Friday, January 30, 2015

Apple vs. Google

by A.L. Woods, Staff Writer

Is there a clear winner in the battle of the phone wars? You be the judge. Apple and Google continue to square off as each lay claim to being the most innovative in software development and the best and most durable in design build. Even beyond this the two major manufacturers in the game, Apple and Samsung, have had a running legal battle going on for years, inspiring a passionate divide within the global cell phone user community with the different camps drawing clear marks in the sand.

Operating Systems

Apple, of course, uses its proprietary iOS 7 in its famous iPhone brand. Google uses its widely popular Android operating system in a variety of mobile devices suitable for every budget and preference. iOS 7 is best known for its elegant user interface and for being so user friendly that even a child can use it with only a short learning curve. Android is known for its extensive customization ability and is favored by the tech savvy community and those mobile users who designate themselves as power users. iOS 7 is only used in Apple products while the Android OS, as stated above, is used by a variety of phone manufacturers.

Design Build

Apple's design build is legendary for emanating an air of high quality. Using a combination of metal and glass the iPhone is beautiful to behold and fits naturally in the hand. The only downside to this is that they typically tend to be prone to easy damage if not carried in cases specifically constructed for protection. Phones which are powered by the Android OS generally tend to employ a less expensive choice of build materials, most notably plastic, in order to keep costs and the weight of the phone(s) down and appeal to a wider range of users based on economics. Despite this Android phones still have their own unique beauty.

Whose Side are You On?

So, again, the question begs an answer: Is there a clear winner in the battle of the phone wars? Both iOS (Apple) and Android (Google) have firmly established themselves as the world's two most popular operating systems and each have a strong passionate user following. In the final analysis, though, there's no one right answer as each individual must determine for himself which phone best fits his budget, user patterns, and preferences.

Which side do you fall on? Apple fanboy or Android aficionado?

[Originally published on Yahoo! Voices on xxx (no longer published there).]

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Work at Home Tip: Minimize Distractions

I've been working from home since 1989, and I can tell you that one of the biggest hindrances to productivity is distractions. Whether it be in the form of friends and family stopping by or calling, chaotic thoughts directed towards the household duties that need to be carried out, or a temptation to surf the Web, watch TV, or play a video game while you should be working, these will all make it difficult for you to meet goals and carry out your work in a timely manner if you're not careful.

Here are a few tips to help in this area:

Set boundaries with family and friends

People who don't work from home just don't fully understand the dynamics of what your workday entails. They think that you can do what you want when you want. It's not their fault; they only know what they know. It's up to you to establish boundaries, and enforce them, about when they can call, drop by, or ask you to run errands for them.

Turn off the ringer on the house phone

It's just easier this way. Maintain separate phone lines for your business and personal lives. Turn off the ringer of your personal phone during the hours that you've established as work hours for yourself. You can check your messages periodically, i.e., on breaks and during your lunch hour, to ensure that no major emergencies occurred while you were in work mode.

If you have children, instruct the caretaking adults in their lives to text or call you on your business phone in the event of an emergency.

Don't keep a TV in your home office

Soap operas, talk shows, and reality shows are the banes of productivity. They're such time sinks that you can think that you'll turn on a show for just a few minutes or so and before you know it those few minutes have turned into hours. In the refrain of a popular campaign that was ongoing a few years ago: just say no.

Stay away from social media

Even worse than TV, social media can totally wreck your work day if not properly restricted. Catching up on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, whatever, if they are not platforms directly tied to your work, can result in a whole day wasted sharing, posting, and pinning. Set aside 30 minutes before work and 30 minutes after to devote to these activities, and whatever can't be done during that time just isn't important.

Either don't do housework during working hours or only do it in pre-established intervals of time

This is one that seems to be a primary temptation for my fellow lady workers out there. Even if you have your own office in your home, there's just something about being at home that screams that the laundry needs to be done, meals need to be prepared, trash needs to be taken out, and floors need to be swept and mopped. Either make up your mind that you won't do household chores during your normal work hours, delegate the work to other family members (or even hire a professional), or only do a little bit of each task while on break - maybe for 15 or 20 minutes or so.

By minimizing distractions during your work-at-home day(s) you can stay focused and productive, and as you already know, focus and productivity equate to $$$.

Sources: Get More Done: 18 tips for Telecommuters 10 Tips for Working from Home
Personal experience

*Photo: Paulo Ordoveza via
[Originally published on Yahoo! Voices (no longer published there).]

