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Is Reliable High-Speed Internet the Key to Having Happy Renters?
You won’t be able to find an apartment without internet access these days. Especially now, reliable internet is more necessary than ever. Ensuring that access is fast and dependable is something imperative for a Wi-Fi connection. But what can property owners do to improve this?
For many renters, purchasing a router is an individual act: an essential part of furnishing the home. With many people working remotely, landlords and homeowners are starting to do more to provide quality internet. So I got to ask, is giving reliable internet to renters essential for happy and long-lasting residents?
The answer, simply, is yes. In a recent study, 87 percent of people said technology played a huge role when it comes to apartment hunting. The majority also said that asking about communication services was crucial before signing a lease. In an internet-dominated world, there’s no surprise with these statistics. The question now becomes, what can property owners do to benefit all communication services?
Improving Wi-Fi and General Connection
With an established need for internet access, owners can provide their renters with better services in one paramount way.
Though it is a challenge for older buildings, replacing copper wire with fiber optic cable is a necessary investment. Fiber optic doesn’t rust as fast as copper, and fiber’s data transfer is quicker and extends farther. This type of infrastructure change is more dependable for avid internet users.
If the building is new construction, the architect probably had fiber cables in mind and installed microducts. If not, property owners will need to figure out the best way to filter the cables from the basement to the apartments. A few methods include blowing (for taller, wider apartments), pulling (less costly), or pushing (for shorter distances). The length and width of the building will determine the ideal method for fiber cable installation.
What Will Property Owners Expect From High-Speed Internet
Once the copper cables are replaced with fiber ones, property owners will notice positive results. A larger tenant pool is expected for a building equipped with better internet services. Tenants are also more likely to stick around longer. With many needing the internet for work as well as a job-searching tool, tenants have an easier route for income and paying rent on time. This is perfect for property owners struggling with short-term residents.
High-speed internet doesn’t only help the residents, but visitors, contractors, and more. Let’s say you hire an electrician, and they need to make a work call, but their service is spotty. Wouldn’t great Wi-Fi be essential to finish the job?
Anyone who enters your apartment and is expecting a connection will benefit from an upgraded building. In a world where the internet is vital, friends and contractors alike will rejoice from fast, reliable Wi-Fi
The Future for Renters
Even after this pandemic, people will continue working from home. One study shows that 70 percent of respondents say their companies have made technology investments for remote working. Even without technological change, bosses and employees know that at-home working can be as efficient as sitting in the office. This means that future renters will be expecting these types of services when apartment hunting.
When March 2020 began, property owners and building managers didn’t know what to expect with the influx of work-from-home residents. This lifestyle change made the need for reliable internet increasingly inescapable. With the future unknown, owners need to invest in advancements for their buildings. Hopefully, no pandemic of this caliber will happen again, but owners still have to be prepared for more renters working remotely.
High-speed internet is no luxury anymore. It is a fundamental need for all renters and does wonders for ensuring their happiness. Though some owners might need to spend more dough to renovate, the benefits are endless. If you’ve been having trouble retaining or attracting renters, upgrading internet access is the best place to start.
6 Best Health & Fitness Apps for 2021
Public gyms and workout centers are opening back up, meaning less home exercise. With more room to do our daily routines, apps and virtual help might appear unnecessary. But, in 2021, there are many fitness apps to discover that will elevate your workout.
Apps for tracking progress, getting muscle definition, and improving your mental state are available right at your fingertips. Try out these health and fitness apps to start your summer off right.
7 Minute Workout
This app is definitely for the person on the go. If you’re in a rush and feel there’s no time to incorporate exercise, 7 Minute Workout’s quick exercises will change your thinking.
Developed by a physiologist at Johnson & Johnson, this app is designed for people of all athletic and physical abilities. The workouts are customizable, with the option to mix and match over 72 exercises. Your formulated workouts also come with time adjustments ranging from 7 to 37 minutes. Each exercise comes with an instructional video, ensuring you’re prepared to tackle every routine.
7 Minute Workout is a great place to start if working out feels too time-consuming. You can download the app in the Apple store: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/7-minute-workout/id650762525
An app with a surprisingly huge following, FitOn is mostly known for its charismatic and well-known trainers.
This app is an athlete’s dream with a wide selection of exercise classes, from yoga to HIIT. The instructors are mostly celebrity trainers, which means you’re getting top-tier lessons. The courses are varying degrees of difficulty, and most exercises don’t require equipment. It’s no wonder more than five million people have joined this app; with a huge selection of videos and world-class trainers, it’s hard to go wrong.
