeat, or any kind of discomfort. You should also avoid activity that involves the injured body part. After the injury has already healed, start back slowly.
  6. Stay hydrated. Drink a lot of water during your exercise.
  7. Always ensure that you wear appropriate clothes that are well-fitting and don’t restrict movement.
  8. Lastly, always remember to start every workout with a warm-up and end it a cool down after your exercise routine.

The Benefits of Buying Shock-Absorbing Gel Insoles

Some activities and jobs require standing up for hours on end or running long distances. This could be extremely uncomfortable, especially if you do this almost every day. It’s possible to get some injuries around the foot, knees, and back.

But how can you make yourself comfortable? Insoles are perfect for you. If you also have conditions such as flat feet or plantar fasciitis, having insoles can help relieve the stress your feet feels every time you stand up for long hours or the shock that comes with running.

So, how do you buy insoles? What are the types you can get and which one is the best type for your problems? And what makes insoles the best answer for it?

What are insoles?

Insoles are placed inside the shoe and run beneath the foot for support. All shoes have built-in insoles, but they can be easily taken off, and that’s usually the case for a lot of people. They take off the insoles that come with the shoes and change them with special insoles.

Shock-absorbing Insoles

For runners and other athletes, a shock-absorbing gel insole would be a great choice. These are made from a lightweight vibro-absorber elastomer with elastic properties. This material serves as a shock-absorber.

Insoles absorb the energy that the foot takes whenever it strikes the ground as runners run. With a decrease in energy, your soft tissues and even joints will be more comfortable. Too much energy and shock could cause quicker wear and tear which then causes various injuries.

Who can use these?

Elite runners are usually the ones who buy these kinds of insoles. They change the ones that come with running shoes that they buy.

But recreational runners will also find this very beneficial.

Various brands sell these shock absorbing insoles, but it can depend on the user which brand they prefer. Some may also have various features such as patterns to apply even pressure throughout the feet or a higher or lower arch.

Can insoles avoid injuries?

The main benefit of buying insoles are said to be avoiding injuries and foot conditions. Our feet take a lot of stress, and if not distributed nor properly absorbed, it can cause several feet conditions and even injuries.

Among the various conditions that insoles could avoid is what we call the Plantar Fasciitis. This is the most common cause for heel pains. The plantar fascia is the flat band of ligament that connects your heel to your toes. If you strain this part, it can get swollen, weak or inflamed. Standing up or walking around would cause pain.

This is common among middle-aged people. But even younger ones can have it especially if they are on their feet for a long time or they are runners and athletes.

Apart from that, here are more injuries that insoles can avoid or heal:

  • Shin splints such as medial tibial stress syndrome
  • Tendon problems
  • Tibialis posterior tendon problems
  • Tibial stress fractures and other shin fractures
  • Pelvic stress fractures
  • Lower back stress fractures
  • Achilles tendinopathy
  • Patella tendon problems
  • Slipped disc

Besides avoiding these health problems, insoles generally make sure that your feet are aligned well. It helps for a proper and healthy feet position when standing, walking, or running. You may also fix some ill-fitting shoes with them.

How do you buy insoles?

Buying the right pair of insoles is important to guarantee that it will work on you instead of making you feel more uncomfortable.

Here are things you should consider when buying them:

  1. Insole sizing – An insole’s size is denoted in a shoe size range such as “men’s 9 to 11” for most full-sized insoles. This is because it’s up to the consumer to trim the excess length. This is known as trim-to-fit. Insoles are designed to be used in a wide range of shoes so it’s up to you how you’ll trim it. For ¾ length insoles, you should buy the size you’ll be comfortable to wear.
  2. Insole placement – Full-length insoles are meant to replace the existing insoles on your shoe. On the other hand, ¾ length insoles and other inserts are used with the existing insoles.
  3. Your foot-arch type – There are three types of foot arches. The first is the neutral or medium; then the low arches, fallen arches, or flat feet; and then the high arches. Know which type you fall under and only buy insoles that work on that.

The best insole is subjective. While some would find a certain brand’s shock absorbing insole the absolute best, some would say it isn’t for them. Find what suits you to make sure you’re getting the most out of it. And if you haven’t had an insole yet, you might want to try one to help you be more comfortable. After all, your health is more important.

Do You Need Insurance as a Bootcamp Trainer?