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Poison Ivy and Me: Not a Good Combination

by A.L. Woods, Staff Writer

I remember it like it was yesterday. I was the kidlet who never liked going outside. I was always at my happiest holed up in my room at the children's play desk that my parents had set up reading a good book. I had more books than I had toys. Who could have predicted that a bout of poison ivy was in my future?

On this particular day my parents insisted that I get out of the house and get some sunshine and fresh air. I grumbled, I argued, I negotiated, to no avail. They were determined that I was going to go outside like the other little kids and play.

Unhappily I made my way out to the back yard accompanied by my favorite cat, who also was sullen at having been unceremoniously deposed from the throne of her plush-covered perch.

As we walked along I spied a plant-covered mini-field of green leaves that reminded me of something that I'd read in one of my children's books. They were so beautiful and were even growing up around one of the trees. Shamrocks!, I shouted to the cat. Those are shamrocks!

Gleefully I ran in amongst the bed of green and began picking them, my little skirt blowing in the wind and my white sandals providing a complementary contrast in color.

It was a few minutes later that the itching began. Now, as a bit of backstory, I already suffered from chronic eczema, so this additional element in skin problems was most decidedly not a good thing!
Next came the blotches and the swelling. I began to look like a bad walking version of a pepperoni pizza.

How was it treated?

When I ran to the house and showed my parents they immediately went into distress mode. I'm telling you, there's no better form of emotional blackmail against your parents than for everything to go wrong when they've forced you to do something that you didn't want to do in the first place.

Fortunately, we had some calamine lotion in the house and they smeared it all over my tiny body. I was covered with blotches. I had a long history of allergies, so we had plenty of Benadryl of which I received a dose. WebMd also recommends a cold compress and hydrocortisone cream, and we did all that too.

What were my biggest struggles?

As a long-term eczema sufferer, it was bad enough to already have hypersensitive skin, but to add the ravages of poison ivy to the mix was truly a punishment. It took about a week for the irritation to finally fully clear, and that was with constantly dosing with the meds that I mentioned above.

I hope that neither you nor your child ever has this same experience.

Personal experience
*Photo: Leonora Enking via Flickr

[Originally published on Yahoo! Voices on 05/23/2014 (no longer published there).]

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Your First-Time Cruise: What You Need to Know

by A.L. Woods, Staff Writer

I remember when my first husband and I took our first cruise. It was a wonderful experience! I didn't know that a vacation could be so sweet. He surprised me with it as a belated honeymoon trip, and what a honeymoon it was. If this is your first-time cruise, there are a few things that you need to know in order to be prepared.

What to Expect

Imagine absolutely everything that you need for your vacation all situated in one place. You don't have to leave your "room" behind; it travels with you! That's one of the major perks that you get on a cruise. Your entertainment, food, and shopping are all within just a short walk's reach.

Just about everything that you can think of that can be done on a vacation can be done right there on the ship. The only reason that you would ever have to disembark is to go sightseeing as you dock in different ports.

You have a steward to attend you in your room. He will see to it that your room is cleaned every day and your basic essentials are kept in stock in your cabin. He will also be able to answer any questions that you may have.

How to Prepare

Make sure that all of your travel documents are in order. You'll need ID, and if you're traveling to any foreign ports you'll need a passport. Check with your cruise line or travel agent before departure to ensure that you have everything that you need.

Pack well but pack light. Once you embark on the ship you'll have help for your every need, but having to try and lug a lot of luggage to the plane and on the transport to the dock can be stressful.

Advice I Can Offer

As above, make sure that you have all of your travel documents. Just one missing item can spell catastrophe for your trip.

Take plenty of money. I suggest that you load up on traveler's checks and/or debit or credit cards. Cash is good but subject to be stolen. You will, however, need cash tips for the many folks who work diligently for you during the cruise to make your trip a success (although the end-of-cruise tips can be charged to your account if you wish).

Go to your cruise line's website and read it thoroughly. You'll find all of the information that you need to make your trip happy and pleasant there.

Relax, have fun, and enjoy. You're about to have the experience of a lifetime and will create many memories.

Personal experience

*Photo: Pete Markham via Flickr

[Originally published on Yahoo! Voices on 05/23/2014 (no longer published there).]

