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12 Helpful Tips When Finding the Right Gym

gym tips

Here are some tips to consider when finding the right gym for you:

  1. Work Out Near Home
  2. Visit When You Normally Workout
  3. Look for Cleanliness
  4. Gym Reciprocity
  5. Read the Contract
  6. Compare Pricing
  7. Observe the Culture
  8. What Machines Do They Have?
  9. Ask About Emergency Care
  10. What Classes Do They Offer?
  11. Look for the Long Term
  12. Don’t Forget the Locker Rooms

We make fitness goals all the time, but when we continue to fail at reaching those goals, it can be really discouraging. Having a gym membership can be just what you need to finally reach your goals this year. The gym industry is huge in America, so it can be difficult finding the perfect gym.

1. Work Out Near Home

Location can be very important when finding the right gym. Find a gym that is near your home, or on the way to work. If you have to go out of your way to the gym, you probably won’t go as much, so it’s a good idea to pick a gym close by work or home. Create a list of local gyms in your area that you are interested in.

After you have a list of the local gyms, you can research their websites to see what they offer. When you have narrowed the gyms down to the few you want to check out, hit the pavement. Most gyms offer a three-day or one week pass, to check out their services. Talk to the staff and other members to gauge how the gym meets your needs. As you work out, evaluate how you feel at the gym. If you feel positive, this is a great possibility.

2. Visit When You Normally Workout

Are you a morning person or an afternoon person? Do you like to workout first thing in the morning? Or maybe you like to work out right after work, in the afternoon. Or, maybe you like to work out late in the evening! Visit the gym whenever you are most likely to work out each day. By doing this, you can gauge the crowd control and see if that would be a problem for you.

3. Look for Cleanliness

gym cleanliness
 

Check for a clean environment and machines. People touch the equipment all day, so cleanliness is essential. With so many people touching the equipment, the chances of catching someone else’s sickness is high. So if the gym employees keep the equipment clean and in good repair that’s a good sign.

4. Gym Reciprocity

Ask about reciprocity agreements with other gyms within your city, or even nationwide. Many gyms are part of a network and will allow you to work out as you travel, or they have multiple locations. Don’t be afraid to ask about reciprocity so you know whether you can use their other gyms as well.

5. Read the Contract

gym membership
 

Check your contract to ensure that you understand everything you are signing. If your credit card will be charged automatically, make sure you know the exact amount you will be charged. Ask about the fees and different pricing options. It is also important to understand how long you are under contract. Make sure that you understand how to cancel your contract, should you need to.

If you’re gym shopping you should be able to ask for a copy of the contract to take home and read through. You’ll want to make sure there aren’t any hidden fees, and that you understand any rules.

6. Compare Pricing

It is important to gather and compare all the gym membership prices and gym membership deals. This can play a major key in finding the right gym. Some gyms charge more because they offer more, and some offer better deals at different times!

A good way to do this is to gather the data about all the places you’re thinking of and make notes of everything in the same notebook. This way you can see the different prices all in one place.

7. Observe the Culture

Gym culture is a real thing and every gym has one. If you’re going to have an aversion to a certain kind of gym culture, then you’ll want to look out for those things when you go visit. You want to make sure the atmosphere in the gym is friendly, safe, and comfortable. Dealing with a toxic, or obnoxious gym culture is the last thing you need when you’re trying to work out.

8. What Machines Do They Have?

gym machines
 

A good mix of machines and equipment is a great sign. They even say that an assortment of different brands is a sign of a quality gym, since different brands will make certain equipment better than others. Make sure the treadmills, ellipticals, and other machines will fit your needs so you can switch your workouts up with different exercises.

Above all you want to make sure they have the machines you want. If you’re an avid treadmill runner then a gym with no treadmills wouldn’t be the right fit for you. Also, if they only have 2 treadmills that are always in use, you may want to look elsewhere, since the machines you want will always be busy.

9. Ask About Emergency Care

You may never need emergency care services at the gym, but it is a place where sudden emergencies could arise from overexertion, or through dealing with heavy equipment.

Are the gym staff trained in CPR? Is there an AED kit nearby with staff trained to use that too? These are all questions that are perfectly acceptable for you to ask when visiting prospective gyms.

10. What Classes Do They Offer?

gym classes
 
You want to take full advantage of your gym. Workout classes and trainers are one of the ways you can do this. Signing up for scheduled classes can really help you to stay on track with your fitness plans.

