It can be difficult trying to balance a demanding work schedule with a happy home life. This is
especially true in some careers more than others. STEM job roles vary extensively; some people
with STEM careers can find themselves spending most of their day in an office, whereas others jet
off to new countries regularly. With long hours and a lot on your plate, juggling a successful career
with your desired lifestyle isn't easy. Fortunately, there are ways to maintain a good balance
between the two. Here is a guide to different types of STEM careers and how you can be
successful at work and at home.
Different Types of STEM Careers
STEM careers involve many types of roles within the science, technology, engineering, and math
sectors. These sectors cover varying jobs, such as civil engineers and geophysicists. Professionals
work in many different settings, from classrooms and lecture halls to laboratories and clinics. Here
are a few of the best-ranking STEM roles, according to the U.S. News & World Report.
The U.S. News & World Report states that the best-ranking role is a physician assistant. Physician assistants earned a median salary of $115,390 per year with a 31 percent job outlook, which is much faster than average. They rank number one in STEM jobs; they also top the leaderboard for
the best healthcare jobs and come in at number one on the top 100 best jobs list too.
Roles within computer science include network engineer, systems engineer, and software
developer. Software developers earn around $110,140 per year, and they have a low
unemployment rate. To become a software developer, you need to earn a bachelor's degree in
There is a wide-ranging spectrum of careers within engineering, from geotechnical and
aeronautical to electrical and mechanical. Mechanical engineers come in at number 11 for the best
STEM jobs and number one for the best engineering jobs. You can anticipate earning an average
salary of $90-$160 per year, and you can become a mechanical engineer with a bachelors degree.
With an associates degree, you might be able to get an entry-level job. Mechanical engineers
score 8 out of 10 for both work-life balance and future growth.
Growing Your Career While Balancing Your Lifestyle
No matter what area you work in, it can be difficult to grow your STEM career without sacrificing
the lifestyle you enjoy. A great way to fast-track your career is to achieve further qualifications.
Those with an engineering background can benefit from achieving an online graduate diploma in
engineering management from the University of Ottawa. This graduate diploma will help you
develop management skills. The course covers topics such as the legal, ethical, technological, and
global context of management decision-making, the structure of engineering organizations and the
importance of accounting and finance, interpersonal skills, decision-making under conditions of
uncertainty. This course is ideal for STEM and engineering professionals, and it can be completed
in three terms.
Maintaining a good work-life balance is achievable, but some careers are less compatible with
certain lifestyles. Therefore, it is important to set realistic goals at the beginning of your career that
matches your lifestyle type. For example, if you know you will want to spend most evenings and
weekends at home with your family, you should choose a career route to allow for this free time.
Although jobs that require frequent travel sound appealing, they may not make you happy in the
long run. Of course, throughout your career, your goals may change. Therefore, it is important to
regularly review your career aspirations as your lifestyle and desires change.
Communication is Key
A key component to a good work-life balance is communication. While striving to achieve a
successful career, it is important to have a good support system at home that you can rely on. To
build a supportive home network, you need to create an open dialogue with those closest to you.
For example, if you have a family you return to after a working day, you need to be able to speak to
them openly and honestly. In addition, make sure responsibilities are distributed proportionately
and always know where you both stand.
Whether things are going well at work, or you are having a hard time, try to maintain an open
communication channel. If you are having an intense time in the office, make sure your partner
knows about it. This gives your partner a chance to understand what you are going through, and it
will give them a heads up when things get tough. Furthermore, keeping them in the loop will give
them some context about your behavior. It will enable them to understand your actions and any
changes in mood you may display.
Honest Relationships at Work
Similarly, it is also important to maintain an honest relationship with management at work to
understand your home life dynamic. If there is a period of intense work, they will gauge your home
life and hopefully delegate a suitable amount of work to you. It will also give them realistic
expectations of what you are capable of taking on. Not everyone gets on with their colleagues, but
it can be a good idea to be open with the people you work with directly. Developing good work
relationships can lead to excellent teamwork and increased productivity.
Commit to the Workload You Accept
Taking on extra work can score you brownie points with your manager and colleagues. However, it
is important that you only accept this work if you know you have the time to complete it to the best
of your ability. Don't say yes to work you cannot commit to. Learn to assess your current workload and make sure you don't bite off more than you can chew. Although your manager may be happy that you have volunteered to take on that new project, he won't be so happy if you start missing deadlines or begin handing in inadequate work.