Monday, January 26, 2015

My First Job Out of College: A Bad Choice

by A.L. Woods, Staff Writer

Almost every day for the last couple of weeks I've received a notification from someone happily announcing their college graduation. As I've received these notifications, I've remembered with no degree of fondness my first job out of college and how and why it was a bad choice. Hopefully you won't make the same mistakes that I did.
I finished my last year of working on my bachelor's degree as a married woman. My husband was a huge motivation and support to me as I worked toward graduation.
After finishing school, I decided that I'd like to start a family as soon as possible, but I both wanted to contribute to the household income and stay at home with the kids.
My First Job Out of College
I had a brand new Bachelor of Arts degree in English. I could type 100+ words a minute. I operated at a high level of proficiency in language. To my amazement, I found the field of medical transcription. Although this job required no degree for entry, the ladies in it made tons of money, had scheduling flexibility, and were able to work at home. It was a dream come true! I applied to three companies, tested, and all three made hiring offers.
I was ecstatic! My focus shifted to making the huge dollars that others were boasting about and becoming a mother so soon in the game fell to a lower place on my list of priorities. Along the way, I kept seeing a lot of "irregularities" in the field: constantly shifting quality guidelines that were used for cost containment, worker unfriendly management, and grueling work conditions. But I was making good money, so I turned a blind eye to it all and kept plugging away!
What Happened Next
The longer I stayed in the field, the more disenchanted I grew. It was becoming harder and harder to make the money, our flexibility was taken away, and our pay was constantly being manipulated. I decided that I wanted to do something more with my life, so I decided to go back to school and get a master's degree.
Biggest Lesson Learned
With my husband's continuing support I studied for two long years until I had a graduate degree in hand -- but it seems I still hadn't learned my lesson. I stayed in medical transcription for another 12 years, and the field continued to decline, wages became stagnant, and it became an electronic sweatshop. And by this time, because I hadn't actually used my degrees in any direct professional application they had become somewhat obsolete.
Tips for You
  • Don't just choose a career based on money. Do what you love and the money will naturally flow to you.
  • If you see that a career field just doesn't make you happy, don't prolong the time. Make an exit plan and get out as soon as possible!
  • Your first job out of college doesn't have to be your last job. You'll find that your career is a living, moving, breathing dynamic. As you continue to grow in your personal development, you'll become more qualified for positions with more responsibility and, correspondingly, more pay.

Enjoy these first few days after you graduate. You deserve some down time after all of the hard work that you've put in. But after you've caught your breath and slowed down a little think seriously and strategically about the career path that you wish to follow.

*Photo: Evonne via Flickr

[Originally published on Yahoo! Voices on 06/05/2014 (no longer published there).]

Friday, January 16, 2015

My Three Favorite Brunch Recipes

by A.L. Woods, Staff Writer

I love entertaining, especially in the springtime, and my favorite events to host are brunches. To me, brunch time is the perfect time of the day -- not too early and not too late. You can sit around and enjoy good food and even better fellowship. Today I'd like to share my three favorite brunch recipes with you. They're both simple and easy.

Fruit Bowl Fantastic

Fruit is always a staple at my brunch events. No matter what the season you can always find the perfect fruit to grace your table. Try this combination though and your guests will be singing your praises for days.

1 medium size watermelon
3 large mangoes
2 large peaches
1 bunch of red grapes
3 medium size green apples
Agave nectar
Cayenne pepper
Whipped cream (optional)

Wash all produce thoroughly.

Slice watermelon, mangoes, peaches, and green apples into bite-sized pieces and place in a large decorative crystal bowl.

Add red grapes.

Drizzle agave nectar over the top.

Lightly sprinkle with cayenne pepper.

Add a dollop of whipped cream, if desired.

Frappe Touche

This beverage is always popular with my guests. Most times I have to make a couple of additional batches before the affair has ended. It's simple to make but rates high scores for taste.

One large tub of Neopolitan ice cream
One large Schweppes ginger ale

Allow ice cream to soften at room temperature for approximately 10 minutes.

Scoop ice cream out of tub and into a large decorative punch bowl.

Slowly pour ginger ale over top.

Blend with large spoon.

Ladle into glasses when ready to serve.

Pineapple Cream Cheese Passion

What's a brunch without delicious appetizers? This one is my favorite and is always a hit. I promise you that they'll go fast, so even consider doubling the recipe.

5 tubs of Philadelphia Pineapple Cream Cheese
2 loaves of white bread
1 small jar of pitted green olives

Spread a generous amount of cream cheese on each slice of bread and close it with another slice of bread just as if you are making a sandwich.