Look at their website for more about their trainers and courses: https://fitonapp.com/
Glo is a perfect fit for the avid yoga and meditation participant. Formerly known as YogaGlo, this app has evolved to encompass pilates, mindfulness practices, and more.
Personalizing your workout is what the app does best. You’ll be invited to answer a series of questions as a beginner, to make sure you’re getting your ideal fitness routine. With over 4,000 classes on demand, there are almost infinite courses to choose from. Just like FitOn, Glo has some of the best yoga and fitness instructors, making this app a worthwhile investment.
Try out the app free for 7 days here: https://www.glo.com/
Nike Run Club
Summer is the season for running. It’s great to exercise in the warm sunlight finally, but sometimes running can get monotonous. Nike Run Club acts as your personal cheerleader, documenting your successes and helping you achieve your fitness goals.
For the competitive athlete, Nike Run Club is great for establishing training plans. You’ll be able to assign personal challenges and goals for each run you take. You can choose the distance or time limit of your exercising, with a 5-minute lunch run option for your busiest days. The app also allows you to connect to other runners, creating a social network of motivated exercisers.
Log your distance and accept rewards with Nike’s free workout app. See more details on their website: https://www.nike.com/nrc-app
Staying happy and content is an important factor in our health. When we’re getting our whole body in shape, our mental state sometimes goes unchecked. This app strictly focuses on the mind, with wonderful meditation and mindfulness tactics.
Happify has science-backed activities to lower stress levels and distract the mind. Alongside these games and exercises, there are guided meditations and even weight training. There are helpful solutions for anyone experiencing a range of mental health issues or solely looking for a fun distraction.
Whether you’re dealing with intrusive thoughts or needing a physical outlet, Happify has a solution for everyone. You can see all of the advantages Happify has to offer here: https://www.happify.com
Sleep: arguably the most essential facet of our health. Getting a good night’s sleep, though, is undeniably troublesome. With the sole power of our phone’s microphone, this app is capable of improving our nightly routine.
Sleep Cycle uses an advanced alarm clock to make sure you’re waking up at the right time. This incredible technology logs its information through your breathing. The sounds and movements you make show the app how deeply you’re sleeping. The app then determines when your lightest sleep will be in the morning, allowing for an alarm that eases you into the day.
Sounds crazy, right? Though the idea feels like it’s from a science-fiction novel, the app has succeeded in improving many users’ rest. Sleep Cycle even has an extensive library of sounds and stories, making sure you’re falling asleep fast and easy.
Check out more about Sleep Cycle here: https://www.sleepcycle.com/how-sleep-cycle-works/
As humans, whole-body health can be a tiring endeavor. With so many incredible apps on the market, incorporating a small workout or a breathing exercise is more than effortless. Make your fitness and health a priority this summer by downloading one of these beneficial apps.
5 Things To Know about Amazon Sidewalk
Have you heard of Amazon Sidewalk? Many people haven’t, even if they are utilizing a device that may soon automatically use the service. On June 8, Amazon will automatically enroll devices in the Amazon Sidewalk service.
Here are five things to know about the Amazon Sidewalk service.
1. How does Amazon Sidewalk work?
Basically, Amazon takes a small portion of your internet bandwidth and shares it with neighbors so that everyone’s devices have a stronger connection. According to Amazon, “Amazon Sidewalk creates a low-bandwidth network with the help of Sidewalk Bridge devices including select Echo and Ring devices. These Bridge devices share a small portion of your internet bandwidth which is pooled together to provide these services to you and your neighbors. And when more neighbors participate, the network becomes even stronger.”
2. How much of my bandwidth will Amazon Sidewalk use?
Amazon says that the maximum bandwidth of a Sidewalk Bridge to the Sidewalk server is 80Kbps. That’s pretty small (about 1/40th of the bandwidth used to stream a high definition video). Total monthly data used by Sidewalk is capped at 500MB. That’s about 10 minutes of high definition video.
What are the benefits of using Amazon Sidewalk?
For devices like Ring security cameras and door bells or Echo devices, Sidewalk may help them stay connected and work over longer distances. The service is also free.
What if I am concerned about privacy?
Amazon has published a white paper with technical information that may address your privacy concerns. It is a fairly comprehensive document that you can find here: Amazon Sidewalk Privacy and Security Whitepaper.
Can I disable Amazon Sidewalk on my devices?
Disabling Sidewalk is a pretty easy process. Simply open the Alexa app, go to More and select Settings. Then select Account Settings and choose Amazon Sidewalk. You can then turn off Amazon Sidewalk.
Have more questions about Amazon Sidewalk? Visit the Amazon Sidewalk web page for more information.