Your mouth, jaw, and teeth are important parts of your body, and it is vital to keep them in good condition. Your smile can be one of the first things that other notice about you, and it can help make you feel more confident and positive. Looking after this area of your face is as important as any of the other parts. From brushing and flossing to keep your pearly whites pearly white, here are just three tips to help you look after your smile.
1. Visit your dentist You should regularly visit your dentist in order to keep on top of your oral hygiene. They can spot any new problems, as well as helping you to manage existing ones. There are many services that a dentist can offer that you cannot access elsewhere, and therefore frequent check-ups are vital. If you have any queries, concerns, or questions, the best person to consult is your dentist, such as those at bafdentistry.com, as they are the experts with plenty of experience. Common tooth problems include cavities, gum disease, or teeth grinding, and your dentist will be able to diagnose these, advise you on treatments, and make recommendations for products to use, as well as many other useful services.
2. Use a lip balm Chapped and dry lips can be very uncomfortable and can just get worse and worse if you don’t treat them. Many factors can damage your lips, such as the weather and your environment. When the air is very dry, the lips can also become dry, and you may find yourself licking them more in order to moisturize them. This can actually make the problem worse. Dehydration and various medical conditions can also contribute to dry lips. Using a lip balm can help to keep your lips moisturized and protected, replenishing them and giving you some relief. You can even use lip balm with SPF to help protect delicate skin from UV rays. They also come in many different flavors and colors, so you can find your perfect match.
3. Help reduce stains Certain habits, and different types of food and drink, can cause your teeth to become discolored. While this is not completely avoidable, there are some ways that you can reduce the impact on your teeth. Smoking is one common cause of teeth staining, as tobacco can leave deposits on the teeth. Smoking can also cause other tooth and oral problems, including bad breath and gum disease. Strongly colored food and drink, such as red wine, tea and coffee, and some vibrant berries, can contribute to tooth discoloration. A general rule is that if it can stain a tablecloth, it can stain your teeth, so enjoying these items in moderation, or taking extra precautions such as drinking through a straw, can help reduce their impact. A certain amount of staining and discoloration is normal, and your dentist or hygienist can help remove them for you when you go for a check-up.
The bond between a child and their parents is special and you should nurture a loving relationship where you can. That said, life can test even the strongest family relationships and it is natural to have disagreements and fallouts on occasion. You may find it difficult to maintain a close relationship with your parents as you get older, especially if you live further away or have work and other demands on your time. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to rebuild your relationship and grow closer to your parents. Here are some suggestions to help you develop a stronger relationship with your parents.
Spend quality time together
Finding the time to visit your parents can be a challenge when you are trying to balance a busy work schedule with a social life, family commitments, and other demands. However, you should make spending time with your parents a priority and make an effort to see them as much as you can. Do not always wait for your parents to get in touch first and organize catchups. Show that you enjoy spending time with them by reaching out and arranging a family meal or day out.
If you are lucky enough to live close to your parents, then try to see them regularly by inviting them round for dinner or doing activities together at the weekend. Spending quality time together will strengthen your relationship and help you maintain a close bond with your parents. If you live in a different city or state and cannot meet up as often, then make an effort to stay connected via communication apps. You can use apps like Whatsapp, Facebook, and Skype to message each other and videocall. This will help you remain an active part of each other’s lives and maintain a close bond with your parents even if you are separated by distance. Take a look at this article for some of the best apps to help families stay connected.
Find common interests and hobbies
Finding common interests and hobbies will make it easier to spend quality time with your parents. Sharing new experiences is also an excellent way to strengthen family bonds and grow closer. You could try cooking new recipes together, get involved in a local community project or start a family crafts project. If your parents are older, then doing activities together can help keep them fit and encourage them to lead a more active lifestyle. According to Abbott, “some of the best activities to do with aging parents include walking, dancing, and bowling.” Find something that you and your parents enjoy and start doing activities together in your free time to build a strong relationship.
Appreciate what your parents have done
Your parents are likely to have done a lot for you over the years. Think about all of the times that they gave you lifts, paid for things, and supported your dreams and aspirations. You should remember all of the caring things that your parents have done over the years and appreciate their love and support. Never take your parents for granted and show them that you appreciate everything that they have done for you. You can do this by buying them a gift, writing them a thank you card, or simply doing something nice for them like cooking them a lovely meal.