Gyms can also offer a lot of extra amenities besides lockers and machines. Some even have a food court or a smoothie bar. If there are any special amenities you need in a gym, make sure you add them to your gym shopping list and star the options that include them.

11. Look for the Long Term

Don’t be blinded by flash deals! Just because there are deals it doesn’t mean they are the best gym to go with in the long term. A gym membership is a long term thing. Daily workouts can be a part of the rest of your life. So shop with the long term in mind.

12. Don’t Forget the Locker Rooms

What about the locker rooms? Maybe you’ll bring your gym clothes with you in a gym bag, but having a locker at the gym can be nice in case there is anything you need at the gym every day. So don’t forget to check out the locker rooms to make sure they’re comfortable and clean as well.

 

Finding the perfect gym for you can take a little research. But with the right research you can find a gym that will help you keep your fitness goals and resolutions.


READ MORE

Learn more about how to find your next gym, “How To Find The Right Gym For You

Get yourself to not only find a gym, but get yourself to go, “11 Easy Ways to Find the Right Gym (So You’ll Actually Go)


6 Simple Tips for a Portion Control Diet

Whether you are looking to lose some weight or having more control over your dietary intake, exercising a portion control diet throughout the day is one of the best ways to get results. Portion control is all about being able to define the limits of the food you eat throughout the day. It also is going to be one of the effective ways to lose weight and keep it off. Use the following tips to monitor your portions.

1. Track What You Eat

It will be hard to cut back on foods and start a portion control diet if you don’t even realize what you’re eating. Set aside a week to track every single thing you eat. This means your meals, your beverages, your midnight snacks, and the stuff you mindlessly snack on at the office. You may be eating or drinking many more calories than you realize.

Once you’ve tracked your eating habits for a week, analyze them. Are you surprised by how many of your calories are coming from beverages? Do you eat more sugar than you realized? After you’ve analyzed your habits and found the problems, you can start making positive changes.

2. Drink Plenty Of Water

Your body has a hard time telling the difference between thirst and hunger. Staying hydrated will help you know when you are actually hungry, and when you aren’t. Be sure to stick to water—other beverages contain lots of calories and sugars that will slow down your progress—save the calories for food that will actually leave you feeling satisfied.

3. Avoid Eating Your Meals “Family Style”

It may be convenient to bring all the serving dishes to your dining table while you eat—but it won’t help you with portion control. Prepare your plate in the kitchen and then take it to the table by itself. You’re less likely to keep eating if there isn’t a tempting pan of lasagna right in front of your face.

4. Switch Out Your Dishes

Something simple like switching to smaller plates, bowls, and glasses can make it easier to control what you eat. Portion control plates and portion control containers are very helpful. It is tempting to fill up whatever plate you have, no matter what size it is. Choose a smaller plate, or a plate with sections designed specifically for portion control to keep your portions in check.

5. Prepare Snacks Ahead Of Time

Snacking throughout the day can help you stay energized, but only if you do it right. Instead of hitting the vending machine or mindlessly eating chips from a bag, pack healthy snacks for work. Healthy snacks are important when participating in a portion control diet.

Healthy snacks include:

  • Carrot sticks
  • Apple slices
  • Greek yogurt and berries
  • Hummus and veggies
  • String Cheese
  • Almonds

If you choose to eat something like crackers, don’t eat them straight out of the box, instead set aside a small portion and put the rest away.

All of the snacks listed are healthier than most vending machine options—a little preparation can get you through your midday slump without derailing your weight loss goals.

6. Listen to Your Stomach

It takes a few minutes for your brain to get the message that your stomach is full. Slow down when you eat meals to avoid overeating. Set your fork down between bites and sip water as you go. It will help you stop eating when you are full, not stuffed.

Exercising Daily

One of the best ways to get into better shape and to enjoy a better standard of health is to exercise daily. While this bit of advice will doubtlessly seem like common sense taught at every age, the face of the matter is that it works.

Daily exercise is one of the best ways to build and define muscle, improve energy levels, and develop better endurance. You can get better results for yourself by exercising for a mere 15 minutes every day. 15 minutes is definitely something each one of us can achieve, even if we live very busy lives. How many of us have spent more than 15 minutes a day idly watching TV or surfing the Internet? The average person spends an hour or more a day on the Internet, so that alone offers a window to free time that could be spent elsewhere.