Coolest New Tech Products from CES 2021
Speaking as someone who recently updated their ancient phone to the luxurious iPhone 11, I have to say I’m fully impressed by 21st-century innovation. Even during a pandemic, technology hasn’t ceased transforming. From the imminent reality of AI to unbelievable green tech, there’s no limit for these engineers.
At this year’s digital CES, we got a sneak peek at the newest innovations for 2021. For anyone who isn’t familiar, CES stands for Consumer Electronics Show. The show brings manufacturers, businesses, developers, and tech pioneers together to showcase consumer tech and discuss relevant topics.
If you’re like me, you’re not constantly up-to-date in the newest technological trends. CES had hundreds of advanced products, but I’ve compiled a few of the coolest from the 2021 showcase.
Samsung Solar-Power Remote
With the Green New Deal at the forefront of American’s mind, climate change is increasingly more of a household conversation. This means that more companies have started innovating towards a greener planet, which is fantastic. Samsung is no different with their TV remote that’s solar-charged.
No batteries are necessary for this weightless piece of recycled plastic. It charges with both indoor and outdoor light and has a USB port if it needs additional charging. This move proves Samsung is investing in making products that run on green energy.
The product is not available to the public yet, but you can learn more about the remote here: https://www.engadget.com/samsung-solar-cell-remote-control-ces-2021-201053496.html
Nobi Fall-Sensing Lamp
Senior citizens have been one of the most isolated, at-risk demographics during this pandemic. With the sensational lamp “Nobi,” you’ll get a device with state-of-the-art detection technology.
Disguised as an ordinary ceiling fan, this fixture monitors movement and can assess various trouble. Its goal is to create a safer environment for seniors by notifying help when it detects someone has fallen. The fan is loaded with special sensors to accurately tell the difference between regular movement and a nasty fall. Fall-sensing is the type of technology we need in the future: helping older citizens feel safe and protected while in their homes.
Check out more about Nobi here: https://nobi.life/
Kohler Touchless Toilet
I have to admit; I didn’t think there was much we need to change about toilets. But with Kohler’s Touchless Toilet, I’ve come to my senses. An advanced, autonomous toilet is what the future needs and deserves.
The bathroom is full of unwanted bacteria, so taking a less hands-on approach to a toilet is a pragmatic decision. This Touchless Toilet has a “magic handle” that sensors hand movement to flush. It also comes with its own remote, auto opening and closing, LED lighting, a heating option, and more.
My toilet fails in comparison to this sentient, high-tech creation. Though undeniably pricey, this tech might shortly appear in every home’s powder room.
Check out more about Kohler’s Touchless Toilet here: https://www.us.kohler.com/us/browse/bathroom-toilets/_/N-2569Z1z11v4x
Isn’t the future supposed to have flying cars? Well, apparently, a design for one was featured at this year’s CES. General Motors showcased their wildest invention yet: a Cadillac air taxi. The Cadillac eVTOL, resembling a flying machine straight from Wakanda, is battery-powered and ready to take flight.
The Cadillac air taxi is General Motor’s first vehicle with aerial mobility. The battery power can accelerate the taxi to around 56 mph. But, it may take years before you’ll be seeing this vehicle on your local freeway. The company hasn’t released a prototype yet, meaning these plans are only conceptual at the moment. But with greener, electrical energy advancing, driveable hovercrafts are closer to reality than you might think.
See the digital prototype here: https://www.motortrend.com/news/cadillac-evol-flying-car-concept-2021-ces/?galleryimageid=2501599
Touchless Video Doorbell
In the future, doorbells aren’t just obsolete decorations. This pandemic-inspired contraption uses a camera to make ringing your neighbors even easier.
This doorbell from Alarm.com, has a video component that notices you when standing outside. There’s an audio function as well, so you can talk through it while remaining contactless. Keeping germs off doorbells, and other commonly touched surfaces, are an innovative way to contain an infectious spread.
Find out more about this no-contact doorbell here: https://alarm.com/
Those are some of the coolest, game-changing technology 2021 has to offer. Though some products aren’t available yet, the advancement showcased at CES this year is mind-blowing, to say the least. Even under the threat of a pandemic, humans have made incredible strides in technology.
Digital Spring Cleaning: How to Cut Device Clutter, Improve Organization & Security
Spring is approaching quickly, and everyone is getting ready for outdoor fun. While spending hours outside is a valuable part of a midwestern spring, many also pivot to tackling spring cleaning. The clutter that builds up over the winter months proves that reorganizing is a necessary chore. Though our physical spaces can get pretty messy, our computers can get even worse.
