Guest Post from Lisa

Why You Should Hang with Your Friends More:

When I was single, me and my friends were completely inseparable. Whether I needed someone to chat to at 2 o’clock in the morning, or whether we were just meeting up for casual cocktails after work on a Friday, it was wonderful to know that my friends were always there for me.

However, once we all started getting into serious relationships we started hanging out less and less. We were just too busy or too distracted to get together as often. However last week, we arranged our first meet up for months and I couldn’t believe how much fun we had. It made me remember all of the good times and made me think that we really ought to get together more often. Interestingly, there’s a whole pile of research out there that shows that not only is it great fun to hang with your mates, but in fact, it can have a long lasting effect on your health and well-being.

Cuts Your Stress And Makes You Happy

Studies have shown that whenever you’re going through a stressful period in your life, hanging out with a friend actually reduces the cortisol stress hormone levels in your body. Being able to talk to a good friend during an upsetting experience also helps to make you happier and less upset about the situation. Even better, if you’re there for your friend when they’re having a bad time, you’ll feel better too.

Talking About Real Things

Of course, a lot of the things we talk to our mates about is light hearted gossip, but who else can you go to when you want to discuss the really important things in life. If you’ve got a huge decision to make or want to get something off your chest, being able to have a deep conversation with a close friend can really boost your well being.

Good Moods Are Shared

Whether your best mate just got promoted or work or has just booked a dream vacation, their happiness has been proved to boost your mood too. The more time you spend with happy friends, the better you feel.

Long Lasting Good Vibes

Interestingly, research has shown that while the feel-good vibe you get from some of the life’s most exciting milestones such as getting married or buying your first house will wear off eventually when you have good friends, you will continue to find fresh reasons for happiness over time. The more often you see your friends, the more things you’ll have to be happy about, so arrange more get together!

Casual Friends Are Just As Important

If you don’t have any close friends, there’s no need to worry. Apparently, even a casual friend can still give you a mood boost, so whether it’s someone you occasionally chat to on the bus or a casual acquaintance at work, you can still get that sense of well being. If you need some advice about how to make more friends and to be more social, this article can give you some helpful advice.

 

Guest Post from Tim

Kayaking Tips You Need Now

If you’re new to kayaking, you’re probably looking for some handy tips to get you started, so I thought I’d offer you the benefit of my experience. Here are my top hints for staying safe while still getting a lot of fun out of your new pastime.

Take Lessons

My first and most essential tip is to take some kayaking lessons. Even if you think it isn’t necessary and that paddling a kayak must be a breeze, taking a lesson will help you to avoid the classic beginner mistakes. So many newbies end up paddling in circles without getting coaching, and not knowing how to recover if you capsize is just plain dangerous, so save yourself time and potential danger by getting help from a professional.

Dress Appropriately

Even if the weather is hot and sunny, the temperature of the water is likely to be pretty cold. If you dress in a t shirt and shorts, you’ll be freezing if you fall in the water, so wear a wetsuit together with a cagoule and gloves.

Choose A Good Kayak

There are many styles and designs of kayak out there, however choosing a solid kayak is essential if you’re a beginner. You need to learn the basics in a kayak that is best suited to the type of water you are paddling in. A flat water boat is essential for lake paddling, and a sit on top design is best thanks to its ease of use and excellent stability.

Stay Safe

Yes, you may well think you’re a good swimmer, however, you should always wear a buoyancy aid when out on the water. If you get into difficulties, you need to know that you’re safe and a buoyancy aid will allow you to move your arms freely.

Sit Properly

It may sound obvious, but in fact, it isn’t always easy to sit properly when in your kayak. Avoid slouching, even against a comfortable backrest – sitting up straight at a 90-degree angle for easier paddling. Keep your feet on the footpegs with your heels pointing towards the center and your toes pointing outwards.Bend your knees up and out, making contact with your kayak’s thigh braces. Your toes should be pointed outwards and heels towards the center. Your knees should be bent upwards and outwards, allow contact with the thigh braces.

Hold Your Paddle Correctly

You need to learn to hold your paddle properly when you’re learning how to kayak. Use both hands to hold your paddle, keeping your hands around a shoulder width apart. Keep the concave part of the paddle’s blade facing you with your knuckles kept in line with your blade.

Bring Extra Clothes

Never assume you won’t get wet when kayaking. It’s always sensible to bring extra clothing with you so you can change when you get out of the water.

Never Kayak Alone

Even experienced kayakers should never go out on the water by themselves. Should you get into difficulties, you will always have someone on hand to help you if you go out with someone else.

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