Cut the ends of the bread from each sandwich.

Slice each sandwich in four diagonal parts so that each part forms a triangle.

Put a 1/2 of an olive on each sandwich triangle.

As you can see, your brunch menu doesn't have to be stressful or expensive. Keep things simple and you not only can have a delicious multi-course meal, but you can still remain relaxed, enjoy your guests, and won't have to break your wallet. 

Personal experience

*Photo: Myriam M.J. Rondeau via Flickr

[Originally published on Yahoo! Voices on 06/06/2014 (no longer published there).]

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Online Freelance Writing: Why I Do It

It's Not Just About the Money

by A.L. Woods, Staff Writer

As a freelance writer, my income success is fully dependent upon the frequent and consistent generation of content, whether it is in the form of blog posts, articles, books, deliverables for private clients, or whatever. In addition, it's important that I strategically diversify my income streams by writing for a variety of sites, owning and operating my own blogs, and taking on work assignments from a broad range of clients. When the field of online freelance writing was brought to my attention I thought that it might be a way to diversify in a new and different way.

When researching new writing gigs recently I stumbled across a variety of online sites that appealed to me. Actually I'd set up profiles with a few of them a few years back but never did anything with them. I also have a friend who has been a contributor for one of the more well-known sites for many years who has written an impressive volume of articles on assignment in the area of Business and Finance.

Long story short, I started claiming assignments and generating my own article ideas a couple of weeks ago, and to my delight all of them have been accepted thus far. I'm very excited about the idea of getting paid to write on topics that I enjoy, but beyond this there are three important reasons that I've chosen online freelance writing as one of my revenue streams.

I write for the exposure.

Online freelance writing can garner the savvy and well-written writer a worldwide audience. Due to the nature of their writing assignments not all sites give a byline, but the ones that do make it possible for me to have the potential to gain both new clients and new readers of not only the articles that I'm writing but of the books that I've written. This is self-promotion at its finest and easiest.

I write for fun.

I'm finding that after a long day of writing longer and more detailed deliverables, articles, blog posts, books, etc., for my offline clients, the topics that I write for my online writing sites are both relaxing and fun. Because I get to create my own article ideas the added bonus is the fact that I have the creative freedom to inject my personal authentic voice into what I write. My readers truly get to know me on a more in-depth basis.

I write to network.

The community forums at my online writing sites are outstanding. The vets there are very helpful and willing to answer any questions that I may have, and the Community Guides are quick and responsive. I'm forming new connections and have found many talented writers whose work I enjoy. I also have the opportunity to receive constructive feedback on my work while reciprocating the same.

In short, I'm finding that I love online freelance writing more and more each day. My online sites have been a lovely addition to my ever growing roster of writing gigs, and I look forward to enjoying a mutually profitable relationship with them for many years to come.

*Photo: Adikos via Flickr

[Originally published on Yahoo! Voices on 05/29/2014 (no longer published there).]

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

My Favorite Late Night Snack Recipes

by A.L. Woods, Staff Writer

Let me declare this right up front: Eating late at night is wrong. It's neither good for the waistline nor the digestive system. That being said, eating late at night is one of my small vices. I have a few favorite late-night snack recipes that I'd like to share with you.

Banana Sandwich

This one, from what I understand, is a Southern favorite going a couple of generations back. I'm still amazed at the number of folks who look at me askew when I describe the joys of eating a banana sandwich.

What's Needed:

2 slices of bread (I prefer honey wheat)
1 ripe banana
Mayonnaise (some people prefer Miracle Whip)
Peanut butter

Spread mayo in an amount to your preference on one slice of the bread. Do the same on the other slice of bread with the peanut butter.

Slice the banana in half, then slice each half in half lengthwise. Arrange neatly on one of the bread slices.

Close the sandwich with the slice of bread not used as the bed for the banana slices.


Believe it or not, this sandwich is a nice source of protein (the peanut butter), carbs (the banana), and fats (the mayo).

Popcorn with a Kick!

Popcorn on its own doesn't appeal to me at all. However, when I prepare it as I describe it below I can't keep my hands off of it; neither can my husband.

What's Needed:
A bag of microwaveable popcorn
Real butter
Seasoned salt
Garlic powder
Spicy Chili Powder
Pancake syrup

Pop the popcorn in the microwave as per the instructions on the bag.

Melt butter in a measure of your taste in a saucepan.

