Tag : dan-valentine

Is Home Building Software Beneficial?

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home building softwareBuilding a new home takes a lot of work and traditionally, home specifications were largely crafted by hand from an architect. However, there have been a slew of new computer programs that have hit the market that let almost anyone create their own home – digitally. Some may immediately think that computer games, like The Sims, can be used as a basic home builder tool but some of the home building programs out there go into such detail, games cannot compare. With that said, is home building software beneficial to individuals who want to build their dream home?

To answer the question from above, home builder software is becoming more of a staple in the home building process. While it doesn’t rule out drawn sketches and mockups, it can give you a good idea of how your future house will look. Some programs can even give you cost estimates when furnishing/finishing a room. This helpful tool can give some people a better perspective of the cost of building and that may be beneficial when creating a budget.

Drafting up a proposed home on the computer (or by hand) is essentially the first step in home building but the process will involve a construction management team to execute the build. For instance, Dan Valentine says that construction management is one of the key aspects of proper home building because there may be things you overlook if you aren’t experienced in home construction. By having a team of professionals overseeing the progress, you can have peace of mind that your home will turn out as planned.

Dan Valentine houseImagine that the land you’re having your home built on is situated on a slope – did your computer software take that into account? Some programs only give you the basic tools of sketching the home but may not take into consideration things like land slopes, water lines, etc. When this happens during the building process, you can be thrown off guard because modifying the build could cost you more money than you were originally anticipating. This is why you should have a professional architect review your specs of the home and of the land. This will help you relay specific information to your home construction management team when building. In short, home building software is beneficial but it requires additional examination before you begin building!

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Categories: Blog

4 Ways To Get Physically Fit In May

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The month of May is known for quite a few things like Memorial Day and fantastic weather but did you know May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month? Since this time of year is filled with sunnier weather and ideal outdoor conditions, it only makes sense to get outside and work on your fitness. And with summer just around the corner, wouldn’t you like to drop a few pounds before jumping into your bathing suit? Check out these 4 ways to get physically fit in May!

Circuit Training

Give your whole body a workout by creating your own circuit training exercise routine that is similar to those popular video-based bootcamp style workouts. Things like jumping jacks, lunges, push-ups, sit-up and high knees are things you can do at no cost to you! Perform each exercise for one to two minutes with rest in between as needed. Once you’ve completed your first set, repeat it all over another time or two and you’ll start building muscle and burning fat.

Team Sports

Since the month also calls for national sports month, consider joining a recreational or intramural team to play your favorite sport. It’ll give you something fun to do and be a great workout in itself! The best thing about joining a sports team is that you get to interact with others, foster friendships and not even realize you’re working out because of the enjoyment.

Participate in Triathlons

Dan Valentine triathlon raceCombine swimming, biking and running into one event and you have a triathlon. Participating in a triathlon gives your entire body a workout from head to toe and you can typically find dozens of these events around your local area with a simple search. You may even find triathlons that give participants a reason to race like raising awareness for a specific health condition or contributing to a good cause. Avid triathlon participant Dan Valentine has raced in numerous triathlons that have supported various good causes and says that it’s a redeeming feeling once you cross the finish line.

Hike

Due to the consistent and favorable weather, hiking with a group of friends can challenge your body and reward your eyes as you explore nature. Find scenic hiking trails near your home and take a stroll to get your heart pumping and your blood flowing. Your calves and legs might feel a little sore after the first trip but once you regularly trek the trail, it’ll become easier and increase your endurance and stamina.

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Categories: Blog

The Beginners Guide To Horseback Riding

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Dan Valentine horseback ridingStarting a new hobby is a great way to shake things up in your life and if you’ve decided to take up horseback riding, then you may have found a new and exhilarating activity! Riding horses is something that has been done for ages and it’s a great way to challenge yourself physically and mentally. Like with any hobby, activity or sport, you’ll want to spend a lot of time improving your skills and horseback riding is something that you can do for a lifetime but you have to start somewhere!

The Basics

When you just begin, safety is always first and a priority because no one wants to be injured. It should be understood that horses are large animals that are extremely strong and handling them properly is a must. Dan Valentine, an equestrian rider trainer, suggests that all beginners have high-quality horse riding gear that encompasses boots with heels and a minimum attire of jeans. A boot with good traction and a heel of at least 1″ is recommended to keep your footing from sliding around on the stirrup. Additionally, never wear shorts or capri pants because your skin will rub up against the saddle and it will be uncomfortable. And last but not least, wear a certified helmet for head protection.

Professional Guidance        

Setting up an initial training day involves contact with a professional to help you learn the ropes of horseback riding. Make sure you understand that riding is more about balance than gripping the horse with your legs and knowing how to sit squarely on the saddle is key. This also involves moving your body with the horse and essentially syncing up their movements to make riding a fluid activity. Also, when riding a horse, always look where you are going because horses are very adept to small movements and if your body has the intentions of going a certain direction, your horse will read that direction.