Bootcamp training has steadily grown over the past decade with no signs of slowing down. It is exhilarating to work in a profession where, not only are you able to help others, but the income possibilities have no ceiling.

However, along with the positive industry growth has come an increased number of lawsuits against personal trainers. Lawsuits claiming professional negligence are very costly and can financially devastate you and your business.

All businesses, including bootcamp trainers, need to carry general liability insurance. However, a general liability policy in itself won’t completely protect you in your role as a professional instructor. Bootcamp trainers need additional protection if sued due to injuries caused by improper equipment use, failure to correct exercise form, or pushing someone too hard. This is where personal trainer professional liability insurance comes to the rescue!

Professional Liability Insurance

Professional liability insurance is a an important form of insurance especially for bootcamp trainers. Coverage is specifically designed to handle claims brought on by clients who are harmed because of a professional service you provide.

Professional liability insurance is also referred to as errors and omissions (E&O) coverage. Professional Liability policies will cover claims if someone is harmed due to your mistake (an error). In addition, the policy also covers you if you failed to perform a service expected of your profession (an omission).

Examples of Potential Lawsuits

Bootcamp trainers have very specialized knowledge. Your expertise in fitness and training is why clients pay you to help them achieve their goals. Because of your experience and education, you are expected to maintain a high level of professionalism.

Unfortunately, circumstances can and do occur which may cause harm to one of your clients. Consider the following actions where a client could become injured:

  • Trains using improper technique.
  • Uses exercise equipment incorrectly.
  • Collapses from exhaustion or overexertion.
  • Attempts exercise routines outside of their ability.
  • Suffers an allergic reaction to a suggested supplement.

These risks are specific to bootcamp trainers. As such, coverage in the event of a lawsuit will be provided only under a professional liability policy for a bootcamp trainer.

The Role of Waivers

Risk management best practices recommend bootcamp trainers have their clients sign a waiver. A waiver is an agreement stating your client will hold you harmless in the event they become injured training with you. At a minimum, liability waivers can act as a deterrent from clients suing you.

Although waivers are an excellent mechanism to reduce your exposure to being sued, they are not bulletproof. Every state has different laws regarding waivers. Certain circumstances may allow a waiver to be upheld, while other situations could be disregarded entirely by the judge. And, in all circumstances, you will have attorney’s fees, whether or not your liability waiver holds up.

What Coverage Could Professional Liability Insurance Provide?

The goal of professional liability policies for bootcamp trainers is to cover lawsuits alleging professional negligence. As a bootcamp trainer, you are expected to uphold a certain level of professional standard and a high level of knowledge within your field.

Should a lawsuit be levied against you professionally, most professional liability policies will provide coverage for:

  • Court fees
  • Legal costs
  • Investigation costs
  • Settlement or judgement amount

One of the most valuable aspects of a professional liability policy is the legal counsel provided by the insurance company. Bootcamp trainers named in a lawsuit often do not know where to turn. Fortunately, your insurance company has the resources needed to defend your case diligently.

Your professional liability policy may also provide additional cover for other types of claims and costs including:

  • Loss of income
  • Libel or slander
  • Assault or battery
  • Data compromise
  • Sexual misconduct
  • Licensing board investigation

Carefully review all your coverage options with a licensed insurance agent. Simply selecting the least expensive policy could financially ruin your career.

What is Not Covered by Professional Liability Insurance? 

On the surface, professional liability policies may appear to be very broad in their scope of coverage. However, the reality is professional liability policies are very specific as to what will and will not be covered.

When purchasing a professional liability policy, be aware that the policy will have exclusions. At a minimum, the following exposures are not covered in a professional liability policy:

  • Illegal act
  • False advertising
  • Property damage
  • Employee injuries
  • Automobile liability
  • Employment disputes
  • Intentional wrongdoing
  • General liability exposures

Professional liability insurance should be just one part of your overall risk management and insurance program.

What is the Cost of Professional Liability Insurance? The premium you pay for professional liability insurance will depend on a few factors. Basic rating begins on the revenue you or your company generates from selling bootcamp training programs. Minimum premiums are often as low as $400 per year.

Starting with a base premium, the following variables will determine the final cost:

  • Annual revenues
  • Policy deductibles
  • Prior claims history
  • Industry experience
  • Amount of insurance available per claim
  • Aggregate limit of insurance available per policy period

Purchasing a professional liability policy is a balance between your budget and your overall insurance needs. Consider the maximum potential cost to defend and settle a claim and purchase a policy match your exposure.