Support your parents as they get older
As your parents get older, there is likely to be a shift in your relationship. Your aging parents will become more reliant on you and they may start to need help with their daily activities. Supporting your parents as they get older can be challenging and they may find it difficult to accept your help, especially if they like to be independent. Make sure that you approach the topic of senior care sensitively and discuss how you can help.
Taking care of your parents as they get older will strengthen your bond and show your love and support. There are dozens of ways to help aging parents. If you live nearby, then you could offer to visit once or twice a week to help with household chores or drop off homemade meals. You could also discuss the benefits of moving to a senior living community. Frontier Management explains how senior living options should be considered when daily activities become strenuous, home care is not an option, or a senior wants more social interaction. Moving your parents to a senior living community will ensure that they receive the care and support that they need as they get older. You also have the option to move your parents to a location closer to you so that you can visit more often and spend quality time together.
Travel with your parents
Traveling with your parents might not be top of your vacation list, especially if you have different interests. However, going on vacation together can be a fantastic way to share new experiences and build a stronger relationship. According to the travel blog, Intrepid Travel, traveling with your parents is a special experience that can bring your closer. If you are planning on booking a vacation with your parents, then make sure that you pick a suitable destination with activities that everyone will enjoy. Avoid travel stress by booking things like accommodation and transfers in advance but leave your itinerary free to allow for spontaneity. If you are not confident about booking a two-week trip somewhere with your parents straight away, then try going on a short weekend break first.
Issues between children and parents are common and it is normal to have rough patches in your relationship. If you are searching for ways to strengthen your relationship with your parents, then you are not alone. Many people would like to enjoy a closer bond with their parents. The good news is, there are lots of different ways to improve your relationship and build a closer bond. Spend quality time with your parents and make family a priority in your schedule. Remember that it is never too late to rebuild your relationship with your parents and show them that you care.
While wisdom certainly comes with age, so does the deterioration of our physical and cognitive abilities. This aging process can therefore leave many elderly individuals vulnerable to falls, accidents and injuries, even in their own home. To ensure that you or your loved ones are safe as you enter your twilight years, below are 10 ways to senior-proof the home and make it a safer place to live.
Falls Among Seniors
One of the major concerns for seniors are slips and falls in the home. Even if you or your loved ones are healthy, falls can be common as eyesight, coordination, and physical strength begin to degrade. Falls also pose a danger to an elderly person’s health as they can lead to hip or pelvic fractures. Even more worrying is the potential for fatal falls, such as if a person hits their head.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, one out of four American seniors fall each year, resulting in more than 32,000 deaths and over 700,000 hospitalizations annually. Some other facts include:
1. Remove Trip Hazard Objects or Furnishings
While they may not be noticeable on an everyday basis, small objects or furnishings such as everyday clutter, pet bowls, bags, electrical cords and small décor can be prime instigators of falls. Before you set about senior-proofing the home, make sure these smaller items are removed permanently or put into locations that are out of harm’s way.
2. Upgrade Your Bathroom(s)
Bathrooms are one of the main areas for falls, even for those who are young. To ensure that the home is senior proof, you will need to upgrade the bathroom to accommodate areas that may be high risk. This includes adding a shower seat, installing grab bars, ensuring there are non-slip bathmats and shower mats, installing a raised toilet seat, and checking that the height of the bath is low enough for the elderly person who is using it.
3. Install Railings
Stairs can become difficult to climb as a person gets older. Therefore, if the home has a lot of stairs, it is important to ensure there are adequate railings installed. This includes even slightly raised areas that might only have 1 or 2 stairs. When installing your railing, make sure they are also at the right height so that the person using them is not having to reach too high or low.
4. Add Grab Bars
Grab bars are essential in areas of the home where seniors may need support or assistance standing up from seated positions. This includes the toilet, shower, bath, or even in the bedroom if they need something to hold onto while getting dressed or in and out of bed.
5. Create Clear Walking Areas
Seniors require extra room when making their way down hallways and through other areas of the house. Along with getting rid of clutter, ensure that the home is set up so that they have clear walkways to primary areas like the bathroom, kitchen, and bedroom. This might require moving furniture around or removing furnishings to ensure that there is as much room as possible.