If you’re like me, you have folders upon folders on your desktop, with pictures and files scattered about. Sometimes, it’s easy to forget what your desktop even looks like behind all the miscellaneous JPEGs. Organizing your computer is an imperative part of spring cleaning, and there are plenty of ways to tidy up and secure all your important devices.
Update Your Apps & Systems
Updating your software has got to be the first part of digital upkeep. When our apps and devices change so quickly, some of the bugs we experience can occur from operating on older versions. This step might not come to mind instantly for decluttering, but it has a lot of importance in running your computer smoothly.
One of the biggest reasons for updating software is for protection purposes. Going through with these updates reduces future risk from malfunction and pesky viruses. Check all of your devices like phones, apps, smart TVs, computers, and tablets to ensure all devices are updated with the latest fixes and operating systems.
Clean Your Desktop
Now that everything is updated, the cleaning can commence. For many, the desktop might look like a complete nightmare. Organizing this might be a laborious feat, but it’s not too difficult to accomplish.
Firstly, it’s time to trash everything on the desktop that’s no longer relevant. I’m surprised often at the excessive amount of documents I have that I don’t need or want. Just looking through and purging your saved files can make a considerable difference both digitally and mentally.
A helpful and simple solution for the remaining files is to start sorting them. Creating folders for projects, personal writing resumes, and other categories help sort your materials in an easily accessible manner. Color code them or arrange them however you like; just make sure they’re organized in a fashion you understand.
Organize Your Email
Email: the most necessary and anxiety-inducing medium to declutter. If you’re not one of those diligent email-deleters, then you might need to do some inbox cleaning this spring.
The first task is to delete, delete, delete. Superfluous spam increases the number of your unread mail to frightening heights. Deleting old and unwanted messages can unclog your mail and restore some space. Deleting email clutter is a necessary step but won’t initially control the influx of future spam.
To ensure long-lasting organization, set your spam and junk folder to filter out needless mail. There are many ways to do this, but with Gmail, you can go into settings and list email addresses to block. These addresses will end up in your spam folder, eliminating the continual annoyance of marketers, bots, and chain emails.
I know those TV subscription deals were pretty tempting in quarantine. But those 7-day free trials, if unchecked, stay around longer than expected. Now is the perfect time to go back through your subscriptions to make sure you’re not overpaying.
Just like updating an app, managing which apps you’re still paying for is just as important. Who hasn’t upgraded Duolingo after ditching those Spanish lessons a month later? There might be a few subscriptions you didn’t even remember purchasing, which is why this task is necessary. Going through each app on your phone is not only great for decluttering but for releasing pressure on your wallet as well.
When you’re deleting and unsubscribing from various websites, make sure to delete your profiles along with them. Without removing your profiles, the apps will still retain your information. Delete all personal info in each app you’re unsubscribing from to keep your confidential data safe.
The ultimate protection between your information and someone else is a strong and reliable password. Websites and apps are now updated to ask for password changes and new protocols, making remembering them difficult. It’s time, this spring, to get all your passwords in order.
Check through your passwords to see if any lack strength. Hefty passwords usually contain symbols and numbers in unorthodox sequences, not just a word with many letters. Make changes to passwords that don’t meet the security criteria you want.
Another safety tip is to use two-step verification. Often included in email log-ins, you’ll find a separate question or a text message identification for added security. For special online accounts like banking, it’s important to create layers of protection for your valuables. Check the privacy settings on any website to enable two-step verification for your most sensitive accounts.
Cleaning is something we might not love to do but is an undeniable part of being human. When it comes to digital cleaning, it thankfully takes way less physical labor than usual. Try these steps to secure and organize your online information, readying your mind for a decluttered spring and summer.
Digital Valentine’s Day Ideas
Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and gift-giving is arguably the holiday’s primary focus. While so many of us are quarantining, it might be hard to trade tangible gifts. If seeing your partner or family members is more difficult this year, here are some smart, digital ideas for great Valentine’s Day gifts and activities.
Wellness App Subscription
Meditation, yoga, and mindfulness activities are on the rise this year. Spending many days inside means there’s a lot of time to focus on our introspection. Practicing mindfulness tasks is easy with various websites and apps to download.
Buying a yearly subscription for an app like Calm or Headspace is an exceptional gift for 2021. With these programs you can find guided meditations and many soothing playlists to choose from. Exercises specific to anxiety, depression, anger, and stress are great for when life is a little too overwhelming. If your partner is having trouble sleeping, meditations and tips for better rest are available on both applications.
Giving the gift of relaxation is unbelievably simple this year. Provide a loving gesture from afar by including a mindfulness app subscription as your Valentine’s present.