Place popped popcorn in a large bowl. Pour melted butter on top.

Sprinkle seasoned salt, garlic powder, spicy chili powder, and cinnamon to taste over top of buttered popcorn.

Drizzle pancake syrup over the top.

Toss everything to blend.

Enjoy, and be sure to share with someone else.

Strawberry-Banana-Orange Smoothie

The preparation for this is unbelievably easy, and it will leave your taste buds begging for more.

What's Needed:
1 large ripe banana
6 large strawberries
8 oz. of orange juice
3 ice cubes
Agave nectar

Place ice cubes in blender.

Add banana, strawberries, and orange juice. Drizzle with agave nectar.


Pour into a glass and enjoy.
As you can see, late-night snacks don't have to be boring and you don't have to settle for something that won't satisfy. I hope that you enjoy these recipes. Let me know what you think in the comments box below.

Personal experience

*Photo: Seth Anderson via Flickr

[Originally published on Yahoo! Voices on 06/01/2014 (no longer published there).]

Monday, January 12, 2015

Low-Sugar Dessert Recipes That Will Wow You

Simple, Healthy Recipes

by A.L. Woods, Staff Writer

As summer approaches, many folks, including me, are making the effort to up their fitness regimen. Losing weight for both health and appearance is a top priority, and the most important factor in achieving these goals is in the area of nutrition. To this end, I'd like to suggest three low-sugar desserts that will propel you on your way to a svelte and shapely figure.

First, a few tips:

  • Keep it simple.
  • The best recipes are the most simple. Limit your ingredients to around three or so.
  • Use natural, unprocessed ingredients.
  • As much as possible, use ingredients that are close to nature, such as natural sweeteners, e.g., honey, agave nectar.
  • Buy organic.
  • If your budget allows, buy organic produce. It's a much healthier alternative.
Recipe #1 - Apple Berry Walnut Delight

This one is one of my personal favorites that I created during a period of time when I was working with a personal trainer.

Wash and slice a green apple and place the slices in a bowl.

Rinse and clean a handful of blueberries and add them on top of the apple.
Drizzle a little agave nectar on top of the fruit.
Sprinkle two tablespoons of candied walnuts on top of the blueberries.

Add a dollop of low-fat, low-calorie whipped cream on top.


Recipe #2 - Peach Mango Smoothie Thrill

This is a great recipe for those who tend to have a strong sweet tooth for milkshakes. A wonderful way to wean your way back to the healthy side.

Wash and slice a ripened peach and place it in a blender.

Wash and slice a ripened mango and place it in a blender.

Add two tablespoons of dried cranberries.

Add a splash of lemon juice.

Add ¼ cup of filtered water (more if you like your smoothies of a thinner consistency).

Blend until all ingredients are liquefied.    

Recipe #3 - Watermelon Slush

This is another of my summertime favorites that I created as I pursued my weight loss goals.

Place two cups of chunked watermelon in a blender.

Add a splash of squeezed lemon juice and squeezed lime juice.

Add two tablespoons of brewed, unsweetened mint tea.

Drop in three ice cubes.

Add ½ cup of water.


The above recipes are both nutritious and delicious and should help curb your cravings for sweets and give you a feeling of satiety.

There's no excuse to keep you from meeting your fitness goals if you use low-sugar dessert recipes and keep them simple and healthy.

Source: Personal experience

*Photo: Valerie Everett via Flickr

[Originally published on Yahoo! Voices on 05/13/2014 (no longer published there).]

Friday, January 9, 2015

My Three Favorite Ramen Noodle Recipes

by A.L. Woods, Staff Writer

For years I've heard of how college students subsisted on Ramen noodles in order to stay within tight budgets. I was fortunate enough to live at home during my college years, so I ate well without having to give thought to a food budget. A couple of years ago, though, my husband introduced me to Ramen noodles, and I've been hooked ever since. I'd like to share my three favorite Ramen noodle recipes with you.

Noodle soup has never appealed so me, so we got creative and made up our own recipes. They are all fast, easy, and only require a few inexpensive ingredients.

Ramen and Meat Sauce

Serving size: For one person

This one is great for whenever we have a taste for spaghetti. Most of the time we make it this way -- with the meat sauce; other times we use meatballs.

What's needed:
1 pack Ramen noodles
1 pound ground beef
Tomato sauce
Chili powder
Seasoned salt
Garlic powder
Parmesan cheese

Brown ground beef over medium heat. Add tomato sauce, chili powder, seasoned salt, garlic powder, and pepper to taste.