It is important to note that these 15 minutes a day do not have to be grueling workouts, by any means. Merely going for a walk or doing sit ups or jogging lightly count as the exercise for the day. The point of these efforts is to get your body up and moving, circulating the blood and flexing the muscles.

Done consistently, people should be able to notice a pronounced set of positive results stemming from their efforts. Metabolism will be improved due to the body become more efficient with its energy processing as a positive result of this endeavor. You also will be able to notice increases in energy and mood alike, as the body gets better circulation and flow.

When it all comes down to it, exercising daily is something that we all can do. Even the busiest of us should be able to clear out a measly 15 minutes in order to get their body moving. The payoff is worth it!

Start a Healthy Diet with These 4 tips

Making Your Diet Healthier

Today, it can be very difficult to eat healthy. We have such easy access to unhealthy foods, not to mention they are cheaper and last longer. One of the things that we can all do better is eat in a healthier and more effective way. Every day, we all have to make food choices as we take in meals and snacks, and a lot of these choices are not exactly optimal in nature. But as the New Year starts, a lot of people want to change their ways and make the effort to eat healthier.

When you are working on being healthier, there are small changes to your diet you can make that will have a big impact. Slowly introducing small changes is a great way to ease yourself into a healthier lifestyle. Here are 4 ways to help change your diet into a healthy diet:

Drink More Water

First, you can start by drinking more water throughout the day. Work on replacing other beverages with water and carrying a water bottle with you wherever you go. Doctors give instruction on how much you are supposed to drink a day, but most people don’t drink half as much as they’re supposed to. If you drink the right amount of water, it is beneficial in so many ways. For example, it will result in a better digestion system, clearer skin, and it will keep you from overeating because you will not be as hungry. Drinking the proper amount of water is a great first step to a healthy diet.

Fruits and Vegetables

Second, eating healthy foods should be easy and accessible. A great way to make this happen is to spend a little time chopping up fruits and vegetables and storing them in your fridge. When you do this, fruits and vegetables will be convenient and easy to access for healthy snacks throughout the day. Fruits and vegetables are great healthy foods to eat.

Keep a Food Journal

The third step to eating healthier is to keep a food journal. Track exactly what you are eating and how much you are eating throughout the day. This will help you to identify everything you are eating every day. A food journal can be very eye opening as you start to eat healthier.

If you’re not good at filling out your journal every time you eat, there are apps that you can download on your phone to write down everything you eat as well. Certain apps even allow you to search specific brands, and it can tell you exactly how many calories are in it. Set alarms on your phone to remind you to fill out your app. Since most everyone always has their smart phone on them, it’s much easier to record these things on your phone than to carry around a food journal everywhere you go.

Gardening

You may have a green thumb and not even know it. Before you start buying all your fruits and vegetables at the grocery store, try planting some of them in your own. You may only be planting cilantro at first, but eventually you could be planting your own tomatoes and cucumbers. You’ll find that not only is it easier to get it from your own backyard, but it’s also much tastier and fresh.

Find some good healthy food recipes and use your fresh fruits and vegetables straight out of your yard!

Choose the Healthy Alternative

When you’re at the grocery store, you are given many options of flavors, brands and styles of any given product. Although they might taste the same, many of them are much better for you. Next time you go to the grocery store, choose the healthy alternative.

Be sure to make a list before going to the grocery store. By doing this, you know what you are going for and you won’t buy unintended junk food. Be healthier by sticking to your healthy food list.

By having a healthy diet you will have a healthier body. Good luck with your healthy diet and thanks for reading!

7 Useful Grilling Tips

Get ready because summer will be here before you know it. Summer is a time for friends, family, food, and fun. There’s nothing like spending time with family and grilling some food on the good old barbecue. There is something special about grilled food that brings the spirit of summer. When you think of the term “grilling” you might think of hamburgers and steaks. That being said, there is whole world of different foods you can cook on the grill. Whether you are looking for charcoal grill tips, or gas and electric grill tips, the options are limitless with grilling. Here are just a few of the popular favorites:

Vegetables

Surprisingly enough, vegetables can be grilled just like meat and are great for summer grilling. You can throw on tomatoes, peppers, zucchini and many more. This will add a bit of crunch to the veggies, and will bring out some good flavors that would otherwise be locked away.