6. Cover Sharp Edges or Corners
Another danger associated with falling in the home are sharp edges or corners. Places like coffee tables, desks, or even corners on kitchen islands can be a hazard, so it is sensible to cover these with specially designed padding. Covering edges or corners are especially important if the elderly individual is already prone to falls and has restricted mobility.
7. Ensure the Home is Fire Safe
As we get older, it can be easy to forget to check that the house is fire safe. Be sure to update old fire alarms or replace batteries and ensure that there is a fire extinguisher on hand where needed. It is also important to check that there are no fire hazards in the house such as frayed wiring, overloaded sockets, crowded fireplaces, or even an accumulation of dust near electrical appliances.
8. Update Slippery Floors or Rugs
Ensuring that the floors are slip-proof is another important way to prevent falls. This includes getting rid of rugs that can slide under foot and replacing tiles or vinyl with carpet or slip-proof flooring. This may also require adding rubber mats to areas where you cannot replace the materials, such as in shower areas or bathrooms.
9. Add Smart Technology
Advances in smart technology allow the homeowner to manage things like lighting, temperature control, and turning appliances off and on without getting up. Many systems such as Alexa can turn on virtually any appliance in the house and regulate the heat and air conditioning. This is great news for seniors: rather than having to get up and turn the coffee machine on, for example, smart technology will allow them to use voice commands or an app on their phone. While incorporating smart technology can be a challenge at first, there are ways to do this gradually.
10. Ensure the House is Well Lit
Slips and falls can sometimes occur if a room is not well lit. Dark areas or poor lighting can make it difficult to see, so make sure that all walking areas are well lit. This is where smart technology can also help as it will allow the resident to adjust the lighting without physically walking to the light switch. If you are using basic bulbs in lamps and overhead lights, make sure you are also using the highest wattage possible. You may even want to invest in floor lighting or night lights.
Falls, slips, or accidents are never 100% avoidable, but the tips above can significantly reduce their occurrence. The key is to be accident-minded when evaluating any changes that need to be made in the home. By ensuring that falls are minimized, and that the home of your elderly loved one is relatively safe, it will give you more peace of mind.
Managing Your Health Through Diet and Food Even if You Are a Fussy Eater or You Have One in Your Home
If you or someone you know is a fussy or difficult eater, it can be hard to ensure that they get the daily nutritional values they need from their food and drink intake. With children, it is especially hard to make sure they are getting the right nutrients. With time, patience and planning, it is possible to maintain good health through diet, even for the pickiest and fussiest eaters.
Why Diet Needs to Be Managed
If a person’s diet (especially a child’s diet) is not full of nutrients and vitamins, they can develop imbalances and deficiencies. When children are younger, their bodies need more nutrients than adults simply because they are growing and are consuming more energy. If a diet is lacking in anything, it quickly shows within children. For example, their level of interest can wane, theirenergy levels can slump or even be non-existent, and their moods can get even worse. When diet is managed and balanced, you can ensure that you are doing everything possible to give and maintain a healthy life and lifestyle.
When You Should Start Looking at Food Thickeners
If consuming different types and varieties of food is a new issue, then give it a bit of time as things can change even overnight. If, however, food tolerance or food avoidance is an ongoing issue, you may have to seek professional advice. Sometimes, you can be too close to the problem to see a way out or a resolution to help you move forward. If the diet is affected by the inability to swallow or swallowing is simply a struggle, then a thickener needs to be introduced. SimplyThick comes in gel and liquid form, and when added to food and drink, it ensures that it is much easier to consume. A good thickener can mean the difference between a diet that is inclusive of good food and drink and one that is not.
How to Achieve a Healthy Balance
To get the balance right, you have to weigh up what you are consuming. It can be easy to have lots of fruit and vegetable s thinking you are doing the best, but then it can be easy to miss out on protein. Good overall health comes from achieving and striking a balance. Ensuring that you eat and provide balanced meals that feature protein, calcium and vitamins can be difficult if you don’t know where to start, but if you take it one meal at a time, it will feel more manageable, bearable, and achievable. Planning out meals in advance and shopping for food as a family can help everyone get to grips with healthy food and healthy eating. A good diet is inclusive of all food groups and to ensure that you achieve this creating a meal plan is a must. When you create plans for your food, you can make sure that you are providing nutritious food at all times. As part of a healthy balance, what is drunk also needs to be monitored. Sodas and sugary fruit juices need to be kept to a minimum.