Conclusion

Purchasing a professional liability insurance policy is one of the most important steps you can take to protect your career as a bootcamp trainer. Whether you are working in an established fitness center or going it alone, you need to protect your financial stability.

BizInsure can provide you with instant quotes, complete a short online form here to receive your quotes instantly!

Bigger Bodied and Into Yoga? Melbourne Pro Tips

Starting to practice yoga can be a little intimidating for anyone, but if you’re bigger bodied it can be even more of a challenge. However, yoga offers some fantastic benefits, and here we’ll explore some pro tips to help get you started.

Understand the Benefits

The first pro tip is to understand what yoga has to offer. While any physical activity can help to improve your general health and mobility, yoga improves flexibility, decreases stress and can help to increase muscle strength and tone. Since overweight people often have difficulty with joint pain, yoga classes can help to improve your body alignment to reduce joint strain. Yoga can also help to develop your balance, improve your physical fitness and boost your mood.

Seek Out a Qualified Teacher

To avoid injury and obtain the most benefit from yoga in Melbourne residents should seek out a qualified teacher. Even if you can’t find a teacher trained in yoga adaptations for larger students, a beginner’s gentle level class will be a fantastic resource. Qualified teachers are trained to work with people with different body types and differing levels. If you have limited mobility, look for a teacher who can assist you with chair yoga.

Look For the Right Class

Specialist classes for the bigger bodied are becoming more popular, so try to look for a class that suits your requirements. You need to feel comfortable in your class, so check out the atmosphere, to get the best from the experience. If there is no specialist class available, consider Kripalu, Integral, Viniyoga or Hatha practices. Speak to your teacher before you contemplate a first class, so you can check that you feel comfortable and the teacher can offer modifications or props as needed.

Consider One to One Sessions

For many people, the prospect of even a small class can be daunting, so consider one to one sessions to get you familiar with the process. Private classes can be an excellent way to learn the basic poses to gain confidence with effectively using props before you join a group practice. Gaining knowledge about yoga will help you to feel more at ease and ready to tackle a larger class.

Think About Combining Yoga and Weight Loss Methods

If your main aim is to lose weight and feel more comfortable, you’ll need to think about combining yoga with weight loss methods. Although there are more effective forms of exercise to lose weight, yoga can help you feel better. Ideally, you should combine your yoga practices with restricting your caloric intake and taking regular exercise. Exercises that raise your heart rate will be most effective for weight loss, but practicing yoga regularly will help to improve your flexibility and help you to tackle more exercise. Regardless of other weight loss methods you choose, yoga should be an integral part of your overall wellness routine.

If you’re thinking about taking up yoga, Melbourne residents should speak to us. We specialize in yoga and pilates in Melbourne and bigger bodied people will find a class to suit them. You’ll also find the Kaya Health team ready to answer any queries to help you to choose the best class for you.

5 Ideas to Save Money When Jewelry Shopping

There’s something about buying a new piece of bling that just puts us in a wonderful mood.

But buying jewelry can get real expensive, real quick! Everyone values the opportunity to get in on an excellent discount and save some of our hard-earned cash.

If you’re looking to save some Benjamins but still catch attention with your new silver or gold, here are some cost-saving techniques:

1. Stay away from the chain stores

Any jewelry store that’s located inside of a mall or a galleria is going to have a considerable markup.

The markup can be as much as 700% or 800%.
A better option is to go with a smaller, independent jeweler. The quality of the jewelry will be higher, and the prices will be lower than the chain stores. Do your homework by comparing prices and shopping around.

2. Consider going online.

Your chances of finding high-quality jewelry online, at discount prices are actually very high.

By eliminating overhead costs, salespeople, and premises, online jewelers can offer lower than average prices. Plus, if the seller doesn’t add a huge markup, that’s a huge bonus also!
You’ll still need to be cautious when buying online. The seller should be reputable and offer a generous return policy.

3. Buy silver instead

With gold prices reaching almost $1,500 an ounce, many jewelry-buyers are turning to silver instead.

If you already prefer silver, then luckily you’re already reaping the discounted rewards. But those who love gold might find it necessary to “settle” for silver if you’re looking to save.