Simmer over low heat for 30 minutes. Stir frequently.

Boil Ramen noodles for three minutes. Strain.

Put strained Ramen noodles on plate.

Ladle chili mixture over the top.

Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.


Ramen Fettuccine

Serving size: For one person

This is my favorite Ramen recipe. I could eat it every day and not get tired of it. It's rich and creamy and satisfying to the palate.

What's needed:
2 tablespoons real butter
1/2 cup canned milk
1/4 cup water
Parmesan cheese
Garlic powder

In a nonstick sauce pan combine the butter, canned milk, and water.

Cover and simmer on medium-high heat until it begins to thicken (about 20 minutes or so). Stir frequently.

Add garlic powder to taste and blend in.

Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Cover and let sit for 10 to 15 minutes.

Boil one pack of Ramen noodles for three minutes. Strain.

Add Ramen noodles to plate.

Cover with fettuccine sauce.

Eat and enjoy.

This recipe is also delicious as a side dish to grilled chicken breasts.

Ramen and Veggies

Serving size: For one person

A great recipe for meatless day. Tasty, medium caloric value, and filling.

What's needed:
2 tablespoons chopped red pepper
2 tablespoons chopped green pepper
2 tablespoons chopped yellow pepper
A handful of washed torn kale pieces
Olive oil
Canola oil
Seasoned salt
Garlic powder
1 Ramen seasoning packet
Parmesan cheese

Add enough olive oil, canola oil, and butter to cover the bottom of a nonstick sauté pan over medium heat.

Add the peppers and kale to the oil. Saute for 10 to 15 minutes or until peppers caramelize slightly.
Add all seasonings to taste.

Cover and let sit for five minutes on low heat.

Boil one pack of Ramen noodles for three minutes. Strain.

Add noodles to sautéed mixture and toss.

Cover and let sit for 10 minutes on low heat. Stir frequently.

Add meal to dish.

Bon appetit!

Personal experience

*Photo: yoppy via Flickr

[Originally published on Yahoo! Voices (no longer published there).]

Work at Home Tip: How to Increase Your Exercise Throughout the Day

by A.L. Woods, Staff Writer

I've been working from home since 1989 and thoroughly enjoy it. One of the downsides of not going into the office though is the propensity to become complacent and not be vigilant about one's personal fitness. Most folks who work from home do sedentary work, and as a writer I am no exception. It is important to get regular exercise at least five days a week, and I'm here to share a few tips on how you can increase your exercise throughout the day.

Just keep moving

The human body was not meant to exist in stasis. Just like automobiles and buildings, what you don't use starts to deteriorate. Exercise is a wonderful way to stave off the effects of aging and help the body to fight off chronic diseases. You don't have to do anything fancy; you don't even have to have a gym membership. Just make sure that you get up during the day and get moving. One of the easiest and most cost-effective exercises that you can do is walking. Walk around the house, walk around the block, walk up and down the stairs - just walk! And make sure that you get a cumulative amount of walking in equivalent to 30 minutes a day.

Move in your seat

Although it is important to get up and move around at least once every hour so that you can keep a brisk circulation, you can also move around in your chair. Do leg lifts, side bends, even push-ups from a sitting position using your chair as a base. Again, the important thing is just to keep moving. Have you noticed that most fidgety folks rarely, if ever, happen to be overweight? It is because that constant movement that they do helps to keep the metabolism stimulated and as a consequence they burn extra calories throughout the course of the day.

Do a little housework

Although you don't want to create any distractions from your work flow that will cause you to fail your productivity goals for the day, you can always get up periodically and do housework for predetermined increments of time, maybe 15 minutes or so. This is also a great way to multitask. Sweep, mop, do laundry, wash dishes, empty trash cans. Every little bit of movement adds up to major health benefits.

Finally, always consult your physician before embarking upon any strenuous or new exercise regimens. Everybody's system is different and what may work for another person may be a health hazard for you. In the final analysis though, making a conscious decision towards movement throughout the day can be, and is, a very healthy strategy.

Joslin Diabetes Center: Tips for Increasing Physical Activity
The Mayo Clinic: Exercise: 7 Benefits of Regular Physical Activity
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: Guide to Physical Activity
Personal experience

*Photo: Rance Costa via Flickr

[Originally published on Yahoo! Voices on 07/01/2014 (no longer published there).]