Sometimes getting the garden back into shape for spring can seem like an insurmountable task. One we put off for so long, it becomes impossible for one person to tackle. Soon you’re searching online for gardeners near me and hoping the job isn’t going to empty your bank account.
But refreshing your garden ready for spring shouldn’t be so formidable and with a bit of imagination it can even be fun.
The big garden tidy up
First of all, make a list of garden jobs that need doing. Then tick them off, one by one. Don’t try to do everything at once. If you do one small job and finish it, you’ll feel a greater sense of satisfaction than getting part way through the whole garden and running out of time.
And if your garden still seems too big a job, why not rope in some help from friends, family and neighbors? You might find they say yes if you call it a gardening party and offer free food and drinks in exchange for an hour of their time.
Use paint creatively
Painting fences and sheds will give an instant lift to your backyard or garden. But there are lots more ways to use paint to add color in your yard. If you have ugly concrete slabs on your patio or path, then why not use a masonry paint to stencil a pattern onto the surface? It’s an affordable way to perk up the drabness. Stencil patterns can be bought online, so you don’t even need to make your own.
Add some garden decorations
Getting children out into the garden is always nice, but giving them a few fun projects to get involved with is even better. If you’ve got arty kids, then why not get them involved painting up some plants pots and decorating pebbles? Acrylic paint is ideal for this. But if you’re worried about the mess, then you could use liquid chalk pens for less permanent decorations.
Adding fairy lights, decorative lanterns, pretty bird feeders and weatherproof bunting will add even more cheerful color.
Flowers you enjoy
When you’re adding plants and flowers to the garden, don’t just buy a few pots at random. Buy flowers that you really like to look at, and flowers that smell fragrant. The more you have an emotional attachment to the plants you buy, the more likely you are to want to care for them.
Helping your aging parent, grandparent, or loved one as they age involves many aspects of ensuring that they are getting the physical and mental care that they need on a regular basis. For some, this is a relatively simple process in that there are clear signs and definitive advice from healthcare professionals that it is time to make a change and increase the level of care that your loved one is receiving. However, there are times when navigating such waters isn’t so simple.
Perhaps your loved one is able to cope with the level of care they are getting to a certain degree, but things are starting to become a bit more difficult. Maybe they are reluctant to consider changes at all, making you feel hesitant to bring up the subject in general.
Regardless of what your particular situation may be, there is nothing more important than the health, safety, and comfort of your parent or other aging loved one. This means that you need to be completely aware of how well they are doing in their current situation as well as the signs that it is time to make a change.
If you aren’t entirely sure about what signs you should be on the lookout for that something needs to change, here are a few ways that you can know it is time to consider a change in your parent’s living situation.
One of the driving factors behind transitioning a loved one or parent to a different sort of living situation involves their health. Whether it is their physical health or their mental health that has taken a turn for the worse, you should be aware of any such changes that will require more care going forward.
If the care that your parent needs is related to their physical health, you will need to assess the level of help they need. This should be done with the guidance and assistance of their primary care physician. It might very well be time to consider a St. Louis nursing home for your loved one. This will provide them with round-the-clock medical attention for a chronic condition.
Aside from physical health, your parent’s mental health might be a major factor in how you proceed. For instance, there are memory care facilities that are designed for seniors dealing with dementia and other mental health conditions that are common in the elderly.
Another indicator that it is time to consider a change in your parent’s living situation involves their ability to take care of themselves. Many seniors struggle to take care of things like doing the laundry or regularly washing as they age. If you are starting to see signs of self-neglect either to their person or their home, it is time to look into changing things.
Pay attention to everything from the cleanliness of their clothes to the state of their yard and garden. Neglect in these areas can all indicate that a change is necessary.
Pregnant women need a moderate amount of aerobic exercise every week to help reduce the discomfort many women experience during pregnancy, manage stress, ease back pain and even constipation. Many women are afraid to continue exercising when they find out about their bundle of joy, but it doesn’t have to be scary and can even benefit women who have had little to no exercise before getting pregnant.
