Post-winter Car Care

Winter is not kind to automobiles, especially ones kept outside during snowstorms and frigid nights. Consider giving your vehicle a spring overhaul to restore its condition and extend its life. Areas of concern include:
Tires: Low pressure can cause a blowout, diminishes handling and will lower your fuel economy. A sticker in your door jamb will indicate correct pressure. Inflate your tires properly. It is a good idea to rotate tires about every 7,500 miles,
Fluids: Check your coolant level and dipsticks for oil and transmission fluid level. Also be on the lookout for brittle gaskets.
Hoses, belts and blades: All of these deteriorate through use and age, but especially when temperatures are cold. Check the tightness of the belts when the engine is off, and check the firmness of the radiator hose when the car is running.
Underside: Salt and sand can cling to your car’s exterior and damage the body of your car. Wash the undercarriage with a sprinkler or a garden hose to get rid of lingering debris.

Biking to Work

If you’re looking for a way to save money and improve your physical fitness, consider riding your bicycle to work. It is efficient, economical, ecological and healthy.
Before changing up your commute, you should prepare ahead of time to avoid an accident or injury.

  • Pick up a community map from your local tourist office to identify bike routes, lanes and trails.
  • Practice your route on the weekend or drive it in your car to make sure the route is safe.
  • Know the laws that apply to bikers and how to interact with motorists while sharing the road.

While biking to work, remember these important tips:

  • Always wear a helmet.
  • Use hand signals to indicate stops and turns for other bikes and motorists.

Preventing Dog Bites

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year and about 885,000 require medical attention for these injuries. If fact, dog bites account for approximately one-third of all homeowner’s insurance liability claim dollars paid out each year.
Even if you think your dog is about as ferocious as Snoopy, it’s wise to take steps to minimize your risks:

  • Spay or neuter your dog to reduce its desire to roam and become aggressive with other dogs and humans.
  • Introduce your dog to various situations and people so that it will not be nervous in new social circumstances.
  • Accompany your dog to training courses to learn how to respect humans and the rules you establish in your home.
  • Teach your dog to act properly at all times. When the dog exhibits signs of aggression, even in a playful manner, put a stop to it. Your pet does not understand the difference between playtime and a real life attacking situation.
  • Provide your dog with regular veterinary care, vaccinations and licensing.
  • Do not bring your dog into social situations if you are unsure how it will react. This will reduce the chance that something could go wrong.

Separating Fat Fact From Fat Fiction

When it comes to fat consumption, it often seems like there’s a lot of noise and little agreement about how much (or how little) you should eat. This can be frustrating for people who are trying to be healthy and follow expert recommendations, and it’s tempting to try to eliminate fat intake altogether and let the experts fight it out.
But is the amount of fat you eat really the issue? According to the Harvard School of Public Health, it’s time to end the low-fat myth. Research has shown that the number of calories from fat that you eat, whether high or low, isn’t really linked with disease. What really matters is the type of fat.

  • Unsaturated fats, which are found in nuts, avocadoes, fish and vegetable oils, are considered “good” fats. Some of these, like omega-3 fatty acids, are considered essential fats that must be eaten regularly because the body cannot produce them internally.
  • Saturated fats, which are found in cheese, butter, red meat and some oils, have long been seen as a key culprit of heart disease and high cholesterol. The American Heart Association recommends limiting saturated fat consumption, but cautions against doing so by choosing products that replace fat with sugars and other refined carbohydrates.
  • Trans fats are found in heavily processed breads, baking mixes, shortening, snack foods and fried foods. For once, there is little disagreement—the overwhelming scientific consensus suggests that trans fats are dangerous.

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