If you’ve ever seen movies of people riding horses and have noticed the way they hold the reins, some over-exaggerate the correct method. You’ll want to make sure you hold the reins evenly and avoid too much slack because it’s all about controlling the direction of the horse. If your reins are too loose and long, it’ll be harder to make corrections in the ride. And on the other hand, holding the reins too tight will hurt the horses’ mouth, so be sure to have the proper balance.

Becoming a professional horseback rider doesn’t happen overnight and takes time and practice to master the skill. With dedication and commitment, you’ll be on your way to improving your ride and enjoying the new hobby, just be patient.

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Categories: Blog

3 Triathlon Training Tips

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Triathlon Dan ValentineWhen you combine swimming, biking and running into one event – you have yourself a triathlon. Knowing that each activity is a workout in itself can be daunting especially if you are attempting to enter your first triathlon. Half of the struggle is registering for the event and the other half is preparing for the actual race but where do you begin? You may have heard of the Ironman World Championship, which is one of the most notable triathlons in the world that involves 140.6 miles of intense competition, but this event may be a little intimidating and out of reach for beginners. However, if you are looking to eventually work your way up to this recognized event, check out these tips to help you get on track!

You probably know that the basics of triathlons involve swimming, biking and running, which each alone can be extremely physical! But the key to preparing yourself for the event is consistent training in each sport. Some triathlons may have unregulated distances for each activity which means you may have to build up your endurance in one sport more than another.

1. Swimming Technique

For starters, you may know how to swim but did you know that freestyle/front crawl is often the best stroke for a triathlon? It’s the most efficient and quickest way to move in open water, so practice this stroke. Avid triathlon participant, Dan Valentine, says that you may feel winded at first, but it’s all about the amount of time you spend in the water training. Create a schedule and stick to it so you can work up your arm and leg strength but don’t forget to pace yourself for air.

2. Biking Form

Biking may be a little easier for some than others but jumping on a bike for a competition can be a little frightening. However, you should get used to your bike and the gears so you’re comfortable with the way it works. Bike around your town in areas with low volumes of traffic to become acclimated to the way it handles because you’ll get a better understanding of how sensitive the brakes are, which gears make it easier or harder to pedal – the whole nine yards. Once you’ve gotten a feel for the bike, it’s time to clip into the pedals because it’s the preferred way to power through a triathlon. When you clip in, you’ll efficiently send more power to the wheels and therefore increase your speed. It can be a little difficult at first to get used to it, but clipping in is well worth the effort.

3. Running

Usually the last leg of the race is running and while you may be an avid runner, this part of the race can be difficult because you just got done biking and swimming. This is where you just keep your legs moving at all times during the transition from the bike to the pavement. You can do long distance training all you want to increase your endurance and stamina, but you really need to focus on the transitional periods where you get out of the water and run to the bike and get off the bike and run it out to the finish line. Practice these transitional periods as often as you can to make the whole event come together.

Once you’ve become well-trained, take a few practice runs of all the sports put together so you can experience the ‘race’ before it actually begins!

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Categories: Blog

Top 5 Benefits Of Having A Dog

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Dan Valentine's dogMany would agree that having a pet really makes life a little more enjoyable because you’ll always have your furry friend around. Now there’s always going to be that endless debate on which pet to have, specifically a cat or a dog, but at any rate, adding a dog to your family is a solid choice. Dogs are fun companions to have around because each and every one of them will have their own unique personality that we will fall in love with. With that being said, check out the top five benefits of having a dog!

1. Improves Your Mood

Research from the University of Missouri-Columbia found that dogs make an incredible emotional connection with their owner and hormonal changes occur when they interact with each other. The results from the study showed that serotonin levels increased which are the ‘feel good’ hormones when a person spent a few minutes petting their canine. Researchers also suggested that dogs could help people cope with stress and depression disorders.

2. Encourage Exercise

It’s without a doubt that dogs love to run and play which actually encourages you to exercise more often! When you have a dog, you’ll be able to take them on walks, run around with them and play a few games of fetch which serves double duty as your exercise. In fact, a study in 2010 from the Journal of Physical Activity and Health found dog owners walked about an hour more than non-dog owners.

3. The Perfect Social Segway

Dan Valentine mountain climbingAlmost everyone loves dogs and when you are out and about with your furry friend, you can bet they will make you become a little more social. Having a dog around can help some people get over shyness and increase social skills because passer-byers are more inclined to initiate conversation with a cute pooch by your side. And as an added benefit, you’ll always have the perfect companion to take on adventures because some dog owners like Dan Valentine takes his dog Sammy on mountain climbing trips!

4. Enhance Child Growth

Adding a dog to your family can help your children grow up a little healthier and stronger than growing up without one. A report from Science Daily shows that kids who grew up with dogs had fewer allergies and a reduced risk of developing eczema. This suggests that the kids grow up with higher levels of immune system supports that help keep them a little healthier with their furry friend around.

 5. Crime Deterrent

Dan ValentineHaving a dog by your side and in your home can actually keep you a little safer. This safety benefit is because dogs have a sense of their ‘pack’ or family and if they smell something or hear anything suspicious, you can bet they will alert you with a bark! And thieves are less likely to enter your home if they hear or see a dog.

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Categories: Blog