Check out Headspace and Calm here:
Who doesn’t love a commemorative scrapbook from their loved ones? With many people having access to smartphones, taking pictures and documenting trips is extremely common. Putting together a slideshow of memories is an easy way to show your deep affection.
Creating a short movie on your iPhone is painless and instantly shareable. If you go into your Photos app, there’s a section where it has a facial recognition feature. Clicking on your friend or partner’s icon magically unfolds all of the photos you have of them on your phone. There’s a play button, too, that creates the slideshow function. You can edit, add photos, and share the slideshow in seconds with your Valentine.
A digital book of memories is a wonderful, personalized gift for your beloved. Check out more about slideshow creation on Apple products here:
Online Cooking Class
Here is a fantastic idea for Valentine’s Day that’s safe and interactive. If there’s a dish or dessert you’ve always dreamed of making, there are specialized cooking courses all over the internet to peruse.
There are a few websites to checkout for cooking courses online, but Cozymeal has some great Chicago chef options.
Many restaurants in the city have created alternate routes for supporting their business. Cooking classes are one of the primary ways we can give back to the chefs we cherish in our communities. On Cozymeal, you can find chefs based on location, cuisine, and difficulty. Besides using booking websites, checking your favorite restaurant’s website is a stellar way to see if they offer online courses.
This culinary gift will inspire your loved one for months and years to come. Check out all sorts of classes on the Cozymeal website:
The complications of scheduling a card drop off or meeting in person are frustrations of the past. Animated eCards are a safe and silly way to show your appreciation. There are plenty of options to choose from for eCards from standard and romantic to extremely goofy.
American Greetings is a great site to check out for traditional styles. They have a wonderful selection of romantic-themed eCards like hearts, flowers, and funny animals.
For a sillier Valentine, the singing and dancing messages on JibJab might be what you’re looking for. Renowned for their extremely personalized approach, these eCards are great for anyone with a sense of humor. Crop your friend or partner’s face on the JibJab website and plop them into a choreographed dance number. For Valentine’s day, there are even Rick Astley, Grease, and Lady Gaga themed greetings.
Look at all the customizable options here:
Digital gifts aren’t the only way to show love and appreciation. If you’re quarantined with your friends, family, or partner, here are some safe Valentine’s ideas and activities.
Love and adoration are feelings we all share for one another. Making Valentine’s Day a special event this year can be uncomplicated and safe with these brilliant ideas. Whether you’re removed from your beloved or cozily at home together, there’s an abundance of possibilities to make the holiday remarkable. Enjoy these digital romantic ideas and activities and make this Valentine’s Day unforgettable.
Learn Something New: Top Resources for Free or Cheap Remote Learning
Learning doesn’t stop just because we aren’t in the classroom. With many of us transitioning to remote schooling and working, anything seems possible with the internet at our fingertips. For those of us who need some extra stimulation, there are plenty of resources for free or cheap learning. Here’s a list of wonderful apps and websites to peruse if you’re craving to achieve something new.
What’s an online learning list without the beloved Duolingo? This app has a considerable amount of languages to choose from completely free of charge.
Duolingo utilizes different approaches for holistic language learning. Though conversing in real life might be hard to do, there are components of the app that can substitute it. The pronunciation feature incorporates speaking out loud into the lesson. Alongside grammar, spelling, and conjugation, each course contains diverse educational opportunities.
One of the best, and arguably most annoying features, of Duolingo, is their reminders. Anyone who has used the app knows the incessant nature of the Duolingo owl in your texts and emails. Though it may be frustrating, language proficiency only comes with practice. The app knows that and will remind you to do your work consistently to meet your goals.
Find Duolingo on the App Store and check out more here: https://www.duolingo.com
Tynker: Coding For Kids
Coding has become an essential tool in today’s workforce. Even if it’s not for your career, learning the ins and outs of coding are exceedingly helpful. With Tynker, you can start your kids off with an entertaining, interactive app for learning code.
This award-winning program makes learning sequencing and pattern recognition enjoyable. The app has even transformed to incorporate kids who are pre-readers. With 200 challenges and counting, Tynker will never run out of fun exercises to try.
Coding isn’t the only focus on this learning app. With the new art and music station, Tynker includes composing music and learning math into its colorful world. The animation studio is also available, teaching graphics and storytelling together.
With a strong code focus, Tynker has much to teach to inquisitive children of all ages.
Download Tynker in the App Store and learn more about the app here: https://www.tynker.com
Star Chart is the free astronomy app for remote planetary exploration. Using your phone or iPad, you can search and find all sorts of stars and planets. The universe is entirely viewable with this magnificent application.
