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Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionI used to envy my friend in Portland, Ore. She could recycle so much more than my community allowed in any of the places where we lived. Now, recycling options are dwindling even there. The reason, according to www.waste360.com, is that China has adopted new standards in the materials they will accept from the rest of the world. The U.S. exports about one-third of its recycling, and nearly half of that goes to China. Now, because the materials are being looked at as too dirty or even hazardous, they have made the decision not to accept it for their own environmental and health reasons.When you are shopping for the holidays, try to make your vision: “reduce, reuse and recycle.” Or buy second-hand. Think about the items you are buying. Consider if they are necessary and take a good look at the packaging. If you have a choice, buy the ones with the least packaging or those in recycled packages. Bring reusable bags to the store with you. You can take them to the hardware store, bookstore or big box store, as well as grocery stores. Think about giving reusable bags as gifts this year. You can never have too many. And wrap in something fun like newspaper or fabric.Maybe Oregon is the “canary in the coal mine,” and the rest of our nation of recyclers could be next. This will affect local landfills. So if that is your concern, please shop wisely because our land and environment are too important to become garbage dumps.Florence CarnahanSchenectadyMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusSchenectady, Saratoga casinos say reopening has gone well; revenue down 30%Motorcyclist injured in Thursday afternoon Schenectady crashSchenectady man dies following Cutler Street dirt bike crashSchenectady police reform sessions pivot to online read more
Start your own exercise club at work!Work and family commitments can make fitting regular exercise into your life a challenge, so an innovative solution is to start up your very own ‘workout at work’ club, which can combine on-site convenience with the opportunity to exercise with friends and colleagues, saving traveling time and also injecting some regular fun and fitness into your day!Whether your club convenes for an early morning session, a lunchtime energiser, or an end-of-day rejuvenator, it makes real sense to workout at work. In this article, we guide you through the process, covering the whys, hows and wheres, and give you a multitude of tips to help you get started and make your ‘workout at work’ club a success. Our guide includes information and tips on:• The benefits of working out at work• How to get the concept of working out in the workplace off the ground• How to keep the work workout club going• Why work out at work? Workout at work: The employer’s and employee’s views about work workouts Countless studies have identified that fit, healthy and happy workers are more productive, enjoy their work more, and importantly take far fewer days off due to sickness. So for an employer, it makes sense to promote exercise and a healthy lifestyle in the workplace, as this will attract a better calibre of employee, encourage staff commitment, and reduce staff turnover. From the employee’s point of view, an employer who provides additional benefits such as the chance to work out is an employer that everyone would like to work for — and so it follows that successfully appointed staff are likely to enjoy their work and working environment more.Workout at work: The health and fitness view about work workoutsFrequently, by the time you arrive home, either family demands on your time or simply that ‘end-of-the-day feeling’ can mean that your planned trip to the gym, exercise class or running club just doesn’t happen. Exercise is a proven energiser, which means that at the end of a workout you will actually have more energy, and you’ll be invigorated and feel a million miles away from that desire to slump in a chair at the end of the day. With your ‘work out at work club’, you can also include a variety of workout timing options to fit in with your schedule — which can bring extra benefits such as saving travelling time to the gym, missing the bulk of the rush hour traffic, and helping your post-lunchtime work focus so that you are more efficient.Workout at work: How to start your ‘work out at work’ club To begin with, you have to garner interest and support from as many people as possible at your workplace and importantly, at every level of the organisation. You’re not just looking for people to train with — you’re also looking for higher level support, which could manifest itself in terms of start-up funding for equipment, installation of showers, extended opening times to allow staff members to use existing facilities, or even flexible working arrangements to allow staff to participate in sessions.Try initiating the following six-point plan to get your ‘work out at work’ club off the ground:Getting started — how to make your ‘work out at work’ idea happenWorkout at work: Plan your workout club Before you ‘go public’ with your idea, you need to ensure that there is some substance behind the concept, so forward planning is essential. Your ideas don’t have to blueprinted, funded and set in concrete, but your work colleagues will want to have some idea of several key points — including:• How often will the club meet or be available for?• Where will the club meet?• How much will it cost?