Carry on reading to learn about the right exercises for pregnant moms to learn about what kinds of exercises are safe for you and your baby during this wondrous experience.
Ready to Begin?
Research shows that a minimum of 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity exercise per week is ideal for women during pregnancy. Specifically, aerobic exercises such as taking a brisk walk can work wonders in improving breathing and heart function. Even breaking this up into 10-minute sessions three times a day will give the same effect as a full half an hour.
Swimming has long been a popular choice of fitness for pregnant women as the water supports the weight of your baby while keeping your heart working. Yoga and Pilates have both been shown to be quite beneficial for women with back pain and emotional stress, however it is important to know the types of poses to avoid.
Those who are looking to stick to a similar training regime as before can do exercises such as the Pliè, plank, curl and lift and arm rows.
When Exercise is Not the Right Fit
For some women, pregnancy can aggravate conditions or preexisting illnesses. If you have any of the following symptoms during your pregnancy, you need to first consult a healthcare practitioner for advice. Preterm labor occurs in the last few weeks of pregnancy, and vigorous exercise can result in bleeding or early water breaks. Women who are expecting twins should not partake in heavy exercise routines, as the risk of going into preterm labor increases significantly. Doctors may suggest that you continue to do some light walking, yoga, or swimming if you are pregnant with twins.
If you are diagnosed with hypertension or preeclampsia, you should not be exercising at all. With this condition the placenta is situated over the entire cervix, causing discomfort and pain, but also leads to other bleeding disorders.
Out of the Question Exercises
There are a few routines that doctors recommend that pregnant women stay away from altogether. These include any movement that jerks or bounces, such as biking, horseback riding and skating. Sports in which there is a chance of being hit in the stomach are a logical no-no, as areexercises where you have to lie flat on your back.
There are some cautionary signs to look out for if you are worried that your exercise routine may be harming your body and your baby. Chest pain, trouble breathing, headaches, muscle weakness or pain and swelling, regular painful contractions that are not in line with labor, and most importantly, if you cannot feel your baby moving.
The bottom line is: do your research and don’t take on any new exercise routine without consulting your doctor. For women who would like to hear about other pregnant women’s experiences, Moms Into Fitness is a wonderful website filled with resources and exercise videos.
Do you have any advice to add? Let us know in the comments.
Family vacations are great ways to bond and make some wonderful memories together, but as parents, do you have to take your kids with you on every getaway? No, you don’t. Making time for you and your partner to go away together without your brood in tow could be highly beneficial for both you and your children. Here are some key reasons why going on a kid-free holiday could be just what the doctor ordered for all of you.
A Chance for You and Your Partner to Reconnect
Relationships are hard work, and when you add kids into the mix, life will only get more testing. This isn’t to say having children will spoil a relationship; on the contrary, children can make a relationship stronger and happier. However, as being a parent is one of the biggest challenges in life, these kinds of pressure can also put a strain on your relationship. Usually,this is because your attention shifts to caring for your kids, and sometimes this can result in partners drifting apart from one another because there is little time or energy for romance-- but you must make the effort with each other so you don’t start to take each other for granted. Going away together without the kids is the perfect way for you both to reconnect on this level. If you want to find some ideas for a romantic getaway with your partner, look at Mr Hudson Explores or similar travel sites for a selection of guides and tips.
An Opportunity for Your Kids to Develop Other Relationships
If you’re going to go away without the kids, you’ll need to find someone willing to look after them while you’re away. Whether this is their grandparents, aunt or uncle, or a close family friend, having your children stay with these important figures in your life will help them develop their relationships with them. It’s a wonderful bonding experience and can teach them the importance of making time for extended family members and friends, which will hopefully help them develop healthy relationships themselves later in life.
No Pressure to Entertain
Going on holiday with the kids can be fun, and if you choose the right resort and destination there should be plenty of activities to keep them occupied. However, as kids can be fickle about what they want to do, and might have a tendency to sulk when they’re bored or tired, there is always a sense of pressure to keep them entertained as a parent so you know they’re having a good time. Going away with just your partner removes that pressure to keep the kids happy, and allows you both to spend time doing what you’d like to do, even if that’s just spending the afternoon sipping cocktails on the beach!