Fruit

Believe it or not, you can also grill fruit! While your preference will be based on personal taste, it is perfectly possible to do. A great fruit to grill is pineapple! Grilling pineapple is a popular staple of Brazilian cooking that tastes great and is easy to do! Simply sear the fruit until browned on both sides, and enjoy the smoky sweet treat you just made.

Of course once you know what you are going to be grilling it’s time to actually work with the grill! Here are some great grilling tips:

Start Heating Early

You need to make sure you start preheating your grill early, about 15 to 20 minutes before you want to start cooking. A grill that is heated enough should sear food on contact and keep the insides moist without sticking. Using a grill that isn’t hot enough will mean your food is not cooked properly.

Use a Brush to Clean

Once you have heated your grill, it is actually a good time to clean it off with your grill brush (it is easier to brush when it is hot). Use a long-handled wire brush and take caution so you don’t burn yourself. Brush to remove charred debris from previous meals. After you finish cooking, you should brush off the grill again for future use.

Use a Thermometer

One of the most useful grilling tips is a thermometer. Use a meat thermometer to make sure the inside of your meat is completely done. You could cut the meat to check but if you cut the meat then all the great juices will run out. Make sure you are using the correct type of thermometer. There are different kinds for different purposes and you want a meat thermometer that is tailored to your meat.

Keep Water Handy

Sometimes your food is greasy, and that means sometimes grease will fall into the grill and make a flame char the outside of your food. In order to prevent this you can keep a squirt bottle of water nearby to quickly douse any unexpected flames. It is helpful to keep water handy for those bursts of flames to keep the flames under control.

Let it Rest

After your meat is done cooking you should set it on a plate and let it rest for about 10 minutes to help redistribute the juices throughout the meat.

Grilling is a great pastime and we hope we have taught you some great summer grilling tips!

Why You Should Be Cutting Sugary Soda

Cutting Back On Sugary Drinks

Looking to lose weight? Are you looking to keep your body more healthy? Or maybe your goal is that you want to have more energy throughout the day? If any of these goals or resolutions apply to you, then you may want to consider cutting back on the sugary soda. There can be a high amount of sugar in soda. Here are some reasons you might want to consider when deciding whether or not you are cutting sugary soda:

The High & Low

The interesting part about sugary soda is that they have some affects that are somewhat counter intuitive. For example, sugary sodas may make you feel happy and energized for a short amount of time, then exhaustion and a lack of energy will set in. Sugary sodas are notorious for providing short term energy in the moment, but no one talks about what happens after the initial feeling.

Health Issues

Sugar heavy sodas can cause a range of health issues like obesity, cavities, diabetes, and more. Although they are certainly a great feeling in the moment, and usually pretty good tasting, sugary sodas are not good for your general and overall health. Cutting sugary soda will help improve your health.

Cause of Dehydration

Sugary sodas can also cause dehydration. They can make you feel an increase in thirst and cause thirst related issues. It may be a bit surreal drinking something that is going to keep you thirsty, but some of the ingredients in a sugary soda all combine to make for an amplified dehydration level.

The Answer

When it all comes down to it, sugary sodas offer little health benefits and there is the possibility of those drinks having very serious health implications over time. You will find that cutting out these sodas and replacing them with healthy alternatives will give you natural energy. If you start cutting sugary soda, you will feel better.

The Benefits of Organic Food

How to Eat Organic: Where to Look and What to Buy

The term eating organic gets tossed around a lot lately, but what does it really mean? Where do you find organic food? Let’s explore what organic food is, the benefits of organic, the benefits of eating organic, and where to find them.

Organic Food

In order for a food to be considered “organic,” it has to meet certain restrictions made by the government. Some of these guidelines include: farmers not using synthetic pesticides on crops, and avoiding petroleum based or sewage based fertilizers.

When the product is livestock, producers must give the animals access to the outdoors with plenty of room to feed and roam (free-range). Furthermore, animals may not be given any animal by-products, growth hormones and/or antibiotics.

Several of these guidelines provide higher quality food and produce that is much healthier for your body, while others provide protection to the environment.

Some may argue that by protecting the environment, you are also protecting your body. There are many benefits of organic food. Either way, going organic is beneficial to you and the Earth. It’s a win/win.