If you really can’t say goodbye to your relationship with gold, consider buying silver jewelry with gold accents to keep the price down in cost.

4. Consider other alternatives to diamonds

If you don’t need to buy diamonds, you can save a lot on jewelry by purchasing pieces set with other stones. Here are a few diamond alternatives:

Man-made diamonds

Man-made (also known as) white diamonds that have been grown in a laboratory, usually cost 15% to 20% less than natural diamonds.

The discount might be much higher, depending on the size of the stone and where you’re buying. And colored lab-made diamonds can be an enormous total of 80% or 90% cheaper than their mined equivalents.

Moissanite

A crystal that naturally occurs in meteorites is nearly as dense, hard, and scuff-resistant as a diamond.

Initially discovered in the 1800s, moissanite is now produced in the laboratory for a fraction of the cost of even lab-made diamonds.

5. Buy pre-owned (used) jewelry

It’s not always necessary to buy something new to experience high-quality satisfaction.

You can get fantastic deals at pawn shops, or by using Classifieds like Craigslist, Kijiji, and Facebook’s marketplace. Online auctions like eBay and garage sales can also be good places to buy used jewelry.

Of course, you still need to be cautious, since you might not be 100 percent sure that you’re getting something genuine in a private sale. If possible, ask for certifications, and ask if the seller is willing to offer a refund if once you’ve had it appraised, it is not up to your standards.

6. Bigger isn’t always better

Try not to get distracted by the big, beautiful shiny object in front of you because you can lose a ton of money this way.

If you’re buying diamonds, always remember that there’s more to a valuable gemstone than just its size. Sometimes, bigger gems can actually come with more visible flaws. You might be required to pay more because some jewelers get you to focus on the size, and pay for something big.

However, a large stone with tons of flaws may not, in actuality, carry more value than a smaller stone with fewer defects. But if you aren’t aware of that, you could end up paying way more because you’re dazzled by the size.

Conclusion

Just remember that there’s always a way to save a little or a lot of money when it comes to shopping for jewelry online and offline. Use these tips next time you’re looking around, and you’ll have some extra pocket change in no time!

Essential Items for Health and Confidence on the Trail

Staying healthy on the trail is vital if you want to maintain maximum performance and avoid unnecessary ailments or set backs that come from poor nutrition and care. To enjoy your hikes to the fullest you should always pack your essentials first so you never have to stop and worry when you're out on the trail.

These items will boost your health and energy levels both on and off the trail and keep you safe in unexpected situations and circumstances.

Water

Let's start by stating the obvious: Staying properly hydrated should be your No. 1 concern when out on the trail.

If you are heading out for a short day hike that won't have you on the trail for more than a few hours, you should pack enough water to drink roughly 20-ounces per hour. For longer efforts on the trail you should make it a point to stop and intake 10 ounces every 15 minutes in order to stay fully hydrated and healthy.

Simply put, water is the ideal liquid for most hikers. However, longer or more strenuous hikes often call for liquids with a little extra oomph, most notably sports drinks and mixes. These enhanced liquids contain electrolytes, meaning they not only keep you hydrated when you're exerting yourself in hot weather but they also protect you from a little thing called over-hydration. Over-hydration is what happens when the amount of salt and other electrolytes in your body become too diluted and your sodium levels become dangerously low.

Next time you hit the trail, make sure you bring enough water for yourself and remember to stop once or twice an hour to take a sip and keep your hydration levels at max performance.

Nutrition

Short hikes don't call for as much meal planning as longer backpacking trips do but your nutritional needs remain the same regardless, which is why you should educate yourself on the types of food that will help repair and strengthen your body during more active periods.

For high levels of physical activity you want foods that provide physical energy and mental fuel (carbohydrates), and promote a healthy nervous system (B-vitamins, iron) while building and repairing cells (vegetable proteins). Consider planning meals that contain whole grains and starchy vegetables, like rice, cornmeal, or potatoes. If you're looking for bars or other easy meals to eat on the go, first make sure they are actually providing you with the nutritional value you require.

Another food group that is important for longer backpacking trips are your meats, poultries, eggs, and dairy items. On the trail you really don't require much of these foods, however once every day or two in small portions will make a huge difference to your performance and health on the trail. The calcium and protein intake will help improve bone strength and muscle contraction so in order to keep your nutritional needs in balance consider packing items that contain ingredients like powered milk, peanut butter, or nuts and seeds for the proteins and healthy fats. LARABARs, made from minimal, pure ingredients, are a great place to start.