You’ll Appreciate Them More
You will miss your kids when you’re away without them, but this will only make you appreciate them even more when you finally do reunite, and visa-versa. Additionally, if you have struggled with the idea of not spending every day with your kids, a break for just you and your partner will make you realize you can be apart from them, and that it’s good for you and them to do this occasionally.
If you and your partner need some time alone, book a vacation for just the two of you--whether it’s for a week or just a long weekend. You’ll come back feeling refreshed and relaxed.
When the draw takes place to choose the groups for a sporting tournament, there are some countries that everyone hopes to avoid meeting. This is because some countries are consistently successful in certain sports. If you have ever wondered why this is the case, here is a brief look at what turns a country into an elite sporting nation.
The popularity of sport in the country
One of the major factors of any country’s sporting success will often be the sporting ability of the previous generation. If a team has a lot of success in their sport, they will inspire the next generation to start playing.
For example, whenever Andy Murray does well at his home tournament in Wimbledon, the tennis courts around Britain are filled with young children picking up a racket for the first time. If one of those young people continues to practice and train in the sport, then they could one day end up having the same success as Andy Murray.
This is one of the main reasons why some countries seem to have continued success in some areas – because the passion for the sport is passed from generation to generation. Research by sporting nutrition brand Myprotein found that while America has had the most success in the Olympics, Australia is in fact the sportiest country in the world. When you look at their past success in sports such as cricket, rugby and even tennis, it is clear to see why. Once those inspiring players and athletes retire, they are still able to share their wisdom on training properly and eating the right nutrition to provide the energy needed to succeed.
Does the climate lend itself to the sport?
Another major factor in the likelihood of a country being successful in a particular sport is the climate. Just like the movie Cool Runnings suggests, it was always going to be unlikely that Jamaica would have a successful bobsled team. The hot temperatures make it a lot more difficult to keep a training track up and running compared to a much colder country like Russia.
A particular climate could even have a big effect on an athlete’s performance in a particular tournament. For example, an athlete could be the number one in their country at a particular sport but might struggle to adapt to playing in a different country’s climate. If the temperature is much hotter or much colder, their body might not be able to perform as well. This is why many football teams based in colder climates travel to hotter countries to train during their summer break - so they can prepare themselves to play in hotter temperatures if needed.
The best athletes need the best facilities
Unfortunately, just like anything in life, money has a big impact on a country’s ability to train and develop athletes. For most of the world’s greatest athletes, their sport is their full-time job. The only way that this can be possible is if they can receive enough money or funding to pay for their salary, so they can focus completely on becoming the best athlete possible instead of having to worry about training alongside a job.
For some of the richest countries, this funding is readily available. For other countries, there just isn’t the money to spare on certain sports. Some sports, like football, are able to fund themselves through sponsorship on items like stadium banners and playing kits as well as the big advertising revenues when games are shown on television.
For other sports (especially Olympic sports where the athletes are really only seen by a worldwide audience every four years and sponsorship is not allowed on kits) it can be a lot more difficult to raise enough revenue to fund the purchase of essential equipment, let alone a salary for the athlete. Even some of the biggest events, like the 100-metre sprint, which only last a few seconds, still require a lot of funding for the athlete to train enough to reach the most elite levels.
Unless you have immense natural talent, it is highly unlikely you would be able to compete on the world stage if you treat the sport as a hobby rather than a career.
Power of the population
Another major factor of a country’s ability to find successful athletes is quite simply down to numbers. If you have a large population, you have a better chance of producing an extremely talented athlete within that population. As some countries, like the USA, have hundreds of millions of people, there’s a much wider group of people to choose from than some of the smaller countries, which might have less than a million people.
A great example of this is looking at Great Britain. In Olympic sports, England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland collectively compete as part of the same team, known as Team GB. When it comes to other sports like football or rugby, they all have their own separate teams. While England (the most populated country) is still able to field a consistently successful side, the other three countries often struggle to qualify for some of the major football tournaments.
The X Factor
Of course, while all of the reasons mentioned are good indicators of why a country might be better than another in a particular match, game or tournament, there is not always one strict rule.
Sometimes the underdogs suddenly stun the rest of the globe with an incredible performance, even if their country has never previously had a good record in the sport. Sometimes there may just be a generation of players, or even a particular squad or athlete, that have the ability to succeed despite all of the odds being against them.
That unpredictability is the reason why people love to watch sport and why it is one of the most popular hobbies across the world.