Friday, July 22, 2011

Job Experience Vs. Higher Education

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I had just come home from a long day at work at my minimum wage paying department store job when I was confronted with this question on a website that I had happened to stumble upon:

Considering the ever-increasing cost of higher education, and the student loans which many college kids amass while working for their various degrees, do you feel the economy actually turned the tide and made job experience just as or more valuable than higher education?

It’s true. The economy is in the crapper and there are millions of students out there drowning in college debt. Is it worth it? I still think so, but I do think having a bit of experience under your belt is also an incredibly smart thing to do.

I wrote in an earlier blog post about whether it was worth it or not to go to college and obtain a degree:

“People with a college education tend to be unemployed or a shorter amount of time than people with just a high school degree, said professor Sandra Emerson, MPA Director of Political Science at Cal Poly Pomona. “When the economy went south in 2008 there was a tendency for individuals with only high school diplomas to be the ones who were unemployed first and stayed unemployed longer. Those people went back to school because they realized their options were limited. It doesn’t mean people with a college education don’t go back to school, but you path is clearer during economic downturns.”

Regardless of how much more you would make as a college graduate, actually having a degree is far more beneficial to anyone dabbling in the job force than anyone just trying to reach, and keep that success, without it.

Having both job experience and a college education is obviously key, but if you had to choose between the two I would still put my foot down and claim that it is more beneficial to have a degree in your back pocket.

It’s a widely accepted notion that college gives future job seekers that extra boost when trying to break into the “real world.” Students not only receive the added skills necessary to think and communicate in a clear and intelligible way, but they have something that can be used to better themselves and their chances for success in life, and it’s something that nobody can ever take away from you.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Relieving Stress Through Yoga

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Stress happens to all of us. We become overwhelmed with our hectic schedules and often can’t find the time to just sit down and take a breather. But too much stress can wreak havoc on our health if we don’t manage it properly.

Poorly managed stress can manifest itself in a variety of symptoms like sleep disturbances, muscle tension, headaches, anxiety, fatigue and lack of energy. And many people under stress have a greater tendency to engage in unhealthy behaviors, such as excessive use or abuse of alcohol and drugs as well as poor nutritional choices than their less-stressed counterparts.

So how can you deal with stress?

Obviously avoiding stressful situations altogether would be the best option. But for those of us who can’t just up-and-quit our jobs and steer clear of the things that make our heads spin, we can relax in other ways.

Time management, setting priorities and sleep are just some of the ways we can deal with stress. Avoiding drugs and alcohol as well as thinking positive and exercising are even better ways to combat stress. A great way to relax with exercise is restorative yoga. Not only do take your mind away from your fast-paced life for a moment, you can also unwind from the stress and strengthen your body at the same time.

What do you get out of taking a restorative yoga class?

To answer some of my questions, I spoke with Gloria Escover who is a yoga instructor at Inner Body Works again. The studio is located downtown between “H” and “Eye,” one block from the Fox Theater. Inner Bodyworks is Bakersfield’s oldest, full-service, dedicated yoga studio who welcomes the community to the tradition of yoga.

By taking a restorative yoga class you learn how to relax and de-stress with simple poses. The class helps you restore your body whether you’re recovering from an illness or a surgery. It helps you stretch and strengthen your body with gentle exercises that can include the use of blankets, comfortable blocks and bolsters used like pillows.

Who is the class for?

Anyone can take this class. It doesn’t matter if you’re out-of-shape or you’re an experienced yogi looking for a way to manage your stress. The class is a great way to dip into yoga as a beginner. It’s a non intense class that gently restores your body over time.

How do I sign up?

You can sign up for the class by calling the studio at 661.324.1808. And for more information, you can email them at You can also keep up with Inner Body Works on their blog.
And just remember that stress can really hinder your body from being healthy. But with the right tools you can manage stress with ease and perform at your optimum level of fitness.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Yoga During Pregnancy

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During pregnancy a woman’s body goes though many changes in order accommodate and carry a child. Her baby relies on the vitamins and nutrients that she consumes from during her term and benefits from the healthy choices that are made.