Organic Benefits

As mentioned above, eating organic food is not only beneficial to your body, but to our planet as well. There are many benefits of eating organic food. Organic food is prepared with:

  1. Fewer pesticides – This means there is less contamination in the ground, in and on the food we eat.
  2. Less drugs and antibiotics – This decreases the chances of new antibiotic-resistant strains from forming.
  3. Less pollution and energy use – This helps land areas and the wild life surrounding a farm.

What to Look For

There are certain fruits and vegetables that are healthier if produced and eaten organically. The following list of fruits and vegetables on average contain the highest amount of pesticides when grown traditionally:

  • Apples
  • Celery
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Grapes
  • Hot Peppers
  • Kale/Collard Greens
  • Nectarines (imported)
  • Peaches
  • Potatoes
  • Spinach
  • Strawberries
  • Summer Squash
  • Sweet Bell Peppers

Organic Sources

Luckily, organic awareness is on the rise and there are many great sources for organic products, such as a farmers market, a food co-op, the grocery store, or your own backyard. People are starting to realize the benefits of eating organic food.

Farmers Market

One of the great things about the summer season is that it gives us the chance to eat fresh food from a variety of sources. Farmers markets are a great choice, and they offer a great selection of food. Check your neighborhood or city to see if there is one near you and you will find plenty of delicious, fresh food to take home.

However, not everything offered at a farmers market may be organic. Make sure to ask the seller questions about how their crops or livestock were produced so you know for certain.

Regardless of the organic status, it will be fresher from the market! Nothing compares to fresh picked food. It is crisper and more vibrant and generally tastes better as well. There are many benefits of organic food when purchased at the market.

Taking a trip to the farmers market gives you access to a wide variety of fresh foods; picked from the tree or field within the last day or two. You can get large amounts of fresh ingredients this way, and they might actually be cheaper than what the supermarket charges.

Food Co-Op

This is similar to a farmers market, but everyone is splitting the produce that is grown. Although you may have less choice over what you buy, the price may still be cheaper than the grocery store.

Grocery Store

Grocers know there is a market for organic foods. They are advertising and selling organic products more than ever.

You can easily get the items you need, but they may be slightly more expensive than the other options above. The produce might not be as fresh either, since they have to pick the fruit prematurely so that it doesn’t ripen and rot before they can sell it. When you go to a farmers market, you are eliminating the middleman and buying straight from the source.

However, this may be your best or only source for dairy or meat products that are organic. If you don’t have access to a farmers market or co-op, then this is your best option.

Garden

If you want to know for certain that your food is organic, then your best bet is to grow it yourself! This way you know exactly what has been done to your produce and what you are putting into your body; it is also as fresh as can be.

All in all, there are many easy ways to add organic food into your diet that is not only healthier for your body, but for our planet. We hope you have learned a lot on the benefits of eating organic food. Thanks for reading!

Eating Salads this Summer

Try These 4 Healthy Summer Salad Recipes

Have you been thinking about eating more healthy salads this summer? Maybe you are looking for ways to improve your diet or maybe you want to lose a little weight. Salads are a great option for those looking to stay healthy and energetic all summer long. As an added bonus, making a healthy salad recipe won’t heat up your whole house! Try one of these four refreshing salads this summer!

A Yummy Side Dish

Salads are a great side dish whether you are having a neighborhood barbeque or a romantic dinner at home. They are low in calories and high in nutrients. Make one of these great salads as a side dish for your next meal. Part of the fun of eating salads is being able to find the things that are different.

Traditional Green Salad

This crunchy classic is refreshing, full of vitamins, and has a satisfying texture. You’ll need:

  1. 1 head of iceberg lettuce
  2. 4 carrots
  3. 1 cucumber
  4. 1 small container of cherry tomatoes
  5. 1 bag of croutons
  6. Ranch Dressing

Wash the lettuce and tear it into manageable pieces. Fill your serving bowl 2/3 of the way full. Wash and peel the carrots and cucumber. Cut them into bite size chunks. Add the carrots, cucumbers, and croutons to the bowl and use salad tongs to mix them in. Next wash the cherry tomatoes and add them to the top of the salad. Serve with ranch dressing. (Makes about 6 servings)

Apple Pecan Salad

This delicious salad will impress your guests and satisfy your taste buds. Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. 4-6 cups of baby spinach
  2. 1 large crisp apple
  3. 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  4. 3/4 cup candied pecans
  5. 1/3 cup feta cheese
  6. Vinaigrette dressing

Wash and dry the baby spinach and place it in the serving bowl. Use your salad tongs to mix in dried cranberries and ½ cup of the candied pecans. Sprinkle feta cheese on top. Wash the apple and slice it into very thin pieces. Place the apples on top of the salad and add the last ¼ cup of pecans. Serve with the vinaigrette dressing of your choice. (Makes 4-6 servings)

*Make it your own by adding sunflower seeds, other dried fruit, or roasted almonds.