• Who will be responsible for organisation?Workout at work: Get your workout ideas rightSketch out your basic ideas so that everyone can see you’re serious, and then field queries confidently so that you generate some interest.Workout at work: Promote your workout club ideaNext up from the planning stage is contacting everyone. You’ll need to present the idea to the whole company. For large organisations, email or the intranet is an ideal medium — but you could also consider staff bulletins, meetings and face to face contact so that no one is excluded. For smaller companies, the staff canteen or simply the office is ideal, as even a few posters on notice boards will raise awareness.Workout at work: Get help from work colleaguesDuring the contact stage, if you’ve done your homework and have presented the concept well, there will be interest. At this stage it is key to harness the interest so that tasks and responsibilities are shared equally. You won’t want all the organisation to continually fall to you!Workout at work: Firm up your workout club plansNow it’s time to begin putting your concept in place. Logistics, general organisation, fees (if any) and any special arrangements such as late locking up times and showering facilities all need to be finalised.Workout at work: Test drive your workout sessions It’s a good idea to do a couple of dry runs for your ‘work out at work’ sessions and use them to iron out any teething problems, so that everything is running smoothly by the time you’re ready for the full launch. Run some sessions solely for the organising team, as this way you can all get together afterwards to discuss any areas for improvement.Workout at work: Full launch of workout at workBy this stage you should be ready for the full launch. Key information to communicate will include:• ‘Work out at work’ club meeting times.• Types of training offered — for example, running, gym, studio, circuits, aerobics, sports or outdoor workouts.• General arrangements and logistics.And then you’re ready to go!Workout at work: Keeping the momentum going in your work out clubOnce you’ve got your fledgling ‘workout at work’ club off the ground, it’s important to maintain the momentum and keep everyone interested. Again, the day-to-day organisational duties need to be shared, which is why it is important that there is a group to manage all the tasks, rather than just yourself. Newsletters, bulletin boards, emails, or even a club webpage won’t be too difficult to organise. What you don’t want to happen is for the initial enthusiasm to dry up — so the focus needs to be wider than simply managing the weekly training sessions. If you can crack that then you’re likely to find the club growing and your work colleagues will keep on coming back for more!Workout at work: Work can be fun Clearly, getting a workout at work club off the ground requires time and effort, but with so many benefits — from time saving and improving work performance to keeping fit and healthy– working out at work will be a real bonus. When the blood is pumping round after your workout, it’s a proven fact that your thought processes improve and so the combination of more energy and fun at work is extremely attractive!Real Buzz HealthLifestyle Work out at work by: – October 4, 2012 Share Share 12 Views no discussions Tweet Share Sharing is caring! read more
MEGHAN CONLIN/Herald PhotoTry to give junior Andrea Wiesner a hard practice and she’ll laugh in your face — literally. The short and bubbly member of the Wisconsin swim team is always laughing, even through a rough practice. “She always has a positive attitude throughout practice,” teammate Amalia Sarnecki said. “Having someone around who is light-hearted and entertains makes it easier to be there. … She is just so much fun to have as a teammate. Honestly, the best person ever. I am really grateful to have Andrea as a training partner and as a friend.”Even though Wiesner always has a smile on her face, not everything is fun and games.This Montrose, Colo. native takes swimming seriously and she has the finish times to back it up. Going into the Big Ten Championships on Wednesday, Wiesner will enter the meet ranked second nationally in the 400-yard individual medley with a time of 4:14.25.Wiesner swam that time at the Texas Invitational last December, a swim she considers the highlight of her season.Wiesner also ranks fourth in the nation in the 200-yard individual medley and 37th in the 200-yard backstroke.Her times have already qualified her for the NCAA Championships in March. It will be her second showing at the meet.”I think it’s awesome,” her older brother and former teammate Eric Wiesner said of her qualifying for nationals. “I’m very proud and impressed with her. I think she deserves it. She is a very humble person who works hard and is not conceited. … She is also very smart and fun to hang out with.”Wiesner has been swimming with her brother since she was little and it was only fitting that she follow in his footsteps when deciding on a college.”I enjoy having her here,” Eric said. “Me being here helped her in transition between high school and college. She enjoys it here and doesn’t regret her decision at all.”In high school, Wiesner also enjoyed some success in the water. She won six state titles and was named Colorado 4A Swimmer of the Year during her senior year.”I’m pretty proud of my accomplishments in high school, I guess,” Wiesner said humbly.Her high school successes attracted the attention of the Wisconsin coaches and again with a smile, Wiesner committed to UW before taking an official trip here.”I had been familiar with the school, I really liked Madison, I liked the team and the coaches are great,” Wiesner said.Wiesner’s impact on the team was immediate and not just in the pool. Wiesner boosts one of the highest GPAs on the team and her academic achievements have helped the women’s swimming team to the highest GPA in the athletic department.”I think she is [a] silent leader,” her brother said. “She is just a really smart girl and works really hard for it. Holding a high GPA and swimming at the level that she does is impressive.”Now, following in her footsteps, the last member of the Wiesner family, younger brother Steven, has recently committed to UW.When asked about his brother committing, Eric simply said, “I don’t even know. I honestly think it’s weird.”Added Sarnecki, “I think they should move to Wisconsin so they could pay in-state tuition.” read more