There are a few different ways you can explore with Star Chart. One example is the ability to point your device into the sky and have the app tell you exactly what stars are there. It’s almost like having a star GPS in your pocket.
You can also learn any info about stars, gas giants, and everything else in the universe. You will be able to master the star placements in the northern and southern hemispheres. If constellations pique your interest, you can learn and study all 88 of them.
There’s so much to investigate in space, and Star Chart has it all in one downloadable app.
Get Star Chart here: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/star-chart/id345542655
When flipping through podcasts isn’t enough, a trivia game can provide just as much obscure information. Similarly to Trivial Pursuit, Trivia Crack is a six category contest to play alone or with friends. It’s the perfect app for the avid learner who enjoys endless access to facts.
The objective of Trivia Crack is to win rounds and earn characters. The only way you can achieve characters is by answering three questions correctly. These questions are chosen from the six categories, which include sports, entertainment, and geography. Once you’ve received a character from all of the categories, you win the round.
Even in its simplicity, the knowledge available is absolutely endless. Download this app and challenge your friends to a wide array of fact-based questions.
Check out more about the rules on the app website: https://www.triviacrack.com
Yousician is an excellent app for those of us with dusty guitars or unused keyboards begging to be played. With Yousician, you can achieve your quarantine goals of learning an instrument remotely.
Yousician has intuitive lessons for musicians of all abilities. There are plenty of specialized tutorials for ukulele, piano, bass, guitar, and singing. It even incorporates your phone’s microphone feature for real-time critique when practicing.
Though it’s not free, the trial is accessible for one week with the option to upgrade. Check out more on the Yousician website: https://yousician.com
The ASL App
An important language that Duolingo doesn’t offer is American Sign Language. If this is something you’ve been looking for, The ASL App is available for all cellular devices.
The main purpose of this program is to teach you conversational ASL. With a huge selection of phrases to choose from, learning this language has never been quicker. Over 2,000 expressions are available on the app, with many different signers to study with.
Explore more about ASL and the app on the website: https://theaslapp.com
Home can be a hard place to discover new things. As innovative apps emerge each day, there are even more opportunities to find the right educational tool. From language learning to introductory coding, there are endless resources online. Try out these free or cheap learning tools to achieve your goals remotely.
Exercise At Home: Our Favorite Streaming Fitness Options
Trying to get the most out of our home in quarantine can be frustrating and extremely limiting. Our abode has become an office, a studio, a meditation space, and a gym all in one. Figuring out how to make enough space for exercise is an issue that’s perplexed even the best problem solvers. If running outside in the winter or being around other people is a cause for concern, here are some wonderful streaming tips for great indoor fitness.
Dancing is one of my favorite things I’ve been missing in quarantine. Going to see a show or venturing out to a club is something most of us haven’t done since the beginning of the pandemic. Though dancing in the mirror or around your apartment can be a likely alternative, it often misses the viable ambiance. Dance Church can add some structure and energy to your movements with the enthusiasm we’ve been lacking.
Started in 2011, Dance Church offers Wednesday and Sunday classes for people of all dancing levels. Each course has different instructors, with multiple genres and styles to try. COVID doesn’t have to eliminate your weekly dance parties; with the ability to stream the exercises on your computer or TV, you can turn your home into a private club. Self-consciousness is a feeling of the past with this exclusive fitness alternative.
Check out the website and weekly schedule at their website:
The simplest form of exercise to do at home has to be yoga. With minimal requirements, this ancient form of movement is our most accessible tool indoors. Though many of us aren’t venturing out to our local Yoga studio, there is an ample amount of instructors around the web to give some comprehensive guidance.
Yoga With Adrienne
The most revered instructor in my household is the calming, charismatic Adrienne. I will often see her face first thing in the morning as I pass the living room, where a roommate or two is streaming her class. With an enormous catalog of videos, it’s easy to see why she’s the primary instructor for many Yoga fans.
Yoga for Adrienne has material for beginners, experienced folks, or particular healing journeys. She has single, short videos available and consecutive playlists for those requiring more structure. There are even specific Yoga instructions for anxiety and stress as well. Yoga with Adrienne has a wide range of topics to choose from, making it a great start for remote exercise.
Check out her videos here:
Good Body Feel
If you’re looking for fitness that’s centered around internal feeling and body awareness, Good Body Feel is the right place to start. A Canadian studio founded by Robin Lacambra, their practices involve connecting Yoga, Pilates, and mindfulness.