A Healthy And Filling Main Dish

Salad doesn’t have to stay on the sidelines. You can promote it to the main course. Try one of these salad recipes for a healthy, unique, and satisfying meal. This is a great healthy salad recipe!

Grilled Chicken Salad

This simple and yummy salad will satisfy your hunger without leaving you feeling over-stuffed. All you’ll need is:

  1. 1 head of romaine lettuce
  2. 2 large ripe tomatoes
  3. 1 chicken breast
  4. Feta cheese

Grill the chicken breast with your favorite seasonings, or simply pepper. Slice into strips and set aside. Wash, dry, and tear lettuce into bite-sized pieces and put it into your mixing bowl. Wash and dice the tomatoes and mix them into the bowl. Divide the salad into two portions and put on salad plates. Evenly divide the grilled chicken and place it on top of the salads. Sprinkle with feta cheese and serve with dressing of your choice. (Makes 2 servings)

*Make it your own by adding lemon juice for dressing and adding other vegetables of your choice.

Taco Salad

This spicy salad will satisfy your taste buds and your tummy. This is a great summer salad recipe and all you’ll need is:

  1. 1 head romaine lettuce
  2. 1/4 lb. ground beef
  3. 1 can black beans
  4. Dried onions
  5. Taco seasoning
  6. 2 ripe tomatoes
  7. Tortilla chips
  8. 1/3 cup grated mild cheddar cheese
  9. 1/4 cup guacamole (optional)
  10. Sour cream (optional)

Brown the ground beef with dried onions on the stove until completely cooked. Add taco seasoning and set aside. Heat the black beans on the stove and keep warm. Wash and dry the lettuce and tear it into bite-sized pieces. Wash and dice the tomatoes. Place tortilla chips on two plates. Now add the taco meat and black beans. Next add the tomatoes, lettuce, and grated cheese. If you so desire, top the salad off with some guacamole or sour cream. (Makes about 2 servings)

The next time you are looking for a quick, easy, and healthy summer meal, consider one of these delicious salads, or create a recipe of your own.

Planting Your Own Herb Garden

herb garden

When you grow your own herbs, you will be able to minimize the cost of your groceries by simply using the herbs that you have grown.

Starting an herb garden in your backyard can also be a great way to enjoy fresh herbs and spend time outside. If your yard is in disarray, you can start your herb garden in a raised garden bed. A raised bed is a great way to avoid dealing with tough soil. Using treated soil in the raised plant bed is a great way to ensure that your herbs get all of the nutrients that they need.

Decide Where to Keep Your Herb Garden

Outside?

Having an outdoor garden is a great idea if you want to ever expand your garden to include other plants as well. After you get the knack of caring for herbs you can then move on to other plants like tomatoes or carrots. But before you start your herb garden you will want to ensure that you are planting something that can survive in the current weather and in your geographical area. If you’re going to plant your herb garden outdoors then make sure you plant when the weather is right, and make sure you know what herbs are going to be able to survive in your area.

Having an outdoor garden is also nice because it will get you outside more often. Hobbies are an important part of what makes life interesting. It’s always a good idea to have a few outdoor hobbies to get you out in nature and in the fresh air.

Or Inside?

You can also keep your herb garden indoors. This is especially useful when you want to use your fresh herbs in the kitchen on a very frequent basis. If your garden is inside, then you won’t have to go outdoors every time you want some mint leaves. An indoor garden is also optimal for climates where gardening is more difficult, or the weather is harsher. An indoor herb garden will also allow you to grow fresh herbs year round.

gardening quote

Choose Your Plants

Some people like to plant herbs that have already started growing while other people only like to plant seeds. No matter what you want to plant, you will want to make sure that the soil and the garden area is ready for the plant before you plant it.

Which herbs you choose plant will depend entirely on your preference or what you most commonly use in the kitchen. Here’s a list of ideas to get you started:

  • chives
  • mint
  • parsley
  • basil
  • coriander
  • thyme
  • lemongrass
  • cilantro
  • oregano

You’ll also need some garden supplies and they can be expensive. If your budget needs some extra help don’t be afraid to stop by any Check City location to take out a payday loan. Your Payday loan will have you out the door and planting your garden in no time.