Vitamins & Supplements

The longer the trip, the harder it gets to pack food that will provide enough nutritional value for the length of time you're on the trail. But don't worry, there is an easy solution. Most experienced hikers and backcountry explorers use vitamins and supplements to meet their personal health needs instead of relying 100 percent on food. Not only will meal planning seem much easier but you'll have more room in your pack since vitamins and supplements don't take up very much room.

To avoid dangerous nutrient gaps in your diet while on the trail you should take advantage of supplements that not only bridge the gap but help you recover quicker, boost your energy, and increase your overall health and stamina. For hikers putting in long days of high energy, consider adding supplements like calcium, probiotics, fish oil, and a multi vitamin to your hiking pack. Amway, a global leader in health products, sells a variety of natural and plant-based supplements. They will help protect and nourish your body out on the trail so you don't have to worry about starving your body of the nutrition it requires.

Safety & Survival

It might seem obvious to you, but many hikers don't realize the significance of safety and survival gear on the trail and the role it plays toward overall health. Accidents, mistakes, slip-ups—they all happen on a daily basis, even when you're on the trail. So being prepared with a few key items for safety and survival will give you wonderful peace of mind in case the unexpected occurs.

An item you should never hit the trail without is a basic first aid kit. You can find a wide range of first aid kits at almost any grocery store or gas station but these can also be personalized and purchased online, of course. The Red Cross sells a variety of first aid kids and supplies, including a CPR keychain. For added peace of mind throw in a pocket knife, a small coil of paracord, and a fire starter so it's all in one place. Don't forget other health-conscious items like sunscreen and sunglasses too.

Ideally the best item for survival, other than extra water and food supplies, is an emergency shelter, beacon, or some sort of GPS tracking device. Not everyone will care to bring or purchase all of these items, especially since each one adds a little more weight to your shoulders, but trust your gut and put your safety and survival right up there with your overall health and performance.

If you fear the trail might be too difficult for you or perhaps the weather doesn't look very promising, prepare yourself and pack anything you think you might need so you won't be without it on the trail.

Keep your hydration and nutrition in the forefront of your mind when packing for your next hiking trip. Don't pack food items that give you little to no nutritional value and be prepared with extra supplements and liquids so you can be confident and ready on the trail.

How Swimmers Can Benefit from Personalized Swim Instruction

Now that summer is here, many outdoor activities get into full swing for active participants. Some activities, like swimming, can take place both outdoors (outdoor swimming pools, lakes, ponds, etc.) as well as indoors (indoor swimming pools, aquatic centers, and so on). No matter the individuals skill level, there is always the potential to learn and refine new moves and procedures. Whether the swimmer is just a beginner, or has moved up to master, competitive swimmer, or triathlete, swimmers at all levels can benefit from more comprehensive and personalized instruction to refine their skills and help them achieve optimal results.

Superior swim programs will provide the highest-quality swim camps and private sessions year-round. If swimmers cannot attend one of these camps or personal instruction sessions, leading swim programs offer extraordinary swim instruction and services online. They have multi-tiered programs of learning, with instruction and services to benefit any swimmer at any level. Whether swimmers want to learn more about proper techniques in freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke, butterfly techniques, how to do a flip turn, and much more, swimmers can gain valuable insight and instruction from joining an accredited and highly-respected swim club through participant organizations.

One premier company in the field was founded by former U.S. Olympian swimmers, and has went on to provide instruction to many Olympic athletes who went on to win medals at different Olympic games. Interested participants can choose their level of participation from four different tiers if they sign up in a specific program.

Their base level, which is free to join, helps swimmers learn their basic Club swimming techniques. Participants at this level receive a weekly Promo Video, Aquanote, and Newsletter. More and more is offered as the levels go up, up to Level 4, where swimmers can get the most comprehensive coaching possible, along with a terrific array of videos, conferences, and many other features every month.

Swimmers that are able to attend a camp truly get the finest instruction possible, with the opportunity to take advantage of enhanced services between sessions. So anyone of any age or skill level that’s interested in improving their swimming would really benefit from looking into programs, either in camp or online, run by outstanding swimming staff. These are valuable skills learned that will last a lifetime.