Tapping into their new virtual studio, viewers can experience multiple instructors sharing guided practices involving interconnectedness and care. A focus on trauma, anti-oppression, and community involves a unique perspective from most Yoga classes. With daily courses operating on a sliding scale, Good Body Feel is an unmatched workout for both inner and outer contemplations.
Find instructors and courses at their website: https://www.goodbodyfeel.com/
Popsugar Fitness is just as fun as the name implies. Streaming on the reliable Youtube, these free fitness classes explore an extensive range of techniques and workouts.
If you’ve been struggling maintaining the fitness aspects of your normal life, taking a look through Popsugar’s catalog might inspire you to get back on track. Ab workouts, dance classes, and cardio are just a few of the specific classes you can choose from. Reminiscent of vintage workout tapes, these charismatic instructors remind us of the fun in routine exercising.
If you’re pursuing a personal fitness plan or just browsing for something new, Popsugar has plenty videos to peruse for your indoor workouts.
You can check out their Youtube page with this link: https://www.youtube.com/c/POPSUGARFitness/videos
Daily Burn 365
Needing some structure in your fitness routine? Daily Burn 365 has some solutions to get you off the couch and working out.
Daily Burn 365’s most enticing program is their daily, thirty minute live-streamed course. Every morning at nine, you’ll have the opportunity to start the day with a personal workout in the comfort of your home. If the early morning doesn’t suit your schedule, each course becomes available on their website for the remainder of the day.
Their goal is to get us quarantined folk back into exercising and a healthy lifestyle. Each course also includes modification options, in case the workouts are too simple or frustrating. Though motivation can become harder as we stumble into winter, Daily Burn 365 offers a steady solution for your daily fitness needs.
Check out their website here:
Fitness can be hard to incorporate into our regular schedules, let alone in the midst of a pandemic. Youtube and free trials are available, though, for at-home approaches to reestablishing cardio and exercise. I know working up a sweat inside your apartment might not be your first option, but there’s plenty of enticing programs to change your mindset. Exercising at home can be fun and worth it with a little bit of time and the perfect virtual option.
Our Favorite Free Online Activities & Remote Learning Apps for Kids
Schools are opening across the country for the fall semester. Though many kids are going back to regular methods of learning, virtual practices are being utilized as well with both “positive and adverse impacts”.
You might feel nervous for kids to have additional screen time, but learning online can be easy, fun, and educational. With so many options to choose from, it might feel impossible to find the right remote tactics. From online workshops to interactive games, Below is a list to help keep kids engaged both in and out of school hours.
Class Dojo is an app that feels the most like in-person learning. Its basic functions provide seamless communication between parents, students, and teachers. With learning existing outside of normative structures, Class Dojo can provide some organizational tools to keep everyone on the same page.
The app has a couple of features to aid teachers and parents with their kids’ work ethic and concentration. There are timer functions to delegate how much time is devoted to certain activities and noise meters to control outside distractions. Keeping all the child’s priorities in line is hard even without a pandemic, so Class Dojo makes it easier to organize their work and check on their studies. Visit Class Dojo.
Similar to Class Dojo, Outschool provides an educational extension to your kid’s school curriculum. There are a variety of classes to choose from, with a focus on small-group learning.
Courses of all interests can be found by scrolling through Outschool’s website. If you’ve got a tech-savvy adolescent, there are classes on game and web design. For the literary inclined, there are creative writing courses ready to be explored. With so many of us relegated to learning at home, Outschool makes it easy by having an extensive catalog of enticing classes for all students K-12. Visit Outschool.
Grace and Friends Birthday Cafe
Learning doesn’t always have to be dry and information-heavy. Sometimes we learn things by being provided with something more interactive. Take Grace and Friends Birthday Cafe: a simplistic game that has the power of teaching subitizing and quantitatives for even the most stubborn among us.
A repetitive structure and birthday theme make this math game perfect for your beginner mathematician. With multiple levels, your child will be learning under the guise of fun and competition. Get an early jump on subitizing with this game and see your child’s skills drastically improve. Visit Grace and Friends Birthday Cafe.
Math Science Music
For our teenagers, learning remotely often has a deficiency in arts education. Woodworking and band rehearsal have tremendous limits when it’s necessary to maintain social distancing. Luckily, Math Science Music provides some solutions to interdisciplinary learning when it comes to music-making.
This website contains lesson plans, interactive functions, and games to practice math and science through music. Providing teachers with a free toolkit on the site, you can keep your students engaged with topics ranging from geometry to coding. With a focus on creating and understanding music, students of all ages can combine their academic interests into making percussion loops and practicing music theory. Visit Math Science Music.
If you’re looking for a website that hosts games for all different subjects, then Fun Brain is the place to go. Since 1997, Fun Brain has had a myriad of educational games for K-8 students.