Along with visiting your doctor, taking prenatal vitamins and eating a healthy well-balanced diet, pregnant women are also recommended that they exercise during their pregnancy. Exercising during pregnancy has been shown to be extremely beneficial as it can help with preventing excess weight gain, reducing pregnancy related problems like back pain and swelling, but it can also lessen the amount of recovery time after you give birth. But if you choose to exercise during your pregnancy, a low-impact and less intense exercise activity should be your best choice.

What’s considered low impact exercise?

Activities such as walking and swimming can do the trick. But an even better way to work on strength, flexibility and relaxation is to opt for a yoga class tailored specifically for pregnant women. And I was actually able to sit down with someone who teaches prenatal yoga at a studio here in town.

To answer some of my questions, I spoke with Gloria Escover who is a yoga instructor at Inner Body Works. The studio is located downtown between “H” and “Eye,” one block from the Fox Theater. Inner Bodyworks is Bakersfield’s oldest, full-service, dedicated yoga studio who welcomes the community to the tradition of yoga.

What’s the focus of a prenatal yoga class?

A prenatal yoga class is designed for pregnant women anywhere in their pregnancy from 8 weeks up till the time they give birth. The class teaches the women how to relax during pregnancy and labor as well as the actually birthing process. The class incorporates strengthening exercises for the body as well as tips on nutrition and how to eat properly.

The class is a great way to keep fit and to meet other pregnant women in the area. And although it’s not a Lamaze class, women are educated in how to stay healthy while carrying a baby.

How do I sign up?

You can sign up for the class either the first day or prior. The class is once a week and lasts for 6 weeks and you only pay $10 per week. And for more information you can call the studio at 661.324.1808 or email them at You can also keep up with Inner Body Works at their blog.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Multivitamins: Do You Really Need To Take Them?

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As a kid I remember being told to take my Flintstones vitamins every morning after I ate breakfast.  My mom would say that I would grow up to be healthy and strong if I did. But as I got older I questioned the advice that my mom used to give me about those chew-able fruit-flavored supplements. Do you really need to take multivitamins?

Well to answer that question, it’s actually yes and no.

For those of you out there who actually follow the recommended food guide pyramid the answer is no. If you are eating a wide range of foods in moderation then you are already receiving the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of specific vitamins and minerals.

Why take a daily multivitamin when you are already receiving the vitamins and minerals needed? As for the majority of Americans, the answer of whether or not you should consume a daily multivitamin is yes.

According to the most recent Healthy Eating Index survey conducted by the USDA, most Americans do not eat a healthy balanced diet on a daily basis. The typical American diet does not include all of the vitamins and minerals that are needed to stay healthy.

Taking a daily supplement is like swallowing a nutritional insurance policy. The majority of the U.S. population usually grabs a hamburger and soda every week at In-n-Out and rarely picks up in vegetables from the grocery store. And when we do go shopping for a snack, wandering eyes look for the quick and easy-to-prepare processed foods in the vibrantly colored packages. And although we do at times try our best to stay healthy, a pill filled with everything that you would need for the entire day can be taken after a meal. So why not reinsure your health?

Being deficient in vitamins by eating poorly and not taking a multivitamin can lead to major illnesses like cancer, heart disease, kidney and liver disease, osteoporosis, stroke and diabetes. People who are pregnant, over the age of 50, on special diets, on weight-loss regimens, smokers, anyone who drinks an abundance of alcohol and people with poor appetite are really recommended to take a multivitamin because of the lack of vitamins that they are more likely to receive.

So when eating right and exercising just doesn’t give you a full reassurance in your health or you know you may not be as healthy as you would like to be, taking a multivitamin supplement could be a great choice in becoming a little bit healthier.