Caring for Your Herbs

After you have planted your garden it will be necessary to spend time weeding and caring for the herbs. Make sure that you set apart a specific amount of time each day to dedicate to your herb garden, so you can be sure it is always taken care of.

Weeding

Weeding is primarily a task you’ll need to get used to if you have an outdoor garden. There are treatments you can use to keep weeds from growing and spreading throughout your garden, but either way you’ll need to dedicate some time to weeding every once in a while.

Watering

As you develop a weeding schedule you will also want to develop a watering schedule. According to the National Gardening Association herbs generally need about an inch of water each week. You can distribute this water rationing more evenly throughout the week by filling a water bottle with an inch of water and spraying your herbs with it throughout the week until the water is gone. But to be extra sure your plants are getting the right amount of watering, you should do a little research on each plant you decide to cultivate and keep notes for important care information like how much water each plant needs.

Download a Free PDF Printable of a Plant Watering Schedule.

With consistent weeding and watering, you will be able to reap the benefits of a successful herb garden! Now you can save time and money by cultivating your own herbs at home.


5 Great Steps When Starting a Community Garden

5 Steps to Create a Successful Community Garden

If you are interested in getting more involved with your community, there are many ways that you can start to involve yourself. Community gardens are becoming more popular and are a great way for you to become more involved with those around you. Not only will you get to know your neighbors, but you will also help grow nutritious food for your community to eat and enjoy.

Here are some great steps when planning how to start a community garden:

Step 1: Invite Your Community

If you want to start a community garden, don’t be afraid to talk about your idea to the people in your area. You may be surprised at how many people around you have an interest in this as well.

Once you know there is enough motivation and people who can support it, you can then form a planning committee and get the ball rolling for a community garden in your area. Having a community to participate with you is a very important step when starting a community garden.

Step 2: Find Resources

You will need to figure out what types of tools, materials, funding, and volunteers may be needed to keep your garden running smoothly.

While doing this research, try to identify all of the available resources that you and your planning committee can utilize. Starting a community garden can be expensive so it’s a good idea to utilize the skills and resources within your own community before you consider looking for outside help.

It may be beneficial to find a sponsor for your community garden. Some churches, private organizations or businesses may be willing to sponsor your community garden to ensure that it is successful.

After you have your funding in place and a list of materials, tools and members, you can decide if the garden will be open to any willing residents, or if you will require membership dues.

By requiring a small participation fee, the garden will be self-sustaining and you can be sure that as long as people are interested, the garden will continue to run well.

Step 3: Locate a Garden Site

Once your committee is set, you know you have funding and/or sponsors, and a community ready to garden, your next step is to find a location! Search your city for land that may be available for lease or purchase and contact the landowner.

While searching for the perfect location, remember that it is recommended that your plot of land get at least six hours of direct sun daily and has an easily accessible source of water.

Your garden can be as large or as small as you wish, but ultimately the size will be determined by how big your community is, and how many people will participate. Finding the proper location is a very important step when planning how to start a community garden.

Once you have a plot of land secured, make sure you obtain all the necessary liabilities and fees.

Step 4: Arrange Your Garden Plot

After you have figured out everything above, you can then move on to the garden itself. Plan the size and lay out of the garden to ensure that it is user friendly and protected.

Make sure your garden is easily accessible for people of all ages, but also protected from any wildlife that may destroy the garden. Depending on your area, you might be concerned about vandalism as well. Make sure your garden area has a secure tool storage when starting a community garden.

Step 5: Grow Your Produce

Most of the hard work is done, now it’s time to do the fun part: plant your garden! To get off to the best start, test your soil and see if you need to add any fertilizers for better growth.

Make the most of your garden by using plants that grow well in your climate, including native plants, incorporate mulching or composting, and if legal in your area, install a rain barrel to use for watering plants or cleaning supplies.

As you go through these steps to create your community garden, do not get too upset at small setbacks. With many people coordinating, you may find that there are problems and differences of opinion.

If you run into problems with your funding, stop by a Check City location to take out an Installment Loan. These loans are safe, quick and secure. They are also developed to ensure that customers are easily able to repay the loan. With some time and patience, you can be sure that you have a community garden that you know you will love.

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