As a young kid, I was overly obsessed with marine biology and anything aquatic. The coral reef simulation on the website is a perfect look into these diverse ecosystems. You can pick and choose various animals and plants to see how they interact with each other, discovering their intricate world and all the features that comprise our wondrous reefs.
If biology isn’t a topic of interest, there’s reading, writing, and educational videos to get your kid engaged. Comics to peruse are available on the site, as well as scientific vlogs and cartoons. There is so much to explore on Fun Brain, it might even be impossible to get your kids off the site. Visit Fun Brain.
Crossword lovers, here’s an excellent alternative for you. The app is called Wordscapes and it combines problem solving and vocabulary in this sophisticated puzzle game.
For competitors of all ages, this app twists a normal crossword into a tetris-esque contest. The player starts with a few letters with only a couple intersecting rows. The goal is to use the three letters assigned to make different words for all of the rows available. As the rows and letters increase, the harder it is to conjure up new words and make them fit on the board. The simplistic concept is great for anyone with an adoration for puzzle solving. Visit Wordscapes.
Coco – Educational Games
Similar to some of the other sites and apps I included above, Coco is a collection of activities for kids to enjoy. Focusing on memorization techniques, this app has plenty of educational games for when your child needs a mental break from their classes.
With options to play by yourself, multiplayer, or split-screen, Coco has the potential to engage anyone and enhance attention and memory. Popular games like ColorMind focus on memorizing color combinations with increasing complexity. Other games like Silly Sequence are more rapid-fire, where letters and numbers appear on the screen with the goal of catching the duplicates.
Simply put, Coco has a range of games to make free time an opportunity for engaging our minds and memory. Visit Coco Educational Games.
Staying home and learning remotely doesn’t mean losing out on education. In fact, the accessibility of the internet has made education more convenient and creative. Whether your kid needs assistance in the classroom or wants to engage in stimulating puzzles, there are endless possibilities to explore. Brushing up on math or learning a skill or two has never been easier with this list of wonderful activities for kids of all ages.
5 Ways to Stay Mentally and Physically Healthy While Working From Home
With the days of a “new normal” afoot, our daily lives are quickly changing. We’ve had to adjust from office life and conference room meetings to keeping your cats off the keyboard when you’re on a video call. Let’s face it, you’ve been looking at the same four walls for the past six months now…and you’re starting to lose it! Here are FIVE things that I have done to keep level headed and stay productive.
Make Sure to Take Breaks
It seems like a no-brainer, but it’s easy to get caught up in work when you wake up and roll out of bed straight to your laptop. Another factor is that you may feel that taking a break shows that you’re not hardworking while remote. Alan Kohll put it well in saying “Chaining yourself to a desk or scarfing down your lunch in your cubicle isn’t a recipe for success – it’s a recipe for disaster.” Every hour or so take a short break, go outside, stretch, watch that funny video you’ve been dying to watch, anything but work.
Stop Working At a Set Time
Just like rolling out of bed straight to the laptop, its just as easy to stay on your laptop until the wee hours of the night. Set a time every day where the laptop closes, work stops, and the fun begins! Don’t neglect yourself, you need time to wind down and re-energize for the next day. Make plans and set appointments that will make you close down your workstation and head out the door.
Keep It Moving
There they are, the same walls you’ve been looking at day and night. Nothing says stuck in a loop like having the same day over and over again. Its time to change things up, now pick up that laptop and bring it into a different room! Changing my scenery helps me keep things fresh, I’ll grab my laptop and work in the basement, living room, or even outside. Another way to keep it moving would be to invest in a standing desk. Now if you’re like me and consider yourself a DIY’er, I would recommend this video from LRN2DIY on YouTube
Optimize Your Internet Connection
Nothing makes you want to throw your laptop out of the window more than a poor internet connection. Whether if its that your WiFi doesn’t reach a certain area or your connection is lost, make sure your equipment is up to date. I’d personally recommend the Unifi Amplifi line. You can have anything from a simple router to an at-home mesh WiFi network. If you have some gamers at home as well, the Netgear Nighthawk line is a fantastic option to ensure a strong WiFi connection.
Add Entertainment to the Day
As we’re working remote, the social water cooler chitchat is disappearing. You don’t realize how important your social interactions with your coworkers were until they have come to a halt. Even though we’re not in the same building anymore, try to set up calls to collaborate with team members, get their input, or even set up a happy hour call at the end of the day! As most companies are using messaging software, start up a channel for fun topics. As an idea, a pets chat….who doesn’t want to see everyone’s pets during a stressful day!?